12 | Michael

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"I don't know how I feel about this." Mary shook her head from Michael's passenger seat, squirming slightly. "I don't feel safe."

"Now you know how the rest of us have felt for days now." Jordan snapped from her position squished between Roland and Lindsey, "We've all known this person is after us for a while."

Mary had told the group about the text she received the second they got in the car, almost breaking down in tears for the first time that Michael had witnessed in years. It was difficult to feel bad for her, though—she had finally joined the ranks of everyone else who felt hunted and watched.

"Don't worry about it, Mar." Michael shook his head as he turned onto the road that would eventually lead them to the site of the accident, "We're all in this together, so we're all going to help each other through it."

"Don't quote High School Musical right now, Michael." Mary snapped. "How far away are we?"

Michael shrugged.

"This road should lead us right there in about ten minutes." He thought for a moment before asking, "Does everyone want to read the texts they've gotten? I just want to see if there's anything that could show us who this weird person is."

"I got a few," Roland offered, "They said, 'I know why they don't want you in the Marcum house'," He paused through the uncomfortable silence of everyone remembering his mother's affair, "And 'Don't share that envelope with anyone. I know things about you that you wouldn't want getting out.'"

"So clearly this person knows our families pretty well. I think I was the first one to get them, and they told me not to tell my secrets when we were all sharing." Michael said, careful not to actually tell his secret; he didn't want a brick thrown through his window. "We know about Mary's, but anyone else?"

"I haven't told anyone about mine yet." Jordan said quietly.

"Me neither." Lindsey shook her head.

"Well, this is the time." Michael snapped, "So speak up."

Jordan took out her phone and opened it to the text messages.

"I got this one before I left for Lindsey's house on the night that the brick was thrown through her window. I didn't want to say anything because I ended up telling you guys about the restraining order, so I might have been part of the reason that the brick went through the window as well as Roland."

 "I'm sorry, Lindsey

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"I'm sorry, Lindsey." Jordan shook her head.

"Whatever." Lindsey shrugged, although her tone stated that she was less than thrilled. "I got this message around that same time, right before you all came over."

 "Ballsy

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"Ballsy." Michael couldn't help but laugh slightly, "I think that's probably the weirdest response that person's gotten so far."

"What can I say, I don't do well with people." Lindsey laughed.

"So this person knows our families and knew that we were going to your house that night. Is it someone from school? Someone who could have overheard us in the coffee shop?"

No one replied, as there was no way of knowing who the unknown texter was. No one knew, and no one knew how to find out. Which, all in all, was probably the scariest part.

All five of the car's occupants were silent for another moment, their minds wandering to the fact that their siblings had been driving along this road, all in the same car, a Hadden in the driver's seat, when they were run off the road. They were nearing the site of the accident, and everyone felt as though the air was closing in on them.

But none of them would acknowledge that thought out loud.

"Stop bumping into me." Jordan muttered in Lindsey's direction as they continued to drive in silence, "It's annoying."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I'll just move over into the side of the road." Lindsey replied dryly, rolling her eyes. "This ride isn't about comfort, Princess."

"Why would you call me—"

"Guys, shut up." Michael ordered. "I'm not dealing with bickering when I'm trying to find the accident location." Leave it up to the two of them to start fighting two minutes after being friendly to each other.

In all honesty, the entire road looked exactly the same, and it continued on for miles. Just trees on either side, casting shadows in the dim light coming from Michael's headlights. Nothing stood out as a landmark, nothing showed the poor driver where he was supposed to stop. He was wishing desperately for some sort of caution tape to still be up around the site, some sort of direction to where he was going.

"Right here." Mary squinted as she stared through the window, "Do you see that? There's caution tape."

Michael heaved a deep sigh of relief as he pulled over to the side of the road and parked the car next to where a few tattered remains of the police's work stood. He turned off the ignition and everyone sat in silence until the lights in the car turned off.

"What are we waiting for?" Mary asked, her voice trembling a bit. No one wanted to get out and stumble through where their siblings had died, even if it was in the spirit of finding a clue as to who their murderer was. "Let's go."

Mary stepped out of the car first and everyone else followed suit. There were no other cars on the road, and with Michael's headlights turned off the entire area around them was completely dark. The moon was hidden by clouds, the stars hadn't seemed to want to come out on that particular night, and the only light they would be able to get was from the flashlights on their phones.

"Alright. Let's go."

The five stuck together tightly, only walking six inches apart from each other at the most. They walked carefully down the hill towards where a vague imprint of Eddie's car still could be seen in the now-dried mud, the accident fossilized into the earth of Easton until the next rain came to blow it away.

"Alright, everyone stay near. But go find something."

Everyone followed Michael's instructions and started to look for different things near the car imprint. Michael himself wandered off a few yards, his phone's flashlight illuminating nothing but dirt and grass for as far as he could see.

Until something shiny caught his eye.

It was further away than he wanted to go, but he didn't want to chance missing something important. Taking a deep breath and praying that he didn't die, Michael walked slowly and quietly out of the rest of the group's line of sight, nearing the object on the ground.

As he drew closer, he was sure of what it was, and he almost began crying at seeing something of Eddie's again.

Michael bent down to pick it up off the ground before hearing a rustling from behind him. The rustling grew louder and footsteps tip-toed up to him before he felt a sharp pain on the top of his head and fell to the ground.


A/N: Oooooh what's gonna happen. Who hit Michael? What did he find? Is anyone going to find anything else? Tell me what you think!

Also this update is on timeeee I'm ridiculously proud of myself.

-Katherine

-Katherine

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