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The McKnight house was always empty in the mornings, David and Grace McKnight always hurrying off before the crack of dawn to their job which after 5 years, Quinton still had no idea what it was. It was quarter to 8, as the small brunette picked at her surgary bowl of cereal, she found herself caught in her own imagination. Sucked into a world that was much different than her own. The small daydream session was soon brought to an abrupt stop as the bleating sound of a car engine ripped her figment of imagination apart and dropped her back into reality.

Cursing softly under her breath, Quin hurried to get up and grab her bag, leaving her half eaten breakfast on the counter to clean up when she got home. Quickly, the girl fled out the heavy red door, being sure to lock it before making her way over to the beat up silver Chevrolet Chevette owned by the one and only Lucy Grant.

Flinging the passenger side door open, Quin quickly got in the car before aggressively slamming the door shut, " Hey, easy on the old lady there, Q! I didn't have to pick you up y'know? " With a grumble and a shake of her head, Lucy pulled out of the driveway and headed in the direction of school.

" Sorry, it's not my fault you have a hammy down rust bucket of a car, " with a teasing smirk sent towards her best friend Quin carried on, " Anyways I always appreciate the drive in. You know how much I hate walking."

In reality, it wasn't the walking that bothered her the most, it was the loneliness that came with it. The teen was alone almost eighty percent of the time, her parents going to work early and getting home late and her being the only child of the household, she was by herself a lot, and she absolutely despised being alone.

" Yeah yeah I know. Did you finish that paper for English?" Lucy was quick to change the subject which was gratefully appreciated by Quin, who was not wanting to dwell to much on her current situation.

" Oh yeah I honestly, not to brag, think I got this one in the bag. The math test we have next week though, that's going to be a different story. " with a nervous laugh, Quin shook her head knowing what she said is true. The McKnight girl was always good at English but when it came to numbers, things just slipped out of her minds grasp.

" You'll figure it out, you're a smart cookie. " With a smile, the car fell silent except for the hum of the radio, until Lucy pulled her car into the schools parking lot, parking her car and cutting off the engine.

Muttering a quick " thank you", Quinton grabbed her small backpack and books and stepped out of the car, taking time to stretch her legs and breathe in the crisp morning air. Her hazel eyes fluttered shut as she took in the small yet peaceful moment before she had to make her way into the bricked prison known as school.

As the girl started to make her way towards the building she didn't really pay attention to the things happening around her. The brunettes head was in a daze as per usual, thinking of a world that wasn't her own with her head in the clouds. Everything was peaceful until the squealing of tires pierced the air and the smell of rubber burning against pavement covered the crisp smell of morning dew.

Quintons heart dropped as she froze in place realizing what had just happened. Just inches away was a roaring blue Camaro seemingly purring over the pavement. The driver, hidden by the glaring windshield laid on the horn, causing the girl to jump and quickly move out of its way.

As she did so, the car quickly whipped into the nearest parking spot. At first, a fiery red head exited the car, taking off towards the middle school on a beat on skate board. Crossing her arms, Quin watched as the driver stepped out after cutting the engine. A denim on denim clad boy with golden curly hair and sun kissed skin, slammed the door and turned towards the brunette, a cigarette hanging from his lips.

" You know this isn't a highway, right asshole?"

A scoff came from the boys lips, taking a drag of his cigarette and blowing out the smoke before answering, " And you know I don't care right? Sweetheart. " With a wink he began to make his way towards the school, flicking his cigarette away before entering. Leaving Quin to watch in astonishment, not even realizing Lucy had hurried to her side to see if she was okay.

With a slight nod she started to make her way towards the building with her friend, her thoughts racing about the blue eyed temperamental boy who almost hit her with his racing blue Camaro.

 

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The sound of the bell ringing had all of the students in Quins Senior English class racing for the doors in a mad dash to get a good spot in the cafe for lunch. Quin stood from her uncomfortable chair and started to pack up her things, taking her time, knowing her friends would already be in the lunch line or sitting at one of the tables while munching on their meals.

"Hey did you hear about this party? "

Startled, Quinton turned on her heel to see the beaming face of Nancy Wheeler, one of her other good friends. Chewing her bottom lip she took the bright orange paper out of the girls small hand,

" ' lets get sheet faced', wow how original, " both the girls giggled, causing the brunette to smile, " Yeah it seems like fun, I'll probably invite Lu to."

" Well yeah wherever you go she goes, you guys are inseparable, " With a teasing nudge Nancy began to lead the way towards the cafe.

" You know, I'm making Jonathan come to, " Nancy glanced at Quin with a smile, she's been trying to set the two up for eons but to be quite frank, Quinton didn't like him in that sort of way.

" Nance, I've told you this like a trillion times, I only like Jonathan as a friend. Anyways, I'm not looking right now. I quite enjoy the single life if I do say so myself. "

" Well that's because you've only known the single life you nut."With a sigh, the girls fell into a comfortable silence as they made their way into a cafe.

" Hey over here! Q! Nance!" The peppy voice of Lucy rang out in the throng of students and quickly Quinton scanned the large area until her soft eyes landed on the table that already held Steve, Jonathan and Lucy. For a moment, Quintons heart hurt as a face she would never see again flashed across her mind.

Barb.

She was part of the friend group as well, before she disappeared last year without a trace. Yes she was closer to Nancy but they all still missed her.

Leading the way, Quinton plopped down between Jonathon and Lucy as Nancy moved to sit beside her boyfriend, who instantly wrapped his arm around her shoulder and spoke out,

" Theres a kid from California that just moved here, and he's already thinking he's the top dog. " Using his free hand, he ran it through his wild mane of hair, an anxious gesture of his.

" Oh don't worry Steve," A mocking yet playful tone laced Quin's words." No one is going to be taking your title any time soon. "

" Well he's trying to take the title for the best hair already, with his nasty blonde mullet"

The table erupted in laughter, seeing how sensitive Steve was about his titles and popularity.

At first Quin had to admit, she didn't like Steve. He was arrogant and egotistical and he wasn't good for Nancy. But something changed. After the whole disappearance and then reappearance of Will Byers and it seemed like the atmosphere had shifted from him. He was funnier, nicer and even Jonathon was more open towards the group. The way things changed were weird, not that Quin was complaining, it was just different.

The curiosity in her always wanted to know what actually happened last year. Why Nancy, Steve and Jonathon were so different. What actually happened to Will Byers and, where did Barb go? Not knowing that in a few weeks time, she would finally get the answers her brain was grasping at while her whole world flipped upside down

Chapter Text

The sound of excited chatter and metal clanging against metal as students slammed their lockers shut filled the hallways of Hawkins Highschool. The school day had drawn to an end and everyone was racing out of the bricked building, to get their last minute costumes in place and ready for the Halloween party that night. It turns out Tina had invited over half of the school to her house, hoping to take the medal for " the best party of the year.

At first Quinton was a little apprehensive about the party, filled with sweaty and drunk teenagers who she didn't know, all stuffed like sardines in a random girls house. But the more she thought about it, the more she wanted to go, the anxiety and never melting away to excitement and giddiness. Besides she could be spending the night alone or serving greasy burger and fries at the only diner in town, where she worked.

Her best friend though wasn't so lucky, failing to get the night off at the arcade and being forced to miss possibly the party of the year to watch little brats wanted to play over priced video games all night.

" I promise you Luce, I'll tell you everything that happens on Friday night. " It was Tuesday night, Quin was laying stomach down on her bed, talking on the phone with Lucy as she twirled the spiralled cord around her finger.

" Yeah that's if you even remember what happens on Friday night! anyways it'll probably just make me upset I missed out on all the fun.."

" Ah shit I'm sorry Lucy, Keith is such an asshole, I bet he doesn't have any plans for Friday night!"

" Probably not! But its fine I guess," A sigh came in from the other end on the line, " Just promise me one thing Quin?"

" Yeah sure what is it?"

" You'll make out with at least one boy."

" Y'know what Luce? I'll make out with every boy there if it makes you happy! I really have to go to bed now though. Sleep tight and don't let the boogie man bite."

Turning from her own dusty blue locker, Quin started to make her way towards the doors. She had made plans with Nancy and Steve to get ready with them for the party, not wanting to do it by herself, obviously not dressing up with the power couple, that would just be well, weird. But her path to her destination was cut short as she slammed into something she would describe as a brick wall. The sudden stop in movement made her lose her footing, causing the girl to fall back onto butt, a yelp of pain and surprise escaping her lips as she did so.

" Whoa watch where you're going there, short stack!"

Looking up Quin already knew who to expect it to be, not from any actual conversation of any sort but this name had been floating around school like a wild fire since Monday. The girls swooned and the boys envied. Billy Hargrove.

Her warm hazel eyes locked with icy blue ones as she stood herself up and dusted off her hands against her jeans. Her small 5'2 stature bringing her just about chest height for him, making her have to clear up at the boy.

" Watch where I'm going?! Last time I checked, asshat, I wasn't almost hitting people In the parking lot with my car and you're the one that walked in front of me!"

" Watch out guys she's a feisty one. Be careful or she might just kick your shins to death. "

With a cocky smirk and a little chuckle, Billy shouldered his way past, followed by his little entourage. All pointedly staring at her and making small remarks as they made their way by.

Quinton wanted to scream. She wanted to scream out very insult she knew towards the blonde boy but she had to compose herself. She wasn't going to let him get the satisfaction. Taking a moment to gain her composure back, Quin straightened her self out before walking towards the doors and out towards Steves old car, where the two were already waiting inside.

Getting in the car, Quin could already tell something was off. The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife, Clearing her throat, she put her seatbelt on and let the car start to move before speaking.

" Sooo, what's going on?"

" I dunno Quin, it just feels.. it feels so wrong. We're going out and having fun while Barb- Well she's Gone. Barbs gone and we're partying up a storm tonight it just isn't fair."

Quins heart ached at the mention of their friend. She knew how Nancy felt, or at least thought she did, but there wasn't anything for them to do about it now.

" Listen Nance. I know you miss Barb, we all do but- but she's gone and there was nothing we could have done to prevent it. Let's just try to have a little fun tonight, okay? Im sure that's what she would have wanted, instead of mopping around all night."

Nancy agreed with a small " okay" before resting her head against the window. Sighing Quin did the same, watching the vibrant red, orange and yellow leaves blur past as Steve turned on the radio.

" Lets get sheet faced tonight then" he muttered.

 

☆☆☆☆☆☆

The evening had lightened up as the teens got ready for the party, Steve and Nancy ended up dressing as Tom Cruise and Rebecca De Mornay in Risky Business. Quin on the other hand was Sandy from Grease, her chocolate brown hair, teased and styled with some dark eye shadow and red lipstick. She wore tight spandex like leggings with a black form fitting top and a leather jacket thrown over her shoulders. To tie it all in she put on some big hoop earrings and a few rings and bracelets.

They now all sat In Steves car once again, now pulling up to the house that was already spilling with underaged teens, pumping out loud music and flashing bright lights out the windows like glowing eyes.

They all piled out of the car, the two girls fixing their looks in the reflection of the windows before the three of them all started to make their way in.

" Let's try to have some fun tonight, okay ladies?" Steve had to rase his voice so he could be heard over the blaring music, and not even trying to talk back, Quin just gave a nod as they worked their way into the house to find something to drink.

It wasn't long before the thundering sound of cheering was to be heard, followed by the counting of numbers. It took a moment for Quin to realize what they were saying and when she did she couldn't help but roll her eyes.

39!40!41!42!

Quin pushed her way through the crowd some more to see Billy, upside down chugging some cheap beer out of a keg. Once he reached 42 second he flung himself down, spitting beer out into the cold air and pounding on his chest like he was ready for battle.

" Thats how you do it, right there Hawkins! Thats how you do it!"

Billy went around, working the crowd of ogling girls and hyped up boys, soaking in every moment of attention. Then his crystal blue eyes honed in on Steve and with a smirk he made his way towards the small group of three followed by a few of his buddies.

" You got ourselves a new Keg king, Harrington. " Tommy H is quick to speak, coming up behind Billy patting him on the back.

Quin crossed her arms over her chest, glaring up at Billy as he took a drag of his cigarette, " oh wow we're shaking in our boots." Quin could feel Nancy slide away from the group but she wasn't going to back down now, she would have to talk to her later.

" You can't speak for yourself now Stevie boy? You gotta let a girl do it for ya?" Billys voice was full of mockery, a smirk tugging at his lips as the cigarette hung from it loosely.

" Nah Hargrove, I just don't want to waste my breath talking to you. Have a good night boys. " With a nudge to Quins shoulder, singling for it to be over, he went off to find Nancy, leaving her standing there alone with the group of boys.

" As for you short stack, you gotta stop following me around, damn. It's like everywhere I turn I see your face."

" Don't flatter yourself Billy. Oh and before you go around causing terror you might want to wipe the drool off your face, like a big boy.It's not very menacing" With an innocent smile and a wink, Quinn reached up and patted his shoulder before stalking off. She found Nancy and Steve on the dance floor, Nance being the one to hand her a cup of something red and sweet tasting. Quin quickly sucked it back and continued to dance.

After about 4 more cups of the mystery drink and another hour of dancing, Quin was really starting to feel the effects. Her head spun and she couldn't walk in a straight line to save her life, but she still felt good. Nancy and Steve had disappeared after he spilt something on her top, leaving Quin alone in a large mass of sweaty and drunk teenagers.

Just as she was about to go sit down a boy appeared. He had an extra drink in his hand and a soft smile pulled his lis up, showing off his dimples and pearly white teeth.

" Hey want another drink? I'm Dylan by the way."

Quin smiled, graciously taking the red plastic cup from his hand. " Quinton, but most people call me Quin."

Taking a sip of the now luke warm liquid, Quin made a face. Something tasted off or maybe, she was just too drunk to remember how a proper drink tasted. The pair began to dance to the beat, the song playing being Crocodile Rock by Elton John.

" So, what grade are you in?" The boy, Dylan, practically had to shout over the music.

" I'm in my senior year right now, how about you?"

" Oh same! I've seen you around a few times I just, I'm always to nervous to say hi. So what better way to introduce myself while a little liquid courage is pumping through my system!"

" Well Dylan, I'm s'gladdd you finally had enough courage to come and s'talkkk with me."

" me too Ms. Quin, so what are you doing here all alone? I thought you came with that Harrington guy and that Nancy chick?"

" Oh y'know how it is with couplesss.."

Quin giggled a little, her whole world started to turn and suddenly she felt like she was about to pass out. She set the almost empty drink down on the table beside the pair and smiled a little apologetically,

" I'll be backkkk I uhhh s'don't feel all too good. " Her words began to slur as she made her way towards the restroom at the back of the house. Her legs started to feel almost numb, her vision getting blurry and her head started to twirl. Something wasn't right.

As she rounded the corner go the hall to the bathroom she felt as if her legs were about to give out but even worse, she felt like she was being followed. Making an effort to do so, Quin turned her head and everything felt like slow motion. Dylan was standing a few paces away, his figure seeming blurry as she wobbled on her feet, bracing herself against the wall for support.

" Whaat s'did you do..."

Her mind raced and she though back to what could have made her feel this way. The drink. The little bastard did something to her drink She opened her mouth to call for help but it felt like she forgot how to even make a noise. She felt trapped. She felt doomed.

Quinns knees buckled as Dylan started to glide forward. As he reached her he roughly grabbed her hip making the girl flinch and whimper. He was saying something but it felt like she was under water and he was speaking another language. As her eyes fluttered her head turned to the side to see another figure appearing, a booming voice that seemed to shake the walls was to be heard but still what it was saying couldn't be deciphered. The next thing she knew, a fist was thrown in Dylans direction, knocking the boy off of Quins body and letting her tumble to the floor. Seemingly getting to tired to keep them open, her soft hazel eyes fluttered shut as she was enveloped in darkness and numbness.The last thing on her mind was the smell of strong cologne and smokey cigarettes.

Chapter Text

The dull aching sensation radiated like a ripple in a lake, causing Quin to groan softly. her hand made it's way to her forehead, holding it there as her hazel eyes stayed tightly shut.

She couldn't remember anything it seemed like from the night before. There was alcohol, lots of it, the stale taste still stuck to her tongue like a bad memory. But other then that she couldn't remember. Slowly the girl let her eyes flutter open and instantly panic dropped like a stone deep into her stomach. The girl flew up into a sitting position, causing the dull ache to turn into a piercing scream but she didn't care.

Where the hell am I?

She looked around, surveying the area around her. She was in a queen sized bed covered in thin navel blue and beige sheets. The room was small, cream coloured walls surrounded her, covered with a few dents and holes here and there. They also sported pictures of pinup models and cars. The singular window was covered by a blue curtain, just barely blocking out the blinding rays of the sun.

Looking down at her own body, her heart almost exploded out of her chest. Instead of the all black spandex and leather Sandy costume she wore from the night before, she was sporting a shirt that was so large, it ate up her small figure.

Shooting out of bed, her sore head protested, begging her to lie back down but at this moment in time all Quin wanted to do was get the hell out of there.

She made a quick dash to the door, only to stop short as it swung open, creaky on its hinges to reveal probably the last person she wanted to see.

Billy Hargrove, yet again.

" Oh good, you're awake.I was starting to think you died in your sleep or somethin'," A cigarette hung from his lips loosely as he held a glass of water in one hand and a bottle of Advil in another.

" I- Um... How the hell did I get here? where the fuck are my clothes? Oh god, please tell me I didn't sleep with you." Many emotions flashed through Quin all at the same time; Anger, Confusion, Fear. She didn't even know what to do with herself at this point.

" Ouch, that's no way to treat your knight in shinning armour, now is it. " He flashed a cocky smirk, the one she absolutely despised and if Quin could, she would reach up and smack it off his perfect yet annoying face. " And don't flatter yourself short stack. You threw up on yourself while you were passed out and I didn't want it to get on my sheets. Your clothes are in a bag in the corner. "

"Quin. My names Quin. Not 'short stack'. And why am I even here?"

A deep sigh left Billys lips as he rubbed is face in frustration. "Okay Quin, you seriously remember nothing? About how that random sketchy kid put something in your drink? You're lucky I had to go take a piss or you would 've been done for. Anyways, after I messed the kid 'round a lil bit, no one else was gunna take care of ya and so, here we are."

Quin sat back down on the bed, rubbing her temples with her eyes shut for a moment. " Well thanks... for y'know not leaving me."

" Yeah yeah whatever. Just take this and the I'll take you home." Stepping forward, Billy gave her the glass of water and much needed bottle of pills.

After taking a few tablets and drinking the glass of water, Billy practically was shoving things into her hands and ushering her out the door so they could leave. It was like he was hiding something from someone. He tried to keep his cool the best he could but Quin saw right through his walls. She could see the fear in his dilated pupils and the white knuckles he sported with his closed fists.

The pair were quick to get out of the small house that sat on Old Cherry Road. Quin slid into the passenger side of the blue Camaro, sinking into the leather seats and pulling the seatbelt across her chest, she knew how Billy drove and she was not testing her luck any farther.

Billy hopped into the drivers side and slid the key into the ignition before turning it, bringing the car to life. As he did so the star turned on full blast, making a squeal escape from Quins lips as heavy rock music forced it's way out of the speakers.

" Jesus Christ, how are you not deaf?!" Reaching out she instantly turned it down so it was just a low murmur in the background.

The ride home was quiet and pretty awkward. No one spoke, Quins attempts to make small talk failed miserably as Billy drove, puffing on a cigarette and tapping on the steering wheel with his driving hand. His walls had gone all the way back up and she didn't mind. It's not like she even liked the dude. He was just helping her out like anyone would do.

As Billy pulled the car onto her road he let out a slow whistle .

" You didn't tell me you lived in the rich side of town."

" Yeah well you don't talk so it's kinda hard to make conversation with you."

His only response was a deep grunt. Soon they reached her house, where Quin instructed Billy to pull into an empty driveway. A small flutter of sadness sat in her chest. Of course she had to come home to a perfectly empty, quiet house.

" No folks? Prolly out looking for ya." The tone in resentment hung in his voice for a moment and it made Quin wonder what his home life was like for a split second.

" No actually... um they probably didn't even know I didn't come home last night. They most likely stayed the night at work.."

The two sat in silence for a moment, Billy puffing on his almost dead cigarette and Quin chewing on her bottom lip thinking of what to say.

" Well are you gunna get out or are you gunna sit there and waste my gas?"

" Oh yeah uh, " Quickly Quinton gathered up her belongings and slid out of the car, leaning down to peek in before she shut the door. " hey Billy, thank you.. for y'know not leaving me alone last night.."

" Yeah don't mention it." Blowing out the smoke he turned to face her. Hard icy blue eyes staring into hers . " Really. Don't mention it to anyone, ya?"

With that Billy peeled out of the drive way, barely giving Quin enough time to close the door and at that moment, something sparked in Quins chest. She pushed it down knowing it was just the hangover talking.

Shaking her head, she made her way into her seemingly empty house to first, go shower then, call Lucy and tell her everything that happened last night. And she meant everything.

Chapter Text

A sinister cry echoed through the darkness. Quin was in what seemed to be a forest, it was damp and gloomy, filled with rotting bark and boggy grounds. The sound repeated again, sending shivers down her spine. She could feel the humid air stuck to her skin, making it slick with sweat. The smell was wretched like she was wadding through pounds of rotting produce.

The cry came again except it was closer. Heavy breathing and snapping of twigs sounded, making the girls heart jump.

Something cackled only a few feet away and that was enough for Quin to take off running, blindly into the forest. Twigs whipped her face and vines caught around her ankles. Her bare foot caught on something, maybe a tree root, or maybe something grabbed her. The girl tumbled to the ground, summersaulting a few times before landing heavily on her back. Every thing hurt. Her body screamed for her to just stay there and lie still but her mind begged her to keep moving.

Another growl sounded from somewhere in the darkness which was responded by multiple others. It was too late.

A figure appeared from the darkness, its body slender and fit like a dogs, but instead of fur it was slimy skin much like a frogs. Quins eyes slowly scanned the creature until they stopped upon its face, if you could even call it that.

It had no eyes and no nose, it was bulbed and came down to a point like a flower that was about to bloom. A very ugly flower.

Quin reached her hand out, her heart hammering in her throat. She should be more afraid but, it was intriguing her somehow.

As her small shaky hand was mer inches from its face it opened it's mouth, full of thousands of sharp little teeth in little imperfect rows. As it did so it let out an ear piercing shriek. it lounged forwards, landing on top of Quins fatigued body. It's large claw like paws pressing down on her chest, squeezing the air out of her. Her back pressed into the boggy ground, squelching into the mud. She turned her face away and squeezed her eyes shut. The monster leaned closer, opening it face again, swinging a claw into the air and back down again and-

Quin shot awake. Her body was sticky with sweat, the hair on the back of her neck plastered down and small droplets of moisture shinned on her face. Her chest heaved with the effort to breathe as her mind raced to collect itself.

"It was just a bad dream, you're okay, it was just a dream." She cooed to herself, fist still wrapped tightly in her lavender covers.

After a few moments of quietly collecting herself, Quin rubbed her face and swung her feet down to the floor. Glancing over at the clock and sighed in disappointment.

"Wow, its a Sunday and I managed to sleep in until 8:03. Go me." Grumbling she girl slid from her bed, and shuffled her way to the door. She was thinking about showering but, as she opened the door an unexpected smell floated up from the kitchen. Pancakes.

Heart beating hard against her ribs, she raced down the stairs with a smile already plastered on her face. As the girl slid around the corner, it took everything in her not to squeal with excitement.

The image infront of her would have anyone believe this was a normal Sunday tradition for the household. Her mother, still dressed in her pyjamas but still seemingly flawless stood at the stove finishing up the last batch of fluffy pancakes as her father, looking tired but still content, sipped at his coffee and read the morning paper.

" Good morning sweetheart, how was your sleep?" Her father was the first one to look up, peeking over the edge of his paper and through his reading glasses.

" It was okay. Why aren't you guys at work?" She shuffled over to the fridge after grabbing a glass from the cabinet. Reaching in she pulled out the organ juice and brought both things over to the table with her, knowing as they ate she would want a refill.

" We took the morning off, we wanted to spend it with our lovely daughter. Is that not allowed anymore?"

Laughter came from her mother as she brought over plates along with enough pancakes for everyone. " Oh David, leave her alone."

The family dug in in silence, Quin taking about 3 pancakes for herself, lathering them in butter and maple syrup. She was happy and content, her hellish nightmare long forgotten about. That was until her father cleared her throat, causing the girl to look up from her savoury meal.

" Quinton honey, me and your mother have something to talk to you about."

Quin made a face instantly as she set down her cutlery, " What? You're not having another kid are you? There is no way in hell that that's even-"

" Nono nothing like that." Both her her parents laughed, cutting the girl from her rant before it got too far.

" You see, our job is very well... demanding and we've been reaching a breakthrough we think. So.. since we know you can take care of yourself well."

" Dad just spit it out."

" We're going to be gone for at least two to three weeks. We'll stop by every once and a while but honey, this is very important to us and...."

After that Quin just stopped listening. She canceled it out, hoping it was another bad dream. She pinched herself under the table and to no avail did she wake up. It was real.

Standing up, Quin took her plate and shoved it into the sink before storming up the stairs. Her parents called after her but she didn't want to hear what they had to say. Tears stung at her eyes, threatening to fall as she stormed into her room. She slammed the door shut and flopped down onto her bed. where she stayed for the rest of the day.

 

☆☆☆☆☆☆

Monday seemed like it would never end as the group of girls sat on the bleachers, watching the boys play a scrimmage game of basketball. Quin sat beside Lucy, her elbows rested on her knees and her chin in her hand. She was in a daze as she watched the ball get dribbled up and down the court. Her eyes lazily falling on one boy In particular.

She watched as Billy got up in Steves space, saying something to the boy that couldn't be heard from where she was sitting but by the roll of Steves eyes and bothered expression, she knew it wasn't just friendly banter. Then one thing lead to another, Billy tripped Steve, stealing the ball and throwing up an under the leg layup.

The look of pure arrogance and cockiness swept over Billy's face. At first he looked at Steve, swiping his tongue over his bottom lip as he scanned the bleachers, his icy eyes falling on Quin for a short moment.

She wanted to break the trance she was someone sucked into by his looks. His presence in general just bothered her but yet she seemed drawn to him. Shaking her head quickly to clear it, she looked away just as Nancy walked into the gym, calling for Steve. She looked more than agitated and Quin wondered if it had something to do with Friday night.

As Steve left with Nancy, the boys took a break, chatting with their buddies or getting some water. At this time, Quin was starting to get down from her spot on the bleachers with Lucy, who she had gym class with. They we're going to try to sneak out early to go hang out for a few hours before Luce had to work and Quin had to take her loveable yet annoying cousin and his friends to the arcade.

" Like what ya see?"

Letting out an aspirated sigh, Quin turned on her heel to face the familiar voice.

" No actually Billy, you're chewing your gum a bit like a cow, its quite nasty really. "

The boy was shirtless, wearing the green school gym shorts, which were a bit too tight on him, and a white sweat cloth hung off his shoulder. As Quin made that remark, he looked rather annoyed for a moment before shrugging, his expression going hard.

" At least I don't look like a cow, you better hurry before a farmer tries to take you back to his farm."

A gasp came from somewhere behind her and a few people stared in shock. Quin balled up her fist and bit her bottom lip hard, so hard that she thought she was going to split it open with every passing second.

" Let's go Lucy. "

Her voice shook slightly, but she wasn't going to cry in front of him. There was no way in hell. So she collected herself and walked past him, shoving her shoulder into him as she walked by. As she was walking out the doors she passed Steve who looked equally defeated and pissed off as she felt.

As soon as she was out of the doors she lets the hot salty tears slide down her cheeks, carving the path for the river to follow. All she could think about was slapping that stupid smirk off his face. His stupid perfect face.

As the girls got in the car Lucy cleared her throat,

" He's such an asshole Quin don't even listen to him."

" I know and I don't want to I just... What happened with the other night..."

" Boys like that don't know how to be nice Q. They're egotistical doughbags who aren't worth our time. Either they want in your pants or its the highway. "

A bubble of a laugh escaped from Quins throat which soon became contagious to both the girls.

" Wanna go get milkshakes before we grab the rugrats?"

" sounds like a plan."

As Lucy put her car in drive Quin turned on the radio, as Another One Bites the Dust came blaring out of the speakers the girls both sang along with the windows down, allowing the crisp clean air of fall to blow through their hair. Without a care in the world and milkshakes on their minds.

Chapter Text

When Lucy dropped Quin off at her house the girl let out a sigh, " Alright I'll see you tonight then, when you bring the boys to the arcade?"

Quin groaned inwardly as she took a sip of her strawberry milk shake. The girls had stopped at the dinner to grab some of the creamy goodness before heading back home.

" Yeah I guess so. I just don't understand why my aunt can't drive them herself, but at least It'll give me something to do."

With a quick goodbye, Quin shut the door of her friends car and watched her pull out of the drive way before making her way to the house. She was just thankful that her parents were considerate enough to leave one of the cars for the teenage girl to use for the next two weeks.

As she made her way into the house and to the bathroom to shower her, head rung with the words Billy spoke. A tear pushed it's way out and a small sniffle escaped her and she just let the tears fall. No one was there to see her cry. No mother to comfort her, no father to threaten to hunt that prick down. No one.

Quin sat in the shower for what seemed like ages, letting the steamy water bounce off her skin. Her dark brown hair turning black, swinging down in wet ropes infront of her face as she let her mind drift and finally closing her sad hazel eyes.

She was in tunnels. They were rotting and decaying covered in slimy mold and tangled vines. It was like the grungy dirt walls were alive, moving and wriggling like worms making a path in soft soil.

A growl echoed down the dark tunnel letting her skin go cold. The growl that sounded all too familiar.

Her heart pounding out of her chest as she turn and ran, a cry for help leaving her lips as her pursuer got closer and closer. The tunnels went on forever, looping and twisting, there was no end to this maze of decay. No escape.

Another cry left her lips as her sprint came to a sliding stop. What stood infront of her was the creature from her nightmare but it seemed... different. It had bright yellow splotches on its grey skin, it's head low. Just standing there.

The short blissful moment was quickly over as something snaked around her ankle and-

Quin squealed as she lurched forward, slipping on the wet porcelain. Her hands went out to catch herself but her forehead was pierced with pain as it slammed against the shelf that held her shampoos and body washes before her hands could grip onto the side of the tub to stop the rest of her descend.

" Son of a bitch!"

Slapping her hand over the now oozing and angry gash, Quin quickly got out of the once blissful stream of water and wrapped her towel around her body before rushing to the mirror.

Wincing, the girl slowly removed her hand to see the slice across her forehead. Metallic red blood oozed from the wound, winding and turning with the fresh water droplets that graced her skin, making a sickly red path down her face.

" Great. How am I going to explain this one to people."

Grumbling the girl scuttled around her house, holding a wad of toilette paper to the stinging cut as she looked for a first aid kit.

☆☆☆☆☆☆

Quin pulled the car smoothly into the paved driveway of her cousins house, her aunts car nowhere in sight and neither where the bikes that his gang of friends rode.

Turning off the car, Quin slid out and slammed the door shut before making her way up to the door. Bringing her fist up she was about to knock when it flew open.

The boy standing in the door way looked distraught, his thick eyebrows furrowed together, his wild curly hair secured loosely under his ball cap and his brown eyes wide as saucers.

Dustin Henderson was one for being dramatic, making things bigger than it actually was. So the look of panic on his face didn't stir up any concern in Quins own mind.

" Thank god you're here, I need your help."

" But what about the arcade?!" Quin stumbled a little as her cousin wrapped his hand around her wrist and started to tug her in and towards his bedroom.

" Quin, we have no time for games! This is serious! The party doesn't even know I found him yet!"

Dustin lead her over to his turtle tank before letting go of her now sore wrist.Quin crossed her arms as she stared at the covered glass terrarium.

" your... turtle. Dustin you've had that thing for 3 years. Honestly kid, if you don't want to go to the arcade it's totally fine. Are you and the party going through something?"

" Oh shut up! This is life of death Quin I'm serious! Look!"

Without any other words the boy grabbed the sheet that covered the glass and yanked it off. At first Quin couldn't see anything, it was dark behind the glass and nothing moved. That was until a figure glided out from under a fake rock, making Quin gasp and jump back at the sight.

It was a greenish grayish frog like thing but, it had no eyes. It had a tail that was about an inch long with a round body, a bulbous head and frog like legs. But as Quin scanned the new creature, taking in every inch of its slimy skin, the yellow markings on its sides made her blood run cold.

" What. The. Hell. Is that thing, Dustin?!"

" Well uh... Its a Pollywog... But I call him Dart."

" a Polly- what?"

" A Pollywog. I don't know where it came from but- but the rest of the party wants to take it away from me so I'm keeping him hidden in here. Please don't tell my mom- hey what happened to your face?"

The boys stressed look of desperation changed to concern as his eyes finally caught sight of the poor patch job on her forehead.

" I fell- Back to this thing... When did you find it, how did you find it?"

" On halloween night he was in my garbage can. But he's grown a lot since I first found him and I'm kind of afraid he's not going to stop any time soon. Can you please promise me you won't tell a single soul"

" I promise Dustin but-"

" Pinky swear. Right now Quin, or I swear to god."

The boy thrust out his pinky finger and looked up at his cousin with squinted eyes. Sighing softly, Quin wrapped her own pinky around his.

" I promise."

And with that promise a whole new world was about to open, Quin just didn't know it yet.

Chapter Text

Quin flopped down on the couch with a sigh of exhaustion slipping from her lips. She pulled a light blanket over her bare legs while reaching for the remote for the tv. Her mind not particularly set on a movie, she began to flip through the channels as her teeth worried against her bottom lip.

It was a Thursday night, two days after having her knowledge of the universe widen a little bit. It took her a while to grasp her head around the story that her little cousin, Dustin had told her. A story about a mythical creature, a little girl with magical powers and an evil lab. To any other person it would seem like a childish thought. A dream that had come to his head one night after having too much sugar, or a game him and his friends played together at recess. But with the proof of Dart sitting in his turtles terrarium munching on Three Musketeers, it was kind of hard not to believe. To make things even more confusing, apparently Nancy and Steve know about this too. With the cherry on the top being her still red and angry cut in the middle of her forehead, which she got lots of comments and stares from.

Settling on Sixteen Candles, a movie that just came out of theatres and one of Quin's new personal favourites, she grabbed her tub go ice cream that waited on the coffee table and snuggled up into the couch as she watched. The good thing about having no parents around was, they couldn't tell you that a tub of vanilla ice cream was not a nutritious dinner.

 

☆☆☆☆☆☆

The ring of the door bell echoed through the empty dark house, startling Quin from her deep slumber. The tv was still running, a repeat of The Facts of Life playing on its slightly grainy screen.

Quin must have fallen asleep because her ice cream sat in a heap on the floor and her head was kind of fuzzy.

" Are you kidding me? What a waste of perfectly good ice cream." grumbling the girl slowly sat up and rubbed her eyes before the door bell sounded again, except this time it was rung twice with a sense of impatience.

" Just a minute!"

Looking at the clock the girl tilted her head, " Its 1:07 am in the morning, what the hell kind of prank is this?"

Grabbing the blanket and draping it around her bare shoulders, considering she's only wearing a t- shirt and a pair of sleep shorts, the girl moved to open the door, leaving the mess of ice cream to deal with later.

As she reached the front door a knock thundered agaisnt the door this time. Reaching out, Quin unlocked the door and yanked it open, revealing a beaten down Billy.

She couldn't see his face because he wouldn't even meet her eyes. His shoulders were hunched and he looked like he had been in a scuffle with someone and actually lost for once.

Quin almost felt pity for the boy, almost being the key word, before the echos of his words came racing back through her mind. Her fist clenched and her jaw tightened, it had been a few days since the incident and he still hadn't apologized for it.

" What the hell do you want, Hargrove?" Her voice was hard and cold, with no tone of welcoming laced within her words.

The boy stood silent for a moment longer before clearing his throat and looking up. When he did Quin's heart leaped out of her chest. Right there and then, she wanted to comfort and consul him but she had to keep up her hard front.

One of his usually ice blue eyes was shadowed by an ugly purple bruise already starting to form. His lip cracked, seeping blood onto his white ripped wife beater and his nose still held blood that sat just slightly above his upper lip.

" Listen I know you don't owe me shit but I just- I didn't know where else to go. " His voice wavered and Quin could just tell that he was using everything in his power not to break.

" Yeah you're right, I don't owe you fuck-all. " Taking a moment to pause and study the boy infront of her, she slowly stepped back to allow him in. " Get inside, you're letting in a draft."

Billy didn't think twice after that and bustled into the house, allowing Quin to shut and lock the door again. She watched as he looked around with wide eyes, taking in every inch of the large, lonely house.

Letting out a lot whistle he turned and put on a half assed smirk. " Wow short stack-"

" You can go back outside if you want, I have no problem throwing you out"

"-okay sorry, I'll stay quiet."

Nodding Quin led him into the kitchen where she told him to sit and wait. She grabbed him a glass of water and and bag of frozen peas, wrapped in a cloth before disappearing upstairs to grab him something for that nasty cut lip.

Her heart felt as if it were threatening to break through her ribs as she hurried upstairs to grab the old band tee and sweats he had given her the night of the party. After her victory in finding them, she grabbed a clean cloth and jogged back down the stairs, not before pulling on one of her own sweaters feeling slightly self conscious.

" Who did you fight?" She didn't look up at Billy as she placed the clean clothes in his lap and wetting the cloth with warm water from the sink. Grabbing a chair she pulled it out and sat down in front of him. She studied his face a little, him not meeting her eyes at all. Sighing she leaned in and started to gently dab away at his busted lip.

A sharp hiss of pain escaped his lips and he flinched a little, causing Quin to withdraw for a second before continuing. Waiting for Billy to speak.

" Neil."

" Who? Is he a new kid at our school or something?"

" No. He's my father."

Quin stopped her movements and bit down on her bottom lips softly. Her big brown doe eyes, slowly wandered up Billys bruised face to land on his eyes, which seemed to hold a storm of emotion.

" Your father...Neil- he hit you..?"

" Ya, happens all the time, no need get your panties in a bunch about it." Billy looked away. Hiding his emotion, his tears, his fear and his hatred. All of which were held in the depths of his eyes, like a wild hurricane brewing over a horizon.

" Billy, that's not- that's not okay. You need to tell someone. I can help you talk to the sher-"

She was cut short as his strong callused hand gripped her wrist. His eyes met hers again, ferocity bright within the blue pits.

" If you ever tell anyone McKnight, I swear to god."

It felt as if her heart had stopped beating. like she was turned to stone under his hard gaze. She couldn't look away, she couldn't move from his warm touch. She was stuck.

" I won't Billy. If that's what you want then I promise I won't tell anyone." Her voice was soft, causing him to slowly let go of her wrist and finish off the clean up job. She wiped the left over blood away from under his nose and sighed a little.

" Listen if you wanna stay the night- you're sleeping on the couch. You can go have a shower too." Even though it was a suggestion she was hoping he would take it so she could be alone to collect her thoughts. Plus his golden curls that usually are nicely kept were a sweaty gross mess sprawled over his head, his knuckles were still bloodied.

Taking the hint he nodded and got up, following Quin to the shower after she grabbed him a towel.

" This is my bathroom, I can see if my dad left any shampoo here, or you can use some of mine, if you don't mind smelling like coconut for the night.' She laughed a little, trying to lighten the heavy atmosphere that fell like fog. It worked and a small, genuine, smile crept across his bruised face.

" Yeah that's fine. Thanks Quin." With that Billy stepped into the bathroom and shut the door.

By the time Billy was done, which took almost an hour, Quin had been able to clean the living room of the mess of ice cream and pulled out the rickety old couch to make a bed. She grabbed some pillows, blankets and sheets and made it up to the best of her ability. She was tucking in the last corner of the blanket when Billy waltzed in, hair in wet ringlets that framed his chiselled face and looking more relaxed than before.

" Okay so I'm going to head to bed, I'm sure you know how to work a TV if you want to stay up, and help yourself to whatever in the kitchen. " Giving a small smile, Quin went to move past him towards the stairs, but was stopped abruptly when he yet again grabbed her wrist and pulled her back. She braced herself for a harsh remark or threatening promise with hard stone eyes staring at her. But when she looked up she saw something in him that she never thought she would.

Warmth.

Before she could even speak, he pressed his lips to hers. It wasn't a hard hungry kiss, but a soft one. Like if he pressed his lips to hers too hard, she could be wiped away. Disintegrate in the blink of an eye. Her body was filled with warmth, starting from their connecting lips all the way down to her toes, making them curl.

At first she was frozen, not sure how to react but slowly she melted into it. Pressing her lips harder against his, leaning into his solid body and snaking her arms around his neck, under his still wet ringlets. She reached up on her tippy toes as she fluttered her eyes shut and as he slipped an arm around her waist and held onto her tightly.

Their lips were in motion as it got deeper, more hungrier. the taste of mint and cigarettes filling her mouth. The only thing on her mind right now was him. His presence that made her feel whole, safe, and not alone. He needed her as much as she needed him. They were like the missing puzzle pieces to each others lives.

Quin pulled away first, out of breath and blushing hard.

" what was that for?" her head still buzzed as she was filled with euphoria. Trying to figure out if this was real or if having ice cream before she fell asleep was really a good idea.

A soft laugh escaped his lips as he smiled down at her, " a thank you."

With that Billy dropped his arm from her waist. Taking the hint, Quin stepped back as well, breaking the warm physical contact that made her feel whole. Her heart cried out as she did and it took everything in her power not to leap back into his arms.

" Good night short stack. See ya in the morning. " Winking he made his way over to the pull out couch and flopped down, leaving Quin to hurry towards her room, heart beating hard, lips tingling and sore, and head spinning as she went to bed. Thinking of how she just made out with Billy fucking Hargrove.

Chapter Text

The warm rays of sunshine sliced through the curtains into the dimly lit bedroom. Quin lied beneath her thick purple comforter, her face pressed into the soft pillow, mouth slightly open and hair fanning around her head in a jungle of tangles.

Slowly a pair of hazel eyes fluttered open only to shut again as the snaking rays of sun landed into her eyes, making her momentarily blind before sitting up. She felt rested, like something in the atmosphere had shifted, allowing her to sleep dreamless throughout the night.

Yawning the girl rubbed her eyes. Just a few more minutes of sleep then I'm sure my alarm will go off...

Quin slowly eased back down, prepared to sleep again before realizing one vital mistake. Quickly she shot out of the bed, turning to look at the clock on her bed that read, 10:27.

" Shit shit shit shit."

Quickly she threw on what she could find, a pair of jeans and a sweater. Deciding not to brush her hair and just throwing the thick brown mane into a messy ponytail to deal with after. Quin grabbed her book bag and dashed out of her room, sleep long forgotten and school now fresh on her mind.

" I'm so dead, im so fucking dead."

The girl reached the stairs, hurrying down them as she searched her bag for her keys. Her heel missed the next step, about four drops away from the bottom. A squeal of surprise echoed through the quiet house followed by a series of bangs as her ass hit the steps and half slid half tumbled down the last few of them before landing heavily at the bottom.Quin sat at the bottom, her butt burning from the impact and her breathing kept in her chest, like a hostage in a cage. Fresh tears pricked at her eyes, threatening to fall like raindrops on a stormy day.

" What the hell was-" Billy came storming out of the kitchen, looking like he had just woken up himself. His eyes were still heavy, voice gravely and raspy while his wild golden locks stuck out in odd places. He had a bowl of cereal clutched in his hand and once his eyes laid upon Quin sitting at the bottom of the stairs, he ran his tongue over his perfectly white teeth. Trying his hardest not to laugh.

" I tripped down the stairs and- and I'm late to school because I forgot to set my alarm last night because I was taking care of you so don't you dare fucking laugh at me. " Quin tried to make her voice sound demanding and strong. Like she was the most threatening thing on the planet but it came out caught in her throat. Choked as the over whelming feelings pushed their way up her chest. Suffocating her from the inside out.

Chewing his bottom lip, Billy nodded in response taking some deep breaths to suppress his laughter before setting down his bowl and making his way over. He kneeled down to her hight and looked her in the eyes, which stung with salty tears.

" Are you hurt?" His voice came out surprisingly gentle, his eyes only held warmth and kindness while his face was relaxed. No harsh sneer creased his brow or tugged at his lips.

" No. I'm fine." A small sniffle escaped Quins lips as she took a shuddering deep breath, casting her face away from his. " Why are you still here? I thought you would have left ages ago."

" thought I'd at least stay to eat your food.I'd only just woken up." A small chuckle rumbled in the boys chest. He was trying his best trying to lighten the mood. " Besides, I don't wanna face the old man just yet."

Smiling, Billy rose from his knee and offered out his large hand, " Cmon up on your feet Shortstack."

" That's a dumb nickname by the way. You should be more original." Grumbling, Quin placed her hand in his, allowing him to pull her up. He then stooped down to pick up her belongings, but instead of giving back the book bag, he waltzed over and placed the sac on top of the china cabinet. Far out of Quins reach.

" Hey, what the hell? Hargrove, this isn't funny! I have to get to school!"

Running his toughen over his teeth he smiled a little, " I think it's about time someone's showed you what it's like to actually have a good time. Skipping one day of school isn't gunna make or break ya. It'll be fun."

" There's nothing to do in Hawkins but please, enlighten me."

☆☆☆☆☆☆

After some bickering in Billy's roaring Camaro above the blearing rock music pumping out of it's stereos, the two had finally settled on a small diner about 15 minutes from Quin's house. Billy jerked the car into the parking spot, turning the key and cutting the engine, pulling the roaring car into a restless sleep.

Quin slipped out of the leather seat, crossing her arms over her chest and waited for Billy to hurry up. Since she wasn't in a hurry to get to school she had time to actually shower and change. She wore a horizontal neutral striped turtle neck tucked into a pair of jeans. All pulled together with a tight black belt and her naturally wavy hair falling freely on her shoulders.

" Hargrove, stop making love to your car and lets go in. I'm hungry."

" Quit you're winning, Jesus, I'm coming." Grumbling Billy stepped out of his car and adjusted his tight denim jeans, he had a smoke dangling loosely from his lips and he puffed on it while he fixed his looks in the reflection of the window.

" Alright pretty boy, you look fine. Cmon." Not even bothering to hide her giggle and roll of her eyes, she lead the way into the quiet diner. She chose the spot to sit, a small booth by the window and sat down eagerly. Her stomach rumbled pointedly as she picked up the menu that the waitress sat down for them.

" Hi, my name is Betty and I'll be serving you today.Now what can I start you two, love birds off with to drink?" She looked over the rim of her round glasses. Her eyes shining and a smile on her thin lips, coated in a bright red lipstick.

A blush instantly crept up on Quins cheeks as her wide eyes met Billys for a second before going to the older lady. " Oh no were not dating..." A nervous laugh escaped her lips, feeling somewhat uncomfortable with Billys icy stare on her as she spoke. " We're just- friends?"

" Oh, what a shame. She looks like a keeper." The lady sent a wink Billy's way before taking our order of drinks.

Quin didn't realize until Betty had slipped away, that Billy had a slight rose colour dusting his cheeks, changing his tan tinted skin ever so slightly. He had a small smirk tugging at the corners of his lips and his eyes seemed to glow slightly, as he stared at the menu.

A few moments of silence passed before he cleared his throat softly, " Y'know, I didn't actually mean it... what I said.."

Quin looked up quizzically, her head tilted slightly to the left and her bottom lips caught between her teeth. She pulled her eyebrows together and waited for him to continue.

" What I said. Y'know earlier this week. I'm just not used to girls not throwing themselves at me, I kind of got offended and I don't know how to deal with situations like that.."

" Billy, it's fine I'm over it. Just don't do it again and be careful about what you say to other people. You have no idea about what they're going through." Quin paused, letting her stern voice and words sink in before continuing with a softer tone, a smile tugging at her lips and a playful gleam in her eyes. " It's not like you're not attractive Billy, I know, you know, you are. It's the fact that you can be a complete dick, is what's a hugeee turn off."

A deep chuckle vibrated in his chest, " Ouch, hit me where it counts." He placed a hand on his chest over his heart, making a pained face. " But I guess you have a point. Anyways enough with the mushy stuff, what are you thinkin'?"

" Hmm I'mm probably go for the chicken fingers and fries. How about you?"

" oh yes, what a classic. I'm more of a burger guy myself. "

The rest of the lunch went well. The pair of teens made small talk while they chowed down on their food, the air around them comfortable and relaxed. Like they've known each other for years, they talked about intrests and hobbies. Quin listened intently with a soft smile and wide eyes, as Billy told her about California. His home town, the smell of salt in the air and the countless hours out on the ocean, burning his skin so bad, the next few days he wouldn't even be able to put a shirt on without wincing.

At the end of the lunch, Billy offered to pay and after a minute of bickering he won, forking out the $26.20 plus a tip. They made their way out to his car, getting in and speeding out of the gravel parking lot. Quin buckled up quickly then rested her head back against the seat, " Where too now?"

" You'll just have to wait and see." Billy pulled down his shades as he pulled out his worn package of cigarettes, selecting one and placing it between his lips, " Want one?" He held out the cardboard holder, eyes still trained on the road.

" No, I don't smoke. Thanks though."

Nodding, Billy set it down before lighting his own cigarette, puffing at the end and billowing out clouds of grey smoke.

After what seemed like ages in the car, Billy pulled the car to a stop, killing the engine and pocketing the keys.

" We're here."

Quin looked up, she was going through some tapes Billy had in his dashboard, Non of which interested her. " The Quarry...? What the hell is so special about this place?"

" Get out and I'll show ya."

Sighing, Quinn obeyed, stepping out onto the crunchy gravel path and hugging herself against the nippy wind, tugging at her hair and chilling her bones." I swear if you murder me right now Hargrove, I'll come back and haunt your ass."

Billy chuckled, " Nah don't worry. I would'a killed ya long ago if that was my plan. But you'll probably want to kill me, after this." A mysterious gleam danced in his eyes, making them bright and playful as he full on smiled, the sun almost gleaming off of his teeth.

" after what?"

Billy charged, scoping her up and throwing her over his shoulder, a squeal escaping her lips as she pounded her small fist against his muscular back. " Billy don't you fucking dare!"

" Too late!"

With that they were both plunged into water as he ran into the chilly liquid. He waded through until he was about hip deep before he flung himself and her under, causing her to hold tightly onto his shirt.

Quin squirmed in his strong grasp, screaming as she tried to get away as soon as they reached the surface, " Billy you asshole! It's freezing!"

Finally she slipped from his arms, trying to wade through the hip deep water before he could reach her again. But instead of him pulling her back, he splashed her, sending a tidal wave over her.

" Billy it's October!!"

A laugh bounced off the rock walls of the Quarry, a laugh full of joy and warmth and fun.

" You're such a baby! It's not that bad!"

Quin spun around, crossing her arms over her chest as she watched him wade over towards her. The water made his loose button up cling to his sculpted body, his eyelashes wet and hair in golden curly ropes. He looked unbothered by the biting cold, his tan skin smooth and perfect, water decorating his cheeks and dripping off his nose and chin.

Once he reached her, he reached out and pulled her into his strong body, heat radiating off of his skin. Quin peered up through her wet eyelashes, relishing in the warmth of his body and the sun that shone down on them, turning her eyes into pools of honey.

Smiling, Billy brushed a strand of dark hair from her face, admiring her soft features and warm eyes. " Y'Know what, Shortstack?"

" What?" Quin reflected his own smile, her hands pressed softly against his chest, feeling his heart beating ever so slightly faster than usual. Small shivers were sent through her body every so often, making him squeeze her tighter.

Without saying another word, he pressed his lips into hers, engulfing her in warmth and bliss. She relaxed into his touch, leaving the one hand on his chest while she slid the other around his neck, pulling him closer.

Soon his tongue brushed against her bottom lip as he held her tighter. Their tongues danced together, both teens breathing picking up, hearts thrumming in their chests.

Breaking the kiss, Billy started to move his soft kisses down her jaw, hands sliding down to rub her hips.

Quin tilted her head back, the cold biting water long forgotten as she fluttered her eyes closed. His kisses traveled down the soft flesh of her neck, settling on a spot of nip and suck at.

" Billy.."

She felt him smile against the tender patch of skin, his hands squeezing into her softly.

" Yeah?"

" can we get out of the water..? Please, it's kinda cold."

Chuckling, Billy kissed back up her neck before landing a soft kiss on her lips, " Yeah, I have some towels in the back of my car. Let's go warm up. "

Taking her hand in his, he started to make his way out of the water, pulling her along with him.

Making their way back to the car, Billy picked Quin up, setting her on the hood of his car. " Just wait a second, kay?"

Nodding, Quin watched him walk around to the back and dig through his trunk. Shivering quite violently, she hugged herself tightly and waited.

After a few moments he returned, holding a beach towel in his hand. Coming around he wrapped her up in it, pressing his lips back into hers instantly as he rubbed the sides of her arms. Again the kiss became quickly heated and soon she had her back pressed against the cool metal of the hood of his car. His body leaning over hers as their lips moved in sync, tongues dancing and hips pressed together. Soft breathless sounds escaping form both of them.

Billy didn't try to go farther than this, only moving his soft lips down her neck, nipping at her skin and leaving marks before moving back to her sore and buzzing lips. She could feel his hips move against hers, how excited he was in the heat of the moment but she didn't want to go any farther. Not yet anyways.

After what seemed like hours, which was only about one, Billy finally slowed, his pupils blown wide, his lips raw and red as a blush painted on his freckled cheeks. " You okay?"

Quinn had warmed up by this time, the heat coming from their bodies was equivalent to the heat of a summer day. Her mind was cloudy and her lips hurt, along with a few spots on her neck which she didn't mind. " Yeah.. I'm great" Her words were breathless and lustful, earning a smile from Billy.

" Good, now let's get you home."

☆☆☆☆☆☆

Quin must have fallen asleep on the ride home because the next this she knew, she was being carried up the stairs. Billy was holding her bridal style, letting her head rest comfortably on his shoulder.

She didn't stir until he gently set her on her bed, his voice whispering through the warm, quiet air of the pastel purple room. " Hey, wakey wakey, sleeping beauty. Ya need to get changed or you'll get sick."

Eyes flitting open, Quin sat up and rubbed them gently. Her clothes were still damp, clinging to her small frame. " Oh god, Billy. You didn't have to carry me in, you should have just woken me up. " Standing, Quin made her way to her dresser, looking for something cozy to wear.

" Yeah it's okay. You looked peaceful. Anyways I should get going-"

" No. Stay the night please.. I don't want to be alone in this house tonight.."

Without waiting for an answer, Quin grabbed some clothes and went to get changed, she brushed her teeth and pulled her hair up in a bun. Coming back she made her way to her bed, patting the other side.

" My clothes are soaked. I'll get your bed wet."

" just take them off, not your boxers though." Quin scrunched up her face and shook her head, earning a laugh from the boy.

" Okay whatever you say." Stripping down to just his boxers, he crawled in under the blankets on the other side, making himself comfortable. Quin scooted close to him, resting her head on his shoulder and listening to the rhythmic beat of his heart as she closed her eyes. Gently she laid her arm across his bare sculpted torso, relaxing into the warmth and security of his body.

" Goodnight Billy."

Pressing his lips to the top of her head, he let his mind drift as his tight muscles relaxed into the girl curled up under his arm. His eyes too fluttered shut as sleep slowly took him from the waking world.

" G'night Quin."