.I.

I had never been down the Spencer Academy halls. The school that I attended in Toronto was exclusively private. The rule wasn't "If you have enough money" it was "If you have enough money and enough background, we'll put you on the list, but we won't guarantee anything." You would actually be rejected if you did not have social background. I was invited, and I attended. The halls at Spencer were dark and they were even a little desolate. Of course I was to expect this, because it was Thursday and class hours had yet to end. But I saw those few students with passes pass me. They stared, not recognizing me. Nosey, anyone? I felt like a car crash where the few cars that passed me would slow to a ridiculous pace and star until their rearview mirrors were completely useless.

I had already been to my room. I checked to see if everything had been delivered, packed a couple of things, and then left. I wanted to explore. First off, I needed a reason to explore, so I didn't like a mindless idiot wondering around clueless. I decided to check on my uniform and text books. The front desk of the dorm house directed me to the front office of the main school building, which was three buildings over. With a sigh, I turned and began on my way. Unfortunately, I arrived at this school only two hours before the final bell. Just as I left the dorm house, beginning my way into the quad, a loud bell sounded.

Packs and packs of students found their ways outside of the building, and I was surprised to see the various routes. Some actually used doors. Others used windows. Some skipped sixth period completely and were already on their way to the quads. It wasn't long until I found myself making my way through those crowds. The sounds of random giggles and dirty jokes meshed together and planted themselves in my memory. I did that sometimes, listen to other people's conversations. I couldn't help it; it was how I learned. Turning my head briefly to catch sight of one speaker, I ran into someone rather abruptly. I heard a loud, "Oomph" as we collided. He took a step back, and I turned my head as my sight went a little dark. My head was actually in pain from the collision. (I'm very prone to headaches.)

"I'm so sorry!" I began, as my eyes automatically closed, trying to get a hold of my thoughts through the forming headache. I knew the person I had bumped into was a guy, and for a split second I actually expected him to be one of the boys.

But I realized I was wrong as he spoke. Even if I hadn't seen the boys in the longest time, I somehow would know when I heard them. "It's fine, are you alright?" He sounded a little concerned.

I finally looked up. He was rather handsome, to be honest. He had a sculpted face, thick dark hair, a little curly. His facial expression showed his concern as well. "Yeah, I do that a lot," I replied solemnly. I did. I had a tendency to run into people. "It's no biggie."

His brows furrowed and a smile broke on his lips. "I haven't seen you before."

"That's because I'm new," I replied and I then noticed that even though I was still getting a couple of stares, the crowds were dispersing. Looks like I'm not as interesting as a dorm room. "I just transferred in."

"And I'm assuming you haven't started classes?" was his reply.

"I start Monday. I'm headed to the office to check on my things, now." Squeezing eyes shut, I tried to get the headache to leave me.

"Are you sure you're alright?"

"Yes…" I looked up to him. By his face, I could tell he didn't believe me.

With an amused smirk, he held out his hand and introduced himself. "Aaron."

"Do you have a last name?" I asked as I took his hand.

"Abbot, you?"

"Morris."

He laughed. "Is that your first, or you last name?" I giggled, delighted he caught my joke.

"My last; call me Jaded."

"Jaded?"

"Or Jade…" I added quickly. Most people didn't call me Jaded. It was the past tense of a verb. It sounded out of place.

"No, I like it." It was then that I noticed that he smiled with his eyes. They were rather intense, so much that I had to look away. I almost blushed. Almost. I began to make my way around him and he said, "Did you say you were going to the front office?"

"Yes?" I glanced at him, amusingly.

"Would you like some help getting around?"

I laughed. "Actually, I need the help. I suck with directions," I admitted. I did; I was terrible with them.

He gave a short chuckle, turned, and began leading me to the front building. "So, where are transferring from?"

"Toronto." I wondered how many times I would answer that question. "I was schooled privately with a couple of other students." He gave a nod of understanding. He couldn't possibly understand. My mother didn't find it fit that I go to school with normal children. She thought it best that I learn both academics and about using my abilities properly. I envied the boys, really. They were allowed to have normal lives. I was shipped away and locked up with the freaks.

"Canada?"

I gave a loud laugh. "Yeah, that's the only Toronto I've heard of."

"You're transferring from Canada?" he replied incredulously.

"Yes, what's wrong?" He had led me all the way across the grounds, and now we were entering the main building from the back entrance.

"How in the hell did you get here?" he laughed.

"I lived here before I moved. I wanted to graduate at home…"

"Ah." Again with the nod of understanding. "Do you know what your classes are?" I shook my head.

"I find out Monday."

"So he gave you tomorrow off?" I knew exactly who he was talking to.

"I feel a little helpless, really." He lead me through the many halls to the front and center of the main building. "Like I'm being babied."

"If you're parents are rich enough, you tend to get babied."

"Aaron!!" I jumped, surprised. I turned around, as did he. A girl, thin, pretty, long curly hair, stalked toward us - or rather to be said, stalked toward him. "There you are!" she feigned amusement. Apparently, this was his girlfriend by the look she gave him, and unfortunately, the look she gave me.

"Jaded, meet Kira." I noticed the look he gave her. Scolding.

"Hi…" I was unsure of myself. I could tell she hated me already. But first of all, who was she? I laughed inwardly. I could see how tense she was, so I turned to Aaron. "I can see the office from here, I'll catch you later."

"I'll see you around?"

With a faint smile, I nodded and turned away. The vibe that which Kira sent me was not one that was pleasant, so I can definitely say that I was trying to get away from them. I heard their voices become distance along with their footsteps as I neared the front office. Again with the wolves.

II

My things had not arrived that Thursday evening, but they had Friday. Saturday I spent in my dorm and Sunday I spent at Mass. Not any of those days did I see Aaron, Kira, or the boys. I needed alone time anyway.

III

The office printed my schedule wrong. They mixed up my first period with my sixth, and my third with my fourth. I began to the class that I thought was first. I was late as it was, so the teacher just looked me up, and set me on the right path, printing out the correct schedule, saving me a trip to the office. I didn't want to make another trip to the office, anyway. I was twenty minutes late by the time I found my first period teacher, who was already deep in lecture.

I squeezed through the doorway. The class's eyes shot directly toward me, and thus so did the professor's. I expected him to scold me on tardiness, but instead, I saw him smile. "You must be Morris?" I heard a cough at my name. Ignoring it, I nodded.

"I'm sorry I'm late," I began. "The office printed my schedule out wrong."

"Is that settled?"

I nodded again. He quickly scanned the seats of the class room, and I followed his gaze to Aaron. Lovely. He chuckled. "Well, it seems as if you've already met Mr. Abbot." I saw Aaron, smiling at me. Teasingly, he waved. I laughed inwardly.

Looking at the Professor, I replied, "Is it that obvious?"

I heard a wave of snickering make its way throughout the room. "No, not at all," he replied sarcastically. "Take a seat." He motioned toward Aaron.

I suddenly noticed Kira emerge from beside Aaron. She moved up two rows to another empty seat. With a smirk, I whispered to him, amused, "Wow, Aaron, just kick her out of her seat."

"Well, it was that or you would have to sit in my lap," he said teasingly. I could feel his breath on my neck and my cheeks start to warm.

"You did not just say that to me in the middle of class." Looking at him, I noted his smirk. He looked away. Still smirking.

This was Lit class. The class was reading Great Expectations, a book that which I had already knocked out. I hated this book, and I told the Lit Professor that too.

"Have you read Great Expectations?" he had asked me.

"Yes."

"Did you like it?"

"I have a sever dislike for Charles Dickens."

He laughed. "Alright then." He then turned to the board and began to scribble something about a quiz on Dickens's life. I wouldn't study for it.

The day went by as slowly as I could manage. Classes were slow. Teachers showed an interest in me, unfortunately, attracting attention. I hate attention. I had already studied everything on the teachers' agendas. I didn't observe my classes' students because I knew I'd come across one of the boys. Aaron was in three of my classes and my lunch period. Kira was only in one, but she was also in my lunch class. For my gym class, I took field activities. Aaron had actually asked me about that after I forbade him t walk me to the field house. I hated water, and I told him so. He thought it was ironic considering Spencer is known for its swim team.

"I still don't like water…" I laughed.

"Well, then we must part," he replied dramatically. I laughed at his short scene and we went our separate ways.

IV

Aaron had my sixth period and tried to walk me to my dorm. I refused him, telling him jokingly, "I think it's too early for you to know where I live."

"Please?" I feigned sorrow.

I laughed. He was quite funny. I noticed as he walked me, or how I walked him, to my dorm, that I got several nasty looks from several different girls. These nasty looks reminded me of Kira. "Question?"

"Answer," he replied, stuffing his hands in his pockets.

"Is Kira your girlfriend?" I asked him. I needed to know. The suspense was killing me. I remember asking Caleb this question when I was twelve. He thought that I had liked him, but it took Pogue's support to convince Caleb that I was clearly curios. Caleb was like an older brother to me.

Looking at him, I could see this thoughts. He gave a smirk. "Why do you ask?"

"Because I think she hates me…"

"No, she doesn't hate you," he replied, still amused.

"You sure about that?" He held the door to the dorm house for me.

"Yes." I loved that smirk. "I'm sure. She doesn't hate you."

He said no more until I egged him further. "So?"

"I broke up with her two nights ago."

He met me three nights ago and at this thought, I felt a little unsure about leading him to my room. "Oh, I'm sorry…" I really wasn't. I didn't know how I felt about it. He and I were just friends, even though I could tell he had more than friendship on his mind. He was flirting with me constantly. I knew he knew I loved a good sense of humor, so he let his show.

"We just made a mistake, I guess."

I felt a little bad for the guy. "Yeah, I've made plenty of mistakes." And yes, I speak from experience.

Finally, we arrived at my dorm, but reaching into my bag I noticed that the key I could have sworn I placed in the front pocket was not there. "Is there a problem?" He observed me curiously.

I shook my head. "No, of course not." I turned toward him, and placed my back up against the door. I snuck my hands behind my back and reached for the door knob. "Thanks for showing me around," began, trying to distract the both of us.

"Of course." Immediately, sending a small shock into the knob, the door unlocked, and even opened. "Look, tomorrow the teachers are handing out the study guides for mid-terms. Everyone heads down to Nikki's right before exams."

"And you want me to go?" I interrupted. I'd witness tricks like this many times before. He nodded. "As long as I don't run into Kira."

He laughed, shook his head, amused, and bade me goodnight.