Chapter 3: ENJOY!

As suspected, when Adrian and I walked into Clarence's living room, Jill was already finished with her feeding and Eddie and Angeline were fully eloped in a conversation with Clarence. They all looked up from where they were sitting at me and Adrian and the looks in their eyes showed me of their suspicion.

"What took so long?" Angeline asked flipping her hair from one side to the other while leaning back on the couch with her arms folded.

"Yeah, we were starting to wonder if you guys were kidnapped by the warriors or something." Eddie joked, but I think in truth if we didn't come as soon as we did that they would have actually thought that. I felt relief flood me when I didn't hear any accusations of us actually "doing" anything with each other.

"Sorry, we were working out all the…issues we were having with one another. I didn't think it would take so long." I said while turning to Adrian, trying to encourage him to play along with a smile.

"Yeah, Sage here is one for words and making light of a situation." Adrian said and Jill scoffed from the corner of the room. Jill was sitting by herself, face turned the other way. Obviously she was still angry with me. Now I still have to fix that. I thought by working things out with Adrian would get her out of this hateful state she was in but clearly not.

"Well I was just telling your friends here about my old friend Marcus you asked me about a few weeks ago," Clearance suddenly said. "He called me earlier this week to check on me. What a respectable young man he is…" Clarence trailed off while looking thoughtful and nostalgic. Marcus Finch. The notorious ex-Alchemist I have been trying to learn more about but the Alchemists continue to lie to me about their knowledge of him. This made me angry for some reason. Why would they lie to me about Marcus? What was it about him that they would not want to distill any information? And lastly, why did Marcus leave the Alchemists? I had to have these answers from Marcus himself and Clarence is the only person I know that can help me find him.

"Clarence, what did you and Marcus discuss when he called?" I asked. The old Moroi's head jutted up at me and he leaned forward in his recliner. If I wasn't so used to being around vampires, the Ancient Moroi would have made me jump from where I was standing at least a few feet back. Clarence was relatively harmless in my book but he can be a little scary, to say the least, sometimes.

"Ah, Marcus would like to talk with you sometime. I told him all about you." Clarence said with a sly smile. I wondered what went on in his head sometimes, but also was afraid to know. He was just too mysterious to figure out. I nodded and gathered up the gang so we could get back to Amberwood before curfew. Once back at the school and Eddie said his goodbyes, I pulled Jill aside so that we could discuss her attitude toward me.

"Angeline, could I talk to Jill for a second in private?" I asked earnestly. She nodded and started to stalk off to her room. She looked back at us with concern but decided not to say anything and kept walking.

I turned to Jill and I wasn't prepared for the look that I saw on her face. She looked extremely angry and a little hurt.

"I know what you and Adrian did back at Clarence's," She started, "And he might be extremely happy that you guys are going to be moving forward in your "secret relationship", but I'm not." She stated with all seriousness, and I tried to work hard at not letting my jaw hit the floor. "I think your wrong and it's cruel for you to be hurting him like this. He doesn't want to be your secret he wants all of you and not just a small portion. How could you keep someone who wants to give you the world a secret?" She finished, after slightly rambling. Her face was flushed. She seemed to be relieved to get this off her chest and tell me off. But it only made me feel even worse.

"I have to Jill. No matter how I feel or he feels we can't be together like that. The Alchemists…"

"The Alchemist are racist, people using bastards!" Jill screamed at me and I'm surprised the dorm matron, another replacement, didn't come over to us thinking it was a cat-fight. I was shocked that Jill felt that way about the Alchemists. Thinking back on her words she is kind of right. But they are my whole life, I can't just throw my whole life away.

"Jill, I understand how you feel but you have to understand! I've been taught these things all my life. My family means everything to me and if I mess up and get sent to re-education I will never get to see them or any of you guys again. And who knows what they will do to Adrian." I said. My eyes started getting watery. I swallowed the tears that were forming back so that she wouldn't realize how much her being angry and not understanding hurts me.

"What is re-education? Sounds like a study session between Alchemists." Jill said, and I remembered that I have never told her about the Alchemists ways of discipline.

"I wish it was. But its not, and it's not a place I would recommend anyone buying a first class ticket there. They "re-educate" corrupted Alchemist so that they will never be friendly with vampires again." After everything that happened to me here at Palm Springs, I'm surprised that I haven't already landed there. I decided not to add that because thinking about Keith's screams in that bunker would be enough for even Jill to have nightmares.

"I never thought about that…" Jill said after a long time. She started fidgeting with her hands and I could see the expression she was trying to hide…regret?

"Sydney, I'm so sorry. I didn't know they were like that. Now I understand why Adrian is feeling okay with you guys being a secret. He doesn't want you to get in trouble." She said looking up at me. I felt bad for her. She shouldn't have to endure Adrian's flippant moods and emotions. But it was hard not to forgive her cold ways these past few weeks because she was just so innocent.

"It's okay. I am sorry too. I should have tried to talk to you and explain to you why I said the things I did in Adrian's apartment. I just didn't know what to do or say. I was confused on my end about my feelings. And no matter what you think, I see you as a best friend too, even family here. Even though I'm still not all that comfortable with your magic." I said heartfelt. Jill walked up to me and hugged me, and out of my surprise I hugged her back. What I said was truth. She was like a best friend to me just as much as Adrian was. I told her I had to get to my room and finish my homework and of course she laughed and said "Leave it up to you to get emotional and resort to homework and logical things." Was I really that predictable? Maybe I do need to have Kristen write me up a social interactions or "How To Be Cool 101" handbook.

"When I reached dorm room I turned on the light and placed my heavy purse next to my desk. I started on some history homework and mathematical equations. I worked on that for what seemed like 2 hours before I decided to finish in the morning. As soon as I showered and changed my clothes, I laid on my bed and started to relax. My phone started to vibrate in my purse, so I got up and looked at the clock on my desk. It was 12:34am, who would be contacting me so late. I realized I haven't really checked my phone at all since we returned to Amberwood. I flipped open the phone and had two text messages. The most recent one was from Adrian. My heart skipped a beat and I immediately read it.

"I'm glad u & Jailbait r friends again. Also the great Jet Steel misses u"

I couldn't help but smile at his text. Adrian always knew how to make me smile. But I did not like the "Jet Steel" nickname he had given himself. It brought back bad memories of when I had to pick Adrian up from a hotel in Los Angeles after having a night cap with two Moroi women. I felt jealousy stir in me but didn't want to dwell on those feeling for too long. I had no right to be jealous about that. But I couldn't help but to feel that way.

I replied, "I am glad too. And I miss Adrian, not "Jet", too." After a few seconds later my phone vibrated again.

"Jet is bad ass, but I guess Adrian is even hottr ;)"

I cringed at the incorrect grammar in his texts, but didn't voice my opinion. Instead I told him goodnight and he did the same. I laid down again and closed my eyes. After a couple of minutes, before I started to doze off, I realized I had forgotten to read the other text that I had in my mailbox. I reopened my phone and went to the messaging section of my phone. I didn't recognize the number that sent the text, but easily could tell it was a Californian area code. I couldn't believe my eyes when I opened and read it. It was a message from Marcus Finch.