Emma

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5_ St. Valentine

Emma rocks forth and back in the rocking chair as Maxmillian takes sips from the soda can.

"You have a lovely home," says Max looking around and eventually halting at her face.

"I know, thanks." She looks at him skeptically and adds, "So, what brings you here?"

He smiles at her. "I just missed you, that's it."

She narrows her eyes at him. "This is not the first time we are meeting, I know you better. You won't come unless there is something."

He sighs defeatedly and says, "How do you do that? God!"

She raises a brow. "Well?"

He licks his lips and places the can on the table before resuming. "Mom kicked me out."

Emma freezes. "What?"

He grimaces. "Yeah."

"What did you do?"

"I smoked some weed that my friends gave me and threw up in the backyard."

She purses her lips. "That is not the case. She won't do that for puking in the backyard. Dude, what did you do?"

He scratches his head and blurts out, "I tried to kiss Markus's girlfriend because I was drunk and we got in a fight."

She waits. "Yeah?"

"I smashed a beer glass against his head and he's in hospital with a broken leg and a head bandage."

She nods. "I did throw up too but it's in Martha's car. She's mad at me for that and she broke my laptop."

Emma scrunches her nose. "Damn."

"Mmhm, so I came to ask you if I could stay with you until I find a place."

"Yeah sure."

He looks at her with an astounded expression.

"You serious?"

"Yeah man, you're my bud. You can stay. Come on, let's go for a road trip."

He blinks. "That was quick," he murmurs to himself and grabs his jacket.

"Let me go change," he says and runs into her house.

After a long 5 minutes, she comes back wearing brown boots which appreciates her beautiful long legs.

Her hair in a loose, messy braid and a sun hat on her head.

A dark blue tanktop rounding off her light complexion and a red flannel over it, paired with shorts.

"Wow, you look bomb sis."

She smiles and waves at him dismissively. "Let's go."

She opens her garage and to her surprise, she sees Max gaping at her hot bad-boy. "Like him?"

"He's........ Oh my, I never knew you were a bad-boy type."

She grins. "Now you know."

He walks around it, appreciating its bold black paint and its tires.

"Can I please drive this boy?" He pleads with puppy eyes, pouting like a little kid.

She thinks for a moment and says, "This Ranger Raptor is a really expensive thing so I need you to be careful."

He squeals. "So........ Is that a Yes?"

She smiles and throws him the key which he catches gracefully.

"Good catch!" she says in wow.

He winks at her and they jump aboard.

He turns on the ignition, the car roars into life.

"I'm having goosebumps."

She laughs. "Let's get him on the road."

He revved with full force and shouts, "Oh yeah! Woohooo!!"

"Max," she calls in a warning tone.

"Sorry," he says and drives off into the road where it moved smoothly and Emma couldn't be any more proud of her Ford Ranger Raptor.

The beast is in a good shape and she's happy that she serviced it on time.

She turns on the music and it starts playing Sexy back by Justin Timberlake.

They start singing along with it as they start to feel the mood.

Come here girl (go 'head be gone with it)
Come to the back (Go 'head be gone with it)
VIP (go 'head be gone with it)
Drinks on me (Go 'head be gone with it)
Let me see what you're twerking with (go 'head be gone with it)
Look at those hips (go 'head be gone with it)
You make me smile (Go 'head be gone with it)
Go 'head child (go 'head be gone with it)
And, get your sexy on (go 'head be gone with it)
Get your sexy on (go 'head be gone with it)

The next song starts quickly after it ends and she starts to wonder why all these music is being played when there's some pop, country music.

We'll never get free
Lamb to the slaughter
What you gon' do
When there's blood in the water?

The price of your greed
Is your son and your daughter
What you gon' do
When there's blood in the water?

Look me in my eyes
Tell me everything's not fine
Or the people ain't happy
And the river has run dry

You thought you could go free
But the system is done for
If you listen real closely
There's a knock at your front door

She quickly recognizes this song as Blood in the water by Grandson.

She remembers this song being played at a Halloween party while they were in college.

Why is this song being played? This is such dark music.

She abruptly turns it off. Max looks at her. "Everything ok?"

She hugs herself. "Yeah, I'm fine. The music just got a little murderous out there."

"I have a girlfriend."

Emma pauses for a moment and turns to look at him. "So what?"

He smiled sarcastically. "She is engaged."

She narrows her eyes at him. "I don't see a ring on your finger."

He swallows hard and says, "She's engaged to somebody else."

She gapes at him. "What in the world are you saying right now?"

"I need your support in helping her escape."

She pulls an odd expression and yells, "Are you insane? I'm already in a lot of trouble and you are asking me to- ugh!"

She throws her hands in the air and sighs looking down at her legs.

Why is trouble following me?

He pulls over the car at the side of the road and takes her hands in his, looking straight into her eyes.

"Sis, please. I love her and she feels the same way too. You've always been the St. Valentine of our family, won't you do this for me?"

She sighs and looks ahead. She sees a lonely kitten walking across the silent road, disappearing into the bush.

Where is the mother? Is she abandoned or was it orphaned?

"Earth to Sky," he waves his hand in front of her face and looks back at him with a surprised expression.

"You were saying?"

He clears his throat. "We go there tonight and you'll be my getaway driver. I know how good you are at driving and you are my soul sister. So......." He trails off hoping that she will understand and fill in.

"So....... I will ask you if this will be worth it?"

He blinks. "Ugh, what?"

"Are you sure that she loves you? Like, supa-sure?"

"I'm 100% sure about it."

She nods. "Ok, good."

He smiles and throws his arms around Emma, pulling her into a bear hug.

"Thank you so much, sissy, you are the best."

"I've been hearing that for the last 21 years and I don't think I'll ever get bored of it." She laughs.

Maxmillian's eyes twinkle. "No seriously Sky, I don't know how to thank you. You-- you've been there for me, like, always."

She flashes him a warm smile and pats his shoulder.

"You'll find a way. Eventually."

He breathes in with contentment and asks, "Can we get some ice cream?"

She chuckled. "I was hoping you'd say that."

They drive to the ice cream parlor and order their favorite and have them while chatting a bit.

Soon, they head back home. Emma helps her brother in taking the bags and unpack and settle in his room.

She looks around and then remembers one thing. "Oh and......"

He turns around giving her his complete attention and looks at her expectantly.

She continues, "This is one of my homes. I live in New York. I was looking for a job here and bought a house here, in Los Angeles."

"Yeah?"

She sucks in her lips and scratches her head. "I was saying that you can stay as long as I am here in California. But if I get a job offer somewhere else, you'll have to move out from here. Find a place soon, alright?"

He nods with a smile. "Sure."

A few hours later, they get done unpacking his stuff and settles on the sofa to watch a movie.

She clicks away from the movie to the movie and finally stops at The Lazarus Effect.

"Ooh, horror movie. I'm ready, click it already Sky!" cheers Max jumping beside her on the sofa.

"Hey hey calm down." She laughs and he sits calmly but nibbles on his fingernail

She gasps. "Wait a second, How did you know where to find me in the first place?"

He chuckles. "You're asking me about it now?"

Her lips form a straight line.

"Alright," he sighs. "Emily sent me Sarah's address and drove from New Jersey to Los Angeles. I was starting to turn in the house's direction when I saw you storming out of the house and driving away very violently. So I followed you to the cemetery and overheard you mentioning that you wish I was there with you. By a great coincidence, I was standing right behind you."

She nods processing everything in and smiles. "Ok then, we shall watch the movie now."

"Thank god that's over", he mutters under his breath but she catches him.

"I heard that, you little creep."

He clenches his teeth together and scratches his neck, blushing a little. "Oops."

The movie reaches the middle part when her phone rings from upstairs.

She whines. "Goddamnit. Pause the movie, will you? I'll be right back."

He nods and pauses while she ran upstairs to take the phone but the connection cuts off and she picks it up.

Unknown ID.

Who is that? She thinks and calls them back.

The person at the other end quickly answers as if they were waiting for it.

"Hello?"

"Sky, don't believe him. He killed my daughter."

"I'm sorry, who is this?"

"There's no time. Don't let it happen whatever you are going to do. He's gonna do the same to you too."

"Pardon me? Is this a prank call? Who are you?"

"Sky, I'm Sam--"

And the connection failed again.
"Hello? Hello?"

She looks at the screen as she shakes her head.

Emma tries to call back but it says the person's phone is switched off.

She grimaces and walks towards the stairs and waits.

"Max! I told you to pause and wait for me!!" She screams and tries to skip a step and jump to the other but misses a step and trips.

"Aaaaaahhhh!!" She cries out at the top of her lungs as she rolls down the stairs.

She hits her head on the rail and breaks her nose.

Her visions start dimming as she feels a metallic liquid flowing into her mouth.

"Max," she calls out quietly before her eyes started feeling heavy.

And the last thing she sees is her brother running towards her with open arms as her vision evaporates into nothing but darkness.
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