"YES!" Mercutio cheered, slamming a fist in the air triumphantly. "School's out!"

"I'd thought it'd never end!" Hal chorused, running along side him. "Warwick's desperate to keep us in!"

"I though he'd want us out!" Edward moaned, dragging his bag behind him. "Especially after what you two did to the English teacher!"

Hal giggled. "What, it was freedom of speech!"

"Yeah, the guy was practically begging for it!" Mercutio added.

"It was damn funny!" Clarence snickered.

"Hilarious!" grinned Valmont

"Entertaining!" Geoffrey smirked.

"It was reckless, rude and immature!" Benvolio inserted, walking up to them with Richard behind him.

"Yeah, you could have killed him!" Richard frowned, folding his arms.

The Gang rolled their eyes at each other.

"Puh-lease, Richard!" Clarence scoffed. "We couldn't have killed him."

"He could have had a heart attack!"

"Whatever!"

Several children ran past and the Gang stepped out of the way to let them pass.

"Anyway, I'm polishing my dance shoes!" Edmund announced proudly.

"Baby!" Clarence jeered.

"SHUT UP! I'M NOT A BABY!"

Edward stepped in between. "Alright you two, no more fighting, it's Christmas for God's sake! Be merry!"

"PARRRTTTTAAAAYYYY!" Mercutio yelled.

"Right on, bro!" Hal cheered.

Just then, Richard turned and saw Anne standing there with her back towards them, standing by the school door. Her hair was blowing in the wind like in the movies.

Richard felt his heart stop and his eyes widened.

Clarence noticed and followed his eye line, then elbowed him.

"Someone's in LOOOOOVVVVEEEE!"

"Quick, get out the mistletoe!" Hal sniggered.

"Kissy, kissy, kissy!" Mercutio mimicked.

The Gang looked at each other, smiling and raised eyebrows, opened their mouths and sang together:

"Richard and Anne, sittin' in a tree! K-I-S-S-I-N-G!

First comes love, then comes marriage!

Then comes Richard in a baby's carriage!"

They fell over, splitting their sides with laughter.

Richard hadn't even noticed…


Anne held her hand over her stomach again, tears welling up as she remembered what Edouard had done to her. If she was pregnant, then surely she would be showing signs by now? The attack had been in August, that was four months ago, so her belly would start to be showing if she was. She looked down at it to make sure…

"Anne?"

The Headmaster's daughter spun round to find Richard standing there on the steps. His hair was blowing in the wind and he looked concerned. "Are you alright?" he asked.

Anne quickly nodded, tears still blurring. "I'm fine, Richard," she insisted, give a big smile.

Richard, however, was no fool, and he stepped up to stand next to her. "You're not," he stated seriously. "You're crying. Has someone upset you?"

"No. No, Richard."

"Sure?"

"Yes. Can we please go?"

Gloucester gave an amused smile. "We're already waiting to leave." He then stepped right up close to her, his towering height and gaze reminded her of Edouard and she shivered.

"You're cold," Richard noticed, frowning, mistaking her shivers for coldness instead of fear. "Here, let me help."

Before Anne could object, Richard wrapped his arms tightly around her and held her tight. She could hear his heavy breathing and he felt very warm, even though he was cold as well.

He pulled away and smiled down at her. "There. All better." He took her hand and lead her down the steps towards the others, a tight grip on her fingers filled her with a strange felling of happiness and protection mixed with fear.

"You know you can tell me anything…" Richard whispered in her ear, releasing his grip to wrap an arm around her shoulders. "Anything, Anne."

But Anne didn't think she could.

Only one person knew of what had happened to her that night. Who had saved her from Edouard's attack…

She looked up and saw him with the others looking at her.

She nodded at him, and he nodded at her.

Geoff.