A/N: Hey readers! By popular demand, I've decided to put up a sequel to "Tell Me". It's still summer and Lily and Oliver have only just gotten back from Maine. But what fun would the story be if they just sad around be happy and in love for the next month? Oh no. We'll have to do something about that. Anyway, here it is. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: Oh the return of XxRunThroughIt's sad disclaimers. Have you ever read a story on this site in which the author mentions that they legitimately do own the characters about which they are writing? I didn't think so. Neither do I.
Chapter 1: The Next Three Weeks
"There!" Lily grabbed Oliver's hand as she shouted, pointing wildly across the room, "I see it!" Panting, she began ducking seamlessly through the crowd. Unfortunately for Oliver, dragging behind her, his maneuverability wasn't quite as seamless. Something more like...bumping? Crashing? He thought one might call it that.
But it was only a moment before Lily had reached her destination, releasing his hand and mechanically thrusting both of her's outward at her innocent suitcase, yanking it with gusto off the moving belt.
"Told you I'd find it first," she grinned mischievously as she placed it down beside her and rested her fists triumphantly on her hips.
"Good job," he offered his hand back to her, "because all of that commotion left my suitcase back at the other side of the belt."
Laughing apologetically, she walked slightly more calmly back to their original spot to let Oliver claim his own bag.
"Now what?" the pair managed to pull their way from the crowd, and Lily warmly wrapped her arms around his stomach, letting her head fall lightly against his chest as he leaned back into a support beam.
"We have to find my mom," he laughed, running his fingers through the hair that'd gotten uncharacteristically wild over their long travel day.
Her voice softened suddenly, "Can't we just stay here?" Oliver saw her eyes shut and the corners of her lips curl up slightly.
He grasped her tighter, whispering, "I only wish." He let his hand run the length of her back, straightening slightly to signal they should leave. She sighed and stood up with him, grabbing her suitcase as she went.
Lily waved to Mrs. Oken's car, who in turn made her way out of the Truscott driveway, and positioned herself to be facing her own front door. 'It's been a month since I've seen this door,' she thought to herself, regretfully, almost. As glad as she was to see her family again, she couldn't exactly call it thrilling to end the adventure she'd had with Oliver in Maine. 'Oh well,' her thoughts played in again, 'At least you have another month of hanging around home with him before school starts.' No. At least no one would be able to ruin that.
She inhaled deeply and placed her free hand (the one not holding her skillfully rescued suitcase, of course) on the doorknob, turned, and pushed.
"Father dear! Mother dearest!" she hailed, "I've at last returned!" With her announcement came two familiar figures, laughing at her tone and throwing their arms around her.
"Good to see you, sweetie!" her mom smiled and embraced her.
Rubbing her back from behind, her dad threw in the inevitable, "How was your trip?"
Lily let her mother's arms fall and stepped away to face them better. "My trip," she began thoughtfully, sampling the phrase a bit, "was perfect."
"Oh, tell us all about it!" her mother exclaimed in excitement. Yeah, leave it to her parents to overreact to their daughter being gone for only a month, with easy access to a mailbox and an international cell phone plan, in the care of a family they'd known for almost two decades.
"Well," she began, making her way towards the kitchen, where she grabbed three glasses from the cupboard, "Oliver's grandma actually signed us up for this camp," she recalled, reaching for the milk in the refrigerator, "Where we stayed for a week. That was a lot of fun." She set the glasses on the table and gently poured the ends of the contents of the gallon evenly into each.
"And we got around the really cute seaside town on bicycle, which was just like a fantasy," the trio sat and Mr. Truscott placed a plate of cookies between them on the table. "Oh! And there was a lighthouse. Two, actually."
"Oh, Lily," Mrs. Truscott cooed, "I'm so glad you had a good time. I was so worried about you. My baby-"
"Mom!" she stopped her, "Stop that!" she laughed and grabbed a cookie.
"And how was Oliver?"
Lily stopped a moment. What had she planned to tell them about that little part of her trip? "Oliver" she started slowly, forcing down the grin playing along her lips, "Oliver was Oliver, Mom," she stated matter-of-factly. "Don't sound so excited."
She had a strange feeling her parents had taken the hint. Her dad stood easily and dropped his empty glass into the dishwasher, grabbing his briefcase with some mention of having to go into work that day.
Lily followed, rising from her chair and walking over to the sink with the two other glasses and the empty plate, slipping them under the running water before pulling out the dishwasher rack.
"Oh," her mom began behind her while wiping off the table, "I have good news."
"Hm?" Lily pushed it off, positioning the dishes on the rack and shutting the machine's heavy door.
"Remember that marine biology camp we tried to sign you up for in the spring?" Lily could tell her footsteps were reaching the couch in the living room.
"Yeah..." she began, "But there was no room left. Mom..."
"Well they called while you were in Maine," Lily's eyes grew wide as she joined her mother on the couch.
"Mom..." she tried again.
"They have room now. One of their students couldn't come this summer, so you're all signed up!" she smiled enthusiastically. Genuinely, Lily noticed.
"Wow, Mom," Lily added quickly, trying to sound appreciative, "Thanks. When does it start, again?" she asked, apprehensively, hoping for some reason she was added into next year's group or something, not having to be pulled away from Oliver again.
"Next Monday. Three weeks!" Lily grinned falsely, trying to look convincing. "I'm so glad you're going to get this chance!"
"Yeah, Mom," she breathed slowly, standing to make her way up to her bedroom, "Me too."
"Marine Biology?" Oliver's voice echoed hollowly over the phone.
"Yeah. Remember over the spring when I was all excited about it and wanted to enroll in that camp in Avalon?" Lily answered him, lying back onto her bed.
"I remember. I thought they were too full."
"They were," she said begrudgingly.
"Well my mom managed to score me a place," she breathed heavily and pulled a pillow out from behind her head, "Lucky me."
"When does it start?" the distorted voice came back over her earpiece.
"On Monday. And it's three weeks long," she flipped herself over so the pillow was beneath her and she lay on her stomach, "Damn it, Oliver. I thought I was going to get the spend the rest of my summer here with you!"
"Lily, don't swear. Besides, Avalon is only just across the bay. You'll practically be in Malibu, anyway."
"Not the point, Oliver," she grimaced. "It's a three-week intensive. As in, thoroughly involved in material for the whole three weeks. I'm not even allowed to use my cell phone. I only get one call every other day, and that's supposed to be for my parents."
She heard Oliver's voice drop, "Oh. Well Lily, you've got to do this. You love marine biology. This isn't exactly the opportunity to give up."
"I know. I really need it, but I only just got home," she rolled over onto her back and watched the cloud pattern painted on her ceiling.
"Lily. You have to go. There's absolutely no way I'm letting you pass this up," he sighed at her. She wished she could see him now. "Now, tell me about this program."
Well," she began nervously, "We spend three weeks in Avalon, boarding in a lodge. We just go out every day onto the beaches and do ocean-study stuff. We do some diving, identifying, you know. It's all pretty basic."
"It sounds amazing. You're going to love it, Lils," he reassured her.
"I sure hope so."
"I know so. You make everything better, Lily."
She felt herself blush as she took the comment. "Thanks, Oliver," she laughed a bit, "See you tomorrow?"
It didn't seem to take long before Lily found herself walking along the beach at Avalon for the first time, headed out towards the check-in. In one hand was a navy blue duffel, something her parents had gone out of their way to buy, seeing as her ancient hard suitcase didn't seem too fitting for such an occasion as marine biology. In her other hand was a folder of paper work she was trying extra hard to keep track off. She figured she'd probably make a bad impression if she showed up without the essentials on the first day.
The hot sand was burning her feet, protected only by flip flops, and the bright sun was beating hard on her skin, penetrating the dark lenses of her sunglasses. When had California gotten so hot? She missed the temperate climate of Portland.
She felt something move and set down her things on the shore. She pulled up the khaki bermuda shorts that were slipping down her hips and tried to tighten the belt that was holding them up. She'd lost any extra weight she may have had while riding her bike through Maine and running around all the time at Camp Myers and Fitch.
It's not that she didn't like the idea of losing weight, but honestly, she knew she didn't have much to begin with, and even the tiniest ounce gone meant less around the curves she had only been able to hope she had. She pulled again on her belt before grabbing her bag and papers again.
'It's a good thing I have long hair,' she thought while trudging again towards the check-in tables set up in front of a beachy-looking lodge, 'Wouldn't want anyone thinking I was a boy.'
The setting didn't help her much, either. It wasn't like she could wear a lot of makeup or skirts or anything while researching on the beach. 'Doomed to be a tomboy,' she sighed.
"Name?" a young woman asked her when she set her folder down on the plastic collapsible table.
"I'm Lily Truscott," she threw in as a second thought, "from Malibu."
"Welcome to Summer at Avalon, Lily," the woman grinned up at her after rummaging through some important-looking files. Lily couldn't read her through the oversized sunglasses perched along her nose, "You're signed up for the marine biology intensive," Lily nodded, "Do you have your papers?"
She pushed forward the folder she'd been carrying and watched apprehensively as the woman flipped through each page. It would be just like her to have forgotten something. She mentally crossed her fingers, hoping superstition would save her now.
"Good. Here's a room key and a camp pass. Keep it on you at all times, cause it's what's going to let you get into everything for the next three weeks." Lily took her things and looked nervously up at the large building before her. Where was she going, again?
The woman laughed, "You're room is in that building," she turned in her chair and pointed easily. "The dining hall is that way, and lunch is at noon. Make sure you're there; there's a lot of information you'll be getting then."
"All right..." Lily furrowed her eyebrows and made like she were going to move that way.
"Don't worry," the woman stopped her again, "Anyone in one of these blue shirts," she said, motioning towards the T-shirt she wore, printed with big white letters that read "Summer at Avalon", "Can help you find where you need to go."
"Thanks," Lily breathed, finally a bit relieved, and walked off towards her lodge.
Lily slipped her pass into her shorts pocket and tied the room key around her neck, sliding it beneath the material of the tank top she was wearing. She glanced at the room behind her, having just put away her clothes. The room was empty besides her, but there was a second made bed, so she assumed it wouldn't be long before her roommate showed up.
She glanced down at her watch; 11:22. She still had some time before she was expected in the dining hall, so she slipped out of her room, shutting the door nervously, and began a walk around the area.
As she reached the end of the hallway, a large painting caught her eye. Stopping and stepping closer, she saw the intricate depiction of the California coast with a very obvious mark for Avalon. She laughed a little to herself and stepped backwards from the wall.
"Ouch!" she'd hit something, or someone, she guessed. She whipped around suddenly to find she'd knocked a brunette boy about her age to the ground. How mortifying!
"Oh! I'm so sorry," Lily threw one hand over her mouth and thrust the other out to help her innocent victim up. "I didn't mean to knock you over!"
"Don't worry about it," he laughed, accepting her hand and pulling himself up. "I'd just come from my room and saw you standing here. I thought whatever you were looking at must be pretty interesting, so I thought I'd take a look." He flashed a knowing smile at her. It was cute, she realized. "What's your name?" he asked suddenly, looking genuinely curious.
"I'm Lily," she grinned, placing her hand out to shake. When he'd accepted she added, "I'm new here. Obviously."
"Don't worry about it. I'm new, too," He released her hand. "Cody, by the way."
Suddenly she remembered something Leslie had told her one night in Maine;
"That's the name of a keeper. There are a few names actually...And they're all very dateable...Cody. Ever met a Cody?"
She guessed she had.
A/N: Oh the return of conflict. How was it? Hopefully I can get some good stuff in the next few chapters pretty quickly. But, of course, it's Spring Break. And, of course, I'm going out of town. We'll have a laptop. But we'll just see how much time I actuallyget. Anyway, thanks for reading. Please review!