Sarah's eyes fluttered open to see Dave with an evil smirk across his face. "Goooooood morning, Sarah." He sounded just a little bit too happy, if he was happy at all. She looked at Michael and then
at Dave, "Oh shit." She moaned in a groggy voice. She didn't say it as she leaned up. She said it sounding like she knew she was in trouble but there was no rush in it. She just sat up and pulled her hair back.
"Yeah did you actually think I wasn't gonna noticed?" Dave fixed a new cup of coffee for himself and cleaned his mess from before up.
"Dad, ya wanna know what happened?"
"What Sarah, what happened last night that made you think I wasn't gonna see him?"
"We went to his house after the show and his mom was drunk. She called me a slut and him a fag and she slapped him. Then we ran here. We didn't intend to sleep. He was gonna go home this morning hoping his mom passed out." Sarah's pants were wrinkled from sleeping in them.
"How do I know your not lying?"
"Ask him!" She patted Michael's chest and he woke up. He looked around confused at first, then when his eyes adjusted he saw Dave and sat up quickly. "This must look pretty awkward." He said.
"Yeah, it does. Do you mind explaining?"
"Well, after Mr. James left we drove to my place so I could introduce Sarah to my family. And when we went in no one was home except my mom. And she was drunk as usual and she insulted Sarah and me and um, s-sh-she hit me and we ran off and so we had no place to go except here, and I was gonna leave, but we fell asleep. I'm really sorry, Mr. Nelson." He was scared and nervous at once. His eyes were true and deep. They screamed 'truth' and 'please don't make me go back', And 'Please don't punish Sarah.' All at one. Dave had no comment except; "It's ok. But something like this happens again, tell me." He was beginning to trust Michael. He no longer saw Michael as 'the guy who was taking his little Sarah way' but as a nice polite, charming guy.


"Michael slept over." Dave blurted out to Lisa as he walked by.
"What?' She followed him into his office.
"Yeah, they went to his house so he could introduce Sarah to his family and his mom was drunk and hit him so they went to our place and accidentally fell asleep." Dave sat at his desk.
"Wow, is he ok?"
"Yeah. He's staying at or place until I get home and escort his home to make sure everything is ok."
"Poor kid."
"Don't give him sympathy, he's the guy dating Sarah. My Sarah. My little Sarah.” Dave said.
"Well your little Sarah is growing up. She's not the same four year old we found crying behind the plant. She's fourteen, going on fifteen. She's maturing still if you’ve noticed any."
"Maturing? Like responsibility? No she's not!"
"No Dave, not that kind."
"Oh… OH! I could have gone without hearing that."
"But it's true."
"My Sarah is blossoming into a young woman. Where the hell have I
been?"
"Blossomed."
"Huh?"
"You wouldn't understand"
"What makes you think that I wouldn't understand?"
"Trust me." She walked out leaving Dave to think.


"You look nothing like your dad." Michael had been staring at Sarah
for a while before he said anything.
"Why do you say that?"
"Your eyes are much lighter than his. His are like a baby blue gray. And your faces are not shaped the same."
"So?"
"I'm just saying ya look nothing alike."
"Ok." That left Sarah curious. What part of her family did she look like then? It definitely wasn't her grandparents. It wasn't her grandmother for sure. Everybody knew that. What about her mother. Where the hell was she anyway. Sadly, Sarah didn't remember anything between when she was born to five years old. Any one would have imagined that she might have doubts and questions. But she never had the time to ask. And never wanted to. She was scared of the answer. So she just assumed her mother died and her father raised her on his own with the help of Lisa. And why weren't they dating again. They were perfect for each other and they were too stupid to do anything. Again. Sarah was so frustrated with them.


Sarah watched Joe in the break-room and wanted to run up to him and just roughhouse. She and him were close, like brother and sister, until the period when she had a crush on him. She and him drifted apart since the birthday incident. And no one forgot about it. Beth picked on him about it even then. Joe kept his cool and didn't make that big of a deal out of it, even though it bugged the hell out of him. But Sarah was with Michael, and she cared a lot for Michael. She had known him for six months before she became his girlfriend.


She always liked him. Even before they became friends. She looked at him from a distance and sighed and wondered what he was like. And when they met they talked an awful lot. And Michael was always shy. But when they talked, he felt like he could trust her with anything and didn't feel embarrassed around her. She was so cruel that she would laugh at him for a comment he felt deeply about. She knew he was not a regular guy. He wrote feelings and experiences into poetry and songs. He liked to talk and listen. And Sarah would usually want to talk and joke around, but with Michael it was different. She just loved to listen to him talk. She could listen to his voice for hours. She loved going to a show of his and listen to him sing to something he wrote. He was a very poetic person and was very odd.


As a younger teen he was teased because he liked "girly-stuff" and was accused of being gay, until the day he was at a dance and was caught making-out with a girl in the corner. That was in Jr. High. No one said anything about him after that. Not even after he came to school with a black tube top with 'FrEaK' printed across the front, and very very baggy pants. One day he put duck tape on his head in a big  'X'. Next day his nails were painted black, even his toenails and he showed them off with some sandals. He wore a blue leopard patterned choker and a longsleeve shirt that was nothing but black net. He wore a white undertanktop with it and some black jeans. He wore what he wanted and how he wanted and no one questioned or bugged him because they knew he would get his friends to take care of any one who commented on him. And if any one said anything about Sarah, well he'd beat them to death, he cared for her so much.


But that wasn't an issue anymore, after some one a year older than Michael said Sarah was 'hot'. That guy hasn't been seen, or has been recognized due to his bruised face and loss of two teeth. Michael seemed very harmless, but if he had to use force he’d pack a punch so hard it would knock you off your feet and into a trashcan, butt first. And you'd be stuck. But that hadn't come up yet. Michael was very nicely built. He had a very well-built chest, and abs, and he very strong arms that were noticeable in strength without a doubt, but not so noticeable that you could see it by passing him. He'd have to be standing in front of you. And on how Dave felt about Michael. Well, he was beginning to like Michael. He seemed very honest and trusting and was kind as well. And definitely passed "Ok" on Dave's test. But there were series left to come in the tests.


Sarah hopped on Matthew's desk and sat next to his medicine bottles. He slowly looked up and saw Sarah grinning widely.
"Uh, hi Sarah. What brings you out to my nick of the woods this evening?"
"Matthew, it's noon."
"Sure, in here, but what about in L.A.?"
"Like nine or ten maybe."
"Oh…"
"So, Matthew, have ya met Michael yet?"
"No."
Michael joined Sarah and looked down at Matthew with a grin.
"H-hi there. I'm Matthew." Matthew put his hand out Michael took it.
"That's a n-nice grip ya got there… ow.. Ow." Matthew pulled his hand away.
"Michael has a really neat trick. It involves…" She got closer to Matthew, "Juggling Coffee pots." She whispered.
"Uh,… n-n-n-no that's ok. I'll pass." Matthew quickly ran off. And as soon as he did Sarah and Michael burst out laughing.
"Is he always like that?" Michael asked.
"Yep."
"S-Sarah!" Dave ran up to the two teens. "Are you scaring Matthew again?"
"Yeah."
"… T-that's,…" He grew closer to them, "Next time invite me." He walked off with a smile on his face.


Michael sat on the couch quietly. Sarah wasn't home and Dave said he could stay and wait for Sarah to get home from an art class she took every Thursday night.
"So, you're a poet, huh?"  Dave asked.
"Yeah. I write my own song lyrics." Michael sat alone.
"And your band plays at clubs?"
"Yeah."
"Have any influences?"
"Well, the band agrees that Live and Nirvana are our biggest influences, but my song lyrics are inspired by R.E.M. I grew up with it and people say I look like Michael Stipe so…" He nodded.

Dave sat next to him and smiled, "Would you like some coffee?" Dave offered.
"Sure." Michael smiled.
The two had talked for 45 minuets before Sarah opened the door with a bag overflowing with papers. Her friend Kris dropped her off and picked her up.

"Hey." Michael greeted her with a hug and a peak on the cheek.
"He didn't show you the photo album, did he?" She pulled him close and talked in a harsh whisper.
"No,… but I would like to see it." She smiled evilly.
"You are so bad." She let go of his collar.


Dave and Lisa went out to dinner with Mr. James, and Dave trusted Michael enough to leave him and Sarah alone in the apartment. He trusted him more than Sarah. More than his own child. Well, anyone could see why. Sarah lost everybody's trust when she took a bottle of rum and drank it all in one night. She got sick and was grounded. And she was eleven then, and when she was thirteen she was brought home by the police for breaking curfew and destruction of public property. And Michael had been so honest with Dave and Lisa and everybody and he just seemed more responsible than any teenager that he deserved their trust. And he knew if he blew it, he would never be trusted again and might not even see Sarah again.

It was nine when the two retired to Sarah’s room to hang out. The living room was boring and was so far away from the coffee machine (Yes, Sarah has a coffee machine in her room, SHE LIVES WITH DAVE!) Michael and Sarah laid on the floor, his head on her stomach and her hands rubbing against the rough fuzz under his bottom lip. Like half of a goatee.

"I have never felt this way before." Sarah said.
"What do you mean?"
"I haven't felt this comfortable with my other boyfriends. I haven't felt this content either." She continued to run her index finger over the hair growing under his lip. It was so rough it could cure a bad itch, but it wasn't long either.
Michael smiled, "I feel the same way. I feel at home here and with you."
"Why do I have to be so young?"
"Can I write a song about you?"
"What?"
"I wanna write a song about you and me." He sat up.
"Really? Cool." She sat up as well.
Michael came in close to her and smiled, "Yeah."

At dinner Lisa talked about things that didn't interest Jimmy and drove him to play with the breadsticks. It was his seventh basket because he broke all the others. Dave quickly wrote out a check and walked with Lisa, leaving Mr. James asleep at the table. At the corner, where Dave and Lisa's roads separated, they just stared at each other. And just like that, they fell into each other's arms and kissed deep with passion. They were both a little drunk, but who can blame Dave.


Michael put the pen down and looked at Sarah, "Done."
"You are done, damn these things come easy, huh?"
"Yeah." Michael smiled and kissed her. They continued to kiss each other back and forth until Michael's hands rested on her back. His fingers were touching skin and that brought their kissing to a stop. They looked at each other and gulped on saliva in their throats.


Dave awoke in bed next to Lisa. He yawned and turned over to a clock which read 8:03. He jolted out of the bed and quickly slipped some pants on and scurried around the room picking up all of the clothes he came there with, and tossed them on. But he forgot his right shoe witch was under Lisa's arm.


Michael tied his shoe and sat up. "Your dad is gonna get pissed if I'm still here if he gets home right?" He had the jitteries.
"No, We'll say we fell asleep while watching a movie in the living room." Sarah said slipping on a shirt
"Yeah, yeah ok. You're right. And my mom? I'm gonna have to go home and face her some time." Michael paced the room.
"My dad will figure it out. He's not gonna send you home to a drunk, abusive mother."
"Ok. I'm just nervous. Like what if your dad finds out." He rushed to the bed where she sat.
"He's not. Trust me." She put her hand on his bald head and kissed it. Michael's heavy breathing stopped and he rested his head on her knee.
"Y-y-your not regretting anything,… are you?" She asked.
"No! No-no-no-no-no!" He took her hand and held it. "I'm just a little paranoid. Like If someone found out… We- we might never see each other." He looked at her with glazed eyes.


"I'm late!" Dave ran through the station into his office. And closed the door." Beth looked at the door and Dave popped his head out, "Um,… I seem to be missing a shoe. If anyone finds a shoe, it's probably mine." He relaxed.
"Blue socks?" Beth looked at him.


Dave walked into his office and closed the door with a sigh Later, after he called Sarah to apologize, he went out for coffee and saw Lisa come in with Dave's shoe. Dave slid in front of her and snatched the shoe. He ran into his office before she could say anything.


Sarah and Michael walked into the office holding hands tightly. Lisa walked up to them. "Hey, Sarah, do you know what's up with your dad today?"
"Beats me." Sarah walked into the breakroom with Michael to get a snack.

                                                                              Part 4