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Chapter XI:

Chapter XI:

“Put your hands over your ears, Milla.” I warned her, but Jayden shook his head and took her little hand in his.

“It’s a lot safer for her ears.” He said just before leaving - probably going to the living room.

I gave a little smile at how caring he was.

“JayJay, Awe youw goiwing tow stay with mew?” I heard a chirpy, girly voice plead.

“Of course, kiddo.” He mumbled. I could already portray the warm smile he gave to her.

After hearing her squeal, I saw my clue.

Nodding lightly towards James, who had a pissed or annoyed look on his face - I couldn’t really determine it- and I started to count down.

“3, 2, 1.” And that’s when the blowing started.

One second later Harper woke up with a start and started screaming, that I probably won’t hear her tomorrow.

“What? Urgh!” I heard when I looked back at Ashton, who slowly started stretching out. “Argh! Fuck, my eyes!” I heard a girlish voice yell, behind us, spreading the cream out on her face. A few seconds later, I heard Ashton join.

“Come on.” I whispered, trying so, so hard not to burst out laughing.

When James and I exited the room, trying not to touch the cord that would let everything fall down, we started laughing so hard that they probably would’ve heard us from China.

“Whoever did this is going to get killed by me, with my freaking bare hands!” Harper yelled. “I can’t fucking see properly.” Ashton groaned, ignoring everything Harper just said.

And now the best part. ‘3, 2 and BAM!’ Harper began screaming again, I had no idea how she could do it so loudly, but that’s who she was, full of surprises.

Covered in flower, they walked in. James and I couldn’t stand it anymore, we literally fell on the ground from laugher.

“JayJay?” A giggling, little girl asked the chuckling Jayden.

“Yes, munchkin.” He said, taking her on his lap.

“Why awe thewe ghosts in the woom?” She mumbled, pointing at the white-powder-covered teenagers. At that James and I started laughing even harder – as if that were even possible.

“James!” Yelled Ashton, probably not knowing that I was here.

James wanted to run away, but I grabbed his arm.

“Yes.” I said, trying to copy his voice.

“I’m going to fucking kill you. I know where you freaking live. I’ll hunt you down ki- . . .” Harper yelled, pointing to the kitchen door, probably thinking that James was standing there.

“Harper shut the hell up. That isn’t James’ voice.” Ashton commented, cutting the pissed looking girl off.

“It’s . . .” He said stopping, but then they both yelled my name.

“Alice, I am going to freaking kill you, even if it’s the last fucking thing I do.” She started, but at that I grabbed James’ arm again and started pulling him with me to the kitchen.

“Yeah, good luck with catching me!” I yelled before quickly walking to Jayden.

“Watch Milla, please.” I then whispered in his ear, which he immediately nodded his head for.

“What’s the plan?” James asked after a minute of silence, when I entered the kitchen. “Maybe they’re trying to get back at us. Which won’t work, I have my own secret weapon.” I said smirking and showing him the inside of my pants-pocket.

“If they come here, we’ll open them.” I said referring to the thing in my hand. “And if they don’t come in like five to ten minutes we’ll go back. But if they did plan something on us, I’ll use them.” I said grinning the whole time.

“You’ve pretty good ideas.” He said, nodding lightly with a smirk plastered on his face.

“I know, I know. I have the best ideas in the whole world. You’re very welcome.” I said making a whole show of it. “But I think we need to check now.” I said, jumping off the counter.

When I entered the living room, I expected to see Ashton and Harper discussing things, but I was welcomed with the view of Milla on Jayden’s lap with barbie-dolls in their hands.

It was really cute, if you may ask.

“And what did she do?” Jayden asked holding the blond girl in his hands.

“Ah,” She groaned. “I alweady said thwat she was this guwys giwlfwiend.” She sighed, pointing to the brown-haired boy in Jayden’s hands, that made me chuckle.

“What are you guys doing?” I said sitting next to them.

“We awe pwaying with twese bawbie’s.” Milla answered full excitement.

“That’s really nice, can I join later?” I asked, trying to sound really interested, which I was, I mean who wouldn’t want to play with the cutest girl on the whole planet.

“Yas!!!” She screamed in a high-pitched voice.

‘Jesus, what did Harper teach her?’

“Uhm, where are those flower ghosts?” I asked, when I could hear properly again.

“Bathroom.” Jayden answered, pointing towards it.

Jayden and I played for five more minutes with Milla and her dolls when I suddenly heard Harper.

“Fuck you, Alice.” She cursed under her breath. I wanted to say something in return, but Ashton was first. It was just now that I noticed that they were just as gross as before, so that something ‘bad’ is going to happen.

“Hey, hey Harper, that’s not very nice.” He started, smiling, a little too forced.

“You know we forgave her and James, right?” At that I gave a confused look and James took a few steps closer to where we were standing, which I did the opposite of.

“Come on, we aren’t going to do anything bad.” He said, still with the creepy smile on his face, while taking little steps closer to us.

I already gave a sign to Jayden to take Milla to her room, so nothing bad could happen to her or Jayden himself. I mean he didn’t have spare clothes with him, and I don’t really think he wanted to walk around in Ashton’s clothes, so that was the best way for him.

“Yeah, right.” I snorted as answer, still backing away from them. Just when they wanted to give me a big, gross hug, I decided quickly to grab the inside of my pocket and throw it on the ground, while running to Milla’s room.

“Hey.” I said and breathed deep in and out, while leaning against the door after closing it. “You’re okay?” Jayden asked, standing up, from what I think is a coffee table.

“Are you doing a tea-party?” I laughed, now noticing all the stuffed animals surrounding them.

“You cannot judge me! And as a defense she did the puppy-eyes. I can’t even resist her face now, how do I have to do it if she is doing that?” He defended himself, blushing lightly.

“Okay, okay.” I said, holding my hands up as a surrender.

“And I know you’re right, I mean you cannot resist that cute face.” I cooed to the little girl while taking her chubby cheeks in my hands and pinching them slightly, which made her giggle.

“How did it go?” He asked, after we settled down.

“Teaw?” Milla asked, holding the tea pot up.

“Yes, please.” I said, using my British accent - my mother was born in England, that’ s the reason it stands out more. But I just think it’s nicer to use my American accent, Levi and Autumn were the ones who used it most of the time.

“And youw?” She asked Jayden, who just nodded his head lightly.

She poured us some water in the small cup, but suddenly stopped.

“I dwon’t wanna do this anymowe.” She whined.

“What do you want to do then, kiddo?” Jayden cooed, which made a choking chuckle come out of my mouth, it was kind of funny how he changed it so quickly for a girl he knew for maximum an hour, but he sort of did the exact same thing for me.

And that’s when a question pops up. ‘How can he trust someone so fast?’ I mean he literally came from a gang; his parents were like monsters towards him and - no - I don’t get it . . .

“I want to pway family.” She said full of excitement.

“Ally is mommy and Jayjay is daddy. And me is baby.” She giggled.

Her giggle was like the cutest sound in the whole world, you really couldn’t get tired of it. “We don’t have another choice, right?” Jayden whispered into my ear, which sent shivers through my whole body. “Yeah . . .” I sighed, noticing that even I almost couldn’t hear it.

“We don’t have much time, sweetheart.” I said, at which her face fell.

“But, but we can still play for five minutes.” I said, trying to cheer her up, which worked. Because her face lighted up immediately.

“Yay! Jayjay, you have to gow ouwtside and walk in fwom wolk.” She said, pushing him out of the room, while giggling and wearing the biggest smile on her face I’ve ever seen.

‘She’s so adorable.’ I mouthed to Jayden, which he nodded his head at and chuckled lightly.

“Come win!” She yelled, just as she closed the door.

“Honey I’m home.” He said, letting it sound more like a question - I don’t think he heard it that much, with the whole situation from his parents.

“Oh hey, sweetheart?” I stated, also sounding more like a question. “How was work?”

But that’s when Harper and Ashton disturbed our roleplay and walked into the room, both looking pissed. Harper more than Ashton, but that didn’t really surprise me actually.

“We need to talk.” Ashton said, gesturing to me and Jayden.

“Uhm . . .sure . . .” I answered a little unsure.

“Not here.” Ashton said, referring to the little girl, who crossed her arms, looking sad. “You both pwomised to pway with me.” She pouted, her eyes becoming a little watery. “We are going to play with you, darling. But just another time. Pinky promise.” I said, putting my pinky out. “Thank you, Aly.” She said, hugging me.

“I promise too.” Jayden answered, when Milla looked awaiting at him.

“Yes . . .?” I asked my pissed looking friends, when we exited the little girl’s room.

Five minutes later I still didn’t get an answer from them.

“Okay, I know that you guys are mad at Alice right now - I would be too - but we still need to continue this whole mission. And if you don’t want to do it for Alice, at least do it for yourself, Harper.” Jayden said, breaking the awkward silence.

“You’re probably right . . .” Ashton said, with a deep sigh. “And who are you exactly?” He asked, looking him seriously in the eye.

“Uhm . . . I’m Jayden . . .” He said, suddenly turning nervous.

Ashton gave him an expectant look, with a strange nod after.

“I- . . . I am a friend of Alice.” He said looking my way, for an approval, which I just nodded my head for.

The look in Ashton’s eyes told us that he still wasn’t pleased with his answer.

“Uhm . . . I- . . . I am going to help you with finding your parents . . .” He said, more like a question. With that he was finally pleased, but only for a second.

“How do I know if I can trust you?” He said, like it was venom on his tongue.

“You don’t.” I butted in.

“But why is he he- . . .” Ashton continued, but I cut him off.

“Because I trust him.” I answered with a tiny smile, looking Jayden in the eye.

‘Thank you.’ He mouthed, which I just shrugged for and smiled wider.

“If you say so . . .” Ashton mumbled, looking at his feet.

“We should probably go now . . .” I heard Harper’s voice break the silence. “Or at least figure a plan out . . .” She said, a little bit louder now.

“Uhm . . . Yeah, sure . . . Living room?” I suggested, crossing my arms. Nobody answered my question, but we all walked quietly towards the living room.

“Anyone any suggestions?” Harper asked, after a minute of silence. Nobody reacted to her question, until Ashton’s head shook up.

“Maybe we should go back to the alley . . .?” He suggested, a little unsure.

“No, No, No, Nope.” Harper said immediately, while shooting up from her chair. “We’re not going back in there.” At that I chuckled lightly.

“We’ve been there, I don’t know three times and found nothing anyway, so why should we even go back.” She said after calming down a little. “Yeah, I think she has a point . . .” Jayden sighed, deciding to speak up for the first time in this conversation.

“I got it!” I said jumping up from my chair, when a memory came back in my mind.

“Just when I left you two yesterday, I walked a little- . . .” I wanted to continue but I got cut off by Jayden. “There’s no story time.” At that tone Harper and Ashton both gulped quietly, but still audibly, while I just shook my head smirking, because I knew that he was joking.

“We should go back to our parents’ houses.” I said, my voice turning serious again.

“That . . . That may be a good idea . . .” Ashton whispered, but then repeated it a little louder. “That’s a pretty good idea.” At that he smirked, I did too, but that suddenly faded.

“What about your siblings, James and Milla?” I asked with concern in my voice.

“I mean we cannot take them with us nor leave them alone, right?” At that he shook his head lightly.

“No, my dad will come home pretty soon, so that doesn’t have to be a problem. And we can leave a note."

At that I shuddered, it’s every time I hear that word, it isn’t really surprising, I mean mine literally contains treats.

“Shall we go then?” Harper asked after a second. Ashton and I both answered yes, but Jayden stayed quiet. “Wait . . .” He said, shaking his head.

At that Harper and Ashton both turned around, looking at him expectantly, whilst I still stood there, already wanting to wait on him.

“I- . . . I don’t think I want you guys to go . . .” He stuttered, looking at the ground, perhaps trying to dodge the three pair of eyes on him. “I know what those people are in to. And it isn’t pretty at all. I don’t want anything to happen to you guys, you could possibly get injured and even worse . . . die. I just don’t want that to happen to you all.” He said, looking up again, with a few tears standing in his eyes.

I slowly shook my head. “No . . .No.” I chocked, trying to look him in the eyes, but he shook his head the whole time.

“No . . . I don’t want you to go.” He repeated, more sternly now.

“We can defend ourselves. Please.” I sighed, trying to make eye contact with him, but he kept turning away.

“No, Alice, Stop it.” He said turning his back to me.

I tried to talk some more to him, for like two more minutes, but he kept being stubborn. So, I turned towards Ashton and Harper who were standing awkwardly at the side of the kitchen. ‘Please.’ I mouthed, which they both nodded their heads for.

“Hey, it’s okay if you don’t answer this question, but why don’t you want us to go?” Harper asked, putting her hand on his shoulder.

At first, he shook his head, but gave in after we all said our ‘please’.

“Some stuff about my past . . . which I don’t really like talking about, nor am ready for.” He sighed, looking up from the ground. I think he was trying to ignore Harper and Ashton’s stares and was focused on mine instead, which I didn’t really mind.

“That’s o- . . .” Harper started, but Jayden started talking through her. “It’s just . . . I don’t know you at all. Okay, Alice and I talked for what, I don’t know one day maximum.

I know quite a lot about her, but there is still so much more that I want to learn about her. And the thing that bothers me is that I didn’t even knew your names until Alice and I left today.” He sighed, pointing to Harper and Ashton, who were waiting for him to get to his point.

“It’s just . . . I somewhere know what you all are going through, and it’s just pure hell.

Maybe it doesn’t seem like it now, but when things are going a little bit better, you’ll see. But back to my point, you think I won’t let you go because you are too weak, but that’s not what I think, because I think the total opposite of it. I think-no- I know that you can defend yourselves.

It’s just- . . . What will happen when you find out what happened to your parents?

And what will happen if something terrible happened?

You’ll feel extremely miserable and I don’t want that to happen to all of you. That’s why . . .” He sighed.

“I did-didn’t know you had that in you.” I breathed out, giving him a side way hug, not wanting to leave it anymore.

“Me neither. . .” He chuckled lightly, letting his arm find his way around my shoulder.

“I know that you’re scared that something will happen to us, and we all are. But we can get through this together, as a team, as a family.” I said, my voice softening the whole time, also leaving his comfortable arm to take his hands in mine instead, giving them a light pinch.

“Yeah . . . You’re probably right . . .” He sighed, jumping from the counter we were sitting on.

“Group hug?” I asked when we stepped closer towards Ashton and Harper, who joined immediately while Jayden just stood there awkwardly.

“Please.” I whispered, at that he uneasily joined the hug, but after a minute he was used to it and relaxed himself.

“Maybe we should go, now.” Harper mumbled in my shoulder.

“Yeah sure.” I answered, letting go of everyone.

“Okay . . . let’s go.”


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