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Edited 5-19-19

Edited 5-19-19

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Three

"Arryn, I think we should go back. Austin's party isn't worth the trouble. Besides, I'm sure we could text him and get him to move it to tomorrow night or something. It's only us and a few others." Lincoln pulled to a stop, turning to look at Arryn.

No. She needed this. The deer waited for her back home.

"Please." She reached her hand out, finding his. He felt like home— like safety. "I need to go."

"Why? We could still do something together. I just want to make sure you're safe. I wasn't even there, Arryn, but I'm still shaken up over it."

"In two months, everything is going to change, Lincoln. We're all going to be super busy — maybe too busy for one another. I wanna spend these last days enjoying every second with you guys."

"You make it sound like we're all going to die," he joked, but his hand gave hers a gentle squeeze, showing her he understood.

Silence overtook the vehicle. Lincoln gently pressed on the gas, rolling the car back onto the road.

Arryn gazed out the passenger's window. Moonlight illuminated trees, casting dark shadows on the grass below. In the sky above, a full moon shone brightly, accompanied with thousands of twinkling stars.

Nature always took her back to her childhood. Whether it be camping trips with her church group or sitting on the deck with her dad, she loved being outdoors. And looking at the night sky now, the nostalgia made her feel safe.

She turned her attention forward, doing a double take as a towering buck stood in the middle of the road. Lincoln pushed forward.

"Lincoln! Look out!" she screamed with her heart in her throat.

He slammed on his brakes. Squealing tires echoed into the quiet night. Arryn gripped onto anything she could hold. Her heart in her stomach as the car lurched sideways, rolling to a stop on the grass. Heavy breaths accompanied filled the car.

Arryn looked back at the road, expecting to see the deer bouncing off. But it vanished. It couldn't have gotten away that quickly.

"Where did it go?" she asked confused.

"Where did what go? Arryn, what the hell was that? There was nothing out there!" Lincoln's chest rose rapidly.

"There was a..." she trailed off, knowing that if she said she saw a deer, the night would be over. "There was a turtle in the road. Did you not see it?" she lied, barely convincing herself.

"No way you had me almost crash for a turtle."

He sounded a bit irritated and she fidgeted.

"I didn't mean to scare you. I'm sorry." Guilt laced her voice.

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