This is my new story, I hope you all enjoy it as much as I am enjoying writing it :) I want to say a massive thank you to Smuffly who has been a great help with this story! :D

The cold wind blew against the young girl as she attempted to make her way along the dry muddy pathway. Her cheeks were red and sore from the amount of time she'd spent outside in the awful weather, her feet ached with every step she took and her back hurt from carrying her red back pack on her back.

The sky was starting to get dark and she swore she could feel tiny drops of rain falling on her face and hands every few steps. Rain was the last thing she needed right now. She hadn't expected to be out here so long; she thought someone would have found her by now and because of that she hadn't quite come dressed for the weather. Her thin coat provided little protection, nor did her long white t-shirt or blue leggings. As for her leather boots, she wasn't too sure how long they would last in the mud once it started to rain.

She knew that she shouldn't have come here, that she should have waited in the warm bus terminal or even at home but she needed to come; she needed to find some help. She'd seen a lot of people on her journey but she knew that she couldn't trust any of them. Her Mum had told her there was only one person she could trust in this city. She knew where to find her - her Mum had told her that information too - but now she had to try and work out how to find the right address. She looked up and saw the very top of a couple of high towered buildings above the tips of the trees. Warm yellow lights shone from them and she imagined the owners of the apartments tucked up warmly, watching TV or eating dinner. How she wished she could be one of those people right now.

She carried on walking, struggling against the force of the wind. The noises in the trees around her made her jump but she wasn't scared; these noises were nothing compared to the ones she'd heard in her home town. Oh, how she missed home. It had been days since she'd left there, since she'd left the warmth of her house and the love of her parents. They'd been the ones to send her though, and they had even paid for her bus ticket to make sure she arrived. They wanted to come themselves but under the circumstances it wasn't possible and she knew that.

The rain was coming down heavier now, pelting hard on her head and arms. She tried to pull her thin jacket around her but it didn't stop the coldness from spreading through her. She knew she should have eaten on the coach journey. Her Mum had always told her that food helped you to keep warm. The food at the bus stops had looked appealing; even the sandwiches in their cellophane packets with limp lettuce and processed cheese had appealed to her but she had stupidly left her purse on the first coach as she got off and by the time she'd remembered and had ran back to collect it, the coach had moved on to its next destination. She wished she'd packed a couple of snacks like her parents had suggested but she thought they'd just weigh her down.

Walking further up she soon found a ring of trees that sat tightly together. A few even entwined with each other. There was just enough room between two of them for her to squeeze in and settle herself down. The trees themselves didn't provide a lot of cover from the heavy rain but it was nice to sit for a while and rest her feet. Settling her back pack in front of her she undid it and checked that everything was still okay inside, it was. The bag held the items that her parents had asked her to bring, including her Father's credit card, which she was only to use in emergencies, which she'd thankfully kept separate from her purse, she knew that she might now have to use this to buy food as soon as she found somewhere. The last item in her bag was her phone which had died yesterday afternoon while she was on the coach.

Sighing, she zipped her back pack back up and pushed it under her legs, so they rested on it. She then laid her head back on to one of the trees behind her and closed her eyes. She imagined what her parents would be doing now - probably worrying about her or trying to get her little sister to go to bed. Her little sister, Tegan, or Tee for short would only sleep if she was next to her and so she knew that would have been a struggle for her parents since she left.

She shivered and opened her eyes as a gust of cold wind blew through the ring of trees. She felt tired; exhausted in fact, but she was scared to let sleep take over as she wasn't too sure if she'd wake again. She needed to stay awake; she needed to do what she'd come here for. The feeling of tiredness was too strong, however, and she could feel it pulling her in, even in these cold conditions. She rolled her coat up and looked at her watch. It was just coming up for 7pm. Maybe she could sleep? Even if it was only for an hour or so, surely it would give her more strength to carry on the rest of her trip?

She pulled her sleeve back down, snuggled in against the trees and closed her eyes, letting sleep overtake her at last - and that's where she stayed, in the small ring of trees, until the sun rose again and the dog walker came across her ice cold body.