‹ Prequel: Promise Me The Stars
Status: This story is on hold right now as i'm in the process of editing the prequel Promise Me The Stars. Check it out for better chapters!

Rocks Painted Gold

Under Our Noses

Forest woke up to a wall, it wasn’t unusual for him to wake up staring at a wall. This wall, however, was different. It wasn’t the same faded blue-grey that his bedroom was covered in. Plus it smelled different, like sweat and a million bodies pressed into a small space.

“Westfield!” Just that voice made him realize he had dozed at work again.

He popped up, his hair felt a mess and something sticky was slowly sliding down his cheek.

“Sleeping on the job again?” Jack asked. He was the shift supervisor today, but everyone listened to him any other time, although he wasn’t the boss in the slightest, just a well respected guy...that could kill you.

“Sorry, roommate came home last night and tried to murder me. Had a girl over and he doesn’t approve or something.” Forest shrugged and ran the back of his hand across his cheek, bringing it back and spying black oil all over his hand.

“You need to move out of that place kid.” Jack said, throwing him a rag to wipe his face off.

Forest wiped his hand off and then went for his cheek while Jack looked out into the bay. Jack was a huge guy with a soft heart, he could kill a million flies if they bothered someone he liked, but other then that, he just threatened people that he would kill them. That’s how he got the reputation that he was all bark and no bite. That reputation went down the drain pretty fast.

He had brown hair that looked more black since it was always dirty, blue eyes that hid behind all the sludge, and he was almost a foot and a half taller then Forest, standing at six foot four. Nothing he did was ever small, he ate big meals, drove a big truck, owned a huge dog that he called Butter, and talked loudly wherever he was.

“When I start getting paid better, can stop eating, and needing things, then I’ll move out.” Forest stated, handing the rag back to Jack, who stuffed it in his pocket.

“Yeah, it’s a shitty rut we’re all stuck in. And you’re too young to be in it. You’re what? Barely twenty?”

“Turned it a couple months ago.” he murmured, not liking where the conversation was headed.

Whenever someone got talking about his birthday they would get to how he celebrated it, who he celebrated with, were they his family, and so forth. It always got him unwanted attention about why he was living alone with some guy that never came home unless it was to ask him what the hell he was doing.

“See? Too young.”

They stood there silently and watched as a ship was pulled into the docks, its horn blaring.

“Should probably get back to work.” Forest mumbled, turning back towards all the machinary that needed to be cleaned and oiled and whatever else.

“Yeah, I’ll help you catch up kid, but after this time, I’m busting your ass for falling asleep and never helping you again.”

Forest smirked and raised an eyebrow.

“That’s what you said last time Jack.”

“I did? Well I guess I forgot, since I already threatened you this time I guess I’ll just wait until the next.” Forest laughed and pushed the metal cart towards a huge machine, knowing that that’s what Jack had said last time too, and he would continue to say that until the real boss got around to hearing about it.

Jack liked Forest it seemed, well he put up with him, and talked to him. Plus he looked out for him when it came down to it.

Forest liked that feeling, that someone was looking out for him, that he had someone he could count on when he needed help. He hadn’t had anyone like that in his life for a few years, not since his mother, not since Matt. He still liked to think Matt had been looking out for him back then.

Rain splattered onto the sidewalk, turning the grey concrete an even darker grey. Splatters hit the windshield and Hazel turned the wiper speed up as it blurred her vision.

She hated driving in the rain, last time she had, she hydroplaned and almost crashed. But she couldn’t call her dad and beg him to pick her up again. She was older now, more mature. She should know how to deal with some rain, although her heart sped up as the rain fell harder.

Her phone rang in her purse, making her jump a mile into the air and almost swerve for no reason. She cursed herself and angled the car to the side of the road so she could take the call. She wasn’t trusting her multitasking skills at the moment.

“Hey dad.” she said, after looking at the caller ID on the iPhone.

“Hey honey, where are you? The guys are complaining that you aren’t home with dinner yet.”

Hazel rolled her eyes and let out a giggle as she heard Jimmy scream something in the background.

“I’m just a few blocks away, it’s raining cats and dogs out here.” she said, muttering the last part as she peered out of the windshield.

“Yeah I know, think you can make it?” There was an edge of teasing in his voice but she knew he was serious.

“I’m twenty dad, I think I can handle some rain. But to answer your question seriously. I can make it, I’ll drive carefully, and I have dinner. So be waiting when I get home.” she said.

“Sounds good. Love you.”

“Love you too dad. Bye.” she hung up the phone and tossed it back into her purse before she put the Ford Mustang back into gear and maneuvered back onto the road.


“I HAVE CHICKEN!!” Hazel sang through the house, grasping the three large bags in her hands while somehow pushing her purse back onto her shoulder.

“Is it Kentucky Fried?!” Jimmy asked with a southern accent as he walked into the hallway.

The rest of the guys followed and Johnny, Brian, and Matt took the three bags from her and headed towards the kitchen.

“Sure is James.” she said as she walked up behind him.

“Well I say, you better have gotten Kentucky Fried or else this accent would be useless.”

Hazel laughed and went over to the cupboard to grab glasses.

“And you got root beer too!” Jimmy cheered, forgetting to have his accent.

“Wouldn’t be the same without it.” she stated, filling the glasses with ice and taking them to the table.

“Thanks Hazel.” Johnny said as he plopped two pieces of greasy chicken onto his plate.

“Better be thankful, I almost died in that rain,” The guys all stopped and looked at her, “Okay, maybe not died, but still. Rain.” she muttered, sitting next to Brian as they all laughed at her.

“Here Rain Baby, have some chicken.” Brian placed a plate in front of her and handed her the bucket of chicken.

“Maybe I will.” she stuck her tongue out at him and they all went on to eat in silence for awhile.

“Remember Detective Rowley?” Zacky asked after awhile.

Everyone looked up, remembering the man well, he had been the lead detective that lead the search for Forest after he ran away.

“What about him?” Matt asked.

“He called today. Said he was looking over the case file for some reason and wanted to check in on us.”

Detective Rowley had been a part of the Avenged family for a year and a half, having dinner with them and everything. But when the trail grew cold on Forest, he just kind of faded away as they all lost hope in ever finding Forest.

“That’s nice.” Hazel murmured, as no one else really knew what to say.

“Also said he got a tip on where Forest is, asked if we wanted to open the investigation again.”

Food and hunger was forgotten, they were faced with a big choice in a matter of seconds. Find Forest, or let him be wherever he was. They had talked when they decided to close the case, agreed that maybe Forest was doing okay and was better off there…then here.

“What was the tip?” Brian finally asked, his voice sounding strained.

“Guy called in to Rowley, told him he has this kid living with him that looks like Forest. He only noticed when he saw an old missing poster of him. Said he’s been living there for almost two years. The place is less then four miles from here.” Zacky said, almost reluctant to add the last fact.

“Four miles?! He’s been four miles from us for two years?! He’s been right here under our noses?!” Hazel shrieked, her voice getting louder with each question.

“What better place to hide then in plain sight? Damn that kid's tricky, gotta give him credit for that.” Jimmy laughed.

They all looked at Jimmy, his cheek resting on his palm and a smile on his lips as he drew a pattern on the table with his finger. He didn’t look at them, just stared at the table and let out a laugh every now and then like he was thinking about Forest again.

“He ran away, lived practically next to us, and let us worry about him for two years! Why would we praise him for something like that?”

“Because he was smart enough to know that we were dumb enough not to think of it.”
♠ ♠ ♠
So I survived the tornado, no damage near me and such. Was so grateful that I updated again!

Stupid Forest's roommate ratting him out, and yet we've never met him.......which is the point....pretty much.....

Ah Jimmy wisdom, gotta love it.

Like it? Hate it? Tell me!
And a big thanks to sins-97 for the lovely comment!