Chapter 01: You're So Hypnotizing

AU. James Diamond, a rich boy in California, meets Carlos Garcia: a kid his age with a bright smile, but a dark secret. As James and his friends befriend Carlos, they find themselves slowly caught into a sinister plot—from which escape is vital. JARLOS. This was written November 11 2011, or better yet known as my birthday. :)

IT had started off so simple. It was a simple normal day at Palm Woods Academy. James Diamond had attended all of his classes, and had carried on his day in its usual tidings. He spent his first class, learning about the conquest of the Aztecs in his Honors World History class. However, true to his lack of respect for school, James instead spent the period gawking at his nerdy teacher, who seemed to experience immense joy from teaching the boring discourse of history. Luckily, the day had crawled toward the last class with a somewhat mundane speed, as James eagerly finished his Show Choir performance.

Then, like usual, at exactly seven minutes past the ringing of the bell, James located Logan Mitchell, and Kendall Knight, his two best friends. The trio sauntered toward ice hockey practice, trudging their sore muscles and tired minds to the ice rink. After an egregious practice, James had hopped into the showers of the gym, after which, he met with Logan and Kendall again. After commiserating about the harsh practice, and the tedious passing of the school day, James nodded toward his silver Porche, and hopped into the leather drivers seat, Kendall joining him in the passenger seat, and Logan scooting into the back seat. Like usual, the boys turned the radio to the contemporary pop hits station, from which the top chart singles began to play. After their usual ritual of singing along to the most embarrassing singles, James dropped Kendall off to his humble abode first, cheering him on like usual. After dropping Kendall off, Logan and James began to discuss strategies for hockey, hoping to improve their game-play. Finally, James dropped Logan off at his house, and called to him to be online for their usual homework discussion.

Finally, James accelerated as fast as he could to his house, the prestigious Diamond estate. James rolled into the private gate, which opened immediately upon scanning his car. After parking his car, James turned off the ignition and took a deep breath. Like usual, he entered his house, greeting the stout butler, and hovered toward the kitchen. Despite the chef's comments, James preferred to glance into the cold fridge, staring at it for any fruits If there was anything James liked, it was eating healthy. He enjoyed maintaining his physique. Like usual, James grabbed a fresh and crisp apple, biting into juicy interior. James nodded wistfully to his chef, who slowly began complaining in French. He sighed, and carried his back pack up the spiraling staircase, and dumped it onto his floor. It had been only an hour since practice had ended, and James was already bored. Logan would be ready to help him within three hours, and James could not eat supper until his mother returned in two hours. It was lengthily mundane to even sit through the time it took for his evening to begin. James had nothing to do.

Staring at his bed, James entertained the possibility of perhaps taking a nap, but he knew that his mother would receive him with consternation if he was not sitting at the dinner table, awaiting his mother's return. It was their usual tradition—that James would have to wear his formal dining clothes, and await his mother's return from her job as the CEO of the Diamond household cosmetics company. If he was even a moment late, he would be castigated, punished, and ostracized.

Like usual, it was a normal evening. James had spent his two hours, lazying around on Facebook, watching profile pictures and other people of his list of friends. He was used to this constant normalcy of his life.

It was a never ending circle of life, something splattered with hopes, aspirations, and dreams. He would wake up at the same time every morning, prepared to run a mile in hopes of warming up his body and metabolism. Then, at approximately the same time every morning, he would enter in the house, and pull out a freshly made fruit salad from the fridge and leave it to adjust to the room temperature while he showered for approximately forty five minutes. Afterward, he would eat the fruit salad, and then grab his backpack and speed to Logan's house and then consequently, Kendall's house. After picking up both of his friends, he would speed across the lanes as fast as he could until he reached school, from which he would run to his Honors World History class. After spending the entire day in school, he would meet with Kendall and Logan and head toward the arena for practice. Afterward, he would take them and drop them home in the exact order of Kendall then Logan, and then return back home, and find something to do within the two hours before his mother returned home.

James sighed wistfully, as he closed his laptop, and glanced at the time. He had approximately seven minutes before his mother arrived back home, and he knew that he needed to be downstairs, where the angry French chef would be casting him dark looks. It amused James only because it was different—and variation was something he craved.

James was not adventurous by nature, nor was he especially daring. He attributed those traits to his best friend, Kendall Knight. However, deep within his heart, James wanted to experience a thrill: a sudden feeling of excitement and pleasure. He wanted to experience a fleeting sensation that would paint his normal gray life a myriad of hues and tones, sparking a fire within his empty soul. It was not that James craved any specific person, object, or situation, but he simply wished for excitement.

He was James Isaac Diamond, one of the wealthiest students at the Palm Woods Academy. He was naturally handsome and obviously coveted by many students in his school. To say he was popular would be uttering a lie. That fickle title belonged to a fellow socialite, Mercedes Griffin. She was almost the female counterpart of James, save for her poor academic standing, and inability to perform musical numbers. Moreover, James was on the varsity field hockey team, and he stood out as a paragon for both the musical arts and the athletic achievements, exceeding fantastically in both areas. However, his academics often took the beating for his stellar moves on the ice, and for his dazzling ballads. He was nowhere near a failing student, but his grades were simply lackluster. While music and ice hockey fascinated him, James found himself bored of it.

James often contemplated the possibility that he was depressed—or at least under some mental affliction. He would never admit it, but the idea of pain sometimes fascinated him, and he found himself interested in doing things to his body that would result in an exhilarating rush. It was eerie to sometimes think of such things, but James accepted the fact that he simply drank alcohol to experience a buzz and close off his mind, and that he desired pain for it was so abnormal. All of his life, he had been sheltered like a fragile piece of china, and for once, James wanted to be broken, just so he could experience being fixed.

He loved his friends, Logan and Kendall. They were dedicated comrades, and his passion, Logan's intelligence, and Kendall's courage often resulted in comedic stunts, or charismatic and momentous occasions for others. While Kendall and Logan were unaware of James's inward feelings, he still enjoyed spending time with them, despite his innermost insecurities. He would never admit it to anyone, but he was always afraid that Kendall and Logan were truly not his friends—and to make matters worse, James often found himself having high expectations for friendship, and he felt horrible whenever he thought of Kendall and Logan failing to meet his expectations.

"Just another normal day in the life of James Diamond," James breathed silently, as he closed his eyes to wish once more that he would be warped away to a land full of adventure, excitement, and joy.

Once he heard the garage gears shifting in his house, James instantly began to change out of his clothes from school and shifted into his formal dinner attire, and swiftly slid down the steps to be seated in his seat. The chef gave him a dark look, as James simply winked and sat erect and awaiting his mother's attention.

This was the first sign of abnormality. James's mother, Brooke Diamonds, was a solitary woman. To see her suddenly enter with Arthur Griffin and Mercedes Griffin prompted James to raise an eyebrow, as he quietly rose and welcome Mr. Griffin and Mercedes to the manor. Mercedes winked at James, as he simply smiled and blinked several times, as if assessing the situation.

While it did not necessarily please him, he was excited to see something changing. He sat down at the table, as everyone else took their seats, with the salads being distributed across the large kitchen.

"So did you see how Jo tried to hit on Kendall today?" Mercedes quipped, as she finished her slice of cheesecake. James nodded politely, and smiled. He would often add in notes here and there whenever Mercedes talked, but usually she kept the conversation going by herself. It was something James appreciated about the heiress, and something he cherished. Not that James was a quiet person, but sometimes he preferred the company of his own thoughts.

"I mean, Kendall is hot, don't get me wrong," Mercedes winked, "but Jo? It's like a hierarchy, and Kendall is a noble, and she's a peasant. She's not even captain of the field hockey team!" Mercedes sighed, as James nodded. Whenever Mercedes quipped about James's friends, and associated them with accolades accentuating their physical features, James simply smiled. He could not explain the fleeting feeling he received in his chest whenever he thought of his friends in any other way but friends, but he preferred not to venture down that dark alley of thoughts. Whenever it got too bad, James found himself hooking up with random girls at parties over the weekend.

James, as Mercedes continued to talk, peered over at Mr. Griffin and his mother, watching them talk rapidly about a subject. Mrs. Diamond's hawk-like face and impassive mask was slightly scratched with worry, while Mr. Griffin would occasionally rub his temples. However, when suddenly Mrs. Diamond shifted her eyes toward James, instantly he turned to face Mercedes and began to participate in her conversation, with a half-heart. It eerily excited him to know that something was going on between his mother and Mr. Griffin, and from the looks of it, the ordeal was not about business. The two moguls in front of him never worried about their empires, for they were extremely adept entrepreneurs.

Suddenly, after a quick whisper from Mrs. Diamond, Mr. Griffin and Mrs. Diamond stood up from their spots, and Mr. Griffin called out to Mercedes. James smiled, and waved to Mercedes, as if they were friends, and she waved back wildly. The two Griffin's left, leaving Mrs. Diamond and James to bask in the fake home they had, shifting them back to the cold and solemn house they upheld dutifully.

"How was school?" Mrs. Diamond asked customarily, as James stifled a yawn. A yawn would be rude, and he never wanted to be rude around his mother. If he ever lost his memory, he would remember that his mother never took no for an answer—and somehow, being rude was equating to a no in her book.

"Fine," James shrugged, as there was the usual awkward silence between mother and son as they both mentally searched for a common topic to discuss. However, for once, James had something with which he could stir the pot.

"Why did Mr. Griffin and Mercedes come here for dinner?" James asked quickly, as Mrs. Diamond blinked. She smiled, and ruffled James's hair—something he hated—and clicked her tongue customarily.

"We had been long overdue for a nice dinner together," Mrs. Diamond played it off, as she turned the opposite direction, and walked to her office, her heels creating a powerful echo as she left the room only physically. James sighed, as he decided to retreat to his room. He wished he could tell someone about his family dynamic, but he would never want to open up completely to Kendall and Logan. While they shared many similar thoughts, James knew that he could not trust anyone until he truly knew they were worth it.

He had trusted his father, until he left the family, to pursue a grunge life James and his mother never understood. However, despite the laid-back lifestyle James's father pursued, he was somehow stricter than James's mother. Whenever James would upload a picture on Facebook, his father would instantly comment on it and continue to peer into James's life in ways that Mrs. Diamond could not. It was suffocating, but he could not do anything about it. After all, he was James Diamond. His life was entirely paved out for him. He would graduate from Palm Woods Academy, attend Yale University, get a MBA afterward, and then take over the cosmetics empire. If he tried to diverge from the path, he was only castigated and punished. James thought he could have trusted his father, but his father preferred to leave him alone and by himself with his mother instead of even trying to connect with him.

The impressing of his paved life became so bad that James could not even ascertain as to what he wanted from life—which often brought about bouts of sadness and desolation within his mind, which would thereby lead to the thoughts of pain and exhilaration. It was a vicious cycle, which only deepened into James's psyche and bombarded him with aloof feelings.

Like a diamond, and true to his namesake, James could appear flawless on the outside, but truly contain cracks within him. No one at his school would have suspected that James could even host such a myriad of morose and ominous thoughts, but he would never let anyone past his exterior, not even Logan and Kendall.

James sighed again as he peered out the windowsill in his room, to see it raining. For a moment, James's eyes widened. The weatherman told him that he would be experiencing rays of sunshine, and for the first time he could remember, the weatherman was wrong.

Something was bound to happen, but James could not fathom as to how large it was, and how immense it would become.

A knocking on the front door echoed throughout the Diamond estate, awakening James out of his restless slumber. He shifted slightly in his covers, as he heard footstep past his door, and down the staircase. He listened as suddenly a clap of thunder filled the vicinity, and instantly alerted James that something was transpiring beneath him. He quietly withdrew himself from his comfortable bedding and paced toward the edge of his room, and peered out the door, where no one stood. He then exited his room, and walked to the edge of the upper level, from which he could see the front door. While he could not see much from the dim lighting, he could identify his mother's sharp hairstyle standing inside the house. James also squinted and saw two figures standing outside in the impenetrable darkness. James tried to get a better view, but he could not see anything.

He saw his mother nod, and suddenly the shorter of the two figures entered the household sullenly. The silhouette outside nodded its head, before Mrs. Diamond closed the door and faced the shorter silhouette quietly.

She began to say something to him, as James suddenly took initiative. He was unaware as to who this stranger was, and while it would come across as 'rude', James wanted to delve into his curiosity and entertain himself with the thought of who would be visiting his household in the drastically early hours of the morning.

"Mom?" James asked, as he slowly walked down the stairs. Mrs. Diamond instantly turned around, and glared at James. She obviously was not pleased, as James stepped off of the last step. The robed figure behind her looked downward, preventing James from seeing its face.

"James, don't you have school in the morning?" Mrs. Diamond hissed, as if nothing was occurring. James raised an eyebrow, and for a moment, he saw the facial features soften across Mrs. Diamond's face. However, she blinked and caught herself. Her usual aplomb returned, and suddenly she placed a hand on her hip.

"Yeah, but who is that?" James asked, as he wrinkled his nose. The figure was drenched from the rain, and continued to look downward, although it shifted slightly when James indirectly addressed it. Mrs. Diamond seemed exasperated, as her eyes scanned the air for an answer. Suddenly, something clicked, and she turned to face James.

"It's a new servant, and his train was late. He will be starting tomorrow, and so I would like you to meet Carlos." Mrs. Diamond spoke cheerfully—too cheerfully for a woman awake at three o'clock in the morning. James squinted under the dim lights of the main hallway, as the figure suddenly lifted its hood.

James felt his breath escape him, as he saw a boy around his age. The boy had a tan complexion, with large, brown eyes and an innocent gaze. The boy looked exotic and foreign. Carlos waved brightly at James, although he dared not breathe a syllable. James saw what embodied purity, innocence, and brightness. The boy somehow lit up the darkened hallway with his sparked demeanor, and despite his drenched clothing, he exhibited an exuberant radiance from his presence that resembled charisma.

"H-He's our servant?" James eyed Carlos interestedly, as Mrs. Diamond impatiently nodded her head. She then looked around, and placed a finger on her lips, as if pondering some great question within her mind.

"Where is he going to sleep?" James asked quietly, as Mrs. Diamond instantly turned her head to stare at James angrily. However, from her silence, James guessed he had predicted her thoughts.

"The guest quarters were excavated because of the bed bugs," James replied sullenly, as he recalled the guest house adjacent to his mansion had to be vacated because of the mad infestation of bed bugs from a foreign ambassador. Mrs. Diamond continued to give James a demanding glance, as James matched her stare with one of naivety and curiosity.

"He can stay in my room," James offered quietly, as Mrs. Diamond continued to stand loyally by her silence. Carlos glanced between both Mrs. Diamond and James, causing James to wonder whether he even understood English or not. The exotic aura Carlos brought suggested his homeland was not California, or anywhere remotely near the United States.

"Why would you allow a servant to bed in your room?" Mrs. Diamond asked inquisitively, as James shrugged.

"It's three o'clock, and we're both tired. He can sleep in my room so I can make sure he doesn't rob us, and then we can find him a place to stay later tomorrow." James quipped, attempting to emulate Mercedes. While he did not necessarily agree with his own words, he knew they were enough to ensnare his fatigued mother. With a weary sigh, she waved her hand, and James nodded. He wished her good night, and motioned for Carlos to follow him. Carlos eagerly followed James like a dog following its owner, and James suddenly felt a smile grace his features.

Carlos was different, and that was for sure. Something about him entranced James and propelled him to burn a desire to learn more about the boy. There was so much to this boy that hypnotized James—his bright smile, flawless complexion, but shady entrance and eerie silence. All of the positive features of Carlos seemed to counterbalance his negative or darkened features, which only interested James further. Why was Carlos even here? There was no shortage of servants within the Diamond household, but he knew answers from his mother was harder to achieve than breaking into a bank.

The night was slowly turning into a mix of complex emotions, sprinkled with curiosity, all served a top a small, foreign being who currently stood outside James's room, upholding a bright smile. It had ended so complicatedly.