A Twisted Vacation

Ponyboy and Soda decide to convince Darry to take them to a hotel in Kansas for winter break. A vacation away from such a dangerous place like Tulsa and with your best friends sound tuff, right? However, some escaped mental patients just so happen to be on the lose. They just so happen to want revenge!


12. Flashbacks

Kitten's POV

I never thought that I could ever feel such aching pain directly coming from my heart. With each pump it made, it felt like it was sending these painful jolting shocks throughout my entire body. I don't think that I ever felt so upset before in my entire life, and my own parents neglected me ever since I grew to be potty trained and I knew how to walk on my own. I'm pretty sure that my own kid brothers don't remember my name either; sure, little siblings were annoying little bitchy brats from time to time in my eyes, but could my folks atleast teach my little brothers my real name? They call me "Katherine" since they wanted a freakin' girly name for me to be branded with for the rest of my life. Nevertheless, they didn't legally change it because they didn't want to spend any extra of their filthy rich money. Plus since they were hooked on only wanting to have sons, my parents never thought about what they could name their first born child...a daughter. So, they ended up giving me the name Kitten Elizabeth Andrews. I'm pretty sure my name was the only damn thing that I actually love my folks for. Other than that, they're more of my past than my present and future...as long as the gang and I get the hell out of this twisted "vacation" at some point and get back to Tulsa to actually meet a little closer to our futures.

Too much happened yesterday...too much that I'm actually terrified and shocked over. I never thought that my stomach could feel so sourly dumped and mangled; every grumble that it made was hot and made me feel paler than a ghost and a sheet combined. I couldn't help myself to feel sicker by the passing second as I sat there on my bed at 9:00 A.M. the next day. Vinny was in the bathroom, taking a quick morning shower before we headed down for breakfast.

I had my legs curled up into my chest, and my arms were connected around my shins with my head resting on my knees. As much as I hated to admit it, I had hot and salty tears heavily glimmering in my emerald eyes, forcing them to become steaming red-rimmed. I loathed crying, especially when it came to me being known as the toughest female "hood" in all of Tulsa; not only that, but I didn't want to possibly stress almost everybody out more than what they already were. Unfortunately, that is.

Quietly, I sniffled to myself, trying to ignore this sharp pain that was forming in the direct pit of my stomach. It sooner released a gurgle like noise, as if it was sinking faster than a rock in water. That made me feel like I drowned in an ocean of nausea, but I held back my sick feelings and gulped down this sore lump that was beginning to grow in the center of my throat.

I can't recall the last time that I ever shed a single tear. It takes a hell of a lot to make me cry, considering I went through being neglected by my own family and I couldn't help the gang with any of their main problems as much as I desperately wanted to. But unfortunately, those escaped mental patients yanked the tears out of me like a powerful waterfall; I somehow could sense that was what they wanted from the rest of the gang and I. Our feelings...our exposing inner thoughts. Nevertheless, no matter how much pain was forming inside of my throat, I continued to hold as many of the steaming hot tears as I could back.

I kept my eyes locked on the closed bathroom door, listening carefully to the running water in the shower. No matter how irritating it was to wait for Vinny to get the hell out of the shower already, I for once after God knows how long, had something much more overwhelming eating away at me. Vinny might've sparked at my fuse just for her own kicks over a million times just to get me fumed up, but after all of that shit that went down yesterday in the woods, Vinny seemed like she didn't exist at that time to me. Man, that would be a paradise, I bet...a world without Vinny's bitchy ass attitude and badass act.

However, the rest of the gang and I had much bigger problems to face at the moment.

I brought one of my hands up to my mouth and nervously bit down on my thumbnail. I couldn't help myself to remember what happened yesterday in the woods with me, Ashton, Jade, Dally, and Zeus. Lord, I'm afraid that I'll never be able to let it go...and that doesn't go with just the unexpectednews that Ashton talked to me about, but I'll also never be able to forget what unpleasant surprise came our way. Though, I honestly think now that we should've seen that coming...

Silently, I walked a good amount of inches away at Ashton's side, making sure that I kept my hands jammed into my pockets to prevent Ashton's free dangling hand from somehow touching either of them. Hell would sure freeze over if I bothered to believe that I could trust that blonde replica of Jeff the killer. I wasn't damn slow like 'em other female "hoods" in Tulsa were claimed to be. I could tell by the way that Ashton looked and by the way that he acted that he was somehow darkly multitalented. It was as if at any moment, he could pull out an unexpected twist from his sleeve; but I wasn't scared of him.

I've dealt with plenty of bitchy jackasses like him before...including none other than my son of a bitch ex-boyfriend, Jesse Sheldon; one year older brother of Bob Sheldon, the no-good Soc who deserved what came his way that night at the park. Sure, others may think of me as the no-good bitchy grease ball for believing something like that, but Bob was the smartass who decided to get drunker to a whole new level and throw beer blasts for kicks with his snooty "pals." Bob was nothing but a bluffer from the start, and I don't believe in fighting unless it's for self-defense or I feel like I need to shut somebody up, but Johnny made the right decision. It was all for the best; it was either innocent Ponyboy's life, or drunker than ever Bob's. But...even in a family of preppy ass Socs, there could be a rebellious one.

Now Jesse was one hell of a stonehearted hood, even though he grew up in Soc territory with preppy "friends" and a fancy family. Not a day could go by without the fuzz chasing down Jesse's tail after he vandalized something yet again, or he got into a vicious fight after getting freaking drunk on his ass. Jesse Taylor Sheldon was definitely nothing like his kid brother; Bob might've been bluffing with all of the drinking and violence, but Jesse transformed himself into an actual hoodlum not long before his thirteenth birthday. He did it all...and I mean everything. He drank alcohol heavily like he was dying in the desert, he smoked like a chimney, he stayed out late all night and rarely came back to his own home...hell, he even worked at a strip club ever since a month after he turned thirteen.

Looking back on that horribly reckless and dirty punk, I can't seem to remember why I bothered going out with him and his sorry ass. But what honestly irritated about me about Jesse was that during our "relationship," while he was out taking off his clothes for money and thrusting other girls, I was all alone on the inside with nobody in the gang knowing the disturbing truth behind where Jesse always was. Eventually though, I finally opened up and confessed the truth after I dumped Jesse a week or so before my fourteenth birthday. Man, I don't think he's ever looked so damn ticked off before in our entire "relationship." Too bad for him though. Maybe if he wasn't such a filthy male whore and not to mention an abuser, we wouldn't have had to break up in the first place. It was all his damn fault, no question about it.

Nonetheless, I snapped back into the present, fixing my emerald green eyes on Ashton. I didn't understand...he said that he wanted to talk to me about something, but here he was just smoking away at his cancer stick and keeping his mouth shut.

Dally and Jade were walking not that far ahead, Zeus still leading the way through the snowy woods. I wanted to make sure what Ashton and I talked about was just between me and him...well, my side of the conversation, that is. If he said something that I thought was worth mentioning to the rest of the gang, of course I was going to tell them at some point. Nevertheless, that didn't stop Dally from glaring over his shoulder every twenty or so seconds, obviously making sure that Ashton wasn't up to no good. But even if he was, we had bigger problems to face right now...and besides, I'm pretty sure that I can kick Ashton's ass into the next generation. I didn't even like him one bit, nor did I feel like he admired anybody in the gang, including me.

"I hope I'm not interrupting you in the important moment that you're in." I sarcastically broke the silence with a roll of my eyes. "But I believe that you told me that you wanted to talk to me about something. That was about a damn fifteen minutes ago, so what is it already?"

Slowly, Ashton turned his head after releasing a gray cloud of smoke from his lips. Then as he fixed his attention on me, I noticed that he began to examine me from the bottom of my shoes, to the top of my red hair. I've seen plenty of guys do that to Vinny and I back in Tulsa, and it usually ended with Vinny beating them up into tar; but what made me feel uncomfortable atleast a smidge was when this small smirk curled upward on Ashton's lips.

I warningly narrowed my eyes. "Keep your damn eyes on your own prize, would you?" I was referring to Utopia, crossing my arms over my breasts.

"I can see that you're in a rush, aren't you redhead?" snickered Ashton, as if he didn't hear what I just added.

Impatience began to glow in my green orbs; my lips pulled back to reveal my slightly grinding teeth, and I pulled one of my legs angrily back. Then without waiting, I shot it back forward, only so I could kick a good sized chunk of snow and make it splat into a tree. A little twig went flying too, and if you listened carefully, you could hear it make a cracking noise after its impact against the same tree made it snap.

"I told you once and I'll say it just this one more time." I cautioned, holding up one of my pointer fingers. "The name isn't redhead...my name is Kitten, so quit addressin' me by my damn hair color, you hear me?"

Ashton just looked at me, continuing to smirk. Then he raised an eyebrow and slowly studied how I looked one more time.

"You seem pretty damn tougher than any other girl I've laid my eyes on." said the vampire looking blonde, as he flicked his cigarette butt away.

"I am," I was keeping the annoyance from seeping into my voice as much as possible. "Pretty much all greaser girls are tougher than any other ordinary females, especially 'em girly Soc asses. They can't even clash colors or break a nail without flipping out." That's when I shut my mouth to realize something swipe across my mind. I was the one who was beginning to go off topic, and something on the inside was telling me that's what Ashton wanted for some reason.

I rolled my eyes and snapped myself back on the main subject, avoiding Ashton's "interested" look about my sassy remarks towards female Socs.

"But can you do me a damn favor and quit tryin' to avoid the question? You said that you wanted to talk to me 'bout something, so just spill it!"

"It's not nice to demand." Ashton's eyes slimly narrowed, just as his smirk disappeared from his face almost immediately.

Being the stubborn bitchy pain that I knew I could be at times, I flew my arms across my stomach, crossing them and gripping my hips. "Ever considered that it's nice to stall either?" I commanded, the sassiness in my voice only increasing by the minute.

That smirk that I've seen plenty of times on many of other boys faces grew on Ashton's rosy pink face yet again.

"I ain't stalling," He shook his head. "I'm just doin' the right thing and waiting."

"Waiting? This ain't the time for waiting! And what in the hell are you apparently waiting for?" I was trying to keep up with my stubborn attitude in order to get Ashton to cave already. However, I was beginning to have confusion swarm all up inside of my head to keep my sassiness in its usually locked up place.

"For you." Ashton simply shrugged, relaxing his eyes shut for a moment as he took in another deep inhale of his weed.

"Me?" I cocked an eyebrow, trying hard to hide my increasing confusion.

Ashton held in the smoke from his drag for a couple of seconds, right before he calmly allowed it to flow out from his lips.

I continued to gaze at him, miserably failing at being patient since he was getting on my last nerves. I could tell that he wasn't going to ever grow on me...how in the hell did this ridiculous vampire looking bitch get somebody innocent and caring like Utopia Roberts? I swear, if they were a golden couple, then Vinny and Johnny might as well take a shot with each other to see if they could be just as tuff together. Of course, I was bein' sarcastic there. I might've not learned much about Utopia, but I could tell that she deserved better than Ashton.

"Yes," Ashton's voice brought me out of my thinking. "I believe that you told me that you also wanted to talk to me about something."

Knowing I couldn't deny that, I paused for a few seconds to rethink Ashton's words through. After that, I shrugged my shoulders and said, "Yeah, so what?"

Ashton cocked an eyebrow, now giving me a somewhat confused look. "You heard of the sayin' 'ladies first,' right?" He then chuckled and flashed me another wide smirk that I could've sworn was about to crack his face in half.

"Are you kiddin' me?" My confusion instantly drained from the inside, but it wasn't long before irritation took its place.

Ashton continued to smirk as he raised his shoulders. "You tell me what you have to talk to me 'bout, and I'll talk to you after you're finished."

I hesitated, taking in that smirk on Ashton's face that I found devious. Thinking heavily about what he just said, I bit down on my bottom lip and slowly rolled my eyes all over the place, glancing anywhere but at Ashton.

Slowly, I fixed my emerald orbs back on Ashton after a few moments of thinking. "How do I know that you're not bluffing?" I slipped my fists back into my pockets.

Ashton raised his eyebrows, but grinned widely. "Are you sayin' that you don't trust me, Kitten?"

"Trust you?" I let out a soft, mocking laugh; but within seconds, I stopped and gave him a dead serious look. "I don't even like you here. You treated one of my best friends like horse shit, trying to convince us that he was a liar about his own baby sister. Not only that, but it was over an absolutely serious situation like this."

"You still on that?" Ashton flatly rolled his eyes, no longer smiling.

"No shit, Sherlock!" I hissed, obviously growing more irritated.

Ashton flicked his cancer stick to the snowy ground, right before he released a heavy sigh.

"Look," He puffed his bangs out of his face and looked directly at my face. "I already told you and your two friends up there that I had no damn choice. Utopia and Mr. Roberts wanted me to keep the escaped mental patients a secret, so you don't have to get all fired up at me just because I was listening to their orders."

Utopia...in my eyes, she seemed too sensitive and helpless to actually tell her own idiotic boyfriend that these murderous kidnappers just had to be kept a secret. There was no way that she could've wanted this to remain hidden...no, that's just impossible. It had to be impossible.

"Now are you goin' to tell me what you wanted to talk to me about or not?" questioned Ashton after I decided to just silently look at him.

Honestly, I wanted to viciously call him every word in the book and tell him that he wasted his time dragging his ass after Dally, Zeus, Jade, and I. Unfortunately, I knew at the same time that I couldn't do that. As much as I hated Ashton's guts, I had to get what was stuck on my chest.

I rolled my eyes to myself, cursing quietly under my breath. After that, I closed my eyes and took in a deep breath, letting it out quietly after a couple of silent seconds. Finally then, I reopened my green eyes and locked them back on the waiting Ashton.

"...How close are you to that Jill girl?" I asked.

Ashton raised an eyebrow and hesitated, probably trying to figure out why I asked him something like that.

"Jill Carols has been my best friend for many years now. Why are you bringin' her up?"

Best friends? If Jill and Ashton were such good pals, then how come Faith seemed so damn distant around him? I swear, I don't think I've ever met such a quiet person in my entire life. Not even Johnny was that quiet; actually, Faith and Spencer made Johnny look like the worlds best chatterbox. Ashton said that he and Jill were best friends...but if they were so close, I figured that Faith would've been pretty close to him, too. Hm...maybe she didn't like his smartass attitude? Or maybe she was upset over her pregnancy? Both? Who knows...but I knew that statement would remain in my head for awhile.

"Well," I stated. "She's been talkin' an awful lot to my best friend, Ponyboy Curtis, ever since we arrived to The County Lodge. And honestly, I don't feel too hot over her stealin' Pony away with every chance she seems to get."

To my secret surprise, a small grin twitched upward on Ashton's lips. "Is this jealousy I'm hearin' from you, Kitten?"

I could've sworn that I felt my ears so red hot, but I pulled my serious expression back out for Ashton to see.

"Jealousy involves liking somebody who is already gettin' flirted with by another person." I informed in a simple and serious tone.

Ashton narrowed his eyes, still grinning a little. "It looks like to me that you're in love." He snickered.

It was then my turn to narrow my eyes, just as my lips pulled back to reveal my slightly clenching teeth.

"I am not!" I growled some. "I just don't like Jill talkin' to Ponyboy what feels like 24/7! We're right in the middle of a life and death rescue mission right now, so I don't think that Jill should be tryin' to make eyes at my best friend any longer!"

"I see..." Ashton touched his chin with his index finger and nodded a few times. "But why are you tellin' me this exactly?"

I honestly felt like doing a face-palm, but I didn't. "Because I thought beforehand that you two seemed rather close. I figured that you could set her straight."

"Oh..." Ashton hesitated, nibbling on his bottom lip. "Well...I don't think that I can help you with that."

My emerald eyes went wide, thanks to my new anger. "How come?"

"Because Jill is her own person. We can't control others, whether we try to talk them out of doin' things or not. I may be her best friend, but I doubt that I can even talk her out of whatever she wants to do." Ashton answered with a simple tone.

As much as I hated to admit it, Ashton had a point. No matter what you said or did to other people, you would never be able to get away with controlling them.

"You know, I find it quite ironic that you brought Jill up." Ashton added in a matter of quiet seconds. "I actually wanted to talk to you about her."

I narrowed my eyes a little. "Then what are you waitin' for? Let me hear it."

Ashton curled up one of his pointer fingers and held it against his straight lips. Something inside of me was telling me that he was growing nervous about something, and the new glassy look in his eyes gave that away, too. There was definitely something that he wanted to talk to me about.

"Long story short," Ashton shattered his own silence. "Jill recently got pregnant. That's why she asked me if I could go with her; she wanted to tell me the news in private...but..." He rubbed the back of his neck. "I guess she wanted to keep who the father a secret."

My eyes instantly shot huge, and I could've sworn that my jaw felt like it was about to hit the ground. Faith was already pregnant from God knows who, and now Jill was, too? Did they have some kind of ridiculous pact to get pregnant as teenagers or something? Who am I kidding...Faith was too distant and quiet to seem to actually want some boy to share a bed with her. But Jill...who could she have possibly slept with?

I kept staring at the blonde replica of Jeff the killer, heavily processing what he just said a few extra times before I reclosed my mouth and shook my head.

By the way that Ashton looked, I could tell that there was something else pressing down on his chest.

"Is that all that you have to tell me?" I raised my eyebrows. "Jill is...literally pregnant?"

Ashton reluctantly nodded his head. "Yes, that's all I wanted to tell you; and yes, Jill really is carryin' somebody's baby."

Yeah, hell would've froze over if he was telling the truth there. I could tell that he was lying...not about Jill bein' pregnant, but about that being all he had to talk to me about. There was something else that he was keeping a secret...but if only I knew what it could've been. Ashton seemed like the type of jackass who would do anything in order to keep whatever secrets he wanted to himself. Nevertheless, I wasn't the type of tomboy to let these types of things go. One way or the other, I will find out what he's hiding from me.

"Do you have any possible idea who the father is?" I curiously asked, more concerned over what Ashton was keeping from me now. It was as if my shock never existed.

He looked at me quietly for a couple of seconds. "...What if it's that friend of yours that she's been talkin' to a whole lot? Ponyboy?"

My eyes instantly went gigantic, and I could feel my whole face flashing immediately to a deadly red shade.

Without giving any signs of warning, I stomped one of my feet heavily into the snow, right before I grasped a hold of Ashton's shirt and yanked him a bit. He froze, staring at me with a stunned expression now plastered on his growing pinker face.

"Excuse me?" I somewhat exclaimed in his face, my voice erupting with striking anger. "I'm freakin' sorry for burstin' your damn bubble, but you don't have any damn right to go 'round and think that Ponyboy allows himself to be used for sexual activity! He's only fourteen! So whoever got Jill pregnant definitely was not Ponyboy or any of my friends, you hear me, you son of a bitch?"

The shock vanished from Ashton's face, but it was instantly replaced with his own anger. Warningly, his lips peeled back to reveal his grinding teeth, and his nose was scrunched up like a hungry wolf's. Fury was beginning to swarm in his eyes, but just as he opened his mouth to say something, we were both caught off guard when I felt somebody grab one of my shoulders and give me a tug.

"What in the hell is goin' on here?" Dally's deadly vicious voice hissed as he pushed Ashton back, causing me to release his shirt.

Ashton regained his balance before he could fall; and I released a deep, but quiet breath of relief when I noticed that who was touching my shoulder was only Jade.

Nothing but pure silence was exchanged for a couple of seconds.

Ashton had his arms crossed over his chest stubbornly, as if he was a little child in a timeout. I could tell that he was going on with every word in the book to himself, but I only rolled my eyes at that.

"Well?" Dally warningly raised his voice a little more, eyeing Ashton more than me.

I shot the vampire looking teen a look that said that if he wasn't going to talk, I definitely was going to. Nonetheless, all Ashton did was narrow his eyes at me and shoot off daggers with his clenched teeth beginning to become exposed again.

Finally, I had enough and made the first move, opening my mouth to speak up. However, before I could get a single word out, I was interrupted when an unexpected sound echoed throughout the air. It sounded like another twig was stepped on and cracked in half.

I quickly closed my mouth back up and rolled my eyes a little in the direction where I heard the soft sound.

Dally instantly flashed himself around and stared off in the direction that I was peeking over to.

I could hear Zeus beginning to warningly growl softly, and that led up to Jade tugging at his leash, hushing him silently.

Jade's eyes were big, scanning where the broken twig's noise came from too, but Ashton didn't seem to give a hang. He still had his arms childishly crossed over his chest, and we began to mumble every cuss word imaginable under his breath again.

"What was that?" Jade whispered.

I wanted to tell her and Dally to get Zeus to quickly lead the three of us back to The County Lodge, but I felt like our feet were nailed into the snow. I couldn't care less about Ashton and his safety.

"I don't know...but twigs don't just snap in half by themselves." I quietly spoke.

Dally rolled his eyes. "Really? I never knew that, Sherlock!"

I then took my turn with rolling my eyes, but before I could string any words together to fire back at Dally, another noise filled the air. This time, it was like a bush was getting rustled. The noises were getting closer...

Ashton's eyes finally widened, and he peered off into the same direction that Jade, Dally, and I were gazing into. He must've decided to finally give a hang, but it wasn't long before a sudden look of mixed anger and annoyance slipped across his face.

"I ain't stickin' 'round to become some mental patient's damn victim! I already said what I came here to say, so I'm headin' back to the hotel!" Ashton loudly bellowed as he uncrossed his arms, right before he turned himself around and bashed off like a bolt of lightning.

"Gutless bitch, get back here!" Dally fired back, cuffing his hands around his mouth so his voice would travel further.

Nevertheless, Ashton didn't come back, and Jade gave Dally a half rough/half gentle punch in the ribs for hollering out like that.

"Shut your trap, Dally! Do you actually want us to get our asses kidnapped and slaughtered?" I proclaimed, placing my clenched fists on my hips.

Dally viciously narrowed his eyes, but just as he opened his mouth to reply, something terrifying caught my eye.

Some guy had stepped out from hiding behind some of the snowy bushes and trees. Whoever he was, I couldn't see his face because he was wearing a hockey mask that was covered with dirt. But I could see that he was quite tall, about Darry's height, and he was either built to be very muscular, or he worked out a lot. Other than the hockey mask, he was wearing a tattered pair of dark blue jeans, an undone belt, a brown pair of pointed toe boots, and a zipped up; black leather jacket that was all worn out. Lastly, in his tightly clenched fists, he was roughly grasping a metal baseball bat. By the height of that man, and not to mention how strong he looked, I could tell that a simple bash over the head with that baseball bat could kill you.

My emerald green eyes felt as if they were about to bulge clear out of my head. I was miserably failing at trying to remain like my usual self who wasn't scared of pretty much anything, but this was different. It was obvious that man was definitely one of the escaped mental patients.

Jade confusedly cocked an eyebrow and turned her attention over to where I was looking to see what got me looking so terrified. Instantly, the color rushed right out of her skin, and a startled gasp escaped from her mouth after she fixed her eyes on the one mental patient. Without any hesitation, Zeus bolted forward and howled like his life depended on it, viciously barking with his jaws flapping and sharp teeth completely exposed. He kept yanking at his leash, but no matter how many times he tried making a break towards the escaped mental patient, Jade gripped his leash probably harder than ever before.

The escaped mental patient gripped even harder on the metal baseball bat, bringing it up until the top half was resting against his tough shoulder. His knuckles were beginning to pale.

"Dally! Dally!" Jade took down a giant gulp, continuing to fight Zeus' sharp jolts in order to keep him back.

Dally grumbled many cuss words under his breath as he ran a hand through his almost white hair. "What in the hell is it now?" He groaned as he turned himself around. That's when he slowly began to examine the escaped mental patient, taking in how he looked from his pointed toe boots, to the top of his matted up; dark brunette hair.

To my surprise, no sign of fear passed by Dally's face. The only difference was that his eyes grew at one moment, but then they narrowed with what I could tell was fury. I knew that it took a hell of a lot to scare the Winston's too, but the only reason why Dally wasn't afraid was because he was protective to death towards the Cade's. Jocelyn was missing...and this man was one of the escaped mental patients who was involved with all of this shit.

"You want to fight, you son of a bitch?" Dally furiously stomped his foot. "Leave 'em alone and try fightin' me!"

Jade's eyes shot as huge as saucers. "Damn, Dally! Are you insane?"

Dally gazed at her for a couple of seconds before he pointed at the mental patient and said, "Not compared to his ass!"

At the same time, I just so happened to say, "Is that a trick question?"

"We got to get the hell out of here!" Jade somewhat angrily pointed out, gripping Zeus' leash to the point where her hands looked like they were about to go purple from the blood circulation.

"Dally, look out!" I yelped, and Dally quickly flashed himself back around just in time to dodge a swing in the head by the metal baseball bat.

"Damn dumbass!" Dally threw a tightly clenched fist back and brought it forward, only so it could meet the escaped mental patient's hockey mask. The punch was strong enough to cause him to release the bat, but he was too muscular for Dally to knock over just like that.

"What are we waitin' for?" Dally demanded to know, right before he quickly threw his arms around my waist and flung me back over his shoulder again. "Run!"

I prepared myself for the bumpy ride as much as possible, and I clenched my eyes shut as Dally bolted like the fuzz was on his tail. I don't think he's ever bashed so fast before in his entire life, and he was Dallas Christopher Winston.

Jade was running by Dally's side at the speed of lightning with Zeus speeding ahead of her. His ears were madly flapping and his pink tongue was hanging out at the side of his mouth. He knew to lead us back to The County Lodge.

Dally hopped over broken branches and climbed over rocks, but not without cracking some twigs and kicking away small pebbles.

Zeus was loudly howling like mad in the background, causing the sides of my head to begin to hurt, but I didn't care. All I cared about now was escaping that mental patient so Jade, Dally, Zeus, and I wouldn't get kidnapped next and have our blood spilled for no reason.

Finally, after about two-to-five minutes straight of nonstop running, Jade and Dally slowed themselves down until they weren't running anymore.

Jade had her hands on her knees, panting hard with her whole face just as red as Dally's was.

I reopened my eyes and gazed all around, no longer seeing that escaped mental patient anywhere in sight.

"Phew!" I puffed my bangs out from hanging in front of one of my eyes. "We lost him!"

"Yeah...for now, that is..." Dally breathed, half of him being careful as he swung me back forward and placed me back down on my feet. "We better get back to the hotel...before we run into anymore of 'em unwelcome mental bitches...all we found out here was our asses almost gettin' kidnapped...so let's get back to The County Lodge."

Jade's free hand that wasn't holding Zeus' leash was now resting over her rapidly beating heart. "Yeah...good idea, Dally..."

Suddenly, I was brought out to the end of my scarring flashback when I heard an earsplitting scream erupt from the opposite side of the bathroom door.

My red-rimmed, emerald orbs shot huge, and I could've sworn that I felt my heart take one final stiff leap before it dropped heavily into the pit of my stomach. I knew the sound of that rare scream like I knew the back of my own hand in the dead darkness. That scream belonged to none other than Vinny Winston.

Without allowing another second to freely pass by, I leaped right off from my bed and bashed over to the door like a demon forced me to. Vinny might've been a bitch, but she was still Dally's kid sister and a member of the gang.

"Vinny! Vinny!" I banged on the door a few times, right before I turned my attention down to the doorknob. I figured that the door was locked, but I then decided to give it a shot; I grasped a hold of the doorknob and twisted it. I was proven wrong when it went fully around, and the door was unlocked.

"Vinny, I'm comin' in!" I announced for the final time before I forced the door open and steam from the warm water in the shower welcomed me.

I practically slid on my heels as I rushed into the bathroom, getting prepared to yank my switchblade out from my back pocket if I needed it.

"Vinny!" I exclaimed one final time before I made it over to the shower.

"What the...Kitten!" Vinny's voice was a mixture of what I could tell was rare embarrassment and absolute anger. "Get out of here! I deserve to have my morning shower in privacy!"

"But..." I innocently blinked. "I heard you scream! What happened?"

I didn't need to see Vinny's face to know that she was shooting daggers at me. "Nothing! Get out!"

"Hell no! I'm not gettin' out until you tell me why you just screamed!" I narrowed my tearful eyes and crossed my arms over my stomach.

Vinny heavily sighed, just as I heard her give herself a face-palm. "If you're not freakin' leavin' me be, then can you atleast get me a damn towel?"

I rolled my eyes at Vinny's "kind" toned "question." Nonetheless, I bit down on my tongue a little and cursed under my breath as I headed over to the small closet that was on the opposite side of the bathroom.

Just as I fetched a clean towel and walked back over to the shower, Vinny turned the water off.

Instead of saying anything, I tossed the towel over the blurry made glass, and I watched as it was dragged over into the shower.

Of course, I didn't get a thank you or anything like that. All Vinny gave me was a grumble, which had me rolling my eyes again.

Impatiently, I tapped my foot against the tile floor until the shower door slid open after waiting for about ten silent seconds. There Vinny stood, stepping out onto the rug that was in front of the shower with the towel I fetched her wrapped around her from her breasts to a little above her knees. Her red hair looked brunette since it was still soaked, and like I suspected, she was shooting me a death mock stare.

"What in the hell do you want, Andrews?" Vinny growled like a junkyard dog. She was seriously just like her brother.

"I want an answer, Winston!" I replied as I placed my hands on my hips. "Why in the world did you freakin' scream like you..." Suddenly, I shut myself up when my emerald eyes met Vinny's legs. There was some type of red liquid dripping down them a bit, ending at the middle of her thighs.

Vinny's whole face went bright red, knowing what I was looking at, but all she did was clamp her legs together and cuss under her breath.

"Vinny..." I gazed back up at her face. "Why are your legs bleeding?"

The oldest female Winston paused before she softly spoke. "...They're not bleeding."

I confusedly raised an eyebrow. "What in the hell are you talkin' about? There is blood leaking down your legs!"

"Damn, really?" Vinny sarcastically hissed with a roll of her eyes. "I think that's pretty damn obvious, Andrews! But my legs are not bleeding!"

I narrowed my eyes, but instead of saying anything back right away like I was planning to do, something came to my attention. Vinny admitted that she had blood on her legs...but she kept saying that her legs weren't bleeding...and that's when I realized where the blood actually was coming from.

An irritated expression slipped across my face, and I heavily sighed as I gave myself a face-palm.

"Oh my god, are you freakin' kiddin' me, Vinny? You screamed over that?" I groaned. "You got your damn period! So what? Just plug it up and shut up!"

Vinny threw her arms across her breasts. "Well excuse me for not expecting to see damn blood comin' down my legs! What's the matter with you this morning? You're usually never this bitchy!"

"Look who's talking, you worthless slut!" Sparks of fire were beginning to dance in my eyes. "Aren't you even listenin' to yourself? Here you are screaming over some ridiculous monthly gift, and we got bigger problems that are trying to break this gang apart!"

"Do not call me a slut!" Vinny warningly pointed at me, but all I did was curse under my breath. "And do you seriously think that I don't freakin' know that?"

"Well, you obviously don't seem to show any care about it!" I hissed, right before I crossed my arms again. "Have you ever considered how terrible Johnny feels 'bout this? The rest of the gang and I are teamed up in endin' these escaped mental patients one way or the other, but you don't seem to freakin' care whether you're damn involved or not!"

"For your information, bitch," flatly stated Vinny. "I actually do care about Johnny, but you want to know what I don't care for?"

"It'd be easier if you just listed what you do care for." I grumbled well enough for her to hear me as I carelessly stared at my fingernails.

Vinny rolled her eyes. "What I don't care for is spineless bitches like you who always get in the damn way of things!"

"Whoa! Back the freakin' train up!" I demanded with absolute flames now glowing in my eyes. "I ain't any spineless bitch! But atleast if I do get involved with somethin', I'm actually involved unlike your ass!"

Vinny's lips pulled back to reveal her clenched teeth. "And atleast I'm not in damn denial about likin' some boy! And even if I wasn't, I wouldn't be afraid to tell him that he's cute!"

I could've sworn that the tips of my ears instantly went hot. "I have no damn idea what you're talkin' about!" I snarled. "And now I can see why pretty much every guy at Buck's knows you by heart!"

Fire instantly struck Vinny's eyes at that comeback, which had me smirking with satisfaction.

"God!" Vinny finally snapped. "I wish that you followed in your jackass parents footsteps! That way, you would be a pathetic Soc that we would've freakin' slaughtered in a rumble by now!"

My smirk immediately vanished from my face, and my mouth fell, gaping open a little. Sure, Vinny said twisted things to me pretty much all the time, but she never said anything like that.

My lips then pulled back violently, revealing my clenching teeth, and I sharply narrowed my eyes that seemed to be all up in flames now. I felt redder than the devil, and seeing Vinny's new smirk had me feeling even hotter by the minute. My heart rapidly raced in my chest due to my anger, but within seconds, I had flown one of my hands back. Without any hesitation, I then swung it back forward. A loud, echoing SMACK rang through the air as my hand connected with Vinny's cheek. I must've slapped her hard too, because she fell straight down onto her side.

"And I wish that those bitch ass boys got away with raping you! You would be dead by now and you would've never became a part of the gang!" I bellowed each word louder than the last, but to my surprise, Vinny only looked at me, actually stunned for once as she held her cheek.

My anger began to decrease slowly as I turned myself away and stomped out of the bathroom, slamming the door behind me to announce my exit. That's when I stared at my hand, taking in how it was now glowing bright red, and I slowly slid myself down to the floor. My back remained against the bathroom door, and I could've sworn that I could hear Vinny actually beginning to whimper from the other side.

I grew a small pout and let out a soft sigh to myself. What in the hell did I just do?

Cassidy's POV

I could've sworn that my eyes were bulging straight out of my head at what I just witnessed. My heart felt like it took one final gigantic leap before it grew as stiff as a board, no longer able to pump like any other ordinary heart.

Here I was coming back down to the seventh floor to apologize to my brother for my stubborn behavior earlier, but here I walk into our room to find him and the owner's daughter locking lips like tomorrow didn't exist. My brother's first kiss...I actually walked in on Johnny's first kiss. Honestly, I always imagined giggling to myself and pointing at Johnny if I ever saw him kissing a girl, and I wouldn't let up on playfully teasing him for God knows how long. Unfortunately, this first kiss wasn't like I suspected Johnnycake's being. Other than the girls in the gang, Johnny was absolutely too shy to even look at a girl's face, let alone attempt to pick her up with a small flirt or even a flirty wink. But it was completely obvious now in my eyes that he didn't mind doing any of those things to Utopia Roberts. Nonetheless, Johnny and Utopia kissing didn't change the fact that Utopia had a boy...

A sudden thought then popped across my head. Utopia...she had a boyfriend...the same exact male whore who attempted to seduce me only a few days ago. That pervert Ashton Fisher was the one that Utopia was offering her young heart to, but he was goin' around behind her back and flirting with other girls. God only knows what else he's possibly doing, but I have a pretty positive feeling that Ashton goes ahead and thrusts on and on with almost any girl. I mean, he tried to talk me, a twelve-year-old greaser, into having sex with him. Utopia and Ashton...they were complete opposites! Ashton didn't deserve somebody like Utopia! She could do extremely better with a boy who truly has his eyes on her and only her. Unfortunately, I don't think that she's actually aware of everythin' that Ashton's been doing for God knows how long and with God knows who.

"Little C!" Johnny's eager and panicked mixed voice snapped me clear out of my thoughts. "This isn't what it looks like, I swear!"

Utopia had her legs now curled up underneath her, and she was nervously nibbling on her painted thumbnail. Just by gazing at her dark eyes, I could sense that she was just as nervous and panicked over this as much as Johnny was.

"Johnnycake..." I couldn't get out anymore words at that moment, no matter how much I desperately wanted to. I could feel my cheeks flush, becoming as deep red as Johnny's face and Utopia's both combined from the kiss seeping back into my head. I saw them pressing their lips against each others, looking pretty relaxed and deeply in the moment as they relaxed where they were on mine and Johnny's double bed. Johnny had his hands running through Utopia's silky locks, and her arms were connected dreamily around his neck. Lastly, both of them had their eyes relaxingly shut, probably savoring the moment until they finally parted.

"Did I just..." Utopia's voice cracked a little, her eyes growing bigger and beginning to overflow with plead for mercy.

I somewhat nervously rolled my eyes around, keeping my feet nailed where they were in the doorway. "Yeah, you did...your lips were pressed against my brother's. You two literally just kissed."

"No...no, no, no..." Utopia cuffed her hands over her mouth and began to quickly shake her head back and forth. "No, I couldn't have! No! I have a boyfriend!"

With still some nervousness remaining in my eyes, I raised an eyebrow and scratched the back of my head. "Or you feel like you have feelings for my brother?" I suggested with a shrug.

Johnny's face went even redder, if that was even possible, and he rubbed the back of his neck. Though, he went on keeping his mouth shut at this moment.

"No!" Utopia shook her head some more, but the tone of her voice sounded still too panicky to be taken convincingly.

Mr. Roberts' daughter turned her head over to Johnny and frowned. "Look, Johnny...you're a sweet boy and everything, but I don't really like you like that. Yes, you're very cute and innocent, but I have a boyfriend and..."

"I understand," Johnny's sensitive voice cut her off. "...You never said that you liked me like that...and I know that you have Ashton."

My eyes grew a little at Johnny's words. Even after Ashton tried convincing the rest of the gang and I that Johnny was overreacting about the escaped mental patients, and he treated Johnny like crap, my brother was acting like none of that mattered to him. It was as if Johnny was pretending that nothing like that happened at all even. Sure, he might've taken a whole lot of ridiculous garbage like that from our folks, but this was different. Ashton was somebody who Johnny could actually stand up to, but I knew Johnnycake better than anyone. He would never stand up to anybody unless an actual life was somehow involved.

Utopia nibbled on her bottom lip a little, right before she got up from the bed and continued to pout with hopelessness dancing in her eyes.

"I'm so sorry for this...it really didn't mean anything..." Utopia assured, but again, her voice wasn't so convincing. "I really should be on my way...I'm so sorry again."

Instead of waiting for any kind of response from Johnny or I, Utopia darted across the floor and took off out of the room like she was fresh meat being hunted. When she bolted passed me, I could've sworn that I saw tears beginning to shimmer in her eyes and slowly drip down her cheeks. I kept my ground and remained standing where I was, but my eyes followed Mr. Roberts' daughter as she bolted down the hallway like her life depended on it. In the distance, I could've sworn that I could hear her beginning to softly sniffle to herself. Nevertheless, I didn't bother to go running after her; I still wanted to talk to Johnny.

Slowly, I dragged my feet across the floor and stopped so I could close the door behind me.

"Cassidy..." sighed Johnny, and in a matter of seconds, I fixed my eyes on him.

Tears were glimmering in the edges of his eyes; I could tell that he was miserably failing at trying his hardest to not shed any teardrops.

"Little C...I'm so, so sorry that you had to see that..." Johnny sniffled, using the sleeve of his jean jacket to dab away his tears that were beginning to fall. "Believe me, it truly didn't mean anything..."

I crossed my arms over my stomach and innocently blinked, hesitating so I could think about what Johnny just said.

"I'm not angry, Johnnycake." I honestly spoke.

Johnny's tearful eyes widened a little. Sniffling some, he asked, "Y-You're not? How come?"

Without any hesitation, I began to remember all of the awful things that Ashton was saying back downstairs in the feasting hall. Not only that, but as much as I desperately wish that it didn't happen, Ashton tried to seduce me. He wasn't the perfect match for Utopia...I'm pretty damn sure that he's not ever goin' to be a perfect boyfriend for any girl. Utopia might've been dating him, unaware of his filthy ways, but Johnny wasn't anything like Ashton. Unlike the vampire looking teenager, Johnny had a heart and not to mention a soul. However, I knew by heart that I couldn't spill all of that to Johnnycake...I didn't want to possibly make this "vacation" anymore twisted than it already was.

I headed over to mine and Johnny's double bed and took a seat down next to him. His dark, watery eyes remained on me as I gave his shoulder a comforting squeeze.

"Because I know that you're not that type of boy, Johnny." That was complete honesty. Johnnycake definitely was not the type of teenage boy to go around and want to kiss girls, especially a girl who was already off the market.

"Yeah, I'm not..." Johnny wiped his eyes, rubbing away most of his tears until he glanced back at my face. "Where did you run off to anyway?"

No matter how much I tried to hide it, a regretful pout slipped across my face. Then I battled a sigh, but I failed and lost against it, too.

"About that..." I paused for a couple of more seconds as I brought my hand up to my mouth and I bit down on my thumbnail. "I'm really sorry for how I treated you earlier...I hope that you know that I didn't mean any of it...I was just upset, caught up in the reality of how Jocelyn really was kidnapped. I honestly think that I ran all over this hotel to blow off some steam, but just as I felt like the bones in my legs were about to snap, Soda ended up finding me. We talked for a few minutes...and he helped me realize in a better light that I didn't mean any of that stuff that I snapped out at you."

To my surprise, not even the smallest sign of a grin tugged up on Johnnycake's lips. Instead, his mouth ended up forming another frown, and he began to speak in a quiet and regretful tone. "I don't see why you're apologizing, Little C...you were right about everything, especially about this bein' all of my fault. If I had just listened to you about that one escaped mental patient that you kept seeing, then we wouldn't be in this wreck."

"No!" I practically howled at the top of my lungs.

Johnny jumped a little, obviously caught off guard with my loud outburst, but he didn't bother to say another word.

"Johnnycake, listen to me!" I grasped a hold of him by his shoulders in order to get him to look at me. He always did that to me when he wanted me to look into his eyes. "Everything that came out of my mouth earlier was because my anger got the best of me! That wasn't really me talking! Trust me, I know that it looked like me, but that wasn't your kid sister! I'm your kid sister! I don't want you to say any crap like that! This is not your fault, you hear me?" I was beginning to raise my voice, but I quickly shut myself up when I noticed how nervous Johnny looked. He seemed to be paling, and his dark eyes were now big all over again, swarming with some fear.

Softly, I took in a deep breath to remain calm and I held it in for a couple of seconds before I released it. At the same time, I let go of Johnny's shoulders, only so my hands could be lightly resting on them.

"Look..." I softly sighed, fixing my eyes back on Johnny's so we could be staring directly at each other. "I know that this is a very terrifying situation that we're in...but no matter what these escaped mental patients have up their sleeves to attempt doin' to us, they won't realize that we have the gang partnered up no matter what. We ain't goin' down without a fight...and no matter how difficult this whole thing seems, we're goin' to get Jocelyn back one way or the other, you hear? I know you're crushed without her, and believe me, the rest of the gang and I are, too...but all of these holes will be patched up eventually." I comfortingly spoke, offering Johnny a small smile as I rubbed his shoulders a bit.

I could see the tears in Johnnycake's eyes beginning to dry up, and a tiny grin was starting to pinch upward on his lips.

My smile grew some more at that, but I wasn't just done telling Johnny what I felt like he needed to see. "Johnnycake, I also what you to know that I understand that I can be stubborn and irritating from time to time...but no matter what happens to us or the gang, I want to make sure that you understand completely that I trust you with all my heart...you're my older brother; you're my best friend...even though we can also be quite pesky enemies at some points...I don't want you to ever doubt how much I love you more than anybody in our whole lives."

That did it. A full, rare smile exploded its way across Johnny's face, and that had my smile fully grown within a short matter of seconds. When you're a Cade, it took a hell of a lot to get you to flash an absolutely complete smile, but Johnnycake and I usually had that special charm on each other.

Before I got a chance to see it coming, I was brought out of my thinking when I felt Johnny throw his arms around me and wrap me in a giant bear hug.

"Oh, Little C..." I then could hear him beginning to sniffle again, but I knew that this time was out of happiness. "Thank you so much."

"No problem at all, Johnnycake." I relaxingly rested my head on his shoulder and returned my half of the hug, but not without running my fingers through his heavily greased hair a little. "I love you, older brother."

Johnny chuckled a bit and then started to dance his fingertips through my hair. He knew how much I liked that.

"Love you, too, baby sister. I love you, too...and I always will no matter what."

I couldn't help myself to softly whimper like a lost and helpless puppy as I sat there on a plain cot in this cell like stall.

It was growing very difficult for me to realize that it just yesterday when that exact flashback happened...I was in Johnny's securing and comforting arms, feeling his fingers caringly caressing my hair as I laid my head down on his shoulder, as if I was a baby instead of a preteen. For once in this major life and death "vacation," I actually felt safe and wanted...but after Johnny told me that he had to use the restroom, I ended up deciding to "sneak out" of the room. That way, I could have went to look for Soda so I could tell him about how Johnny and I made up. Unfortunately, my fate had a different story planned at that moment...I ended up hearing these soft rustling like noises coming from the opposite side of the seventh floor's janitors closet...and that's when my damn curiousness got the best of me...

I was miserably failing at fighting back the tears as I held Jocelyn in my arms, holding her back and caringly feeding her bottle to her. I got kidnapped...I was caught off guard and got my rear end kidnapped yesterday just minutes after Johnnycake and I made up with each other. One moment I decide that it wouldn't have been a big deal if I peeked into the janitors closet, and then when the next arrives, I'm stunned to find Jocelyn simply looking at me with her big and innocent eyes. She was sitting there on one of the dusty shelves that was holding up plenty of the cleaning supplies, smiling instantly after she noticed me. My eyes shot huge, and my mouth fell open in a gaping smile as I snatched Jocelyn up carefully, but quickly by her waist. Then I hugged her close, feeling like I was about to burst into tears from being so happy. However, my joy instantly dissolved when I heard the door slam shut behind me, and when I forced myself to turn around, I found myself face-to-face with one of the escaped mental patients. Fear instantly overflowed in my eyes, but just as I started to let out an echoing scream of terror, I was knocked out from the escaped mental patient knocking me over the head.

My face was growing hotter as I continued to watch Jocelyn slurp down her milk like everything was completely normal. She was too young and fragile to know what in the hell was going on, and not to mention that she didn't know the differences yet between what was right and wrong in this dangerous world.

"Hey..." I heard a male voice suddenly speak to me out of the blue.

A startled jolt hurriedly raced up my spine, causing me to jump a little as I quickly snapped myself back into what was going on.

I turned my head over in the direction where I heard the somewhat familiar male voice. That's when my eyes met this boy who looked about sixteen or so, dressed in a pair of plain jeans that had holes in the knees; a short-sleeved, black, plaid, buttoned up shirt; a pair of dirty tennis shoes; and lastly, he had on a mask that prevented me from seeing his face. Still, I could've sworn that I heard his voice somewhere else before though...

"What do you want?" I half stubbornly/half flatly asked as I turned my attention back down to the stirring Jocelyn, who was still hungry for her milk.

"I wanted to give you this." The male said to me.

Hesitantly, I peeked back over to him, and from the corner of my eye, I witnessed him kneel down on one knee so he could slide a sandwich on a plate underneath the steel bars. After that, he rolled a bottle of clear water after it, and when it tapped against the plate, it stopped rolling against the old; boarded floor.

I could've sworn that I felt my stomach sink from being so hungry. I haven't eaten anything ever since yesterday morning, but I had a good self-control habit.

"...No thank you. I'm not hungry." I talked in the same stubborn and flat mixed tone, going back and forth from eyeing the male figure, to the sandwich and bottle of water.

"You need to eat," The teenage looking boy declared, crossing his arms over his chest. "We need to keep our bait alive and well looked, otherwise they're worth nothing."

Anger began to glow in my eyes as I began to only eye the familiar boy. I didn't need to see his lips to know by heart that he was smirking at me.

I slipped Jocelyn's bottle out of her mouth and tossed a rag over my shoulder. After that, I carefully stood up from the cot and gently pressed my baby sister's head down onto my shoulder, just as I began to pat and rub her back to get a burp out of her.

For some unknown reason, these escaped mental patients had taken most of Jocelyn's diapers, wipes, baby powder, clothes, and toys when they decided to kidnap her first. Hell, there was even a small crib right next to the cot in the cell like stall that Jocelyn and I were trapped in. But what really confused me was the fact that if you looked at Jocelyn before she got taken, and then you examined her now, nothing would've changed expect her clothes and a few diapers. Her black curls were still on her head, and not a single injury of any kind was on any part of her little defenseless body. I made sure of that plenty of times when I had to wake up last night to feed her and change her diaper.

When I peeked back over to the opposite side of the steel bars of the stall, I noticed that teenage boy still remaining where he was with his light tan fists jammed in his pockets, and he was tapping his foot to a soft rhythm.

I confusedly narrowed my eyes a little at him, but I quickly gazed away from him again when a small burp finally escaped from Jocelyn's lips.

"Who are you?" I questioned with complete sass as I carried Jocelyn over to the small crib and carefully rested her back down in it, supporting her head until it was resting against the plush patting.

"You don't need to know that." The boy answered with a few shakes of his head as I tucked the covers around Jocelyn's body, but not without fetching her one of her teething rings and her second most favorite teddy bear.

"Actually, I think I do." I spun myself around on my heels, shooting daggers at the teenage boy. One of my hands were on my hips, and my other was soothingly rocking the crib a little to help Jocelyn fall asleep faster for a little nap.

The teenage boy chuckled. "Aren't you a sassy one, eh? I dig you...I dealt with plenty of sassy gals in the past."

"Why are you doin' this?" I demanded to know, as if I didn't hear what he just said to me.

"Now what do you mean?" The male figure rested his hands on two of the separate steel bars and kept his eyes on me.

"I mean," I stated, raising my voice a little with absolute seriousness. "Why in the hell are you freakin' kidnapping children and toddlers? And also, why are you slaughtering teenagers and adults for no damn reason?"

"Oh," He raised a pointer finger and pointed it at me. "I have a reason for the ones who actually are spilling the innocent blood and kidnapping most of the bait."

"We're not bait! We're actual human beings! This isn't like goin' fishing and usin' worms to lure in the damn fish!" I was desperately biting my tongue in order to keep my voice from rising anymore. Jocelyn just had to get her nap or else she was going to be up screaming her head off all night.

Whoever that familiar teenage boy was, he snickered some more. "Now that's where you're wrong, little girl. See, consider this as our own little round of fishin', would you? Why go waste time at the lake to do it when you can go ahead and gut somethin' else to replace that fish right now?"

My eyes grew a little at the disturbing image of somebody getting gutted. "So what are you saying? You're considering this all some type of game? This isn't a freakin' game! This is life and death that you're messin' with! You're ruining a lot of people!"

"I'm helping the others make this world a better place." He stretched his arms out away from him. "The world is cluttered with a bunch of worthless bitches who don't deserve to live, don't you think so? Well, this little game will just so happen to get rid of all of those spoiled, freaking, idiotic dumbasses who don't deserve to be sharin' our damn air."

I could've sworn that I felt hot tears being to form in the corners of my eyes all over again, thanks to my expanding terror.

"You're..." I gulped down a giant lump that was beginning to form in the middle of my throat. "You're psychotic..."

"Ugh," The teenage boy rolled his eyes. They were pale blue...the only part of his face that I could actually see. "Trust me, I think that it's pretty damn obvious that I'm not as psychotic as the rest of 'em are."

My vision was going from blurry to clear, and I gently rubbed the back of my head from where that female escaped mental patient bashed me over the head to knock me out yesterday. It was still sore.

"You are never goin' to get away with this...I swear...you're not goin' to get this to end...the way that you want it to." I choked out, sniffling only a bit.

The boy let out a mocking laugh. "Oh yeah? Keep tellin' yourself that, but I must warn you that it won't comfort you for long."

I shook my head eagerly. "My brother will save me...my brother and my friends...we're a tuff gang...we stick together no matter what!"

"Don't get your damn hopes up. You may have a so-called gang, but I have some of thee best mental patients huntin' each of their asses down right now."

As much as I tried to hold it back, I couldn't help but grimace at the picture of that.

Just like I suspected, the boy snickered deviously. "Just go and eat your sandwich and drink your water, little girl. And don't worry, nothin' at all is wrong with them. Like I said, we must keep our bait alive and well looking."

Without saying another word, the teenage boy spun himself around on his heels and began to walk away from mine and Jocelyn's cell.

"Hey, wait!" I somewhat called out to him, and almost instantly, he froze in his tracks.

"What is it? I got other children to give food to, you know?" He impatiently began to tap his foot against the board floor again.

"...You never really answered my question as to why you're allowin' all of this disaster to happen, especially to my gang and I..." I reminded. "...I asked you once and I'll ask you again...why are you doin' this?"

The teenage boy hesitated, his hands connected behind his back.

Too nervous to say another word, I kept my voice to myself.

Nonetheless, I finally got the answer that I was afraid of when the teenage boy who I could've sworn was so familiar peered at me from over his shoulder. His pale blue eyes were narrowed, and I could've sworn that he cursed to himself under his breath before he answered my question.

He only gave me one word, and it honestly terrified the crap out of me, sending worried chills all throughout my body.


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