I feel myself being shaken and when I open my eyes I am met with Jesse's deep brown ones. As he pulls me into his arms, I realize that I'm crying uncontrollably. He rubs my back soothingly and calms me down, "Nightmare?" He questioned, though he knew the answer, "You haven't had one of those in a while."

"It's always the same," I whisper and he nodded.

"Burning house and screaming?" He questioned and I sighed.

"Why does this happen to me?"

"You have arsonphobia, Van. What do you expect?" He shrugged before climbing into the bed next to me. He takes me in his arms and kisses my forehead.

I finally fell asleep, waking up late the next morning. Jesse was already up, and I could hear talking from the kitchen. I sat up and reached for my hair brush, getting any tangles out of my hair before getting up to meet everyone downstairs. As I descended down to the kitchen, I could smell bacon and pancakes, "Hi, Gena," I smiled as I sat down at the table beside Jesse.

"Hey, Van," She flashed her perfect white smile from the stove, "You hungry?" I nodded in response.

"You gave us quite the scare last night, Van," Jason put a hand on my back and I shrugged.

"Sorry about that," I said quietly and Matt shook his head.

"Don't worry. Jesse filled us in on your phobia. We promise we won't burn down the house," He smiled and I laughed.

Gena set a plate down in front of me and I thanked her before looking up and meeting Zacky's eyes. He was giving me that look again, and I groaned, "I get it," I started, "I look like Vanessa, but I promise that I was not kidnapped when I was five and I can assure you that I'm not Matt's daughter."

Zacky sat there for a few moments in silence and Jesse gave me a questioning look. Jason had coughed awkwardly, but I kept my gaze on Zacky, "I assume Brian told you everything," He stated and I nodded, "We really did think you were her but I guess it just doesn't add up."

"How didn't it add up?" I questioned and Zacky looked towards Jesse.

"Let's take a walk," He nodded to the door and I got up, not bothering to look towards Jesse's distressed face. I followed Zacky out the door and down the stairs of the condo and to the street.

I watched the pavement move underneath me as we walked in silence. I could only hear the sounds of cars passing in the distance and a single siren, "Matt was doing really well before you showed up," He gave a hearty laugh to let me know it wasn't intended as an insult.

"How was he acting?" I wondered and he shrugged.

"For the past ten years he's been a walking time-bomb. You would never know when he would have a breakdown. One little thing would set him off and he'd be in hysterics. It happened often just after the kidnapping, and then as time progressed they were becoming less frequent."

"What about Val?" I couldn't bare to think of that poor blonde crying her eyes out. She seemed so fragile.

"She did better than Matt. I think inside she was worse though. She knew she had to be strong for Matt, because he felt at blame for it. They both went through a lot of arguing, and eventually almost got a divorce a few years back. They worked everything out, though."

"What would make Matt have these fits?" I asked and he shrugged.

"I don't know," He paused, "Little things, you know? Like seeing a little girl at the park with her dad. One day we were at the studio and we had the radio on. We were all working on lyrics and music in peace when the station started doing those shout-outs," He sighed, "A girl came on the radio, about five years old, and said how much she loved her dad. He completely lost it and it took us hours to get him to calm down."

We walked a few more minutes before I puckered up the courage to as him about Brian, "And what about Brian?" I questioned. Zacky turned and gave me a questioning look, "You said he took it hard too, why?"

"Brian was her godfather and only biological uncle. Him and Michelle looked after Vanessa like their own child. They were constantly spoiling her with gifts and love," He smiled, "Vanessa was really close with them," He finished and I nodded.

"When I was talking with Brian last night about everything, he kind of said something that confused me," I said and he turned to me.

"What did he say?"

"Well, he was telling me that there were only two people in the world that looked like Val and Michelle," I said.

"You caught that, huh?" He shook his head.

"Who is the other girl?" I questioned and he sighed.

"That's something I'm not sure I can tell you," He said softly.

"Why not?"

"That's up to Brian or Michelle. I'm sorry," He whispered and turned around to start heading back. I sighed and followed.

The table was all cleared except for two plates of food that belonged to me and Zack. I wrapped mine in foil and placed it in the refrigerator as leftovers. I had lost my appetite during our walk and I just wanted to be with Jesse.

Too bad he was giving me the silent treatment.

"You can't honestly be that mad at me," I said, trying to get closer to him, but he would just move away. He was trying to look busy by straightening up the room, even though it was as clean as it could be already. "Will you at least look at me?" I asked and he slowly turned to me, hazel eyes meeting mine. I reached forward and brushed some hair out of his eyes, "I have this feeling that I need to know what's going on around here," I started, "I feel like this has to do with me. Maybe in some weird way, God put us here in Huntington for a good reason," I said. Jesse sighed and sat down on the bed. I copied his actions and took his hand in mine.

"You need to stay out of it, Van. God didn't put us here, we just got mixed up with them at the wrong time. I want you to stay away from Matt and Zack," He paused, "And especially Brian and Michelle."

"Why, Jesse?" I asked with sad eyes and he looked away.

"Don't do that to me, Van. Everyone here has been through a lot and the last thing they need is you bringing up old memories," I nodded and he took me into his arms, "I love you, Van. You know that right?" He asked.

"I know, Jess. I love you too."



I watched Van walk out of the room. I had allowed her to go for a walk by herself, as I needed to figure some things out.

After I made sure she had left for good, I made my way to the closet. When we moved in here, I put all of Van's stuff in the corner, to make sure it wouldn't get lost. I reached above my head for the box Van had kept all of her most precious possessions in. I quickly walked to the bed, box in hand, and opened it. I dug around before finding the manila folder that held important documents. I quickly found her birth certificate and snapped a picture of it with me phone, along with some medical records.

I felt bad for what I was doing. In the years I had known Van, I had never done something behind her back. I had always been completely honest with her. I've realized now that paranoia causes someone to do some things one would never do. I was afraid of losing the only thing I love and care about in life, so I'm making sure there's nothing to take that away from me. Deep down, I know it's wrong, but I just want Van to be by my side forever.


Walking down the sidewalk was peaceful. Jesse knew I needed to clear my head, and walking was always a good way to do just that. As I counted my steps, I heard a car pull up behind me. I pulled my phone out of my pocket out of instinct, Jesse's number ready to dial if necessary, "Van?" I recognized that voice to be Brian's. I thought about what Jesse had said, but if Brian was the connection between me and my parents, I needed to stick close with him.

"Hey," I smiled when I turned around. He was driving a nice black Mercedes and I could see Michelle in the passenger seat. She waved at me and I did the same.

"What are you doing walking out here?" He questioned and I shrugged.

"I'm just clearing my head," I smiled, "What about you?"

"We were just going to get something to eat," He smiled and Michelle leaned over him and towards the window.

"Would you like to come with us?" She asked. I looked towards the direction of the condo and pulled out my phone, sending a quick text to Jesse before looking up.

"Sure," I smiled and Brian unlocked the door for me to sit in the backseat.

I thought driving in the car with Brian and Michelle would be awkward, but it was the exact opposite. Michelle was just about the nicest person I had ever met. She made conversation with me as Brian kept focused on the road. Like I had with him, I felt this connection with Michelle. We talked endlessly about what she liked and what I liked.

We arrived at a small cafe along the beach and I followed them inside. We sat outside on the patio, looking out to the salty waves crashing along the shore, "So you and Jesse seem really close," Michelle noted, "Are you two dating?" She asked and I shook my head.

"No. We're really close and some people tend to think that, but he's my brother," I smiled and she nodded.

"I hope you don't mind me asking, but why didn't you like foster care?" Brian asked.

"They weren't the nicest people," I answered truthfully, "Locks on the cabinets and refrigerator. Cleaning the floors with toothbrushes. They were cruel parents and I couldn't take it anymore. Besides, I was too stubborn for them."

Before they could say anything a petite waitress arrived at our table to take our drink orders. Brian ordered a soda, Michelle an iced-tea before she turned to me, "And for your daughter?" She asked.

"Oh, I'm not thei-"

"She'll have a chocolate shake," Brian winked.
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language: swedish

did you know ikea is from sweden??? no wonder it's such a great store ;)

sorry it took so long. my computer managed a virus and i was screwed basically, until my geeky friend fixed it :) so now i'm back and will be updating regularly.

p.s. i went to huntington beach yesterday for the day. i managed a small sunburn on the back of my thighs...bleh. i didn't see any of the guys though :/ but i did meet a cute lifeguard! haha.