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Pen Your Pride

Here you go guys, I hope you like this. I will try to get another chapter out by friday, but I was on a roll today and I just had to get this out! I know its short, but it's also early. So.....

Don't forget to comment and vote.

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Chapter Eight

Will stared at Harper for a second before biting his lip and turning his head away.

“Why would you care?” He asked, turning back, he sounded generally confused.

“Because,” she said as if it was obvious, “I want to know what makes a guy like you cut a guy like Charlie with a knife.”

Harper knew immediately that she had said the wrong thing. Will’s face hardened and his eyes sparkled with anger. Looking at him now, Harper remembered why she thought he was dangerous the first time that she had seen him.

“No offense, Harper, but you have no idea what kind of guy I am,” he said through his gritted teeth, “And you don’t know what kind of guy Charlie really is,” he added cryptically.

Harper opened her mouth and she was about to apologise to him. I didn’t mean to sound so aggressive, I was just impatient. I just wanted to know what had happened between the two of them even though I knew that it was none of my business. Harper was about to say all of those things, when Lois skipped over holding a giant poster up. She waved it in front of Will and Harper, who tried to figure out what it said but Lois was jumping about so much they couldn’t read a single word.

“Look!” She nearly shouted.

“I would, but you need to stand still,” Will said, all hints of anger vanishing. He gently caught Lois’s hands and held them still so that he could read the poster.

“What is it?” Harper directed the question towards Freddie and Suzy who had followed Lois over at a lesser speed.

“A fashion design competition,” Freddie said with a broad excited grin on his face, “It’s free to enter, and the prize is a trip to New York and our designs featured in Barney’s.”

“What’s Barney’s?” Harper asked dumbly.

“It’s only one of the best stores in the entire world!” Lois said pulling the poster away from Will and shoving it in Harper’s face, “The biggest designers in the world sell their fashions there.”  

“But,” Suzy said moving Lois’s arms out of the way, “It’s a nationwide competition with a zillion different heats to get through, we’d never win.”

Lois shook her head. She reached over and pulled Will into the group, “Not with Will’s designs,” she said, “We’d win for sure, if somebody would let us at his sketchbook.”

Lois looked up and batted her eyes at Will. He looked down at her and the shrugged his arm away from her.

“No.”

“Aw, come on Will,” Lois said, “Pretty please, we all know that you’re designs are the best.”

Will looked at her for a second before turning and heading towards the door. Lois moved to go after him, but Suzy grabbed her arm.

“Lois, don’t. You know what he’s like about that sketchbook,” Suzy said gently, Lois looked to the floor and kicking her toes against the hardwood.

“Come on Lois!” Harper said, trying to be chipper, “We can win without Will’s designs, I mean you’re dresses are brilliant anyway.”

“Yeah, come on Lois, it’s worth a shot!” Freddie joined in. Suzy smiled and nodded.

Lois remained moody for a few more seconds before picking her head up and grinning.

“Yeah, you’re right guys!”

By the end of the day, Harper was almost wishing that she hadn’t gotten Lois’s hopes up. All day the only thing Lois wanted to talk about were her plans for the competition. While they ate lunch, Lois doodled a design on the back of a napkin. When they went in the local supermarket for some snacks, she babbled about different dress themes, and when they reached the bus stop to get back to school, she told them all about her make-up artist uncle who would help them if they got through to the catwalk stage.

“I think some light sparkles down Harper’s arms would make the perfect match for the red feather dress,” Lois said as they walked through the trees.

Harper, who had been half daydreaming, noticed that her name had been mentioned, “What?” She asked suddenly.

“I said…” Lois began, but Harper interrupted.

“I know what you said, but my arms and sparkles do not mix,” Harper said shaking her head.

“But Harper,” Lois said turning and brandishing her arms in a wild gesture, “You’re our model!”

Harper rolled her eyes; she had no intentions of going on any catwalk in the future. She would only fall and break her neck or something like that.

“You never said that I’d have to actually do anything,” Harper replied, panic rising in her voice. She was now imagining herself in a pair of twenty inch heels and falling on her bottom in front of millions of people.

“Oh, Harper it’ll just be a bit of fun,” Lois said turning on the puppy dog eyes. Harper wasn’t really one to fall for that, but Lois just looked so helpless. Besides it was just a little fun, they weren’t actually going to win.

“Fine,” Harper said holding her hands up in surrender, “But I’m not wearing any stilettoes.”

Lois smiled happily and turned. Just as the group began walking, Harper thought she heard Lois whisper, ‘that’s what you think.’ Harper smiled, she wasn’t going to make a fuss over the heels issue, when Lois saw how terrible she was at walking in them; she would soon change her mind.

It was nearing midnight when Lois, Freddie and Harper bade Suzy goodnight. They watched her head up the path to the sophomore dorm before heading into the freshman building. It was eerily quiet and dark inside the lobby. Freddie whispered goodnight before heading towards the boys half of the dorms. Leaving Harper and Lois to find their way up the attic rooms.

“I told you, you should have walked quicker,” Harper whispered as they crept down the second floor corridor.

“I wanted to look in all of the windows,” Lois whispered back.

“Wait!” Harper whispered as Lois placed her foot on the staircase.

Lois turned to Harper a question forming on her lips. Harper put her finger to her lips, signalling Lois to be quiet. Harper then listened to the sounds of the night. There were a few snores coming from the room on their right, and the sounds of muffled music coming from the room two doors down. Outside the open window an owl hooted and in the distance the sound of a car. Harper frowned, maybe she had imagined it. That’s when she heard it again; the sound of a floor board creaking on the floor above, it was closer to them now, right above their heads. Harper held her breath and hoped that the person that was up there would just walk on. Then she heard a thump of a foot on the stairs.

“Lois!” Harper hissed, but she didn’t need to, Lois had heard it too. She looked at Harper; she looked like she was frozen in fear. Harper rushed over to her and pulled her away from the stair case. Harper was grateful that there was a twist in the stairs.

“Run! Go!” Harper mimed to Lois just as a foot appeared at the bend, it was too late for Harper to run, but Lois feet finally kicked in. She gave Lois one last apologetic glance before dashing back the way they had just come. Out of the corner of her eye, Harper saw Lois vanish into the bathroom. She smiled and turned back to the stair case.

“Miss Caddel,” a sickly sweet voice greeted her. Harper smiled up the figure at the top of stairs. Although it was dark, she knew exactly who it was.

“Mrs Neathway.”

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