Half an hour earlier...
Holland stopped on the side of the road, opposite the Barden Grill. Through the flyered windows she could make out Matt's silhouette and watched him for a moment, scrubbing down the bar bench. She couldn't deny his attractiveness, no more than she could deny that she wanted him to leave her alone. He had this blonde hair that reminded her of a surfer - it hung around his face in a ratty, casual mess. His eyes, a light blue that she preferred to think of grey, the colour of a misty morning over the sea. And he had arms that she couldn't shake. He'd once pressed them up against her and she'd memorised the way the curve of his smooth muscles felt against her heated skin.
Holland shook her head, hugging herself tighter as the cold crept under her sweater. Matt was nothing more than a sloppy romantic and a distraction. So why was she stopping herself from going into the Grill? Was she nervous?
It wasn't until she'd decided to get over it and cross the road when she realised Matt was staring at her. Only he wasn't smirking, he was just taking her in like one would a painting. He inspected every inch of her, examining the strokes that shaped her face and curled her hair. Holland flipped one bundle of curls to the side and once again regretted wearing her hair down.
Flustered, she tried to walk straight across the road and enter the Grill without the pressure of Matt's staring eyes making her trip or fall over.
Holland chose a table furthest away from Matt and chose to ignore him, waiting patiently for the other girls. But he was over at her table in less than five minutes.
She flicked her head up and clenched her hands into fists under the table. 'Please. Just leave me alone, Matt. I don't know why you're bothering.'
'Well,' he said, smirking. 'Today I was going to leave you alone, but this came for you. My manager said to give it to you.'
He handed her a folded bit of paper, stamped with the Grill's icon.
She took it slowly, wondering who'd sent it. 'Do you know who brought it in?'
He shook his head, pulling a unknown expression. 'No clue. They didn't leave a name, only that it was for you. I wonder why they didn't just deliver it to your house.'
Holland scoffed. 'Maybe because they don't know my address.'
'That would explain a lot,' he laughed, clueless to how she'd just snapped at him. 'Are you going to read it?'
'Are you going to watch me read it?'
He settled into the chair across from her. 'I think I will. Want to read aloud?'
She ripped open the letter and let her eyes scan the page, too quickly to take anything in.
Hello, Holland. I was going to give you your letter last, but I have something even bigger planned for Victoria. Given that you're somehow still in the tight band of the three remaining girls, with Victoria a stray puppy, it will be much easier to take her down. Happy weekend happenings.