Yeah, it's been a while. But I've been improving in writing... and getting distracted.

Sam turned her stereo up to drown out the sound of her parents' annoying laughter. They were probably watching one of their stupid television shows. Frankly, sitting here trying to drown out her surroundings was getting boring. So she threw a sweatshirt on and made her way downstairs. She didn't bother to tell her parents' where she was going, 'cause they didn't bother to care. She heard their laughter again and rolled her eyes as she slipped her black Converses' on. With one more glance towards them, Sam slipped out the door.

It was getting dark, but it wasn't as chilly as she expected. She started down the road towards Ari's house, which was only three minutes from hers. She picked up a decent sized pebble and threw it in the air then caught it. Once she got to the familiar, white house, she threw the pebble at the top right window. Brown eyed Ari looked out then opened the window, wearing her red beanie as usual.

"What's up?" She asked.

"Are you allowed out this late?" Sam asked. Ari bit her lip.

"No… but I'll sneak out. Wait for me." She closed the window then disappeared from view. Ari wasn't a bad kid, she had a good life, nice things, nice parents. She just had a tendency to disobey rules. She came out from the back gate and started to walk with Sam.

"Where are we going?" Ari asked.

"Anywhere." Sam replied. After a couple of blocks, they ran across the street to their favorite book store; Skulk and Lurk. "Oh sweet sanctuary." Sam breathed.

"Escaping the house?" Mark asked. Mark was one of the employees, which is how Sam and Ari became friends with him, besides school. He wore a black T-shirt and black bondage shorts. He wore black Jordan's and a silver nose pierce.

"Maybe," Ari said as she went over to him. "Any new books?"

"Sorry, the next bundle of books don't come until next week," Mark said. Ari huffed and went into the science fiction aisle.

"Oh hey, guess who got their driver's license," He said.

"I guess Mark." Sam said, scanning the books shelves.

"Yup. No more riding the bus to work."

"Yippee." She said unenthusiastically. Mark was about to make a snappy remark, but kept his mouth shut when he saw another customer come in. He smiled at them as they passed then shot Sam a look. She smirked a little then picked up a book and started to read the back. She looked up and noticed a kid in the next aisle looking at her. He looked back at the book he was reading then closed it and put it back on the shelf.

"Vladimir Tod," Ari read aloud. "You know, I've never read this series," But Sam wasn't listening, she was now staring at the boy. He wore a grey sweatshirt with a white T-shirt underneath and black baggy jeans. His hair was jet black and his eyes were baby blue, but as he looked up to meet her gaze, she swore she saw his eyes flash green.

"Hello? Earth to Sam," Ari waved a hand in front of Sam's face. She blinked then slapped Ari's hand away.

"Do you mind?" She said.

"You just blacked out for a moment," Sam went to look back at the boy, but he was gone.

"Nice of you to notice," She muttered. Ari shook her head and made her way over to one of the tables. Sam followed and sat down cautiously, looking around the store. Ari raised an eyebrow and Sam looked at her.

"What?" She asked.

"Nothing," Ari said, shaking her head. Sam gave up in looking and slouched in her seat. Ari closed her book and stood. "I'm getting this." She threw the book onto Mark's counter, the book getting there before she did. "Ring me up Mark," She said.

"Yup." He said. Sam watched at the door as Ari paid.

"See you in school Mark," Sam said as they left. She and Ari walked to her house, then Sam continued to her own. She sighed as she approached it then opened the door to find all the lights off. She slipped off her shoes and made her way up the stairs. Her parents' door was closed, which meant they were probably sleeping. She rolled her eyes and entered her room, closing the door behind her as she did.

The horn beeped loudly, and Sam rolled her eyes as she approached Mark's car. He lowered the music as she got in the passenger's seat.

"What's up?" He asked as he drove off. Sam shrugged.

"Nothing much." He gave her a one- shoulder shrug then looked out the window.

"Are we picking up Ari?" He asked.

"No. She's taking the bus."

"I remember those days," Sam groaned and leaned back in her seat.

"I really don't want to hear the stories of when you didn't have a license, 'cause I was actually there. I don't need to hear it again." He smiled and tugged a black beanie over his black locks. He looked at his watch and huffed.

"I hope we're not late. I can't afford another detention." He said. The school parking lot was almost full, so Mark circled around it until he found a space. He parked the car and took his seatbelt off. "Let's go." He and Sam walked to the entrance, then parted ways when they got to the lobby. Sam made her way down the hallway and turned into her classroom just as the bell rang. She took her seat in font of Ari and turned to see her.

"I'm guessing Mark drove you." She said.

"Did the left over fear in my eyes give it away?" Sam joked. She spun back around when Mr. Lancer started to ramble about some play involving Shakespeare. Sam tried not to fall asleep and tapped the end of her pencil on her notebook to entertain herself. She looked over her shoulder at Ari, who was asleep. As soon as Lancer turned his back, she whipped around and hit Ari over the head with her notebook. She woke with a jerk, but was still soundless. Sam was relieved when the bell rang and she silently slid her books into her back pack.

"Congratulations, you managed to sleep the entire period without getting caught." She said. Ari yawned and grabbed her books.

"It's a record." She said.

They were both dying by lunch and walked sleepily to their tables where Mark was. They both sat across from him then slouched in their seats. Mark leaned forward and smiled.

"I got news," He said. Ari picked up something gooey with her fork then watched it drop onto her plate with a tired expression.

"What?" She asked.

"Mom and Dad are giving me fifty dollars each for every time I get a hundred on a test, which it so happens I did, so I'm going to use that money to bring you guys to the carnival tonight." Ari perked up and looked at Sam.

"Up top!" She said, high fiving her. Mark nodded and patted the table.

"Be ready at six."

I know it's slow, but it'll pick up in the next chapter. ...I just have to write it first.