❝ let's go back to the start ❞

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I had to find you,
Tell you I need you,
Tell you I'll set you apart.
Tell me your secrets,
And ask me your questions,
Oh, let's go back to the start.

"The Scientist" -Coldplay

      "Gone?" I repeated. "What do you mean gone?"

      I had just seen Keira a couple hours ago, talking to Ashton in the kitchen. Speaking of which, where was he? Ashton, I mean. And Jacen? Nathan, Skylar, Vanessa and I were the only ones in the room. Jacen, Ashton and Keira all being absent at the same time made me uneasy.

      "Just gone. She's not in the house, anywhere. She didn't leave a note, no one knows where she is, and she's not picking up her phone," he said, dragging a hand through his hair, which was already messy enough. Whether from waking up, or his distress, or a combination of both, I wasn't sure.

      "Where are Jacen and Ashton?" I asked.

      "Getting breakfast since we gave our chef a day off," Nathan replied. "But they said they hadn't seen her since we all went to sleep."


      Ashton and Jacen had both talked to her last night. Well, this morning, if you wanted to be technical about it. I wracked my mind, trying to remember if Keira had come back with Ashton. I couldn't remember if there had been two sets of footprints, or just one, I had been more focused on feigning sleep.

      "We'll find her," I told him, sitting up. "She can't have just disappeared."

      "Maybe I'm overreacting," he said. "But with what happened to Vanessa, and Skylar, I don't want to take my chances."

      "What about the guards and cameras?" I asked.

      He shook his head. "Nothing."

      "Like she just disappeared?" This was making me more and more nervous by the minute. I still wasn't sure if Keira was behind it all, but her disappearing couldn't be good.

      "They're not hard to avoid if you know where they are. Ash and I used to sneak out all the time without our parents knowing," he admitted.

      "Who knows where they are?" There was still the possibility that Keira had disappeared by choice, but I didn't want to tell Nathan that. He looked so convinced that Keira would've told him or something if she was going to disappear, that telling him would be like drowning a kitten and enjoying it. Besides Keira could've been taken, and it wouldn't help to sit around thinking she had ran away or something.

      "Our parents, the security company, all of us know..." he trailed off. If all of the Elite knew how to sneak out of the Sinclair's mansion without being detected, then that didn't rule any of them out in the case that Keira had been taken. If Keira knew, she could've disappeared as well, but why? I didn't know enough about her to make a guess. Nate might, but he seemed convinced that Keira had been taken.

      "Do you think it's the same person who hurt Vanessa?" Nathan asked.

      I opened my mouth to respond, but before I could, the front door opened.

      "Keira?" Nathan called, standing up.

      "Just me, sorry to disappoint," Ashton replied, coming into view. He and Jacen both had large brown bags in their hands. "Still nothing?" The way he asked made me think he knew more than he was letting on. Maybe not that he had taken her, if Keira had been taken, but that he had an idea where she was but was playing dumb.

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