Disclaimer: None. These ladies might resemble someone you know, but they are all mine. And I'm not sharing!! Okay, I guess I am since you're reading this…

Warning: This story depicts a consensual loving and sexual relationship between two women above the legal age of consent which is seventeen. If you are underage or this is illegal where you live, please evacuate the building or leave this site.

Violence/Sex: Eventually there will be a consensual sexual relationship. But until then we live for the small moments.

If you like what you read please give me feedback at: kenishia15@gmail.com

I'm fairly new to the writing world so I would really appreciate any advice or comments.

Part 1:

The small chill crept through the thick layer of her clothes as she treaded through the busy street. Unconsciously, her glove clad hands rubbed her elbows as her mind was far away, lost in its own misery. The small white cloud of her breath fogging her path. Not that she knew where she was headed. She might have been back home but she always felt so lost in its parallel. With the cold getting too much for her thin blood to handle, she followed the sound of warm music and light emitting from the casual bar across the street. The sounds of music always able to draw her to its source and radiate her blood to a higher calling. She reached the large wooden door, using a great deal of her strength to heave the heavy door open, the music, happy chatter and warm air blasting her. Her mouth drew in a thin smile as she pulled of her gloves, stuffing it in her coat pocket, tugging her hood down and running a hand through her brunette hair.

It seemed so packed for a cold night, she thought ruefully. Her eyes scanned the crowd that consisted mostly of middle age workers, and college students. Her smirk broke out further as she saw the stage with the small live band and yet the open mike. Probably one of those Cherokee joints, she mused. Reaching the bar, she signaled the keep, waiting patiently. Eventually the graying Irish man stopped in front of her sizing her up with a raised eyebrow.

"What will ye be having?" He asked in his brogue, clearly a foreigner.

"Just a beer." Hayden Oliver said, her head down. Frankly, she hated the stuff but she needed something to warm her up. She figured she could nurse it before she was forced to go home.

"Might I see your I.D?"

Unfazed by the question, Hayden dug into her coat dragging out her purse. Scanning through a bunch of cards, she pulled out her fake I.D, courtesy of Carlos. She handed it to the man, unable to hold his gaze since this was the first time she ever used it. The man frowned as he scanned the I.D briefly before handing it back to her accompanied by her pint of beer.

Twirling her finger around the rim gathering a bit of foam on the tip, she closed her eyes as the beat of the instruments started up. Then she heard it. Her eyes popped open as if she was trying to make out what it was. Who it was. Her head straining uncomfortably in search of the source of the powerful voice emitting in the room. The crowd of people went silent as the voice went through the room, like a dagger through her heart. Hopping off her seat, she craved the face of the tormenting voice that burnt through her veins, sintering her ability to breathe. Never had she felt so affected by such beauty in one person's voice. Finally peeking through the sea of bodies she caught the figure. Her eyes remained mesmerized on the red painted lips that moved gently to the rhythm of the music. The messy long blonde hair draped over the mystery singers face. Yet, she could not avert her eyes, even as the music died down. With the final whisper, the crowd roared in ecstasy bringing Hayden out of her daze. She shuffled with the moving mass, trying to keep the woman in view. As the woman lifted her head, a warm smile on her beautiful face, those emerald green eyes briefly penetrated through Hayden pinning her to the dirty wooden floor. Then the beautiful blonde woman on stage was replaced by handsome African American man, with a contagious smile.

"Give it up for the birthday girl, Maddie Conner." Lamar slurred into the mike, getting a huge cheer from the crowd. "Now I must ask, if there are any brave souls out there willing to challenge this vocal goddess?"

Maddie shook her head, annoyed that she was already conned into a night of fun by her already drunk best friend. "Get off the stage, you nut…" She yelled, drawing a few laughs from the crowd.

"C'mon Maddie, Lighten up, it's your birfday… let's make it fun." Lamar whined on stage, catching a few ladies attention, giving them his signature wink.

Still shaking her head, Maddie jumped back onto stage slinging Lamar's arm around her shoulder, pulling him with. "I think you had too much fun for one night, pal. Say goodnight…"

"Gooood niiiight…." Lamar waved to the people at the bar, signaling to one of the woman by placing his forefingers to his ear and mouthing 'call me'.

Maddie rolled her eyes wondering what on earth possessed her to agree to this. She was perfectly fine sitting at home, in front of her piano, a glass of red wine with Smurf sleeping at her feet. Lamar had drilled it into her head that she was way too young to spend birthdays on her own doing as he had said were 'sad old people shit.' She hadn't really been out since Kelly. So tired of letting it get to her, at a tender age of twenty-four, she had agreed to be stupid on a night out in the town. Dropping the big oaf into the booth with a big thud, she decided to call a cab when she heard the small voice slink through the room.

"I'd like to try…" Hayden stood at the mike, no idea how she managed to get there. No idea, what she was doing there? She swallowed seeing dozens of curious eyes on her, her heart beat drumming in her head. Until she was startled by a band member.

"Lady, what do you want to sing?" He asked tuning his guitar, his leather jacket glinting in the harsh stage light.

Hayden stared at him as if he was speaking a foreign language, her nerves getting the better of her. She turned back to the mass of people who had stopped what they were doing to watch her. Her vision started to blotch until she hesitated when she was caught by those striking green eyes again. She sucked in a breath and closed her eyes, not sure if she could hold that powerful gaze another second without throwing up. Placing her fingers at the charm on her necklace, she rubbed it between them as if to draw strength from the inanimate object. "Never say never…" She whispered loud enough for the band to hear.

They nodded as the man at the piano started the introduction, drawing out the notes slow and languid. Hayden's eyes remained shut, yet she could still feel the heated gaze of someone in particular, clearing her throat, she got lost in the flow of the music disappearing completely from the bar. Her nerves dissipated when the first word left her tongue.

Some things we don't talk about

Rather do without

And just hold the smile

Falling in and out of love

Ashamed and proud of

Together all the while

Maddie arched a brow as the words of the song caressed the walls of the room like velvet, so smooth, so rich in talent. She watched with pursed lips as each note was hit almost perfectly, her eyes fixed on the crazy beautiful stranger.

You can never say never

While we don't know when

But time and time again

Younger now than we were before

Don't let me go

Don't let me go

Don't let me go


Picture, you're the queen of everything

As far as the eye can see

Under your command

I will be your guardian

When all is crumbling

To steady your hand

Hayden's brows furrowed, her face hard with emotion, her head gone and her heart in the song. Her hand sliding up against the mike stand whiles the other still rubbing the charm at her neck.

You can never say never

While we don't know when

Time, time, time again

Younger now than we were before

Don't let me go

Don't let me go

Don't let me go


Maddie couldn't explain why her throat stung, she felt the great melancholy over the truth of the words sang from the brunette. She couldn't explain the storm of conflicting emotions she was feeling.

We're pulling apart and coming together again and again

We're growing apart but we pull it together, pull it together, together again

Don't let me go

Don't let me go

Don't let me go


Hayden whispered the last verse of the chorus, a lone tear gliding across her cheek as the music died down. Her eyes opened, gleaming red to remember where she was, seeing the unfamiliar faces in the bar staring at her with a sense of awe. "Thank you…" She murmured, her voice hoarse from the excess strain. Suddenly, the crowd broke into cheers and whistles bringing a tiny smirk to her face as she stepped off the small stage, hand still on her charm.

Maddie was brought out of her trance by the sudden roar, blinking a few times. Her eyes following the unknown woman until she disappeared through the door, feeling an unexplainable pang in her stomach. Just as she was about to follow her instincts, she heard a loud snore coming from their booth. Turning her head, an amused smirk fixed on her face. Shaking her head for the umpteenth time, she leaned down gently tapping Lamar's dark cheek, his eyes opening a bit into slits. "C'mon sleeping beauty, let's go home.

"Don't wanna…" He mumbled, snuggling into the faded red leather seats of the booth.

The blonde let out a low chuckle. "God, your quite a catch, I can see why woman go crazy over you." She rolled her eyes when he mumbled something unintelligent. Grabbing his hand, she pulled his arm over her shoulder. "C'mon big guy, a little help here." She huffed as she heaved him up, a big goofy smile plastered on his face.

"Maddie?" He shouted into her ear.

She flinched. "Right here, hotshot…"

"Maddie?" He laid his head against her shoulder.

"Hmmm?" She asked as she tried to maneuver through the large amounts of people.

"Will you have sex with me?" Lamar mumbled in a child-like voice.

"Nope." She said as she managed to reach the bar. She signaled the bartender with a strained smile, trying to keep Lamar's almost deadweight up. "Hey Murphy, just charge our orders to this one's tab." She patted Lamar's cheek good naturedly.

Murphy grinned at the state of one of his favourite cheery drunk customers. "Taking advantage of the drunk, Ms Conner, are ye?"

Maddie chuckled. "Naturally… See you around, Murphy."

The Bartender nodded, a charming grin on his used face. "Night, Ms Conner."

Maddie and Lamar stepped out of the warm bar into the biting cold. Lamar's shivers audible in her ears. "M-Maddie?" His teeth clattered.

"Hmmm?" She asked, checking her watch, waiting for their cab.

"Why won't you have sex with me?" Lamar whined.

"Mostly… Because I'm gay. But I'm sure I can think of other reasons." She didn't pay attention to his drunken antics as if it were a natural conversation. She learnt it was better to just go along with it a long time ago.

"But if you weren't gay?" He chimed in.

"Yeah sure…" She rolled her eyes and sighed in relief when she spotted their cab heading their way. The cold seemed to be eating her straight to the bone. Even after being in this town for a year she didn't think she would ever fully get used to the extreme weathers.

"Yes!" Lamar lamely executed a fist punch into the air. "Maddie?"

"Hmmm?" She said as she opened the door to the yellow car.

"When are you going to stop being gay?"

"Probably in my next life…Or the one after that."

"Huh… I can't wait that long." He shook his head vigorously getting slightly dizzy.

"That's too bad… Now in you go, pal." She deposited him into the backseat, smiling at the driver. "Hey Pablo."

"Good evening Ms Conner." The Latino taxi driver smiled at her. That's what happened in small towns, everyone nearly knew everyone. At first it was unnerving considering she lived in California most of her life. But you get used to it, enjoying the comfort of it. "Fun night?" He asked wiggling his brows at a half snoring Lamar.

"Too much fun and how many times must I tell you it's Maddie, Pablo?"

He grinned, scratching the back of his head. "Right Ms Co- Maddie." Just as the blonde leaned down she caught something in the corner of her eye that made her freeze. Staring at the figure, she realized that the person was staring right back at her with those piercing blue eyes. She could explain what they were doing to her but she felt captured by their potency. Barely tearing her gaze away, she leaned her head into the car. "Hey Pablo, could you get this one home?" She pointed at Lamar who was knocked out. "At least through the door. I'll give you an extra twenty."

"Yes ma'am. But what about you?" He asked, his brow rose in concern.

Her eyes strayed back to the stranger that hadn't averted her gaze once, then she looked back at the cab driver. She swallowed the thickness that gathered in her throat. "Don't worry about me." She handed him the money and shut the door. Her hands automatically dipping into her coat pockets, her breathing coming out in white puffs as she crossed the road. Her mind screaming at her for not going home but for some reason her feet were drawn to the mystery brunette.

Hayden watched carefully as the beautiful woman walked towards her, the intensity in those warm green eyes something else. Leaning against the old bank building, she waited, their gaze never breaking once. Then Maddie stood in front of her, a friendly shy smile creeping on her face. Hayden stood up straight suddenly, looking around her to see if maybe she was blocking someone else behind her. Then turned back. "Hi…" Maddie smiled. Hayden just watched curiously, stunned by the brilliance of that smile. Silence… Maddie raised a brow when the woman just stared at her. Shuffling her feet, she spoke. "You know, I might have bought that you didn't understand English, if you weren't singing so beautifully inside, like two minutes ago." She grinned. "So, why don't we try this again… Hi, I'm Maddie." She held out a glove.

Hayden stared at the hand before her brain started working again. SHIT! Idiot! "Hayden." She looked into Maddie's eyes as she took her hand, shaking. "My name is Hayden."

"Hayden…" She tasted the name on her lips, deciding she liked it. "It suits you…"

Hayden nodded, her other hand still resting on her charm. "My mother seemed to think so too…"

"Ah, some mothers are so wise." Maddie grinned when a small smile graced the brunette's face. "You have an amazing voice by the way…"

Hayden diverted her eyes slightly. "Thanks, but I may have heard better."

"Oh really… Where?"

"A small bar close by." Hayden smirked, her head slanted slightly. "You might have heard her, she was on before me…"

Maddie smiled slowly. "I happen to know exactly who you are talking about."


"Yeah, but I'm almost certain she would disagree with you…"

"Well, it's not like you can know for sure…" Hayden shrugged with a faint grin and Maddie chuckled.

"So I was wondering?" Maddie tilted her head, her eyes dancing with humor.


"Do you enjoy holding my hand?"

"What?" Hayden's brows drew in confusion. Maddie dropped her gaze to their still joined hands. Hayden's eyes following suit realizing she was still holding Maddie's hand. She swiped it away quickly, her cheeks burning up against the coolness of the air. "Jeez! I'm so sorry…"

Maddie just laughed and waved her off, a bit sad to lose the contact. "No, it's okay. It happens all the time."

"Really?" Hayden asked, a bit flustered.

"Not really." The blonde laughed sweetly making Hayden wish there was a car she could run in front right now. They both just stared at each other suddenly feeling awkward. "Um, well it was nice to meet you, Hayden." Maddie smiled.

"Um, you too..." Hayden shifted her weight on either foot. Maddie taking that as her cue to leave, smiled one last time, and nodded. She turned around not sure what was happening, usually she could hold her own in a conversation. But she hadn't exactly walked up to a perfect stranger before. Her hands in her pocket, she was about to cross the road. "Wait!"

Maddie halted and turned back swiftly to find herself staring straight into clear blue eyes."Yes?"

Hayden tilted her head, stuffing her own hands in her pocket."Well, I was about to take a walk around the park..." She nudged her head towards the bridge that lead towards the large landscape. She knew it was crazy but she didn't want the night to end until it had to.

The blonde adjusted her gaze to that direction and then back to the brunette. "In the cold?" She said with question in her tone.

"Well yeah..." The brunette shrugged.

Maddie pursed her lips and then nodded."You're insane, aren't you?"

Hayden chuckled and then smiled sheepishly. "It has been said a time or two..."

"Hmmm...Well okay."

"Wait, did you just agree to joining me or on my sanity level?"

"Perhaps both..." Maddie smiled.

Hayden just smirked as they both made their way to the old stone cobble bridge. Maddie pulled her scarf tighter and then blew out a white puffy breath. "Not used to the winter?"

"Can anyone get used to this?" Maddie stared at the brunette incredulously.

"I guess, if you are born here." Hayden shrugged.

"You were born here?"

"Yeah, a long time ago..." Hayden couldn't help the small sad smile that ghosted around her lips.

Maddie considered the woman next to her, nudging her playfully. "C'mon, it can't be that long..."

Hayden stumbled a little. "Feels like another lifetime ago, though." She said wistfully.

Maddie glanced at sad blue eyes for a moment before she caught flashing lights in the corner of her eyes. Her eyes grew large. "Wow, it's so huge!"

The brunette turned in that direction, chuckling at the twenty-five foot Christmas tree. "You say that like you haven't seen a Christmas tree before."

"Not one this huge, up close." Maddie chuckled at the skeptical glare she got from the brunette. "I live a very sheltered life, it's sad, I know."

"So then, I guess you don't know about the Christmas tradition involving this particular tree." Hayden added.

"Nope, I'm fairly new to this town." The blonde admitted, her glove clad hands caressing the lower frosted branches of the tree.

"Well, every year, Christmas eve, the whole town gets together and put about hundreds of presents under it for the orphanages. It's pretty cool, like a winter wonderland." Hayden smiled recalling her own memories of them.

"Wow, sounds amazing…" Maddie imagined what it would be like, never having a real Christmas before.

"You have no idea." The brunette stared at the star on the top of the tree, her chest hurting a little. "This little town is just filled of traditions." She said almost pensive.

"Tell me another." Maddie asked generally interested.

"Well the most stupid one involves mistletoe." Hayden grinned. "If you get caught under it with someone you have to kiss that person-"

The blonde interrupted with a chuckle, her eyes tearing up. "Hate to burst your bubble Hayden, but I'm pretty sure the mistletoe tradition is universal. Not only in this town."

Hayden grinned shaking her head. "You never let me finish."

Maddie's laugh gradually died down. "Oh sorry, continue…"

"Well, they say that if it happens by accident, you two are destined to be soul mates." The brunette scoffed and rolled her eyes. "Pretty lame…"

"I take it, you don't believe in it." The blonde mused, circling the tree, Hayden on her heels, hands tucked in her pocket.

"It's not that." Hayden shook her head. "I mean, who accidently stumbles across mistletoe. People just use it as an excuse to make out."

"People need an excuse to make out?" Maddie laughed.

"My point exactly. It's like Valentine's day." She rolled her eyes. "Why commercialize love?"

"So you don't like mistletoes and Valentine's day." The blonde grinned. "Anything else I should know?" She asked as she turned around bumping into Hayden, losing her footing on the icy surface. The brunette reacted swiftly, her arms wrapping around the blonde's waist, keeping her upright, flush against her. Maddie's eyes shut tight as her fingers dug into Hayden's shoulders, her face almost buried into the brunette's chest.

"Careful…" Hayden whispered, blowing a moist white cloud into Maddie's face.

Maddie's eyes opened slowly to be struck by the clear blue with a slight hint of green, she could feel her pulse racing. "Sorry, I didn't realize you were following so close." She managed to say, a bit hazed.

"My fault." Hayden murmured, their breath mingling.

Maddie was unable to tear her gaze away. "You're eyes have a bit of green in them." She said in awe. Hayden unsure what she should do, she was pinned in her position by wandering green eyes. Then Maddie's eyes seemed to be fixed slightly above them. Hayden's brows drew as she followed the blonde's gaze to the mistletoe above them. Then the next thing Hayden knew was that her mouth was on Maddie's soft cold one. Lips brushing teasingly slow against each other in a languid kiss that seemed to take them both by surprise.

Hayden's mind finally found some function when she released Maddie's lips with a slight nip. She opened her eyes stunned at her actions. She couldn't formulate any coherent thoughts as she looked at Maddie's just as shocked expression. "I…I'm, I mean I don't even know if you're…" Hayden's voice was laced with panic, her arms dropping to her sides. "God, I'm sor-" Was all she managed before Maddie's lips were back on hers. The blonde's mind seemed to blank out as her arms snaked around the brunette's neck, drawing the kiss deeper. Hayden catching on fast as her arms settled on Maddie's hips, her mouth opening invitingly. A tongue slipping into her mouth to duel gently with her own. Maddie couldn't explain what had come over her, she just felt an unexplainable need, letting it take over her mind, her body. Suddenly there was a ringing, bringing them both out of their momentary trance. They pulled apart as Hayden dug into her pocket, pulling out her cellphone. She cursed when she saw the caller I.D. "Shit! I have to go…" She said in her rush.

"Wait, what?" Maddie yelled, baffled, her body suddenly feeling colder than it had been the whole night as she stared at the brunette who left in jog.

"I have to go…" Hayden shouted over her shoulder, regret in her tone.

"Okay…" Maddie whispered, hugging herself. Her eyes dropped to the ground as she turned around, walking towards the opposite exit of the park.

"Maddie!" The blonde halted when she heard her name shouted through the wind, she turned back seeing Hayden standing on the other cobble bridge. "Happy birthday…" Maddie smiled, then the brunette disappeared from her view.

Maddie walked back with a sad smile on her face, thinking she probably wouldn't see Hayden again. "That will teach you to kiss beautiful strangers in a park, in the middle of winter." She muttered to herself, shaking her head. "At least it's something I can tick off my to-do list." She chuckled ruefully. She stared up at the cloudy night's sky. "I mean, seriously God, I can't be that bad. This one leaves before she even gets to know me..." Maddie sighed as she signaled a cab…

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Hayden sprinted through the thick forest, branches and bushes brushing against her as she maneuvered her way through. Finally seeing road up ahead, she slowed down, her throat burning as she pulled in the biting cold air. She stuffed her hands in her pockets, her shoulders slumped as she made her way to the house with the picket fence across the street. Before she could even open the gate, a redhead burst through the door, tightening the ropes on her robe. "God, Hayden where have you been!"

Hayden stared at her young aunt who looked like she was going to explode. "Out…"

"Out?" Reese O'shea stared at her niece in amazement. She couldn't help but let out a small hysterical chuckle, shaking her head. "Out?"

Seth stepped out onto the porch, leaning against the frame of the door. "Ah, so she is back."

The redhead stared out at her husband. "Do you know where she has been?"

Seth's brow arched. "Where?"

"Out…" Reese pinched the bridge of her nose.

Hayden's own anger rose at the patronizing behavior. "Yeah, I was out, so what's the big deal?"

"What's the big deal?" Reese lifted her gaze, fury taking over. "What's the big deal? The big deal is I go into your bedroom in the middle of the night to find an empty bed with you nowhere in sight! No one knows where you are because you didn't bother to inform anyone that you are going OUT. I mean God, Hayden you didn't even leave a note."

"Okay, so next time, I'll leave a note." Hayden shrugged, crossing her arms over her chest.

"This is not about the goddamn note! How could you be so irresponsible?" The redhead waved her hands in the air. "I mean, what would your parents have thought?"

"Nothing! Because they are dead, and they are never coming back!" Hayden shouted back, her eyes hard. "So they can't think anything, okay! They are dead!" Her voice broke. "They are dead…"

Reese's glare softened, her heart hurting, her eyes glistening. "I lost them too, Hayden. I lost them too." Tears escaped from the redhead as she brushed past her husband into the house, slamming the door, causing Hayden and Seth to flinch behind her.

Hayden's eyes dropped to the stone path, feeling like crap. "I screwed up."

"Yup." The brunette man walked over to the porch swing, taking a seat. When Hayden looked up, he patted the seat next to him. Resigning with a sigh, she joined him. They sat in silence for a moment. "You know Hayden, they were like her parents too." When she said nothing, he continued in his slight Irish accent. "Your mother was more of a mother to her than a sister because of the big age gap. And your father was a great man, he had no problem when Reese went to live with them, in fact he treated her like his own. Most people actually thought Reese was theirs too, you know." He smiled remembering. "I remember how nervous I was when I had to meet them, the way Reese spoke of them."

"Really?" She asked.

"Really, I was practically shaking because I knew if I couldn't get their approval, Reese would have dropped me like a hot potato."

"She should have dropped you for coming up with lines like that." Hayden grinned.

Seth nudged her playfully also grinning. "Yeah, yeah, yeah… Anyway what I'm trying to say is that you may think that Reese is strong and unfazed by your parent's death, but she's not. She is hurting just as much as you, Hayden. But she is able to wake up every day because of you." Hayden just stared at him. "I wish it was because of me, but it's not. When she looks at you, she sees your mother, she sees her best friend and she sees the niece that she loves desperately."

She felt more like crap, staring out at the garden. "I'm sorry."

Seth smiled. "I know you are, kiddo. But I'm not the one you should be apologizing to."

She nodded as she rose. "Thanks Seth."


She halted before she entered the house. "I still think you are a dork though." She grinned.

Seth grinned back. "And I still think you are a lesbian." She chuckled at their usual joke, shaking her head as she went inside.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

With the rain coming down in torrents, the cab came to a screeching stop. Maddie stepped out of the car after paying her fee, stuffing her hands in her pockets as she made her way to her double story house. Her lips drew thin as she managed to unlock it, getting hit by welcoming warmth. Shutting the cold out behind her, she unbuttoned her coat hooking it on the rack. "Smurf, I'm home." She shouted, her words echoing through the house.

The Labrador ears picked up as he slowly made his way to his owner. Maddie unwrapped her scarf adding it to the rack when her dog plopped down across the hall staring at her intently. Maddie tried to stifle her laugh knowing she would be in more trouble. "I'm sorry, I know I'm later than I said I'd be. But I have a very good excuse." When Smurf turned on his heels, towards the lounge she followed. "C'mon don't be like that, I said I was sorry." Maddie whined.

He settled in front of the fireplace, his head on his paws, his eyes closed. Maddie took a seat on the plump couch, folding her legs underneath her. With a click of the remote, a fire started around the fresh logs. She stared at the dancing flames, when she spoke. "I met a woman." She watched as Smurf's eyes popped open and then slowly drooped again. She mused if he was human that would be him rolling his eyes. She let out a half chuckle. "I swear, she was real this time." She brought her fingers to her lips, tracing it. "It felt so real, you know. She can sing. It was so amazing that my throat stung." Maddie smiled softly. "And, and she kissed me…" She admitted a little dreamily. Smurf's eyes were big and open as he raised his head a little. "Yes, me…" She glared at her dog's disbelieving look. "I'm sure, I swear. I was a participant, you know." She rolled her eyes as he dropped down. "And then she had to go without even leaving her number…" The blonde sighed. "I probably won't ever see her again. Just my luck, huh…" She sighed again, then felt a heavy head rest on her thigh. She looked down with a sad smile, running a hand through Smurf's short fur. "At least, I'll always have you, right?" He let out a loud bark, wagging his tail. Her smile broke out further. "Thanks, buddy. Ready for bed?"

With the word bed leaving her mouth, Smurf dashed up the stairs before she could even blink. Shaking her head, she rose. "Big goof." She mumbled as she made her way to the stairs as well. "You better be on your side, pal! There's no way I can get any sleep if you keep hogging the middle." She yelled with a smile, absently tucking a blonde strand behind her ears…

With the sound of the thumping in the back of Maddie's mind, her face scrunched up in a frown as she rolled on her stomach. Her face buried in the pillow. "Go away!" She growled when it continued and added to that, Smurf's deep barking echoed in the house. She had just managed to get some sleep like two hours ago, after her mind just wouldn't let go off Hayden the entire night. With a groan, she rolled off the bed, grabbing her glasses on the side table and settled it on her face. Briefly looking at the alarm clock she moaned as she began her trail down the stairs. It was still an hour before she had to go to work. Reaching the front door, she yanked it open, her eyes still half closed. "What!"

Lamar used his hands to cover his ears as Maddie's voice echoed in his head. They both sized each other up. "You look like shit." They both said in unison.

Then Lamar walked past the brunette, kicking his feet up on the couch. Maddie mumbled something as she shut the door behind him. "Is there a reason you're in my house at six in the morning?"

Lamar spared her a brief glance before he shut his eyes, the light too much. "I have a hangover the size of Mount Rushmore." Then he frowned. "And what's with you? You are usually such a morning person, it gets annoying."

Maddie plopped down beside him, a pout on her lips. "I hardly got any sleep." She set her feet on his lap, snuggling into one of the plump cushions, her eyes closing.

"Did we have sex?"

Maddie jerked slightly. "What! No." Then she settled back on the cushion. "You did offer though…"

Lamar chuckled a little, then sulked. "And you said no?"

The blonde chuckled. "Believe it or not Lamar, some woman are immune to your charm."

"Yeah, only if they are gay." He grinned getting a cushion tossed in his face. "So if I didn't rock your world last night, then how come you didn't get any sleep?"

Maddie pursed her lips unsure if she should relay the details of last night's encounter with her best friend. "I met a woman…"

Lamar sat up slightly after the declaration, a splitting grin on his face. "So someone did rock your world last night! Whoop! Go Maddie!" Then he sank back down letting out a groan as his head started aching after his excitement.

Maddie laughed, shaking her head. "You nut, no, not exactly, I didn't have any sex last night."

Her best friend's grin dropped. "You mean, I aggravated my headache for nothing?"

"Yep, pretty much…" Maddie smiled remembering those sparkling blue eyes. "Do you remember that girl that sang after me, last night?"

"Not really." He shook his head. "I don't remember much."

"Well, you were totally sloshed." She rolled her eyes. "Anyway, when she sang it was like- like. I can't explain what it was like, all I know is that every word that came out hit me right here." She pointed to her breast bone.

"Aw, how romantic?" He let out a huge sigh, tilting his head and battering his eyelashes teasingly.

Maddie tossed another cushion in his face, a silly grin on hers. "Shut up." Then she spoke her voice low. "It was just something else…" Lamar smiled not seeing his friend like this in months.

"Then what happened when you met her?" He asked.

"We took a walk around the park…" She smiled, recalling each soft spoken word shared between them.

"Where was I?"

Maddie grinned sheepishly. "In the back of Pablo's cab, snoring away."

"Hey! I don't snore!" Lamar piped up.

"How do you know? You are sleeping." Maddie retorted with an eye roll.

"Hmmm, good point. But wait how did I get in my house?" He asked with a raised eyebrow.

"I paid Pablo to push you through the door." She shrugged.

"This would explain, why I woke up on the passage floor." He muttered, clearly not impressed. "So what happened between you and the woman whose name I'm yet to know?"

"Her name's Hayden and we talked."

"Just talked?" Lamar wiggled his brows.

"Well no, we got caught under mistletoe." Maddie smiled shyly.

"Way to go, Conner!" Lamar punched the air, Maddie giggling at his antics. "So when are you going to see her again."

"Probably never…" Maddie's sigh was full of melancholy.

Lamar straightened. "What do you mean never? You have to see her again. I mean it takes you forever to go out. And then you find a girl that gives you that goofy look on your face. I love it when you look like a goof."

"Um, thanks." Maddie said dryly.

"You know what I mean, Maddie. I want you to be happy. I haven't seen you like this since Kelly. And she was a bitch."

"Lamar…" Maddie pinched the bridge of her nose.

He crossed his arms over his chest. "What? She was!"

Maddie sighed. "I can't see her again…"


"Because she had to go before I could even get her number or took mine!" Maddie exasperated. "She just fled… Like a house was on fire or something." The blonde sunk further into her seat, staring out into space. "What's wrong with me, Lamar?"

He just stared at his best friend in puzzlement. "What?"

"What's wrong with me?" She dropped her gaze to the hands on her lap. "Why do people keep leaving me?" A lazy tear slid over the curve of her cheek.

"Oh, hey, hey…" Lamar cooed gathering Maddie up in his arms. He wrapped them tightly around her pulling her onto his lap. "Don't ever say that." He kissed the top of her forehead. "Nothing is wrong with you. Nothing okay…" He was rocking them as she sniffled against the collar of his shirt. "Those people aren't worth it. They are not worth you… If they can't see how amazing you are." He kissed her hair again. "You're strong, you're beautiful, so beautiful… I was heartbroken when I found you were gay, freshman year." Maddie let out a watery chuckle, swatting him on the arm. "I was…" He grinned pulling back, looking into her beautiful face. Raising her glasses slightly, he wiped the remnants of her tears with his sleeve. "Nothing is wrong with you, the world is just filled with bastards that can't look beyond their own twisted views. And that is not your problem, it's theirs." Maddie hugged him and nodded slowly against the crook of his neck. After a moment, the air cooled down, he spoke. "So…"

"So?" Maddie mimicked.

"What's for breakfast?" He grinned.

Maddie looked up shaking her head. "Don't you have food in your own house?"

"Yeah, so?"

She just hopped off his lap with a resigned sigh. "Coco pops or Captain Crunch?" She asked as she walked into the kitchen.

"Coco pops." He shouted making a grab for the TV remote. Surfing the channels, he stopped on one of the cartoon shows. He looked down at the dog that was sleeping on the carpet. "Hey look Smurf, it's your cousins." He chuckled when the Labrador picked up his eyelid's to glance at the blue cartoon figures on the TV, before settling back asleep. "Hey Maddie, is it too late to take Smurf back to the pet store and exchange him for a less prissy dog?"

Maddie laughed on her way back to lounge, two bowls in her hands. "Oh yeah, I tried…" She teased.

Lamar took the bowl digging in and then his spoon stopped midway, as he swallowed when he eyed the dog. "I swear he just gave me the same distasteful look my dad does when I'm in trouble."

Maddie laughed. "That's Smurf, he keeps me in line."

"Yeah, because you are so wild." Lamar rolled his eyes.

"Shut up." Maddie stuck out her tongue.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

With strands of brunette hair escaping the confines of her hood, Hayden pulled her knees closer into her chest, her eyes set on the sun rising in the horizon. The tiles of the roof steady under her. Her sleep broke hours ago, the same way it had for the last five months. With the screams echoing in her head and the blood, so much blood. She closed her eyes pushing the memory from her mind. Bringing last night to her view. A small smile ghosted along her lips as she recalled a certain brunette. The warm smile and the wine like voice. Her lips, so soft, so welcoming. That was the first time Hayden had ever done something that spontaneous, usually she thought things through. But with Maddie, it was like her conscious leaked out through her ears. They just connected on another level, she didn't quite understand. It was crazy…

Her alarm clock sounded, bringing the brunette out of her daze. She sighed as she stepped back into her room through the open window, the warm air contrast to her cold body. She shut the window letting the heat sink in, before walking towards her bathroom. Switching on the shower, she stripped down looking at her reflection for a second. She had lost a lot of weight, since the accident. She stepped under the piping hot sprays, letting it warm her blood…

Dressed in her usual Goth attire, she treaded down the stairs two steps at a time, bumping into the back of Seth. He caught her before she stumbled. "A little too eager for school, aren't we?" He grinned.

She afforded him a grin back. "Yeah, school. That's where I was headed, right?"

He rolled his eyes. "Smart ass."

"Um, have you seen Reese?" She dropped her gaze to her feet.

"I'm guessing from the scent of the wonderful food, in the kitchen." Seth sniffed the air, a smile gracing his handsome stubble face. Hayden nodded. "Um, I'll give you a little time."

"Thanks…" Hayden smiled weakly.

"Yeah, but don't take forever, I'm hungry…" He said as he made his way back up the stairs.

Hayden rolled her eyes as she slowly stepped into the kitchen. Leaning against the frame of the door, she watched as Reese hummed while washing the pan. Her young aunt had also lost a lot of weight too she just realized, making her feel more of a scum for last night. Reese was only six years older than her, so she was more of an older sister. Hayden had always looked up to her, thinking she was the coolest person in the world. Over the last five month's her twenty-four year old aunt had to grow up much faster having to contend with an adolescent forced into her care.

Reese turned around and froze, seeing her niece, then quickly composed herself. Hayden cursed herself for causing that bit of pain in her green eyes. "Morning…" Hayden murmured.

"Morning, I made breakfast…" The redhead responded in a neutral tone.

"I can see that…" Hayden smiled at the spread laid out on the small kitchen table.

There was a long awkward pause. "Um…" Reese wiped her hand on her apron. "I'm just going to get Seth before he over sleeps, again."

"He is awake, I bumped into him on my way." Hayden sighed knowing she had to stop being a coward. "He is hiding out in your room."

"Oh…Why?" The redhead's brows furrowed.

"Mostly, so I can apologize…" Hayden admitted, her gaze not meeting Reese's for the moment in shame. At her aunt's silence, she continued. "Last night, I was out of line, I didn't mean what I said…"

Reese let out a heavy sigh, taking a seat on one of the stools at the kitchen table. "You were right."

"What?" Hayden's head picked up.

"I can't know what they would think. I'm not them Hayden, I'm way out of my league, here." Reese let out a breath dropping her shoulders. She looked at her niece who was painfully a splitting image of her mother aside from the eyes. "And you know the worst part is, I would go to Ella with all my challenges." She spoke of her sister. "I feel so lost without her."

Hayden's lips drew thin. "Me too…" But she knelt in front of the redhead. "I'm sorry, Reese." She looked up into warm green eyes.

Reese ran a hand through brunette hair, it resting on a pale white cheek. Hayden leaned into her touch. "Me too. It's just I was so scared when I saw your empty bed and I didn't know where you were..." The redhead stopped herself not wanting to relay what thoughts were running through her mind at the time.

"I won't do it again." Hayden shook her head. "Promise." She stood, towering over the redhead.

"Good, but what do you say, we work as a team from now on. I won't pretend to be your mother and you inform me on the important things in your life." Reese smiled.

Hayden returned the smile, knowing that they both were left in a better place. She pulled Reese onto her feet into an embrace. "Deal…" Reese held her niece tightly. "Remember when we were small, we used to steal mom's scarves and tie it around our necks like super heroes."

Reese let out a chuckle into the crook of Hayden's neck. "Yeah, we were such dorks."

Hayden nodded with a grin, squeezing tighter. "What was it she used to say?"

Reese smiled at the fond memories. "Reese and Hayden against the world…" She murmured.

Hayden nodded. "Yup, that's us. Reese and Hayden against the world…"

Then they felt another set of arms wound around them. "I certainly hope you mean, Reese and Hayden and Seth against the world." Seth held his girls tightly, with a grin. Both girls giggled.

Then Hayden rolled her eyes playfully when she was released from the embrace. "I still can't believe you married this dork."

Reese giggled, her palms cupping Seth's face as his arms slipped around her waist. "Oh, c'mon, he is an adorably cute dork." She pulled him down for a quick kiss.

"Um, gross… I'm going to school." But she smiled.

"Eat something first." Reese suggested.

Hayden sat down, eyeing the food. "Kay…" Seth and Reese joined her.

"So you're resuming senior year in your old school, how does it feel?" Seth asked his mouth stuffed with toast.

"I'll let you know, when I get there." The brunette shrugged, not sure what to expect. She took a bite of her eggs.

"Fair enough…"

Hayden shoved her seat back, standing. "I should get going, Carlos is getting my classes in order. He will kill me if I'm late."

Reese smiled. "Want a lift? Lunch money?"

"Nah, it's okay, I have." Hayden returned the smile, as she put her bag strap over her shoulder. "Later…" She left.

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Hayden stood in front of Red Bay high school, scanning the yard of students that seemed to be scrutinizing her very being. The tan colored building seemed smaller somehow. The Red Bay sign a bit skew. She brushed past teenagers making her way up the stairs. It was now or never Oliver, she thought to herself. When she entered the building it was like everyone went so silent one could hear a pin drop. All eyes were on the Goth, as she made her way through the narrow passage of lockers. She could just picture the subtitles of what this scene probably looked like. Dead man walking… She almost wanted to laugh but instead increased her pace as she disappeared into the enrollment offices. When she closed the door behind her she could hear the commotion go back to normal.

In the corner of the room, near the reception desk she saw a raven haired boy, eyes closed, meshing his head to the probable music emitting through his headphones. With a smile she strolled towards him dropping her bag in his lap.

Carlos was startled, pulling off his headphones, his eyes popped open. "What the fu- Hayden!" His scowl was replaced by his boyish grin. He rose and grabbed her in a crushing hug, both of them near the same height.

Hayden chuckled, trying to catch her breath. "At least someone is happy to see me."

Carlos grinned. "Who isn't?"

"About ninety-nine percent of the school."

"Screw them…" Carlos grinned taking his friend in his arms once more. Then pulled out and glared at the Goth. "You're late."

"I know, I'm sorry. Did you organize my class schedule?"

"Don't I organize you everything?" He huffed almost offended that she would ask. He handed her the piece of paper.

"Yes, you are the best friend ever." She patted his arm, reading through her classes. "Damn, my first class is Literature with Mrs. Lottem." She shuddered recalling the old lady was a Grinch.

Carlos chuckled. "You got lucky there, champ."

Hayden frowned at him. "How exactly do you see any luck in that woman?"

"Because she retired last Friday." He chuckled. "The music teacher, who has a major in Literature, will be taking over." Hayden smiled at her luck. "And she is so hot…" He bit his bottom lip showing his appreciation.

"Pervert…" Hayden chastised with a grin.

"Me and you, sweetheart." He winked. "Trust me, the lesbian in you will enjoy the view."

"Shut up." She swatted his arm. "At least I got Mr. Elliot for math."

"Yeah, he is still one of the coolest teachers." The raven haired looked at his watch. "Ready to go to class?"

"Sure…" She shrugged.

They entered the hallways again and the silence resumed, except there were hushed rumors flying around. Hayden listened as she made her way to room 105.

"Did you see, Hayden's back?" One girl whispered.

"I heard that she was so distraught after her parents' death, she turned lesbian." Another girl added.

"No, Kelsey, you idiot…" The other girl smacked her head with a thump. "She was lesbian before that."

Hayden wanted to laugh at that. God, she remembered why she hated this school. She found the room with ease, her memory proving to be spot on. When she entered the room, again the room filled with hushed whispers. Paying no attention to the rumors going around she took a seat near the window in the back. The girls in front and next to her immediately fleeing their seats. "Oh this should be fun…" She mumbled to herself, staring out of the window. Her hand absently reaching up for the charm that dangled from her neck. She closed her eyes, wishing the murmurs away.

Then as if her wish was answered the class went silent when the door closed. The only sound was the click of heels on the tiles. The teacher began writing her name on the board. "Good morning class, I'll be taking over this literature class for the rest of the semester. My name is Ms Conner." She said as she turned around. Her eyes instantly caught on the Goth in the back. "Oh crap!" Maddie's eyes saucered as the chalk slipped through her numb fingers.

Hayden's eyes flew open at the sound of the familiar voice, to see the whole class's eyes on her. She stared up at Maddie with her heart jammed in her throat…

To be continued in Part 2…

The lyrics of the song mentioned was Never say Never by the Fray

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