Check out chapter 1 right here!

The sun went down slowly, dragging the temperature down along with it. Throughout the day it was easy, I only needed my jacket and hat. As soon as the sky started getting steadily darker, I piled on the layers of clothes.

"Hey, I'm going to go get some more firewood before it gets too dark. Then we'll be set for the night and we can cook up the fish I caught," Reese said as he emerged from the tent after also layering himself with more clothes. I nodded as he left, blowing warm air into my clasped hands. A large log lay across one side of our clearing, and I decided to drag it over to sit on by the fire.

Reese came back with his arms full of wood just as I finished moving the log. We cooked and ate our fish in silence. "I thought this was supposed to be a bonding trip?" I murmured as he threw his fish bones into the fire.

He shrugged, wiping his hands on his pants, "It is."

"Why did we have to go camping? Why couldn't we just go bowling or something Reese? Like normal siblings!"

"I love camping," he said nonchalantly.

I could tell automatically that something was wrong. Reese was a horrible liar. He couldn't look me in the eye, and got fidgety. I narrowed my eyes at him as he avoided my gaze, poking at the fire with a long stick. I decided to drop the subject for now.

The nice thing about the woods, probably one of the only nice things about it, was the view at night. I looked up at the clearing in the tears, and the dark sky glowed with bright dots. Being in the middle of nowhere, it was the perfect space to see the milky way, unlike the light-polluted cities. I stood up from my spot on the log and grabbed a blanket from the tent. I rolled myself up and laid on the cold ground, staring up at the beautiful stars.

Reese was six years older than me. We had always been so close, despite our age difference. Our parents died last year, two days before my 19th birthday. Reese became my mom, dad, and big brother all in one that day. Of course we were close, we could practically read each other's mind. I looked over at him, making a bunch of noise by the edge of the clearing.

When we left for the trip, it was still dark out. He practically threw my bags on me and told me to pack for a camping trip. He said only four days, but he pushed four different bags on me, and when I came out to the truck, the bed of it was jam packed with... supplies. Like we'd be living off the grid or something.

Reese knew me, he knew I hated camping and he knew that I knew him.

Something was up. Like always, he was trying to protect me.

He hurriedly strung up strings with empty cans around our campsite, clanking and fumbling as he went. I crinkled my eyebrows as he looked at me, sending me a reassuring smile.

"Keeps the animals out... away from our food."