The Association

Traverse City, Michigan: population 14,894
Correction: population 14,890

Four girls are dead. In this small town, murder is not a familiar term; however, in the last three years it has been. Four girls are dead. All four had three things in common. One, the girls went to the same high school. Two, they were in the same grade. Three, the four all dated Liam Payne before their deaths. The Payne's along with two other families, the Tank's and the Yule's, have "run" Traverse City for generations now. What they say goes. No, they are not the mob. These families make up something worse than the mob. The Payne's, Tank's, and Yule's make up The Association. Liam is supposed to continue the family tradition, but first he has to find the right girl to lead with. What happens to new girl, Kate Holler (population 14,891), when Liam's got his eyes set on her? Is she the one or will she face the same road that the four other girls did?


1. Baggage

"Finally, we are done," I sigh throwing myself on one of the twin beds. "Thanks for helping me unpack."

"No problem roomie. I still can't believe you are living with us now!" Lucy, my cousin and new roommate, exclaims. "Have you spoken to your parents yet?"

"Yeah before I left Onsted I called them," I recall. "They say hi."

"Aw, tell them I wish them the best with their recovery the next time you speak to Aunt Catherine and Uncle Angelo."

"Will do," I mutter.

"Are you okay? I know this isn't easy," Lucy questions. Worry screams from her green eyes and her usually serene face is tense.

"As okay as I will ever be considering that I have two alcoholic parents." My parents were never really big drinkers, well not until things fell apart at the beginning of summer. My dad was laid off early June and his job paid most of the bills. Mom worked in the local diner as a part time waitress. Her job a first was just to keep her busy, but when Dad still couldn't find a job by the end of June it became the only way to support us.

She took on more shifts but it still wasn't enough. By early July I noticed that both my parents were drinking more often. Usually they had wine with dinner maybe once a week. That once a week turned into three times a week. Soon three times a week evolved to everyday with all meals. Even coffee in the morning for breakfast was replaced with a shot of tequila or a margarita.

On bad days Mom wouldn't even go to work and Dad wouldn't go job searching; the pair would stay home all day and indulge themselves. I would stay home as well to make sure they didn't do anything stupid or got themselves into trouble. By the time it was 9:00 at night my parents would either be passed out or vomiting all over each other. I was always the one to clean up their messes and put them to bed.

At first I just thought they drank to relieve stress and I didn't see the harm in having a beer or a glass of wine if it helped. Obviously I was completely and utterly wrong. It was weird watching them drink. Sometimes Mom and Dad were so happy and it was like they were having their own little party. Other times they seemed so depressed; it was like they wanted the alcohol to make everything disappear.

When August came around Dad still didn't have a job and Mom was still trying to make ends meet with the diner job. I wasn't having the best summer to say the least. What 17 year old wants to be the responsible one and watch out for her parents? Aren't they the ones who are supposed to be the adults? But I had to take care of them.

By the middle of August Dad finally got his head back on straight. He realized that he and his wife had a serious problem. What seemed like a harmless stress reliever at first turned into a dangerous addiction. Dad came to the conclusion that he will never get a job if he goes to interviews with a hangover. Mom also came back to reality. She realized that her and Dad's drinking problem wasn't only affecting them, but it was also affecting me.

Neither of my parents wanted to hurt me this way. I know Mom and Dad never pictured having their only daughter live with two alcohol driven parents. They both mutually decided to check themselves into the local rehab center in Onsted and send me here, Traverse City, to live with my Uncle Derek and my cousins Vinny and Lucy. I can't say that I am unhappy with my parents decision because I know they are doing the right thing. I am glad they are getting help and I wouldn't doubt their love for me. I guess I just miss them that's all.

"I'll be fine, don't worry. On the plus side of this I get to spend all this time with my best friend and favorite cousin," I say giving Lucy a nudge.

"Well no duh I'm your favorite cousin! That ass of a brother of mine doesn't even come close," Lucy points out.

"What did you say about me dweeb?" Vinny asks walking into the doorway.

"Oh nothing just telling Kate that when you are alone in your room you sing 'I'm Too Sexy' to yourself in the mirror." Lucy couldn't even finish what she was saying before she started to spurt out into laughter and it wasn't long until I joined her.

"How the hell did you know that?!"

"And sometimes Vin does it in his underwear too. It's no wonder he doesn't have a girlfriend," she continues.

"Well you aren't doing very well in the boyfriend department! Oh I have a brilliant idea; how about I send you to Tank's or Yule's house. Wait never mind I have an even better idea; you can become one of Payne's girls. Maybe if your lucky he will like you enough that you would become his girlfriend. No that wouldn't work because they would shoot you before you even walked through the door," Vinny banters.

"Wait, who are we talking about?" I ask lost in my confusion. I look over to see a very angry Lucy which isn't something you see everyday. Lucy is one of those loving, forgive and forget types of people. I've seen Vinny throw tons of cracks and jokes at her and usually she just brushes them off; but not this time. Her shiny lip-glossed lips are seamed together to form a long, straight line and her hands are now balled up into fists. Lucy looks like a ticking bomb just about ready to explode. Although in her eyes behind the fog of anger I can see specks of tears forming.

"I would never date one of those man whores and how dare you think I would be one of their sluts! Those pigs are bullies and all they do is degrade people. They think their families are better than us because they are rich and have lived here for generations. They think they can roam around town like big shots; well their not big shots! Those three baboons are playboys and Liam Payne would be the last one I would chose to date even if he was the last man on earth!" Lucy screams.

Vinny and I both look at each other in shock and then glance at Lucy who is still steaming. I have never in my entire life heard Lucy scream like that. I didn't know that such a tiny body could hold that much power. It is scary.

"Luc, I'm sorry you know I was just joking around," Vinny says, his voice shaky from the sudden shock and fear.

"Well it wasn't funny at all."

"You know I don't think you are like those sluts. Tank, Yule, and even Payne would be lucky to have you as a girlfriend."

"Thanks Vin," Lucy forgives. You see, she can never hold a grudge.

"I'm sorry but I am still so confused here. Who are these people?" I question still very lost in the conversation.

Vinny and Lucy look at each other. It appears to be as if they are reading each other's minds. I can't read the expressions on their faces, but it is like they are both withholding information that they are not sure they want to tell me or not.

"I'll explain after dinner. Come on let's go order pizza," Lucy suggests.

"Okay," I agree.

A cold dead silence fills the room as the three of us stare at each other. We all wait for someone to move, but nothing moves other than our eyes. Vinny blinks back and forth between Lucy and I. Lucy just shifts her eyes to Vinny and the floor. For myself, I just look at my cousins and then towards the window. I have a bad feeling about these three mysterious people. If they upset Lucy this much than they can't be good people. I guess my curiosity just has to wait; at least until after dinner.

A/N: Hey everyone! So what did you think of the first chapter? I didn't want to give too much away just yet about the story. If you want to find out more give me feedback and I will write more! Thanks for reading!




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