A/N: Hello, hello! :) So, I'm in a really good mood today, as you can see. I mean, what's there NOT to be happy about, right? It's the weekend! :) Anyway, last chapter, I asked a question: Who's my favourite character in The Hunger Games (the first book)? And the answer is PEETA MELLARK. Congratulations to all the winners! I'll be featuring you one by one for a week each. So this week's featured Booksier is:
She's been a faithful commenter on TCD for awhile, so I'm really glad she won! This chapter is for you, lovely!
And thank you to all those who have participated. My second question will come out after I'm done featuring everyone, and of course, it would have to do with The Hunger Games as well!
On another note, I'd also like to give a very special shoutout to the lovely KATIE CRUZ, for lending me her characters from DYLM! Please do check out her stories if you haven't already, because they are fantastic. Also, do note that none of what is happening here in TCD is in sync or follows anything that is happening in DYLM! :)
Sorry for rambling on. :) I hope you like this chapter, and thank you for reading! xoxo Noelle
Entry #46: Cinderella was searching for Him too.
~ The Cinderella Deception by Juliette Harving
Friday comes before I can even blink, and after school, Callie and I drive back to her house. Grady gets in my car, and Kieran - to Callie's disgust - gets into hers.
"Just so you know," Callie says, stiffly, to Kieran, as he slides into the passenger seat next to her. "Me fetching you doesn't mean that we're the least bit on good terms."
Kieran rolls his eyes. "Good to know."
I grin, and wave Callie out of the parking lot. Callie has also got to fetch Shane and Beverly before going back to her house. Grady, on the other hand, is going to his workplace to fetch some equipment which will help us later on.
I drive us to Grady's workplace, and watch as he opens up the warehouse and brings out a tool-box.
"What do you do here, anyway?" I ask, as he takes out a set of pliers. "I've never asked."
Grady glances at me, and smiles. "I used to do some menial, physical labour. Like carry boxes and move furniture and all that."
I look at him, and remember that night - so long ago - when his hand was bruised and cut up. Just the thought of that makes my stomach clench again.
Grady seems to catch my worried, pained look, because he steps towards me and lifts my chin so I would look at him.
"Don't worry," He says, softly, and brushes his lips lightly against mine. A contact so bare I immediately ache for more of him. "I'm alright. I manage the accounts now, and I like my new post a lot."
I smile, and kiss him back, hard.
"That's good to know."
"Alright, so here we are!" Shane says quietly, two hours later.
It's just slightly past six, and Grady and Shane are already creeping round Evan von Detton's house.
By some amazing hacking skills or whatever, Kieran has managed to connect the CCTV system to his laptop. There are altogether twenty blinking lights, indicating the whereabouts of the cameras. Twenty dangerous indicators which we have to be careful about.
Beverly and I are gathered round Kieran, watching breathlessly as Shane and Grady climb the high wall skilfully. Shane has a video camera on his phone, and he's communicating with us through it.
"Okay, stay near this bit of wall," Kieran says, staring intently at the screen of his laptop. "The other side is a bit dangerous, because there's a hidden camera there."
"Where's the main circuit?" We hear Grady ask, and my heart skips a bit at the sound of his voice. Goodness, I'm pathetic.
"Left side-door," Kieran answers, without a moment's hesitation. Lean against the wall to get there, the cameras only have the view of the lawn, not the sides of the house."
Callie comes in at this moment, slamming her door noisily behind her. "Drinks!" She announces, and tosses Beverly and me a coke can each.
Kieran turns, and she purposely ignores him.
"Ahem!" He coughs loudly, and I nudge her.
"Fine," She mutters, and hands him an already-opened coke can. "There wasn't enough cans, so you can have mine."
Kieran's eyes soften, and he takes the can from her. "Thanks."
"Whatever," Callie murmurs, and flops onto her bed.
I catch Kieran looking at her intently, and smile to myself. I've always suspected this. I do think that Kieran likes Callie, but the latter's just too caught up with Miles Turner - the most popular guy in the school - to even notice him.
Shane focuses the video camera on Grady, who's using the pliers and screw-driver to toggle with the circuit. Pretty soon, the lights start going off one by one. There's only two left - two lights blinking persistently, meaning that those two cameras are powered by another circuit altogether and can't be switched off.
"Fuck," Grady hisses, under his breath, but his voice can be heard from the video camera.
We all smile. Some things never change.
"Leave it," Kieran orders, "Those two cameras are in the house, so it's not that important anyway."
"No, I think we can…" Shane starts, and stares intently at the small, disconnected circuit at the top of the wall.
"LEAVE IT!" Kieran says, quickly. "Someone might notice the cut circuit anytime soon!"
Heeding his warning, Shane and Grady immediately climb off, and the screen goes blank a moment later. We wait in silence, anxiously. Did everything go alright?
"Alright," Beverly says, once she gets a text from Shane to say that they're on their way back to Callie's house. "Let's get ready for the party."
When we turn into Evan von Detton's driveway at eight-thirty sharp, the party is in full-swing. There are quite a good number of people in the front yard, so we easily get out without arousing anyone's suspicion.
"Okay," Shane says, softly, "Grady will show you all which window to climb into. Take care, and don't get caught."
He and Beverly walk sedately up the main path, and we hide round the corner to see if they can get in. If they can't, we have plan B, where all six of us will find some way to sneak in.
Beverly knocks on the door and after a moment, the door opens. We can't see Evan from where we're standing, even though we do crane our neck to catch a glimpse of him. Apparently, we've heard he's some BV High hottie, the most popular guy in that school.
"Hey, Evan!" Beverly greets, cheerfully. "I don't know if you remember me, but I'm just here for some survey. My mom needs to know what her customers want so we can improve our service quality and all that."
"Beverly!" He says, obviously recognising them. "And Shane, right? Sure, come on in. I hope you don't mind, but I'm throwing a party. We can easily go to the sitting room where it's quieter and you can ask me your questions…"
He leads them in, and the door shuts with a click. The four of us stand there, simply staring at each other.
"Well," Grady says, at last, taking charge. "That's that, then. Let's go to our post."
The four of us make our way to the side of the house. Evan von Detton's house is seriously massive, and really nice, too. We catch glimpses of dancing, drunk people through the ground floor windows.
Suddenly, someone hails us. "Hey, what do you think you're doing?"
We all stiffen, and turn around slowly. There's a blond haired guy walking over to us, a swagger in his step. On closer look, we realise he's drunk. He's eyeing Callie and I with a creepy look in his eyes.
"W-what'd you think you're doing in Evan's house?" He starts again.
"Let's go," Callie says, softly, scrunching up her nose in distaste. "Ignore him and he won't get the attention he's seeking so much for. Disgusting drunk!"
We turn to leave, but that guy starts up again.
"You're really hot," He says to me, loudly - too loudly, in fact, that if we're not careful, this guy might start drawing other people's attention to us. "I'm Lance. W-what's your name, babe?"
Ew. He's relatively good-looking, that's for certain, but he's an ass.
I slip my hand into Grady's, who immediately steps in front of me, his protective mode on. His gaze darkens, and I've a feeling he's about to deck Lance anytime soon.
"Don't do anything rash, dude," Kieran says, warningly, from behind us, and Callie echoes in agreement.
"I WANT TO FUCK YOOOOUUUUUU!!!!!" Lance howls, and takes a step towards me.
Callie bursts out in giggles, and I have to hide a grin. This drunken guy is seriously too funny. I'm not afraid of him at all, because I've got Grady and Kieran and Callie here with me.
"DO YOU WANT TO FUCK ME TOOOOOOOOO?????"
Even Kieran looks amused now, but Grady's expression doesn't change. He goes for Lance again, but is held back by Kieran.
"He's not worth it. Just ignore him," Kieran says.
But when the guy starts snorting with laughter, his laugh escalating in volume bit by bit, Kieran immediately changes his mind.
"What the fuck?" He curses, beneath his breath. "Is this guy for real? Go ahead, Sullivan, I'm not stopping you anymore."
"Thanks, man," Grady says, and without a moment's hesitation, hits Lance on the back of his neck. This blow knocks Lance out cold, and he crumples on the floor silently in a heap.
We stare at Grady in admiration. Seriously, he's so effective sometimes.
Grady, on the other hand, simply shrugs. "Let's get a move on."
Shane is already waiting for us by the window when we get there. We throw a rope up, and start to climb quickly.
"What took you guys so long?" Shane asks, impatiently, when we are all gathered in the bedroom.
"Drunk guy. No one caught us, Shane," Callie adds, rolling her eyes when he frowns in concern. "Grady took care of that."
Shane eyes Grady - who's still looking fairly grim - in amusement. He leads us out of the room and downstairs, into the dark hall which is blinking with disco lights and filled with sweaty, drunk people.
"Where's Beverly?" I ask, loudly, so Shane can hear me.
"She had to distract Evan with those survey questions - which, by the way, aren't bogus at all because her Mom really needs the feedback. She'll join us later. Alright, now, let's find Desmond Gregory."
"Grady should know," Callie says, "After all, he was the one who saw him up close. Grady, where's Desmond?"
We turn to look at Grady, but to our greatest surprise, he's nowhere to be found. Amidst the sea of dancing bodies, Grady has completely disappeared. I feel a twinge of worry. What's happened to Grady?
"Where is he?" Kieran asks, sounding equally worried, but Shane shakes his head.
"We can't wait for him. He'll catch up with us and he'll find his way around, I'm sure of that. Let's go. Mingle, make friends, and try to find Desmond."
We all split up, and Callie takes my arm. "It'll be okay," She whispers, knowing that I'm worried about Grady. "He probably had to go to the bathroom to pee."
I smile at her gratefully, but I can't help my stomach from knotting up. I have a bad premonition that something terrible is going to happen.
Callie and I are soon waylaid by a bunch of girls, who stare at us openly. Callie returns their stares evenly, but I find myself blushing.
"Who are you?" A dark-haired girl demands, staring us down with a snobbish look. She's really hot, with her dark, wavy hair framing her face perfectly.
"What's it to you?" Callie immediately says, annoyed at the girl's cutting tone.
The girl's eyes narrow and I hastily intervene. It wouldn't do to draw attention to ourselves right now.
"We're Evan's friends." I say, quickly, "Evan von Detton."
His name certainly rings a bell. The girls stare at us, this time, with interest and more friendly looks.
The dark-haired girl steps forward and smiles loftily. "I'm Masiela. This is Celina, Becca and Evalyn. Come and have a drink with us."