Chapter 4: Snake

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Cole led me up the stairs and through a maze of halls. When we reached the farthest corner of the house, Cole finally stopped.

"This is where you will be staying," he said, pushing open a door. I walked into the room, but it was pitch black. Putting my hand on the wall, I searched for the light switch. Cole and I found it at the same time. The contact was electric and I pulled my hand back in shock when our fingers touched. He chuckled and I was glad that the darkness covered my blush. When Cole turned on the lights and a warm glow lit up the room, I forgot my embarrassment and gasped in awe.

Every inch of the walls had been painted in vivid colors. A mural of a tropical rainforest started on one end of the room and by the time it had wrapped around to the other side it had transformed into an ocean filled with sea creatures. One side of the ceiling had been painted to look like the night sky, which faded into day on the other. Even the wooden panels on the ceiling fan had been decorated. I stood, mouth open, and gaped at my new room.

"I hope you don't mind it. Nathan ran out of furniture and walls to paint on, so my mom finally surrendered her guest room." He scratched the back of his head looking embarrassed.

"Oh my god, I love it!" I said truthfully. My new room was probably the first thing that I actually loved about Colorado. Cole smiled a slow cocky grin that made me want to squirm. He still had no shirt on and I purposely kept my gaze glued to his face so I wouldn't stare. How was I ever going to live with this boy who looked like a Greek God?

"Well that's good, because his work is all over the ranch. If he's not painting, he's not happy," he said.

It took us a few trips to get my luggage inside. Everyone else had disappeared quickly, so no one else was there to help. I started unpacking, and Cole leaned against the doorway and watched me work. First I took out my laptop and set it on the desk, which was painted in brilliant colors. Then I pulled out a handful of photographs. For a moment I considered asking Cole for some tape so I could put them up, but as I looked down at a picture of my sister I knew that I wouldn't be able to handle seeing my family's smiling faces. Instead, I slipped them back into the front pocket of my backpack. Next, I unzipped my largest suitcase and started to put my clothes in the dresser that was painted to match the desk. I decided to unpack my undergarments when Cole wasn't staring at me.

"So you're a big sports person, huh?" he asked when I piled all my hockey gear in one of the corners.

"Yeah, I'm not really a girlie-girl." As the words left my mouth, doubtful thoughts swirled in my head. Should I have said that? Would Cole make fun of me? You shouldn't care, I told myself silently.

Cole just laughed. "Really?" he asked raising an eyebrow, "because you sure pack like one."

My face turned a bright shade of red, and I had to contain myself from yelling at him. Of course I packed a lot. I was being forced to move across the country because I had no home anymore!

"Well anyways," he continued, "when you're done you can head down to the kitchen. It's almost dinner time, which is one of the best parts of the day. My mom always cooks something good and we all eat together."

He smirked at me one last time before turning to leave. When he disappeared around the corner, I collapsed on my new bed and sighed. I had survived my first encounter with the Walter boys. I didn't feel up to round two, but then my stomach growled, so I changed out of my wet clothes before reluctantly heading off to my second encounter with the Walter boys.


Katherine's kitchen was a sight I had never seen before. The place was loud and chaotic, but warm and cozy at the same time. It was the opposite of my mother's clean-tiled, sparkling steel, half a million dollar kitchen. At home I felt like the kitchen was just there to look pretty and if I made a mess, I was in big trouble. This kitchen on the other hand looked lived in and I liked it.

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