So, this is the first (chronological) chapter in my story Obvious - for those of you who R&R'd the teaser chapter thank you so much! This story will mainly be in DPOV with a few CPOV chapters thrown in for context (incl. the below to set the scene!)

This is my first story so please leave a review! I do not own the Darkest Powers.

Chapter 1: Begin again (CPOV)

It was strange being back.

Looking around the emptying hallway, everything seemed so familiar and yet completely new. The walls were still covered in the school-coloured 'cheer' but the pictures and trophies in the cabinet held unknown faces and names. The lockers I was standing at were the same fading blue as they had always been but I had a new, unmemorised combination.

My particular locker had belonged to one Liam Malloy - an obnoxious quarterback who was in his senior year when I had first started junior high. I shivered just thinking about him, thankful that our time at Buffalo High was limited to that one year. He had run these halls, strutting around in his letterman jacket, creeping on any girl that was unfortunate enough to cross paths with him. Luckily, I hadn't. The latest rumours had it that he'd moved to California and died in a gang-fight… but it was more likely that he'd spent his entire post-school life flipping burgers at some outlet mall. That was school for you.

I slowly put what little stuff I had brought into their places. Dad and I had moved around so much the past three years that I had become a pro at travelling light… My shift in priorities had also meant that I didn't really feel the need to have so many belongings. Ever since mum died, dad had thrown himself into work. I didn't take it personally, much; I could understand the need for distraction and to be fair to him I never really felt abandoned. I had my friends and Aunt Lauren and I knew he'd be there if I really needed him.

The stress of starting high school and all the fun stuff that comes with puberty did get a little much, especially without my mum to lean on, but dad did his best. Wanting to keep me close, and probably also wanting to keep me from further influence of my neurotic aunt, he suggested I come with him to Europe. His company was looking to expand and I jumped at the chance to start over. I was tired of being "poor Chloe Saunders" little girl lost without her mummy. It was bad enough that I looked like a child, I certainly didn't want to be treated like one at 14.

After two years of flitting from one country to the next, the excitement of travel wore off and I started to yearn for something a little more normal. Though my dad would never say it, I could tell it was getting too difficult balancing his work with looking after a teenager. Now that he was firmly based back in the States it wasn't difficult to persuade him to let me stick out my senior year in one place, and there was only one place that we'd both settle back down in.

So here I was, back in Buffalo, back home.

I stuck the picture of my mum, dad, and I firmly on the inside of the locker door and silently asked them both to wish me luck. Nate and Mila had already scheduled in a selfie-shoot to commemorate my return and had warned me to save enough locker space - I was glad that hadn't changed over the years.

Lost in my nostalgia, I closed the locker harder than I had intended, the sound echoing along the now empty hall. I picked my bag off the floor and spun on my heel, my first step sending me smacking into a human wall. I yelped, dropping most of my books to the floor.

There was an audible growl from the wall - person - and before I had a chance to collect myself, he had bent down to pick up my fallen belongings. I looked down and my attention was drawn to the way his t-shirt stretched nicely across his back as he bent over, collecting everything together. When he was finished and stood to his full height, my eye-level only just reaching his chest. I knew I was short but this was on him too; he had to be at least 6"4.

I'm sure I visibly swallowed as I trailed my gaze up his broad chest to his face. Underneath his thick dark hair, there was a spattering of acne and a decided frown. However, what held me captive and frozen were his eyes, the most brilliant green I had ever seen.

The look he gave me shook me from my stupor: an impatient glare. I could feel the blush rising on my face. Why was I acting like such a dork? He handed me my books without saying a word.

"I-I'm s-s-o…" I cursed my all too familiar stutter. The boy brushed past me before I had even finished my apology and I couldn't blame him. I watched him stalk down the hallway and around the corner, his gait graceful and silent but swift enough that he was out of sight in seconds.

So much for sliding back into Buffalo life without being noticed.