It really has been an age since I posted anything on this site. Looking back at this story I would like to assure my readers that my writing has improved. Or I hope so anyway. I am editing this piece one chapter at a time and I hope some of those old die hards that I had so many years ago may come back for a visit. I assure you this new chapter is much less melo-dramatic although I hope still emotional. Please review and I will post with the next update soon...ish.


Twelve year old Drake Parker scrubbed the kitchen floor, furiously trying to clean up the spots of blood. It wasn't easy to get the dried stuff to come off the white tile and his back still really hurt. He couldn't tell them though. No matter how bad the pain was they couldn't know.

Suddenly, ten year old Megan Parker came in the door, home from school. Panic grasped him tight in the gut and he thought he might be sick.

"Hey Faker!" she called, "I'm home. You really should stop conning Dad. You know, one of these days he's going to catch…"

Megan stopped dead as she walked into the kitchen. Drake was sitting in the middle of the floor, a bloody rag in his fist. Where his shirt was torn she could see bruises and a small, ugly scorch mark. Round, like the shape her father's expensive cigars. Megan tried to be calm but her voice hitched, "Drake? Drake what happened?"

He dropped his eyes and seemed to shrink into the floor, "Nothing," he murmured. His limbs were trembling and there were tears starting down his cheek.

Megan let her back-back slide off her shoulders as she slipped to her knees to in front of him. With one finger she gently lifted his chin so their eyes met, "Don't lie to me big brother."

It felt as if someone had just stuck a knife in the pit of his stomach. Drake looked at his mother, struggling not to look as terrified as he felt, "Fine," he said flatly, turning to face the stair case.

Audrey looked a little worried, "Are you all right honey?"

Drake only nodded and ascended the stairs two at a time, his mind racing.

He ran into his room. Josh was out with Mindy and wouldn't be back for a few hours and he could hear the car back out of the driveway as Mom and Walter left for the restaurant. Drake could think. Drake could be alone.

Why did his father have to show up now? Drake had hoped that Alex Parker would just stay away from them. Forever. In a daze he sat down on the couch and pulled his knees into his chest. He saw a drop hit the fabric of his jeans and fought to hold back the wave of fear threatening to overwhelm him. Before he could help himself, Drake was sobbing, his breath coming in great gulping gasps that he tried to muffle by biting down on a pillow. 'When it rains it pours,' he thought bitterly. The seventeen year old didn't cry very often. He didn't usually let himself cry. Then again, he didn't pray very often either.

"God or whoever the fuck made that bastard my dad, please keep him away," Drake begged desperately, he voice hoarse, "He'll kill me this time. Don't let him get me… please don't… don't…"


Megan listen, transfixed, at the other side of the door. She could hear her biological brother's muffled sobbing inside. The sound scared her, made her remember a night years ago when she'd come home from school to see her brother, battered and bleeding, on the floor. Without knocking she walked into the room. She knew what was wrong. Dad was back.

Suddenly the door opened and Megan walked in the room. Before he had time to wipe his eyes she was standing in front of him. There was a moment when their eyes met and he knew she knew. Mom hadn't planned on telling her but that was Megan. Always one step ahead of everybody. Silently she bent and placed a hand on either side of his head. They felt like a cool cloth against the flush of his tears and all at once the tension in his shoulders fell away and was falling through space again, sobbing into his sister's arms. Megan didn't cry even though she could feel the tears stinging in her eyes. Drake needed her right now and she would be strong for him. She touched her forehead to his, "Don't worry. He wouldn't dare come near you," she said consolingly.

Drake pulled away and looked up at her bleakly, "Why wouldn't he dare Megan? He dared backed then. Why should it be any different now?"

Megan couldn't answer.


Josh' back hit hard against the door but he barely noticed. Mindy's hands were creeping under his shirt and he could barely concentrate on fitting his key into the lock. It wasn't working, mostly because he was trying to do it without looking. Begrudgingly he turned around and tried to focus on the task. Unfortunately Mindy's wandering hands were becoming ever more curious. Finally the lock turned and they stumbled into the house. Vaguely he went through the roster of who was home and remembered that his parents were having their monthly date night. He knew his siblings wouldn't care if Mindy was here… or what they were doing.

Suddenly Mindy pulled away and he was pulled out of his own head. "Stop thinking Nicholls. You already told me they're out." A naughty grin spread over her face as she pushed him down on the couch and started expertly undoing the buttons on his shirt. He kissed her hard for another minute or two while her hands progressed to other buttons before it registered that a little more privacy was probably in order.

"Mindy," He said through breathy groans, "We should go upstairs."

"Mmmhmm,"she said without getting up.

"Right," He said and stood up taking her up with him in his arms. That gym membership was definitely paying off. Mindy squealed in surprise as he carried her towards the stairs. The journey up turned into a long one and Josh was glad his dad hadn't put the family portraits up on the walls yet. They would have been casualties of moment had they been up and he did not want to explain that to his parents. He would rather they retain his image of goofy virginity for at least a little while. Drake may get more girls but Josh got away with a lot more shit than his brother.

Finally they made it to the door of his room. Dammit. Doors again. Such a complicated concept especially considering the placement of Mindy's...whoa. Okay Josh. Think. Concentrate. Doorknob… turn…push. Mindy's legs were snaking around his waist again as he carried her into the room. Out of the corner of his eye he saw Megan and Drake on the couch, and he thought he saw her arm on his shoulder. However the strangeness of that was lost to him because Mindy was pulling him down onto the bed. "Out," he shouted at them, "Now."

They didn't hesitate and again Josh failed to notice the lack of argument or sarcastic remark that would usually have followed. The door to his bedroom was closed and he was suddenly realizing that Mindy had been holding back before this moment.

It wasn't until about three hours later when he woke up to the sound of the car door being shut that he thought about his siblings' weird behaviour. But again it had to be put aside because Mindy was beside him distinctly devoid of clothing. Quickly he woke her up and they got dressed. The walk downstairs was somewhat awkward. So much for that image he was trying to uphold. His parents looked way too suspicious. As he walked her out to his car he caught sight of Drake sitting behind the big oak tree in the back yard. From this angle Josh could just see the outline of his brother's shoulder be he knew that from the back window of the house a person sitting there was was completely hidden. It was a place they used to be alone but Drake was rarely over there. Unlike most teenagers he didn't seem to feel the need to hide from time to time. Josh had often sat in that spot and wondered how he did it.

"You coming?" Mindy said from inside the car.

Josh snapped back to reality and slid into the drivers seat, "Oh ya. Sorry snookums." Mindy glared at the use of the pet name and he smirked back at her. He knew she hated it but it would distract her from the image of Drake behind the tree if she had seen. He felt that this was probably something that her input wouldn't help with although her skills in psychology were formidable. No, he sensed this was something that required a brother.


"What's the matter?" Josh asked. His brother hadn't moved in the half hour or so it had taken him to get across town and back again.

Drake answered barely above a whisper, "Nothing,"

Josh sat down beside him and responded much like his other sibling had many years ago, "Don't lie to me Drake. I'm usually the one hiding out here."

"Not hiding," Drake replied flatly

"Uh huh. Guess your eyes got red and puffed up over spilt milk right?"

Drake shook his hair over his face. "There's something I can't deal with man. Don't want to talk about it," He said through gritted teeth.

"Dude, we deal with shit together now. I told you I'd never block you out again. Don't do it me."

Drake took a shakey breath and it seemed as though he got smaller, "My dad is back." Every word looked almost painful.

This took Josh by surprise, "Oh. Well… is that good or bad?" He didn't know much about Audrey's first husband. There had been a few clipped remarks about him in probably less than a dozen dinner conversations. Everything had been pretty neutral. He suspected Walter knew more than he let on but the issue had never really come up. He couldn't remember Drake or Megan ever mentioning him at all.

Drake's voice was shaky, "bad," With this, he just got up and walked away. Josh knew better that to follow him. He'd talk when he was ready but this definitely wasn't over. Not by a long shot.