Chapter One

Sarah came in and tossed her bag in the corner.
“That one’s mine,” she commented, pointing to a bedroom in the penthouse suite. “Well, mine and Taylor’s.” She looked around.
“Aries, you’re in the next room with Ike, right?”
Arabella nodded and smiled, then went off to find Isaac. “Zac’s got the other room in here, and…Wind gets the couch.”
Wind cringed. Great. She had the fucking couch. Wasn’t that great. She sighed again and sat down on her newly appointed bed, knowing full well that she had no privacy whatsoever now. Sarah shrugged and started tossing things here and there.

Wind looked up when Taylor came in, raising an eyebrow as he put his finger to his lips to tell her to keep quiet for a few minutes. He went up behind Sarah and wrapped his arms around her waist, causing her to jump and squeal in surprise. Wind felt sick from just watching it. She stood up and left, aimlessly walking down the hotel hallway until she found the door to the roof. Thinking she could find some privacy up there, she ducked into the small staircase and barreled up the stairs.

It was quiet, but it was hot and sticky, just like the car ride there. Hot, sticky, and almost completely silent save the rare car passing on the street below, and the occasional dog barking. Wind spied a patch of shade in the corner and aimed for it as she dodged all sorts of odd things sticking out of the asphalt roofing, including air drainage pipes and a noisy vent. When she got there, though, she found that she wasn’t alone.

“Hey,” she mumbled, suddenly overcome with the shyness that always enveloped her near new people...or people in general. Zachary looked up from his cigarette and smiled.
“Hi…didn’t expect company…”
Wind looked away. “I can go, if-if-if you wanted to be-be alone…” the stutter temporarily annoyed her, until she realized she couldn’t help it and it happened every time she met someone. He shook his head and smiled warmly.
“Nah, don’t bother. Sit down…”
Wind wasn’t about to give that offer up. She sat down in the small patch of shadows left and watched him suck the life out of his cigarette. He took one last drag, flicked it over the side of the building, then exhaled. When he noticed Wind staring at him, he blushed and muttered,
“Proper annihilation.”
“I know what it’s called,” Wind stated softly. “I used to chain smoke a pack in ten minutes.”
Zac’s colour returned. “I’m Zac,” he offered. She smiled and stuck her hand out.
“I noticed that, Hanson boy. I’m Wind.”
Zac shuddered.
“Do not, I repeat, DO NOT call me that. But it’s a pleasure to meet you.” He shook her offered hand.
“I’m here with Sarah and Aries,” Wind stated, hoping he’d know what that meant. Zac got a look of absolute disgust on his face.
“That was not the right thing to tell me.”
“Why not?”
“Because all they ever do in their spare time is fuck my brothers.”
“Oh…” Wind turned a dark shade of red. “What, do you think I’m a slut like Sarah?”
Zac banged his head against the brick wall he was leaning on.
“No…I just…um…I just…um…”
“Never mind,” Wind muttered and closed her eyes. “I didn’t even believe her when she told me she knew you, okay?”
Zac nodded.
“She’s pretty sick. She was trying to get me to go out with this Becky girl…”
“Yeah, I know her. So…um…what’s there to do in a hotel anyway?”

It was pitch black, and Wind wasn’t falling asleep anytime soon. How could she? From the next room over she could hear Aries moaning like she was never going to have sex again, and louder yet, Sarah behind Taylor’s closed door practically screaming.
“Shut up,” she groaned. “Just fucking shut up…”
She heard the refrigerator door open and turned around to watch Zac take a small carton of milk out and start to chug it. He stopped and looked at her, then blushed deeply when he realized he was only wearing a pair of blue boxers.
“Gets kind of sickening listening to that, doesn’t it?”
Wind nodded and bit her lip because she knew it was trembling. She hated being here. She only wanted to go home and there wasn’t much keeping her from that right then.
“If these walls could talk,” she started, “They’d be screaming bloody blue murder for help.”
Zac grinned.
“Yeah, that’s for damned sure.”

"Cherry Coke is brain candy. Cherry Coke is good for you. You should brush your teeth with Cherry Coke, just like Ol' One-Tooth Joe!"

- Skylar, drinking Cherry Coke

Chapter Two