I do not own any secret life character, they all belong to Brenda Hampton, but I do own Joseph Castel (He's new)

*Author's Note: This is my second story in fan fiction and I hope you like it. It took me awhile to figure out what type of story I wanted to write for my second one. I went to look at other books and TV shows to see if I should do my second one on one of those, but I decided to stay with Secret Life for now. So tell me what you think about it in the reviews. You can also send me some suggestions in PM. There is no John in this story, not yet anyway and Adrian is not pregnant. Robbie also will not be in this story, sorry. Nora was not a drug addict or alcoholic nor will she ever be and Bob will not be allowed in this fan fic.

I See Me

When I look into these eyes, I find things no one else ever catches a glimpse at

I see this fear of judgment that makes me cower at confrontation

I see the hopelessness for the future that makes her choices her burden alone

I see this desperate need for companionship to make her strong in the savage world of humans

I see this courage caged in her thoughts of inferiority

I see these thoughts of abandonment that make her cling to anything

I see this devotion to her beliefs that make her fear death

And I hate that the person I always see is me.

-Written by Jay, taken from the book, Poems on Life

Amy's PoV

I really didn't want to move from the only home that I've known, but my mother insisted. After the incident with my father, I knew she wouldn't be able to stay here in Texas. It felt like we were leaving him behind though, trying to rid our memories of him. I wouldn't dare tell my mother that, it would break her heart. She just got through being depressed as it is. Even though it had been months ago, I knew that she felt as if it was just yesterday. Sometimes I would feel the same. Ashley was different now too. She wasn't as happy as she used to be and she was more sarcastic than usual. I figured that, that was how she handled his death. Mostly I just shut people out. My mother had tried to get me to go to therapy with her and Ashley, but I didn't want some shrink probing my mind. I didn't need anyone knowing my thoughts. I knew that I would break apart if I let anyone into my true feelings. I didn't even let my boyfriend, Jimmy, into my heart anymore. We were becoming distant, but instead of breaking up, we just kind of deal with it. I knew that he had started talking to other girls and I didn't really mind. I couldn't blame him. My friends had even started shutting me out of the clique. I was okay with that too, because I didn't want any one tip toeing over my feelings. When we moved to this new town in California, I would avoid telling people that my dad was six feet under as long as I could. I didn't want to be treated like I was fragile anymore.

I walked out of my room for the last time and down the stairs. I passed Ashley on the way out the front door. I didn't dare turn around and look behind me because I didn't want to miss this place. However, I knew I would, but it was nice to think that I was starting over, in a new place. My life had been great here, but maybe it would be even better in California. I breathed in the dry, Texas air that I was so accustomed to for the last time. I made slow, practiced footsteps towards the SUV that was facing street. I forced myself not to look back and hesitantly opened the door to the front seat. I knew that when I opened this door, there was no turning back. I slowly sat in the seat, leaned my head back on the headrest, and closed my eyes. Luckily, I had put all my electronics in the front seat with me. I knew that this was going to be a long trip so I had charged everything last night. I even went to the store and bought a car charger. My mom said I was being ridiculous, but I was not looking forward to being bored for hours upon hours. Hopefully, we'll stop at a hotel and rest because I knew I would be stiff if I sat in this car for more than half a day.

The breeze that was hitting my arm was shut off when my mother closed the back of the SUV. I heard her sigh and she opened her door, preparing to sit down. She looked in the back seat and then I felt her eyes on me. I opened my eyes slowly to look at her. She looked tired and stressed. I had offered to drive part of the way, but she refused me.

"Where's your sister?" She asked me while leaning on her seat with her hands.

"Last time I saw her she was still in the house. Maybe she's hoping we'll leave her behind. Maybe we should," I said grinning. My mother smiled back and rolled her eyes at me.

"Sorry Amy, no can do. She has to come with us because we love her, remember?" She said while walking away from the car. Slowly, she was walking towards the house to get Ashley. I pulled my iPod out of my purse and stuck the headphones in my ears. I shut my eyes again and hoped that sleep would come easily.

I heard the two doors shut and knew that my mother had gotten Ashley to come out of the house, despite the protest that she had probably put on. The car cranked up and I could feel the vibrations of it putting me at ease. I always fell asleep in cars. I'd been doing it since I was a baby. The car began to roll and my heart began to sputter out of control. It was beginning to miss this place already.

Grace's PoV

I have to say that it was hard for me to grasp that my stepbrother, Ricky, was dating my best friend, Adrian. It was true that they were dating before we became best friends, but like he, I wanted to spend time with her too. I mean she spent every waking moment with him at school and on weekends, all I asked for was a night to talk about my boy problems. Maybe I could talk to Ricky about them when he got back home from being with Adrian. Ben was his best friend, and had been for a very long time. However, I didn't want Ricky to know that I liked him. He would probably do anything he could to keep Ben away from me because Ricky was so protective of me. I didn't have a problem with that, but sometimes it got annoying. Most boys were even afraid to talk to me when Ricky was around. It was as if he was my father, but dad was even worse.

The fact that my father, Joseph Castel, was the very prominent leader of a well-known mafia made males fear even breathing around me. It was hell being a mafia princess. I'm sure Nora, my stepmom had it worse than I did. At least I didn't have to walk around with a guard. I was grateful at least for that.

I eased down the stairs not wanting to face my dad with the outfit I had on. If it were up to him I would be dressed like a nun. I breathed a sigh of relief when I only saw Nora in the kitchen. She was sitting at the table with a very delicious looking muffin on her plate, reading the newspaper. I stood in front of her, she looked up at me, and her eyes went wide.

"Wow grace, I love that outfit, but you know your dad would kill you if he saw you in it," She said smiling at me.

"Maybe not," I shrugged my shoulders and she looked pointedly at me. I rolled my eyes at myself and took a seat at the table. "Okay so maybe he will, but come on, it's just a halter top." I sighed.

"It's not just the halter top he'll worry about," She patted me on the leg and I knew that she was insinuating that he would also go ballistic over the skirt that I decided to wear. It only came right above my knee, well maybe a little higher than right above.

"You know how he is about you showing too much skin. He still see's you as his little princess," She said smiling lightly. Nora and my dad had been married for nine years now. She knew that my dad was weak when it came to me. What she didn't know that he was weak when it came to her also.

"Nora, I'm 17-years-old, I'm far from a little princess. He's going to have to understand that I'm going to have to grow up sometime," I sophisticatedly. I rolled my shoulders back and sat up straight like a woman. Nora giggled and took a sip of her coffee.

"That was cute Grace, now go put on a sweater," She said shooing me upstairs with her hand. I rolled my eyes and snatched her muffin off her plate. "Hey," She said playfully. "That's mine,"

"Sorry, it's a small price that you have to pay for making me go put on a sweater," I bit the muffin and snickered on my way back up the stairs.

"At least I'm not making you change your clothes," She hollered up to me. That was true. Nora had always liked my wardrobe, but she also liked being with my dad, so she tried to keep him happy. She never really went against him, but she was the reason that I'd gotten away with buying clothes like this. She had talked my dad into letting me wear halter-tops, but I had to wear a sweater with them no matter the weather. Nora was always here for me, even though she wasn't my real mom, I still loved her the same as if she were. My mom had passed away when I was four and I never really knew her. She had been diagnosed with cancer and the doctors caught it too late. Some days, I wish that she was still here, but other days I was glad that God took her away from the pain and suffering.

I threw on my pink sweater on and made my way back downstairs. Nora clapped her hands when she saw me again. I smiled and twirled around.

"How about now?" I said with my hands out in front of me.

"That is much better beautiful. You look cute, like a little doll," She said smirking. That's where Ricky got it from. He was always smirking, but his was more cocky than playful.

"I don't want to look like a doll," I said huffing. I flopped back down in the seat that I was sitting in earlier.

"You want to look like a slut?" Leave it to Nora to be so real. That's one reason that I loved her. She was always brutally honest no matter what. That's probably why my dad was so attracted to her. He liked someone that was honest and had his or her own opinion.

"No, I don't want to look like a slut. I just don't want to look like a child. Nora, I'm almost an adult," I sounded like one of those toddlers in tiaras. She laughed at me.

"Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades," She said smartly. She looked at her watch and stood up. "Look at the time kiddo you have to get to school and I need to prepare to go to the mall," I stood along with her and put a pout on my face. "What is it now?"

"I want to go to the mall. Can you wait until I come home from school?" I threw on a large smile. She knew that I loved the mall and besides, I needed to get some new shoes and scarves.

"Grace, we can go this weekend because I really need to go today and I need to go early. You know how long it takes me to shop, I have to examine every store and everything inside them," That was true, Nora did shop long. That's why Ricky and my dad never liked to go with her. I was always willing though because we both shared the same shopping habit.

I sighed. "Okay, I guess, but at least buy me something while you're there," I said heading for the door.

"Don't I always and have you seen Ricky? I don't think I've seen him since yesterday morning," She said and I hesitated at the door.

"Well, I'll see you after school," I said trying to leave quickly. I really didn't want to have to tell Nora where Ricky was because I didn't want to feel her wrath. Nora was at the door before I could open it all the way and she closed it while my hand was still on the knob.

"Grace," She said. I shut my eyes before turning around and said a silent prayer. I finally met her eyes and chuckled worriedly. "Grace," She said again more motherly and I broke. I didn't like standing under her serious gaze for too long, it made me shiver in fear.

"Okay, okay, I think he stayed with Adrian last night," I said quickly. Nora's nostrils flared and I knew Ricky would be in for it when he got home. I would warn him to tread softly around Nora when he got here, but I didn't want to get in trouble for tipping him off that Nora was angry.

"Excuse me? What do you mean he stayed at Adrian's last night?" The question was slightly rhetorical so I didn't answer it. "He knows that it is against the rules to haveā€¦ sleepovers with the opposite sex," She said snapping. In addition, she didn't have very strong feeling for Adrian, she's never really liked her. Adrian was very in tune to this fact and did everything she could to get Nora to like her. When Adrian would spend the night with me, it took heaven and earth for me to get Nora to be peaceful around her.

"Okay, well I better go," I wanted to get out of this house fast. I knew that her good mood had been pushed away and she probably wouldn't go to the mall now. It wouldn't surprise me if she showed up at school to chew Ricky out. Even Ricky knew that breaking Nora's rules would be hell, on everyone but me. Nora and I never argued, she was one of my best friends.

I walked out of the door while Nora stood in a pool of anger. I walked by my dad on the way to my car and his blue eyes met mine. He looked at my outfit and I knew he was trying to hold it together.

"I wouldn't go in there," I said focusing his attention from me. He rubbed his hand through his thick black hair. "Nora's in a bad mood,"

"Why? What happened?" He asked with his melodic voice. He looked worried.

"Ricky didn't come home last night, he sort of stayed at Adrian's," I said in a loud whisper. My dad rolled his eyes and sighed. He probably knew that Ricky stayed there he probably condoned it.

"I told him to come home before Nora woke up. That boy is going to be the death of me, now I have to go in and face her," He said speaking to himself. I began to walk towards my BMW again because I was trying to leave before his focus was back on my clothing. I heard the house door close behind me and was relieved. Thank God for Ricky.

Ricky's PoV

Adrian hung on my shoulder as we made our way through the school hallway. It was always like that. Students parted like the Red Sea when we came through. I wrapped my arm around Adrian and a smile plastered itself onto her face. Last night I had stayed at her house, we did have sex, as usual. I knew my mother would burst a vessel because she didn't really like Adrian, at all. It never really stopped me from being with her though, because I was having fun. I didn't want to say that I was in love with her because I wasn't. She wasn't the type of girl that you would want to fall in love with, well the type of girl that I wanted to fall in love with anyway. It never stopped me from telling her I loved her though. I did it to make her happy. I knew that when I wasn't around Adrian liked to screw other guys, but that was fine with me, I didn't really want a commitment to her. She didn't really ask for it like most girls would.

I spotted my best friend Ben going into the councilor's office, as usual. Ben went in there every day to talk about his issues. Sometimes I wondered why we were so close because we were so different. I think it was because we balanced one another out, what one of us lacked the other had in full. He'd been my friend since before my mom married Grace's dad. I had never really had a father since mine walked out on us before I was born. All I knew about him was that he was an alcoholic and he was abusive towards my mom. After knowing that, I didn't need to know anything else about him. I figured if you hit a woman that you weren't worth getting to know. Therefore, I call Joseph Castel, my stepdad, dad. He was the only father I knew and I was thankful that God had sent him to my mom and me. Before he came along, we were struggling. My mother had met him while doing a waitressing job and so they claim, until this day, that it was love at first sight.

I stood at my locker in front of Adrian when I saw the front entrance of the school open and Grace strutted in. She smiled at me and waved. I returned her greeting, but my face dropped when I saw what she was wearing. She walked up to us and she and Adrian went into babble mode. I was still examining her outfit.

"That skirt is kind of short don't you think Grace?" I said and she rolled her eyes. Adrian stopped talking abruptly. She looked at Grace's skirt and I could tell that she didn't think it was too short, but she didn't say anything.

"Ricky, this is not short, it comes right above my knee. I'm not a Nun, it's not a sin for me to show skin," Her voice held annoyance. That skirt was not right above her knee, it was higher than that.

"Did dad see you like that?" I said accusingly. I knew if he saw it and she still came to school like this, then she would be in trouble.

"In fact he did see it. Besides, I wouldn't be worrying about me right about now," She said sounding as if she were hinting around at something. Confusion rested on my face and then I looked at Adrian who was just as confused. The bell rang and Grace made her way towards her first class.

"What does that mean?" I asked Grace. She turned around and smiled at me while shrugging. I planted a kiss on Adrian's lips and we separated, not wanting to be late for class.

I had thought about what Grace had said and racked my brain trying to figure out what she was talking about. What did I do yesterday that would get me in trouble? Did I not take the trash out? What didn't I do at home yesterday? Then it hit me. Shit, I didn't go home yesterday, or this morning before mom woke up. I slapped myself in the forehead. Dad had told me to come home before mom woke up and I didn't. I came straight to school not even thinking. Usually I kept extra clothes in my car in case I was staying at Ben's house or something so I had changed into those clothes at Adrian's this morning. My full intention was to go home to at least show my face, but Adrian and I had went for a morning round and I'd forgotten. I hope that my mom hadn't noticed that I didn't come home last night, though something told me she did.

Okay guys tell me what you think of the new story in reviews. I'm excited about this one because it is very different from the real secret life plot unlike my last one.

And so you'll be able to picture houses and things:

Ricky and Grace's house is Grace's house in the show; the house Amy is moving to is her house in the show; Ben's house is still the same and so is Adrian's