Chapter 1

A young girl by the name of Angela walked down the streets of Manhattan, trying to keep from being noticed. She'd just slipped out of her home, finally escaping from her drunkard father. He was out at some bar somewhere and her mother had been asleep. Her older brother, James, had ran away a few years earlier when she'd been just a child, so she had nobody left to make her stay with her family any longer. She'd finally decided to run away before her father had gone out. She'd packed a backpack of clothing and her notebook as soon as he'd left.

He'd screamed at her for knocking over his beer and spilling it everywhere. The screaming wasn't a new part of her household not were the punches that had come along with it. The most recent beating had left her with a black eye and some bruised ribs but she'd be all right. She'd never be back in that house again and she could allow her body to heal.

Angie bumped into an older boy and nearly jumped out of her skin. She hadn't even noticed him as she'd been walking.

"Easy there," He said, taking a step back from her. He noticed the black eye but didn't comment on it, knowing it was none of his business. "I'm Riff, what's your name?" He asked, sticking out his hand.

Angie eyed him warily before grabbing his hand. "Angie. Angie Johnson." She said, smiling as he did. He didn't seem like a bad person and she let her guard down, no longer on flight or fight mode.

"Nice to meet ya." Riff smiled, putting his hands in his pockets. "You going somewhere?" He asked, noticing the bag slung across her shoulder.

Angie shrugged. She didn't have a clue where she was headed yet, just that it was anywhere away from her home. "I could be. You got anywhere for me to go?" She asked, raising an eyebrow. He was older and stronger than she was, sticking with him could be a good idea. Maybe she could stay with him.

Riff seemed to consider it for a moment before nodding. "Yeah, yeah, I actually do. It's not where I live but it's as good as anything I guess." He said before turning down an alleyway, motioning for her to follow him.