Chapter Eleven

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I slammed my front door shut behind me so violently that the sound continued to ring through my ears for a straight minute. From the corner of my eyes I saw Noah's tall build jump from his seat on my living room couch and take a defensive stance, his occupied hand pointing towards my way, and I found myself on the other end of my favorite red kitchen knife.

"What the hell, Nora?!" He yelled angrily, then he huffed and lowered the weapon in his hand.

"What are you doing with my kitchen knife?" I questioned warily.

He glanced down at his hand before a dark look crossed his features. "Did you forget already what your idiot of a friend did? Those men could be watching us right this moment and we wouldn't even know it." He snapped a bit too harshly.

Well that took a dark turn. I wondered what his reaction would be if he found out I just agreed to a date with one of those men he was currently taking a stance against.

"Here's your drink," I offered him the paper cup and looked around the living room. "Where's Ariel?"

He gestured with his head back towards my bedroom. I rolled my eyes - of course she would still be sleeping.

I stalked towards my room, trying way too hard to walk normally and hide my excitement, to the point where it was obvious I wasn't normal. I glanced over my shoulder and was grateful to find Noah too occupied sipping on his drink to notice my unusual behavior.

I pulled open my bedroom door to see Ariel sprawled out on my bed diagonally, her hair ruffled and spread out across the pillows as slight snores escaped her mouth. I slammed the door shut and rushed to the windows, pulling my curtains apart to let in the morning light. Immediately my action was followed by an annoyed groan.

Slamming the cups on the nightstand, I reached for the blanket and pulled it off of Ariel, forcing her to turn on her back. She sent me a death glare. "What?" she hissed.

I clapped my hands together, "I need you to be fully alert because what I'm about to tell you could get the both of us killed." When her eyes widened like saucers, I clarified, "by Elliot."

She gradually sat upright against the headboard. "What is going on?" She whispered.

I pushed at her legs and sat down beside her; but when I opened my mouth to speak, no words came out. I didn't know how to begin.

"Nora! What happened?" Ariel pushed.

I leaned in and whispered, "you'll never guess who I ran into at the coffee shop."

She sat upright, straightening her back and shoulders, now fully awake. "Who?!" She shrieked, and I shushed her harshly, glancing at the door as if waiting for Noah to burst in at any second.

"Xavier," I finally whispered, and her blue eyes widened once more, her jaw dropping open.


I nodded my head violently, a big grin forcing its way on my face. "And that's not all."

Ariel gulped, "there's more? Please don't tell me the whole gang showed up."

A shudder ran down my spine at the mention of "gang", which diverted my attention from what I was about to confess.

"Do-" I began speaking, but didn't know how to propely word what I was about to ask.

Ariel stared back at me expectantly.

"Do you believe Xavier has something to do with all that? What if he's not as close to Vincent as we thought he was? What if they're genuinely just... just friends?" I hoped.

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