Chapter Twenty Nine

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A/N: important NOTE + extremely important VOTE at the end.

I woke up really early the next morning, which was disappointing since we were on break and I had really wanted to sleep it. I huffed and rolled over again, staying in bed for another ten minutes.

Finally, I got out of bed and went downstairs. My parents were sitting at the dining table, papers strewn out around them as usual. As I entered the room, they both looked up with serious expressions.

"Did someone die? What's with the looks?" I asked cautiously, my footsteps slowing.

"You said you needed money for a friend," my father said. "We have come up with an agreement."

"You sound like my lawyers."

"This is serious, Stef," my mother said softly. "If you want this huge amount of money, we have conditions."

I nodded, sitting down at the table with them. "Okay. I'm listening."

"We will help you to supply the money for your friend," my mother finally declared after moments of silence. I jumped out of my seat again, shock and excitement running through my veins.

"Really?" I almost screamed.

"Under conditions," my father replied. "Majority of this money will be coming out of your bank account, created by us, which was previously meant for university funds and eventually living funds."

"Which means," my mother continued. "That you will be giving up all of this money that is meant for your future. It is legally controlled by you, so you must make this decision."

More silence as I thought. I would be giving up the money that I would use for my expenses in the future.

"Yes, okay. I'll do it," I said confidently. "What else?"

"The rest of the money will come from us, monthly," said my father, a proud smile working it's way onto his face. "This is a good thing you're doing, even if it is almost bleeding us dry."

I smiled back. My mother suddenly gasped. "We forgot! We would like you to get a job too. Only part time, as you need as much bed rest as possible. You know.. because.." she trailed off, not able to say what we were all thinking.

"That's fine," I said. "Am I able to continue with school, or does the doctor need me to stay at home like last time?"

"According to the test results we have gotten so far," my mother said, almost tearing up. "You are a lot healthier and stronger."

I nodded, bile rising in my throat. I hated this topic.

"I'm going to make some breakfast, anyone want some?" I asked, going into the kitchen.

"Aren't we supposed to be the parents here?" my mother asked ludicrously, laughing.

My mother strolled into the kitchen and took the spatula I was holding. Damn, that was my only weapon.

"I'll be cooking today, missy," she said, pretending to hit me on the head. I heard knocking at the door, so I saved my witty remark for later as I went to open it.

Christen stood at the door, looking skinny and pale. I breathed a small gasp before wrapping my arms around my cousin, his chuckle emitting from his chest. He returned the embrace.

"Holy shit," I said, still not letting him go. "How are you?"

"I'm.. fine? Better. Happy that I'm alive," he said, finally releasing me.

I took him inside, shutting the door. My mother immediately rushed over to hug her nephew, my father greeting him as my mother squeezed the life out of him. "I'll make you breakfast right away," she said, almost jogging into the kitchen.

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