"Don't you find it creepy that hundreds and thousands of girls want our brothers?" Linz McLean asked her two best friends, Kati Richardson and Sarra Littrell.
"Try millions, sweetie," Kati corrected.
"It truly disgusts me," Sarra said as she took another swig of Mr. Pibb.
The girls were skipping 6th peiod World Geography. The teacher was a moron so the lessons were never passed out correctly. Everyone would usually ask them questions then.
"Oh, and tell me how my brother was blessed with a beautiful voice and I can't sing Happy Birthday without sounding like a dying bird," Linz complained.
"Amen to that, sista," Sarra said, who was in the same position as Linz.
Kati just sat there because she could sing Happy Birthday and a number of other songs.
"Kati? Isn't this the part where you chime in and say, 'Wow, me too, guys. Right on.'" Sarah said with an annoying smile.
"No Sarra, Kati can sing better than us...which isn't saying much," Linz said with a lopsided grin.
"Oh yeah, that's why we have her sing Happy Birthday to herself on her birthday," Sarra said.
"Oh yeah, I've been meaning to talk to you two about that." Kati grinned.
The three laughed.
"Hey as soon as you get us voice teachers, well start singin' to you," Sarra chimed in.
"Deal," Kati said, putting her hand in.
"Deal," Sarra said doing the same.
"Deal but if my brother finds out he'll make fun of me so keep it on the DL," Linz stated.
The three shook hands.
"Well well well it looks like you three girls are busted," Mr. Holdam said from behind Linz.
"Again," the girls said in unison.
"I plead the 5th," Linz said with her right hand up.
"You can't do that," Sarra protested.
"Shut up! Yes I can!" Linz hit Sarra.
"Come on, to the office right now." Mr. Holdam didn't tolerate them.
The three sat down in the bouncy chairs in the office. Sarra was bouncing in the chair while Linz, who didn't have a chair, was fiddling with some trophies, and Kati sat quietly, while Mr. Holdam went to go get something.
"Hey, Katister, what's wrong?" Linz asked.
"Nothing, McLean, nothing," Kati blew it off.
"Ya sure? You sure do look bummed," Sarra said.
"Come on, Richardson, I can see right through you what's bugging ya?" Linz turned.
"My mom's gonna be pissed," Kati said sadly.
"You know what I do?" Linz asked.
"What?" Kati looked up hopefully.
"I hold it against her that she named me Linz and then I break down into tears." Linz grinned.
"Real?" Sarra turned.
"Fake," Linz answered quickly.
"Doesn't she think you're psycho?" Sarra asked.
"Yeah, but she blames it on the crack," Linz said.
"That she did right?" Kati asked unsure.
"Yeah of course, I'm not that messed up." Linz grinned as everyone laughed.
"Here comes Mr. Holdam, try it on him!" Linz encouraged.
"How?" Kati asked.
"Just go on about Kev being a BSB." Linz patted Kati on the shoulder.
"This is no joking mattter, Linz. I suggest you straighten up in World Geography or you're going to fail," Mr. Holdam said with a grimace.
"Um, Mr. Holdam, have you actually looked at our records? We have the highest averages in the class." Sarra stuck up for her friends.
"And we have always brought passes," Sarra added.
"So there isn't much you can do, huh?" Linz grinned.
"AEP, Linz and Sarra," Mr. Holdam noted.
"Yes!" Sarra yelled.
"Schweet!" Linz rejoiced.
"As for you, Kati, I'm calling your mother."
"No, please Mr. Holdam," Kati started to cry. "My mom doesn't understand. I just feel left out when it comes to the family because of my brother."
Sarra and Linz muffled their laughs as Mr. Holdam hung up the phone.
"I'm sorry, Kati. I didn't know you felt like that. Listen, this time I won't call, but next time I will, ok?" he said.
"Ok." Kati looked down.
"As for you two, come here and sign hese AEP forms."
"With pleasure," Linz beamed.
"Gladly." Sarra got up.
The three friends walked down the hall. "I told you it would work," Linz smiled.
"Wow," Kati said.
"Hey, let's just go home," Sarra suggested.
"Ok," Linz said willingly.
"Wait. What about school?" Kati said.
"School's almost over, Kati. Let's just get out of here. We can go back to my place, no one's there," Linz said.
A.J. fiddled with an old necklace of Linz's.
"Why are we here anyways?" Kevin asked, pacing back and forth.
"Because the girls always come here after school," A.J. said.
"Sarra too?" Brian asked.
"No, they leave her outside, Brian."
The three brothes were interrupted by the sound of people coming in the house.
"That sucks, Linz," Sarra's voice said.
"The phrase of my life." Linz rolled her eyes.
"What are you three doing here?" A.J. and Kevin asked as they descended the stairs next to Brian.
Before everyone knew it, they were all hugging. Kevin was crying, but only joy tears.
"So what are you three up to? Aren't you supposed to be in school?" Brian asked.
"Um, well, yeah! But..." Kati looked for the right words.
"Ok, ok, we get it," Kevin said. "Come on, let's go shopping," Kevin said to Kati. "We'll meet up with you guys later," Kevin said as he walked out with Kati.
"Us too," Brian and Sarra said.
The four walked out.
A.J. finally found Linz typing away at her computer. She was always typing on her damn computer, A.J. thought to himself. He walked in the room but Linz didn't acknowledge them.
"Hey," he said.
"Hey, what do you want?" she said as she turned around.
"Why do you think I want something?" he asked.
"I don't know, do you?" she asked as she turned back around.
"Here it comes," Linz interrupted.
"I wanted to know if there was something wrong?"
"With me? You name it," Linz joked.
"No, come on, Linz, I'm serious. You seem kind of like you're avoiding me," A.J. said as he sat down next to her and looked into her eyes.
Linz stopped typing for the first time. "I'm just not a part of you anymore."
"What?! Of course you're a part of me."
"Linz!" He turned her towards him and held her hand. "You're my sister."
"And you're famous."
"Is that what you think I'm like? A famous snob who doesn't pay attention to his sister? Well you couldn't be anymore wrong, Linz."
"I'm just sick of it. A.J. this and A.J. that. No one pays attention to me anymore." She looked down.
"Come on, I'll pay attention to you," A.J. said as he pulled her outside to the car.
"Where are we going, A.J.?" Linz asked as she adjusted her lip ring.
"You want attention? I'll kick your butt at lasertag." A.J. smiled.
"What?! You beat me, that's laugh. You're going down faster than the Jackson Family." Linz smiled for the first time in a long time, a very long time.
The siblings laughed together and A.J. began to think things were beginning to go right for once with his sister.
Sarra backhanded the ball straight past the heaving Brian. He had never played so hard in his life. He didn't realize that his little sister could work him on the court like this. Sarra ran over to him.
"You ok, Brian?" Sarra asked worriedly.
"Yeah, I'm fine, why?" Brian gasped for air.
"I didn't know if there was something wrong," Sarra said as she tied her shoe.
"No, I'm fine," Brian said with a forced smile.
"Ok, good." Sarra said as she put her racket away.
"Sarra!" Brian stopped her with his words.
"What?" Sarra said in a monotone that sent chills down his spine.
"Why are you avoiding me?" Brian demanded.
"I don't know what you're talking about, Brian." Sarra looked at him.
"Come on, Sarra. You've been avoiding me and acting like you don't care about me, but I know you do care." Brian tightened his eyebrows to hold back the tears.
"Why would it matter if I cared about you anyway, you got all those fans to care about you," Sarra said coldly.
"What are you talking about?" he said as he walked towards her.
"I'm saying that it's funny that you're asking for attention seeing that you get it all the time and I get none." Sarra started to walk off again.
"Is that what this is about?" Brian said with an unbelievable look in his eyes.
"Yeah, of course." Sarra turned around.
"Sarra, you're my sister. I would never take the fame and attention over you," Brian walked towrds her.
"You promise?" Sarra asked.
"Of course," Brian said as he hugged Sarra.
Brian's beeper suddenly went off and Sarra jumped back with surprise.
"It's A.J.," Brian announced.
"What'd he say?" Sarra leaned over to see the beeper message.
"He said that Linz and himself are already up at Game Works. Kevin and Kati are on their way and they want us to come up there," Brian said almost in one breath.
"Then what are we waiting for?" Sarra asked as she tossed the tennis balls at Brian. Brian ran around trying to catch the scattered balls.
Linz knocked A.J. down and shot him with the laser.
"I don't think laser tag is a contact sport, Linz," A.J. said as he got up and shot her.
"With me it is," Linz said, running behind a wall that stopped the laser beams.
"What sport isn't with you?" Kevin said as he sneaked up on Linz.
"Dancing," Linz stated as he turned around and shot Kevin.
"Thank G-d for that one," A.J. joked.
The lights went off as A.J. shot Linz.
"Game over," a monotone voice said over the speakers. "Most valuable player is number 396."
"Hey! That's me," Linz said.
The four walked out of the playing arena to meet the just arriving Sarra and Brian.
"Sorry we're late, Sarra and I had some unfinished business to deal with," Brian said.
"Well you just missed the best butt kicking ever known to mankind," Linz announced proudly.
"Too bad," Sarra said.
"Well, we kinda did everything you can do here," Kati said.
"That's not true," the three boys said in unison.
"Oh, yes it is," the three girls said in unison.
"Well then, what can we do?" Kevin asked.
"Um, we were talking about it last night," Linz hinted to Kati.
"And well, Sarra?" Kati pushed her forward.
"We wanna go on a camping trip," Sarra said in one breath.
"You what?!" the three boys said in disbelief.
"We want to go on a camping trip," Kati repeated.
"I wanna go too," A.J. said.
"You're supposed to take us, smart ass." Linz hit him.
"Ok, ok, so if we take you on this trip what do we get?" Kevin asked.
"You get to be with your wonderful sisters for a week," Linz said.
"Ok, let's go," Brian said.
"Score," Linz said.
"Yes!" Sarra backed up.
"What about AEP?" Kati.
"Shut up!" Linz and Sarra said as they both hit Kati.
"AEP?!" Brian and A.J. said.
"Yeah, don't worry about it. It's just an administration problem," Linz said as she escorted A.J. out the door with everyone else.
The three girls were already asleep in the car by 3 A.M. Brian was driving and Kevin was sitting next to him giving directions. A.J. was sitting in between the two.
"G-d Sarra and Linz were really mad at us," Brian said.
"Yeah, I wonder why Kati wasn't mad at me," Kevin pondered.
"Because she does have a future that she wants, Train," A.J. said.
"What are you talking about?" Kevin asked.
"Linz and Sarra don't really have a talent like Kati," Brian said.
"That's not true," Kevin said.
"Yeah, they both can get in trouble real easily." A.J. and Brian laughed.
"No seriously, have ever seen Linz dance?" Kevin asked.
"No, have you?" A.J. retorted.
"Actually, she called me to pick her up from dance on time,"d Kevin said. "I was thinking...."
"Why didn't she call me?" A.J. asked with a perplexed look.
"Because I was embarassed for you to see me," Linz said as she sat up.
"You always do that," A.J. exclaimed.
"Do what?" LInz asked.
"You always pop up at unexpected times," A.J. turned around to say.
"Like your penis?" Linz said.
"We're almost there," Brian said.
"No we're not," Linz said.
"How do you know?" Kevin asked.
"Because I've seen it before, you already passed it," Linz said.
"What?" Brian and Kevin said.
"Let me break it down for you. You...passed...the...area...you...are...supposed...to...stop," Linz said with a smirk.
"Great!" Brian slammed on the breaks.
"No, no, don't worry. It's just a couple of miles back," Linz said.
"Thank G-d you woke up," Kevin sighed.
"Yeah, whatever. See you in the morning," Linz lied back down.
"Hey wait, does Sarra have any talents that she's hiding from me?" Brian asked.
"Yeah, she plays tennis," Linz said.
"Duh, really does she?" Brian turned around.
"I wouldn't worry about her Brian, she'll make it," Linz said as she lied back down.
Kati and Sarra woke up to find Linz gone. They were surprised to say the least to be in the tent and under some covers. Their brothers probably did it.
"Kati, where's Z?" Sarra called their friend by her nickname.
"Probably shooting up somehwere," Kati laughed.
"Don't joke about that Kati, she doesn't do that shit," Sarra hit Kati.
"Oh, sorry, I forgot, she just sells it," Kati laughed some more.
"Sells what?" A.J. walked into the tent immediately, stopping Kati's laughter.
"Nothing," Sarra looked down.
"It was a joke about someone we knew," Kati covered.
"And it wasn't funny." Sarra looked over at Kati.
"Well, we going to to get going further into the woods, so start getting ready. Where's Linz?" A.J. noticed.
"Probably washing her face or something," Kati looked down and fiddled with the dirt underneath her.
"Ok, tell her we're leaving," A.J. said as he walked out.
Kevin led the trail as A.J. failed to keep up with the group.
"Come on, pretty boy, catch up." Linz pulled A.J. up with the rest of the group.
"But there are all these bugs," A.J. shooed away.
"Live with it."
"I hafta go," Sarra said out loud.
"Take a whiz?"
"Come on I know where one is."
"I hafta go too."
"Then come on."
The three girls walked off to the bathroom.
Linz waited with Kati while Sarra used the restroom.
"So A.J. found out?"
"Yeah, your brother told him."
"Not your fault."
"What was that?"
A tall dark man hopped out from behind a tree and put a large hand over Kati's mouth to prevent her from screaming. A younger looking man with blond hair came out from behind Linzey.
"Linzey. Where's the stuff?"
"I'm on a trip Ryan."
"We just want the crack," the tall dark man said.
"It's in the floorboard in my room next to the bed on the left side," Linz explained.
"We want it now!" Ryan said taking a knife out of his pocket and gliding the flat part of the knife smoothly against Linzey's face but she didn't flinch.
"Don't do this please!" Kati begged.
"Shut up." Marcos hit her.
Before he knew it Marcos was on the ground being beat up by Linzey.
"Don't hit her, you bastard!" Linz was pulled off of Marcos by Ryan.
"You're gonna pay for that, bitch."
"Do you want me to do it, Marcos?"
"No! Stop whatever you're doing." Sarra burst out of the bathroom with her dinner knife.
Marcos smiled and held up his gun.
"Put your knife down." Marcos cocked the gun.
Sarra immediately dropped the knife. Kati started to get up but Marcos knocked her down again. Linz tried to get up but Marcos kicked her down again. Linz tried to get out of Ryan's grip but she couldn't.
"Where were we?" Marcos kept the gun on Sarra as he walked over to the struggling Linzey. "Oh yeah. I was going to hurt you."
"Kill me is more like it."
"No! Hurt you." Marcos pulled out a lead pipe.
"Is what you're going to be feeling like if you wake up." Ryan pulled her arms back tighter.
Marcos raised the lead pipe with an evil grin. It came down hard on Linzey. The last thing she heard was Kati scream. Linz's lifeless body fell to the ground. Marcos and Ryan left her there and went over to Sarra and Kati.
"Who wants to be next?" Marcos grinned.
"What's taking them so long?" Kevin asked as he threw a rock through the trees.
"I think I know where they went."
"Then lead the way."
10 minutes later Kevin, A.J., and Brian found Linzey unconscious on the ground and Sarra and Kati gone. A.J. and Kevin rushed over Linzey while Brian stood there in shock.
A.J. checked for a heartbeat...Thank G-d! She was breathing too. Kevin's eye caught a note next to her. He picked it up and read it.
This is Linzey McLean. She deals us crack and we never got it so we knocked her out and took her friends. Don't help her cause she's a bitch. Sincerely, Marcos
Kevin's jaw dropped. Linzey? Dealing crack? That didn't sound right. Ok, it did sound right but why?
"We need to get her somewhere."
"Yeah." Kevin's eye glanced over the letter again.
P.S. If you call the police, the girls die!
"No! No, we can't." Kevin gave the letter to A.J..
"What?" A.J. finished the letter.
"Bri? Brian? What's wrong?"
Brian held up a cross with teary eyes. "Sarra never went anywhere without it."
"It's ok she's not dead...yet." A.J. picked Linzey up. "Let's get outta here."
"Kati!" Linz yelled as she woke up with a pounding headache that immediately pushed her down on the bed. Where was she? A.J. walked in. Thank G-d, but where was Kati and Sarra?
"Where's Kati and Sarra?" Linz looked around weakly.
"Lay back down," A.J. help her ease back down.
Kevin walked in with Brian. They both looked worried and angry at the same time. Linz faded in and out for a minute.
"Crack?" Kevin said in a fatherly tone.
"Kevin!" Brian calmed him down.
"No, no, I want to know too." A.J. looked over at Linz. "What are you dealing? Where's Sarra and Kati?"
"I don't know and crack," Linz said backwards. She didn't care. She was confused and hurt.
"How are you feeling?" Brian's voice seemed distant as Linz was flooded with memories of what had happened.
"A lead pipe!" Linz sat up feeling the pressure against her head.
"They hit me with a lead pipe and then I don't know. Kati screamed. That's all I heard." Linz broke down into hot tears.
Kevin ran next to her and Brian followed him.
"I was gonna give it to them when we got back but they didn't believe me. They kept kicking Kati and I tried to stop them but they were too strong. They hit me and then I just remember seeing them go over to Kati and hearing her scream. I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't mean for this to happen," Linz managed through tears.
Kevin and A.J. felt bad for jumping on her like that.
Linz laid back down.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have jumped like that."
"No, I'm sorry. I shouldn't have..."
A.J. eased Linz back down and kissed her forehead. "Get some rest. We'll look for them in the morning," A.J. said softly.
The three boys left the room and went to bed while Linz found herself crying herself to sleep.
Kati was still unconscious while Sarra was trying to undo the knots. Sarra kicked Kati.
"What?" Kati said groggily as she woke up.
"Untie me," Sarra whispered.
"They left her for dead."
Kati untied her as Ryan walked into the dark cabin room. Kati and Sarra cringed to smell alcohol on his breath.
Brian woke Linz up softly. He was that she had been crying lots that night.
"Hey. It's time to get up."
"Ok." Linz sat up, feeling the blood instantly rush to her head.
She leaned on Brian to support herself.
Now Linz was the one falling behind. Linz knew where the two crackheads would be. Up in the cabin by the top of the mountain. She squinted to see the boys. Everything around her was in such a haze she felt like she was swimming through syrup.
"Come on, Linz," Kevin encouraged.
"Ok, ok, I'm working on it."
"Fuck off, Marcos."
Marcos appeared behind her stopping the boys from the hike.
"Stay where you are, A.J.."
"That's brave of you, Linzey."
"Where are they, Marcos?" Linzey turned around to see Marcos had a black eye. Linzey smiled to see his black eye. He knew what she was smiling at.
"It's not that bad."
"Who did it?"
Linzey smiled even more. Marcos was gonna get her where it hurt.
"You seem to be stable. Does your brother know that you've been doing crack?"
"Yes I do."
Marcos' plan had failed. They seemed to be on her side.
"What are you getting at?"
Linzey punched Marcos hard in the stomach. He bent over in pain. She spinned him around and took his backpack. She quickly got out the lead pipe and smacked him over the head with it. Marcos went limp and fell to the ground.
Linz fell to the ground. She had defeated him but all that work made her dizzy. She felt a hand on her sholder, A.J.'s hand, and heard Brian and Kevin follow him down to where she was.
Linz lit some incense and waifed it under Marcos' nose. She had gone back to the camp area with Brian, Kevin, and A.J.. They had tied him up and left Linzey to do what she had to do. Marcos woke up slowly. She knew just what he was going through and she was glad to know that he was.
"Let me go!" Marcos struggled.
Linz pushed the burning incense into Marcos' arm. Marcos yelped in pain.
"There you bastard. Now tell me where my friends are and how they are."
"I left them with Ryan in the cabin. I think he was drunk."
"Fuck you." Linz ran out of the tent and right into Brian.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. What's wrong?" Brian held her arms gently.
"Sarra and Kati are in trouble. I hafta go help them." Linz started to walk off but was pulled back by Kevin.
"What's wrong?" Kevin looked into her green wondering eyes.
"Marcos left Ryan drunk with them." Linz almost started to cry.
"Then let's go," A.J. said from behind her.
"No, you guys can't come. You don't know Ryan like I do. I can't ask you to come." Linz looked around.
"We're coming." Brian smiled at her.
Kati helped Sarra up after Ryan left the rom.
"Yeah, I think." Sarra stumbled to the bed.
"Someone's coming." Kati looked out the window.
"I hope it's not Marcos." Sarra almost faded into unconsciousness.
"Sarra, you hafta stay awake," Kati encouraged her.
Linz burst through the door.
"Oh G-d!" Brian saw Sarra and run over to help her.
Kevin walked over to Kati and looked into her eyes.
"Are you okay?" he asked protectively.
"We need to get help up here," Linz announced.
"I'll go," Brian said.
"I'm coming with you," Sarra said as Brian helped her up.
Kevin looked down on the passed out Ryan.
"I still can't believe Z," Kevin whispered to Kati.
Kati knew he wasn't truly mad at Linzey because of what he had just said. Kevin had made up Z as a nickname for Linzey a long time ago. Linzey walked into the room as if she was in pain.
"What's wrong, Linz?" A.J. asked.
"Nothing will be wrong if everything gos my way." Marcos revealed himself to be holding a gun up to Linz's head.
"Oh G-d." Kati instinctively hugged Kevin and he held her back.
"Linzey!" A.J. started to run towards her but was stopped when Marcos cocked the gun.
"Stay back A.J., he'll do it," Linz warned with a worried look.
"Now if you and you, would kindly come over here, now." Marcos nodded at Kati and Kevin
30 minutes later, Ryan was awake, sober, and holding A.J. and Kevin at gunpoint, while Maros had finished tying up Kati. He walked over to Linzey and grazed the dull part of the knife across her neck.
"You know they say the neck is the most vulnerable part of the body," Marcos whispered into her ear from behind her. "I could kill you right now. You know I'd do it."
A.J.'s eyes flared with anger as he watched Marcos torture his sister.
"Who should die first, Linzey? Hmm? It's your choice. Who should it be? Your friend? Your friend's brother? Your brother? Or maybe even you!" Marcos pulled out a gun and held it to her head.
"You're crazy, Marcos." Linz tried to pull away.
"Crazy is the last thing I am." Marcos started to kiss her. Suddenly Linz found herself on the ground. She stood up to see A.J. and Kevin had broken loose. Linz took advantage of the situation and punched Marcos. He fell back and she grabbed the gun from his hands. Linz shot Marcos in the leg with pleasure that scared her. She dropped the gun and ran over to Kati to untie her.
Marcos pulled himself up with all the strength he had left. He looked up to see Linz untying Kati. Marcos quickly loaded the gun and aimed right for Kati's heart. He quickly smiled as he pulled the trigger and let himself fall into unconsciousness.
Linz heard the gunshot. She saw Kati's face and immediately knew it was aimed for Kati. Linz decided she wasn't going to let a friend die for her mistake. Linz stood up and took the bullet for Kati. She felt the warm blood trickle down her chest. She felt a warm hand grab hers. It was A.J.. Thank G-d she thought to herself. That's who she had always wanted to be with her when she died.
"I...love...you," she barely got out before she faded into darkness.
"I'm sorry Bone." Kevin patted A.J. on the shoulder in the hospital. "But they said the bullet was probably way too close to her heart for her to live through the whole ordeal."
"I'll wait a couple of days before I decide whether or not to take her off of life support," A.J. said as he stared at his sister's peaceful face. She already seemed like an angel in the white sheets and dress. Her hair surrounded her head in a beautiful way. A.J. kissed Linz's motionless head only to find it was cold, cold like a dead body. He started to cry. Linz was so full of life, and now everything had been taken away from her. The doctors didn't even know if she would be able to walk, let alone dance.
Kevin turned A.J. around and hugged him. He knew what A.J. was going through, and it made him want to cry. How could this happen, especially when he didn't even get to tell Linz how grateful he was. If it wasn't for her, Kati would be in that bed instead of her. Linz left this world thinking that he hated her. Kevin couldn't take it anymore, he let go of A.J. and went to the bathroom. Kevin opened the door to find no one in the room. He leaned against the sink and cried.
3 days had passed and there were no signs from Linz that she was going to come out of it. Everyone was up there on that fateful day: A.J., Kevin, Brian, Kati, Sarra, and even Nick and Howie. They all watched on as A.J. said goodbye to his motionless sister. The doctor had come in to cut off the life support.
"Are you ready, Mr. McLean?" the doctor said.
"One minute," A.J. said.
He bent over Linz to kiss her goodbye.
A.J. kissed her forehead only to realize that it was warm!
"It's warm!" he said. "It's warm."
"What is?" the doctor asked.
"Her forehead! It's warm!" A.J. exclaimed.
"Omig-d," Kati said as she put her tearful eyes into Kevin's chest.
"Well, let's see if we can wake her up then," the doctor said with a relieved smile.
The doctor pulled out a needle with a stimulator already inside it. He injected Linz with it. They all finally heard Linz gasp for air. A.J. started to cry as she began breathing normally.
A.J. woke up the next day to find Linz still asleep. He sat up and straightened himself up. Linz opened her eyes slowly and sat up when she came to realize she didn't know where she was. But her attempt to look around was crushed when all the blood went to her wound and it felt like she was going to die. She surpressed the feeling of lying down with the help of A.J..
"Where am I?"
"A hospital, sweetie."
"You don't remember?"
"Linz has suffered a minor case of short term amnesia. She probably won't remember the events of the last week."
"We almost lost you." A.J. closed his eyes and kissed her forehead.
"I know," she said as she brought her hands up to A.J. and ran them through his hair as he kissed her forehead.
"What other damage is there?" she asked, looking into his eyes for the truth.
"They don't know if you'll be able to walk."
No dancing Linz immediately thought and turned her head to hide the hot tears that streamed down her face. But A.J. knew he turned her head back towards him.
"We'll do everything we can, ok?" A.J. said.
"Ok," Linz said.
Cripple, cripple! The words rang in her head. All of the kids were looking at her. Most were whispering. Sarra and Kati wouldn't even talk to her. Kati. The girl she did this for.
Linz wheeled herself into the dance room and she could hear people say, "What's she doing here she can't dance."
Linz woke up in a sweat. She wouldn't be a cripple she told herself. Linz mustered up all her strength and sat up and put her feet in front of her.
"If I can't do it now I'll never do it," she said to herself as she stood up.
She leaned up against a night stand to support her wobbling legs. She took a step and two more but quickly grabbed onto A.J.'s chair.
"Linz? What are you doing?"
LInz looked up with a smile.
"You can walk," A.J. realized and hugged her. "You can walk."
Nonetheless A.J. picked her up and put her back in bed and kissed her g'night. She slept peacefully for the rest of the night.
Early that next morning A.J. checked Linz out at the hospital and they went back to the house.
"Hello Mom? Dad?" A.J. said as he walked back into the house.
"A.J., it's no use." Linz put her hand on his shoulder.
"Mom and Dad are always at work. Never home," Linz said.
"Oh, I see." He closed the door.
A.J.'s phone started to ring. He picked it up.
"Speak." A.J. smiled.
"Hey why aren't you at the hospital?" Kevin said from the other side.
"Linz didn't make it through the night," A.J. looked down.
"Omig-d!" Kevin fell into a chair.
"So I had to check her out." A.J. looked up.
"What? She's ok?" Kevin stood up.
"Yeah of course. What did you think I meant?" A.J. laughed.
"Yeah, yeah. Haha," Kevin said.
A.J. looked at a nearby calendar. "Well well well. It seems Linz has some dancin' to do t'night. Wanna come and watch?" A.J. announced.
"No no no. That's really ok. Besides I'm probably not up for it you know hospital and stuff," Linz persuaded.
"You'll be ok. Besides I wanna see you," A.J. said.
"Yeah, Kati and I aren't doing anything t'night. I'll call the Boys," Kevin told A.J..
"Sounds good." A.J. smiled.
"No it doesn't." Linz hung the phone up.
"What don't you want me to come and see you dance?"
"Fine your disappointment." Linz smiled.
"Holy shit! She's good," Nick exclaimed.
"Yeah almost as good as me," Brian joked.
Kati and Sarra excused themselves.
"I heard them saying that if they all think she's good then they're going to ask her to join their dance group," Kati told Sarra.
"Ok," Sarra said as she popped a sunflower seed into her mouth.
"Well? You're not going to miss her?" Kati asked.
"Yeah but at least she's doing something with her life and you should be happy for her. She's always proud for you."
"What are you two talking about?" Nick came in.
"Are you going to ask Linz to join the dance group?"
"Well she is really good so probably. She doesn't have anything else though. And A.J. thinks it'll keep her out of the drugs, so yeah," Nick explained.
"Great." Kati and Sarra smiled fakely.
"Nick, get in here she's coming out," A.J. called.
The three walked into the room where all the dancers were coming into.
The five guys stopped Linzey as everyone else left.
"Great! Okay, okay. You caught me. I'm not supposed to be dancing. But--"
"But you're good," Kevin cut her off.
"Pardon?" Linz looked surprised.
"You're good. You shouldn't be wasting your time here." Howie smiled.
"And where should I be wasting my time?" Linz asked.
"On tour with us." Brian smiled.
"Hahaha, that was hilarious. You had me goin' for a while," Linz joked.
"We're not joking," Nick said seriously.
"You're what?" Linz turned serious.
"We want you to tour with us and be a dancer for us," A.J. explained.
"Really?" Linz said holding back her confusion.
"Yeah, you'll leave with us t'night." Nick smiled.
Linzey looked over at Sarra and Kati for reassurance.
"It's not our decision, Linz," Kati said.
"Okay. Can I pack?" Linz asked.
"Yeah, come on we'll help." Kevin started walking with an arm around Linzey.
Linzey hugged Sarra and Kati. Her bags were packed and the plane was boarding.
"I'll call you guys." Linz looked down.
"We know you will." Kati smiled.
"Z, it's time to go," Kevin called to her.
Linz walked off and over to Kevin and A.J.
"Perk up, it gets better from here on out." A.J. smiled.