Stars dancing around my vision.

I sit on my bed and sigh, running my hands through my wild hair. I barely slept a wink, my entire sleep was plagued with nightmares. The sun is now beginning to rise, sending a small amount of light peeking through my curtains. The light bounces off the walls, creating an iridescent glow of golds.

I close my eyes and lean back against the wall, enjoying the silence and peace the morning has to offer. The air is always so crisp and fresh, almost as if the world is offering me a clean slate every single day. My thoughts drift to the encounter with Jake yesterday.

What if he figures out my secret?

Surely he wouldn't.

I've kept everything a secret for years and now one silly little mistake is threatening to ruin that. I curse under my breath, rubbing my temple as I feel a headache beginning to form. Lack of sleep and stress can do that to you.

"Just stay away from him Emily," I mutter to myself. . . That's kind of hard to do when we both share a classroom.


I pull up my jeans and settle on wearing a crop jumper with denim jeans. My hair is pin straight and I walk over to my dresser, wincing as I catch a glimpse of my face.

"Damn, I need a miracle," I groan unhappily, reaching for my makeup bag. I apply concealer under my eyes to disguise the lack of sleep. I also use it to cover up a tender bruise and after a few minutes, it's barely recognisable. Over the years I've mastered hiding cuts, bruises and scars with makeup. It's a hidden talent of mine.

I finish it off with mascara, eyeliner and a hint of blush. When I'm satisfied, I choose a lip colour before popping it into my school bag. I gather everything I need before heading for my bedroom door.

Last night I heard Mum and Trevor arguing for hours, thankfully he never laid a finger on her. They'd clearly made up as after the arguing came noises from their bedroom that I never want to hear again. I mentally gag, hoping to God they used a condom. The last thing this dysfunctional family needs is an innocent baby.

I push open the kitchen door to grab a breakfast bar before heading out. When I notice Trevor sat at the dining table, I freeze, my eyes zoning in on his back. I don't dare breathe incase he hears me. I slowly back up, my feet moving at a snails pace so I don't alert him. I manage to turn halfway around when I hear his voice cut through the silent atmosphere —

"Where do you think you're going?"

His words are slurred from his drunken state. I hear the fresh anger in them and wince as I stop in my tracks. I close my eyes and count to five in an effort to calm my breathing down. My hands begin to tremble by my side as I turn around slowly, coming face to face with him.

"School, where I go everyday." I murmur quietly. He raises one eyebrow and begins taking slow steps towards me. I press myself back into the wall as much as I can, wishing he'll walk straight past me and leave me alone. The stench of alcohol hits me as he approaches and I bite down on my bottom lip to stop myself from gagging in repulsion. He walks past me and I breathe out before realising I shouldn't feel relieved just yet.

His laboured breaths close up from behind me, creeping up the exposed skin on my neck. He's so close and growing closer by the second. His presence causes my stomach to clench in fear before twisting and turning in disgust. I eventually feel his body connect with mine from behind and I stiffen before forcing my feet to step forward.

I need to put distance between us.

Trevor's hand shoots out immediately and circles around my waist. I let out a small squeak in fear, his sudden movement catching me off guard. He yanks me backwards against him, pinning me to his body. I squirm against his touch, my throat closing in as I struggle to breathe. I open my mouth to protest but no sound comes out as I'm paralysed completely with fear.

The worst feeling is knowing your body is failing you when you need it the most.

Trevor lowers his head until his mouth is in line with my ear, dirty breath invading my personal space. I squeeze my eyes shut tightly, feeling the familiar stinging sensation of tears in my eyes. I refuse to let them drop, I won't give the pig any satisfaction knowing that he's hurting me. His hands press further into my skin and I protest, fighting to get away from him

"What are you doing?" I finally protest, grateful to have found my voice. I slap his hands away from me, desperate to get free.

"Don't speak to me like that."

"Don't touch me like that!" I hit back at him, doing the first thing that comes to mind. I pull my arm forward and elbow him between his legs, hard. His grip on me immediately releases and he bends over from the pain. My eyes widen in surprise and a smirk forms on my lips as I watch him wither in pain, asshole.

I quickly hop over him, making a beeline for the front door. As soon as Trevor regains his composure, he stands up, letting out a frustrated yell. I don't have time to react as he comes charging at me like a raging bull in a bullfight. The victorious smirk on my face quickly fades, replacing with a look of terror. I quickly glance around for something to use as a weapon but it's no use, I don't have enough time.

All I can do is throw my hands over my head and take the hit.

The force of his punch knocks me sideways and I groan, my body falling to the floor. I feel the headache inside my head intensify until it's pounding through my ears. I blink, stars dancing around my vision as they mock me. I clutch my head, feeling warm liquid again my fingers. Blood. Trevor bends down to my level and grabs my jaw, forcing me stare into his eyes.

Cold dark emotionless eyes that resemble a bottomless black pool.

"Do that again and I'll hurt you twice as hard."

His words are emotionless, blunt and calm. However I don't miss the murderous glint in his eyes. He releases my chin and stands up,

his foot colliding with my stomach. I groan again, feeling a sharp excruciating pain flares up it. My stomach twists with nausea and I dry gag to the side. I'm going to be sick.

Don't puke Emily, do not puke.

Trevor walks away from me, satisfied that he's caused enough damage. His footsteps gradually grow quieter until I'm alone, curled up in a ball on the floor. Once he disappears, I allow the first tear to fall followed by several others.


As I step off the bus, I grimace in pain before swapping my book bag to my other shoulder. If I move an inch, the pain flares up immediately. I slowly walk down the road, heading for the school building straight ahead.

"If you walk any slower, that snail will probably pass you."

I turn my head, my eyes widening in surprise as they land on Jake Melvin. He's right behind me, dressed in a white shirt, jet black skinny jeans and a leather jacket. He's holding a unlit cigarette in one hand and a lighter in the other, looking extremely annoyed. The encounter with him flashes through my mind and I smile at him tightly. He raises one brow at me, his eyes quickly scanning over my body.

"Cat got your tongue Muffin?" He says bluntly and I frown, shooting him a glare. He shrugs it off, stepping around me before walking a few steps ahead. I sigh and switch my bag again, unable to stop the discomfort from flashing across my face.

"I'm mad at you for being mean yesterday when I apologised." I say loudly, grabbing his attention. I hear a scoff before he slowly turns around, blue eyes staring straight at me.

"I shouldn't have to apologise, you ran into me."

"It was an accident, I'm human." I protest, ignoring the nerves building in my stomach from being underneath his intense gaze.

"Manners don't cost a penny Jake Melvin." I scold him, attempting to walk ahead of him in a huff. The pain in my sides makes that impossible and to my dismay, I have to slow down.

"Whatever you say Emily Wentworth." Jake mimics me, placing the cigarette inside his mouth and lighting it. I grimace and take a step away from him.

"You're extremely annoying," I mumble under my breath which earns a smug smile from Jake. He blows the smoke out in my direction and I immediately begin to choke on it. His laughter fills the air as he walks off, leaving me shooting daggers in his direction.


I can't numb the pain, the limp when I walk is so obvious. I swallow two painkillers and lean against the back of the chair, waiting for them to take effect. I decide to arrive early so I can sit down in class without anyone noticing my discomfort. I managed to clean up the cut on the side of my head and it's now disguised cleverly with my hair. My stomach is still pulsing from the pain, every little movement causes my eyes to flutter shut and my head to spin with dizziness.

I groan and place my head on the desk, waiting for the room to stop spinning. The class door opens and a few of my classmates enter,

shooting an awkward look my way. I quickly sit up, giving them a weak smile. I take out my books slowly and pretend to be fascinated with trigonometry. If I kept my head down, maybe no-one will notice the pain on my face or my eyes.

A few minutes pass before the teacher walks in, greeting us all. I wave at Trish as she pulls up next to me, looking as fabulous as ever. Her blonde hair has been straightened and flowing down her shoulders. Her makeup is immaculately done and her nails are painted a bright blue. She is such a Barbie. She turns towards me, flashing me an award winning smile before frowning —

"Are you feeling okay Emily? You look pale."

"I'm fine Trish, just a little run down."

She grimaces and nodded in agreement, leaning closer towards me.

"Time of the month?" She whispers, sympathy flashing through her eyes. I smile weakly in response.

"Yeah, I feel like I've been ran over, multiple times."

It isn't the the truth but not entirely a lie either.


"Three fifty please."

I nod and reach for the coins inside my pocket, handing them over. The lunch lady smiles at me, pushing my plate of steaming hot pasta and garlic bread towards me.

"Enjoy your lunch sweetheart."

"Thank you," I smile, taking it from her and walking towards the table in the far corner. Trish is already seated with a few other girls and several boys. She's chatting away loudly, occasionally pausing to laugh or giggle.

Her eyes land on me and she grins widely, patting the seat next to her. I sit down, grimacing as a jolt of pain flares up my side. It takes a few seconds of inhaling and exhaling deeply to get the pain to subdue. Trish fishes around for something in her bag, noticing the discomfort in my face.

"Here take these. It works wonders for period pain. Seriously, your uterus will forever thank me."

She placed two tables in my palm and I nod weakly at her, going along with it. I can't tell her that it's not period pains. My periods are irregular due to the trauma on my body.

"Thanks Trish," I mumble quietly, pushing my pasta around on the plate. I suddenly don't have much of an appetite left for food.

"Carbs are your best friend on a period Emily. Why are you neglected that plate of carby goodness?" Trish asks me, making light of the situation. I can see the worry flash through her eyes and I plaster a faux smile on my face.

"I'm just not very hungry, that's all." I lie.

Trish nods, leaning over to give me a quick hug. As I return her embrace, my eyes lock with a intense stare from the opposite side of the room. I immediately feel my heart stop for a second as he tilts his head, studying me. The blue of his eyes burns through mine and I can't tear my eyes off him. His expression remains emotionless and I watch, wide-eyed as he stands from his table. He takes several strides towards us, his steps smooth.

Trish follows my gaze and she frowns as her eyes land on Jake Melvin. Everyone around the table silences, the conversation coming to an abrupt stop. Jake doesn't seem bothered by the reaction, his face remaining expressionless as he walks right towards me. I can feel my heart thumping wildly against my chest, threatening to burst through. The entire time, Jake stares directly at me, searching my eyes for answers.

"Can I talk to you?"

I simply stare back at him, my mouth slightly parted. His scent immediately wraps itself around me, causing my thoughts to turn hazy and blurred.


"It's important." He shoots back instantly, ignoring the burning stares he's getting from everyone around the table. I swallow the lump in my throat and nod, pushing myself up. Pain shoots through my side from the sudden movement and I squeeze my eyes shut, trying to not let the pain show in my face.

"Emily?" Trish asks me uncertainly, glancing warily between me and Jake. I gave her a re-assuring look.

"It's okay Trish, I'll be right back. Mrs Wilkins wants me and Jake to set up the science class for the next group of students." I explain, hating that I'm lying to her. I can't tell her the real reason. Trish silently searches my face for a few moments before nodding.

I wave at her as I leave the canteen, heading for the doors with Jake following me behind. I can sense his presence, it's causing the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up pin straight.

"You could have come up with a better excuse, Wentworth."

"I'm not exactly a professional at lying to my friends at such quick notice." I hit back, annoyed at him. I push through the doors, heading towards the school corridors that are deserted during lunch hour. Jake silently follows me behind, his hands stuffed inside his jacket pockets. Once I'm satisfied we aren't going to be seen, I spin around, forgetting that I was badly beaten this morning.

My hand immediately presses against my stomach in an attempt to decrease the pain. Jake's eyes darken and he takes a step forward towards me. His hand reaches out, landing on my waist where he holds me cautiously.

"What's wrong?" He questions, his voice a low rumble. I grit my teeth, blinking back tears. Even through the pain, my body flares up in heat from his touch. I silently curse myself for reacting to his simple action. I look up at him, masking over the pain in my eyes.

"Girl stuff," I shrug off, leaning against the wall casually. I bite the inside of my cheek to stop myself from crying out in pain. Jake searches my face silently and I know

instantly he doesn't believe me. He shakes his head, dark hair falling over into his eyes. I focus on the wall behind him so that I wouldn't stare.

"What do you want to talk to me about?" I ask him, a blush creeping up my cheeks. I can feel butterflies fluttering in my stomach with nerves. Is this when Jake confronts me over yesterday?

"I want to apologise."

My head snaps back so I'm looking directly at him, at his eyes. I swear, my mouth actually drops open in shock a little.

"You want to apologise to me?" I ask, the shock evident in my voice. He doesn't reply but instead nods at me.

"Since when does Big Bad Jake apologise?"

Jake chuckles quietly, the corner of his lips twitching up. Huh, he's cute when he smiles.

"Big Bad Jake? Please tell me that's not what people call me. That would seriously ruin my street cred."

"Not people, just me." I smile, fiddling with my hands. Jake glances at me from under his thick dark lashes, blue eyes searching mine. I feel my stomach somersault, my heart beginning to pick up pace. I drop my gaze to the floor and clear my throat, angry at myself for reacting to him the way I do. I can't help it, the boy is beautiful despite being annoying as hell.

"I want to apologise for yesterday. I wasn't watching where I was going."

I blink in surprise, glancing up at him. He sighs in defeat before continuing —

"And I'm sorry for blowing smoke in your face, that was rude."

A small smile stretches across my lips and I'm grateful. My hand is permanently clutching my stomach where the pain is throbbing.

I need to sit down, soon.

"Don't worry about it," I reply quietly, remembering how Jake noticed the fear in my eyes yesterday. Why is he acting so apologetic?

Since when does Jake care about what other people think of him?

"Jake, seriously. It's cool," I repeat, giving him another smile. If we don't end the conversation soon, I'm scared I'll end up passing out from the pain.

"Well not the smoke thing because that's simply disgusting. Do you know second hand smoke is just as dangerous as smoking? It's very bad for. . . "

I drift off as I notice him watching me, an amused expression across his face. Humour flashes through his eyes and he smirks, his eyes dropping to the floor. I look at the floor sheepishly but realise I've made a bad move.

Dizziness immediately hit me, my legs buckling underneath my weight. If I don't sit down soon, I will definitely pass out. Jake takes a step forward, his scent invading me completely. I'm pressed as far up into the wall as I can go, using it to support my weight.

"Are you sure you're okay?"

His face is beginning to blur through my vision, his voice becoming a short buzzing sound. I nod my head weakly, scared that if I open my mouth to reply, I'll cry instead.

Black spots appear in front of me and I feel myself stumble on my feet unsteadily, my body screaming out in agony. His hands are immediately around me, holding me up whilst I recover from my state of darkness. I whimper quietly, shaking my head so that he'd leave me alone, I barely know him. His head dips low until his lips met my ears.

"I think you're forgetting who I am," he murmurs down my ear, his hands holding my body firmly in place.

"You can't lie to me Emily, I'm surrounded in a world of pain. Don't think I'm not able to sense it when it's all I feel around you."

I don't reply and focus on clearing my vision instead.

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