Chapter One

Lock sat in the car next to the smiling Evelyn Mercer, her new "home" was coming up. She was seriously reconsidering just having stayed at the jail, they would have moved her to a halfway house soon enough anyway. She stared out the window at the slowly falling snow, her silver eyes as gray as the clouds above.

Damn, I wish I had my fucking camera, she thought frowning. This snow is fucking beautiful. . .

"You know my son Jackie plays guitar too," Evelyn spoke softly.

"Yeah, I've heard, Sam told me," Lock grumbled, still looking away from the woman.

"That girl's a good cop," Evelyn said cheerfully.

"One of the fucking few in this god forsaken city."

"Language, Lock. We have rules in our house and you will have to follow them, just like to boys do."

"Right," she growled.

At eighteen, Lock has seen more than her fair share of "foster homes" and "homes". The places she'd been shouldn't have even classified as 'homes', they were merely just a means for the fucks who ran them to get money and a new punching bag. This was the reason she'd taken to the streets at only eleven years old, where she'd been ever since, until the last time Smiths arrested her for pick-pocketing and beating the living shit out of Ransom's ex boyfriend of course.

Fucker got what he deserved, she smiled sadistically. If he ever thinks of coming near her again, he won't be so lucky as the get a few nights in the local hospital and then jail. . .

"I'm just sorry you're room is in the basement. . .It's not very cozy I'm afraid, but you can paint it any way you want once you get settled, all right?" Evelyn was asking.

"Whatever," Lock rolled her silver eyes, wishing the lady would quit trying to get her to warm up- it wasn't going to fucking happen.

In all her years, Lock had learned quick that the only person she could trust was herself and herself alone. Everyone else just wanted to kick her while she was down, beat the fuck out of her, or try to fuck her. She had never let the last one happen, fighting tooth and nail and suffering a fair amount of broken ribs for it, but managing to keep that small thing to herself.

"Here we are, home sweet home," Evelyn cheered, pulling up to a white two-story house.

"Yeah fucking right," Lock growled. "Home sweet home my ass."

The woman in the drivers seat stayed silent, not bothering to correct Lock's bad mouth, and got out of the car. Lock unbuckled and opened the door, hurrying to the back to get her shit before anyone else touched it. She slung her guitar over her left shoulder and grabbed the amp first, turning and seeing an older guy coming out of the door of the house.

"Bobby!" Evelyn cried, embracing the man.

"Hey Ma," Bobby said, hugging his 'mother'. "Who's this?"

"Bobby, this is Lock. Lock this is Bobby, my oldest."

"So this is the new stray you're bringing home?" he said, looking Lock over.

"Bobby! Manners!" Evelyn slapped his arm.

"Go fuck yourself," Lock grumbled, moving past him.

"Hey, watch your damn mouth!" he called.

"After you fuck head!" she flipped her middle finger up behind her head. "And don't you fucking touch any of my shit!"

Fucking Bobby Mercer. . .Jesus, what in the hell am I doing here? He's got a bigger fucking rap than I do, 'Michigan Mauler' and all that jazz. . .Fucker's like what- twenty-eight, twenty-nine and he's still living at home? I wonder why. . . she thought, finding the basement and vanishing before any one else decided to 'greet' her.

She darted back outside, seeing Bobby leaning against the car with a cigarette hanging from his mouth. His arms were crossed over his chest, looking all 'thug' and bad ass, though Lock knew the fucker was one bad dude. She ignored him and grabbed her duffle bag and her camera case, slipping the latter over her head, feeling the stare from Bobby's blue eyes.

"Hey," he growled, grabbing her arm.

"What the fuck?!" she yanked free, spinning and balling her hands into fists.

Fucker wants a fight, he'll sure as hell get one!

"You best respect Ma, she's taking you into our home to keep your dumb ass outta jail," he grumbled, staring at her.

"Fuck you, I have disrespected her in any damn way! Now leave me the fuck alone!" she snapped.

"I'm only telling you. She's risking a lot by doing this, she's already adopted four of us degenerate fucks, and she don't need some stray making things any harder on her, us. Get me?" he moved in on her.

"Thenyou best leave me the hell alone, Bobby. This stray doesn't even wanna fucking be here! I'd preferred that jail cell just fine, at least I know the people there."

"So, the last guy who pissed you off spent two-three nights in the hospital, that right?" Bobby asked, changing subject suddenly-which made Lock nervous.

"He fucked with someone he shouldn't have, now please let me by," she mumbled, shivering.

She had no jacket with her, it was still at her and Ransom's place, and the snow was coming down harder. Her breath plumed out in front of her as she spoke.

"Hey," he muttered, touching her arm.

Lock pulled back, expecting a blow from the older man. She stared at him with wonder and confusion when none came. What was this guy's game? The mean look in the blue eyes softened a little and he smirked.

"Welcome home, Stray," he smiled. "Please don't make Ma's life too damn hard-I've pretty much taken care of that one."

"What the fuck ever," she rolled her eyes as she moved past him and darted up the steps.

"Hey! Watch that damn mouth when Ma's around, she don't like hearing that shit!" he called before she slammed the door.

Maybe that fuck's not too bad. . .But I'm still not letting any of them close, I don't even plan on staying here that long. . .Soon as I can, I'm taking off back to my old place with Ransom. . .Jail be damned. she thought as she tore down the basement steps.

Fresh sheets and blankets lay on the foot of her twin mattress, as well as two pillows. Hand me down pajamas were laid out on the bed with a little note scrawled next to them

Lock, Hope you don't mind wearing some of Jackie's old pajamas and Bobby's shirt! We'll get you new ones just as soon as we can, I promise! Evelyn.

"You promise?" Lock let out a laugh. "Yeah fucking right, I've heard that one before!"

She set her bag and camera down on the floor, within reach from the bed and quickly changed into the pajamas. If they were going to set them out as an offer, she wouldn't refuse, though she was still skeptical as hell about this family. She opened her guitar case and checked the tuning, when it was in tune she set it in its stand and made the bed.

Been a long ass day, she thought, crawling into the bed. And I still haven't even met the rest of the guys. . .great. . .she closed her silver eyes and fell asleep, uncomfortable in the new house and more so-the contents that slept upstairs.