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Holding onto Hadley (Chasing the Harlyton Sisters Book 3) by Jessica Sorensen (1)

Hadley

I’m sitting in a dark room. I’m frightened, shaking, and confused. I have no clue where I am or how I got here. My heart is thudding in my chest as I curl up in a corner, and the cement floor is cold against my legs. I wish I didn’t have on shorts and a T-shirt—it’s so cold. And where are my shoes?

I peer around at the stained walls, water dripping from the ceiling, and rusty chains dangling from the walls. This place is so scary, but what’s even more frightening is I can’t remember why I ended up here.

Where are my parents and my sisters? Why can’t I remember anything?

I try to remember but the last thing I can recall is heading to one of my mom’s drag races—

As a door at the top of a stairway creaks open, I shiver, hugging my knees to my chest. My body begins to shake as footsteps thud down the stairs, softly at first but then growing louder. Moments later, a man appears on the stairway.

No… Not a man. A boy around my age.

“You look frightened,” he remarks with his head tilted to the side.

It’s too dark to make out all of his features, but from what I can tell he’s the kind of boy my sisters would probably get a crush on and what I’d refer to as a pretty boy.

“I’m not,” I manage to say in an unsteady voice.

“Liar.” His lips quirk as he stops at the bottom of the stairs and observes me.

I straighten my shoulders and carry his gaze. “Nothing scares me.”

A smile takes over his face. “Well, you should be scared. My dad’s not a good guy.”

“Who’s your dad?” I ask, confused.

Instead of answering, he reaches into his pocket, retrieving a bag. “Here, I brought you some food.” He sets the bag in front of my feet and stares at me again.

I want to be stubborn and not open the bag, but I’m too starving not to. So I open it. A sandwich, chips, fruit, candy, and a few juice boxes are inside.

“Thanks,” I mutter, glancing up at him.

“You’re welcome.” His eyes sparkle in the dim light as he assesses me. “Do you know why you’re here?”

I shake my head. “I can’t even remember how I got here or where I am…” I leave the question out there, hoping he’ll answer.

His lips part, but then snap shut as the door at the top of the stairs creaks open again.

“Yeah, she’s right down here.” A deep voice flows through the darkness.

“Crap,” the boy murmurs, then takes off toward a door that’s on the far back wall. “Don’t tell him I was here. And hide the food,” he whispers to me with almost as much fear as I feel—

“Time to wake up.” Someone nudges me on the shoulder, startling me.

I blink, startled, and peer around, half-expecting to be surrounded by cement walls. But all I see are the cracked walls of the living room that belong to my home in Honeyton.

“You look out of it,” my sister Bailey says, stepping in front of me.

I rub my eyes a few times. “I feel out of it… What time is it?” I reach for my phone and instantly frown.

Great. I’ve been asleep for a total of maybe ten minutes since I returned home from Blaise’s. And now it’s time to get ready for school. I’m beyond exhausted and confused, not just with everything going on, but because of that dream… Or memory?

“Are you okay?” Bailey asks with worry.

I nod, but I’m not sure that I am.

Why am I suddenly remembering random forgotten memories of my life?

What the hell happened to me?