Sorry to those who have wanted to read this previously. I was testing out a theory, which worked but not the way I wanted it to.

In the Shadow of Obsidian Empire

Chapter One

Kaitlyn stood in front of her mirror, carefully inspecting her outfit. She had on a tight jean skirt that ended several inches above her knees and a simple light blue t-shirt. It was a cute outfit, but she doubted that her Aunt Patty would approve. She tugged on the slightly frayed hem of her skirt knowing that there was nothing in her closet that her aunt would approve of. She looked at her hair. It fell in cooper-red waves halfway down her back. She considered pulling it back into a ponytail, but decided against it. No matter what she did with her hair, her aunt wouldn't approve. With a sigh, she turned away from her reflection and grabbed her bag.

She paused at the top of the stairs, sending up a silent prayer that she'd be able to escape a lecture from Aunt Patty about her outfit. She slowly made her way down the stairs and was just slipping on her shoes, a pair of cute flip-flops, when Aunt Patty called her into the kitchen.

Kaitlyn walked into the kitchen and was a bit surprised to find not only her Aunt Patty hiding behind the newspaper, but also her cousin, Cindy, and their next-door neighbour, Ashton Stevens. Apparently there was going to be an audience for her humiliation. "You wanted to see me Aunt Patty?"

Aunt Patty slowly lowered her paper and looked over Kaitlyn's outfit. "You're going to make a speech in front of your entire school wearing that?"

Kaitlyn forced herself not to respond or look at anyone. Instead she stared straight ahead out the window. If she showed any reaction, it would only make things worse.

"Well Kaitlyn, do you want to look like a slut in front of all your friends?" Aunt Patty asked, rephrasing the question slightly.

Kaitlyn closed her eyes and clenched her fists, trying to fight back the urge to respond. Then she glanced at Ash, who had a slight smirk on his face. Her resolve weakened slightly, but then Cindy spoke up.

"Oh, don't worry about that Mom, Kaitlyn's friends don't think she's a slut, they already know she is." Cindy flashed a cruel smile towards Kaitlyn before turning back to Aunt Patty. "Kaitlyn's been letting Chris screw her brains out for the past year." The lie easily slipped off Cindy's tongue. Kaitlyn's eyes widened in disbelief before her expression returned to neutral.

Aunt Patty narrowed her eyes at Kaitlyn. "You know, I've been saying it for years, Kaitlyn, you're going to end up just like your mother. I wouldn't be surprised if you end up knocked up by the time you graduate, just like her. Well, look where that got your mother. Dead. Is that what you want for yourself Kaitlyn?"

It was a familiar rant, brought out whenever Kaitlyn did something that didn't fit in with Aunt Patty's ideas of what should be done. Kaitlyn resisted the urge to once more look at Ash. She didn't want to know if he was thinking about all of this.

"Well, is it Kaitlyn?" Aunt Patty demanded, annoyed that Kaitlyn wasn't rising to her bait.

"Can I go? I don't want to be late for school," Kaitlyn said calmly.

Aunt Patty studied Kaitlyn for a moment then gave Kaitlyn a dismissive wave of her hand. "Fine, go." Aunt Patty turned to Ash as if Kaitlyn was already gone. "I'm sorry you had to witness that Ashton. I try to do my best by Kaitlyn, but she refuses to listen."

Ash glanced at Kaitlyn for a second before she turned and walked away.

Kaitlyn sighed as she pulled into her car into a parking spot at school. She turned off the car and rested her head against the steering wheel. Her mind was stuck on what Ash had witnessed in her kitchen. She was used to her aunt belittling her on a regular basis, but Ash was the last person she would have ever wanted to witness that. For whatever reason, Ash always seemed to have it out for her and used every opportunity to humiliate her.

The sound of her door suddenly being opened caused Kaitlyn to immediately sit up and turn to the now open door. "Uh, hey Becky, what can I do for you?"

Becky smiled warmly at Kaitlyn. "Actually I was wondering if I could talk to you about the tryouts."

Kaitlyn frowned as she got out of the car. "Yeah, sure. What did you need to know exactly?"

Becky shrugged and turned to look towards the main door, where the popular crowd was holding court, gossiping and criticizing anyone who walked by. "I guess I just want to know that I'm in, right?"

Kaitlyn frowned slightly as she headed to the front steps. "Well, you still have to tryout."

"Oh, I know. I just mean that's all a formality, right? I'm already in."

Kaitlyn stopped and turned to face Becky. "No, you're not. You have to tryout just like everyone else."

"But that's ridiculous Kaitlyn! I mean, we've been friends since grade ten. I've been dating Linc for nearly a year. I've paid my dues. I deserve to be on the squad and you know it," Becky exclaimed, trying desperately to plead her case.

"I'm sorry run that by me again. You deserve to be on the squad? How do you figure that?"

"Oh come off it, Kaitlyn, you and I both know that it's not usually the best person for the squad that gets picked. It's your friends first."

"Look Becky, if you have questions about the tryouts, maybe you should ask Karen. I only have a vague idea of what's going on with them."

"I didn't expect you to be as immature as the rest of them, Kaitlyn," Becky accused before stalking off.

Kaitlyn watched in surprise as Becky stormed her way through the popular crowd, brushing right past Lincoln Stevens without saying a word to him. Karen Johnson, Kaitlyn's best friend, looked over at Kaitlyn and grinned. Kaitlyn sighed and headed over.

"Well, that was quite the little scene between you and Becky. What did she want?" Karen inquired as soon as Kaitlyn started to climb up the steps.

Kaitlyn shrugged and glanced at Linc, who looked away. "She was asking questions about the tryouts. She seems to think that she's paid her dues and deserves to be on the squad. I finally told her that she should talk to you. That's when she stormed off. What's going on?"

Karen glanced at Linc, who immediately walked inside. "Becky broke up with Linc a few weeks ago. She apparently has her eyes set on Chris," Karen replied with a slight a smile. "She's no longer a part of our group. I've kicked her out."

"She's going to show up for tryouts."

"Then we'll make her regret ever trying to mess with Linc and Chris."

Kaitlyn smiled at that before turning to her boyfriend, Chris Bradford. She gave him a light kiss on the lips. "Hey."

"Hey Kaitlyn." He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her against his body. "I missed you."

Kaitlyn was about to reply when the sound of a motorcycle coming into the parking lot caught her attention. As far as she knew, no one at school drove at motorcycle. The motorcycle came to a stop at the bottom of the steps. The two riders got off and removed their helmets. Kaitlyn was a bit surprised to see Cindy getting off the motorcycle with Ash.

Almost without thinking, Kaitlyn moved out of Chris's arms to get a better look at the motorcycle. She had always had this fantasy of riding on the back of a motorcycle, but up until now, she hadn't known anyone who owned one. Unfortunately, Ash hated Kaitlyn.

Ash and Cindy kissed before turning to face Kaitlyn and her friends, their arms around each other's waist. "Well, if it isn't little Miss Perfect," Ash commented, getting laughs from his friends, who seemed to have materialized at his side.

Kaitlyn tilted her head slightly to the side, not understanding his reasoning. "How do you figure that?"

"You always do exactly what everyone expects of you," he explained with a slight smile.

Kaitlyn stared at him in disbelief. Was that what he thought of her? "Explain that last bit."

He shrugged and glanced at Jason Wilde, one of his closest friends. "Well, look at you," he said with a wave of his hand that encompassed her appearance. "You're a walking high school cliché. Actually several, I think."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?" Kaitlyn demanded in annoyance.

"Do you really need me to explain?"

"I wouldn't be asking if I didn't."

"Simple, you embody everything that's cliché about the ideal high school student. You're rich, pretty, and popular. You're also a straight-A student and the student council president. On top of that, you're the co-captain of the cheerleading squad and are dating the star quarterback. Do you need me to explain more?" The attack left Kaitlyn shaken, unsure of how to respond exactly.

"Well, at least Kaitlyn's fully embracing the high school experience," Chris stated, speaking up for her.

"Yeah, that's more than can be said for you, Ash," Karen joined in.

Kaitlyn held up her hand, silencing her friends. "Maybe that's true, but you're just as much a high school as I am. You're the slacker who's playing in some no-name band. You'll date any girl that looks at you as long as she measures up to your ideals. You're the loser that sits back and attacks anything that is too mainstream. Grow up Ash, you're as much a high school cliché as I am." Kaitlyn paused for breath and was a bit surprised to hear people clapping. "You know nothing about me Ash and don't think what happened this morning gives you the right to judge me or humiliate me." With that she turned back to her friends. "Let's go, I've lost all interest in this conversation."

Chris wrapped his arm around Kaitlyn's waist as she headed inside, her friends followed close behind her. Everyone stopped at Kaitlyn's locker as she put her bag away.

"So Kaitlyn, what's your schedule like?" Karen inquired, bringing everyone's attention back to Kaitlyn.

"I have to change it. I'm in phys ed second period," she said as she handed a copy of her schedule over to Karen.


"Because in phys ed they make you sweat, Chris, and I don't like to sweat."

"Okay, but you're a cheerleader… Don't you sweat doing that?"

"Yeah, and that's the extent of my exercise." She closed her door and turned back to Karen. "After the assembly, I'm going to see what else in available. I don't want to have to re-arrange my entire schedule."

"Oh come on, Kait, they'll bend over backwards to make it work for you," Angelica Samson, another cheerleader, commented with a smile.

"I wish." The sound of the bell ringing interrupted them. "Damn it, I have to get ready to make my speech for the assembly. I'll see you guys whenever." Kaitlyn turned away and immediately headed to the auditorium.

The auditorium was packed with students. From where Kaitlyn was sitting on stage, it seemed as if the student population had doubled at some point over the summer. How was she supposed to get up and make a speech in front of all those people? She glanced over at Linc, who was the student council vice-president, but he wasn't looking at her. He was always so good at calming her down and making sure she was prepared before every speech she made.

Automatically she reached out and took his hand. "I'm nervous, Linc," she murmured, giving his hand a squeeze.

He glanced at her and flashed her a faint smile. "You'll be fine, Kait." As he turned away he gave her hand a quick squeeze.

"May I present your student council president, Kaitlyn Anderson," the principal, Mr. Christensen said as way of introduction.

Kaitlyn slowly got to her feet and walked up to the podium. The lights were shining in her eyes, practically blinding her. Her heart seemed to be racing and her palms were clammy. The butterflies in her stomach weren't fluttering; they were in full flight. It was so hot in the room, especially under those lights. That's when she saw them walk in, Cindy and Ash were slowly making their way to some seats in between kisses. In that moment, Kaitlyn knew she would have given anything to be in Cindy's place with Ash kissing her like that. Kaitlyn stepped back from the podium as she began to feel a bit dizzy. She glanced at Linc then turned slowly towards the crowd. For some reason the lights seemed to be dimming. "Ash," she whispered, just loud enough for the microphone to pick up before everything went black.

Kaitlyn came to in the nurse's office and more than a little surprised to see both Linc and Ash standing by her bedside waiting for her to come to. Seeing them standing next her was an instant reminder of the fact that they were not only brothers, but also identical twins. Although Linc had more of a clean cut look and Ash was more punk, they both still had the same clear blue eyes and black hair. Their bone structure and build was exactly the same. It was only their individual looks that allowed anyone to tell them apart. Ash styled his hair in a slight Mohawk and wore obscure band shirts and worn out jeans, while Linc opted for the bed head look and was most likely to wear anything from the Gap.

Linc jumped to his feet as soon as he noticed Kaitlyn was awake. "God Kaitlyn, you scared everyone. I swear, Mr. Christensen was on the verge of calling an ambulance, but Ash managed to convince him that you had probably just fainted."

Kaitlyn nodded in acknowledgement and slowly sat up, swinging her legs over the side of the bed. She slowly got to her feet, but closed her eyes when she started to feel dizzy again.

"Are you okay?" Ash asked as he lightly touched her arm as if he was about to catch her in case she fainted again.

Kaitlyn pulled away and opened her eyes to see Ash standing closer than she would have expected. "I'm sure just loving this," she commented coldly before glancing at her watch. "Damn it, first period's almost halfway over. I have to go change my schedule and put on my cheerleading outfit."

"Kaitlyn wait, are you sure you're okay?" Linc asked even as Kaitlyn was heading towards the door.

"Linc, I'm perfectly fine. The lights just got to me. Thanks for caring though."

"It's just I could have sworn you said Ash's name before you fainted."

Kaitlyn glanced at Ash then turned back to Linc. "I don't know why I would have. I certainly don't remember saying anything." She left the room and went straight to her locker. Grabbing her bag, she headed to the nearest washroom.

She quickly pulled on her cheerleading outfit, which consisted of a cropped v-necked sleeveless shirt, a short skirt with two slits up the front, and matching underwear. Traditionally, everyone on the cheerleading squad would wear their uniforms on the first day of school as well as on game days. As the co-captain, Kaitlyn was expected to set an example.

Kaitlyn walked into the main office and smiled politely at the secretary. "Hi Miss Stewart, I was hoping I could get in to see Mr. Christensen to change my schedule."

Miss Stewart smiled warmly at Kaitlyn. "Are you all right? Mr. Christensen told me that you fainted in the middle of your speech."

"Try the beginning of the speech, but I'm fine. The lights just got to me," she lied confidently.

"Mr. Christensen will be glad to hear that. Head right on in."

Kaitlyn rounded the counter and walked into the principal's office. "Hey Mr. Christensen," she greeted him as she sank down into one of the chairs.

"Kaitlyn, is everything all right?"

Kaitlyn nodded. "Oh yeah, the lights just got to me. But I do need to change my schedule slightly." She handed over a copy of her schedule for Mr. Christensen to look over. "I'm looking to drop phys ed for something else. I don't know what else is available at that time."

Mr. Christensen looked at the period in question, frowning slightly. "Well, the only thing that you're not already taking is music. So unless you want to switch around your entire schedule…"

"There's nothing else?"

Mr. Christensen shook his head. "No, unfortunately not."

Kaitlyn nodded. She knew Aunt Patty would kill her for taking music, but anything would be better than phys ed. "Okay, I guess music it is."

Mr. Christensen nodded as he quickly adjusted her schedule on the computer, before printing out a new one. "All right, it's in the music room with Mr. Lyons. It is an advanced music course, so you'll have to work much harder than the rest of the class. But I'm sure you'll be able to handle it. If you have any problems just ask Mr. Lyons. Good luck Kaitlyn." He held out her new schedule for her.

Kaitlyn smiled and slowly got to her feet, taking her revised schedule from him. "Thank you Mr. Christensen." She turned and walked out.

Second period was almost over by the time Kaitlyn reached the music room. She knocked on the open door before cautiously stepping inside. The room, which had previously been full of chatter, fell silent at Kaitlyn's appearance. Kaitlyn scanned the faces of her fellow students quickly, immediately noticing both Ash and Jason were in the class. Then she turned to Mr. Lyons, who was standing behind his desk. The entire class seemed to watch her every move as she crossed the room to where Mr. Lyons was standing.

"Um, Mr. Lyons, I just transferred into this class. My name's Kaitlyn Anderson." She handed him the revised schedule Mr. Christensen had given her.

"I know who you are, Kaitlyn. What I want to know is if you have ever taken a music class before?" Mr. Lyons questioned.

"Can she even sing?" Jason demanded from the back of the room loud enough for everyone to hear.

Kaitlyn ignored Jason and chose to answer Mr. Lyons' question instead. "No, but I'm not afraid of hard work, if that's what you're wondering."

Mr. Lyons sighed and removed his glasses to rub his eyes. "I don't doubt that, Kaitlyn. I know your reputation. I'll need you to sing something for me so I can determine your ability."

Kaitlyn stared at him for a second. "Uh, you actually expect me to sing?"

"She can't even sing," Jason remarked with a smirk.

Annoyed, Kaitlyn turned and looked over at Jason. "I'm sorry Jason, but do you have a problem? Or do you just think everyone else enjoys the sound of your voice as much as you do?"

"At least I know that I have some talent when it comes to singing. I can actually carry a tune. No one here knows whether you can even sing."

The challenge was unspoken, but Kaitlyn couldn't have missed it. "Name the song and I'll sing it."

"Katy-Lynn by Obsidian Empire," Ash provided with a slight superior smile.

Kaitlyn's face paled and she immediately shook her head. "No." It wasn't that she didn't know the song, she did. Her father was the James Anderson of Obsidian Empire fame. He had written the song specifically for Kaitlyn.

"Do you even know it?" Jason challenged.


"Jason, Ash, leave her alone. I'll choose the song." He turned back to Kaitlyn and smiled. "If you know a song like Katy-Lynn, you must know Yesterday by the Beatles."

Kaitlyn nodded and turned her back on the class. Mr. Lyons smiled warmly at in encouragement her as he took his seat behind her. Kaitlyn closed her eyes, trying to ignore the fact that she was actually going to be singing in front of an audience of sorts. She listened to the first few bars before she started to sing. All her thoughts and fears seemed to disappear as soon as she opened her mouth. It all seemed so right.

When she was finished, the room was completely silent. Then at the back of the room someone began to slowly clap. At the sound Kaitlyn's eyes snapped open and she started to breathe again. She was a bit surprised to see Ash on his feet clapping. It only took a few seconds for the rest of the class to join in with the exception of Jason. He had his arms crossed and wasn't even looking at her. Kaitlyn glanced over at Mr. Lyons. He was grinning with slight surprise. He immediately walked over to her.

"That was incredible Kaitlyn. Have you had a voice coach or any formal training?"

Kaitlyn shook her head. "No, nothing like that. My aunt doesn't really want that sort of thing for me."

"Well, you're a natural then. I don't know if you'd be interested, but Miss Daniels and I are planning to put on a musical this year. If you can act as well as you can sing, you should consider trying out. With your voice, you'd be a welcome addition," Mr. Lyons commented sincerely.

Kaitlyn could only smile politely. "I'll think about it," she promised, but she already knew the answer. Her aunt would absolutely kill her if she tried out for the musical, especially if she actually got a part. Aunt Patty wanted Kaitlyn to concentrate on her studies, not focus on things like singing or boys.

By the end of the day, Kaitlyn was convinced that Linc was avoiding her. He hadn't been around at lunch and he didn't seem to be in any of her classes. She really wanted to find out about what happened with Becky before she had to deal with her at cheerleading tryouts. She decided her best bet was to ambush him when he came out to his car.

She was casually leaning against his car when he eventually came out. The parking lot was pretty much empty. Linc was halfway to his car before he noticed her leaning against it. He paused for a moment before walking right up to her. He leaned against the car next to her. "Hey Kaitlyn, I thought you had cheerleading tryouts. What are you doing here?"

Kaitlyn smiled and pulled him into a hug. "I wanted to see you. I don't like it when you avoid me. You shouldn't do that."

Linc laughed lightly and pulled away. "Okay." He looked away and took a steadying deep breath. "I'm guessing you want to know about my break up with Becky."

Kaitlyn smiled sweetly. "We talked last night, why didn't you tell me about it then?"

"You had just gotten back from your trip. I didn't want to get into it at the time," he answered with a slight shrug.

"Do you want to tell me what happened?"

"It's not much of a story," he admitted with a shrug. "We were all hanging out at the Trendy Café. Becky was supposed to meet us there, but she didn't show up. She called me on my cell phone while I was still at the Trendy Café. She basically said that she had only dated me to get into the popular crowd and get closer to Chris. She had absolutely no feelings for me and could no longer force herself to kiss me everyday. Then she suggested that I help her break you and Chris up, that way we'd both get what we wanted. I'd get you and she'd get Chris. That's pretty much when I hung up on her."

"And you weren't the least bit tempted?" Kaitlyn inquired with a flirtatious smile.

Linc shot her a dirty look. "I don't steal my friends' girlfriends."

She nodded and looked away for a moment. "So how did Karen get to know all of this?" she questioned as turned back to face him.

"I told her. I figured she was your best friend and she would watch out for Chris while you were away. I think she confronted Becky about everything at some point and told Becky she was no longer part of the group." He shrugged.

Kaitlyn smiled and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Thanks, Linc. I'm sorry that Becky was such a bitch. I thought you two would be perfect for each other."

"It's no problem."

"I better get going. I'm already late for tryouts and Karen will have my head. I'll talk to you later."

Kaitlyn rushed through the school and into the gym. She flashed a smile at those gathered on the bleachers, mostly her fellow cheerleaders and a few spectators. She noticed Ash and his friends sitting up front. She frowned slightly. Cheerleading tryouts weren't really their thing. Then she glanced towards the girls trying out and saw a few of Ash's friends, including Cindy, sitting in a group. Well, that explained everything.

"Kaitlyn, where the hell have you been?" Karen demanded in annoyance, storming over. "Tryouts were supposed to start nearly ten minutes ago."

"Sorry. I was talking to Linc. I wanted to get the full story about his break up with Becky," Kaitlyn said as she led the way to the table that sat front and centre in the gym. She put down her bag and turned to Karen. "Is Becky here?"

"Yeah, the girl just doesn't get it. She's out and there's no way in hell she's getting back in."

Kaitlyn nodded thoughtfully as she scanned the bleachers, stopping to study Ash and his friends. "Well, this isn't going to be a pretty scene. We'll no doubt get some backlash from Ash if we try anything."

"I don't care about what Ash or any of his little friends think," Karen declared, flipping her hair over her shoulder and planting her hands on her hips. Becky needs to be taught a lesson. You do not mess with our friends and expect to get away with it."

"I agree." She looked over the girls who had come to tryout thoughtfully. "Get the others, I think I may have an idea."

Karen seemed to study Kaitlyn for a moment, then turned to wave the rest of the cheerleading squad over. "This better be good Kaitlyn."

Kaitlyn nodded as the rest of the squad joined them. "Okay, Becky seems to think that after everything that's happened with Linc, she still deserves to be on the squad. We're about to prove her wrong. I want all of you to go through the crowd and pick out any girl who doesn't fit the typical cheerleader mold that means tall, slim and gorgeous. Paiton, I want you to pick Becky near the end almost as if it was an accident."

Everyone nodded in understanding and Kaitlyn turned to address the cheerleader hopefuls. "It's nice to see so many people are interested in being on our squad. Unfortunately, there are only so many positions that need to be filled. We have a certain vision of the types of girls we want on our squad, so we'll do our first elimination immediately. If one of the girls on the squad touches you, could you please stand up?"

Kaitlyn watched as a variety of girls started to stand up. Most of them were overweight or not traditionally pretty, not the type of girls that one would immediately picture as a cheerleader. She couldn't help but smile as she watched Paiton seem to accidentally touch Becky. Becky glanced around and then slowly got to her feet. The girls now standing were shifting their weight between their feet and looking at the group, with the exception of Becky, who seemed so confident that she didn't belong there.

"This is bull shit, Kaitlyn!" Ash shouted as he got to his feet. He immediately stormed over. "These girls have just as much a right to be a cheerleader as you do! You're going to cut those girls just because they're not absolutely perfect like the rest of you. I expected better of you, Kaitlyn. This is something Karen would pull, not you. It's just wrong on so many levels."

Kaitlyn turned back to the girls then looked at Ash and smiled. "No, trust me, it's right on so many levels. Just look for the on who doesn't belong, that's how the game's played, Ash. Now if you'll excuse me?" He gave her a look of disgust then turned away to go back to his friends.

The tension in the room was at an all time high as Kaitlyn once more scanned the girls. No one was quite sure of what was going on. She glanced at Ash, who was now standing at the door with his friends, he watched the proceedings with a look of distaste. Then she turned back to the girls with a smile.

"We take cheerleading very seriously here at Cressida High. We are an elite group. Those who are lucky enough to be chosen become our sisters and close friends. We pride ourselves on this." Kaitlyn paused dramatically as she surveyed the girls once more. She was in her element. "There are certain qualities that we require our new cheerleaders to have. Paramount amount these is loyalty to both the squad and each other. Along with this comes trust. If you can't be trusted, you don't make the squad. Betrayal is not tolerated." She stopped in front of Becky and looked her in the eye. "Oh Becky, you don't belong with these girls," she said in a friendly tone as if she was surprised to see Becky up there.

Becky seemed to sag in relief. "Oh, I knew that. I figured it had to be a mistake."

Kaitlyn smiled warmly at her and nodded. "Oh, of course. The doors are that way." She pointed towards the exit. "Thanks for coming."

There was a collective gasp from the crowd, as far as everyone was concerned Becky was already an unofficial member on the squad. Her trying out would just make it official. Or at least it was supposed to.

"What the hell Kait?" she demanded in disbelief.

Kaitlyn studied Becky for a moment. "You don't mess with my friends and you don't mess with my boyfriend. Get out Becky before you make an even bigger fool of yourself."

"This isn't over, Kaitlyn. I'll make you regret this!"

Kaitlyn shrugged almost indifferently. "The only thing I regret is setting you up with Linc in the first place. Now get out Becky." She watched with a certain amount of satisfaction as Becky practically ran out of the gym in tears. She was a bit surprised to see Ash go after her though. She turned back to the rest of the girls. "Sorry about that. The rest of you may have a seat." She walked back over to the table and took a seat. "They're all yours Karen."

Karen flashed Kaitlyn a smile of approval before turning back to the girls. "Okay, let's get started."

Kaitlyn had just walked into her house when Aunt Patty appeared in the entry to the living room with her arms crossed. "Your uncle and I would like to speak to you Kaitlyn," she stated coolly before turning away and walking back into the living room.

Kaitlyn frowned slightly before walking into the living room. Aunt Patty and Uncle Larry were seating on the couch with Cindy perched on the arm. Kaitlyn knew instantly she was in trouble, but she wasn't sure exactly what for. She stood in the doorway, refusing to move any further. "You wanted to speak to me?" She leaned casually against the door jamb as if she didn't have a care in the world.

"Sit down Kaitlyn," Aunt Patty commanded, motioning to the chair placed in front of the couch. It looked like an inquisition.

"No thanks. I'm fine where I am."

Aunt Patty's lips pursued in annoyance before turning to Uncle Larry. "Larry?"

"Leave it, Patty."

Aunt Patty glared at Uncle Larry for a moment then turned back to Kaitlyn. "Fine Kaitlyn, if you must be so childish, continue to do so."

Kaitlyn smiled politely and nodded her head in thanks. "Thanks you for your permission. I don't think I could have continued to show my complete indifference to this inquisition without it."

"Kaitlyn, don't speak to your aunt that way!" Uncle Larry snapped.

"Cindy tells me that you got it into your head to take music this year," Aunt Patty remarked.

"Why am I not surprised?" Kaitlyn shook her head. "Yeah, I'm taking music. I had no other choice nothing else would fit in my schedule."

"Well, you're going to have to change your schedule then. We forbid you to take music."

"I'm sorry that you feel that way. However, it's a long weekend. We have a PD day tomorrow and Monday is Labour Day. Besides, today was the only day we could change our schedules." She shrugged and stood up straight. "I guess I'm just stuck in music. Just think of all those hours singing and performing. I don't know if I can handle it. It might all just go to my head," she commented sarcastically.

"You're exactly like your father!" Aunt Patty exclaimed, jumping to her feet. "You don't give a damn who you hurt as long as you get what you want! Don't you care about what people will think of your uncle and I? Enough people already know of our connection to Obsidian Empire. We don't need them knowing that you're James Andrews' long lost daughter. Having my sister marry him was enough of an embarrassment already."

Kaitlyn stared at Aunt Patty for a moment, unable to believe that anyone could be so selfish. Then she quickly remembered this was her aunt she was talking about. "Are we done here? Because you know what, I'd really rather be somewhere else."

She noticed Aunt Patty and Uncle Larry sharing one of those looks. The ones that basically said: Typical Kaitlyn, remember who her parents were… Then they got up almost as one and walked out of the room, leaving Cindy and Kaitlyn alone.

"You just have to piss them off, don't you?"

"I wouldn't always be pissing them off if you weren't always trying to get me in trouble."

"You get yourself in trouble all by yourself. You don't need my help."

"No, you just go tattling to mommy and daddy every time I put a toe out of line."

"It wouldn't be a problem if you…"

"Oh, grow up and get a life, Cindy, stop trying to live mine," Kaitlyn ordered before storming out of the room.