Chapter One

Good to Be Back

Samantha Newton hated the summer holidays. In fact, she hated any holiday period. The holidays meant that she had to leave school and visit her family, more specifically; her parents. Samantha never had a good relationship with her parents. Her older brother and sister were her best friends, her parents, not so much. They wanted a son but got a daughter and then a son. That was enough for them. Samantha was a mistake. Her parents were strictly against abortions. Mrs Newton often said 'if you didn't want to have a child, then you should've closed your legs'. This was about as crude as she got. The Newton's were old money. It was Mr Newton that brought the money in. He owned an insurance company. It had been passed on through the oldest male member of the family. Call them old fashion but it was always the male that received the company. The females of course received a healthy sum of money.

Sam honestly didn't care for the money. The only people in the Newton family that didn't treat her right were her parents. Grandpa James Newton was the kindest person she'd ever met. Sam was glad to see that the wealth didn't get to everyone's heads, save her parents of course.

"Do call us if you need anything," Mrs Newton said without taking her eyes off the Blackberry in her hand.

"You know I will." Translation: you'll be the last person I call in case of an emergency.

"Well goodbye love." Sam's mother finally looked up from her phone. There were moments she looked like she actually cared. They were rare occurrences. Mrs Newton walked to her husband and touched his elbow briefly. He stopped talking and looked at her. Sam had to admit, even though they didn't show much affection for her, they truly did love each other.

"Well Samantha, keep up the good work. Visit during the holidays," Mr Newton said with a nod. It looked like it took a lot to get that out. Sam refrained herself from rolling her eyes.

"Of course father."

The awkwardness settled in. Finally he stuck his hand out for her to shake. This had been routine for the past six years in which Sam had attended Crest Manor boarding school. Sam shook his hand and then he left. The relief was overwhelming.

"Now we've got that over, come ere' squirt." James, her older brother, grinned.

"How painful was that for you?" Sally, her sister, asked putting an arm around her shoulder.

"Painful, awkward, weird, and tense, is what I'd call it," Sam replied shaking her head.

"I'm so glad I don't live at home anymore," Sally sighed with relief. James nodded. Both Sally and James were in their fourth and third year at University respectively. Sally attended Cambridge University while James attended Oxford. They were both rivals of each other. Everyone found their friendly rivalry amusing.

"Why do you think I chose to go to a boarding school?"

"That was the best day ever. I ain't ever gonna' forget when you told mum and dad. What did dad say again?" James asked. Sam rolled her eyes.

"Well. That's nice Samantha. When do you start?" they all chorused. The three laughed together.

"I'm gonna miss you kiddo," James sighed. "You're the best sister." Sally cleared her throat and raised an eyebrow at James. "Best younger sister," he amended. Sam laughed.

Sally and James both hugged their sister and said their goodbyes. Sam noticed her mother looking at their exchanged from the rear view mirror. Sam gave her a small smile. Sam didn't wait to see whether she'd get a smile back, she picked up her bag and walked toward the entrance to the school.

All around her families were saying goodbye to their children. Sam smiled to herself. It was good to be back.

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Nina Gupta, Hannah and Jonah Wells all walked up the stairs of the school. Sam almost laughed at the sight. Nina, Hannah and Jonah were three of the most liked students in school. Nina's love for the sciences, Hannah's love for the books and Jonah's love for the dramatic arts combined together made them all very well received at school. As they walked to school they looked like they were in a movie. Nina's long black hair was flying around in the autumn wind, Hannah's hips were swinging from side to side and Jonah, was well, Jonah. They three looked like they had been pulled from a Vogue magazine.

"Oh sista' you are working that look!" Nina said in a low voice. Sam was sitting on the wall outside school. One leg was dangling down while the other was bent on the wall.

"Are you trying to seduce me Miss Gupta?" Sam asked. Nina placed a finger on her lip.

"Keep it on the down low though!" Nina added a wink for good measure. Jonah frowned.

"I really don't want my girlfriend flirting with my best friend," Jonah groaned. He wrapped an arm around Nina protectively.

"Well I guess this is time to confess that she cheated on you with me," Sam sighed with a shrug. Jonah glared playfully.

"I aint got a clue why I'm hanging out with you folks." Hannah said.

"You hang out with us because we're cool," Sam replied as if offended. She clutched her chest for effect.

"And Jonah's the drama geek!" Nina rolled her eyes. "Hello m'dear!" She finally said. Sam laughed. The two best friends exchanged hugs. Nina and Sam had been best friends since they were about five. Hannah and Jonah, siblings, had met the bubbly two on the first day of school. Jonah was immediately taken to Nina. Together the four fast became friends.

After Sam exchanged hugs with Hannah and Jonah she asked, "How was the summer in Rome?"

Nina was invited to take a trip to Rome with the Wells family. Mrs Wells had assured Nina's parents that there would be no dillydallying from Jonah and Nina. The two set each other alight.

"Oh!" Nina cried taking Sam's hands and spinning her around. "It was fabulous! You should've come!"

Sam was forced to decline the offer because she had to attend the wedding of her second cousin. Her parents thought it would be very rude to not attend. With the hundreds of people there, it was hardly likely that they'd notice if she was there or not.

"The sights!" Hannah sighed.

"The food," Jonah added.

"The boys!" Nina cackled. Jonah rolled his eyes. He focused his attention to his phone. A conversation that involved his girlfriend talking about the cute guys she saw wasn't very appealing to him. Unless, of course, the cute guy was him.

"Jealous I is!" Sam whined. "How Adonis were they?"

"Adonis times two. There were the subtle beauties and then there were the in-your-face beauties." Nina put a hand on her forehead and plopped down on the wall. "Oh how I miss it there."

Jonah cleared his throat. "I'm still here, you know."

"Oh you know I love you, but come on, don't tell me you wouldn't bat for the same team if all women scorned you!"

Sam and Hannah burst out laughing. Jonah's face went red. "N-no!" he stammered. Nina raised an eyebrow. "Okay, maybe. But that's only if all women scorned me. I'm a woman-liking kind of guy."

"Amen to 'dat!" Nina saluted him.

Sam had missed her friends so much over the holiday. She was so glad to see them again. Shouldering her bag Sam noticed something, well, someone was missing.

"Where on earth is Daniel? Didn't we tell him to meet us here?" Sam asked scanning the entrance area.

Nina leaned into Jonah's embrace and yawned. "You know he always has a grand entrance," she replied. "He's probably getting ready for that."

"One of these days he's going to hurt himself," Hannah sighed pushing her glasses. Hannah who has the worst vision ever decided to embrace this by wearing cute oversized 'dork' glasses. Whilst, usually, not many people could pull the look off, Hannah did so brilliantly.

"Oh my God! Look at that guy!" a voice cried. Sam braced herself for what she was about to see.

"He's gonna get in so much trouble!" Nina squealed. Sam, Hannah and Jonah doubled over with laughter. Dan was wearing nothing but a g-string and was running around the cobble pathway that led to the school. Parents and students alike looked half horrified and half amused.

"Grand entrance?" Nina scoffed. "More like grand disaster. That colour so doesn't suit him!" Sam laughed at her sarcasm.

"Daniel Wang-Jones!" Headmistress Margret Norman shrieked. "Get inside now!" Norman, as most of the students referred to her as, was very…large, to be politically correct. She was a wholesome figure that could be seen even at great distances. She stuck to the rulebooks like any good head teacher, but weirdly enough Sam found her to be nice, at times of course.

"You need to put a leash on that boy!" Norman snapped at them. "Inside now for the welcoming assembly." Ms Norman left muttering to herself. The second she left them alone, the four friends burst out laughing.

Dan was now being chased by school guards. They weren't going to catch up though; Dan was the fastest runner in school. Ever the athlete and ever the prankster.

"Come on, before Norman comes calling again," Jonah said.

x

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The welcoming assembly was the same boring thing that happened every year. Ms Norman would talk about the good and the bad, talk about what she expected and what she didn't – Sam was sure she gave the evil eye to Dan who had finally found some clothes to wear – and talked about how the upper sixth formers should be role models from the school. Dan gave out a fake yawn. Obviously he wasn't going to be a role model for the younger ones.

The talk was over, the new teachers were introduced and announcements were made for students to go collect their timetables. Year groups were split up and then males and females were split up, that way things could be done more efficiently.

"Name?" the teacher at the female upper sixth formers table asked.

"Newton, Samantha."

"Here, have a good year." The woman at the desk didn't sound at all enthusiastic and had just thrust the paper at Sam.

"My God, if my parents saw that girl," Nina whispered. She muttered under her breath in her own language of Portuguese. Nina was from Goa, a small state in India. Though most speak Hindi there, Nina's family all spoke Portuguese but they were of the Hindu faith. Sam loved having such a cultural friend. Nina wasn't ashamed of her background and flaunted it around like anyone should.

"They'd have a fit," she continued. "They'd blame it on drugs straight away!" Sam laughed.

"You never know." Hannah shrugged. The girls looked at each other's timetables and saw that they shared different classes together. Nina and Sam shared a room while Hannah was next door to them.

Suddenly Jonah and Dan out of nowhere crashed to them. Jonah bumped into Nina, causing her foul mouth to emerge. He meekly apologised. Dan, who probably had a lot of practice on the art of running, stopped just next to Sam.

"What's gotten you two so high and jumpy?" Sam asked, eyebrow raised.

"Oh, we just wanted to see who could get here first," Dan shrugged as if it were a normal thing to do.

"Of course, how did I not know," Sam said with a laugh. "Are you boys sharing a room?"

"No, I'm with Chris and Dan's with Ollie," Jonah replied. "They're cool so we're cool."

"Sam, Sam!" Dan cried eagerly. Sam, who thought she was having a heart attack because of the sudden shout from Dan, slowly turned her head towards him. "Don't we have mentoring duty?"

"You signed up for mentoring duty?" Hannah asked horrified. "Those poor children!" Nina burst out laughing.

"So?" Dan asked offended. "I can mentor kids. Here, watch." Dan walked up to a new boy. He put his arm around the boy and started talking to him. Jonah, Sam, Hannah and Nina all burst out laughing as the boy's face crumbled and ran away.

"Yeah, you're a pro." Hannah nodded.

"He thought I wanted his lunch money! All I said was that if he ever wanted to hang out at lunch he could come to us. Poor lad. I don't think he'll turn up to lunch now."

"I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't," Jonah said. "We'll see you guys at dinner. We're off to get reacquainted." Jonah added a wink. Nina punched him on his arm obviously seeing his not-so sly wink.

"See ya', and please don't impregnate her," Sam sighed. "I don't think I'm ready to be a grandmamma." Nina rolled her eyes and dragged Jonah away before he could make a smart-arse remark.

"Let's skedaddle!" Dan grinned manically at Sam.

"Oh boy. See ya' Hannah!" Sam shouted out to Hannah who was already leaving. She raised her hand to acknowledge Sam. Hannah was famous for her two fingered salute. Sam grinned to herself when she saw her trademark wave. Sam was as quiet as a mouse in class but when she was with her friends she was a loose canon. Well, a loose bunny really.

Sam turned back to Dan, but he was already gone. She looked around the hall and saw that he had already pounced on another student. This time the student was a sixth-former. Heaving a sigh, Sam headed over to him before he caused any real havoc.

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The main five characters have already been introduced. (: This chapter is really a chapter to introduce the characters. The second chapter is where it all starts off. Hope you like this. Thank you to those who reviewed, and even to those who read! (: