The Music we Make

Cora Steele is a girl with talents anyone would die for.

Drew Bates is a guy with talents he would die to get rid of.

They're polar opposites and hate each other from the moment they first speak.

He wants all the attention and she attracts it.

But over time they learn that they're not so different after all, and maybe they could learn to like each other.

• • • • • •

Cora was a happy, talented girl until her parents died right before her first year of high school.
Now it's two years later and she has to go to a school for the talents that she hates to love.
She knows its the right thing to do but can she handle all the pain and pressure her talents bring?
Maybe with the help of a few friends and a special boy, she can survive the rest of high school, and maybe even learn to love it.

• • • • • •

P.S. I'm really bad at descriptions so sorry :/

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14. Chapter 13

Five words. That's all it took to ruin the composure I worked so hard for.

This is all your fault.

As soon as I read those words the letter dropped from my hands and my heart started racing.

Just breathe I tried to tell myself, but I couldn't fill my lungs with enough air.

I'm not getting enough air.

I can't breathe.

I stood up, panic and fear making it even harder to suck in air. It felt like my throat was closing up. 

Everything started to look fuzzy and dark around the edges.

I couldn't feel my feet on the ground. I couldn't feel my legs beneath me, holding me up.

Was I standing, or laying, or floating? 

I felt lightheaded as my brain was deprived of oxygen, and my lungs hurt as they tried to work overtime.

I looked around for something, someone, to help but everything was going dark.

And then everything went black.

A knock at the door distracted me from the notes I was playing, I tried to focus on the keys beneath my fingers but another knock caused me to play the wrong chord.

Who's at the door at this time of night? It's almost 10:00! 

"Mom, dad, are you going to get it?" I called when another knock at the door echoed through the house.

When I didn't get a response I quickly exited my room and made my way downstairs so I could answer the door before whoever was knocking left. 

I swung the door open, expecting to find a neighbour or one of my friends on the other side, but to my surprise no one was there.

Was someone pranking me? 

Just as I was about to close the door I heard a honk and the screech of tires on the road. 

My eyes snapped in the direction of the noise and I saw my parent's car going full speed down the road and right toward Aunt Maria's car.

The two cars were heading straight for each other. Fast.

"Stop! Stop you'll crash!" I screamed as I ran out the door, hoping someone would hear or see me.

"No!" I yelled just as the two cars collided.

I ran onto the road when the cars were still, praying that no one was seriously injured. 

"Mom, dad, Maria! Someone answer me!" I called out, hoping for a reply.

All I heard in return was a yelp of pain from aunt Maria's car.

I quickly ran over to help her, but I just couldn't get to her.

"This is all your fault." She gurgled through a mouthful of blood.

"I'm sorry." I sobbed, pressing my hand to the driver's side window.

She opened her mouth to say something else but the words died in her throat and her eyes glazed over.

She's gone.

I ran over to my parents car, hoping to find them awake and responsive, but when I got to them they weren't awake, or alive. I just knew they were gone too.

"Help!" I screamed.

"Someone help me!" 

"Help!" 

My eyes shot open as I was violently shaken.

What the hell?

I frantically looked around the room, dazed and confused.

What's going on?

"Dammit Cora. What's going on?" A deep, frustrated voice said from my right side.

I slowly turned my head to see Drew standing next to the couch I was currently laying on, a wild, panicked look in his eyes.

I must've been screaming during my nightmare. But what caused it? 

The memory of the note I got today rushed back into my mind and I focused on my breathing for a minute as I processed what was going on.

That note must be from the same person as the other one came from. There's no other explanation.

That note came from the person that murdered my family.

"What does this mean?" Drew pressed, waving the threatening note around. 

Crap. How am I suppose to explain this? 

"Cora, please answer me." 

My head began to pound as I tried to think of a way out of this.

"You can trust me." Drew said softly, kneeling on the floor beside the couch.

"My parents and aunt were murdered." I blurted out.

I just couldn't hold it in anymore, and I didn't have the energy to make up another lie.

Drew's eyes widened in sock but he kept quiet and waited for me to explain myself.

I took a deep breath and started, "My parents were killed two years ago, apparently their car was hit by a drunk driver. 

"Then this year, on that weekend you found me outside, I had just gotten a letter that said 'it wasn't an accident, Maria's next.' And then I was called down to the principals office where I was told my aunt Maria was killed by a drunk driver. 

"I put everything together quickly after that and had a complete meltdown, which you witnessed. Anyway, I decided that I needed to come home to find answers. I need to know who killed my family, which leads up to here and now. And that letter." I finished, pointing to the letter in Drew's hand.

He sat there, a stunned and horrified look on his face.

After a few moments of taking everything in, he finally spoke, "The note says it's your fault. How could it be your fault?" 

"I don't know." I replied, shaking my head.

Who would hate me enough to kill my parents?  And why, two years later, did they decide to kill aunt Maria? 

None of this makes sense.

"Earlier during the house tour, I left out one room. My parents office. I think there might be answers there." I explained as I slowly sat up. 

Drew didn't answer, too preoccupied in his own thoughts, but I could tell by the slight nod he gave me that he heard what I said.

"I'm just going to go in there." I informed him, and left the room without waiting for a response.

Once in the office I got right to work. I felt like I was doing something against the rules, snooping through my parents personal papers and stuff, but I had no other choice. I'm sure they'd understand.

I flipped through papers, files, even voice mails, but nothing caught my mind. Nothing was suspicious or out of the ordinary. 

There was my dads pay stubs from when he played piano at this fancy restaurant, and documents of the paintings mom sold.

There was even house bill and taxes, but nothing about their business trips.

Where would they keep those? 

Did they even have any solid information on their business trips, or was everything arranged though phone calls? 

The only remotely useful thing I found was a key, and I don't even know what it's for! 

As I sat back in the desk chair I stuffed the key in my pocket and let out an annoyed huff.

I really thought I'd find something in here.

"Cora." I suddenly heard Drew call from somewhere in the house.

I quickly got up and exited the office, "Yeah?" 

"Where are you?" He asked, and it sounded like he was on the second floor.

"Kitchen." I called back.

The office is right through the kitchen, but I never showed him the office so of course he wouldn't know that.

"We should eat." Drew said as he entered the kitchen.

I nodded in agreement and opened the fridge, only to find nothing it it.

Not a surprise there.

"Do you like pizza?" I asked. If he does we could just order a pizza, that way we don't have to go out and get anything.

Drew scoffed, "Of course I like pizza." 

I rolled my eyes as he looked at me like I'm crazy.

If I just assumed he liked pizza, and it turned out he didn't, I would've looked stupid. But I end up looking stupid anyway for asking him if he likes pizza. I just can't win with this guy.

"What kind?" I questioned as I got my cellphone out and prepared to dial the number of my favourite pizza place.

"Canadian." He replied, fiddling with one of the strings on his hoody so he had something to do other than just standing there awkwardly.

"We're American." I told him, just in case he forgot. What's Canadian pizza? 

Drew let out a loud laugh, then replied, "It's the pizza with bacon, pepperoni, and mushrooms on it."

"Mushrooms?" I asked, crinkling my nose in disgust.

"I'm an athlete, I need to eat my veggies." He stated, crossing his arms defensively.

I put up my hands in surrender, "Fine, but you're paying." 

He rolled his eyes but didn't object so I took that as an okay.

I ended up ordering a large pizza, half Canadian, half pepperoni, and thankfully it only took fifteen minutes to arrive.

I didn't realize how hungry I was until Drew mentioned food.

"Pepperoni is such a boring flavour." Drew said as he took another slice of pizza, his fifth to be exact.

"Well sorry I don't need to over accessorize my pizza." I quipped back through a mouthful of deliciously simple pepperoni pizza.

Drew laughed, making those clear blue eyes of his sparkle, and I couldn't help but stare for a second.

His eyes really are beautiful.

I grabbed another slice of pizza to distract myself from the weird thought I just had, and as soon as I sunk my teeth into the tomato soaked crust all my thoughts were about pizza.

I should really appreciate this art of a food more.

"So uh, how long are you planning on staying here? The whole brake?" Drew asked, breaking me out of my pizza daze and bringing me back to my cold harsh reality.

"I'll stay the whole break if it takes that long." I answered, narrowing my eyes in determination.

I need to figure this whole mess out. I just want it done and over with!

"Do you have a safe?" Drew asked after a few moments of silence.

What a random question.

I tilted my head to the side in confusion but answered his question, "Yeah, in my parent's room." 

Drew rolled his eyes, "Don't give me that look, people sometimes keep secret documents in a safe. So the answers might be there." 

Huh, so he does have a brain after all.

"Well yeah I have a brain! I'm not a scarecrow from The Wizard Of Oz!" Drew exclaimed.

"Stop reading my thoughts!" I demanded, throwing my hands up in exasperation.

Drew threw his head back and laughed.

What's he laughing at?

"I said that out loud, didn't I?" I asked when it dawned on me.

Drew nodded to confirm my suspicions.

The realistic side of me knows that there's no such thing as mind readers, but my childish side just doesn't want to accept that.

"I really need to stop that." I mumbled, unimpressed with the fact that Drew was currently laughing at me.

"No no, it's cute." He said between laughs, waving his hand to dismiss my words.

Cute? Did he just say something I do is cute?

Drew suddenly stopped laughing and furrowed his eyebrows, the same way he always does when he thinks, and at that moment I wished I was a mind reader. 

I'd love to know what kind of thoughts make him do that with his eyebrows.

I bit down on my bottom lip to stop myself from laughing at the image in my head of Drew's eyebrows actually getting tangled together as he thinks hard about a math question or something.

"So is this bad boy my bed for the night?" Drew asked, patting the couch under us and taking me away from my highly amusing thoughts.

I shook my head, I'd be a terrible host if I let him sleep on the couch! 

"You can sleep in my bed if you want, and I'll take my parents bed." I offered, shrugging like it was no big deal, but in reality it really was.

I love my bed, and I haven't slept in it in months, but I'd rather Drew sleep there than in my parents room.

"Sure, and is it all right if I took a shower, I feel gross after all the travelling we did today." Drew asked.

I nodded my head and told him where the towels are and which shower to use.

Without another word Drew went out to his car to get all his stuff, and I went up into my parents bedroom to check out the safe.

Once I found it under their bed I got nervous. The contents of this safe could lead me to my parent's killer. 

I inspected the safe for a way to open it and found that I needed a key. 

I grabbed they key I found in my parents office, out of my pocket and tried to fit it in the safe. Why not right? And sure enough, it fit! 

I didn't think opening the safe was going to be this easy! 

I took a deep breath before turning the key and pulling the door open.

Whatever's in this safe could change my life forever. 

I took one last calming breath before removing the contents of the safe and laying them out in front of me.

There was only three things. A USB drive, a family picture, and a small piece of paper with the word Bates scribbled on it.

What? 

Suddenly the door to my parents room swung open and I pushed the safe and it's contents back under the bed in one swift motion. 

It's like I was caught with my hand in the cookie jar, even though the person catching me was the one that suggested I take a cookie in the first place.

"So I just got a call from my parents, they want me home for Christmas, and I can't get out of it. But I also don't want to leave you here alone so I was thinking I could bring you with me, and then after Christmas we could come back here." Drew told me, a nervous look on his face.

He wants to bring me to his family Christmas?

"Sure." Was all I said, too confused from this sudden change of plans and the odd stuff in the safe to really think about my answer.

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