This is the beginning of a new full-length story I'm trying to write! I'm not sure how it will turn out, but I'm excited about it and I hope I can actually go through with it. I'm aware this first chapter is extremely short, but they'll get longer, believe me. This story is a little AU, and by AU I mean the movie hasn't happened, and won't happen. :)

I don't own John Tucker Must Die, and I don't own Beth or Kate, but I wish I did.

As always, this story is for my baby. I wouldn't be doing this without your love and support. I love you, darling.

"Come on, honey, you can trust me."

He was so close. She could smell his breath, feel his rough hands. She squirmed, and tried to cry out, but no sound came from her throat. Her eyes squeezed shut, tears forming at the corners.

"No." It was the only word she could manage to get out, but if he heard her speak, he didn't acknowledge the words.

"Come on." He sounded so friendly. If she didn't know better, she'd think he was simply asking her if she wanted to go to a movie with him. But things were so terribly different.

"Please don't." She was young, barely old enough to know the difference between right and wrong, but she knew this was horribly wrong. She knew little girls weren't supposed to endure this kind of thing, but fighting only made things worse. It made him angry, and it was hard enough to survive this without his fist landing against her face.

His hands were upon her then, and she whimpered, her body jerking as she tried to move away from him. But she was just a little girl, and he was strong. He held on tight and wouldn't let go. It was twisted fate that she had always wished for this kind of love; the kind where someone would want to hold her tight and not let go. But this wasn't what she had wanted. She wanted hugs, not rough, dirty fingernails digging into the soft flesh on her arms, and certainly not his sickeningly hot breath against her skin.

"No, no." It was the only word she knew. The word that repeated in her mind over and over, and the one that always woke her in the middle of the night. Her fingers were always clutching the covers on her bed, her breath ragged and her skin drenched with sweat.

Beth sat up in bed, blinking to adjust to the darkness of the room. She blinked, recognizing the warm tears that slipped down her cheeks, and hurriedly wiped them away with her hands. She glanced at the clock before realizing that it was still the middle of the night, and her body was exhausted. She pressed her lips together, but didn't lie down. She couldn't, because then the memories would come flooding back. She would accidentally fall asleep, and that dream would resume.

The word dream was a funny notion, because it implied that it was nothing more than a figment of her imagination. It was almost possible, this late at night, to convince herself that it had never happened, but that wasn't the truth, and she knew it. The sad truth resonated in her brain. Her sister had walked in on it happening, but God she'd only been fourteen at the time, and she'd been scared to death. She didn't know what would happen to her if she managed to catch his attention. They'd made eye contact before he'd even known she was there, and then she was gone.

Beth wasn't quite sure if she'd ever forgiven her for that; for walking away and pretending everything was okay, and that she hadn't just seen a grown man on top of her nine-year-old sister. Beth sometimes wondered if she even remembered that day.

Beth certainly hadn't forgotten it. She would never forget it, no matter how hard she tried to. It was one of those days in which a person remembered every detail; every sight, every smell, every sound. It replayed in Technicolor in her mind, and everything was amplified in her memory. Every second went by in slow motion. Beth often wondered if that was because those had been the last few precious moments of her childhood.

And this was what happened at night. She had that dream; that memory, and then she was awake for the rest of the night. Even though her body was exhausted, her mind was reeling, and she was too afraid that dream would continue if she fell back to sleep.

The brunette sighed and pressed her lips together. She ran a hand through her dark, tangled hair, and then let it fall to her side.

"You can't keep doing this to yourself, Beth," she spoke the words quietly to herself, and then shook her head in disappointment. She kept making this promise to herself that she'd get better, and she never did. The memories never went away; the pain never went away. If anything, it only intensified. Time and repressed memories distorted the details in her mind, and she somewhat subconsciously replaced what she could not remember with more painful details than were necessary.

Beth clenched her jaw in the darkness of the room, and at the familiar burn of tears in her eyes, she switched on her bedside lamp. Her hands searched in the dim light beneath the table, looking for the hemp-bound journal that she knew was there. Upon finding it, she pulled it into bed with her, and flipped through the grainy recycled pages.

This journal was her only sanctuary. Her words, her thoughts, her fears were safe inside these pages, and even holding it released a wave of comfort and security throughout her. Her fingers curled at the pages, and a smile pressed across her lips as her eyes scanned words and pictures, the dark, beautiful eyes of animals staring back at her.

It was beyond her realm of consciousness to recognize the cruel irony in her existence. At seventeen, she had devoted her entire mind, body, and spirit to saving the lives of animals in places she could only dream of visiting; she would stop at nothing to lend her voice to the silent.

And yet, she couldn't even begin to save herself.