Chapter 1 – A New School, A New Life.
I knew from the start that it was going to be tough to move to a new school for my senior year. When you consider that I was starting at Spencer Academy – an elitist school whose students were mostly of the sliver spoon variety – you could add the fact that I was there on scholarship to the mix and pretty much guess the outcome.
But I had made a promise to myself that I wouldn't be one of those girls who lied about where they were from or what their daddies did. People would just have to like me for who I am.
Of course, this kind of revelation was easy to come by in the comfort of my own home, before the auction which sold every belonging that didn't fit into my two trunks and a suitcase. The house where I had grown up with my loving parents, the car I learnt to drive in, the couch and TV that saw many a movie night. It all went under the hammer, and with each sale my confidence slowly dripped away. Spencer Academy was all I had now, and I had to make it work.
I arrived at the imposing buildings of the Spencer Academy at lunchtime on a Friday. I paid the cab and watched as it drove away, forcing down a surge of blind panic about the totally foreign environment I was entering. Well, there was no going back now, was there? Dragging my suitcase behind me I prayed my trunks would be safe where they sat and entered the building through the tall doors. It took me a little while to find the reception, but when I did the receptionist, Mrs Watts smiled encouragingly and got me to sit while she sent a runner to fetch Kate Tunney, my new roommate.
"The provost will want to talk to you later, to welcome you onto campus, but I thought you might want to get your stuff to your room first" she suggested warmly.
"Thanks, that would be great" I replied, relieved. I wasn't quite ready to meet the man who was basically my guardian quite yet. Mrs Watts also handed me a folder of paper – the school rules, dorm rules, information about the cafeteria etc and my time table.
I had just opened it to the first page, when a stunning girl with long straight brown hair and Mocha skin entered the room. She smiled broadly and walked straight over to me.
"Hi I'm Kate Tunney – I'll be your roommate" She introduced herself. I smiled, relieved that my roommate looked nice and friendly.
"Hi Kate, I'm Jade, Jade Clarkson, nice to meet you" I introduced myself, giving a little wave with my free hand.
"Is this all your stuff?" she asked, gesturing to the suitcase that was sitting beside me. I shook my head
"I have two trunks outside. They're quite heavy though". Kate smiled
"Well I better ring for reinforcements then" She smiled and picked up her phone, speed dialing someone.
"Pogue, can you and the boys meet me by the front doors? I need a hand carrying some trunks" there was a pause. "well of course! It's for my new roommate, remember!" another pause "If you are very good then maybe" she replied to an unheard question, blushing a little. I raised one eyebrow, only to have Kate roll her eyes in response. "Ok, see you soon" she hung up.
"Boys huh?" she sighed. "They're going to meet us out front".
We returned to my stuff, and Kate admired the intricate carving that covered the two trunks.
"Wow, they're stunning!" she complemented. I thanked her and explained
"My dad made them – he was a wood worker" she smiled and I showed her where dad had inscribed his name on one and my mothers on the other.
"It was nice of them to lend them to you" Kate commented innocently.
"Oh, they didn't…" I started before thinking about it. "Mum and Dad died a couple of months ago." I finished, hating the uncomfortable silence that fell as a result.
About a minute in I saw the doors swing open and four stunning guys walk out. The guy in the lead, who was around 6'2" with dark hair and eyes laughed as the boy next to him, also tall with longish brown hair and sparkling eyes said something while the two boys behind goofed around, the blonde murmuring something which caused the black spiked haired one to punch him on the shoulder. Kate smiled at the group and walked over to link her arm though that of the long brown haired boy kissing him quickly. Pogue, I assumed.
"Hey guys!" She greeted. "This is Jade, my new roommate" I could almost feel the four of them checking me out, their eyes skimming over my painfully pale skin, ok figure, green eyes, and straight black hair in a ponytail. "Jade" Kate continued "This is Pogue Parry my boyfriend, and his friends Tyler Simms (black hair), Caleb Danvers (the first boy) and Reid" she was cut off by the blonde who stepped forward to shake my hand.
"Garwin – I'm Reid Garwin, nice to meet you" He stepped closer as our hands touched "Maybe we could get together later and I could give you a private tour of the campus?" He asked in a lower voice. I blushed and looked down at my shoes, embarrassed and really not sure what I should say. Was he making fun of me?
"Gee thanks Reid, but that's my job" Kate stepped in, and I shot her a quick glance of relief.
"Ah, can't fault a guy for trying" Reid exclaimed, which broke through my shyness enough for me to glance up and smile.
"Nice to meet you guys" I said quickly, stepping away from Reid on the premise of getting my suitcase.
"Now boys, let's be useful" Caleb commented "I take it these are your trunks?" He asked smiling and gesturing to the pair.
"Yes. They're wood so they are quite heavy" I replied apologetically, blushing as I met his intense eyes. Blushes were the plague of anyone as fair skinned as I am, and it really didn't help that Caleb had to be the most attractive guy I had ever seen up close. He grinned, almost blinding my with his even teeth.
"I'm sure we'll cope! Pogue, grab the other end of this one will ya?" Caleb grabbed one end of my fathers trunk and with Pogue hefted it. Reid and Tyler went to the other and Kate went ahead to hold the doors open for the boys. I followed behind with my suitcase, trying to be subtle in my observation of the muscles moving under Caleb's white shirt as he lifted the trunk up the small flight of stairs. I don't think I managed it because Kate caught my eye as I passed through the doors and raised her eyebrows
"I do so love to make them sweat" she whispered into my ear, bringing back my blush and a small giggle.