37 | Jordan

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EASTON

SUNDAY

6:03 AM

41 HOURS, 57 MINUTES UNTIL DEADLINE

Michael's car smelled like a football player, and Jordan had practically been choking for the past seventy-six miles on the stench of locker room and Hollister cologne. The only bright side was that it gave her something else to think about that didn't involve the fact that she was about to meet a murderer completely on her own.

Jordan pulled up to the outside of the cabin, putting the car in park and taking a few deep breaths. She wasn't sure what to expect. She didn't know what to think, or if she should even have gone to the cabin the first place.

That was a stupid thought. Of course she shouldn't have gone to the cabin in the first place. She was alone, without anyone around to ensure that whoever she was meeting didn't kill her.

She was doing this for Neil. She had to keep reminding herself of that. Despite the fact that Neil had lied to her face and screwed her best friend for two years, she still missed her brother. He didn't deserve the ending he got.

Jordan stepped out of the car and locked the door behind her, tucking the key into her back pocket. She walked slowly up to the front door of the cabin, each step feeling heavier than the last. She didn't know what to do. She didn't know what was going to happen. All she knew was that she could very easily die when she walked in that door.

So, she walked in that door.

Jordan walked in the front door of the cabin and closed it softly behind her, looking around curiously. It looked different in the daylight: the sun peeked in through the windows and illuminated things that she hadn't seen the first time around. There was a kitchen, and a door that led to a bathroom. There was a dining room table with three chairs around it—one clearly missing from the set. Everything was dark mahogany—the same interior of the Green's home.

Jordan's wasn't sure how she knew that, but the thought was in her head anyways. After all, she apparently shared a half-brother with the filthy rich family.

The cabin was completely silent as Jordan approached the staircase that led to the upper level. She wasn't sure why she did what she did next, but it seemed the easiest way to speed along her inevitable demise.

"Hello?" She called out, hearing her voice echo. "Is anyone there?"

As she waited for an answer, Jordan silently berated herself for being the stereotypical white girl in horror movies. She had said it before and she would say it again—she wasn't sure why she couldn't shake away from the stereotype.

"Hello."

It was the robotic voice from before, the one who had threatened her with Dean and who had instructed her to kill Michael. Jordan let out an exasperated sigh. She had not come this far, dreaded the encounter this much, to be met by the bodiless voice they had been dealing with thus far.

"No way." Jordan shook her head, turning around to head back for the door. "I'm not communicating with that again. The deal was that if I came alone, I got a face-to-face conversation."

Her hand was on the doorknob to let herself back out of the cabin when a man's voice spoke from behind her.

"Stop."

Jordan spun around and looked up to see someone standing at the top of the staircase. Her heart began to pound as she looked at the man, refusing to break eye contact. There he was. Their stalker.

He began to walk down the stairs and Jordan got a better look at him. She didn't recognize him, which slightly disappointed her—she had half been expecting Barlow to just jump out from behind the curtains. He looked vaguely familiar, as if he were someone that she knew in a previous life, but she couldn't quite place her finger on it. He had dark brown hair that curled around his ears and piercing green eyes that seemed to know every secret Jordan possessed—but perhaps that was just that fact that he actually did know every secret Jordan possessed. He was taller than her, but not too tall—maybe around 6'0" or 6'1".

But his most defining feature was the scar: a long gash that ran the length of his face from his right eyebrow straight down to his jaw.

"Who are you?" Jordan asked quietly, her back up against the door as the man got closer. "What do you want with us?"

The man didn't answer her questions, but instead handed her a letter, folded over three times. Jordan took it and hesitated before opening it, beginning to read without realizing what it was.

To Whom It May Concern,

I don't know who will find me, but to whoever does, I hope this letter finds you better than I ever was. I've committed too many atrocities in my life to continue living, and I don't think I should be allowed the luxury of life anymore. I love my family, and my friends, but I know their lives would be better off without me in them. Please give my love to them.

Dean Summers

Jordan looked up sharply as she finished reading.

"This is a suicide note...from Dean?"

The man nodded before taking the letter out of her hands.

"You now have permanent protection from Dean Summers. If he tries to hurt you, he'll be hurt first. But only if you kill Michael Hadden."

Jordan paused.

"Why do you want me to kill Michael? Why not Mary? She's far more annoying. Or even Roland, since he could probably figure out who you are easily with his nerd technology. Michael doesn't make any sense. Even I make a better target than Michael Hadden. So why Michael? What did he do to you? I should know why I'm killing someone before I do it."

"Enough." The man growled, "I'm not here to answer your questions."

"That's actually exactly why you're here." Jordan snapped back, "Remember? I needed to know what was going on, and I needed to know who I was killing for—"

"Shut up." The man ordered as he plucked an old burner phone out of his back pocket. Jordan obeyed, shutting her mouth before he could do anything to her.

"Dammit." The man muttered, putting the phone back in his pocket and taking out a syringe. Jordan's eyes widened at the sight of it and her hand reached for the doorknob, "Why can't your friends just do as they're told?"

"What—"

But before she could get the question out, the man leaped forward and the needle went into her neck. Jordan let out a short cry for help before feeling her legs give out as she dropped to the ground, the wooden floor meeting her head with a loud thud. Her vision went blurry for a second before everything around her went completely black.


A/N: Hey guys! Sorry for the missing update on Saturday, but I was at my sister's all weekend and didn't bring my laptop along. I hope you enjoyed the chapter, though!

Also, keep an eye out for news about Three's Company! I just ordered the proof copy of Forbidden yesterday and I am SO EXCITED to publish it in print for you guys to see all of the new stuff that's in it.

-Katherine

-Katherine

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