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from A Test of Loyalty by Laurie Stewart

Part 4
Ashleigh and Samantha

I snuck in the house as quietly as possible. Mom was on late shift, she’d left by four. That meant Jeff and I were alone.
I turned the key silently; I kept it rubbed with Vaseline just for this. My room was just past the living room, maybe twenty feet away. If I was quiet enough, or lucky enough, Jeff would be out looking to score, and I’d be safe behind a locked door in a few seconds.
I wasn’t that lucky.
“Hey little girl, where you been?” His voice was slurred, stoned. A cold chill worked its way up my scalp.
I tried to slide back out the door, but he was there, pushing it closed behind me. How could he move so quietly while that drunk or stoned? He must’ve known I was coming home now, hidden in the closet.
But I had to think of how to get out of there. He was dangerous when we were alone.
I took a step toward the hall to my bedroom but he grabbed my arm, pulling me closer. I could smell stale beer on his breath. He leaned in, groping for my shirt, and I automatically pulled back. My shirt ripped, and the sight of my bra seemed to surprise him.
Taking advantage of his momentary stunned look, I kicked his ankle and broke free. I didn’t count on his wearing his work boots in the house though. The kick just glanced off and barely slowed him down. He caught me outside my bedroom. I wish I’d been a little faster, the lock I’d put on inside my room was supposed to be impossible to break. I tried to knee him, but he was expecting it, my knee just bounced off his thigh. He yelled something and punched me in the face. I was so shocked, I stopped fighting. He grabbed my breast and that woke me up again, this time my knee went straight to his nards. He whimpered and sank down, letting go of me. I ran down the hall.
I dodged right and made it to the bathroom and locked the door. But the stupid lock was made to open from the outside. A safety feature, the landlord called it when we moved in. Yeah, I feel real safe right now. The window was small, but I was pretty skinny. The downside was, if he busted through the door while I was halfway out, or stuck....
My ass would be in his face, and there would be nothing I could do about it.

Samantha
There was a sudden knocking on the front door; Mom was so startled that she dropped the box she was carrying. After a second, I got up to answer the door. Mom hopped up to stop me, but then paused. She looked torn, scared but feeling foolish about it, I guess.
“Wait, Samantha. Look through the peephole first. This isn’t as safe a neighbourhood as Rockcliffe.”
“I know, Mom. I’m not three.” But I had forgotten. I felt stupid for just rushing to the door like a kid. Then I looked through the peephole and saw it was Ashleigh, and felt stupid for being paranoid. So, I looked at Mom as if it was her fault that I was being stupid.
“It’s just Ashleigh from downstairs. Honestly, you’re so freaking paranoid.”
I opened the door and noticed that Ashleigh was looking back dow...






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