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The foundation series bo.., p.12
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       The Foundation Series Box Set, p.12

           Kira Adams

  “Peyton…” He grabbed for my arm and I shook him off violently.

  “Go the fuck home Jace.” I walked deeper into the cave, hoping he would take the hint.

  “No,” he shot back, barely above a whisper.

  “No?” I asked, testing him. I turned around, fire in my eyes. “Get the fuck out of my life, Jace.”

  We were closer than ever before; the tension rising with each word. “No,” he repeated.

  It was a blur. I’m not sure who made the first move, but our lips were on each other’s before another word could be uttered. With each brush of our lips, the tension grew. Jace threw me against the hard wall of the cave, kissing me hungrily. I was gasping for breath, the moment more intense than I could have ever imagined.

  His warm breath in my mouth was driving me all sorts of crazy. Jace is kissing me! I never in a million years expected this outcome.

  I moaned when he pulled my long brown hair gently, before lowering his lips to my neck. There was no stopping us. The chemistry unlike anything I had ever felt before. I reached my hands under his damp black tank, rubbing them all over his nicely sculpted abs.

  His hands were making their way up and down my exposed skin, leaving a trail of goose bumps in their wake. My breath was coming out staggered and stilted. It was not an exaggeration that he was making me feel things I had never even imagined before, and it felt good.

  He went to reach his hands underneath my shirt, when I stopped him abruptly. “What’s wrong?” He asked, still breathless.

  To tell Jace that I was uncomfortable with my new body because of my excess skin during a steamy make-out session was not on my agenda. Plus, I had been waiting for this moment for too long; I wanted to savor as much of it as possible.

  The moment was cut short when we heard a female’s voice. “Oh, I’m sorry…” It was Olivia.

  Jace scrambled to pull himself away from me as if to save face. “Olivia!” He went running after her, leaving me alone in the darkness of the cave. It was too good to be true, it always is, I thought to myself as I ran my fingers through my hair to tame it and began the trek back to the bonfire.

  Eleven: The Devil Inside of Him was a Terrifying Monster.

  Falling Backwards

  Screams in pain

  Fingernails dig into the walls

  One step backwards

  And I lose it all

  Running fast

  Towards total blackness

  Falling backwards

  Into the nothingness

  The following morning I awoke to multiple text messages from Jace apologizing for letting it go so far the night before and letting me know he was confused. He explained that he had casually been seeing Olivia since the night of the Formal and that he really did like her and thought that their relationship deserved a fair shot. He explained how all of their friends hung out together and how he worried it would disrupt the flow if he didn’t at least give it a fair try.

  I didn’t bother responding. I knew how I felt about Jace. I knew how I felt about us together. It wasn’t going to make any difference telling him, because after the previous night, he knew it too. The rest of the beach trip did not supply the necessary rest and relaxation I had been hoping for. It had the complete opposite effect, especially with my friends constantly talking about Jace and Olivia.

  It had been a week since I had returned home from my terrible vacation. And surprisingly because of the drama that had ensued while there, I had dropped another seven pounds. I was now down to a weight of 140. The entire beach trip my friends and family had attempted to get me in the water---but the thought of wearing a bathing suit terrified me. My extra skin was becoming more noticeable and I was terrified of being judged.

  Colton had been reaching out here and there, still wanting to speak in person. He had fallen head over heels for me, but his predicament was leaving him understandably torn. I didn’t want to see him; having to be slapped in the face with the reality of Tara’s pregnancy could be the one thing to make me go flying over the edge. I was barely hanging on by a string…I just wanted to move past both guys and forget them altogether. It was not going to be an easy feat seeing as I was being hounded by texts from the two of them.

  Jace still wanted to be friends; fucking friends. After being so physically close with him I couldn’t imagine not being able to kiss him again. The thought tore me apart. Being friends with him sounded like the worst kind of torture.

  Colton still wanted to see me in person; his persistence obviously due to his growing guilt and confusion. I wanted to find a shut off button for all of it.

  It was a slow couple of weeks for the band, but I kept my mind preoccupied working at my new job, retail at a children’s clothing store. I had bonded fairly quickly with another girl around my age, Saturn, and we had planned to meet up at the movie theatre across the street from our job site after I finished my shift for the night. After locking the doors and wishing my supervisor a safe drive home, I began the short walk to the theatre. It was one I had done millions of times in the past with friends.

  I felt my phone vibrate through my purse and pulled it out swiftly, swiping my usual password on the screen to unlock it. It was a text message from a number I didn’t recognize. So you’ve switched completely over to contacts? I like it. I glanced at the number over and over again hoping to recognize it somehow. It was a local number, but I had never remembered seeing it before.

  Who is this? I wrote back, still walking.

  I was at the stop light between the mall I worked at and the movie theatre, waiting at the crosswalk, when my phone went off again. I pulled it out of my purse and opened the newest message from the mysterious number. Guess.

  I sighed loudly to myself not wanting to play this game. Because of my popularity growth over the past few months, I had been receiving tons of texts from peers wanting a piece of my fame. It could be anyone for all I knew. I had just worked six hours; I wasn’t in the mood to play the guessing game. I put my phone back in my purse when the walk signal blinked.

  It was the strangest feeling, but I couldn’t help turning around and looking back multiple times as I made it across, the feeling of eyes burning into the back of my skull brought goose bumps all over my arms. The theatre was unusually empty as it was a Tuesday night. I bought my ticket for The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones and then waited for Saturn to arrive. After fifteen minutes of glancing around wondering where she was, I finally texted her. Girl, where are you? The movie starts in five minutes!

  I looked around and decided maybe Saturn had already taken a seat in the theatre. I walked into the theatre, and besides a couple seated in the first row and a few others scattered around, it was bare. I squinted my eyes, attempting to see if any of them were my coworker. I gave up shortly after and just sat down in one of the middle rows. The movie was just beginning; I pulled my phone out to make sure it was still on vibrate and see if Saturn had texted me back. Sure enough, there was a text from her when I lit up my screen. Oh my God girl! I am so, so, sorry! I totally forgot. Brad’s parents took us out to sushi and I just saw your text message. Can we reschedule? I’m a terrible friend!

  Figures; I threw my iPhone back into my purse and focused my attention on the movie. The theatre went dark as the opening credits began to play. I was trying to watch the movie, but the constant vibration from my phone would not let up. I pulled it out irritated, before seeing multiple texts from the same unknown number. You should have told me you were going to the movies, we could have come together. Chills ran through my entire body. I glanced around through the darkness, looking for anyone else on their phone. The few people that were in the theatre, their faces were not illuminated enough for me to recognize them. I switched my focus back to the disturbing texts. The next one read, I never took you for a mall employee. Now I was extra freaked out, but frozen in place from fear.

  Quickly I began typing a group text message to all of my close friends and acquaintances. Are you at the thea
tre messing with me? It didn’t take long for the texts to come pouring in asking what the hell I was talking about and if I needed help. Jace and Colton replied almost instantaneously.

  I opened Colton’s first. No, I’m at home. Are you okay? I didn’t bother responding before moving onto Jace’s.

  No, I’m not at the movies. What are you seeing?

  City of Bones, I replied to Jace’s text. I got stood up.

  I had lost all interest in the movie because of the constant influx of text messages coming through, but I had paid over ten dollars to see it and I damn well intended to make the most of my money!

  Damn, I’m sorry. Anyone I know? I can beat them up for you. His text made me smile. I was sad Olivia got to experience all of him…and not me.

  No, a new coworker…she stood me up for her BF. I can’t compete lol.

  Jace had almost helped me forget the mystery number altogether when it buzzed through with a text message again. What’s the matter? You shy?

  I shook off the jitters from the text message, quickly deciding I was willing to eat the ten dollars. I just wanted to get as far away from this mystery texter as possible. Before I stood up to head out of the theatre, I copied the unfamiliar phone number and pasted it into my conversation with Jace. Do you know whose number this is?

  I stood up and began to exit the way I came in; glancing back at the filled seats, attempting to find the perpetrator. I had just exited the doors when I felt my phone go off again. How do you have that number?

  I just started receiving texts from that number today. You know who it is?

  I was waiting at the stoplight when another text from the mystery number came through to my phone. Where did you run off to so quick?

  Now I was shaking. I almost didn’t wait for the crosswalk to change, I just wanted to get to my car and drive home immediately. I was half way across the street when I grabbed my phone out of my purse and dialed Jace’s number. “Hello?” He answered on the first ring.

  “Look, I know I said some things the last time we talked that were unwarranted, but this isn’t funny anymore. If you know who is texting me, I need to know now. This person knows where I work, what I am wearing, what movie I was in, Jace…I’m scared,” I was speaking in such a rushed tone I had to gulp air at the end of my sentence.

  “Peyton, where are you?” Jace’s voice had suddenly taken on a more serious tone.

  Before I had a chance to respond, I felt the sensation of a warm breath on my neck. My hairs were standing on end. I turned around slowly, still muted by fear. I was looking up at my crush’s doppelganger, his twin. “Jax…” was all I could get out before I dropped the phone and took off in a sprint. I could faintly hear Jace’s voice from the receiver screaming my name as I ran the opposite way. I could hear his heavy footsteps behind me. I was smaller now, but definitely not faster.

  I felt him reach for me, his arms grasping at my sides, but I wrestled free, still screaming. “Help! Help me!” But suddenly a sharp pain took over my nose and face when I realized he had elbowed me violently, sending me plummeting to the ground with a loud thud. It knocked the wind out of me. I was coughing and sputtering everywhere trying to find my breath again.

  “Peyton, Peyton, Peyton…” He said, shaking his head from side to side. I was squirming on the ground, grasping at the pavement, attempting to crawl away. “You ruined my life—you know that?”

  I was swallowing so loudly, it was difficult to hear anything. My mind was racing a mile a minute. Think Peyton, think.

  “What? No rebuttal this time?” He egged me on. “So unlike you…”

  I was almost able to stand again when I felt a blow to my side. I fell over instantly, crying out loudly in pain. Jax had kicked me with the most unbelievable strength. I would be surprised if he hadn’t managed to break a few of my ribs.

  I was gasping for breath, still massaging the area he had kicked when his merciless blue eyes came into my vision. He used his leg to turn me over so I was now lying on my back. He’s going to kill me. The thought made my veins run cold.

  “You have no idea how long I’ve waited for this…” He wiped his nose with the back of his hand, a menacing smile taking over his face.

  Jax was standing over me; his appearance so deceiving. A face I had grown to love over the years, but the devil inside him a terrifying monster. The last thing I saw was his foot coming down towards my face, and then darkness.

  Twelve: She was Studying Me Like I was a Fragile Toy About to Break any Second.

  True Life-After Death

  Come towards the light, my dear

  No pain, no guilt, no fears

  Everything you’ve believed

  And now you finally see

  No need to choose a side

  Black-black or white-white

  We’re all together

  In the after-life

  My eyes fluttered open, slowly. Everything was blurry, my ears were ringing, and I was in excruciating pain. I attempted to look around, but was unable to move my neck. I began recounting the last things I could remember. I was at the Children’s Place, my part time job, and then I was supposed to meet up with Saturn at the movies.

  “Don’t try to move. You were in a car accident. Do you know your name?” Nurses with clipboards surrounded my bed.

  I nodded lightly, opening my mouth to speak, my throat excruciatingly dry. “Peyton.”

  “Okay good, your parents are on their way. Just sit tight and relax.” The nurse in the bright pink scrubs lightly touched my shoulder then turned on her heel and exited with the rest of them, leaving me alone, or so I thought. I hadn’t noticed before, but now I clearly saw the outline of a figure sitting in the chair alongside my hospital bed. I tried to adjust my eyes, but gave up quickly, as I had no energy.

  “Hey,” the voice whispered, and I heard the chair scrape across the floor as he slid in closer.

  “Jace?” I asked weakly.

  “Shhh. Save your energy.” He stroked my hair gently.

  Of course I was dying to know how Jace even knew I was in a car accident, before my parents, and here, but he was right. I was tired. I nestled my head into his hand and drifted back off to sleep.

  * * *

  “Shhh…she’s waking up.”

  My eyes slowly opened, attempting to make out the blurry figures.

  “Honey, can you hear me? We’re all here. You’re going to be okay.” It was my mother; her soothing voice always gave me comfort. I could feel her stroking my hair, and I looked up weakly at her.

  “You don’t have to talk. We just wanted you to know we are here,” my father’s voice stated from behind her.

  I nodded, faintly, attempting to sit up. “Ouch.” I winced after putting pressure on what was supposed to be my healed arm.

  “Whoa, slow your roll there tiger, you were just in a car accident,” I heard my sister’s boyfriend remark smartly.

  I couldn’t help but smile back at him. He could make me laugh even in the worst times. “Where’s Kayleigh?” I asked, when she was nowhere in sight.

  “She went to get some coffee, we’ve been here for a while,” Bentley replied.

  After a coughing spell took me over and my mother supplied me with water, I finally felt strong enough to continue talking. “How long have I been out?” I searched my parents’ faces for an answer.

  “About twenty four hours,” my mother responded. “The police have been waiting to speak to you.”

  “The police?” I asked, anxiety rising in my chest. “Why would they want to talk to me?”

  My father took a step closer to my hospital bed. “They just have some questions to go over with you about the accident.”

  “I don’t remember the accident.” It was true—I had no recollection of being in a car whatsoever; it was a powerless and terrifying feeling.

  My mother grabbed my hand in hers then. “Everything is going to be alright sweetheart. Just answer their questions to the best of your ability.”
r />   I nodded hesitantly back at her. My hospital door opened and in walked Kayleigh. “Oh my God, you’re awake!” She ran to my side instantly. “Why didn’t anyone call me?”

  Bentley interjected, “It just happened babe.”

  “How are you feeling?” She asked gently.

  “My head hurts,” I whined.

  “You got a concussion from the accident. You flew through the windshield. Don’t you remember?” Kayleigh asked, a concerned look spreading over her face.

  I shook my head lightly. “I don’t remember anything.”

  “We should let her get her rest,” my mother interjected suddenly. “The police will want to speak with her soon.”

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