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The next few days pass by in a blur, consisting of even more intense yet familiar workouts: hill sprints, rope climbing, and even boxing again. Axel has seemed to consider every session my last hurrah, which means I leave each one sorer than the last.

I stretch out my arms and drag myself back to my dorm, legs feeling like thousand-pound weights. Before making my way down the hall, I stop in the bathroom to wash my sweaty hands and find Willow in there doing the same. We exchange a few kind words and smiles before each going our separate ways.

My phone lights up with a text from Poppy, another three-paragraph wedding rant. I slip my phone back into the pocket of my track pants, reminding myself to reply to her later, and stop in front of my doorway. Furrowing my brow, I confirm to myself that the door is somehow open a crack, slipping my fingers through the visible space.

Martina is still at dinner, which means...

Cynthia stands by my side table, a folded note in her hand.


"What are you doing?" I ask as I storm into my room. Cynthia slowly backs away from the table, hands trembling and eyes wide like a deer's in oncoming traffic. The note slips out from between her fingertips and disappears under Martina's bed.

"I-I..." The next few words come out in incoherent stutters, until she cries, "It wasn't my idea!"

"What?" I take long strides towards her, forcing her to cower in fear. "Whose idea was it, then?"

God, she looks so innocent, petite form shaking like a leaf. I almost feel bad—almost. "It was N-Natalie's," she stammers. "Not mine. I swear, Whitney."

My fist clenches by my side hearing her stupid name. "Then why are you in my room? With another note? What's the point of all of it?" I bend down and pick it up from the floor and then shove it in her face. "Don't you know how fucking sick I am of seeing these everywhere?"

She opens her mouth to speak, but only air comes out, as another voice cuts hers short.

"Cynthia, where are you?" Natalie hisses.

I hear her footsteps in the doorway, and I spin around to face her. She looks like she's about to say something else, until her bug-like eyes fall on my fuming face. Her cheeks pale, and she backs out of my room, life seeming to flash before her eyes.

"W-what are you doing here?"

I snort. "Me? What am I doing here?" I burst out of my room, not caring if I have to fight her in the hallway. "Shouldn't I be asking you that question?"

She clasps her mouth, and her back hits the wall behind her. In the standstill, Cynthia dashes out of my room and out of the building, short legs blurring with speed. Natalie, on the other hand, still doesn't speak.

"What?" I snap, dropping my palms to my sides. "Are you only confident on paper or something? I don't remember you being mute this whole time."

"I'm not the person you should be mad at," she blurts. "It's Adriana. This was all her idea, I swear. I didn't even know who you were before this, Whitney."

Adriana? I blink and expect to land in the Book of Genesis, with the whole Adam, Eve, and the serpent scenario playing out before me. I shove past Natalie's shaking body and march down the hallway to Adriana and Willow's room. To my luck, the door is wide open, as Willow walks into the room at the same time as I do.

"You," I sneer. I shove a finger into Adriana's face, although my hand is itching to send a punch to her face. "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

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