Chapter Five


Sammy's eyes flew open and she sat up groggily. Rubbing her eyes confusedly, she looked over to see the source of the noise: Vincent's alarm clock. Ugh. She was definitely not a morning person.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BE – SLAM! SLAMSLAMSLAMSLAMSLAM! And apparently, neither was Vincent. After slapping the clock around a few times, he finally hit the snooze button and proceeded to roll over and snore away again. Sammy grinned sleepily and clamored out of her warm bed, slipping on her fuzzy slippers. She stretched and yawned lazily, shuffling to the bathroom door. Please let today be better than yesterday. This was her daily prayer - one that rarely came true.

She squinted drowsily at the mirror and after brushing her teeth, washing her face, and combing her short hair … she still felt half-dead. So sleepy!

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! She jumped at the sound. Okay, now I'm awake. She suppressed a giggle as she heard a low curse. CRASH! She jumped again and raised her eyebrow as she came out. The alarm clock laid in pieces along the opposite wall. Vincent blinked sheepishly at her while running a hand through his unruly hair, "Sorry, that's just my morning ritual. I break an alarm clock every two weeks."

She nodded amusedly. "I see. No wonder the electronic stores are booming."

He smiled wryly and winked, "Well, of course, I'm just supporting the economy, that's all." His hair still stuck out all over the place and she giggled. Before she knew what she was doing, she had stepped forward and started brushing his hair down with her brush. She stepped back and he raised an eyebrow. "What was that for?"

She blushed. "Your hair was bothering me. Go get ready!"

His clear gray eyes were laughing as he saluted her before heading to the bathroom. "Yes, mommy."

"So how'd you sleep, Sammy?" Will grinned at her as he plopped down into the seat next to her at breakfast.

Taking a sip of her orange juice, she gave him a quizzical look. "Fine. How about you?"

"Filled with thoughts of you," the dark haired boy drawled, leaning forward while draping an arm over her shoulders. He blinked innocently up into her eyes.

She laughed nervously and looked quickly in the opposite direction while gulping down her juice.

"Don't mind him." Vincent shot a threatening glare at William. "He's always like that," he grumbled darkly as he slouched down in his seat. "Don't know how he's always so chipper in the morning."

"I don't understand how come you're always so tired," Will shot back. His eyes slid over to Sammy. "Perhaps you and Sammy kept yourself up with a certain, amusing activity –"

Vincent threw his roll at William's face and the latter laughed. Sammy ducked her head down and was bright red. This is not normal talk for a guy. This is not normal talk for a -

"Speaking of amusing, late-night activities, man oh man, my whole summer was packed full of those. All those gorgeous, curvaceous blondes . . ."

Sammy turned around to see a new addition to the group. The boy was shorter than Vincent and Jack, but nevertheless, still tall. With dirty-blonde hair, eyes hidden behind sunglasses, tanned skin and a devilish grin, he was almost as handsome as Vincent and Tristan. He glanced down at her and then turned back for a second look. "Whoa." He leaned down and lowered his glasses slowly; piercing sea-green eyes stared into hers. "Whoa, your eyes are even nicer than mine." His eyes drifted down slowly and she shivered nervously under his close scrutiny. His eyes stopped at her chest and he frowned. She could have sworn he was trying to burn a hole through her shirt with his look.

Jack reached over and whacked the new boy against the back of his head. "Since when do you goggle after guys? Are we getting a second William here?"

The boy straightened back up and replied smoothly, "No way, my specialty is with women only."

Will announced cheerfully, "This is Caine, the class pervert."

Caine shot him a glare. "I am not a pervert. I merely celebrate the art of human sexuality."

Jack snorted, "Yeah, he studies the old classics, P and P."

Sammy furrowed her eyebrow confusedly, "Pride & Prejudice?"

"Nah, Porn & Playboy."

Caine waved a hand disdainfully. "I do not merely study." He winked at her and she flushed. "I practice."

"Even Will isn't as bad as you – with girls, I mean, not guys," Jack quickly amended when Will smiled leeringly at him.

"Yeah, about that, are you about ready to give up on girls yet? You're a disgrace to mankind for being so wishy-washy. Just stick to being gay, won't you?" Caine turned to Will.

"Nope! More competition for you!" Will chimed cheerfully.

Caine rolled his eyes, "Yeah, right. As if you're my match." He turned to Sammy and shook her hand. "Hi, I'm Caine, you're Sam Westlane, right? Say, have you met Tristan yet? He's –"

"Scram, Caine. He's with us," Vincent finally spoke up with a growl.

"Fine, fine!" he raised his hands up and backed off. "No need to get all alpha wolf on me." He smiled at her again. "But if you need anyone to show you how to unhook a woman's bra in two seconds, I'm always free. See ya."

She blinked slowly at Caine's back as he made his departure.

"He's technically on Tristan's side, but he's cool enough in spite of his womanizing ways. He hangs out with us sometimes but every now and then, his remarks can get downright stupid. Don't pay him any attention," Jack nodded.

Sammy nodded and shrugged, saying absentmindedly, "As if I needed him to show me how to take off a bra."

The table went silent.

She suddenly realized what she just blurted out - and just how wrong it sounded. Slowly, her eyes moved up. She had all three guys' attention now; William stared at her amusedly, Jack ogled at her with an almost surprised admiration and Vincent . . . well, she didn't know what he was thinking with his impassive stare. She shrugged awkwardly, ducked her head, and went back to her food.

Sammy sat in her math class, twirling her pen distractedly. So far, so good. Acting as a guy is, uh, yeah, pretty easier than I thought. I've met quite a few people already. Vincent, William, Jack. Tristan and Caine. But then there are the not so nice people: Marvin and Tweedledee and Tweedledum. She winced as she remembered how they barreled into her; her stomach still ached.

Mr. Morbald continued droning on and on. A tall, thin man well into his fifties, he was already contemplating retirement. A few wisps of gray hair were combed over in an attempt to cover the shining scalp and his Adam's apple protruded over his tight necktie, wobbling up and down whenever he swallowed. He peered over his bifocals at his notes, squinting painfully, while he lectured about x and y.

Sammy stifled a yawn. Math had always been her worst subject. Numbers and calculations just went right over her head. She chewed her lip, darting her eyes around the room. The clock, the door, the board, the windows. It was autumn now and the leaves of the oak trees clustering around the gorgeous green campus had faded to shades of red, orange and yellow. The place was, simply put, serene. Her parents would have loved to be in a place like this.

Our of the corner of his eyes, Tristan watched Sam. One minute, the redhead was staring off into outer space with a dreamy smile on her face and the next, she had tensed up with a bleak, grim expression.

Vincent frowned as he watched his roommate clench her jaw tight and twirl her pen even faster, almost erratically - until it finally whirled out of the boy's hand through the air in a blue blur and ricocheted off 's forehead. The teacher froze in the middle of his explanation of functions and blinked rapidly behind his glasses, his mouth gaped ajar. The whole class was silent in shock, heads turned to stare at the new student. Tristan and Vincent cracked up.

Sammy leapt out of her seat and babbled, "Oh god, I'm so sorry! I didn't mean it! It just flew and it just – I – I – I'm so sorry!"

Mr. Morbald was stock-still, even though his mind ran with thoughts of retirement in some peaceful, tropical island where all pens and other flying projectiles weren't needed.

The red haired boy bouncing nervously on his heels in front of him was still talking, "Are you okay? I didn't hurt you that much, did I? I'm really sorry!"

Tristan and Vincent were now rolling around in their seats, trying to stop their chortles. Sammy turned to frown disapprovingly at them and they quieted down despite the huge grins on their faces.

She turned to apologize to the teacher again, only to find him walking toward the door. "Mr. Morbald? Where are you going?"

He paused before leaving and said simply, "Bahamas."

Tristan and Vincent doubled over again.

"It's not funny!"

"Sure it is. You've been here for only two days and you've already sent the teacher packing. Good job." Tristan grinned down at her. They were walking to their music appreciation class, the only class Vincent didn't have with her. Her roommate hadn't been particularly happy about that, practically firing shots with his icy gray eyes at Tristan. He must be worried I'll be whisked off join Tristan's side. Honestly, what's up with these guys and their stupid rivalry?

Caine suddenly appeared besides her and clapped her on her back, sending her reeling. She coughed weakly as he beamed at her. "Heard what you did. Nice!"

"IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! It wasn't like I purposely chucked my pen at –"

Tristan started snickering again and she turned red, shooting him a dirty look. He regained control of himself and smiled softly, a nice easy smile that made her heart flutter. "I know. I know. You're not like that. You're too nice."

She blinked, feeling flattered and self-conscious at the same time. A slow blush crept into her cheeks.

"Just not to writing implements," he added before sauntering into the classroom.

"Meanie," she muttered underneath her breath.

© Copyright 2003 Maeven (FictionPress ID:349779). Reposted 12/27/2008. All rights reserved. Distribution of any kind is prohibited without the written consent of Maeven.