Chapter One — Izzy Hartmann
He had always been the outcast. Ever since before he could remember. His mother had let Izzy be who he wanted to be from a really young age, believing at the time that the best way to raise a normal and healthy child was to give them the freedom to give them as much control of their lives as possible as long as no one got hurt, basically just giving them choices over their lives.
She let her little boy go without the haircuts, having screamed bloody murder when he was three or four when they had said it was time for a haircut. He wanted long hair like mommy. He hated short hair! That was only the beginning. His mother had realized her little boy was… different to say the least. But when he was still so little she could still convince both herself and her husband that these strange things about their little Izzy were just phases he was going through. She was still so sure of raising Izzy this way, letting him make his own decisions. Her mother raised her that way and she turned out quite well adjusted she thought. So when he was old enough, she let him pick out his toys and clothes... It worried her a little that almost everything Izzy picked happened to be things aimed towards girls. Especially in the clothing department. His father tried putting a stop to it instantly, but Adalyn continued to insist these were only phases. They would pass and Izzy would be the normal well adjusted boy they dreamed of when she gave birth.
By the time he was ten and was wearing dresses to school Dominick Hartmann had all but given up on his son. He didn't understand his younger son, and if he were to be honest he didn't much like him either. Dominick was the caption of the football team in high school when he was growing up, ‘a champion football team’ he would always add. Even his son from his previous marriage wasn't so much of a disappointment. He may not have played football, but he was rather good with a bat and ball. Sports built character. Helped you become a man. They did wonders for him, for Izzy’s brother Dom as well.
He had proof in his life, obviously. Because now? Now he was one of the richest men alive. His dreams of seeing his second son play football and teaching him the ropes of the business so he and Dom could take control one day were long gone and dead. It didn't matter to him that even if Izzy wasn't this way, he still wouldn't have any interest in the business and he would have been too small to play football. He was a premie baby, and he just assumed that it was that which had made him almost small and lithe. That didn't make a difference in his mind. As far as he was concerned, all being born too early had done to his son was fuck up his head.
Hell, he had been going to be starting his junior year at only 5’5 and weighing a hundred pounds soaking wet. Even when Izzy tried to tell him, his dad refused to see that no matter what he dressed like, Izzy would never play the sport because of his size, he would be trampled. It was easier to blame Izzy for being so damn weird, easier to just hate the boy for being this way. If he were just normal he could have played some sport, if not football! Fucking soccer, anything! But no, he took dance classes three days a week instead and joined the drama club in school in an attempt to try once again to submerge himself in the shark infested waters that was high school kids. Izzy just wasn't what he wanted.
“Seriously, Israel. I'm done. I don't give a shit what you do anymore. Your trust will remain and your credit cards will stay active as long as you can keep yourself out of any limelight. I do not need Hartmann Industries to be associated with you.”
It was a catch twenty-two. Izzy just caused all sorts of problems for him being this way. He lost half the world no matter what if it got out that Izzy was, in fact, Israel Hartmann. Son of billionaire Dominick Hartmann. Half the world would hate him if he accepted his freak son and half the world would hate him if he didn't. Izzy staying away from the media just made everything easier.
It had taken everything the teenager had not to cry when his father said that to him, confirming what he had feared for a long time. His family really did hate him. Maybe he was just unlovable. It was only a few months after that did he have that fear confirmed too. Izzy truly believed he was unlovable. He came to that conclusion when he was high as kite. Dom had come to the house, which he rarely did, and Izzy tossed his brother a little wave. The look that Dom gave him… it told him all he needed to know. It made him glad as hell he was high so he try and pretend it wasn't real for awhile.
It was a kid in his drama class that had first introduced Izzy to the drug, to coke. They had been running on fumes at the time, trying to get the sets ready in time for the dress rehearsals a week later. She had got the coke from her brother, and Izzy being the only one willing to stay late and help her with the sets put her in a giving move and she shared it with him. She didn't think that the other would like it so much. But then again, she barely knew him. She didn't know he only agreed to help with the sets to avoid going home where he was avoided like the plague by his parents who had come to truly hate him over the last sixteen years.
It wasn't hard for Izzy to get the girls brother to hook him up with his dealer, especially not when Izzy was holding a crisp hundred out to him for the information he wanted. "His name is Julian, I'll give you his number and let I’ll let him know I'm sending you to him. Tell him you're... nineteen though, he's not gonna sell to someone he knows is a minor.” It amused him a bit, he couldn't have a civil conversation with another teenager. But those in their twenties? He seemed to speak their language somehow. He would have assumed it was because of money, but he found out quickly that the people that ran in this circle really had no fucking clue who the he'll he was. That he had the kind of disposable income that, well, was actually disposable.
A year later and Izzy was still going to the man, to Julian. He was coming over more often than he used too to. Izzy was so over high school once he found he had a place he could fit into now. The drugs and Amelia's brother had pulled Izzy into a new direction. The people he hung with now were all users of some sort, there was also no other high schoolers around. Anywhere. It wasn't exactly the best crowd. But at least he didn't feel hated by the world when he was with them. Though that could also be because he was high as kite anytime he was with them.
He realized quickly once he found things and people that made him happier than anything else had in a long time that he just wasn't going to be able to survive another full year of high school. So he did the next best thing- he spent weeks studying. Thanks to the cocaine he slept very little, and that meant more study time. At the end of the year, along with his regular exams, he also took the final exams that he would have had too next year. If luck were on his side he would pass them all and graduate a year early. It didn't take too much luck… Izzy had always been pretty smart, and he had never prepared himself so thoroughly before. Never studied as hard as he did the last eight weeks of his junior year. Come he'll or high water he was not coming back to school.
Since he didn't have school anymore his age never came up in conversation since the first time he met Julian. The dealer hadn't thought much of it when the boy who was supposedly twenty now still looked like he was in high school. As far as Izzy knew, it never crossed his mind that he could possibly be underage once he told Julian his theory of why he was so small. That he'd been a premie and that was why he was so small. It wasn't a lie. His age was the only thing he had ever lied to the man about. Julian’s reaction to Izzy correcting him about his gender had actually amused him. He wasn't sure if it was because he was high when Julian realized it, or because it was actually funny but at least it didn't piss the other off.
"He knows I'm coming with you, right?" Izzy rolled his eyes a little at Damien asking him the same question for the hundredth time. Okay, maybe the third time. But it was still annoying.
"Gods, Damien, yes. I told him that you were tagging along today. Cool your jets, he's just my dealer. I swear, you're acting weirdly jealous over nothing." He couldn't lie... He did kinda like the jealousy. It made him feel wanted, something that was all to rare in his life growing up.
Izzy knocked on the door when they got there, brushing the long blond locks off his face waiting for the man that always put a smile on his pretty face. He did like Julian. He wasn't a bad guy for a drug dealer as far as Izzy was concerned.
When the door was answered and it was someone far from Julian the little blond's face fell. He was completely blind to the fact that save for her face and the ridiculous fake tits she was pretty much a copy of him in a woman's body. His hair was a lighter colour then hers and his ass was better. Hers wasn't bad per say, but his was better. Izzy may have been oblivious, but similarities between the two didn't go unnoticed by Damien who instantly pulled the boy he had been claiming as his own the last month or so a little tighter to his side.
All Izzy noticed about her was that she was there, her boobs were oh so obviously fake, and she was practically naked in Julian's place. Not once when he had come over here in the last year had someone else answered the door, or even been there as far as he knew. And he found he really didn't like it. His dislike was quickly turning to hate when she spoke in a voice that sounding like a fucking cat in heat to the small male, calling him fucking names. “Who is this little twat?”
"Did this fake ass bitch seriously just call me a twat?" Izzy asked Damien a little angrily before Julian got to the door, "Chicky, try calling me something again, I will rip that weave right from your fucking head." He snapped at her. He didn't take well to being called names, especially when he was so damn close to being sober. Damien had used the last of stash when Izzy was in the shower and the teenager was already on edge from not having a hit that morning. This damned bottled blond here was stepping on each one of Izzy’s buttons.