Disclaimer: Refer to Prelude.

Author's note: A big thank you once again for all of your support. You guys have been wonderful! :)

PS: booklover457 I did make plans to have something along those lines. Still thinking it through though...thanks for the input! :D

A Moment's Reprieve

Chapter 5: Through the Trees

Anita Lesniki stormed her way across the school field, towards the crowded trees. The bespectacled girl had a feeling she was playing right into Jennifer's hand, but was past caring.

I knew this would happen! I fucking knew it!

She was livid with rage – more so at herself than anyone else. What the hell had she been hoping for? That bitch to grow a conscience?

I hate you…

Her brisk strides slowed to careful, measured steps as she entered the forest. She tilted her head slightly and strained her ears to listen out for the tell-tale crunch of dead leaves.

"Hey, Monistat." An all too familiar voice greeted her pleasantly from behind.

She started in shock, and swiveled around to face Jennifer. The latter returned her a smug look.

Needy's backpack hit the ground with a dull smack. The blond hardened her eyes at the raven haired beauty, and raised her chin challengingly.

"I knew you'd come." The latter said simply, leaning casually against a thin trunk.

Needy felt the hairs on the back of her neck bristle.

How dare she…!

"Did you also know that just the sight of your face makes me sick?" She spat, and was pleased to see a look of consternation cross Jennifer's face.

"You are really, really starting to piss me off, Lesnicki."

"Really? That's the best news I've heard all day."

Jennifer closed her eyes briefly and appeared to engage in a deep internal struggle. Needy stared contemptuously at her, deriving pleasure from the other's pain.

Her lips thinned into a callous smile. Anger surged through her veins, blazing like fire through a pipeline. This power, this destructive power that could…

make me reach out and kill –

"Why didn't you kill me?"

Needy blinked. The roaring flames receded rapidly like a retreating snake, wails of despair echoing in their trace. She swallowed thickly.

What had just happened?

"I don't have time for this." The teen declared shakily, bending down to retrieve her backpack. "Just…stay away from me!"

"Needy, wait–!"

Needy gasped in pain as she tugged at the heavy bag, a hand flying to her wounded shoulder.

"What's wrong?" Jennifer was instantly by her side.

The brunette pulled the jacket off Needy's left shoulder and firmly pried the latter's trembling hand off the wound. Needy recoiled from her touch.

"God, Needy…be still." She murmured, gently removing the untidy mess of bandages with a hand. "Ew."

Needy raised her gaze hesitantly and watched in silence as Jennifer inspected her wounds meticulously.

"Ugh, this looks disgusting…did you get it checked?"

Her clear emerald eyes stared transfixed at the way the raven-haired beauty bit her soft, lush lips in distraction. Even in this state, Jennifer looked nothing less than beautiful.

Her eyelids drooped. She was beginning to feel a little light-headed…a little intoxicated by Jennifer's overpowering perfume. The blond teen suppressed a moan as the brunette caressed her shoulder lightly.

"Are you scared of me?" Jennifer asked suddenly, flashing a toothy grin. "I can hear your heart beat."

Needy froze.

"It's like a fucking drumfest." She gave a silvery laugh.

"Shut up." The bespectacled teen muttered angrily, red-faced.

Damn it, pull yourself together!

"There's no need to be frightened…" Jennifer began tenderly, taking Needy's hands in hers. "You're safe from me. I promise."

Needy looked at her. There was just this slight inflection to her tone…

"Don't do it." She blurted out. "Leave her alone."

Jennifer's expression darkened. She let go, letting her hands fall limply to her sides.

"What are you talking about?" The brunette asked icily.

Needy averted her gaze. "I know about your plans with Patricia."

Jennifer clenched her hands into fists. "And?"

"And," The blond repeated slowly, looking at her full in the face. "I'm asking you not to."

The brunette turned her back to Needy.

"You know I'll die."

Needy hesitated. She closed her eyes and drew in a deep breath.

"If that's the only way..."

"Are you fucking serious?" Jennifer whipped around and shot her a look of incredulity. "What about last night?"


The raven-haired beauty held her breath as Needy reached out and placed a hand over hers. Tears sprang to her eyes instantly. Her familial, warm touch felt like a distant memory.

Jennifer fought to hold back her tears.

"So," She began thickly, giving a thin, sardonic smile. "You'll only be my friend if I agree to starve myself?"

Needy looked at her seriously.

"It's the only way that I can forgive you."

Jennifer's eyes flashed. She wrenched her hand away forcefully, startling her friend.

"Forgive…me?" She repeated, her voice dangerously quiet. "You nearly killed me."


"–Save it, Lesnicki!" She raged helplessly, shoving Needy into the dirt. "We're through!"

"Jen!" The bespectacled teen cried urgently, forcing herself up with great difficulty.

Jennifer approached her with a deliberate smirk on her pale, worn face.

"And guess what?" She spat bitterly. "You were a terrible best friend too."

The brunette flung a glinting piece of metal at Needy, striking her sharply in the chest. It bounced off and glittered to the ground.

"I won't be needing that anymore."

Needy remained in a half-crouch and slowly reached out to pick up the metal piece.

Best. Friends. Forever.

The teen looked up and realized that she was all alone.