I had to figure this out. I quickly got up from the bed and peered out into the hallway. Jesse wasn't awake yet, which meant I could leave without him knowing. I shut my door and changed before heading over to my closet. I picked up one of my boxes and found all of my papers, "What the hell?" I whispered to myself, noticing my birth certificate was missing. It was the only thing I needed to confirm my suspicions.


Something told me it was him who took it. He probably didn't want me snooping around, as I usually did, so he took it. I gathered up the rest of my papers and slipped them inside my jacket before opening my door once more. I sighed before tiptoeing across the hall to Jesse's room. The door opened smoothly, not a creak to break the silence. I walked quietly inside and scanned his room. There's only one place Jesse would hide something so important.

I felt bad for doing so, but I knew I need answers. I walked over to Jesse's dresser and opened his socks drawer. Deep inside I found the small and beat up cardboard box. It had a picture of Jesse and his mom when he was younger. It was the only thing he truly cherished and could not live without. I opened it up and sure enough, it was there.

I grabbed it quickly before shutting the drawer and leaving the room silently. I grabbed my keys and walked out the door, not bothering to look back.



I walked into the large house, only to be met with Michelle, "Oh thank God," She looked like a mess. Like she had been up all night, "I can't get through to him," She said before grabbing her jacket, wiping the tears from her face, and walking out the door.

I sighed and made my way towards the basement. It was the only place Brian went when he felt the need to get away. I could hear a loud guitar being played harshly through the thick door. I opened it slowly and looked inside, only to find Brian playing his guitar as hard as he could, tears streaming down his face. He was too busy with his music to notice me, so I walked over to the amp and turned it off, causing a thick silence between us, "What are you doing here?" He asked, removing the guitar from his lap.

"Came to check up on you," I shrugged, "You stormed out of Johnny's pretty fast last night."

"Michelle called you, didn't she?" He asked and I knew there was no point in lying.

"Yeah," I whispered, "She called." Brian shook his head and wiped his face with the back of his hand.

"I had been so busy focusing on Matt and all of his bullshit, that I almost forgot my own daughter," He spat, "My own daughter!"

"Don't think that, Bri. You had a lot on your mind. You didn't forget her."

"I did," He paused, "It took a girl who is supposedly Matt's kidnapped daughter to make me realize that."

"But she's not Matt's daughter. Deep down, you know that, as much as you want it to be her."

"She looks so much like Michelle and Val," He said softly.

"Van was in a fire, Brian. After she ended up at a foster home only to run away nine years later."

"What are you trying to say?"

"I think you know what I'm trying to say," I locked my eyes with him and he shook his head.

"It's not possible."

"How is it not possible, Brian?" I asked, "Police never found Avery's actual body. She was three years old when it happened, the same age Van was when she ended up in foster care. Think about it!"

"No! Avery is gone, Zack!" Brian yelled and I shook my head.

"You know what I think?" I asked and threw some papers on his lap, "Those are police reports based on the foster home Van was in. According to the state of California, Van was never registered there was an orphan. She didn't exist," I explained as he flipped through the papers, "Police shut the home down two months after Van left, because the parents had been charged with kidnapping and murder. They killed kids' parents and put them in foster care so the government would give them support checks."


"You know your house burning down wasn't an accident," I said cautiously. Brian didn't respond, he just sat there with a blank look on his face.

"If you really think Van is Avery then where's the birth certificate?" He demanded.

"What's the point?" I questioned back, "It's all fake anyways. It burned in the house and there's only one copy, and that's at social security offices."

"Along with Avery's death certificate," He spat and I shook my head.

"None of this is real, Brian. I checked the library computers for records in Huntington. Van doesn't exist. She's a stranger walking down the streets with an identity that was fed to her by some greedy fucks who used her for money."

"You don't know that."

"I don't?" I rolled my eyes, "Van may not be Matt's daughter, but I bet my life that she's yours! Don't be so god-damned stupid, Brian!"

"Shut up, Zack!" He yelled back, "Avery Valen Haner is dead!" He started to cry again, "She's dead! Gone from this world!" He screamed before turning his head away from me, "Get out," He whispered, so I turned around and walked out the door, but not without one thing.

The day I found Van's paper, I remember seeing something else. It was a necklace with a purple pendant. It seemed so familiar, and I didn't realize it until now.

I jogged upstairs to Brian's room and found Michelle's jewelry box. I opened it and lifted a small compartment to find a picture of Avery as a young girl, the same necklace around her neck, "It is her," I whispered.



I twirled my necklace around my fingers as I sat in the local library. I sighed before turning to the computer and opening Google. I typed in the words Vanessa Sanders before clicking enter and searching through the results.

After passing a few Facebook and Myspace pages, I found an article on a missing girl. I quickly opened it and it led me to the website for Fuse News.

Avenged Sevenfold lead singer M. Shadows is suffering the loss of his daughter today. At the Long Beach show last night, Vanessa Sanders was kidnapped after the performance. Police have no leads on suspects so far, but have questioned the other members of Avenged Sevenfold and the bands on their tour. No clues were given off of the security tapes and bodyguards have no memory of seeing the girl. Vanessa was five years old and this hasn't been the first child loss for the Avenged crew. Three years ago, guitarist Synyster Gates' house burned down during a night on the town. The result in the death of his own three-year old daughter. The band's publicist have not said an official statement. However, this morning Warner Bros. Records have released a message to fans to ask to respect Avenged Sevenfold's privacy and allow them to continue in the case to hopefully find Vanessa Sanders.

I sighed and looked down at the keyboard, wondering what to do next. Looking back up, I scanned the page and clicked related articles before finding the one about Brian's house.

I read through, hoping to find out something about Avery or Brian. I scanned through the page, not really reading but looking for something to pop out at me. Finally, I found her full name, and a part of me hoped we would share something in common.

Nothing. Avery Valen Haner had no relation to me. My birth certificate clearly states my name as Van Blumenfield. I hadn't known Brian's last name until now. I felt my stomach drop at the sight of my last hope being crushed. Sighing once more, I exited out of the page and got up. Once I turned around, I gasped. Jesse was wandering the rows of books, obviously looking for me.

Jesse would ground me for life if he found me here. I quickly gathered my stuff before heading out of the computer area and towards the front door. I hid in the aisle for the fictional books as I scoped out the library. Jesse was no where to be seen, so I crept out of my hiding spot and made a dash for the front door, "Van!" Jesse ran to catch up to me and grabbed me by the arm, "What are you doing here? How could you run off like that without telling me?" He was so caught up in his rant he didn't bother to ask about the papers in my hands, "We have to go... Now," He urged and I planted my feet in the ground.

"Why?" I demanded, "So you can keep me from Brian and Matt? They're trying to help me, Jesse!" I exclaimed and he shook his head.

"This isn't about that, Van. Doc's enemies found him. He's dead, Van, and now they're in Huntington looking for us," He explained and my eyes widened.

"Why us? Why can't they leave us alone?" I asked and he looked to the ground.

"I'll explain in the car. Just come with me please?" He asked and I nodded. Grabbing my hand, he lead me out of the library and down the front steps towards the car.

We sat in the car when Jesse noticed all of my documents on my lap, but he remained silent. We drove for a few hours, but I was hardly counting. When we left the library it was already two, now we were nearing sunset. I had no idea where we were headed, "Where are we going?" I asked and he sighed.

"We're going to meet them, Van," He said softly and I nearly jumped out of my seat.

"Are you fucking insane!?" I screamed at him.

"Don't use that tone with me!" He argued.

"You're going to meet the people that are trying to kill us!?" And he sighed.

"I'm going to try and make a deal with them. When Doc died a few days ago, he made sure his girlfriend sent over most of his money to me. I got it in the mail. They might be willing to trade me the money for our safety," He explained.

"Might? And what if they don't?" I snapped and he sighed.

"Then we have plan B," He nodded to the glove box and I opened it, inside sat two handguns.

We arrived at a park in San Diego. I recognized it as our turf, the same park I dealt my last deal. Taking the handguns and handing one to Jesse, I got out of the car and followed him. It was dark out now and there was a large group of people waiting by a large tree. Jesse turned to me, "Take my hand, Van," He said softly and I did, "I'll never let anything happen to you. Even if it means me dying while I try."

We came face to face with the group. Two against ten is what it looked like. I glanced around at the surrounding people, "How much do you have?" The leader took no time at all in getting into business.

"Everything he left," Jesse said and tossed the money over.

"Nessa!" The leader screamed and a girl about my height came out from behind the group of men, "Count this and make sure it's right," He snapped and the girl nodded obediently. She kept her head down the whole time until she finally looked up to get a glance at me and Jesse. I gasped. Besides the dyed blonde hair, large cuts, and bruises on her face- not to mention the sores from using meth- I would be looking into a mirror.

"Vanessa?" I asked softly and Jesse squeezed my hand roughly, telling me to shut-up.

"H-how do you k-know my name?" She asked quietly, like a mouse scared or a preying cat. She seemed terrified and lonely surrounded by a group of drug-addicted men. Her very body shook at the fact that I was making eye contact with her, and I'm sure Jesse standing next to me had to have frightened her as well.

"Hey!" The leader slapped her across the face with the back of his hand and she fell to the ground. I moved to help her, but Jesse held me back- letting go of my hand and wrapping his strong arm around my waist, "You don't speak unless I tell you to speak!" He ordered before turning back to us and growling, "And you don't speak unless spoken to. Don't forget who's lives are on the line."

"We came here to bargain. Let's do this so we can put this all aside," Jesse reasoned.

"There's seven grand here," Nessa spoke up, only to get slapped again by a man standing behind her.

"I don't think that's enough," Their leader smirked.

With that, a gun was raised in my face with Jesse tugging me tightly to his side.
♠ ♠ ♠
language: romanian

finally an update. sorry for the long weekend break. had a great fourth and hope everyone else did as well- if you live in america :)

it's 11:30 here in socal. i wrote all day and deleted everything a couple times. but i finally feel happy with this chapter. i know everyone is confused, but that's how i was hoping this story would turn out. it's supposed to make you wonder what's really going on. but the confusion won't last long :) i promise.

more updates tomorrow.