Chapter Nineteen: The Sweet Smell of Polluted Air

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Chapter Nineteen: The Sweet Smell of Polluted Air

The distinct scent of watery pine needles and musky leaves wafted its way into my nostrils, serving as a better wakeup call than an alarm clock. Alas, I wasn’t able to propel myself out of wherever I was sleeping, for my back ached and felt as though it was permanently paralyzed. My shoulders were unmovable and my legs—well, my legs possessed a tension in them like no other. Overall, my body was sore, and due to the blurriness of my mind, I couldn’t quite determine why.

      “Olivia, are you up?” someone called, their voice penetrating through my eardrums.

      “No,” I groaned, “I’m still sleeping.”

      “Liv, the sooner you get your lazy ass off of that cot, the sooner we can get back to civilization!” another voice urged. Something jabbed at my side, causing me to recoil in distaste.

      “Livy, if you don’t get up soon, then all of the granola bars are going to be gone!” a semi-sarcastic threat was made.

      “More of a reason to sleep,” I mumbled.

      “Olivia, we need to go home, like, now! Get up!” Piper undoubtedly whined. There was nothing on earth as annoying as Piper Kent’s morning voice. It was intolerable to the fullest extent that something could be.

      “Piper, stop talking,” I grumbled, feeling my frame being lifted by some unknown force. It felt as thought I was flying or falling, though the more I processed it, the more I realized that I was just being carried by someone or a forklift, for my back and the spaces below my knees were the only areas supported.

      After deducting that I was most likely making quite a bit of contact with a being of the human variety, I then gave the OK to my brain to start freaking out and fully wake up. My eyes finally snapped open and my head was twisted in a way so that instead of instantly seeing nature as the first sight in my morning, I saw a pair of deep gray orbs filled with mystery. I put the puzzle pieces together, and in seconds I had realized what exactly was occurring: Luke Daniels was carrying me (probably to a clearing in the woods uninhabited by the rest of the Ross family and the Kent twins, so that he could murder me in my not-so-awake state).

      “Please let go of me,” I requested in the politest of tones that I could conjure at whatever ungodly hour it was.

      “Uh,” he paused with a smirk, looking over my face, “no.”

      “Luke, put me down,” I demanded more firmly.

      “Nope,” he denied once again.

      “I swear—Luke Daniels, if you do not put me down this instan—AHHHH!” my threat was cut off by the shock of my now actually falling body. I hit the hard ground of February that had yet to thaw and become more yielding like it would in the spring, and let out a shriek of panic and pain. My limbs all felt like they would fall off at any moment, and the earth was killing my back the more time I spent collapsed on it. My sight drifted over to Luke, and I glared at him with all my might, spitting out three rather direct words in a morning fit of rage over what he had just done: “You. Dropped. Me!”

      “You asked me to put you down,” he defended his actions with a boyish grin that was anything but innocent.

      “Mom!” I cried, aware that I hadn’t called her “Elle,” but not thinking too much into it. “Can I sue him for that?”

      “Yes,” she replied back from somewhere off in the distance. “Though, unless you get someone really good to represent you, you’ll lose. The case isn’t a firm one. We’re in the woods, and for all the judge knows, you could be lying, and all the witnesses here aren’t guaranteed to back you up.” And there was that Harvard education of hers, always paying off!

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