Updated the 2012 version as of June 2020. Will slowly be revising plot elements and story construction. Feedback and criticism welcome. I'll be keeping my old author's notes.

Alicia woke with a start as her as her older brother, Kane, jumped on top of her.

"What the fuck is WRONG with you?" She hollered, grabbing her pillow to whack him upside the head.

"Wakey wakey." He grinned goofily.

"Get off. Right now." She seethed, and he slithered off with an innocent look.

"Get out!" She protested, sitting up, as if to throw the pillow at his offensive head. Older he may be, but not wiser or smarter.

He looked at her mischievously and reached for her duvet, about to pull. She threw the pillow. He ducked, heading to the door for cover. Turning back, he said, "c'mon Liss, we're going to be late to school."

"Fuck off, let me sleep. I'll take my bike."

He shrugged and left.

She got back under the covers, but it just wasn't the same without a pillow.

Groaning, Alicia got out of bed slowly, trying to rid herself of last night's memories. It was impossible, though, considering the dull ache she felt all over. As she snuck into the hallway bathroom, she kept an eye out for any stragglers. Once inside, she tugged off her sweatshirt and inspected herself in the mirror.

Scattered over her body were bruises of various size and colours. At the base of her neck were painful bites, definitely not love bites. She pressed her hand over the small bump of her belly.

Alicia got under a cool spray of water, numbing the pain ever so slightly. She didn't bother using the soap, it would just sting. She stood under the steady stream, aching to be under the warmth of hot water, but that would just irritate the cutes. She tried to rinse away the memories, dry away the memories, cover the memories in new clothing, but they persisted.

Downstairs, the cheery kitchen in its yellow glory bore down on her. It was all too much: the funny pictures on the wall, the bright motivation board, the round dinner table. There used to be four seats around it, but now only three sat along with a high chair.

"Hi mum." She hurriedly greeted the woman flipping pancakes. "Where's Hayley?"

Helena turned to greet her daughter, "Hey hon," she have her a quick kiss, "she's in the play pen, Kane just fed her before leaving."

Alicia padded over to her younger sister, the little angel trying to bash a rectangle into a triangle-shaped hole. Alicia knelt down to pick her up. "Hey sweet baby," she cooed, smooching her chubby cheeks. The toddler kicked her feet jovially, leaning down to try and grab one of the chairs, "Lissy!"

Hayley was just over a year old and getting steadier on her feet, only the playpen could contain her little legs and curiosity.

Everyone except for Alicia had red hair in their family, hers was dark blonde and was growing long. She took after her dad.

Setting the little one back down in the play jail, Alicia grabbed a pancake, her backpack, and rushed to pull on her shoes and parka. "Gotta run mum, see you after school."

The bike ride to school was bitter. It was early November, and stormy clouds gathered over the bleak sun. The wind was sharp, whipping about Alicia's hair. She had left it down to cover the redness of her jaw. Her turtleneck covered up the rest of it.

As she neared the school building, she could hear the morning bell go off, and pumped on the pedals faster. Maybe she wouldn't be late.

The neatness of her locker was perturbed as Alicia's coat and helmet were dumped inside. Suddenly, she felt herself being grabbed from behind and pushed hard against the cold metal lockers.

A body was pressed against hers, and as she heard the final bell ring, it was a known fact between the two that she was going to be serving detention. Again.

"Mick I'm late for class." His body was closing in on her, she felt claustrophobic, feeling her lungs tighten.

She felt a blow to her stomach and she froze, letting out a grunt of pain. What the fuck was his problem.

"Don't push me away love, you know how I can't control myself when I'm angry." He pushed into her more, and she could smell the rot of cigarettes on his breath. She looked away.

His hands wandered way below what was appropriate, and he started to caress the buttons of her jeans.

"You should wear skirts." He said softly into her ear, attempting to be seductive. "It would be much easier."

Despite herself, she couldn't help but add "It's fucking snowing."

He rammed his fist under her ribcage. She bit her lip, eyes darting to make sure nobody was looking. It was empty. She struggled to regain her breath. The force had quite literally knocked the wind out of her.

"What's with the attitude today, hmm?" He jammed his hand down her pants and pinched, his nails causing her to squirm painfully away. She gasped out and tried to kick him. He threw her on the floor, and left.

Alicia shakily got up, fixing her pants, and sat against the lockers with her knees drawn to her chest. How in hell had this gotten out of control? It had been so long, she couldn't even remember how it had even started.

She fixed herself up as much as she could, but she couldn't get her hair to calm down, and eventually tied it up into a very messy bun. She grabbed her backpack and found her Physics class.

"Nice of you to join us Ms Gautier. Detention."

After class ended, Alicia tried to keep to herself, but Mel wouldn't have it. Comrades in battle since middle school, the pair were inseparable. Till now.

Mel had eyed Alicia as she entered Mr Monroe's class looking dishevelled and forlorn. Her face seemed to be flaming red, but maybe that was her active imagination? There was still definitely something going on, and today was the last time Alicia would avoid her questioning.

"Alicia Marie Gautier, what the hell is going on?" Mel cornered her best friend at her locker, demanding an answer.

"Nothing, I'm fine." Alicia shut the locker, wearily eyeing Mel's proximity. "Dude back up, you're making me feel claustrophobic." It was tiring enough to get through the day, but questions and cornering was just unbearable after the shitty morning she'd just had.

Mel followed her as she made her way to the next class. "Alicia, something is definitely going on. Are you alright?"

Alicia couldn't help but snap. "Mel, for the love of God, please stop asking. Can you back off and let me go to class in peace?"

And with that, she stomped into Calculus.

After an hour of detention, Alicia got up and left, ripping up a warning letter she had to courier to her mother.

As usual, Mick was waiting outside, leaning against his car and taking a drag from something that may or may not have been legal.

"You're late."

She looked up at him, walking her bike and lost in a daydream. "Excuse me?"

He ignored her, throwing his cigarette to the floor and crushing it beneath his heel. "Get in the car or you'll regret it."

She didn't know why, but she did. It was probably better than what he would do if she didn't. He was very unpredictable. She settled her bike against a pole and sat in the car, Mick in the driver's seat, she in the passenger's.

"Give me a BJ."

She stared at him. "What?"

"You know, a blow job?"

"What the fuck Mick, we're at school."

He grabbed her head and started to push her down, but she grabbed the closest thing, his phone, and threw it at his face. He faltered, letting go just long enough for Alicia to ram the door open and jump onto her bike and pedal away.

No point trying to out run a car, she realized at the last minute, just before she felt the car slam into her bike. She went flying, landing on her arm, hearing a sharp crack.

Not shattered, but definitely broken. Not killed, but tortured.

The car reversed and sped off to wherever Mick went, and Alicia could not believe that Mick actually hit her with a godforsaken car.

Well, fuck.