Sometimes things happen. And sometimes we don't know why they happen. We live our lives as normally as possible and then out of nowhere - everything changes.

I've never been too great at controlling myself when I'm upset, but lately it's gotten worse. This thing happened. It all started with my best friend. She didn't do anything wrong, someone did wrong by her. So of course I stepped in and saved the day. Turns out I really didn't.

Turns out there's more to this than getting rid of her. She's just a piece of the puzzle. She's like the gas needed to start the fire. But guess who's standing in the middle of this metaphorical fire?

Yours truly.

Maybe if I learned to think things through, I wouldn't be in this position. I wouldn't have gotten my friends into this position. Oh well, too late to do anything about it now.

Acting off impulses can either save you, or kill you. In my case, I think it did a little bit of both.


9. Chapter 9

Treetop Point was the name of the town on the other side of Charlotte. We lived in Huntersville, so the ride would be about an hour to an hour and a half. The three of us went back to our house, and I sat with Mason on the couch as Owen made up some story for our parents. I hadn’t put any makeup on today. My face was pale and blank, my cheeks slightly red from the heat. I had thrown on some running shorts, and one of my dad’s old oversized coaching t-shirts. I had been holding my lips in a straight line ever since I stepped into the yard of Patrick’s house yesterday.

Mason sat next to me, our shoulders touching. My hands were folded in my lap, and Mason was constantly running his hands through his hair. “I don’t know how to feel,” he muttered. His voice made me jump a little. I had been staring at the stain Quinn and I had left on our carpet almost six years ago at one of our sleepovers.

“You know how I feel? Sick, because literally everything in this house reminds me of her, and she isn’t here,” I grumbled.

“I’m sorry,” he sighed.

I looked at the side of his face, and decided I needed to stop being a bitch.


“Mace…” I started, but I didn’t know how to finish.

“Hm?” he muttered.

“You can… you can be upset too.”

Then he groaned and ran both hands down his face. He gripped the collar of his shirt and tugged at it a little.

“When she’s pissed, she’ll grab my collar, pull me in, and scream in my face,” a small grin grew on his face.

Quinn hadn’t even been gone twenty-four hours yet, but it was driving us all crazy.

“She did that to me too,” I actually smiled.

It hurt though, so I wiped it away.

“Hey, don’t do that. You haven’t smiled at all today, and I hate that,” he grabbed my hand.

“How can I? She’s gone-.”

“Stop saying that, Kass. Gone is permanent. She’s gonna be back.”

That was the second time someone had said something like that to me. Of course I had faith, but it was hard to bring it to the surface.

“Tell me you’re upset, Mason. I know you care about her,” I muttered, looking up.

His eyes immediately met mine and I felt relief.

“Honestly, I’m more than upset. It… it like…”

“Hurts?” I finished.

He nodded and I completely understood.

“I’m confused, I’m sad, I’m pissed because I didn’t come outside with you, but at the same time, I’m happy because I know she’s alive. There’s no way he would’ve killed her, there’s something he wants, so he won’t do that. Not yet. I’ve known that obnoxious brat almost my whole life, and I know she can keep herself safe. I believe in her.” I smiled again. This time it didn’t go away.

“Yeah, she’s a smart girl. And Mace, I don’t want you to blame yourself for this. It probably would’ve been worse if you had come with me. He would’ve shot us both and we don’t know that Owen would have found us,” I explained.


“God, that dick shot you. That’s even worse,” he grumbled.

“Well I’m fine anyway,” I squeezed his hand.

“Are you sure? I’m surprised you woke up as soon as you did. He used a gun that you use on animals the size of a small deer,” Mason got off the couch and down on his knees in front of me.

“What are you doing?” He didn’t say anything.

He grabbed my knees and spread my legs apart.

“Mason!” I grabbed his hands and tried to push him away from me.

He overpowered me and scooted in closer. The bottom of my shirt was being gripped in his hand and he raised it up to my chest. His eyes darted to the big purple bruise that covered most of my lower stomach. I had taken a bandage and put it over the actual shot. I looked down and winced. It was so gross. He took a finger and barely touched me, running it over the edges of the bruise.

“Does that hurt?” he whispered.

I just shook my head. Then he took his hand and slowly glided it over my entire bruised stomach. I had a thought.

“What if he shot Quinn with the stun gun?” It came out quietly.

Mason’s eyes darted up to mine, and he bit his lip.

“If you and Owen hadn’t found me, who knows what could’ve happened to me. If Jace shot Quinn, he sure as hell didn’t help her afterwards,” I was losing my breath.

Mason must’ve felt my heart rate go up because he slid his hand up my shirt and stopped when he was right on top of my heart.

“Babe, promise me you’ll calm down. Every time you say her name it’s like your body starts freaking out. She’s going to come back. You’re both going to be okay,” he whispered.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. When I opened them, Mason was still looking up at me. I grabbed his face with both hands, leaned in as I pulled him closer, and planted my lips on his. I didn’t really kiss Mason that often. He may kiss me, and I’ll kiss him back, but I rarely made the first move. I wouldn’t even classify this as a kiss. It lasted all of two seconds before I pulled away.

“I promise,” I muttered.

He smiled and kissed my forehead as he stood up.

“Hey, are we clear?” Mason was talking to the kitchen.

I quickly stood up next to him and saw Owen walking towards us.

“Yeah, until they figure out I lied. They always do,” Owen shrugged.

“Well this’ll last longer than usual. It has too. How long do you think we’ll be gone?” I grabbed my phone and brushed my ponytail off my shoulder.

“However long it takes for us to get her back. I don’t know. We might wanna take some clothes just in case.”

“Well how long did you tell mom and dad we’d be gone?” I asked walking towards the stairs.

“I said three days. I told them we were going to a One Republic concert, I needed something to make them think we were calmer about Quinn,” Owen said.

“Ew why?” Mason scrunched his nose. “Because they’re coming to Charlotte tomorrow, it had to be believable. Suck it up, dumbass,” Owen said to Mason.

I just laughed and Mason glared at me.

“Well Owen, let Mason borrow some of your clothes. I wanna go and get this over with. We don’t have time to stop. I’m gonna go get my stuff.”

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