I groan when the sun shining on my face through my curtains wakes me. It’s too early. I can tell. I turn over and the blanket stays on the other side of the bed, revealing my exposed arms. Great, now I’m cold. I peek one eye open and see it’s barely light out, then I open my other eye reluctantly. Looking at my clock, I see it’s six A.M. Ugh. Too early.
Groaning again, I reluctantly sit up and stretch, while yawning. I rub the sleep out of my eyes them plant my feet on the cold hardwood floor, and a shiver runs through me. I really need to get a fluffy rug to put there so I don’t freeze my feet every morning. Standing, I look out the window and see the sun is rising still, and it’s a perfect dawn. I can hear the birds chirping outside my window. Which is a nice change from the neighbors dog, Rascal, who barks in the morning, but it’s only when the mail comes, then he shuts up. But, they are on vacation for a month, and took the dog with them. Yay.
I go to the bathroom and do my business, then wash my face with my face scrub from Sephora. Then following with moisturizer, and a light layer of BB cream, following with concealer under my eyes. I do a natural eyeshadow look, with some mascara to finish. And finally, on my lips I add a pale red tinted strawberry flavored lip balm. I’m more into the natural look, rather then cake face.
Back in my room, I walk over to my closet and pull out some clothes. I grabbed an opaque white tank top, and some light blue denim short shorts. I pair my outfit with my go-to converse, and put in my clear diamond stud earrings from Claire’s. I put on five super thin silver bracelets as well, that I also got from there.
Tenth grade starts next week, and I’m really excited. I’m finally a sophomore. Freshman was cool, but sophomore is better, and I can’t wait for junior and senior year. Kade is going to be a senior when school starts, lucky. He teases me about it, how I’m only sixteen and have three more years of high school and how he only has one. Regardless of that fact, I already know which college I want to go to: UC Davis.
I know which major too: Psychology.
What career I want more than anything is to become a dolphin trainer, and psychology is going to help me do that. Since animal training is based on behavior, and psychology is the study of behavior, it’s a good start. And, I want to become an animal care intern at a marine park in Florida one day too to get a head start at becoming a trainer.
But that’s years away, so I’m not going to worry about that now.
I’ve been planning on going back-to-school shopping for a few weeks now, and Audrey and I are going today. Basically, we are going clothes and shoe shopping. When I am getting actual school supplies, Mom said Kade and I have to go together so we actually buy what we need, like notebooks, pens, and other similar items and don’t get distracted.
I look at my Samsung Galaxy S7 phone, and see it’s seven fifteen now, so Mom ought to be up now. Dad might be up, and I can almost guarantee Kade is still snoring away in his room. My brother is most certainly, in all definition of the phrase, a night owl. As am I, but for some hellish reason, I’m up this early.
I walk out of my room, and into the kitchen where I see Mom leaning against the granite counter top, yawning like a cat. Her hair is in a messy bun, and she is in her pajamas which consist of a pink t-shirt, and loose pajama pants. I cringe, remembering last nights conversation with her. “Morning, mom.” I say timidly, hoping she forgot all about the ‘I hate Mrs. D.’ thing. “Morning, sweetie.” She replies with a smile, and my tense shoulders relax, and I smile a little and take a seat at the table.
The sun is brighter now, and shining through the window and onto the table. It is a traditional looking, rectangle shaped, brown wood dinner table. It seats six, although there is only four of us. But, Mom and Dad bought the big table because family come over for birthdays, holidays and special occasions.
Mom’s blue eyes -that are a shade lighter than mine- are solely focused on the breakfast she has started to make. I watched as she pulled a carton of eggs out of the stainless steel refrigerator and set them onto the counter next to a medium sized mixing bowl. Then she cracked ten eggs into the bowl, and mixed it with some milk and seasoned salt. Right when she picks up the whisk, I decide to be kind and help her. “Need help?” I offer, feeling rude just sitting here letting her do all of the work. She turns to me and smiles, “Sure honey. That would be very nice of you.”
I smile, and stand up, and begin to walk toward her. Once I reach her, I take the whisk from her hand and proceed to mix the egg mixture. Once it’s thoroughly combined, I step back and grab a frying pan, setting it on the stove. I turn it on medium high, then pour the eggs in, and stir it occasionally.
While I was working on the scrambled eggs, Mom started making pancakes. When the eggs were almost done, I added some shredded cheddar cheese and ham.
After another twenty minutes, we had a great looking breakfast. Fifteen fluffy, round pancakes sat on a plate in the center of the table with syrup beside it and some butter. Next to it, are the scrambled eggs in a bowl, and a large pitcher of orange juice to the side.
I helped set the table, setting out four plates, glasses and silverware. Kade has yet to awaken, but I know the mention of food will get him up. Dad woke up about five minutes ago and has been waiting patiently at the table for the food. “Kade! Food!” I shout, and Mom gives me a seriously look. I smile sheepishly, and then hear a door opening and then closing, and sleepy groaning. I turn my head and see Kade walking down the hall in his pajamas, and rubbing his eyes while yawning. “Why so early?” He groans, as he takes a seat at the table beside me. I grin. “Food’s ready. Did you want us to eat it all or are you happy I told you?” I smirk, and he gives me an annoyed look.
“Fine. I want some food.” He admits, and I smile in victory. “Knew it.” I say under my breath, but he hears me, and gives me a dirty look. I grin at him, and the dirty look is replaced with an amused one as he chuckles.
“I swear, you two act more like four-year-olds more than you act your own ages.” Mom says disapprovingly, but you can tell she is mildly amused by it. Dad openly shows his amusement, as he chuckles at us. Mom takes her seat beside Dad, before we all dive into the food like starved animals. I put two pancakes and a scoop of eggs on my plate, then pour some syrup on top of the pancakes. Kade has three pancakes and more eggs than I, and I give him a wide-eyed look. “What? I’m a guy. Guy’s eat more than dainty little girls do.” Kade defends, but I just shake my head in amusement and eat my breakfast.
“So, you two need to go back-to-school shopping.” Mom starts, and I quickly swallow my bite of pancake to reply. “Audrey and I are going shopping today.” I tell her, and she gives me a knowing look. “I’m not stupid. You two are not going to be shopping for school supplies, you’re going to be clothes shopping.” Mom says, and I nod. Not even bother denying it. “True. Which is why, tomorrow Kade and I-” He groans. “Why me?” He mutters. “As I was saying before I was rudely interrupted,” I glare at Kade. “Kade and I can go back-to-school shopping tomorrow.” I finish, and Mom and Dad look at each other before Mom nods in agreement. I grin.
“You should buy some clothes too, Kade.” Mom says, and the look on Kade’s face is so perfect I wish I had my phone to take a picture. His eyes are wide and he stopped mid-chew. He gulped down his food, and gave Mom and annoyed/bewildered look. “I’m a guy. I don’t do clothes shopping for school.” Kade answers, and I giggle. “So, you plan to go nude then?” Dad says, amused. I giggle and he gives me an annoyed look, before a mischievous smirk takes its place. “The females wouldn’t mind.” I think I threw up a bit in my mouth. “Ewww! I’m a female, and speaking for al the other females in that school, I would very much mind!” I shout, horrified. Kade laughs.
“You’d only mind cause you’re my baby sister. Every other female would thank the amazing luck she was granted.” Kade says, and I scrunch my nose in complete disgust. “That’s nasty. And I’m pretty sure every female in that school, except Audrey and I, have already seen it.” I reply, then snicker. Kade smirks, and I kick him in the shin. “You are such a man whore.” He looks offended and I smirk at him. “I am not!” He defends and I raise an eyebrow. “Oh, really?” I turn to look at Mom and Dad, who are watching intently. “How many females have we seen leave this house in the morning?” I ask.
“I plead the fifth.” Mom says raising her hands in surrender, and I sigh. I turn to Dad. He grins, looking more amused than a Dad should regarding this subject. “If I had to guess off the top of my head, I’d say at least twenty or so in the last few years.” Dad answers and I give Kade a triumphant look. “See. You’re a man whore. Plain and simple.” I tell him crossing my arms, and he looks even more offended. “I’m not a man whore, I’m just so sexy women can’t resist me and my amazing skills in the bedroom.” Is his wonderful explanation of his many sexcapades. I scrunch my nose. “That’s nasty.”
“Are you ready yet?” Audrey whines outside the bathroom door. She came over right after breakfast, and now she is waiting impatiently outside my bathroom door while I get dressed and put my makeup on. “Almost. Geez, don’t get your panties in a twist.” I respond, laughing a little. “Then hurry up!” She yells through the door and I chuckle. “I’m ready, calm down.” I tell her, and apply my pink lip gloss as I open the bathroom door and step out.
She is fake glaring at me with her hands on her denim shorts covered hips. “It’s about time.” Audrey huffs. I smile at her. “I’m ready now. All I have to do is throw on my converse and we can go.” I say, grabbing my converse off my shoe rack then taking a seat at the end of my bed to slip them on. I’m wearing a charcoal gray tank top, and blue jeans. I have faux clear diamond studs in my ears, and two thin silver bracelets on my left wrist and three on my right.
On my left ankle is a silver heart anklet. It’s a bunch of small silver hearts connected to make it. I got it last year as a fifteenth birthday present from my Mom and Dad, and I rarely ever take it off. Only when necessary, like showering or swimming. I even keep it on when I’m sleeping, since it means so much to me.
“Can we go now? I am itching to go to the mall, and I have a lot of money burning a hole in my pocket.” Audrey whines, and I giggle softly. “Yes, we can go now.” I say as I grab my purse that has my money, a spare concealer, my blue Ray Ban aviators, and my drivers license in it. I sling it over my shoulder and across my body then walk out of my bedroom with my impatient BFF in tow.
“Mom, dad, we’re going to the mall!” I shout, and hear Mom yell back, “Text me when you get there!” I chuckle. I say a quick ‘k’ in reply then we’re off. We both hop into my POS car and I pull my pink iPod touch out of my purse, turn the volume all the way up and play my ‘favorite songs’ playlist. It includes, ‘Last Day Alive’ by The Chainsmokers, ‘Hands’ by The Vamps and ‘Slow Hands’ by Niall Horan. There are more on there, but those three are my favorites. Then we head to the nearest mall which is fifteen minutes away give or take, depending on how much traffic there is on the freeway.
“So, Forever 21, Express, H&M or Victoria’s Secret first?” Is the first thing Audrey asks the second we pull into a parking spot. I smile. “The closest one first, so Forever 21.” I turn the key in the ignition, effectively turning my car off. I send my Mom a quick text, letting her know we’re here, then we head inside. The first store is Forever 21, which pleases me seeing as it’s one of my favorite stores. Audrey grips my wrist gently then practically drags me into the store, not that I needed any convincing to go in there.
She heads straight to the floral tanks, while I head to the leather jackets. I’ve been needing a new one since my old one was left under the bed in a hotel two months ago. I have never cried over losing an article of clothing, until I found out my leather jacket was left behind and the maid service disposed of it. I bet one of them took it home. Little bitches.
There is quite a selection over here, and the prices range from $29.99 all the way up to a couple hundred. I’ve saved up some money, but not enough to afford a real expensive one and have any money left for shopping or anything else. After searching through them and trying some on, I find the perfect one. It’s black of course, has some buttons and zippers but not too many to look stupid, it goes down to right above my hips like a normal jacket, and has a zipper down the center. It fit’s like a glove, and it’s within my price range. Fifty bucks exactly. I can afford it and still have money left over for more clothes and stuff.
Meanwhile, Audrey has moved on to denim shorts, and I go over there as well. Shorts are my favorite clothing item, and I probably have way too many already but that doesn’t stop me from buying more. I love jeans too, so as soon as I find a couple -ha, more like five- pairs of denim short shorts, I’ll head to the jeans. Audrey is already holding a couple pairs of shorts, and a few tank tops and shirts. “Hey, whatcha get?” I ask and she grins. “Super cute clothes.” She replies, grinning and holds up the clothes. She got a few floral tanks, some purple tanks, and a few others.
I go through the shorts, and pick out like -ok, I lied, more like fifteen- pairs of really cute short shorts. Some medium wash blue, light blue, dark blue, some black, some white and some camo. “Really? You need that many?” Audrey laughs and I stare at her. “You grabbed five pairs, don’t judge me.” I tell her and she laughs. “Five, not fifteen.” She grins. “Oh shut it. I’m going to the shirts.” I tell her, then make my way to the shirts, tanks, and crop tops. Cute. After another hour or so of shopping, we pay for the clothes. I found a super cute royal blue crop top with tie strings at the top. It’s so cute, I love it. It will go great with the black denim shorts I got.
I got more tanks, a few V-neck tops and some jeans. We also got some bralettes and workout clothes. Now onto Express. I swear, if I was rich, I’d go absolutely crazy in this mall. I’d have so many clothes I’d need a second closet. We walk into Express and go our separate directions. Mine being to the shorts -don’t judge- and hers being anything floral. I grabbed a few, and then went to the jeans and found some really cute camo jeans. After an hour or so, we paid and left. H&M we go.
After we went to H&M, we headed to Wet Seal, Lulu’s, and Pac Sun. It was a few hours later by the time we got to Victoria’s Secret. I found some really cute bra’s, panties, pajama’s and bra/pantie sets. We went to the body mists and picked out a few we liked. I picked out a plunge push-up bra, so I can wear it with my V-neck shirts I bought. Speaking of, these bags are starting to get heavy. We’ve been carrying them for fucking hours and I’m starting to get hungry. I haven’t eaten since breakfast, and it’s already five.
“I’m starving.” I announce and Audrey nods in agreement. “Me too. Let’s go to the food court.” I nod. There are so many food choices there it’s hard to choose. Especially when we are both so hungry. And right then my stomach sounds like a dying whale. Audrey looks at my stomach, then my face, and we both burst into laughter. “Told you I’m hungry.” I laugh. Once at the food court, we look around and try hard to decide where to eat. “Pizza Hut? Panda Express? Taco Bell? Hot Dog On A Stick?” Instantly my eyes widen. “Taco Bell.” We say in unison, then laugh again as we walk over to our favorite fast food place.
“Hello, welcome to Taco Bell. What would you like?” The girl who looks not too much older than me, asks. “I’ll have a Mexican pizza with no beans, and fiesta potatoes with no sour cream but extra nacho cheese. And a large Baja Blast with no ice, please.” I say, then pay for my food. “I’ll have the nacho’s supreme and two tacos. And a large coke with no ice.” Then she pays. They gave us each a number so we know when our food is ready. We search for an empty table and after looking for a good minute or two, we find an empty table and take a seat.
My stomach continues growling in protest of my not eating for hours. Audrey’s has started growling as well now. The food court is pretty full still even though it’s five o’clock. You’d think there would be a few less people here at this time, but there’s a lot. My phone dings, and I pull it out of my cross-body purse. It’s a text from Coby.
COBY: Hey, babe. How’s ur shopping day?
I smile. I promised we’d do something tonight, so I bought some really cute clothes.
ME: Awesome. Bought some super cute clothes.
COBY: I figured that much. What r u doing now?
ME: Just now getting food. We r starving lol.
I giggle and Audrey looks at me weird. “Who are you talking to?” She asks curiously. “Coby.” I answer simply, and she rolls her eyes. “He is so love sick it’s sickening.” She jokes, but I can tell she thinks it’s adorable.
I roll my eyes and laugh, then answer him.
ME: What r u doing?
COBY: Playing X-box
ME: Figures :) LOL
“What’s my brother up to?” I give her a look. “X-box.” I giggle and she shakes her head with a knowing smile. “Figures.” She mutters. “That’s what I said!” I laugh. “Order number 25!” The Taco Bell girl shouts over the loudness of the food court. I look at my number. “That’s me.” I say standing up then walking over to get my food. By now my stomach is really growling. She hands me my tray and I thank her then go back to the table. Not even two minutes later we hear, “Order number 26!” Audrey looks at her number and grins. “Mine.” And gets up to retrieve her food.
She walks back over with her food and drink, then sits back down across from me and dives into her food. “Crap. I forgot to get some mild sauce.” I mutter then get up to get some. “Want any?” I ask and she nods. “Yeah, mild and hot.” Audrey says. “K.”
Up by the sauces are a three young attractive guys who look about a year or two older than me. The blond haired, blue eyed one looks me up and down slowly, then a mischievous grin slowly grows on his face. Uh oh. “Hey, there kitten. I’m Lucas. What’s your name?” His voice is smooth, and he is attractive, but I have a boyfriend who I love. I narrow my eyes at him. “Well, it’s not kitten for starters. And I have a boyfriend.” That’s where I would’ve liked the conversation to end, but no, blondie’s friend had to join in to help. The other guy, who has light brown hair and grey eyes, sparks up conversation with me now.
“I’m Jay, and you are?” He smiles and extends his hand. I don’t take it and I give him a glare. He gives a look that say jeesh, and retracts his hand. “I’m not giving you my name and if you all could be so kind as to move so I could get to the sauces, that would be great.” I repeat, my irritation now well known in my voice. “Aw, come on, it’s just a name.” Grey eyes -I mean Jay- pushes. Ugh. They are getting really annoying. These guys just can’t take a hint. “My name is none of your business. As you can see, I just told your friend here that I have a boyfriend, so if you’ll excuse me.” I say and try to move around them to get to the sauces but no, they aren’t done just yet. “Sorry about them, I’m Theo.” Ah, so this one’s name is Theo. That fits him. He’s got brown hair and green eyes, and light olive skin. He has this happy energy around him, and he seems like the kind of person who would get a party started.
I look over to our table, to see Audrey watching us closely. She’s probably deciding if she needs to jump in and help me yet. I slyly shake my head at her, just enough for only her to notice letting her know I don’t need her help. Yet. She slightly nods, but keeps watching.
"Good to know. Now can you please let me get to the sauces so I can eat before my food gets cold?" I tell them, and I know they can see how annoyed I am getting. Theo's eyes widen, and he steps out of my way. I quickly grab a handful of mild sauce and some of the hot one, and turn to bolt back to the table, when blondie -I mean Lucas- blocks my way. Son. Of. A. Bitch. I am two seconds from texting Coby to get his ass down here. "Can you move please." I ask through tightly gritted teeth. He smirks. "Sure." He replies, and I give a sigh of relief when he adds, "If you tell us your name."
"So, help me God, if you guys don't move, I will have my boyfriend and my brother come down here and kick your asses. They are very well built, and they can take you all down easily." I threaten, but it's true. They could take them, easy. Jay and Theo smirk as well, and I am tempted to smack it off their stupid attractive faces. "No need for threats, just give us your name and we'll move." Jay tries to compromise with a smirk still plastered on his face and I glare at him. "Why do you horny little fuckers," They look shocked to no end when they hear those words come out of my mouth. "Want my name so damn badly!? I told you I have a boyfriend! I'm NOT interested!" I know by now I'm causing a scene, but I don't care. If I have to throw a tantrum like a two-year-old to get them away from me, then that's what I'll do.
"Come on, kitten-" I cut Lucas off. "Fine, assholes! My name is Piper! Happy! And don't call me kitten!" I lie and pray they can't tell. By now, Audrey is off her seat and making her way over to me. "It's not nice to lie, kitten." Lucas taunts and I want to punch him. "DON'T CALL ME KITTEN!" I roar, and their eyes widen. How did they know I was lying? "Hey, my mom just called. My grandma fell and broke her hip, we got to go." The biggest sigh of relief flies out of me and I fake worry. "Sorry boys, there was an emergency, we got to go." I say then grab her hand and bolt.
Luckily, she was one step ahead of me and had grabbed our purses and shopping bags before she came over to me so we didn't leave them. We ran all the way through the mall and to my car. Once there we threw our bags into the back seat, jumped into the front, and high-tailed it the hell out of there. I had glanced behind us more than once on our race to the car, and was happy to see they hadn't followed us. They had stayed planted in the food court watching us run with amused expressions on their faces that I so desperately wanted to punch off.
"What the fuck was their problem!?" I yell scared, and look at Audrey. "I have no idea! What the fuck was that!?" She yells too and I shrug. "I mean, I have met guys who don't know how to take a hint, but, fuck, that was way over the top!" I shout and press on the gas harder.
I drop Audrey off at her house, then speed towards mine. Once home, I run into the house at cheetah speed. I'm huffing and puffing by the time I'm inside, and when I turn around after locking the door, I'm startled to see Kade standing there staring at me curiously. I let out a little shriek an put my hand over my rapidly beating heart. "What the hell Kade! Give a girl some warning next time!"
"What happened to you?" He asks and I swallow. "Nothing." I answer a bit too quickly. He narrows his eyes at me. Dammit. Even if I hadn't of answered so quickly, he'd still know somethings up. Kade can read me like an open book. "What happened?" He repeats, suspicion in his voice and a stern look on his face that says he's not letting it go until he has his answer. After a minute of me not answering, he crosses his arms over his chest and does one of his most intimidating stances. Oh, shit. There is no getting out of this. I sigh.
"When we were at the food court, I went to go get some mild sauce at the counter. There were these three guys-" He cuts me off, his face full of concern and anger. "Three guys!? What did they do!? Did they touch you!?" He yells angrily, looking ready to hit something. "NO! No! They didn't touch me, calm down! They just, harassed me a little. They blocked me and kept demanding I give them my name." I explained to my -now fuming- over protective big brother. "Did you?" He asks eerily calm. I shake my head. "No, I told them my name was Piper. Then Audrey and I booked it outta there." He nods, but his jaw and fists are clenched. "What else?" He asks calmly, too calmly. I gulp. "The one kept calling me kitten, and they blocked me till I told them my name. But they didn't touch me." I tell him, and that seems to calm him down 0.1%
"I'm gonna go eat." I tell him then go to walk into the kitchen when Kade grabs my arm and pulls me to him, crushing me to his chest and squeezing me tightly in his arms. "If anything like that happens ever again, you call me. Got it? Call me and call Coby and we will be there in a second. You're my baby sister, I won't let anything happen to you, ever. If anything happens, you call me. Ok?" He orders, and I nod against his chest. "I will." I tell him. "Promise?" He asks. "Promise." I promise him, and I feel him nod. "Ok." Then he lets me go and I walk into the kitchen to finally get something to eat.
After finally eating, I get a text Coby and he told me that Audrey told him everything that happened. Let's just say, he was just as pissed as -if not more than- Kade. He completely understood that I no longer felt like going out again tonight and we agreed we'd go out tomorrow night instead. He wanted to come over, but I just wanted to sleep. And he reluctantly agreed to just come over tomorrow morning. After that, I took a shower and crawled into bed.
Today has been a long day.
I hear the leaves on the ground rustling outside my window. Normally, that doesn’t bother me. I hear it all the time, almost every single night. I always just assume it’s a rabbit or a rat or something. But after what happened today at the mall, I'm still a little shaken. And tonight, something’s different. It’s louder, heavier, and slower. And it sounds like footsteps. Slow, calculated, and precise, human footsteps.
Why the sudden urge to hide flared up inside me, I don’t know. Because I highly doubt it’s a human outside my window. I mean, why would there be?
Nobody has ever creeped up by my window before. Who would be lurking out there anyway?
Besides, Kade’s room is right beside mine, and if I got too scared or there was a threat, he would be there to protect me. Same as my Mom and Dad. They would never let anything happen to me. Kade would go ape-shit, and whoever was out there would go running scared.
So, why fear is still trickling down my spine, I have no idea. My body is covered in goosebumps, and my breathing has picked up. Adrenaline is starting to kick in and I'm about ready to have to protect myself from whatever danger there is to my safety.
I'm over-reacting. I'm totally over-reacting. Right? There is nothing out there, it's just the wind. And if there is something out there, it's an animal, not a person. Definitely not a person. I'm just a little paranoid from those assholes at the mall. Damn pricks. They got me scared in my own damn bedroom.
The crunching of leaves gets louder, and closer to my window. As in, right outside my window now. Directly in front of it. I need to look and see what's out there, but the fear has taken over and is preventing me from doing so. I pull the blanket tighter up against me, and try to convince my breathing to slow back down to a normal rhythm. There is nothing to be worried about. I'm fine. There is no one out there.
The full moon is shining bright, and lighting up the wall as it shines through my light colored curtain covered window.
Then I see it. Against my wall where the moon is lighting it, a shadow. A fucking human shaped shadow. Oh, God. My heart is pounding against my ribs, and I'm pretty sure my breathing just stopped. My body is frozen in fear, I couldn't run even if I wanted to. My window opens quickly and I jerk my head to see the late night intruder. It's definitely a man, but that's all I can see. He's too dark for me to be able to define any features.
Why didn't I lock my window? Dumbass.
I try to run, but my body is paralyzed with complete and utter terror. His body is fully inside my room now, and just as I go to scream Kade's name, a glove covered hand clamps over my mouth muffling any sound that tried to come out of it. Oh, God. A horrifying realization comes over me.
I'm being kidnapped.