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Adoring December
Writer Emoddess
  • G: General Audiences
  • PG: Parental Guidance Suggested
  • PG-13: Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • R: Restricted
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Adoring December
A - A - A
Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Chapter 11
Sep 30, 2017
64 Mins Read
No Plagiarism!JauGvRnSCBvObQqjrolIposted on PENANA

"Don't be mad, alright? I met them downtown when I bought all these pizza," Ramona whispered to an irritated Lily.copyright protection21PENANAct71GBAW0M

"Really, all of them?"copyright protection21PENANAcJWHqsyNla

Ramona rolled her eyes heavenward. "Oh c'mon, what was I supposed to do?"copyright protection21PENANAoQYzHoT9Mf

"Leave them alone?" She said in a 'duh' tone before adding, "This was supposed to be an all-girls night out."copyright protection21PENANARYIYZpAAlB

"Well, I didn't know." The black haired grumbled. "It's not like you specifically said it was going to be all girls. Besides, they said they have nothing better to do."copyright protection21PENANAmxkjeKMNy7

Lily looked at her friend in exasperation. "You just can't leave people alone, can't you? Especially guys."copyright protection21PENANAXWYVwGkpP7

Ramona only gave her friend a sheepish look. "They go here too, you know. I was trying to be friendly. The more the merrier, right?"copyright protection21PENANAEG6nF6MgG7

Lily and Ramona had been unpacking the boxes of pizza at a table in the corner so their conversation couldn't be heard – although it would have been possible considering the group had been quiet since they got up to the balcony.copyright protection21PENANAR3FcmUX9Hv

"I hope we're not intruding on your night." Isaac started, glancing at his friends and then to the girls.copyright protection21PENANAhErfAXWVnL

"Oh! No, no. You're not bothering us at all." Marsha said to him before looking at her friends with a beaming smile on her face. "Right?"copyright protection21PENANA22s8p8fboV

Jasmine, Piper and December glanced at one another. They had been surprised to see the guys standing below with Ramona then.copyright protection21PENANAjgYZslTqvA

December was taken aback at one of the faces she saw down from the balcony and her heart had skipped a beat.copyright protection21PENANAVMfn2PlYLI

No one had told them there would be guys joining them tonight, and though they were sort of intruding…did it really matter now?copyright protection21PENANAJNLcWakbmJ

Maybe it wouldn't be a bad thing having them here, was what they thought.copyright protection21PENANA7G05FsryTW

And how could they say no to Marsha's earnest and beaming face, despite only knowing her for a short moment? The girl was like a soft and delicate being that no one wants to upset.copyright protection21PENANA8OIncLdxJZ

December shook her head and murmured with a smile, "No, you're not."copyright protection21PENANAgtM1FJc0Vy

Isaac looked relieved, Marsha seemed happy and the slightly heavy atmosphere that surrounded them since the guys came lightened up a little.copyright protection21PENANAK2eK7Udzs6

"Well, I think we should introduce ourselves." said Marsha, the ever perky but superstitious girl. "I'm Marsha. Lily over there," she glanced behind and pointed a finger at a direction, "is my roommate."copyright protection21PENANAwAVeY7ZcFJ

Jasmine looked at them with a small smile and said next, "Jasmine. I just moved in yesterday."copyright protection21PENANAbWcYYSHbTC

Isaac introduced himself before a slightly buffed up guy sitting beside him spoke. He flashed a grin that had a small gap in between and said, "I'm Felix. We're both on the football team."copyright protection21PENANAJDFYoNTCml

December swallowed the piece of chip she was munching and drank her soda to wash away the taste and crumbs in her mouth before saying, "I'm December." She could feel someone's gaze on her but forced herself from looking up to meet their gaze. She did, however, managed a smile for Isaac in greeting when their eyes met.copyright protection21PENANAISWE7VM77s

A hooded figure with grey eyes nodded at them lazily with a bored expression. "Oliver."copyright protection21PENANAQjp3hnVZyO

Marsha edged closer to Piper and whispered softly, "Do you think he's alright? He looked unfocused."copyright protection21PENANACishhR4atr

Piper bit down on her lip to stop herself from laughing but the corners of her mouth lifted. It made her looked as though she was trying not to smirk. She whispered back in the same way, but eyes kept steady on Oliver with a curious expression. "Maybe he's stoned or something."copyright protection21PENANAwcjsQrnDyv

Oliver had heard that remark because his lips formed into a small grin as he turned to look at Piper with interest. "What's your name?"copyright protection21PENANA5pOus6Sn6r

Her eyebrows rose to one of sudden surprise before her expression turned to slight wariness. "Piper."copyright protection21PENANAcIKE02v5cZ

He nodded at her, the smile still on his face. She frowned then looked away from him, taking a sip from her drink in her hand.copyright protection21PENANAwJbQb2izFR

The last person to introduce himself was a bespectacled guy named Pierre. He almost wanted to laugh when he saw December trying so hard not to meet his gaze. Despite finding a mild amusement in that, Pierre had no idea he would be seeing her here tonight. He had thought she went back for the break like all of her friends did.copyright protection21PENANA4LgTgJ0976

As if a thought had been weighing on his mind for quite some time, he suddenly spoke with curiosity laced in his words, "Why did we have to go through the balcony to come up here?"copyright protection21PENANAAjPlYPnuVA

Lily and Ramona chose to approach them at that moment.copyright protection21PENANAtrjFivHA4n

Having heard the question just in time, the petite blonde was delighted to answer him, despite not feeling agreeable earlier that her girls-night-out was intruded by a bunch of guys. "We're trying to avoid the guards and monitors. Apparently the school's frozen the activation system so we can't use our ID to get access. Either way, try not to make too many noise."copyright protection21PENANAs99I2ps2zz

"Are you sure there isn't any camera monitoring us out here in the balcony?" Felix suddenly asked, his gaze looking around in apprehension.copyright protection21PENANA8aTYvRNTmJ

Lily took a sip of her soda and answered, "Yeah. I checked it earlier before the break and we're safe here. Gotta do some research and take measures, you know." She grinned. Then, she paused in thought before saying, "I don't know why they didn't install them out here, but that's a good thing, isn't it?"copyright protection21PENANAtQbNwtie4m

Not entirely convinced but resigned, Felix nodded slowly to himself as he shared worried glances with his friends.copyright protection21PENANABwvKfyaHAJ

Ramona rolled her eyes and jokingly said, "Geez, why so serious?" before passing out plates of pizza around. "C'mon, help yourself with these pizza before they get cold."copyright protection21PENANAhJTaIp2wio

That had undoubtedly broke the tiny bit of tense spell surrounding them. Everyone reached for the pizza distributed by Lily and Ramona.copyright protection21PENANAfLfqyLURZZ

December figured she should say something to start a conversation. "So how do you guys know each other, apart from studying here?" She took a bite of her pizza.copyright protection21PENANAdBvJmLiwtS

"Isaac and I met on the field but these two right here…" Felix had a befuddled look on his face as he tried to think of something.copyright protection21PENANAgKCaUkzWQR

Pierre took pity on his plight and answered, "Detention."copyright protection21PENANAl6DBwcmq3m

"What did you do?" Ramona grinned, her eyes lit up in interest. December tried not to look interested but knew she was failing.copyright protection21PENANAphXV0jHiQa

Oliver gave a short laugh before providing the answer. "Some teach got it in his head that I was cheating in Calc and Pierre told him off right on spot."copyright protection21PENANAb6UOgP9QL0

Pierre raised his eyebrow in amusement and said, "You made it sound like I saved your life." Then, he shrugged. "I never did like the old lecturer."copyright protection21PENANAH76lIDx54A

December rolled her eyes and scoffed a little. "Just because you dislike someone, it doesn't mean you have the right to tell them off."copyright protection21PENANAruSpqTJ7cz

Pierre settled his gaze at her and smirked. "I do, actually. My education is being paid for a good knowledge with an attitude that goes with it, which I think is mentioned somewhere in the school's guidance book." Then he added as an afterthought, "And I told him off because he was accusing Oliver of cheating. The fact that I didn't like the teacher was just bonus."copyright protection21PENANAioGdcW2mNO

They stared at each other long, her gaze ice blue and his a challenging hazel green. Then, she rolled her eyes at him. "Whatever."copyright protection21PENANAnuVuPE7nJc

Everyone had been holding their breath when December and Pierre argued. They couldn't pinpoint something on the situation but it felt like a heavy sensation whenever the two spoke and they were almost on edge wondering if a fight might break out.copyright protection21PENANAYbGQA7JjeV

After the situation seemed to be in control, Ramona looked back and forth at them, her gaze curious before saying, "Okay…that was interesting. I think we should play some game now. How about Spin the Bottle?"copyright protection21PENANATxjzKwwMSj

Lily groaned. "Remy, what are we in, middle school?"copyright protection21PENANABgOxKEbS1V

Ramona pouted. "What? The boys are here so it's gonna be fun."copyright protection21PENANA4Z6LQHSz07

Felix raised an eyebrow in mild amusement as he said, "Oh, so is that why you invited us to this little hang out?"copyright protection21PENANAuUEOtokZbd

She laughed and made guns from her hands; the thumb and index pointing at him. "You got me! Come on, it'd be fun, right?" Ramona looked at the boys and girls with an expectant smile.copyright protection21PENANAjMt7keLv6N

Piper and Marsha looked at each other in a nervous and unsure manner whereas Jasmine just looked at her hands in an attempt to ward off the awkwardness she's feeling. December kept munching on her pizza as she looked at anywhere but Pierre.copyright protection21PENANArbMyWCfOcg

Playing Spin the Bottle which also meant Truth or Dare could be the worst decision or the best one, depending on the types of questions and dare chosen. They didn't know Ramona too well but could already tell that she was the wild one between her and Lily. The eagerness in her tone didn't escape them, either.copyright protection21PENANAVHaAvDYPD9

Oliver interjected with a shrug before anyone had a chance to say anything. "I don't really mind as long as it'll pass some time."copyright protection21PENANA3WWw3gLPMR

The tree leaves rustled as the wind became breezy, and there was a faint but earthy smell in the air that promised a heavy rain later that night.copyright protection21PENANACe2pMY21Ne

December sat beside Jasmine whereas Piper sat beside Marsha along with Lily and Ramona. On the guys' side, Felix took his place beside Ramona followed by Isaac, Oliver and Pierre. Since they were in a circle, Pierre had to sit beside December. They kept their distance, however, with December frowning to herself and Pierre looking as unaffected as he could. Their behaviour almost didn't go unnoticed by them.copyright protection21PENANAiJVsjr6ihJ

Ramona positioned an empty glass bottle of soda in the middle and spin it. They watched in trepidation as the bottle started to slow down and came to a stop on Isaac.copyright protection21PENANAskGpRJFCzs

She asked with unconcealed glee. "Truth or dare?"copyright protection21PENANAubGwAtvCuj

Isaac replied with a firm nod. "Truth."copyright protection21PENANARN3MfmdlFu

She pouted and some chuckled when she said to him, "Chicken." Then, she said, "Tell us why you stayed back."copyright protection21PENANA57PLwGvcj4

His voice was in monotone as he sighed and said, "Parents went on a cruise and there's no one back home so I decided to be lonely here."copyright protection21PENANAFNglkQOQtj

This time, everyone laughed.copyright protection21PENANA9k6c6mzkIe

Ramona chuckled. "Okay, I could relate to that. Spin the bottle, Isaac."copyright protection21PENANAPOmFATm55F

The next round landed on Jasmine. When he asked the classic question, she looked at them all and took a deep breath before choosing, "Dare." which made them all go 'whoa' with laughter and grins. The excitement for the game was starting to build up.copyright protection21PENANAaLtq6NhVDK

"Didn't take you as a daring person, Jasmine." December grinned.copyright protection21PENANAfN4mZbJzvs

The girl shrugged and flashed a smile at her. "I do have my moments."copyright protection21PENANAOlga0Q4nWa

"Alright, alright," Isaac said as they quietened down their antics to hear what the dare was. "Jasmine, I dare you to…have a thumb war with me."copyright protection21PENANA26Vwx2jOYX

A chorus of 'boo' were thrown around. Nevertheless, they watched as Jasmine and Isaac hooked their thumbs together and moved them side to side while they chant a tune and counted to ten. The key was to not let their thumb get stomp by the other's – which begins as soon as they stopped counting.copyright protection21PENANAyeKCAKOkkk

It was not a challenge at all because Jasmine won the game as soon as the count stopped.copyright protection21PENANAM8F2jGTn4P

The game went on and the bottle claimed Marsha, Felix and Lily as the dare victims. In the midst of spinning another bottle, Marsha suddenly spoke in panic. "Wait. Guys, what time is it?"copyright protection21PENANAx6WtDtvXht

Isaac checked his watch and said, "A minute until 9. Why?"copyright protection21PENANAUQIFtiqhDK

No one bothered to explain as the girls switched off the many small torch lights. At the guys' confused and curious expressions, Lily only held up a finger to her lips and whispered, "Don't make a sound and then you'll know why."copyright protection21PENANACpShscYlA2

They sat in silence and waited.copyright protection21PENANAa796BMA7JS

The surroundings were so quiet and pitch dark that they could only make out their shadows. Though the balustrades were made of wood, they were thankful that it wasn't low and have holes as designs but only plain horizontal ones that hid them from being seen. In the cloudy night sky, several streaks of lightning flashed and then they heard it.copyright protection21PENANAAEIjkcBKuf

Two conversation were being carried out below them. Pierre raised an eyebrow at December when their eyes met. She knew what he was asking and so she just simply whispered, "Guards."copyright protection21PENANAv6Eoo6Amra

"That was weird. I thought I heard some noise when I was on my way here." The first guard with nasal voice said.copyright protection21PENANApCizJTmj05

The second guard then replied, "Maybe it's the wind. It is getting windy tonight."copyright protection21PENANAbBKTU46wPA

"No. It sounds like someone was talking and laughing. I'm pretty sure I heard it."copyright protection21PENANAMkGqJ4xjrZ

The guards below went still as the gears turned in their minds. Then their eyes widened as the second one blurted out in a whisper, "Don't fuck with me, you heard that…in this dark place? If there is any students staying back, they'll be in their dorm and not here. The access to this building has been shut down…"copyright protection21PENANAuQCMqlGMEH

The first guard realized what that could have meant and had already broken into sweats as he stuttered, "Y-you're right. I-I mean…I could be mistaken. Maybe it is the wind." He then gave a nervous laugh.copyright protection21PENANARPjCJeHPLw

Up in the balcony, Marsha was struggling to keep her fit of giggles at bay. Piper's elbow kept poking at the sides of her rib and she clamped her mouth from making a sound. When she couldn't take it anymore, she whispered in a strained voice, "Piper, stop."copyright protection21PENANApxR6YAawUB

Confused, the red-haired girl swung her head sharply to Marsha. "Huh?"copyright protection21PENANAwos8bStRE7

The moment Piper turned her gaze towards Marsha, her elbow had inadvertently jabbed into the girl's sides sharply and that broke her restraint. It started as a titter, her giggles were girlish….copyright protection21PENANAzwXT9G7QwT

The guards stood still at the sound they heard. The first one nudged his friend and whispered, "Hey…you heard that too, right?"copyright protection21PENANAmVqe1pOcVI

His friend nodded and gulped, before shining the torchlight around and croaked, "Who's there?"copyright protection21PENANANr7gAi93aN

…before it turned into a full out laughter. A loud, banshee-like sound. The slight breeze became a strong wind, as if a storm was about to hit and her laughter echoed from every direction around them.copyright protection21PENANAbJk8CtPKjl

Except for the one making the sound, everyone crept closer to each other and away from Marsha. Lily went to clap her hands around the girl's mouth.copyright protection21PENANADGh4VjuJvq

"Marsha! You're going to give us away!" Lily whispered urgently, her eyes wide in alarm.copyright protection21PENANAsjSzzsRIw1

Ramona had crept closer to Felix and hugged his arm in alarm. She muttered, "I've never seen her laugh like that before." Felix nodded mindlessly and brought his hand around Ramona's shoulders, rubbing her arm in a soothing motion. He wasn't aware of his actions and she was too distracted to notice.copyright protection21PENANAwHLRQnkG8E

They were fortunate, however, because the guards below were already on their way to their post, screaming and running as though their lives depend on it.copyright protection21PENANA1MliQgCkZ7

Still on the balcony, they watched in silent wariness and fascination as Marsha's cheeks turned red tomato.copyright protection21PENANAKsqC105TJB

"I'm sorry," came her meek response. "I'm just really ticklish." Then she added in a sideways glance at Piper and said softly, "I did tell you to stop, Piper."copyright protection21PENANAVfiG794rPd

Piper blushed and muttered, "Sorry, I didn't realize it."copyright protection21PENANA5QZr9PHLaG

"That was really creepy." Isaac laughed nervously, all the while rubbing away the goosebumps appearing on his skin.copyright protection21PENANATV9kybkD53

Jasmine cleared her throat and smiled. "Well, at least you chased them away, Marsha. For now, I think."copyright protection21PENANAe0jxHqGLSv

December glanced at her. "After that stunt? I say they won't come here for the rest of the night."copyright protection21PENANAYYmXpwN6iY

"I doubt two screaming guys will stop the others from patrolling." Oliver said before adding, "And maybe this time they'll come up here and check the whole building. We'll be found out then."copyright protection21PENANANbTXvr8Q5d

Felix shrugged before voicing out his opinion, "It won't matter for another hour, now will it? We'll chill here before going somewhere."copyright protection21PENANATjddRUExGx

"What, like the dorm?" Ramona quirked an eyebrow. Her eyes, however, told a different story as they looked hopeful.copyright protection21PENANA3FvpDVWq1e

Felix didn't notice that as he shook his head and said, "No, not the dorms. There has to be some other building that doesn't need the access card. A key locked building."copyright protection21PENANAoPqiMVKULP

Lily sighed. "That would be pointless. All of them integrates the access card."copyright protection21PENANA8F9lT0gyxX

Pierre's brow furrowed before he smoothed his expression and said, "What about the second building? Isn't it chained?"copyright protection21PENANA5BCA0fwWGx

Isaac nodded mindlessly before glancing at them all and said, "It'll be worth the try."copyright protection21PENANAb5nBn9x74j

They continued playing the game for half an hour. December was dared by Oliver to stare into the eyes of the person sitting beside her for ten seconds.copyright protection21PENANAXcZ6yS7PrF

She narrowed her eyes at him. He knew Pierre was sitting beside her. Did he do that because of the spat she had with Pierre? Luckily for her, she had Jasmine sitting next to her as well. There was no way she was going to choose Pierre when she have the safer option, she thought to herself. December did as was dared and the game went on.copyright protection21PENANAMwgp7hEDel

Pierre chose truth when his round came but both Piper and Oliver got dared by each other. One of them didn't choose it out of their own will, however.copyright protection21PENANAbpqy0NHyVM

Piper had been on edge whenever Oliver looked at her like he knows something she didn't. She wasn't sure if she had met him before but she was starting to lose her patience with staying quiet. It didn't matter if his eyes were pretty or if his eye lashes were thick and long. Why did he have to smile every time their eyes met? What was there to smile, anyway? Was there something on her face? She really shouldn't have said something about him being stoned when Marsha asked her that.copyright protection21PENANARTYQ0xJ7ma

Who knew the guy had a pretty sharp hearing?copyright protection21PENANAM9G3yOkdry

Oliver had been dared by Piper to go home and he only nodded and said, "Is tomorrow soon enough?" It wasn't exactly a dare to him because he had to leave campus the following day, anyway.copyright protection21PENANAzCYZaZNSxI

Piper kept the frustration and annoyance out of her voice when she said, "I guess."copyright protection21PENANAFoBDeCbXJy

The dare was peculiar and out of the blue, especially since no one thought they knew each other well. They kept their mouth shut, figuring if they kept silent then maybe they'd know what it was.copyright protection21PENANA8wHOzgCUu4

Ramona was grinning widely like she was watching a hot drama. The only thing missing was the popcorn, though she did grab a slice of pizza from the box in front of her.copyright protection21PENANAt3Gr2RqPKX

When she spin the bottle, they could have sworn the tension heightened, especially when it landed on Oliver.copyright protection21PENANAypma3BMezw

"The bottle must be rigged." Piper muttered to herself in disbelief.copyright protection21PENANAMH2uvCK8xe

"Is it just me or there's too much tension going on tonight?" Marsha whispered softly to Lily.copyright protection21PENANAc0iTrkKSav

Like the rest of them, Lily had been watching and noting the things that happened. Leaning backwards to Marsha, where they were out of hearing, she replied in the same way, "It's not just you. I feel the same too."copyright protection21PENANAQIUcTYNFcn

"Truth or Dare, Piper?" Oliver's challenging voice rang out.copyright protection21PENANAbZ4euAReIo

Smiling smugly to herself because there was no way she'd choose dare, she opened her mouth, just when something brushed the back of her spine. Surprised, she immediately squeaked out, "Dare."copyright protection21PENANAtVoLOQ6zIg

Oliver's indifferent gaze had turned into one of surprise before he looked relieved. She became suspicious then.copyright protection21PENANA5yZZKSYyyb

She bit her lip before blurting out, "No, wait. Can I change it? I meant to say Truth, actually."copyright protection21PENANAVKaZYEAPTj

Ramona grinned. "You know that's not how it works, Piper. You ended up saying Dare."copyright protection21PENANAeneC83sfCb

Piper was now looking almost frantic. "Yeah but I was going to say Truth! Shouldn't that count…for something?"copyright protection21PENANAvHJvHunF3W

Both Oliver and Ramona shook their heads. Then, he said nonchalantly, "You said Dare so only that matters now."copyright protection21PENANARYG1YEGzuA

Piper narrowed her eyes at him. Then, she said, "Ugh, fine."copyright protection21PENANASJX6m69OlM

Several seconds passed before he looked her in the eye and said, "Piper…I dare you to go out with me."copyright protection21PENANA0RuJnceKSh

No one made a sound. Even the trees stilled.copyright protection21PENANAHJgnLf2sOx

Oliver looked a bit solemn, his eyes bright and sharp. For once, he didn't smile or looked mischievous.copyright protection21PENANA2GgZMC6Wrs

Piper was jaw-slacked and her cheeks were beginning to flush. She couldn't believe this was happening.copyright protection21PENANAJrkdbHppsh

Her mouth opened and closed as she struggled to find the words. When she did, all she said was, "We've just met." before adding almost hesitantly as she emphasized, "And I don't like you."copyright protection21PENANAH91YwMdye1

"Ouch." Felix murmured to himself and Isaac nudged him in the ribs, though his eyes were solely fixed on the two of them.copyright protection21PENANA5gIlguYmrp

Oliver only shrugged. "We could go on a date. Let's get to know each other then."copyright protection21PENANAPaQ9n2QNsi

She was about to say something when Ramona quickly interjected quietly, her eyes apologetic. "Just a reminder, if you say no to a dare, there's a punishment."copyright protection21PENANA5ar68YSlw6

Piper looked at Ramona incredulously before shifting her gaze to Oliver. He was looking at her with a calm expression, though it belied the erratic beating of his heart.copyright protection21PENANAnCn5XEAW11

December and the rest held their breath. How was Piper going to answer him? Will things turn out to be good…or bad for them?copyright protection21PENANAlQccZAePnH

It felt like they were watching some telenovela and they just want to get to the bottom of the episode.copyright protection21PENANA8sRAzZyrl4

"Piper, say something." Marsha whispered to her not so quietly. Piper's gaze hardened as she contemplated her thoughts.copyright protection21PENANAyIGWNEAoAB

The minutes seemed to drag and just when they thought she would never give an answer, she narrowed her eyes at him and said, "I'll give you a day."copyright protection21PENANAqWsC8rcnhA

Oliver's eyes widened a little before he composed himself. He had begun to think that she was going to say no to him. As much as he was relieved and glad, he tried to negotiate. "A month."copyright protection21PENANA4q3V0CVy4g

She shook her head. "Three days, then."copyright protection21PENANADCYkzMYaaz

He paused. Then, he shook his and said in a hopeful tone. "Two weeks…?"copyright protection21PENANAMAwedFGq2X

She gritted her teeth and shook her head but just as she was about to say something, Ramona interjected with a hopeful suggestion.copyright protection21PENANA07n32nFYWJ

"How about forever?"copyright protection21PENANAezmcTWZS6a

December, Jasmine and Lily along with Marsha, Felix and Isaac lost their patience as they exclaimed, "Ramona!"copyright protection21PENANAsSLY6YDMoG

Even Pierre raised his eyebrow with an impatient look on his face.copyright protection21PENANAKpN8sQw8Os

The girl held her hands up in defense, making her empty paper plate fall onto her lap, before saying, "Okay, okay! Sorry." Then, she added quietly, "Do continue."copyright protection21PENANAS22ffVbeNh

Piper bit her lip as she thought of her answer. As she glanced at him, she said, "We'll go on a date for two weeks, and that's it. If I like you, then I'll go out with you."copyright protection21PENANAoga9eg8S3w

They let out a breath of relief. A slow grin spread across Oliver's face as he said, "Thank you."copyright protection21PENANAyNVmWocsw0

Piper wasn't done, however, as she warned him grumpily, "Don't look so happy and push your luck because I really don't like you."copyright protection21PENANAVp2XEiSQwG

He nodded but the smile stayed. "Okay."copyright protection21PENANA8VWi5byd3C

She still wasn't done. "I only said yes because I hate punishments. No matter what it is."copyright protection21PENANAKCqGYm4aPB

He tried to look solemn. "Alright."copyright protection21PENANAbL0dIFwBw2

They whooped and patted Piper's shoulders and Oliver's back as though they just got married.copyright protection21PENANAiEYfW3qvhu

Marsha leaned towards Lily and whispered, "Is it just me or the tension's getting, well, a little less tensioned tonight?"copyright protection21PENANA717xH5ULgJ

Lily looked around and pondered for a moment, settling her gaze on them. She shook her head, smiling. "Not quite…but no, you're not the only one."copyright protection21PENANAnruoFd4bPA

"Hey! What are you two whispering about?" Isaac asked with a grin. They were now annoying both Oliver and Piper with teasing remarks.copyright protection21PENANAe7ecmbgNGy

Lily shared a look with Marsha before she chuckled and said to him, "Just having some girl talk."copyright protection21PENANAhNzolhuf3K

They stuck to their plan. Twenty minutes before the clock struck ten, they had already cleared the empty boxes and leftovers away. The couches were stationed back to where they belong and the rug was cleaned from any crumbs and dust.copyright protection21PENANAZqcuORHS3x

Since the guys had the duty of throwing away the garbage, they got down from the balcony first. If they were afraid of going down, none showed it. They took care of the trash, then stood away from the bright lamp post, careful not to alert anyone walking by as they wait for the girls.copyright protection21PENANAthEHu1SLOz

"Fuck, I need to take a piss." Felix hissed before hurrying into the woods.copyright protection21PENANAj6nTvIaZYd

Isaac shook his head and laughed quietly at his friend before his phone vibrated in his pocket. He went away to take the call. Pierre and Oliver stood against the wall beside each other, silently keeping an eye out for any guards.copyright protection21PENANAKXDXssO9lS

"So, you and Piper, huh?" Pierre started, smiling at Oliver who suddenly looked like a shy middle schooler whose crush had invited him to hang out.copyright protection21PENANAGO9lwEnpqb

Oliver tried to play it cool by controlling his expression but his smile kept on tugging at his lips. "I swear, I didn't think she'd actually say yes."copyright protection21PENANAYJilDO3NO2

Pierre raised his eyebrow. "I don't know how you got the balls to do that when you barely know her. She must have been surprised. Fuck, we all were."copyright protection21PENANA0yZDws6kBr

"I know her." He mumbled.copyright protection21PENANAdifmEL11as

"What?"copyright protection21PENANAd9cwuPkyC8

He cleared his throat and shrugged. "In sophomore year. We shared some class together and spoke a few times, but I guess she doesn't remember me." Then, his eyes softened when he spoke, "She's funny, smart and kind…and I just wanted to get to know her more, but I was so scared I didn't have the guts then."copyright protection21PENANAACHAgd2myE

Pierre grinned. "Yeah? What do you call that thing when you asked what her name was? Since you know her and all."copyright protection21PENANANLX28COaDZ

Oliver muttered, "A lame idea of small talk."copyright protection21PENANACR8OnCDIbf

Pierre shook his head, chuckling as he patted Oliver's shoulder. "You need to brush up on your skills."copyright protection21PENANAQLRyl7Lotk

Oliver rolled his eyed and shoved Pierre lightly, grumbling as he said, "Piss off."copyright protection21PENANA2h50kdC8ng

At the sound of someone muttering loudly, they turned and saw a disgruntled Felix making his way towards them. "Damn bugs."copyright protection21PENANA807gOvTrd4

"A bug scared you?" Pierre asked. He tried to keep his tone light but couldn't keep the smirk out of his face.copyright protection21PENANAH4QzCcGoAa

As embarrassed as Felix was, he glared to a chuckling Pierre and said, "Yeah, you can laugh now. Wait till you see that thing…it's huge as hell!"copyright protection21PENANAIDsNDM1gUp

Curious, Oliver asked, "What is it?"copyright protection21PENANAw3pEjdadFn

Felix looked at them both, scrunching his face as if the mere thought of the insect made him feel it crawling all over him. "Spiders."copyright protection21PENANAhms7V5jCtU

Pierre and Oliver stared at him. Then, the latter nodded and said, "Yeah, they're nasty, alright."copyright protection21PENANANbxfZb10sW

December looked around her one more time, noting the neat and clean place compared to its earlier state when snacks and pillows were scattered about as they ate pizza and hung around. She almost didn't want to leave the balcony and miss the feel of being there.copyright protection21PENANAqZZPDj3OwJ

"What on earth are they laughing about down there?" Ramona muttered before saying, "They could draw the guards."copyright protection21PENANAbO6EW2JgFc

Piper sighed. "Guys…they're such weird creatures."copyright protection21PENANAasoIInUKom

Jasmine piped in and teased her grinningly. "Says the one who got asked out by one of them."copyright protection21PENANAHOlGEZ0INx

Piper blushed and sputtered. "You can't use that against me! I really hate punishments…and it's just for two weeks, anyway." She finished quite lamely.copyright protection21PENANArZlyEiAnyf

December chuckled at them. Though they had just met today, it felt like they had been friends for a while. Ramona had a strong personality and it reminded her of Brooke, whereas Jasmine and Piper reminded her of Serena and Raven. Though Lily and Marsha were an odd combination but she thought they were lovely people as well. How had she never met and talked to them before when they live in the same building? She saw them at school occasionally but somehow she'd never gotten up the courage to just talk to them.copyright protection21PENANAAJIYrrmlbK

Regardless, she was glad they were hanging out tonight. 'It doesn't hurt to have more friends,' she smiled to herself. At the thought of her friends, she wondered now what they were doing.copyright protection21PENANAISz4ze4AWS

"Are we ready?" She asked them, after they had double-checked everything. When they nodded, she walked to the balcony and looked down at the waiting guys. "Hey, we're coming down now."copyright protection21PENANA7oStWwLxTk

Ramona decided to go down first, with Marsha next and then Lily followed by Jasmine and Piper. They had a smooth climb down the ladder that such trivial thing suddenly made December doubt herself.copyright protection21PENANANt3vsuXOQ9

What if I fall?copyright protection21PENANAzz29EBnIck

Glancing down, she saw Isaac and Felix holding the ladder firmly in its place so it wouldn't wobble. They were all looking at her expectantly.copyright protection21PENANABkItNFZzcT

December took a deep breath before putting her foot out and onto the step, holding the balustrade in a tight grip for balance. Her gaze caught the difference of height from the balcony to the solid ground and she felt her stomach lurched. She shook her head then, muttering to herself, "No, don't think about it." She needed to keep her fear at bay if she wanted a smooth landing.copyright protection21PENANAT0nWvPrtEi

Still, knowing that it was quite a way down from the ground, she wondered how she even managed to come up earlier. The realization that she was practically on air and relying on a sole ladder to get down was scary enough that her knees started to shake. That action made the ladder shook.copyright protection21PENANACeSEnwgLfs

"Whoa!" said Isaac. He hold it firmly and called out, "Be careful, December. And don't look down if it scares you."copyright protection21PENANA5QMOjAuj9H

"It's too late for that now," she tried to joke.copyright protection21PENANAc3Hz0dosG3

Each step she took felt heavy and slow, as though she was walking in the water. She was halfway on the ladder now, but was still quite far from where they stood. Regardless, she felt herself becoming braver with each encouragement.copyright protection21PENANAKihDXE9dpp

They were all standing in the dark, since they stood away from the lamp post. Marsha took out her phone and tried to shine the light up so she could see December clearly and not her shadowy figure, but that was when she took notice of the time on her phone.copyright protection21PENANAGvfskz3OSd

Her voice was hesitant but urgent when she said, "Uh, December, you're doing great, and I really don't wanna rush you but….we only have five more minutes before it's ten."copyright protection21PENANAw4gdEhq3J6

"What?" December exclaimed. Fear and anxiety started to engulf her then and she almost missed a step but quickly regained her balance. "Uh oh. Damn, damn, damn," she muttered to herself.copyright protection21PENANA6upn7m2hAs

She was hidden by the big tree, but from her point of view she spotted three guards this time walking side by side. They shone their torch lights around. Her eyes widened with paralyzed fear as she noticed a bigger threat than the time.copyright protection21PENANAGgXVIivM7n

"Shit. Guys, the guards are coming!" She whispered loudly and quickly hastened her steps. Screw the time, screw the ladder and screw the damn guards!copyright protection21PENANAZDsgQ6xh9g

In her haste to get down quickly with their urgent whisperings telling her to hurry up, she lost her footing on one step and felt herself falling. On an instinct, she closed her eyes tightly and open her mouth to scream.copyright protection21PENANAogKODSaF9K

"Oomph!" She felt herself hit something hard.copyright protection21PENANA7P15LKogwv

Everything around her stilled, except for the spinning in her mind.copyright protection21PENANADv86LZdjhn

As she opened her eyes, the first thing she saw was someone's chest. Frowning slightly, her gaze then slowly trailed to their throat, firm lips, straight nose…and then they widened a little when she came to meet with a pair of bespectacled though stunned hazel green eyes. She gulped inaudibly.copyright protection21PENANAzFDktgdEWm

"Pierre?" It came out as a whisper. She realized then that her hands were wounded around his neck….and that he was holding her in a bridal style. She blinked once, trying to sort her chaotic thoughts when the realization sank deeply. She struggled in his grip until he grunted and put her on her feet. December thanked her lucky stars that she didn't fall down to the ground.copyright protection21PENANAp4braWbycH

But she did fall into Pierre's arms and knowing that made her cheeks grew hot with mortification.copyright protection21PENANA3QdcXZcait

She coughed and mumbled a thank you.copyright protection21PENANAxS9bdDsqio

He nodded wordlessly in reply and rubbed the back of his neck.copyright protection21PENANAMIsY9CVkb8

Everyone saw it, but they were still trying to comprehend what happened. One moment she was frantic and losing her footing, the next she was already in Pierre's arms.copyright protection21PENANA2eZfrWeD7x

Marsha's urgent voice protruded through the haze of their mind. "You guys, the guards are coming!"copyright protection21PENANA7EqhQDUi4d

"Oh, right we gotta hide. Quick, in the bushes!" Lily exclaimed in a whisper. Everyone scrambled around to get to their spots.copyright protection21PENANAGRV9P4MLpX

"Wait, hide the ladder first!" Oliver said before attempting to bring it down. They came to his aid when he struggled and dragged the steel steps onto the ground behind a bush.copyright protection21PENANATrcSGDPVhW

They waited in tense silence as they kept an eye on three guards walking up their trail.copyright protection21PENANAtoBTFrwAJB

"This place gives me the creeps." muttered Carl, a thin and blond man that was taller than his two companions.copyright protection21PENANANpsIzhNm2c

Jeff, a beefy and slightly short man in his mid-twenties nodded. "Remind me again why did I take this job?"copyright protection21PENANAjWEvOk9Dgq

"Because the pay is pretty damn good. But, I guess I can see why those two rookies ran away screaming. It does give you the chills, doesn't it?" Wayne said, chuckling lowly.copyright protection21PENANAAJPbDvCa6m

Felix, Oliver and Isaac crouched behind a thick bush, their breathing shallow as they tried not to make any sound. Jasmine and Piper hid behind them, careful to keep their heads low while Ramona tried to make herself invisible behind a thick trunk.copyright protection21PENANALTMdCluqHx

The wind whistled eerily, as if agreeing what they said.copyright protection21PENANAD1thxiCHWS

The guards stopped in their tracks before Carl mumbled, "Yeah, I'm gonna find another job after this." Then he started to walk away as he said, "Let's go. There's nothing over here." Dried leaves crunched under their feet.copyright protection21PENANA7wCXIftlpz

"What about the dorms? We have to cover that area too." Jeff panted after catching up to his friend.copyright protection21PENANAHbtuo5PTvx

"Let the rest do it later. I don't like it here."copyright protection21PENANAq8zUq6d2N9

Wayne snorted. "Don't be a wuss. If the big boss finds out, we'll be sacked." When they just looked at him blankly, he said defensively, "What? I don't wanna get fired."copyright protection21PENANAVVGxToNmKd

Carl turned towards the dormitory. It wasn't that far away and the surroundings were a little brighter than the dark one they stood at. Still, that didn't stop the goosebumps from appearing on his skin.copyright protection21PENANAWsopWMuMG0

Marsha and Lily laid side by side as they flattened themselves on the ground. The bush they were hiding was a short one and if they sat up, there was little to act as cover.copyright protection21PENANAk79T1zZeBN

Marsha felt her body itch and she rubbed her back against the ground.copyright protection21PENANAowJ44CtSZe

"Marsha, stop moving." whispered Lily.copyright protection21PENANA5VGukChPoX

She muttered, "I can't. My back's itchy."copyright protection21PENANAQI4ZC6yCka

Lily moved further a bit and turned to Marsha, sighing quietly. "Turn around then. I'll scratch."copyright protection21PENANApJH9OMLiEL

Happy to oblige, she did as was told. Lily realized a little too late that as her roommate, she should have remembered that Marsha had another sensitive spot other than the side of her rib. Had she kept that in mind, she wouldn't volunteered then.copyright protection21PENANAwKHcf1PwRe

Marsha couldn't help the first giggle that escaped her lips before her eyes grew wide in panic and clamped her mouth.copyright protection21PENANAtHXyHzEgbZ

"Damn it, Marsh!" Lily whispered in frustration.copyright protection21PENANAqBJ8KxVwPz

The now apologetic girl could only mouth off the words that she was sorry.copyright protection21PENANAhmkZzz1o6S

Everyone within the radius turned to look at Marsha and Lily, a muted but horrified expression on their faces. They were only a few steps away from where the guys at. Ramona put a finger on her lips to keep them from making another sound.copyright protection21PENANADAAA8haNym

Carl and his friends were walking past them and towards the dormitories when he heard the sound. He stopped and turned towards them. "Did you guys hear that?" He asked quietly.copyright protection21PENANAMYXv7I32fT

The one who chuckled earlier nodded with a curious look on his face. "Yeah…it sounded like someone giggled."copyright protection21PENANACxfXwOxxdD

The shorter of them cleared his throat twice before saying, "I think Carl's right. We should just go now. This place is creeping me out."copyright protection21PENANApQe0rmiCaQ

"That's ridiculous, Jeff. It sounds like it came from behind the bushes."copyright protection21PENANAYXPWtWEwZT

"We just heard a giggle from behind a creepy bush, Wayne. No one does that! I think those rookies are right."copyright protection21PENANApBrFyXt5uH

Wayne ignored his friend and backtracked his steps towards where the now panicked students hide.copyright protection21PENANAJUyXUZkcCu

They held their breath just as the guard stood a couple of steps away from the bush.copyright protection21PENANA2ArRxVObrN

Before Wayne took another step towards them, the sky grumbled with thunder and a light drizzle of rain started to fall.copyright protection21PENANA5RpwwXt03Y

"Damn rain. I ain't getting sick here." Wayne muttered to himself. He shone the torchlight mindlessly at the trees, unaware of some students hiding below before turning away. He said to his companions loudly, "There's nothing here! We'll head back."copyright protection21PENANAHMSgKMg4ZS

They didn't exhale any breath of relief until after they saw all the three guards jogged towards their post.copyright protection21PENANAy1t0T0VHcn

They sat there in the rain for a minute, their clothes slowly soaking as they waited until they were sure no one was around. They had to shout over the thundering rain to communicate. Felix yelled over, "Man…that was so close! I really thought we're done for."copyright protection21PENANAvhfUOMRiMV

Oliver pushed his wet black hair back and puffed out a sigh. "I agree. We better get the hell out of here."copyright protection21PENANAguI9KsW1wV

Walking briskly towards the Common Hall, they decided to seek a temporary shelter under the roof, careful in avoiding the monitors.copyright protection21PENANAT5Xm6Qm2yy

Ramona leaned against a wall and settled an accusing gaze at Marsha. "You almost gave away our hide! I really thought I'd stopped breathing then."copyright protection21PENANAq3QFXFrPXe

Marsha's cheeks were red as she muttered, "Sorry…my back got an itch."copyright protection21PENANALeJtouVkvs

She sighed loudly and threw her hands up in the air. "Well! You couldn't have found an unfortunate timing more than that."copyright protection21PENANAfoydLE47HC

"Chill, Remy. She didn't mean to do it, okay?" Lily interjected, her tone defensive.copyright protection21PENANAG7GwNEcfu9

While Felix tried to stop them from possibly creating a fight, Isaac studied them, noting their faces in his mind when he suddenly frowned.copyright protection21PENANAtfocINGE7c

"Hey, have you guys seen December and Pierre?"copyright protection21PENANA6nAFAljFt1

The moment Marsha urged them to find a hide, Pierre had suddenly taken hold of December's hand and pulled her along, dragging her through the trees behind the Common Hall. Caught off guard, all thoughts ceased to exist as she pumped her legs to wherever he was leading them. Her heart was beating erratically and she tried to gulp as much air to keep herself going.copyright protection21PENANAha9YHWDTb7

"Wait, Pierre," she panted as she tried to keep with his long legged pace. "Slow down, will you?"copyright protection21PENANA3FnsS5fzKm

He didn't glance at her but slowed his pace.copyright protection21PENANALRJmwkIQZb

They came to a stop in front of a chained building, the same one where their club meeting had been held. Though it looked empty, the three story white walled structure was so different during the day that they had trouble adjusting it in their mind. Unwelcome and out of place, it reminded them of an old but not quite ruined building. The modern and round lit incandescent bulbs embedded in the ceiling only served to cast an eerie orange glow from afar.copyright protection21PENANAShl1g3XTW9

They stood in front of the entrance, her hand in his. She was suddenly aware of the big and firm grip he had on her and tried to keep her breathing in control to calm her nerves. Are we holding hands now? My God, he's holding my hand. The frenemy is holding my hand!copyright protection21PENANA1ZPorHuGge

She could feel her heart pounding in her ears and her body flushed. Clearing her throat a few times, she whispered in a strained voice, "Um…my hand. L-let go, please."copyright protection21PENANA326NoC86t8

As soon as she said that, Pierre's grip lessened instantaneously and he stepped away from her as if she was a burning flame. He stood a width apart, glancing briefly at her before looking away and coughed into his hand. "Uh, sorry."copyright protection21PENANAilpEmGHkzD

The next few minutes were spent in the quiet night, with the exception of crickets stridulating as they collect their thoughts. It was a peaceful silence but that could only stretch for so long until they were forced to be aware of each other's presence again.copyright protection21PENANAuADjY50tMh

Lightning flashed in the sky followed by the occasional grumble of thunder. Within seconds, the sky opened up into a heavy downpour.copyright protection21PENANAHPkODIqLOU

Running for cover at the first pelt of rain towards the entrance, Pierre rest himself against a wall and December leaned across from him. Slightly drenched, they stood under the roof, both starting to shiver.copyright protection21PENANAT7fjLCZsWz

After a few seconds in the midst of the unbearable silence, she asked, "Do you think there's some monitors around here? I really don't want to take any chances now." She looked around, trying to blend herself into the wall as if she could be invisible from any monitors she didn't see.copyright protection21PENANA6q9JJ8OKBB

Pierre cussed quietly, mentally kicking himself for forgetting to check first hand if there were any security monitors around. He planned to do that while he was calculating the next move as he ran but somehow that thought skipped him the moment the building came into view. He glanced about subtly, trying to locate the device. Satisfied with his search, he shook his head then said, "I don't think so. But we should be careful just in case."copyright protection21PENANA2jqm745yPU

Seconds passed before December spoke again. "So, why were we running through the woods?" before her gaze turned skeptical. "And how did you know the way, anyway?"copyright protection21PENANAsJ1I3Mk2fh

Pierre slid down the wall, crouching down before giving her a brief glance. "That was a shortcut. The main building is a ten minute walk from our dorms, no matter which way you came from and this one is right behind the first. And as for how I came to know this, the trees in the woods aren't tall enough to cover the buildings. You could practically see it from here." He nodded towards a direction. December followed his gaze and saw some view of the dorms and Common Hall not far away in the distance. She felt foolish then for not realizing that.copyright protection21PENANABlHL5rUTcw

He had no idea why he even asked this question but he did. Raising an eyebrow at her, he asked, "Why do you care?"copyright protection21PENANAufQVBY0GwQ

She replied a bit too quickly, "I didn't say that." before chastising herself mentally for answering too fast. With an indifferent composure, she merely shrugged at him then, looking away as she said, "You could get lost and that, in return, would burden me greatly."copyright protection21PENANABZzCHDo2FE

Curious and a little amused, he asked dryly, "Would it? And why is that?"copyright protection21PENANAjhZ134tYYG

December hesitated for a bit before she suddenly became sheepish. "Because, I've been told that I suck at directions." Then, she added in an afterthought, nodding to herself. "Sometimes."copyright protection21PENANAutVkpxjpeP

Pierre stared at her. A full minute of silence passed before he suddenly burst into laughter, taking December by complete surprise. It started as a choked laugh before he covered his mouth to stop it. It didn't do him any good because Pierre just couldn't seem to stop the laughter coming out from his mouth.copyright protection21PENANAfPPPrxsQz8

It sounded rich and boyish to December that she had a hard time remembering that this was Pierre, the guy who scowls a lot and rarely spoke without having that angry edge to it. The sound of his laugh warmed her heart and gut and she was having conflicting feelings about it. Not knowing how to react because of that, December just stared at him like a deer in headlights instead.copyright protection21PENANAuTptUtyorx

As if he just realized that he did something he shouldn't, Pierre ceased laughing. Unsure of what to say in the suddenly still atmosphere, he frowned, trying to think of something.copyright protection21PENANA4V0ZgpxzPL

"Ah, that's more like it." December blurted out, her mind kicking back into functioning.copyright protection21PENANAp4AfT2MmSl

At his questionable look, she cleared her throat and said, "I mean, I've just never seen you laugh before. Usually, you'd either frown, scowl or smirk. It just…surprised me, that's all." Her explanation felt awkward to her. She turned away from him, not wanting to see his expression at the moment. He'd probably smirk at her, she thought with a slight roll of her eyes.copyright protection21PENANAunfURanpyO

He did neither. A dawning realization washed over his features and he nodded slowly, processing what she said. Pierre murmured quietly to himself, "Yeah, it surprised me too."copyright protection21PENANAWCKXC1n9Bc

As she stared out into the rain, her nerves started to vibrate in that calm but buzzing way that almost made her want to take a nap. Like a magnetic pull, she spread an arm out in the pouring rain, letting her hand feel the water splash onto her palm. She had always liked the rain and the smell of the wet but earthy soil permeating in the air.copyright protection21PENANAV1hvgby2xr

December had half the mind to stand in the pouring rain and let it wash over her, but she had a feeling that wouldn't be a wise thing to do then. She let herself drift away instead with watching the stormy yet calming weather.copyright protection21PENANAo2ODWFNj5m

"Did you say something?" she murmured softly, thinking she'd heard him speak but unable to bring herself to look at him.copyright protection21PENANA82YT0BVnLx

Pierre had been watching her move her arm in that wavy motion slowly, letting the droplets touch her hand. He thought there was something hypnotic about watching the rain falling down and hearing it hit the roof like bullets. Pierre watched as December closed her eyes, a soft smile on her face as she brought both hands up in front of her and towards the sky, as if she was thankful for something or waiting for a gift to be placed onto her hand. She seemed to be welcoming the water that made small splashes on her face. Her seemingly unaware and effortless pose made her looked like one of those ancient female statues or goddesses he'd seen in the museum, when he went on a trip to Rome during his previous school trip. It baffled him, how her profile seemed to be so soft at that moment and how her face showed fascination and…and he needed to stop with those descriptions!copyright protection21PENANAAGyRcP3KRA

What is wrong with me? Pierre thought sharply. He sounded like a lovesick poet describing his love to some girl. He wasn't a poet, never had been even when he had a girlfriend back in Scotland…copyright protection21PENANAbgC0UzGISM

Clearing his throat loudly, he said, "Nothing." before raising an eyebrow with an arrogant grin plastered on his face. "Just don't get used to it."copyright protection21PENANA41O3VOFQcq

She snapped out of her trance and frowned a little at him, her pert nose scrunching slightly. It took seconds for her to recall what they were talking about and then she nodded, simply saying with a look of indifference, "I don't plan to."copyright protection21PENANAnM6WEiLH3D

And just like that, they were back to being acquaintances…or somewhere in between.copyright protection21PENANAifUVfOuVxn

Pierre decided to change the topic as he said, "We only took five minutes or less through the woods when we came here." Then, he flashed her his signature smirk. "Did you know that?"copyright protection21PENANAHBowFklkax

Tch, this cocky idiot. She restrained the urge to roll her eyes but pressed her lips together. December didn't want to admit it to herself but she hadn't known there was a shortcut around the corner at all, one which led to where they are. Funny how she could find places that was probably not in the school guidance book but didn't realize there was a shortcut to the school campus. She had been wasting her time going through the long way of the guard post and along the entrance pathway…copyright protection21PENANAKykRuY9gGd

And to think that she studied here for three years compared to him! He, who came here a few months ago.copyright protection21PENANATYsNUHCpD9

She wept for herself mentally but grumbled quietly, "I didn't, actually."copyright protection21PENANAMlLbSqvdLG

If possible, his smirk grew wider.copyright protection21PENANALwe5nJ4x0K

She rolled her eyes. "Oh, shut up."copyright protection21PENANAKTJcHEUj3x

"Do you think they know we're here? We did after all ditched them for the woods." Her tone was so nonchalant but Pierre thought he detected some blame directed at him. He raised his eyebrow at her.copyright protection21PENANAtQTe1LFxZr

"They'll figure it out. If all goes well, they'll come around in a few minutes."copyright protection21PENANAdKXsPlcUSc

"Hm." She hummed noncommittally. As if a switch suddenly turned on, she made a small sound before asking him, "Hold up, you still haven't answer me." December said, her tone a little accusing.copyright protection21PENANAFC6oPO2J76

"Answer what?" He looked at her blankly, his tone a little gruff.copyright protection21PENANAhBWaQYWwvV

December held her patience as she answered, "Why we were running."copyright protection21PENANAXJFVbvgoq9

Pierre scoffed, looking at her like she came from a different planet. "Are you an idiot? The guards were on their way and I had to think fast. The woods seemed like a better option than the bushes."copyright protection21PENANAA5MHtBvwkD

She narrowed her eyes at him in irritation when he called her an idiot. As she was thinking through something, she paused in hesitation before saying, "So you just pulled me along with you?"copyright protection21PENANADBezM4xIB3

He looked ahead of him, at the bushes in the woods or the small and faraway building of the Common Hall, she wasn't sure.copyright protection21PENANADyMjuYPLmf

Pierre didn't know how to answer it, if he were to be honest. He couldn't explain why he suddenly wanted to grab her hands and pull her along with him, but he did. And now, as she stood there with a look of confusion and curiosity in her eyes, he was loss for words.copyright protection21PENANAUXlGEOh9lB

It felt like a lifetime before he decided to say something. "Yeah, I didn't realize I did that, actually."copyright protection21PENANAMZd1yZ66IH

She had been a little nervous as she waited to hear what he'd say. She didn't know why she cared whether his answer may disappoint her, but she did. And it actually stung knowing that…copyright protection21PENANA9mgWFKUvvg

Well, what did she expect anyway?copyright protection21PENANALqd66SVo1h

December mentally chastised herself for even thinking such things.copyright protection21PENANA0OgdQPdXWV

As she looked at his smug face, she had the urge to send some scathing remark, but that would only give him winning points in riling her up. Opting a nonchalant look, she only shrug and said, "Oh, I see." before making a complete 360 degree turn and changed the topic, saying, "It's getting chilly here and I really want to get inside." To emphasize it, she rubbed her arms in an attempt to ward off the cold.copyright protection21PENANAE5hU2XFWtb

"Do you even know how to get in?"copyright protection21PENANAceBqlHig5k

December gave him a look before saying, "If I knew how to get in, do you think I'd be here? Under the roof in this cold and rainy weather…with you?"copyright protection21PENANAx69Oj0DwXz

She expected him to feel affronted but he only shrugged at her, as if saying that she would probably do just that.copyright protection21PENANAsBFJwHHcEa

She gritted her teeth and turned away. The pouring rain didn't look like it would stop anytime soon and her shivers were becoming more violent. She cast a brief glance at Pierre, appraising the way his black jeans hugged his long legs, and how the navy blue button up shirt looked good on him. 'Not that I'd tell anyone this…but for an impossible guy, he did dressed up nice.'copyright protection21PENANAnRpZhKHA0N

"Like what you see?" came his arrogant voice. He had been watching the small building of the Common Hall, trying to see if the rest of them were making their way towards them when he felt the prickly feeling like someone was watching him.copyright protection21PENANAVyT5mc50J2

And sure enough when he shifted his body a little to her side, he caught her looking – more like staring – at him. Pierre just couldn't resist saying something to her about it.copyright protection21PENANAzbEfVbXDoB

December scoffed and rolled her eyes, mentally telling herself not to flush in embarrassment. "Don't flatter yourself. I happened to look at you but I was thinking about something else." Her sentences were smooth with nonchalance and she patted herself mentally. 'Nice save, December,' she thought with a victorious grin.copyright protection21PENANANLscLKWslX

"Oh, you mean me?" What the hell? Where the fuck did that come from? Pierre thought incredulously. He looked away sharply and coughed a little into his hand.copyright protection21PENANAfgv8mSkrS4

December didn't notice his blunder of discomfort because she was too busy trying to come up with a comeback. It wasn't until the words registered in her mind and she repeated it over mentally that she paused and looked at him.copyright protection21PENANAusg9IclFPJ

'Is he flirting with me?' December thought in astonishment as her heart beat furiously. She scrutinized his features, looking at his now indifferent but insufferable smirk on his face as he raised an eyebrow like he was challenging her.copyright protection21PENANAhCvKPgvMIQ

December shook her head at herself. There was no way he would be flirting let alone say such things to her. Why would he? They were two different people that don't get along with one another, even though they had had some civil conversations.copyright protection21PENANAKX7f6t8qV0

Her heart slowed down to a normal rate then.copyright protection21PENANAvptLzbXURN

If it was anyone else, she might have had suspicions but she believed in that moment that Pierre Lachlan would be the last person whom would even think of such possibility of becoming more than what they are now. And they were only acquaintances, which says something about their status as strangers to becoming remotely friends.copyright protection21PENANAD9q8Tfpo27

She stared at Pierre before a grin graced her lips and she laughed. "Ever thought of becoming a comedian? 'Cause you're funny."copyright protection21PENANAfM5m2bPaCL

Pierre had been beating himself up for the stupid things he said and barely composed an unaffected look when she looked at him with narrowing eyes, as if searching for something.copyright protection21PENANAb7aETJPRDH

His heart actually skipped a beat.copyright protection21PENANAEhQ4pKkO9m

And then she laughed, as if she'd just thought of something amusing and his heart beat sped up. Their eyes met and he was fascinated at the way hers sparkled under the incandescent light; a reflection of fire shown in those striking blue orbs of hers.copyright protection21PENANAWo91LbdBlP

In that moment, something moved within him, and his mind were void of thoughts then, except for one: Damn.copyright protection21PENANAmxXwbQg1HU

Pierre wasn't fully aware what just transpired in his heart but he had a feeling that whatever it was, it was going to be inevitable.copyright protection21PENANAImbyqBiLqr

And truthfully, he didn't know how to deal with that realization.copyright protection21PENANA7nQhpBsCcO

The rain were pouring all night and they had been standing at the old building's entrance for ten minutes now.copyright protection21PENANAsylp5xgmyX

"Maybe something's holding them back. Should we check?" December's worried voice broke through Pierre's thoughts.copyright protection21PENANAggksOK47vv

He glanced at her and shook his head slowly, his face a little pensive. "They could be on their way here. Maybe they took the long way instead of the one we got through."copyright protection21PENANAzDSpVh0nUc

'He does have a point,' December thought, nodding to herself.copyright protection21PENANAcmLyMQ52cD

Unable to take the cold weather seeping in her bones through her wet t-shirt and bare legs, she rubbed her hands repeatedly to create heat and blew into them, hoping the breath could warm her more. She didn't know how to pick a lock, but that didn't mean she couldn't try.copyright protection21PENANA0tTkVI50QB

"I don't know about you, but I'm not going to stand here in this cold weather." Her teeth started to chatter and she bit her lip, rubbing her arms furiously now. She looked at her choice of clothes and cussed herself for not wearing something better; her sweatpants, that is.copyright protection21PENANAvpfoPaGPyB

"What do you plan to do?" He asked, arms crossed as he leaned against a wall. Pierre raised an eyebrow at her determined expression, despite her shivering appearance.copyright protection21PENANA2KXOjJEoLR

Pierre tried not to look before but as she stood beside him in those wet clothes, it was hard not to notice that she was almost freezing. He suddenly felt guilty then but he told himself they just had to wait a little bit more for their friends…copyright protection21PENANA2MkW6gFbgv

Taking a deep breath, she huffed out a cold air and glanced at Pierre. "I'm going to break in."copyright protection21PENANANMV2bKcRAK

He snorted.copyright protection21PENANAsDvqrOa6dW

December scowled. "If you're not going to offer any help, move aside." With a haughty look, she simply said, "I'll show you what a girl can do." Without waiting, she pushed him aside, but her adversary was six foot tall despite not having an overly athletic physique. December never really stood a chance against him; he barely budged.copyright protection21PENANAXfIhcOyR0P

"Brute." She muttered to herself.copyright protection21PENANAnNBiPN32ED

December studied the thick chains with multiple locks on it. Why does the school need to ensure the second building tightly with only two locks? And why didn't they just fixed it up with the activation system like most buildings were? So many questions raced through December's mind but she was nowhere to figuring out why. The whole thing made it seemed as though the board was keeping some secret or treasure within these walls.copyright protection21PENANAM7hiyI6IPk

'Yeah, definitely not suspicious and flashy at all,' she thought with a roll of her eyes.copyright protection21PENANAEMAm4MbCEb

Discarding those thoughts at the moment, she focused on how to unlock the chains; following the knot it made and to the type of locks around it.copyright protection21PENANAr1Y3kOQnQv

Thinking how the whole thing looked more confusing than her Math homework, she sighed but decided to get on with it. She took a bobby pin out of her hair and tried to unlock the first one, twisting and turning the pin around. She continued it for several times but patience was never her virtue when it came to this kind of situation. Frustrated, she jammed the already bent pin into the padlock furiously. The hairpin broke within the first couple jabs.copyright protection21PENANA1DCiVb12TQ

"Ugh!" she groaned in frustration. Failing to unlock it, December settled on glaring at it instead.copyright protection21PENANAnxDXUHK5jo

He could give her some credit for the determination but shook his head at her impatience. He had been watching her picking the lock and glancing around in case the rest of the group approach them but there were no one in sight.copyright protection21PENANAhLpgOJ4F7V

Figuring they'd both freeze to death at this rate, Pierre decided they had waited long enough for any of their friends to reach them. Besides, he didn't want to continue risking being seen by the patrolling guards.copyright protection21PENANAa8yNruYsxS

With a sigh, he took the broken pins and gently pushed her aside.copyright protection21PENANAjUqWRkDBqX

"I could have done it." came December's quiet but sulky mutter beside him.copyright protection21PENANAZHJpXx92dg

He hid a smile. Shrugging, he pretended to be irritated. "You probably could but I don't want to be stuck out here any longer."copyright protection21PENANAYnoxbP19iy

Raising an eyebrow, December watched with narrowing to widening eyes as he stood in front of the damning shackles and worked on it within seconds. The padlocks yielded to Pierre's magic touch and the chains clanked as it came undone.copyright protection21PENANA1BtrxkMbWc

She gritted her teeth in anger. 'He knew how to pick a lock all this time?' she screamed internally. It was that simple…and they could have entered the bloody building in the first place?copyright protection21PENANA9WUSlSqvUD

"You…" she seethed quietly, her eyes narrowing into slits.copyright protection21PENANALS19qcZrmh

"I what?" he asked with feigning innocence, pulling at the doors. The heavy entrance doors opened reluctantly, its rusty hinges made a creaking sound that reverberated through the empty hallway like hollow echoes. Pierre winced at the harsh noise before attempting to open it slowly, hoping the guards wouldn't be alerted by the loud sound.copyright protection21PENANA0nTuPrOCDL

He turned to look at her, ignoring her frown and said, "Let's go in."copyright protection21PENANAPMHJE3B4zw

She gave him a blank look and asked sarcastically, "Oh, so now we're going in?"copyright protection21PENANAIkpJuPVuhh

He raised his eyebrow and asked, "What, are you angry?"copyright protection21PENANAMiFFMv6B7J

Her tone was flat when she replied, "Wrong question."copyright protection21PENANAmWw4Ga8hfH

Pierre rolled his eyes and sighed. "I thought we should wait for them before we go in. We've waited long enough."copyright protection21PENANAOX2eHw3D0l

She sputtered and tried to say something but her mind was too frantic for her to form any words.copyright protection21PENANAVMDAsq6z1d

December settled on glaring at him instead.copyright protection21PENANAioaPsQZB8f

He wasn't fazed. "I don't know about you," he started, quoting her words earlier, "but I'm not going to stand here in this cold weather anymore," With that, he stepped into the warm and musty building, leaving December to fume.copyright protection21PENANAjWdlaUReyS

As angry as she was, the warm gust of air from inside the building coaxed her into following suit. With a disgruntled sigh, December flashed the light from her phone around and trailed behind when she saw Pierre walking not far from where she was.copyright protection21PENANAAtEd46DaGF

They walked through the empty hallway, and Pierre had a sense of that familiar feeling when he was lost in the building earlier. If the place was quiet and a bit eerie during the day, that only increased tenfold at night. Pierre didn't think of himself as someone who was afraid of the dark but being in the building made him reevaluate that as they walked through the dark hall. He glanced at December walking silently beside him, both of them were holding their phones to light their way. Sometimes, their arms would brushed slightly but neither said anything.copyright protection21PENANAoY3yOwoN7x

He would have welcome the times whenever she kept her mouth shut, but being in an unfamiliar and creepy territory, with someone who was a chatterbox but now a selective mute was a bit unnerving to him. He'd almost wanted December to say something so he wouldn't actually feel alone in this place despite having her as company…copyright protection21PENANA3qtgLEbDTJ

"Why are you quiet all of a sudden?" He muttered.copyright protection21PENANAvtcaHghlrX

"I don't like this." was her quiet reply. He could hear the fear in her voice despite her indifference.copyright protection21PENANA0PW3nKzMyH

He paused in his step. Pierre could have sworn he heard something.copyright protection21PENANAjB8NSTs3xl

December noticed the change in his expression, with what little she could see from the glow of her phone's light. She immediately put her guard up.copyright protection21PENANAN2P0dwhuRI

"What?" she whispered in panic, eyes focused on Pierre. Because of Pierre's reaction and her overactive imagination, she felt goosebumps appearing on her skin.copyright protection21PENANArSxoWV8wHH

"Pierre, did you see something?" She asked again when he didn't answer, her voice soft but urgent.copyright protection21PENANAd1ilObfgfM

Pierre squinted into the dark and she held her breath. And then he shook his head and she exhaled in relief.copyright protection21PENANAB2Pr22XkwP

"I thought I heard something." He said, voice low.copyright protection21PENANA2YHAnDvv9d

Well, that didn't make me feel any better now. She raised an eyebrow at him before shaking her head. "I don't know why we're even doing this. Maybe we should just call-" December gasped and Pierre turned to her sharply.copyright protection21PENANAdnewI3HYjW

"What is it?"copyright protection21PENANAKVZzm2Bkm8

He saw different expressions on her face; from surprised to sudden realization and then annoyance.copyright protection21PENANA9o7RZuuu0E

Turning to him, she said, "We could have just called them! Why didn't we think of that?"copyright protection21PENANAId1XJK0qIj

He raised his eyebrow. "We could have expose them to the guards then. Besides, we don't know where they are yet."copyright protection21PENANAntfm2CoEWK

"You've thought of everything now, haven't you?" She looked skeptic and her tone was dry. Still, she was amazed at how calm he was despite the situation they're in. Does the guy even have weakness?copyright protection21PENANAM69UX8osDo

He shrugged and smirked lazily. "Someone's got to."copyright protection21PENANA6mB8jkTjLB

'Oh right, it was his arrogance,' December scoffed mentally.copyright protection21PENANAD84Su7vTLr

"Do you have their cellphone numbers?" He asked her.copyright protection21PENANAEyxNsvWQXA

She opened her mouth to answer when she realized that she did not, in fact, have any of their numbers saved. Shaking her head at herself, she answered with a sigh, "No."copyright protection21PENANAf4WQdfb6zW

He nodded while mulling on something. "I doubt they're at the same place now. I'll call Oliver."copyright protection21PENANAHd5M6ATBtF

He dialed the number and hold the phone to his ear, waiting. As soon as he heard that familiar voice of the operator for the second time, Pierre had already hung up. "Can't get through him."copyright protection21PENANA28dAVG6Sx3

"What about Felix, or Isaac?" Her tone was hopeful.copyright protection21PENANAsM8pDlFOrf

He shook his head. "I don't really know them. They were already with Ramona when we met them downtown."copyright protection21PENANAL8sRVyrP9V

December nodded slowly. "I see. Well, I guess…"copyright protection21PENANAuc3INZoTRV

She trailed off when Pierre suddenly turned his head to a dark corner.copyright protection21PENANAWkI4KlppaR

"Did you hear that?" He asked her quietly.copyright protection21PENANAEWZ6NVFeKO

She didn't hear anything. Thinking he was trying to mess with her, she said, "Pierre, I hope you're not pulling anything right now or I'll-"copyright protection21PENANA9e0dXNclH4

Though he didn't look at her, she heard the annoyance in his words. "I'm not pulling anything."copyright protection21PENANAhDoZI9l8zw

The echo of a loud bang were heard down the hallway and both of them stilled in their place.copyright protection21PENANAZdsZkfU0uF

"What is that sound?" December whispered in panic, stepping closer to Pierre. Not realizing that she had clung tightly to his shirt, all she could think of right now was to bolt if she'd hear it again.copyright protection21PENANAOEUPRRD3dk

Pierre flashed the light towards where they heard the sound, mentally braving up and ignoring the fear trying to take control of him. What was going to come out from the dark corner in front of them? What would it be like? His mind played tricks on him then, conjuring up visuals from when he played some horror video game…copyright protection21PENANA8uXwuGGQOf

Pierre's fight or flight mode response were slower to comprehend and he found himself cussing out. Of all times to stay catatonic! He was usually very in tune with his senses.copyright protection21PENANAmOtPNO4IOz

They heard the noise again, this time a continuous banging sound. He thought it might be some doors slamming but then he felt the linoleum floor vibrating under his shoes. The sounds seemed louder and he thought that whatever it was, were heading towards them.copyright protection21PENANAoCdir4a48n

Not knowing what it was mixed with an overactive imagination, her heightened fear had reduced December to a screaming hen and she took off towards the door behind them. In her haste to escape the place, she had forgotten that she had a grip on Pierre's shirt and therefore, were pulling him with her.copyright protection21PENANApgSmNn3tdS

Her shrill scream snapped him into reality and he realized there was a pull on his shirt. Realizing that December had a grip on him and they were both running away, he barely calculated the next move when he heard her cry of distress.copyright protection21PENANAIAGbpuZtdO

"Dammit! Where's the door?"copyright protection21PENANA2BqgTSk3Xt

He frowned. They had been walking straight ahead without turning in any corner so they must have been closer towards the entrance they came in, shouldn't they? He spotted an opening of a corner then. Not wanting to waste any more time in finding the exit, he grabbed hold of her arm and turned towards it, their wet shoes sliding on the floor before they caught their balance and kept on running.copyright protection21PENANArmJjJxGM0U

Pierre didn't know where they were heading but he didn't want to stop and think about where to go next. His plan was to run ahead and go through any obstacles thrown in his way. He didn't even care if there was any guards patrolling around now. If they did, he'd deal with them.copyright protection21PENANAFJulVTQVn3

The same couldn't be said for December. She said a silent prayer that they wouldn't be chased by whatever it was they heard in the hallway. She was also hoping they'd find some safe place soon and not bump into any guards. Being chased by something was already enough and she didn't want to deal with the guards as well.copyright protection21PENANAJqE9Gy21CZ

Flashing the light to see the way, Pierre eventually reached a door. He didn't think too much about it – if the door was locked, he'd pick it anyway. As was expected, the knob was locked but he worked on it just in time. Opening it, he pushed December in before locking them both from inside.copyright protection21PENANAu3lem4L3RM

When he shoved her in, she barely had time before her arms made impact with a wall. Wincing, she tried to catch her breath while rubbing her aching arm. December flashed the phone light to where he was and scowled at him.copyright protection21PENANAXwvrSrlImI

"You really are a brute. You know, you'd made an excellent quarterback." Her biting tone didn't escape him.copyright protection21PENANAM59qfPZiRB

He managed a small smirk while sounding breathless. "I'll bet. Unfortunately, the club's full."copyright protection21PENANAhmEDA1Im4z

She scoffed and gave him a mocking look. "With that strength, you could have knocked some guy out and take his place."copyright protection21PENANA816EtZ5OHs

He raised an eyebrow at her. "I'm not a bully."copyright protection21PENANAxuxGVNwU5n

She already had a comeback ready but paused when he said that. Though she wanted to say something else, December only muttered, "Could have fooled me."copyright protection21PENANAvnJa0kbIGf

Pierre sighed and ignored that. "At least we're safe. For now." He closed his eyes and leaned against the door, trying to even his breathing properly and figure out what to do next.copyright protection21PENANAiOhptKoyy6

December took in their surroundings, or what was little of it. Apparently they had rushed into a closet; it seemed to be a janitor's closet with the mops, ladders and water buckets placed around them. The door had some horizontal lines that had gaps on it, making them able to catch some air despite the crowded space they were in. She hoped whoever the janitor was didn't mind them seeking a temporary refuge in his shed. She searched for the light in the closet and found a switch beside Pierre's head.copyright protection21PENANA05AyMvmips

"Could you please switch on the light? It's beside you."copyright protection21PENANAGVPp5QKhzq

He did as was told and the room brightened a little with one light bulb hanging from the ceiling.copyright protection21PENANAwSfNhJyGh6

Neither of them said anything for a moment, the only sound heard was their shallow breathing. Each were preoccupied with their own thoughts.copyright protection21PENANAMicnRYSdhi

Then, December spoke.copyright protection21PENANAFXevnkl7BU

"I hope whoever that was won't find us here." She shuddered a little thinking about the loud sounds in the hallway and how they barely escaped from the place. "I don't think I've ever run so fast like that."copyright protection21PENANAy8MOW4xuKP

Pierre nodded but stopped after her first sentence and smirked at the last. He said nothing, however.copyright protection21PENANABw7OTZMMc4

Feeling awkward and obliged to say something to dispel the quiet atmosphere, she asked, "Where did you learn how to pick locks?"copyright protection21PENANA5S1jnpDJxf

He glanced at her and chuckled a little, saying, "YouTube."copyright protection21PENANAD5nqUjusNf

December's interest had pique and she arched her eyebrows in surprise. "Why would you need to watch a video about lock picking?" Then, her eyes narrowed into suspicion. "You're not one of those guys that breaks in, are you?"copyright protection21PENANAhoMpcGoZsB

Pierre raised his eyebrow, this time instead of looking a little amused or arrogant, he looked offended. "No."copyright protection21PENANA3yt5RRuvA2

She didn't relent on narrowing her eyes as she scrutinized him before nodding slowly and said, "Sorry. So, what's the real purpose of it?"copyright protection21PENANAKe77E2r9ue

He shrugged but rubbed his neck a little. December never really noticed it before but after spending some time with him, she noticed he had been doing that quite a lot tonight. "I got locked out of my house before. That's what happens when you didn't bring your own key when you go out."copyright protection21PENANAoMDabPQAPj

She pressed her lips together to prevent her from laughing but her lips were twitching.copyright protection21PENANAbTRFZJxuf7

"You can laugh. It's not really a big deal, anymore." He said lightly.copyright protection21PENANAwZlE70Gy9a

So she did, and Pierre felt his insides warmed at the sound of her laughter.copyright protection21PENANANyXqJ8gAJ5

After a while, she said, "Wow…and I guess that happened a few times?"copyright protection21PENANAUVZLBYv8tK

He nodded. "Regrettably. I kept forgetting the key until I had to make duplicates. It came in handy, didn't it?"copyright protection21PENANAfZJBDRCkqM

She nodded, "Mhm." before giving him a sidewise glance. "You know, you have a knack on working things fast." And he did, thinking to the time when he finished the quiz they were paired with ahead of her.copyright protection21PENANAvdlsD4BTFk

Then, she shrugged. "I was really mad at you."copyright protection21PENANAZzfZlRYQZr

He quirked an eyebrow. "For being fast?"copyright protection21PENANAAfqkR4ctoC

December rolled her eyes. "No, for not opening the door earlier. We could have just waited for them inside."copyright protection21PENANAfTPAmsFXmk

'Like now,' crossed the thought in their minds simultaneously.copyright protection21PENANAhmTxleoj5o

As they took in their surroundings again and thought back to how the night begin, they fell back into their thoughts.copyright protection21PENANAKFDb0ugcYE

Though the closet was cramped, it wasn't entirely small and closed off that they didn't have any space to move about slightly. They stood across one another, not knowing what to say next, despite their casual conversation seconds ago. How did they managed to be in this situation? Months ago, they were strangers and if it weren't for that slight incident, they probably would have still be strangers…or maybe things would have taken a different turn.copyright protection21PENANAOeyEPU6uSt

December thought she could actually be good friends with him. He wasn't a bad person and despite his cockiness, he was a pretty decent and cool guy.copyright protection21PENANAP9PIHaX6u2

Pierre was having conflicting feelings about her. He knew he didn't blame her anymore for whatever happened months ago, but there was some emotion that she had unwittingly evoked within him, and unable to decipher that feeling, he was left feeling confused and frustrated on how to deal with it.copyright protection21PENANAufI8qICGVB

He didn't think he'd ever felt this way before. What was surprising, was that he didn't recognize whatever was bubbling inside of him to be anything he felt when he was with his girlfriend.copyright protection21PENANAlJPUnEPu9H

But as he got to know her a little bit, he found that he wanted to know her more. If he were to think that months ago, he would probably scoff and punched himself in the face.copyright protection21PENANAXYRNHyYFEs

The silence had stretched for too long and it was as if they were teetering on the edge; both wondering who should start talking first. Taking a leap, they opened their mouth, not knowing both were going to start at the same time:copyright protection21PENANAH9Hph88UP3

"Pierre, look-"copyright protection21PENANAvbNl6a0VF9

"I'm sorry." came Pierre's quiet voice.copyright protection21PENANACD8tqQ2ovH

December blinked and turned her gaze at him. "For what?" She wasn't sure what he was apologizing for.copyright protection21PENANARcQzC7IL1y

He looked at her and cleared his throat, his voice a little raspy as he said, "For uh, shoving you hard. I didn't mean it at all. I just wanted to get us in before we're found."copyright protection21PENANAOxJBSQMTLs

She stared at him for a bit before letting loose a few chuckles. "Apology accepted."copyright protection21PENANA3o5bSv2UUx

As a thought came across her mind, she then said with a smile, "Are you sorry for the things you said months ago as well?"copyright protection21PENANACMKsmmA47C

He grinned a little and nodded. "Yes, that too. I was in the wrong, alright. No excuses for that."copyright protection21PENANACWamy2ckWY

She smiled. Could this be the closure they both needed for that time? She thought it might be so.copyright protection21PENANAMZmSbeod9i

"Does it still hurt?" He looked concerned when he gestured slightly to her arm.copyright protection21PENANAKL5uerROwZ

Looking at it, she rubbed the spot mindlessly but said, "Not anymore…but it might bruise later." She chuckled weakly.copyright protection21PENANAq9VAwuDJPA

Pierre groaned a little. At her curious look, he sighed heavily. "Okay, I'll let you get one hit."copyright protection21PENANAHCz4uLiSYs

Her eyebrows shot up. "Seriously? It's not a big deal."copyright protection21PENANAbJdhdsI5ge

"Yes, it is." He muttered. As tough and stubborn he looked, he couldn't just let it slide away the fact that she was hurt, and he caused it. He felt downright responsible for that now.copyright protection21PENANA4Ho0iUuWDk

She was highly skeptical. "You want me to punch you? I have never had anyone asking me to punch them willingly."copyright protection21PENANAwkW6oqRHjQ

"Guess I'm the first. It was my fault so just do it, alright?"copyright protection21PENANAauzoLNQuS6

"Pierre," she started and he swore his heart fluttered a little at the way she said his name. He almost wanted to scowl at himself; it wasn't the first time she'd said it so why was he having some weird feelings about it? 'Damn it, at this rate I'll probably have some heart issues,' he thought dryly.copyright protection21PENANAJXO7Y61t3E

He told himself to get a grip before intercepting her with a challenging smirk. "It's just a punch. What, too scared to do it?"copyright protection21PENANANAZJGoay6t

She narrowed her eyes at him and took the bait. "Fine. You asked for it."copyright protection21PENANApgYYEJMueF

He told himself it would be a small punch, one that probably wouldn't hurt too much.copyright protection21PENANABXDp5Bw64A

But he had made a mistake – aye, he had underestimated this five foot six girl for December could certainly pack a punch.copyright protection21PENANALSaLBRaLpg

Nevertheless, it had been quite worth it.copyright protection21PENANAeOxcNcWAHb

"That's going to leave some bruise." He muttered and winced when he rubbed his right arm.copyright protection21PENANAfi8SIdufky

A little guilty for feeling satisfied, she hesitantly though gingerly touched the spot where she hit him.copyright protection21PENANAP6qZR2Q1Og

She looked at him in concern but grumbled, "I didn't think I hit you that hard."copyright protection21PENANAi35PgT1ctI

"You'd be surprised to know." He grinned, his eyes lit up in amusement.copyright protection21PENANAnJ1wBJK5Y4

She smiled weakly. "Sorry."copyright protection21PENANAEOa5O28F3W

Biting her lip in hesitation, she mulled over what she was going to say next before blurting out, "Let's be friends."copyright protection21PENANAWlZ1bfVcsp

Pierre met her gaze and held it there. A moment passed, and a wide smile graced his features - a genuine smile that she had never really seen before on him light up his face. She could barely think of him as Pierre, he-who-scowls-a-lot now.copyright protection21PENANAVP8WmKG6QF

It was like she just had a glimpse of a different part of him and she was momentarily unsure what to do. She felt pleased, however, for she was seeing a new side of him.copyright protection21PENANAbvtmAhoIXs

He nodded and grinned. "We're friends now."copyright protection21PENANAETOEVZTQcl

She was starting to feel tired standing up, so she decided to move the things around her a little bit to leave some space for her to sit. Not noticing the roll of wires tangling on the floor, she tripped when her foot got caught in the tangle and lost her footing.copyright protection21PENANAg7bo4x9KEZ

He didn't anticipate the fall but caught her just in time when she made a sound of distress and fell forward. Pierre held her at an arm's length until she found her balance, letting her go then.copyright protection21PENANApQuTc5bBN8

He sighed softly. "You really are clumsy."copyright protection21PENANA3s1R7WR0N3

"Shut up." came her embarrassed but muttered reply. December was glad they were in a slightly darkened place, lest her flush cheeks would be visible to see.copyright protection21PENANAl3bxsf5B0J

He chuckled quietly to himself and they fell back into a comfortable silence.copyright protection21PENANAAqz5jMavnY

They were thinking through some things when thoughts about their current situation took a different turn. Their mind went from unlikely to likely possibilities of being ditched and they found themselves growing impatient then. Shouldn't one of their friends called them already? Or have they simply forgotten about them and moved on?copyright protection21PENANADrrFjyCayp

Should they just leave the room now?copyright protection21PENANAeUtpsVFxwF

December checked her phone and saw that there was no line. She sighed to herself; it was almost eleven at night. How long had they been in the building?copyright protection21PENANAg75QcpDnU0

"Maybe we should get out. They couldn't possibly know we're in here, anyway…"copyright protection21PENANAmysNdLlPVU

She trailed off when the door suddenly creaked open slowly. Taken by complete surprise mixed with the possibility that whatever chasing them earlier had found them, December screamed in fear - a high pitched one that could be dubbed as the classic Halloween scream. She hadn't even realized she'd grabbed hold of Pierre's arm and practically mold herself to him, her eyes clenched tight.copyright protection21PENANAe9PIzhDeOa

He did not anticipate her screaming. One moment he was listening to her talking and the next she was hugging him and screaming her lungs off. He had stiffened and winced then. 'She sure do have a pair of strong lungs.'copyright protection21PENANAU5h0WupzSk

"Geez, calm down December!"copyright protection21PENANAAeS215OnVJ

She felt herself being shaken and then someone closed her mouth. Opening her eyes, she closed them tightly again when the flashing light blinded her vision. When she felt the light being shifted elsewhere, she opened her eyes slowly and adjusted her vision.copyright protection21PENANAiaT7StpvIe

"Lily? Guys?" She croaked. Then, December let out a breath of relief. Finally!copyright protection21PENANAFCjXDgs2Pk

She saw all of them standing beside one another then, their faces painted with curiosity and…why were they looking at her weirdly?copyright protection21PENANAmqyftAkhXf

"What?" she couldn't help but asked defensively. Because of her aching and dry throat, what came out was a bare whisper. Is there something on me?copyright protection21PENANA1gpVoipNN7

"Uh….are we disturbing you two from having a good time?" Ramona asked, her tone bordering on awkward, though her smile was sly as she looked from December to Pierre suggestively.copyright protection21PENANA2tKlqnBSqr

'Having a good time?' she thought before looking at herself.copyright protection21PENANAdNSL2mlnEj

She gasped. It was then that December realized she was clinging to Pierre like a monkey; her arms were around his neck and her legs were cuddling his thigh as she molded herself to him.copyright protection21PENANACFA2BYl0M8

Unsure of what expression he was wearing, she slowly though resignedly forced herself to look at him and blanched: Pierre was practically frozen like a statue as he met her horrified gaze blankly.copyright protection21PENANA8OCSa2fMVF

She couldn't believe she had jumped on him.copyright protection21PENANAe9s6UvsgS6

Had her dignity deserted her? She sorely wanted to scream again.copyright protection21PENANAAvMaxo9SpW

At the moment, December thought she might just die of mortification then.copyright protection21PENANA1xLDpVGFIC

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