"Clean the blood off of you," Stoney says.
Stoney hands me his shirt that he has tied around his waist. We use the shirt to clean the blood. Both of us are freaked out at that moment. We clean ourselves up and I am just shaking. The man died right in my arms. He died right in my arms and there was nothing I could do to save him. I'd seen the dead bodies when we had crashed. That was one thing. Seeing someone die in the way this man died was a whole different situation.
I didn't think I could survive this. I didn't think I'd ever be able to sleep in peace again.
"Stoney what's happening?" I ask.
Stoney is breathing heavy. I've only seen him so stressed out once in his life. When we were young his father beat on his mother. He was so pissed that he came to my house threatening to kill his father. I had to calm him down. This is reminding me of that.
Instead of addressing this situation he just turns to the sky.
"We have to head back to camp. It's getting dark."
Stoney throws away the bloody shirt and starts heading back. I'm not sure he knows where he is going but I follow him none-the-less. I can't get the words out of my head that the pilot had just said before he died. He just said that Sevyn Valentine changed the course of the plane at the last minute. This changed everything. She hadn't mentioned anything after we woke up. She hadn't mentioned anything to us at least. As far as we knew we were over the Bahamas.
But we were never going to the Bahamas.
We were going somewhere else.
"Stoney we can't just go back there without a plan," I state.
"We have no choice," he responds.
"Are you serious? Stoney. Didn't you hear the pilot?"
"I heard him..."
"And? Aren't we going to confront her? Sevyn changed the course of the plane before we took off..."
"SHUT THE FUCK UP! LET ME THINK!" Stoney barks at me.
Stoney raising his voice causes some of the birds to take off at that moment. In the distance we hear something moving within the trees. It is getting dark and there are tons of shadows all around this island. My heart is racing. Stoney notices it as well I think because he stands completely still. He's listening. There is rustling in the branches. There is something weird going on.
It's really odd.
"Is anyone out there?" I ask.
I wonder if it's Billy. Maybe he's come back. Maybe it's Syx or one of the other guys. Maybe it's even the boar that we were waiting for. I'm not sure what it is honestly. I'm so confused.
Then there is silence. Nothing. I exhale feeling a slight sense of relief.
Stoney grabs my hand, "Let's go."
Stoney holds my hand as we start walking back as though I'm a little kid needing help across the street. He holds my hand tightly not letting me go. I can feel his palms sweating. He's putting on a brave face but I have the feeling that he is just as freaked out about what the pilot said as I am. Still he is in a rush to get back to camp. We are powerwalking. I don't think either of us want to be in this forest at night.
It isn't until the camp is in sight that Stoney stops. I'm not sure how he was able to find his way back so easily. Maybe he was a better tracker then he let on. Maybe it was pure luck. I wasn't sure. It was just getting dark. The sun is falling from the sky. We are standing just behind the waterfall. The fire is going. In the distance I can see that the boys are back. They are gathered around the fire. I hear laughing and talking but that's about it.
Now that we are close to camp Stoney just looks over at me.
"We can't say what we saw," Stoney whispers to me.
There is no need for him to whisper. We are too far for the others to hear us. It's just the two of us out here. Still Stoney doesn't feel comfortable. I have a feeling I know why.
"Do you think Sevyn knows where we are?" I ask.
Stoney nods, "I never told you but the first day we arrived I heard her say something strange. I didn't think of anything then. I just thought it was some sort of inner joke. She said it to Jessica. She tells Jessica: This is it. Isn't that weird. This is it. As though she's expecting this place. As though she was expecting the crash. As though..."
"She couldn't have known we would have crashed. She couldn't have known about the storm," I state.
Even if Sevyn knew where we were I don't think that it is possible that she knew about the storm. It wasn't like the bitch had a sixth sense or something like that. She couldn't have known the plane was going to crash the way it did. She had to be talking to Jessica about something else. Stoney looks a little scared. He might not be thinking straight at this moment.
"I don't know what to believe. I just know I don't trust her. I don't know who to trust...besides you," Stoney tells me.
"I wish I could say the same," I respond.
Stoney gives me a hard look, "C`mon. I know you're still mad but you need to trust someone at this point. If Sevyn knows where we are then how do you know the rest of them don't know as well?"
I shrug, "Let's confront them then."
"Are you joking? We are outnumbered. Even if it's just Sevyn she runs everyone else. You know it and I know it. Sevyn Valentine is protected by Billy and Syx. We can't just run into camp and start pointing fingers. We need to play like we are clueless. We need to watch her and get more information before we do anything rash."
Stoney was afraid. I can see it in his eyes. He won't admit it but he was afraid. Stoney was always muscular. Being muscular didn't mean that he didn't have a sense of cowardice in him. I've seen it myself. It wasn't the kind of physical cowardice one might expect. It was a mental cowardice. Stoney was afraid of Sevyn Valentine. He was afraid of what she was capable of. I've seen it so many times back in high school. A lot of other kids were afraid of Sevyn Valentine. They didn't understand her. They didn't understand what was going on.
"What's the worst that can happen?" I ask.
"Do you really want to find that out?" he asks me, "You are already on the outs with the group. They already want you and your sister gone..."
I get distracted at that moment.
"Fuck. Where is Jolie? I don't see her over there..."
I don't wait. I start running. I'm running as fast as I can back to camp. What if Sevyn Valentine was up to no good? What if she knew more than she said she did? I had left my fucking sister in her care! I had left my sister back at camp with her!
I've never run so fast in my life.
I find myself arriving at camp sweating. The others are gathered around the fire. They caught them a pig. I can see the pig roasting around the fire as they are standing around.
"Hey!" I hear Helen say, "Hey Jurnee...we have some alcohol. Did you want any?"
I ignore her.
I'm turning around frantically, "Where is she! Where is SHE!"
"What's your problem?" Sevyn Valentine asks from the foot of the treehouse.
"Where the FUCK is my sister!" I scream at Sevyn Valentine.
"Yo watch your fucking tone faggot," Billy says.
Billy Badass gets up protecting his girlfriend. Richie and Aaron are giving me weird looks from the fire as well. The others are watching me as though I have completely lost my mind. Syx is one of the people who is looking at me like I've gone crazy. Stoney arrives quickly behind me and signals to me to go towards the treehouse.
"Let's check up there," he says.
I follow Stoney ignoring the weird looks. I rush past Sevyn. I could care less how she is looking at me. I run up to where I usually see Jolie. My heart is racing. I can't believe I left my sister with this bitch. I can't believe I was so fucking stupid.
Sure enough we find Jolie staring out at her usual place in the treehouse. She isn't alone though. Jessica is with her.
The weird thing is Jessica is talking to her.
"I hear what you're saying...I understand what you mean," Jessica says to Jolie, "Thanks for warning me. I appreciate it."
Stoney and I arrive and look over at Jessica. Jessica is surprised we are there. She jumps to her feet. She was TALKING to my sister.
"What's going on here?" I ask.
Jolie doesn't move. She just stares out in the distance. She still isn't talking. She still isn't saying a word. Why the fuck was Jessica talking to her when Jolie still wasn't saying anything? Jessica stares back at us like a kid whose hand was caught in the cookie jar. She doesn't even attempt to explain what is happening.
"Is Jolie talking now?" Stoney asks.
Jessica shakes her head, "No."
"We just heard you fucking talking to my sister," I respond.
Jessica rolls her eyes, "I don't know what you're talking about. Leave me the hell alone."
Jessica doesn't wait. She leaves at that moment. She doesn't explain the fact that she was seemingly responding to something that Jolie had said.
I turn to Jolie. My sister stares out silently into the forest. She doesn't say a word.
Something was going on. Something weird and I had a feeling there were some people on this island who had an idea what it was...
I don't sleep very well that night or the night after it. I try to keep an eye on Sevyn but it's hard. She's always with other people. If she's not with Jessica, then she is with Billy or with Syx. In the corner of my eye I'm suspicious of Sevyn. Sevyn doesn't act weird. She acts completely natural. You would think she was on vacation rather than stranded on an island. The person that acts weird though is Syx's girlfriend Jessica. Jessica seems so frightened about everything. The slightest sound in the distance causes her to jump. After a few days I'm paying more attention to her odd behavior then Sevyn's.
A few nights have passed. I don't know what day of the week it is. I have stopped keeping track. It's easier that way. Food is becoming scarce but the boys go out to hunt every now and then. They don't ask me to go with them any longer but Stoney does go with them.
One day he returns and signals me to come with him to the water. I leave Jolie by a rock by the waterfall. She won't move. She'll just sit there and stare.
"Is Jolie doing any better?" he asks me.
I shake my head. She still barely eats. She barely does anything. Every day I get more and more worried about her. Nothing is making her come back to me though. The good news is that the others have started getting used to her for the most part. They've begun to ignore her, which I think is best in this situation. They have replaced their obsession with my sister with an obsession with hunting the boars on the island.
"Jessica is acting weird though," I whisper.
I look over at the treehouse. Jessica is pacing back and forth. She does it often. We can see her from here.
"Here. Turn around."
"I'm going to wash your back, so we don't look suspicious," Stoney tells me.
We aren't naked in the water but we are damn close to it. Stoney takes my rag from me. We are running out of soap so we are trying our best to use as little as possible. He dabs it in his rags and starts to thoroughly clean my back working it up in a lather as best as he can. It's comforting mostly.
"Something is happening on this island Stoney," I whisper to him.
He nods, "I know. Sevyn called off the idea of keeping people on the beach."
Stoney takes a deep breath, "She says that she wants everyone to stay together. They go with it. They go with everything she says nowadays. They believe everything she says. I don't believe her. If no one is at the beach no planes or boats can be flagged down. A part of me thinks that Sevyn just doesn't want us to be found," he explains to me.
In the distance we can see Sevyn. She is near the fire. She is sitting with Maria, Josephine and Helen. The three girls are listening to every word she says. I assume the guys aren't far from them cleaning the pig they got from the hunt but I can't see from the stream that Stoney and I are at. Syx has continued to ignore me this entire time. A part of me has come to terms with the fact that us bonding that one day was just some sort of fluke or something.
My heart is racing. Sevyn is sitting there on that rock like she runs this island. I watch how the other girls look at her. They worship her. Everything she says goes...
It's kind of scary.
"We have to do something Stoney," I explain.
"I know that," he explains, "I just don't want to start accusing people without us knowing everything. It could be just our imagination. We could all be stuck in the same situation."
"Or not..." I state, "Look at her. Do you trust her?"
"I told you already. I don't trust any of them. You're the only here with me," Stoney says, "Last night I noticed Sevyn got up. She left the treehouse in the middle of the night."
"To go use the bathroom?"
"I don't know. She did it the day before that and the day before that. Always when everyone is asleep. Tonight I'm going to follow her. I'm going to find out where she goes," Stoney responds.
"Stoney be careful."
I can hear him laugh.
"Are you worried about me?" he asks.
That's when I feel Stoney up against my neck. He smells me. He takes a deep inhale. He's standing closer to me than I like. I can feel him pressed up against me. His dick is pressed up against the back of my ass. I'm wearing underwear but that doesn't matter. It doesn't make a difference. I can hear Stoney breathing. It's slow. It's soft. His breathing is steady.
"What are you doing?" I ask him.
"Isn't this what you want?" he asks me.
That's when I feel Stoney's fingers under the water. He lowers my underwear under the water. I take a deep breath. The stream is deep. After lowering my underwear, he lowers his own underwear. His dick is hard. Mines is hard as well within a matter of seconds of feeling him pressed up against me.
I take a deep breath.
"Does it feel good?" he asks.
"Stoney stop. If they look over here they can see us," I state.
"We're underwater. I'm just washing your back," Stoney states, "Remember?"
It's random that he's doing it. It's more than random. It's forced and it's odd. Stoney presses up against me harder. He pretends like he's washing my back above the murky stream water but below the water his dick steadily plays with the entrance of my asshole. He threatens with each movement to penetrate me. He rubs, vibrates and nearly gets closer and closer to my asshole. I exhale each time he nearly misses.
Soon his dick finds my asshole. He gives it a slight nudge forward thrusting his hips. If it was lubricated, he would have penetrated me. Instead the head of his dick just slightly gets past the surface.
It is enough to make jerk forward though and panic.
"Stop," I interrupt him.
"Isn't this what you want---from me?" Stoney asks me again.
"Why do you keep asking me that?" I respond, "You're not gay Stoney..."
"I don't know that,"
Stoney responds not allowing me to pull too far from him and grasping at me to
pull me back in the position we were in, "I think I'm straight. But at the same
time when I hurt you back on that plane I realized you're the most important
person in the world to me. I was supposed to make you happy. I was supposed to
give you what you wanted. Instead I hurt you. And then when I almost died in
the plane crash all I could think about was if I could survive this I'd make
you happy. I'd find a way to make you happy again no matter what."
I don't know how I feel about it.
"If you want to make me happy...find out what Sevyn is up to."
"Sevyn?" a voice says out of nowhere.
I jerk forward. I splash when I do. I struggle to pull my underwear up underwater. The awkwardness continues when Stoney jerks away from me as well. He turns away from me. He is facing away from the person who has interrupted us. I realize that the person who has walked up to us from the stream was none other than Syx.
He's standing there with his clothes on. He gives us a suspicious look. I can tell why. Stoney looks beyond awkward facing away from us. He's adjusting himself under the water but I think it is pretty clear that he is fixing his crotch area by how his hands are placed.
Syx is watching this whole fucking thing! I could die right now.
"I should uh...go...uh...start gathering some fruit," Stoney all of a sudden says, "I promised Helen I'd help her with dinner tonight."
Stoney gets out of the water.
"Really? You got a banana poking out of your speedos right there man..." Syx notices.
Stoney's chocolate face almost gets the color of a red beet when we both see him immerses from the water and his semi-hard dick is poking out of his speedos. Stoney looks down, looks at Syx and just walks off wrapping his towel around him.
A part of me wants to
follow behind Stoney. It would be easier than having to stick around and
explain what the fuck was just happening to Syx. This was the first time that I
had alone with Syx. Maybe that is the reason I stay in that water.
"Water must have been um...stimulating," I state, "The current and what not..."
Syx gives me a blank stare. He isn't believing a word I say. He isn't getting in the water. He is washing his shirt in the water. I watch as he dips his shirt and begins to scrub it with soap. I think for a minute that it was going to be the end of it all but as I start making my way to the bank to get out of the water Syx stops me.
"So what were you guys discussing?"
"Um...he was just helping me wash my back."
"What did my sister have to do with you washing your back?" Syx asks at that moment, "I heard you mention Sevyn while I was walking up."
I wondered how much of our conversation Syx heard. He stares at the clothes he's washing in the stream and then stares over at me. It's beyond awkward.
I need to say something. I need to say something dramatic. I need to say something that will distract him from what is going on and the fact that we don't trust Sevyn.
"I think Stoney has a crush on your sister," I state.
"You seem surprised. Your sister is gorgeous."
"So I've heard," Syx explains, "However by the way Stoney was pressed up against you just now in that water I thought I was interrupting...something..."
My heart is racing. Were we caught that easily?
"No. No of course not," I respond.
There is silence.
That is when Syx starts laughing, "I'm just messing with you man. I know that Stoney isn't gay. And it's pretty obvious he likes Sevyn. Don't worry. Billy is clueless. He can't get past the size of his dick and honestly thinks he can't lose my sister. He won't even notice if Stoney likes her. His secret is safe with me."
I exhale at that moment realizing that I just dodged a huge bullet. My life here was already difficult. The last thing I needed was Syx spreading rumors about me and Stoney nearly getting intimate.
I smile attempting to make conversation, "Yeah Stoney is real coy with the ladies anyway."
"If Stoney is in the business of stealing girlfriends, can you convince him to steal mines?" Syx asks.
Weird thing to say.
I give him a look. At first I think Syx is joking again but he isn't smiling with that bright white smile of his. I make my way closer to him and get a smell of him. At first I think it's the soap but then I realize it's just Syx. How is it possible that he can smell so good while we were stranded in the middle of nowhere?
"Trouble in paradise?" I ask him.
Syx shakes his head, "You wouldn't care."
I get out of the water. My body is dripping wet. A part of me wishes that Syx would check me out when I do it. I mean I'm wearing this little underwear. I think I look pretty sexy. Syx doesn't even give me a look though. He is focused on scrubbing his shirt and now he is letting it dry out on a rock near me. Syx leans back afterwards against the same rock. His tight abs are glistening from the sun above. There are few trees along the banks of the stream so his entire body just seems to shine like glitter. I was hoping he'd glare at me but here I am glaring at him.
"Try me," I state.
"Jessica and me aren't really compatible," he states, "My dad hooked me up with her. Believe it or not."
"Wait...are you serious?"
He laughs, "Yeah. My dad actually spent time reviewing all the girls in school and said that Jessica would give me the ideal babies."
I keep thinking that Syx is joking. I climb up and cross my legs next to him. A part of me is just glad that he is talking to me again. I didn't care if he was joking or serious. I didn't care if he just needed the nearest ear to complain to me about his girl problems. I was ridiculously addicted to him and here I was again listening to every word he was telling me with the most attention possible.
"That's weird man," I state, "No offense."
"None taken. If you think that is weird for Io Valentine then you haven't spent much time around your new stepfather."
"Actually I haven't really talked to him at all."
Syx laughs, "You're not missing much. My dad is obsessed with perfection. His experiments were all he cared about. It's hard growing up with a father like that you know. He's just never there. Everything is a formula to him."
"I thought he was an inventor," I state.
Syx nods, "An inventor, a scientist, an artist...my father is a Renaissance man. After my mother's accident he ignored Sevyn and I. And every day I figured if I could be that perfect formula for him that maybe my dad would pay attention to me. Maybe he would give me some attention then. Sometimes I think Sevyn acts the same way. We just lived our life trying to be perfect. Everyone we date had to be perfect. Everyone we were around had to be perfect. We lived in a dollhouse of perfection hoping that my dad would just stop trying to perfect the world and find satisfaction in his own kids..."
Syx looks like he is getting emotional. I don't I expect for him to be getting emotional. He becomes self-aware all of a sudden and attempts to jump up and leave.
"Hey...it's ok," I state, "I was listening. It's OK to talk to me if you want."
Syx shakes his head.
"What's the point?" he asks me, "We're stuck on this island now remember? What's the point of feeling bad for ourselves because of that stuff."
"Thanks for listening Jurnee," Syx explains.
He is standing up. He looks a little bit hesitant to talk. I look over at him and see the look in his eyes. It's full of an eagerness that I don't understand.
"I know I act weird to you sometimes," he explains, "It's nothing you did. It's me. It's me and my sister still trying to play those perfect dolls for my father. Hopefully we both start letting that go now that we don't have to perform for him anymore. Maybe once we get dirty enough or once we realize our money doesn't matter or our looks stop looking so sharp in this island heat we'll come to our senses. Sevyn and I will get to the point where we stop trying to be so perfect. I want to open up to you and I think she would too once my sister takes that mask off. You know? We aren't as bad as you think we are..."
I smile at Syx as he walks away.
A part of me wants to believe that Syx isn't that bad. Hell, a part of me wants to even believe that Sevyn isn't that bad anymore. For the first time I'm getting a real close look into why Sevyn is the way that she is. It makes sense. Still after being like that for so long I don't know if anything could change Sevyn...not even an island.
It's the middle of the night when I hear the whispers in my ears.
I think I'm hearing things but when I wake up out of my sleep it is just Stoney over me. He puts a finger to my mouth to make sure I don't make much noise because the others are sleeping.
"What is it?" I ask.
"She left. Sevyn woke up and left the tree house. Come look for her with me..."
I nod. And wake up out of my sleep. Stoney and I sneak down out of the treehouse. We are headed low. Both of us are curious to find out what is going on with Sevyn. Did she really know where we were?
It's dark when we hit the ground. There are fresh tracks that I notice on the ground and they seem to be the size of a young women's feet. Stoney and I follow the trail and we hear talking in behind several trees. Stoney and I duck low behind the trees as we approach.
I hear Sevyn.
Sevyn's voice is distinct, "I knew Stoney and Jurnee are suspicious of me. I knew they were. I have the feeling they are suspicious of me. We can't make that mistake again. We can't fuck around anymore. Jurnee especially is a problem. He's smart. He's going to get in the way of things. You know it. I know it. You need to be careful with him."
Who was Sevyn talking to?
Who had she disappeared with?
As we get closer that's when I recognize the other voice.
"I won't let him do that. I'll kill him."
My mouth drops open when I recognize the voice of the person Sevyn is talking to. It is her brother... Syx.
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