Hey everybody! Here's the next chapter, in which Eponine will meet Marius

Also, so y'all know the song that Eponine sang in the last chapter? Well I submitted that into a poetry contest with the Poetry Institute of Canada and I found out that it made it into the finals :D

Disclaimer: I don't own Les Mis or the characters

I stay out late, not really wanting to return home. I know that my father and his gang will be drunk. I know that Montparnasse will be drunk... I really hate it when he's drunk... Though my father tends to be more violent when drunk, it's Montparnasse that terrifies me. He grabs at me, he... he kisses me. I hate it. I hate him. He's so repulsive! I fear that my father might marry me off to him and he won't give me any choice. I would fight it, of course, with everything that I have. But I know that, in the end, there would be nothing I could do. I'm not as strong as my father, as much as I hate to admit it. But it wouldn't only be him, it would be the entire Patron Minette. They'd probably force me at gun-point to say "I do." It's terrible, really, how true it is. I fear that it's my future. I really hope it isn't.

I've tried to run away before. I've never succeeded, but I have tried. Several times, actually. But my father finds me... he always finds me. He won't let me go, not after my siblings ran away. I have two siblings: my sister, Azelma, and my brother, Gavroche. I still see 'Vroche from time to time, but Azelma has disappeared. I haven't seen her since she left a couple years ago. I fear she may be dead. Gavroche lives in a giant, hollow, stone elephant. It's supposed to be a dedication to some politician or something. Napoleon, maybe? I don't know, and, honestly, I don't really care. Gavroche keeps himself fed. He's smart, really. He knows how to escape the cops, he knows how to get food, and he knows his way around Paris– almost as well as I do. Sometimes, when we see eachother in the streets, we stop and talk for a little while, other times we just keep walking. I worry about him sometimes, especially when it gets cold, just as he worries about me. He knows that our father sometimes beats me and that scares him, in fact, it's one of the few things that does. Other than that, Gavroche is fearless. I admire him for that.

When I hear the bells of the Notre-Dame ring 12 times, I know that I should return home. Hopefully they'll all have passed out by now. Still, I walk slowly, putting it off as long as I can. But eventually, I end up back at the Gorbeau House. I walk inside and start climbing up the stairs, soon reaching the floor our apartment room's on. I look at the front door of the room next to ours, noticing a soft light escaping through the cracks. So we have a neighbour now... I wonder how long this one will last. The Gorbeau House is, after all, rather run-down. Besides that, my father isn't exactly the best neighbour. He and his gang are loud, especially when they're doing their favourite activity: beating me. Whatever happens to me, our new neighbour will probably hear. Though, like the others, he or she will most likely ignore it.

I quietly enter our rundown apartment. Everything is quiet, leading me to believe that they are, indeed, passed out. I tiptoe to my bedroom, quietly opening then closing the door. I can hear the rain softly tapping against the window. I'm about to start stripping down for bed, when I have the peculiar sensation of being watched. I squint, trying to see through the darkness, and I see the silhouette of a man, who I assume to be Montparnasse. I wait a moment, allowing my eyes to adjust, and I find that my assumption is correct. Montparnasse is standing in the corner of my room. I sigh.

"What the hell are you doing here?" I ask him quietly, knowing that the walls are very thin and, not only would the Patron Minette be able to hear, but so would our new neighbour. Though I can't quite see it, I know that he is smirking.

"Waiting for you, dear Eponine." he replies, making no attempt at keeping his voice quiet. He steps towards me, placing his hands on my waist. I shove him away. "Why so cold?" he asks me, his face uncomfortably close to mine.

"Don't touch me." I hiss, stepping back from him. He makes another grab at me. "Leave me alone." I snap, taking another step back. My back is pressed to the wall now. Montparnasse places his hands on both sides of me, almost pinning me to the wall. Then, in one quick motion, he presses his lips to mine. I try to push him away but he's stronger than me, so I have no choice but to wait until he's finished. When he finally is finished, I slap him across his face. He grabs my shoulders and slams me against the wall in anger.

"Don't you ever do that again." It's hard to miss the threatening edge to his voice.

"Then don't kiss me ever again." I reply coldly.

"Like you could do better."

"Having no one at all would be better." I retort. He punches me in the jaw and then shoves me to the ground. I try not to wince, even though I know he probably wouldn't see it. I continue, "No one wants to be with someone as abusive as you, someone who only gets what they want by force." He kicks me in the stomach. I can't help but cry out. My stomach was already bruised. "I will never be yours." And now he loses it completely and he continues to punch and kick me. I can feel blood dripping down my face from a gash in my head. I know I'm going to be even more bruised tomorrow. Then he grabs me and throws me onto my sorry excuse of a bed and he straddles me. "Get off!" I say, fear creeping into my voice. I struggle, but he pins my arms down. He kisses me forcefully. I try to cry out, but his mouth is pressed so hard against mine. He forces his tongue into my mouth and I nearly gag. When he finally pulls back to breathe, I let out a cry. I can't help it, really. I know that no one will come to my rescue, but I'm terrified. I admit it, I'm terrified of what he might do to me, of what it seems that he will do to me. Tears start to fall from my eyes.

I hear a knock on the door. Not on my door, on the door to our apartment. Has someone heard my cry? As Montparnasse presses his lips to mine again, I can hear my father mumbling something tiredly as he walks over to the door and opens it. I hear a voice,

"Is everything okay? I heard someone cry out." I recognise the voice. It's the same young man that I bumped into on the stairs. Montparnasse pulls back, listening as well.

"Wha'? Yeah, ev'rythin's fine." I hear my father reply. Of course he doesn't care what happens to me. I take my chance.

"Help!" I cry out. Normally I would be too proud to ask for help, but I know that if I didn't, then Montparnasse would take complete advantage of me.

"Ignore 'er," I hear my father say, "She's prob'ly only 'avin' a nightmare or somethin'." Montparnasse kisses me again, seeming happy with my father's response. I try to push him away, but, once again, I fail.

"Really, Monsieur, I must insist." I hear the young man say.

"There's nothin' wrong, now leave." my father says. I can hear the young man shoving past him and advancing towards my bedroom. Montparnasse doesn't seem to be listening, doesn't seem to have noticed. I continue to thrash against him just as the door opens and there stands the young man, holding a candle which illuminates the room. Montparnasse looks up, his mouth leaving mine, but other than that, he does not move.

"I would suggest that you leave her alone." the young man says to Montparnasse, who laughs in response.

"Yeah? And what are you going to do about it?"

The young man walks over and, quite easily, pulls Montparnasse off of me and then drops him on the floor. I quickly get up, as does Montparnasse. He takes a swing at the young man, who dodges it and then punches him in the nose. Montparnasse stumbles back and trips. He falls and hits his head hard off the ground. He's out cold. I take a moment to look at the young man. He is rather handsome, with jet black hair and startlingly green eyes. He's tall, fit, and looks like he might be a student. He looks at me and smiles kindly.

"Are you alright, Mademoiselle?" he asks me.

"Y-Yes..." I stutter, immediately cursing myself for doing so, "Thanks to you."

"It was no problem at all." he assures me, smiling again. I smile back, though very slightly. Then, after a moment, he says, "Forgive me, Mademoiselle, I have forgotten to introduce myself. My name is Marius Pontmercy."

"I'm Eponine." I reply, "Eponine Thenardier." Marius holds out a hand, which I shake.

"Mademoiselle, forgive me if I'm wrong, but this does not seem to be a very safe place for you at the moment."

"No, it really isn't." I sadly agree.

"If I may be so bold, I would like to offer you a place to stay, at least for tonight."

"I wouldn't want to be a burden..." I say, even though I would like very much to stay with this kind, handsome young man. Even if he is almost a complete stranger, anywhere is better than here.

"You wouldn't be."

"Are you sure?"

"Of course!" he says with a bright smile that I can't help but return.

"I would love to."

Marius smiles and walks out of the bedroom. I follow close behind him, knowing that my father will have a thing or two to say about this. Lucky for me, he seems to have passed out again. I follow Marius out of mine and my father's apartment and into his.

There truly are some nice people in Paris.

I hope y'all liked it! Please review!