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Chapter 1 New School
“Mom, what if people don’t like me?” Blake Avery complained as she was led down the hall to her new classroom. She had moved to Florida a week earlier from Tennessee because her brother was in the Army, and her parents wanted to stay close to him.
Blake’s mom looked at her. “You’ll be fine, honey.” She smiled. The principal escorted Blake into the classroom. She looked around and counted the kids.
Only thirteen kids?! She thought. The teacher put down the chalk he was using as the principal spoke. “Class, this is Blake Avery. She is new here.” With that, he stepped out.
“Hi.” Blake waved weakly.
“Blake?!” One of the girls snorted. “What are you, cross gender?”
Blake looked at the girl sourly. The girl was wearing a pink bedazzled shirt and a black skirt. Blake rolled her eyes. “Diva.” She mumbled.
“You can sit there.” The teacher said gesturing to an open seat by the window.
“Hi.” A voice said beside her as the teacher began to speak again.
She turned to look at a kid that had huge glasses. He looked and sounded like a total nerd.
“Hi.” She replied.
“I’m Drake Phillips.” He said introducing himself. “That’s Zane and Jacki.” He added pointing to the two kids closest to them. He pointed to the front of the room. “That’s Britney, Ally, Bethany, and Cally.” He turned in his desk and looked to the back of the room. Blake followed. “That’s the jocks: Cain, Tony, Joe, and Jay.”
“Thanks.” Blake whispered.
“Oh and that’s the famous school skipper, Matt Free.” Drake added pointing at a messy looking kid a few rows away.
“Boy, does he ever take a shower?” Blake asked.
“He’s going for a world record.” Drake said a matter-of-factly. Blake nodded as he gestured to a total surfer dude in the front. “That’s Trent. He doesn’t talk much, so the girls don’t pay any mind to him.”
“Who’s that?” Blake asked noticing a girl with a black eye under her brown framed glasses.
“Oh that’s Sky.” Drake answered.
“Where’d she get a black eye?”
“Cain.” Drake answered quickly. Blake looked back at Sky. Blake noticed that Sky was looking, and smiled at the blond pixie-cut haired girl. She just looked back at the teacher.
Just then the bell rang. “Lunch time.” Cain announced loudly. Six of the kids dashed out of the room.
“C’mon,” Drake tapped Blake. “I’ll introduce you to these guys.” He walked over to Zane and Jacki who were talking about Star Wars amongst themselves. “Guys.” He said getting their attention.
“Oh, hey Drake!” Jacki smiled. “What’s up?”
“I just want to introduce Blake to you guys. Blake, this is Jacki and Zane.”
They both waved. “C’mon, let’s get to lunch.” Zane said.
Jacki ran ahead. “Trent, hey!”
He spun around to face her. “Hey Jack.”
“This is Blake.” Jacki smiled motioning to her. Blake waved.
As the rest of the kids sped to the lunch room, Blake walked slower with Zane and Drake. “Why’d that dude call her Jack?”
“She doesn’t like her full name or even the shorter version.” Zane explained.
“What would that be?” Blake asked.
“Jacqueline.” Drake shrugged. Blake nodded understandingly. “A lot of people call her either Jack or Jacki.” Drake added.
As they finished in the lunch line, Blake looked around to find a place to sit.
“Over here!” Jacki waved. She was sitting by Matt and Trent.
“Is she boy crazy?” She whispered to Drake.
“Nah, she’s one of the guys.” Blake noticed now that Jacki was wearing knee-length board shorts and a surfer shirt.
“I see.” Zane and Drake sat down and Drake motioned for Blake to sit down. Jacki, Matt and Trent were talking about surfing, while Drake and Zane were talking about movies.
“Did you see the new Star Trek?” Zane asked.
“No,” Drake admitted. “How was it?”
“It was like a remake of Wrath of Khan.” Zane shrugged. Blake looked at them clueless. Then she remembered Sky. She wondered where the girl had gone. She looked over to the far corner of the room, where she saw Sky sitting by herself.
“Why is Sky sitting by herself?” She asked interrupting Drake and Zane.
“She isn’t social.” Zane said ruefully.
“Well, I’m gonna go sit with her.” Blake announced.
She walked over confidently. “Mind if I sit with you?” She asked.
Sky shook her head. Blake sat down. “Hi I’m Blake; I hear your name is Sky.”
She just nodded.
“Hey Cry.” Cain chided as he walked up. Blake looked at him angrily. He looked around at his guys. “C’mon, pipsqueak.” He said to Sky. “What you gonna do?”
She looked down. Cain, Tony, Joe and Jay laughed. “Aw did da widdle girl get her feelwings hurt?” Jay mocked.
“Knock it off!” Blake said to Cain. She watched Trent get up from the table that he was at and come closer. “Pick on someone with your own brain capacity!”
Cain’s eyes widened. Never had anyone stood up to him, let alone the new kid. Trent folded his arms as he stood in between Blake and Cain. “Go away Cain.” He said firmly.
“Who’s gonna make me?” He asked rudely.
“Me,” Trent replied. “And my friends.” Jacki and Zane came around. Cain looked worried. He’d never taken on these three, plus the new kid before.
“It’s fine.” Someone mumbled quietly. Everyone looked at Sky. “I… I… I don’t care a… about them.”
Cain looked back at Trent triumphantly. Trent didn’t look at him. “No, it’s not fine.” He said addressing Sky. “We shouldda stood up for you earlier.” Blake noticed his cheeks redden a bit. “Blake took that step. Now we’re gonna help her out. “
“Yeah so butt out.” Jacki said to Cain and his gang.
“You haven’t heard the last of the Pain of Cain Gang!” Cain called as he and his buddies stormed off.
Trent turned to Blake. “That was amazing.” He smiled. “I’ve never seen a new kid stand up to a bully.”
Blake shrugged blushing. “I just didn’t want him to hurt Sky.”
“Th… thanks.” Sky mumbled.
“Anytime.” Blake smiled and sat back down. Trent sat beside her and Jacki went over and sat beside Sky. Zane sat beside Jacki.
Jacki looked at Sky and stuck out her hands for a shake. “Friends?” Sky nodded and shook Jacki’s hand.
Zane smiled. “I can’t believe how easy that was!” He looked at Trent and then at Jacki. “Blake, wow.” He added. Blake looked at him and smiled.
“So, Blake.” Jacki said starting another conversation. “What’s your story?”
Blake looked at her a bit startled. “I… well, my brother is in the army and my parents wanted to stay close. So when his troop went from Tennessee to here in Florida, my parents and I came along.” She explained.
Jacki nodded. “My older brother’s in the army too. But he’s in Iraq. Me an’ most of these fella’s have been family since pre-school.”
Blake nodded thinking to herself. Gee, if they’ve been friends for so long, how can I even try to be friends with ‘em? Jacki seemed to notice her discomfort. “Don’t worry, we always befriend new people.”
“Yeah,” Zane added. “Drake came here last year. He and Zane became good friends, and we stick out for each other. Our circle of friends gets bigger every year.”
The bell rang, and the students piled out of the lunch room. “Great,” Drake mumbled.
“What’s wrong?” Blake asked walking beside him.
“Next class is gym.” He answered.
“Oh.” Cain and his gang smiled cruelly as they all entered the gym. The teacher was at the other end of the gym, drinking coffee.
“Hey, coach!” Jacki called running in front of everyone. She grabbed Blake’s hand as she breezed past. “This is Blake.” She smiled coming to a halt two feet away from the wide eyed coach.
“Hi, Blake.” He smiled.
As Blake and Jacki started back to the other side of the gym for stretches, Blake spoke. “Ya know, he’s different from other coaches.”
“Yeah, he is.” Jacki replied. “He’s not as mean as some of ‘em.”
“Yo Coach!” Cain called over to him. “Can we play dodge ball?”
“Sure!” Coach said mischievously. When the kids were done with stretches they walked over to the middle of the gym. “Okay guys, the team leaders will be Jack and Cain.”
Jacki went first. “Blake!” She called out.
Cain went next. “Jay.”
Blake whispered to Jacki. “How about Sky?”
“Sky!” Jacki called in reply. Sky looked up surprised, as she was normally the last one picked. She walked over.
“What?” She asked. “I don’t want to chip my nails.”
Jacki rolled her eyes. “You’re over there.” She pointed to Cain’s team.
“Oh okay!” She giggled cheerfully. She quickly went over to Cain who smiled at her.
“What are you only pickin’ the losers?” Cain asked laughing.
“I’m not the one that picked Britney.” She shot back.
Cain rolled his eyes. “Cally.” She ran over to Joe and stood way too close to him. He didn’t seem to mind.
“Huh, wha?” He looked around confused.
“Over here.” Drake called him over.
“Bethany.” Cain called. She strode over to Tony. He wrapped his arm around her.
“Ally.” Jacki called rolling her eyes at Bethany.
“Alright.” Coach clapped his hands. “Jack’s team on this side; Cain’s on the other.”
The Coach tweeted his whistle. Cain threw the first ball. It almost hit Jacki but she rolled and threw one at him. She popped up. “Did you miss me?”
Cain fumed and chucked a ball hard at Sky. “Sky, look out!” Blake called and jumped in front of her friend. The ball hit Blake in the stomach and she went down. Trent ran over.
"Blake you okay?" He asked.
"Fine." She said showing a thumbs up. Jacki helped her up and to the bench.
"That was amazing!" Jacki smiled. Trent looked at Cain angrily. Cain just shrugged.
"That's it." Trent muttered to himself. He threw a ball at Tony and made him fall from getting hit in the legs. Jacki ran back in and took out Brittany, Cally, and Bethany. Joe got Drake and Matt out.
"You're goin' down!" Jay called out.
"Yeah right!" Jacki yelled back, beaning him with a ball in the back as he spun to retrieve another. It was down to Cain and Joe against Sky, Trent and Jacki. Joe threw a fast ball and hit Sky in the side.
He yelled. "YES!"
Trent smiled at Jacki. "Ready?" she nodded. They both threw their dodge balls at Joe. Sadly, Joe dodged both of them. He threw a blue dodge ball.
"Oof." Jacki said as it drove into her torso. She lay on the ground for a moment and then popped up. "You're out!"
"What?" Joe asked astonished. "No, you are."
"Nuh-uh." Jacki smiled mischievously. "I caught it."
Trent looked over at the bench that his teammates were on. "Blake!" He called. "Get in here!"
Coach nodded when she looked at him. "When one team catches a ball they can bring one of their own back in." He explained. She smirked and then ran out to Trent and Jacki. They huddled.
"Whatcha waitin' for?" Cain called. They didn't pay any attention.
"I think we should let Blake take this one." Jacki said.
"I agree." Trent replied.
They split up. "Finally." Cain said rolling his eyes. He focused mostly on Jacki and Trent as they tried and succeeded in distracting him.
"Cain look out!" Jay called, but it was too late. Blake's ball threw his feet out from under him. He crashed to the floor. The winning team ran out and high fived.
"Wow!" Drake yelled. "We beat 'em!"
After school, Blake decided to walk home. Jacki, Zane and Trent walked along.
"Hey, Jack." Zane said. "You were pretty good in the dodge ball game.
"Thanks." Jacki replied. "Blake was better." She added.
Chapter Two Everybody Go Surfin’
"Hey, you wanna go surfin'?" Trent asked Blake.
"Yeah," Jacki agreed. "We're goin' there now."
"Okay," Blake nodded. "But I gotta tell my parents first."
They walked two more blocks to Blake's cream yellow and blue Florida home.
"Nice place." Zane announced as they got to the door.
"Thanks." Blake laughed. "Wait here." She walked inside. She walked in the kitchen and saw her mom was on the phone. So she waited. When her mom finally ended the call, Blake shouted. "Mom, my friends invited me to go surfin'. Can I go? Please, please, please?"
"I guess." Her mom answered. "Just be careful."
"I will!" Blake called as she ran out the door.
"Okay," Jacki spoke. "We have ta go get our boards, an' you're gonna need one too." They walked to Jacki's house, Zane's house and then to Trent's house.
"My board is in the back." He said quickly before either of the girls or Zane could walk up to the door. They heard muffled yelling emanating from the house.
"Parents?" Jacki asked. "Again?" Trent just nodded and got his board. He also brought another one.
"This is my brother's." He handed Blake the surf board. "He won't mind you usin' it."
"C'mon let's surf!" Jacki called running through the beach's sand. Zane charged after her.
“I don’t really know how to surf.” Blake admitted to Trent.
He laughed. “Don’t worry, I’ll show ya.” Blake smiled and ran to the water. She watched as Trent taught her how to get out to the waves.
“You guys ready?” Jacki asked excitedly. Trent and Blake put a thumbs up.
“Ready Jack.” Zane said. A small wave came. “Blake, you wanna take this one?”
Blake nodded and paddled her board to it. She stood as the wave came under.
“Wahoo!” She yelled riding her first wave. Then she fell off.
Trent was the first on to reach her and helped her back on the surf board. “That was really good. You sure you never surfed before?”
“Never.” Blake said breathlessly.
That was AWESOME!” Jacki yelled swimming up.
“Yeah, that was cool.” Zane agreed.
Jacki looked back to the open water. “Hey Trent.” She called. “You want that one?”
Trent smiled when he saw the big wave. “You betcha.” He did a perfect surf through a barrel.
Then he jumped. He swam to grab his board and went back to the group.
“Wow.” Blake declared. “That was ridiculously awesome!”
“Thanks.” Blake thought she saw him blush.
A few hours later it began to get dark. “I think it’s time we head home.” Zane announced.
“I guess.” Jacki sighed. They all walked back up the beach.
“Thanks for the awesome afternoon guys.” Blake smiled.
“Wanna do it again tomorrow?” Trent asked excitedly.
“Next time though, let’s bring snacks.” Zane suggested. Everyone laughed.
Jacki and Zane went to their homes, and Trent asked to escort Blake home.
“So, uh.” He stammered. “Did you have fun?”
“Yeah.” Blake smiled.
“I was wondering,” He added. “If you might wanna, I dunno; go to the new movie tomorrow night?”
Is he askin’ me out?! Blake thought to herself. “Sure, why not.” She laughed. She handed him the board she had used.
“Cool.” He grinned. “See ya!” He called as Blake walked in her house.
“Bye!” She called back.
Trent thought he’d never felt more happy. He was so happy that he smiled the whole way home, but then his smiled faded. His parents were still arguing. He trudged inside. “Hey mom; hey dad.” He mumbled.
“Where have you been?!” His mom yelled ferociously.
“I’ve been surfin’.” Trent answered taking a step back.
“And you didn’t tell us?!” His dad yelled.
“I’m sorry, okay?!” Trent turned to walk to his room. His dad grabbed him by his bleach blonde hair.
“We ain’t done talkin’.” He sneered. Trent’s heart pounded. When his parents acted like this, it usually resulted in a black eye, sometimes worse.
“I’m callin’ the cops.” His mom announced.
“What?!” Trent asked loudly. “Why?”
“Because you ran away and then disrespected your mother an’ me.” His dad explained harshly.
“I didn’t run away!” Trent yelled. “I went surfin’ with some pals!”
His mom slapped him. He teetered, almost falling to the ground. “Shut up.” She bellowed.
Trent watched as his mom dialed 9-1-1, and listened while she lied to them.
“Hullo, officer? I’d like to report a runaway.” She paused. “Naw, it’s my son. He stole some valuables and don’t have ‘em with him now. Also he tried to punch me but my husband stopped him.” She paused again. “Yeah, we got ‘im held for now; but you’d better get your shiny tin badges down here and arrest him!”
She smiled as she hung up. “Well?” His dad asked.
“They’re on their way.” Trent’s mom announced. Trent decided to make a run for it. He slipped out of his dad’s grasp and ran out the door. “Stop him!” He heard his mom scream. He hid in a palm tree and watched as a cop came to the door and talked to his parents.
‘He went that way.” His dad said weakly pointing in the direction he was going to head. The cop nodded and took off. When he saw that the coast was clear, he shinnied down the tree.
Blake heard a knock at the door. She looked at the clock. Who’d be knocking at 11:00? When she answered it, she saw Trent, breathing heavily.
“Trent?! What’re you doing here?” She asked.
“Parents.” He croaked. “They lied to the cops. Says I stole from ‘em.”
“Oh my gosh.” Blake gasped. “Come on in.” She lead him to the guest room. “You can sleep here.” She gestured to a twin sized bed.
“Thanks.” He smiled sitting down.
“G’night.” Blake said as she shut the door. “I’ll come get you in the morning.”
Trent nodded and let himself fall on the pillow.
In the morning Trent woke up with his head pounding. He felt his cheek and noticed it was puffy.
“Good morning.” Blake whispered as she walked in. She stopped when she saw his bruised cheek. “Lemme go get you some ice.”
She ran out to the kitchen, grabbed an ice bag, and ran back. “Thanks.” Trent mumbled.
“My mom and dad aren’t up yet.” Blake explained. “You probably don’t want to go to school, and I’m gonna tell my parents I’m sick. They work at some office all day so they shouldn’t be too hard to lie to.”
“No you should go.” Trent said trying to sit up.
“Nuh-uh.” Blake smiled. She ran up to her bed room and quickly go into bed.
“Blake!” She heard her mom call. “Time to get up.” She waited. He mom came to her room. “Honey, it’s time to get ready for school.”
“I don’t feel good.” Blake complained. “I feel like I’m gonna…” She rolled to the side of her bed and “threw up” on the floor. Really, she had just grabbed some disgusting soup from the fridge when she got Trent the ice bag. But it fooled her mom.
“You’d better stay home.” Her mom frowned. “Will you be okay by yourself?”
“Yeah.” Blake sighed. Her mom looked at her one more time before leaving the room. She heard her mom and dad’s car start up and zoom down the road. She leaped out of bed and ran to Trent.
“How ya feelin’?” She asked him.
“Like I was hit with a coconut.” Trent admitted. Blake laughed. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door. Trent froze.
“Stay here.” Blake told him. She slowly made her way to the door. She opened the door a crack.
The cop looked down at her. “Can I come in?” he asked.
She showed him into the living room. “Where are your parents?” He asked. “And aren’t you supposed to be in school?”
“My parents are at work.” Blake explained weakly. “And I’m too sick to go to school.”
“I see.”The cop rubbed his chin. He held up a picture of Trent. “Have you seen this kid?” He asked.
“Yeah.” Blake admitted. “We go to the same school.”
“Well he’s missin’.” The cop said. “If you’ve got any info, I want you to tell me.”
“Yessir.” Blake nodded. He stood to leave.
“Get well soon.” He said as he walked out the door.
Blake watched the cop from a window until he had gone to the next block. “Coast’s clear!” She called. Trent stepped out slowly.
“Dude, you’re famous!” Blake said.
“What do you mean? He asked.
“The cop had a picture of you.” Blake beamed.
“What are we gonna do all day?” Trent asked.
“Watch movies?” Blake suggested. “At least until four; that’s when my parents come home.”
“And then when you’re parents get home?” He asked.
“We’ll go surfin’.” Blake smirked.
“Right, and I’ll get caught.” Trent frowned.
“No you won’t.” Blake said cheerfully. “You ain’t gonna even be recognizable.”
“How are you gonna do that?” He asked.
“Easy.” Blake laughed. She dragged him into the bath room, and pulled out black hair dye and a pair of scissors. She cut his surfer blonde hair to a choppy short cut, and dyed it black. She smiled at him. Trent looked at himself in the mirror.
Chapter Three Disguises
“Gonna hafta do more than that.” He said wishfully.
“I didn’t say I was done.” Blake said pulling out a little box.
“What’s that?” He asked.
“Brown colored contacts.” Blake shrugged. She told him how to put them in.
He looked in the mirror once again. He saw that his once blue eyes were now a light brown. “Cool.” He yelled. He looked down at his clothes.”What about my clothes?”
“Aw don’t worry.” Blake sighed. “You’ll fit into my brother’s clothes easy.” She took him to a small closet and opened the door. “There ya go! Pick out what you want.”
Trent looked at the clothes and immediately grabbed a yellow tee and cameo board shorts. He went to the bathroom and changed. When he finished he looked in the mirror one more time. “Perfect!” he said.
Blake watched as he came out. “C’mon. Let’s go watch a movie.”
They watched three or four movies and ate a lunch of hot dogs. Blake looked at the time. It was five minutes until her parents would be back. “Trent, you’d better get in the guest room.”
A moment after he shut the door, Blake heard a knock. She peaked out the window and saw Jacki and Zane with their surf boards. “Hey guys.” She shouted as she opened the door.
“Hey Blake.” Jacki greeted. “Did ya hear about Trent?”
“Boy, did I!” She laughed.
“Am I missing something?” Zane asked confused.
Blake stopped laughing and closed the door. “I know about it because he’s here.” She explained.
“He is?!” Jacki asked.
“Yeah, he’s in the guest room.” Blake pointed to it. “Hey Trent, come on out!”
As he walked out, he watched Jacki and Zane’s mouths drop open. “That’s not Trent.” Zane stammered.
“Actually it is.” Trent laughed. “Blake dyed and cut my hair. Then she gave me brown contacts.”
Oh.” Jacki sighed. “So you’re evading cops.”
“Yeah.” Blake and Trent answered in unison.
“Cool.” Zane chuckled.
“We need to give him a different name.” Jacki said. She looked at her friends. “What? So I read a mystery once.”
"How about Connor?" Blake suggested.
"Ain't that your brother's name?" Zane asked.
"Yeah, no biggy." Blake shrugged.
Trent looked uncomfortable. "I don't wanna take your brother's name. How about I go by Tanner?"
They all agreed. Jacki spun around. "I heard a car pull in." She said.
"That's my parents." Blake smiled calmly. She walked out the door. "Hi mom, Hi dad!"
"Hey Honey." Her mom hugged her. "We got you something."
Blake's dad pulled two yellow surf boards and a green surf board from the trunk of the car. Blake grinned widely.
"We all got surf boards," Her dad explained.
"Coolio!" Blake yelled. "Hey I wanna go surfin' with my friends. Can I?"
"Sure." he mom answered. "I thought you were sick."
Blake shrugged. "I got better." Jacki, Zane and Trent had snuck out the back and were now coming up the sidewalk towards Blake's house. "Hey guys!" She waved as if she hadn’t seen them all day. "Mom, Dad, this is Jack, Zane and Tanner."
"Well hello." He mom shook each of their hands. "So are you boys taking Blake surfing.
"Yeah," Jacki answered. "But I'm not a boy."
"Oh." Blake's mom said a bit startled. "I'm sorry."
"Oh don't be." Jacki chuckled. "I get that a lot."
"Hey can Tanner borrow one of our surf boards?" Blake asked.
"Sure." Her dad answered. He handed Trent the green board.
"Thanks." Trent grabbed the board.
"C'mon, gang!" Zane called running towards the beach. "Let's go!" Blake grabbed her new yellow surf board and ran after her friends. When they got to the beach Blake was the first one in the water. They all got farther from shore and looked back.
"Oh gosh, it's the cop!" Trent pointed.
Jacki shook her head. "He won't know you, dude. You don't look like you used to, ya know." Blake and Zane laughed and they all went surfing.
Two hours later, they swam to shore. "Hey kids!" The cop waved them over. He shoved Trent's picture in their faces. "You seen this kid?" He asked. They all shook their heads. Zane almost laughed. The cop looked at Blake. "Don't I know you?" He asked.
"Yeah, you stopped by my house this morning." Blake answered. "I was sick then."
The cop nodded, and to Blake's relief didn't ask any more questions. "I want your names." He told the kids.
"You're full name mister." He snarled.
"Okay, Jack Landin Cooper."
The cop looked at Zane. "Zane Aaron Kling."
The cop shifted his glare to Blake. "Blake Trey Avery."
"Tanner Jay Kent." Trent made up. The cop looked at him hard.
"You wear contacts, Tanner?" He asked.
"Yeah?" He said questionably.
"Take 'em out." He ordered. Trent nodded solemnly and took the contacts out. He looked back at the cop with blue eyes. The cop studied his face and then looked at the picture. "Ah-ha!" He raised a finger. "Nice try, Trent Damian Harrison." He smirked an grabbed hand cuffs.
"Whoa what?!" Jacki asked. "His name is Tanner."
"No it's not. I'm takin' him in." The cop announced. As he radioed reinforcement, Trent and Blake stared at each other.
"I'm so sorry. Blake apologized, tears stinging her eyes. "I shouldn't have..."
"It's okay." He interrupted. He hugged her. "I'm sorry that I made you have to go through this." They kissed.
Jacki and Zane stood there stunned. They looked at each other. "Didn't see that coming." Zane whispered.
"Me neither." Jacki agreed. The cop grabbed Trent and cuffed him.
He motioned to the others. "Come with me." He told them. "You're all in deep trouble for being in this with Trent." They all followed him. He shoved Trent in his car. Trent hit his head on the car window. Jacki, Blake, and Zane climbed in after him.
Blake sat beside Trent and steadied him. "You okay?" She asked.
" Yeah." He said as he looked at her. Zane looked at him.
"Dude, you got a little blood on your forehead." He pointed.
Trent looked up and saw a trickle of blood hanging off his brow. Blake saw it too.
"Doesn't hurt." He lied.
"Shut up!" The cop yelled. The group was silent the rest of the trip to the police office. The cop guided them all in.
"Hey Osborn." The Captain waved to the cop. "Who'd ya bring me?" He asked looking at the group of kids.
As Osborn explained, Blake and Trent looked away from each other. Jacki and Zane stared at the Captain and the cop. Just then Trent's parents busted in. Trent jumped when he saw them. They had bruises and slings. He knew they must have faked it but he didn't say anything. "Where's our son?!" Trent's mom bellowed.
Osborn motioned to him. Trent's dad came closer. "That's him all right." He deduced.
"Do you know any of these other kids?" The Captain asked gesturing to Jacki, Zane and Blake.
"Naw don’t know 'em." Trent's mom answered weakly.
"Well I called all their parents." Osborn told the Captain. "They should be here soon." As if on cue, Blake, Zane, and Jacki's parents came in the door.
When they stopped at the desk, the Captain stood up. "Folks, your children are in trouble for aiding a violent minor in evading cops. Now I'm not going to put them in a cell, but they are now on probation. They can go to school, but that's it. Keep them in your sight." Their parents nodded.
"C'mon Zane." His mom motioned for him. Jacki left with her parents and so did Blake. Trent sighed as he was lead to a small cell in the jail.
The next day, at school Blake, Jacki, and Zane were totally quiet. They were like zombies throughout the morning classes. But then at lunch Jacki burst. "Did you see Trent's mom and dad?! That was so fake! I can't believe they fooled the cops!"
"I know right?!" Zane agreed. "That stuff was make up from like Party City or something!" Sky sat with them silently.
Suddenly she spoke. "It was from Party City."
"What?!" Jacki, Blake, and Zane asked in unison.
"They did it maybe an hour before they left for the Police office." She explained quietly.
"How do you know that?" Jacki asked.
Sky blushed. "Trent's my brother." She admitted. Everyone stared at her.
"Then you can help us!" Blake jumped. "You're a witness, that's what we need."
"Great idea!" Jacki agreed. "What did you see the night he ran away?"
"Well, he came in and mom and dad were already drunk. When they saw him they sorta blew up. They pulled his hair, slapped him, and then called the police and told them that he was a run away and he was hurting them." Sky explained slowly.
"What kind of parents do that?" Zane asked.
"Mine." Sky mumbled.
"But the cops ain't gonna believe a bunch of kids." Blake complained. "Especially this bunch."
"Hey guys." Drake and Matt greeted, sitting down by Zane. "What’s up?"
"What's up, is that Trent is in jail for something he didn't do." Jacki growled.
"Oh, bummer." Matt sighed. He thought for a minute. "Hey, me Drake and Sky could prove Trent's innocence!"
"You?" Jacki smirked. "Maybe Drake and Sky can, but you're a kid that just got off from truancy. You're with us."
"What're we gonna do?" Zane asked.
"We're gonna go in Sky's house and grab the evidence." Jacki said.
"What we waitin' for?" Matt asked jumping up.
"The end of school." Blake sighed.
“Oh yeah.” Matt said sitting back down. They talked quietly until lunch period was over. The rest of the day seemed to breeze by.
“There’s my dad.” Jacki said as she walked to her dad’s car after school. “See ya guys.”
“See ya Jack!” Blake waved as she stepped into her mom’s car.
Matt looked at Sky and Drake. “Good luck you guys.”
“Thanks.” Drake said shaking Matt’s hand. Sky and Drake ran off.
Matt shoved his hands in his pockets and walked in the direction of his house.
Blake sat in the back seat with her chin resting on her palm. I hope Sky and Drake find what we need.
“I know you like your new friends.” Her mom sighed. “But I don’t think they’re the best. One has been in trouble for truancy, and another for running away, hurting his parents, and stealing from them!”
“Mom he was framed.” Blake almost yelled. “Trent wouldn’t do that kind of thing.”
Her mom wasn’t listening. “And you helped him evade cops! I can’t believe it.”
“Mom, you’re not listening!” Blake complained. “His parents faked it, and we’ve got proof!”
“Oh? What kind of proof?” He mom asked.
“Sky saw them put make-up on.”
“Trent’s sister.” Blake explained. Her mom nodded, but stayed silent.
Chapter Four A Parent Trouble
Sky walked in and looked for her parents. She motioned Drake in. “They threw some of the stuff away.” She whispered, pointing to a small trash can. Drake pulled a Party City receipt out of the trash can.
“Excellent.” He smiled handing the receipt to Sky. She smiled back. “Anything else that could be of use as evidence?”
“Plaster and that stuff to make casts would be good.” Sky answered pointing to the bathroom.
“Good idea.” Drake showed a thumbs up. Out of nowhere, they heard voices.
“It’s mom and dad.” Sky said panic-y. “Hide in here.” She pulled Drake into her room and shoved him in her closet. “Stay quiet.”
“I won’t make a sound.” Drake confirmed.
“Skylar Wren Harrison!” He mom yelled. “Come here.”
“Coming!” Sky called. “No talking.” She whispered as she ran from the room. She stopped in the living room and watched as her parents plopped down in front of the TV.
“Get me a beer!” Her dad yelled. She ran quickly to the kitchen and grabbed one from the refrigerator.
“Here you go.” She said as she handed it to her dad. He just grunted in response. “Can I go surfin’?” She asked hopefully.
“I guess.” Her mom said. “But don’t go an’ git some dumb idea like Trent. Remember what happened to Clark?”
“Yeah.” She remembered that night. She was five years old, Trent only a year older, when Clark who at the time was 15, was murdered by their parents.
“Good.” He mom smiled, satisfied.
“Now run along.” Her dad sighed. She smiled crisply and ran back to her room.
“Do you have gloves?” Drake whispered when Sky opened her closet.
“I found a bloody knife that might have DNA of the murderer. Sky froze. That was the knife that Clark had been murdered with. How could the police have not found it?!
“C’mon,” Sky motioned. “I’m supposed to be heading for surfing.”
“Right.” Drake agreed. He grabbed a ripped leather sleeve off the floor and grabbed the knife.
“I’ll take this to the Cap’n.” Drake said quoting Star Trek. Sky giggled. They sped out the back door, and ran all the way to the police office.
Blake had planned it all, and was there when Sky and Drake showed up. Sky ran up to her. “How is he?” She asked worriedly.
“He looks like he’s been beat up.” Blake admitted. Sky covered her mouth. “He’s says he’s okay though.” Sky nodded.
“Blake, we’ve got the evidence.” Drake cut in. “In fact, we got a bit more.”
“Awesome.” Blake smiled. “What is it?”
Sky motioned her over to a more secluded place. “The knife that was used to kill my older brother.” She whispered. It was Blake’s turn to cover her mouth.
“We gotta tell the cops!” Blake said.
“I couldn’t agree more.” Drake added.
“I gotta go!” Blake said apologetically. “Bye!”
Drake frowned and walked straight up to the Captain. “Sir may I speak with you?”
“Make it quick.” The Captain answered. Drake motioned Sky in.
“This girl, and her two brothers were beaten by their parents,” Drake explained. “One of which resulted in the stabbing and murder of Clark Leon Harrison.”
The Captain looked up quickly. “Can you prove this, boy?” Drake pulled out the knife and handed it to the man. “What’s this.?”
“You should be able to find Clark and the murderer's DNA.” Drake hinted.
The Captain picked up his phone. “Yes, I’d like to speak to forensics. Thank you.” He waited on hold. “Hello, I need someone down here stat. We have a bloody knife that looks maybe nine or ten years old.” He hung up and looked at the kids. “They’re coming. Go out and sit in the lobby please.” Drake grabbed Sky’s hand and steadied her as they walked out of the Captain’s office.
“You gonna be alright?” He asked.
“I don’t know.” Sky answered shaking.
Drake breathed heavily. Then he did something he never had the courage to do. He kissed Sky on the cheek. His heart beat quickened.
“Drake.” Sky said startled.
“I’m sorry.” He apologized.
“Don’t be.” She smiled and kissed him back.
An hour later, the Captain came and sat beside the two kids. “Your parents are to be arrested.” He told Sky. “The men are on their way right now.” Sky nodded starting to cry. Drake wrapped his arm around her.
“You’re gonna need a place to stay. You and your brother.” The captain added.
“He’s not my brother.” She said pointing at Drake.
“I know.” The Captain said calmly. “I meant Trent.”
“You’re letting him go?” Drake asked surprised.
“Yes.” The Captain sighed. “I’m so sorry. Oh and tell your friends they’re off probation.”
“Yessir.” Drake acknowledged.
“Okay.” He smiled. “Take this girl and her brother home. To your place. I’ll phone your parents.” Sky smiled as she saw Trent.
“Trent!” She called and ran to him.
“Hey sis.” He rasped. “Did ya miss me?”
“We all did.” Drake answered coming up. “Well, all ‘sept Cain, his gang and the divas.”
“Figured.” Trent laughed.
“C’mon.” Drake waved. “You guys are bunkin’ down at my house.”
As they walked out of the building Trent and Sky’s parents were forced in. Sky looked away.
Drake’s mom picked them up. “Hey guys, I got a call from the police. Says I’m supposed to look after you.”
“Thank you.” Trent replied.
“No problem.” Drake’s mom smiled. “I enjoy kids’ company.”
As they walked in the house, a dog ran up to them. “Hey, boy.” Drake smiled petting the dog.
“You guys can sleep in the guestroom.” Drake’s mom gestured to a small room.
“Thanks again.” Trent said as he and Sky went in the room.
“Good night, Trent.” Sky whispered as they turned out the lights.
“You too.” He answered.
When Trent awoke in the morning, he was feeling better and safer than he ever had before. Drake burst in the room.
“It’s Saturday!” He called. Sky shot up.
“Let’s go see Blake, Jack, and Zane.” Trent said jumping out of bed.
They ate a quick breakfast, waved goodbye to Drake’s mom, and ran out. They stopped at Blake’s first.
“Trent!” She yelled embracing him. He held on to her. She looked up with a tear sneaking down her cheek. He wiped it away and kissed her.
“I missed you.” Trent replied.
“C’mon.” Sky interrupted. “We gotta get the others. We’re going surfing.”
“Let’s go!” Blake hopped off her front porch and raced for Jacki’s house.
“Jack!” She called when she got there. “You home?!”
She came to the door holding her surf board. “Hey guys.” She smiled. “Surf’s up, Trent.”
“One more to get.” Drake reminded.
“Zane!” Jacki called to the neighbor’s house. Zane burst out the door, his surf board in his hands.
“Let’s get a go-go!” He yelled.
“Wait.” Blake said. “Let’s race. 1-2-3 GO!”
They raced to the beach and jumped in the water. Blake smiled and watched as her new friends surfed towards the sunset. A dream come true. She thought smiling.