"Adam! Oh Adam! Open the damn door asshole! We want to talk to you!"

"He's probably napping dude. He looked fucking exhausted earlier today."

"I don't give a rat's ass what he's doing right now. I am not going away until he opens this door and talks to us!"

Adam opened his eyes and let out a groan. He had been peacefully napping until Randy and Jay started pounding on his bedroom door. That was the one thing he hated about living in the same house as them: they never knew when to leave him alone. "Go away!" he shouted as he rolled over on to his back. "Whatever you want is probably not what I want, so just go away!"

"But this is a really cool idea this time!" Randy protested. "Just hear us out, okay?"

"Us? What is this us thing? It's your fucking idea," Jay protested. "You're just dragging everyone else along for the ride."

"Whatever. Just open the door Adam before I break it down."

Grumbling under his breath, Adam reluctantly got up and opened his door. Randy looked like he had drank way too many energy drinks and Jay looked completely exasperated. "This better be good Orton," Adam growled.

Randy grinned. "I was watching Ghost Hunters--"

"No," Adam said immediately. He already knew where this was going. "I'm not going hunting for ghosts. You can count me out of this little psycho project."

"Oh come on Adam!" Randy whined. "This will be fun! You remember what fun is, don't you? It's what you used to have before that idiot Jericho dumped you like yesterday's news."

Jay smacked Randy on the back of the head. "Dude! What the hell was wrong with you?"

Adam just turned around and fell back on to the bed. That was the whole fucking reason he had been moping around in his room for the past couple of weeks. His boyfriend Chris had cheated on him and then basically said it had all been because he hadn't been a good enough boyfriend. The wound was still pretty fresh and having Randy bring it up didn't help anything.

"I'm sorry," Randy said with a sigh. He grabbed Adam by the back of the shirt and forced him to sit up. "Look, I didn't mean it like that. I wasn't trying to say you were yesterday's news. That was just the way he dumped you for that idiot Lance Cade and that's his loss. He was a fucking jackass anyway. You deserve better than him."

Adam knew Randy meant well, but it still didn't make him feel any better.

Jay sat down on the other side of Adam. "Come on Addy, I hate having you mope around like this. This isn't healthy for you. Just come on and give this a shot."

Adam glared at Jay. He hated it when his best friend did this. It was really hard for him to say no to the slightly younger man. "Where are we doing this ghost hunting thing at?" he reluctantly asked. He knew that one way or another, he was getting dragged along to this thing. And honestly, he was too exhausted to fight with them at the moment.

"Pine Hills," Randy answered.

"Wait, isn't that the insane asylum where like everyone got killed five years ago?" Adam asked nervously. That place was sort of a local legend. Five years ago, two of the patients got loose and killed everyone else inside of there. The doctors, the other patients--nobody but the killers got out of there alive that night. It was so bad that the city didn't even try to reopen the place. They just closed it and let it stand out there on the edge of town. There had been several plans to destroy it, but those hadn't come to pass yet. Why they hadn't, Adam didn't know. All he knew was that it was supposed to be haunted, which was obviously why Randy wanted to go there."

Jay put his arm around Adam's shoulder. "Come on, even if this turns out to be totally lame, you should still come along. John, Ted, Cody and Evan are coming along. All we need is you."

Adam sighed slowly. "Okay, I'll go. But you guys owe me for this."

Randy grinned and kissed him on the cheek. "You're the best Copeland."

Adam wiped his cheek off. "Don't ever do that again you freak."

"Sorry buddy. I just couldn't help myself."


Pine Hills smelled like death. It hadn't smelled that way before. It used to have that fucking hospital smell that Jeff had grown to hate when he had stayed there. But now it was okay. It was dark, it was creepy and it was still stained with the blood that he had spilled when he had escaped from there five years ago.

"I can still hear them screaming Jeff," Connor whispered. He and Jeff were in the room Connor had been kept in during his stay there. This had been the place where they had met. Jeff had been committed by his own parents, ripping him away from his Matty. Connor on the other hand, had been committed by a social worker who had found him. He had gotten away from his dad and brother and had paid a pretty steep price for it by getting locked up in this hell hole. "They keep screaming and screaming and screaming. Can you hear them too?"

Jeff tilted his head to the side. He knew that Connor heard a lot of things that nobody else heard, but that was okay with him. Sometimes if he listened hard enough, he could almost hear all the things Connor could hear. "You know what? I kind of think I can hear them."

Connor giggled. "You remember what we did after we killed them all Jeffey? Do you remember what happened before we left?"

"We fucked in the blood," Jeff said. He remembered that very well. He loved fucking in large piles of blood. It just made the sex that much better. He raised his eyebrows as Connor stretched out on the old bed. The younger boy was really tall and lanky; if he dropped any more weight, he would officially be declared scrawny. He looked a lot like his dad James, only his hair was a lot longer. "I want some blood right now. I could bathe in it. Yeah, bathe in it with Matty. Or you. Hell, I'll bathe with Cooper if I have to. But I want it."

Connor kept right on giggling. "You don't want to bathe with Cooper. He's been cranky lately. He says I don't let him sleep." He suddenly stopped laughing and sat straight up. "Interlopers!" he gasped. He jumped up to his feet and hid under the bed.

Matt came into the room. "What the fuck is he babbling about now?"

"Interlopers," Jeff said. "Matty, can I ask you a question?"

"Is it going to be stupid?"

Jeff pouted. "My questions are never stupid."

"Yeah, you keep believing that."

Jeff whined and put his head down in defeat. "You're mean Matty!" He got down on the floor so he could go hide under the bed too. "Scoot over Connor. I'm coming under there."

"Like hell you are!" Connor said. "This is my hiding spot!"

"But I have nowhere else to go."

"I don't care! You go away! You talked to the interloper, so you must leave."

Jeff growled. He didn't like being told that he couldn't have or do something. He was still very much a child when it came to his wants. Matt had almost always given in to his demands, and the few times he didn't, Jeff usually got something just as good out of the deal.

"Jeff now wait a second," Matt said. He seemed to sense the trouble that was coming. "Just ask me the question. There's no reason for you--"

Jeff didn't even wait to hear the rest of that sentence. He reached under the bed, grabbed Connor by the hair and yanked him out from under there by force. Connor let out a scream and kicked at him, connecting with his knee. Jeff pounced on him in retaliation, and just seconds later, the two of them were rolling around on the floor, biting and punching at each other.


The two of them froze in their tracks and stared at Matt with wide eyes. They hadn't heard him yell like that in a long time. Jeff whined and crawled off of Connor. Matt sounded like he was mad at him. He didn't like it when Matt was mad at him. It made him feel sad.

Matt sighed. "Sorry," he muttered. "Look, don't start crying, okay? I didn't mean to yell."

Jeff folded his arms over his chest. He didn't believe Matt. Matt was being mean again. Dumb Matt. He got that way sometimes. It wasn't often, but it happened. Sometimes it made Jeff so mad that he wished he never would have gone to find Matt in the asylum a few towns away (their parents had put them in different places on purpose to keep them apart). "You're mean. I don't like you anymore. I want Cooper to be my brother now."

Connor snorted. "Yeah right. He's just as bad as Matt."

"Oh yeah." He grabbed Connor by the hand and pulled the both of them up to their feet. "You be my brother then." It wasn't a request. It was a demand.

Matt rolled his eyes. "Are you going to do this the entire time Mark and James make us camp out here?"

Jeff stuck his tongue out in response. He knew that would drive Matt nuts, which was what he was aiming for.

"If you do that again, I will bite it off," Matt warned him.

Jeff did it again and then shrieked as Matt came towards him. "Run Connor!" he ordered. "Run for your life!"

They ran out of the room and down the hall. Just as they turned the corner, they ran into James, who easily caught them both and stopped them in their tracks. "You might want to slow down boys," he warned them. "Marky is taking a nap and if you wake him up, he's throwing you off the roof."

"That sounds like fun," Jeff said. He wasn't kidding around. That really did sound like fun to him.

James grinned. "Yeah, but you want to know what will be even more fun than that? Pets."

Jeff and Connor exchanged grins. They both liked pets. They hadn't had any for a good long while.

"I knew that would get your attention." James put his arm around both of them and started leading them towards the cafeteria. "Now let me tell you a little story about me going to the store and overhearing a conversation between a couple of boys who want to come here tonight and look for ghosts."

"Are the boys pretty?" Connor asked.

"Oh they are gorgeous. And there will be enough for everyone to have their own if they can get the mopey one to stop pouting about the fact that he got dumped by someone named Chris."

Jeff giggled happily. If those silly boys came here looking for ghosts, they were going to have no idea what they were really stumbling into. Pretty pets, come to Jeffey. Oh pretty pets, come to me. I'll make you scream and scream and it'll be so much fun…for me anyway.