Raychel calmly stepped off the stage and slowly went over to one of the soda bars. Kevin, Edward, and the rest of the gang followed her.

Raychel stopped and leaned against the bar-table. She just stared at Kevin with a blank look in her eyes. She wasn't smiling, either.

Kevin came up to her and studied her. Now she was wearing the same t-shirt and jeans and shoes, but all her other extras were gone. She wasn't wearing the sunglasses, but her now short hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and the ponytail went through the back of her hat.

Kevin opened his mouth to speak, then Raychel bolted. She pushed through the crowd of teenagers and burst out the door.

"Well, that was interesting," Edward shook his head.

"I don't blame her for bolting," Johnny sighed.

"Maybe if she just let us talk!" Mary huffed.

"Now vhat?" Deadhead growled.

"Spread out! Noah, you're with me!" Kevin barked, and the group split up.


Raychel ducked and jumped in and out of people's ways. People gasped and huffed and she pushed them out of the way.

She wasn't going to let Kevin get his hands on her again. She had worked too hard getting away from them to be captured again. But another part of her wanted her to turn around and hug Kevin tightly. Just let him wipe her memory so everything would be fine again. Tears of anger, frustration, sadness, and regret flew out of her eyes as she ran.

Kevin fought to keep up with her. So did Noah.

"Hey! Little girl! Slow the fahk down!" Noah panted.

"Don't curse around her! I'm trying to break the habit!" Kevin snapped.

Raychel sped up, and this time started to kind of do a skating motion to go faster. Kevin sped up as fast as his legs would go. His hip felt like it was about to break.

"Why didn't I wipe her memory when I had the chance?" Kevin thought. "Why did I hit her? Why did I scare her?" Kevin kept running though. He had to get her back. Not because his keeper would be furious if he didn't get her back, but because he promised his father he'd take care of her. "Raychel! Please, let's talk about this!"

Raychel didn't want to. But she felt her head turning to look at her persuers. She felt more tears forming.

Kevin looked worried, and his face was riddled with regret. He looked as if he was about to start crying.

Suddenly Raychel bumped into someone, and went tumbling to the ground. She felt a scraping pain in her knee, and in her hands. Especially the one that was already injured.

"Oh, hey. I'm Jimi," the teen she bumped into said. He bad blue-dyed hair and a black streak going through it. He wasn't wearing a shirt. Raychel blushed a tomato red. "Wanna screw me?"

"Go pack your meat in a car compactor," Raychel spat. She got back up and continued running, trying not to cry.

Kevin walked up slowly to him, "Did you just ask her, "Wanna screw me"?" he smiled through clenched teeth.

"Oh, dude. Sorry. I didn't know she was your girl!" Jimi waved his hands in front of him.

"She's my sister!" Kevin whispered furiously, then kicked him in the gut. Jimi bowled over, coughing.

"Let's go!" Noah said. "I saw her duck into an alleyway."


Raychel panted out madly, trying to relax despite the sharp, agonizing pain radiating from four areas of her body. She was letting the tears flow freely now, the hot tears of her many years of tension and frustration coming out in a flood.

"Why is it that everytime you get really hurt, you suddenly remember all the other times you've gotten hurt?" Raychel wheezed through her hiccuping sobs.

"Raychel?" a voice called gently. "Raychel, sweetie, it's me. Aunt Mary."

"Go away," Raychel sniffled. "I don't want you here. I never wanted to see you again."

"Honey, you don't mean that," Mary stepped into the alleyway.

"Yes I do!" Raychel coughed. "You betrayed me, you work for my parents' murderer, and you want me to work with you!"

"Raychel, you're scared. You're hurt. I know," Mary coaxed. "And it's OK. Everything's going to be all right."

Raychel wanted to get up and hug her. But she knew she couldn't do that. Not if she wanted to risk being put back to sleep like the first time, or even worse: Being taken back.

"I want to believe that," Raychel snuffled. "But I don't think I can!"

"Raychel, you're bleeding! Your one hurt hand is getting worse. You need help."

"I'm fine! Just go away!" Rachel sobbed.

The rest of the family stepped into the alleyway. First Kevin, then Edward, and Johnny, and then those two men Raychel didn't know.

"Just leave me alone!" Raychel felt more hot tears running down her cheeks, "I just want to live my life like a human being; Not chased around and continually cornered like a freaking rat!"

"Raye, I know. I know," Kevin nodded. "When I first saw the keeper, I wanted to run away, too. I wanted to run away and never go back. But I couldn't do that.

"When I first saw the keeper, I did want to leave. But then I realized something; The only thing keeping me there, the only thing keeping me from leaving, was you."

Raychel sniffled. She didn't know wether to be flattered or offended, or both.

"I haven't been fair to you. I wasn't there for you. I was your friend, when I should have been your brother," Kevin looked down at his feet sheepishly, then back up at Raye. "And I'm sorry."

Raychel stood up and wiped her eyes with her bloody hands. The salty tears and blood stung her wounds and eyes a little.

"I... I forgive you, Kevin," Raye shuddered.

Kevin held out his arms invitingly, coaxing her with a gentle smile. Raychel hesitantly walked into him and let his arms enfold her. He squeezed her tightly, ensuring his promise and love.

Raychel had secretly missed hugs like this while she had run away. Even though it had only been about three days, she still missed them a lot.

Kevin put his hand on the back of her head. He rocked her back and forth slowly, the way mom used to do when they were little. Raychel closed her eyes. She was torn between wanting to smile, and not wanting to. She couldn't remember a time when she felt like whe actually mattered, a time when she was actually loved.

"I'm so sorry, Raychel..." she heard Kevin shudder. "But the keeper will kill the both of us if I don't bring you back with me."

Raychel's eyes shot open and she weakly tried to push Kevin away. He held onto her tightly and hugged her even closer.

"Shh... It's OK... It's going to be all over soon... I promise..." Kevin whispered. Raychel caught a glimpse of that pitch black.

"Kev..." Raychel breathed, "... Please..."

"Shh..." Kevin started humming, a tune that Raychel had heard when she was only an infant.

Raychel felt herself relaxing, going limp. Her eyes closing, as a wave of darkness slowly took her in its hold... She felt herself falling again, into a deep, black sleep...

"Let her go; Or I will shoot!"

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