Chapter Sixteen

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Daisy did not stay behind willingly. She yelled and claimed that her emotional state was fine, but in the end she finally agreed to take care of Duncan and Carlos. Duncan wished Lauren and Jonathan good luck without sitting up from his sick pallet on the floor of the van.

Lauren and Jonathan stuck together and talked for most of the way there. Duncan drew them a detailed map of where he believed Sammy and Ari were so they saw no reason to split up.

"So, why did you and your friends leave BeechWood in the first place?" Jonathan asks, interrupting the uncomfortable silence. Lauren hesitated and her heart sped up as she racked her brain for a lie.

"I have no explanation." She blurts out without realizing it.

Jonathan found that amusing. "What, so you and you friends just up and left your school for no reason without telling anyone."

"Um, we had a reason. I can't tell you though, because it's kind of a secret and if I told you, you'd probably ditch me and leave me alone in these scary woods." Lauren rambled. 

"I don't think that's accurately acceptable. I wouldn't leave you, promise." Jonathan says and flashes a smile at Lauren.

"Promise?" She nearly blurted it all out right there. Jonathan nodded and she decided to trust him. "You have to allow me to explain before you jump to conclusions."

"Okay..." Jonathan says, slightly confused.

"Um, Sammy and my brother are the wanted murderers from BeechWood." Lauren blurts out quickly and holds her breath while waiting for Jonathan to reply or show any kind of emotional. Jonathan's eyes gres wide and he pulled Lauren over to a large tree.

"Did they kidnap you, because I can always shoot one." Jonathan says.

"What? No!" Lauren exclaimed.

"Then why in the world are you with them?" Jonathan asks, Lauren was slightly offended that he'd thought her own brother would kidnap her.

"Because he's my brother." Lauren says and looks at Jonathan closely. "They've helped me more times than anyone. I trust them."

"Why? They're murderers!" Jonathan says.

"It wasn't murder! Marah killed Noah!" Lauren screamed, slowly starting to cry.

"Who's Noah?" Jonathan asks "He's not your boyfriend is he?"

"He was one of Duncan's best friends. Marah killed him and it changed Duncan. Sammy killed Marah and that's all. He didn't kill the others, Marah and Amber killed everyone else." Lauren says, wiping her eyes.

"It was self defense? Why didn't you just tell the police that?" Jonathan asks.

"We couldn't, they wouldn't believe-" Lauren was cut off when the two heard a rustle in the woods. After a few moments of silence, a familiar face walked into the clearing... Lauren gasped.


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