Ok. So. This is primarily being used as a break from my other story, Night Children, because I was experiencing some major writer's blockage there, but I kinda like the way this is turning out so far. So I might be putting more time into this than I originally expected.

So this story is about a young witch named Lexus Johnson, who's in her Junior year at Edgewood Academy for Witches and Warlocks. (Please don't think of Harry Potter. I hate it when people compare witch stories to Harry Potter. It's my pet peeve.)

R&R? :)

I paused in my footsteps to listen carefully for any sign that I'd been caught when the stair under my right foot creaked noisily. I couldn't afford to be stopped. Not now, when the precious cargo I was transporting was so close to its destination. After three seconds in the silent dark, I scurried forwards again, tightening my grip on the box under my arm.

Ten feet.

Five feet.

Almost there!

I reached out to twist the doorknob and threw myself into the room. Touchdown! I grinned like a little kid and slid open one end of the box. This was it. I'd waited so long for this to get here, to deliver itself to this location.

Almost in slow motion, I raised one of Benita's double-chocolate-chip and butterscotch cookies to my mouth and took a bite.

Dear Lord, I must be in heaven. It was so utterly, completely—

A light flicked on. "What are you doing?"

I froze, staring wide-eyed at the dirty-blonde sitting up in her bed who was staring at me like I'd sprouted two heads. The cookie was still in my mouth. "Nothing."

Lola peeled back the covers and slowly stood up. Her eyes traveled from my frozen face to the box of cookies that was still under my arm. "Oh my God. Are those…?"

"No." I quickly answered, forcing down the cookie in my mouth.

"Yes, they are." She raced forward and wrenched the box out of my arm. "Oh my God! These are Benita's cookies!"

"No they're not! No, they're mine!"

"She's gonna kill you!"

"Not if no one tells her!" I tore it back out of Lola's hands and wrapped my arms around it. "God, Lo." I frowned. "These are masterpieces in food form. They require to be treated with care." I stroked the box. "And Benita just inhales them. Does she eat them slowly to cherish their masterpiece-ness? I don't think so."

"She doesn't need to! She has the recipe!"


Lola rolled her eyes and huffed back to her bed. "She's gonna kill you. She will tear your eyes out of their sockets and put them in the oven with tomorrow's dinner." She stared at me. "And school really, technically, hasn't even started yet."

"Ah, no she won't." I corrected her again as I walked to my own bed.

"Look at you," Lola scoffed. "You didn't even take a robe with you. What if a teacher caught you? You would've gotten double detention."

I threw her an injured God, leave me alone! look before looking down at my pajamas. Spaghetti strap. Shorts. No slippers. "You're wearing the same thing!" I ate another cookie.

"But I didn't go halfway across the school and sign up for death in them." She said pointedly.

"All I wanted were some cookies." I defended myself and hugged the box of aforementioned cookies to my chest. "And a walk." I've had chronic onset insomnia since I was eight years old, and if I manage to sleep at all, I sleep like a rock for about three or four hours. Don't know how, don't know why, and all the medications in the world can't make me fall asleep.

Lola cracked a small smile before turning off her lamp. Stupid, cause mine was still on. "Go to sleep, Lexus. Orientation's tomorrow."

"Orientation?" I grimaced. "That's a joke." I murmured mostly to myself. Edgewood Academy for Witches and Warlocks gave the same orientation every single year the day before the first day of school. They introduced the teachers in case, I don't know, anyone had become an amnesiac over the summer, and went over all the stupid rules, and scared all the junior high kids with horror stories of what happened to witches and warlocks who were seen doing magic. It was really dumb. But Lola and I had skipped Orientation in eighth grade, and Headmaster Page sent one of the gardeners to track us down, who had literally throw us over his shoulders and burst through the double doors in front of everyone. Pretty embarrassing.

"Well then, it's a funny one." Lola replied with a light snigger. "Cory said that last year the headmaster accidentally turned himself into a grasshopper and when they finally found him, no one could get him back to normal."

"I didn't know the headmaster's Shift was a grasshopper." That must suck.

"It's not."

Oh boy. Way to go, Headmaster Page.

"So how'd they get him back?"

"No fucking idea."

I smiled. It amazed me that Page was headmaster of an academy for witches and warlocks, because no matter how brilliant he may be…well, actual magic is certainly not his forte.

Go figure.

"So, um," Lola trailed casually. "Are those cookies any good?"

I threw one at her. It hit her in the head and she made a noise of indignation. "That's for even asking! God! They're fucking amazing! It's like ecstasy in cookie form."

Lo rolled her eyes. "Oh, please. They can't be that—oh my God these are fucking amazing." She inhaled the rest of the cookie after her first nibble and reached out for another one.

"Nuh-uh! These have to last for a while. I can't just go stealing Benita's cookies every night."

"Why not?!"

"Uh, she'll get suspicious?" I slid Lola a look. "Come on, Lo. Think a little. The deliciousness is dulling your mind."

"You sound like my mom."

"Your mom's a biochemist."

"I don't have any smart response for that."

I sighed. "So…we are going to Orientation tomorrow? I didn't know we had to. I thought it was only required for the kids in junior high."

"Oh, it is."

I blinked at her. "Then why the hell are we going? We know everything about this place." We even know where Mr. Howard keeps his vodka stash.

"Come on, Lexus. Think a little. The deliciousness is dulling your mind." She joked, throwing my words back at me. "We're going because I signed us up to give an example duel."

I perked up a little. "A duel, huh? For scaring all the wee little junior high kids?"

"It'll be fun."

"I want some more cookies then." I demanded. "You owe me."

"We get free refreshments for going."

"Refreshments? Who even uses the word 'refreshments?'" I snorted.

"Edgewood does." She said as if it were obvious, which I guess it kinda was, and gestured for me to turn off my lamp. I did, and without another word, one of Lola's soft snores echoed throughout the room.

Our cafeteria had been transformed into a cross between a lecture hall and an auditorium. Rows and rows of seats lined the linoleum floors, every one occupied by a junior high kiddie or a parent. Lola and I, along with the rest of the senior high volunteers, sat in the back. The cafeteria was loud. Everyone had something to say about the upcoming year, and they were making their thoughts known to everyone around.

I was quiet. This year would be just like last year. Duh.

"…So we're in agreement, right?"

I shook my head and turned to look at Lola. What? I struggled for words. It wouldn't do to tell Lola I hadn't heard her. "Um, yeah."

She rolled her eyes and sighed. "You didn't hear a word I said!"

"Um, no. Sorry. I can't hear shit." I admitted over the chaos in the cafeteria. "Damn sixth graders…"

"You were a sixth grader five years ago." She reminded me.

"And I regret every moment of it." I replied with a small smile. "What were you saying?"

"Ok. You don't have any minerals or herbs, do you?" She asked seriously. "Cause we're not allowed to use them."

"What?! Bullshit!" I exclaimed, causing someone's parent to turn and give me a dirty look. I lowered my voice. "Aren't we supposed to impress the little kiddies? How are we supposed to do that if we don't have anything to make ourselves impressive? Hmmm?"

She snickered. "Who said we were gonna be following the rules?"

I sighed in relief. "Good to see you haven't abandoned me, Lo."

She laughed, shook her head. "But I don't want the teachers to throw a fit, so just use one mineral and one herb."

One mineral was understandable. It was impossible to have any more than one anyways. When you used more than one mineral at the same time, their Energies conflicted harshly with each other and they would cause a massive explosion, probably killing anyone in the vicinity.

It was a little scary.

But one herb? Grr. Herbs were different. Herbs were used for casting circles, whereas minerals were used for directly feeding your own Energy. With herbs, it was all a matter of how much Energy you could control. I don't mean to brag or anything, but I, personally, could keep about five herbs in a circle without losing it. Some people could keep as many as eight, and some unlucky ones never got above two.

Poor suckers.

"Meh." My voice was underlined with distaste. "I have five herbs on me. One herb?"

"One herb."


"I love you too Lex." She giggled. "I doubt we'll even have time to have a full-out duel. And even if we do, like I'll even give you the time to cast a circle." That was my Lo. Competitive to the end.

"We'll see," I smirked and snapped open my herb pouch. The first herb I pulled out was rosemary, for protection. I gently removed the rest of my herbs from the pouch, one by one. Lavender, for purification. Sweet grass, for spirituality. Thyme, for intuition. And then peppermint, for healing, just in case. "How the hell am I only supposed to keep one herb? That's dangerous." I frowned at Lola when she shrugged understandingly. When you cast a circle, you have to purify it to protect it against negative Energy. If you let negative Energy into a circle, the chance of letting something evil out is very, very high. I sighed, looked over my herbs. I decided to keep the rosemary. Rosemary was good for both protection and purification, I think. "What do you have on you?" I asked, tucking the rosemary back into the pouch.

Lo peered into her pouches. "Uh…I've got some Valerian and my Amethyst." Valerian for protection and purification, just like my rosemary, and Amethyst, I think, was used for being on your guard. "You've got your rosemary, I see. Which mineral do you have?"

"Petrified Wood." I held up my mineral pouch. Petrified Wood was for closeness with the Earth, which I kinda needed in a duel. Witches got all their Energy from the Earth.

"Damn. Should've thought of that." She murmured.

Headmaster Page was suddenly standing at the podium, his scarlet hair reflecting in the light that flooded through the windows. He cleared his throat, and all nose ceased at once. Page was a crazy sonovabitch, but he had some crazy charisma that made you need to respect him. "Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Edgewood Academy for Witches and Warlocks. I'm Headmaster Page." Which, of course, everyone already knew. Page was older than he looked, and he proved it with his next sentence. "And I see some familiar faces today! How delightful. Yes, hello Marcia. Oh, I'll be teaching your little one? Ah, lovely. You were always great at Charms, you know?" For Headmaster Page, it really was lovely and it really was delightful. He was just like that. "Well, I hope you all know why you're here! For the sixth graders, and the new students we have here in other grades, welcome, welcome, welcome! We're glad to have you."

Psh. Speak for yourself.

"If you'll look to the back of the room, you'll see some of our senior high students who've volunteered to help me out here a little bit. Stand up, will you?" He gestured to the back, and I reluctantly dragged myself to my feet with the other senior high kids. There was a polite pitter of applause. I pulled on a flat smile.

"You so owe me." I murmured to Lola.

"If you don't have fun, then I will." She murmured back as Headmaster gestured for us to sit back down. He started speaking to the rest of the people there, leaving the senior high kids to soak in the immense boredom. "So I really won't end up owing you anything." Lo added.

"Whatever." I shook my head as our brilliant-but-crazy headmaster clapped his hands together again, which meant he needed everyone's attention, including ours.

"And now, we have a special presentation from some of our more gifted Senior High students! I hope you'll enjoy it." He chuckled. "Because it's certainly an enjoyable pastime here." Behind him on the raised stage-like area, brand new wards shimmered for a moment around the edges of the area to make sure none of our charms got out and/or touched anyone watching, which I guess was both flattering and insulting. Flattering because they thought we had enough power and Energy to make charms big enough to go that far, and insulting because if they were putting wards up, did that mean they didn't think I had enough control over my charms? Whatever, I thought to myself as Lola and I quietly stood and made our way around the chairs to the front of the room. "Ah, yes. This is Ms. Lexus Johnson, and beside her is Ms. Lola Mead. Hello girls."

I waved halfheartedly at him. I could feel eyes on me—everyone's eyes darting between Lola and I. Lola was soaking it up. I could tell by the way her smile brightened and the way she stood up straighter as she waved.

But for me, this was weird. I don't really do attention.

"Now," Headmaster turned to gesture to the warded stage-area behind us. "If you would please," Lola and I scampered up, a heavy tingle going down my spine as I passed through the wards. I shivered slightly. Lo and I stood at opposite ends of the area, staring each other down, our bodies going into duel mode. "Today, we'll be demonstrating a duel. A mock duel, of course, don't be frightened." He added hastily at the shocked faces of a couple of the parents as they shifted uncomfortably in their seats. I could hear Lo giggle. Mock duel? Us? Please. We're girls of extremes. We don't do mock anything. "And now we…begin." He locked the wards with a flick of his finger, and they brightened for a moment before becoming invisible once more.

I raised my hands up in front of me into a dueling position, smiling easily at the Energy that nearly sparked at my fingertips. "Let's go, Lola." I muttered. "Show me what you got."

Almost as if she'd heard me, she made a motion with her hand, following through with the rest of her body, and some kind of current surged for me, leaving the air in its wake empty and frazzled. I immediately threw up a shield and retaliated with a charm meant to knock her off her feet. Instead of doing that, it lifted her off the ground and threw her back into the wall. Oops. I put a hand on my hip as she popped up and dusted herself off.

"Hmmm," she hummed. "Should've seen that coming."

I smiled as she raised her arms to shoot something else at me. She swirled her arms in a fluid motion and the air around us picked up. Alright, Lo. Let's have it. I felt the Energy of the Petrified Wood wash over me as I found the nearest water source in the room—the air around us. I drew upon it and the moisture around me liquefied. I wrapped the water around my body and froze it into ice just as Lo forced a gust of heavy wind at me that probably would've made a dent in the wall.

Witches are one with the Earth. We're not hardcore elementals, but we do have a small bit of control over the four elements of the Earth. Water, wind, air, fire. It's very nice, actually. No need for matches or humidifiers here.

At the moment, some of the wind Lo had directed towards me was chipping off some of the ice around me. With a flick of a finger, I had the ice chips hurtling back at her, and she immediately sidestepped them.

Her hand brushed her mineral pouch, drawing on the energy of her Amethyst for a moment before she prepared for an electricity charm I'd seen her knock someone out with before. Like I said—competitive to the end.

And for me, this would be the end until next week. A simple shield charm wasn't going to do it.

I immediately reached into my herb pouch for the rosemary. A small flame rose on my fingertips, and I lit the end of the rosemary branch, letting it smolder as I dropped it at my feet. I traced symbols into the air hurriedly, my eyes darting between the small glowing outline of a circle around me and Lola, as the electricity crackled in the air around her.

Just a second, Lo! Almost done! I wanted to scream. I knew she was counting on me finishing the circle before she let loose her eye-widener, but there was always a chance I wouldn't be able to.

Just as I traced the last symbol, the air around me glowed with clashing electrically charged particles in the air. My circle was done, and the lightening that boomed around me couldn't touch me. I couldn't help but smirk at Lola, who stood across the floor from me, her blonde hair blowing in her wind and her eyes glowing in the lightning. I kept my body rigid. If I stepped outside my circle with the chaos flashing around me, my body would be well-done. Benita would stick me in with dinner and serve me with french fries.

Finally, finally, the lightning stopped, and my circle faded. Lola smiled and nodded slightly at the awed faces of everyone watching. Cory, who'd been sitting in the back, had taken the moment to let out a whoop.

I grinned brightly and resumed a dueling stance.

The show wasn't over yet.

I threw myself onto my bed, leaving Lo to shut the door behind us. I groaned loudly. "I'm. So. Tired! Uuuggghhhhh why did you make me do that, Lo?"

Lola collapsed into her sea of pillows soundlessly. She lay like that for a moment before turning her head so she could talk without her voice being muffled by the pillows. "Bleh…I didn't know Page was gonna make us answer any questions."

Our duel had completely tired us out. We'd used the biggest, flashiest charms and circle castings we knew to impress the new kids, because it was just more fun that way, so it really wasn't any surprise that by the end, we were absolutely exhausted. But then Page had decided to make us stand in front of our audience and answer about fifty bajillion questions from junior high kids and their parents. Some little blonde moron had asked me if we used wands. I mean, what the—? Who do I look like, Harry fucking Potter? I should fucking hope not! Hmph. Wands… Hadn't his parents told him anything about witchcraft? Next thing you know, he'll be coming around and asking if vampires and werewolves exist too.

Lola stood up to change into pajamas. Orientation had gone forever, and then the senior high kids had to help clean everything up. Stupid. Isn't that what we had magic for? "Come on, Lexus. It's late, and first day's tomorrow. You have to get up early."

"Eh." I shrugged one shoulder as I quickly changed into pajamas. "You'll wake me up."

Three hours later though, I lay in the dark, wishing so bad I could just fall asleep. I was exhausted. This is stupid, I thought, turning over in my bed for about the millionth time that night. "Lola?" I whispered quietly. "Lola."

I was given a soft snore. Lo was fast asleep.

"Gorgeous," I muttered and sat up. Insomnia is a curse. I could either, A) Lie here awake and bored the whole night, B) Go steal more of Benita's cookies, or C) Go walk around aimlessly for a few hours and hope none of the teachers are feeling restless.

"Practice…" Lola mumbled.

I stared at her. "What?" Silence. "Are you…awake?"

She nodded and shifted around a bit. "Don't go walking…Benita's gonna be on the lookout. Practice some charms or something. We were supposed to over the summer."

I could now, D) Do homework.

Wait, wha'? I shook my head a little bit to clear it. "No! Homework's for losers."

"You are a loser." Lola murmured.

Well then. "That would make you a loser too."

"Mmmm." She hummed. "I've embraced it."

I stood up and started for the door. "Well now I need to go take a walk to think about my loser-ish-ness."

Lo snorted lightly. "Don't come to me when Benita catches you and gets you a detention washing the dishes. Take a robe, at least."

"I won't do either." I promised, walking right past my robe. It was too hot for a robe anyways, I realized as I padded across the hallway for the stairs our room was conveniently located next to. My hand ghosted along the railing as I traipsed down them. It had to be eighty degrees, or higher.

It was the perfect temperature for casting a circle. I turned sharply into another hallway that led towards the circle-casting classroom. There were some empty classrooms around that area, but I did need some herbs. I didn't have anymore upstairs in the dorms.

Circles are odd things, to say the least. The warmer it is when you cast one and the more people there are in it, the more powerful it will be. Since it was just me alone, the temperature was perfect.

I slipped through the door to the minerals and herbs classroom to grab some herbs before migrating to the circle-casting classroom next door for some candles and an herbtray to burn the herbs in. I guess I should've been grateful that Ms. Love didn't have her room connected to her classroom like most the other teachers did. I decided to grab some Agrimony. That was supposed to induce sleep. As I was slipped back out and started for an empty classroom down the hallway, echoed voices reached my ears. I snapped my head around too see two shadows creeping up on the wall at the end of the hallway. The voices were matured, the shadows tall. They were teachers.

"Shit." I muttered and lightly jogged for the empty room, struggling to carry all the candles and herbs. About halfway there, the porcelain herbtray tumbled from my arms and clattered on the floor. "Ugh, no!" I quietly exclaimed.

"…What was that?" I heard one of the teachers ask the other, their voices closer than before. They were right around the corner. I left the herbtray where it lay on the floor and reached for the doorknob. I jiggled it—and it didn't turn.

"God—eurgh! God dammit!" I racked my mind for a charm that unlocked doors, cursing when I couldn't find one. I'd used it like oxygen last year! What was it?! I turned and started briskly for the Herbs and Minerals room again, hoping that I would make it before the teachers had me in sight. Something in the back of my mind told me I wouldn't, and just as I saw a foot come around the corner and started preparing an excuse, a hand pressed itself around my mouth and an arm came around my middle, dragging me backwards.

I shrieked, dropping all the candles and herbs as I struggled against whoever was dragging me back, but they'd already gotten me wherever they were and a door closed in front of me.

"Shhh! Shut up! For fuck's sake! Do you want to get caught?!" A deep, low voice whispered harshly in my ear, their hand tightening over my mouth and their arm around my waist keeping me pressed to them. My struggles ceased as footsteps echoed just outside whatever door we were behind me.

"What the hell? Mel, what's all your stuff doing out here?" One of them asked. Mel. That was Ms. Love's first name. I heard someone bend down and pick up everything I'd dropped.

"What…Huh. Don't know." A confused voice. Ms. Love. "Rebecca Yami rooms right above my classroom though. You heard how she levitates things in her sleep sometimes?" I knew Rebecca. She was very sweet. I always worried that she would let in the wrong person one day.

"Oh, the Yami girl? She rooms above your classroom? No kidding."

"Yeah, in fact…" their voices trailed off as they disappeared into the Herbs and Minerals classroom. I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding, and whoever was behind me loosened their grip. We were quiet for a moment more until I regained my senses and tore their hand from my mouth.

"What the fuck!" I whisper-yelled, trying to twist around to look at them. "What the hell is this anyways, a closet?"

An irritated sigh. "Does it matter?"

"Yeah it does! What the fuck was that?! Just dragging me in here! God!" I brought up an arm elbowed whoever was behind me several times.

They groaned painfully and clutched their stomach. "Jesus Christ, woman! Think you cracked a rib…"

"Well you deserve it!" I managed to turn around so that I leaned against the door behind me. This was a really small closet. "I don't know what the hell you were thinking but—" I stopped short when I saw the dumbass who had dragged me in here. He stood nearly a head taller than me—I think I reached his nose—and had black shaggy hair that nearly covered his equally dark but warm and slightly amused eyes that stared down at me. He was raising an eyebrow. Cocky bastard. Something glinted in the dark and my eyes instinctually traveled down to his lips where a lip ring rested in the flesh there. This was a really small closet! There wasn't even enough room for me to cross my arms in front of me. And then I was made aware of my small amount of clothing. Damn. I should've taken my robe. "But it was stupid! Whatever you were thinking." I finished when I found my voice again. "Dumbass." I added.

He sighed, minty breath hitting my nose. "Well, someone's a little upset for just getting saved from a week of detentions." His voice was low and seductive in a milk-chocolate-smooth-and-not-overly-so way, and deep like he spoke from his chest.

I glared at him, hoping he could see it through the dark. "A little, you know, for getting dragged into a closet with some random guy I've never even seen before." My brow knitted together. "Wait a minute. Who the hell are you? I know everyone here." I stared up at him, demanding an explanation and kinda hoping I didn't have any random hair sticking up in weird directions.

One corner of his mouth lifted up in a half-smile. "I'm new." He shrugged. "I was homeschooled before this in Dallas."

I studied him. "I didn't see you at orientation."

He chuckled. "I saw you, Lexus Johnson. You and the little blonde girl would've destroyed the cafeteria if they hadn't put up wards."

I studied him another moment. "Yeah. Ok. Well, uh. Hm." I sighed deeply. "This is weird."


"Because the door locked behind me."

He froze for a second before peering over my shoulder and jiggling the doorknob. It did not turn. "Damn. Hang on, there's a charm for unlocking doors…" He trailed off, looking up like he was trying to remember something. I tapped my foot a couple times. Good luck, random dude. "I can't remember. You?"

I sighed. "If I did, I'd be next door casting a circle instead of stuck in here with you." There was a small awkward silence as we stood there. "This is weird." I lazily stated again.

"The feeling is mutual."

I hit him in the side.

"Ow! Fine. Jesus Christ." He cursed before reaching around me and grasping the doorknob with both hands. He smelled like fresh Earth and sandalwood and something else that immediately calmed me. I inhaled deeply before turning back around again, because facing towards him while he was reaching around me had been even weirder.

"What are you doing? You look like a moron."

"Hang on…" he muttered.

"Whatever." I murmured and crossed my arms in front of me, trying to ignore the rise and fall of his chest on my back. "I've almost got it. Few more minutes, though." His voice rumbled in his chest.

I paused. "Minutes?" Minutes are longer than you think.

"Minutes." he repeated with a small exhale. "So. Where do you lie in the heirachy of high school?"

"Love the vocabulary. I'm a Junior. Seventeen in October." October 31st, but I didn't tell him that.

"Ditto. Just turned seventeen last week, though."

"You're a Junior?" I looked up at his face. "You look like a Senior."

"I'm old for my age." He smirked and his arms tightened around me to grasp the doorknob tighter. Old for your age and incredibly well-muscled. I mentally smacked myself. What the hell, Lexus? You just met the guy. "My mom says its my Shift." He joked.

I frowned. "You already know your Shift?" I was still waiting for mine. I hoped to God it wasn't something stupid, like an ant or anything.

He nodded "I'm a quick learner. It's a Siberian Tiger. It's also why I'm up so late and why I'm so pissed." Well that certainly explained a shitload. People tended to exhibit their Shift's traits after they shifted out of it. And since this guy apparently had a predatory Shift, well...no wonder he was being such an asshole. It made me feel a little better. There was a small click and the door swung open. "Got it!" He raised his arms victoriously and chuckled when I lunged forward for fresh air.

I turned back towards him, smiling now that I was comfortably more than two inches away. "How did you do that?"

He shrugged, stepping out of the closet into the hallway that was almost as dark as the closet. "It's just a tumbler lock. You manipulate the air inside the lock to align the tumblers and it unlocks. Piece of cake. You like?"

"Only if it's chocolate." I snickered slightly.

"Then it's chocolate." He smiled and produced a rose out of nowhere and held it out with a flourish.

"Player." I accused as I plucked it out of his fingers—he had long, skinny fingers, I noticed. Pianist fingers. I sniggered at him.

He shrugged. "Some ladies like."

I shook my head. "Not this one. This one doesn't like assholes."

He held up his hands in an I-don't-know gesture as he began to walk away towards the staircase that led to the boys' dorms. "Predatory Shift. Blame the Tiger in me."

"Whatever." My lips split in an easy grin and I started to walk away too before I remembered that I didn't know his name. "Hey—"

"Ryan Andrews!" he lazily called over his shoulder.

"Ok, Ryan Andrews, what the hell did your parents teach you at home?"

"Nothing special, really." He shrugged. "But that 'Hey' sounded like the start of a 'Hey, what's your name,' so I took a chance. Did I get it right?"

I nodded slowly. "Yeah." I shook my head and turned again to go back upstairs.

"See you tomorrow, Lexus Johnson." He waved casually. "I'll be nicer."

"Bye, Ryan Andrews." I half-waved back and turned to pad up the stairs.

I didn't look down to study the rose until I was safe under my covers. It was more brilliantly colored than any red rose I'd ever seen before. It almost shone in the light.

Ryan Andrews was such a player.

I sniggered before setting in on my nightstand and turning off my lamp with a small click. Click. I reminded myself how to do that thing with air manipulation before closing my eyes…and falling asleep.

Odd. It always takes me at least an hour to even begin to fall asleep.

For a first chapter, I like the way it turned out. My first chapters are never that great, soo read the next chapter before you judge, please and thank you!

OH, I know a lot of people like character descriptions and pictures and whatnot in a Character Info page but I really didn't want to put anything in an actual chapter because...well, it's not Ameteur, but...I can't really find a better word. Sorry. And I just figured out that FP doesnt let me put pictures on my profile, and it also doesnt let me put percentage signs anywhere in there, which sucks because a couple of the links that go to the pictures have a lot of percentage signs in them. So if any of you guys have any suggestions, please share.

R&R :)