"Lacey what's wrong?" Phoebe asked, her voice laced with concern. She reached out and touched Lacey's shoulder. Lacey jumped, getting startled out of her thoughts. She turned to Phoebe in confusion.
"What?" She asked softly. Her voice barely audible.
"You look like you've seen a ghost." Phoebe answered. "We were talking about Regina's scratch and you just zoned out."
Lacey opened her mouth, blinking rapidly. "I uh…I…" she looked around in confusion. What was going on? She focused on Phoebe again and tried to slow down her racing mind. "Did she tell you anything about the woman in the car?" Lacey asked slowly.
Phoebe shook her head. "We weren't exactly buddy buddies at the moment. I had another goal in mind." She said sighing. Phoebe sat up straighter and gaped at Lacey. "Wait so she told you guys I scratched her?!" She yelled in disbelief.
Lacey looked up from her phone she'd grabbed off the floor.
"That bitch." Phoebe muttered as she rolled her eyes. "No wonder you guys looked at me like I was some kind of leper."
I need 2 c u!
Lacey stared in confusion at Danny's text. What's wrong with him? "I won't put it past her to lie about something like that." Lacey said as she texted Danny.
"Makes me wonder what else she was lying about?" Lacey said aloud, more to herself than to Phoebe. She stared down at the picture in her hand. It had been such a nice day. The smiles on their faces had been genuine. Yet it seemed like her best friend was involved in something bigger than a Connecticut boy toy.
"Well I guess it's bad to speak ill of the dead." Phoebe said shrugging, though her voice was still bitter.
"Are you sure Regina was talking about a woman?" Lacey asked carefully. "Could it have been a guy?" Maybe if it was Vikram. But if it was Vikram and he was having an affair with Regina then…
"Nope it was a woman." Phoebe said confidently. "She was like…that bitch…" Phoebe said. "Her favorite word to describe the female species."
Lacey nodded slowly and picked up her phone again. Danny hadn't texted back. It didn't matter. She'll text him.
I need to tell you something. Meet at the fort in 20 min.
"Lacey what's going on?" Phoebe asked as she watched her friend.
"Nothing." Lacey said quickly. "I just…there's something I gotta do." She put her pictures quickly back in her box and closed it, shoving it under her bed.
"Lacey you're creeping me out." Phoebe said staring at her friend. Lacey was never one to rush through stuff and right now as she pulled on her boots, she saw there was in urgency in her mannerism that wasn't there before. "What's going on?"
"Phoebe I can't-"
Both girls jumped back in fright when her bedroom window opened.
"Oh my God what is that?" Phoebe asked as she stared in shock frozen in her spot.
Danny pushed the window up further and lifted himself up like he usually did. Brushing the dirt off his jacket, he finally looked up and stopped. He opened his mouth and closed it quickly as his gaze went from Phoebe to Lacey. He blinked several times to see what was going on but Lacey was still looking at him in confusion.
"Hey guys." He said cheerfully, giving them a slight wave. "So we're having a sleepover?" He said rubbing his hands together, keeping the forced smile on his lips.
Lacey stepped forward. "Danny what are you doing here?" She asked.
Phoebe watched in confusion as Lacey walked towards Danny and grabbed his arm.
"Didn't you get my text?" She whispered to him.
"No." Danny answered. "But things are a little more complicated now." He whispered back to her.
Lacey looked up at him confused. She held on to his arm as she searched his eyes. Danny stared back at her pleadingly. She saw the urgency in his gaze.
"Wait are two stil…"
Danny and Lacey broke their eye contact when it dawned on them Phoebe was still in the room.
Lacey took a deep breath and turned around. She gave Phoebe a shaky smile. "Danny and I are…" she paused. She could feel Danny's eyes on her face. "We're friends."
Phoebe looked back and forth from Lacey to Danny before getting up and taking a deep breath. "I should probably go." She said quickly.
"Wait." Danny said speaking up. "You never saw me here." He said.
"What?" Phoebe asked.
"You never saw me here…I never came here." Danny repeated. He turned to Lacey. "I don't want you to get into any more trouble. I didn't know she was here." He whispered quickly. "If I'd known she was here, I would have-"
"It's okay." Lacey said cutting him off. "Phoebe won't say anything." She turned to her friend and gave her a small smile and a slight questioning nod.
Phoebe's eyes got big as she looked from Lacey to Danny. She nodded. "I—I won't…I didn't see you…anything." She turned to Lacey. "It was good catching up."
Lacey nodded. She felt Danny lean towards her some more and she resisted the urge to look up at him.
"I'll see myself out." Phoebe said quickly.
"I'll call you." Lacey said going to her friend.
Phoebe looked at Danny briefly and then back to Lacey. She smiled as she pulled her into a tight hug. "We have to talk." She whispered into Lacey's ear in excitement. She pulled back and tried to hide her smile.
Lacey nodded as her friend left the bedroom. After watching her walk down the stairs, she closed her bedroom door and locked it right before whirling around. "Danny what's going on."
"I didn't do it." Danny said defensively, stretching his arms out. "Lacey I swear…I didn't do it."
"What are you talking about?" Lacey asked coming closer to him. But with every step she took, the feeling of dread overflowed in her.
"I'm not going back to jail." Danny said fervently. "I can't….I can't go back there." His big brown eyes flooded with fear and something else…something dark.
"Jail? Danny why are you-
"The cops are after me." Danny said. He took a deep breath, looking around bewildered. "I went home and my mom was packing…she said we need to go, they found the murder weapon and I-
"The murder weapon? What murder weapon?" Lacey asked her voice rising in panic as she stopped walking towards him.
Danny paused as he stared at Lacey. "It has my fingerprints." He watched as the blood drained from Lacey's face. "But I swear Lacey….God I swear I didn't kill her."
"Why does it have your fingerprints?" Lacey asked taking a step back as she felt her heart fall from her chest.
"I don't know." Danny said frantically. "Lacey somebody's trying to frame me." He pleaded loudly.
"Who would frame you?" Lacey demanded.
"I don't know." Danny said. "The same person that put the necklace in my locker-"
"Oh God." Lacey said holding her head. "Oh God I can't…." She said closing her eyes.
"Lacey I know how this looks." Danny begged. "But I'm telling you the truth." He looked around her room his breathing ragged. "I didn't want to leave knowing you thought this of me."
Lacey closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. She exhaled and shook her head.
"I already lost Jo but if I was to lose you too, I-"
"Danny, you need to go…" Lacey said softly.
Danny's face fell as he saw the doubt in her eyes. He took a deep breath. "I-I didn't know where else to go Lacey." He croaked, as he tried to push away his emotions. "I have to get out of Green grove…I have to go somewhere where I can hide out till-"
"God Danny get out of my room!" Lacey said through clenched teeth.
Danny pushed back the tears threatening to fall. He swallowed deeply as he saw the hurt and betrayal across Lacey's face. "Lacey." Danny said softly. He saw her clenching her teeth. He held her gaze. "I killed my aunt…but I didn't kill your best friend. I swear…I wouldn't do that to you." Danny whispered firmly.
Lacey stared at him unmoving. Danny stared back silently. The most effective way for them to communicate was in silence. Through their eyes as they gazed in each other's soul. He didn't mind baring himself because he knew this was the only way he could get through to her. Before he left, he needed her to know this. She had to know.
Lacey jumped slightly from the knock at her door. "Yes mom?" she said hesitantly as she tore her eyes away from Danny. She heard her mom turn her doorknob without result.
"I told you to stop locking your door. Are you okay?" Judy asked.
Lacey took a deep breath. "Yeah...just getting ready for bed." she answered. Placing her hand over her heart, wondering if her mother could hear it pounding."
"Okay but sweetheart, open the door. Chief Masterson wants to talk to you." Judy said. "Sorry…she's gotten this habit lately of locking her door. You know teenagers."
Lacey felt chills sweep over her body. Unable to hide the dread in her eyes she slowly turned her head to look back at Danny.
Danny stared at the door and exhaled slowly in despair. He lifted his eyes slowly and stared back at Lacey. His life rested in her hand.