She's standing just outside the bus depot, blonde hair plastered to her face, shivering in her light jacket as she stands in the rain.

Just one month shy of her eighteenth birthday, Claire Bennet has finally left the only life she's ever known. For almost a year she's managed to live the lie. Pretend to forget months of her life and to pretend that the man she's always called father is the same man that she used to love, not the man of her nightmares. She finally left two days ago. Right after the Haitian man came back to her and told her what her father's plan was. She had tried so hard to make him believe that she had truly lost her memories, but apparently she didn't do well enough. The Haitian told her that her father wanted her and Zach's memories erased again, and that he had just come from Zach's. Claire silently looked at him, her heart quietly breaking as his words seeped in. She thanked him for once again saving her memories and watched as he left her room as silently as he had come in. Claire held in her tears while she packed a small duffel bad. She didn't cry while she looked for the address she needed, and she forced back the sobs as she bought a bus ticket to New York. She wouldn't let herself cry over everything she's lost.

Chapter 1

Claire shakes herself out of the past and back to the present, which she instantly regrets.

"It's freezing here." She mutters pushing her wet hair out of her eyes, and pulling her jacket more tightly around her small frame. She pulls her duffel bag higher on her shoulder as she digs into her pocket pulling out the small piece of paper with the scribbled address on it. It wasn't difficult to find Peter's address. With his brother a Congressman the two men's names are often in the papers, and with Nathan's proclamation last year that Peter was suicidal, well let's just say it didn't take any time at all to find his address. Claire smiles slightly as she traces her finger over the address remembering the dark-haired man that saved her life, the man who actually died to save her.

She places the paper back in her pocket and checks her watch, groaning as she realizes how late it is. She hopes that Peter would still be awake as she steps closer to the street and hails a cab. It only takes a moment before one of the eager cabbies has stopped in front of her. Claire cringes as she opens the door and peaks in at the interior. She stiffens her back and takes a deep breath before getting into the cab and giving the driver Peter's address.

Claire swears it takes hours to go from the bus depot to Peter's apartment. Or at least it seemed to because she saw her life pass before her eyes every time the cab changed lanes, or followed so closely behind the car in front of them that she was sure an accident was imminent. As soon as the driver tells her they've arrived, Claire gladly hands over his fee and bounds out of the cab. She stands on the sidewalk as the cab pulls away and stares up at Peter's building clutching her duffel bag to her chest.

Now that she was here, she had no idea what to do. When she left Texas all Claire could think about is getting away from her father and all of his lies. She didn't even think to try to contact Peter before she left to find out if he was still even in the city, or if he'd even be willing to help her. She had no way to get a hold of him now, having left her cell phone at home, in case her father had the ability to trace it.

Claire takes a deep breath and walks up to the doorway of Peter's building. She's about to hit the buzzer for his apartment, as the door opens behind her. Claire quickly grabs the door and skirts inside. She slowly takes the stairs to Peter's apartment and digs that piece of paper with his address on it out of her pocket as she walks down the hall. She stops in front of the correct door and takes a deep breath as she slowly raises her hands and knocks quickly on the door.

Moments pass and there is no answer from the door in front of her. Claire turns to leave, wishing she had thought to look up Peter's phone number and call him before she decided to show up outside his door. She's too busy mentally berating herself for not planning better and wondering where she's going to spend the night that she doesn't even hear the door behind her opening.