Chapter 1

I didn't think I had hit him that hard, but after driving for an hour, he was still lying unconscious in the back of the van. I had pulled over at a rest stop and sat next to him in the back. I stroked his cheek gently and I felt my heartbeat quicken. He was so soft, so beautiful. Its a shame that he now had a cut on his perfect forehead but it was understandable. The poor boy had just seen me shoot someone which was sure to scare anyone. I just wish he had listened to me when I had tried to calm him, then he wouldn't be lying there with blood trickling down his forehead into his hair and a big bruise forming around the gash.

My eyes wondered to his sleeping form.

His dusty blonde hair fell perfectly over his head without him even having to try, and underneath his gorgeous fringe sat two beautiful green eyes that shone with kindness and happiness, although they were closed and dreaming now. His body was perfectly toned from years of athletics and glowed a deliciously tanned colour from days out in the sun.

I had to force myself not to touch. I didn't want to freak him out. I mean, he barely knew me, but I'd soon change that.

I must've been sitting there for a good half hour before I finally saw a change. His face contorted into one of pain as slowly, he started to move some muscles. Then a slow groan escaped his mouth as he stretched out. His eyes remained closed as a hand moved to touch his forehead, but I knew that would cause him pain, so I reached out and grabbed his arm before he could cause himself pain.

His eyes shot open with the realisation that he wasn't alone, however they didn't seem to focus on anything, they wondered around the van and he blinked continuously as he attempted to tame his eyes.

"What-," He muttered, confusion written all over his face.

"It's okay," I said gently, my thumb caressing the smooth skin of his forearm that I was still holding onto. He blinked even harder at the sound of my voice and tried to focus his vision on my face, squinting those beautiful green eyes to focus them.

"You're okay, Jake." I repeated as his vision seemed to clear and his face turned from one of confusion, to one of fear. Of course it did, the last thing he saw was me shooting someone, even if it was for his protection. He suddenly began struggling, however weakly as the pain in his head seemed to have quite a control over him.

"Shhh." I cupped his face in my hand while still holding onto his arm and he stilled, staring straight into my eyes. "You're safe now."

"You shot him." He whispered, his breathing heavy and I couldn't tell if it was a question or a statement.

"I had to Jake." I reply softly and watch as his eyes begin to pool with tears.

"What?" He breathes, obviously still confused about the earlier incident.

"It's okay. It's just you and me now, Jake." I smile at him, but he doesn't reciprocate.

"You shot him." He repeats as the tears fall from his eyes and he lets his head fall back against the floor.

"I know you're confused right now, Jake, but you'll understand soon enough." I gently let go of him as he lets out the tears, his chest heaving up and down with sobs, drawing my attention to the toned body beneath his shirt.

"We're almost there, and then I can explain further." I say as I climb back into the front of the van, leaving him on the floor where he woke up.

"Almost where?" He asks softly through the sobs.

"Home, Jake." He doesn't reply, but his crying stops abruptly. I turn to see him looking at me, those green eyes glistening from tears. I can't quite place the expression on his face, but I smile at him reassuringly.

"What do you want with me?" He asks softly. I pause for a moment, the crass way he asked such a question stumps me. We stay looking into each others eyes before I smile at him again.

"I want to take care of you Jake." I state simply. "And that's exactly what I'm going to do."


My heart stopped. I wanted to get up and run, but my head hurt too much to move and by the time I decided that I'd have to tough out the pain, he had started the car and I knew it was too late. I looked at the roof of the van letting the tears spill down my cheeks. Who the hell was this guy? I mean I knew who he was, but what type of person would shoot a fifteen year old boy and kidnap another?

This guy clearly wasn't right in the head. The way he looked at me, sent shivers down my spine. I wondered if he had ever looked at me like that before this all happened and I just hadn't have noticed. Maybe if I had been more aware I wouldn't be in this situation.

I thought to Tommy, remembering the sound of the gun blasting, remembering his lifeless body lying on the ground as I was being dragged away from him. Was he dead? I don't remember seeing him breathing. What if he was dead? What would I do? He couldn't be dead. He was the only one in the world who truly understood me. Who understood everything I went through, who could read me like an open book. And now he was dead because some sick freak wanted to 'take care of me'.

What did that mean? Why had this guy taken me? Why did he think I needed to be taken care of?

There were too many questions going through my head and it already felt like it was splitting in two anyway. I closed my eyes, hoping this wasn't all really happening. That I had fallen asleep during the movie and that this was all a dream. I would wake up and Tommy would be next to me, happy, alive, and that this was all some insane nightmare.

I rocked gently as I heard the van take off down a road that sounded rather busy and fast. We must have been on a highway or something which scared me even more. Were we leaving town? Had we already left? I realised that I had no idea how long I had been knocked out for. He could have been driving me somewhere for days and I would have no idea.

The lights from oncoming cars and taillights shone through the front window, making strange shapes and shadows on the roof of the van that I watched dozily. It told me nothing except that it was night time and I couldn't find the energy yet to sit up and take a look around.

The man sat strumming the steering wheel and humming to a tune that was playing softly on the radio. It sent a surge of anger though me, knowing that he could so easily act like he didn't have a semi conscious boy lying in the back of his van.

"You okay back there?" he asked, as though sensing my change in mood from the drivers seat.

"I want to go home." I said softly, not bothering to turn to look at him.

"Well we're almost there Jake." He said cheerfully. "Another ten minutes and we'll be there."

This man was completely and utterly insane. He honestly thought I wanted to go to his house? That I was already up to calling his place my home?

"No." I said sternly and I felt his driving slow down suddenly at my confident response. "My home." I clarified. "I want to go back to my home."

The car picked up it's pace again and I felt him exhale before he released a soft chuckle that made my blood curdle.

"No you don't." He said softly, but surely.

"Yes I do. I want to go home."

"No, you don't Jake." He said and I could hear the smirk in his words. I didn't quite understand what he was talking about. He was so sure that I wouldn't want to go home. "I think you'll be surprised by how much I know about you."

I didn't reply. I didn't know what to say.

My mind immediately swept to the only reason I wouldn't want to go home, and my breathing hitched at the thought of this man knowing. But there's no way he would know about Steve. No one knows about Steve. I mean, Tommy knows a bit, but not everything. I've never told anyone about it and the only reason why Tommy knows was because he was my best friend and had been for years. I felt like I had to give him a reason why after five years of friendship, things started changing. Tommy was the only one that noticed the small changes. So I explained that I hated my step-dad and didn't like spending time with him. And after two years of that lie, he's never pushed it any further because he knew I didn't want to talk about it. My step-dad was a bastard. That's all he needed to know. He didn't need to know the details, No one did.

This man didn't know about that.

I was just being paranoid.

"It's alright, Jake." The mans voice was soft, but something in it made me feel like he had been reading my mind and that I wasn't just being paranoid. "I'm here to protect you now."

I was silent for a while as I tried to stop my skin from crawling away at the thought of this man knowing what went on in my house. In my bedroom, when nobody else was awake. In a way, by taking me away from home he was protecting me from those nights that I dreaded more than anything. But then I remember his wicked eyes. And the moment before he took me.

"You shot Tommy." I said simply.

More silence followed while the man thought about what I was saying. I could tell he was actually thinking about as well. I slowly let my head fall to the side to look at the man before he replied.

"I did." He said simply. "But it's for the best."

"It's for the best that my best friend could be dead?" I shouted sending waves of pain through my head and he seemed surprised by my sudden outburst but then took a deep breath in and out before replying.

"It doesn't matter anymore, Jake." He said softly and almost sadly. "We're here."

It took me a moment to realise that the lights from other cars had stopped creating shadows and the sounds of other cars had tapered off a while ago and I hadn't noticed.

As he pulled the car to a stop and got out I suddenly felt fear overwhelm me as I listened to his feet thud along the ground before the side door slid open. Tears fell down my cheeks and I felt myself shaking. I knew it was night, but I couldn't hear anything. No cars, no people. I was suddenly very aware of my fate.

"Now," the man said staring at my face. His face examined me closely. "Are you going to do this of your own will, or," he pulled out a gun and I felt myself begin to shake, both with fear for myself and for the boy I had left lying in a pool of his own blood, "am I going to have to do this by force... again." He said, and I presumed it was the bud of the gun that had caused me to come willingly at the cinema.

I groaned as I rolled over onto my side and pushed myself onto my hands and knees I even struggled to balance there and I think he could tell because soon there was a hand around my waist and I sucked in a breath of air and the touch.

"It's alright." He whispered as he pulled me backwards, my back eventually pressing against his back and my legs finally fell out of the van before me feet hit the ground. I didn't like him touching me and I wanted to push him away but the sudden change to vertical standing made me so dizzy that I knew it would do no good. If he let go I'd just collapse to the ground in a pathetic heap.

So instead, I let myself fall against him as he half carried me to the steps of an old, small, one story house that appeared to be in the middle of nowhere. I could tell he knew that I was scoping the place out, but I didn't care, and neither did he. I understood why. There was nothing around. We appeared to be in the middle of the woods. This small cabin-like house seemed to be the only sign of habitation for miles.

As he dragged me up the steps, I had no idea how I was going to get out of this one.

He hadn't taken me quietly. He had taken me in a public place with witnesses and left a bleeding, dying boy as evidence that he was there. People would have to be looking for me.

I didn't know how they were going to find me, but it also wasn't my greatest concern.

That was their job to find me.

My job was to survive until they did.