Chapter 3! Sorry it wasn't posted for so long.
If you missed chapter two, by @geeky-dancer, it's here: http://www.polyvore.com/kkr_chapter_o2/set?id=74059087&lid=2322931
And the whole story thus far is in this collection: http://www.polyvore.com/kingdom_keepers_return/collection?id=2322931
After my conversation with Wayne, I lay awake for hours, stewing over the task I’ve been given. How am I supposed to make friends with Aunty Lindsey? How am I even supposed to meet her? I suppose I’m going to have to risk sneaking into Hollywood Studios, to the Base. But one of the first KK-rules is never going it alone in the Parks.
My alarm goes off at six, and I groan in frustration. It’s all I can do not to throw my clock across the room.
Moving slowly, I get up and pull on a gray sweater with Minnie and Mickey on the front, black skinny jeans, and soft gray boots. I go through the motions of washing my face, brushing my teeth, and combing my hair. I slide in a barrette and yawn at myself in the mirror.
It’s going to be a long day.
In the kitchen, my mom has oatmeal and buttered toast ready. As I take my seat, she asks, “Are you ready for that English quiz today?”
I swallow a groan and nod. School is the most important thing in the world to my mom—she acts like life depends on straight A-pluses.
“Good,” she says.
I quickly shovel down my oatmeal, hoping to talk as little as possible. I wonder where Dad is—he’s better than she is about putting pressure on me, although he still sees grades as important.
“Hey, Mom,” I say as casually as I can, taking a bite of toast. “I was thinking last night…”
“About?” she says.
“Um, Aunt Lindsey.”
Mom almost chokes on her coffee. “What?! Lindsey?! Why in the world were you thinking about her?!”
“Ah…” I look at her face. Her eyes are glittering with anger, and her mouth is in a hard line. Yeah, this is the wrong approach. “I was just… Er, wondering about family trees.”
Mom frowns at me. “Oh. Well, Lindsey was never good with boys. She definitely doesn’t have a husband or kids to put on a tree.”
I exhale in relief. Thank goodness she bought that. “Yeah, that’s what I thought.” I stuff the rest of the toast in my mouth and jump up. “See you later, Mom!” I kiss her on the cheek, grab my backpack, and run toward the bus stop.
Of course, the day does not get better from there. Before first period even starts, Emily comes up to me at my locker. I’m in the midst of scouring Facebook on my phone for Aunt Lindsey, and have to shove it in my backpack before she sees.
I feel awful not telling my friends about Wayne’s mission… But I know he wants it to be secret.
What Em says me doesn’t make me feel any better. Her twin sister—Rachel—got a threat note this morning against all of us… delivered by Jeffery Gibbs, a boy who used to have brown eyes but is now wearing green contacts.
An OTK—Overtaker Kid. Back in the era of the original Kingdom Keepers, the Overtakers put spells on kids from the KK’s school and use them to spy and sometimes even launch attacks on the Parks and/or Keepers. OTKs are nothing to mess with.
I can barely concentrate in my classes. Even the English quiz barely registers with me. In fourth period Biology, I see Jeffery. His eyes are indeed now a vivid, creepy green. I can feel him watching me all through class.
I am exhausted by lunchtime. I saw Lacy third period and warned her she was eating with us. I grab Jay on my way into the cafeteria. Emily and I had agreed to eat together when we met at the water fountain between periods.
"So what's wrong?" Lacy asks as we all take seats at a corner table. I find myself wishing that Newman and Leo were here. They don’t go to our school; we’re going to have to brief them later.
I nod at Em. "Show them the note."
Emily exhales and grabs the note out of her bag. She stares at it for a minute and finally quickly puts it in front of Lacy and Jay. "My sis found it," she says, staring at her hands.
I wait while they read it over together, their heads nearly touching. Jay finishes first and looks up, his bright blue eyes wide.
"And Jeffery Gibbs now has green contacts," I announce. "Rachel said it, and I just saw him in fourth period. There are more OTKs."
"And you didn't tell me this earlier, because…?" Jay asks Emily.
"It just happened today!" Em says, looking up.
"Yeah, well I know you saw us in Starbucks this morning."
"Then you must know I was being polite and not interrupting," she mutters, her cheeks a little red. Poor Em—she has this huge crush on Jay, but he and Lacy are a thing.
"How did you find out, Angie?" Jay asks, totally ignoring Emily.
"She showed me at my locker," I explain. "Rachel came up, and we tried to convince her that this—" I point to the note "—is all a game we're playing with Jeffery."
"Some game," Lacy says, finally looking up from the note. "I mean: death threats?"
I glare at her. "What would you suggest? We can't tell her the truth!" Rachel is a blabbermouth, I finish silently. I don't want to say it out loud and make Emily feel worse.
"We had a whole argument this morning. She is very close to knowing the truth. I swear, I almost told her this morning. You know how hard keeping a secret is from a twin? It’s not fun. I don't think I can do this any longer." Emily puts her head on the table.
"It's not like the newspapers haven't written enough about the Kingdom Keepers," Lacy adds. "All of the original KKs' families found out before long." She shivers. "We might even end up in the Syndrome, if Jeff's threats are to be believed."
I wince. My parents would FREAK if I ended up in Sleeping Beauty Syndrome—stuck asleep as my DHI. "I know. But we have to be really careful who we trust."
"What do we do? My sister could be killed!" Emily exclaims.
"Shh! Keep it down! We need a plan. Meet up at the ice cream parlor right after school. Got it?" Jay asks.
"Yeah," Emily says, her eyes back down to her hands.
"I'll text Leo and Newman and tell them to meet us," I add. "Do you think we should tell Finn?"
"I think so," Lacy says. "I mean, he can help, right?"
We all shrug and nod.
The bell rings, and all of us stand. "See you later," I say grimly, walking out of the cafeteria.
The rest of the afternoon drags by. It’s only in sixth period, when I take a seat next to my friend Grace, that a possible solution to my aunt-problem comes to me.
I lean over and whisper, “Hey, G.”
She looks at me, her baby-blue eyes curious. “What’s up?”
“Would you be up for a little outing this weekend?” I ask. If I can get her to go to Hollywood Studios with me, I know I can sneak backstage to the Base.
Her eyes narrow. “What kind of outing?”
“Disney World. Pllllllllllllease,” I beg, keeping my voice down.
She sighs. “Oh, all right. But you better get permission to be there, Miss DHI.”
“Of course,” I say. But I’m thinking: not a chance.