Halo.

Prologue

The shadows are long around us and I know if I keep remembering; that first tear will roll down and I fear that the tears won't stop raining down. Not one of these tears could wash the pain but only indulge my weak side.

"What more do you want from me?" she could see the pain and anguish etched in his face and she was making it harder than it had to be. Would her dying maybe make him happier? If she didn't exist, if she didn't know he existed would life be slightly different?

How could things change so easily and quickly like they had? The electricity of the empty space between them was like a sizzling tangible force.

The loud silence echoed back in-between them. Her heart was erratically beating; she bet he could hear it and felt as if "nervous wreck" echoed from her very bones.

Who would save her this time when her own personal angel couldn't… wouldn't more like.

His jet-black hair looked raven blue in the dim darkness. A halo of light shone on his head cast from the dim car lights and the street lamps outside.

His eyes an intense green pierced through her with false accusations, while at the same time searching for an answer to the ever-growing problems facing them. Searching for the answer to a question that neither one of them knew. All the answers in the world were useless anyways.

"Look this is bigger than the both of us, there's nothing we, I can do at all". He paused then breathed, "Nothing!"

All she could think was, so how was meant to live now?

"We are two powerless different people from two different worlds. Pawns of fate and circumstances"

Her life was now changing into a bad romcom except without the predictable happy ending. She wasn't even sure if all the time he'd spent with her was just out of pity, Pity to fulfil her own shallow human mortal needs. Irreconcilable differences.

Did he ever really actually love her or was it necessary? A necessity to keep both parties alive.

Key to keep the key alive.

The key that was.

She truly believed it with all her heart that he never really loved her at all. Not once, not ever.

"Oh come on. You know that's unfair and untrue, not at all do I hate you" he sounded as if he meant it. But did she know that? He was skilled at hiding things.

You know that feeling you get sometimes. Something from deep within you that tells you to run, or that it's time to eat, cry, laugh, and fear.

Instinct.

Chuck Taylor brought it all to her. At least that's who she thought he was. It was like what they called first love. Except more intense, real and more alive. It was like being led blind not knowing where you were going, but you'd know when you got there.

Chapter One

She slowly looked around the surrounding houses, as she carried in a box marked 'books!' The almost identical manicured lawns bristled in the wind. It was humid and hot what we would say was a dull gray day. With dashes of dark clouds that threatened to spew rain every so often.

She felt slightly out of place in an almost perfect surreal place and she realised she hadn't known that such beauty and luxury existed up until now.

She could almost feel the invisible eyes of nosey neighbours twitching at their lace curtains to see who had moved into the glass house.

The removal men – in this case moving in men, moved the pricey boxes carefully. Most were marked fragile and this way up, they were placing the furniture where it was meant to go. Watching them she found herself thinking that she would never have thought that men were capable of moving things so delicately. The neighbourhood was not one of the middle class ones she was used to. Here you could tell everyone was instinctively accustomed to flashy cars, expansive neighbourhoods, socialising and clothes that were worth the average person's yearly pay check.

The house was renovated- mostly glass- strategically placed walls that only let you see the chandeliers and artwork on the walls from the outside, and silhouettes that suggested of the life within. It was like some kind of big art display project but only on a house and not a gallery.

It was so beautiful that if she were an outsider looking in she'd instantly feel a tad bit jealous. A small voice at the back of her head reminded her, that up until recently she had been an outsider. Personally when the Smyth's had told her they were moving she had been a bit reluctant, she hadn't wanted to move away from the foster home too soon, but at the same time she couldn't wait to get adopted. She'd wanted her friends to come with her too but that was impossible, since the Smyth's had been persistent that she was the one they wanted. They had come into the home and asked directly for her not even waiting for a reference for the other children. It had been a bit strange but she wasn't one to ask too many questions. They had got promoted in their work and had decided to share their good fortunes with someone else in their lives. So now she was part of the Doctor Smyth's family.

She had decided to carry her small boxes from the car, since the driveway was filled with removal vans, and there was no space for the cars. She made her way back down the long driveway to the car just outside the gate and went round to the boot of the car, lifting her last box marked "My Books!"

At that moment she turned round to the house and stopped to look at it and take it all in just to make sure she wasn't in a dream. She was so transfixed with everything that she didn't notice and that's when the bottom dropped out of everything.

Realising too late, as she heard the ripping sound, that the box was sagging and slowly ripping. It was funny because the books weren't even that heavy.

She watched as the books fell to the floor and as the pages scattered around in the non existent breeze. She picked up what she could helplessly, watching as her ideas scattered away while she tried picking up scraps of paper left right and centre.

She wondered if she'd ever see or think of them again…Way to make an entrance huh Lynn. She muttered to herself as she grabbed what she could and kept on grumbling.

Suddenly she was burst out of her bubble, and a dark shadow was cast, but all around her it was still sunny.

She felt like one of those unlucky Loony Tunes characters who had a cloud of bad luck thunderstorm following them around.

She looked around her unbelieving and that's when she looked up at the sky. And instead of seeing the blue with disappearing gray clouds she saw him. She could see his lips move but was too busy staring at his eyes to hear what he was saying. His vivid golden yellow eyes. His raven blue hair was haloed with the dim light from the sun. She couldn't help marvel inwardly as the intense orbs burned through her core.

She did hear him say her name and that's when she started paying attention.

"It's Lynn right?" she nodded slowly getting up from her crouch. She stood in front of him now. Her head barely reached halfway up his chest, if she didn't look up at him directly all she'd see would be glorious abs, but she decided that she preferred his face.

She nodded like an incoherent freak more than was necessary. She had already verified she was Lynn; there was no need for him to also identify her as a psycho. A smile played lightly on his lips as he registered the embarrassment and confusion in her features. He must get this a lot since he could spot the signs.

"Quite nice ideas you got there Smyth," she mumbled thanks, he was clearly enjoying this. "So you write a lot?" again all she could do was nod. She was beginning to feel like one of those bobbly head dolls. There was a moment of silence as she had lost all her sense of speech, even if she hadn't she didn't know what else to say. All too soon before she could say anything stupid, he smiled and said, "See you later." She nodded slightly and watched him get into his car and do an impressive swerve round the bend, Audi R8. All she could hear was the impressive growling engine fade into the back ground and she realised her mouth was hanging slightly open staring round the corner.

She wondered how he knew her my name, maybe he was psychic. As if answering my own stupid question she looked at the papers he had handed her. They all had 'Ideas by Lynn Smyth' inscribed at the top of each page.

She lay on the bed listening to the birds twittering outside. She was dreading the first day at Sanctus College.

She didn't know what to expect.

At all.

Chapter Two

Struggling to open her eyes, her hand shielded them from the relentless morning sun that struggled through the slitted blinds. A sense of dread was snaking its way into her morning hazy thoughts, she didn't know what to expect as always she'd be the new girl. Everyone already had their own group of established friends whereas she didn't. To make it worse she knew she wasn't one of those quirky new girls who was awkwardly pretty and got on with pretty much everyone. In fact she was the opposite. Five foot nothing, normal features; black hair, weirdly black eyes and normal everything, no legs like bar stools or wavy flowy blonde model hair nothing at all. Just full on long bangs that were allergic to brushes. Another thing she found strange was the fact that she had been chosen by the Smyth's. They were a normal white couple… and well she was a whole different shade of brown. She could just see the strange looks they'd get at parents evening, and the questions would follow next. Obviously then they'd know she was adopted, she decided she would cross that bridge when the time came. 'Lynn your breakfast is ready!' Sarah called through her closed door. 'OK I'll be there in 10' 'Good wouldn't want you to miss your first day darling.' Lynn rolled her eyes, and pulled out the outfit she'd laid out the day before. She smiled knowing that she had someone, well two someones who cared for her. Sarah and Michael Smyth were the best thing that had happened to her so far. She still couldn't believe it; everyone knew that once you passed the age of 16 and you still hadn't been adopted then the chances of pigs flying were more likely. What was even more unlikely was a couple adopting a kid who wasn't the same colour, who would want to explain that choice over Christmas dinner anyway? At that she remembered Sophie's harsh words on her last day at the home. She had been packing up the last of her things and looking at the small little box she had called her room for the past five years, for the last time. On the walls, there were various sizes of squares and rectangles of blank white clean places where her artwork and poetry had been tacked on. Most of it was now stacked neatly in her precious ideas box. Her mattress was stripped bare, and in the middle it dipped slightly in the shape of her body, last night had been her last in that bed. Soon it would belong to another unwanted kid. A sad sense of loss shot through her as she lightly brushed her hands in the dip and remembered all the times she'd lain at night wishing for this moment. The moment that's she'd be saying goodbye to her tear soaked friend. Now that it had come she was dreading what the future held, for all she knew she might be back again if things didn't work out like all the other times hadn't. As if on cue, Sophie stuck her head around the door and stepped in when she saw her target. Sophie was beautiful, with an aristocratic air around her that was so obviously out of place in the home. Her lovely eyebrows were arched in a sneer and her cold blue eyes chilled Lynn to the bone, with the hatred and jealousy that shot through them. Lynn braced herself; she wasn't expecting any loving parting words from what most would describe as an arch enemy, just barbs. 'You think you're better than us I guess…snagging that rich couple by using the racial card. Damn Brangelina. Well guess what don't get too comfortable because something called the real world is going to shatter yours and their stupid illusion. I would say good luck, but we all know there isn't such a thing is there?' Sophie looked like she had wanted to say more but the moment was diffused when the other kids came to say goodbye to her. Still all she could remember of her last day at the home a was Sophie's words and burning eyes. Lynn shook herself and tried to ignore the memories as she made her way out.

She backed the car into a free space and was self-conscious of the eyes trying to penetrate her tinted car windows. She had wanted to be inconspicuous but in this car it was impossible. It wasn't her choice, but Michael and Sarah had insisted, on the grounds of making it up to her for moving house again. Which Lynn thought was a feeble excuse, if for every time she moved house and got a car she could have started her own car dealership by now.

She wondered why this time they were being extra cautious. Michael had never been like this before. She somehow thought if she humoured him somehow he'd back off and not go overboard and so she'd given in to their request. She checked her reflection in the mirror of the car and took a deep breath.

Popping a mint into her mouth like ammunition, she scoped the car park and found a space. She gathered her bag and hitched it onto one shoulder. She swung the door open without looking as she stepped out of the car, before she'd even got her other foot out of the car; "Hey watch out!" someone exclaimed. Lynn jumped a little in surprise and bumped her head on the door frame and got out. She slammed the door and jabbed the lock button angrily before she looked up and noticed the white Escalade next to her car. She also noticed the boy standing in front of the car and of course she also noticed his vivid green eyes. His iridescent brown-green eyes absorbed and expressed life. Faith. Spirit. Strength. Hope. His raven blue hair was haloed with the dim light from the sun. She moaned inwardly as the intense orbs burned through her as he brushed past her.

She whispered sorry to his retreating back and mentally kicked herself, now she'd probably be known as the new kid who went swinging her car door into people. Extremely hot people.

He turned around and she took that as a cue, she cleared her throat and stammered a bit louder "Im sorry really." He looked down at her with a scowl. His face softened- just a tiny bit- when he noticed the fear and sincerity in her eyes.

He smiled crookedly to himself and responded with, "You're new here aren't you" she couldn't bring herself to speak and just nodded at his statement.

"Well you'll soon learn how things work around here" with that he turned around and strode away towards the building.

You know that feeling you get, when you walk into school and you immediately just know….

Just know who the crazy ones are, the geeks, the posers, the wannabes, and the most coveted of all, 'The Popular group'. Well he wasn't in any of those categories. Just looking at him slinking away towards the building she got a picture of this alpha male in the wilderness, ready to rip apart all who came in his way. Even now when he was walking, people moved and parted out of his way…even the staff.

Lynn followed meekly in contrast like a lowly subject trailing behind him as he went towards the main school entrance. Trying to avoid the curious glares and stares but failing miserably. She arrived at the school's main desk and registered her name. The kind old lady's tag read Janine. She smiled at her with that old wise infuriating thing that old ladies did, as if she knew something she didn't. By the time she'd explained the map to her, and kept on insisting Lynn get a buddy to lead her around, the corridors were empty. It suited her fine; she didn't want to be in a sea of speculators as she tried to navigate her way through the modern corridors.

Lynn made her way to her form room which appeared to be on the second floor according to the map. Taking a deep breath, she braced herself and opened the door. It was a science lab. You could hear a pin drop as she stepped in and went up to the form tutor's desk. "Hello! You must be Lynn Smyth right?" she nodded as she tried ignoring the curious gazes that she could feel burning on the back of her neck. "Well welcome to tutor group NM ...I am Mr Mann your form tutor. Would you like to introduce yourself to the class?" He noticed the panicked look in her eyes, she had prepared herself to walk into a new school…not give a speech. "Its okay just go take a seat, but I'm telling you they don't bite…you'll warm up to them soon"

She smiled in a non-committal way…what was the point? She was sure they'd have to move house again…hopefully. Mr Mann smiled back a warm smile that contrasted the cold chill he was feeling.

Lynn turned around and scanned the class as she walked down the centre isle without tripping over. All of the faces assessed her, she could literally see the wheels in their brains spinning; was she their type, could she fit neatly into their already neatly formed cliques?

All of them smiled at her in what seemed a hopeful way. Lynn just took it as courtesy and looked at the floor until she got to her designated seat, and plonked herself down.

Lynn concentrated on the swirls and patterns of the table in front of her. A few people ventured over and came to introduce themselves to her, she smiled and answered their questions like she was expected to and let them make their judgements.

It was suddenly quiet.

Then he walked in. "Good morning Sir, sorry I am late" he didn't sound like he was sorry in the least bit as he strode past the teacher's desk towards his seat, which of course with all her cliché luck happened to be the seat next to her. Bloody great.

Everybody held their breath as he sized her up, sitting in the only empty seat in the class. Obviously, it was some kind of unspoken taboo rule, since it was the only empty seat in the room. He sighed in an unimpressionable way as if it was something inevitable, which he'd been waiting for. As soon as he sat down without saying a word, the conversations started again as if they'd never stopped. Strange considering she had just met him in the car park.

She was still studying the swirls on the desk. With the way the conversation was so flowing between her and him was going, she'd know each swirl and pattern by the end of the year… if she stuck around that long. She sat wondering if she would find or make any friends. Did she need to? Since most likely they might have to move again soon, she didn't know why but she wanted to move, something about being here made her feel like her life was slowly spiralling out of control, and there was nothing she could do to change the upcoming events fate had dealt her. Lynn tried to fill her head with what every normal teenager would feel like about being in a new school. Well at least the place was filled with cuties…except….

How long was this form time before the beginning of each day meant to last?

Lynn could literally see the eternity of her mornings of the year stretching out before her in a montage.

He sighed and she looked at him… he opened his mouth as if to say something and then hesitated. Lynn went back to studying her schedule.

Then he whispered "Don't worry you'll be fine". She looked up in surprise as if she might've imagined his voice. It was so musically beautiful, it made her want to… mentally slap herself for being such a walking cliché. No one had noticed that she had initiated the classes' bad boy into a conversation; it was as if they were invisible to them. Lynn looked at him properly and noticed his eyes had changed colour once again.

They were now raven blue and were those blonde highlights in his hair that she hadn't noticed before? He was also noticeably nicer… maybe he had felt bad about being snappy at her earlier, maybe he had decided to make it up to her by being more civil.

Despite herself, she smiled, she had resolved earlier to give him the cold shoulder- which obviously so far wasn't happening or working.

"Oh I'm Alex. Alex Taylor and you are…?" he looked at her expectantly,

"Lynn Smyth" she blurted out before she could stop her mouth. He smiled quirkily and said "Ahhh Yes" as if he knew something that she somehow didn't. Lynn looked at the timetable she'd been given to avoid his burning eyes. Music was the first lesson of the day. Lynn just hoped she would be left alone because an over cheerful bubbly buddy guide was the last thing she needed. The bell went as she mused over the peculiar boy sitting next to her, with his earphones jammed in, pretending that they'd never spoken in those five minutes when everyone else was distracted.

The class shuffled out as Mr Mann shouted over uninterested heads, "Okay class have a nice day, and I'll see you tomorrow morning…be early please!"

Lynn stood up and picked up her bag and made her way without a second interested glance at Alex Taylor. Lynn wasn't about to be pulled into whatever game he was playing or planning.

Lynn swore she could almost feel the smile on his face on her retreating back.

So far the first two weeks of lessons had been uneventful; Lynn had been the new girl who'd been everyone's fascination for about the first five minutes she was in the class. Then they all resumed to their normal day to day routines as if it didn't really matter… which was good anyways since she wasn't planning on making friends and staying here long.

Lynn sat down in the sanctuary of the library, she was sure this was the most uneventful place in the school. Hopefully no one would notice her and take pity…Lynn didn't want pity friends.

She picked the furthest, quietest corner that she could find, which wasn't too difficult since it was warm and sunny today, and most people were outside- sitting on the grass to picnics of their lunches. Picking out her lunch she looked at what she had; a cheese, ham, olive and gherkin sandwich and a bottle of coke. Not too bad for a sunny day lunch, some of her favourite foods. Lynn remembered this one time when her parents had just started out as scientists and they never had time, and for lunch Sara's idea of a whole meal had been a packet of crisps and a chocolate bar. She loved her adoptive parents but at times it was like she had been just part of an experiment in their lives; to see if they could take a crack at being a normal couple. Obviously the results as they would say were inconclusive.

A few sun rays slanted over her little ideas book as she tried to snatch ideas out of the air. Which obviously wasn't a successful tactic since the pages were empty; all she could think about was Alex and his stupid musical voice. The way he'd looked at her with his easy smile and cold eyes. Lynn even tried looking out for him when she was walking in the corridors during lessons, and every time she thought she saw him, when she looked again it was just some wannabe look alike. It seemed the 'Alex' look was in, at Sanctus College. To be honest she didn't know what it was, but he had that kind of magnetic pull for females and males alike. Which Lynn supposed came with basically being perfect. Suddenly the sun rays were gone, and a shadow was cast over her book, Lynn looked up to see…Rose?

A few days earlier she had, had her encounter with Rose when, she had been forced to sit next to her in her new English Lit lesson. Rose had given Lynn a cold withering look, as if she was some dirt under her designer pumps. Rose had wrinkled her nose at Lynn and laughed a high ear piercing laugh with one of her clone-wannabes as she approached. If they were wolves, Lynn was sure Rose would have bared her teeth and growled at her like a vicious little spoilt pup. She had, had to endure the rest of the 45 minutes surround by the bitch circle. And at the end, in true predictable threatened alpha female mode, she'd cornered her and tried to give Lynn the 'Know your place speech'.

Frankly Lynn hadn't given a damn, and she'd walked away mid sentence.

Now here Rose was, having successfully tracked her down again….Joy.

Rose stood there glaring down at her, with vicious snake like eyes.

'Where's your pack?'

'None of your damn business' she snarled back at her, Lynn smirked at her visible irritation; she knew somehow that in this situation Lynn had the upper hand. They eyed each other like two circling pythons, waiting to strike. Lynn was the new girl here, and already she had somehow managed to get on her nerves. 'Well if you don't mind you can go search for them elsewhere, obviously they aren't here'. If it was possible her eyes squinted even further and Lynn bet if she could, Rose would have struck her down with bolts of lightning- she wondered why she hadn't yet. Rose looked as if she was about to bite back but instead she took a deep breath.

'That's not why I am here… I am here to warn you' Lynn looked puzzled, what was this? Some kind of crazy omen horror movie that she'd gotten herself into, and it seemed that her messenger of death was a tall, naturally curly blonde. She looked angelic and dangerous at the same time, and had that kind of beauty that made you want to just hide in shame- high cutting cheek bones and expressive eyes and mouth- with an upturned nose that looked down at you. 'Look I haven't got time to play games with you, I'm just telling you…stay away'

Lynn raised an eyebrow…what, did she expect her to magically guess what she was going on about? Rose was about to open her mouth to elaborate and the bell went, and her little puppies burst in. They were like Rose clones except well…less, beautiful I guess. Rose gave her a last warning withering glance that said this wasn't over. And she sauntered off before here clones noticed she'd just been talking to her.

Lynn saw one of them pointing at her and then cackling as they cat walked out of the library, if only the books cared.

The bell went and she hitched her bag onto her shoulder and scooped up her finished lunch. This was obviously going to be a tough year of college.

'Hey Lynn! Lynn wait!' turning around she saw Alex coming towards her, and you could see everyone's shocked face, Lynn guessed he didn't normally go round shouting after people to wait for him. She waited as he strode to catch up to her with a few steps and a trail of lustily envious glares in his wake. Looking at him she expected him to start talking, considering he'd chased her down the corridor to stop her- but he didn't. Instead they walked in awkward silence, well on her side anyway. He seemed to be in his element and a bit too comfortable. With most guys they'd have backed off from her glacial unwelcoming silence. Initiating conversations and maintaining them wasn't her strong suit to say the least. Glancing at the timetable, it read Physical Ed….great, more stupid unnecessary activities. Just as they stepped out of the door to go outside, he shoved her behind him as a ball hit him squarely on the chest and bounced off. If he hadn't it would have hit Lynn squarely in the face and that wasn't a look she wanted to be sporting right now. Lynn could almost see it in the school newspaper…new girl takes balls to the face. The ball now rolled absently and harmlessly away from them, her mouth was still a round empty dazed O. 'You okay?' he turned around searching Lynn's face for anything. Which Lynn thought was pretty stupid since it was his chest that had stopped any potential damage. Immediately he dropped his hands midway to her face and swallowed nervously. 'Erm yeah yeah thanks, it was just a near call that's all.' He nodded and slipped his hands into his pocket. 'So how did you know it was headed for me?' he cleared his throat and it was almost as if he was looking for the best way to answer, 'Oh you know erm, being captain of the rugby team and all er you kinda get a sixth sense for any airborne balls whenever they're in the vicinity.', raising an eyebrow Lynn smirked at him, 'Oh really huh, maybe I should sign up too it looks like a useful skill to have.', at that he laughed out loud almost a little to relieved. For some reason Lynn had a stupid thought of a book she'd read, the guy saving the girl from an escapee car. She just hoped her story hadn't just started as stupidly as that. But his over reaction still set off some suspicions. Deciding to relieve some of the tension Lynn decided to change her train of thought; it didn't escape her that he visibly relaxed a little too much. 'So yeah why did you want me before?' he looked perplexed and then it registered on his face, 'Oh you mean the whole chasing you down the corridor?' Lynn laughed as they started towards the Sports Block. 'Come on that's an exaggeration it was more like commandeering my attention, from the impending doom of a Physical Ed class.' His lips curved up a bit in a sort of smile, 'And don't forget to protect you from airborne balls' before Lynn could answer he hurried on quickly, 'And to also ask you if you needed anyone to show you around, you know like a tourist guide slash err buddy person. I kinda noticed you didn't have one you see.'

'I know. I've avoided having one. But thank you for the offer Alex; I'm sure I'll be fine, considering I've already been here a coupla weeks.' He looked a bit crestfallen and out of his element. Lynn guessed he wasn't used to rejection. 'What I meant was, you might need a friend y'know or something.' He looked a bit lost as she laughed at his discomfort. 'You know if you wanted to hang out with me you could've just asked Alex, you don't need to act like some hero with me. Plus I wouldn't want to raise suspicion', he raised an eyebrow at that, 'You better explain yourself young lady' smirking back,' 'I meant well you know we wouldn't want anyone thinking you're actually nice or something, God forbid. Ive kinda noticed that you're behaviour towards me is out of character. It seems to shock everyone else too.' He looked surprised, 'Really I just thought I was more of a lone ranger.'

'Well yeah lonelier than you'd first imagined, even Rose was onto me before like I'd broken some sort of unspoken taboo.' He looked perplexed 'Rose? As in Rose Lyman?' As Lynn nodded he looked more troubled than she'd expected. 'Well look I've got to go', she jerked her thumb towards the badminton class, before he could answer, someone called him, 'Taylor! You're late for training, pick up those pins, and make your way over here!' he turned round to look at the burly coach, Lynn thought it was a man at first but she realised it was the woman standing next to the burly coach that had shouted at him. He shrugged his shoulders at her surprised face, 'Yeah I know, unexpected but she's awesome. I've got to go, but I'll see you later, yeah?' confident he strode away before Lynn could give him an answer. And he ran to catch up with the beautiful young blonde coach, who patted him on the back as he caught up.

Entering the gym, she could hear the quick squeaks of rubber soles on the linoleum floor. 'Come on ladies! Pick those pins up!' Lynn made her way to the burly male coach currently shouting instructions at the group of girls who were half-heartedly warming up in their little separate groups. The coach noticed her and blew his whistle, 'Okay ladies stretch it off, and we'll begin in a minute!' Turning to me, he looked Lynn up and down, 'You must be Miss Smyth. Good I'm Mr Lyons your P.E coach, stay on my good side and you'll be fine. Go change.'

'Uhhh...', nodding she began to walk towards the changing rooms, 'And Miss Smyth..?' turning around, 'Yes?' she answered unsurely, 'Never be late again.' With that he turned around and continued barking orders as if nothing had happened. As Lynn made her way to the changing rooms, one of Rose's clones caught her eye and glared at her. Something about the way she glowered at her made Lynn shiver and quicken her step towards the back of the gym where the changing rooms were. It was like any standard school gym, clinical looking but with a hint of teenager in the air. No matter how many air fresheners and bleach the cleaners used, that distinct school gym smell would always be there. Lynn walked along the rows of pegs and tried to find an empty one, furthest away from all the other huddles of coats and clothes. She hooked her hoodie onto an empty peg and changed into gray sweats and a white top. Luckily Lynn had never been one of those kids who seemed to have a target on them that made the other kids hide their clothes while they were out, but with Rose and her clones around, Lynn wasn't going to take any chances at all. She quickly stuffed her clothes into the bag and put it onto the peg too.

'Come on Ladies! Pick those pins up!' it felt like déjà vu as she stepped out into the gym, and Coach Lyons was still barking the same commands. Lynn felt a slight chill down her spine. Running up and down across the linoleum gym, the girls were engaged in a vicious game of lacrosse. Twenty pairs of legs thundered across the floor. It looked like Rose's team was winning; Lynn wasn't surprised considering how her team fought ferociously for the yellow lacrosse ball. There was a sharp crack and a whistle was blown. Rose had just hit some poor girl in the shin with the stick. Lynn was sure that wasn't allowed, she swallowed as the girl limped past her towards the bench on the sidelines, Rose and her clones high fived as another point was added to the friendly game's scoreboard. At that moment Coach Lyons spotted her and motioned her over. 'Smyth you ever played this before? Good.' Before she could answer him he shoved a Crosse in her hand and edged her onto the playing court. In that moment Lynn learnt Lyons never waited for answers. Rose sneered at her as she reluctantly stood in a space and hoped she could blag her way through it. The whistle blew and there was a flurry of movements around her, sneakers pounding like heartbeats. 'You!' someone shouted as a ball headed straight for Lynn, instead of hitting it she dodged out of the way. There was an echo of tutting as her team threw up their hands in frustration. Clearly losing to Rose's team wasn't a welcome idea. Lynn apologetically waved at them weakly. The coach blew his whistle, looking slightly disappointed, Rose simply sneered at her. This whole 'new girl being crap at sports' act was starting to piss her off. And what was up with the coach and his perpetual 'come on ladies!' chant, it was also starting to irritate her.