The gang arrived at Spain about eight hours later.
They took their luggage and headed to the airport's exit. The first they did was to go straight to talk to Neil and Lisa Gilbert.
After they had talked to Emma's parents for a good two hours, everyone headed to the boarding school she'd disappeared at.
It was a big, massive building and because it was far out of the town and into the middle of the forest it was leaving the impression of some strange kind of sanctuary.
They walked through the big front door and stood on their places to take a look at the whole place. It had a big staircase in the form of "Y" that was leading up to the dormitories of the students.
Students of all age were going up and down and not only that, but they were all wearing identical uniforms consisting of blue sweater and black pants for the boys and for the girls - short, black skirts.
Suddenly they saw a tall, brunette woman walking over to them.
"Hello, you must be the foreign students. Follow me, please."
And she lead them to her office.
"I'm Elsa Fernandez, the headmaster."
And she shook hands with all of them. She seemed nice, but at the same time tempted and it was more than obvious that for her discipline meant everything.
"I suppose you are tired of the long way you've travelled to come here, so I won't be long. I just want to inform you that in this place there are some strict rules that you must follow. You can't go out of the gates of the school in any circumstances unless you want to be punished or expelled. For any committed crime the punishment is one or two weeks works in the stables. At last but not least, on your beds there are your uniforms that you must wear while you're here. Any questions?!"
They all shook their heads.
"Ok, then. Now follow me, I'm going to show you your rooms."
And she walked out of the office followed by the six of them. They walked upstairs and after a few turns Elsa stopped in front of the rooms.
"That's your room." She motioned to Will. You'll be sharing a room with Marcos, Ivan and Roque. Be careful with Ivan though. He's got a really short temper."
That made Will chuckle. Elsa opened the door and they all walked in to take a look at the room. Inside were three boys; two brunettes and one with dirty blond hair.
Will walked over to the bed Elsa pointed at him, when the taller of the brunettes shot him a look.
"Who are you?"
"He's going to share the room with you, Ivan." Elsa was the one to answer.
"If you think we're going to let him sleep in Caetano's bed -"
"He's gone, Ivan." Elsa reminded him.
The brunette looked like he was going to explode because of the anger, while the other brunette had tears in his eyes.
Will walked back to the others. "I'll come with you to check out your rooms."
When he said that, Ivan moved his eyes to the others. His eyes travelled around the boys and then he focused on the girls. Cleo and Bella looked too girly, but Rikki caught his attention. With her curly blond hair up in a ponytail and with military colored shorts and white tank top, she was leaving the expression of someone you should not mess with, and somehow Ivan found that interesting. Her ocean blue eyes pierced fiercefully his dark orbiths.
Following Elsa the others walked out of the room, to the next one.
"You two", Elsa pointed at Lewis and Zane, "will be staying in this room."
And she pushed the door open. Inside was only one brunette boy. When he turned to the door, Cleo's eyes widened.
"Ash?!" She gasped.
"Guys?! What are you doing here?"
"Do you know each other?" Elsa asked shocked.
"Of course." Rikki spat. "He's our best friend Emma's boyfriend!"
"Emma?! As in Emma Gilbert?" The shock was a bit too much for Elsa.
"The very same." Rikki nodded.
"So, we're going to share a room together, huh?!" Lewis raised his eyebrows with a smile. "Cool."
"Girls, I have to show you your room too, before I go back to my office."
"Ok." Bella nodded and again everyone followed Elsa out.
They walked past a few doors when Elsa stopped and put her hand on the doorknob.
"So, you three" She said to the girls "will be staying with Victoria and Julia."
And she pushed the door open. Inside were two brunette girls. One with black hair and the other with dark brown hair.
"I'll be leaving now. You can change in your uniforms and go downstairs for the dinner. Victoria and Julia will show you the way."
With that Elsa walked out.
Rikki turned to the boys. "Meet us at the top of the stairs after twenty minutes."
The boys nodded and walked out.
The three girls looked around to choose a bed. Rikki took Carolina's bed next to the window, Cleo took the bed next to hers, and Bella took the bed next to Julia's. She walked over to it and covered her mouth with her hand.
"Cleo, Rikki, take a look at this!"
The other two girls turned around in a flash. In her hands Bella was holding a beautifully framed photo of Emma, her brother and their parents.
Cleo gasped and grabbed the photo. "Emma!" She squirmed. "That was probably Emma's bed!"
The words made an uncomfortable feeling to rise in Bella's chest. She didn't want to be the one sleeping in the missing girl's bed.
Cleo put the photo on her nightstand and she and the other two started unpacking and focusing on their uniforms.
Julia and Vicky watched the others curiously, although when Rikki took Carol's bed and when Cleo mentioned Emma, Vicky's heart fell.
Julia, who was sitting next to her, took her hand.
"That's disgusting." Rikki murmured checking out the uniform. "How can they expect us to wear that?!"
Vicky's lips twitched as if to form a small smile. So did Julia's. They both remembered that when Julia was a newbie she also had refused to wear the uniform. Fortunately, Hector was headmaster back then.
"It's not that horrible." Cleo said.
"Yeah." Bella joined in. "It could've been worse."
"Worse?!" Rikki laughed bitterly. "I don't think so."
They slid into their uniforms and were ready to go. Cleo walked to Julia and Vicky.
"Hi, we didn't introduce each other. My name's Cleo and these are my friends Bella and Rikki."
"Nice to meet you. I'm Julia and this is Vicky." Julia smiled, taking the hand Cleo had stretched to her.
"Would you mind to show us the way to where we'll be having dinner?"
"No, not at all." Julia said, although Cleo noticed her tone was tempted and a bit distant.
The five girls walked out of the room. One top of the stairs they met the boys including Ivan, Marcos and Roque and the two gangs went to the hall where the dinner has been already served.
Julia quickly explained to the others that Fermin is the cook, Maria - the cleaner and Jasinta - the housekeeper.
"Tomorrow we'll show you the way to the girls' bathroom. It's common for all the girls, but I hope it won't be a problem." Julia said while they were sitting on one of the bigger empty tables.
Cleo, Bella and Rikki exchanged looks. They all had the same thought on their mind: there was no way for them to take a shower with all the other girls, unless of course they wanted their biggest secret revealed to the world.
"Is everything ok?!" Vicky asked seeing that the three girls were awkwardly staring at each other.
"Yes, it's fine." Rikki said quickly.
Cleo took Lewis' arm under the table. Bella did the same with Will's. Only Rikki had put both her hands on the table, so there was no way for Zane to try and take her hand in his.
"So...you all are from the Gold Coast, Australia?" Vicky asked quriously.
"No, only me, Lewis, Zane and our friend Emma." Cleo hurried to answer. "Bella is from Ireland, Will is from Hawaii, Ash is from Canberra, and Rikki.." Suddenly Cleo trailed off. "I actually don't know where Rikki's from." And she turned to look at Rikki.
"You never asked." Rikki stated. "Besides, it's not important."
"It is." Cleo insisted. "Me and Bella are your best friends. And we don't know where you're from."
"Fine." Rikki sighed."If it's so important...I'm from Johannesburg."
"What? You're from South Africa?!" Zane asked shocked.
Before anyone could say something his drink started boiling. He quickly hid it with his hand, but the others on the table had noticed it.
Ivan was eyeing suspiciously the glass, then Zane, then the glass again.
"So...we told you about us. It's your turn now." Rikki stated.
"Well, we all are from Spain. I came here to study with a scolarship when I was really little, almost at the age of Paula -"
"Paula?" Bella raised her eyebrows.
"My little sister." Marcos replied quickly. "Speaking of..." He stood off the table abd went to greet two six year old girls who just entered the hall.
"That's Paula's friend - Eveline." Vicky explained.
Just then the electricity went off.
"Oh, no. Not again." Vicky whispered.
"What do you mean "not again"."
"It already happened before. But last time...last time nothing good followed."
That made Ivan and Marcos (who had returned at the table) to go back in their memories. Ivan still could see the blood on his hands, but hell he had saved his own mother's life and only that mattered now to him.
"Ivan? Are you ok?!" Julia asked him, because his face had become as white as sheet.
Marcos and him exchanged hidden glances.
"I'm fine." He spat, standing off the table and walking away.
"Maybe you should go after him." Rikki commented.
"I will, but first I'll give him some time." Julia answered.
Marcos looked after his friend concerned.
After dinner Julia and Vicky went to the boys' room as usual, while Will, Zane, Lewis and Ash gathered with the girls at their room.
Both gangs had their common private discussions. But both groups, could sence the other was hiding a secret.
A very big secret. An essential one.