Dude. I’m a really big dummy. All week I hadn’t worked on this part, and then on Thursday I was scrambling and freaking out to get it done because I only had four hours of computer time and other things to do as well (like novel work, giveaway comments, and overdue emails), while being really sick. Lesson: Never think it’s okay to push things ’til later! You’ll save yourself a headache and stress on top of feeling awful.

Previous parts in this season:

Part 1

Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

And a quick refresher from part 4:

“Issa, where’s Lexi?”

“She’s not in here!” I cry.

Emma darkly furrows her eyebrows at me. “Liar. Don’t try to fool a detective. I can see right through you.”

And without further ado!

Issa’s POV

“What? Are you kidding me?” I say nervously. “She’s no where in here—hey!”

Emma shoves past me, breaking thorough my one-man barricade.

“Lexi!” She cries. “Where are you?”

I bite my lip as Emma begins to search the room. “I know you’re hiding from me, you little sneak!”

My hands curl themselves into nervous fists, then move to anxiously twist and play with my fingers as Emma searches around. I grimace when she swings open the closet door, knowing she’ll reveal Lexi hiding in there.

Only Lexi isn’t in there.

I’m just as confused as she is, but I grin at Lexi’s hiding skills.

“Ugh!” Emma cries in more frustration for about the millionth time that day. “Issa! Where is my sister?”

I casually shrug. “I told you the truth. She’s not in here.”

“Well then where could she be?!”

I shrug again. “Bathroom?”

Connor smirks at me through the hidden depths of the shadows under the bed, knowing he’s hidden a walkie talkie in the bathroom. Emma rushes out of the room to check, and Lexi emerges from the clothing in the back of the closet.

We peek from the wall to watch what goes on while Connor stifles a laugh under my bed. He finally crawls out as Emma knocks on the door.

“Ocupados!” He says into the walkie talkie, which echoes in the bathroom.

Emma sighs in vexation. “Where is my sister?!”

While Emma knocks again to ask, Lexi and I dart out of the room and sneak right behind Emma’s back to hers.

One hour.

“Sabotage!” I squeal, swiping my hands over the contents of her desk and gleefully slamming them all to the floor.

“Issa, shhh!” Lexi laughs as she begins pulling clothing after clothing item off the hangers.

I grab Emma’s backpack and dump all the contents out, giggling. Pranking is so much fun.

This room is going to look like a freak tornado hit when we’re done with it.

Her notebook drops out, and I pick it up, noticing the details of the case are written on multiple pages.

I nod to myself, ripping them out and crumpling them into paper balls. I toss them into the trashcan, then run over to the trashcan to dump it out.


Lexi and I both spy the bed at the same time.

We lock eyes, grin, and run and jump onto it.

We jump until it’s a beautifully gleeful mess, really.

I stop jumping immediately, and Lexi slows her bouncing to a still halt. “What is it?”

“Footsteps!” I croak in horror once I hear Emma’s feet padding down the hall to her room in anger. “To the dirt!”

We dive to the ground and roll under the bed like ninja just as Emma enters the room.

She lets out a horrified gasp. “What in the world happened in here?!”

She fumes and steams as she glances around, then bends down to pick up her notebook of evidence from the case. “My pages of evidence!” She cries, and I think I spy sadness in her eyes for the first time since Operation Prank On. “It’s all—it’s all—” she chokes back a sob as anger fills her voice. “Who’s doing this?!”

Emma begins to search her closet, and Lexi and I exchange uneasy glances underneath the bed.

Lexi and I both roll out from under the bed right as Emma ducks under to look. I crouch by the pranked outlet while Lexi dashes behind a corner.

Emma stands up, looking around and heading toward her desk. While she ducks under it to look, Lexi and I both roll from out hiding places and make it under the bed again.

“Where are you sneaks?” Emma shouts, kicking the legs of her desk in fury. “What’s going on?!”

Emma glances under the bed again, and this time we don’t have enough time to roll. We hold our breaths as Emma’s eyes stare directly into ours…

… But it’s too dark for her to notice us.

She stands up again, and we both let out mental breaths of relief.

Emma moans in sadness and frustration and then heads to the restroom for a quick bathroom break. Lexi and I lock eyes again and nod, and we both roll out in opposite directions of the bed.

We stand up and meet Connor outside the bathroom door. He hands Lexi an empty Lays potato chip bag and then squirts whipped cream into it.

I bite my tongue so hard it hurts to keep from laughing.

He flattens the end of the bag so he can slip the edge it under the bathroom door.

“Okay,” he mouths to me as he makes sure it’s perfectly situated. “On the count of three.”

I back up. “One, two, three.”

He grins and raises his eyebrows at me at the last number, and I grin back before jumping up…

… And slamming my feet down on the bag as hard as I can.

All we can hear is screaming as whipped cream sprays all over the inside of the bathroom and Emma. “Ah! Ack! What’s going on?! Ugh!”

We dash for our hiding spots but make sure we can keep the bathroom door in our view so we can catch her promisingly priceless expression when she walks out.

Our patience is rewarded. She looks amazing.

She’s totally been pranked. You mess with the likes of Connor DaCosta, Lexi Taylor and Issa Winger with some little plan to call the authorities, you’re going getting global thermonuclear war in your face.

More or less in the form of whipped cream, but you get the idea.

While Conor and I’ve been gloating over the victory and Emma’s been wiping her her face, Lexi’s been using her gymnastics skills to climb up on the wall by Emma’s door. She prepares a water bucket at the top of it to meet Emma with a grand surprise as soon as she enters her room.

Emma takes the silent, hidden bait. She rushes to her room to change into another set of clean clothes and finds herself drenched as soon as she opens the door.

She screeches. “What in the world is going on here?!”

It’s all we three can do to keep from busting out laughing. This is way too fun.

Annoyed and frustrated to the max, Emma kicks the fallen water bucket in vigorous anger and slams the door shut to change.

Connor and I spring into action. Lexi’s filled up a trash bin a third of the way with water and scoots it over to us.

We lean it against the door and eagerly wait for her to open it.

All of the sudden, the home phone rings. All three of us look at each other from our hiding spots, and I begin to wonder.

Could it… could it possibly work without the phone being picked up from the base, deeming our glue prank useless?

No. No. Surely it can’t.

Emma hasn’t decided that. She flings open the door with the same idea of trying to call even with the glue and screams as the water floods her room.

Yet she’s undaunted by it.

She runs straight for the phone, and without a word, all three of us know what to do.

In a flash we abandon our hiding posts and streak after her. We can’t let her get that phone. We do, it’s over. Connor will be hopeless.

We tear after Emma through the halls. My heart sledgehammers against my chest and in my throat. I have to reach it before she does.

I’m too late. Emma grabs the phone from the table as the caller’s multiple rings end.

Emma throws a glance to the clock on the wall and gasps. “Thirty seconds!”

She begins dialing the authorities’ number just as we arrive.

I throw myself at her and knock her to the ground, snatching the phone out of her grasp.

“Get off of me!” She screams. As a detective, she’s been trained in basic MMA and easily shifts me off of her, and I roll against the fridge. I grimace when some muscle in my ankle is pulled.

She stands up grabs the phone out of my hand, but then Connor wrenches it from her grip.

Just as he prepares to throw it across the room and break it, Lexi grabs it from him.

“Dude!” He cries. “What are you doing? We’re on the same side!”

“No,” she hisses, her eyes angry. “You’re going to hurt my sister. That’s where I draw the line.”

“I’m not!” Connor promises, but Emma has stood up and is now shoving him out of the way. She slams him to the wall with one hand on his chest and reaches for the phone from Lexi.

“Thanks, sis.”

Lexi holds it out of her reach, too. “I’m not on your side either.”

Angrily, Emma grabs the phone, and both of them play a heated game tug-of-war.

“Ten!” I shout, glancing at the clock.

Emma snatches the phone away from her. “Nine!” Connor gasps, and we continue in unison.


Lexi grabs her sister’s shirt to pull Emma back to her and wraps her arm around to try to grab the phone.


Emma dials the number, cold sweat pouring down her face.


Lexi begins screaming. “Don’t call them! Don’t you dare!”

“Five!” I pull myself from the ground and wince at my ankle.

“Four!” Connor recovers from his wall-slam.


We all surround Emma, and she finishes dialing.

“Two!” Lexi lunges for the phone again, but Emma only presses the green call button and struggles against Lexi’s flailing arms to hold it to her ear.


To be continued… in HOTH Season 3, Part 6!

You didn’t think you were going to get away in this season without a cliffhanger, did you? I’ve been pretty nice so far. But I couldn’t keep this cliffhanger away. >:)

Also I just realized I WAS SUPPOSED TO POST THIS ON MONDAY? Whoops. I’ll just have to post three parts next week?? Lesson: Don’t just make a schedule. Look at it, too.


My giveaway ends November 30th. Hurry to enter and claim as many bonus entries as you can!