Disclaimer; This is a work of pure fiction; I do not know or claim to know anyone famous who is mentioned in this fic. I would like people to remember that and if there is anyone who is offended by strong sexual acts; please do NOT read! Any similarity to real life events is not intended and not to be confused as real.

R/N - this was just an idea that hit me - I had tried writing it before but couldn't get it right but tonight it came to me so easily that I wanted to get you guys opinion on it before I write anymore on it, so if you want more please leave me a comment and/or review. I love you guys to bits for the constant support that you always show me.
Love, Harley

Lost in the Shadows.
Written By; HarleyMac. Date Started; 22/03/2010.

Southern Pines, North Carolina;
Katie's POV;

People really couldn't understand my life – I could try and explain until I was blue in the face but still it went over their heads. Freedom was something that everyone took for granted; people would take advantage of the fact that they could walk down to their gate to get their mail in the morning. They would take advantage of the fact that they could do their own shopping. Then there was the fact that they could go and socialize with their friends.

My life wasn't like everyone else's – don't get me wrong it had been. I had been the real little social butterfly, I had friends, I had a boyfriend and I had a place in the local University. I wasn't perfect; I still had my problems but then again; who didn't have their problems? Life was always going to have problems regardless of who you were.

Back before the 'incident' I had suffered from depression, I had what my doctor had called a slight case of OCD; don't ask me what a slight case of OCD is because OCD (in my opinion) isn't something that can be a slight case. My compulsions started when my Parent's had been killed in a car accident when I had just turned 18 years old – suddenly I was alone in the world and I was being monitored by social services; that was why I had started having my compulsions; it started with cleaning. Everything in the house had to be spotless; I had to always be cleaning. I don't know how or when it happened but that had quickly turned to more little 'quirks' as my friends had called it in the beginning.

My food had to be placed on my plate in a certain order, I had to have all electrical devices set at even volume numbers, I had to have all light switches pressed in the same direction on every floor, I had to use toilet paper to pull the toilet lever and I couldn't walk on patterned carpet or cracks on the pavement. At least now I didn't have that problem anymore – I didn't leave the house; so I didn't have to worry about cracks on the pavement and I had my own place, so all the carpets were blocked colours rather than patterned.

2 years ago when I was just turning 24 years old, I had been working in a diner to support myself while going through university. The late shift for me was 6pm to midnight Monday to Thursday; it suited me because I was working for University during the day and I had a case of insomnia so I could work late into the night. I had been walking home from the diner one night doing my usual; avoiding all the cracks in the pavement and not paying attention to anyone or anything else around me. Before I even knew what had happened; I had walked head first into a firm body; looking up I apologised and carried on walking without even realizing that the person I had bumped out had began to follow me. From later reports; she had taken offense to the fact that I was a 'freak'.

It had been a beautiful night – the moon was full and brighter than I had ever noticed it being before. The stars were twinkling just as brightly as the moon. The rain was pounding on the sidewalk as I continued on my way – I had always been the girl who enjoyed winter and the duller seasons of the year – yes, I guess I am in some way some sort of 'freak'. Anyway I continued on my way without even realizing that I was being followed; the next alleyway that I reached, I was suddenly rushed from behind and literally dragged by my hair down the alley and pushed head first into the brick wall and the rest is pretty much a blur – the next thing I knew I was in hospital and had tubes coming from every possible orifice; I was hooked to heart monitors and breathing machines that were making my lungs inflate and deflate. I was on a drip and I was getting blood transfusions.

What I was told was that I had been mugged and stabbed in that alley and then left for dead. No one knew just how long I had been in the alley for; but by the time a stranger happened upon me, I was nearly dead. The knife had punctured one of my lungs and I had lost almost half of my body's blood. I was in that hospital bed for almost 4 months – it took me a little longer to recover because I caught an infection.

The sound of the doorbell ringing pulled me from my trip down memory lane; but at least you are all caught up on the majority of my past. Oh and I forgot to mention; I'm what the medical profession call, agoraphobic. This means that I don't leave my house – I don't go out, no shopping, no walking, no eating out and no going to the cinema or dates. I work from home and manage to do quite a bit of business to keep me stable. Thanks to my brother, who lives with me, I can function perfectly well inside my home.

"Hello," I answered the door; the familiar feeling of panic creeping up on me as I pulled the door open and was presented by the brightness of daylight.

"Hi, sorry to bother you.....my husband and I have just moved in next door and I was wondering if you know where the water valve is?" the beautiful woman asked me smiling in a friendly manner.

"I'm not sure.....why don't you come in....." I couldn't think straight with being this close to the outside world, "my brother is in the kitchen I am pretty sure that he can tell you all that you need to know,"

"Thank you so much," she smiled walking over the threshold and I quickly closed the door behind her – thankful for the fact that I was back within the confines of my own home.

I led the way to the kitchen where my brother Todd was washing up the dishes before he left for work, our black and white springer spaniel was lying in his bed fast sleep – upon entry into the room; he looked up had a good sniff of the air and then turned his head back down on to the pillow where he had been resting. I quickly introduced the woman to my brother and stood back and watched them talk to one another. I was envious of the fact that my brother could be so chatty and friendly with people that he didn't know – I was much more reserved.

The woman was beautiful and her looks reminded me somewhat of Angelina Jolie – the same blonde coloured hair that the actress had when she starred in the movie; Gone in 60 Seconds, large beautiful blue eyes sparkled with innocence and friendliness and she definitely had the same beautiful smile as the famous actress.

"....yes my husband is at the house right now," she was replying to my brother who gave her a smile and turned to look at me.

"Well why don't you stay here and have a cup of coffee with my sister and I will go help your husband?" he suggested.

I knew that he worried about me – after all that had happened, it not only hurt him but it confused him as to why I would remain in the shadows and not embrace life. I knew that in his mind; if it had been him who had been attacked; then he would be embracing life with the notion that life was short but I was just different to him and I didn't see things in the same simple way that he did.

"I don't want to impose......" the woman started.

"No you're not.....right sis; I mean you don't have an appointment until this afternoon right?" my brother asked putting me clearly on the spot.

"No that's right......you are more than welcome to join me," I replied trying to sound welcoming as I moved to the kettle and filled it with water.

"That would be nice," she replied, "it feels like we've been at unpacking since last week,"

"Then just take a rest, I will come back for you when I have finished helping your husband," Todd informed her before lightly kissing my forehead and heading out the back door to head over the wall to the next house where this woman was moving in.

Ok......Katie, think of something to say to this woman. I can't have her here and just ignore her the entire time. Even my warped mind knew that, that was wrong. I just didn't know how too....it had been a long time since I had to really converse with someone. Usually it was with the one night stands that my brother took home that I ended up having conversations with in the morning when he had sneaked out of the house and I was literally left to clean up his mess.

"I'm Katie," I offered turning to smile at her and usher her to take a seat at the breakfast bar.

"It's nice to meet you Katie, I'm Claire," she smiled back and took the seat.

"It's nice to meet you too,"

After my attack; when I had become a recluse; I had lost a lot of my friends, in fact I had ended up losing pretty much all of them. At the time, I had been dating a nice guy called Jacks – he had stuck around for as long as he could put up with it and then finally snapped when I became (what he called) too clingy. It had torn my heart in to a million pieces but it had taught me a very valuable lesson in the end – I couldn't depend on anyone but myself and my brother.

I could still remember the look of horror on Jacks face when he had first seen my scar – it was almost the entire length of my torso from my left to my right side. It took me a while to understand that something that ugly wasn't something that most men wanted to see and it definitely wasn't something that could turn them on. So when Jacks left me, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was going to be alone – most of the time, I didn't miss it, but then I would get the odd moment where I would just love to be held in a warm and loving embrace. After Jacks had left; I had missed him terribly and that was when I stopped going out altogether; because up until that point, I had been fine going out as long as I had someone with me. My fear to go out took over after that – I had seriously thought that I would forever have Jacks support; we had been together since high school and I thought that he was going to be the man that I would spend the rest of my life with but it hadn't turned out that way.

Maybe I was just destined to live the rest of my life alone – maybe I wasn't entitled to have any kind of happiness because of my illness. Todd said that I was crazy but I couldn't think of any other reason as to why I spend all of my time alone, except for my brother and his parade of one night stands.

The doctor had prescribed a cocktail of medications to help me but everyone left me facing some really bad side effects; each worse than the one before until I had eventually given up and started looking into alternative remedies. Eventually, I settled on Western therapy and studied from home until I received my bachelor degree and had set up my own business in the house. Todd, being a carpenter had renovated the basement for me until it was sectioned into many sections where I could help people. I did really well too, and along with my medical benefit, I managed to live quite comfortably.

I pondered around the kitchen making coffee; I was always most comfortable in these situations – if my hands had things to do. I was not good meeting new people; but my brother always tried to push me to my limit and in a weird way I appreciated him for that. I knew that it must be hard for him to be around me when I am not exactly the sanest person in the world. I did however, try to make him see that he didn't need to worry about me as much as he did; I was safe in the bubble that I had built around myself and I had learned how to survive in this life style quite quickly.

Todd's POV;

My friends couldn't understand my sister – they didn't get the fact that she was petrified of being out of her safe place, they didn't understand the impact that being attacked had, had on her. I understood why she was the way she was – the attack had left a lasting impression on her; there was still nightmares that she had, there was still the shyness and timid actions that she had when she met new people.

Jacks had been a coward; it had been hard for him when he had first seen the scar but then when Katie had struggled with being out in the open; she had clung to him and wouldn't go outside anywhere without him – he broke under the pressure that he had felt she put on him. I had to give him his due though – he had walked away from her when he had figured out that he couldn't handle it and he hadn't prolonged the relationship. I knew that it had killed a small part of my sister but in the long run; it had hurt her less than it would have if he had hung around when it was obvious that he just couldn't deal with it.

As for me – there was no way that I would walk away from her. When we had lost our Parent's; even though she was the youngest, she had stepped up to the plate and had become the adult out of the 2 of us. Katie was the one who provided the food and the home style, she was the one who went out and worked 2 jobs to provide, while I had fallen apart and been a literal pain in the ass. I had gotten in trouble with the Police, I had become a drunk for a long time and I just didn't want to be bothered with anything other than the activities that I was getting in to. Not once had my little sister given up on me so I owed her this. I owed it to her to never walk away from her; I would try and help her until the day I died.

"Hello?" I called out walking in the front door of the house next door to the home that me and Katie shared.

"Hi," a man who was a little shorter than myself appeared in front of me; shoulder length blonde and black hair, and built like a brick shit house, "can I help you?"

"Your wife......Claire; just came by my house to ask me for some help?" I asked feeling like a wooden soldier in comparison next to this man's bulk. As I looked closer I noticed that the man was the famous wrestler; Shannon Moore.

"Oh yeah that would be great, we've been in search of the water switch for about an hour and we are just completely lost," he said smiling and it was clear to me that he was a friendly guy.

"Yeah they are situated in the weirdest place with these houses," I informed him, "if you go outside and around the left side of the house, the switch is hidden in the little hub that is built into the side of the wall,"

"That will explain it....we've been searching from roof to floor inside the house," he laughed while ushering me towards the kitchen. "I'd like you to meet my friends, this is Jeff, Matt, Brittany, Monster, Yuk and Kimo,"

"Hi guys," I gave a wave.

The group were hanging around in the kitchen drinking bottles of water; there were boxes lying in disarray; just as it was when you were moving in to a new place. I could remember that it had been like that when Katie and I had to give up our Parent's home and move into the place next door. We had been unable to keep up with all the payments that grew from such a big place, at least our new house was in a nice area, it had plenty of room in it for a small Family and it was cheaper for us to afford.

"Guys this is......" Shannon started but cut off when he realized that he hadn't actually gotten my name.

"Todd," I finished for him and ended up shaking hands with everyone. "Claire is just hanging out with my sister while I get this done for you,"

By the time, I had showed Shannon where all the switches were; and we had turned on the water, turned on the electric, which was also placed outside and then I invited them all over to have a hot cup of coffee or tea, which ever they wanted. Katie wouldn't mind; and if she did, then she would disappear into her room. Either way; we were about to have a house full of people.

When we walked into my kitchen, we found Claire and Katie actually talking to one another, they were laughing and having a good time from what we could see. Claire looked up and smiled brightly at her husband. I had to wonder how long they had been married – from the way they were looking at one another; I would say that it hadn't been long; it appeared that they were still in the honeymoon stage.

It quickly became apparent that Brittany and Matt were a couple, and the others; Jeff, Monster, Yuk and Kimo were single as they joked around with one another about them being the third wheel whenever they were alone with the 2 other couples. From their interaction, it was clear that they had been friends for a long time; it was the closeness and easiness that came from being long term friends.

Usually I wished that Katie could have that kind of friendships; but unfortunately, after the attack she had ended up losing all her friends when she had become agoraphobic. The girls that she had grown up with had become distanced when she had taken on those 2 jobs but after the attack; it was like they didn't know how to act around her anymore, they didn't know if they should talk to her about it or leave her to deal with it in her own way and I think that was one of the reasons that she started to retreat from the real world.

"You know guys – Katie cooked way too much Lasagne for tea.....so to safe y'all from cooking when you've been busy all day, why don't you join us?" I suggested after we had all moved into the front room to talk.

"We don't want to put you out......" Claire started to object.

"I wouldn't have offered if that would be the case," I offered honestly, it was clear to me that Katie was feeling comfortable as she sat close to the girls who were on the sofa, they had been talking nonstop from the minute that they had come into the house.

"Katie?" Brittany asked.

"I don't mind at all," my sister agreed smiling.

It was the first time in a long time that I saw her smiling; around new people she was usually quite reserved, not in a rude way but she would distance herself and she wouldn't be so forth coming in spending time with them; so this was (in my opinion) a good progression for her.

"So we're all agreed?" I asked.

"Sounds good to me," they all pretty much said the same thing, "maybe we could all head out for a drink later tonight?" Jeff suggested.

Katie tensed instantly, her eyes meeting mine and I could see the panicking flickering at me. Quickly she was pulling herself back in, there was a sign that I always caught in her that most people didn't catch; she folded her arms over her chest and she crossed her legs at the same time and instantly, I could see it happening.

"I....uh.......I have clients coming around tonight," my sister quickly excused herself without having to explain about herself.

That was her right after all – if she felt the need to keep her secrets to herself, then it was only right that I accepted that from her. After all that she had been through; it was up to her to place her trust in people that she felt comfortable with and I couldn't dictate to her that she was to trust anyone.

"Todd?" Monster asked.

"Yeah I could come out," I admitted when Katie nodded her head at me.

The good thing about Katie – she didn't feel the need to have me around all the time and she was forever telling me that I was to carry on with my life and not give it all up for her because she was perfectly fine staying in the house by herself so long as she had everything that she needed.

So with the plans made; we all moved back to the kitchen to make the supper and set the dining table that we didn't get the chance to use all that often. Neither Katie or I mentioned the fact that she had made up a story to get out of going out; we busied to get everything ready for our guests and then once we had all eaten; the others headed on home to get changed and ready for the night out.