❝ find out games you don't wanna play ❞

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When we live such fragile lives,
It's the best way we survive.
I go around a time or two,
Just to waste my time with you.
Tell me all that you've thrown away,
Find out games you don't wanna play.

"Dirty Little Secret" -All American Rejects

I clamped a hand over my mouth to keep a gasp from escaping.

What the hell was he doing here?

It explained why he hadn't been at school- had he been here the whole day, talking to Kaden? From Kaden's words, it sounded like they were talking about one of his cases.

Maybe Ashton had simply needed a lawyer, and decided to come to Kaden. The fact that they were meeting here would even make sense, if Ashton maybe didn't want it to get out. The thing that didn't quite fit was why he would come to Kaden. I mean, yeah, Kaden was pretty much the best lawyer in the city, maybe even the country. But Ashton's parents also owned a law firm, one that had a pretty good reputation.

Maybe he got a girl pregnant and can't tell his parents.

My eyes widened. Where the hell did that come from? It was a possibility, though, that Ashton had done something he couldn't tell his parents about.

I stepped forward to hear more and a floorboard creaked.

Damn Kaden for not giving into Raine's request to change the floors in the hallway last month.

Kaden and Ashton stopped talking immediately.

"Could it be Raine?" Ashton whispered. He was quiet, but I still heard him since the whole house was dead silent. I don't think any of us even dared to really breathe.

"No," Kaden said after a moment. "She wouldn't be back so soon.

"Parents? Relatives? Friends? Clients?" Ashton suggested. Kaden must have been shaking his head, because there was barely a pause between each word.

"They wouldn't eavesdrop," Kaden said. "In fact, I can only think of one person who would, and she's supposed to be in school..." I heard the couch creak as he stood up and the sound of footsteps.

Damn, I am so dead.

I considered ducking into the hallway closet to hide, then decided against it. I wasn't twelve anymore, and Kaden and Ashton weren't idiots. Not all the time, and not when it mattered, at least.

I straightened and braced myself.

"You," Kaden said when he saw me.

I bit my lip, nodding slowly. "Me."

"Why aren't you at school?" he demanded.

Ashton hadn't come out yet, but he probably would soon. I could just see him over Kaden's shoulder, shifting impatiently as he watched us. I wasn't sure if he knew it was me. Kaden probably hid me from his view, considering he was a couple inches taller than me.

"Headache," I lied.

Kaden didn't fall for it. "You've never ditched school before," he said, his brow furrowing. That's because I've never had the most messed up conversations with the Elite before. "Are people bullying you?"

I resisted the urge to bury my face in my hands. "No, I'm still being anti-social as usual." Other than the Elite, but he didn't need to know that.

"Are you spending time around bad influences? Did they tell you to skip?" he demanded. I bit back a groan. This just keeps getting worse and worse. How this guy is a top shot lawyer while being awful at parental questionings like this, I don't know. Ashton was looking around the lounge now, apparently having lost interest in our conversation.

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