"Get up, you have school. GET UP!" My mother was shaking me roughly.
"I'm up, god, that hurts!" She was stretching my wounds, and it was painful.
"I'm sorry, but you need to get up. Everyone else already is, come on." She helped me stand up, I winced.
"Are you alright? Did you hurt yourself last night?" She looked me over, concerned. I was wearing a oversized tee, my bandages weren't noticeable.
"Yeah, it's just cramps." I whispered this, she nodded understandingly.
"Hey Lessa, you're finally up. How ya feeling?" Jason greeted me when I entered the kitchen.
"Fine I'm just tired. How come everyone always feels the need to get me up early?"
"We don't, we just try to get you up on time?" My father replied.
Everyone was eating pancakes, Jason had made them. My friends were sitting at the island, talking about school and such. My little brother was bombarding Humphrey with the most random questions, Humphrey was nice and answered them politely. Breakfast was normal, I seemed to be the only one who was thinking about yesterday. Every noise made me jump, my eyes pivoted in all directions.
I ate my breakfast quickly and ran to me room to get dressed. I wanted to get to school early, I needed some time to myself. I entered my bathroom holding the clothes, jumping into the shower immediately. I tried to hurry, but I had to clean around my wounds, and every time I moved awkwardly or sharply, they ached.
I stepped out the shower carefully, and toweled myself off. Before putting my clothes on, I decided to re-bandage my cuts. I unwrapped it slowly and removed the gauze, revealing the horror of my wounds. The four long cuts that took up most of my abdomen, they didn't look infected, but they were still open and dried blood surrounded them. I winced as I covered them in alcohol. I used some more gauze and tape to close them, and put on a tight tank top to reduce the bulging. I finished getting dressed and headed towards the door, but then I heard something behind me and stopped dead in my steps. I didn't know whether to turn around or run, I could be nothing. Or something really, really bad.
"Alessa." The voice was soft and sweet, hardly something to be afraid of. I turned, extremely cautious, to see an angelic girl in front of me.
"W-What?" I stuttered, not sure if I should be afraid or not.
"Alessa, you need to listen to me closely, you're in a lot of danger. You and your friends, you need to get out of here, now."
"Tell me something I don't know, I just need to know why."
"There are things that want you dead, things that want to see you gone. You need to leave and go get help, soon."
"Help! From who?" I was so confused. Had my life turned into some cliché movie? What was going on?
"You need to find Erebus, he can help. He left when you did." She was speaking urgently, trying to get me to understand this impossible situation.
"I still don't get it, where did I leave from?" Why did everyone always feel the need to be completely vague when it came to the important stuff?
"Erebus you have to find him, I don't know where he is, you should though. You'll know soon if you don't know now."
"Oh my god, I don't know! I don't know whats going on, we're scared. If you know something that can help us, please tell me." I was beginning to breakdown, oh god, what's happening?
"Oh no, he's coming. How did he get here?" She looked panicked.
"Who's coming?" I panicked too. Why was she afraid?
"Don't trust him, he's-" She disappeared whether bathroom door opened. Jason, Humphrey and Taylor appeared.
"Are you decent?" Jason had his eyes closed, so did the other two.
"Y-yeah." I tried to act normal, but he heard the fear in my voice.
"Whats wrong Alessa? Did one of them come back?" Jason looked around the bathroom frantically.
"No, I was just thinking about what happened yesterday, that all. I'm still a little scared."
"Oh baby, don't be. You've got three strong guys watching over you, you know w wouldn't let anything bad happen." Jason tried to comfort me, but it didn't work, I wasn't worrying about another attack right now.
"I know. What are you guys doing up here anyways?" I tried to mask my apprehension towards them.
"Besides checking on you, we decided to shower?" Humphrey had some clean clothes in his hands and he was smiling kindly.
"Together?" I tried to fake a laugh.
"Oh ha-ha, very funny." Taylor rolled his eyes at me.
"I guess I'll go then, see ya." I hurried out of the bathroom. And to my bedroom.
Oh crap, how many things could happen at once? Now one of my friends was against me? If that girl was to be trusted, I was in more danger than I thought. She did look trusting though, she could've been a angel. Her light brown, almost blonde, hair flowed in waves down to the small of her back. She was even dressed in a white gown, an almost glow surrounding her silhouette. She definitely didn't look threatening, her soft green eyes were wide and innocent, like a little girl. But she could just be pretending, if something could have red eyes and retractable claws, then I think they could act like they were good.
"Hey Lessa, you ready to go?" Taras knocking startled me, making my heart skip a beat.
"Yeah," I opened the door, she was already dressed and made up, I guess she'd gotten ready before I woke up. "I'm good, let's go."
I said my goodbyes to my parents, and headed towards my car. Tara was riding with me, just the two of us. We stepped into the car, I prepared myself to tell her what happened in the bathroom. I pulled out of the driveway slowly, letting the others go before me.
"Can I tell you something?" My voice was hesitant.
"You know you can."
"Yeah, well…um, earlier, while I was in the bathroom, I saw another woman. She didn't hurt me or anything, she just told me some stuff." I stopped the car.
"She said I had to find someone named Erebus, or something. And she basically said that I shouldn't trust one of the guys."
"Well, she's lying, why wouldn't we trust them?" She looked so confused. Maybe I shouldn't of told her, I knew I needed that time alone. I stopped the car and pulled over.
"I don't think she was, she didn't outright say it. She heard them coming upstairs and she got real scared and said 'He's coming. How did he get here?', like she knew him or something. She seemed genuinely scared of one of them. I don't know what to think anymore, I just want this to be over with. No one else seems to be taking this as seriously as they should."
"I'm here Lessa, don't worry, we'll figure this out. Listen, this…thing, these occurrences are obviously connected to you. If you think she was telling the truth, I trust your opinion. I'm not sure what to think though, we've known them since kindergarten. Except Humphrey, of course." We looked up at the exact same time, our minds clicking with the obvious.
"Humphrey? But, he seemed so nice. Would he really want to hurt us?" I couldn't believe it, but I also couldn't believe I didn't make the connection earlier.
"I don't know." She seemed to be thinking pretty heavily about something. "What if he isn't bad? What if he's good, and that girl was just another one of those things? He could be Erebus, and she just doesn't want us to know."
"Maybe, but the why would she mention him at all? It's not like we knew about him before."
"To turn us against him, we probably would've learned eventually. Maybe she wanted us to ditch him now or whatever." Tara seemed really proud of herself.
"Maybe, I don't know, this is all to weird regardless." I rested my head on the steering wheel, feeling Taras hand rub my back.
"Shush, it's alright, we'll get through this. I promise." She hugged me.
"Thanks, you are good friend. But you know you don't have to stay here, right? They're so clearly after me."
"I would never desert you, especially now! I'll help you in any way you need me to. And I will help you figure out which one of the guys we cant trust. I don't want you thinking that you don't have anyone. I'm here." She smiled a smile that let me know that she was telling the truth.
"Thanks, really. I just don't know what to do. I mean, someone that's close to me might be working against me, maybe. If it is true, it's probably Humphrey, but it might be one of the other two. One of those things went after Taylor too, maybe that was for a reason. Maybe Jason has been drugging us with his delicious food. Maybe were all crazy, maybe I'm crazy!" I began sobbing hysterically, Tara tried to comfort me.
"Come on, let's get ourselves together. We have to get to school." She laughed a little, and wiped my eyes with a tissue.
"Yeah, ugh, we get up early and were still going to barley make it."
"Well, I'm with you, so being late isn't surprising." She laughed again, sitting in her seat and buckling her belt. We drove off, I speed towards school. We barley made it, as usual with me.
"Lets just act calm, okay. No one should notice if we act calm. Besides even if we were acting strange, how could they know what happened. They aren't psychic, are they?" Tara was doing her best to get things under control, but I could see that I would be the one having to do all of the talking, and such.
"Yeah, stay calm and cool, and no one will know that we think one of our friends is trying to kill us." I was mostly talking to myself, but Tara nodded at me.
We both exited the car at the same time, taking deep breaths simultaneously. Calmly, at least for us, we walked to our group of friends, the smiled when they saw us.
"What took you so long?" Jason bellowed. "We've been waiting for hours."
"Hours my ass. Leave them be." Taylor slapped him on the back.
"Calm down, we just had a little breakdown in the car. Everything kind of got to us, you know." They all nodded at my words solemnly.
"We understand, but everything's alright now, we'll get through this." Humphrey smiled at me kindly. Either he was an amazing actor, or he wasn't acting at all. If he was though, Taylor would be crushed. But, if I were being honest, I was hoping it was him. Better Humphrey than one of the guys I have known all of my life.
"Thanks Humphrey, I just need to pull myself together. I need to try to think clearly." I walked towards them trying to act as I should, but I was never a very good actor.
"I just want this to be over." Taylor buried his head into Humphreys chest, everyone looked at them puzzled. I had to remind myself that they didn't know.
"Taylor may I speak with you?" I tried to sound as if I just needed a shoulder to cry on. They bought it.
"Yeah sure, lets go this way." He ushered me to the trees near our school. "What is it?"
I spoke slowly. "I know now isn't exactly the right time for a coming out party. But if you're are going to be grinding and stuff on Humphrey, then I think it would be a lot clearer to the others whats going on. Save them the questions, you know." I laughed, truly, as I spoke. He laughed a little too.
"I know, I was just thinking of that. If Humphrey are going to be comforting each other that way, then we should save them the confusion. But you can understand that it isn't that easy?"
"Of course! I wasn't saying it was, I just mean that it would be better coming from your mouth. Rather than they having to figure it out on there own." I brushed my fingers across his cheek gently. He smiled in return.
"Thank you, really, I don't think you know just how important you are to me. Or how much you've helped me." How could this boy, this man that I've know almost literally my whole life, be against me? It couldn't be Taylor, at least not the Taylor I know. He was smiling at me in the sweetest way, it couldn't be him. But it cant be Humphrey, all though it made sense. The timing of his arrival to town, just happening across me when they first should up. It made sense, but I couldn't bare seeing my Taylor hurt by that type of accusation. Humphrey might be Erebus, but I didn't really want that either. From the stories I read, Nyx and Erebus were somewhat of a couple, or they had sex at least. That would explain Humphreys instant attraction to me, not that I had low self-esteem, I just didn't really believe in that type of thing.
"Oh, hush now darling, we all love you, we all would help you in anyway needed." We were beginning to have a moment, I tried to get things back to normal.
After a few more thank yous and no problems, we returned to the front of the building. Everyone was gone, of course. We were so caught up, we didn't here the bell ring. Apparently no one thought to tell us. We walked slowly to our first hour class, we were already late, a few more minutes wouldn't kill us.
School, surprisingly, wasn't a problem. I let all of the earlier incidents float out of my mind; I let myself enjoy the peace. We all laughed, and besides they few unavoidable ones, there were no comments of what happened or what was to come. When school ended we all decided to go to Humphreys house, his mom was working until late. The ride there was relatively long, I didn't realize he lived so far off. I never really thought of him living anywhere, to be honest. We turned into a cul-de-sac, we all were stunned by what we saw. A huge house took up most of our view, it was three stories high and beautiful. How could we of not seen it before? It was old, that was obvious, the outsides was falling apart. There were tools and other equipment on the porch, so it was obvious they were fixing it up. The porch, the huge porch, stood across the whole front part of the house, it was missing a few boards and the wood was dark and weak, brittle looking. Two giant pillars framed the doors and held up the ceiling over the porch. Paint was falling off of them, making them look slightly unsteady, worrying me. Two colossal doors welcomed us as we climbed the steps, the hardware was obviously antique.
"Well this is my house, I know it's pretty shabby. My mom fell absolutely in love with it, couldn't say no." Humphrey looked around, apparently ashamed.
"Oh, it's lovely Humphrey. I've always wanted to live in a house like this, it's beautiful. Honestly." I looked around adoringly, this was the most amazing house I'd ever seen.
"Oh, thank you Alessa, it does have potential. Mother couldn't wait in until the renovations were done to move in. It's fairly uncomfortable, but I have a feeling that I wont be staying here much."
"Yeah with all this crap going on, I wouldn't blame you. I wouldn't blame anyone if we all just slept together every night from now on." Jason chuckled sourly at his own words.
"God, it feels like its been a month, at least a week, and its only been a few days." Tara sat down on the dusty old couch, placing her face in her hands.
We were in the living area now, it was dark and dank. I was starting to feel a little uneasy, but I just pushed it out of my head and sat down next to Tara.
"Shush honey, well work this out, no worries." I tried to reassure her, tried to quiet her sobs.
"How? We don't know whats happening, we don't know what to do. How are we to stop these things when we know nothing?" Her face was contorted in anger and pain. Oh, how I wish I could help, wish I could find some way out of this mess.
Rebecca walked over to us, placing her arms around both of our bodies. "We will get through this, but only if we keep ourselves together. We don't want to go into this with our eyes half shut." Her words were nothing, empty, she didn't understand.
"God Becca! Don't you get it, we could die, those things want to kill us. This isn't simple, this isn't something that we can just walk away from, it's real. So why don't you step out of your little world, and realize that your looks cant get you out of this one?" I was screaming, the others just stared.
"That doesn't even make sense. Why would I think that? I know how serious this, I'm just not falling apart like the rest of you."
"I don't think you do, stop acting like this doesn't affect you, like this is so easy. Nothing is easy especially this. I know that you have your own little protected world, but you need to push that away. Stop being so cold." My voice was softer. Why did she have to be so detached, so cold, such a bitch?
"I know we're all scared and a little volatile right now, but we need to calm down and think." Taylor talked slowly at Rebecca and me.
"I was calm, it's her. I was just trying to help." She looked at me disgustingly.
"It doesn't matter, all of us need to be calm, and we shouldn't be fighting." Taylor, his voice soft and oddly assertive, trying to coax us into calmness.
"Come on, Taylor is right, we need to work through this. Besides, Taylor and I need to talk to you guys about something." Humphreys voice became nervous.
"What?" Jasons face was completely confused, as usual.
"Well, I just want to get it in the open now, so that you guys wont wander later. Sometimes people know before it's out, Alessa did, even though we were really young. I guess I'm just hoping that I don't have to say it out loud, I don't think I even know how to. It's something that I feel slightly uncomfortable talking about, and it has to do with Humphrey. I don't want to say it, so please think." Taylor looked at the ground as he spoke, ashamed.
"I don't know what you mean Tay, and what does it have to do with Humph…" Jasons voice trailed off as Taylors words clicked in his head. "You're gay?" He face was unreadable, I couldn't tell if he was angry.
Jason stood from the armchair he was sitting and walked towards Taylor. Taylors face was apprehensive until Jason placed his arms around him, and they buried their heads into each others shoulders. I think I heard whispers, and soft sobbing, as the two of them rocked back and forth.
"Taylors gay?" Tara turned her head towards me, her expression questioning.
"Yeah." I answered.
"And you knew?"
"How come he didn't tell us?" She looked hurt, tears seemed to be welling in her eyes.
"He's only seventeen, I think that's earlier than most. Anyways, you have to understand that it was hard for him, it still is, it's not something that you just tell everybody."
"I know, I know." Her head fell into my chest and I brushed my fingers through her hair.
"Wait, why are you just telling us now?" Rebeccas face was skeptical somehow. How could she deny this?
"It isn't something that can just be told, no matter how close we are, it was a secret that if out could cause me serious consequences." Taylors voice and face were so hurt, Humphrey stood and held him tightly. Taylor was still in Jasons arms.
"We all love you Taylor, you know that, we all love you no matter what. You're the same Taylor that you were before, and always will be. You have nothing to worry about, I promise." Tara spoke as she walked towards him, I followed her. Our two bodies joined the boys hug and all of us soothed and comforted Taylor. Except for Rebecca, we ignored her.
"We love you…"
We stayed like this for several minutes, like all of our problems went out the window and only Taylor mattered. Rebecca was being horrible, she's one of my best friends and I love her, but sometimes it's like if something doesn't have to do with her it doesn't matter. I didn't understand her, she wasn't always like this, she was once cute and caring. Then she got pretty and all the boys started fawning after her, now she thinks she's better than everyone else.
"God, are you all done, we have bigger problems than this remember. The whole we might die thing." Rebecca was angry and speaking harshly, it tool all of strength to keep myself from jumping her.
"It's fine," Taylors hand brushed across my face. "she's right, we have bigger things to worry about. She could of said it a little nicer though. It's not like it would of killed her."
"Yeah, lets get ourselves together and think of something to do." Humphrey dropped his head and kissed Taylor on his forehead.
"So, what are we going to do?" Jason let go of Taylor.
"I don't know, should we carry weapons?" Humphrey spoke softly, his voice concerned and confused.
"What kind of weapons? I wouldn't mind have a knife with from now on." Tara face was harshly set.
"I think we should rest, we are all tired, and I think were safe for now." Humphrey wrapped a comforting arm around Taylor.
"How do you know were safe? They might come back, we don't want our eyes closed when they get here." Taras words were almost accusing, it was obvious, to me at least, that she was still wary of the girls warning.
"I don't know." Humphrey held his head down. "I can stay up while you guys sleep, or we can sleep in shifts."
"Yeah, why don't you girls sleep and we'll stay up." Jason entered the room, I hadn't realized he left, carrying several blankets. He threw them towards us and sat down on an armchair nearby. His face was cautious, ready for anything. The three boys, one of which might be behind all of this, watched for danger. It was hard for me to believe that one of these guys, one of these great guys that have watched over me, one of the guys who seemed so kind, was after me, wanted me dead. It wasn't fair, why did all this crap have to be thrown on my lap? What did I do to deserve this?
A/N: Yay, I finally updated, I hope you think well of my story. Please review.