okay, i know this chapter is short, but i kinda like it. what do you think? thanks for all the love so far. also, a big thank you to QueenOfHeartbreak for helping me brainstorm.

-m


Chapter Two:

"This is your room," Kiara explained as she led her boyfriend inside the bedroom her parents had set aside for him. She could tell that he felt out of place in her home. This wasn't something he was sued to, that much was clear. Even though he'd been at her place so many times, this was a bit different.

"Too fancy for me," the young man said, staring at the large, well-made bed in front of him. He'd meant it as a joke, but in reality, it was true. It was too fancy for him. While he knew that Kiara hated Kook life, she at least was used to it. He wasn't. At all.

"I'm sorry," he heard her say quietly, which got him spinning around to face her.

"Kie, if it wasn't for you, DCS would have hauled my sorry ass all the way to the mainland," he said with a quick kiss to her lips. "You have nothing to be sorry for. I love this. I love you. Thank you"

Smiling, Kiara pulled JJ in for a hug, his hands resting on her hips while her arms wrapped around his small of his back. "I love you more," she mumbled into his shoulder.

"Not possible," JJ whispered, kissing the top of her head. "I don't deserve you."

"Yeah you do, JJ," Kiara assured him, her fingers in his unruly locks. "You deserve the best things life has to offer."

"I already got it."

Laughing from the pure happiness that JJ brought her, Kiara crashed their lips together. Her hands traveled up his muscular body, and she was about to push him onto the soft mattress, when she suddenly heard him moan. The sound made her jerk and look up, and she absolutely hated the look of pain in his sky-blue eyes. That was when she realized that she'd accidentally pressed on his wounded arm.

"Jesus, JJ, I'm so sorry, I didn't mean-"

"Don't worry, Kie, I'm fine," he quickly said, a small smile on his face. "This is nothing."

"This isn't nothing." Slowly, carefully, Kiara reached forward to touch the bandages she wished weren't there. Seeing him hurt made her heart clench, and all she wanted was to make his pain go away. "Of course I'm gonna worry."

JJ let out a deep breath before he cupped his companion's cheek. "I promise you, I'm good." Once she nodded, he gently led her towards the bed, the two of them laying down and snuggling into one another. He already felt at peace. "You know, I honestly can't believe I'm saying this, but I almost … miss him," he said quietly, hesitantly, referring to his father. A small shiver made its way up his spine, his body remembering how bad he'd been beaten the last time he saw that awful person he had to call a part of his family.

"I'm sure it's normal to feel this way," Kiara said, pulling him tighter against her. She could tell that JJ was lost, confused, unsure of himself. "I mean, he was your dad. You've been with him since you were born. I guess you just got used to him treating you the way he did."

"I hate that," JJ whispered. "I hate that he's made me like this."

"I know. But he's gone now. He won't ever touch you again." Smiling lovingly, Kiara pressed a quick kiss to JJ's cheek, sighing when he hung his head so that it rested on her shoulder. She was so glad that she was enough to help him. God knew his dad wasn't. That was why she held him like that for the next few minutes, stroking his hair while he closed his eyes and tried not to think about Luke.

She was about to say something to him, when a sudden knock on her door had them both jumping. The motion had poor JJ gasping in pain, his ribs aching.

It was her parents. The minute they saw their daughter and her boyfriend together, they both frowned, though Mike looked even more furious than Anna.

"Hey mom. Hey dad," Kiara said, already hating how Mike was looking at JJ.

"Hey, sweetheart," Anna replied, and nodded towards the blond boy lying in her arms. "JJ. We wanted to stop by and talk to you two about ground rules."

"Okay..." Kiara was already growing rather suspicious. While she was incredibly grateful that her parents were letting JJ stay with them, she had no doubt that their "rules" would be absolutely ridiculous and unreasonable.

"To start off, you'll be sleeping in separate bedrooms," Mike began, voice cold and unforgiving. "No exceptions. There won't be any closed doors in this house, either. JJ, you'll need to find a job with steady income."

"You got it," JJ said in agreement. He'd been planning on carrying his own weight even if the Carrera's hadn't asked him to.

"Both your curfews will be at ten o'clock each day," Anna continued. Even though she was much nicer than her husband, she still didn't look all that welcoming. It was clear that she didn't want JJ in her home. "If you're late, you better have a good reason as to why. If you break any of these rules, JJ, there won't be any second chances. Do you understand?"

"Yes, ma'am. Thank you so much." JJ locked gazes with Kiara, who didn't seem to like all of these boundaries too much. Smiling in assurance, the blond squeezed her hand and looked back at her parents.

"Now, do you need any help changing your bandages?" Anna asked.

"No, I think I'm good for now," JJ replied, surprised that she'd even offered in the first place. "If anything, I'll ask Kie."

"Alright. Dinner will be ready in about thirty minutes. I expect both of you to eat with us."

The minute they were gone, JJ seemed to visibly relax. "That wasn't too bad," he murmured with a sigh, relieved.

"Yeah, but they're being a little too overprotective," Kiara said. "Too weary of you, and for no reason."

"I'm just happy they're letting me live here."

Looking up so she could kiss JJ , Kiara nuzzled her body further into his side. "Me, too."

OBX

Once dinner was over, JJ decided to get some sleep.

Even though she hated not being able to rest beside her boyfriend, Kiara was just grateful that he hadn't been sent all the way to the mainland. Though it didn't make falling asleep any easier.

That was why she almost gasped when JJ crept into her room, a sad expression written across his perfect features.

"Hey, Kie," he said once he closed the door and leaned against it, almost as if he was afraid to come closer to her.

"JJ, what's wrong?" Kiara asked, sitting up. Something in the way he was looking at her had her worried.

"I just … I couldn't sleep. That's all."

Poor JJ sounded exhausted. There was that familiar sadness in his voice that told Kiara that he'd just had a nightmare. A bad one. Without wasting a second, she got out of bed and ran over to him, embracing him right as he started to collapse. "It's okay," she said softly. "I got you. Come on."

Slowly, she led him back to her bed and helped him under the covers, holding him while he cried quietly. "Do you wanna talk about it?" she asked him, although she already knew the answer.

"Not really."

"Okay. I'm here, alright? And I'm not going anywhere. I promise."

TBC