I just wanna apologize cuz i havent uploaded or anything in forever! But I was grounded and well... you know how that goes!
But thankfully, in the two weeks that I was punished, I was able to write chapter five and half of chapter six! As well as one new oneshot and the second part of Missing! So, check those out :D
Enjoy and please review!
She had to admit that she almost fell for it.
This cruel illusion that she had been thrown into by her subconscious, torturing her in the worst possible way.
Tall ancient trees surrounded her all around, towering over her and casting a dark shadow, hiding her from the bright sun overhead. A white blanket of snow covered the ground and the bare branches of the trees creaked against its weight. Her feet padded heavily and softly against the soft snow, marking her steps with a deep print.
She could hear the sound of blades slicing through ice floating among the trees, and she turned to find herself at an entrance of a large clearing.
A small figure moved far out in the clearing, spinning and jumping. And looking down, Haydelynn noticed that she had stepped onto thick ice, her shoes slipping out as she struggled to find balance. The figure didn't seem to notice her enter the ice, for she kept gracefully gliding among it, spinning fast as she held herself straight and perfect.
She watched in awe as the figure skated from one side of the frozen pond to the other, hopping and jumping, spinning and landing. Dark curls blew out from under her black knit cap, cascading around her face with every jump and spin, large brown eyes lighting up when she landed perfectly once again.
She immediately recognized the face of the young ice skater, and her heart dropped.
The skater lifted herself gracefully off of the ground once more, her arms coming in and tightly crossing over her chest to gain momentum as she turned her body quickly to the side, and Haydelynn watched with sad eyes as the girl spun quickly over and over again, her hair flying out behind her, a small smile forming on her lips as she finally came down, hitting the ice under her violently.
And just like that…
It all seemed to happen so fast. One second, Haydelynn was watching the girl twirl and hop, and the next, the ice broke under the skater and she fell into the freezing water without being able to process what was going on.
Emerald green flashed bright in the darkness as she forced her eyes open, and she refused to close them again, deciding to just stare up at the blackness that surrounded them, soon enough being able to make out the creases of the ceiling.
She felt warm tears sliding slowly down her face, and she made no effort to wipe them away as they soaked the back of her neck. Instead she only stared up at the ceiling, trying to think of anything else besides the latest dream she found herself in. It wasn't the first time she found herself awake in the middle of the night, and she was getting tired of this newfound insomnia.
So she did what she always did.
Reaching over her nightstand, her fingers came into contact with something smooth and hard and she grabbed it, pulling the laptop onto her lap and opening it, squinting at the sudden brightness as it started up. A word document was pulled up, and once again she was faced by that blinking vertical line, challenging her to write something. Anything, but, like always, she couldn't.
Her fingers lay upon the keyboard, lightly touching the twenty six keys that screamed to be pushed, her eyes practically glaring at the blank page as a small voice in her head yelled at her to type something. She was tired of the same thing, waking up every night after the same scene replayed in her head. Starting up her computer and opening up the same blank document, wanting to write something but never able to.
She was tired of it, and she wanted to change it. It was a new town, a new day. Maybe her mom was right and moving was a good idea, though she would never admit it.
So she pushed the keys. Her fingers gliding themselves over the keyboard like the skater slid over the ice in her dream. She didn't write much, barely even a sentence. Just four small words, barely filling up the large page displayed in front of her.
Once Upon a December
There was no period. No comma. Nothing. Just those words. And even though it seemed like nothing, she didn't care.
She had written something.
A small smile formed on her lips, barely noticeable to anyone who wouldn't see her, and she clicked on the small red X on the top of the screen, saving the document before shutting her laptop and setting it on the nightstand again. She wasn't planning on going back to sleep, but she felt more at peace with herself as she stared out of the large window of her room and into the dark night.
The word was written alone at the top of the page, using a method that she had so many times before. Write a lone word at the top to catch the reader's attention and get them to keep reading.
It worked, for no matter how many times she read the same words, her eyes kept traveling farther and farther down the page.
That was the first thing we all stepped on when we walked out of the woods and into this cute little clearing. Everything was white around us, so we could barely tell the trees from the bushes. I think I was the first one that slipped, and soon enough we were all squirming around on the cold frozen water. Cole went into camp counselor mode and told us all to stopping freaking out because he needed to find out if the ice was thick enough to walk on…. It was.
Her dream came rushing back to her, as well as those tears, and she quickly shut the book and set it down softly on the table she was seated at. The pool was partly occupied, less than yesterday, that was for sure. A couple of people hung in the pool, floating on pool noodles or just hanging. Most people just hung in the extremely comfortable looking pool chairs on the side of the pool, tanning and reading magazines.
It was a typical Palm Woods Saturday, she guessed.
"Do it again!"
Various voices started to overlap and words mixed together as the four boys standing tiredly in the small recording booth at Rocque Records started to argue, complaining about how tired they were and how they had gone over the same song for hours and that they just wanted to go home.
Annoyed, Gustavo Rocque switched off the microphone, and looked up to see the ridiculous facial expressions of the band as they tried to yell louder at the realization that the mic was off. "When will they understand this it is a soundproof booth and I can't hear them no matter how hard they yell!" the fat man exclaimed, his face turning its usual shade of red as his blood pressure raised once again.
A sigh came from beside him, and he turned to his assistant, Kelly, who only rolled her eyes and said nothing, crossing her arms and leaning back onto her chair.
"Gustavo!" Kendall called as the boys piled through the door and stood slightly behind him.
"Why are you out here? You are supposed to be in there recording our next hit!" the producer yelled at him. Kendall stood unfazed, much too used to his loud responses.
"We've been recording the same song for hours!" Carlos complained.
"We barely got to eat breakfast this morning," James sighed. "And this body… needs protein."
"And the last couple of times sounded pretty good." Logan chimed in.
"So there is no need to record again!"
" 'Pretty good' is not good enough! You will do, as I say!" Gustavo roared. "Now get back in there and run it again!"
"Fine," Kendall said simply, and everyone turned to him with a shocked expression. He rolled his eyes and held up a finger. "On one condition,"
Gustavo raised a bushy eyebrow and leaned back on his chair, just to humor him.
"We will record one more time, and no matter how good or bad it is, you give us the rest of the day off."
A snort came from the small woman behind Gustavo, and the boys directed their attention to the mocha colored assistant laughing quietly to herself. Logan knew why she was laughing, Kendall's deal was ridiculous. Who did he think he was? Griffin?
It took Gustavo a couple of seconds for Kendall's compromise to register in his mind, and the four boys of Big Time Rush jumped back when he broke into a fit of laughter, clutching his sides for support as he guffawed loudly. A finger was pointed at Kendall as his other hand came up to remove his glass from his face and wipe his tears. "You're a funny one," he chuckled before composing himself and taking a deep breath. "Listen here, Kendall. I make the rules here, not you. So I will determine when you dogs leave!"
The boys frowned as Gustavo directed them back into the booth.
"Fifty seven." Logan groaned as they all plopped themselves onto the couch in the Palm Woods lobby, glad to be home.
Carlos' throat hurt from so much harmonizing, James kept a water bottle close by and was constantly chugging it down to avoid coughing, and Kendall sighed, passing around the packet of cough drops they had picked up on the way back. They all looked at Logan with confused expressions.
Logan grabbed a handful of cough drops and stuffed them all into his mouth. "He made us sing the same song fifty seven times."
"In eight different pitches." James added, taking another swig from his water bottle.
"Is that even legal?" Kendall asked, sucking on his own cough drop, throwing his head back against the back of the couch. "I'm willing to never sing again."
All of them grunted in agreement.
"Hey guys!" Camille and Jo came striding in, and Kendall immediately sat up straight, a goofy smile spreading on his face at the sight of the pretty blonde before him. Jo smiled at him and he accidentally swallowed his cough drop whole, which caused him to choke.
Logan, who was closest to him at the time, clapped him hard on the back and Kendall let out one last hoarse cough before the hard candy finally slid down his throat. Clearing his throat, he muttered a low "Sorry" and stole James' water bottle, gulping the rest of it down.
"Hey!" James complained as Kendall let out a content sigh and handed the pretty boy an empty water bottle.
Jo's eyebrows were glued together, and she wasn't exactly sure if she should be concerned or laughing, so she kept an easy smile on her face. Camille's expression was priceless. A perfect mix of shock and humor painted on her face. These guys were so ridiculous, but one look at the raven haired boy sitting across from her and she realized why she liked them again.
"Anyway," Jo giggled softly. "There's an open mic tonight."
"And you guys signed up, remember?" Camille finished.
Four groans broke out throughout them and Carlos reached for more cough drops. "Do we have to?"
"I would say 'no' any other day," the brunette laughed. "But we wanna welcome the new girl with a poolside open mic and some burgers. Kinda like a 'welcome to Hollywood' thing."
"Why didn't we get one of those?" James whined, sadly spinning his empty water bottle in his hands.
"Because you guys aren't totally amazing and funny and awesome to hang out with." Camille said simply, shrugging.
"Gee, thanks," Logan muttered.
The girls laughed. "The point is," Jo took over. "She's new, and well… she's not exactly here for 'talent' reasons." A sympathetic look crossed her face. "So we're guessing that she thinks she's not good enough, and we just wanna make her feel welcome."
"Did you even meet her yet?" Kendall asked, grinning widely as he remembered all the fun things they had done with her the night before. He was still trying to come up with a plan to make her eat some onion rings, maybe the open mic was a good idea, they might be able to slip a couple of onion rings into her burger or something.
The girls nodded. "She's our new best friend!" Camille exclaimed.
The boys' eyebrows shot way up, and Logan's famous crooked smile spread on his face as a chuckle escaped his lips.
"Okay, so we're not that close," Jo rolled her eyes at her friend. "But we met her, and she seems really nice and cool, and we have a feeling we're gonna get along with her. We were all hanging out by the pool when I thought up the genius plan for the welcoming open mic. We came in to remind you guys."
Carlos' face fell when he realized something. "She's out? By the pool?"
Camille nodded and everyone looked confused at Carlos' uneasy expression. James smirked and hopped up, flipping his hair and pulling out his 'Cuda man spray.
"No!" Kendall snatched it out of his hands before he could spray anything on himself.
"Oh…" James nodded. "Whoops."
"Yeah," Logan laughed.
"Force of habit," the shaggy haired boy shrugged. "But anyway, if you all will excuse me, I have a situation to clear up and a girl to woo."
The girls laughed.
"Let me guess," Camille rolled her eyes and pointed at James. "You called dibs?"
"Yep," Logan answered before anyone. "And she heard …which is the worst part."
Everyone snickered as James' smile fell and his hazel eyes turned to glare at his friend.
"You all just wait, because sooner or later, she will be mine!"
Carlos felt really bad.
Obviously, the day before, he had set up that little get together with her without thinking. How was he supposed to know that Gustavo was going to keep them for two extra hours? And then he gets to the Palm Woods, finds out he has to sing more at the open mic, and that he had totally forgotten about the new girl waiting for him by the pool?
He felt like a jerk.
And the fact that James' confidence had come back and the man was totally set on going out to flirt with her some more, didn't help matters. They practically raced out to the pool, toppling over each other to see who got to her first, but of course, when she came into view, they collected themselves and tried to seem as casual as possible.
Haydelynn bit her lip and played with her fingers as she sat by the pool alone again. She wondered where Camille and Jo were, and why Carlos and the guys had never shown up. She assumed that they had been busy. They were a band after all, and in a town like Los Angeles, not many people in the music industry had time to just hang out by the pool with the assistant hotel manager's daughter because they felt bad for her since she really had no talent.
She felt so small compared to everyone else. She had met a handful of people as she just sat by the pool. There was Camille: the method actress who had been at the Palm Woods 'forever' and was always practicing for a role, walking up to random stranger and yelling out her lines.
Then Jo: a newfound singer that had a handful of auditions and interviews with record companies and musicals.
There was also Tyler: the boy who was constantly running away from his mother in fear of the latest embarrassing commercial she had scheduled for him.
Guitar dude: who Haydelynn assumed was a modern hippie that played guitar all day and wrote songs about random things like breakfast and grass.
Stephanie King: the low-budget-horror-movie director who had approached Haydelynn with a monster mask dilemma, begging to know which one was scarier looking.
And The Sims Twins: who got mad when you got their names mixed up (Haydelynn found that ridiculous, considering they looked exactly alike and someone was bound to mix them up sooner or later).
And now she was sure she was about to meet another group of talent when three girls walked out of the building, literally seeming to walk in slow motion. She recognized them at once as the three girls staring at her the day before.
Tyler hopped out of the trash can he was hiding in and ran over to a large fan that Haydelynn swore was not there ten seconds before. He immediately switched on the button and the girls striding in were hit with the hard wind, making their hair fly back at the perfect moment and make their entrance more dramatic.
Everyone around her was staring, caught in a trance. Haydelynn raised an eyebrow and snorted, knowing that they were the type to think they were the best there.
"The Jenifer(s)," she looked to the side to see Jo and Camille walking back towards her and throwing themselves on the pool chairs on either side of her.
"Jenifer(s)." Haydelynn repeated, not understanding the meaning of the 's' at the end.
Jo rolled her eyes as the three walked by, throwing the girls an "I'm-so-much-better-than-you" glare before sticking their noses up in the air and strutting off, their hands flying up to tell a couple of guys trying to approach them to step off. "They sing, act, and dance, and think they're all that because of it. And they're all named Jenifer."
"The three of them?"
Camille nodded. "Isn't it weird how three people can be so perfect for each other and carry the same name?"
Haydelynn laughed. "Uh, kinda."
So that was another group to add to the list, the Jenifer(s): the three girls that could supposedly do everything and put themselves at the top of the food chain.
"Well, anyways," Jo changed the subject, turning to Haydelynn. "There's an open mic tonight, and everyone always goes. You in?"
Haydelynn hesitated, shaking her head as she opened her mouth to answer.
"The boys from BTR are gonna be there," Camille added, as if that was reason enough to go (which, in her mind, it probably was.). "They're the only ones who are being forced to sing, you don't have to."
Haydelynn couldn't help but smile, half from the relief of not having to sing. "Why are you forcing them to sing?"
The brunette shrugged. "Well, technically, in order to sing, you have to sign up, but no one ever does and we always end up having like eight people sing by the end of the night."
"Big Time Rush are the only dumb ones who actually make it official and don't have a choice once they sign their names." Jo laughed.
"Yeah, I figured." Haydelynn nodded.
"So, you going?" Camille pressed, nodding encouragingly.
"Haydelynn!" she jumped at the sudden yell of her name, and looked across the pool to see Carlos waving an arm over his head, smiling apologetically.
She smiled softly and waved.
"Speak of the devil…" Camille snickered, following her gaze. Haydelynn chuckled with her and before she knew it, the four members of Big Time Rush were standing over her.
Haydelynn craned her neck to look at their faces. If she felt short standing next to James and Kendall, then she felt like a dwarf while she was seated comfortably on her pool chair.
"Whoa, guys, back it up, the girl needs breathing space!" Jo reached out and grabbed the first thing she could, which ended up being Kendall's shirt. She pulled him back, causing him to topple onto her legs on the pool chair.
Haydelynn watched as both of them looked at each other and blushed before Kendall hopped up and fixed his shirt. Yeah, there was something going on there, but it was none of her business, so she didn't press it.
The remaining three boys took a small step back and Haydelynn smiled as she stood up, facing the Latino and crossing her arms, feigning a pout. "You guys ditched me."
Every single smile around her fell, and Carlos' eyebrows stitched together in apology. Logan rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly and coughed while James only stared at her uneasily. Kendall sighed and looked down with a low, "It was Carlos' fault."
"Was not!" the Latino defended himself, only not so defensively.
"You didn't tell us until you noticed we were late." Logan muttered, elbowing his friend in the ribs.
Carlos nudged him back, and Haydelynn watched in amusement as a whole mini fight broke out. James leaned back to avoid being hit and she looked at Camille with raised eyebrows, and the method actress only rolled her eyes and crossed her arms as well. Haydelynn reached out for Carlos' arm, and the small fight between both of them abruptly stopped as she roughly pulled the tan arm towards her until the bright red watch on his wrist was in direct eye contact.
"It's ten forty-five." she said it like a teacher reprimanding her student for arriving late to class. "You said nine."
He sighed. "I know, but Gustavo called in early and we practiced the same song for hours, and he was being a jerk and Kendall tried to compromise—"
"Which didn't work," Logan squeezed in.
"Yeah, and then Gustavo got mad and made us sing and harmonize for two more hours—"
"In eight different pitches," James groaned, not wanting to remember.
"Well, yeah and then we got here and we were tired and sucking on cough drops and then Camille and Jo come in and talk about the open mic and then about you and then I remembered and…"
She tried to keep the amused smile off her face as he stopped to take a deep breath after the fast explanation, she really didn't care whether they showed up or not, but seeing them all with their funny expressions was priceless, and she couldn't help it, no matter how evil it seemed.
"We're sorry," they chorused, and she found it ridiculous how they could do that. Just randomly say something at the same exact time. It was kind of weird, but she expected it from these guys.
Haydelynn looked at Jo and Camille before the three of them burst into laughter, leaving the four of them to stand there with confused expressions.
"What's so funny?" James demanded.
Haydelynn shook her head and held a finger up at him. "You should see your faces. They're hilarious." She took a deep breath and calmed herself. "But seriously, I understand. I don't really care if you're late or never show up. You're a busy group."
"I can't believe you actually fell for that," Jo giggled, high fiving Haydelynn.
"So you can act," Camille nodded approvingly and bumped her fist against Haydelynn's.
The four boys only stared at her, their mouths handing open and their eyes narrow, which only made her laugh a little more. "We thought you hated us or something." Carlos shook his head, a smile breaking out on his face too.
She rolled her eyes. "Please, I'm not the kind to fight with someone because they were late for a get together or anything." She smiled and nudged him playfully. He didn't nudge back, like he would've done to Logan, but instead dramatically stumbled backwards and laughed.
Just then, the sound of a palm connecting painfully with skin broke out, and Haydelynn gasped and froze when she turned and saw Logan's face turned sharply to the side, his cheek a bright red. Camille stood in front of him, her hand being the one who had slapped him.
"Camille!" she screamed, taking a step forward to help Logan. James grabbed her arm and pulled her back, looking down at her and telling her to calm down. "How am I supposed to calm down? She just—"
And when she turned back to look at them, Camille grabbed Logan's face and pulled him in for a kiss, colliding their lips together despite Logan's feeble attempts to escape her grasp. After a couple of seconds, she pulled away and brought her other hand to his other cheek before smiling contently and skipping over to Haydelynn ,enveloping her in a friendly hug. "I have in audition now, so see you guys later!" then she skipped away.
Haydelynn stared after her with wide eyes, gaping as she happily bounced away. Logan chuckled and reached up to rub his cheek, waving a hand in front of Haydelynn's face.
Haydelynn turned to look at him. "Uh…"
Everyone laughed. "That's Camille for you," Kendall shook his head.
"But she just… and then she… and…" she tried to make sense of it, gesturing widely with her hands, and James had to step back to avoid being slapped himself.
"Camille… is a special person," Jo told her, smiling. "It takes a while to understand her."
"You mean to understand why she slaps someone, kisses them, slaps them again, announces she has an audition, and leaves?"
Jo seemed to think about it for a minute, her brown eyes drifting to the sky before her shoulders lifted in a shrug and she laughed. "Yep."
"Why? Does she do it to all the guys or something?"
"Nope, just Logan." Carlos answered this time, and Logan swore that if Haydelynn's eyebrows could have gone any higher, they would have.
Logan shrugged. "Kendall also gets an occasional slap or two."
Haydelynn spluttered a bit more and scoffed before she realized. "Oh!" she gasped, holding up a finger. "I get it now! She likes you doesn't she?"
Kendall raised an eyebrow and smirked. "Wow, I think that's the fastest anyone has ever figured it out."
Carlos, James, and Jo nodded while Logan rolled his eyes. Haydelynn giggled. "I'm gonna give the woman some props though, she has some serious courage."
More laughs broke out between their little group before fizzling out and letting a blanket of awkward silence fall over them. Logan rubbed at his cheeks some more, easing out some of the sting, trying to figure out why every time Camille pulled one of her stunts he was more pleasantly surprised then the last time. Kendall and Jo were talking through some weird language Haydelynn didn't understand that had to do with facial expressions, a raise of the eyebrows here, causing a flare of the nostrils there, and then a nudge from Jo. James had turned around suddenly, taking advantage of having Haydelynn's back to him to pull out his lucky comb and comb his hair. Carlos looked down at his feet.
"Alright," Haydelynn decided to break the silence. "So, am I gonna get a tour of the Palm Woods or not?"
Everyone perked up and James whirled around, sneakily tucking his comb into his back pocket and throwing Haydelynn a dazzling grin. They all nodded and shrugged.
Haydelynn giggled and linked her arms with Carlos and Logan. "Lead the way!"
By the time they finished, Haydelynn knew her way around the Palm Woods backwards and forwards. The Big Time Rush guys were totally obsessed with doing reckless things, and they even ended up convincing Haydelynn and Jo to get into and sliding down the Palm Woods air vent.
"You guys are insane." She chortled; taking a sip from her smoothie after Logan had taken out a "Free smoothies for a month" and insisted that raspberry smoothies were the best thing to have after a long day of 'irresponsibility' (as Carlos had taken to calling it). Jo had left for an interview and said she would see them at the open mic.
They laughed and nodded. "I think we might be." Kendall agreed.
Logan held up his smoothie and grinned. "To insanity!"
His friends had immediately mimicked him, and after a second thought from Haydelynn, she, too, bumped her plastic cup against theirs' and taken a violent swig from her drink, leaving a thick smoothie stash on her upper lip.
"Hey," Kendall reached across the table. "You got a little…"
She squealed when his hand dipped into her cup and smeared more smoothie against her face before falling back onto his chair, smiling contently to himself.
"Didya get it?" she rolled her eyes.
"Oh yeah?" she scooped some more of her pink drink and flicked it at him.
He laughed and reached into his own cup and threw it at her. She screamed and grabbed James, who was sitting beside her, pushing him in front of her and using him as a shield. James laughed and tried to move back, when he felt something cold and wet in his hair.
Haydelynn gasped and let go at once, her hand coming up to her mouth to contain her giggles as she looked up at James, his hair wet with the sticky liquid, matted to the side of his face, completely throwing off the whole look.
James' smile disappeared and he glared hard at his blonde friend. "You did not just get that in my hair."
Kendall's eyes were wide.
"No, no," Haydelynn spoke up, and James turned to her with raised eyebrows. She shrugged before using his perfect, soft hair to wipe her smoothie infested hands. "I did."
James' eyes went wide as hockey pucks and he took the top off of his own smoothie cup, pulling it back, intending to toss the entire cup at her.
But instead, the backwards motion of his arm caused the cup to slip from his fingers and land right in Logan's lap, where he yelped and jumped up, the drink already oozing into the front of his pants.
James tried not to laugh. "Oops."
"Oh, I'll show you 'oops'…" Logan said before throwing all the contents of his own cup out towards James, who moved out of the way, causing most of it to land on his chair. A bit of it splattered onto Haydelynn's arms, and she looked up, her face totally serious.
"Okay, guys, we had our fun. Now, I really don't want to be covered in smoothie, okay? I had enough of that yesterday." She directed the last part to Carlos, who smirked.
The guys nodded and Logan and James found some new chairs to sit in.
"Thank you," Haydelynn smiled, but before she could settle herself into her seat, Carlos had tipped his cup over and caused all of his own drink to pour all over her.
Haydelynn squealed and she glared at him with her mouth hanging open.
Suddenly, a whole smoothie fight had broken out. The five of them ran around, grabbing any cup they could lay their hands on and pouring it on each other. Soon enough, Haydelynn was completely soaked once again, but she didn't mind. She had a huge grin on her face as she turned a banana smoothie on Carlos' head and watched the yellow liquid ooze down his face, giggling uncontrollably as he challenged her and took a huge sip of a random drink before spitting it at her face.
James took this as his chance to grab her arms and pin them behind her while Logan and Kendall came with their cups and overturned them on her head, causing her to squeal and shake her hair out like a dog, smiling as the four guys around her were splattered with smoothie.
Soon the entire lobby was into it. Innocent bystanders that were splattered with the drink gasping and grabbing their own, throwing it at someone else. After a while, everything and everybody was covered in smoothie, and were slipping on the juice covering the floor. Laughs echoed through the hotel, as well as squeals.
"Surrender!" James boomed, lifting Haydelynn off of her feet and holding her up as Carlos, Logan and Kendall scoured for drink to throw at her.
"Never!" she laughed, kicking her feet.
"What is this?" Every single person occupying the lobby froze, and about thirty empty or half-empty smoothie cups were dropped to the floor. James set Haydelynn on her feet and the four Big Time Rush boys took a step in front of her, almost protectively. She seemed to disappear from sight behind the four of them.
Mr. Bitters stood under the doorway of his office, eyes bulging out of their sockets behind his glasses. His jaw was practically hitting the floor, and the huge sandwich in his hand slipped from his fingers, landing in a puddle of orange goo, where it splattered all over the legs of his pants.
Quiet couldn't even begin to describe the noise in the lobby.
"I demand to know who started this!" the fat man boomed, his head darting around looking for guilty faces. His face fell as he realized the only possible culprits. "You!" a large finger was wagged towards the four boys standing in front of the now-invisible Haydelynn.
Carlos closed his eyes and tipped his head back, praying for mercy. Logan tried to smile, but it looked more like a grimace. James glanced back and moved slightly to the side, making sure he covered Haydelynn completely. Kendall opened his mouth to say something.
"First, you organize a Palm Woods wide pillow fight, then, you put a giant squid in the Palm Woods pool," the hotel manager counted off, the boys flinching back every time a finger was held up. "Then, you get away with throwing a hotel wide party, and now this?" He glared hard at each of them, his face a tomato red.
"It wasn't them!" a small voice exclaimed, and Mr. Bitters looked around, searching for the source of it.
Haydelynn forcefully pushed her way through James and Carlos, and threw the fat man the most innocent smile she could manage.
"You," he sneered, and she bit her lip. "You're the daughter of my new assistant manager."
She nodded feebly.
"Are you covering for these boys?"
She shook her head. "I started it." Her words rang true, and Kendall's stomach dropped guiltily, knowing that she was lying, considering he had been the first to smear smoothie on her face.
Mr. Bitters studied her for a minute, trying to decide whether she was telling the truth or not.
"I kinda like it there," Haydelynn raised an eyebrow as James cocked his head to the side and squinted, looking up at her door with his arms crossed.
"And on the second day," Kendall nodded, rubbing his chin.
"That's a record." Logan said with admiration.
Carlos grinned and held his fist out, where Haydelynn rolled her eyes and bumped it with her own. "Congrats, Haydelynn. You made Palm Woods history!"
Haydelynn laughed, following their gazes up to the door of apartment 5F, where a large red X with Bitters' face on it was now glued to it. "So, was a Palm Woods wide smoothie fight worth getting a strike for?"
All four of them nodded simultaneously.
The X had been glued to the door about an hour earlier; after Bitters decided Haydelynn was telling the truth when taking the blame and warning her that if she got two more strikes, she would be out of the Palm Woods. After quickly taking a shower and changing out of her smoothie covered clothes, she had met up again with the boys to admire her work.
"You have my upmost respect, Miss Haydelynn." Logan bowed formally, and she laughed, lifting her hands up in the air and pretending to curtsy.
"Why thank you, Sir Logan." She giggled. "I try, I try." Her eyes landed on the coupon hanging out of his jacket pocket. "But it sucks that we were banned from any smoothie stand within a three mile radius of the Palm Woods."
"Yeah," the boys sighed.
"But it was so worth it," Carlos guffawed.
Everyone nodded in agreement.
All of a sudden, the front door was yanked open and the five of them were faced with a really pissed off woman. Her long, dark hair was pulled back into a ponytail, slick at the front, but completely crazy curly in the back. She wore a mean power suit, looking nice and sharp, the small name plate pinned to her shirt reading "Assistant Manager". Her eyes were congruent to Haydelynn's, even as she glared sharply at all of them. Her lips were painted a deep mahogany red, and were pulled back in a grimace. Her face was of a mature woman in her 30's, though her laugh lines made her look a bit older.
Haydelynn never really realized how pretty her mother actually was until she realized the deep trouble she was in.
Everyone straightened up at once, and Haydelynn winced when her mother raised her eyebrows and crossed her arms. Evelynn Ramirez wasn't exactly known to be a "quiet" talker when it came to reprimanding her daughter.
"Hey, mom…" she greeted hesitantly, weakly raising her hand to wave.
Her mom didn't say anything, only stared coldly.
"Uh, this is Big Time Rush…" she decided she might as well introduce them. "Carlos, James, Kendall, and Logan." She called them out by order of which they were standing, and each boy waved feebly and gulped when their name was said. "I was just—"
"Inside," Evelynn commanded, her tone low and menacing, and Haydelynn's mouth shut at once. "Now."
Haydelynn nodded before turning to the boys. "I would suggest you run," she whispered to Carlos, who swallowed and nodded in agreement.
"See you later." They all murmured before turning and walking off, leaving Haydelynn to the rath of her mother.
Evelynn's eyes followed her daughter as she squeezed past her and settled herself on the couch of their new apartment, bringing her legs up and crossing them. Her tall black heels were loud against the wooden floors as she made her way over to the living room, stopping just in front of the guilty teen.
"Have I ever told you how pretty you are?" Haydelynn said innocently.
"Would you care to explain why, as I was in the process of evicting a resident, my boss called me to yell at me about how my 'careless, irresponsible, brat of a daughter' was causing havoc in the lobby throwing smoothies around?" her compliment was completely ignored, and Haydelynn mimicked her mother's pose as she was being scolded.
"I was simply having fun."
"'Having fun' does not imply damaging a hotel lobby." Her mother's voice was slowly getting higher, and Haydelynn clenched her jaw.
"I didn't damage anything."
"Who in their right mind would toss cups of smoothies around for fun?" she was reaching her point by now, and Evelynn's yells scratched at Haydelynn's eardrums.
"I could name a couple of people." Haydelynn tried her best to withhold it, but she couldn't help the smirk that spread across her face when her mother's glare intensified.
"I can assure you that I was completely shocked when I found out you of all people were one to start a smoothie fight, Haydelynn. What has gotten into you? It's only you're second day here and you have already been warned that if you keep at it we will be kicked out!"
"I was having fun, Mom!" it was Haydelynn's turn to shout. "Don't you realize that? When was the last time I came home with a smile? So, I got in trouble, but I made friends, I had fun with those friends. Shouldn't you be rubbing the fact that you were right and I do like it here in my face and not yelling at me?"
Her mother stared at her for a minute, green eyes narrowed and her jaw tight. "The next time I hear that you got a strike, you will be in serious trouble."
"Fine." The teenager shrugged.
Her mother gave her one last cold glare before turning on her heels and stomping out of the door, slamming it violently behind her, causing a flinch from Haydelynn. She rolled her eyes before reaching onto the coffee table for her book.
John bought me a pair of skates today. I told him not to, since I have no idea how to skate, but he was insistent. I didn't know if I should have been mad at him or completely thankful when I entered my cabin to find the prettiest ivory white ice skates on my bed. Amy keeps telling me that he likes me, but I doubt it. Why would John, the handsome, sweet, funny camp counselor like me?
She sighed, thinking of a hundred different answers to this question, but unable to answer directly.
I'm just the little girl from Florida who has never seen snow in her entire life and spends all of her time scribbling down in a notebook. He's more of the out there type. He'd rather die than pick up a pen and write or read. I'm not his type… and I can totally see you shaking your head right now and rolling your eyes, saying something like, "You're totally wrong Sophie, stop being so clueless." She admits that she would have said that before. But I guess that's your job as the big sister.
She closed the book again.
"My job as the big sister," she murmured to herself, standing up and pulling a hand through her hair. "Was not letting you go to that pond."
She knew no one would answer, because she had proven to herself that no one ever did. Two years ago, she would have expected a head of curly hair to pop out from behind the kitchen counter and say something like, "Stop blaming yourself for everything, Haydy. It's annoying."
But two years had passed, her family had broken apart, her parents had changed.
She had changed.