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THE WORDS FELL OUT OF CASSIE'S mouth before she could even process what she was saying

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THE WORDS FELL OUT OF CASSIE'S mouth before she could even process what she was saying. There, standing before her, was Eleven — her former best friend and sister that had been gone for nearly a whole year. Cassie stood frozen in place as Mike walked past her, wrapping Eleven in a tight hug as he spoke in disbelief, "Eleven?"

"Mike," Eleven breathed, a small smile forming on her lips and she fell into the boy's arms.

The two friends sobbed, happy to return to one another. Cassie Harrington felt a warm smile appear in her face as her eyes welled up with tears. From beside Cassie, Max Mayfield stood in shock, asking the group unknowingly, "Is that...?"

"Yes..." Cassie answered, her eyes never leaving the two as they embraced each other. "That's Eleven."

Letting go of Mike, Eleven's eyes desperately searched through the group, hoping to meet one pair in particular. Her eagerness was noticeable as she quickly fixated her gaze on each member in the room.

It was only when her soft brown eyes fell on Cassie's that Eleven truly knew she was home.

"Y-You're okay?" Cassie gasped, her hands lifting to her agape mouth.

Eleven only smiled and nodded, tears noticeably streaming down her cheeks as she took a step towards Cassie. Without hesitation, the brunette jogged towards the girl — throwing her arms around her and pulling Eleven into a tight hug.

"Cassie," El breathed, hugging Cassie back as tightly as she could. "I've missed you so much."

"El, where the hell have you been?" Cassie cried, pulling away and looking the girl in her — now darkly decorated — eyes. "And what the hell is this?"

"Makeover," Eleven answered simply, a light giggle escaping her mouth.

Taking the time to look Eleven up and down, Cassie took in her appearance. Before, the innocent girl wore old baggy clothes — really, whatever the boys dressed her in.

But, now, Eleven was dressed in dark clothes with her hair slicked back; her eyes decorated with dark eyeshadow and eyeliner. Sniffling and wiping her tears away, Cassie giggled, "I like your new look. It's badass."

"Bitchin'" Eleven replied, shrugging her shoulders.

After a moment of taking everything in, Cassie cupped her hand on Eleven's cheek and spoke, "God, I've been so worried. Please tell me you were safe."

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