Chapter Two

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True to Seth's word, we reached the small inn around 20 minutes after our odd encounter with those men. The cozy hotel was positioned right across from the lake, and the thought of falling asleep with the sound of rippling water in the faint distance sent a deep sense of satisfaction down my spine.

The second Ariel and I had stepped out of the car, our eyes nearly bulged out of their sockets at the scenery. Seth was not exaggerating when he said this place is heavenly. Even in the darkness of the night we could note how clear and saturated the lake was as it slowly moved over the soft sand.

"Wait until you see it in morning light." I could hear the smirk in Seth's voice, clearly enjoying our astonishment at such beauty. "Let's settle in."

He grabbed Ariel and I's bags from the trunk of his car and stalked towards the inn, his posture funny as he carried our heavily packed backpacks in each hand.

"You need a hand?" I called out.

"I've got it," He grunted out.

I shook my head. Men.

"We better head in; we need to rest so we can wake up early." I said reaching out for Ariel's arm. I literally had to drag her away from the waters as she continued to gape at the view.

Swimming in lakes or ocean water wasn't something we did very often, so to witness Ariel's shock at such natural beauty was completely understandable.

The small hotel was brightly lit on the inside, the tiles an off-white shade and the counters made of white wood. The couches in the waiting area were a pretty shade of turquoise, matching the color of the ocean in morning light. The colors of the interior design screamed summer, and it made me all the more excited for this trip.

Seth was quick to finish the procedures with the owner of the inn standing behind the desk - as she was a family friend and had arranged everything for us beforehand - and he turned around to hand us our room keys just as we stepped closer to the counter.

"Alright. You two will share one, correct?" He addressed us, and Ariel and I nodded synchronously. She reached forward and grabbed the key from him while I sent a warm smile to the lady behind the desk. Her eyes lit up and she grinned cheerfully.

"Enjoy your stay, girls!" She chirped.

"Thank you! We most certainly will," Ariel beamed before turning around and making her way towards the stairs.

I turned to Seth. "When will the rest get here?" I wondered about our friends who promised to join us.

"According to Elliot's last text message, they should arrive early in the morning. Sometime between 6 and 8 am." He shrugged, bending to lift our bags over his shoulders.

"Do you think they'll get stopped by those men from earlier? What if they don't allow them to pass through?" I questioned, anxious for my friends.

Seth paused, the realization of what could be a great issue suddenly hitting him. "Crap, I totally forgot about that," he whispered.

I bit on the inside of my cheek, praying that my friends will get as lucky as we did and be allowed passage through the supposedly now-private territory.

"I'll call Elliot and let him know. But don't worry - if they let us pass I'm sure they'll allow them through as well."

"Maybe if they mention us it could be in their benefit?" I suggested. Seth frowned, confused. "If they told the men that their friends had passed earlier and are waiting for them at the inn, maybe they'll understand it's a group trip and let them pass by as well." I explained.

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