I'm so sorry this has been so long. I have been so busy I didn't think I would continue, but you can thank the wonderful people that have reviewed and more specifically the wonderful people who have messaged me asking for more. I couldn't just leave them hanging! This is for them. It's kind of short, but I'm trying to get back into writing this, so I tried my best! More to come!
As soon as forth period started to drag on, a loud, screeching beep made Haylie jump. The fire alarm. The kids stood up and started to leave the classroom for outside while the teacher tried to get them to stay in a line. The students clumped together with their friends as they went down the hall and out the glass and metal doors to the field outside. Haylie gripped the strap of her bag and started to wring it in her hands. She walked cautiously and her eyes scanned her surroundings. Her uneasy feeling had heightened with the fire alarm, but it was probably just because the sudden sound had scared her, she tried to reason.
Haylie walked to the field and stood with the kids from her class while the teacher followed protocol and did the attendance. When that was over the classes started to expand and mix as the student walked to their friends. There was a crowd of students around her and Haylie scanned them, not knowing what it was she was looking for.
"He wants you to come with me."
She heard the voice in her ear, then it was only the hard slamming of her own heart. Her entire body beat with her own pulse. Her jaw fell and her eyes widened. She heard the words, knew what they meant, but somehow they didn't make sense. "What?" Her voice was an out of breath whisper. She turned to the man who had spoken the words. He was built like a young athlete and could easily overpower her, but his face seemed much older. His eyes were crazed and wide, as if someone had scared him and his eyes had stuck in a permanent state of wild paranoia. His eyes alone were enough to completely unsettle her.
"He wants you to come with me or the boyfriend and his brothers go," his voice was smooth and calm, it was only his words that were crazy.
"What are you talking about?" Haylie's mind instantly fogged, 'the boyfriend and his brothers' flooded her mind. Colt, Rocky, and Tum Tum were all here, if he could get to her he could get to them too.
"He said the brother's would die first and then the boyfriend will die."
It was enough to knock the wind out of her, to almost send her to her knees. She bent almost doubling over. "You can't do that," said her panting whisper voice.
His voice showed emotion for the first time as the words angrily came out of his mouth, "He can do anything! Don't ever think that he can't do what he says!" He seemed to instantly calm down once he spoke those words, "He has people like me on them, the boyfriend and his brothers. He said that if you don't come with me the brothers would die first and then the boyfriend will die."
He repeated the words as if they meant nothing, as if they weren't painfully repeating in her mind. "Who? Who said that?"
"I have to go now. I'm taking too long. Come with me or the boyfriend and his brothers will die." He turned his back to her and started walking.
Haylie didn't even think about it. She followed the man through the crowd. In her mind there was no choice – either she goes or they die. It was a choice that required no thought. She had not promised Colt that she would protect him, she had promised herself she would. And damn if she would break that promise.
Mr. Douglas pulled up to the school to see kids everywhere. The worry pierced further into his gut, something could easily happen to one of the hundreds of kids standing around outside without anyone noticing. But reason reminded him that schools have drills like these all the time.
Mr. Douglas turned to see Colt walking towards him.
"Why are you here?"
"It's nothing son, I just have to talk to someone. Go back with your class."
Colt saw the worry in his father's demeanor and his own brow creased in confusion, "What happened?"
A bell rang and all of the kids started to filter back inside. Mr. Douglas's started to get frustrated, his own temper kicking in. "Listen," he put his hand on Colt's shoulder, "you don't need to worry about anything. Just go back to your class." He turned to walk into the building through all of the kids.
"If I don't need to worry about it then why are you?"
His father looked at him with anger, but Colt talked before he had the chance, "Tell me your being here has nothing to do with Rocky, Tum, or Haylie and I'll go back to class."
Mr. Douglas looked at his son standing in front of him with a serious expression on his face. He sighed and Colt knew he had won.
Rocky was standing with a group of friends when the drill ended. He was carrying on a conversation with his friend Grace as they walked back into the school when they were interrupted by Grace's boyfriend. "Isn't that your mom?"
Rocky thought he was talking to Grace but looked anyway, only to see his mom walking towards the school.
"Why is she here?" Grace asked.
Rocky sighed, "Either my little brother got in a fight or my little, little brother is throwing up." He looked at Grace and saw her sympathetic smile. "I'm going to go find out which one it is."
Rocky walked to his mother's side, "So who are you here for?"
Jessica jumped and put a hand to her chest. Rocky saw that his mother was on edge and was immediately concerned. "Mom what's wrong? Are you okay?"
She smiled at him, "Yes Rocky I'm fine. I'm just a little tense I guess."
"Colt and Tum?"
She saw the worry on Rocky's face. "No they're fine too. Your father found out something new about Haylie's case and I just came to be with her when he told her."
"What is it? Is she in danger?" Rocky was still worried and was focused only on his mother, ignoring the sea of students walking around them to get back into their classes.
She sighed, "I hope not."
Rocky pondered it for a moment. "Come on, let's go find her. Or dad."
They made it to the office to find Mr. Douglas and Colt already there. "What are you guys doing here?" Colt asked not so politely.
"Same thing you are," Rocky shot back.
"Jessica I told you I was just going to talk to her. There is no reason to make a big deal out of this."
"Out of what?" Colt demanded.
"I know, but I couldn't not be here for her if she needed me. What if this scares her?"
"If what scares her?" Colt yelled.
Tum Tum walked with a couple of his friends past the half glass walls of the main office. He looked in to surprisingly find his entire family. Confused he left his friends without a word and opened the office door. "Are we leaving?" he asked optimistically.
The family turned and stared at Tum Tum for a moment. "What?" he questioned.
Colt scoffed, "If they tell you be sure to let me know."
"Can I help you?" the young secretary yelled from her seat behind the desk.
Mr. Douglas was the first to shake off the family's slight confrontation. "Yes," he took out his badge and showed the secretary, "I'm Agent Douglas and I have to talk to a student about a case."
She looked bored, "Is someone in trouble?"
"No, but actually could you tell me if that was a scheduled drill?"
She looked at the computer and started playing with the mouse as if it was more interesting, "No someone pulled it in the hallway." She looked at him again, "And no there wasn't an actual fire."
Mr. Douglas stood frozen for a moment, the worry that he hadn't realized had left him came back on him with full force. "Really? I need to speak with Haylie Corren."
The secretary drummed her long, fake fingernails on her desk, her eyes looked him up and down. Then she cocked her head in a movement that radiated attitude, "Is that your family?"
He looked back at his family standing a few steps behind him. "Yes."
She gave them a smile that read, 'I'm superior.' "Okay well I'm not about to call down a girl so her boyfriend's "agent father" ' she made the air quotes with her fingers, "can take her out of school. Okay?" she gave the same sickly sweet smile.
Mr. Douglas was taken aback by the attitude of the secretary, but it was something that could easily be dealt with. He opened his mouth to throw out the words, "arrest for hindering a police investigation" but his wife was quicker.
"Excuse me but your attitude is going to get you in trouble one day and that girl's mother is away and she is living in my house and eating the food that I put on the table and no one is going to deny me the right to see any of the children that are living in my house so either you call her or I'll go get her myself." Her tone was clearly one of a mother protecting a child and even the secretary with all the attitude was not ready to go against it. She turned to the computer, her fingers flying over the keys.
Mrs. Douglas's sons stood behind her with huge grins on their faces. "All right mom!" Tum Tum applauded.
Locating the class that Haylie should be in, the secretary hit the button for the intercom. It buzzed and a teacher answered promptly. "Yes?"
"Could you send Haylie Corren to the office please?" the secretary said into the microphone.
The voice of the teacher could be heard through the speaker box, "I sent the notice to the office, she didn't come back from the drill."
It was like a knife in the heart for the Douglas family, who all stood in the office with different reactions.
Colt's hands curled into fists and he slammed his way out of the office and school. The family ran after him, with a mix of worry for Haylie and fear of what Colt would do. Mr. and Mrs. Douglas along with Rocky ran towards Colt. He was there, in flesh and emotion, someone they knew how to take care of, Haylie's present fate was uncertain, but they knew they could take care of Colt and then deal with the missing Haylie.
Mr. Douglas grabbed his son by the arm and spun him around. His own feelings of worry not surfacing as much as the typical frustration he had at his angry son. The current extraordinary circumstances had dissipated when he saw Colt tense like a snake ready to strike and storm out of the room. It had made him remember all the times Colt had gotten angry, with or without a valid reason, and stormed out, shutting out his family. Shutting out his father. This made him not much more than simply frustrated and slightly angry. So when he spun Colt around, he was ready to let him know what he felt.
"Colt! You-" He stopped, momentarily shocked by what he saw. Colt's eyes weren't glazed in an impenetrable anger, his jaw wasn't clenched in an unyielding tension, and his mouth didn't lash out in an unforgiving bitterness. Mr. Douglas stared at the son he had a hold of. Twinges of aggravation flashed in his eyes and his clenched fists, but the emotion that was winning control of Colt's features was worry, he was afraid.
"Dad," his worried voice pleaded with his father, "We have to find her. We can't let anything happen to her."
Mr. Douglas came out of shock after his son's plea. He nodded his head, "We will," his other hand found its way to Colt's arm in a reassuring embrace, "We'll find her Colt. I promise."
Rocky and Mrs. Douglas were close behind Mr. Douglas, not noticed. They had stood back watching, ready to further reassure Colt, but it had not been necessary. Tum Tum however, had found something else that was worth his time. Since the rest of his family had went to Colt, Tum Tum decided to look for Haylie. The fire drill had lasted a little while, but Haylie might still be close by. He had scanned the front of the school where his family had run out, then did a quick scan of the parking lot. Nothing seem odd or out of place. Walking around the side of the school, Tum Tum stared across the large field used for various sports practices and gym classes. There was a road along the other side of it, and as Tum Tum searched for Haylie or anything he could find, his attention was caught by a small figure walking away from the road and towards the bleachers.
"Haylie?" he questioned aloud as he squinted into the distance. He started running across the field and the closer he got the more it seemed like he had found what he was looking for. "Haylie!" he yelled in excitement. The girl sat on the bleachers and Tum Tum smiled as he neared her. He didn't notice her huddle into herself, her quickened breaths, or her slightly widened eyes. With a smile he stopped beside her and grabbed her shoulder, "Hay-"
He was met by a scream. Haylie body jolted at his unexpected touch. She jumped and moved away from him, falling from her seat onto the metal board below. Her eyes were the picture of terror and her breathing could hardly be called so.
"Haylie?" Tum Tum was terrified in his worry, "It's just me."
"Tum?" Haylie calmed and stared at him, evening her breaths before she threw her arms around him.