• We started for the bad part of town. I started to get worried. Zane didn’t talk very much. I didn’t know what to say. Remember we’re just faking this whole thing; he doesn’t have to like you. Which he doesn’t. He doesn’t even probably like being my friend. I looked out the window and I realized this is no where close to where I live. This is a whole other country! This is the poor side of town. I live in the fancy part. I looked at Zane and he totally seemed at ease.

    “Zane,” I asked. He looked over at me for a moment then back at the road.

    “What?” he asked flatly.

    “Where are we going?” he snorted. “My home.” I gulped a little. My parents told me I could never come on these roads. They were dangerous but if Zane knew what he was doing then I should trust him. We pulled up along side the curb and I looked up to see a falling apart building. Trash was strewn across the walk and loud booming music echoed through the streets. Zane got out and got the stuff. I slowly got out and looked up again at the apartment building. “This is it.” Zane said looking where I was. “Home sweet home.” he muttered and started for the entrance. This is the exact opposite of where I thought Zane lived. I thought he lived where Kendra or Grant and I did. Some place nicer. “Hurry up,” Zane said and I ran across the walk beside him. We went up and Zane pulled out a whole bunch of keys then we went in. I followed him as we took the stairs and went up three floors. I could hear shouts from other doors and banging and music. It scared me a little. We got to a room and he unlocked several locks. Then opened the door. “Go ahead,” he said and motioned me forward. I went in quickly. He came in and relocked all the locks. I turned and looked at the apartment. It was a whole lot smaller then my house but it had a cute kitchen and a small living room then a hallway going back somewhere. Probably the bed rooms. Zane came in and sat the bags on the counter then put everything in the frig. “Not what you expected was it?” he asked with an amused anger/sad sort of way. I turned to him but he was loading stuff in the frig.

    “Not exactly,” I said quietly. He snorted.

    “Did you think I lived where you did?” he asked. I shrugged and looked down. I did. I had never been here before. I always thought he lived where we did.

    “Has Kendra been here before?” I asked. He stopped what he was doing and turned around to me. “No,” he said. I frowned. Why wouldn’t he? They had been dating for what a year? And he never brought her here. He finished and got a drink of water.

    “Why bring me here?” I asked. He looked at me and put down his cup slowly. He looked down for a moment then up his eyes confused.

    “I’m not sure,” he answered. It was silent for a while. “I think I’m going to go change my pants.” he said looking down at my dad’s jeans. I nodded. “You can come back too.” he said and we went back the hallway and to the first door on the left. It was a tiny room. There was a small single bed stuffed in the corner with a dresser at the end and a desk right across from it. The rest of the room was piled with clothes if there was a lot of room left. He went over to the dresser and yanked the draws open. I looked around at the band posters and gray sheets messed up on his bed. It smelled like him. I walked over to his bed and sat down. It was lumpy and my butt went deep into the bed.

    “So this is your room,” I said as he went across the room and picked up a pair of jeans and sniffed them.

    “Yeah,” he said and sniffed them again. He shrugged.

    “It’s nice,” he snorted and shook his head.

    “I’m sure!”

    “No really,” I said. He turned and looked at me. “It’s not like my house but sometimes I wish this is where I lived. Some place where it felt like home. My house is just an empty hollow cave. This,” I said pointing around to the room. “Is cozy and feels like a home.” He looked me in the eyes and I gave a small sad smile.

    “Mm,” he answered and turned around. He unzipped his pants and I gasped.

    “What are you doing?!” I asked turning around. He laughed.

    “Changing what does it look like?” I glanced over at him as he pulled off my dad’s jeans and he had red boxers on. I raised an eyebrow as I looked at his legs then up his body. He pulled up his jeans then turned to me and zipped them up and winked. I rolled my eyes. “Nothing you haven’t seen before.” he said. I blushed a little and looked down.

    “Oh look she’s blushing again,” Zane said coming over to me. I looked up as he bent over a little and wiggled his eye brows. “Decide yet that you’re madly in love with me?” I shook my head. “Not even close,” I said getting closer to him.

    “Really?” he asked. I nodded. I looked down. His shirt had come up from pulling his jeans on and was lifted to see his left hip. There was a bruise. I frowned. I reached up and put my fingers on it. Zane flinched slightly and stood back. I stood up and followed him as he walked backwards trying to get out of my reach. His back hit against the wall. I kept my fingers on it. Then lifted the shirt up a little my eyes focused on that bruise. It was the size of a baseball. I looked up my eyes wide and on the verge of tears.

    “Zane…” I whispered. His eyes were hurt but he was trying to cover it up. He reached down and took my hand and pulled his shirt back down over it. He brought my hand up to his lips and kissed it. I was shocked at this but just looked at him.

    “Don’t worry about it,” he said and shrugged. “We should probably get you home soon Princess.” he said with a geeky smile as he pushed around me to grab his wallet from his jeans. I stared at the wall. Why was he hiding something from me?

    “What time do your parents want you home?” he asked. I turned around.

    “Um, er, I’m not sure.” he laughed a little and nodded.

    “OK, well let’s get something to eat because I’m starving!” he said patting his stomach.

    “When aren’t you?!” I said and laughed. He shrugged and grinned.

    We got something to eat at his house then headed back to mine. I got out of the car and he did too. “Listen I should probably just go back home. My mom is going to be getting off work.” I nodded.

    “Yeah, I probably will have to deal with the parents inside.” I said rolling my eyes. He smiled. “Good luck.”

    “Yeah I’m going to need it,” I reached for the door but stopped and turned around. “Thanks Zane, I had a lot of fun today. I think I needed it. It’s just everything that is going on….” I trailed off. I looked at him. Now is not the time to tell him. “Thanks.” I said quickly. He nodded.

    “See you on Monday.” he leaned forward and kissed my cheek then quickly went to his car. I was stunned once again. After he left I let out a girlie giggle and sighed. I opened up the door feeling giddy.

    “Mom, dad I’m home!” I called. They were in the den arguing but stopped when they saw me. “Oh, hey honey,” mom said pushing her hair back with a smile. Dad nodded at me looking like he was sweating badly. “How was your day?” she asked sweetly. I bit at my lip.

    “Um, it was good. Zane and I ate at a diner then went—“ I stopped mid-sentence. If my parents found out about that, they would murder me. “Um, just hung out.” Mom smiled and nodded. “I’m going to my room.” I said and left quickly. I heard them muttering some words but ignored it. I shut my door and stripped out of my clothes getting into something comfortable and started to read with a smile on my face.