I struggled with the keys sighing in relief when I heard the familiar click of the lock opening and pushed open the door stepping into my warm apartment. I set my bag on the stand at the side slipping off my boots and coat, hanging up my coat on the coat rank. One of the perks of not living with your parents was even if you left your shoes right in front of the door, your mother couldn't yell at you.

I walked further into the apartment eager to just sink into the warmth and comfort of my bed after that terrifying walk. I felt my heart stop as I heard a groan come from my living room. Looking around for a weapon, I spotted a large bright red umbrella with black hearts, and grabbed that. My stature wasn't exactly intimidating so I would need the weapon to scare the intruders. I wasn't completely thin, perhaps just on the slender to average side, the amount of sugar I consumed daily ensured that, but for some strange reason I had always appeared to be petite, soft somehow. That wasn't exactly the ideal frame for intimidation and being 5'4 didn't help either.

I walked into the living room cautiously and slowly despite how fast my heart was racing. Looking around the corner my heart skipped a beat as I saw the top of a head from behind the couch. Giving up trying to be cautious, I raced towards the couch with what I deemed a battle cry, with the umbrella raised high in the air. A cringeworthy screech escaped my lips as I felt the umbrella connect with the intruder's head, I wasn't a particularly violent person, so this was completely new to me.

He frantically yelled for me to stop in a voice that sounded quite familiar, but in my adrenalin driven state I ignored it, bashing in the intruder's skull with the umbrella. I suddenly heard a giggle confusing me enough to stop trying to knock out the murderer.

The lights flickered on and I saw my best friend Sophie standing there giggling while Jay held his hands to his head scowling at me.

"What are you guys doing here?" I yelled absolutely exasperated.

"Why did you try to kill me?" My friend Jay yelled looking completely offended that I had hit him with my umbrella. In my panicked state the umbrella looked like a great weapon, but now in the light, it looked pretty harmless.

"You were sitting in my room behind the couch, how did you get in?" I asked still a little freaked out trying to calm my racing heart. He had the audacity to ask why he'd been attacked, when he had broke into my home. Although they both probably had their own copies of my keys. I was being a little hypocritical I did have copies to their houses as well, but I didn't hide behind couches and give them heart attacks.

"We wanted to be the first ones to wish you happy birthday." My friend Sophie chimed in.

"By giving me a heart attack?" I asked my voice shrill.

"Oh you don't get to act like that, you almost killed me." Jay said, clearly still mad.

"Stop whining you cry baby, it's a soft Steve Madden umbrella, it can't even keep out rain let alone hurt a person." Sophie told Jay rolling her eyes.

"But how did you know we were here?." Sophie asked turning to me.

"I heard a groan, and thought there were murderers in the house so I grabbed the umbrella and got ready to defend myself." I explained my face flushing a little at the way that sounded out loud. I needed to stop reading those murder mysteries, they were getting to my head. Although attacking someone you think to be an intruder is quite reasonable, I should have probably tried to get a look at the person before beginning my attack. Thank god it wasn't my parents visiting, I'd be grounded till death if I hit my mom with an umbrella.

"Seriously you think someone has snuck in so you grab a soft little umbrella with hearts on it and run towards them screaming like a mad woman?" Sophie asked incredulously, making me blush scarlet.

"Well anyways Happy Birthday baby pie." Jay said wrapping me up in a bone breaking embrace while Sophie whined in the background, for apparently they were supposed to say it together.

They had brought an adorable looking chocolate cake. The fudge was so dense and sugary you could feel the granular crunch of the sugar in between your teeth, just as I liked my cake. Although Sophie was usually invested in trying to improve Jay and I's diet so we wouldn't die years before her, she knew birthdays were too special to eat healthy food on.

As we ate, Jay got Sophie and I caught up on all the recent gossip, most of which was most probably a bit too wild to be true in our small town, or really even possible, but we listened to him all the same. Jay was such an animated storyteller, his bright green eyes would enlarge to the size of saucers as he approached the climactic parts of his story. He'd move his head around so much Sophie would have to reach over to fix his hair back into place for him, and he'd pass her a quick silly grin whenever she did in appreciation.

Jay and Sophie were opposites, Jay was loud and obnoxious while Sophie was super protective and much more proper but they got along so well. Sophie was basically the mother figure of the group, and Jay needed a lot more mothering than I did most of the time.

"Raine, look at this." Jay said breaking me out of my thoughts and I refocused onto the two, catching sight of what Jay's holding out and my cheeks turn bright red immediately. Of course that made my friends laugh, because apparently I was much too naive, but a man using a teddy bear to cover up his doodly doo was a bit embarrassing.

"Jay stop searching up weird stuff on my laptop, my google search history is pretty bad as it is, the last thing I need is you searching up more weird stuff. The government can look into that you know." I tell him, my voice growing hushed as I get to the last part and Jay's eyes widen.

"R-really?" He squeaks out, and Sophie nods in response making Jay gulp.
"Remind me, I've got to do some search history deleting, and searching of normal people things when I go home tomorrow." Jay said and Sophie opened her mouth to say something but I shook my head at her immediately, making her mouth close. She shrugged, reaching for one of the forks, and dug straight into the actual cake, not even bothering to cut a slice. Well it would just make her feel bad if she was the only one eating that way, so I was basically obligated to do so as well.

Cover credits go solely to @Chatachino for the amazing cover. Also please do not copy this book, or translate it. We all have minds of our own please use yours and come up with your own book, don't be as low as to steal somebody else's work. I will find out, I will report it and your book will be deleted if you do. It's a pointless hassle that can be very easily avoided. If you see any copying or translations of this book please let me know, I have not allowed anyone to do so. Also for my rereaders it's amazing that you want to reread the book but please don't comment any spoilers at all even with warnings. Enjoy reading!

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