- Hunted: Prologue
- HUNTED: Chapter One
- HUNTED: Chapter Two
- HUNTED: Chapter Three
- HUNTED: Chapter Four
- HUNTED: Chapter Five
- HUNTED: Chapter Six
- HUNTED: Chapter Seven
- HUNTED: Chapter Eight
- HUNTED: Chapter Nine
Post Malone’s I Fall Apart, plays at a medium temp in the background of Jax’s basement bedroom. “Poor me another.” I demand slamming my glass on the new wooden coffee table in front of me. I still couldn’t believe Waylon slammed Jax’s body through the old one.
“I think you’ve had enough.” Cory says in his big-voice.
“Screw you.” I say not really meaning it.
“No he is right — in all the time I’ve known you, I have never once seen you drink alcohol and you don’t want to get ahead of yourself.” Jax scolds.
“I just witnessed my best friend get murdered and survived two gunshots! If I feel like getting drunk I am going too.” I snap. They were right though, I never drank. It wasn’t my thing but hours ago we laid Juliet to rest and I realized that her murderer could have been watching us, or me rather, for awhile. Call me crazy but that was a hard pill to swallow.
The boys trade nervous glances at each other because I am never like this, border-line erratic. I arch my brow and Waylon pours me some more Jack, which I down in one swallow.
“You guys get wasted all the time so save the judgement for a rainy day.” I say resting against the back of the couch and closing my eyes, letting the whiskey’s warmth run through me.
“We aren’t judging you — just worried.” Jax says rubbing his hand over my leg.
“It’s not like I have never had a drink before.” I say with my eyes still closed, annoyed with this argument.
“She’s right I’ve seen her drink, she even downed the rest of my beer once when we were together.” Waylon says from where he sits crossed legged on the floor.
I laugh, feeling the alcohol’s boldness, “I only downed the rest of your beer because you were hitting on Lacy Lavender right in front of me.”
“For the millionth time LB, I wasn’t flirting with her, she was flirting with me.” Waylon says in his usual defensive manner.
Sitting up I stare into his eyes, “Even now you lie to me. Another.” My voice is ice. This time the boys don’t bother protesting and Waylon pours me another shot.
“You need to let it go LB,” Waylon says.
“No I don’t think I will. You were an asshole when we dated. We are much better as friends.” I say. I know I am being unfair and mean, but it is as if I need to lash out my hurt on someone.
“A little harsh Lenny Bee, maybe you should ease up?” Cory says sounding like he is trying to diffuse a bomb.
Unfortunately, Jax spoke at he same as Cory so the bomb didn’t really diffuse, “Wait, wasn’t Lacy the girl you lost your virginity too?”
Cory let out a sigh and took a shot of his own, obviously giving up. Ever the peacemaker that Cory.
“Yep,” I answered for Waylon.
Waylon raises his eyebrows, “How do you even know about that?”
“Girls talk. One week after we ended it Lacy was telling anyone who would listen.” I replied in a monotone voice.
“Shit.” Is all Waylon could manage.
Cory lets out a low whistle.
I smile inside, which is messed up, but I’ve had to be friends with him, for the sake of our friends, knowing how badly he actually hurt me. I always pretended it hadn’t bothered me but damn it, alcohol makes me speak my mind.
“At least you weren’t my first kiss.” I say and immediately regret it. Damn alcohol…apparently it takes away my filter too.
“Why are we talking about all this garbage?” Cory says shuffling awkwardly on the futon his large frame is sprawled on. Cory looks just like his father, black hair, eyes almost as dark, and a bulky muscular frame. He is leaner than his dad though, but that is only because his dad has years on him.
“Ahh, Cory, are you embarrassed?” I need to shut my mouth.
His eyes grow huge, “No more shoots for you.”
“Hold up, you two hooked up?” Waylon questions.
Jax is eerily silent from where he sits beside me on the couch.
“We did not hook up. We kissed once.” Cory answers in a low embarrassed voice.
“Seriously?” Jax’s voice finally fills the room.
“Yeah, remember when Juliet wanted us the four of us to go on a double shortly after you guys started dating?” I say with a slight laugh.
“You said nothing happened.” Jax says in disbelief.
“Things are getting interesting.” Waylon joins in clearly glad the heat is off him.
Cory groans, “We agreed to never tell anyone.”
I laugh, “It was so brutal, for both of us. Cory walked me home and says ‘So ummm, this was my first date.’”
“Oh don’t go blaming this all on me,” Cory says now laughing, “Lenny Bee was all, ‘mine too’, and then she gives me kiss me eyes.”
I throw a pizza crust at him from where it sat on my plate which was sitting on the coffee table in front of the couch, “I so did not give you,” I made air quotes, “kiss me eyes.”
“You so did,” Cory says, his mouth full of the crust I just threw at him.
I roll my eyes, “Anyways, Cory leans in to kiss me but misses and gets my nose…”
“Yeah and then Len tilted her head up with her mouth already open…”
“Wide open,” I confirm laughing.
Cory is laughing hard now too, “It was my first kiss too so I didn’t know what to do so I opened mouth just as wide…”
“The next thing I know our mouths are pressed together and we breathing hot gross air into the others mouth…”
“It was awful.” Cory finishes.
“So what happened after that?” Jax asks.
I shrug, “We stepped apart, both of us feeling horrified.”
“No chemistry at all to even want to try again.” Cory says with a grin.
“So we agreed to never talk about it and stay friends.” It feels good to smile.
“Until now… apparently.” Cory says in mock annoyance.
“Man, that is hilarious. How did I not know about this?” Jax says laughing.
“Hmm, so LB has made her rounds in our little group.” Waylon says getting back at me for my earlier jabs at him.
“That’s me group slut!” I yell.
“Don’t say that about yourself.” Jax soothes.
“So, you two together now?” Cory asks raising one eyebrow.
“No.” Jax and I say at the same time. It is too soon to answer that question.
“Is your dad saying anything about the case?” I ask Cory tentatively.
Cory shakes his head, “No, he doesn’t know much. It isn’t his division.” Silence passes us for a minute before he adds, “My dad is getting shit about the party though. Gramps said he embarrassed the whole department, letting his son have a party where underage drinking was involved.”
“You’ve had that party every year.” Waylon states the obvious.
“Yeah, and dad turned a blind eye because he knows I usually don’t let things get out of control. It’s why I let most people sleep over, but now that Gramps is aware of it he is pissed. Add in the fact that a murder happened after my party, leaving my party rather —he won’t even speak to my dad.” Cory lays back on the futon and closes his eyes.
“Have you made your choice yet?” Jax asks, thankfully changing the subject.
The Watson men have been police officers for decades and now Cory was faced with the choice to join the ranks or forge his own path. Honestly the whole thing always seemed melodramatic to me, shouldn’t we all have a choice to do as we please? Of course if Cory didn’t go into the academy or study something to do with law enforcement his grandfather would likely disown him. Harlem Watson is the the Chief of Police and has been for years, just as his father was before him, and Cory’s father is primed to take the position as soon as Harlem retires.
Mac Watson was the exact opposite of Harlem though. From what I understood Mac strived to be everything his father wasn’t and raise his children in a less strict environment. I’ve gotten to know Mac Watson over the years, her was stern but a good man. I know he must have been through a lot because when Cory has us over for pool parties in the summer his dad would wear only his swim trunks and the scars that line Mac’s torso are pretty gruesome. I don’t know the details but I am smart enough to put two and two together.
“I’ve decided to take a couple courses in Criminal Justice and go from there.” He mumbles.
We grow silent and a collective sleepiness fills the rooms. The five, well four of us, have been sleeping overnight here for the last three years. My mom was firmly against it at first but soon came to terms. We are all extremely close and in times like this, staying with Jax, Cory, and even Waylon is welcomed.