I wouldn't have thought I'd say it in a million years, but I'm starting to warm up to Amy and the guys.

Ha, I might even call this crazy bunch that I hang around my friends.

Friends.Yeah, that has a nice ring to it...

...I have to kidding myself, right?

"So Mai, what are you planning on do for spring break?" Amy asked as we exited our last class of the day.

I looked at her and shrugged. "I don't know...I'll probably be here with my mother." I mentally hissed as that horrible "m" word left my mouth.

"Hey, why don't you come with us for the break? It'll be fun!" Amy beamed, excitement written all over her features.

I sighed, "I would have to ask...mom...if I can go."

"I understand."Amy giggled quietly. "It seems like you need to be away from your mom for a little while."

"Oh, you have no idea," I said with a low chuckle, scratching the back of my head.

"I guess not, huh," she said, hugging her textbooks closer to her chest.

I pushed some of my hair out of my face as I looked up, feeling the breeze make contact with my skin. I could tell that Amy was looking at me, probably wondering why I had suddenly slipped into a daze.

I turned to her and smiled reassuringly. "Hey, I'll go ask her...hopefully she'll let me go."

"Okay then. I'll see you at the E. dorms."

I waved to her as she walked away, biting my lip as I turned.

And now I have to go to talk to Xailia... Joy.

I walked slowly, not really in a hurry to see my "mother". It seemed like every time I would run into her, she would bring up my mission. The woman was such a pest and I hated the fact that she knew what I thought of her. Actually I hated every aspect of her and my existence as a vampire.

I looked up, noticing a familiar scent, and saw I was passing by Drake Ekens. The smell of his blood was sweet, like candy. If I didn't keep to my better judgment, I would have jumped at him while his back was turned. Instead I just stood there, watching as his head of blond disappeared in the crowd of students and other staff members.

I sighed in relief as his scent faded and my body relaxed. After clearing my head, I continued my stroll to Xailia's room. I started to loose interest in where I was walking and, this time literally, bumped into another familiar person. Textbooks clattered to the ground.

"I'm so sorry," I apologized, bending down help to pick them up.

"It's okay." Kimiko's voice lacked emotion, as usual.

I looked up at her, noticing that she wasn't really paying attention to where she was going either. She appeared to be lost in thought and she probably didn't even notice she'd bumped into someone.

I stood and handed Kimiko her books. She blinked, looking slightly surprised. So she hadn't noticed bumping into me.

"Oh. Thank you, Mai," she said as she took her books.

I smiled, scratching the back of my head absently. "Sorry about that, I wasn't really paying attention."

Kimiko moved some strands of her streaked hair from her eyes and smiled.

"Yeah, I wasn't aware of my surroundings either."

She started walking again after a slight pause. "Um, I'll see you later."

I waved and then went inside the teacher's quarters, taking care to be more aware of where I was. Once I reached Xailia's room I paused and sure enough, she opened the door.

"Good afternoon Mai. Come in."

I walked in silently and leaned up against the back wall, not bothering to take a seat. Xailia closed the door and looked at me, her eyebrows raised.

"So, what brings you here little one?"

I rolled my eyes, "Read my mind."

She folded her arms across her chest and a sly grin spread across her lips.

"You said that you didn't want me to invade you mind. You said it was an act of violation."

"Even if I said that you still do it, so stop acting like you're some sort of saint."

I turned towards the window, my teeth clenched. Xailia, still smiling, closed her eyes for a moment.

She looked up suddenly, finished with her mind-reading, mouth in a comical "o" shape.

"Oh, so you want to go hang out with your friends for spring break and leave Mummy here all by herself?"

I felt my mouth and my right eye twitch simultaneously.

"You're not my-"

"You can go," she said, cutting me off. "You have to observe Amy Kole remember? In any other circumstance I would have prohibited you from leaving the campus."

I nodded and started to walk out of the room.

"Well, see you later," Xailia called cheerfully as I left.


"So, what did your mother say?" Amy asked as we left dinner.

"She said it was fine."

Amy beamed. "Oh! That's great! We're going to have so much fun!"

I shoved my hand in my sweater pocket. "Yeah, I guess."

It was dark by the time we made it back to the Eve Dorms and most of the students were settling in the recreation hall.

"Hey," Amy said suddenly, catching my attention.

I looked up as we climbed the staircase to our dorm.

"Hm?"

Amy looked about, making sure that no one was around. She then fumbled around in her pocket and pulled out a silver cell phone. I watched her as she pressed random buttons on the keypad, seeming to be looking for something.

"Here," she said, and held the phone in front of my face for me to read the text message displayed on screen.

'After curfew, leave ur door unlocked b/c we r comin' It was from Yori.

Amy slid the phone back in her pocket, assuming that I was done reading it. When she looked back up she smiled at my puzzled expression.

"Oh hee hee, Yori always brings Jae and Kimiko over for random snack visits."

I lifted an eyebrow, confused. "What?"

She giggled again. "Let's get back to the dorms, you'll see then."

I shrugged and followed her back to our dorm room. My nose automatically picked up the smell of sweets as we entered. Amy walked over to the small stack of neatly packaged boxes that sat on her bed. She opened the box that sat on the top, revealing assorted cheese cake. I felt my mouth open, probably to leak drool.

As soon as I was about to reach for the cake she closed the box and turned me around.

"Nope, you can't have any until our guests arrive."

I rolled my eyes and went back over to my bed, retrieving my pajamas and toiletries.

"I'll just take a bath then..."

Amy blinked and stopped me before I could reach the bathroom.

"Wait, let me shower first. You take forever when you get in there!"

I sighed and sat on my bed, leaning my back against the wall.

That girl is odd...

I turned my attention to the ceiling, watching the moonlight snaking its way across it. I sighed, laying back on the bed with my hands behind my head. I was so deeply engrossed in my observation of the ceiling that I didn't notice when Amy came out of the bathroom, complaining that I hadn't turn on the light.

"Geez Mai, you act like a corpse."

I looked up at Amy and blinked. "Oh?"

I got up out of the bed and grabbed my things and headed into the bathroom. I could feel that Amy was staring at me with a puzzled expression as I left the room.

Once I inside the bathroom I turned on the bath, feeling like a shower was not appropriate at the time. I watched as the hot water filled up the tub, my hand hanging absentmindedly in the tub as I stared off into space. Before I realized it the water had reached my fingertips and I turned off the faucet.

After I took off my clothing I submerged myself in the hot water, sighing with content. I leaned back and closed my eyes, drifting off.


"So what is your name sweetie?"

I looked up at the aged woman, speaking in a quiet voice.

"My name is Mai Ito..."

The woman smiled, the wrinkles around the corners of her mouth emphasizing that she had performed this action many times.

"What a pretty name, Mai. My name is Patricia, but all the other kids here call me Granny P."

She laughed as she took my hand and lead me into a room full of children that were around my age.

Granny P then kneeled down next to me and put her hands on my shoulders.

"Mai, you're safe here. You don't have to worry about being out there in the cold. We'll take care of you here."

I nodded and she stood up. Then a child approached, a girl with red hair and green eyes. She looked at me with curiosity.

"So she's our new sister?" she said, clearly not speaking to me.

"Yes," Granny P said. "Why don't you introduce Mai to the others, Katelyn."

Katelyn smiled and suddenly took my hand, dragging me towards the other children.

"So, how old are you Mai?" she asked.

"Seven," I mumbled.

The girl stopped pulling me and turned to face me, her eyes wide.

"Cool, we're the same age!"

I blinked as she began dragging me off again. My first thought: this girl was an odd one.

"Hey guys, this is Mai!"

Some of the children looked up from their current conversations and activities. Some of them murmured to each other, whispering silent remarks and jokes. Katelyn glared at the ones who were laughing and giggling.

"Hey guys stop kidding around!"

A child, that was slightly older than me, pointed at me.

"You're the girl that they show on T.V. They say your mom and dad died in a crash."

Many of the other children turned their heads and there was a series of loud outbursts.

"She was the missing girl?"

"I heard that she was 'possed to be dead too!"

Images of that day replayed in my mind and I looked down. Katelyn gave my hand a squeeze, probably noticing my reaction.

"Hey you guys leave her alone," yelled a boy's voice.

I looked up to see a boy who was standing in front of me, his arms stretched out in an attempt to shield me from the verbal attacks. He looked back and smiled, his grayeyes shining with determination.

"Don't worry; I'll get them to back off!"


"Mai!"

As my eyes snapped open my ears were met with the sound of knocking. I sat up abruptly, some of the water splashing out of the tub.

"Hey, you okay in there," asked Amy as she knocked again on the door.

I got up quickly, "Yeah, I just dozed off."

Amy breathed a sigh of relief from the other side of the door.

"Phew...you had me worried there. Hurry up then, okay?"

"Okay," I said as I dressed.

Once clad in my blue-plaid pajamas I stepped out of the bathroom. I lifted an eyebrow, glancing over at Amy as she tried to sneak a piece of cake into her mouth. She looked surprised to see me come out so quickly.

I shook my head, "Oh...so you can have some cake before the 'guests' arrive, huh?"

Amy frowned, red tinting her cheeks, "Um, sorry."

I smiled, still shaking my head. There was a knock at the door and someone spoke on the other side.

"I told her to leave it unlocked, Kimiko," said the hushed voice of a certain raspberry-haired teen.

"Oh... sorry." Kimiko said, her voice lower than the latter.

The doorknob turned and the trio came into the room, all holding things in their hands. After a minute I registered the items as sleeping bags.

Oh boy.

As they entered Amy turned off the bedroom light and pulled out a lamp.

"There we go."

Yori moved one of the tables over and placed it in between our beds. Then Jae walked over to Amy's bed, placed one of the boxes on the table and opened it. Kimiko waited until both Yori's and Jae's backs were turned to sneak a slice of cheese cake into her mouth. I gave her the same look I gave Amy, but the raven-haired girl shrugged it off.

Amy turned around and looked in the box, frowning at it and then at Kimiko, who was still chewing.

"Well, could someone get plates and forks going around," Yori said as she glanced at the cake.

"It seems that we have a sneaky eater."

We all laughed as Amy passed out paper plates and plastic forks. Once everyone had both items the room fell silent, the only sounds were the sound of chewing and an occasional "yum".

I looked up and turned to Amy. "So where did all these sweets come from?"

Amy scratched the back of her head a laughed, "My family sends them all the time."

Yori and Jae giggled, "So do ours."

Kimiko nodded, "I guess they think that we are deprived of sweets."

"So were all of you adopted or something?" I asked.

Everyone except Yori shook their heads. The raspberry-haired girl smiled before speaking.

"I'm the only one that was adopted. Well, in our group of friends, anyway."

"It doesn't matter if you were adopted, have parents or are an orphan," Amy said. "You're still our friend."

"That's right," Jae said, speaking for the first time.

Amy looked up as if she a she had just remembered something.

"Oh, so we're leaving the day after tomorrow right?"

Kimiko nodded. "Yes, we're heading to town right after the Easter services."

"I guess I better start packing tomorrow then," I said, sighing.

Amy and the others laughed and I rolled my eyes. Jae stood up and yawned, her eyes looking slightly droopy. She walked over to her sleeping back and spread it out, slipping inside. She rolled over so that her back was facing us.

"Night guys," she said.

Amy followed soon after, crawling in her bed and falling asleep immediately. Then Kimiko slipped into her sleeping bag. By the time I had looked at the clock it was past midnight. When Yori noticed the time she chose to go to bed, too, saying that I should get some sleep as well.

I got in bed, lying on my side so that I was facing Amy's sleeping friends. I glanced at all of them as they slept and a smile spread across my lips.

Not Amy's friends... My friends.