The Далее morning, I was woken up by a blinding light. I groaned and covered my eyes with my arm. What the hell was Nikolai или Carmine doing in my room this early?! I rolled over onto my stomach, smothering my face in my pillow.
"Good morning, Sunshine!" a female voice said. That woke me up.
"Huh?!" I said, leaning up real fast. Then I realized it was Gail. Then I realized I wasn't home. I frowned and rubbed my eyes. Gail had opened the blinds right by my bed. I looked over to the постель, кровати Далее to me; Scout was gone, her постель, кровати already neatly made.
"It's almost ten o'clock," Gail informed me. Then why'd Ты wake me up?I wanted to ask. Gail ripped my comforter off of me, onto the floor. "C'mon! Get up! Make your bed!" she said. She paused in the doorway. "Don't Ты have pajamas?" she asked. I shook my head. "Huh. We'll fix that later." She left. I groaned and laid back down for a couple minutes, then decided I couldn't go back to sleep. I made my bed, rather sloppily, and then went out to the kitchen.
No one else was there, except Bride in her highchair. Everyone else I could hear from the living room.
"There's some cereal in the pantry, молоко in the fridge, bowls in the cupboard, and spoons in the drawer!" Gail called from the living room. I managed to find everything I needed, and then sat down to eat. Bride squealed at me, and threw her bowl of gloppy оранжевый stuff across the room. It slid across the floor, splattering all over it, and clattering loudly. I sat there, frozen, as Gail came rushing back in.
"I... It wasn't me," was all 'I managed to say. Gail sighed and chuckled, and grabbed a paper towel, wiping up the mess. I finished up my cereal fast, put the bowl and spoon in the dishwasher, and then went back to my room. I grabbed some clothes from my bag, then went to the bathroom to change. I put on my black pants, a blank white t-shirt, and a red hoodie. I combed my hair, getting out all the knots. I came out, and Aspen was standing there, looking at me tentatively.
"Umm... Hi?" I said. She waved shyly at me. I walked around her, and she went into the bathroom, locking the door behind her. I rolled my eyes, and went to my room. I took out my special box and opened it, looking at my picture and necklace. I held the ожерелье delicately in my hand, and opened it. I smiled at the picture of Reed and I, then put it around my neck for the first time in years. The bedroom door opened, and I closed the box quickly just in time. It was Jezebel.
"Come on! Come on! We're going to the park!" she сказал(-а) excitedly. She ran out of the room. I did not move; then Gail came in.
"You're going to the park with them while I go grocery shopping," she said. It didn't sound like a question.
"I don't want to go," I сказал(-а) softly.
"Get your shoes on," she said, walking away before I could protest again. I sighed. This woman was going to annoy the hell out of me. I put on my Converse like I was told. I was about to leave, when I decided I didn't know this town well enough and grabbed my gun from the box and put it in my pocket, then put the box under my постель, кровати and went out to the kitchen. Everyone else was ready to go.
"Good morning, Harley," Scout said. I shrugged. Gail came in, unfolding a stroller. Scout set Bride in the stroller, and Gail opened the door.
"See Ты kids later!" Gail сказал(-а) cheerfully. "Be careful!" Jezebel ran out ahead of us, Aspen walked in front of the stroller, and I stayed behind Scout, who was pushing the stroller.
"C'mon, guys! Hurry up! I wanna get to the park!" Jezebel shouted as she skipped.
"Jezebel! Stay with us!" Scout told her. Jezebel reluctantly came back with us. Soon we came to a small park, and Jezebel and Aspen ran off to play on it immediately.
"Scout! Come chase me!" Jezebel giggled.
"Do Ты mind watching Bride?" she asked me. I shook my head. "Thanks," she smiled. She ran off, running very slow so that Jezebel wouldn't get caught. They all laughed, Aspen running very far ahead of the both of them. I sat down on a bench, and rocked Bride's stroller back and forth. She laughed and screamed whenever one of the others ran by. I decided I wanted to hold her, but I was scared. I'd never held a baby; what if I hurt her? I carefully picked Bride up, then quickly sat her on my lap before I could drop her или anything. She played with my hair, pulling on it and throwing it up and watching it fall down. It didn't hurt, and it sure seemed to amuse her. I smiled at her.
"I'm gonna take a break," Aspen panted. She walked over and sat down Далее to me. It felt kind of awkward, so I just ignored her for a while. She looked at me. "Hi," she said.
"Hi," I said, not looking at her.
"You're pretty," she said. I looked at her. She looked at me with big brown eyes.
"Thanks," I said. "You are too." She smiled. She really was a pretty little girl.
"How old are you?" she asked.
"Nine. You're the same age as Scout, y'know," she сказал(-а) matter-of-factly.
"That's cool," I said. She nodded and then ran off. That was weird... We stayed at the park for about an hour, when I heard some voices that belonged to no one I knew.
"Scout!" The deep voice said. I jumped and turned to see who it was. It was a dark skinned guy, who wore glasses and jean shorts and a green t-shirt.
"Hey Trace!" Scout called. He laughed. He looked down at me, and seemed confused; probably thinking why is this stranger holding Scout's foster sister? "Oh, this is Harley. She's new." Trace nodded his head as if that all made sense. He held out his hand.
"Hey, Harley. I'm Trace. Nice to meet you," he сказал(-а) politely. Cautiously I shook his hand. He smiled at me, then frowned a little.
"She's not much for talking yet... She just got here yesterday." Trace nodded again.
"Well, I just wanted to say hi. See ya at school Далее week. Bye, Harley." Trace waved and then jogged off.
"You don't have school this week?" I asked quietly. Scout shook her head.
"It's spring break. We have a week off." I breathed a sigh of relief. "It'll be fun when we go back. I can introduce Ты to all my friends!" she smiled. I bit my lip. Something told me Scout and her Друзья weren't exactly people I'd get along with.
"Um... Sure..." I said. We stayed at the park for a little bit longer, then we went back to the house. Gail still wasn't back, not that I minded. Scout went to play "house" with Jezebel, bringing Bride along with her. I went to my room, and laid down on my bed, putting my arms over my eyes and sighed. There was a tap on my wrist, and I was startled back into reality. Aspen stood over me, nervousness all over her face.
"Can I talk to you?" she asked. I sat up and shrugged.
"I guess..." I said, not so certain. Aspen sat on Scout's bed, crossing her legs and looking at me deeply.
"What happened to you?" she asked.
"What do Ты mean?"
"I mean, why are Ты here?" she asked. The tone in her voice, maturity and... wisdom I guess, made it hard to believe she was only nine. She spoke with confidence in her words, even though she seemed very shy and timid.
"I was taken away from my brothers," I answered. "They thought they hurt me, so they brought me here." Aspen pouted.
"Did they?" she wondered. I shook my head immediately.
"No. They were wonderful. Well, Nikolai was most of the time..."
"How many brothers did Ты have?"
"Three. Nikolai, Reed, and Carmine. They're all older than me."
"Oh. I used to live with my brother too. His name was Clay... What about your parents?" she asked. I'd hoped this Вопрос wouldn't come.
"My dad left before I was born... My mom killed herself..." I сказал(-а) softly.
"Oh... Sorry... That's why Ты lived with your brothers?" I nodded. "Oh." I furrowed my eyebrows. I couldn't help but wonder.
"Why'd Ты live with Clay?" I asked. She looked at me surprised, like she thought she'd be the only one asking the questions.
"My mom died when she had me. My dad didn't want me, and he was going to hurt me, so Clay took me and ran away. He was thirteen, and I was three." Damn. This kid's gone through a lot at such a young age.
"When did Ты come here?"
"When I was five. Clay left me here. He сказал(-а) he didn't know what to do, and сказал(-а) he was sorry. I don't know what he was sorry for though..."
"Where'd Ты live before?" I asked astonished. She shrugged.
"Everywhere. Anywhere. We never stayed in one place for too long." I nodded. "Do Ты think we'll ever get adopted?" she asked.
"Not me. I'm going to find a way to get out of here. I'm going back to my brothers. I'm not going to get adopted by some family."
"I want to stay here. Forever and ever. But what if Scout, Jezebel, Bride, или Ты get adopted? I don't want to lose my sisters." She thought of me as her sister? Already?
"Oh... Uh..." What was I supposed to say?! She looked like she was on the edge of tears for crying out loud! But I couldn't say Oh, don't worry. No one'll adopt you... "Everything'll be fine. Everything happens for a reason---" I stopped; realizing that I sounded like a hypocrite saying I would not let myself get adopted.
"I guess..." Aspen sighed. She stood up. "Thanks," she smiled. She closed the Космос between us and hugged me. I was shocked at first, but then returned the hug.
"Who wants ice cream?" Gail shouted. I heard the sound of grocery bags, and Jezebel scream.
"Yay!" she cried. Aspen smiled.
"Come on!" she said, taking my hand and guided me to the kitchen. Gail smiled and winked at me with an expression on her face that сказал(-а) See? It's not so bad here. I rolled my eyes at her and looked away.