At Any Cost | Book One of Exafortespent

By Alma Azura Celia All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Drama

Forty Five: The Sleepover

“Where were you? What took you for so long? We’ve been waiting for you for an hour now.” Ava sayss, frowning as she stares at me with worry and annoyance mixed on her face. I give her a little sad smile, feeling bad to let her down.

“Sorry. Just have a conversation with Austin because he insisted.”

“Maybe you haven’t know but he's never bring anyone to the dinner with him before.” Victoria say, looking at me with the obvious look on her face, meaning that she tells me the truth.

“Really?” I say, pretty shocked by the news. He’s attractive, but he haven’t brought anyone else for him to introduce other than me? Wow, I feel so special.

But the thought of why he brought me to the dinner hits me. He brought me because he wanted to piss Matthew off. But, he said that he want to know me better. I guess that’s what make me should feel special.

“Yeah. You should be feeling so special. He’s not like that typical dickhead in high school, if you think he’s like that.” Ava says, seems like she would fight me if I say he’s a dickhead or that kind of words. But of course I won’t say that. Although I thought him that way the first time I saw him at the baseball field.

“No, of course not. He’s the kindest boy I’ve ever met in my life. Kinder than my boy friends back in my old school.” And it’s not really true. He’s kind, but not as kind as the boys back in L.A. And the plus point is, the boys back in L. A. is the silliest boy I’ve ever known in my whole life.

“Come on, we have a lot of movie and girls talk to catch up. Let’s go upstairs.” Ava and Victoria runs upstairs, and I smile at them, shaking my head slightly. I follow them with my backpack on my back and sigh.

Tonight is going to be a long night.

We sit there, cross-legged on Victoria’s bed as we watch a movie, I keep watching it, still wondering what is this movie about.

“Oh my god, I forget to tell this. Guess what happened today.” Ava says. I turn around and look at Ava who’s already grinning at us excitedly as she looks at me and Victoria back and forth quickly. This could be a great thing she wants to told us from the way she looks.

“What happened today?” I ask, looking at her questioningly.

“Jake, he asked me on a date!” She squeals happily. I look at Victoria, not looking as happy as Ava. She already have a frown on her face as she stares at Ava’s happy face.

“Ava, we've already talked about this.” She says, seems a little disappointed in her.

I’m guessing this Jake boy is a fuckboy in her school that goes around dating a lot of girls in her school or maybe all of them and that’s why Victoria doesn’t like him. I can even see the hint of hatred in her eyes when I look at her.

“But you know I like him.” Ava says, frowning at her and her gaze falls to the bed, her hands fiddling with the bed sheet as she keeps frowning. I can feel Victoria sighing quietly beside me when Ava looks down with sadness in her eyes.

“But I know that he’s that kind of guy who just wants your body, not your love or give you love.”

“But not with me. He promised.” Ava says, seems so desperate on wanting to be with Jake. But, I think if boys like that promised something to a girl, I know he does that just because so they can get closer to get what they wanted.

“Don’t trust a promise boys like him told you. It’s only a big ass lie he told you to get what he truly want.” Victoria says, now she sounds a little bit angry. She deserves to get angry, because she don’t want her niece to get in trouble.

Ava look up from the bed with the frown still plastered onto her face. “But-”

“Come on, Ava. There’s still a lot of good boys out there that won’t hurt you and will truly love you.” Victoria says. Ava let out a sigh and her gaze falls to the bed again.

“Yeah, Ava. Victoria is right.” I agree with Victoria, making Ava frown goes deeper than it was.

“Trust me. If you fall in love with that kind of boys, and they hurt you, your heart would break and you’re not going to only hurt emotionally, but physically too. And that would affect how you live your life. And we don’t want things happen to you because of that.” I say, frowning at her. She sighs quietly and look up from the bed, smiling sadly at me.

“I guess you’re right. There’s still a lot of boys out there who can love me the way I love him.” She says, and then she averts her gaze to Victoria, smiling at her.

“Yes, that’s right. There you go. Now, let’s forget about all of that and continue to watch this amazing and confusing movie we’re having now.” I say.

“Okay.” Ava says, now seems happier than before.

These crackers we were having making my mouth and throat so fucking dry. I need water. Or I could die because my body is running out of water supply.

“Oh, guys. I guess I’m going to go downstairs to get some water.” I jump off the bed, and then turn to look at them, looking for the look of approval on their faces.

“Oh, sure. Hurry up, because the best part would be happening in a few minutes!” Victoria says, looking so excited. Now I’m curious about what would happen in the movie. I should go quick to the kitchen and go back up here.

“Okay.”

I walk out of Victoria’s bedroom and walk down the stairs. I walk into the kitchen, tap on the light switch and the room bright within a second. I grab a glass from the cupboard and walk to the refrigerator, feeling a little bit sleepy. I pour some water into it and drink it.

Ah, so fucking fresh. I feel like my throat has been blessed after eating those salty crackers without drinking any water.

I gulp down the water quickly and put the glass into the sink. I turn around and walk back upstairs, rubbing my eyes. I jog upstairs, suddenly afraid something would pull on my leg. Typical thought that cross my mind every night when I went downstairs to grab something. And I can’t get rid of the scary thought although it’s been happening since I was a little child.

I keep running as the scary thought keep staying on my mind and I run into someone. He falls to the floor and I fall on top of him, my forehead hit his chin. He groaned under me and I winced, my hand already find its way to my forehead.

I rub my forehead and look up at his face. I find Austin, his face looks red as a freaking ketchup sauce as he stares back at me, seems like he’s hurting. And I just realize he’s shirtless. My eyes widen in shock and embarrassment and I quickly get off him. I stand up from the floor, balancing my body as I almost keep falling back to the floor.

“Austin, I’m so sorry.” I apologize, looking at him apologetically as I cringe internally because of how stupid I am. He only let out a chuckle at me as he shakes his head slightly.

“It’s okay. What is up with you? Running like something is chasing you?” He asks, amused.

“Uh, it’s embarrassing to admit but, I always have this feeling like something would grab my legs and pull me somewhere every night when I go downstairs.” I say, feeling very embarrassed to admit it.

“Really? Me too. It’s weird that I can’t get rid of the thought although I know there’s nothing that would grab my legs.” He chuckles. I laugh a little with him, both of us find this weird little thing funny.

“Yeah, I know right? It’s so weird.”

“Yeah.” Our laughter fades and now we just stand there awkwardly as we stare at each other, hoping one of us would end this conversation quickly.

“Uh, see you tomorrow.” Austin, rubbing the back of his neck nervously. I keep my eyes on his eyes, because I feel like my eyes keep drifting back to look down at his body, pursing my lips as I keep staring at him.

“See you tomorrow.” I smile at him. He walks downstairs and I continue to walk to Victoria’s room. I walk into the room and close the door behind me. I open my mouth to announce them I’m back and I find them asleep on the bed. I guess it’s time for me to do my job.

I grab the TV remote and turn off the TV. I grab my backpack and pull out my laptop. I open it, and when it already on, I type in some codes, trying to get into the house system. Damn, this house is pretty hard to hack.

I keep trying to get into the system and finally, after half an hour, I’m in the system. Now, I only have to get into the database. I put in the password and my laptop suddenly shows these words in red and caps lock.

ALERT! SYSTEM BREAKING FROM AN UNKNOWN DEVICE. ALERT!

What?! It’s not working? But why? I already done all of the things I should.

I sit there on the sofa in panic, not knowing what to do. An alarm can be heard in the distance, probably from somewhere in this house. I think to just shut my laptop but I know it won’t work, I still can be tracked, maybe.

WILL BE TRACKING DEVICE IN

Oh my god, it’s happening? What should I do?

I type all the codes that I know that can stop an automatic device tracking, but none of it works, make me even more panic and anxious.

3, 2, 1-

I look at my laptop screen in horror and then my laptop screen turns black. Oh no, it’s happening. What should I do? I bet someone would be coming into this room in a few seconds and I would be dead. I put down the laptop and run to get my backpack. My laptop screen light up again and my eyes automatically look at its direction.

Sophie,

This device already cleared from the system you were hacking. They no longer can track this device anymore. Please hack the system carefully next time because this service is no longer available.

Keep yourself save,

Eve

Eve? Just like the the system in my glasses? Hmm. I’m guessing that Eve is the system that made for me. Fucking amazing!

Back to the hacking. Phew, thank god. I’m safe for this time, but not for next time I’m hacking into the Williams family’s house system. I could get into prison, or worse, I’m never going to see the outside world ever again.

I shut my laptop off, feeling so relieved. But my mind still keep wondering what did I done wrong until the system can know I’m hacking it? Is it the security system that is too tight? Or what? I’m so confused. I feel like I’ve done all the things I should.

I guess I should be more careful next time. Or I could get myself into a big trouble.

I sigh and let my body fall to the sofa. I pull the blanket over my body until it reaches my chin. Sighing, I close my already heavy eyes and drift off into a slumber.


“Sophie! Wake up! It’s breakfast time!” Ava yells, shaking my body vigorously. I open my still heavy eyes and look at her, maybe looking like an idiot person.

“Uh? What time is this?”

“It’s 7 past 4 minutes.” Victoria says.

“Oh. Okay. I’ll be down in a minute.” I say, closing my eyes again, trying to get rid of the sleepiness in it.

“Come on. Just go down there with us. No need to clean yourself. You don’t really have to look good in front of us.” Victoria says. Well, I can’t go down there looking like I just got out of the jungle.

“Uh, I guess I should. I need to wash my face, my eyes still feel so heavy now.” I say, still keeping my eyes close.

“Okay. We’ll wait for you.” Ava says.

“Okay.”

I turn around and walk into the bathroom, and stop in front of the sink. I brought my face up to look at my reflection on the mirror and woah, what the hell just happen to my hair? It looks so fucking terrible. I comb my hair with my hand and tie it into a messy bun. I turn on the tap and wash my face with the warm water, rubbing my drowsy eyes.

I turn off the tap and dry my face. I walk out of the bathroom, Victoria already gone and Ava still there, sitting on the bed, seems like lost in a deep thought as she stares at the floor blankly. I walk up to her and smile. “Come on, let’s go.”

She blinks her eyes a few times and look up at me, smiling a little. “Oh, let’s go.” She stands up from the bed and we begin to walk out of the room. Austin walks out of the room, still shirtless with a shirt in his hand. And I’m being the stupid person I am, can’t stop myself from walking and crash into his body.

“Sorry, Austin.” I say, feeling embarrassed of my stupid act in front of him once again. He looks down at me, smiling. “It’s fine.” He shrugs, grinning at me.

“Put on a shirt already, would ya?” Ava says, seems annoyed by him and roll her eyes.

“I can do what I want, sis. This is my body. Just said you like me looking like this.”

“Are you serious? You’re my brother. Ew. I never thought of you that way.” She says, looking at him in disbelief and seems disgusted by him.

“Fine.” He puts on his shirt and look at me, smirking. “Like what you see?”

“What? I’m not even looking at you!” I say, scowling at him. He laughs at me and grin. “I’m kidding, babe.” He quickly walks away and I stare at his back like I could make a hole on his back.

“Austin!” I shout. He runs downstairs and I sigh. The word babe he said make my cheek burns and I sigh. I look at Ava, already grinning at me.

“What, Ava?” I ask, feeling annoyed by the look on her face.

“Nothing.” She says, still grinning annoyingly.

We walk into the dining room already filled with the smell of waffles and coffee. I look at the table, Victoria, Matthew, his father and mother, and Austin already there. Mr. Williams drink down his coffee as he works on something on his laptop. And Christina writes down something on her journal, taking a sip of her tea sometimes.

I take a seat next to Victoria, which is happen to be in front of Austin and I regret myself to take this seat, and Ava sits beside me. Austin look at my direction, smirking at me. I groan as quietly as I can and roll my eyes, feeling my cheek burning a little.

“Good morning, Ashley.” Christina smiles.

“Good morning uh, Christina.” I say, remembering her told me to call her Christina instead of with her last name.

“So, how was your night going with Ava and Victoria?” She asks, and then drink the tea from her cup, still keeping her eyes on me.

“It’s great. But it’s a shame that they fell asleep earlier when I just go downstairs to drink some water.” I say, frowning a little.

“Yeah, we’re sorry about that. We don’t even know what has gotten into us until we fell asleep.” Ava says, frowning. I give her a little smile.

“It’s okay. We can do this again another time.”

“It’s strange that I can’t track the last night hacker.” Mr. Williams says, his eyes focused on the laptop screen in seriousness. Shit, that mean he’s the one that keep an eye on the system? What if he knows that I’m the hacker but not saying it now?

“Really? Have you try to get the record of the hacker’s computer?” Mrs. Williams says, seems angry and confused as she looks at the laptop screen.

“No. It’s clear as a blank paper sheet about that computer.”

Phew. That mean I’m not in trouble. For now.

“What hacker are you talking about?” I ask, trying to look innocence by asking the question. Who knows they already have me as the suspect in their mind?

“Oh, it’s the hacker that tried to get into this house system and database, honey. But thank god our system has a great firewall.” That’s it. I haven’t turn off the firewall, I guess? But how is that even possible to hack a system if I haven’t turn off the firewall? I’m so confused. What did I miss last night. I don’t even remember what I do to hack the system last night.

“Oh, thank god. That means the hacker haven’t get anything from your database, right?” I ask, trying to look grateful for them.

’Yes, he haven’t.” She says, smiling sadly at me. She thought the hacker was a man or boy when it’s actually me.

The housemaid put a plate of waffles and a glass of orange juice in front of me. I thank her and she nods her head a little, smiling at me. Yum, waffle. My favorite breakfast dish.

We eat our breakfast, sometimes Matthew’s father, that I thought is a very stern and serious person, tells us a joke that make all of us break into a fit laughter and that make my stomach hurt because of laughter.

“Ashley, do you want to come with us for a jog?” Austin asks. I look at him and raise my eyebrows. “Now?”

“No, one hour from now.” He replies. Of course. We can’t just go on a jog after eating. It would be pretty unhealthy.

“Oh, sure.” I say, shrugging my shoulder.

“Ava, Victoria?” Austin says, looking at Ava and Victoria back and forth.

“No, I have to go somewhere, group project.” Ava says.

“Well, I have to go in two hours for a photoshoot session.” Victoria says.

No girl friends on the jog. But it’s okay for me, I guess.

“Okay, that means you two busy. Ashley, we’ll be starting at 7.30 sharp and if you not ready by that time, we’re leaving without you.“Austin says, looking at me seriously but I know he only put that face because he wants to seems like a serious person when I know he’s actually not.

“Yes, sir, yes.”


“Ashley? You’re ready? We’re leaving now.” Austin yells behind the bedroom door. I quickly pull my jacket out from my backpack and put all of my things into the backpack.

“Just a second!” I put on a jacket and grab my phone with me. I open the door quickly and Austin almost falls into me and I step back. He quickly regain his balance, seems pretty shocked. I laugh at him, only to make his face turns red and a scowl show on his face.

“Sorry, Austin. I didn’t know you were here.” I say, grinning at him. He sighs quietly and smile.

“It’s fine. Come on. It’s going to be hot outside soon."

“Okay, let’s go.” We walk downstairs and do a stretching as we wait for Matthew that take an eternity to get his ass ready. Austin look at me, asking me with the look on his face where the heck is Matthew. I just shrug my shoulder and he sighs.

“Matthew?! Hurry up! We’re running out of time if you don’t come down here now.” He yells, looking upstairs as he waits for Matthew reply. But he’s not replying. He runs a hand over his face, seems pretty frustrated.

“Damn, he’s the one that suggested this. But he’s the one that took the most of our time to get ready.”

“I know he’ll be down in a second.” I say. And within a second, Matthew comes walking down the stairs, looks like he doesn’t even give a fuck about us waiting for him.

“Ah, speak of the devil,” I say, rolling my eyes.

“Shut up, Ashley.” He says, scowling at me, make me scowl back at him. “Don’t shut up me. A boy once said that boys just change their clothes to get ready while girls have to take a long time to get ready like wearing a make up and all. And now, I guess it’s a wrong shit I’ve known since you take a long time to came out here.”

“It’s none of your business.” He says, still staring at me coldly.

“Woah, calm down you two.” Austin says, standing between us to calm down the tension that built up between Matthew and I. “Let’s go now, it’s getting hotter outside.”

“Let’s go.”

We jog out of the house to the sidewalk. Austin and I keep jogging in the same pace while Matthew jogs behind us.

“Ashley, do you want to go to the beach this afternoon, have some smoothies on the beach?” He says. Smoothies? On the beach? Sounds like a great idea. Especially if Victoria and Ava could come.

“Sure. Let’s ask Ava and Victoria to come.”

“They can’t come. They have their own busyness, remember?” He says. And I mentally face palm myself. They just said that an hour ago and I already forget about it.

“Oh, yeah. I just remember that. Hey, Matthew, do you want to come?” I actually don’t want him to come. But it’s going to be very rude if I didn’t ask him to come.

“No, just go you two fucking lovebirds. Now excuse me, you two jog so freaking slow and I want to run.” He says and run past us, within a second already gone out of our sight. Damn, that boy.

“Sure, grumpy pants.” I mumble.

“Ashley, the one that get to the second floor win and the one that lost has to buy the smoothies for the both of us.” Austin says after almost an hour of jogging. I glance at him and smirk.

“Game on, boy.”

We run quickly, and I run faster than him. I run into the house and run upstairs, laughing with Austin still trying to outrun me. I get slipped on my way to the second floor, my heart skip a beat, and my head hit the floor. And everything turns black within a second.

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