Chapter 16

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"Hey, are we still doing this at lunch?"

I turned around from helping decorate for the party to see Spencer, holding her bag tightly, 

"If by 'this,' you mean taking your laptop to the police, Then, yes, we are." I replied,

"But no one called over there, right? They don't know that we're coming." Spencer asked,

"What's with the cold feet?" Emily questioned,

"It's just... I was up all night thinking. What if this is a setup? 'A' could've planted this video on my laptop, knowing that we would turn it in." Spencer said,

"Guys, let's not try to second-guess A.  We've been there. We ended up scared of an Noel Kahn who turned out to be just a jealous freak looking for a better grade." Aria replied,

"Yeah, let's not forget A also tried to kill Hanna for knowing too much. We could be walking into a trap." Spencer reasoned, 

"You are already living in it."

"No. Ian... Might have done other stuff, But he's not A. There's no way he'd want us knowing this video even exists." Spencer said,

"But it does, and the police need to know What happened to Alison that night. Toby gave Alison his sweater before she saw Ian, And Toby shouldn't go to jail for a crime he didn't commit." I stated,

"She's right. Hey, I'll drive you to the station during lunch." Aria offered,

...

At lunch, I sat with Hanna as we waited for the other girls. 

"Well, she must be doing pretty well if she's willing to sponsor all four of us. Come on, Han. You can look at 'help wanted' on the way over. I hear Rosewood P.D. is hiring." Spencer told Hanna as they walked up,

"Well, I do have experience with them, just the wrong kind." Hanna replied,

"Okay, come on, we have to go. We only have 45 minutes." Emily said,

Hanna closed the tab on her laptop, "Wait, hold on. What's this?"

"What am I looking at?" Spencer asked, looking at the screen over Hanna's shoulder,

"How come it shows your music library's online, when your laptop's on your shoulder? Look, isn't that your playlist?" Hanna asked Spencer,

"What?" Spencer put her bag down on the table and reached inside to reveal a yearbook,

"Why are you carrying a yearbook?"

"I'm not." Spencer answered,

"Where's your laptop?" I questioned, 

"It's in my bag, except it's not." Spencer replied as she dug through her bag once more, "This is insane. This bag has been plastered to my side all morning."

"What about P.E.?" Emily asked,

"It was in my gym locker, but no one else has that combo."

"The coaches do." I stated,

"Ian must've heard us the other night." Emily said,

"Well, if he did, then he knows what's on there." Aria said quietly,

"If he has my laptop... he knows we've seen what's on there, too." Spencer continued,

...

That night I got dressed in a flowy, floral dress and flats for the dance-a-thon. I met the girls in the gym where we talked about Ian.

"You're sure your laptop's in that bag?" I asked Spencer as we all were crowded in the corner,

"Well, there's only one way to find out." Spencer replied,

"Why would he bring it to school when he knows that we're all gonna be here?" Aria questioned,

"Maybe he thought you'd bail out early, go home and snoop through his things." Emily stated,

"Why don't you?" Hanna asked, looking at Spencer,

"Already did. We need the bag." Spencer answered,

"I know you're all eager to get started, but first the rules, all right?" Ian said after he stepped up onto the stage, "Number one, there's no stopping during the dances. Your chaperones will be walking around, making sure you're still moving."

"What if he already erased the video?" Aria whispered,

"Well, then we know for sure he's hiding something, and we go to the police." Spencer said,

"With a non-video? You think they're gonna take our word for it?" I questioned,

"Look, we saw what we saw. Something went down between him and Alison, and he buried her in the yard to shut her up." Spencer hissed,

"Now let's get this party started!" Ian exclaimed and the crowd cheered.

Aria went to get the keys and once she did, she gave them to Spencer. I followed her down the hallway and stood outside as she tried to open the drawer.

None of the keys worked and we made our way back to the dance floor, sulking. I decided to leave the dance early and made my way to Toby's house.

I climbed through his window and walked over to the closet,

"Grace?"

I looked over at my shoulder and smiled, "Sorry to wake you up. I didn't want to go back to my house."

As I pulled on a shirt of Toby's and slid my dress off, Toby pulled back the covers for me. I laid next to him and wrapped my arms around his waist.

"Toby?"

"Hmm?"

"How did you come to my recital the other night? I forgot about your ankle bracelet." I said,

"Asked my parole officer. He said he could work his magic and let me out for a few hours." He mumbled, pulling me closer, "Now..." Toby kissed my nose, "Sleep."





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