Moving was not new to seventeen year old Sherry Birkin, even if it was not something she liked doing. It was the only life the young girl knew - live in a town for a months, then move to another town, just to do it over again. The five-foot-six blonde was used to not having friends due to the circumstances she lived. Her parents were both scientists - though Sherry had no idea who they worked for or what they actually do. All she knew was that every few months, the company they worked for would pay for her family to move to another town. Despite being used to it and expecting it, Sherry hated it but there was nothing she could do about it but pack up her life and move.

This time was certainly no different. They were living in Southern California when it was time for the move. It was easy for Sherry to do so, she had no friends or attachments. She learned quickly not to make any friends at new schools as it would only make when she had to move sad. No one in her family had attachments so it was easy for them to move. Sherry couldn't wait to finally turn eighteen so she could finally move and her own place and even make a few friends that could stick.

Their next move landed them in Boone, North Carolina - home of the Watauga Pioneers. The house was nice - large enough for the Birkin's to perform their experiments without Sherry having any idea what they were doing. She was curious, of course, but learned at a young age not to ask questions about their experiments or to spy on them. Sherry had her own room with a great view of the Bear Trail, which Sherry couldn't wait to explore. From her bedroom, Sherry couldn't hear them from their lab; she could just pretend they didn't exist. It would be easy to study in this house and keep her grades up. She'd looked up Watauga High School on the internet to find out anything about the school, but what she found was vague. She found out they had a successful football team, their school colors were blue and white and the school had high standards for grades. Sherry was an intelligent girl, typically the smartest girl at every school she went to and she was excited to hopefully be challenged in academics.

"Do you know what the school likes like?" Sherry asked her mother during the car ride to Watauga High School. She hadn't found any recent picture of the school to get herself familiar with it. Annette Birkin looked at her daughter and sighed heavily. The older woman was tired from working all night with her husband, and had to drive her to school because William didn't want her to drive on her own in an unfamiliar town.

"I don't know, Sherry. I'm sure it looks fine." She said in a tired, and slightly annoyed, voice. Annette's elbow rested on the window and she held her head up as she drove. Sherry sighed softly and looked out the window.

"Sorry..." She mumbled as her fingers played with a strand on her bag. She crossed her legs and watched the scenery as they drove. The small town was so beautiful and looked like a place she really wanted to live there. Though the hope was futile, Sherry hoped for once that they could stay in this town for a little longer. "I could have driven myself." She said, turning back to look at her mother.

Sherry looked just like her mother, as her father never failed to remind her every single day. It was nice to hear it at first, but as Sherry got older, she started to hate hearing it, causing her to change her appearance so she didn't look like mother. While Annette had long hair, Sherry cut her hair in a short hairstyle that framed her face. Her mother wore no make-up, so Sherry wore make-up every day. She did everything she could do to separate herself from her mother.

"Yes, Sherry, I know as you mentioned it before we left. Twice. But your father doesn't want you driving around in an unfamiliar town." Sherry opened her mouth to retort that if her father had let her leave the house at all this weekend she might be familiar enough to drive on her own, but she choose to keep her mouth shut. She supposed she should be thankful that her mother cared enough to drive her to school. Her mother arrived at the high school, pulling up to the curb. Sherry watched a few of the students go in the building, thankful that no one seemed too rich and her jeans and t-shirt would fit in and let her blend into the surroundings.

"Do you want me to go in with you?" Annette asked, looking at her daughter with a horribly hidden look of terror and 'please don't ask me to go in with you'. Sherry rolled her eyes before she turned to look at her mother, putting on her fakest of smiles.

"No, Mom. I'll be fine. Thanks for the ride." Sherry said, grabbing her bag and leaving the car. In Sherry's imagination, her mother called out to her to have a nice day but knew that in reality, her mother drove away without saying a word to her.

Sherry sighed and started to walk up to the school building, holding her bag on her shoulder tightly. As per usual in a new school, Sherry could feel eyes on her as she walked towards the school. She didn't have to hear them to know what they were saying to each other.

"Who's that?" One girl, probably very blonde and very pretty, would whisper to her friend, also probably very blonde and very pretty.

"Must be the new girl. I heard someone in home room talking about a new girl but I was too busy looking at my reflection in my phone."

Okay the second part was probably not said to anyone, but that was the point of conversations during her first day. Sherry walked up to the front doors and opened the large doors. She stepped into the building, glancing around the school. The students and teachers seemed to be very focused and proud of their sports teams. Brightly colored handmade posters hung on the walls next to professionally made posters, generic "Go Team!" written on them. Good luck wishes had been written on both sets of posters from students and teachers.

"Get movin', new girl." A tall guy in a letterman's jacket said as he bumped into her. Sherry looked up and noticed his last name - Stevenson - written on the back of his jacket with a football and the number "27" over the football. She rolled her eyes and turned around to walk towards the main office.

"Speak of the Devil." She mumbled to herself as she took a few steps away from the jock. Stevenson turned around and grabbed the arm he had bumped into, turning Sherry around. "Hey, get your hands off me!" She exclaimed, earning the attention of a few students around her.

"What did you just say to me?" He asked, looming over Sherry. Grey eyes widened and Sherry tried to pull her arm from him, but the well over six foot jock had a firm hold on her small arm. "Hey, I asked you a question!" He snapped at her, his voice raising. Their interaction drew a crowd of students who were more than happy to watch but less than willing to help Sherry.

"I didn't say anything to you until you grabbed me!" Sherry exclaimed, feeling his fingers already leaving bruises on her arm.

The jock snarled at her then let go of her arm. Sherry held her breath and held her ground, looking up at him. Despite wanting too turn away and rub her arm, Sherry learned quickly that the best way to handle jerks like this guy were to hold her ground (or kick him in the nuts if she needed to).

"That's right, new girl. You don't deserve to talk to me." The jock said with an arrogant look on his face. He turned around and started too walk away from her, the crowd around them dissipating. Sherry brought a hand to her arm, gently rubbing the spot on her arm.

Sherry glanced around, noticing two people still waiting around and watching her. One was a guy in dark clothing leaning against the lockers too far away from her for her to make out any of his features. The other was a brunette with large, round glances who stepped forward and offered her a friendly smile.

"Ignore him. He's a dick and thinks because he won the last game of last season, he's some big shot." The girl said to Sherry. She laughed weakly and looked at the girl, then back down to her arm. "My name's Jackie." The brunette said, reaching her hand out. Sherry glanced at it for a moment before she took her hand to shake.

"Sherry." She said, her eyes tearing away to look at the dark figure who was still leaning against the lockers. By now Sherry figured he wasn't watching her anymore, but she couldn't help but watch him for a few seconds. "Who is that over there?" She asked Jackie, turning back to look at her. A red tint formed on Jackie's face as she spoke.

"That's Jake Muller. Anyway, the bells about to ring, you don't want to be late on your first day." Jackie said quickly. Sherry opened her mouth to ask who Jake Muller was, but Jackie - and the mysterious Jake - had disappeared from her sights.

Sherry sighed heavily and picked up her pace as she walked up to the office to collect her schedule. She knew she was going to be late on her first day, but hopefully it wouldn't count against her, it being the first day. Sherry walked up to the office and waited behind a blonde with an annoying high voice who was trying to get excused to go tanning. Realizing she wasn't going to get excused for something so stupid, the blonde scoffed and turned around to come face to face with Sherry.

"What?" She snapped, popping her bubble gum before she walked past Sherry, bumping into the arm the jock had earlier. Sherry grunted and rubbed her arm, shaking her head.

"Everyone is so damn nice." She thought to herself as she stepped up to the front desk. Sherry gave the overweight woman in a red t-shirt her best smile. "Sherry Birkin. I'm new and need my schedule." She explained. The woman smiled and nodded at her.

"Ah, yes. It's been a while since we've had a new student, especially one with scientists for parents." The woman said, looking for a file with Sherry's name on it. Sherry gave a weak chuckle, her hands slipping into her pocket. "Here's your schedule, a map with your best routes highlighted and this is a sheet you'll need all your teachers to sign and bring back down." Sherry nodded and took the pieces of paper, looking down at her schedule. Math, science, English, even an art class. Sherry nodded, thankful there wasn't any gym classes on her schedule. She was smart and athletic, but Sherry hated doing any sort of sport in front of people.

"Thank you. Um, can I get a pass, I'm gonna be late to my first class?" She asked, licking over her lips. The woman nodded at her and quickly wrote her a pass as the bell rang. "Thanks." She mumbled before turning around to nearly have a collision with what she assumed was a teacher. Sherry mumbled an apology and rushed out of the office, jogging for her first class; Math with a Mr. Kate. "I guess there are worse ways to spend my first day." She mumbled to herself as she found her first class.


Jake Muller was not someone who liked school. He hated authority and people bossing him around, pretending to care about him. Ever since the passing of his mother, Jake had been spending less time in his hometown and more time around the country, sometimes the world, doing 'odd' jobs as a 'private solider'. It paid well and that was exactly what Jake was after, not the violence and experience. All that mattered was the money.

Every few weeks, Jake would leave the country and take care of business, then come back just to do it all over again. It wasn't the life for a seventeen year old, but it was the life that Jake was leading. Originally, his motivation was to just get enough money for his mother. She was ill with a disease that could have easily be cured if they just had enough money. Unfortunately, his mother died just before Jake could finally pull the money together.

Jake had only been back in town for a few days when the school week had started, though he hadn't left his apartment since he got back. When he was out in China taking care of another private solider - a former ally - that was tormenting a small family, he ended up breaking a few ribs during a fight. He spent his time on the couch with an ice pack and a few beers. Jake thought about ditching school - hell, he thought about dropping out every time he returned from taking care of business, but he remembered he had promised his mother that he would graduate. Even though she had died more than a year before, he was still doing everything he could to make good on his promise to his mother - despite only going to school three weeks a month, if that. What could Jake say? People could easily be bought for the right price.

Jake had very few 'friends', if you could even call them that. They were just people who weren't afraid of him and didn't mind his disappearing for a week or two then coming back with a wad of cash. Even though Jake didn't care for it, they kept him up to date about what was going on at the school, and they'd even do his homework for him when he was gone. Money makes people do the best of things. Jake wasn't stupid. He was smart and methodical, and he knew how to play people like they were finely tuned instruments.

"You did a number on me, Jon." Jake mumbled as he started wrapping his ribs up, looking in the mirror at his toned but bruised and scarred body. "Too bad it wasn't enough." He mumbled, cutting the bandage off and tapping it down. Jake let out a breath and picked up a long sleeve dark grey thermal shirt, pulling it over his top half. Jake glanced up at himself in the mirror, looking at his worn face. His calloused finger ran over a long scar that ran along his face, chuckling softly to himself. He glanced over at the clock and put his wallet and keys in his pocket before he left his bedroom, grabbing an apple to eat as he walked to school.

Jake entered the school building, tossing his apple core in his trash can. He stopped and looked around, sighing through his nose. He really did hate this building, and pretty much everyone in the building. He nodded at a few people that he didn't hate, walking over to his locker. {13 left, 45 right, 02 left} Jake thought as he opened his locker, looking into his locker. He pulled the books he needed out of his locker, shutting his locker and turning around to lean against his locker.

"Hey, get your hands off me!" Jake, and the rest of the hallway, heard echoed from the other end of the hall. He looked up in the direction of the noise and noticed a blonde that he never noticed before and some asshole who's name Jake never bothered to learn. A crowd formed around the pair, blocking Jake's view. Not that it mattered, no one was going to do anything about it and that included Jake. He made a point not to get involved with other people's business - unless they paid him.

As the crowd dissipated due to lack of action, Jake glanced up again, his eyes falling on the blonde who had her eyes set on him - or in his general direction. A smirk formed on Jake's face, despite knowing there was no way she could see it. Jake watched the blonde turn to talk to a pretty nerdy girl in one of his classes - Joanie? Janie? Jackie, that was her name. After shaking Jackie's hand, the blonde looked in Jake's direction again. He chuckled to himself and stood off his locker.

Normally, Jake wouldn't go to class, but for shits and giggles he head in the direction of his first class, English with elderly Mrs. Martin. He liked the old woman, even if she was old and a little overbearing. She lived in the same apartment building that Jake grew up in, and still lived in. After his mother died, Mrs. Martin cooked a lot of meals for Jake and took care of him - despite his insistence that he didn't need the help. When he had the extra cash and was feeling generous, which wasn't often, Jake would stick a couple hundred dollars in her mail box.

"Mr. Muller, how nice of you to grace us with your presence." The elderly woman teased Jake as he stepped into the classroom, Jake flashed her a hint of a smile before speaking.

"Only for you, Mrs. Martin." Jake said to her before taking a seat in the back. Jake slumped back into the chair, consciously and subconsciously thinking of the unnamed blonde.


Sherry stepped out of her English class, walking towards her locker. So far, the day wasn't going well in anyway. Everyone of her teachers had asked her to introduce herself to the class, and even though Sherry was more than used to it, she hated having to do so. She had the speech down, memorized from saying it so often- "My name is Sherry, I'm (insert current age here), I lived in (insert previous town here) before I moved here and I won't live here long enough for any of you to remember me." She never really understood why teachers felt the need to make students introduce themselves, it was just awkward and uncomfortable for everyone involved. Sherry preferred to just take her seat and blend into the crowd. Her run in with one of the most popular people in the school didn't make things easier, as everyone wanted to talk to her about it.

"Hey, Sherry!" She heard someone call. Sherry turned and noticed the brunette from earlier - Jake - she believed her name was. She put on a small smile as Jackie walked up to her. "English with Mrs. Martin? I like her." Sherry nodded and turned to walk with Jackie.

"Yeah, she was pretty nice. Made me introduce myself, which I've always hated doing. The class seems really easy, though... Hopefully not too easy." Sherry said, looking over at Jackie as they walked. Jackie seemed to be paying attention to her, probably more attention to her than her parents had ever paid.

"I'm sure you'll be able to transfer into a harder class next semester." Jackie said. Sherry glanced at her again, wondering silently if Jackie had no friends and that was why she was going out of her way to be nice to Sherry. Sherry shrugged and stopped at her locker, saying her combination in her head as she turned the lock.

"I probably won't be around long enough to do that. We move a lot." Sherry paused, putting her English book away. Sherry checked her wallet and pulled out a ten dollar bill so she could eat. When Sherry was a child, she envied kids who's parents cared enough to pack their lunches, as hers never did so for her.

"Why?" Jackie asked. Sherry looked back at her, raising an eyebrow at the sad look on the girls face.

"Work." Sherry shut her locker and looked down at the girl, thinking she made it fairly obvious that she wasn't really interested in making friends. The sad look on Jackie's face however, was making her reconsider that fact. Sherry could never handle people looking sad very well. "I'm uh... Headed to lunch." Sherry said, nodding at the girl.

"Oh, um... I'm on my way to Biology, but the cafeteria is on the way if you don't know where it is." Jackie offered. Sherry opened her mouth to tell her she didn't need the help - or her friendship, but she always didn't want to spend most of the lunch period looking for the cafeteria. She shut her mouth and gave the girl a small smile.

"Yeah, I'd like that." Sherry said with a light smile. Jackie lit up and nodded, heading towards the stairs. Sherry chuckled softly to herself and jogged to catch up with the girl.

"So where are you from?" Jackie asked when Sherry had caught up with her. Sherry had been moving every few months since she was a child, so much so that she had long forgotten about her hometown. In fact, she didn't know where she had actually been born.

"I lived in California before moving here, but I don't really remember where I was born. Like I said, we move around a lot." Sherry explained as they walked down the stairs. They were surrounded by other students hurrying to get to lunch and classes, but they were ignoring - and bumping into - the two girls as they walked.

"You said for work... What do your parents do? Are they bank robbers? Serial killers? Master thieves?" Jackie asked - although Sherry couldn't tell if the girl was serious about her questions or joking. Sherry laughed softly and shook her head.

"No, scientists. They work for this company that moves around a lot." Sherry explained as they walked up to the two large doors. She slipped through the doors as it was shutting from the last person who had opened it. Jackie grabbed the door as it was almost shut, opening the door and following her through.

"What company do they work for? I can't imagine scientists moving around." Jackie prodded. Sherry glanced at her, realizing how silly her sentence was about to sound.

"I don't know... They've never told me and if I ask, they get annoyed, so I just stopped asking." Sherry said, thinking about the sentence. She was seventeen years old and had no idea what her parents did. For all she actually knew, her parents were bank robbers. "I think they're researching different plants or something, so we have to move a lot."

"That seems unfair. How are you supposed to keep friends if you move that much?" Jackie frowned, looking over at Sherry. She shrugged and looked over at Jackie.

"I don't really have friends. No one was really interested in making friends with the new girl. Doesn't really bother me, moving doesn't hurt when you have no attachments." Sherry could see the devastated look on Jackie's face and realized that her earlier assumption about the girl having no friends must have been true. She pursed her lips before forming a small smile on her face. "Maybe since I'm just a few months off graduation, they'll make an exception." Sherry offered. Jackie smiled softly, looking over at Sherry with a hopeful look, her eyes slightly widening when she noticed what time it was.

"Hopefully, but I need to run or I'm gonna be late. Just keep going until you get to the large red doors. That's the lunch room. See ya, Sherry!" She called as she ran down the opposite end of the hallway. Sherry glanced back at her and licked her lips. She knew making a friend was treading in painful water, but a friend could be nice. It had been so long since Sherry had a real friend.

Sherry crossed her arms over her chest as she continued walking down the empty hallway. She stopped when she heard the sound of a piano playing her favorite song - Moonlight Sonata. She always thought it was weird that someone her age loved a 217 year old song, but the song was just so beautiful she couldn't help but love it. She turned and moved closer to the door where the sound was coming from, pressing her ear closer to the door. The noise was muffled, but it was already one of the most beautiful versions of it she'd ever heard. Sherry slowly turned the knob, pushing open the door only a few inches, just to make sure she wasn't hearing a recording of the song.

Sitting on the piano bench, head hung low and fingers playfully dancing over the keys was the dark clothed boy she had seen looking at her earlier, that Jackie had identified as Jake Muller. Sherry watched for a few seconds, intending on quickly ducking away and leaving before she was caught, but was stopped when she heard him speak.

"It's rude to stare." Jake said, not turning to look at her or stop playing the song. Sherry pushed the door open a little more, a deep blush forming on her pale face. His voice was low and cold, calm and calculating. Even the sound of his voice sent shivers down Sherry's spine and she just could not tell why.

"I... I didn't mean to its just... Moonlight Sonata... It's my... It's my favorite song and I heard it playing and I just had to see who was playing it so beautifully." Sherry gushed, watching as he stopped playing when she was finished speaking. He turned to look back at her, a soft gasp leaving Sherry's lips as she noticed the long scar across his cheek. A light chuckle escaped his lips and she looked down as he smirked softly.

"It's mine too." Jake said, looking at Sherry. She looked up at him and smiled softly, a light laugh leaving her lips.

"Two different high school students with Moonlight Sonata as their favorite song?" She asked, taking another step into the room though Jake never moved from his spot. "People unfamiliar with numbers would call that a coincidence."

"I'm Jake." He offered his name. Sherry smiled softly about the people she had been talking to. Jackie, then Jake? The girl knew it probably wasn't a good idea and should just turn around and go eat her lunch, but there was something about the way that Jake was looking at her that she couldn't turn away from him. Sherry opened her mouth to say 'I know', but figured that would come off as a little stalkerish.

"I'm Sherry." She introduced herself, licking her lips as she smiled at Jake. "I uh... I need to go to lunch." She said, taking a step back. Jake turned and picked up one of the many apples sitting on top of the piano and tossed one at her quickly. Sherry grabbed the apple and held it, watching as he scooted over on the piano. Sherry chuckled and took a few steps over to the piano, sitting down.

"You like apples..." Sherry said, looking at the row of apples on the top of the piano. Sherry glanced at them, quickly counting them in her head. There were six on the piano, not counting the one in her hand, and the apple cores in the trash.

"Everyone likes apples." Jake shrugged, looking at her as she went to take a bite of the apple.

"This isn't a Snow White situation, is it? I'm not gonna go into a deep sleep, because I already got my eight hours." Sherry asked playfully. Jake chuckled and shook his head, his fingers ghosting over the keys. He wasn't playing anything, but Sherry could tell from his fingers that he was in his mind. "Where did you learn to play Moonlight Sonata so beautifully?" She asked after she swallowed a bite of apple.

"Well, my mom used to play it when I was younger, then I learned the song when she got sick and played it to make her feel better." Jake explained. "Do you know how to play it?" He asked, both hands pressing down on the keys. Sherry shook her head and smiled sadly.

"I wanted to, but my parents believed that playing an instrument would take me away from more important things, like my studies. I only learned how to play Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star before they sold the piano." Sherry shrugged and looked over at him. From the sense of his own story, she could tell that his mother was no longer alive and didn't want to stir up any bad memories by asking about it. "I'm very smart, so maybe they were right."

"I can tell." Jake said, causing Sherry to raise her eyebrow in question. "That you are very smart. Your eyes scan the room, as if you're analyzing everything in the room. And you think before you talk." Sherry smiled and looked down at the piano keys before taking another bite of the apple. "But, I do not agree with your parents that piano would have taken away from your studies."

"I think you complimented me." Sherry said with a weak laugh. "Taking a piano with us every time we moved would have just been way too hard on my parents, so I guess I don't blame them for selling it. Maybe when I move out I can learn to play." Sherry glanced at Jake, her eyes lingering on the scar across his face.

From her upbringing, Sherry knew not to ask too many questions about anything or anyone, but she really wanted to know what could have caused such a terrible scar on such a young - and handsome - man. Sherry could tell why bringing up his name caused Jackie to blush, with how intense Jake was. He nodded and turned back to the piano, his fingers slowly playing the same song again. Sherry smiled as she fell silent, looking at the half eaten red apple in her hand.

"How did you get in here?" Sherry questioned after a few moments, turning o look at him. She figured a room like this would have been locked up, considering how many expensive items were in the room - or maybe she had just been in too many unsafe schools.

"What can I say? People in this school can be bought really easily." Jake didn't look up from Sherry as he spoke, but she could see the smirk forming on his face.


[two weeks later]

Jake had left a few days after several encounters with Sherry in the piano room, where he would play Moonlight Sonata and she eat and study. It seemed weird to have a routine with a girl he knew knowing about, but Jake actually enjoyed it. Even if they were mostly silent during their time together, it felt nice to be in someone's presence. For the first time since his mothers death, Jake actually found himself considering turning down a job that came through - until he found out how much they were going to pay him. Jake packed up that night and took off, not bothering to tell Sherry he was leaving. They weren't dating, hell Jake wasn't even sure if they were friends, he didn't owe her any kind of explanation.

Jake returned a few days after his departure, badly bruised and beaten but alive. He slipped a few hundred dollars into Mrs. Martin's mailbox then started up to the apartment he lived in. Unfortunately, the apartment building he lived in had no working elevator and he had to climb up three floors. With how elderly Mrs. Martin was, he was surprised that she could walk up the floors every day.

"Jake!" Sherry exclaimed from down the hall, holding her school bag to her side. Jake frowned and turned to look at the girl as she jogged forward. His brow furrowed, trying to figure out what the hell she was doing there. "What the hell happened to you?" She asked, her eyes widening as she noticed his demeanor, his hand resting on his robs. There was another cut on his cheek, a busted lip, black eye and Sherry was sure his nose was broken.

"What are you doing here, Sherry?" He asked instead of answering her question. He wondered to himself if she had been stalking him, waiting for him to return, but then he also figured that that was being a little too paranoid.

"Jackie lives down the hall." She explained, glancing back at the hallway. Sherry had been at Jackie's studying for a test they had in a shared class; French. Against her better judgment, and her parents wishes, Sherry had been spending time with Jackie outside of school and found that she actually enjoyed having a friend. She never mentioned Jake to her parents, figuring they would automatically pick up and move at the mention of a boy. "Where were you? What happened to you?" She asked. Jake grunted and moved to get his key out of his pocket, unlocking the door.

"Work." He said in a gruff voice, looking back at her. He could tell by the look on her face that she wasn't going to just go away. Jake rolled his eyes and pushed open his door, nodding into his apartment. "Wanna come in?" He asked her, earning a soft nod from Sherry. He nodded again and waited for her to step inside his apartment before walking himself and shutting the door.

"What kind of works makes you look like you were in Fight Club?" She asked, setting her bag on the floor. Jake's apartment wasn't anything special, in fact it seemed emptier than her own house. Sherry would bet that all she would find is apples, as it seemed that was all Jake ever ate. Jake dropped his keys on the table and looked over at her before walking over to his fridge. He opened the fridge and Sherry caught a glimpse of the contents - apples, as expected, a jug of water, a jug of most likely expired milk, and a case of beer. Jake bent down and picked up a bottle of beer, picking up the jug of water to hand over to Sherry.

"Cups in the cupboard." He mumbled as he opened his beer. Sherry mumbled a small thanks then moved into his kitchen to find a cup in the cupboard. After pouring herself a glass of water, Sherry looked at him again. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you." Jake said, moving to his living room to sit on his couch. Sherry frowned and slowly walked towards his living room, sitting down on the edge of the couch. She turned to look at Jake, watching his pained expression.

"Jake, you look like hell, I think I'd believe you." Sherry said, watching him. He turned to look at her and cringed as he started to sit up. "No, no, don't get up." Sherry said.

"I'm fine, Sherry. I've been worse." He said, going to remove his shirt. Sherry's eyes turned away from him as he pulled his shirt off, her face reddening as he did. Okay he was shirtless in front of her, no big deal. Granted, Sherry hasn't been this up close with a shirtless boy in ... ever, but no big deal. She turned back to look at Jake, her eyes widening again. Most of his body was black with bruises and dark red with dried blood and scars. Sherry was ninety percent sure she was looking at a bullet wound on his shoulder.

"Jake..." She whispered, looking at his body with wide eyes. Jake shrugged wealky and nodding to his freezer.

"There's a ice pack in the freezer. Can you get it for me?" He questioned. Sherry nodded quickly and stood from the couch, walking quickly to the freezer. Grabbing a towel off his counter as she opened the freezer and picked up the ice pack. As she stood in the kitchen, she heard a loud cracking of bones and a loud grunt from Jake.

"Jake!" She exclaimed as she shut the freezer door, her eyes widening when she realized he had set his nose on his own. She walked over to the couch and handed him the ice pack, watching as he set it on his bandaged ribs. A hiss left his lips, his head leaning back. "Jake, you need to go to the hospital." Sherry said. Jake snorted and shook his head.

"Nothing they can do for me that I can't do on my own." Jake said, slowly sitting up. He looked over at her, amused at the look of horror on her face. "I'm fine, Sherry. Really." Jake said, a light smile forming on his face. She smiled weakly at him and reached forward to gently take his hand.

"What happened, Jake?" She whispered softly. Jake turned to look at her, a sigh escaping his lips. "I know we aren't even friends, but... I care about you." Jake looked at her with a softened look. It had been a while since someone actually said it. His mom had died almost a decade ago and he didn't need Mrs. Martin to say that she cared about him for him to know it.

"I uh... I make some side money by doing some... jobs around the country. As a mercenary," Jake explained, looking away from Sherry so he didn't have to look at her face.

"Why?" She asked softly. Jake turned to look at her, surprised that she hadn't moved away from him, or that she didn't look completely horrified. Jake pursed his lips and nodded slightly, leaning back against the couch.

"We didn't have enough money to cover my moms hospital bills and a job at the grocery store just wasn't going to cut it. So I outsourced to this guy who used to live in the building and he took me to Africa with him to... to kill some people. I earned 10,000 dollars for doing it." Jake explained, turning to look at her. He laughed weakly and looked at her with an amused look. "You're not running away. I just told you I killed people for money and you're still sitting here all doe eyed." Sherry chuckled and shrugged.

"Most people don't take interest in me at all." Sherry said, her lips twitching in a sad smile. She leaned back on the couch and looked over at him. "I mean... You were doing it to help your mom, right?" She questioned.

"Great deal that did. She died anyway." Jake said. Sherry shrugged and smiled softly at him.

"But you tried." Sherry said, watching him as he turned to look at her. "So why do you do it now?" She asked, her arms wrapping around her legs. Jake looked blankly at the wall, thinking about his answer and how he could answer it without sounding as much of a dick as the reason was.

"The money. I have no need for it, but its nice to have it." Jake looked back at her, shrugging. "I give money to Mrs. Martin, she lives in the building and took care of me when my mom died and I pay the school off to pass me when I'm gone..." Jake watched her face, wishing that Sherry didn't have a poker face.

"Okay..." Sherry said, nodding slowly as she took in what he was saying. "You're not killing civilians, are you?" She asked, turning to look at him. "Or American troops?" Jake let out a sigh and leaned his head back.

"Never civilians, never children. I don't ask what countries the people I kill fight for, so I don't know." Jake answered semi-honestly. Sherry nodded and turned her body as she looked at him. {This boy is trouble, Sherry. Get up, walk out of the room and go home. Now.} Sherry listened to the sensible voice in her head, having a mental image of kicking that voice off the edge of a cliff.

"Okay..." She said, looking at him with a blank look. Jake looked at her, trying to read what her face. "Okay. You should change your bandages so they don't get infected." Jake chuckled and nodded. "Where do you keep yours?"

"My bedroom... Last door on the left." Sherry nodded and stood up from the couch, walking back to his bedroom. Jake's eyes rested on her as she walked away from him, a soft chuckle leaving his lips.

I knew you were trouble when you walked in.