It's a proven fact that the real life Gallagher Girls are the best readers in the entire world. And who has proved that fact? Me, of course.
I'm on Cloud 9. Head over heels in love with you. Completely, utterly, in love.
And I couldn't have better readers.
This is dedicated to every single one of you, who takes the time to read my stories. I. Love. You. :)
I'm dead. I knew it. She shot me, and I'm dead. That's why I didn't feel it, right?
Holy crap, I'm dead...
I peeked my eyes open and saw the smoking gun. My gun. In Dawn's hand.
And that's when I noticed that the grip on my wrists wasn't there anymore, and the only thing holding me in place was pure shock.
Another shot rang out and the blonde lady fell to the ground beside me, eyes open and chest dripping blood. And I was officially snapped out of my shock.
The room was silent as the men dropped their weapons, each one standing straight and tall, facing the center of the room. The exact spot where I was sitting.
I watched in surprise as one by one, they each raised their left hand to their brow and saluted me. What the heck was going on?
"Dawn..." I pleaded as my best friend drew nearer to me. "Dawn."
"It's okay, Ari," she whispered. "I'm here. It's okay."
And I was reminded of the reason I chose this rebellious, ill-tempered, sarcastic Nightingale Girl as my best friend. The ropes were cut off of me and I collapsed into Dawn's outstretched arms, tears running down my face.
"I- I'm sorry..."
"Shh," she hushed me, smoothing down the long locks of tangles that fell over my shoulders. "It's not your fault. Now let's get you back."
I stood up on wobbly legs, my hands shaking and cold. "How did you guys find me?"
She smirked as she continued to walk, not bothering to look at me. "I have my ways."
I heard Zach scoff from behind me. "And those ways include an emotional breakdown, nightmares, and bossing us all around for a month, right?"
Dawn sent a glare in his direction, but he just grinned back, grasping Cammie's hand in his. The men parted for us at the door, one of them giving a proud nod in my direction.
My legs felt weak, and my head got dizzy, causing me to stop and lean against Dawn for support. But when my legs gave out, I closed my eyes, awaiting the fall.
Except it never came.
I opened my eyes again to see Tristan raising one eyebrow at me. "Where would you be without me?"
I shrugged. "Probably on a romantic cruise with Zachary over there."
Everybody just stared at me. They all looked surprised, except for Dawn and Tristan, who looked equally disgusted. I rolled my eyes. "You guys are so stupid. I thought we established that Zach and I were meant to be enemies forever. I guess I overestimated you all."
Jess laughed, and Tristan breathed out. "I thought you were going crazy for a second."
"Hey!" Zach yelled from somewhere behind me. "You're acting like it's impossible for a girl to like me!"
"Don't worry, Zach," Cammie consoled. "I still like you, no matter how annoying you can be."
Bex supressed a laugh and muttered, "Don't forget stalkerish."
Dawn smiled at me from beside Tristan as he carried me out into the hot sun. "Aren't they cute?"
I felt a surge run through me, and this time, it wasn't electricity. It was content. "The cutest."
Once we got outside, Mr. Solomon came up to me, taking me from Tristan, and placing me into the helicopter. "I expect you to catch up in your assignments when we get back."
I grinned. Only Mr. Solomon.
"Don't worry, sir. I'll help her along just fine," Tristan said.
I could see Mr. Solomon shooting daggers at Tristan, right before blackness overtook me.
"Is she awake?"
I felt a poke in my shoulder. "I don't know..."
"Well, check on her, stupid!"
The voices were familiar, but I couldn't place them. Poke. Poke. Poke.
Do NOT punch anybody, Aria. You might hurt yourself...
The prodding continued until I couldn't take it anymore and grabbed the offending hand, twisting at the wrist. "Holy shit, that hurts!"
Ah, and Zachary Goode has returned. I guess it really was a dream...and he didn't really fall off a cliff...
"Don't poke me," I grumbled, my voice sounding extremely hoarse.
"Damn it, woman! Let go of me!" he yelled.
I cringed at the loud sound, and the pain it caused my head, but reached out for the glass of water on the table. That's exactly when I noticed where I was. "What am I doing in here?"
I looked around at the bright white walls, and sterile equipment. Bex was on the couch, splayed across Kat, Grant, and Cammie, each of them asleep. Jess, Dawn, and the ever-present smirking Zach Goode were standing above me, all staring down.
I could see Tristan, asleep on the floor with Jonas, Liz, and Macey kicking their feet up on his back as a footrest.
"So I take it everyone slept in here?" I asked, casually swinging my feet over the edge of the bed to sit upright.
Dawn nodded, looking around, before running a tired hand through her auburn hair. "Yeah...I told them I wouldn't leave, and they ended up staying too...Kind of like a huge sleepover."
I faked a gag as Zach leaned over Cammie, waking her up with a kiss. "Gross."
As the rest of the group slept, I sat up with Zach, Jess, and Dawn, just talking. If I wasn't so tired of spy business, I would have gone with the protocol, and stayed in my room with them. I would have answered the questions that the CIA asked, without putting up a fight.
But since that wasn't the case, I got up without permission from the doctors, and took the three of them onto the roof. We sat there, looking out at the scenery, just enjoying the silence.
Suddenly, Dawn whispered. "They have to get their memories erased..."
The new information made me sit up a little straighter. Listen a little harder. It made me ask the question I knew they all knew the answer to. "Who and why?"
"Headmistress Morgan doesn't think it's safe to have so many people knowing about the Circle, and what happened over the last few months...She says that the less they know, the better."
Zach nodded. "She's right. The Circle will only come after them if they know."
Jess was quiet for a while before speaking. "I don't think they're making the right choice."
"What?" We all turned to Jessie, the flyer of the group. The hawk.
She shrugged, staring out at the grounds. "Think about it. If they get their memories erased, we won't get to have any contact with them. And what about this semester? They would just completely forget everything they ever learned! It's not fair."
"Stop being selfish," Zach snapped. I'd never heard him talk to Jessica like that. Ever. "If it means they'll be safer, then it's for the best. You can't just take away what little innocence they have left without a second thought."
She glared at him so hard, I just knew this was one of the very few things that could set her off. "And you don't think I've given this a lot of thought? If you happened to forget, Aria disappeared over a month ago because of your mother! She could have been killed. She could have been killed, Zach. Don't you dare tell me that I'm taking someone else's innocence away."
I had to stop this before it got out of hand, but it already was. "Knock it off, guys. We can't change a thing anyways. What's the point in arguing?"
They all looked taken aback. "Since when are you one to just give up like that without a fight?" Zach asked.
I stood up, brushing my jeans off. "Ever since that day you guys broke me out."
I didn't say the words that I wanted to. The words that were eating at me. The ones that would haunt me for the rest of my life. I didn't say that I stopped fighting when I couldn't keep my sister from dying.
"I'll see you later..."
"Wait!" I turned to look at Dawn. "They get the brainwashing process done later today. We're all going...You should come to...Just to say goodbye."
I nodded, but I knew she didn't think I'd come. And so I walked away from their with too many things reeling in my mind.
To be honest, I hated this chapter. It was all happy and giddy in the beginning of it, and I couldn't get it to flow together that well...Sorry for the suckiness :(
Special Thanks to:
Isn't that Ironic, for guessing it right, and leaving a review.
Lizaluvsdoggies, for the wonderfully written reviews, support, and love. :)
daydreaming silently, for the review that made me write this ASAP.
Shannon the chameleon, because clowns suck, and she reviewed.
itasca36, for the awkwardly cool review ;)
Zach-Goode's-Girll . xxx (ignore the spaces) for being the first to review the last chappy.
XxCandyygirlxX, just because she left me an awesome review.
And last, but definitely not least, toJessRobStar, for being the reason Nightingale exists :)
I LOVE YOU ALL! Even you silent readers :D
Forever and Always,