Chapter Four

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She woke up with a hand clamped over her mouth. She made a startled noise, her instinct to fight kicking in.

"Shh!"

Blinking rapidly, her eyes finally adjusted to the darkness enough that she could make out the person standing over her. It was Simone, clad in a black cape that covered her from head to toe and made her look like a shapeless, moving mass.

"You scared me!" Rachel whispered. "I thought you were a poacher."

"I'm sorry," Simone breathed back. "But I thought you might want to do something fun after everything that happened." Rachel glanced behind her at the sleeping form of her mother and placed her finger over her mouth in a shushing motion.

Her best friend nodded and gestured for her to get up and put her shoes on. A few minutes later both girls were creeping across the narrow cave, hoping not to disturb Ruth.

Once outside, Simone pulled back her hood and looked at Rachel with a mischievous glint in her eyes.

"Why are you looking at me like that? Where are we going?" Rachel whispered.

"Oh, you'll see. Just follow me." Simone was already walking away, leaving her with no choice but to follow.

As they climbed their way up the mountain, it was clear that they were headed into the place where the caves let in cool night air. Rachel could already feel the cold of the mountain rock seeping in through her shoes and she shuddered in her nightgown, thinking it might have been smart to change first.

"Come on, we're almost there," Simone made an excited gesture.

They climbed over gray rocks and pushed their way through small crevices barely big enough to fit a person. And then suddenly-- after much cramming and squishing-- the rock opened up into a wide, flat surface.

They moved closer to the edge of the cave where the entrance was huge and wide, like a gaping mouth and overlooked the city. From here you could see the glimmering lights of the capital buildings, dotting the darkness like stars that had fallen out of the sky.

Jed could be there somewhere. She shook her head.

The night sky was sprinkled with a few wisps of cloud, the stars and moon dancing in and out between them

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The night sky was sprinkled with a few wisps of cloud, the stars and moon dancing in and out between them.

She hadn't noticed the others until a voice said, "Come on girls, we're not getting any younger!" Casting her eyes down, she found the Hernandez brothers lingering near a small fire along with two other girls from the compound.

Rachel glanced at Simone, her eyes wary.

"I don't know about this, Simone..."Rachel began.

"Oh come on, Ray. I know they're idiots but they know how to have fun!"

 I know they're idiots but they know how to have fun!"

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