6 | The Lost and Unfound

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The interior of Jude's car was all black leather, dark wood, and reeked of that new car smell

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The interior of Jude's car was all black leather, dark wood, and reeked of that new car smell. If I had the choice, I would have stayed inside the air-conditioned cabin for the rest of my life, especially if it meant I didn't have to face the man waiting for me at home.

"This isn't going to end well."

Currently, said car was idling in front of my home in the heart of Georgetown, and I was silently debating whether or not I wanted to enter the place. My father was probably throwing a fit inside, prepared to ground me the instant I set foot in the foyer. Had I still been living with my mother, I could have slipped in unnoticed since she was rarely home anyway, but this was Charles Avilla we were talking about, the man who had blown a gasket the day I'd been expelled from Georgetown Trinity Day School and sent me packing to live with mommy dearest. I wasn't sure what I would do if this situation had the same outcome.

"I'm sure it'll be fine," Jude said soothingly, giving my hand a tight squeeze.

In the twenty minute drive from the hotel to my house, Jude and I had talked about anything and everything, mainly indulging our backgrounds to each other. Jude now knew that I was seventeen, liked my pizza with pineapple on it, and had a phobia of geese. In return he told me that his birthday was on Christmas eve, owned sixty-seven pairs of sunglasses, and that he had once been hit on by a pirate. For most of our conversation he had me clutching my head in one hand and my stomach in the other from laughing so hard.

Though we'd only spent a short amount of time together, I felt as if I'd known the guy for ages. Maybe it was the fact that our personalities just clicked or the stories we were able to trade about the twins, but it was obvious that we were destined to be friends.

"I don't know," I murmured hesitantly, glancing once more at the brick structure. "My dad is probably going to have a cow."

"Maybe, maybe not. Charles seems like a pretty chill guy to me."

I shot him look that said otherwise. "You should have seen him the day I got expelled from Trinity back in sixth grade. I thought he was going to turn into the Incredible Hulk."

Jude snorted and released my hand in favor of patting my knee. "That was a totally different situation. All you did this time was miss curfew, not try to kill a kid."

"I didn't try to kill him," I corrected, folding my arms across my chest. "It was just self defense. That kid punched me, what else was I supposed to do?"

"Self defense?" Jude tossed his head back and laughed. "You broke his arm in three places and reduced the boy to a sobbing mess. Now, I'm not exactly taking my cousin's side, but do you really think he deserved all that?"

I opened my mouth to respond, but my jaw snapped shut when his words fully registered. "Wait, did you say cousin?"

"You didn't know?" he questioned, obviously surprised. "Sebastian's my cousin. I thought my last name would have given it away."

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