❝ they never thought you'd make it this far ❞

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(unedited)

They never thought you'd make it this far,
But turn around (turn around),
They've surrounded you.
It's a showdown (showdown),
And nobody comes to save you now,
But you've got something they don't.

"Eyes Open"- Taylor Swift


It took me a moment to process Kaden's answer.

"Murder?" I repeated. I stared at Ashton and Kaden, waiting for one of them to take the word back, to say it was some kind of stupid joke.

They didn't.

Ashton frowned at Kaden. "We had a deal. No telling anyone who isn't directly involved."

Kaden didn't take his eyes off me for even a second as he replied to Ashton. "I'd say she's pretty involved Ashton."

Is this a test? Part of me wondered as Kaden continued to watch me. To see how I would react? Probably, seeing as if I wanted a job like his, I'd be dealing with this kind of information almost every day. I tried to school my features into a blank expression, but I wasn't sure if it was working.

I wanted to squirm under Ashton and Kaden's steady gazes, but resisted the urge. no weaknesses, especially not in front of Ashton. "Who was it?" I asked. My voice barely came out above a whisper despite my efforts. "Who killed someone?"

Kaden and Ashton exchanged a glance and Kaden opened his mouth to respond, but Ashton beat him to it. "No," he said. "We're not telling her."

What? "Why?" I demanded. If one of his friends -people who I talked to- had homicidal tendencies, I wanted to know.

"Because you'll ruin it," Ashton replied.

I couldn't help it- my eyes snapped to Kaden. But he didn't give any indication of whether or not he had told Ashton about what had happened when I had first come to live with him and Raine. About what he said hadn't been my fault. His silence and lack of movements was an answer itself- that he had told.

Still I glanced back at Ashton. And how would you know?" I asked, hoping Kaden's silence meant something different than what I thought.

That hope was crushed with his response. "Kaden told me," he said.

There was a sharp intake of breath that came from Kaden. He was probably waiting for my anger, betrayal, maybe even for me to throw a tantrum. All those emotions raged inside me, but I pushed them down. I won't be predictable.

"You know I'll find out eventually, right?" I asked, keeping my eyes on Ashton. He opened his mouth to speak, then closed it after a couple seconds, apparently deciding I wasn't good enough for what he was going to say, or that it gave away too much.

"It's not that easy, Lena," Kaden said. "We haven't even figured out who it is."

A noise escaped Ashton's throat. Something like a bitter chuckled that he had been unsuccessful in holding back. It told me Kaden wasn't telling the truth. Or at least not all of it. I played along anyway.

"Let me help, then!" I insisted.

"Why do you even care?" Ashton demanded. "It's none of your business."

I closed my eyes and dug me nails in my palm so I wouldn't punch him. "Are you kidding me?" My voice shook as I tried to keep from yelling. "I know one of your friends have taken a human life, but I don't know which one. I could be talking to them, eating with them, joking around with them, and I wouldn't even fucking know it."

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