The Association

Traverse City, Michigan: population 14,894
Correction: population 14,890

Four girls are dead. In this small town, murder is not a familiar term; however, in the last three years it has been. Four girls are dead. All four had three things in common. One, the girls went to the same high school. Two, they were in the same grade. Three, the four all dated Liam Payne before their deaths. The Payne's along with two other families, the Tank's and the Yule's, have "run" Traverse City for generations now. What they say goes. No, they are not the mob. These families make up something worse than the mob. The Payne's, Tank's, and Yule's make up The Association. Liam is supposed to continue the family tradition, but first he has to find the right girl to lead with. What happens to new girl, Kate Holler (population 14,891), when Liam's got his eyes set on her? Is she the one or will she face the same road that the four other girls did?


8. The Call

"Call him, call him, call him, oh and did I mention that you should call him?"  Lucy pesters  following me into our room.  

"How many times have you said that already?"  I ask sarcastically.  

"I'm serious Kate.  This stuff doesn't happen everyday."

"No, I'm not going to call him.  I'm not like you Luc."  Sighing I throw my bag on the bed without looking as I walk over to sit at our shared wooden desk.  I grab my American history textbook with the intentions of starting my piles of homework.     

"What do you mean?"

"You know."

"No,"  Lucy says snatching my book right from my hands.  "I don't know."

"You're confident and risky.  You make your opinions heard and you don't care what people think about you; but you are also the kindest person I know.  You're bold and you stand out.  Plus you're gorgeous with your silky blonde hair and of course I can't forget about those green eyes of yours."

"So?  You know better than anyone else that I'm far from perfect though.  I'm lazy and I procrastinate too much.  Also I am so messy that my side of the room looks like it is about to eat your side!  Plus all of that stuff doesn't mean that you are any less great too.  Yeah sure you aren't the most confident person and most of the time you play it safe.  Just because you play it underneath the radar doesn't mean people don't notice you.  You're one of the smartest people in school and you are also very witty.  Also you're artwork is incredible!  Oh and don't you dare say you're not beautiful Kate because you are.  Besides Jason wasn't staring at me he was looking at you."

"Thanks but I just don't have the guts to do it,"  I mumble.  

"No guts no glory.  Come on Kate I'll coach you through this,"  she urges handing me my iPhone and the piece of paper that Jason gave me this afternoon.  

Hesitantly I take the items and unlock my phone.  My fingers hover over the screen not daring enough to touch the numbers.  Am I actually going to do this?  This is insane;  I barely know this guy!  But I guess that's why they call it dating;  so you can find out more about each other.  

"Just think about his corkscrew curls and beautiful blue eyes Kate.  You can do this,"  Lucy eggs on.  

Before my mind can even think this through my fingers take control and the phone starts to ring. My phone is slipping out of my shaking, sweaty hand and my thoughts are racing at a mile a minute thinking about Jason's warm voice that is about to answer.    



"Kate,  I didn't think you would call this quickly."  Jason's voice sounds surprised, but also joyful.  

"Yeah me neither,"  I mutter.  Lucy briskly elbows me and gives me a stare that could kill. 

"Well I'm glad you did.  If you didn't call it would have been awkward seeing you on Monday in English.  Plus I would have been heartbroken."

"Nah you wouldn't;  I'm not that special."

"Of course I would be.  Every guy in school is chasing after you.  You're..."

"Yeah I'm what?"  I snap.  I knew this was too good to be true.  Thanks to Liam now Jason and every boy in school thinks I am an "easy a".  That's probably the only reason Jason came over to me at The Jive.  He probably wants to boost up his social status or something.  Well he has the wrong girl.  

"Perfect,"  he answers confidently.  

"Oh well I am far from that."  Immediately I can feel the blush filling up in my cheeks completely embarrassed that I made an ass out of myself and assumed that Jason was like one of those bastards.  I glance over at Lucy and silently beg for help.  

"Relax, it's okay.  Let it go,"  she whispers.  

"You're my perfect,"  Jason responds.  

"So do you have a book or something that tells you how to make a girl blush?"  I joke.  

His loud chuckle cuts through the phone and honestly I can't tell if it is forced or not.  

"No, unfortunately I don't."

"Maybe you should write one so then all guys around the world can know your secret."

"Maybe or I could keep my secret to myself so no other guy could make you blush."

"Hey, sharing is caring."

"Yeah true; so how about before I write this book I test out my tricks in person?"  Jason barters.


A tiny squeal peeps from Lucy as she dances around the room in celebration.  I let out a silent giggle and couldn't help but smile.  

"Are you free Friday night?  I can take you to my dad's gallery and then dinner afterwards."  

"Sounds perfect,"  I gush.  

"Great so I'll see you in school."

"Yeah I guess."

"Bye beautiful,"  he says.

"Bye,"  I barely get out before Lucy and I start having a screaming fest and jumping up and down.  

"You see I knew you could do it!" Lucy yells.  

"All thanks to you."

"It was my pleasure."  She bows playfully making us both burst out laughing.  "We got to pick out what you're going to wear!"  Lucy drags me over to our conjoined closet and starts picking out tons of clothes.  

"Luc, half of those aren't even mine."

"Well we're the same size.  Oh how about this?"  she asks holding up her red cocktail dress. 

"That may be a bit too much for a first date,"  I disapprove.  

"Okay how about this one?"  

"That's the same dress but in black."

"Hey I like this dress; might as well buy it in every color."

Laughter fills the room again but is shortly lived this time as my ringing phone cuts through it.  

"Hello?" I answer without even looking at the caller ID.  

"I see you're cheating on me with another guy,"  a dark voice chuckles.  

My eyes grow wide and my mouth drops open.  No it can't be.  How?  When?  What?  

"Liam?"  I question, my voice sharper than before.  

"Yes this is he, babe."

"How the hell did you get my number?!"

"You gave it to me."

"No I certainly did not!"

"Yeah you did in drama."

"No I did not!" I yell.  

"Babe, I think you should get your brain scanned for memory loss"  Liam jokes.  

"Don't call me babe."

"Alright, baby."

"I am not your babe or baby nor am I anyone else's.  Got it?"  I argue.  Each word I say gets harsher by the second.  I can't believe that Liam Payne has my phone number.  I know for a fact I did not give him my number.  He must of had gotten it from his other sources.  

"Really?  Rumor has it that you are Jason Preps babe."

"No I'm not."

"Aren't you going on a date with him?" he questions.  

"How do you know all this?"

"So where is my boy Jason taking you?"

"It isn't any of your business,"  I indicate.  

"Of course it is Kate; you're my girl."

"No Liam I am not your girl and I will never be your girl!  All I am to you is your drama partner and that is it."

"Oh we'll see."

"No we won't see.  Goodbye Liam and don't ever call me again!"

"Goodbye, babe.  See you Monday,"  Liam laughs.  

Angrily I throw my phone onto my bed and scream.  I can't believe this!  Why me?  Why couldn't he choose someone else to become obsessed with?  What's so special about me?  I don't understand what's so intriguing about my dull brown hair, boring brown eyes, and messed up family.  

"Did I just hear what I think I heard?"  Lucy asks dumbfounded.  

"Sadly yes,"  I murmur.      

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