Thanks to all who reviewed, specifically…
You guys are amazing! Enjoy the new chapter!
Disclaimer: Nope. Still don't own HON or B+B. All rights to P.C. and Kristen Cast and Disney.
Stevie Rae wiped her eyes and closed her locket before heading down into the basement, which had been transformed into a practice room for her brothers' band.
Although the scene before her was quite startling, it was hardly surprising. Chris, the oldest of the brothers, sat on the piano bench, simply letting his brothers work it out themselves. However, he kept watching them so not to miss anything funny, that is, if anything funny were to happen.
Meanwhile, Tommy and Timmy, the identical twins, were at each other's throat. For two people who could not look more similar, they really could not be any more different. Tommy played drums; Timmy played guitar. Tommy was loud and outgoing; Timmy was a little quieter and shy around people he didn't know very well. Tommy wore blue; Timmy wore red. Tommy liked dogs; Timmy preferred cats. The list goes on and on.
The only time the terrible twins ever seemed to be in synch was when they played. Somehow, someway, they were able to put their differences aside to balance out the song. They complemented and completed each other, supporting the melody in ways no one could ever even think possible.
"What are they fightin' 'bout now?" Stevie Rae asked, taking a seat next to Chris. Another thing the twins had in common: extreme obnoxiousness and stupidity to the point where it could quite possibly be contagious.
"Who gets to ride in the front when we go to the talent search," Chris answered.
"Are ya kiddin'?" Stevie Rae asked, dumbfounded. This was a new low, even for her bickering brothers.
"I wish. Meanwhile, I'm the only one workin' on the song that we have to finish to perform for the talent scouts!" He said the last part louder, hoping to draw the attention of the twins, but to no avail.
"I thought you guys finished that song last week," Stevie Rae said.
"Yeah, I thought we did too, but it…something's just…I don't know. I just can't help but feel like something's missing."
"Can I help?"
"Be my guest," Chris said, laying the music sheets on the piano's stand.
"I wanna sit up front!"
"I don't care! I'm older!"
"By an astondin' two minutes! Besides, you got to sit up front last time!"
Chris and Stevie Rae rolled their eyes, glanced at each other, and suppressed a laugh. After silently agreeing the twins were the most ridiculous people they had ever met in all their years combined (Chris's twenty to Stevie Rae's seventeen), Stevie Rae's gazed returned to the music. She had always had an ear for it, and, most would say, a fantastic voice to accompany it. She had grown up listening to her brothers and her mama and her daddy…music just made her who she was. It completed her. Ever since she was little, she had wanted to join their band, but her parents made it quite clear that she wasn't allowed to go off performing all over creation until she was eighteen. They used to perform songs for their family with Stevie Rae, but, for now, most of their music had no lyrics, and if it did, then Chris stepped in to sing them. Even though her parents weren't there anymore, they all agreed, including Stevie Rae, to obey their wishes.
"So, what do you think is missin'?" Chris asked.
Stevie Rae didn't answer him. Instead, she shouted, "Tommy! Timmy! Cut it out for a sec and play this dang song for me!"
They had been screaming at each other non-stop, but at the sound of their little sister's voice, they fell silent and turned around to face her. They had been a little bit too busy to even realize that she had come home.
Simultaneously, they both nodded and went to their respective instruments.
"Did you figure out what we were missin'?" Chris asked again.
Stevie Rae smiled and nodded, taking off her locket. She opened the golden heart up to reveal the smiling faces of their parents.
"Mama," Tommy said.
"And Dad," Timmy added.
"I don't think they're missin' anymore, Chris," Stevie Rae said. "They're still here, right in our hearts." She turned around to see the twins nodding and smiling at her.
Once she placed the open locket gently on the music stand, Stevie Rae nodded to Chris, and he began the melody with his piano. Timmy then entered with his guitar, strumming once every four beats. When Tommy entered on drums, Timmy adjusted his playing so they were complementing each other, working side-by-side, hand-in-hand, linking the music's layers to create an awe-inspiring sound only they seemed to be able to make.
When the piece was finished, the three boys turned to Stevie Rae, who beamed and applauded.
"That was awesome!" Tommy said, throwing his drumsticks in the air.
"Still think there's something missin' now, Chris?" Timmy asked, grinning.
"No," Chris said, smiling at Stevie Rae. "I think we've got it now."
Stevie Rae smiled back.
"Well, let's get packing! We have to leave today if we wanna make it there in time!" Tommy said, clapping his hands together.
"Yeah, and I get to sit in the front!" Timmy said.
Stevie Rae and Chris couldn't help but laugh as the two started arguing again, even if they were working together to get all the packing down in record time. "So," Chris said, gathering up the thousands of sheets of music, "how was your trip to town today?"
"It was alright," Stevie Rae said, watching him stuff the papers into a folder. "I got a new book."
"It's not new when you've read it a hundred times already," Chris teased.
"How did you know I've read it before?" Stevie Rae asked.
"You've read every book in that library," Chris said, shaking his head and laughing.
"Well, it's not like there's much else to do around here," Stevie Rae said. "Chris, do you think I'm…odd?"
"Odd? You? You're the most normal person in this family," Chris said. "Why are you askin'?"
Stevie Rae sighed. "Oh, I don't know. There's just…no one I can really talk to around here, except for you guys."
Chris smiled and put a hand on her shoulder. "Stevie Rae, this town is small. And it's old. And the people here are just stuck in their old, small ways. They don't like new ideas or people. And, we're new people with new ideas." Chris sighed and brushed his hair out of his face with his other hand. "What I'm trying to say is they don't like people different from them. They want you to be like them too, but you won't let them make you into something you're not. I've always loved that about you. Don't you worry 'bout them too much, sis. They ain't worth it. Besides, this is gonna be the start of a whole new life for us. I can feel it."
Stevie Rae smiled, giving her big brother a huge bear hug. "Thanks," she whispered.
"Anytime," he whispered back.
"C'mon, Chris!" Timmy called down from the yard.
"Let's go!" Tommy said.
Chris grabbed his music folder and was about to leave when Stevie Rae stopped him.
"Take this," she said, handing him the locket. "For good luck."
He smiled and winked, and Stevie Rae winked back. She wasn't really sure what it meant; she just knew that she'd been doing that with him for as long as she could remember. It was just their special way of saying that they were okay and everything was going to work out just fine, or at least that's what it meant in this particular situation.
They hurried up to the lawn, not wanting to keep them waiting for too long. Chris climbed into the driver's seat of their cart, and Tommy and Timmy swooped Stevie Rae up in a huge hug that took her a couple feet off the ground.
"See ya, sis," they said at the same time, then looked at each other like the other had two heads.
Thankfully, they were in too good a mood to start fighting over who said it first, and Timmy jumped into the back while Tommy took a seat beside Chris.
"Bye, guys! Good luck!" Stevie Rae called after them.
"Bye, Stevie Rae! Take care while we're gone!" Chris yelled back as the cart, led by their old draft horse, started off down the dirt road.
Stevie Rae stood waving after them until they disappeared into the horizon.
"We should be there by now," Chris said, double checking the map that Tommy held up for him.
"Where are we?" Timmy asked groggily from the back, just now waking up from the nap he had taken. He sat up, stretched, yawned, and looked around him, not recognizing anything he saw.
"Maybe we missed a turn?" Tommy offered.
"We should go…" Chris's voice trailed off as he looked towards the five street signs on a post, but all of them were worn down and faded to the point where they couldn't be read.
"Let's go this way," Timmy said, pointing to the right.
"No, that way," Tommy said, pointing to the left.
Chris sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose, bracing himself for (yet another) headache.
"Look, would you rather go down the dark and foggy path of doom or the lighter path that won't take us to our deaths?" Timmy asked.
"The map says it's this way."
"Are ya sure?" Timmy asked.
"Of course. It's a shortcut. C'mon!" Tommy insisted. Chris steered the cart to the left. "We'll be there in no time," Tommy added.
"I hope your right," Chris said as they continued farther down the path.
The howling of wolves urged Tommy to look at the map again. "This can't be right!" he exclaimed. "Where have you taken us, Timmy?"
"You're the one who wanted to come down this road in the first place! I wanted to go the other way, remember?" Timmy defended.
"I remember no such thing," Tommy said stubbornly.
"Shush," Chris said. "Do you hear that?"
"Hear what?" Timmy asked.
Tommy's eyes got so huge and round that they looked like strange saucers shoved into his face.
"What is it?" Timmy asked his twin.
"Wolves," Tommy whispered. "Right. There."
His brothers' eyes widened too. Chris looked around, and he could see that their horse had seen the wolves too by the way he stood on high alert. "Okay, I'm gonna try to turn us around real slo—"
"Holy shit!" Tommy screamed.
Chris could see only a blur of mangy grey as what he assumed to be the wolf launched himself at their old horse. The wolf missed them by a hair, but the damage was done. Completely and utterly spooked, their horse reared up, whinnying like bloody murder. There was nothing Chris could do to calm the horse down now, and the twins knew it.
"Jump!" Tommy cried, and he and Chris rolled out opposite sides.
"Abandon ship!" Timmy shouted as he hurled himself from the back of the cart.
Their horse took off, and the wolves seemed to all follow suit. Or so they thought, until they heard the snarling from a little ways away.
"Run?" Tommy asked in a whisper.
"Like hell?" Timmy added, also whispering.
"Yeah," Chris breathed. "Run like hell."
The three boys took off, not knowing or caring where they were going, so long as their feet took them away from the wolf pack. Unfortunately for them, it was dark, and they were unfamiliar with the terrain. Chris skidded to a stop when he realized that the hill's side was too steep to run straight down, and Tommy managed to stop beside him. However, when Timmy saw them and tried to stop, he instead tripped on a tree root and crashed into his brothers, sending them all down, down, down.
"Nice goin', moron," Tommy said from the bottom of the heap of boys at the base of the hill.
However, the wolves were not bothered by the steepness of the hill, and came running down at full speed.
"Crap crap crap!" Chris hissed as they scrambled to their feet.
"There! Over there!" Timmy shouted, pointing at these huge metal gates that sealed an insanely high stone wall. Sprinting over to what might be their savior, the brothers started pulling on the gates, shouting, but they seemed to be locked. That is, until Tommy pushed Timmy into the gates, and it swung wide open.
They hardly glanced at each other or had time to revel in their stroke of luck before the pack was upon them. Scrambling inside the safety of the gates, Chris shoved them closed just as the pack leapt for them. They snarled and bite and clawed at the gates, but they could not reach the boys inside.
Tommy looked at Timmy; Timmy looked at Chris, and Chris looked at Tommy. Then they all broke out into relieved laughter, not even caring that the skies had opened up and that they were all now soaking wet.
Finally, they turned around to see if there was someplace they could take shelter from the storm, but what they saw was enough to make them want to risk running home even with the wolves. The castle before them was so overwhelmingly huge that the country boys immediately felt like a fish out of water. They couldn't help but think, deep down inside, that something horrible had happened here, and that something horrible would happen here again.
Happy New Year! Start 2013 off on a good note and review! Please?