“Joey and I need to get back to the diner but we’ll be back in a few hours. West is here so don’t worry about being alone.” Being alone is the last of my worries.

“Do I really have to be alone with him? Can’t I just go with you?” I whine. I haven’t really talked to him much but from the looks of it, he definitely doesn’t like me.

“No you need to rest and I can tell you’re not used to the smell of alcohol, you looked like you were about to puke when you walked in there. And don’t worry about West, he may seem a little tough but he’s harmless. A little grumpy but nothing to worry about. We’ll be back soon.” Thea puts on her apron and leaves the room, shutting the door behind her.

After a few minutes, I hear the front door slam shut and a car engine roars to life. As soon as the car sounds far enough, I get up from the bed and leave the room as quietly as I can. I tiptoe downstairs, looking out for West but he’s nowhere in sight. Deciding on taking a quick tour of the house, I start walking around.

Behind the living room is a hallway similar to the one upstairs except a bit darker. I walk down, feeling the walls around me for a light switch. I finally find one and flip it, illuminating the hallway. The first door is on my right, I slowly push it open to find that it’s just a simple laundry room, with a washing machine, drier and baskets. I move on to the next room.

The next door to my left leads me to a large room, twice the size of Thea’s. It’s built like a gym, with punching bags, mats, weights and sparring sticks.

“Woah, they’re no joke.” I admire the equipment in the room wondering how they could afford all of this before leaving.

The last door is on the left, beside the gym. Unlike the other doors, this one is metal. I push down on the handle to open it but it doesn’t budge. I try again but push the door this time, but nothing happens. It’s sealed shut.

“What the heck is inside here?” I give up and head back upstairs.

“Might as well see the other rooms too.”

I quietly make my way to Joey’s room, his name is indented on a plate number on the door. Opening the door slightly, I poke my head into the room before her body follows. The room is very simple. It’s painted navy blue and white. I’m actually surprised at how neat the room is, the only things on the floor are dumbbells and papers. I take a closer look at the papers to find that they’re drawings.

“Joey draws?” I ask myself, surprised. On the wall are also a few pictures pinned down.

I leave the room as quietly as I entered, closing the door slowly to avoid it creaking. The last room is West’s. I take a few deep breaths before going inside. The room is quite dark because the windows are shut and the blinds are closed. Still standing by the door, I reach in to find a light switch to brighten up the room.

The room isn’t too different from Joey’s except the walls are painted a deep purple colour, if you don’t look close enough you’d think they were black. The room holds barely any decoration. Just a bed, a closet and drawer and a shoe rack, that’s all there is to the room, nothing juicy. I turn the lights back off and slowly back out of the room. As I shut the door, I turn around and come face-to-face with the room owner himself.

“What are you looking for?” West asks with a blank expression.

I stare up at West who is only inches away from me, I rest on the door for support. As I ransack my brain for something believable to say, I carefully study his face. His shoulder-length wolf cut black hair is in a messy bun with a few loose strands covering his face. There’s a scar on his face, one that I didn’t notice before. It runs from the top of his right eye down to his cheek. It looks quite old.

“Aren’t you going to answer?” He asks again snapping me out of my trance.

“Oh umm… I was just… looking for you. I was actually looking for you.” I start, hoping he buys it.

“And why are you looking for me?” He asks, not moving an inch, still trapping me between himself and the door.

“Why was I looking for you? I was looking for you because… because I don’t know how to use a washing machine and I need to wash my clothes, they stink.” I flash an innocent smile. Hopefully he bought it.

West finally moves away, giving me space to breathe.

“That’s not my problem, wait for Thea.” He moves me aside and steps into his room, slamming the door behind him.

I let out a breath I didn’t even know I was holding before running back to my room.

“That was close. Note to self: Avoid West at all costs, he seems very scary.”

I scan the room for something to keep me busy and my eyes land on a small shelf hanging on the wall above the black drawer. On it are a few notebooks and novels, I pull one out and busy myself with it, sitting at the desk facing the window.

Hours go by and I’m so engrossed in the book that I don’t hear when Thea enters the room.

“What are you reading?” In less than a second, I have Thea’s arm pinned behind her and her head on the desk.

“What are you doing?” Thea yells.

I snap back to reality, realizing what I just did. I quickly lets go of her arm and help her up, dusting imaginary dirt off her clothes and hair.

“I’m so sorry, I didn’t know it was you. It was just my reflexes, I’m so sorry.” I apologize.

“It’s alright, I shouldn’t have snuck up on you like that. Those are some crazy reflexes though.” Thea laughs, taking off her apron and tossing it into the laundry basket.

“When did you get back? I didn’t know it was so late already.” I look out the window to find the moon high in the sky.

“We just got back like five minutes ago. The boys are getting dinner ready.” She exchanges her shoes for slippers and heads for the bathroom.

I resume my book as I wait for Thea. I start to get excited as the smell of the food travels from the kitchen into the room. I can’t remember the last time I had a proper meal prepared for her, a meal that she didn’t have to steal, beg or hunt for.

Thea exits the bathroom clad in a blue pyjama set with her hair still wet.

“Umm Thea, I was wondering if you could show me how the washing machine works, my clothes reek.” I ask nervously and Thea nods.

“Sure but let’s do that tomorrow. I’m way too tired for laundry right now.” I thank her and get back to my book once again.

“Dinner should be ready by now, let’s go see if the boys need any help.” Thea says after the long silence, trying her best to warm me up.

I can tell that she knows I’m still not comfortable here and I can’t blame her, we literally just met today and our first impression wasn’t exactly the best. She’s right though, my staying here doesn’t mean I trust them completely, I don’t think that could ever happen.

‘Trust no one.’ Mother’s orders.

We both leave the room and halfway down the stairs, Joey yells, “Dinner’s ready.”

We quicken our footsteps and reach the kitchen in seconds.

“Well that was fast.” Joey and Thea take their seats at the table while West places forks on everyone’s plate before taking his own seat.

I shyly take the last seat between Joey and Thea, thankful that West isn’t beside me.

“I hope you like pasta.” Joey says to me and I answer with a sharp nod before digging into the sweet-smelling food.

A few minutes into the meal, I try to make conversation, “What part of Zorah are you guys from? I don’t know much about the geography of the place but I’d still like to know.”

Thea answers first, as usual, “Well I’m from Corva, the trade capital, and so is West.”

“I’m from Doran, a small, quiet place. And you?” Joey asks.

“My mom’s from Orion so I guess I can say I’m from there too.” I answer.

“Wow, she must have been rich.” Thea comments.

“Yeah she always told me that her parents were filthy rich but they never really met eye to eye and that’s why she left them.”


The rest of dinner goes by silently. The boys clear the table and do the dishes. Thea and I retire to our room and get ready for bed. I read a little more of the book I started before tiredness overwhelms me. I turn off the light and get into bed with Thea who seems to already be fast asleep.

“We have a lot to do tomorrow. Get some rest.” Thea says with her eyes still closed.

I fall asleep wondering what exactly Thea has planned for the day.

Related chapters

Latest chapter Protection Status