The Lives of Jame and Valeria

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The Twenty Second Chapter

"Who else?" Dallyn asks me. So far, we've made invitations for only a few people. Ramone/Mark, his wife, Ty, Connor, Tritt, Rachel, and Mayley. One of them is my cousin, so they'll probably come whether I invite them all or not.

"Uh, Jake and John. They're brothers that live together, so they only need one," I answer. "Ugh. Nevermind. Jake is moving with his wife. They need to be separate." Dallyn rips the card he had been writing on. Valeria and Alex come back in.

"Hey! What are you doing?" Valeria sits on the table in front of me.

"Making invites. Get off," I push her.

"Ooh! Invite the gang!" she jumps off and grabs a card.

"Got it!" Dallyn grabs another one.

"Who?" I ask, lost.

"Our college people. I told you, I have my people," she motions toward Alex and Dallyn.

"So, I got Heather and Ariana, Smith and Vance, and Jasmyn and whoever the hell she's with," Dallyn interrupts. "Who am I missing?"

"First, Jasmyn is single again. And, you're missing Connor," Alex answers.

"No he's not. I invited him," I declare. "Are all these people gay?"

"No. Jasmyn is bisexual, and Heather and Ariana are lesbian," Valeria and Alex leave upstairs.

"Who am I missing?!" Dallyn yells at their backs.

"Alec!" Alex yells back.

"Is he-"

"She's the only straight one in our group," Dallyn reads my mind.

"I was just getting used to you guys! And, no. She's not. You have Valeria," I smile.

"She's bisexual," he blows my mind.

"When are we sending these?" I get up.

"We aren't. You and Valerie haven't made a date."

"Great. If Valeria asks, I'll be at the track. She knows where that is." I leave.

No truck this time. I haven't ran since forever. It only takes a few minutes to reach my destination. The college. My past. Where I helped hurt Valeria.

I run to the track. It's occupied. There's a group in the middle of it. They all wear black sweatshirts and jeans. A boy holds a knife. The group is in a circle. A girl is in the middle. I get closer, still unnoticed. The girl in the middle has the same clothes, only ruined. Ripped and muddy. Her face is streaked with mud and tears.

"I can't do this anymore. I have to move," she sobs.

"You know too much. We told you once you were in, there was no leaving. We can't trust you with our knowledge," a boy tells her.

"Please. You don't have to do this," she tries to run, but is shoved back to the middle.

"You don't do it, we will. Choose," the boy offers her the knife. She takes it. Just as I'm about to have to stop her, she throws the knife as far as she can.

"Just let me go. Please," she continues. One member of the group runs and grabs the knife. The boy takes it again.

"You'll regret that," he grabs her shoulder and presses the knife to the side of her neck.

"Hey!" I call. They turn towards me. The girl takes the opportunity to run. Someone else tackles her.

"What do you want?" the leader and I walk forward.

"She's right. Don't do this. I used to be in your place. Stop this while you can," I reach for my gun.

"Do you know nothing?! I can't just stop. If I do, I'll be killed," he stands in front of me.

"By who?" I unbutton my holster.

"I can't tell you that," he moves behind me and grabs my gun before I can react. "I can tell you that you won't live to see another day."

"Can you also tell me your name?"

"No. Bring Alice to me!" he yells at the group.

Two of his minions bring Alice forward and let go. The boy pulls her against his chest.

"Please," she pleads.

"I didn't want to do this. Truly. I liked you," he presses my gun to her right temple.

Three, two, one, now.

He pulls the trigger.

"Get me my knife!" he orders after realizing that my gun is unarmed.

"I guess I forgot to reload it," I smile. He drops Alice and hits me with my own gun. One of his minions ties my hands and throw me on the ground.

"Stay still. It'll all be over soon," the boy grabs his knife from a girl and leans down to Alice.

"Please. Don't do this," she tries to back away. He grabs her throat.

"He'll have to go, too," he motions to me. I press my button. Ty comes in just a matter of seconds.

"What the hell did you do this time?!" Ty points a rifle at the boy.

"I'm just a witness. I promise," I answer.

"Back away from the girl," Ty demands. The boy obeys. Ty takes Alice's hand and pulls her behind him.

"What did she do to you?" Ty asks the boy as Alice takes his phone. She makes a call.

"She's quitting. She knows too much to quit," the boy explains.

"Well, you're not going to kill all three of us, are you?"

"I will if I have to," he throws the knife, hitting Alice's forearm.

"Gah!" she falls into Ty. He shoots the rifle at me, only cutting the cord on my hands, then helps Alice. I pin the boy on the ground. His minions only back away. Ty multitasks, calling the police and healing Alice.

"I hope you like questions. I always used to get tired of them. Good luck," I tell the boy. The police take the boy, an ambulance takes Alice, and Valeria comes to pick me up. When she does, she sees the girl.

"Oh my God, Alice!"

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