With Ellie’s arm linked around mine, we make our way back to Evans place, the party in full swing as we walk up the steps. Liam is the first to find us, embracing Ellie in a hug before asking where we went.
“Just needed some air,” Ellie lied, turning to look at me with a small smile. She was confused but the look on her face said something else. She was scared.
“You look like you’ve seen a ghost!” Liam panics, grabbing her hand and leading her away. I sigh and wrap my arms around my stomach. I get that Harry and Evan are hiding something but I’m more confused than frightened. It’s not like their secret assassins or anything.
I walk further inside the house and take in the surroundings. I can’t lie, Evan’s house, no...Villa is stunning. Bookshelfs line the walls, some of my favourites placed in the mix of old classics. I shove away red plastic cups that people have carelessly placed there and find a book. If I’m staying at this party I may as well enjoy myself. I walk upstairs with the book in my hand, praying I can find a place to read. I walk to the first room I see and turn the handle, finding it locked. I search every room, all of them locked or occupied.
Just when I’m about to give up, an ajar door catches my eye. It looks dark inside but it seems good enough.
I open the door and cringe as the hinges squeal. I blindly move my hand along the wall and smile when I find the light switch, the light flickering until I was greeted with a small office. It looks a lot like the office Harry has at Glitz and I quickly close the door before anyone can sneak in.
“This is a bad idea,” my subconscious tells me, “If someone finds you here...”
I shake my thoughts away and sit on the plush window seat, the moon shining through the translucent curtains. I can’t see out of them but I can see the silhouettes of people walking past the house. Two dark figures walk past but stop so I can just see them. One of them turns towards the house and I scream when I see a flashlight pour through the curtains. The light burns my eyes and I fall of the seat, the book falling onto the hard wooden floor. Why was someone shining a torch into Evan’s house? I lift a corner of the curtain and peek out the window, gasping at the sight of Harry and Evan standing outside the house. Harry has the flashlight in his hand, flicking it off before both of them running inside.
“Holy shit!” I cry, flicking off the light and locking the door. Looking around the office, I try to find a place to hide. After tonight, Evan and Harry seem to be shadier than ever before. If they catch me in here they might get the wrong idea.
I glance at the window and come to realise it’s my only option. I quickly run over to the window seat and climb onto it, ripping apart the curtains. A pipe runs along the side of the window, big enough for a person to climb down and onto the window below. I hear footsteps up the stairs and I get moving, opening the window which is luckily unlocked and climbing out onto the window sill.
“Adeline!” a voice yells, the door to the office rattling, “Open the door!”
I look down and my heart races at how far up I really am. I grab the pipe with two hands and wrap my legs around it, slowly sliding down. I hear a bang and I look up at the window to see Harry and Evan looking down at me. I feel terrified. Had I done something wrong? Why am I running? Should I confront them and tell them I wasn’t snooping around? I reach the ground just as I see Harry climbing out the window. He’s chasing me? Then I’m going to put up a good chase. I was the fastest girl in 8th grade anyway. I start tearing up ground, making my way onto the street and grabbing my phone out of my back pocket. It slows me down but I manage to put in my apartment building in the GPS while keeping up a good pace. I turn a corner onto my street, footsteps thumping behind me before I feel hands grab me and pull me into a dark and deserted alley.
“Get off me!” I struggle, getting out of Harry’s grip before he pushes me into the wall.
“I’m not going to hurt you.”
His piercing green eyes cut into mine like razors and I look away, “Why did you chase me?”
“Why did you run?”
“I was scared!” I snap, opening my eyes to look at him, “After Ellie and I overheard you and
Evan talking about-“
Harry moves away so I’m free from his grip, “No I didn’t mean-“
“You overheard us? You mean you followed us to that house?”
I swallow and stand in the dark, Harry’s eyes the only colour I can see, “You just left me and I was confused-“
Tears start to form in my eyes and I blink them away. The last time a boy talked to me like this was when I was dating...
“You had no right right to follow us. Evan was right; you are a pain in the ass.”
“Evan said that?” I asked, following him as he walked out of the alley. We kept walking until we reached the apartment building, the moon beamed down on us as the horns of cars echoed into the night.
“If I see or hear that you’ve been following us again, there will be trouble got it?” Harry snaps, opening the door for me. I take the invitation but I pull him inside.
“Why are you breaking into someone’s house? What needs to be done by tomorrow? And who’s Alison?”
The mention of the name causes a pain to erupt in Harry’s eyes, “Get inside and go to bed. It’s late.”
Confused even more, I turn on my heels and march away. I don’t look back but I know Harry’s watching me, his gaze never leaving the back of my head until the doors of the elevator enclose me.
“Addie where are you? Are you okay? Call me when you get this!”
Ellie’s voice is blocked out by the beep of the answering machine. I think about calling her, telling her everything about what happened. But it’s no use and I don’t want Ellie to get into any more trouble.
I change into my pyjamas and make myself a tea, humming one of my favourite songs in the process. I’m taking my first sip when someone knocks on my door and the hot liquid burns down my throat.
I look through the peephole and sigh as I watch Harry’s face look down at the floor, his eyebrows curved into a frown.
“Hi,” I say, wrapping my arms around my body. Harry looks up and smiles when he notices my tweety bird pyjamas.
“What do you want?”
He sighs and runs his fingers through his curls, “Can I come in?”
I let him in and shut the door behind me, “Harry, I’m sorry. I really am and I didn’t mean to follow you. I was just curious and wanted answers for your disappearance and when I saw Evan I got Ellie to come with me. Please don’t get mad at her, it’s my fault I dragged her into this.”
“It’s okay, I understand. I came here to apologise too, I shouldn’t talked to you that way and I’m sorry. It’s hard because I’m used to be treated that way and usually when I talk to someone like that they don’t take it the way you do. You’re so...innocent and kind that I feel like I will break you with one word that slips from my mouth. I wish you never came tonight, I knew something like this would happen.”
He sits down on a stool and I walk over to my tea, “Would you like something to drink? Coffee, tea?”
“Tea would be nice thank you.”
I smile. I can’t recall Harry ever saying thank you before, “You know Harry. I don’t know what’s going on in your secretive life and I don’t mind if you don’t tell me but please just promise me you’re doing what you do because you want to, not because anyone else wants you to.”
I pour another tea and add some sugar and milk before giving it to him. He twirls the spoon around the mug and glances up at me, “I can’t promise you that.”
“Harry I get that stealing from others may be...thrilling but-“
I was interrupted by Harry laughing and choking on his tea, “I don’t steal from others Adeline, trust me...I don’t do what I do because I want to. I was forced into this mess and now I can’ t get out of it. If I told you there would be consequences and you would most likely...yeah.”
“Most likely what?”
Harry looks down at his mug and finishes his tea, “Thanks for the tea but I should head off now.”
I walk him out, Harry turning around to smile at me, “Goodnight Addie.”
I grin; he has never called me Addie before, “Goodnight Harry.”