Chapter 18 | Super Secret Meeting
When the bell rings signaling lunch time, I all but sprint towards the cafeteria.
Piles of students scramble into the cafeteria, trying to claim their places in line to appease their crying stomachs. I decide I’m too anxious to wait in line, so I go over to the quick-pick stand and buy a plate of French fries and a chocolate milk.
Yeah, don’t ask.
I then make a quick beeline for the library, hoping that Angie, Jax and Shane are all there waiting for me.
When I walk inside of the library, I see Angie sitting on a beanbag chair eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Jaxon is no were to be found, and I don’t see Shane either.
“Typical boys. Always late.” Angie sighs, taking another bite of her sandwich.
“They’re probably in the long line trying to get food.” I laugh, sitting down on the ground beside Angie and taking a few French fries from my plate. I pop a few into my mouth and sigh with gratitude. It’s been a while since I’ve had French fries and since I’m not focused on my weight right now, eating something I love seems like the perfect way to calm my nerves about Jared.
I know I will regret eating an entire plate of French fries later, but I make a note to write it down in my diet journal and figure out a way to rid myself of the calories another time.
“So, what’s the deal with this super secret meeting?” I hear Jaxons loud voice ring throughout the library.
The librarian shushes Jaxon immediately, and his face turns pink as he holds up his hands, signaling that he is sorry.
“So, what’s the deal with this super-secret meeting?” Jaxon then whispers, trying his best not to catch the attention of the strict librarian again.
“Where’s Shane?” I ask while completely ignoring Jaxons question.
“Getting food. He should be here in a sec.” Jax states while sitting down on the other side of Angie.
“Hey beautiful.” He smiles to her, which makes her cheeks turn a soft shade of pink.
“Hi.” She smiles as she takes another bite of her sandwich.
“Man, you make eating look so good.” He chuckles teasingly.
“Okay, ew.” I comment just loud enough for both of them to send me a glare.
“You need to get over the whole ‘Jaxon and Angie are gross’ thing, because we don’t say ew every time you and Shane kiss or say something corny.” Angie laughs.
“You’re right. My bad.” I smirk, causing the librarian to give us a warning glance.
“Guys be quiet.” Jax mumbles. “She scares me.” He says, referring to the mean librarian.
Angie and I try to suppress our laughs when Shane finally walks inside. He walks over to us and takes a seat beside me, leaning over to kiss my cheek.
“Ew!” Angie and Jax both tease with mocking faces.
“Whatever.” I sigh, causing Shane to chuckle.
“So, now can I know why we’re here for this super secret meeting?” Jax asks again, not giving up until I spill my dirt.
“Well, I got a visitor this morning before I left for school. That’s why I was late.” I start.
“It better not have been Jared, or I will seriously kill him.” Shane mumbles under his breath.
“It’s wasn’t Jared.”
“Then who was it? “Angie asks.
“As in, Rebecca Moore? Why the hell was she at your house?” Jax asks quietly.
“You guys... her face was beaten and covered in blood. She told me that Jared did it to her all because I confronted him about his threat towards Jacob.” I explain.
“Wait, he threatened Jacob? Oh hell no!” Angie seethes, sitting up straight in her beanbag chair.
“Damn... I forgot I didn’t tell you guys about that.” I sigh.
“Why wouldn’t you?” Jax asks, looking a little hurt.
“I just... I didn’t want anyone to do anything stupid until I figured out a way to handle it. I’m picking up Jacob today after school and there’s something else...” I begin while fidgeting with my fingers.
Shane takes a few of my French fries and then begins rubbing soothing circles into my lower back.
“What is it?” He asks softly.
“Jared... somehow he’s the assistant to Mrs. Roberts at Jacobs’s school. He’s in Jacob’s classroom right now as we speak. I just don’t get it. Shouldn’t he be here in school?” I sigh.
“Wait, he’s there at Jacobs’s school? What the hell are we doing just sitting here, let’s go!” Shane stands up and I immediately grab his arm and yank him back down onto the floor.
“No, we can’t do that.”
“Why the hell not?” Shane argues.
“Because, we can’t be acting all strange and out of the ordinary. I don’t want my parents to know anything and I can’t just yank him out of school for no good reason. I don’t want my parents finding out about this because it will just cause more problems and I don’t want my father to go into attack mode and do something stupid to get himself in trouble. I want to try to solve this without getting anyone else involved, but I can’t do it alone, that’s why I’m telling you guys now.” I explain.
“Dammit. I wish I could go with you babe, but my mom is making me look after Peyton right after school. I guess her and my dad have important plans that can’t be broken.” Shane sighs feeling helpless.
“Don’t worry.” I smile at him. “You guys can go with me, right?” I turn to Angie and Jax who both nod with smiles.
“See, we’ll be fine. I won’t be going alone.” I turn to Shane, who slides his hand into my own giving it a gentle squeeze.
“Just call me when you and Jacob are both home and both safe?” He pleads.
“Of course.” I lean over to kiss his cheek, and I blush as I watch his face light up.
Do I really have an effect on him? Sweet.
Okay, focus Addie.
“How are we going to keep him away from Jacob?” Angie asks.
“Well, I already told my mom that I would walk Jacob home whenever her or my dad can’t pick him up. So there’s that. Also, I’m going to pull Mrs. Roberts aside and tell her I don’t think Jared is a good choice for an assistant. Hopefully she doesn’t press for too many details.”
“Good because if he so much as touches a hair on that cute little boy’s head, I’m going to claw his eyes out!” Angie huffs, causing me to smile at her over-protectiveness towards my little brother.
“I second that.” Jax nods.
“I can’t believe this is happening. I should’ve never gone to that stupid party.” I sigh, finally letting out some of the emotions I’ve been keeping inside.
“It isn’t your fault. If it wasn’t you, it would’ve been someone else. Jared is a cruel and heartless pig. You did nothing wrong.” Jax reassures, placing a hand on my knee.
“But this has escalated so much. Now Jacob is in danger and Rebecca got beaten to a pulp all because of me and my stupid mouth.” I frown while imagining her bloodied face for the hundredth time today.
“Rebecca made her own decisions when it comes to Jared. I’m not in any way saying she asked for it or deserved it, but you can’t blame yourself over what happened to her. Again, it’s nobody’s fault but Jared’s and Rebecca chose to be on his side.” Angie tries to explain. “I’m sure she feels the exact same way as you do right now. Speaking of, where is she?”
“I don’t know. I was going to give her some of my medication from when I was in the ER and when I came back outside to give them to her, she was gone. I saw some tire marks on the lawn too, so I’m assuming somebody picked her up. I just don’t know who or where they went. She mentioned she wasn’t going to tell her parents because they are out on vacation and will be mad if she interrupts them.” I roll my eyes.
“Really? What shitty parents.” Shane comments.
“That’s what I said.” I shrug. “But she was definitely far from okay. She actually hugged me while crying over it before she suddenly disappeared.” I say, causing all three of their eyes to widen.
“She actually cried to you?” Angie asks.
“Yeah. I guess it really took a toll on her.”
“We definitely need to do something about this.” Angie says. I nod while frowning.
“Hey, everything will be alright.” Shane leans into me and gives me a tight hug. “Jacob will be just fine, and I don’t want you to put so much stress on yourself. Hopefully after Jared is put away for what he did to you, and now to Rebecca, we can all put everything behind us.”
“Oh my gosh... do you think you could get Rebecca to testify on your behalf?” Angie suddenly asks, her eyes widening at the realization.
“I mean, I don’t know. She seemed almost mad at me as if I were the reason Jared beat her up. I could ask though.” I nod.
“Good idea.” Shane agrees.
The bell rings signaling that lunch is over, so the four of us stand up while grabbing our things.
“I’ll see you two after school, okay?” I look to Angie and Jax.
They both nod and then leave to go to class.
“I’ll see you last period with Ms. Charlie, alright?” Shane leans in to kiss me against my lips and I almost stumble back at the affection.
“Okay, see you.” I smile wide as he walks away towards his next class.
Just after Shane leaves, I feel my phone vibrate inside of my pocket.
I pull it out and open up a text message, only I didn’t recognize the number. Attached to the text is a picture and I’m almost scared to open it.
I slowly click on the picture and when Jacob’s smiling face pops up with a tall figure standing behind him, I freeze.
My phone vibrates again and another text message pops up.
Unknown: Man, we are having so much fun Addilyn!
It takes everything inside of me to close out of the messages and put my phone back inside of my pocket without replying. I don’t want Jared to get any weird ideas of taking Jacob off of the school campus, so I pretend I didn’t even read them.
Why is Jared taunting me like this? Is he some sort of sociopath?
I take in a deep breath and finally start heading towards my next class.
Could this day go by any slower?
I jump up out of my seat when the bell rings signaling school is over. Shane chuckles from beside me as we both stand up and grab our books.
Shane walks me to my locker and after grabbing the necessary books I’ll need for homework tonight and stuffing them into my bag, I shut my locker and go outside to the parking lot to wait for Angie and Jaxon.
“Don’t forget to call me later.” Shane smiles down at me.
“I promise I won’t.” I smile back, standing on the tips of my toes to give him a soft kiss. Shane drops his bag onto the floor and cups my cheeks into his hands while suddenly deepening the kiss. After a few seconds, my heart feels as if it’s going to explode out of my chest.
“Wow, what a goodbye that was.” I smirk as he pulls away and leans down to pick up his bag.
“Only the best for you babe.” He winks while his husky but firm voice sends the fluttering of my heart into over-drive.
Shane gives me one last peck against my lips before heading towards his mom’s car that he’s using today.
“Girl, get it!” Angie suddenly teases as her and Jaxon approach me.
“Shut up.” I sigh, beginning to walk away from them as they follow along.
“What? It was a hot and steamy kiss. Any special reason?” Angie asks.
“There doesn’t need to be a reason why my boyfriend kisses me, hot and steamy or not.” I reply, causing Jax to chuckle.
“She’s got a point babe. I kiss you all the time without any reason.” He smirks, causing Angie’s cheeks to turn scarlet.
“Whatever.” She mumbles, but a ghost of a smile still shows on her face.
The three of us begin our journey to Jacob’s school, while talking mindlessly about anything and everything. There is never a dull moment with my two best friends.
“I still say you’re wrong. There’s no freaking way that you can burp the entire national anthem.” Angie laughs while Jax sends her a glare.
“Yes I can! Just ask my mom!” He whines, clearly annoyed that his girlfriend doesn’t have faith in him to accomplish something so cool, yet so disgusting.
“Your mom would never lie to me.” Angie smirks, insinuating that Jax couldn’t get his mom to lie for him on his behalf.
“Yeah, Mrs. Reed never takes your side, so why would she start now?” I tease, flicking Jaxon on his shoulder.
“You guys are just mean. So mean.” Jax frowns, though a small smile still shows through his facade.
“We aren’t mean if we’re simply stating the truth.” I reply, giving a discreet high five to Angie behind Jaxons back.
“I wish Shane was here. He would have my back.” Jaxon mumbles.
“I don’t know. He seems to be pretty taken with Addie these days. I don’t think you could do anything to make him go against her.” Angie replies while intertwining her fingers with Jaxons.
“Still, there’s a code. Bros before h-” Angie immediately cuts him off. “Be very careful by what you say next.” She glares.
“I was gonna say bros before.... H-hot chicks?” He states, though it comes out more as a question.
“I’ll take that.” Angie nods.
I roll my eyes at their ridiculous banter, but then smile when we come upon Jacob’s school. I see him running around the playground with the other kids. I can’t see Mrs. Roberts anywhere, but I do spot Jared sitting on the steps to the school, watching all of the kids play.
“Jax, stay calm. I don’t want to cause an unnecessary scene. I’m just going to get Jacob, say goodbye to Mrs. Roberts and then we’re leaving.” I state firmly while glancing over to Jaxon who has a deep scowl on his face as he stares directly at Jared.
“Fine.” He mumbles as Angie squeezes his hand to comfort him.
As we near the schoolyard, Jared perks up at the sight of me. I notice the smirk growing on his face as I try my best to ignore him.
“Addie!” Jacob yells while sprinting over to me.
“Jacob wait!” Jared yells, causing Jacob to stop running dead in his tracks and turn around. “Don’t forget your bag buddy.” He smiles evilly at my little brother.
Jacob begins running towards Jared and I feel my insides tighten.
He is only grabbing his bag. Everything is okay.
Jared hands Jacob his bag and I painfully watch as Jacob leaps into Jared's arms for a hug.
I notice Jaxon take a threatening step forward, but Angie holds him back.
Jacob then leaps onto the sidewalk and begins running for me.
Happily, I kneel down and open my arms as Jacob runs straight into them. I give him a gentle squeeze while picking him up.
“Hey bubba!” I smile. “Have fun today?”
“Yes! We had so much fun sissy!” He beams.
Angie and Jaxon comes over to greet Jacob and Angie opens her arms as Jacob leaps into them.
“I’m glad you had a good day buddy!” Angie smiles.
“Are you coming over to our house Angie?” Jacob asks with a smile.
“If your sister wants me to.”
“Sissy! Can Angie come over?” Jacob pleads as he peers over at me.
“Of course she can.”
“Jaxon too?” Jacob smiles over towards Jax who shakes his head. “Sorry, but I can’t today little man. Maybe tomorrow.”
“Aw okay.” Jacob frowns.
All of a sudden, Jared appears beside us.
“I’ll see you tomorrow Jacob, yeah?” He smirks.
“Okay Jared!” Jacob smiles. “Jared this is my sissy.”
“Oh, we know each other quite well.” Jared smiles over at me and I feel small under his hard gaze.
“Cool!” Jacob yells.
“Let’s go.” Jaxon glares, motioning for Angie and me to follow him towards my house.
Angie takes Jacob with her as she follows Jaxon, but I stay behind to talk to Jared.
“I don’t know what you think you’re doing, but I will put a stop to it.” I quietly hiss in Jared’s direction.
“Please. You’re about as useless as Rebecca.” He laughs.
“Don’t think I won’t get you for that too. What kind of coward only hits girls, but needs back up whenever he’s faced with an actual fight?” I mock him, knowing I probably shouldn’t.
“If I were you, I would turn around and go home.” He glares. “Now.”
“Oh I plan on it. I have to follow up with my dad about the investigation anyway. Man, the police are going to have a field day when I show them the pictures I have of Rebecca.” I lie, just trying to scare him.
“Pictures of what? I haven’t seen her since Fred’s.” Jared tries to lie.
“Bull, she came to my house this morning. Her injuries pretty much mirror mine. I’m not an idiot.” I reply.
“You are an idiot if you think anyone is going to believe you. You’re also an idiot for opening your mouth about something you know nothing about. You’re treading on very thin ice here Addilyn. If I were you I’d shut up while you’re ahead.” He threatens, taking a step towards me.
“I’m sure you want to.” He smirks, reaching his hand out to grab my waist and pulling me towards him. My body smacks into his and I feel his hot breath fan my face.
“Ew, get off of me!” I push him hard, causing him to fall backwards as his butt smacks into the pavement.
Jared immediately stands up and yanks me by my arm as his other fist clenches at his side.
In a matter of seconds, Jaxon is beside me, grabbing Jared and tossing him to the side.
“Jared get out of here. Now.” Jaxon growls while protectively putting his arm around my shoulders.
Jared stumbles back and his side slams into the fence circling the schoolyard.
“You just wait Addilyn. You won’t always have back up around you to protect you.” Jared threatens again.
“Actually, she will.” Jaxon replies. “So if I were you, I’d keep to yourself before you really get hurt.”
“Like I’m scared of you.” Jared scoffs.
“Maybe you aren’t, but you will be scared of both Shane and me. Trust me, Shane has been itching to knock you out.” Jaxon smirks.
“Whatever. Get out of my face.” Jared glares, turning around to go back to the steps of the schoolyard to continue watching the other kids.
“Oh by the way, I’ll make sure that you lose your job here. You aren’t going to touch Jacob ever again, that’s a promise.” I glare as Jaxon pulls me along with him.
Once we catch up with Angie and Jacob, I hide my anger and put a fake smile on my face.
“You okay sissy?” Jacob asks sweetly.
“I’m perfect bubba.” I smile over to him as I take him from Angie’s arms.