Chapter 1

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Morning sun rose just like it did every other day. Woke up in someone else's bed just like I did every other day. That morning it just happened to be in Ritchie's bed. Actually, it was Eddie's bed, but Ricardo was in it. I passed my fingers quickly through my hair, and then touched my face. It was still there, just like I remembered it. I had lived through yet another cold night without Jeff's warm body to snuggle against. I didn't remember Ricardo's snoring waking me up and irritating the life out of me. I must not have slept for long since nobody had woken me up. My head was not pounding either, surprisingly. I breathed in the cold morning air as my senses slowly became awake.

"Morning Drifter," Eddie's voice said from behind me.

"Morning Eddie," I replied in an absent-minded tone of voice as I sat up on the bed.

I had known Eddie DeSalvo most of my life, my street life at least. Since I was eleven years old, he had always been there in the shadows. He was quiet, reserved and always kept to himself behind those brown eyes and those 145 pounds of muscle. A twenty-two-year-old drifter from Buffalo, he was a lot like me. Except I was the Drifter. He was so different from me at the same time. He was a 5'10" merciless kill-for-hire hitman of Italian descent living in Yonkers, yet he was one of the nicest people I had ever known. I was nothing but Jeff's little sister, 5'3" and 89 pounds. Blue eyes just like him with formerly the same blonde hair until I dyed it black. I didn't want to think about him, Jeffrey.

Eddie had short dark hair under a forest green beanie. He rarely ever took it off, even when the weather was hot. He looked much older than he actually was with lines appearing on his dark skin and those bags under his eyes. He looked a thousand years old! I was beginning to look older too, it wasn't just Eddie. Things become quite different when you don't know whether or not you are going eat on any given day or find a decent place to sleep at night. Thankfully though, I wasn't on my own. At least most days they didn't let me be alone.

"Slept well?" Eddie asked me, yawning with his mouth wide open and tongue sticking out like a cat would.

"Not as well as him," I looked over at Ricardo.

"Sleeps all day and is up all night, that's just Ritchie," he added, chuckling.

Nobody ever called him Ritchie apart from me. He never let anyone call him Ritchie apart from me. Nobody apart from little Anastasia Sims. Even Jeff had to call him Richard since he didn't like Ricardo and couldn't stand Ritchie. He was another drifter but he wasn't like Eddie. There wasn't that kindness and warmth to him. I always asked myself why he didn't just stay in California. Maybe he wouldn't have been in the mess he was in if he had just stayed where he came from. I didn't like him very much, and I wasn't shy to let him know, but he was an essential part to the gang despite that I absolutely couldn't stand him. I understood that we needed him and most of all, that he needed us too.

I sighed and rubbed my tired, bloodshot eyes. I tried to carefully move over Ricardo so I wouldn't wake him because I knew he would be angry and get off the makeshift bed without making a sound but my effort miserably failed. I came crashing down onto Eddie's wooden floor, landing flat on my face and waking up the Californian beast. Eddie laughed uncontrollably, irritating me completely.

"Qué?" Ricardo asked, half-awake.

"Maybe if you moved your ass outta bed this wouldn't have happen!" I angrily snapped back.

"Excuse me, Drifter but this is a single bed. It's your own fault that you got in after me." he replied with his signature grin.

I looked over at Eddie.

"You actually brought her in," Eddie told him, "she was sound asleep in your arms."

"Well, if it isn't for lucky little Miss Sims to be escorted to bed!" Ricardo teased.

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