CHAPTER 1

I was sitting in my garage, tinkering with some more of my things. I was sitting in a wheelchair. Why? I lost the ability to walk a long time ago, during an accident. Might sound hard, but it really isn't. I live with my sister, Annie. She's 19, so she watched me as my legal guardian. My parents died a while ago, in an accident., related to the reason I can't walk, but I'll deal with that problem later.

"Sam!" Annie called from the living room.

"In the garage!" I called, placing my screw driver back on the table. I accidentally knocked over a photo and it fell onto the ground. Good thing the frame was plastic. I kneeled over and picked it up. It was a picture of me and Nate Grey, my old best friend. I was 6 at the time, and Nate was 7. I hated how he was two months older than me. But hey, I was a little kid then. We got up set over the simplest of things.

I always complimented Nate on his singing. He liked doing it when no one was around, not including me. He always said that singing was girly, but I always made him laugh by saying, "Only real men sing." Much like how Annie always used to say "Real men wear pink." Still gets me laughing now a days. But in the present, it's pretty much normal for any person to sing, weather a girl or boy.

"Thinking about your boyfriend again?" Annie teased, finding me down here.

"Shut up," I said, smiling. One of these days, I'm gonna get a nice, fancy frame for this picture.

"I thought you'd be asleep," she said, coming next to me.

I shrugged my shoulders. "I'm not tired."

Annie sighed. "Is it because we went to visit Mom and Dad's grave today?"

I stopped working on my little experiment and looked at Annie. "I guess so. Maybe it is now."

She rubbed my back. Because I couldn't walk, I was home schooled. And that did wonders for me. Annie says I'd be a A+ student. If only I could see the outside world. Actually, I haven't been outside since I was in the hospital and found out I couldn't use my legs anymore.

"Get some sleep," Annie said, starting to move my wheelchair up the long ramp and into the living room. "You're in for a big day tomorrow."

I blinked and looked up at her. "How's that?"

She just ruffled my short hair, as usual. I keep it short because it gets in the way when its long. I cut it last year. I fell into the water and my long hair got in the way of my sight as I tried to swim for my life without using my legs. "That's for me to know and for you to find out, little sis."

I rolled my eyes. We finally arrived in my bedroom, which was pretty clean. But hey, I can't walk. Can't do much, let alone make a mess. Once she wheeled me up to my bed, I used my arms and threw myself into bed.

I almost made Annie scream from fear. "God Sam! Don't do that!"

I gave her a peace sign as I placed the covers over myself. "I've been doing that for years, get over it."

"Good night!" she finished, closing the lights.

I sighed and noticed I left the photo in my wheelchair. I stretched my arm out, grabbing it. I sure missed Nate and his two older brothers, Jasson and Shane. They became famous and left home for their new career. Too bad I couldn't say goodbye. I was still in the hospital. And by the time I arrived back home with the bad news I couldn't walk, the Grey Family was gone. I would have cried, you know, losing your parents and then your best friend. But hey, at least he'll be living the dream, as I keep saying.

I keep making sure I know everything going on with Connect 3, always making sure they're OK. You'd call me a stalker if you didn't know me. I keep getting mad and pissed off whenever I'm online and there's people talking bad about them. Being inside a house for most of your life, you don't really get a chance to grow up. Don't worry, I know all the things about being 15. Annie took it upon herself to give me sex education, even though I already knew all about it, which surprised her and she grounded me... Not like that makes a difference with the grounding since I never leave the house.

--

I yawned, pressing the button on my alarm clock. I sat up and rubbed my eyes. "Morning already."

I got into my wheelchair and into the bathroom. I let the tub fill up and I jumped in, luckily without messing up the floor by making it wet. After bathing myself, I let the tub drain and I dried myself. I did a flip with my arms and landed in my wheelchair.

I grinned. "And score ten for Samantha Ashton!"

When I was little, I hated how Annie had to help with with every single thing. So I tired to get stronger with my arms so I could do flips and tricks to get places. It still wonders me why I'm not all bulky like those body builders with how strong I am. Oh well, probably a girl body thing.

"Morning!" I greeted, going into the living room.

"Hey," Annie said in a sing songy voice as she fixed the couches.

I smiled. "OK, why are you cleaning? I know you're supposed to clean but that's on Saturdays."

"Today's Saturday."

"Yeah but you usualy do it in a grumpy mood."

She laughed. "It's because we're having visitors today."

I made a face. "Since when do we get visitors?"

"One of my friends gave me a call," Annie explained. "Says he's in town and is coming by to see us."

"Great," I said sarcastically.

Annie has had many relationships with guys. All having gone down the drain. Apparently, they only liked her because of her hot looks or whatever. Then they'd push me aside because I'm annoying. And it's true. When I have too, Annie would regret seeing a guy and just want him out of the house. That's where I come in. I'd either annoy that guy to death by using a sling shot or water gun. I'd fire a variety of things: hot sauce, soy sauce, mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, cheese, whipped cream, or my personal favorite, waaaaaay expired milk. Remember me in the garage yesterday night? I always work on specialty water guns, for those purposes and or any other. So by now, the closet in the garage is filled with many types of water guns. I make paint ball guns too, just for the fun of making the food condiment shooting more painful when needed. Not really used too much though. I wanted to annoy the guy out of the house, not pelt him until he goes unconsious.

"And Sam, please be nice," Annie said in a pleading voice. "I don't need you squirting the guys with pickle juice or whatever when they come through the front door."

My eyes widened. "Guys? As in more than one? Wow, is this gonna be like a boyfriend reunion party thing?"

Annie looked at me. "Just please, they're really nice guys. And I won't need back up from you."

"Fine, how long is it gonna be so I can arm myself?"

"Any minute now," Annie answered, looking at her watch.

"Which means bye bye," I said quickly as I wheeled myself into the garage, shutting the door.

Annie shook her head. "That girl's gonna thank me later."

I went down the long ramp. The garage was downstairs. So the long wooden stairs were replaced with ramps. It goes left, then right, then left, then right. Takes forever to go up and down.

Just when I get to the bottom, I heard the doorbell. I took a sigh of relief, glad I was already downstairs. I ignored the voices from the living room as I got started on my current gun. I got out of my wheelchair and hopped onto my chair. Well, it has wheels underneath, but it's like those ones that spin around. I like those better when downstairs.

"Sam? She's downstairs in the garage," I heard Annie say.

I groaned. She just had to tell whoever it was I'm in the garage.

After a few seconds, the door opened. I kept my eyes to my experiment as I worked on it like it were an exam I really needed to focus on. I was gonna make this one a paint ball gun. Make it as painful as possible without making it lethal. I was gonna prank those boys to the point they'd run screaming-

"Sam?" I heard a guy's voice speak.

I sighed. "Yeah?"

Up I saw a boy with brown curly hair. He looked a little familiar until my head snapped. Nate Grey. The Nate that was my old neighbor. Over the years I was so worried about making sure he was fine, I didn't take the time to worry about if he even remembered me. Well, now I can worry.

"Sam!" he shouted, jumping down from the top and to the bottom. I would have done that if I could walk. He ran to me and threw his arms around me, almost knocking me out of my chair.

"Um, Nate?" I asked, still shocked.

"Oh come on Sam, please don't tell me you forgot me," he said, looking at me while holding my shoulders.

I blinked. Nate has really changed. Well, I knew how he was because of his fame, but compared to the little kid he was, his voice changed, his hair changed, his figure changed- Woah don't go there. "Don't worry Nate, I didn't forget about you. It's just... Wow what are you doing here?"

He laughed. "Sorry, my brothers and I wanted to have Annie keep it a surprise for you."

"Your brothers?" I repeated. "You mean you were the guys Annie was talking about?"

"Yeah pretty much."

I looked back at my desk, and Nate's eyes followed mine. I laughed nervously and threw off all the stuff on the desk and to the ground behind it. The gun was half finished and anyone could tell what it was.

Nate looked at me weird. "What was that?"

"Nothing that should meet your concern," I said with a grin.

Luckily, he shrugged it off. "Hey, come on. Shane and Jasson wanna see you too!"

Before I could speak, he grabbed my arm and pulled me. Well, he got me moving, along the they wheelie chair. He pulled me again, same results. "Sam stop playing and stand up."

I guess Nate doesn't know yet about the accident. I thought Annie would have told him beofre he came down here. "Uh, sorry Nate. I'm sorta tired and feel like sitting down for, uh, I don't know. Next two, four, weeks."

He sighed. "Whatever."

I was about to ask what he meant by that but he just threw me on his back and he carried my legs as my arms were around his neck. He ran up the ramp as I blushed. I was never given a piggy-back ride before. I've never traveled anywhere without a chair before. And for a first time it felt... kinda nice.

"Hey Sam-" Annie starred at me as I waved nervously from Nate's back. "Where's your um..."

I knew she was trying to say wheelchair. Was she trying to hide it from these guys? "Downstairs."

She gave a nod and I noticed two boys besides her as Nate set me down on the couch. "Shane? Jasson?"

"Wow you've grown up," Jasson said, looking at me.

"Yeah, pretty grown up," Shane agreed, nodding his head. "You're definitely not a little kid anymore."

"And you two changed as well," I said, just as surprised. Well, not too surprised. Who hasn't heard of Connect 3?

"So Nate, why were you carrying her before?" Annie asked.

He shrugged. "Dunno. She said she felt tired."

The three older teens laughed as Nate and I looked at eachother. I finally got the courage to speak up. "Um, did Annie here by any chance tell you about my 'condition'?"

The brothers starred at me. Shane spoke first. "What condition?"

"And why'd you use quotation marks around condition?" Jasson added.

"Uh, can I speak with you two in the kitchen?" Annie quickly interrupted, coming in between the two boys. "Sam, you go to your room with Nate. You two probably have a lot of catching up to do." And with that, Annie pushed Shane and Jasson into the kitchen.

"So..." I said awkwardly. "Wanna carry me to my room?"

Nick laughed and I got onto his back. I locked my arms around him again as he started walking.