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05/18/17 04:16 am
pj! I remember wishing one of your stories would be finished seriously about a decade ago. Amazing. I just tried an old password I used to use and amazingly got in too. Memories!
03/20/17 01:20 am
10 yrs later, i finally rem my username and password. Pari, you rock. Hope you are well.
12/23/16 01:12 pm
I donate every month. Please donate to keep this site up!
10/06/16 08:34 am
Great post.
08/31/16 03:45 pm
And anyone else who loves this site, it's worth mentioning there's a nifty little "Donate" option just below the shout box here! ;)
08/31/16 03:43 pm
Just wanted to take a moment to thank Pari and all the mods for maintaining such a great site!


Author's Corner

[Reviews - 11]

Microsoft Word


ePub eBook

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2445 - Reads

Authors Chapter Notes:
Please R&R. My other story is still in progress and should be updated in a few weeks.

“What is a hero? According to the dictionary it is someone who commits an act of superior bravery. One act of bravery, basically five minutes of one’s life, what about the rest of the time? While I agree that it is remarkable bravery to run into a burning building to rescue someone, how many of us will ever have that opportunity? How many of us would actually know to or even could navigate through a blaze and have the strength to pick someone up and carry them to safety? Before anyone gets upset, I admire the firefighters, police, EMT’s, soldiers and everyone else who put their lives on the line for us and yes they are heroes from the moment they commit to such a career. So to answer Mrs. Goldilay’s the essay question, no not everyone can be a hero by the classic definition simply because of the lack of opportunity or lack of ability.

However, maybe we can expand that definition to include everyday heroes. What is an everyday hero? Have you ever just had a bad day? Maybe your car didn’t start; maybe you studied real hard but the test was a little too hard or things just plain went wrong but then someone makes you feel better. They pull over and jump start your car for you. They tell you that you have a wonderful smile, that you’re smart or even that they like your shirt. Whatever it is they say or do, just makes your day a little better. If that’s the case, I think we’ve all been heroes at one time or another, even the worst among us.

And now for the next part of the question, what is the truest form of heroism? The truest form of heroism is one that impacts our lives and changes us. I’m not talking about the fairy godmother who grants us our wishes or the prince or princess who takes us from our mundane lives and whisks us away to a palace. I’m talking about someone who changes us as people. They teach us to be better people. They make us believe in ourselves or they inspire us. Many times it’s a long term process and we don’t even realize it when it happens. Often, too often, we realize it too late. We sit back and look at our lives and then realize who taught us certain lessons. Sometimes we even resent them because they made us face certain things that we didn’t want to through ‘tough love.’ These people can be idols that everyone worships or simply a loved one.

My hero is by all definitions a hero: saved my life, made my think I was smart, inspired me and most of all changed me for the better. My hero is someone that most people would define as the bad guy. Many would define him by the company he kept or certain things he did for a living but that’s not who he was. Who is my hero? My hero is named Spike. Before I tell you who he is, I have to start by telling you who I am. My name is Buffy Summers and here is my story.”
In Los Angeles, a twelve year old girl with golden blond hair and green eyes wearing low cut jeans and a slightly dirty top considered too skimpy by her mom ambled down a street. This street was not a street that a twelve year old girl should ever walk down. Like any big city, pushers, pollution and promiscuity filled this area of town. Many people visited this part of town from lost tourists to the suburban neighbor who didn’t want their own particular perversion to be in their own backyard but didn’t mind driving thirty minutes for anonymity in their sins. Not everyone who lived in this part of town were terrible people. In fact many of them were good people who made poor decisions or maybe one very horrible one but didn’t know how to fix it. One awful decision of a twelve year made her stomach grumble, the little voice inside her head weep and her body shiver from a slight chill in the air that pervaded this red light district.
All Buffy could think about was the here and now.

Presently, her stomach grumbled so loudly that it drowned out the ladies on the street corner calling out to the men in the passing cars, occasional gunshot in the distance and the very covert conversation between a man passing a small bag of blow to a lady in a tan Mercedes for a large wad of cash from her manicured hand. For here, in front of Buffy was a diner, a well lit diner with a warm place to sit and food to eat. Inside, she found a tiny corner booth where she placed her duffle bag before sliding in next to it. People from all walks of life from truckers, hookers and gang types to debutants there on maybe a dare comprised the motley mix of diners. Surprisingly, scrumptious scents wafted from the kitchen. Buffy studied the menu for something affordable which to her dismay she couldn’t find in the slightly elaborate selection.

An Indian looking waitress wearing her hair in grey streaked bun studied her a moment. “What would you like to order?”

Buffy placed her remaining funds on the table. “Water and umm…do you have anything for two dollars?”

Jhalak knew hunger when she saw it. “How about a grilled cheese sandwich? It’s not on the menu but Yuri can whip one up.”

“That sounds yummy. Thanks.”

After she gave Yuri the order, Jhalak bussed the debutante’s table. Four bags of chips remained which she took to the girl in the corner booth. “They won’t eat anything with more than one gram of fat in it. Maybe you can save these for later. Yuri is just finishing your sandwich.”

Buffy nodded and stashed the chips in her duffle. Once she got the sandwich, she wolfed half of it down in an instant. “This is very good. Thanks.”

“Slow down or you’ll make yourself sick if you have an empty stomach. I’ll be right back with your sides.” Jhalak went to the back where Yuri a burly grey haired Russian with faded tattoos started to get ready for closing.

Shaking his head, he emptied the spoonful of mashed potatoes, stir fried almond green beans, garlic sautéed asparagus, rosemary potatoes and two rolls with butter onto a large plate and heated it for a couple of minutes. “Not enough worth saving and I prefer fresh for myself,” he muttered.

Jhalak nodded and brought the rest to the urchin in the corner. “Can you do dishes?” With a bewildered look, the girl nodded. “We have a lot of dishes to do. If you help, we’ll give you twenty dollars and you’re meal is on the house.”

“Yes, yes thank you.” Buffy finished her meal. As soon as the sign was flipped to closed, she washed dishes making them the cleanest she could.

That night, at a hotel in shambles like the neighborhood it occupied, Buffy waited for the clerk to take a bathroom break before darting past, glancing at the remaining keys’ room numbers and dashing up the stairs making as little noise as possible on the creaky wooden stairs. Par normal, no one wanted room three-thirteen even at an hourly rate except for someone needing a free place to stay. In the afternoons, like clockwork, during the changing of the clerks, she dashed out.
The next evening, Buffy began a routine that would last for a couple of weeks or at least until her mother returned from a prolonged business trip and noticed she was gone. Strangely enough no one answered their home phone either. After arriving well before closing, she gazed longingly at Jhalak who winked and brought her a turkey sandwich along with leftovers.

In the back, Buffy washed dishes when she heard a man with a deep voice and British accent. Unable to resist the urge, she ran up to the food counter just as Yuri passed a plate of hot wings to Jhalak who brought them to a handsome guy, older than her with piercing blue eyes, full lips, devastatingly high cheekbones and bleach blond hair. A tight black T-shirt left no doubt of the defined lean muscle beneath. His alabaster skin sported some bruises and his knuckles some redness. Greeting Jhalak with a perfect smile, they chatted a few moments before she flipped the sign to closed.

Buffy raced back to the sink just as Jhalak brought more dishes. “Aren’t we closed?”

“Yes,” she replied.

“I thought I heard people in the diner still.” Buffy subtly tried to gain info on the handsome but too old for her man. After all, it doesn’t hurt to drool…er…dream.

“That would be Spike. He’s a regular and someone you don’t mind having around at night.” Jhalak put some butter and other condiments away. “You live nearby don’t you?” Buffy nodded not wanting to disclose of her residence. “If you want, I’ll ask Spike to walk you home.” Buffy enthusiastically nodded.

Never in the history of the diner had the dishes been washed so quickly and kitchen so swiftly cleaned. Buffy followed Jhalak into the dining area. “Spike, would you mind walking Buffy home?”

“Not a problem, where do you live kitten?”

“The Bradford Hotel for now,” she muttered in shame.

Spike’s eyebrows rose knowing the normal clientele they catered their hourly rates to. “Come on kitten, times a wastin’,” he said as he grabbed his black leather duster from the booth. Along the way, several of the street’s denizens greeted Spike. “Maybe I should speak to Yuri about child labor laws.”

“No! I’m …sixteen.”
At her admission, Spike rolled his eyes. “Just kidding,” stated. “Washing dishes isn’t as bad as some jobs. Some things a young girl shouldn’t do.” He nodded to the passel of prostitutes on the corner. “Sometimes home isn’t so bad compared to the alternative.”

Buffy shrugged. She didn’t have any money to get back. Maybe she would try calling tomorrow. “Were you in a fight?”

“I got into a scrape today.” He stopped walking. “This is your stop.”

“I want to …talk for a little bit if you don’t mind.”

“Sure kitten, why’d you run away?”

“It’s been two weeks and no one’s noticed I’m gone.” Looking up at him, she noticed a scar over his eyebrow. “How old are you?”

“Twenty-one as of last week,” he answered. “How old are you for real?”

Looking into those blue eyes, Buffy couldn’t lie. “Twelve but I’ll be thirteen next Tuesday.” In the hotel, the clerk grabbed a magazine and headed to the bathroom. “Gotta go, bye and thanks.”

As she dashed away, Spike noticed the clerk’s absence and smiled to himself.
Their routine continued for couple of days until Spike heard her scream his name not long after he dropped her off. As he raced back to the hotel, he heard more screams.

The sweaty middle-aged clerk had her pinned with a discarded billy club next to them. “I know just how you’re going to pay me.”

With one punch, Spike knocked him out. “Kitten, we need to leave.”

Crying, Buffy clutched her stomach and nodded. Feebly, she grabbed her bag as Spike helped her up. “I have nowhere to go.”

“C’mon,” he said. After a few yards of moaning, he picked her up and carried her to the semi-empty warehouse two blocks away that he called home.
Sunlight streaming through the window and a throbbing pain across her abdomen awoke Buffy the next morning. Pushing off a blanket and quilt, she found herself on a queen sized mattress on top of a box spring with no frame with a large dresser next to it. Looking around, she saw Spike in a raggedy recliner sleeping beneath his duster. With his pale skin and peaceful look, he looked like an angel to her.

The huge open space had a pseudo living room area consisting of a recliner, an old television and a TV table that acted as an end table. Next to it, a couple of mismatched bookshelves filled with books and a tiny table with an old desk top computer and monitor made for a study. Some free weights and a punching bag comprised a workout area. A tiny kitchenette with a stove, oven, microwave, a few cabinets, sink, small fridge and card table acted as a kitchen and dining area. Frantically, she hopped up and searched for the bathroom which she found around the corner. It consisted of a toilet, urinal and shower all open which made her nervous so she quickly did her business.

After she washed her hands, she raised her shirt to see a four inch wide bruise across her entire stomach.

“That’s some shiner. You ok?” Spike walked up behind her as he headed for the bathroom.

“I guess. Thank you for saving me.” Buffy reached into her bag and pulled out a couple of bags of chips. “I have some food if you want.”

Once he washed up, he went to the kitchen. “How some bangers and eggs?”

“Even better,” she stated. “What’s bangers?”

“Sausages,” he replied. He grabbed a bag of frozen peas from the freezer and tossed them to her. “That’ll help the swelling. Twenty minutes on and twenty off for a few hours. Oh and there’s Arnica cream in the top right drawer of my dresser to help with the bruising.”

Within the drawer, she found a ton of medical supplies and a shoe box filled box filled with condoms. With a little fumble she closed it.

Soon enough Spike set two mismatched plates and forks on the table. “No food until you promise to tell me your story.”

“OK, I’ll tell you.” With her promise, Spike scraped some buttery eggs and toast onto her plate and then his own. “I’m from Sunnydale. I live with my mom who always is at work and travelling, well since I turned ten. My father is dead and I don’t even remember him. I don’t have any other relatives. We have a border named Faith who supposedly takes care of me but is more into her new boyfriend now. I don’t do well in school because I’m not smart and boys ignore me. I already told you why I ran away. Satisfied?”

“I’m sure you’re smarter than anyone including you gives you credit for. In a few years, you’re going to blossom into a beautiful young woman.”

Buffy glanced down at her bee stings. “Right, now tell me your story.”

“First, I want your name.”

“Buffy Summers,” she replied.

“Your mum’s name is Anne.”

“No, it’s Joyce,” she said without thinking.

“Just wondering,” he muttered. “Now for my story. Born and raised in London. My father died when I was young so my mother raised me. She died just as I left for college. Two years later, I met Drusilla, my dark princess. We travelled all through Europe and then to the states.” Pain and sorrow crossed his pale features. “Los Angeles is where the money ran out and so did Dru. One day I hope to get her back.”


“She’s the love of my life.”

Although Buffy never met her, she already hated her. “She’s a user and I don’t know why a nice guy like you would want her back.”

“Once you grow out of your diapers, you can have an opinion on love.”

Buffy grabbed the dishes with a few loud clanks. “Once you realize the difference between a loving girlfriend and a selfish whore, you can make comments about my wardrobe.” The moment the venom left her mouth, she regretted it. “I’m so sorry. You’re a great guy and it pisses me off to think that some girl used you for money.”
While she did dishes, Spike furiously took his anger out on his punching bag. Seeing no sign of him stopping, she took a very quick shower in lukewarm water. Afterwards, she saw him lifting weights as she grabbed her duffle bag.

“Where are you going?”

With her hand on the door, she looked at him. It seemed his anger dissipated. “I don’t know.”

“You can stay here until your mum gets you.” He pointed to an old phone next to the computer. “Call her,” he demanded.

Buffy did as he asked but the phone rang and rang. “No answer,” she stated glumly.

“Try again tomorrow.” Spike handed her a grocery list and several twenties amongst many other larger bills. “You can go to the little shop on the corner and buy yourself whatever you want.”

As Spike chugged some water, Buffy noticed more bruises on his body. “You’re a boxer aren’t you?”

“Not legally,” he replied as he grabbed a towel and headed for the shower.

Buffy grabbed the cash and headed for the grocery store.

Technically, he gave her enough to run but she wasn’t. She decided to pull her weight as long as she was there.
Grocery bags in hand, Buffy climbed the stairs to find Spike freshly showered and surfing the internet. From the look on his face, something bothered him. Somberly, he helped unpack the groceries. “What did your mum do for a living that made her travel all the time?”

“She managed an art gallery. You’re trying to contact her, aren’t you?”

Spike shook his head and walked to the computer. “Buffy, come here,” he softly demanded. “There’s something you need to see.”

After a quick shower, he had googled Joyce Summers, and Sunnydale. Within no time, he found an article that explained her absence. Spike watched as Buffy’s face crumbled reading the article about the car accident. Quickly, he scooped her up letting her soak his shirt with tears. Now, the girl had no living relatives and nowhere to turn. On the one hand, he could turn her over to the authorities which she would run away from and end up on the streets or he could do the humane thing and give her some resemblance of a home.

Chapter End Notes:
Please R&R. Thanks.

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