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AN: I would like to thank my amazing beta! For taking my horrible writing skill and helping me turn it into the masterpiece that it is today!


Flashback

"So what should I do now?" Tori asks, holding the camera awkwardly. I chuckle inwardly, before stepping behind her. Snaking my arms around her, I take control of her hands and move them into the correct places on the camera. Repeating the mantra of "Don't get distracted Robbie." It's all I can do to avoid realizing just how close we are.

"There, all better" I say, dragging myself away from her and resisting the urge to kiss her. When Tori turns back to me, she blushes lightly and I hope for once I'm not imagining things. It almost feels like she isn't disgusted by my touch.

My phone starts to vibrate. Peering down at it, my mom's name lights up the screen. I groan and sink into a nearby chair. Clasping the phone in my hand, I press the delete button and push thoughts of my family to the back of my head. Turning my focus back to the beautiful girl standing near my kitchen table, I watch as she clumsily operates the camera leant to us by the school.

"Who was that?" Tori asks, peering though the viewfinder and not making eye contact with me.

"Just my mom probably telling me that she and dad have to work late. They might not be home tonight or for the next few days." I state with a sigh.

"That's horrible Robbie." Tori replies. She drops the camera to her side as concern fills her voice and those big brown eyes of hers.

"Don't worry about it, I've got Rex I guess." I state with a shrug. I'm used to having nothing, so this isn't anything new.

"Do you want…I could stay here? I mean we have to work on our project and…I could just talk to my parents." Tori's words stutter into the air as she nervously shifts her weight from one foot to the other.

"Sure If you want," I smile, trying to keep a lid on my emotions. I just barely manage to turn away before Tori can see the blush lighting up my cheeks.


I bury my face in my hands as the tears begin to flow.

My parents are fighting and once again their argument revolves around me. Their words cut deeply and I'm almost certain that they never wanted me here from day one. My thoughts darken and turn towards Tori, if only she would like me back. It's just a pipe dream, crushed by Rex. He's cruel and heartless towards her, armed with the same snarky comments he levels on me. I try to brush them off, but they don't slide away as easily as they used to. Most nights after I put him in the closet, I cry like a pathetic child.

Sure I used to sleep with Rex like he was a stuffed animal, but since my parent's fighting has gotten worse I have found solace in other things. With that abandonment, it seems as though his tongue has only sharpened, his words more vicious.

Thoughts of Tori are my escape. I know most people say that finding solace in thinking about someone is silly. But when you've spent a day in my shoes, you'll take comfort anywhere you can find it. I hope that she sees past Rex and realizes how in how with her I am. All of my doubts and all of my darkest thoughts seem to leak out through Rex. It's easier than dealing with the consequences of letting them pass through my own lips.

I pull out my Pear Phone and dial Tori's number. She's the only one that can drag me back from the brink of falling apart.

"Robbie?" Her voice is achingly beautiful as it filters through the speaker.

"Hey Tori, could I maybe come over? My parents are fighting and I…I'm done with my house tonight." I do my best to hold back the tears threatening to spill over. She doesn't need to see how pathetic I am straight away.

"Sure Robbie!" With her words, I can imagine her smiling sweetly. She's probably sitting on her couch her feet tucked under her.

Ending the call, I waste no time in abandoning the hell that is my home. I pull out of the driveway in my beaten up car and buildings fly past me as I speed towards Tori's home. Only a few moments later, I walk up the path to Tori's house and lightly knock on the door. When it opens Tori is standing there in her pajamas. There's no makeup on her face and her hair pulled high on top of her head. God, she looks beautiful.

"Robbie!" She squeaks, pursing her lips as she takes in my broken form. I know I'm not much to look at right now, but she still smiles and opens the door wider.

I drop my bag onto the floor beside the couch and hold out my arms for her. With a halfhearted smile, she pulls me into her arms. She's patient and allows me to bury my face in her shoulder as tears spill forth. She doesn't even falter when my tears mar her silky brunette locks.

"Robbie?" She asks after a while.

"Yeah?" I reply, momentarily holding myself together.

"Do you want to stay here for the night? Like I'll sleep on the couch and you can have my bed" She whispers into my chest, still holding me close.

"I wouldn't want to impose. You can have your bed. I'll sleep on the couch if you're sure it's alright?" I pull away just enough to peer into her eyes. Not a trace of pretense lies within them; she's one of a kind. I know if I were her, I wouldn't have even bothered answering the call of a guy like me.

I'm lost in my thoughts when two tired adults come down the stairs. Dropping my arms away from Tori, I quickly recognize them as her parents.

"Hi Mr. and Mrs. Vega." I say quietly, taking another step away from Tori. I could swear disappointment flashes across her features, if only for an instant.

"Robbie?" Mrs. Vega asks, punctuating her response with a yawn.

"What are you doing here? It's nearly midnight." Mr. Vega asks. His eyes narrowing as he regards me suspiciously.

"My parents were fighting and so I called Tori. S-she said to come over and that I could stay the night. I'm sorry but just couldn't deal with another night of my parent's constant yelling and screaming at each other. Once they start it's constant until the early hours of the morning when one of them finally stops and goes to bed." I barely get the words out before the words drag tears from my eyes. I curse myself for not being strong enough to keep my emotions in check.

"Oh, Okay Robbie. Um…see you in the morning." Mr. Vega looks horribly uncomfortable, but the suspicion drains from his eyes. A sob hacks through my throat as I watch Tori's parents disappear up the stairs.

"Hey Robbie I'm kind of tired too, but just let me run upstairs. I'll grab a few blankets and a pillow. I'll sleep on the other couch incase you wake up during the night." Tori's kindness comes through her words, before she flashes a smile in my direction. I feel my heart melt at the sight of it. The longer I'm in her presence, the more convinced I am that she's an angel.

"No, No. Tori you go sleep in your own bed, I wouldn't want your beautiful neck getting a kink" The pain of a few moments ago seems a world away as I grin playfully in her direction.

"I can sleep down here. I'll be fine alone." Reaching into my bag, I produce a pillow and two blankets. The smile disappears from Tori's face with my words. I swear she's disappointed, I'm not just seeing things.

"Kay." She states, turning on her heel. "If you're sure, I guess I'll go upstairs and go to bed." She flashes another smile in my direction, though it's not as bright as the last one.

Pulling together my courage, I pull her in for one last hug goodnight. Her arms wrap around my waist and I lightly brush my lips along the top of her head. She smells like vanilla and honey shampoo. After a few moments, she pulls away from me and walks toward her room. As much as I'd love for her to sleep down here, I don't want to burden her anymore than I already have


And..there is chapter one! Tell me what you think!

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