“I don’t know,” I say, watching Wes go to Z and say something. When Z’s body goes tight, a ball of anxiety forms in my chest.
“We’re busted,” Kayan whispers. I look at her, put the car in drive, and take off. The moment I hit the road, the sound of pipes fills the air. My hands start to sweat and my heart starts to pound. “Oh, my God. Z is going to kill me.”
“Maybe we can get back to the theater,” I say, not believing it for a second.
“Yeah, maybe,” she agrees, and I push down on the gas and take every back road I can until I reach the parking lot of the theater. The moment I turn off the car, we get out and rush toward the door of the theater we left out of, then stop dead when we come face-to-face with a very pissed-off Sage.
“Hey, what are you doing out here?” I ask, and his eyes turn even angrier.
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
“What? I came out to smoke. You know…the scenes were so hot I needed a cigarette,” I say and hear someone chuckle. I turn to look over my shoulder as Mic, Wes, Z, and Jax walk up to where we’re standing.
“This shit’s not funny,” Wes growls, looking at Mic, who holds up a hand in front of him.
When Wes’ eyes come back to me, they do one sweep then he looks at Sage.
“You mind taking the girls home? We’ll be there in an hour.”
“No problem, man,” Sage says, and Wes lifts his chin then his eyes drop to me.
“Do not fucking leave the house.” He points at me, and my heart skids in my chest from the amount of anger I see on his face.
“Give me your keys,” Z tells Kayan. She grabs my hand and I turn to look at her, seeing tears in her eyes. I hand over the keys and watch as Z storms off towards the parking lot.
“Do not fucking talk,” Wes says, and my mouth slams shut. “I’ll deal with your ass when I get home.” Okay, I knew he was mad and had a reason to be, but this was a little too much. My hand not holding my friend’s balls into a fist at my side. It takes everything in me not to flip out.
“Let’s go.” Sage tugs my elbow and leads us away from the guys and towards his truck.
“Sorry about leaving,” I mumble, looking out the window, trying to catch a glimpse of the Wes.
“You know we wouldn’t be watching you guys if there wasn’t some fucked-up shit going on,” Sage says, and I can hear the anger and concern in his voice. The moment we arrive at my house, Sage shuts down the truck and follows us inside. “Both of you, sit here,” he growls, pointing at the couch when I start to lead a still crying Kayan back to the bathroom.
“First, we’re not going to leave again, and second, I’m older than you and this is my house. Now, if you don’t mind, I’m going to take my friend back to the bathroom so she can splash some cold water on her face!” I reply and tug Kayan with me to the hall bathroom.
“Sit here,” I tell her, closing the lid on the toilet so she can take a seat, and then I gab a washcloth and run it under cold water before handing it to her.
“Thanks,” she murmurs, pressing it to her face.
“He’s not cheating,” I remind her, and she nods but doesn’t say anything, making me feel worse than I already do. When we go back out to the living room, Sage is watching television. His eyes come to us and go soft.
“The guys are on their way back.”
“Great,” I mumble as the ball of stress in my stomach expands. When the sound of pipes rumbles the house, I close my eyes, trying to get myself under control. Having both Wes and me mad isn’t going to fix anything.
The front door flies open, making me jump. I turn my head, expecting it to be Wes storming into the house, so I’m surprised when it’s Z. “How the fuck do you think it’s okay to take a pregnant woman on one of your crazy-ass adventures?” he roars at me, and I sit back on the couch, surprised by his words. I have no idea what he’s talking about. I look at my friend, the girl I have been best friends with since our first day of kindergarten, and my mouth drops open when I see the truth in her eyes.
“You’re pregnant?” I whisper in shock. “How did that happen? I mean…when, shit…I mean, why didn’t you tell me?” I shake my head, completely flabbergasted.
“I don’t know. I’m sorry; you know I love you,” she says then looks up at Z. “And you had no right to tell her, you big, fat jerk. I’m pregnant, not incapable of making my own fucking decisions.” She stands up and pushes past Z, whose glare has softened. “Fuck!” she screams when she gets to the front door, and I stand when I see her chest heaving up and down. “You have my keys. Either give them to me, or take me the fuck home.”
I look from her to Z and blink, because I have never seen my friend like this, and Z doesn’t even look a little bit fazed by her outburst.
“I’m gonna head out,” Sage says, and I nod absently, my eyes still on my best friend.
“Are you coming, or am I walking?” She raises a brow, and I look at Z and hear him mumble something about his kitten having claws before he moves to the door. “I’ll call you tomorrow,” she says, looking at me before disappearing through the door.
I flop down on the couch and close my eyes, wondering what the hell just happened. Suddenly, the door slams so hard that the walls shake and I jump, my eyes flying open as I look towards the entryway and my eyes lock with Wes’ angry ones.
“You wanna tell me what the fuck you were thinking tonight?” Wes roars. My brain is screaming to say, ‘Not really,’ but judging by the look in his eyes, I don’t think he would find me funny. “Jesus!” His fist clenches then he picks up an empty glass from the side table and pulls his hand back, throwing it full force at the wall across the room, causing glass to explode everywhere. My pulse speeds up and I press back into the couch. “This is not some fucking game. People’s lives are on the line,” he thunders, coming to stand in front of me.
He pulls out his phone, and I wonder what he’s doing until he shoves the phone into my face and an image of a woman not much older than me is on his screen. She’s tied up. Her nose is bleeding, one eye is swollen shut and black and blue, and her hair looks like it hasn’t been washed in a few days. Her clothes are dirty, and there are bruises on her arms in the shape of handprints.
“This is Mellissa Hornel. She’s twenty-five and a college graduate. She went missing three weeks ago. She had a date with a guy she met online. She never made it home.” He flips to another picture, this girl younger than the pervious one. Her blonde hair is tied back in a ponytail, her lip is swollen, and you can tell they tried to use makeup to cover the bruise under her eye.