Cody, Simon, and Adaline stood in the club room, along with the masked girl, while the twins went to go get dirt on Ethan.
“What is our next move, Addie?” Simon’s brown eyes twinkled with a look of rage.
“I can go to another world and bring back some allies, but that could be risky. If Ethan found out that there are other worlds and the one that is real is me, he would try and kill himself,” Simon interrupted blurting out, “Then, let him. He killed Artie, Addie! Why does it matter if he dies by his own hands? It would be easy to get your pen back,” Adaline put up her hand to silence him, “I created all of you, yes, but in all the worlds only a handful of people can live the way the Pens wrote in the Book of Stories. Ethan’s story must end with a victory by our hands and with no suicides on both parties.”
Cody looked at his phone. His screen saver was beautiful. The chocolate-covered heart-shaped cookies bathed in the light. Adaline looked over at it, and an idea popped into her head.
“You guys are having a school festival in the next week, right?” Simon and Cody both exchange glances with each other as a smile grew on Adaline’s face...
Tina was the new vice president and knowing Ethan’s eyes were watching her see if she knew what happened to Artie and what the next move was. Tina closed her eyes to think back to what Adaline had said...
“Ethan is trying to find out the pen’s powers and weaknesses. To do that he has to know who the pen effect is. So, act like everyone else and try to get one of the classes to do a school dance so we can see the Eval family to find out if they know anything about the pens.”
Tina looked at the Reef brothers, “ How would a dance help us?”
Cody smiled, “One of the girls will go out with Ethan, or I will because of two reasons: (a) I’m the only gay guy in the club and (b) I need to do this for Artie.”
Tina opened her eyes and thought to herself, Liz will never go to the dance with a physio. As Tina walked into the student council room, all eyes locked on her. The president, Aaron Damson, the older brother of Phoenix High’s band’s lead singer, Ruth or “DJ”, stood staring out the window.
“Excuse me, Aaron. I have an idea for the school’s festival.”
Aaron turned to face Tina with a smile, “Well, if it wasn't my childhood friend who saved my life.”
That’s one of Cody’s changes. Instead of saving Artis, I saved Aaron. That was probably Adaline’s idea so we could have an Ace in the hole, Tina thought as she stood in front of the student body.
“I think it would be fun if the school had a dance during the festival.”
Aaron took his time to think hard about his answer, “That is a great idea, Tina! What should the theme be through?”
“Leave it to my club, Aaron. You could ask DJ for the music choice for the dance. Maybe her new song?”
When Tina walked out of the council room, Ethan was waiting by one of the hallway’s windows.
“Hey, you’re Lizz’s twin sister, right?” Ethan’s voice sent chills down Tina’s back as she stared back into his dark green eyes, “Yeah, I’m Tina Willir. You’re Ethan, one of the freshmen from class 2-3.”
“That’s right. Liz was telling me that you have feelings for me,” Ethan said. Tina cursed under her so Ethan wouldn’t hear, Liz, if you can hear me. I’m going to get back at you. Tina then smiled, “Well, this is easier now that you know. I was hoping that,” she stopped and looked at the ground, unsure of how to form the words. Ethan smiled, “Yes, I would love to go to the dance with you.” ...
When Tina got to the club room, there were four strangers waiting for her along with Adaline, the Reef brothers, the girl with the mask who didn’t have a name yet because Adaline was still working on her, and Liz. Adaline looked up at Tina, “Tina, these are my elite gang of assassins. Their story is a work in progress as well as the Forgotten’s,” she pointed to the girl with the mask and then continued, “Meet Kelsey, Harper, Angel, and Lason,” Adaline pulled out a brown leather book that had a white feather as the bookmark, “ I got the idea from an anime, but I like the way it turned out. Lason’s body has weapons built into it. Angel can shapeshift and bend like a rag doll. Kelsey can breathe underwater, in space, and in lava without being brunt alive! And Harper can time travel, but we are only willing to use it if we need to. She can’t bring the dead back.” Angel’s beautiful chocolate-colored skin practically glowed in the sun coming in from the window as she took Tina’s hand, “It is so cool meeting you. This is the first time that we meet people,” Angel smiled as the boy named Lason ran his hand through his fiery red hair, “We were just “born””, he said the word born with quotations, “So you guys are the first things we see- I mean besides mom,” then Lason pointed to Adaline.
Cody exchanged glances with Tina then looked at Adaline, “YOU’RE A MOM?”
Adaline smiled, “I created all the worlds through my writing. This the first time I put myself in the story. And because I am not a person in the book,” Adaline held up the little brown book, “I can’t be killed- at least that I know of, no one has tried to.”
Later that day after school got out for the weekend, Ethan was waiting for Tina by the gate.
“What’s up, Ethan?” Tina tried to hide the confusion when she spoke. Ethan smiled, “I wanted to get to know my date for the dance, so I can return your feelings.”
They walked to nowhere in particular, stopping at a playground so they can rest. “Well, my older brother is deaf and our dad was a cop till he died in a car chase two years ago,” Tina sighed. Ethan looked at her with those beautiful green, “Sorry. I didn’t want to bring up any painful memories.” Tina looked at the ground, “Liz and I moved on, but Bonnie, our brother couldn’t. He wants to solve the last case dad was on.” Ethan looked up at the sky, “I had an older sister, but she died when we were little. Our mom put us in an abusive situation and she locked us in a shed. My sister tried to keep me warm but ended up freezing to death. I was put into a foster family who loves me, but I can’t understand why Abby had to die.” Tina remained silent. Abby was the name of the classmate Artie tried to save. Who knew that she had a younger brother. Tina looked at Ethan, understanding why he was killing. He wants to save people like his sister. He killed Artie because he was worried that we would stop him. Tina’s heart was moved by Ethan’s heart and the way he thought about the world.
“Ethan, is there anything that you would change about the world?”
Ethan put his arm around Tina. What’s going on? Tina thought as Ethan pulled her close to him, “I might change the way criminals are punished for their crimes.” Tina then realized that she had fallen in love with a psycho who had a hero complex...