You didn’t think I’d begin part three without the intro, did you? 😄
Also, I just want to say how glad I am that you’re enjoying Heads Up so far! I’m having a lot of fun making the parts and it really means a lot to know that you guys like it! You’re so awesome! *hugs through the cyber dimensions*
I hope you enjoy this next part! I laughed so hard while writing it and my mom kept asking, “What is it now?”—K.C. and Delaney vs. Chloe and Ellie… oh my! 😄
In the POV of Taryn
I step out of the door and drop my jaw in shock. “Delaney?!” My mouth hangs open in disbelief.
Despite how much my sister doesn’t exactly appreciate hugs, I throw my arms around her, and she hugs me back.
I can’t believe my own eyes as we pull away, and neither can Delaney. “Are you okay?” She demands instinctively.
“Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” I answer with a smile.
Del grins. “What are you doing here?”
“This is where I live,” I explain.
“This isn’t Tennessee?” Delaney asks, aghast.
“No, not at all!” I laugh. “This is Florida! Did they drop you off at the wrong addre—”
Delaney claps her hand over my mouth. “Nobody is going to know that,” she hisses.
My mouth is hanging open when she removes her hand. Then I smile once more and throw my arms around her again.
“I can’t believe you’re here!” I exclaim, my voice on the edge of happy tears. “Madison was going to have to wait until she went to the orphanage in the summer to adopt you—oh, I missed you so much!”
Del squeezes me before pulling away and drawing a blank. “Who’s Madison?” She inquires.
It’s then that I notice a girl standing behind Delaney. The minute we lock eyes, the girl waves. “I’m Katy Christine!” She pipes up. “Katy or K.C. for short, if you want. I’m going to be living here, too.”
“Oh yeah,” Delaney turns to Katy. “I forgot about you. This is my little sister, Taryn.”
“Hi!” K.C. waves again at me with a bright smile.
“Come on in, guys!” I motion for them to follow me indoors.
The minute we arrive in the bedroom after walking through the hall, everyone pauses what they are doing and turn to stare at the new faces trailing behind me.
Emelie and Cécile stop their conversation, Molly looks up from the book she is carrying, and Ellie and Chloe freeze in their… whatever martial-arts-attempt thing it is they are doing on the beds. Ellie’s jaw drops as she freezes in her lunge for a cartwheel, and Chloe freezes in the cartwheel, which can’t be a good thing as she lands with a dramatic gasp and we all wince.
And of course, without so much as looking up at us, Jasmine continues doing the usual…
… Her hair.
As soon as I introduce them, the others introduce themselves while Josefina immediately comes to hug me.
“This is what you’ve been waiting for ever since you got here!” She exclaims. “I’m so happy for you!”
Cécile is the first to shake Delaney’s hand. “Hi, Delaney! I’m Cécile. How old are you?”
“Hi,” Del says back. “I’m fourteen.”
“Nice!” Cécile smiles. “You beat me as the oldest by just a year.”
“Hey, K.C.! I’m Molly!” Molly tells Katy with a smile.
“I love that name!”
… All the while Chloe makes dramatic gasping-in-pain noises from her cartwheel fail. “Chloe!” Ellie shrieks, falling to her knees on the bed. “TALK TO ME, CHLOE! DON’T DIE ON ME! I NEED YOUUU!”
Cécile turns to them with an eyeroll. “Guys. Knock it off.”
It’s amazing how fast Chloe recovers when she says that. 😉
When and only when Jasmine finishes fixing her hair for the millionth time today, she walks over to Delaney and K.C. “Hi,” she greets quickly. “I’m Jasmine; Jaz or Jazzy for short. Are either of you into fashion?”
Del laughs. “Ha! No.”
Katy smiles. “Not really.”
“Yeah, I can tell,” Jaz snorts. “You guys need major wardrobe help. Thank heavens you’re living with me now. You are both walking nightmares.”
“Jasmine!” Cécile shrieks to her best friend.
“What?! I’m being indescribably kind by offering to help them! They need my fashion sense.”
Delaney just chortles. “What fashion sense?”
Jasmine glares at Del. “I’ve got a lot more than you, sista. Nice dress.”
Jasmine’s jaw drops in horror, and before either of them can have a roast-off, Cécile quickly turns to Delaney.
“We have an extra set of bunk beds handy,” she mentions. “We’ll go get them now and put them together for you and Katy.”
Chloe and Ellie put the kibosh on that idea immediately. “What?! Are you kidding me?!” Ellie cries.
“Those beds take forever to put together!” Chloe wails.
“Yeah! We’re in the middle of ninja training here! You can’t just voluntell us for something like that!”
“Yes, I can,” Cécile says. “I’m the oldest—I mean, second oldest—and in charge when Madison’s not here.”
Delaney is the one to speak up. “It’s fine. I can put the beds together in no time.”
Chloe and Ellie turn to her and bust out laughing. “Yeah, right!” Ellie guffaws. “It took forever for Chloe and I to put ours together last time! They fell apart twice. You’d have to be a rocket scientist.”
“What was your best time? I’ll beat it.”
Chloe and Ellie’s mouths hang open. “You’re kidding, right?” Chloe assumes.
In the POV of Delaney
K.C. turns to me, saying, “I’ve got a better idea. Let’s you and me build a bed and they build a bed, then see who’s fastest.”
My face lights up in a grin. Competition? This day just keeps getting better and better. “Let’s do it,” I say.
Chloe and Ellie drop their jaws in unison once more. “Oh, come on! That’s not fair! You’ve got a fourteen-year-old on your team! Of course y’all are gonna win!” Ellie whines.
“It’s plenty fair. We’re up against ninja, aren’t we?” I grin.
I take it that I’m the first person to take them seriously. Their hanging-open mouths soon turn up into wide beams. “We’re in,” Chloe nods.
“Team Kick-Butt for the win!” Ellie shouts, smacking her palm into Chloe’s with a loud high-five.
“K.B. for short!” Chloe suggests.
“Yeah! Team K.B.”
“We need a team name that sounds even more epic!” I tell K.C. as I turn to face her.
“What about Team K.C.?” Katy suggests.
I let out a hollow laugh. “Ha! Your name? Seriously? No way!”
“I was the one to suggest teams,” she throws out. “It’s better than ‘Team Delaney’! That doesn’t even sound cool. And it’s the principal of the thing. K.C. versus K.B.”
I fold my arms. “K.C. versus K.B…. I like it. You’re right, let’s go with the epic-sounding team name.”
Fifteen minutes and a billion eye-rolls from Cécile later, we have our supplies for building the bunk beds.
“The first team to finish first wins,” I state as Molly whips out a camera to film the whole thing. The others take seats and proceed to watch in amusement.
“Alright,” Ellie agrees. Then a wicked grin spreads across her face. “But can you handle it if we amp up the competition?”
“The better question is, can you?” I return.
“We do this entire thing… without instructions.”
Ooh. That’s steep.
I smirk back. “You have no idea what you just suggested.”
“Let’s compare notes at the end of this, shall we?” Ellie suggests cockily as she turns to the wooden bunk bed pieces.
Cécile rolls her eyes at us again, and Taryn just smiles and rests her head on her shoulder. “Sometime I question my sister’s maturity,” she giggles.
Cécile chortles back before calling out, “On your MARK – get SET – GO!”
It’s on. Katy and I immediately spring into action, grabbing a long piece and sliding it onto a flat piece.
I toss a look over my shoulder to see Chloe and Ellie working at our same speed.
At exactly the same moment, Ellie and I lunge for the bag of screws.
“Give me the screws!” I demand.
“No,” Ellie tightens her grip on the bag.
I tighten my grip, too. “I’m not letting go.”
“Neither am I,” she says as she tugs on the bag.
The plastic tears before our crazy grasps and spews out the screws. Our greedy fingers grab a fistful each of the screws before we return to our worksites, satisfied.
When I glance back again, Chloe and Ellie have assembled their pieces differently and are screwing them together with much more ease. “K.C., they’re ahead!” I hiss. Doing this without instructions is hard.
We quickly assemble our pieces the way they’ve done and I jab the screws into the holes, swiftly rotating them in with the screwdriver.
When Katy and I hear a crash and multiple screams, I turn my head over to look at Team K.B.
Turns out they have put their ninja skills to a much different use than building bunk beds. I smile to myself as they argue and fight and wrestle each other over something. We have this competition in our hip pockets.
Not fifteen minutes later, Katy Christine and I slide our finished pieces together. “Hurry!” K.C. squeals.
I dive for her screwdriver and speedily screw the last piece together. “Done!” I cry triumphantly, standing up with a grin. “We win!”
Ellie and Chloe are standing there, yawning and showing off their masterpiece. “Correction,” Ellie smirks. “We win. We finished five minutes ago. It’s just fun to watch you guys struggle for victory.”
I point to their lopsided bed. “Don’t speak so soon.”
All of a sudden, each of their pieces topple on top of the other as their bed collapses to the floor.
K.C. and I bust out laughing. “Looks like in your haste, you forgot to screw them in correctly!” I guffaw.
Exasperated, Ellie falls to her knees by the bed while Chloe buries her face in her hands and wails miserably.
But I feel like being nice for once, so I offer, “Admit your defeat and we’ll help you put it together correctly.”
Ellie shoots her flaming eyes at us while Chloe moans again. “Fine,” she sputters. “You win.”
I snicker. Adorable little drama mamas.
When we finish helping them, however, Ellie throws her hands up and lets out a yelp. “Liar! You assembled this wrong! This isn’t the right piece!”
She marches over to me, stabbing a death glare into mine. “What are you trying to pull here?” She demands. “We surrendered fair and square! You can’t cheat!”
“I didn’t cheat,” I point out calmly. I then point to the piece. “It looks like we used each others’ pieces with the lack of instructions.”
“So the fact that we lost wasn’t really our fault,” Ellie says. “You stole one of our pieces.”
“Ah, no. You stole one of ours.”
Ellie narrows her gaze before holding her hand out. “We both grabbed each others’ pieces. Tie?”
I feel like being nice for twice and shake her hand. “Tie.”
But when we swap pieces again, our bed has the same lopsided problem. “What?!” I cry. “You’ve got to be kidding me!”
“It’s a defect,” K.C. realizes. “The makers of this piece glued on one of the headboards upside down so when you try to screw it on with the curved part facing up, it’s too long.”
“Do we return the beds and get new ones?” Ellie asks.
Cécile speaks up with a laugh. “Madison has had these for months. We’re definitely past the return policy.”
“Hey, wait,” Katy grins as she kneels down to fix the bed. “I’ve got an idea.”
As she finishes turning in the last screw, she exclaims, “There! It’s upside down. The pretty part is on the bottom, but at least one of us won’t be sleeping on an angle.”
“That looks terrible!” Chloe points out.
“What? No it doesn’t.”
“Yes, it does. It looks really weird.”
“Well, I’d rather have a weird-looking bed than a lopsided one.”
Selfless K.C. just offered to take the weird-looking bed? That’s nice of her.
Katy plops on the bed frame to prove her point, realizing with a wince that we haven’t added the mattress yet. We all laugh at her, and soon she sits up while rubbing her head and laughing, too.
If there’s one thing you should know about Katy Christine, it’s that she’s more selfless, heroic, and brave than you could ever imagine.
As the next few days’ events play out, I come to know this well.
We eventually decide to add these bunk beds in the middle of the others, making triple bunk beds and disguising Katy’s weird one (Chloe and Ellie have begged for the top, wanting to sleep as high up as possible to practice their ninja climbing skills).
When dinner comes about and the others file to the dining room, Taryn and I linger for a bit longer with Cécile and K.C. in the bedroom.
“I’m so glad you’re here, Del,” Taryn says again. “You don’t know how much I’ve missed you.”
A smile lights up my face. That means a lot. “I missed you, too.”
“I’m glad you’re here, too, Katy,” Cécile tells K.C. as she touches her arm.
“Thanks!” K.C.’s own face lights up.
“Want to go get some dinner?”
They turn to leave, and Taryn and I follow. I slip my arm around her shoulders, saying, “Whatever you do, don’t mention to anyone about them dropping me off at the wrong address, okay? That will ruin everything.”
Taryn whirls around to face me, horrified. “But Del! That’s lying!”
“It’s either lies or separation, Taryn,” I lower my voice, ashamed at how sad and desperate it sounds.
I pull her into a protective, consoling hug. I have no control over things, and I wish I did. Taryn rests her head on my shoulder, and all I can do to reassure her that things are going to be OK is to keep being the big sister.
“I’m not losing you again.”
To be continued… in Heads Up – Part Four
My heart. ♥
The ending of this part was my favorite by far. *secretly wishes her older sister was that nice* JK JK 😄😄😄
Also, I have this next post almost ready to publish: