Chapter One

Lock blinked, trying to focus, and pain tore through her head. She could taste blood, her own blood, and tried to think.

Zane called me, told me he had Ransom. . .I went to find them, alone, didn't tell anyone. . . . .Found them, then I blanked out. . .what the hell?

She tried to move her hands, but found she couldn't. When she looked, she could see through the fuzziness barely, and there was duct tape holding her arms to a chair. A hand touched her face, she jerked away from it, and blinding pain ripped in her mind. Her head was yanked back by a handful of her hair, she shut her eyes against the pain, but red clouded her mind.

"She's coming around. . ." a familiar voice snickered.

"Good," Zane purred from miles away.

"What the fuck?" she mumbled, almost as if she were drunk.

"Take a second. . ." the voice said sweetly. "You'll remember. . ."

"Jesus, you look like hell. . ." Zane laughed, sounding much closer. "Still pretty as fuck though. . ."

"Go to hell! You slime sucking bastard!" she snapped, adrenalin making her come to.

"Ooohhhh!" the voice laughed. "Mouthy. . ."

That voice. . .NO FUCKING WAY!

"KETT!?" she spit his name like acid. "What the hell?!"

"So she remembers!" Kett laughed, releasing her hair.

Her heart raced in her chest, mind reeling, and her breath picked way up. She was frantically trying to piece things together, but couldn't focus. Kett tipped her chin up, made her look at him, and put his face inches from hers.

"Don't quite remember it all though, I'm guessing. . ."

Zane pulled up a straight backed chair, spinning it around, and straddled it. His brown eyes watched her and Kett intently, a smirk on his face, and he kept fidgeting anxiously. Kett's green eyes left hers, flicking to Zane, and the sick fuck ran his tongue over his teeth seductively. She strained against her restraints, trying in vain to get a hold of him, and he turned back to her.

"Tell her, Kett. . ." Zane purred, groaning as he shifted in the chair.

"Mmmm," Kett brushed his mouth to hers. "Fine."

She tried to turn away from him, but he held her face still. She clenched her jaw, ignoring the pain, and glared at him.

"Lock. . .member that night you beat the hell outta me? Told me to stay away from Jack-o?" he brushed her mouth again. "Well, I got to thinking. I wondered how in the hell I could get you back for that. . . I happened to meet Zane in a bar, we talked, got friendly, and found out we have a lot in common when it comes to you. So we decided to get you back together."

Zane showed up behind Kett, resting his head on the man's shoulder, and she noticed a few things. First, that Kett's hair was dyed black, he didn't look the same, and second: they were really damn cuddly.

"So, here we are," Kett purred, "getting our revenge."

"Go to hell, you queer fucks!" she snapped.

Kett slapped her hard, her head snapping to the right, and she spit quite a bit of blood out. Her eyes watered up, her jaw searing with pain, and she had yelped. Zane laughed, kissing Kett's neck, and Kett grabbed her face. She felt his mouth press to hers, she clenched her jaw shut, and he pressed the pressure point, forcing her mouth open.

God, no! Please! she closed her eyes and prayed. Please, let this shit stop! Don't let this be happening to me!

He greedily thrust his tongue into her mouth, making her want to puke, and his free hand slid up her thigh. She squirmed, trying to get his hand off of her, and he merely slid higher.

"Kett," Zane panted, nipping the man's neck, "I need you, now."

"Oh, Zane," he laughed, taking his hands off her, "you're too damn easy to turn on."

Lock fought the urge to be sick, watching as both men kissed, and tried to think. All her primal instincts resurfaced, she went into survival mode. Kett broke the kiss, Zane whined loudly, and tried for more.

"Zane," Kett growled, stopping Zane's advance. "Help me untie the bitch."

Fear got a stranglehold on her heart, she repressed her shakes, and Zane looked at her with strange eyes. She glared up at them, clenching her aching jaw, and growled.

"Kett?" Zane whispered.

"Untie her," he growled dangerously. "She'll be joining us, Zane."

"Oh, god. . ." Zane grinned, moving to untie her right arm. "It's about damn time!"

"Be damn sure you hold her arm after she's loose," Kett instructed, pulling her knife from his pocket. "She's a fighter."

Kett kneeled in front of her, flicking her blade out, and ran the tip down her face. Zane was working on her right arm, carefully removing the tape, and he had an iron grip on her. She glared at Kett, he smirked, running the tip of the blade down her face and neck gently, and she slowly gathered all the bloody spit in her mouth that she could. Zane removed the last bit of tape on her wrist, holding her down, and her moment slowly started to present itself.

"Got her?" Kett asked, glancing to his boyfriend.

"Yep," Zane purred, holding her.

"Good," Kett smiled, looking at her.

Lock spit the blood at him, smirking darkly as it splattered on his face, and he snorted a laugh. He wiped his face, then nailed her on the right side of the face. Her whole body twisted to the left, blood spraying through her lips, and she couldn't even yelp in pain.

"Fuck!" she hissed, spitting more blood out. "Shit!"

"Stupid little bitch," Kett laughed, using her knife to make her look at him. "Pull another stunt like that and I'll kill you."

"Funny," she smirked, licking blood from her lips, "I've been dead long before you ever showed up. Go fuck yourself, you limp dick-!"

He hit her again, cutting her off, and then sliced through the tape. He grabbed her, pulling her to her feet, and she fought like hell: twisting, turning, kicking, hitting, biting, and scratching. He threw her to the floor, breaking her ribs with one measured kick, and she stopped. Zane clapped like an excited child, pulling Kett in for a kiss, and she coughed, spitting more of her blood on the floor.

"You don't scare me, either of you," she growled, getting up from the floor. "You're pussies! Hear me?!"

Kett turned, driving a fist into her already busted ribs, and she doubled over. He pushed her straight up, backed her into a wall, and started to fiddle with his jeans. Her heart pounded as he stepped out of his pants, she wanted to cringe as he pressed up against her, but she wouldn't allow him to satisfaction of seeing her like that. She'd lived through worse as a little girl, she'd survive this just fine, and kick his dumb ass.

"So, I don't scare you?" he whispered, rubbing against her.

"No! You disgust me, you're nothing more than a dead little queer bitch in my book!" she snapped.

She felt the knife sink into the place where the left shoulder connects with the body, heard Kett and Zane snicker, and then blackness consumed everything.


Bobby pounded on Ransom's door. He and Jack figured Lock would go to her 'home', Ma and Angel waited at home in case she showed up there.

She's been gone for most of the damn day! Bobby thought, pounding again.

"What?!" Ransom yelled, opening her door.

Bobby shoved past her, followed by Jackie, and they went to Lock's bedroom. Everything was just as they had left it the other day, she hadn't been here. Ransom stormed into the room, spun Bobby around, and nailed him in the face.

"WHAT IN THE FUCK!?" she snapped.

"Where's Lock?" he yelled, grabbing her by the shoulders.

"What the hell do you mean?!" she yelled. "She's with you!"

"No, she's not Ransom!" Jack growled. "Where is she?!"

"I don't have a clue what you're trying to pull, but it's not fucking funny!' she twisted away from Bobby.

"We're not fucking kidding!" Jack yelled. "Where the fuck is she?"

"Oh my god. . ." she covered her mouth as realization set in. "You're not joking. . ."

"No, we're not," Bobby growled. "I take it you haven't seen her then?"

"No. . .seen or heard. . .Oh my god. . ." she was starting to go into shock. "Oh my fucking god. .. ."

"Do you know where she'd go?" Jack pleaded.

"No, I don-," the phone rang, cutting her off, and she ran for it. "Hello?"

Jack collapsed to Lock's bed, head dropping into his hands, and he started to panic. Bobby sat next to him, arm around his shoulders, and pulled him close. They were all freaking out, but Apple Jacks was really taking it the hardest--he loved the girl to death. Jack turned, clinging to him, and sobbed. Bobby choked up, holding the little fairy close, and he did his best to comfort his baby brother.

"I've called us a cab. . ." Ransom muttered, wiping her face.

"Where are we going?" Bobby asked, rubbing Jack's back.

"Uhhh. . .the hospital. . ."

"What!?" Jack freaked. "WHY!?"

"Calm down, Apple Jacks. . .Gimme your cell so I can call Ma and have her meet us there. . ." Bobby murmured, kissing Jack's hair, trying to soothe the panicking boy.

"Here. .." he mumbled, pulling the phone from his jeans.

"Thanks, kiddo. . .Now, Ransom. . .how bad is she?" he asked, dialing home.

"Alive. . .unconscious. . ." she said softly.

"Ma?" Bobby asked as someone picked up the phone on the first ring.

"No, it's Smiths. Evelyn called me. . ." the old hound of a cop said. "Bobby? Or Jackie?"

"Bobby," he sighed. "Can you all meet us at the hospital? Stray--Lock's there. . ."

"Sure, she all right?" Smiths asked.

"Alive," Bobby grumbled. "We'll see you there."

"Bye, Bobby," the cop said and hung up.

"She's pretty fucked up, Bobby," Ransom sobbed. "Can you go see her? I can't, not again. . .I can't stand seeing her like that. . ."

"Sure," he stood, helping Jack up. "C'mon, let's go."

By the time they got downstairs, the cab was there, and they climbed in, telling the driver where to go. Jack stayed huddled against Bobby, he shot the cabbie a harsh look when the cabbie gave an 'Oh great. . .Queers. . .' glance, and just wanted to deck him. Things seemed to get all jumbled up and confused once they reached the hospital. He couldn't remember the drive over, and the next thing he knew, he was telling Jack to stay with Ma and Smiths while he went to see Stray first.

"Now, Mr. Mercer. . ." the doc spoke softly to him. "She's been sedated and restrained. . .She fought us earlier and tore stitching out, we had no other choice. . .I recommend that she see a professional once she's released, she's not speaking. . .She's able to, but won't."

"Doc, how fucked up is she? Don't beat around the bush," he mumbled.

"She's in rough shape. . .I'll be honest, she'll look a lot worse than she really is, but she's still rough. . .Several broken ribs, three cracked, fractured jaw, bruised up face, and she was stabbed. . ."

"STABBED?!" he felt sick to his stomach.

"Yes, but it's not life threatening. . .Her left shoulder, in the joint. . .she'll be able to use it again just like before she was wounded, but only if she lets it heal and doesn't tear the stitching out again. . .And. . . It looks like they tried to rape her. . ."

"DID they?" he growled, wanting to kill the men responsible for this.

"NO, she beat the hell out of both of them. Nearly killed them. . .We have on in ICU, under a strict watch, we had to put him in a drug induced coma. . .The other one is stable, but not too far behind him. . . She's a very strong girl. . ."

"Who were the ones that attacked her?"

"I'm not allowed to say, Mr. Mercer. . .law and all. . .I could lose my job. . .Here's her room. . ."

"Doctor?" a nurse called, coming out of Stray's room.

"Yes, nurse?"

"Her vital are elevated, she won't calm down. . .Heart rate, breathing, everything is way up."

"She's been sedated, correct?" Doc asked.

Bobby walked past the nurse, heading right to Stray's bed, and could see how much distress she was in. Her breath came in short, rapid bursts, she kept whimpering, and she strained against the restraints on her wrists. He vaguely heard the doctor tell him to not touch her, but he ignored him--Stray needed him.

"Stray," he whispered, gently touching her face, "shhh. . .baby girl, Bobby's here."

He brushed her hair back from her pale face, seeing the nasty bruises, and he looked at the rest of her. She had her left shoulder wrapped tightly, it looked as if her ribs were as well, her knuckles were bruised, swollen, and bloody, and her jaw was an ugly purple. He felt tears burn his face as he looked at her. He whispered to her, stroking her hair softly, and she calmed, silver eyes opening slowly.

"Hey, kiddo," he said gently. "Bout time you joined us."

Lock was still doped up and confused. She growled, struggling against the restraints, and started to panic. Bobby tried to soothe her, but she growled loudly at him. Jack, Ma, and Smiths came in, and Jack immediately stripped his coat, then the hoodie he had on. He walked over to Bobby, looking at him, and when Bobby nodded, he carefully draped the hoodie over her chest. Her eyes closed, she slowly inhaled Jack's cologne, and the drugs took hold on her again and she was out.

"My god," the nurse murmured. "Her vitals are going back to normal. . .thank you, both of you. . ."

"I'm staying with her," Bobby said firmly, leaving no room for argument.

"Me too," Jack was just as firm. "I'm not leaving her here. . ."

"I don't-," the doctor started to protest.

"I believe that's a wise choice," Smiths said. "Bobby, can I borrow you for a moment or two? I'd like to speak with you in private. . ."

"I got her, Bobby," Jack said when he hesitated. "And I sure as hell ain't goin' nowhere."

He nodded, slowly getting up, and put a gentle kiss on her forehead. He wiped his face, ruffled Jack's hair lovingly, and went to see what Smiths had to tell him.


Bobby slept in a chair, using his coat as a makeshift blanket, and Jack sat to the right of the bed, watching Lock sleep. The oldest Mercer had confided in him what Smiths told him, and he told Jack what he had seen, and he was currently trying to process it.

Kett and Zane?! Jesus Christ. . .Just when I thought life was treating me right, he has to come destroy everything!

'Kett's in a drug induced coma, Jackie. . .she damn near killed both of them, but he got the worst of it. . .Zane's not too far behind him, but they were able to get him stable. . .' Bobby's voice rang in his head.

Jack exhaled slowly, trying to calm his fried nerves, and needed a smoke. He slipped out onto the balcony, keeping watch through the sliding glass door, and lit up. Absently, he messed with the ring on his middle finger and the guitar pick on his neck, he hit the cigarette a few times, and reached into his jeans pocket impulsively.

"Huh?" he felt something. "Oh my god. . .how in the world. . .I don't remember. . ."

He pulled the necklace from his pocket, the silver key glinting in the moonlight, and he tried to recall if he had grabbed it or not. He figured he must have, otherwise it wouldn't have been in his damn pants, and he put it on with shaking hands.

'They tried to rape her, Apple Jacks. . .They didn't, she made damn sure of that. . .But I want you to treat her carefully. . .Tread lightly in those waters, Jackie boy. . .She'll be skittish for some time. . .'

"No problem there, Bobby," he muttered, pitching the smoke.

He slipped back inside, saw the nurse checking on Lock, and cleared his throat softly to let her know he was here. She turned, looking him over, and went to the closet to get something.

"Are you her brothers?" she whispered, glancing back to Bobby.

"Uhhh. . .No. . .it's complicated," he mumbled, taking his seat. "Bobby and I are brothers by adoption. . ."

"Hmmmm. . ." she handed him a blanket and draped one over Bobby. "You're her boyfriend then?"

"Sorta. . .never really made it official. . ." he whispered.

"Oh. . .Sorry for prying," she murmured. "It was rude of me. . ."

"It's fine, really. I don't care. . .Does she have to be restrained?" he watched her struggle against them briefly, holding her hand to make her stop.

"Well. . I guess as long as you keep a close eye on her, I can undo the right arm, but the left has to stay. I can't risk her tearing out those stitches again if she ever wants to use that arm properly. . ." she said, carefully releasing her right arm. "Can I ask you something?"

"Sure," he said, still holding Lock's hand.

"How come you two can calm her down? I've seen a lot working here, but never something like that. . ."

"We're the only people in this world to not hurt her. . .Love is a powerful thing. . ."

"Yes, I suppose it is. . .be sure to get some rest, Jack Mercer. . ."

"I will," he said as she left.

'She'll have to see a damn shrink, cuz she won't speak. . .but I doubt they'll get anything out of her. . .Member what Ma told us before? She's too smart for them. . .'

"Lock. . ." he brushed hair from her closed eyes.

A hand gripped his wrist painfully, silver eyes flashed open and she regarded him with caution. He almost yelped in shock, but stayed quiet, and when he tried to move, her hand tightened even more on his wrist. She was clearly scared and confused, and his heart ached.

"It's Jackie boy, Lock. . .Not who you think it is. . .It's me. . ." he murmured.

She let him go, crying silently, and closed her eyes. He could somehow tell she'd had a nightmare, he wiped her face, and she looked at him. She nuzzled into his palm gently, never saying a word, and he didn't care if she ever spoke again, as long as he had her.

"Nightmares?" he whispered.

She nodded, giving him a look, and he understood somehow. It felt like they were speaking with their minds, but he knew it was just body language and luck. He smirked, lifting the blanket the nurse had given him, and cocked his head in question. She nodded again, answering him, and he carefully slid into the bed with her. He was gentle as ever, minding her left arm, and her ribs, and put the blanket over them. He curled up to her, checking to see if that was all right with her, and she smiled faintly, putting their noses together.

"No monsters, no nightmares. . .Deal?" he whispered.

Lock closed her eyes, nodded, and drifted off again. He gently kissed her nose, feeling her nuzzle into his neck, and he fell into a much needed sleep.

She's damaged, but far from being broken. . . .

There, first chapter is up!! Tell me what y'all think of it!! Currently working on the second chapter!