• My feet were cold and they hurt from walking so much. It was raining hard. My usually light brown hair was black and wet because of the water. I hurried under the cover of a bus station and flipped open my cell phone. Almost four a.m. I was so bone deep tired. My clothes were soaked, my bag was soaked, and my shoes were worn out already.1

    I stopped walking and sat down and the cold wet floor. There was a bench a few yards down but my legs were hurting so bad I couldn’t find the strength to move them. I laid my bag on the ground and curled up next to it hoping no one would bother me for a few hours. I needed rest badly, my eyes were already drooping shut when a pair of dark booted feet shot into my view. 2

    I realized he must’ve been right up on top of me if I could describe his combat boots with my vision being so blurry. But I couldn’t really seem to care much at the moment. My head was falling back and a darkness well known as passing out was creeping up inside of me. Strong arms came around me and lifted my limp body off the ground. I knew I had a faint understanding that I was being taken and I didn’t know who this guy was. But it was too late I was already gone.3

    I first thing I saw when I woke up was white, pure white, everywhere. I was warm and in a soft bed. My head hurt like the holy devil but none of that mattered at the moment. I rubbed my temples quickly before sliding out of the bed and nearly fell to my knees. The soles of my feet were bruised. I guessed because I had done so much walking.4

    The most disturbing thing was that I was no longer in my clothes. The clothes I wore were for someone much bigger than me; although that kind of counted for almost over half the U.S. population. They, too, were also white. The big t-shirt hung down past my but and ended right at my thighs. I still had on my underwear but my pants were different. They were the sports kind, made for a guy. 5

    I looked around my room because I knew if I started thinking someone I didn’t know had seen me naked then I was going to panic. The walls were clean with no rough spots. There were no pictures or paintings. The bed was the only furniture in the room besides a dresser directly across from it. The carpet was thick and smooth, almost like a comforter laid out on the floor. Everything was all the same color and that bothered me a bit. Didn’t this person get tired of seeing the same things over and over again? I sure do, I thought sadly. 6

    The door was as far away from the bed as possible. I stumbled over to it and grabbed the knob. I twisted and pulled but it didn’t open. It was locked. I tried again and groaned in annoyance. I banged on the top of the door loud enough to wake the sleeping dead.7

    “Hello!” I yelled. My heart was pounding. Despite the kind of nice setting I was in the caged feeling slithered through me. No one was answering. I pounded louder and yelled again. “Is anyone there?” I sighed and pressed my ear to the door, nothing. 8

    I rested my head back on the door and closed my eyes. I knew I must’ve slept a long time but my back still hurt and my eyes felt like sand had rubbed them raw. 9

    He didn’t make a sound but suddenly the door flew open and I fell forward banging my nose into his chest. I looked up and saw that he was dressed in all black; Quite the opposite of the room behind me. A black t shirt and matching colored jeans. No combat boots I noted. His hair was shaggy and a little curled. It was a little darker than my own, but the same color. 10

    “You’re awake,” he said looking down.11

    “Wow,” I said, sarcasm shooting out of my mouth. “You’re a real genius, aren’t you? What gave it away?” Shut up! I screamed internally. But I really knew I wouldn’t. Whenever I got scared my mouth usually made it worse rather than better. 12

    The looked at me and smiled. It shocked me because he’d been frowning before. His face stretched as if unused to the action. But the way it high lighted those blue eyes took my breath away. His cheeks crinkled in a way that showed he didn’t laugh or smile much. That he was doing to me shocked me even further.13

    “Defiant little thing, aren’t you?” he chuckled as he passed me and walked into the room. “Do not fret, I won’t harm you.” He turned around by the window and looked me over. Something curled in my gut and a shiver ran down my spine. He talked in a weird way, I thought, tucking it away as a file inside my head. 14

    “Who are you?” I asked. He looked surprised at my question. Though I was sure he must’ve seen it coming. You didn’t pick someone up off the street while they were asleep and expect them to walk away without some information.15

    “Strange of you to ask,” he commented. 16

    “How so,” I replied. 17

    “Usually a person would ask, ‘where am I?’ first. By asking who I was before shows that you want to know more about me than about yourself.” I blinked and stared at him. He was looking back at me; tall, strong, and more than a little scary. The muscles of his shoulders and upper arms were bulging and massive. His hands were smooth but also large. They were big enough to snap my neck in half if he wanted to. 18

    “Fine, then,” I snapped. “Where am I?” 19

    “My house,” he said, eyes twinkling.20

    “Which is where, exactly?” 21

    “In the woods,” he replied again calmly without elaborating. The woods! My mind went into panic mode. I clamped a hood down on my feelings and shot him a dirty look. Not smart on my part or nice, but I really couldn’t help what I did when terrified. I walked to the far wall next to the bed and stood with my back braced against the wall, arms folded.22

    “Why are you scared?” he asked. My head flew up so fast that something cricked in my neck.23

    “I’m not scared,” I denied even if it was no use.24

    “Yes, you are,” he sighed. “Tell me why.” The tired tone in his voice made me pause. I looked down and then rubbed my neck before continuing.25

    “Well, how can I not be scared?” I started. “I mean, I really don’t know you and I don’t know where I am. I don’t know if you really might hurt me whether you mean to or not. Think about it, put yourself in my shoes.” He was quiet and so was I for a while. I was half afraid to look up, but when I did nothing had changed. He was still looking at me with almost the same expression of neutral on his face.26

    “I’m Spencer,” he said.27

    “You’re telling me?!” I exclaimed more than just a little bit shocked. 28

    “I figured you were right so I gave you an answer. You make a good argument. Now it’s your turn,” he grinned and strode even closer to me. At the end of the bed he froze and turned, placing his bottom at the edge of the mattress. 29

    “My turn! For what?” I asked, confused. 30

    “You know my name…” he trailed off. I caught up on what he was saying. For which he must’ve known I would.31

    “Oh!” I said startled. “Oh, yes, um... my name’s Ruby; Ruby goldsmith.” I coughed and turned my head away. I felt my cheek and it grew even hotter as I realized I was blushing. There was no way he couldn’t notice. I turned back to him giving up trying to hide it and stared straight at him. He was watching me. It wasn’t creepy like or even with a concern on his features. No, he was just watching. 32

    “Why were you out in the early morning, in the rain, and soaked through?” he finally asked. The old anger I had towards my parents for forcing me into this situation rose.33

    “It’s none of your business,” I retorted. He laughed the sound outright strange and chilling. He didn’t have a rough sort of laugh. It was like melted chocolate running over my skin. 34

    “Again with your anger and defiance,” he sighed coming to an end. I ground my feet into the floor and stood facing him. My face was no longer burning but I was sure I still had to be at least a little pink. I growled low in my throat and that seemed to amuse him even more.35

    “I want to leave, now!” I said. “Please point me in the direction of the exit and I’m sure you won’t have to bother with me any longer.” I smiled grimly, my face showing just exactly how pissed off I was. He held his hands up in surrender. 36

    “Okay, okay,” he replied. “Calm down, I go get a teacher.” He stood and walked to the door as my anger depleted and confusion sank in.37

    “Teacher?” I asked mildly. He turned around and looked me up and down.38

    “Well,” he said. “Yes, you didn’t expect me to be the adult, did you? I’m not that old yet.” He closed the door behind him and my legs failed me. I came down hard on the fluffy mattress. He was right. Spencer didn’t look that much older than me I realized. He looked more of a late teen early twenty year old, or so I could guess. I shook my head trying to clear it as another knock sounded on the door and it opened again without my permission. 39

    A very tan woman who obviously spent a lot of time at a tanning booth or in the sun came in. Her graying hair around the edges of those beautiful dark chocolate locks was the only give away that she was much older than she seemed. At first glance she looked maybe mid thirties. Second glance showed that she was probably almost fifty. Her eyes were a stark clear white around her pupils. The color was a shining reddish yellow, almost orange. 40

    Spencer came in behind her, face neutral. He’d gone back to the non-laughing guy I’d guessed he was more used to being earlier. The woman was a commanding type. She walked straight in and ordered Spencer to shut the door. He turned and followed her wishes without comment. I frowned and nearly shook my head in anger. I hated being told what to do. I hated everyone always trying to control everyone else. But what I really didn’t like was the way some people didn’t care.41

    “So this is her?” she asked Spencer. Hello, like I’m not here, my sarcastic voice didn’t make it out of my mouth at least. The woman was at my side in a minute and I stiffened. She picked up my arm and held it out looking at the length. I raised one eyebrow in question. Spencer smiled at me from across the room. “Do you know where you are young lady?” The woman asked me directly. 42

    “In his house,” I stated. Internally I smiled thinking what a smart-a** I was being. The woman nodded.43

    “And do you know exactly where Spencer’s house is?” she demanded.
    “In the woods,” I replied shortly. She dropped my arm and shot her gaze up at me. Then that dirty look was directed at Spencer.44

    “You too must have a lot in common, Mr. Cromwell,” she coughed in her high fancy snooty way. I nearly doubled over laughing. That is until she smacked my hand. Spencer covered his mouth to hide his smile as I abruptly stopped laughing. “I am Mrs. Roche and you will address me as so. Spencer will show you the grounds.” She turned on her heel and went to the door.45

    “Whoa, what? Wait!” I called after her. She turned with an annoyed look on her face.46

    “Yes? What is it?” she said.47

    “I’m not staying here,” I explained. “I want to leave. Like pronto, ASAP and now.” 48

    “Well Mrs. Ruby; Ruby Goldsmith, I’m sorry but that’s not going to happen at this moment.” She closed the door right behind her, not waiting for a response.49

    “She knows my name,” I stated dully. “Do have camera’s in here or did you tell her?” I shot a dirty glare Spencer’s way.50

    “At least she likes you,” Spencer shrugged. “And yeah, she asked so I told her.” 51

    “She likes me? Are you joking?” I said as my mouth gaped open. Then a shudder worked over my spine. “God I’d hate to see what would happen if she didn’t like me.” Spencer pushed himself off the wall and came up beside me. He was taller than me so I had to look up to see his face when he was that close.52

    “Come on, I’ll show you around the campus,” he said still smiling his amusement. I reached up and punched him in the arm. He smiled even wider and I couldn’t believe how I was acting towards him. God, I was treating him like we were long time best friends. But then to think about it, there was something about him that made me think I knew him from somewhere.53

    “Yeah,” I replied to him. “Let’s go maybe fresh air will cool my chills.” One of his perfectly crafted eyebrows rose.54

    “You do know that makes absolutely no sense to me?” he said in a confused voice. I shrugged and walked towards the door.55

    “I know,” I said as he heading in front of me and opened the door. “Why do you think I said it?” 56