Morganville, miles away from home and yet it seemed...almost familiar somehow. As far as she knew though she had never been here in her life, though that wasn't saying much as all she knew was the last three years. Everything before that was a loss though she doubted it was any good if she couldn't remember it. Not that her life since she could remember was any better with foster parents who constantly abused her, verbally and physically. And lately, her foster father had even started taking it farther. Well as of late as six months ago.

Claire was on the run now, running from all the pain that her so called home represented. At first it was going pretty well as she had saved all of what little money she could get for a little over a year. She didn't know just how much it took to eat and travel as she went where her heart led her, which was here in Morganville. It cost a lot of money, more than she had planned on and the last leg of her journey was a two week walk while learning from a couple of homeless on the way how to find good food in the dumpsters. While it was disgusting, it was also something to feed her hungry stomach and stay alive. Something she wasn't sure why she bothered doing. She may have been a genius, but that was only book smarts while street smarts was something she had very little of.

Sighing as her stomach growled loudly as she looked through the main drag of the town passing through some of the more popular seeming restaurants looking for some of the less popular places. They always had good food to throw out when people didn't buy them. It always sat too long and passed the throw out time because there wasn't enough customers to buy it all up. It was a loss for the place but a gain for her.

As she looked around though she noticed that something seemed off about the way people gave her funny looks before hurrying away from her. There were even a few mothers hurrying their children away from her. She was used to people shunning her, a dirty homeless girl, but they usually just ignored her. These people almost acted as if they were afraid of her. Deciding her stomach was more important than worrying about a bunch of rude people, she mentally flicked them off as she found her target, a small coffee shop called common grounds. It was a little busy, but coffee shops always had good snacks if not food.

A couple minutes later she had a cookie that looked like someone took one bite out of it hanging out of her mouth as she looked through the bag more hoping for something more. Something more filling than a chocolate chip cookie...even if it was good. Very good in fact.

"Excuse me." An annoyed voice said startling Claire into dropping the cookie back down into the open bag. With a sigh she grabbed it back before turning to see...what the hell did she see? Was that white make up, black lipstick and a dress that looked more like something that belonged on a doll with a pair of heavy looking boots?

"Umm, hi..." Claire said while giving the girl a weak smile as she realized that the other girl must have been what was called a goth. She's heard of them, but never saw one. Despite spending all of her free time she could away from the house studying at the library, that's all she really did was study. When she used the internet it was for strictly studying, she never used it to look anything up that didn't have anything to do with what she was studying. She wanted to learn as much as she could to help get away from her so called parents, but when the bastard starting doing things to her...She just couldn't stay any longer.

"Hi, nice look you have going there." The girl said giving a small smile to Claire. "My name's Eve.

"Claire." Claire said before hiding the cookie behind her back nervously.

"Relax, I'm not going to take it from you." Eve said, her voice taking on an even sadder tone. "Look sweetie, do you have somewhere to stay for the night?"

"No, I just got into town." Claire said as she shook her head.

"I thought so. You can't stay out on the street. In fact, you shouldn't even stay in Morganville sweetie." Eve said running her fingers through her hair. "You can stay with me at our house tonight, it's getting too late for you to do much else. Tomorrow, you need to leave though, it's just too dangerous here. I wouldn't even stay if I had somewhere else to go or I could get away..."

"You sound as if you are a prisoner here." Claire sighed as she looked up at the girl wondering if she could trust her.

"There'll be a warm meal and you can get cleaned up." Eve said which settled Claire's internal debate.

"Are you sure it will be okay?" Claire asked nervously.

"Yeah, and I'll kick Shane and Michael's asses if they say anything." Eve said taking Claire's arm, sliding down making her let her arm fall in front of her where the goth girl plucked the cookie from her fingers and tossed it back in the dumpster. "I'll buy us some fresh to take home with us."


I don't own Morganville no matter how much wishing I do, Rachel Caine does. This is a sneak peak at a story idea I have been thinking about and I hope you like it. Let me know what you think about it so far.