Hey guys. This is my first fanfiction, so naturally reviews and critiques are appreciated. Happy reading!

Disclaimer: I do not own The Covenant or any of the characters. Except Astaire.

"October," Reid Garwin drawled, sprawling into his seat in History class. "At last!"

Caleb Danvers glanced at Reid then back at his girlfriend Sarah, shaking his head in amusement.

" And why, Reid, is October different than any other month?"

" Halloween, oh fearless leader, Halloween. The holiday where chicks get frisky---"

"And you get lucky," finished Pogue Parry, coming up the steps. He slid down in the empty seat between Reid and Caleb and leaned back slightly in his seat. "Which actually isn't that different from every other day of the year."

Tyler Simms decided to put in his two cents, smiling hugely while reading a book for English.

" Face it Reid. You're the school slut in guy form."

Reid grinned devilishly, putting long white hands behind his head.

" At least I'm getting laid Baby Boy," he said pointedly, " Unlike someone else we know."

Tyler blushed slightly but just shook his head and continued reading.

" Aww, lighten up Ty," Reid languidly stated, rolling his eyes. " Caleb's not getting any either."

Sarah coughed violently, blushing furiously and leaning forward in her seat. Caleb patted her on the back concernedly and glared at Reid.

" Just leave them alone man." Pogue sighed, not even bothering to accompany his words with a look. He had his own problems to deal with, and he didn't want a battle of wills breaking out between his Covenant brothers.

" Hey Pogue, how's Kate?"

Speaking of issues...

Pogue tensed and slid his eyes in Tyler's direction slowly. He paused before answering.

" She's fine. That flu bug she had last week is gone."

Caleb, sensing Pogue's slight distress, turned to look at his friend.

" Everything okay?"

" Yeah, man. Whatever."

Caleb looked at him a second longer then at Sarah. Sarah, as Kate's best friend, would know what Pogue wasn't sharing.

"They had another argument," Sarah whispered. " You know how Kate gets around guys sometimes."

He nodded. Caleb knew by know that Kate flirted with guys constantly. He wasn't sure if it was unconsciously done on her part, but Caleb knew it still bothered Pogue.

The final bell rang and Caleb turned towards the front of the room. With one last glance at Pogue's set jaw, Caleb pulled out a pen to take notes. This was going to be a long class period.

"Take a deep breath Astaire. This isn't such a big deal."

Astaire Montgomery paced in front of the mirror in the girls' bathroom at Spenser Academy. She periodically tucked a strand of dark hair behind her ear with long brown fingers. "Pianist's fingers" her mother called them, even though Astaire didn't play the piano at all. Ugh…her mother. Astaire sighed tiredly. Her mother was intent that she rebuild her old life since she returned to Ipswich a day earlier. Naturally, that had to involve attending Spenser again.

Astaire gave a mental scream and stopped pacing. Grabbing the sides of the sink, she leaned into the spotless mirror.

" I can do this," she told herself, a small part of her cringing as she thought of the Little Engine That Could. "The past is the past and I can definitely start over with the guys."

She straightened, fixing her loose curls and unnecessarily adjusting her uniform.

" Besides, they probably won't even care about everything that happened. They've moved on."

She paused, grabbing her messenger bag and moving gracefully toward the door. Then, with one last look behind her, she whispered, " And so have I."

" The French Revolution was the turning point in French history," Mr. Whitman said with feeling, oblivious to the dozing students in front of him, " And by far the most intriguing part of the lesson plan for the year."

Pogue was desperately trying to stay awake. His brown eyes flitted closed, until a few seconds later when he ripped them open again. He had long since stopped leaning back in his chair for fear of falling backwards while asleep. He hated history, but he'd be damned if he slept through another class period. Reid wasn't going to get to draw on his face again.

A knock sounded on the classroom door, startling Pogue and every other sleepy student. Pogue glanced toward the door, almost interested in whatever exchange that would soon take place. Then he saw the hand on the now-opening door. The long, delicate fingers looked really familiar. Eerily familiar. But there was no way it was who he thought it was. It couldn't be. She wasn't about to walk right through the door. That would be as impossible as him giving up riding motorcycles.

Pogue looked warily at Caleb to see if he was thinking similar thoughts. By the confused and apprehensive look on Caleb's face, Pogue guessed so.

" Oh my fucking god," Reid whispered from Pogue's left, " She's back."

And sure enough, standing in the door was Astaire Montgomery. Member of one of the wealthiest families in Ipswich, friend of the Sons since birth, and Pogue Parry's first love.

Suddenly, Pogue felt his entire world shifting into the absurd. He had to be hallucinating. He looked to his best friends. Three pairs of shocked eyes met his. Crap. She really was here.

" Miss. Montgomery. Welcome back." Mr. Whitman smiled graciously at the girl in the door and waved her inside. " We were just talking about the--"

" French Revolution," Astaire cut in smoothly. "Your T.A. emailed me the syllabus."

" Well, obviously you're going to catch up just fine."

Mr. Whitman scanned the classroom. " Why don't you take a seat behind Mr. Parry? That seems to be the only available seat at the moment."

Astaire smiled and nodded at the professor, hoisting her bag higher on her arm.

"That will be fine."

Pogue's eyes widened and he looked at Caleb. Fine? Fine?! She couldn't sit behind him!

Caleb shrugged his shoulders, still in shock, and awkwardly patted Pogue on the back.

Pogue sighed and ran his hands through his hair. Would this be awkward? Yes. Really awkward? Hell yeah. But he had to calm down. He was losing his cool and that didn't need to happen. Not today after his fight with Kate. And especially not so close to his Ascension. Breathe in, breathe out. Don't stress.

Astaire saw Pogue's not-so-secret freak out of epic proportions and felt exactly the same way, if not worse. She took a deep breath, pasted on a neutral expression, and started climbing the stairs.

She wasn't going to lie—she was extremely paranoid. She could swear he was glaring at her. But she was determined not to show anything on her face. She had done this routine before, and she knew that any sign of weakness gave people a reason to tear her down. It wasn't going to happen if she had anything to say about it.

Astaire walked past Pogue, Caleb, Reid, and Tyler. She didn't so much as glance in their direction. She wanted to, of course. She wanted to say hi, explain her absence, and get over the general uncomfortable-ness of it all. But now wasn't the time or place. She could wait.

As Astaire sat down, Pogue clenched his jaw in restraint. He couldn't believe that she had just waltzed by them as if nothing was wrong…as if she didn't know them. Pogue wanted to turn around and say something to her, yell at her even, but he couldn't. He wouldn't. Pogue knew he had to talk to her sometime, but her wasn't sure if today was the day. He wanted to talk to her, but then a part of him didn't want to. He was upset she came back, but then he wasn't. Pogue sighed for what felt like the hundredth time that day. Why oh why didn't he skip class?

The class practically cheered as the bell rang, signaling the sweet end of first period. The Sons of Ipswich sat in their seats, unsure of what to do. Talk to her or ignore her? They knew she was still sitting behind them, probably in the same predicament they were.

This is a chess game, Caleb thought, who's going to move first?

" Hi, I'm Sarah Wenham. Nice to meet you."

The Sons blinked in surprise. Not the segue they were expecting back into Astaire's life.

Looking warmly at Sarah, Astaire smiled and held out a hand. Sarah, who she figured must be Caleb's girlfriend, seemed sweet… too sweet to be from an old money family. Finally, someone like her friends back in L.A.

" I'm Astaire Montgomery. Nice to meet you." she shook Sarah's hand, noticing how Sarah didn't give the wimpy handshake she had come to expect from the females at Spenser. She smiled. Caleb picked a good one.

Sarah smiled widely, and turned to the boys.

" So, this is Ca--"

" Nice of you to come back after a year and a half."

Astaire looked at Reid in disbelief. The level of sarcasm and disdain in his voice surprised her, and it wasn't exactly what she was expecting.

Sarah looked from Astaire to Reid and back again, pausing in confusion.

"You know each other?"

" Thought I did," Reid answered harshly, glaring coldly at Astaire and picking with his black fingerless gloves.

Astaire stood and opened her mouth to spit out an angry retort, then closed it again abruptly. She would handle this with class.

Picking up her books slowly and carefully, she placed them in her bag with a calm she didn't feel. After sliding her bag delicately on her shoulder, she turned to the Sons. A small emotionless smile on her face, she said, "It's nice to see you four again. I missed you."

With that, she walked swiftly down the stairs and out the classroom door and headed to her next class.

Reid scoffed when she was gone, flexing his fingers in agitation.

" Missed us my ass."

Caleb glared at him, matching Reid's ice-blue stare with a heated brown one of his own.

"Cut it out, Reid."

Reid glared back, his spark of anger slowly turning into a full out blaze.

" She deserved it and you know it."

Caleb opened his mouth to disagree, but Reid venomously cut him off.

" Whatever, Caleb."

Reid grabbed his things and stormed out, stuffing his hands into his jacket pockets.

Sarah looked at Caleb, her eyes holding a million questions. Caleb sighed tiredly, and began to answer.

" We're all childhood…friends."

Caleb paused before the word 'friends', glancing at Pogue quickly and back to Sarah.

" Our families have been friends for a while. Not as long as the four of ours have, but a long time. She moved to Los Angeles about a year and a half ago, and we haven't talked to her since. We all took it kinda hard."

Pogue sat there, his elbow on the table and his fist on his cheek. 'Kinda' hard? Caleb missed the mark by a mile. They were devastated. Completely crushed…well, at least he was. Who wouldn't be after the way they left things?

Letting out a breath he didn't know he was holding, Pogue stood and left, heading towards the parking lot. There was no way he could go to Spanish class. He was skipping until lunch. What he needed right now was to sleep.

Lunch was an hour long period of bliss at Spenser Academy. That is, for everyone except Spenser's golden boys. The Sons of Ipswich sat at their usal lunch table with their usual lunch choices in front of them. However, the topic of coversation was quite abnormal for the four teens. They were discussing whether or not they should go to Nicky's. The boys had never discussed it before. They just went. But after the day's events, they figured they should talk about it.

" I say we go," Reid said, leaning back with crossed arms. " who says she'll even be there?"

" She probably will," Caleb responded calmly, " and after the words exchanged today," he shota glance at Reid, " I don't think we should talk again so soon."

" Bullshit."

" It's not."

The table looked at Tyler. Glancing at each one of them, he laced his fingers thoughtfully before continuing.

" You hurt her feelings, Reid. She may not have acted like it, but you did. For just a second, she looked like you slapped her in the face."

Pogue looked at Tyler in slight amazement. He hadn't noticed her initial reaction, so how had Tyler? Pogue found himself slightly upset, but he didin't understand why. So what if he wasn't completely in tune with Astaire's emotions? He had a reason not to be. He hadn't seen her in more than a year. Besides, Caleb didn't notice either…right?

" She would've said something if she was so upset. That's the way she's always been. Right, Pogue?"

Pogue pulled himself out of his thoughts and turned to Reid.

" Yeah…but like you said, we only think we know her."

He stood to leave.

"See you guys. I'm…" he ran a hand through his hair, " I dunno. Maybe I'll go swim."

Pogue hit the table lightly with his palm as he walked away, already tuned out to his brothers. He had a lot to think about. Including what happened with Astaire in what now seemed like forever ago.