Elise and CJ walked down the dark hall together, Peter was ahead of them and Doug was still over his shoulder.
CJ looked at her. "Um--what happened to those guys?"
"They'll never bother you again. I promise." She stated
"Did you...kill them?"
"Nope. Don't worry about them, they're not your problem anymore."
The girl was confused, but also fearful because her question was not exactly answered.
"How are you feeling?" Elise interjected. "Are you...okay?"
"D-Define okay. I've been getting the hell scared outta me a lot lately."
"Oh, I'm sorry about that." Elise said, she noticed the blood on the girl's sweater." You know--I heard that club soda will get that out. The blood on your clothes, I mean."
"O-Oh, thanks. I'll try that."
"Don't quote me on that. It's...just a rumor I heard."
CJ was feeling anxious. She didn't know how to react to any of this. Yes, this girl had saved her life. But why was she so calm? She noticed her glaring at Peter for some reason.
"You could say something to her." She demanded him. "Some words of encouragement, perhaps? To calm her?"
He finally stopped and turned around. He locked eyes with CJ.
"Your friend's bleedin' a lot. But, don't be scared." He turned and kept moving again.
CJ scoffed in disbelief. "Too late for that."
Elise rolled her eyes. "Unbelievable."
He turned and walked slowly, he was defensive. "What!? What'd I say?"
The girls looked at each other.
"Thanks for trying. At least Doug and I are safe. Thanks to you and--?" She looked at the girl.
"Oh! I'm Elise."
"Yeah, you're the one...who knows Will."
"Sorry, he's just a good friend. An ally."
"Ally?" CJ inquired
"It means he works with us. I need to go, if we're gonna save your friend. You guys catch up, okay?"
Minutes later, they were a foot away from the Cabin. Elise felt refreshed, CJ felt nauseous, she wobbled to the front steps. Elise helped her inside
"Water pipes are fast. You'll get used to it. I only say THAT because since you're tied to Peter. So we'll probably be seein' a lot of each other." She said with a smile.
The whole family was present and accounted for.
"Ah, my littlest one!" Sebastian said and winked at Elise, he grabbed CJ before she fell to her knees.
"Nauseous, huh?" he asked, she nodded, and he chuckled
"It's something you get used to." he said
[So I'm told.] She thought.
He guided her to Heidi.
"Hi, sweetheart! It's been awhile....whoa! Relax you'll make ME nauseous, and I have enough morning sickness." She said with a smile, and squeezed her tight
"Y-You're....pregnant!" she said
Heidi laughed. "Yeah! I think that's obvious. You're friend's gonna be fine. Luckily I bring my emergency kit everywhere." she said, CJ hugged her again.
"Hey! What about your ACTUAL cousin?" Bryce said, she ran into his arms.
"Wow! You got big, C.C.!" he said, her knees started to shake.
Heidi groaned."Okay, okay! I'll get you some water and saltines." She said, they CJ her on the couch to rest and she looked around.
[I'm surrounded by Veers! It's kinda cool! They seem so friendly.] She thought.
Tense approached her first; she was popping chewing gum.
"So! You're the chica who's tied to Pete, huh? Well! About time we had another Hu-man on our side. And he needs another woman in his life. YOU seem to wear the pants, though." She held out her hand. "Welcome aboard! Hortensia Palomo, I mostly go by 'Tense'." She said.
Liam was next for introductions. "Don't be scared, pet....WE'RE not the ones you should worry about. I'm Liam," he pointed around "That's Devin, and my dearest Anne. You already know Talbot, Nate, your cousins. Peter--oh!" he pointed to the back room where Will and Bailey were. "You know Will and Bailey." He said.
As if on cue, Will and Bailey emerged from the back room. She stopped, and left when she saw CJ.
"Bee, don't-- she's not that bad!" he said after her. He sighed, and sat by his best friend, he punched her arm, playfully.
"So welcome to the Team, I guess." He said, she looked at him calmly.
"Doug's asleep in the back. Liam's gonna take him home tomorrow, after Devin wipes his memory--"
CJ was frantic. "What? His memory? He could get amnesia! Or worse be like I was!" she said, he gripped her shoulders.
"Hey! He'll be FINE, he'll just forget all about tonight .Oh, and Devin's sorry 'bout what happened before." he patted her knee and stood. "See ya tomorrow, Ceej." He said, and exited.
[I need some air!] She thought, and stepped outside.
On the porch she looked out, the trees were silent. They were clothed in surrounding darkness, and the only light dispensed was from that of the log cabin. Outside there were no sounds of living nature. Not a single chirp from an insect, nor a flap of a bird's wing.
[So there really IS no livin' life in Changer Territory!] She thought.
She inhaled the calmness of the oxygen, and gazed at the Layer.
"Look at me, mom--Hangin' out with Veers! Did you see Heidi? She's pregnant! And Bryce, just as handsome as we remembered! I'm different, though. Older, yeah but still, I've changed. I'm a lot more outspoken, which kinda gets me in trouble--and Pop treats me weird. Maybe he's still grievin'. I didn't know you and BRENDA were friends. She was never around when I was growing up; she was at your funeral, though! Now she's gonna marry your ex-husband. I'll go to the wedding, but....I'm out if she tries to make me flower girl." She imagined her mother laughing, and joined in.
Heidi was eavesdropping, intentionally.
"Well SOMEONE'S happy!" Heidi interrupted
"Yeah so--you and Bryce are changers!" CJ said, she nodded.
[THAT explains the Family Exile!] She thought.
"Talkin' to your mom, huh? She was a good person. Come on, Peter's driving you home." She said
[Run home for two more miles IN THE DARK!? Pass!] She thought, and shook her head.
"Uh....not sure that's a good idea." she said
"It'll be FINE. Turns out the back of your Residence is Veer Turf, who knew right?" she shrugged "He's pulling up now, so sorry, about the whole tied thing, of all people....you POOR thing." She said and hugged her again; headlights and a horn blinded them.
"Let's go, Girlie my METER'S runnin'!" Peter, she and her cousin exchanged a look.
"Go! We'll see each other again, sweetheart." she said, CJ approached the car, cautiously
"What are you starin' at? Get in already!" he said, and pulled off of the property.