Chapter Twenty

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Rain pelted the jeep's windshield

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Rain pelted the jeep's windshield. Dan normally wouldn't have volunteered to drive, preferring the freedom to get high as a passenger. Right now, however, he drove behind Rosie's yellow beetle with a sour expression on his face. He took the occasional aggressive bite out of a cheese and ham sandwich he'd brought with him.

He wasn't the only one who acted out of the norm.

His jeep didn't have enough seats for all of us, so I sat on Izzy's lap. As she held me in place, she kept quiet, drumming her fingers against my stomach. This was the first time she'd used earphones and zoned out like this. She liked to crank the radio full blast and sing at the top of her lungs because 'music is supposed to be a shared experience.'

Her calm humming spooked me.

I peered through the front window to see what was ahead of us. It was pitch black outside. Not even one star shone in the sky. Only the moon's faint light and the small yellow street lamps lit up the road.

The silence in the front of the jeep was a stark contrast to the bickering in the back. At least with Rosie driving, we had Taylor Swift to keep us company.

Dan kept driving away from town and towards the Ridgeway Institute.

"What are we doing?" I questioned.

"We are following through with our pact. Ready to put the Sea Lions in their place?" Dan asked.

"Didn't you guys already do that by stealing their clothes?" I asked, prodding a black bag filled to the brim with the Ridgeway school kids' clothes with my shoe.

"So?" he asked.

"Sending them half naked through the woods wasn't enough?" I asked. "I heard a kid got poison ivy down south, if you know what I mean. And a security guard caught one girl with some weird cupcake nipple tassels. I think they've gone through enough embarrassment."

Eoghan poked his head through the middle of the front seats and asked, "Does the girl have a name?"

"That was step one of the plan," Dan answered me, ignoring how Izzy shoved Eoghan's head back into his seat.

"And step two?" I asked.

"Is in motion," Dan said.

"You mean following Rosie Connelly?" I asked.

"We're not following anybody," he denied.

"Like hell you aren't," I said, jabbing my finger toward the yellow car right in front of us.

"Not intentionally," he corrected himself, rushing his hands to turn the steering wheel to make it around a sharp corner, finally straying from following Rosie.

"Well, whatever the hell your plan is? Count me out. It's too cold and wet for whatever you're cooking up."

"Liked your date that much, huh? Loyalties changed that fast?" he asked.

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