AN: I promised a chapter before New Years and here it is. It's not very long but it's a little snippet into the going ons of Tori. Hope you enjoy, leave me reviews with comments and suggestions. To those of you who just found this story...HI! and to V, THANK YOU! lol


It smelled like rain. She was cold and caffeine deprived so it meant she wasn't trilled but she could suffer through it for that smell.

She could always tell when it was about to rain. It was that smell. Somewhere somehow the ground was wet, trees were damp and the clouds were letting go of their well kept secret. Although rain was neither secret nor surprise to the East coast in the Fall.

It smelled like rain yet this little place was perfectly dry and serene. The beauty of the garden had taken her breath away for a second. She expected rich people nice, not behind the wrought iron gates she had found Buckingham palace spectacular.

She had never seen anything as beautiful as these gardens. She had expected the same pompous gardens every rich socialite preened about but she had been very wrong in that assumption. It had all started out innocent enough, traditional even. The tall hedges were scattered around with no particular pattern, interspersed with rather gimmicky swans, and the stereotype wasn't lost on Tori.

Then, as she had begun to think that the corniness of it all was going to make her choke in laughter, the hedges opened up to an entirely different area. There were flowers everywhere. Some of them grew on the bordering walls and hedges, while others grew in hanging boxes. The colors were wild and explosive and the fact that they were alive in the cold winds was shocking to her. The grass blades swayed and the purple tipped alliums shook throughout the secluded little piece of heaven. Nestled on one side was a reflection pool of average size with a hanging willow tree whose leaves barely touched the water. There was a little bench and light post that probably looked rather romantic at night. Tori made her way towards the water, taking a seat on the flat stone rocks that flanked the outer end of the pool.

Sitting there, she could hear the little birds scattered around the garden and the hum of the breeze as it whizzed by her. Thinking back to all the times she had found herself alone in any garden, Tori found that this one place was most peaceful of them all. She tickled a muscari while she thought back to the last time she had felt this kind of peacefulness. It was her eighth birthday and she was just swinging at some park. Tori didn't really remember much from her childhood, something like repressed memories, but she remembered that park.

It was a little park, overlooking a highway and the sounds of car horns could be heard clearly all around. She had been the only child there and she remembered that as being a good thing. She had free reign over which swing she used and could switch at will if she wanted. The sun was reaching through the tree branches above her, the heat making her legs arm while her face stayed cool. Summers had always been the worst there, but she still loved it all. It was her perfect place.

Now, sitting beside the reflection pool behind the Simms property, she knew she had found a new type of comfort with her new life. She had peace but she also had excitement and the thrill of newness wherever she looked. It was in the air and the people she had met. The rippling in the water drew her attention to the falling sun and the pickup of the fall winds. Cold and caffeine deprived was not something Tori wanted to be so she decided to head out.

She had seen the little trail that lead further into the gardens and choosing them over the horrid hedge garden was no problem at all for Tori. Walking through the large, bushy archway made Tori realize that the ugliness of the first garden was not going to be present in whatever came next. The greenery on her sides was tall and sprinkled with a few wild pink flowers. The way twisted and turned, sometimes ending in a blocked path but it was all very exciting to Tori. They had a labyrinth! Why wouldn't anyone tell her they had their own labyrinth. Sure it was compact and she knew she hadn't really gone very far but it was a labyrinth all the same.

When it ended, it ended in grandeur. There was a great weeping cherry blossom willow so over grown that its branches and springs reached across the pathway and twined through the surrounding hedges. The smell of the flowers overpowered this little corner, hinting that the flower garden was just behind the hedges in this area. Walking off to the only other path from the willow, Tori walked to the end and was confronted by a quaint little scene.

The river stone path lead to an enchanting fountain with an angel as its center piece. Its simplistic nature appealed to the feel of the gardens. It was a tall structure, banked by a few different flowers spread through out the space. The angel held her wings out and up, while its face remained calm. She pored out water into the base of the fountain, producing a tinkling sound as it hit bottom. Behind it stood a little cottage-like structure, with vines crawling up the sides.

As she sat beside the water she thought on the events that brought her here. Tori had never been very classy or prissy but she knew that this new world she was thrown into was very different from what she had ever seen. The expectations so far were minimal but she knew that it would change soon. They would want something, they always wanted something. Her mother had wanted perfection, her friends had wanted a wild child and her little sister had always wanted her protection. These new people, these rich people would want something from her too.

She heard some one coming and turned at the sound of closing gates not expecting to see him there. Reid was just leaning on the gates with a smirk on his face, a smirk that strangely looked like a smile to her. She could see the house behind those bars and guessed that the way out of the gardens was behind those gates and Reid. The one guy she couldn't completely figure out and who had offered her his friendship without any compunction.

She knew she must have looked pretty down, maybe a little bored, but she couldn't help the contemplative environment that the gardens provided. She shrugged at him when he raised his eyebrow in question. It couldn't be explained and she wasn't going to try to make sense of it in this place. So she did the best she could, she motioned him in and offered him a seat on the fountain. That produced the wanted effect as Reid laughed and walked toward her with a real smile on.

Tori loved that smile. It was neither mischievous nor bad boy, it was just a smile and to her it was one of his best. Without thought to who it was and what it might mean, Tori reached over and brushed his jaw with the back of her fingers. It rather scruffy and not cold as she expected. In fact, she had always thought of Reid as being overly hot all the time.

The touch caused him to look over at her and she did nothing to hide the admiration she had written all over her face. He was beautiful and they both knew it. He smirked yet again and she had every intention to push him into the water when his eyebrow shot up again. So what if she was predictably sinister in her humor, he liked it most times.

They sat there, not saying anything but still enjoying the setting around them. It was cold and Tori was beginning to get sleepy so she knew the peace wouldn't last long. She reached over for his arm and wrapped it around herself to shy away from the cold. Settled there, she could see the lights around them start to kick on caused by the approaching nightfall. And yet she couldn't pull away from him and the heat he provided. It was nice and he didn't seem to mind so she wouldn't be the one to push the separation.

Listening to the water splash behind them and lulled him to relax and muscle by muscle she could tell. His side kind of merged with hers in relaxation, while his arm pulled her closer subconsciously. It was nice to have someone to sit next to and have them just be there. Leaning her head over, she knew she had found something special here, with the guys.

It was some time before either of them decided that interacting with others would be nice, but the time did come. Reid squeezed her a little to get her attention but it did nothing, so he shook her a bit. that's when her hand slipped from its grip on his side and landed softly on his lap. Tori was asleep and he hadn't even noticed when it happened.

He should have known though. She would never stay so quiet and still without something being up. His mission was detained by this girl and her idiosyncrasies. Only she could fall asleep sitting on the edge of a fountain in the cold Massachusetts night, trusting him to keep her up.

Shrugging it off, he reached over and noting the cute little sounds she made when moved, and without jostling her too much, Reid headed inside with the sleeping Tori. Out the side gate, through the kitchen and on to the stairs leading to the main rooms. He found the room assigned to her and got her settled on it. Yet while he was loosening her arms from around his head, Reid noticed her no-slip grip. The death grip brought him closer to her than he had been in a while and while all the other times were greatly entertaining too this time was special. She was asleep and unrestricted to his eyes. She didn't wear her smirk and she couldn't spout any of her smart ass comments so what was left was purely Tori. She was beautiful. She had a slightly rounded face, probably from actually having enough food around in the last few weeks. Her eyes were catlike and she had plump lips and a cute nose. Her hair was held in a loose bun and she appeared to just be resting deeply.

Licking his lips, Reid couldn't deny what was right in his face. She was perfect for him but she was off limits. She was scarred and angry with everything on a basic level. Sure, he knew she carried on every day with a smile and no care about anything but he knew her kind of pain. He understood her more than she thought, more than he could admit.

With a tiny smile Reid gripped her fingers and pried her off gently, while still staring. She was hot and she was off limits. The odds were just not on his side and he was strangely okay with that. Turning he made for the door but was stopped yet again by her hand.

He turned his head and there she was, his little minx. She had a sleepy smile and how could any guy think to escape that. So when she pulled he went with her; and when she pulled him into bed he went with her; and when she snuggled into his side he went with her; and when she fell back to sleep he went with her.