At the same time that he came around yesterday, Damian arrived at my door, clicking the lock and stepping down the hall to his room. I cautiously slipped into the hall and made a run for his room.

"God, I'll admit, the scariest part of being here is that run between our rooms. Anything could happen, you know?" There was humor in my voice, but my words were dead serious.

"Talk about it. That lock is anything but quiet or subtle. If my dad wasn't piss drunk all the time, we wouldn't have a chance." I giggled as I made myself comfortable on his bed, running my freezing hands over the soft baby blue comforter that was draped neatly across his bed.

"So have you thought of anything? Any ideas?" I asked. He shook his head sadly.

"I take it you haven't either?" he replied.

"Not a clue. It's not fair, it's way easier in the movies."

"Well, unfortunately life doesn't have a brilliant screenwriter behind it either."

"All it really needs are rewind, pause, play and fast forward buttons, and I'd think it'd be good."

"I'd fast forward to college. So I could get out of here." Damian remarked sadly.

"I'd fast forward to escaping. But my movie might be over before that." Damian's eyes were burning with sadness. He rested his hand on top of mine.

"I'm not going to let him hurt you. Or kill you. You're making it out of here. We are making it out of here. Okay?" I nodded.

"Why are you making such an effort to help me?"

"I-I honestly have no idea. Something's telling me I need to. Something is making me save you. I've just got this feeling, you know?"

"A gut feeling. You don't know why you think it's right, but all you know is that it is." I clarified.

"Yeah, that's perfect. That's exactly what it is." His grin quickly disappeared when the staggering, heavy footsteps thudded against the creaky old staircase.

"It's my dad. You can tell. He sounds like an elephant who's just been shot." he smiled, but quickly got back on topic. "Umm, here! Hide in here!" he whispered, pushing me gently into his well organized closet. I leaned back, breathing slowly and quietly. Please God, let Damian be okay. I had to watch, to make sure he was okay, so I peered through the door crack, fearfully awaiting the action. Derek appeared, wasted, the smell of vodka infecting the entire room. Damian held back a gag, as the ungodly smell hit him.

"Where's that book?" he stammered, venom filling his unsteady words.

"What book?" Damian asked casually, looking up from a novel he had picked up only seconds earlier. He was an amazing actor, the fear he had expressed with me was completely masked by this calm, collected mood.

"You know exactly what notebook." he spat.

"Unfortunately, I don't." Damian replied.

"That song book, smart ass." Damian reached back, into his dresser, and pulled out the book from his shirt drawer, holding it up.

"This one?" Derek tore the book from his son's hands, and flipped furiously through the pages.

"What a fag." he muttered, smirking as he read the lyrics to the song. "Are you a faggot?" he asked, more so, screamed at Damian. "Did I, Derek Merrit, raise a fag?"

"Actually no dad, I'm not."

"Well you've never told us about being in love, yet you've got a bunch of love songs in here, and you've never even had sex, unless you haven't told us that either."

"No dad, I haven't. I don't have to have sex to prove I'm in love. I'm waiting until I'm married, and if that's what makes me gay, then apparently, yes I am gay."

"No, singing girlie love songs is gay." Derek responded. He eyed Damian's guitar, and Damian could see exactly what his father's intentions were.

"Don't you dare. Touch. My. Guitar." he demanded through gritted teeth, as Derek picked the guitar up.

"I can do a hell of a lot more than touch it." Derek sneered, and with that, he bashed the instrument against the ground, smashing it into several pieces. Damian had tears in his eyes. I'd known the boy for two days, and even I knew that thing was his world. Derek had now begun to tear the pages of Damian's book out, and lighting them on fire, letting the pieces burn in the once empty waste bin. Damian had had enough, and out of pure anger, he threw a fist, landing right in Derek's jaw. This meant war, and a fight broke out between the two. Derek knew it wouldn't be enough to just hit him, and so he pulled out the exact same pocket knife he had used to mutilate my face, and began digging it into Damian's flesh, getting him pretty deep in his left shoulder. Damian's muscles no longer could support him, and his body went crashing to the ground, as Derek left, leaving his own son, his baby, to bleed out on the bedroom floor. I pushed the doors away, and fell to my knees, trying to be gentle as I searched for wounds on him. Tears streaked his bloody cheeks. I pulled his hoodie off of his bed to begin to stop the blood from his shoulder. Slowly, I helped him into a sitting position. His sad eyes looked into mine, silently begging me to help him, despite his knowledge I had no control over anything.

"How am I?" he asked, his usually strong, cheery voice now beaten, shaky and tearful.

"You've got a pretty bad shoulder gash, a couple cuts on your arms, quite a bit of bruises, and a black eye." I said. That sounded quite awful, once it was said aloud. He turned to look at his guitar, until he began to sob. I cautiously wrapped my arms around him, trying to comfort and relax the terrified boy.

"Don't worry. You'll be okay. I promise you." I reassured him gently. After a bit, his hoarse voice choked out a few words.

"Thank you, for comforting me, but maybe could I just be alone?"

"Of course." I said, patting his back gingerly. "Take care." I whispered, as I left, collecting the pieces and bringing them to my room, Damian oblivious to my actions.

I couldn't believe myself. Here I was, in the middle of the kitchen, searching for duct-tape, risking my life to fix a boy who I had met two days ago's guitar. I guess that was the type of person I was. It didn't matter how long I had known someone for. I would go to extreme measures to ensure they were happy. After forever, it seemed, I finally managed to find some and make a break away for my room again, thanking God I hadn't been caught on my stupid quest. After several hours of intense work, and a hell of a lot duct-tape, the guitar was mostly fixed, and I was quite proud. It looked fine, and hopefully, when tuned, it made the proper noise, otherwise, I'd be pretty embarrassed.

After yet another rough night, I woke up, unharmed and quite well relaxed, thankful I wasn't tortured or abused. Minutes later, the lock clicked, and I grabbed the guitar, excited to give it to Damian. I escaped to his bedroom, and handed him the guitar. His blue eyes brightened as he began to examine the guitar, obviously fixed well enough.

"How'd you even fix it? It seemed impossible." he asked.

"Umm, well. Let's just say fixing it wasn't the hardest part. It was more acquiring the duct materials." He shook his head in disbelief, before looking up to meet his eyes with mine.

"Thank you. This is amazing."

"You're welcome." He smiled at me, before returning to tweaking the guitar strings.

That night, I sat staring out my window, watching in awe as the furious lightning crashed against the damp concrete outside. I had always had a fascination with rain, lightning and thunder. There wasn't an explanation. I just simply thought it was one of nature's finer qualities.

There was a gentle knock at my door, as to not rouse the other people in the house.

"Em, are you awake?" Damian's voice whispered. I got up and opened the door, to find him shaking, his face filled with terror.

"Are you alright? What happened?"

"Can I stay with you tonight?" he asked meekly.


"I-I'm really… scared… of the lightning." he admitted, his pale face turning bright red." I smiled in relief, happy to know it wasn't because his dad had hurt him or anything.

"Of course."

Damian went to collect his stuff from his bedroom, which contained of two blankets, similar to his bedspread, but more of a throw version, a pillow, and an alarm clock set for 4:30 A.M., half an hour before his dad usually forced him awake, so he could return to his room before he was caught.

"Here." He said, handing me one of the neatly folded blankets. "You're probably cold, and that thing isn't the warmest."

"Thanks Damian." He nodded, before snuggling into the pale blue blanket he had brought for himself.

"Goodnight." he whispered.


It wasn't long before I was awakened by Damian's guitar being strummed gently. I sat up to inform him I was awake.

"I'm sorry if I woke you." he apologized, beginning to set the guitar aside. "I couldn't sleep."

"It's fine. Actually, do you think I could make a request?"

"Sure. I'll play it if I know it."

"Do you know 'Look After You' by The Fray?"

"Haven't played that one in a while, but I can try."

"Can you sing along?"

"I'm not very good, especially not quietly."

"Please?" He hesitated, thinking carefully before deciding.

"Alright, but if your ears begin to bleed, it's not my fault."

If I don't say this now I will surely break

As I'm leaving the one I want to take

Forget the urgency but hurry up and wait

My heart has started to separate

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Be my baby

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Be my baby

I'll look after you

There now, steady love, so few come and don't go

Will you, won't you be the one I'll always know?

When I'm losing my control, the city spins around

You're the only one who knows, you slow it down

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Be my baby

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Be my baby

I'll look after you

And I'll look after you

If ever there was a doubt

My love she leans into me

This most assuredly counts

She says most assuredly

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Be my baby

I'll look after you

(After you)

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Be my baby

Oh, oh, oh

It's always have and never hold

You've begun to feel like home

What's mine is yours to leave or take

What's mine is yours to make your own

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Be my baby

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Be my baby

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh, oh

Be my baby

Oh, oh, oh

His voice was amazing. It was soft, gentle, and smooth. Each lyric was told with as much emotion as the songwriter had intended.

"Wow." was all I could muster out. "You have a gift, Damian." He laughed. "Yeah right. I wish I was good."

"Damian, you literally took my breath away." His lips curled into a small smile.

"Goodnight Emily." He said, finishing the "discussion."

"Goodnight Damian."