Disclaimer:

I don't own any of the characters from these fabulous books.

Author's Note:

I am currently re-reading For All Time and just thought I'd write a short fan fiction for it. I picked a very unusual POV character mentioned briefly in book #4. I hope you all enjoy it! Please R&R to let me know what you think. :)


Part I

Jadyn Wright gazed long and hard at the statue towering above her. She took in every detail: It's cracked surface, it's cream and alabaster sides, the curves and slopes of the subject. Art. It was beautiful. It was adept. She lived and breathed it.

Jadyn was a dreamer, an artist. She loved nothing more than spending her weekends alone with her sketchbook at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. It was a freeing experience for her: an escape from the suffocation of college life. This is why she liked coming to the museum. In her 'fraying black' sweats, and worn Converse sneakers, Jadyn felt like she finally had the room to breath, imagine, and create. When it was just she and the artwork, she could do no wrong.

Speaking of no wrong, she looked down at her charcoal black drawing. It would be a perfect addition to her school portfolio. Her professor would be astounded. She thought it her best piece so far. The statue provided such a vast variety of textures, shades, and shapes. It was sure to be an A+ assignment.

At a quarter past ten, Jadyn finally looked up from her sketchbook. Her eyes widened when she spotted a teenaged girl, dressed in an outrageously out-dated outfit, stride by as if she had a distinct purpose. Jadyn's artist-instincts instantly went into overdrive. Now, there was an interesting subject! She decided to follow the girl and ask some questions.

You're in 1999. Why are you dressed like an 18th century explorer?

It's a new fashion trend.

Really? Well, would you mind if I sketched you?

Sketched me?

I'm an artist. I major in the unique and bizarre.

She could already picture the interesting conversation in her head. Crazy city kids. Popular trends jumped on them like fleas. If this girl continued tromping around town in that type of attire, it wouldn't be long before the whole teenaged population of New York was dressing in the very same way. Jadyn looked down at her black sweats, belt, and sneakers. Well, almost all of New York. She didn't think she'd be giving up her personal sense of style anytime soon. After all, she needed a trademark and all-black, lazy-day clothes were hers.

Quickly packing up her supplies, Jadyn got up from the floor and trailed the girl into an adjoining room. It was where some photographs hung of the Lightner Expedition 1899. Jadyn had read all about the new additions in the newspaper. She paused in the doorway and watched as the strange girl inspected the various photographs as if searching for somebody.

Weird. The girl carefully studied each face then stole a look at a nearby guard before suddenly hurrying on to the next room. Jadyn followed again, this time at a safer distance. An uncomfortable feeling settled into the pit of her stomach. Had she just stumbled upon something big? Was this strangely clad girl an art thief? Jadyn hoped not, but then again, she hoped so. She couldn't help but want a little adventure, and being a witness to a crime was sure an adventure to have. Then again, she didn't want anything bad to happen to any of the artwork or artifacts. Being an artist, she had a respect for these types of things and recognized their value.

When she entered the next room, she saw the girl impatiently pushing herself through a crowd of tourists that had formed around the latest artifact to the museum: a photograph of the exploration team that had uncovered the tomb of Hetepheres. She watched from a close distance as the girl made her way to the front of the dissipating mob and then as she nudged a teenaged boy aside with her shoulder. She studied this photograph as she did so and uttered two words, "Oh, Strat."

Strat? Jadyn didn't understand, but the boy beside the girl answered her call and the young artist then decided that the two must know eachother and that was the boy's name. Was this boy the mysterious girl's accomplice? She couldn't help but blush at the sight of the handsome young man.

Cargo pants, blue sweater, disheveled dark hair… he reminded her of a student she had met once at the art college. But that boy was only a photography student named Noel Brady, and Jadyn's crush on him had all but dissolved when he graduated the year after she started school. This boy was younger, and more interesting as he had a very fascinating name: Strat. How artistic! How remarkable! Who was this boy and who was this girl? How did they know eachother and why did the girl dress so oddly? Were they art thieves, or purely artists like herself and Noel who were, more often then not, sadly misunderstood?

Jadyn's thoughts were soon rudely interrupted as a large group of schoolchildren burst into the room. The young artist quickly found herself being pushed off to the side, juggling her art equipment as several of the children buzzed past. Field trip. Jadyn hated those days.

"Excuse me!" She tried to look over the heads of the bantering middle-school students as they buzzed around the exhibition, trying hard to pick out the two mysterious teenagers in the crowd. Where were Strat and his lady friend? She hoped she hadn't lost them, but her pleas went unnoticed as the children chattered and the teacher read aloud from nearby plagues.

Jadyn couldn't help but feel a little angry. "Excuse me! Artist coming through!" She began to shove her way through the milling crowd, getting called various names from all over the middle-school spectrum. Back at you. She thought glumly as an especially daring child let a high school retort slip.

She ended her wild jaunt over by a statue of Sekhmet (she recognized it, having sketched it the day before) and looked over to the spot where she had last seen the 'partners in crime'. They were still by the photograph, apparently talking about it. She felt then that she would have wagered almost anything to hear what was being said. Were they admiring it, swapping facts, or trying to devise a plan on how to get it out of there?

Then she caught a few words, "Hiram Stratton Junior." Hiram Stratton Junior? What did it mean or rather, who was it? Was that the full name of this boy called Strat? Hiram Stratton Junior? Jadyn wrinkled her nose in disgust. She understood why he shortened it.

"What was your name again?"

Jadyn leaned in a bit, as the girl spoke.

"It's Lockwood Stratton. But everyone just calls me Strat."

How many names has this guy got? Jadyn looked to the face of the girl and noticed she looked very confused and almost longingly at her male companion. Maybe the two didn't know eachother. Maybe the strange girl thought he was Hiram Stratton but he corrected her? Jadyn shook her head. Maybe she shouldn't just guess, maybe she should just go up and introduce herself?

But just as she was about to make her move, the two suspects walked away from the display and headed towards a different part of the museum. "Oh drat!" She ignored the strange look she got from a middle school girl with blonde pigtails and quickly followed in haste. She couldn't let them get away now. Her mind was still swarming with questions she needed to put it at rest.

She skitted to a stop as the two teens suddenly stopped on the stairs where all the museum donators were listed in stone. The girl seemed to be swooning and then about fainted on the steps. Strat caught her gently under the arms.

"Is she alright? What's wrong? Did she skip breakfast or something?" A worried guard approached the duo. Jadyn tried hard to blend into the gathering crowd.

"She'll be alright. I've got her. We're going to the cafeteria anyways. I'll make sure she gets something to eat."

How considerate Strat was. Jadyn thought it a shame if he were truly an art thief.

"Excuse me." She watched as he helped the girl to her feet and led her towards the museum cafeteria. She followed them slowly this time, knowing exactly where they were going.