THREE

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Chapter 16

•Josie's POV•

"He thinks I'm the cause of his losses, he believes I brought bad luck to his life. He blames me for everything that ever happened and all these started the night I lost Hailey, my last foster mother, to a road accident.

We were on our way home from grocery shopping. I can't really remember the whole details because it happened all so fast.

All I know is we got hit by a drunk driver making the car somersault about three times. I woke up on a hospital bed a few days later and then I heard the bad news that Hailey was dead. It was really devastating. Like I know she didn't acknowledge me that much cause she had work to deal with, but she was still there for me whenever she had the time you know ." I say to him, stopping for a second to blow my nose.

"I spent a few more weeks in the hospital for my broken rib and other injuries to heal to a great extent, before I was finally discharged. Those weeks were like a year in hell, I felt terrible and I had no one; even my foster father never stopped to check on me. I wasn't so mad about it though, I felt he was still grieving his loss, we both were.

I eventually went home myself, only to be greeted by a scattered house with broken items littered all over the floor. I walked in slowly and I remember vividly, the first thing he said that day, "Oh the witch has returned." I was totally shocked cause he never called me names."

"He actually called you that!" He asks loudly.

"Yeah he did. He threw a bottle straight at me but luckily I managed to dodge it. Else I would have found myself back in the hospital bed." I say in a low tone, before chuckling a little.

"So yeah, that was the beginning of my abuse. The start of the endless scars being placed all over my body. He basically swore to make me feel the pain he felt and promised to slowly take away from me, what he believed I took from Hailey—her life. I didn't think he was serious back then cause I thought he was still grieving you know, but I guess he means it now." I say, before taking up another tissue and blowing my nose into it.

I rub Star's fur unconsciously as Owen shifts closer to me on his bed, with the aim of comforting me.

I'm glad I called him, he's the only one that knows about my past, at least to an extent.

He came over almost immediately without asking any questions, that's my best friend, always there when I need him.

He met me sobbing into my legs and soaked in tears with Star cuddled up at my feet. I guess he founds his way out through my slightly opened door. Well I'm glad he's here with me at Owen's.

I just needed to get out of there. Damian knowing where I live means that place is no longer safe for me or my little Star.

"So, what makes you think the letter is from him, couldn't it be from anyone?" Owen asks, pulling me out of my thoughts.

"Cause it read La mejor celebración empieza con regalar flores." I say to him.

"Le major what?" He asks with a confused look making me chuckle.

"It's Spanish. It means, the best celebrations starts with the gifting of flowers."

"Oh."

"Yeah. That was Hailey's belief and it became something she always did, she never missed a holiday. She really loved flowers that much."

"Okay. So now that it's certain it's from him, I think I know what to do." Owen says, catching my full attention.

"What?" I ask eagerly, with the mind of doing anything to get rid of that monster.

"We head to the police." He says.

"Po...police? Are...are you sure that's a good idea?" I ask Owen with a shaky voice.

The thought of him finding out I went to the police sends shivers down my spine.

The last time I did that, he simply bribed them and he was free of all the charges I made against him. I don't really like to rethink what happened that night when he came home, that's something I wish I'll never have to revisit.

He nearly...

"Josie? Can you hear me?" Owen's voice pulls me out of my scary thoughts.

"Yeah?" I answer him with a small voice.

"Did something happen before that I still don't know about?" He asks, looking at me with sad eyes.

I can't tell him. I don't even want to think about it. He shouldn't let me revisit that ever. I hate my past.

"I don't wanna talk about it Owen. The police isn't a good idea just know that alright?" I simply tell him, not wanting to stay on that thought any second longer.

He engulfs me into a tight hug, without saying anything at all.

"Hey, don't be such a girl." I say to him before chuckling a little.

"Is it wrong having a soft spot for your best friend?" He asks with a small chuckle.

"No not at all." I say, smiling to myself.

I'm so glad I have him in my life. I don't know what I'd do without him.

"I love you Owen." I say to my best friend, still in his warm arms.

"Now look who's been girly." I hear him say, causing me to slap the back of his head.

"Ouch!" He cries out and reaches for his head.
"Can't you just let our beautiful moment last?" I ask him with a small smile, with my eyes still all tearful.

"Of course I can." He says with a low voice and a cute little smile, before pulling me back into his arms.

"I love you too Josie." I hear my best friend say.

"Meowww." Star cries out as he squeezes through the both of us, making me and Owen chuckle.

• • • •

Hours later, I wake up to the pleasant smell of Susan's cooking. Unconsciously I begin to sniff, to know which delicacy she's preparing.

Despite my mucus-filled nose due to crying, I realize she's making lasagna. Her lasagnas are the best I've ever had, I definitely can't miss that.

I rise from the bed, bringing myself to a sitting position. I take a minute to gather my strength as I admire Owen's bedsheets. And then I realize it's filled with superheroes. Superheroes, really Owen?

I don't remember coming up to his room though, he probably carried me up here.

"Owen my superhero." I say to myself, before chuckling.

I reach for my phone on the nightstand to check for any notifications I missed. I think I even have a child to babysit tonight. Sigh.

Looking at my phone, I remember how much pain it has gone through these past few months. Poor phone, I remember when I smashed it against the wall, making the screen shatter. At least he still survived.

I pressed the power button and checked the time.

"Damn! 6:23pm!" I shout.

How did I even sleep that long?

To be very honest, it was actually the best sleep I've had in a while.

I decide to check my text messages and see one from Mrs Marin, whose kids I'm supposed to babysit tonight. Ignoring the other notifications, I quickly open her message.

Mrs Marin: Hey Josie! How are you? Sorry to cancel last minute but my meeting got postponed till next week. So I won't be needing you to watch Hannah this evening dear. But you're still my best babysitter anytime. Thanks dear. Goodnight.

Yes!!! She canceled. I don't think I want to go anywhere this evening again. I drop my phone to get some lasagna made by Mrs Hastings from downstairs.

Before I'm out of the door, my phone beeps again. I see it's a message from Emilia.

Em: Josie! What the heck?! Pick up your damn phone will you!

I unlock my phone and check all the notifications this time.

I had 13 missed calls. 11 from Emilia and 2 from Jake. I also had 6 other text messages. 4 from Emilia, 1 from Hunter and another from Jake.

How did my phone ring 13 freaking times and I didn't even hear a sound?!

Now that I think about it, I think actually heard it. But I may or may not have placed it on silence after the second ring.

I check Hunter's text and he just sent some funny meme, dweeb.

I ignore Jake's messages and decide on calling Emilia.

She picked on the first ring and her scream almost made my eardrums burst.

"Josie!! Did you suddenly become deaf that you didn't hear your phone ring? I've been calling you for hours!" She shouts into my ears.

"Well, you screaming now might actually me turn deaf so please stop." I tell her.

"Girl I called you like 20 fucking times!" She yells again.

"Well technically you only called 11 ti..."

"That doesn't matter now!" She shouts again, interrupting me.

"Josie! My mom made lasagna!!" The door bursts open revealing the idiot that's shouting.

"Who you talking to?!" Owen shouts again.

"Is that Owen?" Emilia asks from the phone.

"Yes Em. I don't know why the idiot keeps shouting when he can clearly see that I'm on the phone!" I say to her, increasing my voice.

"Geez Josie, calm down." Owen says.

"Yeah, why are you so worked up?" I hear Em say.

"Are you two being serious right now?! Weren't you just trying to deafen my ears with your ridiculous shouting a second ago?!" I shout at the both of them and then turn to glare at Owen.

"I'm just gonna...you know, head downstairs." Owen says quietly as he walks backwards, still looking at me.

"Sorry..." I hear Em say with a soft voice, causing me to turn my attention back to her.

"It's okay Em. So you called 11 times and you still left angry text messages, what's the emergency?" I ask her as I look back and see that Owen's gone.

"Well here's the thing, my dad went somewhere, only God knows where, so I was like hey, perfect time to search his home office. Cause you know, he's been in there a lot lately, doing what you ask? Maybe planning something good or bad or even worse! What if he plans on destroying the universe! Or..." Em continues talking so fast before I interrupt her.

"Em, cut to the chase. What'd you find?" I ask her.

"Would you just let me tell my story?" She asks, probably squeezing her face wherever she is right now. Typical Em.

"Fine, go on."

"Thank you. So I thought again, hey, there might be some clues to help us with our secret mission. We're still doing that right, yeah we are. So yeah I searched his table and you'll never believe what I found."

"What'd you find Em?" I ask her, sitting up against the headboard of Owen's bed, waiting for her to drop the damn bomb.

"I saw a file yeah, and there was nothing written on it. Like no label, cause my dad usually labels his work files. There were files labeled ledgers, stocks, documents but then I see this white file...well more like a long white envelope with nothing labeled on it. Suspicious right? So I open it and boom I'm shocked. Guess what's in it Josie!" Em says.

"Would you just tell me already! I'm dying here." I tell her, as I'm really eager to find out now.

"Fine." She says but still doesn't tell me what she found.

"So?"

"Get ready for this Josie, cause this is gonna blow..."

"Emilia!" I shout at her.

"Can't you just go with it Josie."

"It's past five minutes already, are you telling me or not. I have lasagna waiting for me." I say to her.

"Okay, okay. Calm your nerves."

"I'm calm, spill it. "

"I found pictures and tons of papers all about...Skylar Green."

****
A/N:- Cliffhanger! What's Emilia's dad doing with pictures and papers about Skylar?! Any thoughts, leave a comment.

Sorry you had to wait so long for an update guys, but no one really left comments on the last chapter.

Seeing comments about the book really gives you vibes to write the next chapter immediately you know. But either way, we love you guys all the same!

Oh yeah, who knew she was gonna call Owen? I'm sure some people guessed Jake or Hunter. Tell me who you guessed earlier>>>

Till the next chapter people, stay safe!

Choco X Vanille✨
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