A/N: I love this story, and have put more into it than anything I've ever written before. I really hope that you all enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed (and lost sleep over) writing it. I will be continuously adding new chapters, so check back every now and then!

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"There you are, Storm!" Storm. My self-proclaimed name. "I thought I might find you here." Nicole Lark, my best-and, you guessed it, only-friend came up and gave me a friendly hug. Nicole is the only person in the world who would dare hug me. Not even my supposed "Aunt" Staci, whom I live with, hugs me. They all know that my fist would soon after be in their face if they did.

"Hey, Nicole," I said, returning her embrace, and putting the book I had been reading back into my jacket pocket.

It was one of those first few days of autumn-one of those days where the sun knows that it's time is up, but is still refusing to succumb to the changing of the seasons. A slight wind blew, tossing my rough, brown hair. An all-in-all nice day, by my standards.

I stood up, my jeans slightly wet from the damp grass on which I had been sitting, and slung my navy backpack over my shoulder. I bid farewell to what Nicole jokingly called my "Reading Tree", and started off with her towards home.

"You know...houses are like...seasons." I was used to Nicole's very thought-out, but rather random statements. "Each one posses the aura of a different season," she continued. "They just have a certain feeling about them. You enter one, and it doesn't matter what month or season it truly is, because when you listen to your third nature, all you can feel is the season which that house emits. And, it doesn't necessarily have to do with the color of the wallpaper, or the types of plants-those change over time-it's just... there." Her mahogany hair blew across her pale face, and her grey-green eyes shone in the way they always did when she was lost on her own path of thought-you'd be fooling yourself to think that she was actually talking to you...it's during those times when she's talking to her "third nature". "Your house, for instance, is a summer house. It makes you feel lazy and dreamy. ...Although, your bedroom is quite different. That is fairly uncommon. For the most part, houses don't vary as drastically as yours does. But, of course," she added with a gleam of a smile, "you've always been slightly unique."

"Slightly?" I questioned with a mischievous grin.

Nicole rolled her eyes. "Your room is a winter room."

"Mmm? A winter room?"

"Yeah," she said, sounding slightly more serious. "The atmosphere feels...lonely."

Silence.

"So...what's your house, then?" I asked, my usual smart-aleck tone back.

Nicole didn't mind my attitude. She knew it was just my cover. "I couldn't say. One really can't be certain of the season of the house in which they live. Since you spend so much time there, and experience so many emotions there, it all starts to blur together.

"I like to think of my house as a summer house, though," she added after a brief pause.

We walked in silence. I couldn't stop thinking about what Nicole had said. (She has a way of doing that to me.) Were houses really surrounded by the aura of a season? It seemed a bit far-fetched. But, then again, Nicole certainly had a talent for making sense of the senseless. It was one of the things which had originally drawn me to her when we first met.

I stared off into space, seemingly looking at the oak trees which lined the street, but actually gazing far past them. I decided that the barren shelf of a winter house appealed to me more than the false hopes of a winter one.

Nicole would have called me untrusting.

Forgive me-it is in my nature not to trust.

I glanced over at my friend, but instead, caught sight of my own reflection in a pool of water, left over from the previous night's rain. My violet eyes stared back at me.

I silently cursed my violet eyes, the proof that I was different, that I wasn't entirely human.

I kicked at the puddle as I went by, and watched as the watery image of my face broke apart into ripples of color.