"I don't think you even need to ask." Star replied, her eyes like icy daggers.
Taylor was taken aback by the comment, he now knew her feelings for him had to be strong, but he couldn't care less.
"Fine. Don't you dare come back over here. If I see you two anywhere near the mattress Iíll..." He left the threat hanging in the air and stomped back to his brothers in the near darkness. Suddenly, Zac yelped as Taylor's foot stepped on his delicate fingers.
"Ow! Tay, watch it!" Zac whined.
Isaac pulled his younger brother closer to his body in an effort to quell his anger and surprisingly enough, it worked and said, "Tay man, that was harsh, I don't-."
Taylor cut him off as the triplets and Scott looked on silently, "I could care less if you think that's harsh!"
Isaac started waving his hand through the darkness in a vain attempt to gather Taylor's attention. He failed.
"He's the spawn of some sadistic kidnapper that took us away from mom, dad, and the kids! How can sit there and defend them like that!?" He finished shrieking, very red faced.
Isaac sighed in frustration and stated, "If you would have let me get a word in, I was gonna say, 'I don't think I would have done anything differently.' Cool?"
Taylor blushed, "Yeah."
A small voice came from the basement corner, "You guys make me sick. How can you say that? It's not his fault! He can't help who his dad is!"
Scott now grew irritated and quite angry as he voiced his opinion before Taylor could, "Ya know, I really wouldn't mind it if you shut your mouth up Star! Do us all a favor and shut the hell up!"
Two gasps echoed quietly from the corner as silence filled the small space they now lived in.
Zac was confused by the commotion going on around him. He knew Star was a betrayer for even thinking about loving the guy, but now she was admitting to it! He wanted his brothers to lighten up a bit about the situation, but he was scared they'd turn on him too if he said that and he needed their comfort right now more then anything else in the world. He started shaking softly as a fight erupted between the sides.
Taylor's voice issued first, "Scott. I'm totally in agreement with you."
Star's then came in, "You would you damn fairy! How can you not give him a chance?"
Dave growled out, "I coulda swore Scott gave the general feeling that we DID NOT want to hear your voice. Do you mind?"
Tony's voice came into the fray, "How can you talk to your sister like that? Do you know what hell she's been through the past few days?"
Bob's blood reached a boiling point at that moment.
"How the fuck can you even say that!? Do you know what hell WE'VE been put through the last few days? That dumb little bitch would rather see Zac beaten to death then tell her little secret!"
At the mention of what happened to him, Zac shuddered and burrowed into Isaac's comforting warmth.
"Then she spilled it ONLY after Scott got his face diced up and then he got maced! You ask us what kinda hell we've been put through. Ask us!" He screamed.
Isaac stared at Bob in shock. He was normally such a laid back kind of guy, never one that was easy to upset. He'd only really seen him mad once before. It'd been the day ZoŽ had come to give the practice room a nice visit, unannounced of course. Bob's drums had been the first thing her beautiful blue eyes fell upon and she decided she was out to destroy it. After a loud commotion was heard from the room, all the band members rushed in to see a gaping hole in the bass, the drumsticks mangled, and the snare halfway across the room with a small tear in the center. Bob was kind enough to wait until ZoŽ was out of ear shot before he blew his top. Isaac swore his ears were still ringing.
Star must have been having the same feelings as a comeback failed to pass over her lips. She grabbed Tony's hand gently and tugged on it to get him to sit down. Keeping careful eye contact with Taylor in the dim light, he sank to his butt and pulled his love close. Star sensed what he wanted to do and moved in, waiting for the moment his lips would caress hers. He leaned in close when all of the sudden the door slammed open to the upstairs.
"Star! Who do ya wanna have showered first?" Bill demanded.
She smiled wickedly at Taylor, "The middle Hanson brat."
An annoyed voice asked, "Which one would that be?"
Taylor decided to take away some of the vindictive joy from Star as he stated cheerfully, "That'd be me sir!" And he hopped to his feet.
Star's glowering face followed him up the stairs before she sank into Tony's waiting arms. Sleep pulled at her eyelids as she lay her head against his chest, hearing the comforting sound of his life beating against his chest. Her eyes slid shut in only a moment as the light from the door faded to a sliver.
Silence filled the dark room.
Zac lay against Isaac's torso, stunned by the quiet that filled the room. His breathing turned rapid as he heard a cry of pain and a dull thump come from up above. His heart rate climbed through the roof as he heard cruel laughter accompanied by a door slamming. All ears strained for more noise through the thick walls.
A few moments previous...
Taylor followed behind Bill closely, angry beyond words at Star's insane actions. He kept wondering how a sensible girl like her could fall for somebody like him. He knew the house had phones from what Zac and Scott reported so it would have been stupidly easy to call the authorities and aware them of their whereabouts. But did he? No, he didn't.
"Here's the bathroom. Black sweats, red shirt. Get in and make it fast. Water costs a bitch up here."
Taylor's mind flew to Star again, "Speaking of bitches." He said quietly to himself, thinking he went unheard.
Not thinking to look behind him, Taylor was stunned as a hard punch was landed in the middle of his shoulder blades as it sent him tumbling to the floor to writhe in agony. He looked up at his antagonizer in confusion.
"Don't you ever think you can call me a name! Do you understand?! Ever!" Bill slammed his slippered foot into Taylor's side as his breath was driven from his chest.
"Get in the shower." Bill mumbled and he walked out of the small bathroom.
Taylor lay on the floor, trying in vain to suck in a precious lungful of air. His diaphragm abruptly agreed with him as he started coughing in pain. He drew in a deeper breath and lay on his stomach while the sick feeling in his stomach passed. He could hear movement downstairs where his family was and he sighed. Climbing to his feet, he took a look around the room, noting that it was bare of anything that could help in an escape attempt.
Finally, he pulled off his shirt and gingerly folded it up and did the same with his pants. Standing in his boxers, he leaned over the edge of the tub to turn the water on. He messed around with the knobs for a moment until he found the desired temperature. He tucked the shower curtain in carefully and checked himself out the mirror. He was shocked at his appearance. His face was gaunt looking, dark circles hung underneath his eyes and his hair fell in greasy locks around his face. The steam started to call him to the flowing water and he stripped his boxers off. He hopped in the warm liquid and delightedly soaked his hair. If he closed his eyes enough and ignored the throbbing pain in his back, he could almost imagine he was at home. Almost.
* More then four hours later *
Zac crept down the stairs in sheer terror, shying away from the man he knew as Bill.
"Hurry up boy." Bill prodded his back from behind.
Zac cried out in fear as he sprinted down the steps and dove for the safety his brother's bodies would provide. He'd been the last one to go upstairs for a shower, as he had hoped to avoid the whole situation completely. He never wanted to leave Isaac or Taylor's side at all. When they disappeared upstairs, one of the Moffatt brothers took his place.
"Shhh, it's ok man. Just calm down k?" Isaac's whisper directed him.
He slid over to his oldest brother's arms and was immediately comforted by the gesture of caring. He sighed in relief and tunneled deeper into Isaac's chest and biceps.
"Where do you think the jackass squad is now?" Zac whispered to no one.
Star bit her tongue in an effort not to tell. She fought a silent battle with herself and won. She waited to hear what they would say.
She didn't have to worry about hearing anything. Isaac had long since fallen asleep and Zac laying quietly in his arms, stroking Taylor's hair like he was an overgrown puppy. Bob shifted gently and rolled over to use Zac's thigh as a pillow causing Zac to smile and give him a sort of pat on the head before returning to running his fingers through Taylor's hair. Taylor fell into a deeper sleep as well as it was a comfort for Zac to continue to do so.
Star glanced over at Tony and smiled, seeing his open eyes grazing her body. His eyes jerked up to hers and he flushed, embarrassed that he was caught. She smiled again as he rose up on one elbow to observe her face and her soulful eyes. He licked his grinning lips as he lowered his lips to meet hers. One of the boys stirred, causing him to yank his head back quickly. The sound stopped as he resumed what he was doing. His head dropped down near hers and he wetted his lips in a caring manner. Ever so gently, he brushed his smooth mouth over Star's as she sighed through her nose and closed her eyes. His hand brushed stray hairs away from her face as he deepened the kiss. He positioned his left hand on her cheek and slid it back behind her jaw and pressed his lips even harder against hers and abruptly pulled away.
Star opened her eyes in confusion, "What?"
He closed his eyes and fought for control of his emotions and said, "I was so scared dad wouldn't let us near each other again. I thought he was gonna kill you. I'm so happy to see-."
Star pressed her fingers against his moving lips and hushed him. She slid her lips back over his and had one final kiss. Tony sighed and pulled Star close, so her back was pressed against his chest. He draped an arm over her waist and buried his face in her hair. Star smiled, glad that only she and Tony were aware of these activities.
Taylor threw a hate filled glare at Tony, wishing that his sister would come to her senses. He wanted desperately to run up and punch him, kick him over and over until he stopped breathing. Only his brotherly love for Star was holding him back.
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