I planned to go home as soon as I woke up the following day, but things change… I didn't go home for almost a solid twenty-four hours. I didn't want to go back then, but I had to. I had no money with me and I had nowhere else to go, I couldn't burden Sakura without some way to reimburse her; even if she insisted it was all right, she was too kind hearted. I hated how I ran away from my problems, I'd always done that, with any big problem I got. Until it grew into something I couldn't control, and I didn't want that to happen here... But it wasn't only Sasuke I was trying to escape. I was starting to feel something towards Itachi. I wanted to get over it and learn to sort out my childish whims.

I inhaled slowly as I walked up my driveway and into the house, going into the living room to set my stuff down. I jumped when a loud sound came from behind me. I turned, glancing at Sasuke as he gave me a hostile look, his phone in his hand. He had slammed it shut, ending whatever conversation he had been having. "Where have you been?" He asked me. I eyed him a second, eyes narrowing in confusion. "You've been so jumpy lately, what's wrong?" I asked cautiously, wondering if something was going bad at work. His eyes flashed angrily.

"Don't question me. Answer me, where were you?" His voice quieted into a dangerous tone, I knew I had stepped onto thin ice. And I was about to break it. "I spent the night with Sakura." He set his phone down, turning back around and beginning to walk towards me. "Doesn't Naruto live with her?" I blinked, eyebrows rising in surprise. When did he move? I hadn't heard anything about it. Although, Sasuke had probably heard everything, being so close with him. "He was there, I hadn't known he'd moved in with her." I replied, shrugging.

I gasped when he grabbed my forearm and roughly shoved me around, looking up at him in surprise. "Why would you stay if you knew he was there?" He demanded, I stuttered for an answer, I truly was surprised at this sudden outburst. "He's one of my friends, I needed a place to stay!" I said, trying to pry his arm off. "Don't make fucking excuses to me. All you do is hang around other men." My jaw dropped at that accusation. He'd known since high school that I'd always gotten along with males better than females; they were simpler to understand! And Naruto was his best friend! "What are you insinuating, Sasuke?" I hissed, wincing as I realized he was going to bruise my arm. "That you're nothing but a filthy slut, you always have been."

Rage mixed with my blood and began pumping throughout my body. I'd had sex probably four or so times with one man. What was the definition of "slut" again? "I've been loyal to you! Look at yourself! Do you seriously think I would even look at someone who already had a girlfriend, much less when I was dating someone myself?" My voice was shrill in anger. He jerked on my arm, successfully tossing me to the floor. I suppressed a sound of pain when my head hit the table. "Get up." I heard him hiss, I winced as I slowly pushed myself up. "I said get up." I cringed when he bent down, grabbing the front of my shirt and pulling me off the floor and sitting me on the couch. I swallowed my words when I heard the door open.

I felt my body shake as I clenched my hands by my sides; my gaze remained glued to the floor. Sasuke sat next to me, only making it more difficult to act like nothing had happened. Itachi walked inside, setting a folder down on the table. He started to say something as he turned around, though he didn't finish as he looked at us. "Amaya, where have you been? We were worried last night when you never got home, Sasuke said you'd been with a friend."

I discreetly glanced at Sasuke. He hadn't known that. He merely hadn't cared. "I was visiting Sakura." I murmured, not bothering to look at Itachi as I answered. There was silence for a moment before he spoke again. "Why is your arm bruised?" I looked up then, but his eyes weren't focused on me; they were looking at Sasuke.

I panicked for a reply. "Oh, this? Sakura has her bed right beside a dresser, I hit my arm on it." I said dismissively, tension permeating the air around us as Sasuke coolly returned the look, as if silently questioning his brother. I swallowed hard as Sasuke stood up, feeling myself start to flinch. "If those are the stocks for this month I'll take them and look over them." Sasuke said, reaching out for the folder and picking it up. I felt icy tendrils of dread weaving through me as Itachi regarded Sasuke with a void expression, relieved when the most Sasuke did was narrow his eyes in cold suspicion.

As Sasuke left I felt my entire being relax, almost sighing. I was tired. No matter how much I managed to sleep, it was never enough. I bit my lip when Itachi suddenly stood over me. "Let me see." He said, voice sounding as if he were coaxing a child to listen. I allowed him to look at my arm, biting my tongue to stay quiet. His expression didn't give me any hints as to what he was thinking. He looked up at me then, our eyes held each other's gaze. I was startled when he reached up and brushed my hair away from my eyes. "I want to help you, Amaya. But if you won't help yourself, then no one else can." My eyes widened for barely half a second before I turned away from him, standing up. "Stop trying to find something wrong. Nothing is." I told him firmly. "A fight once in a while is normal, we argue and push each other around just like every other couple. He hasn't had a drink in a few days." I said, as if hoping that would convince Itachi things were better.

How badly I wanted to tell him Sasuke didn't hit me only if he was drunk. Alcohol just made him worse.

He stared at me for a moment, sighing almost inaudibly. He stood back up then, pressing a kiss to the top of my head before going into the kitchen. I felt a blush heating up my face, immediately forcing it away. Stop acting like an immature schoolgirl! I chastised myself. I jumped when the phone rang, shattering the silence. I hated phones, I didn't know why. When they rang they startled me.

As Itachi answered the ringing monstrosity I returned to my thoughts. I brought my legs onto the couch beside me, looking dejectedly out of the window. I frowned as I saw Yoru barking at something in a tree; probably a squirrel. Why did dogs not like squirrels? Maybe there was some sort of past war between the animals. I pursed my lips, irrational loneliness aching inside of me. I felt utterly alone in this world; I didn't have family or friends nearby to talk to, or to ask for advice about…well. I smiled lightly as Yoru tried to jump up the tree. Dogs refused to lose, it seemed.

I started when Itachi suddenly murmured my name, whipping around to see him hand the phone to me. I took it, looking up at him in question, but he already was walking away from me. I put the phone to my ear and tentatively greeted whoever was on the other end. "Hello, sweetheart. It had been a while since I last spoke to you, I wanted to see how things were." I blinked at hearing Mikoto's warm voice through the phone, surprised. She was always kind and welcoming, but I still didn't expect her to be overly concerned about me. Which… May have been stupid on my part, I'd met her dozens of times over the years Sasuke and I had been together and I suppose I considered her fairly close. I felt like because Sasuke clearly thought so little of me, I had no business creating friendships with anyone else in his family. "I've been well, thank you, and yourself?" I smiled, laughing as we spoke about the recent occurrences in both of our lives. I told her about the job I had gotten and other vaguely important aspects. She mentioned having gotten a puppy recently, a terrier mix. "Maybe we should stop by soon and let Yoru teach it how to be a grown up." I chuckled at that. "I think everyone would enjoy that." I replied.

I had no right even playfully telling her they could visit, really. She probably thought I had as much pull in this home as Sasuke did. We spoke for a few more minutes before saying goodbye, I hung up and glanced at the clock, eyes widening in surprise. We'd been on the phone nearly an hour! I stood up to replace the phone back on its receiver, humming quietly. I vaguely missed my parents, especially after talking to Mikoto.

Itachi was reading something when I walked inside. He glanced up, I gave him a half-smile as I put the phone back. "Are you all right?" He asked, eyes slightly concerned. I started to tell him yes, just as I always did whenever someone asked that. I never wanted to talk or let anyone inside; look at what happened the last time I finally got close to someone. I sighed then, almost sounding exasperated. Maybe talking with him wouldn't harm anything. "I suppose I miss my parents, a bit." I replied, leaning against the counter. He set down the paper he was looking at, turning to give me an empathetic smile. "I believe you did what was right for you. You wouldn't have gotten into college or where you are today had you not taken the chance to move." He tilted his head then. "But I think it wouldn't hurt to talk to them. You're an adult now, even if they wanted you to move back, you don't have to." I blinked, memories rushing back to me as I tried to recall how he seemed to genuinely read my mind.

I remembered sitting with him on occasion, he would ask questions when I was first coming over. Even I had sometimes brought up a conversation, telling him about hoping I'd made the right choice in being here. "I sometimes wonder if bringing them back into my life would be a mistake." I murmured. He looked thoughtful for a moment. "I recall you saying they often brought you down. It sounds like you were very different from your parents, but I don't believe that would hinder their love for you. A phone call might not hurt, you wouldn't have to physically see them or even tell them where you currently are, but it would ease both you and them." I pursed my lips, could I really do that? What if they were angry or didn't want to hear from me?

"It's better to be certain than to live in doubt." I glanced up in surprise. Had I spoken out loud? He chuckled lightly at me, answering my question. I found myself smiling, an honest one. An inner voice somewhere within me silently whispered something to me. I only seemed to smile around Itachi anymore. "Perhaps I will, soon." I murmured thoughtfully. He nodded, looking outside for a moment. I turned slightly as the door opened, Sasuke walked inside with a scowl on his face. "We have a meeting tomorrow, six in the morning." He told Itachi, the elder nodded in understanding. Sasuke glanced at me then. "Are you cooking tonight?" He asked, though I got a strong hint that I should be cooking. I opened my mouth to answer him, but Itachi beat me to it.

"Actually I planned to pick something up from the diner on Fiora Street. Would you like something?" Itachi asked, pulling on a jacket. Sasuke raised a brow, but shook his head. "I'm not eating whatever garbage that place tries to pass off as food." I slid past him to go into the living room. Yoru was lying under the tree outside and I had to stifle a giggle at her forlorn look up at the sky. I turned when Itachi called me. "Do you want to come with me?" I hesitated, glancing at Sasuke, whose expression was poisonous as he silently shot Itachi a look. I decided getting out of the house might be nice.

"Sure." I murmured, pulling on my own jacket and following Itachi outside. The sun was setting, creating a peaceful atmosphere. "I enjoy this time of year." I heard him say, I nodded in agreement. "I do too, perfect temperature and calm weather." I replied, listening as a few birds called out to each other. "Living out of the city gives us a better chance to see the stars as well." I heard him muse. I glanced up with him, smiling as the stars began to dot the night sky, shining cheerfully. After a second I had to look down, blinking quickly. "Dizzy?" I heard Itachi ask, amusement in his voice. I laughed a bit, nodding and holding on to his arm so I could regain my equilibrium quicker. I glanced up at him, our eyes met for a moment.

Time seemed to stop, strangely enough, I could never explain it even if I tried. Neither of us looked away for a second until I broke the connection, looking up I realized we were close to entering the city's bustling streets. I had never let go of his arm, I was bothered by the fact that I didn't want to pull back; I was more concerned with something else though.

He didn't seem to want to pull away either.


AUTHORESS NOTE:

Hm… I wrote this a week ago so I could be ahead… But I don't remember if I edited or not. I think I did, I skimmed through and saw no mistakes. If you see one though go ahead and please mention it. Good day, lovelies!