In just 5 days Chelsea Evan's Girls Vol. 4 will be released!
The pre-order is available now. This is the longest yet of the Evan's Girls series. Enjoy the couple excerpts. No spoilers :-)
We stopped in the business hallway. It was located in the back of the school, several hallways from the crowded cafeteria. In the quiet hallway we settled against the wall, our tushes on the floor. I’d worn shorts and hiked my gown up so it wouldn’t collect the dirt.
It was my moment to tell James everything from the last couple days. I wasn’t sure how he’d take it but I needed someone to confide in because I felt like I was about to burst like a balloon. He didn’t interrupt as I spoke, but didn’t hide his emotions either. They were painted all over his face as he narrowed his eyes in skepticism then widened them in concern with an upper lip quiver.
“Have you talked with your foster parents?”
Now that was a silly question coming from him. A guy who never spoke to his dad or had any confidence in adults.
“No, you know how I am. I’d feel guilty. They’ve taken care of me. Do you know any other foster children that have it as good as me? They’re all packed into houses.” I thought of the trucks again and took a deep breath to force the image away.
“But not you. You ever wonder why?” he asked.
No, I never had. Not really. It was just a thing that I got lucky. “I was high maintenance.” It was an easy answer that was my way of diverting the focus.
“All kids are high maintenance and don’t give me the martyr bit. Look, they got paid for having you there.” He rubbed his hands along his jeaned legs, turning away from me.
“I guess so.” Silence persisted between us for a few moments before I spoke again. “The other child who got out – Tyrus - I want to meet him.”
He sighed and spoke low, “Why? What is he going to tell you?”
Pushing a curl behind my ear I said, “I don’t know, but we’re both victims. Maybe he remembers something.”
“He was rescued by a killer and you were left outside a burning home. He went back to his family and you to a life of foster care.” His words hit the nail on the head. That was exactly it.
I leaned forward and drew circles on the tile. “Yeah. Why him and not me? It makes me angry. I was three years old, drugged and left to die!”
“I get it, Chelsea.” He brought a hand to my chin and lifted my head as my eyes focused on the invisible circles my fingers drew on the tile. I glanced away and into his eyes. “You’re not doing this alone. OK, I’m coming with you.”
I gave him a quick hug. It wasn’t the response I expected but it was me and him against the world for a few years now so it shouldn’t have surprised me. If he wanted to find his mom, I’d be right there with him.
He handed me the card. “That’s the officer. He asked you to call or come by the station if you saw anything out of place.” His tone one of questioning, as if he knew I spent the evening talking to someone who didn’t belong.
Like a stab to my heart. A pointed finger at the young man I’d spent the evening talking with. I didn’t know Leandra well. We’d had a couple classes together over the years and she joined the robotics club her sophomore year but left after a few weeks. We had a running inside joke as school twins because everyone mistook us for sisters, even occasionally mistaking one of us for the other. She had darker hair and neither of us saw the resemblance.
So much for never an incidence at the grad party. I’d spoken too soon. James’s words of warning grew louder in my head. I left early, but what did the dangerously too hot guy I was talking with do? Did he stay? Had he lied to me? Who was he? James was in my head. He’d said something seemed off, like something was in the woods...
Nonsense. The guy was easy to talk with and I felt good in his presence. Was he the kind of person that would attack someone, and why? What would he have to gain? There was no answer to that question or even a great excuse like those I made for my file not being where it should be. I knew absolutely nothing about him, not even his name, so I had nothing to offer the police.
“We’re glad you’re OK,” Judy said, her voice sincere and filled with unease.
I cradled the card in my hand. “If I think of anything, I’ll call, but there’s nothing I can think of. It was as normal as an alcohol party with a bunch of gradates could be; loud music, makeshift bars, and dancing.”
When I got to my room I took several deep breaths. All the little organized boxes in my brain were opening, their contents spilling out in a disjointed fashion. My breathing sped up as I collapsed against the closed door. The bed in front of me, moving closer, the walls closing in. I was having a panic attack.
I don't think it's possible for creativity to be a negative thing.