Feedback is highly appreciated. I hope you like it. I have most of this already written, so I will try to update as much as possible.

I ran faster than I ever have before in my whole life. Apparently I wasn't fast enough though. I was almost at the front door when he grabbed me from behind and pushed down as hard as he could. I felt a large boot connect with my rib cage and I tried to stifle the scream I was holding back. Seconds later I could smell his nearly drunken breath just inches away from my face.

"You think you're so tough don't ya, Mr. Smart ass?" He growled pulling my hair, forcing me upwards. I gritted my teeth and tried not to scream. "Well you're dead wrong. I'm about to become your worst night mare."

"Welcome to Crosslake Minnesota." Marlie tells us. I looked out the car window to see a giant sign with the word Crosslake in big letters. The population is only a little over 2,000 people. Talk about a small town.

Marlie has been our social worker for almost six years now. This is our third new house this year alone, and our ninth one over all. I'm surprised she even bothers to put up with us.

We're not bad kids or anything; people just don't like us very much. At one of our last homes we didn't get more than halfway through dinner when the dad said, "I can't stand you, get out."

When Marlie showed up and asked what happened, I told her that he got mad when I said I don't like the bears. I don't think it helped that I kept laughing at the face she made.

After things at our last home had gone bad, she decided that it'd be best if we were back in Minnesota. That's where Kaia and I lived up until we were put into foster care.

"Now would you guys please promise that you'll try to not get kicked out this time? There aren't many foster homes around here and I can't afford to start looking for a new one as soon as I leave the driveway." She told us.

"Do you honestly think we try to make people hate us?" Kaia asked.

Kaia's the most important thing in the world to me. From the moment I laid my eyes on her I knew that as her big brother, I had to protect her. I promised myself I would keep her safe.

Marlie rolled her eyes at Kaia then looked at me. "You haven't said a thing this whole car ride, or on the train into Minnesota, why?"

I shrugged.

"Well you better figure it out, 'cause we're here."

I opened up the car door and slid out. In front of me was a smaller, dark brown, town house. Even on the outside, it looked cozy, in a good way. It looked just like every other house on the block.

I felt the wind pick up and hugged arms against my chest.

"I forgot how cold it was here." Kaia said shivering where she stood. I went up behind her and ran my hands up and down her bare arms.

"You'll be staying with the McHale family," Marlie says, handing us our small duffle bags. "The only people living here are a single mom and her son."

"Damn." Kaia muttered.

"Kaia." Marlie snapped.

"Sorry." She shrugged. With her free hand, I felt Kaia grab mine. I looked down at her and saw the nervousness and slight fear that had settled on her face. I gave her hand a quick squeeze.

"It'll be okay." I mouthed to her. I looked up to see that Marlie was already standing on the porch.

"Are you two coming or what?" she asked. Kaia and I made our way up the lawn to take our place behind our social worker. Before we could even stop moving, the front door opened to show a middle-aged woman standing there. I felt my stomach drop, but I don't know why I was nervous.

"You must be the Social worker." She said, holding out her hand. I already liked her better than the last three foster moms I lived with.

"Marlie King, it's nice to meet you. You must be Mrs. McHale ."

"Please, call me Joanna." She said. "Now who is this?" She peered around Marlie to try to look at us.

"This is Kaia and Kale. Now, I would love to stay, but I have to get back to the agency by the morning." She at us both dead in the eye, "Be good and I'll be back in a month, have fun."

And like that she was gone. No goodbye, no hug, no 'I'll miss you.' In all the years I've known Marlie she never did any of that. It was always, 'Have fun.' I never saw how foster care could be fun. We never stayed anywhere for very long and we never made any true friends. Foster care sucks.

"Okay," Joanna said with a clap. "Where do I start?"

Joanna took us into the kitchen and went over all the ground rules. No boyfriends or girlfriends over without permission first. Be home by curfew, and if you'll be late then find a way to call and tell her. Most of important, if at any time we think we're in danger, we come straight home and tell her what happened.

"That should be everything. Oh! I almost forgot my son should be home soon. He's about your age; how old did you say you are?"

I was going to answer when the front door opened and a boy about my age walked in. I wasn't sure how to handle this situation so I just stood up, so did Kaia.

"Mom I'm home … who's this?" That must be her son.

"Liam, I told you two days ago that the news kids would be here today."

"I-I know I just… I forgot I guess."

Liam looked nervous. I didn't know why, we aren't dangerous or anything. The most damage I've done to anything was when I broke a window when I was nine. The funny part was that I blamed it on Kaia 'because I was too afraid to own up to it.

"I'm Kaia, by the way." She stated. She was always more open than I was.

"It's nice to meet you." Liam said quietly.

"Okay, how about I go order a pizza for all of us. If you want you guys can go wait upstairs." We've only been here for half an hour and he's already the best foster mom I've ever had.

"Wait um." Kaia said hesitantly "Where do we sleep? I don't mean to be rude but I'm just…. wondering."

"Well your brother can room with Liam, and I was thinking you could take the guest room."

"But mom that's-." Liam tried to say something but Joanna cut him off.

"It's where Kaia will be staying." She said sternly. She looked at Kaia again. "Follow Liam upstairs and he'll show you where it's at."

Now Liam looked sad, it was like for whatever reason he didn't want Kaia in the spare room they had. He gave both me and Kaia a long look before he motioned us to follow him upstairs.

We got to the stop of the stairs when Liam stopped and turned to face us. "My room is the door at the end at the end of the hallway, the bathroom is on your left, and this… is the guest room." he gestured his arm through the open door way. I peeked in; it looked like someone had up and abandoned it. Almost as if they just packed up their stuff and left out of the blue. I wondered if anyone else had lived here before.

"You can put your stuff in here Kaia." He said. She nodded in reply and went into the room and started pulling things out of her small bag.

I continued down the hall to where Liam was standing in front of a closed.

"This is our room." He said.

Inside was a decently sized room with two twin beds. There was a desk in the far corner and a drawer on the other side of the room. It looked like a room fit for a teenaged king, or two in this case.

"You can have whatever bed you want, it doesn't matter to me. The closet has been cleared out, you can use it for you clothes and stuff and we can share the desk. I'm going to head back down stairs, to see if the pizza is here yet." He started to walk away then stopped and turned around. "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't catch your name."

"It's Brewer," I told him quietly. "Kale Brewer."

The rest of the night went by quickly. We ate pizza and talked about our school arrangements. I'd be going to the local high school with Liam and Kaia would go to the middle school that is right by the high school. By the time we got done it was almost ten o'clock. I asked if I could take a shower then went upstairs after being told I could.

I went into to the bathroom and slowly stripped off my clothes and turned on the water. I stepped in and let the hot steamy water hit every inch of me. It had been a long day and I was extremely tired. Every inch of my body was fighting against me to stay awake. After a while I got out of the shower. I wrapped myself in a towel and looked at myself in the mirror.

I had a decently sized bruise that wrapped itself around my ribcage, I wanted to touch it, but I knew if I did it would hurt like hell. I inspected my face and realized I had a cut on my bottom lip; maybe that's why Liam looked so freaked earlier. I was going to keep going, but I had heard a knock on the door.

"Kale? Are you almost done?" Kaia called from outside.

"Uh, y-yeah I'll be out in a minute Kaia." I told her. I quickly finished getting dressed then went to find Kaia. I found her sitting on the bed in her new room. "Hey." I said.

Her head popped upon hearing me. "Hi."

I went and sat down next to her. She rested her head on my shoulder. Everything was quiet for a while. The only sounds that could be heard were the sounds of our breathing in and out.

"Are you nervous? About being back in Minnesota, I mean." She asked me.

"No, are you?"

"Just a little."

"Why? What do we have to be nervous about? We grew up here…well for the most part we did."

"What if we run into someone who we know? Like a family member, what do we do?" She asked, looking directly at me. I hadn't thought about it really. Our only family we had left was nowhere near this part of Minnesota. I didn't even know if they were alive or not.

"I don't know… just make the best of it I guess." I said. I got down on my knees in front of her. "I'm going to go to bed; do you still remember what I told you? When we first got into this mess, what did I tell you?"

"Don't get too comfortable because this is only for the moment, not forever." She replied.

"That's right Kaia." I whispered. I gave her a kiss on the head then said good night. I walked into my new room to find Liam sitting on his bed looking at his phone. I walked over to the bed I had claimed and pulled back the covers.

"Do you mind if I…" I trailed off, pointing at the light switch. Liam looked up at me confused.

"What? Oh yeah, go ahead I was done anyways." He said putting his phone down. I walked over and turned off the light then found my way back to my bed. I crawled under the covers and tried to get comfortable. I was tired but I couldn't sleep.

So I did the only thing I knew when it came to not being able to sleep. I got out of bed and walked to Kaia's new room. I opened just enough so I could slip in without making too much noise. I found my way to the bed through the dark and crawled under the blanket. I wrapped an arm around her and held as close to me as possible.

"Can't sleep?" Kaia asked.

"No… and I'm exhausted."

"Good night big brother.

"Good night baby sister." I gave her a quick peck on the cheek before I finally found myself drifting off to sleep.

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