Sorry for the cliffie last chapter, heh. It was long enough XD I don't want people getting used to really long chapters because I hope to start writing this story again, and the chapters will probably be shorter, then. So, yeah. Again, still don't know about slash or not...LET ME KNOW :D

Listening to: "The End" by Mayday Parade

Chapter length: 6000


~Chapter Six~

A Friend in You

So fast.

Everything happened so fast.

One minute, everything was fine, and then the next, there was the flash of a knife. Ren jumped back instinctively but he wasn't the target. Adam's eyes flashed open wide as the blade slid through the flesh of his side. It would have been worse but he jumped back, just not quickly enough. His hands instantly came up to clutch at the seeping wound. His hands came away painted red.

"What the hell?" Ren hissed, glaring at the wolf he didn't know. The wolf smiled and moved toward Adam. Ren grabbed the werecat by the shoulder, tugging him back even as Adam hissed in pain, looking a little pale. The scent of his blood smacked into Ren's face. "What the fuck are you doing?"

"Yeah," Ethan said, glaring, "what the fuck is this all about, Marshall?"

"We can't trust him," the werewolf, Marshall, said. His eyes narrowed onto Adam. "He's not one of us - he knows too much already! We have to take him out."

"You're crazy," Ren spat. "We're not killing him! He can be trusted!"

"Yeah." Ethan stepped forward threateningly. "What are you doing? Put the damn knife down, you idiot! The Alphas will have your head for this."

"They don't have to know," Marshall said slyly. "We can tell them we were ambushed and the human was killed."

" 'm not a human," Adam said through clenched teeth, doubled over as he clutched at his wound. It didn't seem too deep - which was a lucky break considering how bad it could have been - but it was bleeding pretty badly. Already the front of his shirt was saturated with the dark liquid.

The smell made Ren nauseous. He hadn't been able to eat yet, as they had been too busy getting settled in. He'd had a cold slap of meat the day before but that would only last him so long. He needed fresh food, warm blood and warm meat, and the scent made his throat hurt as he salivated.

No. This is Adam. Not food.

"You're not one of us, so you might as well be a human," Marshall growled, glaring at Adam. He looked at Ethan and Ren. "He can't be trusted. Don't you see? He'll turn on us. He knows too much as it is. He's served his purpose and now he needs to be put down."

"Fuck off," Ren snapped. "You're not killing him. He can be trusted." Adam had already saved his life once and had proven himself, at least to Ren. He wasn't going to let this maniac werewolf kill him. They needed all the help they could get, right?

"Are you siding with this disgrace?"

"Yeah, I am," Ren said, narrowing his eyes.

"Stop this," Ethan said.

Marshall's expression turned into a cold sneer. "Then I guess this ambush must have killed all three of you, because none of you are returning to the Alphas. I'm sorry it had to be this way."

The other two werewolves from inside the car came out and surrounded them. Clearly they were in on it too. Even Randal, who Ren knew. His gaze was downcast like he was ashamed, but he was obviously siding with Marshall on this. It seemed this had been planned from the beginning, and the only ones who hadn't known about it were Ren, Ethan, and Adam.

"I'm sorry it has come to this," Marshall said, but Ren could tell from his voice he didn't care at all. "Get them. Kill them all. It's for the good of us werewolves. Ethan and Ren are traitors."

The other werewolves surrounded them. Adam looked shaky on his feet and he was losing blood.

Too much. Not good.

They needed to get out of here - the werecat couldn't fight, which left only him and Ethan against three werewolves. They had no weapons but Marshall had that sharp knife, which looked coated in silver. Ren glared as the wolves moved forward to do as Marshall said. Since when was this planned? Since when did Marshall become their leader? Who all was in on this? Obviously the Alphas didn't know. Did Kelley? She was probably the closest thing Ren had to a friend - unless one counted Adam, but Ren wasn't so sure about that yet. Was she in on this? How far did this thing go? Who knew about it?

"Don't do this," Ethan said quickly. "Why are you doing this? We need all the help we can get, Marshall - we're a world at war! We need to stick together, not kill each other!"

"If you side with that human, or whatever the hell he is, then you are not one of us," Marshall said with a shrug, as though it were simple. "Do you change your mind? It's not too late."

Ethan glared and didn't say a word. Marshall grinned and nodded his head toward them, signaling to the other werewolves to attack.

Ren grabbed Adam's arm and took off running, expecting Ethan to follow. Ethan quickly did so and soon they were running, even though he was mostly pulling Adam along.

"Just… leave me," Adam said, sucking in a quick breath as they continued moving. He tried to pull his arm free of Ren's hold but Ren snarled at him for trying. "It's me they want dead… you don't have to be involved…"

"Shut up," Ren said.

"They're crazy if they think we're just going to kill-" Ethan started to say, but he was cut off when he was tackled from behind. The swift, gargling sound that followed and the strong scent of hot blood in the air had Ren's wolfish heart sinking.

Because he knew Ethan had just been killed.

Something stabbed painfully into his back a second later, not even giving him time to mourn the loss of his fellow werewolf. He gasped breathlessly, not even making a sound, and collapsed to the ground. The blade that was in his back was dangerously close to his spine and he found that he couldn't move - he was paralyzed. He felt his body trying to heal and knew that this blade wasn't coated in silver, so there was still another blade out there...coming for him..

Adam snarled viciously from above him, even though he couldn't turn his head to see what was happening. The knife tore free from his back and he heard the sounds of werewolves growling in pain. The scent of hot blood, hot and animal-like, filled the air once more and as the paralysis began to recede, he managed to turn his head enough to see Adam limping toward him.

"I… think I caught them off guard," he said, swallowing thickly, sweat beading his face. "Bought us… a bit of time. C'mon… we have to keep moving... if you can."

Ren forced himself up and staggered to his feet. The two quickly moved away from the bloody scene. Ren didn't need to turn around to know more than one werewolf lay dead on the ground. Even injured as he was, Adam was worthy of having around during a fight.

The two limped away from the scene in the dead of night.

They hadn't gone very far when Adam stopped running. He just stopped moving.

Ren rounded on him and glared when the werecat leaned against the wall of the building they were standing outside of, clutching at his side. A sheen of sweat covered his brow, his face pale and his hands stained red. "What are you doing? We can't stop," Ren said, moving to grab his arm. He felt tired and weakened but his back had healed rather nicely - a perk of being werewolf. The only supernaturals who healed faster than them were, to his knowledge, vampires, but even they required blood to do so.

Adam shrugged him off. "You… keep going," he breathed faintly. "I'm… tired."

"And what? You think I'm not tired? I'm not leaving you behind, so you'd better get running," Ren snapped, snagging his arm again. He tugged him away from the wall and shoved him in the direction they were supposed to be going - the direction away from those crazy werewolves. Ren couldn't believe any of this was happening. What was the world coming to if even his own kind wanted to kill him?

Adam staggered forward with a grunt. The scent of his blood was strong. So long as he was bleeding, the werewolves would be able to follow them.

They needed to get to a secure location where Ren could help him, bandage him, and stop the bleeding. It wouldn't do either of them any good if Adam died - and Ren didn't want that to happen. He sided with Adam for a reason, after all. He trusted the werecat - at least, he was pretty sure he did. As far as he was concerned, Adam had already proven himself to him and saved his life. The least he could do was repay the favor and not let him bleed out and not allow him to become a victim of the werewolves Ren had previously assured him would do him no harm.

"How are you doing?" Ren asked a moment later.

Adam took a moment to answer. "Fine… I'm okay…" he said non-too-reassuringly. "Just… pretty sure I'm… slowing you down."

"Again, I'm not leaving you behind. I did side with you, after all - what, you want me to take it back?"

"Might be… a good idea…"

"I'll say your bad decision making at the moment is a result of the blood loss. Otherwise you're just crazy. Which will it be?" Ren asked as he glanced around, searching for any place that could be even remotely secure for the time being. In a few hours it would be sunrise. Usually the werewolves wanted to be indoors when the sun was up due to their sensitive eyes.

Plus, it was a little hard to go on a killing spree during the day when a bunch of humans were likely to be around to see it happen. So, if they could make it to sunrise... they might have a chance. That was still hours away, though.

"Maybe a… little of both," Adam conceded quietly. "What… are you doing?"

"Shh," Ren said. "Save your strength." It sounded a bit cliché, but it was all he could think to say at the moment. Adam was doing well, considering he'd been cut with a knife. He was losing strength and stamina, though. Whatever previous adrenaline he'd been using to keep him going was disappearing now. That much was obvious. He needed help.

Maybe Ren could finally return the favor.

He squinted his eyes. In the distance was a run-down building which looked abandoned. The windows were boarded up and everything. It might be a great place to stay for the time being, until Adam was patched up. How Ren was going to help him, he wasn't sure - it wasn't like he had any bandages to use or anything, but he had to try. He at least owed the werecat that much.

"C'mon," he said, snagging Adam's arm again.

They hurried forward, Ren mostly pulling the werecat after him, and stopped just outside the abandoned building. It was only one story, so it was probably easy to defend if need be, right? Ren kicked the door in - it wasn't hard - and ushered Adam inside. The werecat scowled at him but did as he was told, slinking into the interior darkness of the building while Ren looked around outside. He was going to have to find some way to hide Adam's blood scent. How, though? Stopping the bleeding would help but the werewolves would already be led here by then.

But helping Adam at the moment was his main priority. He could deal with the rest afterward. He entered the dark building and lifted the door from the ground, shoving it into the opening for at least a bit of security.

Adam sat against the wall in the darkness. His quiet breaths led the wolf right to him, not to mention the scent of his blood. Ren's eyes adjusted quickly to the darkness. Adam's eyes were closed and his pale face shone in the quiet night around them. Ren pursed his lips into a thin line and knelt next to the werecat.

"You with me?" he asked.

"Mm," Adam grunted in response.

Ren needed to bandage the wound. Adam probably needed professional help - a hospital, maybe? Nah, too risky - but at the moment, leaving the building was a bad idea. Now they had both werewolves and humans after them. As if the world wasn't crazy enough already…

"Let me see it," Ren said, pushing Adam's hand away from the wound. "I need to lift your shirt."

"Go ahead," Adam breathed, his eyes closed.

Ren lifted Adam's shirt just enough to see the wound. It was puffy around the edges, jaggedly torn. Not a clean cut, then. It still seeped blood, and while it didn't appear too deep - not as bad as it could have been - it was rather long and bloody. "Stay awake, okay?"

"Yeah… I know the… drill," the werecat muttered.

Ren tore off his jacket - he had worn it because, since it was generally colder out here by the mountains, he'd thought it would make him look more normal if he had it on even though werewolves had a higher core body temperature than a lot of other supernaturals - and tied it around the wound, around Adam's middle. The werecat winced and grimaced in pain. "Is that working, do you think? For the bleeding?"

Adam took in a slow breath and nodded. "I guess so… not like we have… a lot of other choices."

Ren grunted. "It just needs to work for now. How do you feel?"

"Like an unwanted… knife was shoved inside me," Adam huffed. "I'm fine. Just… a little tired."

"Stay awake," Ren said.

"Yeah… I know." Adam shifted against the wall and winced, his eyes opening. A faint glow shone from them, the irises small slits. "What now?"

Ren shook his head. "I… don't really know," he said honestly. He had no game plan. He just wanted to stay alive for as long as possible, because even though he often felt unwanted and life was screwed up at the moment, it was his life, and it was the only one he had. "I figure by… sunrise they should…"

"Stop?" Adam supplied.

Ren nodded in response.

The werecat sighed heavily in the darkness. There was a moment of silence before Adam took in a slow breath and started talking. "Did you… know they were going to…?"

"Try and kill you? Attack us?"


"No." Ren shook his head with disgust. "They don't tell me anything. And if I had known, Adam… I wouldn't have sent you into a trap." He glared at the werecat for thinking he would do such a thing.

"Alright… I was just asking…" Adam told him easily. "It didn't… look like you or Ethan knew."

"We didn't," Ren agreed. "We were just as surprised as you."

Adam shifted again and winced.

"You should probably get to some kind of hospital or something," Ren said, frowning worriedly at the werecat.

"Nah… I'm okay," Adam said. "Werecats… heal pretty fast, if… given the chance." He swallowed. "I'll be fine, just… need a bit of time to… heal. It's… painful and exhausting, healing."

"You can heal fast?"

"Yeah. Faster than a lot of... supernaturals… at any rate, but…" He took in a slow breath. "It also… hurts more, and… we can get hurt easier. Mostly we… are made for agility…"

Ren frowned to himself.

"At least… my kind, anyway," Adam continued.

Ren figured talking was helping to take Adam's mind off the wound on his side and the fact that he was healing. Maybe it was a painful process, as the werecat was now saying. Maybe all Adam needed to do was rest.

It was a reassuring thought, at least. He didn't want to be alone in this, and he owed it to Adam to help him. Plus, he couldn't just let him die or anything, could he? They were in this together, at least for the time being.

To keep Adam talking for the time being, he decided to talk himself.

"So…tell me about your family. Any siblings?"

Adam's gaze slid toward him slowly. "Two," he breathed. "Brother and sister."

"Older or younger?" A part of Ren was surprised Adam was even telling him this, since he seemed so secretive before, but now it seemed as though it was the right thing to talk about to take Adam's mind off the healing and the wound.

Adam swallowed. "Younger. Sister's the youngest… she's only fifteen." He sighed. "You?"

"None," Ren said with a heavy sigh. "All alone."

"Yeah…aren't we all?"

Ren smirked despite himself. "So what's it like, being the oldest?"

Adam scowled. "Annoying," he said, and then smiled faintly. "But worth it."

"How so?"

Adam shrugged. "I try to… be a good big brother… Dunno if I failed or succeeded… but I tried."

"Where are they now?"

"Still in the… colony," Adam told him.

"But you left," Ren said, stating it as a fact and not a question. Adam only nodded slightly in response. "Why did you leave?"

"Just… had to."


Adam shook his head and released a slow breath. "Just… family stuff is complicated. Instead of spending my… time arguing and fighting… with my family and colony… I just decided I should leave. Hell… who would miss me?" The last part was spoken somewhat bitterly. Ren had a sneaking suspicion that had Adam been in his right state of mind - and not the pained healing one he was obviously in now - he wouldn't have said it. He probably wouldn't have been saying any of this.

This was like a side of Adam he'd never seen before; a vulnerable one.

"I'm sure they miss you," Ren told him. "They're your family."

"Yeah, well… family's not… all it's cracked up to be," Adam pointed out. "Especially mine."

"What happened to make you leave? Why haven't you gone back?"

Adam closed his eyes. "They're better off… without me."

Somehow, Ren very seriously doubted that. However, he knew a conversation ender when he heard one, and it wasn't like he and Adam really knew each other that well as of yet. Conversing about family was probably a touchy subject for the werecat, and Ren could respect that he didn't wish to talk about it. There was plenty he didn't wish to talk about concerning himself as well.

Surprisingly, no one came after them. It was quiet all the way until sunrise. Ren figured chasing them off had been enough, and losing at least two werewolves - Ethan and at least one other because he was sure Adam killed at least one - was enough for Marshall. They must have gone back to the other werewolves and the Alphas. It wouldn't be safe to stay here for long, though - they needed to move as soon as possible.

Adam crashed a few hours ago. All in all, he looked okay, considering. Ren's jacket was still tied around his side and he was still a little pale, but his breaths sounded steady and he had better color. The scent of his blood still hung thick in the air, though, and it was making Ren hungry. He would need to eat soon - as soon as it was dark out again, he told himself. The sun just came up, though. He figured he was safe enough for now. The werewolves wouldn't come out in the sunlight. It would be too easy for the humans to spot them, and the sunlight was damaging to their eyes unless they had really dark sunglasses. The humans most likely wouldn't look in this building, either. It was boarded up and obviously abandoned.

It was probably safe enough to sleep for a bit. It was dark due to the wood covering the windows, the only light seeping in through the door he'd kicked in earlier. As it was, it was crushed firmly into the opening, only a little off, revealing only a small crack to show that it was out of place. He doubted anyone would notice it.

He figured it would be safer if they slept in intervals, though, and one kept watch while the other one slept. It had been a few hours since the werecat went to sleep, and he figured it was time to check on him anyway, so he reached out from where he sat, leaning against the wall next to Adam, and gripped the werecat's shoulder to shake him. "Hey… wake up, Adam."

Adam muttered something under his breath and came awake somewhat slowly, his eyes blinking open sluggishly. The green orbs and dark slits narrowed on him. "Ren?"

"Yeah. How are you feeling?"

Adam paused momentarily. "Better," he finally answered through a small yawn. "You?"

"I was never really hurt," Ren said, confused, because his wound hadn't been very deep and he healed quickly and easily enough, unlike the werecat. "Are you sure you're okay?"

"I'm fine. Never better. All healed."

"You sure?"

Adam unwrapped Ren's jacket from his middle, revealing his skin where the wound had been. His side was all healed, only a dark mark left behind where the cut had been. Ren stared at it.

"Well… I guess that's helpful," he said.

Adam nodded, smirking. "Very," he told him. "It comes in handy. So where are we? Random building?"

"Yeah. I thought we could take turns keeping watch."

"And now it's my turn," Adam said.

Ren shrugged.

"Alright." The werecat nodded. "Go ahead and sleep. I'll keep watch. Do you think they'll be looking for us? Anything in particular I should be looking for?"

Ren sighed and shook his head. "I don't think the werewolves will come out in the day, but the humans might find something off with that door if they get to looking too closely." He gestured toward the door he'd kicked in.

Adam nodded. "Alright, I'll keep an eye out." He stood from the floor and stretched. "Get some rest, werewolf."

Ren rolled his eyes. "Whatever, werecat."

Adam flashed him a smile.

By nightfall, Adam was itching to move. By the way Ren kept pacing, he knew the werewolf felt much the same. As soon as the sun set, he leapt toward the door, ignoring the minor pull he felt at his side where the wound had been, and knocked the door aside.

"Let's go," he said, stepping through the opening. He paused briefly. "And leave your jacket. As much as it might make you fit in, I don't think red is your color."

Ren sighed and dropped the jacket on the ground. Adam wanted to tell him how grateful he was that the werewolf stuck by him, helped him and didn't just leave him to die, but he kept his mouth shut instead and the two hurried away from the building. It had been safe for a day but it was night now, and the werewolves were sure to be following their scent. Adam's blood trail would lead them right to that building, and they needed to make themselves scarce.

"We can't go very far on foot," Adam said in observation as he glanced around. His precious truck, the very thing he'd practically lived in since he'd left his colony years ago, was no longer with him. He wasn't exactly sure how he felt about that.

"We'll have to make do," Ren said in reply, moving briskly across the street. Adam followed after him, glancing around for any sign of danger.

His night vision was a blessing sometimes. It was how he saw the werewolf hurtling toward them when he otherwise might have missed it. The werewolf had obviously been hiding downwind so they couldn't smell it, but now Adam snarled and shoved Ren out of the way of the oncoming attack, jumping in the opposite direction himself to dodge a blow from the werewolf's lethal claws.

"Fuck," Ren hissed, staring at the werewolf. Adam grunted his sentiment and growled when the wolf pulled out a vicious looking blade. It was curved at the tip, clearly for entering the victim cleanly and coming out ragged. No. Adam preferred to stay the hell away from that.

"You have sided with this feline?" the werewolf growled at Ren, glaring at him. "You traitor!"

"Whoa, hold up," Adam said, shaking his head, "I am not a feline. I don't sit on old people's laps and eat cat food while purring loudly. Got it? I'm a werecat. Say it with me - WERE-cat."

The werewolf sneered at him and lunged.

Adam took his attack in stride, sliding out of the way only to round on him with a harsh kick to the side, followed by a jab to the throat which rocked the werewolf's head back roughly. The wolf lashed at him, catching him in the arm, claws raking down across his skin creating bloody trails. Adam tore away and held his arm close to his chest, wincing as he sucked in a harsh breath at the onslaught of pain his body allowed him to feel before the healing sensation started to kick in. Suddenly he felt exhausted and sore, and he stared as the werewolf ran at him again.

Ren rammed into the wolf, knocking the guy to the ground. Ren's eyes snapped toward Adam and he snarled through his clenched fangs, "Run!"

Adam glared at him because he certainly wasn't running to leave Ren here by himself when the werewolf hadn't left him behind, but then an idea occurred to him. He opened his mouth to tell Ren of it, thought better of it, and turned on his heel and ran, disappearing around a corner.

Ren stared at where Adam rounded a corner, a flutter of disbelief echoing through his still chest. Adam left him. He ran off. Sure, Ren told him to run, wanted him to, but he didn't expect him to. Maybe he couldn't trust or count on the werecat after all.

"See how he leaves you?" the werewolf sneered at him, the two of them circling around each other. Ren shifted his gaze this way and that, trying to figure out what he could do, because if this werewolf found him, there was sure to be others to follow. Even if he got out of this, there would be more to come. "Why must you fight me, brother?"

"You tried to kill me," Ren hissed.

"Not I," the vampire said. " And not you; nly the werecat. Why stand up for someone when they leave you in your time of need, brother? Come, join us! Together we can take down the feline and all who stand in our way!"

Ren stared at the werewolf. What was he talking about, all who stood in their way? He shook his head because his ears picked up on an engine. A car was coming. If they didn't end this by then, the humans would get involved, and probably neither of them would make it out alive.

"Join us," the werewolf said with a smile.

"I won't kill people," Ren snapped, and then flinched when a truck suddenly came flying around a corner, heading straight toward them. He just barely managed to jump out of the way, landing harshly on the sidewalk.

Damn humans! They were already here, they were coming, they-

"Get in," Adam snapped from the driver's seat.

Ren barely gave thought as his feet had him lunging forward. The car was moving before he'd even opened the door, and he quickly climbed in. The other werewolf snarled and rammed into the side of the truck, causing them to spin a little, but otherwise Adam managed to keep it on the road.

He gave it some gas and they raced down the street, away from the angry werewolf and the threat of imminent bloodshed.

Ren swallowed and smelt the blood in the air. "You came back," he murmured, leaning against the door.

Adam barely glanced at him. "You didn't leave me, why would I leave you?" he asked, giving it more gas. They sped up, nearing the edge of town. "I figure we'll keep going until sunrise. Then we can stop and hide out for the day."

"We?" Ren echoed before he could stop himself, frowning at the werecat.

Adam looked at him briefly. "No, I'm kicking you out in an hour so you better get ready to run." He shook his head and rolled his eyes. "Yes, we. Unless you want to split up but I say we at least wait until the truck's out of gas."

Ren nodded. It wasn't that he didn't think they should stick together, it was just he was shocked Adam was the one who suggested they not part. It seemed like everyone always parted from him, before. Now there was someone who actually gave a damn enough to come back for him. A friend, perhaps?

Ren nearly scoffed. He didn't have friends. No one stuck around that long.

Why was that? Was it because he didn't take pleasure in killing?

"Where'd you get the truck?" he asked, changing the subject.

Adam flashed him a grin. "Found it parked not far away. Hotwired it."

"You knew it was there?"

Was that why he left?

"No. But I figured a vehicle had to be nearby, at least." Adam shrugged. "Well, we're on the run now… Where shall we go?"

Ren sighed. "Nowhere is safe," he murmured. "Just keep driving."

They couldn't be caught if they never stopped moving.

Sunrise came quickly. Ren must have spaced out or fallen asleep because when he next snapped his eyes open, they were parked outside of a hotel of all places, in some place he didn't recognize. Adam wasn't in sight. From the smell of truck, he hadn't been here in a while.

He left, Ren thought to himself, sitting up straighter. He looked around but there was no one in sight. The street was empty save for a few parked cars. Nothing moved.

He left you. Like everyone else.

He wasn't surprised. He really wasn't. But the disappointment he felt ate away at him nevertheless because he'd thought maybe, on some level, Adam was different. He thought Adam wasn't like that, wasn't the kind to just up and leave without a word, without warning… without even bothering to wake Ren up.

But apparently he was wrong.

So much for sticking together.

He sighed and climbed out of the car. Upon glancing at the sky, he knew he didn't have long before the sun rose. He needed to get indoors quickly, lest his eyes start to ache and burn and people noticed he wasn't human. He entered the hotel and paused. He had no money. He checked his pockets.

No money. No money at all. Just him and the clothes on his back. It was all he had.

He ducked his head. What was he going to do now? He had nowhere to go and the sun was coming up. He couldn't just sit around in the hotel lobby all day. There were a ton of windows, anyway. He could see the sun rising now. It was probably romantic to some people, the direction this hotel was facing so it could get a perfect view of it, but to him it was like a time clock and he was itching to figure something out.

"Mr. Stephens?" a voice asked. It meant nothing to him, but no one else was in the lobby so he turned his head to peer at the person behind the check-in counter. "Mr. Stephens?" the person asked again, staring right at him.

Ren frowned. "Me?" he murmured, stepping forward slowly. Who was this person? Why did they think he was some 'Mr. Stephens'? Was this an ambush? He narrowed his eyes.

"Ah, Mr. Stephens." The guy smiled. "Mr. Evans told me you'd be stopping by around this time."

"Mr. Evans?" Ren was so confused.

The guy frowned. "Mr. Evans? You are Mr. Stephens, aren't you? He gave me a description of you and you look like him."

"Who gave you the…?" Ren was suspicious now.

"Mr. Evans," the guy said.

Mr. Evans. That wasn't ringing any bells. Ren stared at him blankly before his mind locked onto a fleeting thought.

"Adam?" he asked quietly.

Was it Adam? Did Adam leave him with something?

Now the guy grinned, relieved. "Yes, Adam. Adam Evans. He told me to give you this." He held out a keycard. Ren stepped forward, staring at it. Slowly, his fingers closed around the card and he glanced at the room number.

Room 125.

"He… He got a room?" Ren asked, just to clarify.

"He said he was terribly sorry he couldn't be here to see you in, but he had an important matter to attend to."

"Couldn't be here?" Ren echoed with a frown.

The man shrugged. "He just said he would meet you here later, but wanted me to be sure to give you the keycard before sunrise. I don't know why that's important. He said something about your job? You need to sleep as much as you can?" The man eyed him shrewdly.

A job? A night job? So he slept during the day?

Ren shrugged. "Yeah, I guess," he murmured, staring down at the keycard again. "Um…thanks. So, he said he'd be back?"

Adam was coming back? He hadn't left him alone?

The man nodded. "That is what Mr. Evans said, yes."

Ren nodded, feeling oddly relieved, and then turned. He headed down the hallway and toward his room. Carding the door, he pushed it open and almost smiled at the dark room that awaited him. The curtains had been pulled shut and it was on the opposite side of the building, facing away from the rising sun. Heavy curtains assured him of the darkness. He kicked the door shut behind him and put the keycard down on a dresser before something caught his eye.

Turning, he caught sight of a folded piece of paper sitting on the nightstand between the two beds. It looked almost like it belonged there, so nicely placed, but yet out of place sitting between the phone and the alarm clock. Ren moved toward it and snatched it up, quickly unfolding it to read the hastily scribbled words.

Ren, sorry I'm not there. Hope this is dark enough. Be back later.


Another wave of relief crashed into him, unbidden. The room was dark and air conditioned, and he felt the coolness seeping into his bones. Adam really was the one who had gotten this room, it was confirmed, and he'd be coming back. Ren didn't wish to be alone in this, on the run from his own kind along with the humans. He was grateful Adam hadn't just up and left without a word.

Ren sank down on one of the beds and closed his eyes.

And there's that chapter ;) It's kind of long...but I don't think the next chapter will be. I'm still pissed be cause I had chapter 7 written and it was like 4000 words long, but then my stupid chip went and died on it's gone now :/ Anyway, thanks for reading and please review!