Thanks for all the reviews :) I did not expect that many, so I'll be nice and not force any this time, but I still love them!
The Sova Estate
Wednesday, September 25th
Claire closed the passenger door of Monica's Mercedes behind her and walked up the stone driveway with Monica and Courtney. They watched Alex's BMW pull up as they walked up the steps to the door. And just as Monica fished her house keys out of her bag, another car pulled into the driveway… Claire's dad's car.
"Oh crap." Claire murmured. It hasn't even been twenty-four hours and her parents already knew where she was.
When she had walked in the door of the Sova Estate last night with her luggage, Addison and Alex immediately accepted her after she told them about her parents' constant fighting, leaving out the part about an investigation. They had given her a room in the guest wing so she wouldn't have to share a bed with Monica or sleep on a couch. And they knew by the looks of her bags it was going to be more than just a few days.
And by midnight, when she had just finished unpacking, her parents started to call her phone nonstop. She eventually shut her phone off before walking down the hall to thank Monica but walked in on her in Liam. Fortunately, neither of them had heard her enter and she quietly snuck away.
Her dad shut off the engine and got out, slamming the car door loudly. "Claire!"
Alex appeared from the side door of the garage and looked surprised when he saw her dad marching up the driveway towards Claire. She silently prayed that Alex wouldn't make her go back home if her dad tried to make her go.
She wasn't ready to go back. She didn't want to go home to screaming voices that were arguing over something that sounds top secret. How could she even trust her parents if they were keeping something as big as an investigation on them from her?
"Jay, what're you doing here?" Alex asked. By now all three girls refused to go inside although the front door was wide open.
"Bringing Claire home!" Her father said, and Claire knew it was directed at her.
"I don't want to go home!" Claire snapped.
"Jay, if she feels uncomfortable at home then maybe you should just try to give her some space." Alex said, running a hand through his blonde hair.
Claire exchanged a look with Monica and Courtney. Alex was trying to talk her dad into letting her stay?
"Don't tell me what to do, Sova!" He yelled, talking a few more steps towards where Claire stood completely frozen.
"Jay…" Alex said sternly but he continued to walk towards her. Monica and Courtney gasped when he grabbed her wrist and forced her to follow him.
If she hadn't heard Alex yell at her dad to let her go, she wouldn't have snapped out of her shocked trance. She finally tried to yank her arm back, screaming at him to leave her alone.
She looked up and saw Monica and Courtney staring in horror as Alex pulled his iPhone from his suit, calling security.
They have security?
"I don't want to leave!" Claire screamed, desperately trying to free her wrist from her dad's grip. Thankfully she saw Alex grab her dad's arm and forced it to let go of her own.
"Claire, you're coming home whether you like it or not!" Her father yelled as Alex held him back. But Claire was close enough to smell the alcohol on his breath. She looked into his eyes and noticed they were bloodshot. Holy shit! Her dad was drunk!
She scrambled away from him, stumbling up the steps towards where Monica and Courtney were. Monica pulled her into a hug before ushering her inside, closing the door behind them.
All three crowded the window next to the door, watching as a black Escalade with tinted windows pulled up. A tall muscular man jumped out of the driver's side while another man jumped out from the passenger side. They both rushed over to where Alex was trying to hold back her dad, grabbing both of his arms and making him walk over to the Escalade, forcing him to get into the backseat.
"Where did the security come from?" Claire finally asked, as the Escalade pulled away.
"The entrance." Monica said simply. And Claire knew what she was talking about. To get into the estate, you have to speak into an intercom for the iron gate to open. On the other side of the gate there's a small box type structure that's the size of the shed. And Claire finally remembered that there's usually an Escalade parked next to it.
Why do they need security guards?!
But before Claire could ponder that question any further, Alex walked through the doors and looked at her quizzically and placing a hand on her shoulder. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah." She answered shakily. He wrapped his arms around her and to her surprise she clung to him, the way she should cling to her own father after something terrifying happens…
Thursday, September 26th
Massie pushed her way through the groups off freshmen; all standing in circles with their heads leaned into the middle, talking and gossiping. She heard Claire's name a lot, also Courtney's and Monica's. But she mainly heard hers and Derrington's. And every time she heard someone say his name she felt her heart clench and her eyes burn with tears threatening to spill.
"Talise Carter!" Massie shouted when she finally found the person that Tiffany had directed her to go see.
Everyone standing between her and Talise looked up at her and quickly moved away, clearing a path for her.
Talise looked away from the guy she was talking to and whispered something to him before he disappeared into the crowd that was slowly making its way for one of the stairwells.
"Massie." Talise smiled once Massie reached her. "What brings you down to freshman hall?"
"Tiffany said you could help with something." Massie placed her hand on her hip. This girl was obviously someone who liked to be in charge, but Massie didn't want her authority to be undermined so she had act bitchy to make her understand she wasn't going to stand for it.
Talise looked at her questioningly as if to say Well, what the fuck is it?
"She said you can get all of the freshmen who are still thinking of voting for Claire to vote against her." Massie rolled her eyes as if it should have been obvious. Massie honestly had no clue how one girl could convince everyone in the 9th grade who was going to vote for Claire to change their minds.
"She's right, I can." Talise smirked before looking around and bringing her voice to a low whisper, "But I need you to do something for me… well, technically two things."
"Whatever you want." Massie huffed, feeling as if the tension in her shoulders became ten times heavier. Who knew conniving could be so much stress.
"I need you to let me and Shea hang out with you, act as if we're your friends." She smiled. Massie couldn't help but think that Talise's smile was exactly like Tiffany's… maybe they're related, it would explain why they're both pretty evil. "Let's face it, you need friends since your old ones ditched you like last season's Prada and we need everyone in the freshman class to like us, and they obviously like you."
"Deal." Massie narrowed her eyes, "What else do you want?"
"I heard that Courtney and Claire made up. They were seen laughing together at Claire's locker this morning."
"I need you to convince people to dislike Courtney."
Massie thought about it. She knew about the photo Talise sent of Courtney and Cam. She honestly didn't know what to think of it. Obviously Talise had a huge grudge against Courtney by sending that photo to pretty much the entire school, and it was a pretty smart move, but it was just so, so… Tiffany like.
"Only if you also get everyone to vote for both me and Derrick." Massie finally said after thinking it over. Maybe if she and Derrington were voted onto homecoming court together, they would be forced to see each other and then they could take and if all went well, get back together.
"Fine." Talise said, holding her pinky finger out. Massie hooked her finger to Talise's and they shook.
"Meet me at locker before lunch." Massie said before turning on the heels of her Tory Burch flats.
She pushed her way back through the crowd as the warning bell sounded, telling everyone they only had a minute to get to class. She was thankful her world history class was downstairs or else she would be late… and her teacher hated it when people were late.
She walked through the door just as the final bell rung. Ignoring Mrs. Reed's glare she went to her assigned seat behind Kelsey Svensson and Meghan Johansson, two best friends that both have dads from Sweden and are in the NHL. All they seemed to talk about were the boys on the hockey team and whatever girls they thought were "the bitch of the day" as they put it.
"Someone said that they're break-up was because she never quit the cheer team." She could hear Kelsey say as Mrs. Reed started to talk about The Silk Road.
Massie felt her jaw drop. Were they really talking about her and Derrington? Bu then again, most people were talking about it, so she decided to ignore whatever they were saying.
But then she heard Claire's name enter their conversation.
"I can't believe she did that to all of them, she's such a traitor!" She could hear one of them whisper.
""Massie is the new Alicia." Massie listened to Kelsey and Meghan's conversation. Did they now she was right behind them?! She's only sat behind them for the entire year!
"No, she's the new Tiffany." Kelsey whispered, rolling her eyes.
Massie clenched her fists and felt her body shake in anger. But two sides of her brain battled over why she was angry. Was she pissed because they were right, or because she denied it?
Thursday, September 26th
Cam watched as the digital clock on the wall changed to 1:15 and the bell rang. Everyone sighed in relief as they exited the room. Fifth hour was finally over, and they had their eight minute break between classes.
He turned the corner into the main hall with the sea of people. He noticed everyone around him was looking over to a spot by a glass case full of first place sports and academic trophies, even old varsity jerseys of people who used to go here, but are now famous.
Next the case was Claire… with Cayden. He knew people weren't watching them, but her since she was just on the cover of Monica's mom's magazine. Josh had apparently stolen his mom's copy and brought it to Derrington's to tell them. But unlike the other guys, he ignored the pictures and read her interview. It had stung that she had talked about him and their break-up. But what had really hurt was the fact that she had talked about how happy Cayden made her.
Cam slowed down his pace, watching the two exchange flirty smirks before Claire got on her tiptoes and Cayden placed his hands on both sides of her head, leaned down and kissed her long and hard. Cam's nostrils flared at seeing this. He's seen them kiss many times, but never this passionately. And Claire happily returned the kiss with equal passion, passion she used to put into their kisses.
When they broke apart, they smiled at each other stupidly before exchanging good byes and walking away in opposite directions since the sophomore and junior halls were on opposite sides of the school. Claire walked in the direction Cam was, but he quickly turned around, trying to spot Cayden's head, which wasn't hard because he was definitely over six feet tall.
Cam had never even thought about it before, breaking Claire and Cayden up. Yeah, sounds like something that a girl would do: telling her boyfriend something that would completely freak him out and make him dump her. But he couldn't stand to see Claire with him. She didn't belong with him, she belonged with someone more like him.
"Cayden!" Cam called once he was a few people behind him.
Cayden turned around, looking unpleasantly surprised to see him.
"Um, hey Cam." Cayden greeted, stepping to the side of the hall for people to pass.
"Hey. I think we should talk about you and Claire." Cam said, trying to stand a little straighter in hopes of it making him look a little taller. It wasn't until now that he realized how intimidating Cayden's size was.
Cayden's frown deepened. "Why?"
"Because there's something you need to know about Claire and me." Cam crossed his arms across his chest. In the back of his mind, he knew telling Cayden this was wrong, but breaking him and Claire up was definitely right.
Cayden looked down at him like he was crazy, "Cam-"
"Seriously, you need to know this. It applies to you." Cam quickly cut him off before he could tell him that he didn't want him interfering with their relationship. "Last year, Claire cheated on me… with Derrington."
"She wouldn't have done that." Cayden denied, narrowing his eyes at Cam- practically threatening him without even saying anything.
Cam smiled and shrugged before turning around.
"Ask her, she'll tell you the truth!" Cam said over his shoulder.
Thursday, September 26th
Shutting the door of her locker and making her way towards the exit of sophomore hall, Claire felt as if someone was watching her as she passed the section of lockers where every 10th grader with a last name beginning with a B.
By the time she reached the empty back hall she took to Monica's locker every day after school she knew by the sounds of other footsteps that she wasn't alone. Claire turned around, coming face to face with Massie.
"Hi, Kuh-laire." Massie said with bitterly sweet sarcasm.
Claire said nothing in response, waiting for Massie to say whatever insult she wanted to say so she could get on with her life.
"How's life with your FBFFs?" Massie asked, not letting go of the obnoxiously fake sweet tone.
"FBFFs?" Claire rolled her eyes. What was she getting to?
"Fake best friends forever." Massie said, the sweet tone gone only to be replaced by an angry one.
"What are you talking about?" Claire tried to control the rising anger within her, she didn't want to resort to Massie's level.
"Monica and her little… clique." Massie hissed, "You're just a replacement!"
Claire felt something in her stomach… or her brain, she wasn't sure which, snap. She could feel her anger boil over her with heat spreading to her cheeks at lightning speeds.
"You have no idea what you're talking about!"
"You honestly believe that they wanted to be friends with you?" Massie laughed cruelly, "They only befriended you to replace Heidi once she graduated!"
Claire was about to scream at Massie that they wouldn't do that. But then she thought about it. Monica had befriended her so suddenly. It made sense. But did that mean just because they had a fake friendship at the start, that it was still fake? All of the care and support, was that fake?
"My work here is done." Massie said to no one in particular once she saw Claire's face fall. As she passed she purposely bumped into Claire's shoulder, but Claire was too deep in thought to notice.
She marched towards senior hall and quickly weaved through the crowd to reach where Monica stood in front of her locker, just about to close it.
"Is it true?" Her voice cracked, but she didn't care.
"What?" Monica shut her locker and furrowed her brow in confusion.
"That you only became friends with me to replace Heidi when she graduated." Claire hopped the answer would be no, but when she saw Monica's face flash Oh shit she felt as if someone had punched her in the stomach.
"Yes," Monica sighed, "But that was before any of us got to know you! It may have started out that way, but Claire I can honestly say you're not a replacement for her! You mean a lot more than just a friend to me!"
"Then what am I?!" Claire shouted.
"You're my sister, not by blood but you may as well be!" Monica's eyes pleaded with her, "I had no clue that I would become so close with you! Trust me, if I only wanted you as a replacement friend then pretty much nothing we had done together wouldn't have happened. I wouldn't have spent so much time with you I didn't think of you as a sister."
Claire noticed how Monica's eyes were verifying her statement. They were full of regret and honesty. She was glad that Monica's eyes always gave her true feelings away. "I believe you."
The Sova Estate
Thursday, September 26th
Laying on her stomach and propped up on her elbows on Monica's bed, Claire felt her phone vibrate next to her.
"Who is it?" Monica called from her desk where she was doing her homework.
Claire looked at the number at the top of the screen. She didn't even think the number was from anywhere in New York… or Florida.
"I dunno." Claire said before sliding her finger across the bottom of the screen to unlock her phone.
"Hello?" Claire answered her phone although she didn't recognize the number at all. Her parents always told her to ignore numbers she didn't know, but she was curious.
"Cl-eh!" Rupert Mann's voice happily sang from the speaker of her phone. WHAT?! Rupert Mann was calling her?!
"Rupert?" Claire gasped, earning a confused look from Monica. Claire waved her arm, signaling for her to come over. Monica ran over to the bed as Claire tapped the speaker button with her finger.
"I heard from a little bird that you were on the cover of A&NY." He said mysteriously.
"Who is it?" Monica whispered.
"Rupert Mann." Claire whispered back and Monica covered her mouth to avoid an audible gasp.
"So I decided to read your interview for myself, and I have to say that I'm very hurt." Rupert said although Claire knew that he was only joking. "You never told me you wanted to get back into acting!"
Claire thought back to what she said in her interview. She had said that she would like to do movies again, as long as she could stay close to home.
"Um, yeah. " Claire had no clue what to say, was he calling to talk her into flying to California to shoot a movie or something?
"Well then I think we can help each other, Claire." He said before clearing his throat. "I'm actually in New York City, about to shoot a show but I still need a leading actress…"
Claire felt her breath get caught in her throat. HOLY FUCKING CRAP!
"It's a show about a group of friends that attend a private school in the city that's filled with some unexpected secrets. Think of it as Revenge meets Gossip Girl." He explained, Monica and Claire quickly looked at each other- mirroring each other's shocked faces, "The character I want you to play is trying to find out which one of her friends killed her younger sister… I can fill you in more if you agree."
Claire couldn't hold it in any longer. She screamed and jumped up and down on Monica's bed. Monica quickly joined her. They screamed until they were out of breath and realized they were still on the line with Rupert.
Claire grabbed her phone off the floor from where it had fallen off the bed.
"I take that as a yes?" He laughed.
"Of course I'll do it!" Claire said, feeling like she was going to burst from the level of excitement and happiness she was feeling.
"Fantastic!" Rupert said, and Claire could imagine him on the other line doing a fist pump. "I'll call you later to set up a time to meet and discuss it all!"
"Okay." Claire tried to calm herself, but it obviously wasn't working, "Bye, Rupert!"
"Good-bye Cl-eh." He said, sound extremely British saying her name before she hung up.
Claire turned to Monica and at the same time they screamed, "AHHHHHHH!"
"You're going to be on a TV SHOW!" Monica yelled.
"I KNOW!" Claire yelled.
And they couldn't help but let out one more scream.
"Mom and Dad want to know if you two are dying in here or something." Courtney said from the French doors of Monica's bedroom.
"We're fine." Monica said walking out of her room with Claire quickly following her.
Addison and Alex walked down the hall towards the three of them.
"Is everything okay?" Addison asked, looking concerned.
"Claire just got offered to be on a show." Monica blurted.
"Really?" Alex and Addison asked at the same time.
Claire nodded her head and before she knew it, everyone went off on a rant of how amazing it was, but Claire already knew that. But in the midst of it all, Addison and Alex suddenly stopped.
Addison and Alex looked at Claire with furrowed brows, as if she was someone they recognized but couldn't place. Claire looked over to Monica, but Monica watched her parents with a confused expression too. Why were they looking at her like that?
"What is it?" Courtney asked.
"You look exactly like her." Addison said, looking from Claire to the wall. Claire turned around to look at a picture of a close up of a young woman about Monica's age, maybe a year or two older. She had blond hair and blue eyes and looked exactly like Claire.
"Who is she?" Claire asked. She had never seen that picture there so she had never asked.
"My mom." Alex said. Claire studied the picture, then Alex. He looked a lot like her, except for the fact that he has green eyes, maybe he got his eye color from his dad.
Addison looked at Claire with tears in her eyes before she looked up at Alex, "Honey, do you think that…"
"Only a DNA test will tell." Alex said, looking at Claire. But Claire didn't know what to do. A DNA test? Why were they practically crying and talking about a DNA test?
"Huh?" Monica finally said. She and Courtney were apparently just as much in the dark as she was.
"We think that there's a very small possibility that Claire could be your sister…" Addison started and looked to Monica and Courtney, "Neither of you know this, but you have another sister, two years younger than you, Monica. You were too young to remember Brielle… or what happened."
"So what happened?" Monica asked with wide eyes.
"We were at the doctor because you had the chicken pox." Alex started, "But they noticed Brielle had gotten it too, so they took her down the hall to examine her, but we found out that the nurse that had taken her, kidnapped her."
Claire felt like she was going to puke. They seriously thought that she was Brielle? Their long lost daughter? That couldn't even be possible! Could it?
I know, I didn't put homecoming court in, but the chapter would have been way too long if I did.
Enjoy the cliff hanger :)