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Pen Your Pride


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A loud pounding downstairs jolts me straight out of sleep, and it pisses me off, because I was having a rather pleasant dream about exotic Spanish boys and cute blonds.

I groan. "Who the hell is at the door this early?" I mumble.

Mom beats me downstairs, and I immediately freeze when I see who's on the other side of the door. Hunters. What the hell do they want? 

"Is it testing, today?" I ask, feeling more than irritated.

"No, just here to ask you a few questions," the man answers over Mom's shoulder. "May we come in?"

"Of course," Mom says, opening the door wider for them to enter.

We sit on the couches in the family room, Mom and I on one, the Hunters on the other.

"I'm Lieutenant Sawyer, and this is my partner, Lieutenant Jenkins," one of the men introduces. I look over at Jenkins, the quiet one, and his eyes snap to mine. He stares at me as if he's seen me before, as if he knows me, and it creeps me the hell out, so I turn my focus back to Sawyer.

"Can we get this over with please?" I ask.

"We'll be done when we say we're done," Sawyer replies, quickly cutting off any niceties, and Jenkins mutters something unintelligible under his breath.

Wonderful. This is bullshit. We've already been questioned. Multiple times. What more could they have to ask us?

"We've received intel that your brother may have been working with some people on the outside. Do you have any knowledge of this?" The question is directed at me.

"Of course I don't. What do you mean, 'people on the outside?'" I reply.

"That's none of your concern. Either you're informed or you're not. Are you sure there's nothing you need to share with us today, any new knowledge or recollection of information that could be useful in the Militia's pursuit of Travis Brennan?"

I bite my lip, like I would fucking tell them if I did have any information. "No," I answer through clenched teeth.

"Have you been in any contact with him whatsoever?"


"Have it your way." They both stand. "We're also here today to collect your gov-issued cell phones. Until Brennan has been detained, we can't risk either of you tipping him off."

I'd punch them if I could, the smug assholes. Mom collects the phones and hands them over. I slam the door shut behind them. And I already know I'm going to be in a shitty mood the rest of the day.



Sprawled on the floor is an understatement. My face hit the ground so hard, I feel like I'm peeling it off the tile as I push myself up, and Wendy-shitface-O'connell continues to cackle so loud she doesn't even notice I've stood up behind her. I'll kill her, murder her in her sleep kill her. My fists clench, twitching and ready, but someone grabs my hand, pulling it down from midair. 

"Come on, she's not worth it," the gentle voice penetrates through my anger. My eyes trail from her hand gripping mine to her face...Ashlyn. "Let's go," she says and tugs me forward.

I follow her even though every instinct in me screams to turn back around and claw Wendy's eyes out. What the hell did I ever do to her? She's such a catty little bi—

"This way," Ashlyn says, pulling me around the school's building until we reach the back, facing the baseball field. "Let's skip class, yeah?"

I shrug my shoulders. "Sure."

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