As Kie sits in the police tent, a whole storm raging around the thin canvas providing her shelter, she feels numb. A while ago, she caught a glimpse of her reflection in a window. She knows that she looks unhinged, her hair wildly pulled into half a bun. Dark bags hang under her eyes, a testament to the exhaustion she feels settling into her bones. Tear tracks have long since dried to her cheeks, but her eyes remain red and puffy. As her head throbs mercilessly, she wraps JJ's shirt around herself a little tighter, trying to bring some warmth to counteract the cold emptiness she feels in her gut. Tendrils of dread and anxiety snake their way through her body and fill her up.

In the past 24 hours she had been kidnapped, held hostage, rescued, faked a kidnapping, kissed one of her best friends, and said goodbye to another. The whirlwind of the emotions she had experienced, and shoved deep down to focus on the task at hand, where finally bubbling their way to the surface. Where are John B. and Sarah now? Had she really kissed JJ a few hours ago? Did he get far away from the police before they arrived? She has millions of questions, the answers scattered somewhere in the wind that whips brutally against the tent wall that she is leaning against.

No matter how afraid she feels, however, her mind replays the kiss she shared with JJ before he had mischievously ran away. Absentmindedly, her fingers brush over her lips as she reminisces. She desperately wishes he was here now, to wrap his strong arms around her smaller frame and pull her close. Instead, all she has for company is Shoupe, who had already tried repeatedly to get her to admit something to help them track down John B.. Another female police officer sat in the corner. Lauren, her name tag read. She had badly bleached hair and plastered on what she probably thought was a sympathetic smile but actually came across as patronizing.

She knows they're not buying her story. If they weren't suspicious, she would have been allowed to see her parents. She would have been sent home to rest up after giving her statement. Victims aren't usually held in isolation, unable to see their parents or call a lawyer. She may not be handcuffed, but she isn't stupid; she knows she isn't free to leave.

A particularly loud beat of thunder booms in the sky, heightening Kie's anxiety. She clears her throat uncertainty. "What is happening to my friends?" With her voice cracking terribly, she directs the question to Shoupe.

Shoupe glances up from a phone. He looks tired. "The friends that you claim kidnapped you? Those friends?"

"Look, I already told you it was just John B., no one else. He was upset, and scared, and he came out of nowhere-"

"Damn it, Kiara." He sets the phone down harshly, and she flinches back. "I don't think you understand what kind of deep shit you are in right now. There are dozen witnesses that claim to have seen you aiding a murder suspect in evading the police" He makes a vague gesture to the world outside of the tent. "This isn't some treasure hunt that you and your friends are going along with. An officer is dead. Do you understand?"

She shakes her head unsteadily. "I know it's not just some treasure hunt! My friends are out there somewhere, right now, doing God knows what! And I'm stuck in here, and you won't even tell me what the fuck is going on." Fresh tears well up in her eyes, and she lets them roll down her cheek. She is too exhausted to care.

Shoupe eyes soften as he exhales deeply. If she didn't know any better, she would think cracks of sympathy filtered through his mask of anger. "We don't know where your friends are," he admits softly. "We're trying to find them right now. But if they're on a boat, in this weather…." He shakes his head. Kie hates the acceptance on his face. The way they have already begun to mourn deaths that haven't happened yet, that could still be prevented.

"No," she denies quietly. "You can't let them drown, Shoupe. Please."


Before either one of them could continue down this depressing train of thought further, their attention is drawn to a commotion outside. Instinctively, Shoupe's hand rests on the holster of the gun and Kiara pulls her knees up to her chest in protection. Shouting can be heard over the wind raging outside.

"I've really enjoyed our time together, but we've really only just met, so can you please take your hands the fuck off of me!"

Kie feels warmth blossom in her chest for the first time in hours. Hopefulness. She would know that voice dripping with sarcasm anywhere.

"You can't just keep us apart- where the hell is Kie? What did you guys do to her?"

She stands up, prepared to fight every police officer standing between her and JJ, but Shoupe places a strong hand on her shoulder. He throws a pointed glance at the bandages a paramedic had gently wrapped around her irritated wrists. "I will cuff you if I have to," he adds.

Kie is still weighing out her options when the tent flap is pushed open and JJ stumbles inside. He has clearly put up a good fight. Several officers accompany him, even though his hands are handcuffed behind his back. Fresh scrapes and bruises mark his face, and he looks as exhausted as Kie feels. Nevertheless, a warm smile cuts across his bruised face when his eyes meet hers.

"Hey, princess."

AN: I'm sorry this took forever! low on ideas. thank you for the reviews i swear they are the only thing that keep me going! as always pls share any ideas you have for the next chapter they are very much appreciated