Always Together

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Chapter 6

“Going somewhere, my child?”

I clench my eyes shut and internally curse myself for being caught.

I slowly turn to face him. Pops lips curve upward in a self-satisfied smile, for catching me red-handed.

“You weren’t asleep?” I ask as I straighten up and switch on the lights of the living room.

“Nope.” He slowly moves his head from side to side, smiling like Cheshire cat.

“Say it.” I defeatedly sigh.

“One-week dishes and you are going to make dinner, too,” he smugly says.

“Okay.” I nod, then frown, “Just one-week dishes? After that, will you do the dishes? Because as far as I remember I have been washing dishes since the day I came back.” I arch my eyebrow questioningly at him.

“No, after a week also, only you will do the dishes.” He shrugs, “I hate doing dishes, so I am trying to be cruel and strict, by forcefully making you wash dishes.” He mimics evil laugh, “You are going to do dishes as a punishment not by your free will.”

“And this week it is twenty bucks, the money will increase after each week,” he says over his shoulder and returns to his room.

“You are not going to get twenty bucks or any money from me,” I yell, “this time,” I whisper, while scowling and walk outside the house, the only response I get from him is his mocking laugh.

Clutching my camera bag, I walk a little deep into the forest, my eyes scanning the area. Moonlight illuminating the forest, making it possible for me to walk on the human-made trail.

Keeping my eyes open for any kind of noise, I walk at a steady pace. Because as much I love to explore this place, I don’t want to become the victim of an animal attack. Although, I am sure the only animal I can find here... are some wild stupid teenagers.

My body goes in alert mode when I hear faint footsteps following me. Slowing my pace, I concentrate on the sound which is getting louder by every minute. When the footsteps almost stop, I turn around.

No punching...

No punching...

No punching...

I repeat in my mind like a mantra. Because I don’t want to lose my twenty bucks.

“Do you have a habit of roaming around the dark corners of the town?” Alec arches an eyebrow.

“What the fu-” I clench my eyes, trying to stop myself from cursing, “What the hell are you doing here?”

“Saw your car on the road, I thought maybe you need some help in burning somebody’s parts.” Corner of his mouth slightly twitches upward, “So, I came to help.” He shrugs and keeps his hands in his sweatpants pockets.

“So, where is the guy?” He juts out his chin, covering the small distance he stands beside me.

“Didn’t encounter any.” I shake my head, “Whenever I will, I will surely tell you.” I lightly laugh, but his expression turns serious.

“What are you doing here, anyway?” He asks, “It is not safe to wander around here, like this.” His tone is serious.

“Trying to find a werewolf.” I shift my camera bag on my other shoulder, “Precisely, an alpha.” I nod my head seriously.

“Did you find him?” He says playing along.

“No, searching for him, since the day I have turned sixteen.” I look down and sigh, “Two years still no sign of him. Maybe I will die, mateless.” I cough trying to stop my laugh.

“Maybe you are looking for him in the wrong places.” He raises his eyebrows.

Before I can reply, I almost jump in my place when I hear a barking sound.

“What happened?” He asks while trying to contain his laugh, “Your alpha is calling you.”

“That’s not a werewolf.” I glare at him, “That’s a freaking dog.” I look around in panic.

“You are afraid of dogs?” He asks following me, as I hurriedly walk in the direction of the road.

“No, I hate dogs!” I pick up a pace to reach my car soon.

I flinch when I hear a few more barks.

I don’t hate dogs, I am petrified of dogs!

“Relax, dogs are not here,” he calmly says, “I think that house owner has dogs.” He points towards the dimly lit house at the right.

I take a calming breath when I reach my car. There is another car beside mine, I suppose it is his.

“Now, will you tell me what are you actually doing here?” He crosses his arms and leans against my car.

“I came to take pictures of fireflies.” I raise my camera bag and sigh, “I haven’t seen any and Pops once told me that there are fireflies in the forest. So, whenever I get a chance I look for them, but until now I am unsuccessful.” I open my car door and put my bag inside the car.

“Haven’t your Pops told you it is not safe to go into the forest at night?”

“Yeah, he did.” I nod my head, “And I have already scared my eyes, by watching some drunk people going wild in the wild.” I make a face and laugh, he shakes his head in exasperation.

“What are you doing here?”

“I was coming back from the gym.” He tilts his head towards the opposite direction, “I saw a car, parked near the road, and stopped to check if everything is alright.”

“And here I thought, you are a stalker.” I laugh.

“Stalker?” He gives a small chuckle, “Why?”

“Most of the time, you somehow ended up where I go. It is almost like you are following me.” I shrug, “And even, that day you knew that I was not at home.” I recall our conversation, a few days ago, when I was at the cabin.

“All these things make you an ideal candidate for a perfect stalker.” I give him a fake glare.

“Let’s recall all our meetings.” He smiles and raises his first finger, “First time, you came to the Battleground and I was already there.” Then he raises his second finger, “Second, you were the one who rescued me.” The corner of his eyes crinkles with laughter like he is internally laughing on some inside joke.

“Third, you came to my house at the party.” He raises his third finger then keep his hand back in his pocket.

“And about that day, I heard you locking the door, then the sound of dry leaves.” He stomps his foot, on the ground, on dry leaves to make his point, “Then this sound.” He opens and closes my car door.

“I am just an observant person, Avery.” He looks at me, his gaze intense, “I can tell the difference when someone is having a sore throat or when they are crying,” he says giving me a pointed look.

I swallow and look away suddenly feeling uncomfortable.

“If you don’t want to tell me something, just say it.” He lightly touches my arm, making me turn my head to him, “But, please, do not lie because I will easily catch when you are lying. And I don’t like when someone lies to me, especially if that someone is my friend.”

“You are weird, you know that?” I give a nervous laugh.

“Less than you.” He smiles, calming my nervousness a bit.

It has been a few days since I and Alec have started talking, but it feels like we have been friends for a long time.

I jump up in fright when suddenly the dog barks, and this time the sound is much louder than before. He throws his head back and roars with laughter.

“Let me... ask you... again. Are you...afraid of dogs?” He asks in between his laughter while he rakes his hand through his hair.

“Yeah.” I nod my head and smile, watching him as he recovers from his laughing fit.

For some stupid reason, I didn’t mind at all that someone is laughing at my expense. He looks so carefree, just like he doesn’t have any kind of burden on his shoulders. His laugh feels so warm, that it makes me happy from inside. This is a similar kind of happiness which I feel when I watch Pops or Kris happy.

I think I actually made a new friend.

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