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Chapter 1 – Gregory

“N-NO! D-Daddy! Please! I-I- I’ll be a good boy I promise! I won’t run away again I promise! Please don’t put me in the cellar!”He begged his father as he was roughly grabbed and dragged along to the door that leads to the dark dingy cellar. The man opened the door, a black hole gaped and poor boy peed in his pants. The man snorted and push the boy into the black hole “Five days in the cellar for you boy!” And slammed the door shut.

Gasping I sit up covered in cold sweat. I glance at the clock on the nightstand 02.00 am. Damn it! Groaning I fall back on my mattress, throwing my arm over my eyes. It’s been awhile since I relived that particular horrible memory. I also know I won’t be going back to sleep anytime soon. As I lay there in bed thinking about what could have brought on this nightmare, one name comes to mind.

Paul Freeman, my biological father.

Damn the bastard to hell and back again!

I growl under my breath as I untangle myself from my quilt. This was all because of the phone call I received from the maximum security prison where he and his wife Bella were staying in for the rest of their lives. Apparently Bella’s health wasn’t the best and she passed away in jail. They had the nerve to ask me –no– to beg me to come to her funeral. I had no intention what so ever of going. No matter who said what, I was not going and that was final. Without knowing I found myself in my parents’ bedroom.

“Greg? Honey what’s wrong?” I smile slightly as Zach’s – my mom – sleep filled voice sounds from a mountain of blankets. “You had that bad dream again?” I let out a whining sound, confirming that I indeed had that bad dream again. Clicking on the light on the nightstand, Zach opened his arms to me and I dove in. Not wanting to think of that memory ever again. Zach says nothing as he smiles before rearranging the mountain of blankets around us and turns off the light dosing off immediately. Against all odds I drift off into a dreamless sleep.

I wake up a few hours later, feeling rested in an empty bed. I roll out of bed after checking for the time on the digital alarm clock; 07.30, making my way to the family bathroom. After washing away the remaining signs of sleep from my body, I feel more alive. After drying myself, I found a pile of folded clothes on the closed toilet seat. I walked downstairs into the usual morning rush in our house. Mom was rushing around looking for a tie Logan made for him for his birthday, dad was grinning as he was stirring in a few pots on the stove. My younger siblings Nancy and Logan were seated at breakfast table enjoying dad’s hearty breakfast.

“Morning” I grumbled as I slipped into my seat. “Morning cariño, how are you feeling?” Dad asked quietly as he set a plate in front of me. “Better dad, thanks.” As I dug into my plate, he just ruffled my hair, giving me the look, meaning we were going to talk about it whether I want to or not. He went over to Logan to hand him his lunch as mom rushed into the room, finally found the tie he was looking for. “Good morning all!” He kisses the top of Logan’s and Nancy’s head as he made his way over to dad and they have a heavy make-out session. When they finally part mom turns to look at me “I have out lo’s car seat in your car, I can’t bring him today, I have a huge meeting and I will be late if I don’t leave now.” He ruffles my head before rushing out and not too soon we all hear tyres squeal down the driveway. I look at Lo, who is now looking a little sad as he swings his legs back and forth, as he pouts. Usually mom drops him off on his first day of school. Putting my plate in the sink gave dad a hug and quickly going upstairs grabbed my bag after brushing my teeth. Returning back downstairs I see a very reluctant Logan and an impatient Nancy waiting for me at the front door. “See you dad, we’re off to school!” Dad grinned as he walked out of the kitchen to us “Be safe kids! Have a great day!” He waved standing on the doorstep.

After buckling Logan in his car seat, I slip into the driver’s seat; I look into the rear-view mirror “You ready for school Lo?” I am worried by the silence that meets my question; usually he’s a chatterbox on the first day of school. I look at Nancy for help, but she just shrugs, no help there. “You will be okay Lo; mom will pick you up later today. I am sure of it.” That seemed to cheer him up a little as we pulled into the primary school’s parking lot. Getting out we are met with his teacher this year, Mrs. Malone “Hello Logan, how was your vacation?” Logan says nothing as he silently trudges into the single story building. “What’s wrong with him?” She straightened as Logan trudged away. “Mom couldn’t drop him off this morning, he had a huge meeting.” Mrs. Malone nodded her head; everybody knew how much mom loved dropping Lo off on his first day of school. He turned as if he knew that we were leaving “Bye Nance! Bye big bro!”

“Bye little bro! Have a good day!” As she answered, Nancy elbowed me in my gut. I waved back “Bye Lo, have a good day!” Arriving at the part of middle and high school I noticed Nance being a little nervous “Don’t tell me you’re nervous?” I snort as she says nothing staying seated for a few more moments. I laughed as she looked a little uncomfortable as we get out of the car “Good luck squirt! Watch out for the pops!” I shouted making her turn and shout “Shut up GREG!” before storming away, making me chuckle.

As always the first day of school’s a drag, everything was nice and quiet until lunch. Because that was the time that Taylor Thompson decided to grace the school with his all mighty presence. Al though he’s on the football team he never really hangs out with the popular crowd. He always has his own posse following him around. They always make a lot of noise where ever they go. I roll my eyes at their antics as they enter the cafeteria with a lot of noise, I really never felt the need to get to know them or talk to them. They are a group of rough looking guys and a few girls. They all wore either black or dark blue colours; some of them had several piercings and tattoos. They’re the outlaws of school and town. Something they knew too and abused that fact; they bullied fellow students and teachers. In short they were the kind of people I didn’t want or need in my life. Not only that but I heard dad talk about Taylor too, it seemed that he and his parents were involved with some Italian gang. Taylor’s aunt and uncle got custody over him and his younger brother since his father died and his mother ran off. Once it was clear he wasn’t going anywhere he started his own little gang called: sangue, meaning blood in Italian.

I got a text from Penelope, the local vet, the boss at my part-time job. I want to be a vet later, since I absolutely adore animals. No matter what kind of animal, they always calm down as soon as I enter the room. She was asking if I could come in later today a new patient came today; one she wanted me to see. I said that I had to pick up my younger siblings from school but after that I was free to come and check out the new patient. Due to me not paying attention to where I was going, I literally walked into Taylor and his posse. Being used to being knocked around when I was younger, I was back on my feet moments later. I said nothing as I just shifted my bag, checking if everything was still there. Surprisingly everything was still there, so I cautiously made my way around them and to the last class of the day. Doing my very best to ignore all the not so quiet whispers floating around.

When we were finally let out of school I was stunned and shocked when I got to my car. Taylor Thompson was leaning casually against the hood of my car. “Wh-what are you doing here?” I cursed at myself for stuttering out the question instead of sounding confidant. It was hard not to feel uncomfortable or inferior around Taylor Thompson. He was tall, dark and beautifully sculpted. Even I thought so and I wasn’t gay, no matter what they said about me because my parents are gay. Taylor had the whole Casanova thing down to a T. His beautiful dark hair was a stylish mess on his head (without the help of hair products!), Taylor’s eyes were shining like deep ocean green crystals, and his skin had that lovely tan from being in the sun just enough. I just didn’t like the smug look on plastered on his lovely chiselled face.

“Done checking me out Chambers?” Sighing I continue the last few feet to my car, open the back seat door and drop my bag. “What do you want Thompson? I didn’t have time for idle chitchat. I have got stuff to do.” I growled out. I was still slightly stressed out by the dream I had last night and it showed, my energy to fight left me. I already received an anxious text from Nancy, asking where I was. Taylor stayed quiet as his eyes looked me up and down. I knew for a fact I looked like some kind of hobo. A too big shirt from mom’s uni and dad’s softest pair of jeans, combined with a head of disagreeable coopery blond hair I was all set. Taylor pushed himself off the hood of my car “Nothing” and sauntered off to God knows where. Grumbling I slipped into my car driving off to pick up Nance and Lo.

I found myself slowly starting to relax as the excited chatter of Nance and Lo filled the car on our way home. When Lo cracked a few jokes, I managed a smile or two. Lo didn’t seem to notice that they were fake ones, Nance however wasn’t so easy to fool. “You don’t fool me that easily Greg.” She said as Lo launched himself at dad in the doorway, “I know something happened that unbalanced you.” Her clear brown eyes were searching my green ones for any sign of distress. “I am fine Nance really. I just had a bad dream.” I said moving up the shallow steps and into the house. Inside the house it was the usual hectic activity of unwinding of a busy day at either school or work. Dad was in the kitchen cooking up probably the most delicious dinner in the history of delicious dinners. My stomach rumbled at the mere thought of eating dad’s delicious dinner. The sound made dad chuckle as he continued to torture me with the heavenly smells coming from the pots on the cooker. “How was your day cariño? You still look a little too pale for my taste.” His dark eyes were looking at me filled with concern.

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