After the events on Monday, I truly expected the week to be crazy and I honestly didn’t believe Ashley was truly sorry. I’m not about to let my guard down for a second with her. She didn’t pull anything during the week. In fact, she was rather quiet and knowing her as well as I do, she is up to something. I really want to believe her but it’s not in her to walk away.
I haven’t talked to my parents since the night of my mom’s accident, but it was time to go to their house to get mine and Josh’s things. No way was I going back there at all, not with knowing what my dad did and with the fact that Tyler could be lurking around.
Cole wanted to come with me but I told him it would be better if he stayed home, I didn’t want to have to fight with my dad about him again. He insisted that Isaac went with me, we also called Deb and of course, Erin came with me. She wouldn’t have it any other way.
Luckily, when I got there no one was home but walking into my room was a whole different story. It looked like I had stepped onto a set for a horror movie.
Erin called out for Deb and Isaac. My room was trashed. It looked like someone was searching for something. My bed was thrown on the floor with the bedding all over the room. My pillows were shredded, and all of my pictures had been taken and replaced with pictures of me at school, at work, shopping at the mall with Erin. There was even one of me standing in the window at Isaac’s house.
I knew I was being followed but I really didn’t expect him to stoop this low. Then again, we already knew he was a psychopath and capable of anything. I walked over to the mirror on my vanity; I shudder at the sight before me
There were droplets of blood on the white tabletop, leaving an eerie display. On the chair there was a bloody handprint, the whole room caused goosebumps to pebble my skin and a chill to go down my spine. I couldn't be in my room in anymore, it now carried an ominous evil feeling.
I glanced over to the mirror and let out a blood-curdling scream. I ran away from the mirror and tripped over the chair in my hurry to getaway. I didn’t stand up, I just stayed in my spot, with my eyes fixated on the bloody message.
You didn’t obey!!
I didn’t hear anyone in the room. I didn’t understand what Deb was saying, and I don’t remember how I left the room. All I know is how that horrendus bloody message will haunt me for a very long time, and I was never going back into that house.
That was three days ago; Tyler has been pretty quiet, probably waiting for the right time to attack me again. Tonight is the night of the Fall Ball. This morning and afternoon were really fun. Cole and Toby picked Erin, Josh and I up at nine a.m. and took us to IHOP for breakfast, then we went bowling.
It had been so long since I remember having this much fun. I know what Cole and Erin were doing; they were doing everything to keep my mind off of everything that was going bad in my life. Cole was pretty upset that he didn’t score as high as he usually does, but what do you expect when you only have one arm.
I told him he was crazy for even trying. However, that’s Cole for you. Josh even had a blast; of course, we all went easy on him and Cole. We had talked about Carter’s message so he has been extra cautious, but overall he’s staying calm since it was being handled. Erin must have noticed I was lost in thought.
“Willow, we need to go!” Mrs. James had booked us both appointments at her salon. She said she wanted us to feel pampered and I must admit that I’m excited about this.
“Yes, let’s go!” I tell her. “I’m looking forward to getting to feel like a girl again.”
“You’re silly, Will!” Erin says. “But I get it.”
We spent the entire afternoon at the salon; spending time with my best friend and being away from all the stress was just what I needed. In the car ride over, Erin made me promise to not focus on all the negative things going on in my life and to think about how much fun today will be and how magical tonight will be. I’ve never been to a school dance so I’m actually thrilled.
With as much fun as we had today, I never thought tonight was going to get here. After we came home from the salon, we only had about two hours before the boys were supposed to pick us up so that gave us enough time to get dressed.
We had gotten our hair and makeup done at the salon. I couldn’t wait for Cole to see me in my dress and I was anxious to see what he would look like in a suit. The thought brought a smile to my lips.
As I stand in the mirror looking at myself, I once again don’t see the Willow I know. I see the same young woman I saw on Monday. I love the way I feel in the dress, and I love my hair. The stylist decided to leave my hair down but added some soft brown highlights; she curled it which left long ringlets falling down my back and pulled part of it back with a gorgeous silver clip. I reach my hand up and touch the small silver tiara the stylist insisted I wear. She said every girl should feel like a princess and boy did I ever.
Erin had put on a CD while we get ready; This is my fight song by Rachel Platten came on and as I listened to this song. I decided that whatever crap Ashley tries to pull off tonight, I’m not going to let it get me down. I’m going to walk into that school with the most handsome guy by my side.
I was just sitting down to put on my Caparros Zarielle silver strapped heals when Erin walks out of the bathroom; she looks breathless with the peach version of my dress. Her hair is in a similar style to mine.
“I can’t find my locket!” she says frantically. “You know that one my real mom gave me before…” She looked like she was ready to cry.
“Okay, where was the last place you saw it?” I asked.
“Oh, no! I think I left it at the salon!” she cries. “I need that locket, Willow!”
“Okay, calm down. Let’s call the salon and ask if they have it and if they do we can call the boys. We can ask them if they can pick it up on their way over.” She nods and calls the salon; she lets out a breath when they say they have it. I then call Cole.
“It’s okay, Erin, they will get it, and Cole says they will be here in about 45 minutes,” I explain. “You look beautiful.” Erin smiles.
“Thanks, and so do you!” she says. “You picked out a great dress!”
“Thanks!” I reply. We spent the next forty-five minutes finishing up.
“They’re early!” I hear Erin shout. “They are not supposed to be here for another ten minutes. I’m not ready!”
I start giggling. I have never seen Erin so out of sorts. She looks at me and starts giggling as well. I guess nerves have gotten the best of both of us. We continued to laugh when we heard Mrs. James announce that our gorgeous dates have arrived. That stopped our giggling real quickly.
“Are you ready to do this, Willow?” she asks seriously. “Are you ready to go and see what kind of trouble we can get ourselves into?”
“Well, now you had to go and put ideas into my head. Yes, I’m ready. I told you I wasn’t going to hide anymore. So that is just what I’m going to do and I am going to do something I haven’t done in a long time. I’m going to have fun and dance the night away in my beautiful boy’s arms. What can go wrong with that?”
“I’m so proud of you, Will. Cole has been good for you!” She grabs her silver clutch purse and heads for the door. I follow suit but put my phone in my matching purse. We both walk out of her bedroom and head down the stairs. When I walked out of the room I stopped by the wall to peek around the corner. I was not expecting to see what was standing there.
Cole was standing there in Erin’s kitchen looking like a dream. He was wearing a white suit jacket with a black tux shirt paired with a silver tie that matched my dress. When my eyes roamed over him I couldn’t help but giggle; I really wasn’t surprised to see him wearing his infamous black jeans and of course his black motorcycle boots.
That boy would never leave the house without those boots. He didn’t look very comfortable in the jacket and tie but he did this for me. He wanted to make this night perfect for me. He was fidgeting with something in his hand. I took a deep breath and Erin tapped my shoulder.
“Stop gawking and get down there!” she whispered with a smile.
“You go first,” I told her. She winked at me and headed down the stairs. I swear I could hear Toby gasp when he saw her, it was not unexpected since she is drop-dead gorgeous. I awed silently as she walked to the bottom of the stairs and Toby was there with the biggest smile on his face. Toby wrapped his arm around her waist and kissed her cheek, then told her,
"You look stunning! Erin looked back at me.
“Your turn, princess, Cole is dying down here.” She snickers and I’m almost positive Cole gave her his signature back off glare when I heard her giggle again. I took another deep breath and told myself you can do this girl!
I made sure my dress was nice and perfect then picked up the middle and headed down the stairs. I took them one by one very slowly I didn’t end up falling and humiliating myself. It was also kind of fun watching him squirm. When I reached the bottom he was there and utterly speechless.
“It’s that bad, huh?” I asked.
“Um...” he cleared his throat. “I have no words to describe how incredibly alluring you look right now.” He takes my hand in his; he bends down and lays a kiss upon my hand. I feel heat crawl up my neck and my face turn fire engine red.
He gently takes my hand in his again and gives me that half-serious but still kind of cocky grin. “I’m going to be the most envied guy at the dance and I’m going to soak up every minute of it.”
“Hey, you won’t be the only one,” Toby says while looking so adoringly at Erin.
“Well, Mr. Knight, you sure are a charmer, aren’t you?”
“Only for you, my princess.” He leans down and kisses the spot right behind my ear. Holy hell this boy is going to kill me someday. He pulls away and reaches into his pocket.
“I have something for you.” He pulls out a long black box and hands it to me. I gently open the lid and nearly choke on the breath caught in my throat. Inside is a beautiful white gold charm bracelet. The charm has two white gold hearts woven together and in the middle, it was engraved with the words Always Yours.
“Cole, this must-have cost you a fortune, it’s beautiful.” I marveled at the beautiful bracelet while trying to hold back the tears. He took the box from me and proceeded to take the bracelet out.
“Mom had seen it when she was at the mall with me. She pulled me aside and told me I had to get this for you. It was my idea to engrave the words.”
He clasped the bracelet on my wrist then brought it up to his lips, as I felt the warmth of his breath cover my wrist, I shivered. He knew how to get me and where to get me. When I looked up, I could see desire swimming in his eyes.Yep, it was time to go.
He helped me with my jacket and as he draped it over my shoulders, he whispered in my ear, “It’s true, baby, I will always be yours. Nothing will take me away.”
He pulled away, but not before leaving kisses behind my ear. I was really hoping he was not going to do this all night because he was slowly killing me. Oh who am I kidding, I loved it. He holds out his arm for me to take. When we walk out the door there is a stretch limo waiting for us. He did not pull out any stops, he wanted this to be perfect for me and right now just being here with him is perfect enough. He noticed the smile on my face.
“You like it?” he asks.
“I love it, Cole, you thought of everything and it has been perfect.”
“You deserve it, Willow,” he whispers. “You deserve to be treated like a princess so that’s what tonight is about.” He bows and I softly giggle. “Your chariot awaits, Milady.”