AN: Okay, so the Monday deadline sort of went out the window. Sorry about that! Anyway, here's chapter 4, hope you enjoy it! Reviews make me write faster!

I crouched behind a bush in the public park, hoping desperately that the cop standing barely three feet away didn't spot me. His pants were falling down and I had to swallow a laugh as he hiked them up every few seconds, which looked pretty hard considering he was trying to pin a poster up on the park bulletin board. I craned my neck slightly to see what the poster was, and when I did I shrank back down farther. It was one of those lost child posters, giving a phone number and a few names if you had any information. Except it wasn't just a normal poster, because the picture was mine, my school photo from last year. And the names were Annie's and the Davis's, which annoyed me to no end.

I had run from them three days ago, and apparently they had been busy. I had seen these signs all over, and even on a tv when I had been hanging out in the town mall the second day. After that I started avoiding large groups of people.

I knew I would be caught eventually, and I really was kind of miserable sleeping in the park, but I still thought it was better than living with the Davis's.

Anything is better than that, I thought bitterly.

A dog barked behind me and I jumped, nearly falling out of the bush. The cop turned around, his pants slipping down his thighs. He hoisted them back up again and glanced around. His gaze seemed to settle on my bush for a moment too long, then he turned and walked away.

I waited a few seconds then jumped out and tore down the poster. I crumpled it up and went to toss it in the trash can when I felt a heavy hand descend on my shoulder. I looked up surprised, and felt my face heat up. It was the cop.

"Thought I saw someone in that bush," he said, his right hand clutching my arm tightly and his left holding up his pants. "Go ahead and throw it away," he said, nodding at the balled-up poster still in my hand. "We don't need it anymore."

I turned away from him again, shifting uncomfortably in his tight grasp, then tossed the poster in the trash.

"Okay," he said with a sigh, unhooking his walkie-talkie from his belt. "Hey Charlie, I got the Smith kid."

I bristled slightly at the new title. I already resented the police for arresting my father and this definitely wasn't helping my opinion of them.

"Bring her in Joe. Annie is in the office, she's still freaking out." The cop on the other end replied, and I squirmed again. The last thing I wanted to do after three shower-less, hungry, and uncomfortable days was to see the human-vulture that would inevitably take me back to my foster 'family'.

"Come on kid." The cop said, hauling me across the park to his car. I struggled against his hold on my arm but he clearly wasn't letting go. I guess he knew I was a flight risk.

"Get in." He said when we finally reached his squad car, which honestly looked like it wouldn't fit his massive girth inside.

"In the back?" I asked.

He chuckled. "You can ride in the front. I'm not arresting you, you know."

"Coulda fooled me," I muttered as he escorted me around the car and opened the door for me. I slid in and buckled up, figuring it wouldn't be best to blatantly break any laws while IN a police car.

While the cop squeezed himself into the car I shrank back into the seat and hoped no one was in the park to see me. But no, there was a man walking his dog right by us. Probably the same one who barked and gave away where I was, I thought.

After finally fitting himself inside the car, the cop started the engine and began to back up. I sighed and resigned myself to a return to hell.


"Sasha!" Annie cried when she saw me. "Thank goodness!" She threw her arms around me and I stood there awkwardly in the middle of the police station, being hugged by a person that I

1. barely knew

2. hated and

3. was pretty sure she hated me too.

When she finally let go I crossed my arms over my chest, not wanting anymore hugs. "Where are the Davis's?" I asked, my voice dripping with contempt. Annie seemed to notice, but didn't mention it.

"Well, actually Sasha, there's been a change in plans. You're not going back to the Davis's."

I perked up. "I'm not?" I asked excitedly.

"No," he shook her head. "They, er WE decided that it would be best if you went to a different foster family as you seemed to, ah, CLASH with them."

"In other words they found out I was a punk and didn't want me." I said. "And what do you mean a different foster family? I have to go to another?"

"Yes Sasha, you do." She said impatiently. "Their names are Timothy and Margaret Jackson, and they are-"

"Let me guess." I interrupted. "They're wonderful and caring and are getting paid. We've done this before."

She paused. "Yes, I suppose we have. And we need to get going. They live about a half hour from here."

"Wonderful," I muttered, shoving my hands in my pockets. "Can I at least shower first? I have been living on the streets for three days."

Annie's face softened and she gestured down the hallway. "There's a locker room that way. Help yourself."

I grunted a half-hearted thanks and turned away from her, then paused and spoke to her over my shoulder. "Can you get my skateboard and backpack? I stashed them in a lost and found box at the mall."

"Of course," Annie said, and I left the room. I kept my face turned down, not wanting to meet the stares of the cops around me. There was anger building in my chest, heating up my face and making my hands curl into fists. I had been caught, and now I was being shipped off to another set off strangers who didn't really want me.

"Are you okay honey?" A woman cop asked inside the locker room. Without looking up I stalked past her to the showers.

"Peachy." I muttered under my breath.