Courtney has been hurt many times in her life. Her mom left when she was only 6 months old and her father disappeared the same night. Now Courney is seventeen and lives with her foster parents, Reagan and Ronnie.
Courney has never been loved by anyone. At school she is severely bullied with no friends or support. Courtney has lost all hope in ever finding someone who cares and has numbed all of her feelings in fear of being hurt again. When one day she meets Hunter, a new kid who just moved from Florida, he tries to reach out to her. Courtney ignores him, fearing to be hurt and abandoned again. But When everything Courtney knows becomes a lie and she is stuck in the middle of a web of secrets and mystery will Hunter be the only one there to help her? Hunter cares for Courtney as more than a friend, but does she realize the obvious? Can she save what she thought was lost? But most importantly can she love Hunter back, or will her feelings and emotions be forever numbed...


1. Prologue


     Moonlight created shadows over the never sleeping city of New York.  This night of 1996 the usually bustling city was covered by an invisible veil of silence.  A veil suddenly broken by a van creeping through the night.   It's engine sputtered to a stop in front of a small white house that sat on the street corner.  The flowers, which were planted around the house, seemed to glow with their vibrant colors.  Nothing seemed amiss; maybe a friend coming for a late night dinner, or a relative arriving from a trip. 

    Yet, inside the house commotion arose.

    "Get her, Gary" a woman's voice ordered.  With running steps, a man approached a cradle where a delicate little girl slept, only six months old.  Her hair a light brown, almost blonde at her young age; her lips a pale powder pink that matched her rosy cheeks.  When her father picked her up in cautious hands the child's eyes opened slightly, a face of sadness already starting to appear.

    "Shh, don't cry darling" came the soothing voice of the man.  But even the tiny girl noticed the ring of sadness and fear in the voice of her father.  She started to cry, the small wet tears streaming down her soft cheeks.  Cries rang out from her small mouth; eyes pinched shut.

    "I will take her!" The man announced in a hushed tone, approaching his wife downstairs.

    "What will we do?"  She asked him, trembling.  The baby had stopped it's crying now, seeing it's mother there, thinking that everything was alright now.

    "We'll hide," the father whispered, started to explain his plan.  But no amount of worry or ideas could stop the men outside, big and burly, from arriving at that door.  The family inside didn't hear the small key, which they always hid underneath the garden pot, being rattled in the door.  No one heard the trunk of the van opening, or ropes being unloaded.

    Only a vague creak warned them of the door opening.  Both parents' eyes darted to the door where two men, with three more behind them, stood with menacing smiles on their faces.

     "Game's over, Coolman," one announced in a low grumbly voice, "Boss has been awaiting this for a while"

    The man had the baby somewhat hidden, halfway covered in the opening of his jacket.  Neither him or the woman moved, for they both knew that struggling would be useless.  It wasn't until the group took a step towards them that the family sprinted in the opposite direction, towards the back door.  The man held the baby close to his chest, breathing silent prayers under his breath.

    As they reached the door that would open up to the backyard, two men grabbed onto the wife's arms, anchoring her in place.

    "Amanda!" The man yelled, stopping.

    "No, go Gary!"  the woman screamed  The man started running again, tears filling his eyes. 

    He ran to the edge of the yard, placing the child under a small bush.  The leaved concealed the face that looked up in confusion and innocence.  The eyes of the child a mirrored version of her fathers, both eyes different colors. 

     "I have to do this, forgive me," he whispered as two more men grabbed him and started binding his ankles and wrists, "We will come back...hopefully" he finished as he was hauled away over the shoulders of the kidnappers.

    No one had seen the baby girl, wrapped in her pink blankets and hidden.  No one suspected of such a thing.  The child didn't see the van leave, but she heard it.  Even through the inexperienced ears she knew that mommy and daddy were leaving.  As the van drove out of sight, she started to cry, louder than ever before. 

    Even the stars seemed dimmer as they looked down upon the sad night.  The wind whistled past and the rain started to drip down from the forming clouds.  Yet, the only sound the baby girl heard was 'come back' replaying through her head in the soft voice of her father.  'Come back...Come back'

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