Chapter1

"How could a fifteen year old girl kill a grown man?" Police officer Jenkins asked, his hands on his hips.

Officer Gerald pulled a walkie-talkie from his back pocket. "Guns can shoot from miles away. It's easy nowadays."

"How do we prove she did it? Especially if she has the gun."

"We have trained investigators already on the case. All we have to do, is find her."

"Then what? We take her in, even without proof?"

"We don't need proof. She's an orphan, no family or anything. We can detain her at any time."

"Huh." Officer Jenkins said, looking around. He looked right at me, though he didn't see me, then looked away.

I got to a crouch and started running, hoping my feet wouldn't crunch too many dead leaves. It was almost summer; there really shouldn't have been that many dead ones. But it was the woods. They didn't exactly get picked up much.

"How do we know she did it?"

"We have a witness."

"Who?"

"A young boy, the same age as the girl. I thought they'd be friends but... he didn't act like it."

"Shit." I whispered, then covered my mouth.

The both looked over in my direction.

Officer Jenkins started walking in my direction.

I moved, hiding myself inside a fallen tree trunk that had been hollowed out, only to lose my shoe in the process.

"Someone ditched a shoe over here. Recently. It's not too dirty."

Officer Gerald came over, a flashlight in his hand even though it wasn't dark out. He picked up the shoe and grinned. "She's been here."

"That's her shoe?"

He nodded. "It is. She could even be here now. Spread out and look for her. Call if you find her."

Officer Jenkins nodded and walked off in the opposite direction.

"Khloee? I know you're here somewhere. You can't hide from us." He said, walking around a few feet away from where I was.

I covered my mouth with my hand, hoping I wasn't being too loud.

He walked around a little bit more, maybe five more minutes, before looking in at where I was, spotting me immediately.

I screamed and jumped to my feet in seconds.

"Don't even think about it." He growled, seeing me start to back up.

I swallowed hard before I took off running.

I could hear him running after me, his feet hitting the ground harder than mine were, making the leaves turn to small pieces.

"Khloee!" He screamed, picking up the pace.

I was running too fast, the wind blowing around too many leaves, that I didn't see the small hill in the woods. I knew it was there but running for my freedom was more important than remembering.

I tripped at the top and rolled down to the bottom, my right side smacking into a large boulder. I stopped rolling then and curled in on myself, crying hard.

Officer Gerald slowly made his way down the hill, his walkie-talkie already in front of his mouth. "I found her. East of where we were before. It's down a hill, watch your footing."

He knelt down in front of me, his pants rising up so I could see that his socks didn't match. "Where does it hurt?"

With shaky fingers, I moved my hand just a little, my side hurting too much to remove the pressure my fingers gave.

He reached out and took the bottom of my shirt in his hand. "Do you mind?"

I shook my head.

He lifted my shirt, stopping when the shirt tugged under my hand. "I need you to move your hand."

I whimpered.

"You'll be in even more pain if you don't let me help you."

I moved my hand slowly, letting it fall down my stomach until it was laying over some leaves.

"It's not too bad." He said, looking at the wound. "Just a little bruising. Should go down in a few days."

"I didn't do it." I mumbled.

"What?" He asked, taking his phone out of his pocket.

"I didn't kill him."

"I have a girl here-" He said, starting to talk to whoever was on the phone.

"Please don't tell me you pushed her down this." Officer Jenkins said, jogging over to where we were.

"I didn't."

"What the hell happened to her?" He asked, standing by my feet. I was sure he could see my side by now.

"I think she broke a rib or two." He said, lowering his phone from his mouth.

"So what do we do with her now?"

"She needs to get to the hospital." He said then continued talking to the person on the phone. "We'll meet you halfway."

He hung up then slowly pulled me into his arms.

"Where are you taking me?" I asked softly.

"You're in too much pain to be on your own. I'm taking you to the hospital."

"You wouldn't let me be alone anyway." I mumbled. "I'd be locked up in a jail cell."

"You're right. And that's where you'll be until you're either prove guilty or innocent."

My eyes opened in a flash and I stared up at his face. "That's not... ow... fair!"

"You have nowhere else to stay, Khloee. And this way, we can keep a better eye on you."

"Ugh... men." I said, looking at the woods in front of us. I could just make out flashing lights in the distance. We were almost to the ambulance. Almost to the end of my freedom.

I wasn't ready for that quite yet.