Welcome to Courtland, You've Only Lived Here All Your Life

"You're not going back to Ferrier." My mother stated, staring me down as I furiously tried to keep eye contact. "You need some perspective and clearly that place isn't giving you any."

I rolled my eyes and retreated, leaning back in my seat in our sitting room.

"So where are you sending me? Clarence? Goodman?" I sighed, reeling off the other private schools in the surrounding area of our town which stood proudly halfway between Bridgeport and Hartford, Connecticut.

"No." She answered. It was simple but effective. I was already getting riled by her simple, vague answers.

"Are you going to tell me? I mean, school starts again in two weeks." I protested, closing my eyes so I didn't begin to shout. I had some anger issues, I could admit that. But with the life my parents so lovingly bestowed upon me, it was really no wonder.

Resentment was one of my favourite feelings. Whenever I was required to spend time with my parents it was all I could recognise. Love, kindness, warmth all escaped me and I was left with burning hatred and of course, resentment.

But what angered me more, was that I had so much to thank them for. They had given me a private education; they had given me a home which met more expectations than it really should have done. It was a grand building, with its long driveway, tall columns and fountain which was purely for showing off. Its ten bedrooms and seven bathrooms really were excessive with just the three of us and two members of staff residing in the mansion.

But it was the grounds, which could be called our 'back yard', which really stole the show. The way the stately homes in Britain would have their open show gardens had given my mother food for thought and after the patio and pool, we had our own version, stretching as far as you could imagine, with a small maze in the middle. Yes. A maze. Did we need it? Would we ever use it? No. But that was beside the point. My mom pointed at something and my dad pulled his plastic out. It was how it worked for years and the same applied for me.

I once decided that I really would demand things from my father and that maybe he might take notice of how greedy and materialistic I had become and try to resolve the problem but he never bat an eyelid. He just kept forking out, turning out his pockets whenever I asked and so I had a room filled with the most ridiculous items which I couldn't find a single use for.

It was like this until high school, when my mom announced that I would attend the prestigious Ferrier Academy after years of home schooling. Fear took over me at first, telling me that I would never catch up with the others, that I would fail and be doomed to go back to home schooling or some other horror but it was the first time I had truly fit in. There were other kids in the same position as me, stuck in a lonely house with parents who relied on the help to raise their children.

I found people I honestly cared about and would have done anything for, I sought comfort in the arms of rich guys who loved to not only wave their cash in my face but also to help me through the hard times when I really wondered if this was any life for me. They understood and could relate. But eventually they all changed. They all realised the benefits of the money, of the free time and I cottoned onto their way of thinking.

We rebelled; we became a monster threatening innocent people until they let us have their way with them. We caused torment and ran rings around the authorities. It was only when they put their foot down one day and arrested us that my parents actually took notice.

God forbid their precious Darcie tarnished their long built reputation.

So I found myself here, terrified out of my wits but trying not to show it as my mother told me I would no longer retreat into my safe haven.

She had remained silent while my father sat in the corner checking his accounts. I doubt he was even listening.

"Am I going to be home schooled again?" I pressed, getting agitated.

"You'll be going to Courtland High School." My mother smirked.

I stared at her wide eyed as my heart hammered against my rib-cage.

"This is a joke, right?" I sat forward in my chair, trying earnestly to see the laughter in my mother's eyes. There was laughter alright, but not of the amused kind. It was of the malicious kind. She was dead serious.

"No joke."

"How can I go to Courtland? That's a regular high school. I've never been to a regular school in my life!" I cried out, looking to my father but he had barely moved since before the crazy announcement.

"Maybe you should have thought about that before you decided to go off the rails." He said calmly from the corner of the room. The fact that he dared to have an opinion on the matter tipped me over the edge as I raised myself from the seat and dared to approach him.

"How am I supposed to get into an Ivy League school now? What about Yale? We all know Ferrier is my only chance." I asked through gritted teeth, staring at him hard daring him to look at me.

"You might concentrate on your studies a little more then." I didn't care too much for his easy response. I predicted it from the start. My fears for college were not legit as I knew he would throw his plastic at that too, not allowing me to attend an under-par one. "Before you get too ahead of yourself, I won't be paying off any admissions officer either. You will study and you will get ahead. It's about time you stopped living off of my successes and made some of your own."

I clearly thought too soon. The conversation was over as my mother left the room and my father turned his attentions back to his work leaving me stranded in the middle of our sitting room which couldn't feel any less like home if it tried. Seeking comfort, I made my way to my room before collapsing on my bed and screaming into my pillow until it felt impossible.

They couldn't send me to a high school. I wasn't cut from that cloth.


Unbeknownst to me, public schools started later than Ferrier and the other private schools so I really had a good three weeks to spare before I was cast into social oblivion. I didn't know how to tell my friends or when would be the right time but I knew I should leave it as late as possible. They would be judgmental, they would drop me as quickly as they could when they found out and I kind of wanted to enjoy the rest of my summer.

Starting with tonight.

That night my parents held their annual gathering to celebrate the end of the summer and the successes over the year. It all sounded a little casual and carefree but one of my parents 'gatherings' meant black tie with a dinner and dance feel to the evening. Naturally all the neighbours would be invited, families of my school friends and the board of my father's company accompanied by their wives and my mother's friends.

It was ridiculous, pretentious nonsense but in my world, teenagers were allowed alcohol, they were allowed to be treated like adults and act like them which were often the most useful tools in dealing with these functions.

I stood in front of my full length mirror with Audrey fussing over my blonde hair behind me, making sure that every strand fell perfectly. Audrey was one of the help, she was a maid in general terms but being only a few years older than me, we became friends quickly and she only really attended to my needs unless there was a big event at the house.

Smoothing down my Marc Jacobs dress, I turned to where she was holding a tissue and blotted my lips on it, getting rid of any excess. It wasn't me to look overdone and with the 'years of good breeding' my mother often spoke of, I didn't look too bad naturally.

Audrey was slipping on heels which I really shouldn't have been able to walk in, yet did with a noticeable grace, were placed onto my feet, Cinderella-style before she gave me one final once over.

"You look beautiful, as always." She smiled. I couldn't help but smile back with an air of arrogance.

"Yes," I let my eyes travel over my body in the mirror. "I do look pretty good."

Audrey rolled her eyes and began putting away everything we had used to create the way I looked.

"Do you think my friends are here yet? Should I go down?" I asked, feeling slightly odd about seeing my friends and socialising in these circles when I knew the secret I was carrying around.

"Mrs Harrington said to go downstairs whenever you were ready." I nodded and checking the dress for any wrinkles, I made my way to the door.

"See you later, Audrey. Stay out of trouble." I winked, knowing full well she would be checking out all the talent on show from behind a curtain or something.

She laughed as I stepped out of my room and walked towards the grand staircase which led to our reception room where multiple guests would no doubt be gathering. When I reached the top, a happy buzz filled me when I saw my friends collecting in a corner, hitching my dress up so I could step down, I made my way down eyes only on them. So it took me by surprise when I reached the bottom and an alien hand grabbed my elbow, turning me carefully towards them.

"That was quite an entrance." A deep male voice savaged by smoking said quietly. "You must be Darcie."

I turned to look at the person holding me up and was almost taken aback by the intensity of his eyes. They were so rich in colour, a deep dark brown which was almost black. They spoke wonders of him and invited you to get lost into them which I was so tempted to try but this guy was a relative stranger to me, which woke me up from my swooning. Generally speaking he was rather handsome, but not classically so. His hair was too long to be styled properly and yet fell perfectly around his face as he looked down at me, his hands now in his jacket pockets.

"I suppose I must be. Who are you?" I smiled, deciding to get my flirt on. I knew almost everyone in the room so it was a little odd that I had never seen him before. He was about my age so must have gone to Ferrier, Clarence or Goodman at least and I knew almost everyone in attendance thanks to my parents' connections.

"You know, you're not as hot as everyone said you are. It's kind of a disappointment." He said with a completely straight face. I began to laugh, waiting for him to smile and apologise for his bad humour but he only shrugged his shoulders in a 'What can you do, eh?' fashion and disappeared into the throngs of people everywhere, leaving me slightly dumbfounded.

I knew I wasn't exactly Scarlet Johansson but there was no need for that. I'd never heard a bad comment about me in my entire life.

"Who's the hottie?" Eliza sidled up to me, my best friend in the world and man-hungry extraordinaire if I ever saw one.

"He's an asshole." I muttered to her, picking up the hem of my dress and making my way to the bar, pushing past groups of people who would usually fall all over themselves to make room for me. It was as if I was invisible.

"No seriously," Eliza said, shuffling to keep up with me. "Who is he?"

"I don't know. He wouldn't give me his name, believe me I asked."

"Why haven't we seen him before?" She screwed up her forehead in confusion, looking around for the mystery man in question.

"I spoke to him for five seconds, El. I didn't get his life history. If you're so interested, ask him yourself." I snapped.

She looked at me in shock, waiting for me to apologise. She knew it was coming and I was almost tempted not to but then she began looking expectant, nudging me in the arm.

"I'm sorry; I've got a lot going on right now."

As if on cue, before I even managed to ask Barman Alex (as Eliza had so affectionately and creatively named him) for a drink, my mom made her presence known.

"Eliza, darling, this is such a pleasure. Has Darcie told you about her news?" My mom smiled, raising an eyebrow at me. If she wasn't my mother I would have floored her by now. Only she could get away with being so smug and pushy. I was going to do this in my own time, why would she ruin this for me, as if she wasn't ruining my life by sending me to Courtland?

"Mom, we can do this later." I pushed, hinting at her to leave.

"Nonsense, why don't you tell her now? You can't keep her in suspense." I shook my head furiously. "No? Oh that's a shame. Darcie won't be returning to Ferrier next term."

Eliza's mouth hung open in shock before she grabbed my arm, excited as if she was playing a game and she was about to win. "Are you going to Clarence or Goodman?"

"Neither. Can we talk about this later? I don't know about you guys but I would love a drink." I tried to steer Eliza back towards the bar but she was hooked now which my mom looked far too gleeful about.

"Oh so you're being homeschooled again. That's cool. I can totally cut class and come hang out." She grinned, becoming far too excited.

I took a deep breath, nerves swimming around in my stomach. I began looking for the nearest escape routes but the only one I could find was to the pool house which I knew was locked. It was just my luck that Audrey was hanging about nearby, eyeing up any guy that so much as walked past her, with her spare set of keys. That was my plan. My mom would spill the beans; I would remain composed, excuse myself and bolt for the pool house.

"...going to Courtland High." My mum beamed. Shit. I had missed it. I looked at Eliza with horror as her eyes widened. I spent too long planning and not enough time focussing. Shit! Shit! Shit!

"Oh wow, Darcie. That's going to be...it will be really different. Are you excited?" She tried to keep calm and seem happy for me in front of my mother but I knew that as soon as she left, Eliza would let loose so I had to leave now.

"I'll be right back, I just remembered something urgent."

I tried to swallow the lump in my throat and the sickness in my stomach at my mother's level of bitchiness and at the look in Eliza's eyes as she looked at me. It was with disgust, like I was one of the kids who only got into Ferrier on scholarship, not through actually being able to pay for it. I knew that look and I knew what would come next and I hated my mom for not letting me have one night of fun before it all crashed down around me.

This world was shallow, superficial and based purely on status and if I was at a measly high school, I had definitely lost that in the eyes of my friends. I didn't fit in anymore, I had to start over but I knew how hard it would be in a place where no one would want to accept me.

Walking as quickly as I could to Audrey, demanding her keys to the pool house, it was with shaking hands that I eventually got the door open and ran to a corner out of view. I leaned against the wall taking deep breaths, it felt like a panic attack was taking over me but it didn't take long for me to recognise that this alien feeling, this crazy spasm my body was having was something I hadn't dared to do in a long time.

I was crying, like really crying. The tears came fast and were relentless in their mission to escape and I felt exhausted and devastated at the same time.

I was too preoccupied with myself and the spontaneous crying that as I slid my back against the cool wall and fell to the floor, not caring about my dress anymore, that I didn't notice the pool house door open and close again.

I looked sideways and saw men's shoes walking towards me, moving my eyes up and noticing with horror that my visitor was the 'hottie' from earlier. Frantically wiping at my eyes with my hands and taking deep breaths to try and regain my composure, I noted gratefully that he was holding his hand out to help me up. I reached and hauled myself off of the floor, trying to avoid his gaze. I had no idea why he was here, he was an asshole, a self-righteous, clearly too rich for his own good asshole.

"I forgot to lock the door behind me." I mumbled, dying to break the silence between us.

"You're really not hot when you're crying. Who's making all this stuff up about you? I'd have words." He said simply, without a care. He leaned against the wall I had previously fallen down and produced a cigarette from nowhere. He lit up and offered me a drag which I declined from shock.

"You can't do that in here." He was smoking in my house, offended me twice in a night and all I could do was wave our stupid rulebook in his face? What the hell was wrong with me?

"I'm Kai Brooks, sweetheart. I'll do what I want." I wasn't sure if that was supposed to mean something, but I certainly didn't have a clue who he was or why he was so up himself. I reached over and snatched the cigarette from his hand and took a much-needed drag, forgetting the social niceties and proper behaviour my mother had tried to drum into me from a very young age. I guess it didn't matter anymore, now I was going to high school.

"I have no idea who you are, but no. You can't do what you want in my house."

"That's a good thing. But I don't need to conform to your rules, okay?" It wasn't a real question, more a statement that he made as he reached over and took the cigarette back from me.

"You're a real asshole, anyone ever tell you that?"

"Well you're not as fun as I thought you would be. I've clearly been wasting my time." He handed the cigarette to me and began to walk towards the door.

"I'm having a really bad day!" I yelled after him, making him stop in his tracks. I had no idea why I wanted to justify my actions or hell, my personality to him but it felt like a necessary move.

"You're being taken out of private school and stuffed into a high school, that's your idea of a bad day?" He turned and questioned, one eyebrow raised inquisitively.

"Well it's not what I'd call a good one."

"Hmm." He said, turning around once more but then stopped again. "You're a real pain in the ass, kiddo."

I was speechless. No one had ever been so outspoken to me before and here he was giving me more of a reason to be upset than my parents and that was a hell of an achievement. Once I was broken free from my thoughts I realised that he had gone and I'd let him walk away with the last word.

Patronizing asshole, I thought to myself before trying to find a way to retreat to my room. Realising there was no way it could be done, I checked my face in a mirror mounted on the wall and when I was happy that it was restored to a normal colour and that my make-up was all in place, I held my head high and walked out of the pool house and into the midst of the party.

I knew that in this kind of environment my friends couldn't disown me or ignore me, they could only act as they always would have otherwise I had more than enough authority to have them removed discreetly. Tonight was going to be the most fun I could possibly have whilst I was still considered a student of Ferrier and I was determined not to let anything bring me down.


Hideous. Absolutely hideous.

They were the only words jumping to mind as I stepped out of my brand new Mercedes and looked up at the building in front of me, if it could even be called that. This was one hell of a culture shock. The building was made of red bricks and was almost a perfect square with no breathing space outside. Their grounds were clearly limited. The words 'Courtland High School' were hammered into the wall above the main door, grey and lifeless, literally serving a purpose.

I made a strangled sobbing noise as I thought back to Ferrier, of the ornate gates which led you onto the property. The huge drive which lead to the car park and a valet service, the classic Georgian style building, huge where it stood impressive and intimidating. There was a simple sign before the expansive staircase which lead to the main doors, which informed visitors of where exactly they were. 'Ferrier Academy. For the uniquely gifted and talented.' The grounds were stretched far and away, vast and ran for miles with impressive gardens and the most excellent outdoor sporting facilities of all the nearby private schools.

But this, this pile of rubble in front of me... there was no way my parents expected me to last.

I had taken no more than two steps when a bunch of kids ran into me, causing me to drop my car keys and bag and stumble slightly. Before I actually hit the ground, someone ran and caught my arm which as soon as my balance was restored, I shrugged off. Gathering my things and locking my car, I knew today would be a barrel of laughs, I was already in a foul mood.

"Thanks." I begrudgingly said to whoever had helped me but immediately wished I could take it back when I found myself looking into the eyes of Kai Brooks, the guy from my parents' gathering.

"I bet you looked better in your Ferrier uniform." He said, turning away and surveying the area and the other students.

"Is that supposed to hurt?" I raised an eyebrow inquisitively.

"No, it's just an observation." He took off after that, heading in a direction which wasn't to the school, but actually on his way back out.

"What is your fascination with my life?" I called after him, trying not to yell or make a scene on my first day.

But he only turned and flashed a mock-salute at me on his way and then he was gone.

He definitely had some nerve.

I turned my attention back to the horror show which was before me, suddenly contemplating the possibility of skipping the day, cutting class. Who was going to know? My parents wouldn't, the school could just assume we changed our minds. I was filled with such pride at thinking of such a simple solution to my current predicament.

But in my musings I noticed the man in the fine suit walking towards me a little too late with a bit too much happiness etched into his face.

"You must be Miss Harrington." He beamed at me, speaking in a pitch which was really too high for a man of his age and position.

"You must be Principal Newland." I put on my fakest smile and pushed my hand out towards him, pleased when he took it gratefully giving it a firm shake.

Okay, so I had expected him to bow slightly and kiss the back of my hand but I needed to begin telling myself on a regular basis that this was not the world of prestige, of fortune, manners and proprietary. It was a world driven by commoners who over indulged in the simple pleasures in life.

"How about we get you inside to get your schedule?" He offered kindly, holding his arm out to me waiting for me to link with him and cross the threshold like a tag-team.

I didn't know much about public schools but I knew that the Principal was always the enemy.

With a sickening happiness, like I had actually achieved something real, I declined and walked alongside him without the contact. It wasn't that I cared too much about making friends in this school, in my final year. But I could make life a little easier for myself and not cast myself out of all the social groups straight away. Who knows, maybe I could be a cheerleader?

Yeah, the thought made me gag. It just wasn't me, prancing about in tiny outfits shaking pom-poms at any guy that moved.

Once my schedule had been retrieved, my locker assigned and the Principal insisted on personally walking me to my first class, the moment of truth had arrived.

Assuring Principal Newland that I could manage from halfway down the hall, he reluctantly left and I was about to meet the people who I would be sharing the next year of my life with. I should have been thinking positively, but then I knew I would only stand to be bitterly disappointed.

At least this way, walking in there with my judgmental head on and superior air, I could ascertain between the hopeless and completely hopeless without any fallback on myself. I thoroughly expected a class of delinquents, a group of teenagers sitting on desks, throwing pieces of paper at the teacher who would be cowering under a desk somewhere. You know, how it all goes in the movies.

I felt so naive but I knew I had to be strong and powerful as I introduced myself. I had a piece of paper explaining my presence to the teacher in charge but I hoped that I wouldn't need to use it. My father was more than successful enough in this town so people knew who I was without me needing to introduce myself. I had skipped through life being popular and liked and I doubted it would change at high school.

Taking a deep breath, I walked into the classroom trying to avoid prying eyes and instead walked straight towards the desk where I assumed the teacher was seated. I handed over the paper and waited for the inevitable introduction.

"Class, this is Darcie Harrington. She's a transfer over from Ferrier so go easy, okay?" There was a silence, I assumed in awe, as they all looked at me. I gave a small wave with a sickening smile, loving that they knew their place in my presence.

"Ferrier?" A guy called out from the back. I nodded with a smile; proud of who I was and where I came from...definitely determined to get back there before Christmas. "You think you're too good for this place?"

He wasn't asking in malice, it was a genuine question but it still took me by surprise unsure of how they wanted me to react.

"No," I lied. The confusion must have been clear on my face as the boy from the back raised one eyebrow and smirked at me. "My parents just think I need some perspective."

To be honest, I had no idea what they meant by that. I could appreciate that they wanted me to better my behaviour but really, I don't think high school was the way. The people in this very classroom with me were probably more unruly and restless than anyone at Ferrier had been.

"Are you going to find that here?" He leaned back in his chair, crossing his arms with interest.

"I have no idea. Probably not." I answered honestly. I guessed it was the right answer as he smirked once more and resumed his initial position, leaning forward with his head resting on his hand. He looked bored, more than I had ever seen anyone and he didn't look much like he wanted his education.

His eyes reminded me of Kai's, only icy and cool, an intense blue – almost addictive. But his face was slightly prettier. Where Kai was handsome and manly, this guy looked like he would have fit in with a boy-band.

My eyes were eventually pulled away when the teacher cleared his throat, reminding me that I wasn't a show and tell item and I really did have to stay here and try to learn something.

"I assume you're done questioning Darcie now, Hayden?"

"Yes, sir." He chuckled, letting the teacher – who I later found out was called Mr Carriday – begin the lesson as he planned to.

I took a seat by myself, not really feeling as confident as I had in the hall. I knew I was so much better and came from a different calibre of people but when I was singled out like that, when I was alone, they were intimidating as hell.

I was going to have to find some friends and fast.

The day passed uneventfully aside from that Hayden guy staring at me ridiculous amounts. I had no idea why he was doing it, but I could only assume that he liked something about me which, albeit flattering, was kind of awful.

My aim wasn't to make the guys at Courtland fall in love with me or even like me. I just wanted to get through the lapse in my parents' judgment as quickly and as efficiently as I could. I wanted to be able to graduate to Ivy League schools and find a nice, rich guy from an influential family to settle down with. Maybe a politician. Who knew?

But it definitely wasn't going to be some high school loser who only thought with what was in his trousers and not with his head.

I was walking down towards the park on my way home, hoping to bump into Eliza and the others, to share stories about my first day and how horrific it had been for me. I wanted to begin scheming to get me back into Ferrier or at the very least into Clarence or Goodman.

I could see them when I entered the park but true to form, Kai reappeared just at the most inconvenient time from the trees to the side of the path. I started to head towards Eliza but apparently he wouldn't let that sit.

"Avoiding me?" He questioned and I noticed that he was smoking again.

"You're freaking me out a bit. Are you stalking me or something?"

"No." It was all he said, like that answered or explained anything.

"What do you want from me then? You keep showing up randomly, you insult me and then disappear again." I was tempted to stamp my foot out of frustration but Kai had an air about him which was almost intimidating, but also breathed 'cool' from every pore. "I've got a lot going on at the moment. The last thing I need is a guy I don't even know jumping out of the shadows all the time."

He raised an eyebrow in surprise before restoring his expression to his usual arrogance.

"I just wanted to know if you lived up to your hype. By the way, you don't. It's a little disappointing."

He had done it again. He just turned up out of the blue, insulted me without even so much as small talk to soften the blow. But he didn't seem fazed at all by how he was acting towards me and it was almost alarming.

"Well, I apologise for being such a letdown. If it bothers you that much, you can always – you know – just leave me alone?" I suggested with a smirk. He let out a tiny laugh, which if the park hadn't been so still I would have missed.

"Maybe I will. See you around, Darcie." He raised his hand to offer a lazy wave and was off again before I could ask him anything.

I was seriously beginning to think that I was imagining this kid. I also couldn't tell if he was intriguing me or just plain freaking me out. He was acting like a stalker!

I continued my walk towards my friends, feeling a pang of nostalgia as I took in their apparel. They were laden head to toe in the Ferrier uniform. The kilts, tailored trousers, blazers and shirts with ties for the boys and pussy-bow tie necklines for the girls. The schools colours were flashed at various points over the uniform and finally the emblem, the school badge, was placed proudly on the chests of their blazers. God, I missed that school. I missed the uniform and hell, I even missed constant detentions. My first day at Courtland wasn't as bad as it could be but at the same time, it wasn't Ferrier.

"Eliza!" I called with a smile on my face and was pleased to see she smiled back, waving me over.

I won't lie; I was concerned she'd just ditch me. She wasn't the most subtle of people nor deep. She would have dropped me like a sack of...well - you know and then made a big song and dance about it.

I guess I was doing okay.

"How was your first day? I bet it was miserable." She asked with a sympathetic expression as she grasped my hands and forced me into a sway with her.

Her caramel hair glistened in the sun, her skin and make-up as flawless as ever. People amongst our society used to talk about my beauty and intelligence, trying to match me with their sons or nephews but they hardly took notice of Eliza. She was radiant, elegant and a true beauty.

Not enough people would credit her with that so I was glad that she had James, one of our best friends, for her at Ferrier. He would constantly shut down her insecurities before they became permanent problems because he was quite simply besotted with her.

The Westley's were not a family as influential as my own but they came from old money and their wealth was respected, their big white house was an institution and generally people adored their reputation. They were prestigious, classic and proud, a typical rich family and yet they emanated such warmth and compassion to most they met. Until Eliza anyway.

Elizabeth Mariana Westley became a sign of change within the Westley legacy. They were all privately educated at Clarence before she chose to attend Ferrier and they were all taught proprietary and etiquette before she dismissed them and stuck to her own traits. She was supposed to be courted by guys who had been heavily quizzed until her parents deemed them suitable but she had had more boyfriends and sexual partners since Ferrier that I had actually lost count.

She was a whirlwind of change and surprisingly, her parents didn't really mind. I personally think they had enough sense to see how out-dated their so-called rules were and decided to give her a little freedom except she ran like the wind with it and they just had to accept it.

"My first day was okay. I bumped into the guy from my parents' party though, that was weird. I also got the Spanish inquisition from some random guy in first class. But otherwise it was pretty uneventful. How has school been so far?" I was desperate for Ferrier news. It was killing me not being around the latest scandal and rumours.

"It's been- well to be honest, Darcie, it's been so boring." Eliza rolled her eyes in disdain and I could tell she wasn't just saying it to humour me. "There's like no one interesting to hang out with and no one pathetic enough to bully. God it's a drag."

"You guys, I have to be back there by Christmas." I insisted, staring at Eliza and James intently to show just how serious I was about it. "Courtland isn't bad so far but that was one day, I can't handle my whole final year in that hellhole. We need to get me back in, with or without my parents."

Eliza's eyes glinted with amusement and at the pleasure at having a project. She enjoyed nothing more than to plot and scheme, especially when it meant showing the parents how it should really be done. James brushed his hand back through his hair before smirking to show his approval. The others had left as soon as I arrived but I honestly wasn't bothered.

"Well sweets, looks like we got ourselves a mission."

My true friends would never let me down.

I've been posting about this on my blog for a while now, putting little excerpts up and from anyone I've shown, it's received generally positive reviews so I'm hoping you guys like it too. So if you do, don't forget to leave a little feedback! :) It always helps poor, struggling writers such as myself... haha. I am always grateful for anything – good/bad. So feel free to leave constructive criticism, I won't bite or throw a hissy fit over it! Okay... well yeah, enjoy! OneLastDance.