The clock read seven forty. I looked one last time in the mirror, fixing a loose strand of hair that seemed to have escaped my clip, and scooped up my backpack before heading downstairs, my steps echoing off the walls. That's what you get when your home is mostly made of concrete. I headed for the elevator but when I heard voices coming from Dads lab I stopped.

I guess Mom and Dad haven't left yet.

I headed for the opened double door. "Mom, Dad, I'm heading for Schoo-." My parents were standing just in the door. My mother in her blue business jacket and skirt with black heals, her corn silk hair pulled up in a fashionable ponytail, and stockings, and my dad in shirt and tie with his lab coat, his dark brown hair, with white at the temples, not even brushed. It wasn't the surprise of seeing my parents, because they usually are gone by the time I get up, but the fact that there was someone or something with them. I think it was a man, his skin was polished silver and with no clothes to hide wide shoulders and a well-built body including a six-pack and beautifully sculpted arms.

"And this is our daughter, Paris." My mother raised her hand in my direction, speaking to the silver man. His eyes were also silver, as if his whole body was carved from silver stone, no blemishes or imperfections to speak of, scanning me thoughtfully before bending his head in greeting. I swallowed the lump in my throat and raised an eyebrow at my father.

"Sorry Paris, this is the Norrin Radd. The-."

"Silver Surfer from Zenn-La. I'm Paris Richards, pleased to meet you." I offered my hand; he looked at it suspiciously before taking it. When he gripped my hand, strong and firm, a strange shock went up my arm and into my shoulder. I let go of his hand a little fast, his face not giving any sign that he noticed. "I've read my parents reports many times over."

"Yes, yes I forget." My father rubbed his temple. He halted his rubbing to look at me questioning. "Shouldn't you be at school?"

"I'm on my way now. Nice to of met you Mr. Radd." I turned to leave.

"Who's driving you?" I turned to my mother.

"No one, Uncle Johnny had a show he had to go to and Uncle Ben is spending the day with Alicia."

"How were you going to get there?" My father asked. I could feel the Silver Surfers eyes on me.

"I was going to walk to the bus stop like every other person on this block." I hitched my back higher on my shoulder.

"I don't think that's a good idea, Reed can-".

"Mom I'm eighteen going on nineteen, I think I can handle getting a ride to college." My mother looked at me for a moment then she sighed.

"Your right. But you are still my little girl." Her heals clicked on the lab floor as she rapped her arms around me. "Have a nice day. Don't be out to late." She let me go and smiled.

"I will mom. Love you. Seya Dad!" I headed for the front door.

The soft click from the door fallowed me down the hall into the elevator. Being the only family that occupied the top three floors, there was no trouble getting an empty elevator.

The trip down fifty-three flours was a fast one and I was on my way down the street before I knew it.

The warm spring sun reflected off the shop windows and onto the cold concrete. Without breaking stride I shedded my coat and let the warm sun seep into my red turtleneck sweater. Spring had come early this year. The bus stop was just two blocks down. I could see a small group of college students standing around the bus sign. There were a few skaters bent over a magazine, a geek-looking girl in pigtails off by herself and a trigonometry book, and three boys with football jackets. Neither the Goths nor the girl gave me much thought, but the three football boys elbowed one another and nodded in my direction when I came up. I faced the street, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible. I watched as the three boys walked over to me.

"Hey." I ignored them. "Hey aren't you Paris Richards?" I didn't answer.

"I heard she was going to our college." Another one said. "Heard her Daddy paid for everything." He spat at me.

'Parents tend to do that.' They did not seem to like my smart elic answer. One of them promply walked up and pushed me. I did not react.

"Come on girl do something."

"I'd rather not." I whispered and tried to step away, but they came in closer.

"I heard she doesn't have any powers." One snickered.

"Mr. Fantastic probably isn't even her Daddy."

"Your right Thom, I'm her Daddy." The boys broke out in chuckles. "How bout you give Daddy a kiss." He grabbed my arm, but was stopped by a loud horn. He let go of me.

"Is there a problem ma'am?" I stepped away from the boys and onto the waiting bus. I avoided the questioning faces and sat a few seats behind the driver on the left side. The boys got on after me but the bus driver stopped them. "Next time you give anyone problems I'll leave your asses here. You understand me?"

"Yes sir." They headed for the back of the bus. I fixed my eyes on outside the window, so as not to make eye contact, when I saw movement flicker in the ally by the bus stop. Getting closer to the glass I squinted my eyes.

"Is everything alright ma'am?" I turned to see the bus driver looking at me. "You gasped, I thought something was wrong." I forced a smile.

"No it's nothing, thank you though." He nodded his head and started to drive off. I looked back at the ally. I swore I saw silver eyes watching me.


"Paris did you hear!" I nearly dropped my book when my friend Sugar dropped in on my study time in the library.

"Hear what?" I straightened my book on my lap. She plopped down beside me on the couch.

"The Silver Surfer is back. After twenty years he is back." Her eyes scanned my face. "By the look on your face you already know."

"Yah, he was in Dads lab when I left this morning." She bent in closer.

"What was he doing?"

"Talking to my parents I guess. He didn't say anything when I was there. He just frowned and nodded at everything I said."

"You talked to him?" She sounded like we were talking about a dirty secret.

"I said hello and my name. That was about it."

"You're so lame." She laid back and folded her arms.

"What else am I suppose to say? 'Hi I am Paris and I think you're sexy."

"Was he?" I snapped my book shut and green eyes met blue.

"I don't know. He is completely silver and has no hair or clothes." She raised an eyebrow.

"No clothes?"

"There wasn't anything to see." I turned away from her and started stuffing my books back into my backpack.

"I know I've seen the pictures in history. But he has nice abs don't he?" I stood up and swung my bag over my shoulder.

"Your so Junior High. I got to go. My shift starts in a bit."

"Wait." she stepped in my path. "You have to invite me over."

"You know my Mom doesn't like spur of the moment guest." Sugar hung her head.

"I know. But how bout tomorrow?"

"I'll ask her. See ya tomorrow." I left Sugar to her thoughts and headed to the stacks office.


I stepped off the bus and walked the hotel. The sun was setting when the doorman opened the door for me.

"Good evening Ms. Paris. How was your day?" I smiled at his warm greeting. He walked me to the elevator.

"Probably worse than yours Mr. Lumpkins. Is there any mail for me?" He pushed the button and the door slid open.

"No ma'am. Expecting something?" I stepped inside and laid my hand on the hand pad. Green light scanned over the palm of my hand.

"Not really. But you never know. Bye Mr. Lumpkins." The elevator beeped and the door slid closed.

"Good afternoon Ms. Paris. Home so soon?" The cheerful computer chided.

"I'm fine Marie. Nowhere else I have to be." I slumped against the rail and rested my head on the cold red wood. The soft ding sounded when the door opened.

"See you tomorrow Ms. Paris."

"Thank you Marie." I whispered. I made my way to the door and pressed my finger to the blue pad by the door. The lock clicked open and I pushed the door open. I let my backpack slide off my shoulder into my hand, dragging it on the floor. Climbing up stares my stomach growled. Leaving my backpack on the stares I headed to the kitchen.

The kitchen was done in old Victorian colors of blue and white with silver fridge and dishwasher. The silver sink and dishwasher were located on the island in the middle of the room. I grabbed an apple from the bowl of fruit and started to wash it off in the sink.

"Hi Uncle Johnny. Back so soon." I turned around to see his handsome face glower at me.

"How did you know I was here?" I took a bite of my apple.

"Like Alicia said, you smell like something burnt."

"Ash. Right." He headed for the living room and I fallowed.

"How was your show?" He grunted. "That bad?" He slumped down on the sofa and scooped the channel changer up.

"When I was younger all the publicity was fun, maybe even amusing, now it's just...annoying." He turned to the sports channel.

"Texas A&M won." He scowled at me.

"Thanks for spoiling it."

"No problem." He started to flip through the channels. "You know the Silver Surfer is back don't you?"

"So I've heard."

"He was here this morning. You don't have any hard feelings against him do you?" I studied my Uncles face for any sign.

"There's nothing on." He turned the TV off. "A hundred channels and nothing on." He stood and looked at me. "No I don't have anything against him. He did what he thought was right. I'm just glad he survived." He headed for the door. "Tell Sue don't stay up." I laughed.

"Sure I will." I heard the door open and close and I was alone. Nothing knew.

I snatched up my backpack on the way up the stairs. My room was on the third floor, I had an option of having one on the second floor but that was too close to Uncle Johnny's room and Dads lab for comfort, everyone else's rooms were on the second floor. But the third had the library and a large balcony. Down the hall, past the library, was my room. It was originally supposed to be a storage room, but for my twelfth birthday my parents added on to it and allowed me to move in and decorate it my own way.

My door was covered in various sayings and ketch slogans from all kinds of sources. Pictures ranging from movie clippings to trees in the Red Wood Forrest.

Slipping in my room I tossed my bag on my bed and started up my PC. Opening the curtains on my sliding doors, the ones my father put in when I was fifteen, let in the afternoon sun. My twenty by thirty room was covered, from wall to wall, mostly with posters of movie hotties, star constellations, and world maps. But every now and then you'd see one of my pencil drawings. My favorite ones were tucked away in a binder but ones that I like to look at were on display.

Retrieving my jump drive from my backpack I sat down at my computer. I was half way done with a paper when my IM beeped.

Sugar lips: what r u doin'?

Hazel Eyes: talkin' to you

Sugar lips: besides that

Hazel Eyes: Writing my paper for English about the conflict between China and Japan, and the United States role in it.

Sugar lips: kayyyy…what else are you doin? have you asked your mom?

Hazel Eyes: My parents aren't home. I don'a know when they'll be back.

Sugar lips: Do you have company?

Hazel Eyes: No he isn't here. I haven't seen him since this mornin'. I got to go I have to finish my paper.

Sugar lips: Seya tomorrow nerd.

Hazel Eyes: Alright turd.

I stared blankly at my screen. I could not think of anything else to say and I was only on page five on a ten page paper. I decided to do a little more research. I searched the web for a few more hours. After a while I became restless then all of a sudden, in frustration, I lost all interest in my paper. I got up to pace my room, trying to get rid of the frustration building image of a certain silver man popped in my head.