Ash narrowed her eyes at the sight of six bared men eating the food that was made for her. The long wooden table held several baskets that had the crispy chicken wings along with dips spread all over the table like they were having a feast.
“Oh hi Ash, ” a brown haired guy greeted her with a smile as he tore down the whole piece in one go. Ash felt weird as she blinked with her mouth open.
“Thanks for having this made for us, ” another guy with blonde hair said as he dipped the chicken in mayo. To this, her eyebrows knit together with a wide O forming on her lips, she looked away.
“That was not for you, ” she muttered but let it be. They were covered in dirt and their hair looked wet as if they fought in the rain. She was looking at the six men devouring her snack with a helpless expression. She couldn't help but wonder how could they get bruises covered with dirt and yet act so normal. Didn't it hurt?
She was staring the same black tattoo that everyone had in Arka on one of the boys when a female voice pulled her out of the train of thoughts.
“Don't worry, they are just teasing you. ” She said and she recognised it as Martha, Female Beta of Arka. Her light brown hair was tied up in a messed up bun as her face carried one of the brightest smile she had ever seen. But it was not her smile that sparked her eyes, it was the basket in her hands that were filled with crispy chicken wings.
She put it in front of her and sat in the chair beside her. “Don't mind them. They eat like beasts. ”
Ash ran her tongue over the dried lips and shrugged. She was about to pick the first piece when a hand landed on her shoulder, catching her off guard.
“Mom, she must have got used to it now. ” the hand belonged to Mercy, Martha's eldest daughter, who now was chewing a gum. “Pick that up and come.”
“But why?” Ash asked as she watched Mercy putting every dip on a tray while Ash picked up the chicken basket.
“We are having a girl's night. ” she said as she led way, her flip flops making noise as she struggled to balance the load she put up.
“Blue looks better than red. ” Ash complimented as they were climbing the stairs.
Mercy looked at her hair and smiled, “Thanks man but you know I'll get bored of it too. ”
Ash shrugged a little to which the both girls burst into laughter. “Dumbo” Ash called her out to which she stuck out her tongue.
They turned left on the first floor and after catching up, Mercy opened the door with her elbow. Her room was a pure artistic site with each wall a different colour while her bed showed off a white daze. There was a guitar near the window which was half as big as the wall and showed a nice view of the back field.
“So who else are there?” Ash asked failing to hold her curiosity as she put the chicken on the coffee table near the couch.
“You'll find out soon, ” she replied as she put the tray beside the basket and as she sat on the couch.
Ash went to the bed and fell on it as she remembered the whole day. The memories were trying to come up to haunt her but she tried her best to remember her Hermes Carriage Paper got selected for second round.
“Did anyone ask for ice cream? ” a voice yelled as the door opened and Ash turned to see a girl with blonde hair and tall height. It was Liza holding three big tubs of ice cream. A butterscotch, a chocolate and a sweet strawberry.
“Why are you so happy today?” Ash asked. She could see how she was glowing and felt a smile creep up on her face too. Liza was Mercy's younger sister. The three bonded so well that no could say Mercy was three years older than Liza and Ash who were the same age.
Do you know a cousin who is older than you but spoils you and advices you about the big bad world? That was Mercy.
“Ash... You won't believe it.” Liza said as her chest filled up with excitement. She came to sit near Ash on the bed, making Mercy to get up and pop up on the bed too.
“What now? You finally passed in Math?” Ash commented to which Mercy and she cracked up. They high fived as Liza pouted.
“Why do you have to bring that up everytime? I don't like Math. That's it.” Liza said as she looked at the ice cream tubs on the night stand near the bed. She grabbed the strawberry one and started eating it.
“So? You got a new subject to fail in?” Ash said and before Liza could throw a pillow on her, she got up and went towards the couch.
“No, it's just that... I... You're gonna miss me now.” Liza said with an expression of pride as she brought the spoon up.
“Why? School kicked you out? ” Ash winked at Mercy to which she blew a kiss. She was watching the show from the backseat as she supported herself on the headrest of the bed.
“I found my mate! ” Liza exclaimed to which a chicken wing fell from Ash's hand as she was dipping it in mayo.
“A mate? As in soul mate? Are you sure? ” Ash asked with concern over her stupid innocent friend to which she got a blush from Liza.
“Yeah, it's him. ” Liza said while looking down at her ice-cream. Ash looked at Mercy to which she nodded. Ash shook her head as she asked, “Aren't you going to tell me about him? ”
Minutes turned into hours as they talked. Mercy was suggesting Liza some relationship advice while Ash was just listening all the time besides cracking some jokes.
Liza was glowing with happiness as she talked about her mate. She was talking about her future plans of having a small farm house where she would be living happily forever with him. Ash was focusing on her ice cream now that the chicken are gone as Mercy stared at Natasha Romanoff kicking the security guards' butts off in Iron Man 2.
Everyone was engrossed when suddenly Liza's hands went numb. A pain evolved in her left side rising from her heart as tears welled up in her eyes. She clutched her chest, “Aah! ” she screamed for help as Mercy and Ash went to help her out.
Ash patted her back and Mercy called the doctors as Liza went cold. Her limbs felt jelly as her mouth stammered, “He's gone. ”
Ash was patting her back and held her one hand in her own. She squeezed it and asked, “Who's gone Liz?”
Liza's eyes were bloodshot as she spoke. “My mate... He's dead.”