The Truth Changes Everything

A/N - Please REVIEW!!!!

ALSO, If you haven't already, check out my other stories, 'The Journey's Just Begun', and 'You're My Destiny'. Those of you that are reading 'The Journey's Just Begun', I recently posted chapter 6 and only got 2 reviews again!!! Please, please, please review that story!

Okay...well...now onto this story...

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Chapter 1 -

"Hey kid," Ryan started. The boy looked up rapidly in response to Ryan, "You need help?" The kid glanced down, returning to his previous position, fidgeting with his hands, staring at his old, worn out sneakers that he has had for the past two years. Ryan stood there, waiting for the kid's next response. This whole situation reminded Ryan of what took place nearly fourteen years ago. Him needing help, Sandy taking him in. This kid is like who Ryan was. This kid is who Ryan was. Sure, this kid looked maybe two or three years younger than Ryan had been, but they were still in the same situation, acting the same exact way, quiet, brooding, lonely, and abandoned in. Ryan wanted to help this boy, he needed to help this kid. As if the kid heard and was listening to Ryan's thoughts, he lifted his head up once more. Just staring into this boy's eyes made Ryan shiver. Flashbacks of him trying to get help flooded his mind.

"You need help?," Ryan asked once more. The kid just shrugged, looking embarrassed and ashamed, as he looked back down, now fidgeting with his torn sneakers, "Well," Ryan said, pulling out a piece of paper from his pants pocket, he leaned against the Range Rover, scribbling his number on it, he then walked towards the timid boy, "If you need help, call me. My name's Ryan." The boy hesitantly accepted the wrinkled paper Ryan had offered. Ryan opened the trunk of his car, placing his briefcase and scroll of paper containing his latest architecture project inside. As he placed his key in the car door, he heard the boy's voice.

"Wait," The voice cracked, "Yes...yes, I need help."

Ryan nodded, opening the car door to the backseat, motioning for the boy to come, as he carefully tried to fit the boy's bike in the trunk. The kid got up from his position slowly, watching Ryan's every movement. As he climbed into the back seat, he gave Ryan a small nod. Ryan took this as a thank-you and nodded back. After a few minutes of fighting with the bike, Ryan slammed the trunk closed and got into the driver's seat. The two boys rode in silence for a good ten minutes when Ryan spoke up causing the boy's head to jerk up.

"What's your name?"

"Da-Dan-Daniel." He stuttered from nervousness.

"Where's your mom? Dad?"

"I'd rather not say..." Daniel said trailing off.

"Well, Daniel, I think we have a lot of things in common," Ryan said, Daniel giving him a questioning look from the backseat, "Fourteen years ago, my dad was in jail, mom, alcoholic and drug addict, kicked me out. I needed help. I needed to make a life on my own, at fifteen there really wasn't much I could do. Especially with my background, always getting into trouble. But, one family had faith in me, they helped me out."

"My mom...," Daniel started after Ryan finished, he took a deep breath, "Was arrested couple a times, blamed me for all of the times. Drinks a lot. Sometimes she gets outta control...hits me...Earlier today, she threw me out. Said I was too big of trouble, she told me to go cause trouble somewhere else. I was by the payphone...trying to call my mom's boyfriend, but he was too stoned to understand anything. And I don't have any other family. Grandma bailed on us when I was four, said my mom needed to make a life on her own, not depend on her. So I just sat there, by the phone...for hours...nothin' else to do..." Daniel confessed all as he stared down.

"Sorry man," Ryan said, "It sucks," Daniel nodded, "And dad?"

"I wouldn't know. Never had a dad, just me and my mom. I have my dad's last name though...don't know why...makes no sense..but...ya know..."

"How old are you, Daniel?"

"Thirteen."

Ryan nodded and the two were in silence. Daniel was only thirteen and was all alone in the world. It was ironic and weird, Daniel and Ryan, years apart, total strangers, somehow being connected by one thing. That one thing bringing them together, today.

Daniel stared out of the car window, watching the gray, colorless land turn into bright, lively colors as they entered the San Francisco Bay. Ryan then pulled into the driveway of a nice Berkeley home.

"Here we are," Ryan said as he pulled the keys out of the ignition. He then noticed Daniel not moving, "C'mon..."

"Don't you need to talk to your family first?"

"It'll be fine," Ryan said, opening the car door, "My wife will understand." Daniel nodded, unbuckling his seatbelt.

"Taylor?" Ryan called through the house as Daniel closed the door gently closed the door behind them.

"Hey Rya-," Taylor started but stopped dead in her tracks when she saw Daniel next to her, "Well hello," Taylor said waving at Daniel, "I see you brought home a guest, Ryan? Can we talk?"

"Uh sure. Daniel, make yourself comfortable." Taylor then took Ryan's hand, leading him into the kitchen.

"Why is there a teenager in our house?"

"I got outta work and saw him alone. His mom kicked him out. He's me, Taylor. I need to help him, I just need to. He told me his whole story. Doesn't know his dad, mom is an alcoholic, drug addict, she beats him, Taylor. She kicked him out this morning."

"Oh my god." Taylor said, putting her hand over her mouth.

"So you'll let me help him out?"

"Of course," She said giving him a smile, "But what are we gonna do with him?"

"I don't know yet. I'm gonna talk to Sandy, he'll know."

Taylor nodded, "Well, you should go check on him. I'll be in here. When you're done, I'll meet him."

"All right, be right back," Ryan said, giving her a quick kiss, "Hey," He said, walking towards Daniel who was standing by the door, looking as if he were ready to leave, "You going somewhere?"

"Thanks for everything Ryan, but, your wife obviously doesn't want me here..."

"Oh, no, Daniel, she's fine with it. She wants to help."

"Really?" Daniel asked with a glint of hope in his eyes.

"Yeah, we both do."

Daniel smiled, "This...this is really new to me...Nobody's really cared about me before, well my mother once did, but that was before my grandmother left us," He said looking down at the carpeted floor, "So...I guess...thanks."

"No problem," Ryan said patting him on his back, "Now listen, my dad, he's the one that helped me, he's gonna help you too. He's going to need to know your last name..."

"Okay. Atwood..."...

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A/N - PLEASE REVIEW AND LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!! THANKS!!!!