I push open the door to the house, stripping off my jacket and throwing it on the coat rack. I head up the stairs quickly before I run into any of the boys, especially Cody. I make it to the top and turn and look behind me when I hear voices approaching.
I keep walking forward only to run into a brick wall.
“Where were you?” Just kidding, it’s Cody.
“Out,” I reply vaguely, making a move to go around him, he blocks my path.
“You said you’d be back within the hour. It’s been four.”
“You don’t say.” I retort and start heading back down the stairs. I’m grabbed by the arm and spun back around.
“Where were you?” He repeats.
“I just,” I think about my answer, I should tell him about my conversation with Agent 91, and I could tell him about my conversation with Zack...who I left handcuffed to the hospital bed. I decide to do neither.
“I just needed to clear my head.” He narrows his eyes in suspicion to my reply. “What?” I question.
“I don’t lie.” I snap back at him. That often, I add silently to myself.
“Well, you just did.” He fires back. I turn to walk away but his grip on my arm only tightens.
“I’m going to cut your arm off.” I hiss. He only glares at me in return. I glare back and try to pull my arm free but his grip remains firm. So I kick him behind the knee, trying to get him to let go. Unfortunately, I forgot the stairs were behind me.
He begins to fall down the stairs and I’m pulled after him. He twists his body around so I land on top of his chest, with him bearing the brunt of the fall on his back as we hit the floor at the bottom.
He groans And I push off his chest in an effort to get off him, only to realize his arms are wrapped around my waist, pinning me down.
“Cody.” I start, “Let go of me.”
“You can’t go deaf from falling down the stairs, so either you were already deaf, or you’re ignoring me.” I see a smile tug at his lips.
“Tell me the truth and I’ll let go.”
I scoff “That was the truth.”
A camera flash goes off.
My head snaps up to see both Devin and Jason standing and watching. Devin holding out his phone and taking pictures. I narrow my eyes at him.
Chase walks in the room and looks between all of us. He shakes his head slightly and waves his hand at us in dismissal as he turns and walks out of the room again. “I don’t even want to know.” He mutters as he leaves.
Devin grins widely. “I’m going to send this everyone at the agency. What should the caption be?” He turns to Jason.
Jason opens his mouth to reply but I cut him off.
“Jason, I swear if you answer him I’m going to string you both up from the tallest tree I find and light a fire underneath it.” He closes his mouth.
“Well someone’s a bit bitter,” Devin says, a smug smile on his face.
“Well someone’s a bit dead.” I mimic his tone.
“No, I’m not.”
“Just drop it,” Cody interjects.
“Shut up.” I hiss at him.
“Yeah Cody, listen to your mother and shut up.” Devin mocks. Cody glares at him and I feel his arms release me.
“I give you permission kill him,” Cody tells me.
I launch off Cody and tackle Devin to the floor, trying to pry the phone from his grip. I’m finally able to take the phone and I quickly delete the photos and get to my feet.
“Alright.” I toss Devin his phone. “I found a new safe house for us to use so let’s get going,” I announce.
“What’s wrong with staying here?” Cody questions.
“We’ve been here long enough, and it’s only a matter of time before these people figure out where we’re at.” Devin pipes up from the floor. “Besides, you do want your family to be safe right?” I stare at Devin, my eyes meeting his and I see a knowing look in them.
“Alright fine, I’ll start packing.” Cody turns and starts up the stairs, as Devin gets to his feet to follow him. I grab stick my arm out in front of him. He looks at me.
“You know,” I state.
He smiles slyly. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Who told you?” I ask.
“He say why he didn’t want me to know about the break-in?”
“No.” He walks by me. “But don’t worry, I didn’t plan on telling them either.”
“Why would he tell you of all agents?”
“Because I’m his favorite, duh.” I roll my eyes and walk up the stairs in front of him, going to pack.
“This is our new safe house?” Jason asks, shock in his tone as he stares at the three-story mansion in front of us.
“Yep,” I answer.
“How did you manage to score this as our safe house?”
“Owner’s out of town for a while,” I reply vaguely. “So we get to use it.” I push open the door and enter the mansion. “Go ahead and explore, I have no idea where anything’s at,” I say as I throw my bag into the nearest couch.
They all split up to explore and likely find their new rooms. All except Jason.
“Why are you still here?” I question.
“Give him a chance.”
“You heard me.” He says simply. “Like you said, you’re not heartless, just cold-hearted.” He turns and walks off down the hallway.
It takes me a minute to remember when I said that, and where I was. Freaking eavesdropper.
“You’re as bad as Devin!” I yell after him. I hear his laugh echo down the hall.
I make my way towards the refrigerator, looking for something to eat. I hear the front door open.
“Oh hell no.”
I smile innocently as I turn around to face him. “What?”
“Get the hell out of my house.” He orders.
“Nah I’m good.”
“How did you even get in here?”
“I know how to pick locks.” I scoff. “You have a crappy lock by the way.”
“The lock has two passwords and a fingerprint scanner before you can even put the key in.” He deadpans.
“Yeah, a crappy lock.”
He glares at me and huffs slightly, crossing his arms over his chest in annoyance.
“Since we’re talking about how we did things...how did you get out of the handcuffs?” I question, and his eyes narrow even more.
“Why do you care? You’re the one who left me handcuffed to the damn hospital bed after I told you I’d help you!” He shouts, throwing his hands in the air in frustration. “The only reason I’m not going to ring your neck is because I hate my family slightly more than you.”
“Gee thanks, I feel so loved,” I mutter sarcastically, turning away from him and back to the fridge. A gun loads.
I sigh. “I’m getting really tired of you pointing guns at me.”
“I’m not the one pointing the gun.” I turn and see Zack holding his hands up over his head as Chase places the barrel of his gun into the back of Zack’s head.
“Why is he here?”
“This is my house.” Zack grits out.
“You brought us to his house? The house of the enemy?” Chase asks accusingly.
I shrug. “Put the gun away, he’s agreed to help us.”
“I don’t trust him.”
“You sound like Devin.” I make eye contact with Zack. “Go ahead.”
He doesn’t half to be told twice, as he whirls around quickly and swings his arm out, knocking the gun away from Chase and kicking it over to me. I pick it up from the floor and place it on the counter.
“You know when I said I’d help that didn’t mean you get to use my house as your base of operations,” Zack growls. “I gave you a list of safe houses.”
“I didn’t like any of them,” I reply.
“Thanks.” Another gun loads. “Cody put it away.”
“Why is he here?” He questions.
“Again, this is my freaking house,” Zack mutters. His arm shoots out and snatches the gun tossing it to me and I place it next to Chase’s. Two more guns load, I roll my eyes.
“Seriously, enough with the damn guns!” Zack roars. A gunshot goes off and Zack lets out a shout of pain as he grabs at his arm.
I look over at Devin and Jason as Zack sneers at them, clutching his arm, blood seeping through his fingers.
“Which one of you fired?” I question threateningly.
Devin looks like a deer caught in headlights. He throws his gun at Jason who catches it on instinct.
He laughs nervously. “Not me, I mean I don’t even have a gun.” He holds his hands up in surrender. Zack takes a threatening step towards him. I place a hand on his chest.
“If we’re all going to be living under the same roof we need to get along.”
“You’re not living in my house!” Zack shouts and I ignore him.
“So I can’t shoot him again?”
“And I can’t shoot him at all?” I glare at Devin and Cody.
“Can I kill him instead?” Devin questions innocently.
“No.” I say firmly at the same time Zack mutters “I’m right here.”
“Devin clean him up.” I point to Zack.
“What why me?” He sputters.
“You’re the one that shot him,” I reply.
He mutters a string of curses under his breath before grabbing Zack’s arm, a lot harder than necessary, and heads towards what I’m going to assume and hope is the bathroom.
I hear Zack cry out, followed closely by a splash and Devin comes waking back. I cross my arms and raise my eyebrow at him.
“What?” He questions. “You said to clean him up, what faster way is there than the pool?”
Cody and Jason snicker quietly and Chase tries hard to hold back his smile. I roll my eyes at all of them and walk towards the pool.
Zack looks up at me from the water. “I hate your friends.”
“Yeah well, you’ll get used to them.” I stretch my arm out to help him out of the water.
“They’re not staying.” He mutters as he takes hold of my hand and allows me to pull him out. I smirk at him and he gives me a strange and questioning look. “What?”
I push him back in. I laugh as he surfaces again, glaring at me. I lean over the water. “Can we stay?”
“You’re just going to keep pushing me in until I say yes aren’t you?”
“Admit it, you’d be bored without me.” He tries to fight off a smile, his good arm shoots out and grabs hold of my leg, yanking me into the pool.
I splash him when I surface. “Maybe a little bit.” He says.
“Wrong answer.” I shove his head back under the water.