Rothbury

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
This is a story about three high school students. One of them represents myself [Ashlie] one of them represents my best friend Anthony [Tori] and the last represents my best friend Andrew [Tristen]
The story is one of courage, love, and loss. Responsibility plays a key role in Ashlie's life as she accepts the duties of helping some undercover CIA agents. Tristen and Tori are the only people aware of this, aside from the agency itself.

Submitted: June 09, 2008

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Submitted: June 09, 2008

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Ashlie pushed her way through the crowd of high school students and found herself staring at the unconscious body of Tori Johnson, her long-time best friend. Panic tore through her chest and her breath caught in her throat.
"Ashlie!" someone called through the din. "Ashlie, please, come here!" Ashlie couldn't bear to look at Tori in this state but she was unable to turn away. Her legs simply refused to work and she couldn't will herself to move. Tears began to well up in Ashlie's bright blue eyes and someone took her hand. She looked up and saw the deeply tanned face of Tristen Moore.
"Oh Tristen!" she sobbed. Her resolve had finally broken and she shook like a rag doll as she leaned into him, resting her head on his shoulder. "What happened?" she screamed. "How could anyone let this happen?" Tristen just held Ashlie tightly and whispered, "He'll be okay, Ash. Calm down." Ashlie managed to pull herself away from Tristen and glared daggers in his direction. "Okay?" she shrieked. "Does he look okay to you?" She looked back and forth from Tori to Tristen a few times, her short blonde hair so matted down it stuck to the sides of her face.
Tristen involuntarily brought his eyes to the sidewalk roughly ten feet from where Ashlie stood rooted to the spot. "I don't want to hear anyone's crackpot excuse for this. I want the prick who did it found, set on fire, and buried alive!" Tristen's eyes grew wide and he shook his head sadly, his long black locks swaying slightly. "That's no way to talk." he reprimanded her. "Look at you, a strong Christian girl wishing someone dead? Ash, you've got to sit down and get your head on straight."
Ashlie nodded her agreeance and dropped to the curb, suddenly feeling tired. How many times would she have to go through this? How many people would have to get hurt because of what she was doing? Tristen acted like he understood, but he had no clue what it meant to have so many lives in your hands. He didn't know how it felt to lose a life you were supposed to keep safe. He didn't know anything. He only pretended to.
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"Ashlie Walden?" a voice called out. "We need to speak with an Ashlie Walden." Ashlie wearily dragged herself to her feet and approached the young woman who had made the announcement. "That's me," she said quietly. "What's this about?" The woman glanced up from her yellow notesheet and motioned to a skinny man behind her. The man stepped forward and said, "Miss Walden, you're under arrest for the assault and attempted murder of Tori Johnson." Ashlie's mind went blank. She couldn't speak. Tristen spoke for her. "Is this some type of sick joke? What are you people playing at? Her best friend nearly gets killed and you blame her?" The man looked quite serious, however, and he forced Ashlie to turn around as he snapped cold metal cuffs on her thin wrists.
Facing Tristen, she wailed, "No! Don't let them take me! Tristen please, I didn't do anything!" Fresh streams of salty tears streaked the anguished face that had been so immaculate and beautiful only an hour ago. Tristen felt helpless, like a fish in the desert. He knew there was nothing he could do stop the arrest, since Ashlie was already being pushed into the back of a squad car. He had to stick by her though. He poked two fingers into his front jeans pocket and slipped his car keys out .
Wrenching open the door of his car, which stood twenty feet from the door to the university, Tristen revved the engine and sped out of the driveway as quickly as he could without getting pulled over. That would be the last thing he needed right now. All he could focus on was trailing the car that contained Ashlie, the woman with the notepad, and the impolite cop.
Once the squad car stopped in front of the police department, Tristen jerked his keys from the ignition and got out of his car. Ashlie was still crying when the cop took her from the backseat, and as soon as she saw Tristen she began to struggle violently. "Let-go-of-me!" she screamed. The cop also saw Tristen, a split second too late. "Tristen, please help me!" Ashlie pleaded. "Hey!" the cop yelled. "What are you doing here? Go home." All the fear and anger showed in Ashlie's eyes and in her expression. Tristen had never seen Ashlie look so uncomfortable before. Usually she was very rebellious, defiant. Now she was the defied.
Tristen chose not to say anything. He refused to let Ashlie down by giving her false hope. Instead, he sprinted to the front door and yanked it open. With one last fleeting look at Ashlie, who had quit fighting and was watching him with disappointment etched on her face, he entered the building. He hoped she would understand what he was doing.
Looking around the low brick interior, Tristen called calmly, "I need to speak with the police chief. Is he around? Please." Several people paused and eyed him warily. After the low speed chase he had just endured and Ashlie's stress-filled occurrences, he was sure he looked like a wreck.
"Please." he repeated almost inaudibly. One particularly rough-looking man stepped forward. He was a tall black man with a blue uniform so Tristen guessed it was safe to say he was an officer. "What do you need to see the chief for?" the man inquired. He didn't seem to be angered or affronted by Tristen's presence which gave Tristen some much needed reassurance. "It's urgent," he said simply. The officer lifted his dark eyebrows. Tristen continued, "We, Ashlie and I, arrived at school this morning to discover that our best friend had been attacked. The next thing we know, she's being arrested for trying to kill him!"
"Hmm...." was all the response the dark man had to offer. "I'll check this out. Meanwhile, could you just have a seat in there?" He pointed to a small room behind Tristen, so Tristen nodded and began to walk towards it. A bloodcurdling scream caused him to pivot swiftly to see what the commotion was. It was Ashlie. The cop and the rude woman had finally brought her inside the police department.
Tristen halted in his tracks and gazed at the scene before him. Four other officers heard the racket and burst out of the offices surrounding the lobby. One of them received a blow to the face from one of her high heels. As Ashlie was thrashing and flailing about, a third officer reached into his belt and pulled out a black box. He pressed it to Ashlie's leg and she screamed again. It was then that Tristen realized he was using a tazer on her.
"HEY!" he bellowed, enraged that anyone would dare, would even think of, trying to use a weapon of force on one his friends in front of his eyes. For a moment all movement ceased and Tristen rushed forward and thrust himself between the bulky bodies of the officers. He threw the surprised cops backward slightly and pulled Ashlie into his arms, cradling her as if she were a newborn infant. "Get back!" he screamed at anyone attempting to get nearer. Ashlie clutched Tristen's arm as if he were her only lifeline. At this point, it seemed that he was.
All five police stepped back and for what seemed like eternity, no one moved. Ashlie's heavy, ragged breathing sounded like cannon blasts in the overly crowded and now silent lobby. She was sobbing and begging Tristen to take her home simultaneously. Tristen felt that familiar pang of uneasiness as he realized he couldn't even grant that simple wish. Ashlie's brilliantly blue eyes searched his own blue ones. There was a sudden tension in the room, a pause as Ashlie's mouth opened but she issued no sound.
"Come on, Ash," Tristen whispered, looking into Ashlie's badly bruised but pretty face. "The suspense is killing me." Ashlie's head lolled to one side. She no longer had the strength to hold her own weight. "Ash, just stay awake, okay? An ambulance is on the way." Ashlie nodded ever so slightly, but her eyelids began to slide closed. Tristen knew she'd be alright. She was going to live, he didn't need any paramedic to tell him that. All he knew was that when Tori and Ashlie were released, he was pressing charges.
"Tell my mom..." Ashlie breathed. Since her face was already swelling, and one of the officers knocked a tooth loose it sounded like, "Dell by bob..." Tristen inhaled sharply. "Tell her what?" he asked excitedly. "What do you need me to tell your mom?" As if they knew it was an important moment and they wanted to crash the party, three EMTs came bursting through the door in a flurry of white and blue, screeching wheels, hollered instructions, and radio transmissions. All the color drained from Ashlie's face.
Tristen knew what was coming. The same thing had happened last time Ashlie was rushed to emergency.
"Can I drive her, in my car?" Tristen begged. A futile effort as it was, he knew he had to try. Ashlie spent a lot of time and energy trying to keep her gaze locked on Tristen, turning in a circle and pleading with someone, anyone, to listen. "This shouldn't even be happening!" he screamed. "Tell me how a college student can almost lose her best friend, be arrested for murder, and then get tortured in the same day! Police aren't up-holding the law. They're not trustworthy. You're all just a bunch of sick, bloodthirsty cowards who beat the shit out of little girls for your own pleasure." Tristen's chest heaved. He was out of breath and feeling faint. All the same, he had to fight for Ashlie's cause.
None of the police would come near him, but they all looked at their hands and seemed to realize the extent of their actions. "Oh my God..." said the officer nearest Tristen. He was a short man, medium build and rather geeky looking. He had small, wire-rim glasses and a wedding band that glinted when he turned to face Tristen. Black slacks accompanied the standard blue button-up dress shirt. This man also sported a white shirt underneath, Tristen guessed to ease the sweat problem, but it didn't help. Stains showed in the pits of his shirt and he wasn't breathing easily. He exhaled in short, quick bursts and he shook even as he stared in horror at what his own bare hands had done.
"I.... I don't know what to say," he said to no one in particular. Tristen was pissed, there was no better word for it.
"I'll tell you what you can say, Asshole!" he shouted angrily without slackening his grip on Ashlie, who was being lifted onto a stretcher so he could only grasp her hand. "You can take that tazer of your friend's over there," he pointed to a burly man of about forty with a scar down the right side of his face, "and cram it up your scrawny ass," Tristen finished. "Then you can take any half-assed apology you may have for Ashlie," his voice broke as he said this. He took a moment to regain his composure. "And take it to the bank cuz they'll be the only people who will buy it. You're sure putting on a great act there buddy, faking remorse and pretending to be sorry for beating the fuck out of a WOMAN. A helpless, harmless woman at that! You fucking cowards! Look at her! Look at what you did with your own hands! You bastards. Why don't I hire a hitman to do this to your wives, your daughters? Why? Because I'm a man, that's why. Because I don't believe in violence and torture. I don't believe in lying either. Who the hell paid you mongrels off to arrest her? WHO?" Tristen's demeanor had begun to take on a slightly hysterical quality and it faded as quickly as it appeared. "Mark my words, and this is a threat," he said in an extremely hushed voice. "You will pay for what you've done to Ashlie. You might die, you might end up in the hospital, and if you believe in ghosts, you'll end up wandering around as one trying to strangle yourself because it'll be far more pleasant than the things I'm going to dream up to do to you."
"Okay, that's-that's-Sir you need to leave now," said an officer who had been watching the whole scene in a drunken stupor, it seemed. Tristen simply gave the crowded room the finger and staggered toward the door. He got in his car and drove away. The officer who had once been willing to help Tristen seemed to have changed his mind. "Something's gonna happen to that kid if it hasn't already," he said sadly.


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