Life's Choices

Chapter 1

Heartbreak and Pain

AN: This is different from most of my stories, but I got the idea from a song by Jamie O'Neal the second part of the song about the teenagers and their baby, God Don't Make Mistakes. It is a great song, and the chorus of this song helped inspire the rest of the story.

Summary: Penelope Garcia is sent to Chicago, Illinois to live with her aunt after her parents died in car crash. Her brother didn't want to take care of her and she was the only girl, he thought it better for her to be with their aunt. She meets Derek Morgan who's sixteen just like her, he's got it rough just like she does but nobody knows about his demons. They fall in love and help each other get through life together.

"I do not have to stay here, I am sixteen," Penelope Garcia said looking at her Aunt Jamie, who was only twenty-two, she had taken her in after Pen's parents had died. Steven, Penelope's older brother had sent her there to live since it was four boys and one girl, he didn't want to take care of her, or didn't think he could.

"Where are you going to go, Pen, you are still sixteen, you have to have a job and everything to be emancipated," Jamie said, "I'm trying to help you out here, it was here or the system, and I'm not letting you go through that hell," she replied.

"I'm going out," Penelope said.

"Pen, please just stay here, it's not safe out there, and its night so I'm not letting you out of here," Jamie said.

"You work the second shift and get home at dark, I'm here with Whitney all day, I want to get out of here," Penelope said.

"I'm off tomorrow," Jamie said, "You can go out then, during the daylight, the night is not a good place," she said, "Just go to bed," she replied.

"No, I'm going out, I want to do something and I'm not staying here another minute," Penelope said before she went over to the door and walked out of the apartment taking off down the stairs and out the door. She knew it wasn't safe being out at night especially around here, but she couldn't take another minute in there.


It was Friday night and Derek Morgan was on his way home, it was almost ten, which wasn't unusual for him to be going home at that hour, sometimes it was after midnight, of course his mom didn't know about that part. He just wanted to get home and go to bed. He really wanted to punch something, a wall maybe that might help. Anything to get his mind off the last hour, maybe a shower and just standing there till he was frozen, or let the water go down his throat, too painful of a death though, and he wasn't suicidal.

Life was suck fest and it wasn't getting easier like everybody always said, you get older things get better, yeah right, if that was true then why did the people around here lock their doors at night, why did the world have to have bastards in it that did what they did. He wanted out of this town, and college was the only way, football scholarship in three years and he'd be gone, then he wouldn't have to see or be near Carl Buford, he'd be out of here for good.

He went around one the corners halfway home when he saw somebody walking towards him, first thing he thought of was Rodney, but after second he realized it was not a guy, but female. What the hell was she doing walking out here this time of night? She couldn't be from Chicago and walk the streets less she was crazy, stupid or wanting sex. He didn't want to deal with anybody right now, but then again if she was lost he couldn't exactly let her walk around here especially with Rodney and his stupid gang around.

"Hey," Derek said when she got closer.

Penelope had been walking; she wasn't looking around where she was going she was just walking. She didn't care where to, she just wanted to walk, or run, screaming might work too. It was windy and cold to be summer time here and she didn't like it one bit. She wanted the California sun and she wanted her family back, even her annoying brothers her drove her nuts, would work right now. She about plowed into something but she felt hands come up and stop her. She turned around about to punch somebody, her brothers taught her how to fight, at least Max had.

"Get off me," she said about to swing.

"Stop, I'm not going to hurt you," Derek said, damn she knew how to defend herself, "I thought you were lost or something, obviously not," he said letting go.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to run into you, I'm just walking around trying to find away out of this damn city," Penelope said, "Where is the closest train station that goes to San Francisco?" She asked.

"Why would you want to go there?" Derek asked her.

"That's where I'm from my fucking brother thought it would be funny to send his only damn sister to a twenty-two year old mother of a five year old who works half the day and then thinks I am going to just stay in the damn house all night and never see daylight," Penelope about yelled at him.

"I'm sorry, didn't your parents have a say if you got sent here?" he asked confused. Why would her brother send her away?

"I wish, they died, drunk driver three months ago, I just moved her month back, now I want out, any where but here," Pen said, "Sorry don't mean to just tell you my life story here, I'm just going to shut up and find place to hide out for life now," she said.

"You shouldn't be out here at night, there are some people that would want to hurt you," Derek said.

"I got four brothers; I had to defend for myself for the last sixteen years, I'm sure I can…"

"Nobody is around to protect you here, your brothers are in California," Derek said, he didn't want her staying out here like this, it was not safe, he should know, he'd lived here long enough.

"What you going to do something?" She asked.

"No, I just don't want you to get hurt out here, you seem like…"

"What it seems like what, that I'm in need of some saving?" she asked.

"I'm trying to help you here, but if you don't want it fine, I'll just leave, but you should go home," Derek said.

"I'm sorry I'm being a bitch to you and you just wanted to help, I suck at things lately, my parents were my whole world, I depended on them for not just place to live, my mom was my best friend and now that's all gone to hell," Penelope said, "You think you could point me the way back to that center thing with the football players, I live in an apartment block away from there," she said.

"Wait, you're the girl that's always hanging outside the gate there?" he asked.

"Yeah, five year old annoying brat with me, I take her in there some days, one her friends plays there too, they have fun and I stare at the hot guys, however they need some damn young guys there too, not just teenagers and old people," Penelope said.

"You speak your mind I like that," Derek said with smile, okay so far he was feeling better, the girl in front of him was to thank for that, "You ever see the one in the blue jersey with the seven on it?" he asked.

"Yes, he's my favorite if I had to pick, but never seen him without his helmet on, so don't know if his face is as hot as his body, but he can move, and for sixteen he's has nice ass to look at," Pen said.

Derek grinned, "I'm glad you think I got nice ass," he said.

"Wait you're seven, I mean the jersey, okay I'm going to stop talking now, before I embarrass myself more,"

"No go on please, you look cute when you're flustered," Derek said.

"You're just hitting on me now," Pen said with smile of her own, "How about you point me towards the center thing and I can be on my way," she said.

"How about I just walk you there, so you don't find trouble?" he asked.

"I don't let strangers walk me home, so you got a name or should I just call you seven?" Penelope asked.

"Derek, most my friends call me Morgan though, but I guess you could call me seven," running into her was the best thing that could have happened tonight, he thought to himself.

"I can think of more nicknames that might work on the way, but for now I'll go with Derek, last names are last year," she replied.

"So what is your name or should I call you Sunshine?" Derek asked.

"Penelope, or Pen to my friends," she replied, "But sunshine works too," She added.


"Where in the hell have you been?" Jamie asked when Penelope walked in the door at almost one, "You're ass is so dead," she replied.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to stay out so late, I got lost," Pen said, "But I found my way back, and I didn't walk home alone," she said.

"And you think that makes it okay, I told you what is out on the streets at night, I am not going to let you die here," Jamie said, she was trying to be the parental figure, but it was stressing.

"I had an escort home and he didn't let anybody near me," Pen said, "He's standing outside the door, he wants to make sure you know that I was lost," she said.

"You let a complete stranger walk you home?" Jamie asked, "Have you lost your mind?"

"No, it's seven, you know the football guy I pointed out to you the other day at that upward youth center place," Penelope said.

"Wait the one you said had nice ass and are always drooling over?" Jamie asked, "I see you finally saw him without the helmet on," she replied.

"Yes, and oh my god, I think heaven is still making gods, because he is a Chocolate god of thunder and I want him," Penelope said.

"Okay slow down, I haven't even covered dating and you want to jump some kid's bones, Pen, you got years," Jamie said.

"You have not seen him, he is so hot, and he's just outside the door now, do you want to meet him?" she asked.

Jamie wasn't sure to be the parent or the really cool girl friend that wanted to know what the hot guy her friend was crazy over looked like but she gave in following Penelope to the door. She opened it up finding somebody she hadn't expected. In the summer she had second shift job but during the school year she was the English teacher for the high school, well the assistant at least, and she knew the person that her niece was happily drooling over.

"Derek," Jamie said at the same time Derek said her name.

"You know each other?" Penelope asked.

"I was the TA for his sophomore English class," Jamie said, "You play football?" she asked.

"I just told you that," Penelope said.

"Sorry, had blank there," Jamie said, "Thanks for walking her home, she has bad sense of directions," she replied.

"I think she had good sense tonight," Derek said, "She walked right into me," he replied with slight smile.

"You want to call your mom tell her your on your way home?" Jamie asked.

"I called her at this time night she'd kill me," Derek said, "She doesn't know I'm still out, but I think she's working at the hospital tonight," he replied.

"You want ride home?" Jamie asked, "I mean I know you could take care of yourself more than likely, but I'd rather not send you walking home at almost two in the morning," she replied.

"My sister leaves couple apartments over I can crash there if I need to," Derek said.

"She's not going to let you out of here less she knows that you're safe," Penelope said, "Trust me, she is a freaking pit bull sometimes, we got couch if you want to crash here," she said pointing over to the couch, "It is hell of a lot more comfortable than a bed," she added.

"I'm good, promise, if I run it I can be home in half hour," he said, okay so this was going to be hard getting away, at least he knew that Pen had person that cared about her.

Not that his mom did, she just didn't know what went on in his life, he gave her the sunny report, the one with happy ever after's, kittens and sunshine all the time, not the one that made him sometimes wish he never would wake up again. His mom was wonderful, and she did the best she could trying to support him and his sisters.

Well sister now since Sarah was working and had boyfriend now that she lived with. It was just him and Desiree at home, and his mom's best friend watched her till he got home from the center, and she stayed there on weekends when his mom worked and he didn't get home till late.

"Okay, but I want to know you got there safe," Jamie said going over to the table.

"You can come farther in if you want, we don't bite," Penelope said.

"Sorry, force of habit," Derek replied.

"When you get home call me, I want to know you got there," Jamie said handing him piece paper with her number on it, "I don't just care in the classroom," She replied.

"Thanks, I better go, and I'll see you tomorrow," He replied looking at Pen with smile.

Penelope shut the door behind him and sighed, "I think I've died and gone to heaven, somebody pinch me," she said with smile, "OH," she yelled out when she felt Jamie pinch her.

"Well you asked me to pinch you," she replied with smile, "Looks like my cousin has a date, too bad she's grounded for running out like a brat on me," she said.

"Jamie please, I will do anything you want, just please please please let me go with him, please," Pen begged following Jamie to the kitchen.

"I gotta work tomorrow you know that, and I can't find a sitter on short notice," Jamie said, "But if you took Whitney with you," she said, "I might reconsider grounding you," she said.

"Deal," Penelope said, "Okay now I need that friend back, he's hot right, not just me?" she asked.

"If I was your age I'd be stealing him from you, too bad he doesn't have older brother, just sisters," Jamie said.

"He's going to think you're old, I mean you were his teacher," She said with smile.

"Hey, I was the TA, I wasn't the teacher," Jamie said, "You are so dead," she added before throwing apple and Pen, she caught it tossing it back, "Go to bed, Pen, set your alarm I'm sleeping in and don't even dare wake me early."

"Night, and thanks," Penelope said before going towards her bedroom.


"Mom is going to kill you," Sarah Morgan said, "Good thing it's her Friday to work at the hospital," she replied, "Don't tell me you were still at the center?" she asked.

"No, I left there at eleven, and no I wasn't getting drunk, I had a really hot girl run into me, and I do mean literally run into me," Derek said with smile, "She was heading home apparently or trying to," he said.

"Was it the one that has been outside the center for the last month watching you play football?" Sarah asked.

"How did you know about her?" he asked.

"Desiree is six, Derek, she's got a big mouth and can talk your ear off," she said, "Which reminds me, I'm working tomorrow, you gotta watch her, and no excuses either," she added.

"I'll just take her with me," Derek said, "I'm going to bed, night," he said before going up the stairs to his bedroom. He shut the door taking his shirt off before tossing it on the floor. He went over to the mirror which was cracked halfway down, he'd punched in few months ago, just hadn't replaced it yet.

He picked up the phone he had in his room dialing the number that Jamie had given him, once he told her he was home he said night before putting it back on his dresser. He looked into the mirror for once really looking into it and for once he didn't see the reflection that had made him punch the mirror instead, he saw a smile on his face.

"Maybe life does get better," he thought out loud before going back to his bed and he closed his eyes and for once he wasn't met with the nightmares, instead he had his sunshine to think about.


AN: Okay I hope that you are liking so far, lot of things ahead. I got spring break next week so I'm starting this little early, I'll update again tomorrow or Saturday.