Skylar's POV

1:00 am.

My parents were sound asleep in their room. Chicken was sound asleep in my room, curled up on my bed. The moon was up in the night sky, glowing brightly. And I, Skylar Anderson, was dressed up in a black T-shirt and jeans, my favourite denim jacket, and some butt-kicking motorcycle boots.

When I looked at myself in the mirror, I realized that I kind of resembled those actors in gangster movies. I looked like one of those sketchy dudes lurking around the creepy alleyways of New York city, having anything but good intentions.

Maybe this was the exact reason why my mom never approved of my dressing style.

With a heavy sigh, I went back towards my closet and picked out another decent pair of jeans, a full sleeved sweater this time, and changed into them. Once again, I stood in front of the mirror and eyed my boots. With a frustrated huff, I took them off and slipped my feet into my sneakers.

I couldn't even believe that I was thinking too much over my clothes when I was sneaking out of my house, after midnight, to some place where I would probably get myself killed one way or another.

I was a real sicko.

I glanced over at Chicken once again, making sure that cat was still asleep, then went over towards my window and slowly opened it up without any noise. Cautiously, I swung my legs over the window sill and jumped down. My heart almost leapt out of my chest as my feet hit the grassy ground of our backyard.

Few seconds later, I was walking towards my bicycle just after making sure that I hadn't woken up anyone in my house. Thankfully, the neighbors seemed asleep too as I sat on my bike and put on my helmet.

Unlike Alex's parents, my parents thought I was still too young to get a car, so I got stuck with a bicycle. I was glad that Alex's parents weren't like mine though, because that way I didn't have to drive each day to school—that was all Alex's job since he was the one with a car of his own.

Without wasting anymore time, I took off towards the so-called Chriswood Street, hoping that I was following the right directions. I knew this town enough to know which specific street was where. Still, it was a bit nerve wracking to pedal down the almost empty streets.

After so many twists and turns, I finally managed to reach a place which kind of looked more creepy than the streets I had seen before. Everything was so dark around me, the graffiti on the walls looking old, the surroundings looking a bit abandoned.

I kept my senses on high alert and slowly took off my helmet, parking my bike along one corner. Just in case, I had put 911 on speed dial, my phone stuffed in my pocket—though I was really hoping that I wouldn't need to call them.

I slowly started walking ahead, noticing the old wooden fence beside me. There was barbed wire curled at its top, almost giving this place an even more scary feel. Moving alongside that fence, I found myself standing in front of a big playground, the swings and slides radiating that horror-movie vibe.

I wouldn't be surprised if one of those swings started moving by itself.

"Think positive, Sky." I muttered under my breath. "Now's not the time to think about horror movies."

I tried searching around for anyone else besides me, but failed to do so. It was as if I was all alone on this entire street.

"Hello?" My voice sounded a bit strange, interrupting the dark silence around me. "Is somebody here?" I got no response to that. "Is somebody alive?"

Just after the second time raising my question, I heard a crunch behind me, as if someone had stepped on one of those fallen twigs. I turned around abruptly but found no one anywhere near me. A small shiver ran up my spine and I bit the inside of my cheek anxiously, few strands of my ponytail whipping along with the wind.

This must be a prank. Someone really was shitting with me.

Controlling the sudden urge to groan out loud, I followed my gut instinct and decided to walk back towards my bicycle.

My parents would probably flip out if they found out about this. I couldn't even imagine what would happen if my mother suddenly decided to wake up right now and check up on me, only to find out that I wasn't in my room.

With my heart hammering inside my chest, I looked around nervously and started to turn back towards the way I just came from.

I hadn't even taken two steps when a loud firing sound erupted in the air. My eyes widened in response and I froze at my spot, sudden fear clouding my insides.

I didn't even have to hear it a second time to figure out what that sounded like. It was definitely a gunshot, the loud sound of it still ringing faintly in my ears.

Gulping heavily, I forced my legs to move. This was surely not going to end well if I didn't run this exact moment. However, I froze again when more bullets started firing around me, my heart almost stopping at the same time.

What the fuck was even happening?

I couldn't see anyone besides me, my head clouding up with the loud gunshots. I was going to die, I knew I was going to die. I couldn't even imagine how my parents would feel if they found my dead body here in this creepy bullet-firing spot.

Naturally, I got so scared that my feet didn't obey me when I urged myself to move. The bullets kept on firing around me and I started fumbling around for my phone.

"Oh God." My voice came out in a scared whisper, being eaten up by the loud shooting noises around me.

I started taking few steps backwards, almost being able to spot few silhouettes around the ground.

I was definitely not alone.

I would certainly have gotten hit by one of those bullets only if someone hadn't pushed me out of the way, shoving me down towards the ground a bit harshly.

"Ow!" I complained as the back of my head slammed against the ground. And let me tell you one thing, there was nothing exciting about hitting the back of your head on a rock-hard ground.

I blinked rapidly, feeling a pair of strong arms around me. I tried to make out the face in front of me but it was too hard to do so, especially between the darkness and my throbbing head. I think my vision even blurred a little.

I would've probably gotten squished under him if he hadn't pulled away the next instant, gripping one of my arms and pulling me up from the ground as well. I tried my best not to fall over as he dragged me behind him, reaching a narrow alleyway and stopping behind the concrete wall.

I wasn't just scared, I was way beyond terrified at that moment.

"What are–" My words were silenced when he placed a hand over my mouth, shutting me up. I probably would've pushed him away only if I hadn't heard the sudden footsteps approaching the same alley we were hiding in.

I closed my eyes out of horror, silently hoping to get out of here alive. I didn't want to die, I just wanted to go back home.

Coming here was surely the worst decision I had ever made in my entire life.

Much to my relief, the footsteps faded away, leaving the narrow alleyway instead of catching up to us. I felt my heartbeat slowing down a little and I opened my eyes.

The guy who had just saved me from that freaking bullet-firing spot waited for a few seconds before pulling his hand away from my mouth. He stepped away from me and that's pretty much when I saw his face, the moonlight angling right over him.

This can't be happening.

"Caden?" My voice sounded squeaky and I cringed inwardly at that.

This was the third time today that I was crossing paths with him, not technically since it was way past midnight, but a part of me just couldn't believe that.

What was he even doing here in the first place?

He looked back at me and frowned, probably because he must've recognized my face too. At least, I'd like to believe that.

"Not you again." He spoke up in an offensive manner; a tone that would've wounded any girl's pride. But since he had just saved my life, I chose to ignore it.

"What are you doing here?" I asked him, because really, he wasn't the only one surprised. "Were you the one who sent me that letter?"

The look of disbelief didn't leave his face, and the frown came back. "Let me ask you the exact same question. How in the hell did you end up here?"

I slightly scrunched up my nose at that, crossing my arms against my dusty sweater. The throbbing in my head hadn't faded even the slightest and I almost gritted my teeth in pain. I was sure I'd be having a bump at the back of my head when I go to school.

"I recieved a letter, a note from someone." I managed to look away from his face, his figure almost towering in front of me.

I was still confused about those sudden gunshots. I was confused about that letter that had been addressed to me. This couldn't just be a prank. I would've probably gotten killed and that sounded too far to be a prank.

I saw him raise his brows at me, almost seeming a bit irritated now. "And that person asked you to come here?"

He made it sound like I was talking trash, even if that had been the truth. If only I had stuffed that white envelope in my pocket before coming here, I would've had some evidence to throw on his stupidly perfect face.

"Yes." I responded. Just in case if he thought I was making this whole up, I also added, "And I'm not lying."

Why else would I even want to leave my bed, after midnight, to take a random stroll into one of the creepiest streets in our town?

"Well next time, ask your boyfriend to plan out your dates somewhere normal next time." He sounded almost disgusted. "Who evens asks someone out over a fucking letter?"

My eyes widened a little at that, a bit horrified and a lot offended at his words.

"Excuse me, but I don't have a boyfriend." That was probably not the wisest thing to say, but I was not going to let him make any more bold assumptions after that.

He scoffed at me. "Right. Who would even ask you on a date."

I parted my mouth a little, highly taken aback by his statement. A statement that should've sounded like a question.

Did he actually just say that? Right to my face?

"What if I hadn't seen you there?" He asked, taking another step back. "You'd probably be in a disgusting puddle of blood by now, and dead."

That actually hurt a bit.

Before I could've started tearing up on that insult –which anyone in my place would've done– I gritted my teeth before stepping out of his way.

"I got a letter addressed to me, from an unknown person. But then again, I don't care about your shitty opinion." I glared at him.

A phone buzzed in between us and I was sure it was his. Instead of answering it, he just eyed me with his narrowed gaze.

What did he even think of himself? I was aware of the fact that I might've died if he hadn't saved me, but he had no right to throw it on my face.

Even though I just wished to go back to my bike, not wanting to be anywhere near him, I still faced him one last time and looked straight into his steely green eyes.

"I've never met somebody as fucking rude as you." I said before walking away.

I didn't even spare another glance in his direction, slipping onto my bike and riding away.

I finally knew why they labeled Caden Miller as the biggest shithead at Crestmont High.

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