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Rated: 18+ · Novel · Mystery · #2127868
Ten years on, Melody Murphy and her friends are at a party and they're being watched
Chapter One



Ten Years Later

"Come on, Melody, we're going to be late," said a slightly irritated tall brunette with strikingly blue eyes. She tapped her left foot impatiently as she watched her best friend, Melody Murphy, admire her slender, but womanly, petite physique in the mirror.

"How do I look, Megan?" Melody asked.

"You look fabulous, hun. Come on, let's go," the brunette named Megan replied.

"Why are you in such a hurry?" she asked curiously.

"I just don't want to get there and the party's over," Megan replied.

Melody studied her. "No, it's not," she insisted. "Does it have something to do with a guy?" she laughed as her friend's cheeks reddened. "I knew it!"

"OK, you're right. Can we just go?"

"Ok, I'm ready," Melody picked up her black handbag and the girls left their dorm room they shared together at Raven Hill College in North Carolina.

After five minutes of walking in silence side by side down the corridor and out through the dormitory, Melody cleared her throat to speak.

"Hey, Megan, do you ever wonder what could've happened to Holly Jackson?" she asked out of curiosity.

Megan looked confused as she responded, "Who?"

It was a clear summer's night and the air was fresh. The girls were almost at the party by the lake.

"Don't you remember Holly Jackson? She mysteriously disappeared ten years ago?" Melody hadn't stopped thinking about what happened to Holly Jackson over the past ten years. Why hadn't she been found? Was she dead? And if so, why hadn't the body been found?

"I vaguely remember her. Why have you brought her up?" Megan asked.

There were loud music and noises and college students were standing by the lake drinking from paper cups of alcohol. Opposite the party was a large lake where the water was so still it looked like a sheet of glass.

"Megan! Melody! You girls made it!" said a slightly drunk, good looking black guy, walking over to them and placed his right arm around Melody's shoulders. "Man, Melody, you're looking hot!"

"Jake, get off me!" Melody brushed him off coldly with disgust away from her.

"Come on, girl, give me a chance," Jake Logan replied.

She walked away and Megan followed.

"Why are you so nasty to him?"Megan asked curiously. "He really likes you."

Melody stopped walking and turned to her. "Jake likes everything in a skirt," she pointed out with a smile. "Besides, I have my eye on someone else anyway."

"Who?"

"Tyler Hale."

Megan looked around the crowded party and saw a tall, dark, broody, and handsome man in a black leather jacket and jeans walking towards them. She leant in to whisper. "He's here."

"Hi, Melody," a deep, husky male voice grabbed her attention.

Melody's heart began to thump against her chest, her cheeks began to redden. She smiled up at him. "Hi, Tyler," she responded with a shy smile as her left hand pushed a strand of her long blonde hair behind her left ear. She had been secretly in love with Tyler Hale since elementary school. Her hands began to get all sweaty. "I didn't think a college party was your kinda thing."

"Well, it's not really," Tyler said. He had a dark stubbly chin and green eyes.

"So, why are you here?" she asked out of curiosity. Trying to ignore the fact that her heart was literally pounding against her chest.

"Friends. One in particular," he replied with a smile.

Melody returned the smile. "So, how was visiting your mum in New York?"

"It was OK. She told me to follow my heart," Tyler replied.

"Wise words. For what?"

"Love."

Melody and Tyler's eyes met and felt the strong connection between them grow stronger and then they slowly moved forward and their lips pressed against each other.

"Do you remember the girl that disappeared ten years ago?" she asked.

Tyler had a confused expression on his handsome face as he shook his head. "Not really," he replied. He thought for a moment. "Hang on, was she the one who had the cleft lip?"

Melody nodded.

"Why do you ask?"

"It's been bothering me all these years why and how she just disappeared. She was with us in that playground one minute and then gone the next. Poof! Gone! I think I might just go back to the dorm."

"No, Mel, come on, it's still early," Megan said with disappointment.

"Come on," Tyler added.

Melody felt her heart melt when he flashed his cute smile at her. "OK," she replied.

Her best friend shrieked with delight and then hugged her. She looked over her shoulder and her brown eyes widened. "Oh, my God! I can't believe he's actually here!"

"Who?" asked Melody.

Both she and Tyler turned and followed Megan's gaze and their eyes widened in complete shock where a group of frat boys were standing by a small bonfire and drinking. One of them was tall with dark brown hair wearing jeans and a flannel shirt.

"Is that Caleb Phoenix?!" Tyler asked in shock.

"Yep, in the flesh," Megan replied.

"What's he doing here?" asked Melody coldly. "I thought he left for high school in California." She folded her arms across her chest. She remembered how cruel Caleb Phoenix was to Holly Jackson back in elementary school calling her 'monster' because of her cleft lip that she was born with.

"He came back to Raven Hill a few months ago and started back at college straight away," Megan informed them. She turned to her, "why are you being cold?"

She turned to her. "Don't you remember, Caleb was really cruel to Holly Jackson before she disappeared."

Megan rolled her eyes. "Oh, god, Mel, give it a rest! The girl has been gone ten years and the police have found no traces," she replied with annoyance. She flipped a long strand of hair behind her shoulder and then walked confidently over to Caleb.

Tyler rose his eyebrows. " I forgot Caleb's family was one of the richest families in town," he said. He turned to Melody and saw a worry line across her forehead. "Are you OK?"

She watched as her best friend flirted with Caleb and then saw him turn towards them and waved and then started to walk over to them. Melody forced on the biggest smile she could muster on her pretty face as she shook his hand. "Hey, Caleb, great to see you again," she said.

"Yeah, you too, Melody," Caleb replied, he scanned her up and down with his blue eyes. "You're looking great," he smiled showing a dimple in his right cheek. He turned to Tyler and shook his hand. "Great to see you, man."

"Yeah, you too. What's it been like now? Five- six years?" Tyler asked, smiling.

He laughed heartily. "Something like that," he replied.

"What brings you back to Raven?" Melody asked Caleb coldly.

"I missed home and you guys," Caleb smiled at his friends.

"Yo, Caleb, great to see you, man," said Jake Logan slapping his old pal on the shoulder. He quickly hugged him.

"You too, Jake, still a bit of a joker as always then, mate?" he teased, grinning.

Tyler, Jake, and Megan laughed, except Melody.

"Mate?" Tyler asked. "What's that?"

Caleb laughed. "When I was in high school in California, I did a drama class and we were reading a play out loud and I played a British guy from London. So my drama teacher was British and he taught me some of the British slang. And 'mate' is used a lot in Britain. Like we say 'bro' or 'man', they say 'mate'. As in 'how you doing, mate?'" he puts on an attempted British accent.

Jake, Tyler, and Megan are impressed; even Melody was a bit as well.

"You can smile, love," said a raven- haired, blue-eyed, and pale skin beauty to Melody whilst draping her right arm around Caleb's shoulders. She had a posh British accent.

Megan's face fell.

"Everyone, this is my British cousin, Bella Cross, from London. And Bella, this is Tyler... Melody.. Jake.. and the beautiful Megan," Caleb introduced all of his friends. His eyes were riveted to Megan making her happy again.



Someone was watching them from afar among the bushes through a pair of black binoculars. They were wearing black gloves and a black balaclava over their head. Their gloved hands gripped around the binoculars tightly. Who were they? Why were they spying on Melody Murphy and her friends?










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