Chapter 17

Clare P.O.V

Somehow the weekend flew by in the blink of an eye. Before I could finally settle in to my two days of relaxation, it was already Monday. I was still extremely confused and curious with the way Eli acted at the Dot on Saturday. I just didn't understand him. Why wouldn't he want me to fight Fitz back and stand up for myself and my friends? Isn't that what he wanted? I thought he was happy that I was making a change. I thought he wanted me to be the change. So many thoughts had me zone out until I realized I had just 5 minutes to get out the door. I quickly finished putting on my mascara and hurried to my closet grabbing my sneakers. As I was tying my shoes there was a knock on the door.

"Come in!" I yelled tying my other shoe.

Jake walked in and looked at me, "Hey, you okay?"

"Y-yeah why wouldn't I be?" I stammered grabbing my bag and walking out the door.

"You weren't downstairs for breakfast." He said following me and I hurried down the stairs to look at the empty plate that was meant for me.

I looked at him with a raised eyebrow. He said, "Oh y-yeah. Well I thought you didn't want it so I ate it." He laughed but I had a serious expression. "C'mon Clare what's wrong?" I ignored him grabbing the OJ out of the fridge and pouring some for myself. "I'm sorry I ate your breakfast," he shrugged.

I rolled my eyes, "It's not you. It's Eli."

He raised his eyebrows and a goofy smile appeared on his face. "Aww is little sissy having boy troubles?" He said pinching my cheeks like I was a baby.

"Stop!" I whined thumping his head.

"Ouch!" He said thumping my shoulder.

"Jake stop!" I thumped his cheek.

Suddenly someone walked in laughing and said, "Who's the adult in here?" It was Eli.

"It's not me it's her." Jake complained, "No sense of humor."

I glared at Jake, "It's not me, it's him. He doesn't know when to leave things alone." I roll my eyes but then realized that Eli could've heard what I told Jake. "Eli, did you hear what me and Jake were talking about?"

He smirked, "Only when he pinched your adorable cheeks," he teased me, "Why?"

"Oh uh n-nothing." I stuttered

"Yeah nothing interesting at all." Jake said sarcastically and I kicked him with my foot, smiling casually at Eli. "Ow!," Jake said glaring at me, "Nothing, we weren't talking about anything at all." Jake and I both smiled at Eli.

"Okay.." Eli said looking at us with the most confused expression, "You guys okay?"

"Oh, yeah. Yeah. We're fine." Jake and I said trying to be as casual as possible.

Eli had an eyebrow raised. "Okay weirdos, we should get going, we're gonna be late for school."

I smiled and nodded putting my empty glass of OJ in the sink. Eli put his arm around me and the three of us got into Eli's hearse and drove to school.

Eli P.O.V

We arrived at the school. Jake thanked me for the ride and Clare kissed me on the cheek and said she had to 'take care' of some things and she'd see me later in class. I was left alone walking to my locker.

"Hey man!" Adam reached his hand out to me.

"Hey!" We did our bro-hug and he asked me how I was.

"Good...kinda." I said.

"Kinda?" He questioned.

"It's...well. If I tell you, you can't tell anyone. You can't tell Clare. Simpson. Drew. Your parents. No one," I said sternly.

"Okay. I won't, I promise." He looked at me with worried eyes, "Now tell me what's wrong cause you're starting to scare me."

"We can't talk about it here," I said closing my locker.

"Skip class?" He suggested

I pulled my keys out of my pocket, "Way ahead of you." We made our way to the front steps discretely and hurried to Morty without drawing attention. As I drove to the Dot, it was a silent car ride. Adam didn't say anything, instead just looked out to the road. He seemed deep in thought. We arrived to the Dot, I parked Morty and turned the car off. I looked at Adam who unbuckled his seatbelt and opened the door. I unbuckled my seatbelt, and we both got out. I locked the doors and we went into the Dot. Adam took a seat and I took a seat across from him.

"You want anything?" I asked, "All on me."

"Not hungry." Adam said

"Woah. Adam's always hungry." I said jokingly

"Adam just wants to know what the hell is going on." Adam seemed concerned, really concerned. I never saw him like this.

"Adam, it's okay. I'm gonna go grab a drink, I'll be back. Then we can talk." I said as I got up. I ordered my Sprite and waited for the guy to give it to me. As I observed Adam from a distance, I was so surprised. I've never seen him so concerned. Did he have an idea of what was going on? "Thank you." I said to the man who gave me my soda as I gave him the money. I walked back with the cold soda in my hand and sat down across from Adam.

"Okay, so spill it." Adam looked at me.

"I was meeting Clare at the Dot on Saturday and before she came...Fitz was there." I said.

"And? Then What?" Adam asked.

"He said his usual snarky remarks, but t-then something different happened." I looked down. "He had a knife. And his friend has a gun. And they threatened to hurt Clare, me and you."

"Oh my god. You have to tell someone." Adam said nearly standing up.

"I can't do that." I said

"Why not?!" Adam said, his eyes bulging out of his head.

"I can't have him thinking he can threaten me and I'll get scared and run for help. I need him to know that I'm stronger than that." I took a deep breath.

Adam looked at me with fear and pleading eyes, "Eli. You don't play around with this stuff. He could kill you! And that may sound extreme," Adam lowered his voice, "But it's Fitz were talking about. He's capable of doing horrible things."

I looked down and put my face in my hands, I felt a sudden ache in my temples. "I just can't Adam."

"Think about Clare." He looked at me and he had a point. What about Clare? What if something did happen to her?

"I will not let it get that far." I said sternly.

Adam looked at me with his lips pressed together tightly, disappointment in his face. "Eli, I hope you can handle this. But as soon as he threatens you again or someone gets hurt, I'm gonna tell Simpson."

"But for now you won't?" I asked

He hesitated, "I won't. But if this isn't resolved soon, I will tell someone. It's just cause I care about my friends, Eli. And sometimes you're gonna have to face the fact that you can't win all your battles, especially not alone."

"Thanks Adam. You're a great friend." We stood up and hugged. I remember when I was younger, I had my best friend. His name was Shane. We became friends when we were in 2nd grade. We used to laugh for hours, playing outside on our bikes. But soon, as time went on, we grew apart. It was sad to see our friendship crumble away as time passed on. Now, there's Adam. And there's something different about this friendship. First of all, we're more mature but there's this unbreakable bond. And suddenly when you feel that bond, you know you have a best friend. Cause this friendship is never ending. Adam's the greatest friend I've ever had.

I grabbed my soda and we both went back to Morty. The car ride back to the school was a normal one, filled with laughter and sarcastic jokes. But even through all of that, I could sense the worried tone in Adam's voice. I myself was beginning to wonder...maybe I couldn't fight this battle. Maybe something bad was going to happen and I just didn't want to believe it.