‹ 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

Conflicting Blood

Forest yawned as he slowly started to wake up. His head hurt and he slightly felt like he did when he had come out of the coma.

“Shadow,” he groaned, “How long did you have the body?”

“Almost a week. Freaked me out honestly.” Shadow stated, he was sitting on the window sill looking out over the city.

“A week?” Forest exclaimed, looking at his blue haired freak.

“Yep. Want a summery on what happened?”

“Please.” he said, stumbling towards the kitchen.

“Okay,” Shadow started, following him through the apartment, “First I went after Mark and Kylie showed up, I might have kissed her. Then I beat the shit out of Mark and he skipped town, skipped state even. He told this detective he called that it was all just a joke. Kylie and I made out at the park down the street and then I told her I was Shadow and not you.”

Shadow paused to take a deep breath and let that little tidbit of information sink into Forest‘s head.

“THEN, this is where it gets crazy, I walk into the building and there’s Chewy talking to two people. It was Hazel and Jimmy, they found out where you were somehow. My guess is that stupid ass detective guy, Rowley or something was it? Anyway, they showed up, Hazel kept yelling your name at me so I got pissed and told her it was me. She freaked out, Jimmy freaked out. We had an all out fun time. Then she got all teary and asked how you were doing and crap. Asked me to give you her phone number and to tell you they still live in the same place blah blah blah. The number’s in the mailbox. After that it quieted down, went to work for you so you didn’t get fired and made out with Kylie more. Nothing too major.”

Forest stared at Shadow for what felt like years. He couldn’t grasp any of the things that were spilling from Shadow’s mouth. He didn’t want to believe him. Well he really wasn’t TOO concerned about the Kylie thing but the stuff about Hazel he didn’t want to believe. Had they really found him finally?

Forest didn’t know what else to do so he ran out the door and downstairs to the mailboxes. He dug the key out of his pocket and unlocked it quickly. The only thing in the box was a small slip of paper with seven numbers written on it. It hit him all at once that Shadow was right, he had never really doubted Shadow. But he wanted to see it for himself, and here he was, looking at it himself.

“She also said you could stop by the house if you wanted. That’d be a shit ton of fun.” Shadow said, leaning against the mailboxes and looking down at the paper.

“What should I do Shadow?” Forest mumbled, closing the mailbox and heading towards the stairs again.

“If I was in charge of handling this little charade, I’d just call her and get it over with. You don’t have to be pleasant with her, just contact her and tell her you’re alright because she doesn’t believe that you are from me and my word.”

“But then she’ll want to see me, and so will Zacky and Matt and all those other people. And then they’ll want to ‘help’ me again. Which will all result in this starting over again.”

“Well don’t let that happen. Set it straight that you’re twenty now, you have a job, you have a place to stay. They can’t control you anymore so they shouldn’t even begin to try.”

“Yeah I guess.” Forest mumbled, “Thanks Shadow.”

“Hey, what else am I supposed to do when you’re going through a crisis?” he asked. Forest rolled his eyes and flipped him the bird before venturing back into the kitchen to get something to eat.

Three Weeks Later

Forest stood facing the mirror in the small bathroom. He had acquired a new roommate to help pay the rent. He was another college student, this time majoring in some art based thing so Forest didn’t think they’d argue much. Well there was usually no time since they never saw each other. When Forest was home Daniel was at class, when Daniel was home Forest was at work. So they rarely crossed paths, which is how Forest liked it.

Forest was preparing to re-enter the lives of his sister and father in the form of a barbecue. Hazel had invited him, well begged him. And Shadow told him he should just do it, if anything bad happened he could always just leave.

“What if they lock me up and I can’t leave?” Forest called to Shadow. Who, like absolute always, was sitting on the window.

“Then you let me take control and I’ll break you out. Trust me kid you’ll be fine no matter what.” Forest sighed and straightened his shirt a little more.

He wasn’t wearing a suit or anything, didn’t even own one. But he had put on the nicest clothes he had. Which meant unstained tight jeans and a Bullet For My Valentine band t-shirt that he hadn’t worn in awhile. His shoes, however, couldn’t be changed since it was either wear the ripped and torn Vans or go in his chunky work boots which were much too unattractive and weird.

“Look alive sunshine! Time to go or you’ll be late.” Shadow said, tapping his wrist where an imaginary watch sat.

“You know you’re coming with me right?” Forest said, looking at him oddly.

“Yeah well, you’re the only one that’ll get penalized for it therefore you’re the one that needs to hurry.” Forest sighed, knowing he was right, and headed towards the door to quickly make his way down into the lobby.

“Where ya headed kid?” Chewy asked as Forest entered the lobby.

“Barbecue.” Forest sighed.

“With that sister of yours?”

“Yep. See ya later Chewy.”

“Bye kid.”


The house loomed over Forest as he stood on the sidewalk in front of it, trying to convince himself to go up to the door and knock. He could hear them all in the backyard, they were laughing and having a good time and Forest knew it would get awkward when he entered.

“She invited you Forest, it’s her fault if it gets awkward.” Shadow said, leaning against the mailbox as he picked at his fingernails.

“Stop listening to my thoughts.” Forest mumbled, getting frustrated with him and everything else that was happening.

“Then stop having me in your head. We both know that’s not possible so just suck it up, grow some balls, and go knock on the fucking door Forest!” Shadow yelled, getting in his face.

Forest didn’t even flinch, he was used to Shadow yelling at him. And Shadow was right, he just needed to go knock on the door.

“It’s right there pretty boy. Go knock and lets get this over with.” Shadow stepped to the side and pointed towards the door.

“Yeah, yeah, Shadow.” Forest mumbled, walking past Shadow up the path.

It was actually Matt’s house that they were invited to. If it was Zacky’s Forest would have had to deal with guards and a gate and all that shit. But Matt lived in some little private community that he didn’t need huge gates in. Apparently he didn’t anyway, every place had it’s secrets.

The door bell echoed throughout the house and Forest faintly heard someone yell that they would get the door. A couple seconds later he heard two sets of running people coming towards the door. The door flew open and Forest was looking at Hazel smiling brightly at him and Jimmy was behind her.

“You’re here!” Hazel exclaimed, going in for a hug but stopping when he slightly flinched away.

“Sorry, too early.” she said sheepishly. Forest made a face and forced a small smile.

“Come in! Everyone’s out back, they’re real excited to see you again. They didn’t believe I found you and such so fast but I’m about to prove them wrong, right?” she said, smiling at him.

“Right.” he sad quietly.

He felt out of his comfort zone immediately. He wasn’t used to the big houses, the expensive things, the overly friendly people, and the way Jimmy was looking at him right now like he was some alien. Well that very well could be because he witnessed Shadow with the body, but hell, what did he know?

The backyard was full of people, most that Forest barely remembered. Matt, Zacky, Brian, Johnny, and Jimmy were all accounted for. Their girlfriends, most of whom he didn’t bother learning the names, were all gathered around talking and laughing.

“Come on, lets see dad first.” Hazel said, grabbing his hand and dragging him towards the guys.

“Dad!” Hazel called when they were halfway there. Everyone stopped and looked up at them but Hazel ignored them and kept walking,

“Told you I found Forest.” Hazel said smugly as they walked up. She crossed her arms over her chest and made some noise that made Forest want to roll his eyes.

He refrained from doing so though and took a deep breath and held out his hand for his father to shake.

“Been a long time I suppose.” he said as Zacky smiled and shook his hand.

“Guess it has. You look good, skinny as hell but you look good.” Forest laughed and shrugged.

“Life with no money will do that to you.”

“Is it true that Jimmy and Hazel saw Shadow?” Johnny asked suddenly, dragging the attention to him.

Forest shrugged and nodded as everyone glared at puny Johnny.

“Guess so. I wasn’t there at the time so it couldn’t have been anyone else but him. Unless I’ve acquired some other insane person in my head.” Hazel forced a out a fake laugh, therefore making everyone else start laughing horrible fake laughs that made Forest want to scream.

“Dear Lord I could kill somebody.” Shadow said.

Forest glanced over and saw Shadow sitting on the railing that lined the porch. His feet were perched in front of him, making him a balancing act that no one could see.

‘Yeah well, they’re my family I guess.’

“Doesn’t change the fact that they’re fucking annoying when they laugh like that. Are you god damn kidding me? Punch one of them for me Forest.”

‘I’m not going to punch one of my family members!’ Forest yelled in his head.

“Only two of them are biologically family. Matt, Brian, Johnny, Jimmy…all of them are just some creeps that hang around and do everything together. Punch one of them! I suggest Johnny since he’s a midget.”

‘Shut the hell up Shadow.’

“Whatever man. Just saying, I mean seriously, they’re still fucking laughing.” Shadow yelled.

He had gotten mad and ended up slipping off the porch, only to appear next to Forest. Who was stuck in the middle of the beings that were indeed still laughing like idiots.

’What am I supposed to do about it?’


Forest flinched from nearly getting his eardrum blown and that finally made them stop laughing.

“Anyway, why don’t we all catch up over food.” Matt said motioning to the grill.

Everyone agreed and Hazel lead Forest into the house, his ears still ringing from Shadow’s anger.

“So Forest, what have you been doing the last few years?” Matt asked as he set his food back down on the plate.

“Uh…nothing much really. Working and keeping myself alive.” he shrugged and angled his head down to poke at the potato salad that sat on the perfect plate.

“Where do you work?” Matt’s wife asked, Val he thought they called her. Forest looked up, his eyebrow raised slightly like he hadn’t been listening, which he hadn’t.

“Hmm? Oh down at a shipyard. Cleaning machinery, hauling fish sometimes.” he shrugged, “Not much.”

“Isn’t that dangerous?” Hazel asked, setting her fork down to take a drink from her cup.

Forest nodded, “Oh yeah, very dangerous. I could die any day now, nearly got my hand cut off the other day.”

Everyone looked at him like he had just run out of the woods and yelled that bigfoot was behind him. Shadow snickered from somewhere to the left of him and then he heard the sound of faint footsteps as Shadow left the room.

“Why are you working there if it’s so dangerous?” Zacky asked.

Forest laughed a bitter laugh as he looked down at his plate.

“Because if I didn’t work where I worked you wouldn’t have this fish that you’re eating right now. I wouldn’t have an apartment to go home to. I wouldn’t have clothes to put on my back or food to put into my stomach. Plus, it’s the only place I could get a job where they wouldn’t dig too far into my past.”

“Meaning learning about us and what you did.” Hazel stated, raising an eyebrow at him in a challenge.

“Exactly. Don’t want anyone knowing that I ran away from here, would ruin your image.”

“Ruin our image?! What is wrong with you Forest! I don’t give a shit about our image I just want my brother back and you’re here just making us feel like shit for buying food!” Hazel yelled standing from the table.

Forest stood up and glared at his sister. It was just like the scene a few years ago when they had first gotten to Califonia. When Forest was taking the pills and Hazel was on his side. Well sort of on his side. He didn’t know when they had grown so apart. They were twins, they shared everything their whole life. And then the moment their father came into the picture Hazel picked him and left Forest behind.

“You’re right. I am trying to make you feel like shit. But it’s only because I want to get it through your head that I’m not okay. I’m practically homeless and here you are, living it up like some type of royalty. I could have this too you know, I could have a room upstairs, I could have anything I ever wanted. But I had morals, I had things I couldn’t give up, I didn’t want to give up for all this.” Forest paused and took a step back from the table.

Like he was realizing where he was for the first time in a long time. His eyebrows furrowed together as he stared at the floor. A cold laugh escaped his trembling lips as he looked up at his sister. He almost couldn’t recognize her under the hair dye and clothes out of magazines.

“But you gave that all up for them. You didn’t have to like I did, you chose to. You chose to change things about yourself that you told me you would never do. That you told MOM you would never do. You lied to mom Hazel, how could you lie to mom?” he asked, horror seeping into his features.

“People change. You’ve changed Forest. What are you doing? Letting Shadow just take over whenever he wants. Dying your hair, working in some place that you could get killed…..”

“You don’t get it do you? Can you not comprehend why I did all this shit? I just flat out fucking told you why I worked in that place, you started yelling at me because of it. I dyed my hair so I didn’t look like your stupid posters you put out. And Shadow only got control when I gave it to him. And you know why I gave it to him? So he could beat a guy up that was trying to turn me into you guys.” Forest let a sneer take over his features as he looked at his sister, “Because I didn’t want to come back to you people. I ran away because I hated you all. I was staying for Hazel, but then I started hating her too. Hating what she was becoming, hating that you all liked her more then me. So why stick around somewhere when you’re not wanted?” Forest asked as he turned.

He walked out the door and out of their life once again. He didn’t know what the hell was wrong with everyone, himself included.

“Probably both bi-polar and it runs in the family.” Shadow stated.

“Probably.” Forest spoke softly, his clenched fists stuffed deep in his pockets.
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Gahhh I can't believe how much angst I have in me. I can't HELP but make them fight, it's like it's all I want them to do. Because anger, in my mind, is better then happiness when it comes to the mixing of rich and poor, intelligent and naive.

Eh i'm a messed up person, sue me and stop reading, I got nothing but this story to pay you with. But go right ahead, i'll be waiting in the lobby of the courthouse.

Okay that was a little too dramatic, maybe I like writing as Shadow so much because I kind of put my own insane mind and anger into his character. Hmmm....more then likely that's it.

Sooo....do you think I should have just let them make up and be a happy dysfunctional family? It would be pretty boring but hey, that's your opinion. If you go for the whole 'live happily ever after' thing you go for it.

I'm full of crazy sarcastic comments today people! Enjoy it haha.