“I really should get back out there,” Derick groaned, standing up from the couch. He stretched out his arms and cracked his neck before grabbing his bag from the floor. “She’s in class, but if I’m late to tail her again, Andy’s going to have my head.”
“If Alice doesn’t already have it,” Wonton added from the kitchen.
“Put some clothes on,” Derick snapped as he turned to the door. “Or turn back into a rat. No one likes to look at that.”
Wonton flipped Derick off from the kitchen, not looking up from the dishes he was still working on. Derick smirked, grasping the door handle.
A muffled chirping came from his bag. He froze, the color draining from his face, and looked up at Wonton. Wonton had also stopped, his hands covered in a thin layer of greasy soap. He narrowed his eyes.
“I need to find Grace,” Wonton said, suddenly dropping his towel and rushing into the bedroom. He reappeared wearing a pair of Grace’s worn jeans and one of her many tank tops. It saged slightly on Wonton’s lithe frame, but he didn’t seem to care.
“Shit, shit, shit, shit,” Derick kept saying, digging through his bag and pulling his phone out. The screen was flashing the word “evacuate” over and over. He clicked the volume button once and it stopped.
“I need to find Grace,” Wonton repeated as he bolted out the door. “She should be at the school.”
“I need to find Alice,” Derick said, quietly to himself as he followed Wonton down the hall.
Where was Alice?
Grace had stumbled into an alley a few blocks up from the school. She sat in the shadow of a dumpster, her eyes constantly scanning the opening of the alley for any more of those strange men who had attacked her and Andy. She could still hear screaming and muffled, thumping explosions from the school. In the distance, she heard sirens.
Andy said Alice had been taken. Taken by who?
Grace pressed her hands into her eyes, trying to wrangle in her thoughts. She needed a plan. She needed to get out of this alley and somewhere safe. She needed to figure out what the fuck was going on.
But all she could think about was Alice.
Her thoughts kept drifting back to that morning. Getting out of bed, inspecting her bruised face, forcing herself to get dressed and go–
Shit. It suddenly occurred to Grace that she wasn’t wearing underwear. Her mother had told her time and time again to put on clean underwear because if she got into a car accident, what would the doctor think of her gross undergarments?
Well, what the fuck would the doctor think when he found out she wasn’t wearing underwear at all?
“Focus, focus,” Grace scolded herself quietly, tapping the heel of her hand to her forehead.
She had to find Alice. She couldn’t bare the thought of leaving Alice behind.
Was it just this morning that Grace had considered finding someone new if Alice was pissed about her bruised body? Who had she been trying to fool?
Grace considered herself a badass bitch. A badass bitch with one weakness, pretty girls in white summer dresses.
Again, who was she trying to fool? It wasn’t just pretty girls, it was one pretty girl.
Her weakness was Alice.
“Creative Commons,” Grace said aloud, emerging from the shadows of the alley. “She would’ve gone to work.”
Grace started moving toward the front of the alley when three men appeared from around the corner. Two were wearing tactical gear and carrying large guns. The third was in a tailored suit.
“Grace,” the man in the suit said. “You are to come with me.”
Grace froze for a moment. She considered running the opposite direction, but then she remembered she was supposed to be a badass bitch.
“Fuck off,” Grace spat.
The men with the guns raised them, pointing them at her abdomen.
“Come with me,” the man repeated.
“I said, fuck off,” Grace also repeated.
She charged at the man, her hands clenched into fists. The men raised the guns even higher, pointing them at her snarling face.
Before they could shoot, two more men appeared. They leapt onto Grace’s assailants, dragging them to the ground and quickly subduing them with strategic blows to the face and neck. The two new men stood up, both breathing heavily, and looked up at Grace.
“Derick?” Grace asked.
“Hey, Grace,” Derick smiled, still trying to catch his breath.
The other man stepped forward, reaching out for Grace’s arm. He had a thin, athletic looking body and his long, golden hair looked wet and tousled, as if fresh from a shower.
“Grace, thank god,” the man said. Grace stepped back out of his reach, looking him up and down and scowling.
“Who the fuck are you?” she demanded. “And why the fuck are you wearing my pants?”