“You know, we can stay home.” Nora Greenly said, setting her bag down by the front door. Stella Greenly rolled her eyes and laughed. “I’m serious, Stella! We could stay home and go shopping or something.”
“Mom, I’m fine.” The blue-eyed brunette said, crossing her arms as she reached the bottom of the stairs. Her parents had wanted this vacation for months and finally her father had been convinced by his CFO that the company would not, in fact, spontaneously combust if he took some time off . There was no way in hell Stella was letting them miss this. She scooped up her mother’s carry-on and gently pushed it into her arms. “And Prada doesn’t belong on the floor.”
“Good to know you’re listening.” Nora said, kissing her daughter’s cheek. Stella returned the favor and hugged the middle-aged woman who definitely looked more like a sister than a parent. 'As if Beverly Hills would allow aging', Stella thought wryly. “Just, call if you need anything honey, okay? We can always fly back if you need-“
“Nora, please. She said to go.” William said, coaxing his wife towards the door. “The girl has spoken and Raj thinks we’re on our way. Private flight or not, this last minute trip is a favor.”
“I just-“ Nora sighed as her husband opened the door in hopes of getting the woman to a car. “Call, okay?”
“I will Mom.” Stella said, smiling. “I promise.”
Nora smiled and blew her daughter a kiss. William waved back and shut the door behind them. Stella let out a breath and made her way to the kitchen. She loved her mother, she really did. But sometimes it felt like the older woman always had to have some form of proof that she was really there. Stella knew her parents cared but it seemed like her mother was afraid she would disappear if she turned her back too long.
'Parents', Stella thought as she opened the fridge and pulled out her dinner. Jenny, their house person, had taken it upon herself to make sure the youngest Rucker always had a meal for dinner, whether it was a healthy salad or some gourmet lasagna. Stella smiled and opened the clear Tupperware container, revealing pasta salad and blackened chicken.
“She loves me.”
“She loves me.”
“She loves me.”
“Who?” Lydia startled out of her daydream at Malia’s question. The red head blinked, the room around her coming back into focus.
“Who what?” Lydia asked, her eyebrows knit together in confusion. Malia raised her own brows and slanted her head towards the girl as if she should know who.
“You said ‘she loves me’. I wasn’t sure if you were having a wet dream or a vision.” Malia answered, smirking. Lydia rolled her eyes, pulling the math textbook off of her lap.
“No, Malia, I wasn’t having a wet dream. Besides, if I were,” She said, sliding out of the chair she was occupying. “I wouldn’t be saying anything about love. I’d skip straight to the good parts.”
“Okay,” Malia said, following the girl trying to leave the room. She sidestepped her, blocking the doorway. “So it was a vision.”
“Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t.” Lydia said, ducking under Malia’s outstretched arm and heading downstairs. “Whatever it was, it isn’t important. She’s still not in any moral peril.”
“Still? As in you’ve seen her before?” Malia prodded. Lydia glanced at the brunette, sending a warning.
“No.” Lydia lied, knowing she’d already ruined any chance of escaping this interrogation. Now it was Malia’s turn to knit her eyebrows.
“So you’ve just been seeing some random person-“
“Girl.” Lydia said, sighing and sitting at an island chair and resting her head on her propped-up hand. “I’ve been seeing a girl. Just the one and it’s never anything more than her going about her normal life.
Nothing out of the ordinary. No sharp teeth or scales, no venom. She’s absolutely normal and I don’t understand, Malia, God I just don’t understand-“
“Hey,” Malia interrupted, sensing the other girls growing hysteria. “I’m not Stiles. I’m not holding you while you cry so if you’re planning on losing it, let me know so I can call him.”
“I’m not going to lose it.” Lydia bit back, rolling her eyes and uncapping the water in front of her. “We have to work on your social skills. You’re practically a barbarian.”
“Stiles says I’m making progress.” Malia boasted, grabbing a water for herself. “So how long have you been spying on this chick?”
“I’m not spying, Malia. I can’t help it. One second I was helping your miserable, hopeless ass with trigonometric identities and then I was seeing her.”
“Whatever. How long?” Lydia finally made eye contact with Malia.
“Only a few days.” She said. “But it’s getting more frequent. I was just seeing her at night in dreams and now I’m day-dreaming about her. I don’t know why though. It doesn’t make any sense. There’s no reasoning.”
“Well, banshees predict death, right?” Malia asked. “Maybe the girl’s about to bite it.”
“Again, barbaric.” Lydia said, no malice in her voice. “I don’t feel like she’s going to die though. It’s not like that.”
“Have you told anyone else? Maybe Boy-Wonder? The one with the huge drawing board in his room? Constantly figuring things out and saving our asses?”
“No, I haven’t told Stiles.” Lydia answered, eyes drifting back to her water. “And I’d appreciate you keeping it that way. For now, at least.”
“Sure thing.” Malia replied. “I can’t wait to see how that blows up in your face.”
Lydia rolled her eyes, sipping her water tentatively. There had to be something about this girl if she was dreaming about her day and night. There had to be some kind of connection. Why was this Stella so important?
And why the hell did she seem so familiar?
“Where did I put it?” Stella asked herself. She turned over her pillows lying on her bed and pushed the cover back. “I can hear you!”
As she walked towards the door the ringing got louder and Stella looked down, seeing her purse by the leg of her desk. She reached inside, feeling for the vibrating object.
“Aha!” Stella cheered as she felt her fingers close around the metal. She brought her head up, forgetting she was under the desk as she hit answer. “Ow!”
“Stella?” Jason’s voice sounded through the speaker. “Hello? Earth to spaz.”
“I’m here dumbass.” Stella said, rubbing the back of her head. “I had to find my phone.”
“Right, you lose your phone and I’m the dumbass.” He replied. Stella rolled her eyes and fell back onto her bed.
“Yes, you are. Now what do you want?”
“Well, right to the point, huh?” Jason laughed, an undertone of nerve clear in his voice. Stella’s forehead creased, confused.
“Jase, you okay?” She asked. Jason sighed on the other end of the line.
“Yeah, I just need to talk to you about something. And it’s important so don’t ask questions, alright?”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Stella asked, beginning to worry.
“It’s not bad, I just need you to meet me.” He said. “Half Point in fifteen?”
“Yeah, sure. I’ll see you there.” Stella hung up, already pulling her tennis shoes on. There were two things Jason Rucker just didn’t do: cry and get nervous. Considering the shakiness of his voice on the phone, Stella didn’t feel the need to ask questions. Not when her best friend sounded like that.
So fifteen minutes later Stella Greenly found herself pulling into a patchy grass spot near a tree, a place that had become as familiar and frequented by the two as her own house. Seeing Jason’s Jeep already empty Stella climbed out of her car and walked to the bench and sitting beside the reclined form.
“Hey.” She said, nudging his elbow with her own. He glanced in her direction and smiled, revealing a perfect white smile. “What’s up? You sounded weird on the phone.”
“Yeah, sorry.” Jason said, sitting up straighter and facing her. “I just, I found these and thought you should know about it. It felt wrong to lay it on you over the phone.”
“Lay what on me?” Stella questioned, her mind already racing to find the worst possible scenarios.
“This.” Jason pulled a portfolio folder from the other side of him, placing it in her lap. Stella looked up at him through her long lashes. He nodded and she opened it, seeing an array of papers. “I didn’t mean to find them. I had to grab a pen from Dad’s office and these were in the top drawer. I didn’t know how I should tell you or even if I should tell you. But I know I’d want you to tell me, so there it is.”
Stella stared at the paper, the words all melding together as her stomach plummeted. Her breath caught in her chest and she hiccupped. There was no way she was reading this right. Maybe she needed glasses or something because this wasn’t right this couldn’t be right.
“Stella?” Jason asked, putting a hand on her shoulder and pulling her from her thoughts. The breath she’d been holding escaped through her lips and her body seemed to deflate. She blinked up at him.