The not so long awaited sequel to, Still Suffering." I love Ryan too much to let him go. Sadly, this probably won't be published for a while. I just want to write the first chapter right now, to get it out of the way. Why not publish you ask? Because I promised myself I wouldn't start writing another story until I finish this other one I'm writing. Luckily, I am on the second to last chapter, so I decided to get a head start.

I've had trouble deciding if Dominic should reappear. I mean, it's so cliche, but it's also a good story plot. So, I guess I'll just wait and see, won't I?


Chapter 1

One month. That's how long as passed since Dominic had been thrown into prison. There was no need for a trial, since it was pretty freaking obvious no matter which way you looked at it that he was guilty. I mean, maybe he could have gotten away with it the first time, if I hadn't ratted him out, but the second time? Kidnap me once, shame on you. Kidnap me twice, rot in jail then die and go to hell. That's how the saying goes, right?

Right now, I was at Joey's house. He'd invited me and Sam to spend the weekend at his place, and it'd been fun, lots of video games, and regular high school boy fun. But now it was Sunday, meaning we had to go home. Not that that was a bad thing. I loved my family very much, and honestly, I think it still tweaked them out if I was out of sight for too long.

"There's my ride." Sam said, getting up of the porch step he was sitting on. Me and Joey curiously tried to peek inside the window to see who it was. Sam had yet to give us a bit of information about his home life, and we often wondered what went on. Did he live a secret double life?

Most likely not. He just really liked his privacy, which we both respected. I beyond respected it. I understood it. You see, Sam was kidnapped when he was ten, and didn't escape until he was thirteen. I had been kidnapped at thirteen, and was rescued when I was sixteen. We understood each other, a lot. And it sucked having every inch of your life being shown for all to see. So I didn't push it. I'd told him to talk to me about it anytime he wanted to, and he'd told me to ask anytime I wanted to, but for now, I could wait. Maybe he wasn't ready to talk about it.

Or more likely, I wasn't ready to hear about it. Even though I wanted to know, I knew hearing about it would make me think about my kidnapping, and Dominic. I hated thinking about Dominic, because it got me confused, and I always ended the day curled up in my bed, covering my ears, ignoring my family knocking on my door.

Sam and Joey said goodbye, and when Sam turned to me, we hugged tightly. I knew it wasn't normal teenage boys to hug like this, but I didn't care. I hadn't been able to hold my friends and family for three years, and I didn't want to let them go again. And every time I hugged Sam, it felt like we were talking to each other, telling each other we were alright, and still alive.

He bounded down the stairs, and disappeared in the car. Me and Joey were left alone, and we started up a game of red hands. Within minutes, our hands were bright red, and we were both flinching away from each other before the other brought their hands down, anticipating the pain.

A few minutes later, my car pulled up, and I stood, accepting Joey's hug goodbye. He hugged me just as tightly as Sam did. I knew it was the same for all three of us. Joey had been my friend my whole life, until I'd been taken, and I knew he was still worried about me. He didn't want to let me go either, afraid, and always remembering, like I was, the three years apart.

"Have fun?" Dad asked as I climbed into the front seat, and I smiled reassuringly.

"Yeah." I answered, and he nodded gladly.

"Boo!" a voice shouted from behind me, and I jumped in my seat, honestly terrified, but a second later, I was laughing, as Dusk, my little sister, climbed out from where she'd been hiding, and crawling into my lap.

"Did I scare you?" she asked hopefully.

"Scared me good." I told her, and she smiled brightly. Her name wasn't really Dusk, but that was what we'd started calling her since I came home, to avoid confusion and bitter feelings. You see, believing that I was never going to return, my father and his wife, my step mother, Terry, had named her after me, causing a lot of problems with my little brother Steven. It had made me feel betrayed, when I'd heard it. It made me think they'd given up on me, and were replacing me.

Now, I actually felt a little bad, since it must have been confusing for little Dusk to suddenly have to go by a different name. I mean, it's not like she never got called Ryan, so we weren't trying to change her, but whenever she was called Ryan, it got awkward, because we'd both look over, and we'd all sit in silence for a few seconds, remembering.

Likewise, it must have been weird for the dog, who baby Ryan had named herself after, when she heard her name, and saw that they weren't talking about her.

When we got home, Dusk went to go take a nap, and dad and Terry started cooking dinner. I started up to Steven's room to check on him, thinking maybe we could play the new video game he'd just got for his birthday. But then the doorbell rang, and I had to turn around and go back for it.

When I opened it, I was surprised to see a young girl, around Steven's age. She had long brown hair, and a bright smile. And even though I'd never seen her before in my life, when she saw me, she gasped, and covered her mouth with her hand. She looked like she was going to cry.

Worried, and a little disturbed, I stepped back, and asked, "Are you okay?"

She nodded, and opened her mouth to say something back, but a second later, my little brother's voice called down from the stairs, "Hold on, Miley, I'll be there in a second!" And true to his word, a second later, he was there. Dad and Terry came out of the kitchen to see who was at the door, and both of them smiled at the little girl.

"Miley, good to see you." my father said, and Terry nodded.

"Would you like to stay for dinner?" she asked, and Miley nodded.

"If you wouldn't mind?" she asked, and Terry tish toshed her, and invited her in. All the while, I stood there, feeling like the village idiot as Dusk came over and started pulling the girl into her room, to show her something. I'd been home for a whole month, and I'd never seen this girl before, and here was everybody else, welcoming her in like she was a member of our family.

Maybe to them, I realized, she was.

A second later, Steven, always attentive to me, was at my side, smiling as he introduced me to the girl, Miley, who had apparently been Steven's best friend for quite some time now. She was still looking at me like she was going to cry, and I realized that Steven must have talked about me to her quite often, and she must have known all the trouble Steven had been going through.

"It's so good to finally meet you." she said, and I was surprised that such polite, grown up words had come from such a young girl. To my shock, she was hugging me a moment later, tightly, just as my friends and family did.

"Nice to meet you too." I answered honestly, but it still felt weird. Another thing I had missed out on. I tried to not let it show that I was feeling this way, and besides, I was touched that she had cared for me so much.

"Steven talked about you so much, I felt like you were my brother too." she said, and Steven blushed when I looked over at him. I smiled and ruffled his hair. This girl probably meant a lot to him, if he had talked to her about these things. She was probably someone special to him.

"How come I haven't met you until today?" I asked curiously, and she looked at the ground.

"I wanted to meet you. But I thought you'd probably want some space, with just your friends and family."

She was pretty smart, clearly. And, she was right. If she had shown up right when I came home, this feeling of not belonging would have only been worse. Steven asked me and Miley if we wanted to play the video game with him, and I agreed, despite it all. The quicker I got to know her, the less left out I'd feel.

It was weird for me to think about. There would always be a gap in time when they could all say, "Hey, remember that time when..." and I'd have no idea what they were talking. I mean, I could do the same thing back, but it would make us all depressed, since not a lot of my stories were particularly good, and the only one I could remember them with was Dominic.

After a few minutes of playing the game together, I started to feel better, and watching Steven, I suddenly realized that he liked Miley. And she liked him too. I smiled, happy that during our time apart, my brother had found one good thing to be happy about.

But then, watching them, it got me thinking again. Would I find a girl to like? Even bigger question, did I want to find a girl? Did I want a boy? All I'd known was Dominic, but that didn't mean that I didn't like girls. When I'd been kidnapped, I hadn't been giving it much thought, and now, I was a little biased.

Another thing that made me feel weird.

The more I sat there, thinking about it, the worse it got, and soon, I couldn't play anymore. I put my controller down, bringing Steven and Miley's eyes to me.

"Ryan, are you okay?" Steven asked worriedly, moving closer to me. I smiled, but shook my head. Instantly, Steven was hugging me, and he didn't ask me what was wrong, just held me quietly, ignoring his friend, who was staring at the ground. After a second, I hugged him back. His comfort always made me feel better, my little brother just brought me happiness that the rest couldn't, since he was the only member of my family who had always believed I'd come home.

"I'm sorry." I whispered. I'd ruined his time with his friend. He shook his head, which was resting on my shoulder.

"It's okay." he said, and he repeated it. "It's okay."

"It's okay." I echoed back to him, and he nodded.

"You're okay."

*(*)

I was feeling a lot better at dinner, laughing with everybody else. Things were always like that now. One minute I'd be fine, then I'd be crying, and then, I was fine again. While we were all talking, Steven and Miley telling me the story of the time that Steven had cut Miley's hair, the phone rang. I slurped down the spaghetti noodle I'd been eating, and went over to answer it, since I was closest.

"Hello?"

"Ryan, it's me."

"Thomson!" I said happily, smiling brightly. Thomson was the cop who'd tried to save me the day of my kidnapping, then gone into a coma because of it. But once he'd woken up, he'd dedicated his time to finding me. And he'd succeeded. Here I was, home, because of him. If it wasn't for Thomson, I would still be with Dominic.

"Hey, I was just calling to check up on you."

Thomson had been busy with a case for the last couple days, so I hadn't had any time to see him. Usually he stopped by at least every other day, but it had been almost a week since I saw him last.

"I'm okay. How's the case going?"

He sighed in exhaustion. "I think we're starting to get somewhere. How about tomorrow I take you out for something to eat?" he asked, and I could tell he felt guilty about not being around. Thomson was another one of the people I never felt awkward around, because he'd never given up on me. He thought that if he left me alone with my dad and Terry too long, I might explode.

"Okay." I said, and a minute later we hung up. As soon as I sat down at the table again, the phone rang again, and I sighed. Dad smiled and said, "I'll get it." As he was talking, I realized whoever it was couldn't be good, because he was frowning, and whispering into the phone so that the rest of us didn't hear him.

"...call after all this time, and think he wants to talk to you?" Dad was asking, and my eyes widened as I realized who he was talking to.

"Mom?" I asked, and Dad gave me a pained look, letting me know I was right on the mark. I was stunned. I hadn't seen or heard from my mother since the day she left, when I six. Steven didn't even remember anything about her. Right now, he was looking at me and dad, confused.

"You mean, real mom?" he asked me, and I nodded, not taking my eyes off dad.

I remembered my mom. I remembered that I got my physical appearances from her, and I remembered she was never home. Dad had always told me it was because of work, but once I was older, I figured out what he really meant. She wasn't cut out for a family, and being a mother. She liked partying, and sleeping around, and finally, she couldn't take the stress anymore, and she'd left us.

I remembered the day she left, dad holding my hand with his, and holding a tiny little Steven in his other arm as my mother drove down the driveway, all her stuff crammed into the back of her car.

I turned around again, back to the table, and looked at Terry. To me, she was mother. She'd appeared a few months after my mother's disappearance, fixed my dad, and she'd stayed. She'd raised Steven. Right now, she was watching my dad worriedly. My mother had hurt us badly, all of us, but I can't imagine the betrayal dad must have felt. Terry felt my eyes on her, and she looked at me, and smiled at me. I smiled back.

"I'll ask him." my dad said, and I bit my lip, turning to look back at my father. He silently held the phone out to me, silently asking. I was torn. Of course I'd wondered over the years where my mother had gone, and what she was doing, and why she never called. Of course I wanted to see her again. But, she'd abandoned us.

But she had called.

For me.

She had seen me on the news, no doubt, and she was calling. After all, I was her son.

But I just didn't know if I was ready for this. I was still mad at her. Still hurt. Not only had she never come to visit, she never called, never sent a letter, or even a holiday card. To her, I didn't matter. Steven didn't matter. Dad didn't matter.

I shook my head and looked at the table. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my dad nodding understandingly, and he put the phone back up to his ear.

"He doesn't want to talk to you." he said coldly, and a second later, scoffed. "Why? It's not hard to figure out, Amanda."

I tuned out at that point, and said to Steven and Miley, "Let's go play the video game, okay?"

They both nodded and got up, silently following me up the stairs, back into Steven's room. A minute later, Baby Ryan came, asking me who was on the phone, and why dad was yelling.

"It's my mother." I answered, keeping my eyes on the TV screen. I wasn't playing right now, just watching Steven and Miley. I wanted to laugh, because Steven was getting his ass kicked.

"But mommy's downstairs." Baby Ryan said, and I smiled at her.

"That's your mommy. Me and Steven have a different mommy."

"Diffent mommy?" she repeated, confused, and I nodded. After thinking for a few seconds, she just shrugged and sat on Steven's bed, kicking her feet, obviously not wanting to stay downstairs, where I could dad yelling at the top of his lungs. After a few minutes, Miley said she had to go home, and even though she swore it wasn't because of the yelling, and I believed her, I knew she was glad to get out.

"We should go for a walk." Steven suggested when the screaming only got louder, and we all quickly ran for our shoes, and practically ran out the door. It was nice outside, so we walked slowly, enjoying our time, our destination the park, because Baby Ryan wanted to go on the swings.

As we were walking, Steven suddenly grabbed my hand, looking up at me.

"What's up?" I asked, and he frowned and looked at the ground.

"Why's she calling after all this time?"

I sighed. "I don't know. If it was really because of me, she could have called during the three years I was gone."

"She was probably too ashamed." Steven said, and I agreed.

"Probably."

As we walked, I found myself thinking. There were so many things that I was going to have to deal with. Unfading memories of Dominic. Questions about my sexuality. And now, my mother.

It was a long road ahead.


YAY! I finished the first chapter of the sequel! Sorry it wasn't too interesting, but this is just the beginning. Can't have everything happen right away. But I thought this was a good start. But tell me what you think!

Ben- Boring.

Polly and Me- Shut up, Ben.

Ben- What? You asked.

Me- I asked the reviewers, not you. So shut up.

Ben- Whatever. And don't think that I don't know you started another Jason/Tommy thing.

Me- ...Max! Get him!

Max- Huh?

Me- Attack!

Max- Attack him? How?

Me- With your super special mind powers!

Max- ...Yeah...anyway...

Me- *huff* Fine. Glad you all read it, and hope you'll drop a review! I really am very glad to be back with Ryan. Something about him just breaks my heart. Probably because I keep making him suffer.