Authoress' Notes: I am terribly sorry that it has taken me so long to get this chapter out. April was by far the worst month I have ever had. My grandfather passed away the first full week of April. I made the decision to take a small break from writing while I grieved which just consisted of me laying around eating chocolate and getting fat. Anyway, all sadness aside, I am doing much better now and am finally able to get back to writing.

Disclaimer is in the first chapter. Please enjoy the chapter.

Chapter VII: Fighting Realizations

I should of been aware that something had been different since I had been sick but I wasn't. Because of that, I wasn't able to stop what had occurred. It all happened no sooner than when Tony and I got to school today. Tony was acting different from how he normally does but I didn't pay that any mind, figuring that he was going through one of those phases that boys generally go through. If only I had known what was about to happen.

We had just left our lockers for the morning, like always and were heading to homeroom. A normal occurrence in our daily ritual of school. Safety in numbers since we had been targeted by the McAshton boys who had nearly the entire student body turned against us for no real reason at all. That was when things went from normal to hectic.

Flint and Nigel were standing at the doorway to the classroom, blocking us from entering, both sporting rather cocky grins on their faces and staring right at us. I paid them no mind and was about to pass between them with my head down until it happened. Tony walked right up to them, insulted them and tried, yes tried to walk past them to his seat. I'll be the first to admit that the looks on their faces at Tony's momentarily bravery streak was hilarious but it didn't take them no more than a second to come to their senses and they jumped him.

I stood frozen in shock, my bag falling to rest at my feet as I watched them gang up on my brother but after the first punch connected to Tony's cheek, I sprung into action. My intention at first was to get the nearest teacher and get the McAshton boys in trouble but somehow, I found myself in the midst of the fight, my fist connecting to Flint's nose, students surrounding the four of us chanting and calling out.

It didn't last no more than five minutes but it seemed longer than that before a few teachers pulled us apart. Tony and I were the only ones to get in trouble. Flint and Nigel were sent to see the nurse while Tony and I were taken to the Principal's office and we were in worse shape than the two bullies that started the whole mess. Tony had a bloodied nose and black eye while I had a busted, swollen lip and a cut above my eyebrow. The principal called our mom and she was not happy.

Currently, mom's in the office talking to the principal while Tony and I sit outside waiting. Despite this being our first offense, we might get suspended for a week. If we're lucky though, we may get off easy and just have to serve detention instead. It's a crying shame that we can't explain what has been going on since the first day of school, no one would believe us anyway. Everyone here thinks the McAshton boys are nice, polite boys.

"You okay Julie?" Tony asked in a hushed tone, catching my attention as I was dabbing my lip with a tissue. It hurt something awful.

"Yeah. You?" He simply nodded, eyes downcast. It's very obvious that he's blaming himself for what happened and he should. It was his fault but I can't blame him, hes my brother and as much a victim as I am. And it sure felt good to punch those obnoxious boys. Unfortunately, before I could say anything more to Tony, the principal's door opened and out stepped mom with a look of utter displeasure. We were in big trouble.

"Let's go you two." She sounded so angry at us. I get the feeling that our gaming systems are going to be confiscated and locked in a closet somewhere for a long time.

The entire car-ride home was dreadfully silent. Tony and I dared not to move, not to breath in fear of mom beginning her tirade earlier. Once getting home, however, it was another story. We didn't even get to make it inside and it was painfully obvious that she bought that the two boys were nice.

"Fighting with the McAshton boys, just what were you two thinking?" She began after slamming the car door shut. I flinched and took a step behind Tony. "What is wrong with you two? Don't you realize that you could have put your father's job here in jeopardy with your actions? Were you even thinking at all!"

No one was on our side and it hurt. Hurt more that our own mother turned her proverbial back to us and sided with the enemy or sorts. I couldn't stand it anymore and grabbed Tony's hand into mine, squeezing it tightly.

"You never listen to us to begin with so why should we tell you anything!" Tony shouted out, catching me by utter surprise. I hadn't expected him to lose his cool and especially at our mother of all people. It was shocking to say the least but I was grateful for his reaction regardless. Mom looked flabbergasted at first but, as I peered at her from under my lashes I could see her growing anger at the sudden bout of disrespect that had been shown to her.

I wasted no time in tugged Tony's hand and leading our quick retreat before she could say another word. He didn't protest as we quickly made our way inside and up to my room. I had already decided that for the time being we'd hide out within the passageways we had discovered and not show face until tomorrow if we could help it.

We were already in my room when I could just barely make out the sounds of mom coming up the stairs and I wasted no time in shoving Tony into my closet before pressing the little button that opened the hidden doorway and just as she reached my door, we were hidden away from sight and silent as can be, backs pressed against the stony interior and breaths held in anticipation.

"I could of sworn..." Mom's voice filtered to us before drifting away along with the sounds of her footfalls as she undoubtedly made her way to check Tony's room. We were in the clear.

"That was a close one." I whispered out. I shared a look with Tony before we slowly ventured further into the passageways and past the entrance to his room. We were going to go further in today while we hid from punishment. Today was going to be the first day that we traversed down the stone staircase. Hopefully it would lead to a secret interior room where we could talk to one another without risking being heard in the walls.

After reaching the bottom step I noticed that there were two paths to go, one straight ahead and the other to the right. Making the executive decision, I grabbed Tony's arm and stirred him to the right. There was just something about that hallway that compelled me to go that way. Almost as if something was calling me and I can't be sure but I think that Tony felt it too as he didn't protest going in that direction.

It wasn't long that we came upon a door and shared a look in realization. We were in the interior of the house, we could talk and not be heard by mom or anybody. Not to mention we now have our own little hideout to escape to whenever we wanted to. It was exciting to say the least. Tony pushed the door open and I couldn't shake the feeling that I've seen this room before as we entered.

It was rather dusty and there wasn't much in the room outside of a stone fireplace which is a little weird. I mean, why would there be a hidden room in a house that has a fireplace in it? We settled by the door on the floor and sat in silence for a few moments.

"I'm sorry you got involved Julie." Tony started. "I didn't want you to get into trouble or anything."

"It's okay. I don't mind. It was pretty cool to see someone stand up to those two though can you tell me why?" A wide grin spread across his face.

"I made a friend the other night. He's the coolest ever and guess what? He's a vampire!"

Authoress' Notes: Sorry for the short chapter. I really am. I've shifted the idea for the next chapter as I couldn't really make the original idea work so the next chapter picks up right where this one leaves off.

In other news, I've began betaing for my dear friend and cousin, Adorable Phoenix. We're going to be co-authoring a few stories together once I finish Paper Flowers.

In response to whether or not Anna and Tony end up together. I've been considering that myself as I've been writing and I'm still unsure at this point if they will end up a couple or not. Despite all the planning I have done for this story the chapters just have a way of writing themselves out as I type. We'll just have to see how it develops once the two actually meet.