❝ i'll be better off without you ❞

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I'll be better off without you.
In no time, I'll be forgetting all about you.
You saying that you know,
But I really really doubt you,
Understand my life is easy,
When I ain't around you.

"Problem" -Ariana Grande (ft. Iggy Azalea)

      The beach cottage definitely wasn't a cottage.

      It was a mansion with a private beach. Though with the Elite being who they were, I was only marginally surprised.

      It took about half an hour for Ashton to replace the tire, even with Jacen's begrudging help- or maybe because of it- so we got there around one. Nathan, Skylar, Keira and Vanessa were already there.

      Vanessa gave me a quick tour, though I would probably still get lost with how big it was. The house was unofficially split into two sides. The west wing was where I, along with the rest of the Elite would be staying. On the other side was where their parents would be.

      The kitchen, living room, games room and other common rooms were in the middle.

      "Other than occasional dinners, we don't cross much," Vanessa had told me.

      I almost asked why they didn't just go on separate vacations altogether, then decided against it, since it wasn't really any of business. Maybe it was like Saturdays, for me, Raine and Kaden- something that had started out as a family thing then slowly changed as they got older.

      The room I got was near the end of the hallway, between Vanessa and Jacen's rooms and across from Ashton's. it faced the back, overlooking the private beach the Merrick's owned. The room was huge, about the size of my room back home.

      I had gotten the afternoon to myself, since everyone was busy unpacking and had spent most of it dreading dinner, which was when the adults would arrive. And among them would be Blake and Avril's killer.

      I knew it probably wasn't Mr. Sinclair since Kaden had worked with after their deaths. The others, though, I had no idea.

      I heard a knock at the door and looked up to see Ashton leaning against the doorframe. "Hey, we're going to head down stairs since dinner's in an hour. Coming?"


      I finished my text to Kaden and hit send, then stood up.

      "Was that Kaden?" Ashton asked as I followed him down the hall.

      I glanced up at him. "Is he asking you to keep tabs on me too?"

      "No," he said. "He threatened to castrate if anything happened though."

      I winced and closed my eyes. Kaden and I are definitely going to have a little talk when I get back. "Sorry."

      From the way Kaden had been acting recently I was starting to believe he still saw me as a twelve year old. I had always kept to myself, so I guess there hadn't really been the need for these kind of threats until the Elite. I had gotten the birds and bees talk at the lovely age of thirteen when we had started seventh grade Sex Ed but that was pretty much it.

      Ashton shrugged, but didn't reply since we were heading down the stairs and the others would be able to hear us now. They still didn't know about Kaden and Ashton's case at least as far as I knew.

      "What took so long?" Nathan asked as we walked into the living room. "You went up to get Elena ten minutes ago."

      What? But Ashton had only knocked two or three minutes ago. What had he done in the time between?

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