“Christ, what’s wrong with you!” Claire yelled, “And what the hell was that?!”
Butch had slammed the brakes, sending whatever was on top of the car rolling off, and unfortunately causing Claire to hit his head on the dashboard. Marissa, long realizing the situation, was lying in the space between the driver and back passenger seat.
Whatever it was, it didn’t get back up.
They waited for signs of movement outside, but there were none. The only sure sign of life was the chirping of crickets, and the lights coming from inside the mansion.
She was sure she could run the distance, but that seemed foolish considering she was inside a bulletproof vehicle.
Claire left the car first and searched the area, checking both below, above and around. He lifted his shoulders in a slight shrug when he found nothing. He seemed perplexed, knowing very well what he saw and heard. It was unmistakable. Something had been there, but it wasn’t there now.
As he walked around the hood of the vehicle, he caught sight of something.
“Hey Butch, take a look at this.”
His hand was barely on the door when Marissa called out to him.
“Don’t go out there. Let’s just go home,” she said.
“You’re too cowardly for such a mouthy girl.”
Marissa didn’t say another word. Where had that come from?
They were staring at something on the car hood. It left both men with grave expressions. Part of her wanted to see what it was.
She was maneuvering herself into the driver’s seat when Butch came back inside.
“Sit down, we’re leaving.” He shoved her over into the passenger’s seat and drove off.
“W-wait, what about Claire?”
He didn’t answer.
She looked back, watching Claire’s fading form in the background.
“What’s he going to do?”
Again, no answer from Butch. His eyes were too focused, but she was sure it had nothing to do with driving safely.
He didn’t even park in the garage. He pulled up in front of her door, came around and practically dragged her out of the vehicle. She made a sound of disapproval, but he ignored it as he pulled her along then shoved her roughly inside the house.
He yelled and three gunshots followed his words. Her father jetted downstairs quickly with her mother in tow. She had never seen them move so fast in her life. Her father even Jumped down the last few steps. Butch gave him a strange look, which he then gave to her mother before both men slipped out the door.
She didn’t know what kind of psychic connection passed through them all, but her mother quickly grabbed her by the hand and pulled her away. She almost tripped trying to keep up with the suddenly agile woman.
“What the hell is going on?” Marissa asked when they finally came to a stop in her father’s private chambers.
“Nothing that concerns you.” Her mother let her hand go, made her way to the bookshelf and searched along the rows of dusty unused material. When she came to the largest encyclopedia she pulled it out.
“Mom, what’s happe–”
Her mother shot her a nasty glare before rushing out of the room and shutting the door behind her. When Marissa went to the door, she found she was locked inside.
“Mom? Mom let me out!” She screamed to no avail.
There was a flurry of shots outside, and then silence, then more followed again. Just what the hell was going on out there?
She peered out the window, slightly curious about what was going on. You could clearly hear the commotion, but there were no bodies in sight.
Accepting defeat, she sat in the large chair and rested her head on the desk.
I’m safe, so why do I feel so useless? She thought miserably.
Butch’s words still troubled her. Her brows creased as she became irritated. When did her life become so strange?
Oh yeah, Right after I met Jamoy.
Instantly, she regretted meeting him.
When did I fall asleep?
How had she even fallen asleep in that madness?
Marissa rubbed her eyes sleepily as she sat up on her bed…
Somehow she was back in her room. Not only that, but time had escaped her. The clock on her nightstand read quarter after eight in the morning and the sun shined brightly through her opened windows.
She couldn’t have been that tired. There was no way she willingly fell asleep with all that was going on. But obviously, something of the sort had taken place.
She was still in her work uniform as well. Drearily, she stumbled into the bathroom and cleaned herself up, then changed into some fresh clothing. Thankfully her first class didn’t start until after eleven so if she left now she would be early for school.
How can you even think about classes right now?
Something followed her back to her house last night and she was thinking about class? She must be losing it.
“That explains her disappearance…” She heard upon entering the kitchen. The leftovers from the night before seemed appealing to her empty stomach, and it growled, demanding to be fed, but the conversation caught her attention.
Too bad everyone stopped speaking when she arrived and each of them averted their gaze from her.
Claire was missing, she noticed.
“Uh, Good Morning?”
Her father cleared his throat, but aside from that, she didn’t get an answer from anyone. They were acting suspiciously. She learned, however, that if she asked them about what happened last night no one would tell her. There was a lot of that happening lately. The secrets. All of which seemed to be known to everyone but her. They acted the same way when she was in middle school and had sent Melanie away to live with their grandparents. No one would tell her why it was necessary. It was “none of her concern” as always.
Would they allow her to go to school or work today?
As though reading her mind Butch got up. The man looked awful. There wasn’t a bruise on him but his face was worn down, and deep, dark circles were under his eyes.
I can see his eyes.
The man had never been without shades before. She was stunned to find out they were a dark shade of green. She honestly expected them to be jet black. It was hard to admire the color when there was so much sadness in them. So much so, she had to look away from him.
When he moved, it was as though he was forcing his legs to support his body. Was he injured?
“She can take herself today,” her father said. “Take the day off. You need it.”
The larger man nodded his head and dropped back into the chair, holding his head in his hands.
The atmosphere was too heavy in the room. She couldn’t stand it. They had given her freedom to go alone, but it wasn’t as satisfying as she expected to be. As she took the keys to the car, she felt absolutely uncomfortable and left the room with a quickness.
Outside was spotless. She expected to at least see some sure sign that something had happened from last night. There was nothing. It was as clean and clear as usual.
Wait a minute.
She rushed over to the car and checked the hood.
Not even a scratch.
When she arrived at school, she felt strangely out of place. There was no one there that could relate to her. How many people there experienced what she had? She doubted any of them did. So there was no one to talk to about this. Sehjada didn’t attend the University and she must have been working. She would have to wait until later to bother her about it.
And with everything that was going on, she completely forgot to study for yet another test. In class, she was but a zombie staring at the paper in front of her, full of terms she should recognize but looked so completely foreign. Her GPA would reflect on this mishap.
She took her frustrations out in archery, nailing each target with ease, and wishing so badly she could drop an arrow in someone. The “who” went unsaid, but it would feel damned good.
“I’m looking for a Katherine?” Someone, a young woman, asked her teacher and she was amazed she even caught that. Her hearing was especially good lately.
“Ah, I think Marissa is her correct name. It’s important.”
“We’re in the middle of class, can’t it wait?” The coach responded quite heatedly. He hated interruptions.
“I’m sorry, no it can’t. It’s about her sister.”
That caught her attention and evidently, her teacher understood. He knew how she felt about her missing sibling. She ran over to where they were.
“You know where Melanie is?”
He excused himself, leaving her with the brunette. The more she looked at her, the more familiar she seemed, but she couldn’t place her finger on where she had met her. She was dressed casually in dark shorts, a red tank, a pair of sneakers, and her brown loose curls hung loosely, cascading down to her back.
“I think we should talk about this in private.”
They walked towards the parking lot and came to a stop next to a worn out van that hadn’t moved since the start of the semester. She always wondered what went wrong with it that it was carelessly abandoned.
The strange girl leaned against it and folded her arms.
“Okay let’s get this over with.” She began in a much different tone than what she used with her teacher. “I haven’t the faintest idea where your sister is.”
“I hate to repeat myself. I don’t know where your sister is, I haven’t the slightest care either.” She shrugged her shoulders for emphasis. “I just needed to get you to follow and since you won’t stop whining about her I figure you’d be more compliant if I said that.”
It clicked in her head where she noticed the girl from. This was the girl that came to the restaurant with Jamoy. What the hell did she want then if it wasn’t about her sister?
She groaned loudly at the thought of why she was really here.
“I have no interest, whatsoever in Jamoy, so if that’s why you’re here, bye.”
Before she could leave the girl snatched her by the arm. For such a small thing, she had a grip on her. “Really? I don’t believe that. He’s reeked of you on several occasions. Even up to last night when he came home there was just the faintest hint of your scent.”
Woah, scent? What kind of nose did this bitch have? Was she trying to imply that she smelled bad?
“I don’t know what game you’re playing but he’s my mate. You’ll do well to stay away.” The girl then had the audacity to look her from head to toe and fix her face as though she was disgusted. “I don’t know what he even sees in you.”
Marissa yanked her hand away from the girl but didn’t retreat like she previously planned. “Enough for him to lose interest in your scrawny ass; that’s probably why he keeps coming back to me.” She snapped. “You should take this up with your mate instead of me.” Why the hell was she calling him her ‘mate’ anyways? “Obviously you’ve left his leash a little too loose if he’s wondering about every vag–”
Okay, she had to admit she was asking for it, but she hadn’t expected the girl to go full banshee on her. She hissed–like a full-blown feline–at Marissa before delivering a hard slap to her face.
Marissa retaliated and like a classic, stereotypical girl, she grabbed a fist full of the girl’s hair. The girl did the same and they wobbled around like two deer stuck together by the antlers while spitting curses at each other. Marissa only gained the upper hand when she managed to slam the girl’s back into the van. She kneed her in the face while still trying to free her hair from the girl’s grasp.
The two of them were oblivious to the crowd that had long formed around them, recording and taking pictures of the sight. Some were laughing, others were chanting. Had she not mentally reprimanded Kale and Jamoy for this same thing?
Soon enough both girls were peeled away from each other. They fought to get back at each other and Marissa managed to catch her in the stomach with a swift kick. She had never fought a day in her life before and she refused to let her first time go down as a loss. She broke free of her captors and tackled the girl, and got both her hands around her throat. The girl fought to get free, thrashing about like a fish out of water.
Once again, Marissa was peeled off of her. Still, she flung her leg out, kicking her in the face. There was really no way to explain the rush she felt. She was actually enjoying herself. She wanted to see her in pain. She wanted to go after her again and beat her within an inch of her being. She wondered what facial expression she wore. Was she smiling? She felt like she was.
“You bitch!” The girl screamed while she held her bleeding nose and was dragged away by campus security.
She growled back at her, and would have pounced on her had her captors not pulled her away.
The lecture that followed didn’t quell the burning sensation in the pit of her stomach. All she could think of was how excited she was. This beastly high, how could she keep it? They were going on and on about how disappointed they were in her, how this was so unlike her, they expected better from her.
Her scalp was throbbing and she sported a slightly swollen cheek but damn if she didn’t feel good.
“Are you even listening?” The administrator asked.
“You’re not saying anything worth listening to.” She responded casually and the woman sputtered, unsure of how to react to the answer. “I was attacked by someone who doesn’t even go to this school. She was trespassing, I should not be held accountable for defending myself.”
The woman didn’t seem to believe her story, but after learning about the girl’s disappearance she was excused with a warning.
Things were awkward when she arrived at her next class. The whispers and stares were annoying her, and she kept growling at people. Not metaphorically, she was literally growling at people. She left early and took a trip to the infirmary. The adrenaline was probably making her hallucinate.
She was opening the double door when Kaleb came rushing up to her. She had almost forgotten about him. He looked fine for someone who was brawling the night before. Though fine was an understatement. How was it possible for someone to look so good in just Jeans and a T-shirt?
“Are you okay? I heard about the fight.”
News sure does travel fast. “I’m fine.” She answered simply, but he still looked at her figure as though he didn’t believe it.
“Let’s go somewhere,” she said suddenly.
He did a double take. “You’re serious?”
“I said I would go out with you, didn’t I? Let’s go.”
“Are you sure you’re okay?” He placed the back of his hand on her forehead, checking her temperature. “You don’t feel like you have a fever.”
“That’s because I don’t,” She batted his hand away. “Are we going to go or not? I don’t have all day.”
“I have one more class.”
She grabbed him by the neck of his shirt, pulled his face down to meet hers and crashed her lips against his.
He stood there, stunned by her sudden action then his lips began moving against hers, but only for a moment.
“Skip it,” she spoke against his lips.
As she inhaled his scent, she absently wondered what cologne he was wearing. He smelled absolutely delightful.
“Mm, what about Jamoy?” He asked.
She thought about it for a minute. Nothing but trouble came from Jamoy. Hanging around him wasn’t good for her health. They only had a sexual attraction that would sure fade over time. Hell, he had a girlfriend; one crazy enough to come after anyone that traipsed into his path. But Kaleb, she knew him long enough. He was always sweet to her. They could actually hold a conversation. Maybe she could have something real with him, something tangible, and something Jamoy obviously had no interest in.
“What about him?”