Rated: M

For sale: Smashwords, for Free until 5th July '14

Crows Among Doves Chapter List
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4

Writing done by KristinGyaru.


Chapter 1Edit

The black car pulled to a stop outside the steel gates. The back doors clicked open and two passengers stepped out. 

One of the passengers was a tall but thin and frail girl, with black hair and big, sapphire blue eyes. The other was her counterpart, a tall and muscular creature with the same black hair and large deep blue eyes. When standing side by side, they both seemed to be the same height, though that may have been the result of her large heels. Both were dressed in a typically casually way. They both seemed to have a natural glow to their pale faces, and protruding cheekbones. They were obviously related, and it was only a little bit obvious that the male was the eldest of the pair.

The girl’s long black hair danced in the wind as she opened the driver’s door, thanking him.

“Come on,” said the other man with her. His voice was gravelly, but soft. “We’re going to be too late to register.”  She smiled as she slammed the door, and walked to him, her tall heeled boots clicking the cement floor.

The midday sun was already starting to fade though it was only half two in the afternoon. As they made their way closer to the school entrance, students were already beginning to leave. The daily chitter-chatter was quiet as usual. Both of the red doors of the entrance slammed shut as they dropped back to their original position after the pair entered. A ruddy receptionist with short red hair and a big red pout  sat behind a desk. “Can I help you?” She looked up, staring at them intently.

“Ah yeah,” He said, smiling. “We just got back from lunch, we had a family emergency.” His sister pushed up beside him, smiling also.

“We had it registered and authorized by the principal,” she remarked. The woman seemed not to believe them at first, but after only a few seconds she looked to her computer.

“Names?” She inquired, curving her red lips into a fake smile.

“Joshua Ryan is myself and Rosaline Ryan is my sister.” Rosaline, or Rose for short, brought her long curled black hair forwards over her shoulder, It reached her hips at the longest point. The keyboard clicked loudly as the red-faced woman typed the names into the database. “Found us?” Josh joked, chuckling a little.

“You’re all good to go, please try not to be late after your summer holidays!” She grinned.

Josh and Rose started off, leaving the groggy reception and entering the cold stone yard. It was a bare place, with fences surrounding the whole campus that resembled prison gates. Josh smiled at Rose.

“What class are you in?”

She smiled back. “English.” Despite their often-bitter relationship, they usually got along. “And yourself?”

“English.” They both walked to a large, rectangular shaped building that seemed to be composed of primarily glass. The smell of new carpet flooded their nostrils. “This new block is great.” The new English block was the most modern in the school and featured pale blue carpet and a pale oak wood. Many of the exterior walls were glass. The block itself contrasted most of the other blocks, because most of them had not been renovated, and they were still from the original set of buildings that composed the school when it was first built. As such, many of the blocks had small, cramped rooms, limited electrical outlets and dirty carpets and peeling paint.

“Yeah,” she sighed. “This is my room.” Rose smiled, turning away from Josh and walking into a door plastered in stickers. Josh continued up the hall into another small room. He knocked the wooden door and opened it. Mr. Morrissey stared plainly at Josh.

“Sorry I’m late Sir.” Josh said, shutting the door and holding his tutors gaze as he walked to his seat.

“Why are you so late? There are only ten minutes left!” Mr. Morrissey yelled, pointing to the clock.

Josh threw his bag to the floor and he sat down, dropping Morrissey's gaze and looking at Emie sitting next to him. He smiled, and so did she. “Sorry, I had an authorized absence. Family matter.” Josh smirked, knowing he had won.

Morrisey stopped his tirade, and pointed at the board again, as he did the class descended into rabble.

“Hey Josh, I didn’t think you were coming.”

Josh laughed. “I wasn’t going to but I had no choice.” Emie smiled at him, wrapping a strand of her long brown hair around her long finger while kicking her feet under the table. “My uncle died two days ago, so I had to go help with his funeral arrangements. It’s kind of been tough for us but, well, we’re holding up.”

Emie’s smile faded. “What?” She stammered in shock. “Didn’t you live with him?” Josh nodded, still smiling slightly. “Oh my God, I’m so sorry.” He laughed at her a little.

“It’s fine,” he replied. “I hear you’re throwing a bit of a party tonight.”

The whole class collectively drowned out Morrissey and his lecture. “Yeah, at nine till morning, my mom’s out again.” She smiled a little re-wrapping her hair around her finger. “You’re invited.”

“Did I hear you say party, Emie?” A new voice chirped from behind them. It was Keelan. Keelan was a tall boy with scruffy blonde hair and an Irish accent. He was also best friends with Josh so by default, a good friend of Emie’s.

“Yeah, wanna come?” Keelan and Josh looked at each other.

“Yeah, totally. Josh can totally be my ride. I don’t know where you live!” He laughed. “Bringing our own booze?”  He tapped his chin. “Wait, more importantly can I bring a date?”

Emie nodded, looking hopefully at Josh. He glanced back but hardly gave her a second thought. “Keelan,” Josh said. “I don’t know what my plans are tonight, so you might have to meet me later, a’right?” Keelan nodded and walked back to his table, scribbling up notes from the board. Josh placed a hand on Emie’s shoulder. “We should hang out after school.” He smiled. “It’s been a long time.”

She grinned, and replied. “Yeah we should.” Emie and Josh had been like brother and sister four, perhaps five years ago. Then everything started going wrong for Emie. It was the summer and Emie and Josh were on holiday in California when she got the phone call.

Her dad was in a car accident. That was the exact moment when they stopped talking:  Her depression broke them up, just like that.

Before they knew it the bell had rung. Morrissey mentioned something about homework but nobody listened. They all piled out of the room and within moments the room was empty and quiet. However the hall was ablaze with the loud noises from cell phones, people talking and doors slamming. Josh and Emie walked down the stairs and met Rose at the bottom. “Hey Rose,” Josh said.

She smiled, playing with her long hair. “Heya Emie.” She said, grinning. In her heels, Rose stood at least six or seven inches taller than Emie, with hair longer than hers too.

“Hi Rose.”

“Rose, I’m going to Emie’s, so if you could just carry on home without me. Oh and there’s a party at nine tonight, Emie’s place.”

“A party?” She chuckled. “I go to enough of them Josh. I fancied a night in tonight.” She wiggled her hips in the tight jeans an even tighter bandeau top. “After meeting Ryan, of course.”

Josh laughed. “Ryan is a complete idiot, good luck with him.”

They left the block and all three started walking towards the side exit of the yard where a tall boy in the shade stood biting into a shiny red apple. “Oh look, there’s your snake charmer now.” Rose smiled and walked ahead of Josh and Emie to meet her boyfriend. They soon vanished out of sight. Now Josh and Emie were the last ones left on the yard that moments ago was a rabble of faces and noise.

“Who’s Ryan?” Emie asked.

Josh was silent for a time, but eventually he replied. “It’s Rose’s boyfriend. I only met him a week ago and he doesn’t seem too good for her.” There was a silence for a few moments as they walked across a busy road and into the forest that took them down a path and eventually to Emie’s house. “She goes from boy to boy every few weeks, I can’t honestly see it being realistic.”

Emie smiled. She knew Rose was a bit of a player, but Josh was her opposite. He was kind, sweet and sympathetic. To Emie’s knowledge he’d had only one girlfriend and that didn’t work out. She’d never known his mystery girlfriend and didn’t want to either. It was a part of his past that he expressed great pain and anger for every time he spoke of it with her. Though Rose had been a friend of Emie’s for a while, they didn’t see eye-to-eye on many things, and in the past, it had often led to disagreements between her and Josh.

For around eight minutes they walked through the dark forest until they reached a small back alley lined with houses. The third house in was hers. She unlocked the gate and walked through, with Josh trailing behind. Her pool was filled ready for the party, but because it had really been a spur of the moment thing, none of the house was set up. It looked like an ordinary family home.

“I’ve missed your house, Emie,” Josh said, smiling, his tongue playing with his lip stud.

Emie laughed as they came from the hallway, and a small thud echoed as she took her shoes off and dropped them. Josh walked through to her, and took his off too. “I’m sure it missed you too!” They giggled together, that was followed by a profound silence. She led him up the stairs into her bedroom, and he sat on her bed next to her.

“Why are you throwing a party, Emie?” He finally asked. “It isn’t like you. You never used to come with me to parties when we were younger.”

She smiled. “I just wanted to see what would happen if I threw a good house party. I guess…” she paused, thinking. “I guess I changed.”

There was an awkward, almost painful silence for the next five minutes and it dragged. Both were afraid to speak. It was when his phone went off that the silence ended. The familiar marimba tone on his iPhone vibrated in his pocket. He pulled it out and checked it. It was his sister, so he thought it best he answered.

“Calm down.” Josh said. Emie couldn’t hear anything from the other end – she heard loud static as though she was yelling. “Honestly.” Josh brought his knees upright and furrowed his brow. It seemed like he was going to cry but in all the years that Emie knew him, he had never cried. “I’m sorry.” He hung up, putting his head onto his knees.

“Are you okay?” Emie attempted to comfort him but it didn’t work, and he didn’t seem to want it.

He nodded, pulling his head back up and smiling, putting his phone down finally. “She’s just being a bitch. Anyway about the party, who’s coming?”

“I messaged a few people and posted it on Facebook. As far as I’m concerned it’s an open invite.” She smiled. “My mom leaves alcohol lying around, I’ll just have to replace it.”

“Fair, I suppose.” Emie’s phone rang, signaling a text message and she ignored it. The room stood silent for ten, maybe fifteen minutes before it rang again. She looked at the screen and they were off two different numbers that she didn’t know. They were people who’d decided they were going to come with some friends.

“More the merrier,” she laughed. She was nervous, she’d never hosted a party. She’d only been to a handful and the most of them were family-friendly. But she aimed for this to be a big bash. An end-of-season kind of bash. The typical disgustingly illegal teenage party, drugs included. Of course, Emie wouldn’t be taking drugs. She’d tried marijuana a few times and though it was great to simply leave reality and feel free, but she didn’t enjoy the choking, the coughing. Josh smiled. “I’ve never thrown one, tips?” She’d heard of some of Josh’s house parties over the last year. Apparently they were great. No surprise there, Josh was generally up for anything. That includes trashing his apparently-amazing house with large pool and three stories.

“Get them all stoned, get them all drunk. Keep the music playing and make sure you don’t have to end it before three in the morning.” She thought that would be impossible. She was usually in bed by twelve. “If you want to go to bed before that, then I’ll take over.” He smiled.

“Yeah that would… that would be great.”

“What time did you tell people to get here?”

“About nine,” She blushed, knowing it was quite early. “Is that too early?”

“No.” He grinned. “It just means you only have a few hours to get everything ready. Do you have shot glasses?”

She nodded. He stood up, opening her door and signalling her to wait. He’d gone around her house before so he obviously knew where he was going and what he was looking for. She sat her own, looking at her phone and knowing that people were going to be there and she was going to have a party that she wasn’t prepared for. She’d never even thrown a house party before so everything was relatively new to her. It was seriously a last minute thing and now she was beginning to regret it, but at least she had Joshua on hand to help her if she didn’t know what to do. Which was likely to happen.

Emie’s eyes began to fall. Tonight was not going to be fun, she thought to herself. She was already tired and nobody had even arrived yet. Gently, she rested her back against the wall and closed her eyes without much force and she began to feel herself falling asleep. Before long, Joshua came back up the stairs and Emie jumped upright when she heard the door open. How long had it been? She didn’t know. “Your house is awesome. I’ve set the music up and all the alcohol is on the side, I took the liberty of going out for some about an hour ago. You don’t mind it getting trashed, right?”

“No. I just don’t want it to smell of drugs.”

He laughed. “It won’t, they’ll do it outside.” He took a small hipflask from his pocket. “By the way, have some of this, you’ll be so much more relaxed.” He passed it and she took it, opening it and smelling it, looking back at him curiously. “It’s Jaeger.”

She took a sip, it burned her throat. “Shouldn’t you mix this with like, Red Bull?”

He shook his head, “You’re thinking of a Jaeger Bomb, and they’re not mixed.” He laughed at her innocence, taking the flask back. “Come on, you have to come down now.” He grabbed her hand and led her downstairs, where Rose stood with someone Emie couldn’t identify.

“Hi Emie.” She smiled coyly, as she always did. Her long black hair was brought down on one side and to her hips as usual, and she was heavily made up in a boob-tube revealing her perfectly toned abs and hip piercings, and a pair of black booty-shorts. As usual she had on her stripper-style platform heels and black hold-ups. Rose always seemed to be overly proud of her body and how she presented herself. She was, in many ways, perfect, with a drop-dead body, but she flaunted it too much, making everyone feel at least a little bit bad about themselves, or making them feel that she was simply a whore and nothing more than that.

The boy next to her was much more casual, with a simple polo and skin-tight blue jeans and Vans, short blonde hair and a snapback. “Yo, I’m Ryan.” His voice was deep and gravelly, and he didn’t look like he did earlier, and didn’t look like someone that Rose would be with.

Rose opened her purse and took out a phone, sliding it across and answering a call that had been on silent. “Hello?” There was a pause. “Yeah alright.” She put her phone back into her bag. “There’s a few outside, you guys go do what you need to do.” Rose turned her back on them and Josh and Ryan walked through the living room, leaving Emie. She trailed soon enough, though, to find Josh and Ryan sat on the carpet with their legs hung out of the house into the garden, they were smoking a cigarette.

“What are you doing?” Emie said plainly, the living room behind her filling with people who were following Rose. Rose dropped to the floor, putting her iPod into a dock and letting her music blare from the speakers. Emie moved closer to Josh and Ryan.

“What does it look like?” Josh laughed, passing the cigarette to her, and she wrapped her lips around it, inhaling. The harsh thick nicotine smoke flooding down her windpipe. She coughed as she took the cigarette away and passed it to Josh. “You don’t smoke, I forgot.” He laughed again, smiling at her and patting the floor next to him for her to sit in between him and Ryan. She did, and Ryan smiled too.

“Nice to meet you, Em.” He held a hand out for her to take. She took it and shook his hand a little before letting go. She noticed, now, that Ryan had an intense look in his eye. Similar to Josh’s, but less bright. His eyes were the opposite. Instead of a striking blue, they were a deep brown.

“Nice to meet you too!” She had to nearly shout over the music.

Josh took a deep breath in to finish off the cigarette and threw it to the floor. “Shall we go out properly? It’s really loud in here.” Josh took Emie’s hand and smiled at her, standing up and so did Emie and Ryan. They followed him to the side opposite the pool and sat on the bench by the back gate. “So anyway yeah, Ryan is Rose’s current boyfriend.” He looked at Ryan. “She isn’t that trustworthy, mate.” Ryan shook his head.

“I don’t care, she’s banging.” Ryan laughed, crossing his leg over the other and fiddling with a small necklace he wore that consisted of a lot of wood beads carved with gold paint and a few, tiny red beads. “I know she’s your sister, man.”

Josh looked at Rose through the glass. She was dancing with someone new, and Ryan didn’t seem to care. Josh knew she was trouble walking and he didn’t know how he felt about her. Years ago, she was modest, she was nice, she was the good girl. But of course, everything had to change. There was just no reason for her to change, however, and that was the only thing that was stopping Josh from feeling sympathy. Was it the death of many family members? No, it wouldn’t have been. Rose never cared, not even about her own family.

The three sat on the bench for five, maybe ten minutes in near silence before Rose came out. Though it had been only a few minutes that she’d been out of site, she came out wearing neon makeup on her eyes. The opposite of what she usually wore. “Look what I got!” She sang, bounding over to them and sitting on Ryan’s lap, kicking her heels against the floor. She opened her bag and took out a small bag of marijuana. Emie repulsed, not wanting to go near drugs for the night. “It was free off someone, I think it was Chris.” She waved into the living room through the glass, smiling at her new friend. “You guys can have it, I’m going back in to party.” She threw the bag at Josh along with a lighter and a paper container of rolling papers. “Have fun, losers.” She stood up and walked off, only looking back to smile at Emie.

She vanished into the crowd of people again, and Josh passed the bundle of drug-related items to Ryan. “Get blazed if you want. I don’t want to.” Ryan looked shocked but took the stuff anyway, sliding it into his pocket. Josh wrapped an arm around Emie. “How are you?”

She smiled, telling him that she was alright, and he smiled back. Ryan got off the bench and sat on the small , wooden chair beside of it. He crossed his legs and took the items out of his pocket again, rolling the narcotic into the rolling papers between his fingers easily, and then lighting it with the lighter. It seemed like he knew what he was doing as it only took moments to get from original items to finished joint. Emie watched, mesmerized. They chatted for a few minutes, and Ryan gave Josh the joint, and even though he said he didn’t want any, he puffed on it anyway. Then he passed it to Emie. She was hesitant. Between her fingers, the joint was burning and she slowly raised it to her lips, taking a tiny little drag on it. She took it out of her mouth instantly and passed it to Ryan, trying not to cough. Today she’d tried cigarettes, and took a toke on an illegal drug once again. What an adventure!

Josh smiled. Their cycle continued of talking and smoking for the next hour. When the joint was done, Ryan simply rolled another. The sun began to die down by the time they’d finished smoking. Everyone felt calm, open. Ryan was laughing more than he’d done all night, and that made Emie happy. Rose still hadn’t emerged from the house, and Josh didn’t care. It didn’t seem like Ryan did, either. Josh took his phone out of his pocket and announced his plans. “I’m turning music on, Emie go and shut the doors. Their music is terrible.”

Emie smiled and followed his orders, going and shutting the door and then doing something Josh hadn’t asked her to do, she turned the water pump on for the pool and almost instantly it started filling up. She laughed and scuttled back over to Josh, sitting close to him as he found a song to put on. Emie didn’t know what the song was, but it was good, it was melodic. She stretched, arching her back, and falling onto Josh’s shoulder and he wrapped an arm around her. Ryan lulled his head back in the chair, smiling contently. “I like you. Emie. You know how to have a chilled night,” Ryan remarked, laughing a little.

“Yeah, I’ve never had a party. I kind of just left everything to Josh and it seems Rose took over.” Ryan laughed.

“You don’t know Rose, do you? She takes everything over.” He coughed. “Even things that don’t concern her. She’ll always try to take the helm.” Ryan smirked, looking at Josh. “I feel sorry for you.”

Why did he feel sorry for Josh? If Ryan didn’t hold Rose in high regards, he didn’t have to stay with her. He was choosing to associate with her. “I feel sorry for you, too. Every time she gets a boyfriend she lacks time with me and bothers them, more. Good luck. I remember when she was flirting with our friend Keelan. Speaking of which, he hasn’t turned up.”

There was a strange glint in Ryan’s eye. “I like her, but she’s very dominating.” Josh smiled. “Anyway, who wants to go get some food? My car is out front.”

They all nodded and agreed to go to the fast food chain store down the road and slid out of the garden through the side passage, not disturbing any one. They got into the car, and Josh sat in the back with Emie, with Ryan obviously in the drivers seat. He pushed his car into motion and they rode down the smooth road straight, then took a left turn. They were silent in the car, and Emie lay her head on Josh’s shoulder, feeling sick. After a few minutes, they got there and parked shoddily. Upon entering the establishment, they noticed only three other people – an elderly man in his fifties drinking a coffee, and a woman and a small child who was climbing up the chairs and tables. Her face screamed fed up, and the child kept asking for an ice cream. When they walked further in, Emie noticed a buggy beside her with a tiny baby inside. The mother looked sad, dismal. She had the same eyes as Josh, bright and bold. But it seemed that her innermost feelings were making them dull. She didn’t look like she was living, merely alive.

They ignored the woman, The groups ordered their food and sat on the tables by the window, waiting. After a few moments another man entered. He had pale skin and rough brown hair, with deep brown eyes. He sat by the woman and her children. Passing her what seemed to be about a hundred dollars in cash. She looked at him, eyes wide. She had been crying. Emie was the only person taking any notice of the girl and the man in front of her. He had many tattoos that contrasted his pale complexion, and many of them appeared to be tribal tattoos that she’d never seen before. Were they prison tattoos? Whilst his outward appearance would suggest he was a drug dealer or something similar, she wasn’t one to judge instantly.

“Where the hell is our food, Ryan?”

Ryan smiled at Josh. “It’s on it’s way. I did order, like, tons of food.” The main said something to the woman and she started crying even more. He walked over to the baby in the buggy and played with it, rolling the buggy towards where he sat.

“No!” She yelled. “You can’t!” She stood up furiously. Everyone in the eatery looked over.

A member of staff walked over. “Excuse me, but could you please keep it down?” She tried to play nice. “I’ll have to call the manager if you can’t, and then you’ll have to leave.”

The woman sat back down with tears streaming down her face. She smiled at the waitress. “Yes okay, sorry, bring me another coffee.” Her eldest child screamed ice cream. “And an ice cream, chocolate, please.”

Their conversation returned to being hushed and that was the last they heard except from when the man walked out holding the young baby and the hand of the boy. The woman let out a loud cry as she went to the bathroom.

“What was that about?” Ryan asked. The waitress came over, holding two trays of food, piled full of food. “Oh damn this looks good.” He winked at the waitress. “Oh, and the food looks pretty good, too.” The waitress smiled and laughed, putting the food down in front of them.

The woman came back out from the bathroom, looking dazed, confused. Her brown hair had been swept back into a messy bun and her bright eyes looking even dimmer. She stumbled between the lines of tables and finally left the restraint, crying and looking back as she did. The waitress watched her walk out, too, with a look of sympathy.

Ryan took a chicken wing off the tray and slid it in front of Emie who was sat in the middle. She took a fry and placed it into her mouth, biting into it and chewing it slowly.

Josh grabbed a chicken wing and began mauling it with his teeth. Within minutes, both of them had managed to devour the chicken wings and had started on the other items of food. Emie was still sat eating some fries. Before long, everything was ate and they were all full. “What now?” Ryan asked the two sat near him.

“Let’s go back to Emie’s I hope they haven’t destroyed the place.”

They stood up waving at the man behind the counter who had been the person to take down their order. They got out into the parking lot and saw the waitress still with the woman who had been crying. As they got into their car, the woman began to laugh and looked over at the three, smiling. Josh knew her, well, he knew her face. But he couldn’t just put a name to her. It was a silent ride back, and the party was still going strong, so they tiptoed round the back of the house again, to avoid the attention of any partiers. “I’m going to check on Rose, one second,” Ryan said. Josh and Emie remained quiet as Josh shut the gate and locked it, looking directly at her. He moved to her, grabbing her hand.

“Emie, I hope you’ve had a good night,” he said optimistically but quietly. She nodded, and smiled back. He moved his face slightly closer to hers. “I know I have,” he said, moving closer again. Emie could feel his breath on her cheek as he came in closer, their noses touching a little. “I really like you,” he whispered.

“I like you too,” she replied, as she moved her face closer.

“Looks like she’s passed out, Josh,” Ryan announced, turning around the corner and looking at them both pressed against the wall close to kissing. “Well, hello there!” He joked, making mock kissing noises.

Josh immediately moved back. “Nothing happened, idiot.” He shot dagger-eyes at him, and Ryan smiled back.

“If looks could kill!” Ryan teased. He took a cigarette out of his pocket and a lighter, sparking the cigarette and taking a drag. “Don’t be so touchy. I’m guessing you’re sleeping here tonight, anyway. I mean, your sister’s passed out on the couch. It looks like it’s dying down a bit, quite a few people have left.”

Emie jumped up. “I hope it ends soon, I’m tired.”

“I can go clear them out for you if you want,” Ryan remarked. “I’m getting tired too, and if I have to cart Rose home, I’d rather it not be too late.”

“I could take her back, Ryan.” Josh interrupted.

“You stay here, help Em tidy up.”

Emie smiled, holding her head with her palm. “I have a headache.” She wasn't lying either. Her head throbbed with a familiar pain.

Josh put an arm around her, guiding her past Ryan. “You can go up to bed, alright? We’ll get rid of everyone and tidy up.” Ryan flared up but didn’t object.

He guided her into the house, past a few people on the floor playing poker and a few people still drinking. She managed to get herself up the stairs and he opened her bedroom door for her, guiding her onto her bed. “Do you want me to leave you to get changed?” She shook her head, undoing her trousers and sliding them down her thin legs and to the floor and pulling her top off over her head. Josh smiled at her, looking at her face even though she was there in her underwear. She curled up and snuggled into her thick blanket, and Josh came over her, sitting next to her. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I just feel a little ill,” she smiled, blinking slowly.

"I’ll be downstairs if you need me, and if it’s okay, I’ll stay here.” He smiled sympathetically.

She nodded and he brought his face closer to hers, kissing her forehead. She wrapped her fingers around his shoulder and brought him downward, kissing him properly

Chapter 2 Edit

She opened her eyes, wrapping her legs around the thick blanket over her. Turning her head, she could see the sky. It was still dark, so it was probably around five in the morning or there about. She simply couldn’t imagine waking up any earlier than that.

Pushing herself up to sit upright, thoughts slowly entered her head. What happened last night? Then she remembered that she smoked marijuana and a cigarette. It was strange. She’d never been a rebel before, and she’d always thought that drugs were dirty, and cigarettes were for losers. Evidently not, she thought. Two of the nicest people she knew smoked both of them – Ryan and Josh.

Getting up out of her bed, the blanket dropped to the floor. In the full-length mirror she saw herself. She realized that she wasn’t as bad looking as she thought, and her good-points were obvious to her. She was thin, but not overly-so. She had a pretty face, with large eyes, a soft nose and big, defined lips. She didn’t have fat legs, but she had a slight space between her thighs. All in all, she wasn’t ashamed of her body, though in previous years, she’d thought of herself as fat, and ugly.

She grabbed the white tee from the floor, it was oversized and large enough to cover her properly as she went downstairs as she was unsure if Josh had stopped over or not. She made sure to be quiet as her feet tip-toed through the cracked-open door and down the stairs gently. When she got to the bottom, her legs carried her through her arch and into the living room. Josh was lay on the sofa, and the house was generally very tidy except for some of the empty cans of Budweiser by where Josh lay and the ashtray.

Making sure not to wake him up, she stumbled over to the kitchen and jumped on the side, cross-legged and rubbing her eyes. It was far too early to be awake and downstairs, yet she didn’t feel too tired. In fact, she felt great. Taking a cup and filling it with water from the tap, she put it to her lips and took a sip, feeling the icy-cold liquid go down her throat.

Josh stirred from his sleep, slowly managing to sit upright and stretch. It was still early and he knew it was, but he didn’t care. He stood up, stretching once more and slowly made his way to the kitchen where he saw Emie sat on the counter. “Morning, Emie,” he said, allowing his lips to curve into a smile. Even  in the dark, his eyes seemed to glow. 

She jumped off the surface and landed gently on her feet, putting her cup down. “I didn’t mean to wake you up,” she protested, smiling. 

“Is it okay that I asked-“ Josh was cut off when the door was knocked lightly.

“Who’s here?” Emie bounded over, past him and to the door, unlocking it within seconds and pulling it open. Rose was stood there, dressed quite conservatively compared to her usual attire, with a normal black tee and black skinnies. Of course, she was wearing platform shoes, but they were only platform Converse.

“Hi Emie. I have to pick Josh up, our aunt has just arrived.” Josh came behind Emie, looking at Rose. “There you are. She won’t wait forever, put a shirt on and we can go.”

“What about Emie?” Josh asked, putting a hand on Emie’s shoulder.

“She can come, just please hurry, she’s in an awful mood. She woke me and Ryan up, shouted at me, screamed at Ryan then demanded to see you.” Rose looked at her nails. 

Josh turned and went into the living room, then shouted out to Emie. “Emie throw something on and we can get off.”

She smiled at Rose and went up the stairs, leaving her on the doorstep. She didn’t her anything from them and simply slid into some shorts and some shoes before running back downstairs. Rose and Josh were stood there, and when they saw her they both left the house and got into Rose’s black BMW. Emie followed and opened the back door. The smell of new leather hit her as she slid onto the cold seat. Her shorts were exceptionally short, and her legs felt the leather underneath  her, and she felt as though she was sticking to the seat.

The car began rolling slowly at first, but then quickly sped up to around fifty in a thirty area. The black tinted windows didn’t allow much view for Emie so she simply looked at the floor. It was a cold night, and the car just seemed to be even colder than the night itself. It took them maybe twenty minutes to get to the small opening that led up to Josh and Rose’s house and then the car instantly slowed down then rolled to a smooth stop inside their large, white, windowed garage. They each got out, and this was the second time that Emie had seen the garage. It contained four cars, each were black and looked expensive. 

They walked through the large door through into the garden and then into the kitchen from there, where a woman with long red hair in a bun sat on a chair. She had large blue eyes like her relatives did and wore a brown blouse with pirate-sleeves and peter pan collar with a long, fitted red skirt. From what Emie could see, she was wearing heeled boots. Rose turned to Emie. “This is our aunt, Harriet.” She stood up, looking up enough so that Emie could see her pronounced cheekbones and pointed nose. 

“Harriet Fitzroy, my dear. Pleasure to meet you,” she said. Her voice was high-pitched and very formal.

Emie smiled. “Emie Jones. Pleased to meet you too.” Harriet sat back down and took a sip from the cup in front of her, which was filled with tea. Harriet looked at Josh and scowled.

“Where have you been?”

Josh smirked. “At Emie’s.”

“Come, sit down Josh. You and I need to talk, about Emilio and other things.” Josh sat opposite her, and Rose sat next to Josh. “You too, Emie,” she said, smiling and looking at the seat beside her. “Anyway, the first matter I need to say is that Emilio didn’t write up any formal will. However, I will obviously keep the Fitzroy estate under my name, and his monetary values will get shared amongst you, Rose and Josh. I have no need for his money. Anyway, the second thing is still really about him. You know how he was keeping the peace between the… two families?” 

Rose and Josh nodded. “Has it ended?” Josh asked.

Harriet shook her head. “Not exactly, but there was an uproar in the court earlier. Someone killed a minister and that minister was from the other faction. I don’t see the debate raging much further than what it is now – an  argument. However, if it did, it would be disastrous for everyone. Especially you and Rose.”

Josh’s face contorted into concern as well as anger. “Harriet, you have more than enough respect in the court to ease everyone back into how they were before!”

Rose stared at Josh. “If she hasn’t done anything by now then she obviously can’t!” Ryan walked in from the grand archway leading into the hall way. “Emie, go with Ryan, he’ll explain. Josh, she has to know.” Emie didn’t know what was happening or what to say about any of it. But Rose had told her what to do, and she just wanted to carry out what she had been told to do, because she didn’t know what else to do. She stood up and walked over to Ryan who walked out into the living room. Emie followed.

As they entered the large living area, Ryan sat down on the first couch and Emie sat next to him. He began to speak. “First of all, everything must seem so strange to you right now. And I understand that. But you need to understand that for everyone, this is weird.”

Emie nodded. “What exactly is happening?” 

“I don’t know how to admit it.” Everything was silent. “Josh, Rose, Harriet… even myself… we’re…” 


“I can’t put this any other way and I can’t tell you, because it’s just weird.” There was a bang from in the kitchen that sounded like shattering plates.

“No! Go away, Harriet! You don’t belong here!” Josh screamed from the kitchen. Suddenly he was in the living room. “Emie, we’re going. And we’re going right now. Ryan go take care of your sister and her demented aunt.” He grabbed Emie’s arm and pulled her up, then out the front door. His face was red and his brow was furrowed. They got into a car that was parked outside the house and not in their garage, and he sat there for a few minutes, clutching the steering wheel and biting the inside of his lip. 

“What’s wrong?” Emie asked, placing a hand on his shoulder.

“Everything’s going wrong!” He exclaimed. “Everything!” He hit the steering wheel, full of rage. He shoved his foot onto the pedal and began to drive down the path. 

“Ryan was going to tell me something, about you and Rose.”

Josh sighed, rolling to a stop just before he got to the open gates. “Look,” he said. “It’s complicated.” He looked at her. “It would be stupid to try to explain it. Maybe another day, when we have more time, alright?” The familiar Marimba tone from Josh’s iPhone reverberated around the car, and he quickly took it out of his pocket, sliding it onto ‘accept’ and then bringing it to his ear. “What?”

Emie couldn’t hear anything clearly, it all sounded like static. Josh just listened, and before long he reversed slowly up the path with the phone still at his ear. “Where are we going?”

He continued to reverse into a smaller path which led to the garage. He parked, then put the phone onto his lap. “We’re going back in, my aunt is… to say the least… an idiot.” He sighed, shaking his head. “She just doesn’t want me to leave the house, so I’m afraid we’re going to have to stay here for a little bit.” 

Emie nodded her head. The pair opened their doors and got out of the car, and saw Harriet stood by the doorway into the house. There was a profound silence when they walked up to Harriet and she looked at Josh like she was giving a pre-school child a telling-off. 

Harriet and Josh exchanged looks, not words, and he tried to look stubborn, but it didn’t work. They each walked into the house  single-file with Harriet at the back. Rose was sat at the kitchen table still, scowling. The sun had peaked over the forest now, and the whole kitchen was lit up.

“Josh come and sit. We need to talk about what’s happening.” Josh tried to protest, but he had to stop. Harriet was above him in so many ways, one word out of line and she could harass him to no end.

He walked over and sat down. “What is happening?” Harriet guided Emie out of the kitchen so she couldn’t hear, and took her up the stairs.

“We’re going to go upstairs to talk about some little things. You can trust me!” Harriet giggled. When they reached the top of the stairs, Harriet guided her through a door to her left with a large window that overlooked the forest and parts of the city. She pushed Emie towards the chair and Emie sat down, as she thought she was supposed to. Harriet shut the door and smiled, looking directly at Emie. “Is it alright if I brush through your hair? It looks terribly knotted, and we are somewhat family now, after all.” Harriet smiled as her words confused Emie.

“Yeah, that’s fine. What do you mean we’re family?” Emie furrowed her brow, mixed with confusion and hope.

Harriet remained quiet, allowing Emie to stay in the dark about what she had just said. She picked up the comb from the vanity table in front of Emie, and began gently brushing it through her long hair. “Well, I sense you and Josh are getting along particularly well.” In the mirror, Emie could see Harriet smiling whilst focused on her hair. “I do hope you make something of it,” she said with a soft voice. “Because I really do see something in you. Not like the last girl, oh no.” His last girlfriend? Emie couldn’t really remember his last girlfriend. 

“Last girl?” She inquired.

“Oh yes, Amanda. She was a lovely girl, such a pretty face.” She hummed a little. “The problem with her, was that she couldn’t handle his family. She turned out to be a rather large waste of time. Haven’t seen her since. Of course, I don’t quite know if Josh has been in contact with her, though it’s doubtful. The girl left on a rather sore note.” Emie was stumped. Joshua and Emie had been great friends for some time, so why did she not know about this mystery girl who’d left Josh? 

“I never heard about her,” Emie smiled.

“Oh without a doubt he’d try to keep it a secret. She wasn’t from here.” Harriet smiled again. “She was scum. In my opinion!” Harriet jested, tugging a knot in Emie’s hair as hard as she could. “Oh I’m sorry, dear!”

“It’s fine,” Emie said.

There was a silence for a few minutes before there was a loud crashing sound from downstairs, presumably the kitchen, and then another profound silence. “Oh they’re always getting up to mischief,” Harriet joked.

“Aren’t you going to check it out?” Emie inquired with a lot of care.

Harriet merely smiled and continued to brush her hair. Before long, there was a tire screech from outside the house, and a door slamming shut. Worry began to seep into Emie’s mind, but she knew it would be fine, because Josh generally never let anything bad happen to her. He was too much of a friend to let that happen.

The door to the bedroom open quickly and Rose stood in the doorway, with wide eyes and panting. Her eyebrows were furrowed into a look of worry, and she looked directly at Emie. “Emie you need to go!” Rose hurried to Emie’s side, pushing Harriet away. As she did, Harriet tugged at Emie’s hair. “Please, hurry. Josh wants to take you back to yours.” Harriet looked at Rose, her eyes a dismal, murky blue now.

“Rose, whatever is the matter? You’re scaring the poor girl.” Harriet’s voice was still soft. Angelic, even.

“If she doesn’t go home she might end up more scared!” Rosaline yelled. She grabbed Emie’s wrist tightly, and Emie pulled herself upright and walked as fast as Rose as they speed walked out of the room. Harriet was close behind them. “Harriet, you need to stay here. Robin might show up. Ryan is going to stay here, with you.” Rose tried to calm her words, but it wasn’t working. Even though Rose rarely showed emotion, she was showing her frantic worries.

Harriet sighed. “Fine.” She stopped moving and turned slowly, heading back into the bedroom. Though she didn’t seem pleased, she tried to do what she had been told. Rose and Emie hurried down the hall and down the stairs, and Emie saw Josh and Ryan stood in the doorway.

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