Emme Foster hasn't had the best time growing up. And since the age of nine, it has taken a turn for the better. With a new Foster family every so often, and a passion for horses, Emme learns to hide her past and secret passion from others as to be considered normal. What happens when there are some new kids in town, with some very interesting habits, and while off in Columbus, Ohio; yet another mysterious figure wanders their way in to her life. Now to protect the life she holds so dear, Emme must choose who to tell what, and how to keep her dark past, and bright passion away from her enemies, and even her closest friends.
Yet another fan fiction, not too many recognizable characters though... sorry about that.
12. Chapter 12
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The remaining week flew by. No one could believe that Jace had found me in the creek. They all swore that they had searched the place up and down, a dozen times. I proceeded to insist that it was what had happened and that they might have been looking in another part of the creek and not made it to the point where I had fallen, or it may have been another creek entirely. No one would know.
Jace hung around the barn a lot. We became somewhat friends, in a good way. But only knowing him for just a week wasn't much help. Neither was the fact that I had to leave to go back to New Hampshire. Lexi wouldn't let me out of her sight that week either.
As we were just about ready to leave, Jace appeared in front of me in that odd way he has, and held out a piece of paper. "Keep in touch." He said and gave me a warm smile.
I took the small object and unfolded it to see a phone number before smiling in return, "I will."
He said something along the lines of holding me to that, and I laughed. We'd been saying that back and forth to each other for a while now, each of us not dropping a new promise or agreement.
Eventually I had to climb into the cab of Erick's truck so we could leave, and by that time, I had said goodbye to everyone on the grounds. Jace waved us off and then we were on our long journey home.
* * *
I returned to school on Monday and was immediately assaulted with onslaughts of questions about where I had been the past month, and how none of the teachers seemed to know and how I'd have a ton of make up work to do, and that it was a miracle that I hadn't been expelled because I'd been gone for so long.
The worst about it was Stephen. It must have been plaguing him in his dreams or something to know that I was gone, and have no idea where I was or what I was doing. I laughed at most of his questions while he tried to figure it out. Faye nor Gina bothered Lexi and I about our month long absence, but it seemed like everyone else just couldn't leave the fact alone.
I resumed training, having won our hunter under saddle and equitation classes in our division, but not making it to worlds. So I just got to have some fun and mess around for a while on Skye. It was nice to have some downtime again and not have to be out every single day for over three hours of intensive labor.
I did keep in touch with Jace. I talked to him almost everyday, if not twice or three times. I did actually miss him, and the fact that he was so far away wasn't going to fix that.
It was around mid December when I got a surprising message.
Guess whose coming to visit you over Christmas break? It read.
The message was from Jace, and I could have squealed I was so happy that I was going to get to see him again so soon. But I didn't since I got the text in the middle of my Government class, and for the fact that I could have almost sworn that Stephen was reading it over my shoulder.
I was in the middle of doing chores for Ana when I got a call from Jace. I answered, pressing the phone to my ear using my shoulder while I lifted pile of horse crap with a pitchfork and dumped them into the buckets to be taken out.
"Hello." I said smiling.
"Emme." Jace seemed to sigh, "It's so good to hear you again." I could hear his smile.
"You too." I answered equally happy. "So, when are you getting here?"
"Actually," He said, "I'm kind of here now. I'm at my hotel down town. I was wondering where you were."
I laughed. "If you could smell what I smell, you'd know exactly where I was." He laughed on the other end, "I'm kind of in the middle of chores for Ana, and I probably won't be home for an hour or two at the least." I then remembered I had plans, "Oh, wait. I won't be home for a long time. I had plans tonight. I'm going shopping with Lexi and some friends." I said my voice apologetic. "I'm sorry."
"It's fine." He sounded a little disappointed, "Are you guys just going to be at the mall downtown?" I told him we were, "That's right across from my hotel. Do you think that your friends would mind if I tagged along?"
I actually had to think about it. I knew Lexi wouldn't mind because she knew Jace, or at least felt safe around him. But I wasn't so sure about the Halls. They seemed to be a solitary bunch. "Sure. I think that'd be okay. But you'll have to wait until I give you a signal or something or act overly surprised and notice you. I have no idea if my friends will be okay with it. So I'll have to pretend that I hadn't noticed you until I'm sure they'll be okay."
"Alright, that's fine." He said the smile in his voice returning. "I'll see you later tonight then."
I smiled, "Alright, I'll see you then." And we said our goodbyes.
I worked for the next hour or two with the thought of seeing Jace again pulling me through it faster than normal. I even got to help Lexi finish up her own chores before we headed home. I showered and redressed before I waited for Lexi downstairs so we could go.
We found Gina and company waiting for us at the entrance of the mall, in our usual spot. We meandered around for a while, window shopping, and talking about school and the typical teen issues. It wasn't until we were outside of the usual clothing store that Lexi would always drag me into when I noticed Jace a little ways off, watching me and waiting. I put on a convincing face, the one that shows that you know someone but can't remember exactly who they are. I could feel some of our group watching me while it took me a minute to "place" Jace's face to a name in my mind.
"I'll be right back." I said before walking away. No one tried to stop me; no one grabbed my arm and dragged me back, so I took that as a good sign. I walked up to where Jace was standing, facing away from me and tapped him on the shoulder. He turned and I smiled up at him, "Jace, what are you doing here?" I made myself sound pleasantly surprised.
"Oh, my family's here for break. We thought we'd take a small vacation this year and come down to visit you and your family." He said smiling back at me. "Who are your friends? I don't believe you've ever told me about them." I could feel their eyes boring into my back.
"Oh, there's Gina, and Faye, and Connor, and Dominic," I introduced pointing everyone out to him as I walked back over with Jace fallowing behind me, "and Lexi - of course, and that's Stephen." I finished.
Immediately I could tell that something was up. There was some sort of tension in the air that hadn't been there when I left. I glanced up to see that Stephen seemed to be glaring at Jace, having not taken his eyes off of him since I had rejoined the group. Not to mention everyone on the Hall side seemed super tense. I felt Jace place his hand on my shoulder, it was cold, like it had always been when I had met him. He claimed to have poor circulation.
I thought Stephen or Connor was going to spontaneously combust after that. It seemed to me that they wanted to attack someone then and there, and the rest of the night continued to carry on in some huge, awkward silences. Lexi and I exchanged unknowing glances every so often, and afterwards, Jace would squeeze my hand or my shoulder in what I assumed was reassurance.
It was about half an hour or so later when I felt my phone vibrating in my pocket. We, that is Lexi, Gina, Faye, Jace, and I, were all off looking at clothes - something Lexi could never resist. I answered to hear Angie on the other line.
"Em, get home. You've got a very important appointment, and I'm not about to let you pass this up."
I knew what she was talking about. It was a family that wanted to adopt me. She'd told me a lot about them in the past weeks, but she hadn't mentioned any meetings. Until now. I sighed, "How long do I have?"
"Five minutes to be on your way home." She said strictly.
I wanted to protest, but judging by her tone, and the fact that Angie never loses an argument, I thought better of it. I promised that I'd make it home, we said our goodbyes, and I turned to Lexi, "We've got to go. Angie wants us home."
She made a face, but followed me out anyways, after saying goodbye to Gina and Faye. Jace followed us, mainly because he didn't have anything else to do and for the fact that I was currently his host while he was in town.
"Where are you going?" He asked curious.
I shrugged. "My mom wants us home. Apparently we had plans that I didn't know about. I'm sorry." I frowned a little. "I don't know when I'll be home. But it'll probably be late. I'll text you when I get back and we can talk."
He nodded, smiling, "Alright. That sounds good to me. I'll talk to you later then. Have fun at whatever it is you two are going to be doing." He said as we left him in the main area of the mall while we walked out the doors to our car.
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