Everybody has secrets, but when Ava reveals her what will people think?
And does Harry have his secrets as well? Why is he so guarded? Ava is determined to find out.


1. A Perfect Stranger

I could feel the sun shining through the window onto my face, but I didn't dare open my eyes. I knew this part, I had to wait until the weight was lifted from my midsection, this meant that I was safe for the day. I could feel movement behind me, keeping my eyes shut tightly, I concentrated on keeping my breathing even, pretending I was asleep.
Slowly I felt the weight leave my sore stomach as he climbed out of my bed. Waiting until I heard soft footsteps head out of my room and the door shut behind them, I finally opened my eyes, stretching and testing my sore limbs.
Sitting up slowly, I ran my hand through my tangled hair, trying to smooth it out. Throwing the blanket off of my shaking body, I slowly got out of bed trying not to make any noise as I headed towards my bathroom to take a shower.


I loved using my hair dryer to dry my hair, I couldn't hear my own thoughts over the noise and if anyone was yelling at me, I couldn't hear them either. As I finished drying the last of hair, I let it fall into it's natural waves around my neck and face. I started to pull it up, but stopped when I noticed a dark purple mark starting to form on my neck, sighing I let my hair fall back down to cover it. Before I left the bathroom I covered what I could of the bruise with make up to make it less noticeable. Before leaving the bathroom I pressed my ear against the door to make sure he hadn't stayed behind from work and was waiting for me.
Satisfied when I couldn't hear anything, I slowly pushed open the door peeking around the edge. Not seeing him anywhere, I stepped out into my bedroom and walked towards my wardrobe to pull out some clothes for the day. Even though it was hot, I opted for long skinny jeans to cover the marks on my legs, and a long sleeved thin top for the bruises and cuts. After slipping them on, I turned to study the reflection in the mirror staring back at me. She looked normal, the bruises and scars that were at home on her body couldn't be seen, the mark on her neck was covered by her hair and she put on a fake confident smile. I saw her smile drop as I know mine did when I saw the sadness in her eyes, the sadness that was becoming harder and harder to hide each day. Picking up my bag, I sighed as I headed out of my room down the stairs and left the house, walking towards work.


"Hey Steven!" I greeted the shaggy haired boy behind the counter as I walked into work with a smile.
"What's going on, A?" I shook my head at Steven's nickname for me, he gave everyone nicknames, he'd complained that my first name was too short, so he'd resulted in just using the first letter.
"Nothing more than yesterday." I told him, as I walked through the staff door to put my bag in my locker before I punched in. After typing in my ten digit number and scanning my fingerprint I walked into the office to find a pile of paperwork that had to be filled out for our next delivery, I grabbed them before heading back out the front to join Steven on the floor.
"Steven, do you have the list of stock that needs to be ordered so I can fill this in?" I asked him as I walked out to see him leaning on the counter listening to the music he'd chosen to play for the morning. Grinning at me, he pulled out the small piece of paper he'd used to jot everything down in his messy handwriting this morning.
As I placed his list and the paperwork on the front desk, rolling my eyes at Steven who was now playing the air guitar, I felt myself slowly relax.
This is how it was, agitated, scared and on edge at home, and only feeling relaxed at work, around Steven.


I placed the paperwork through the fax machine and sent it off to the warehouse, before changing the playlist of the music playing throughout the store. I heard Steven grumble his protests from the front area, as I walked through the staff door, locking it behind me.
I picked up a pile of CDs to place onto the shelves as Steven turned to glare at me playfully when the customer he was serving wasn't paying attention. Laughing to myself I headed off to the section of shelves I was about to fill, turning the corner of the aisle I walked right into a customer, dropping some CDs and almost falling over before I felt a pair of strong hands grab a hold of my arms, pulling me up.
As I recovered from my trip, I was turned to stare up into a pair of amazing green eyes and a mop of curly hair, with a shocked expression.
"Are you alright? I'm so sorry," he apologized, letting go of me when I was standing straight and quickly bending over to pick up the CDs I dropped.
"I'm fine, thank you. Sorry, I should have watched where I was going." I said half laughing, as I took the CDs from him as he stood back up to look down at me with a full grin, accompanied by dimples.
"It's okay love, I'm Harry by the way," he told me with a cheeky grin, and a look in his eyes that comforted me.
"I'm Ava." I told him, "would you like some help with anything?" I asked, remembering that I was at work.
"No, that's alright. I'm just browsing." He said, smiling, before walking past me and grinning.
Taking a deep breath, I walked over to start putting the CDs away on the shelf, forcing myself not to turn and look for him.
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