Prologue

Some people say that your entire life flashes before your eyes when you die. I never believed them until now. Until she pulled that trigger. Until I ran and dived in front of it. Until I felt an unbearable amount of pain shoot through my chest. Then I was falling and as I fell I saw it all. Every second of my life lay out in front of me. I felt his warm embrace encircle my body and I knew I had done the right thing. I dragged my eyes up towards his face and I couldn't help but give a small smile as every moment with him replayed in my mind.

Chapter 1

I groaned as I rolled over to shut off my alarm. The cold air of my dorm room hit my arm causing goose bumps to arise on my skin. I quickly retracted my arm back into the warmth of my bed. I gave a small sigh. Today was the first day of my penultimate year here at Brooksworth Academy – boarding school. I snuggled further into my bed, bringing up the blankets so they were just under my chin. After a couple more minutes I sadly had to admit that now was the time to leave the warmth of my bed behind and brave the cold air of my dorm. Sitting up, I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes whilst yawning. I made my way to my dormitory bathroom and began to get ready for school. One highlight of attending a boarding school – no rush in the morning to catch a bus or something.

I pulled on my uniform as my roomies (Charlotte, Macy and Jessica) began fighting for the bathroom. A small smile spread across my face. Only I had the brains to get up early and miss the rush. Once my blouse and skirt was on and my make up done, I made my way to the full length mirror in our room and looked into it with my hair brush in hand. My brown eyes were outlined in black eyeliner and my lashes coated lightly in mascara. I giggled softly as I noticed that my light brown hair looked like what my friends like to refer to as "sex hair". How they know what sex hair looks like, I do not know. Moving my hair brush through my hair, I winced as it pulled through the tangles roughly. When I was finished with that I threw a few bracelets onto my wrists (just to spice up the uniform, you know?) and grabbed my tie. As I finished doing my tie, I grabbed my school bag and bid a farewell to my roomies.

"See you later girlies. I'm off down to the hall to get breakfast and my timetable." I called out to them.

"Oh, Hazel! Don't forget to sneak a peak at the new Chemistry teacher. Apparently he is hot. Yeah, we may be students, but there's no harm in fantasizing, right?" Charlotte told me whilst she was doing up her blouse.

"Will do, captain." I replied and gave her a mock salute and a wink. I made my way down the hall, headed towards the stairs. I had completely forgotten about the new chemistry teacher despite the amount of fuss he's already caused amongst the girls here. It was always like this with new teachers, especially male ones. Every girl here would go crazy - fantasizing about what he would look like and some even going as far as to plot some way for him to have a secret relationship with them. The boys would just grumble and moan about having more competition for the girl's affections. Although, the boys have been doing a good job of getting rid of their "competition". We had at least six chemistry teachers last year. This thought made me smile as I walked down the stairs. The boys had some very creative ways of disbanding our former Chemistry teachers. I couldn't help but wonder if this one would last longer than the others? Some part of me hoped he did, it would be nice to have one chemistry teacher for a whole year for once.

As I rounded the corner into the hall I couldn't help but smile. The hall here was absolutely beautiful. Brooksworth Academy was founded in Victorian times, so it was safe to say that this hall was basically a piece of art. The intricate details around the large, gothic windows and on the pillars of the ceiling made it all the more breathtaking. I let out a happy sigh to accompany my smile. Another benefit of being in this boarding school – getting to see this place first thing, every morning.

"Hey, Daleston! You going to get your schedule?" asked a male voice from behind me. I turned around already smiling. I didn't need sight to confirm who that voice belonged to. Only one person called me by my last name. And sure enough, standing behind me was my best friend – Tristan. His black hair was gelled up in neat, organised spikes and his black glasses were sitting high on the bridge of his nose. His uniform was in pristine condition and his backpack was slung casually over one of his shoulders. Everything about Tristan just screamed "nerd" but not many nerds could play cricket with the amount of skill Tristan did. He was by far the smartest person in our year (me being a kind of close second) and every teacher loved him.

"Yes, yes I am, Hawkins. Let me guess. You want me to get yours too?" I asked him, tilting my head slightly. A cheeky smile lit up his face as he turned me round and pushed me down the hall in the direction of the table with Miss Price sitting at it.

"If you'd be so kind, Daleston. I'll save you some toast or something." He said and then walked off towards the long tables where breakfast was laid out. I heaved a sigh and then approached Miss Price at her table.

Miss Price was an elderly woman who had been working here for God knows how long. She was really nice, but did have a short temper. You had to be really careful not to say the wrong thing around her. When she saw me approach she gave me a warm smile which I kindly returned.

"Good morning Hazel, have a nice summer?" asked Miss Price in her croaky voice.

"It was lovely, Miss Price. I enjoyed spending time with my family, but it is nice to be back. I can't believe I'm starting sixth form and doing my A levels, though. Just seems like yesterday I was starting my GCSE courses."

"Ah yes. It's strange for me to think that you're all growing up now. I don't know how I'm going to cope at the end of next year when you all leave off for university! But then again, maybe we'll be able to keep a Chemistry teacher for longer than a month, eh?" She laughed at her last comment as I laughed along politely. "I suppose you'd be wanting your timetable then. And remember, now that you're in sixth form you get some free periods. I expect to see you coming to my office to help me out now again." She winked at me and smiled. Laughing, I nodded at her and gave her my best smile.

"Of course, Miss Price. And could I have Tristan's too if you wouldn't mind."

"Sure thing, m'dear." She smiled at me before turning round to rummage in the file of year 13 timetables. As she went to hand me mine and Tristan's the whole stack fell off the table and onto the floor. I bent down, quickly gathering them up. As I did I noticed another set of hands join my own with the collecting of papers. Quickly, I gathered up as many as I could, stood up straight and then set them down on Miss Price's table. "Why thank you." She said whilst handing over the timetables I had asked for and then she turned to face whoever had also helped pick up the papers. I gave Miss Price a quick smile and a thank you before slowly making my way towards the tables where breakfast was.

While walking, I gazed at the timetables in my hand, trying to find out how many classes Tristan and I had together. Turns out we only had Chemistry and Biology together. Damn him for taking Sport Studies and History instead of Maths and English Literature! If he had then we would have every class together…oh well. I hadn't realised that I had stopped walking while I had been gazing at the timetables until someone walked straight into the back of me. I stumbled forward, almost falling over until someone grabbed my upper arm, steadied me and then turned me around.

"Are you alright?" The person asked.

"Yes, I'm fine thank you." I replied, gently pulling my arm out of their grip. I looked up at the person, intending to scold them for walking into me and to tell them they should really watch where they are walking, but all my reprimanding comments became stuck in my throat as I took in the appearance of the man in front of me.

He towered over me, meaning he had to be a good 6ft something. His chestnut brown hair caught the light shining in from the windows which made it look shiny and soft. His fringe fell just above his eyes, which were a lovely brown colour (only a tad lighter than my own). My eyes drifted down to his body. His light blue button up shirt was tight enough to show how that he had some muscle and since his sleeves were rolled up to his elbows, you could clearly see the muscle in his forearms. The black tie he was wearing stood out clearly against his shirt and he wore matching black straight leg trousers. I caught a wave of his smell and I couldn't help but smile. He smelt of vanilla but with a little bit of a sharp tinge to it. I brought my eyes back up to his face and saw he wore an amused expression. One of his eyebrows was raised and the corners of his full, pink lips were raised into a smirk. I felt my cheeks begin to heat up and I immediately ducked my head down. He had obviously caught me staring at him. Not to self: Next time, when gawking at someone – do it subtly...and preferably not when they are standing in front of you.

"So, you're Hazel Daleston? I see you're in my Chemistry class." I looked up at him again and tilted my head to the side questioningly. How did he know my name? The man smirked at me again and gestured to the timetable in my hand. I looked down at it and quickly found 'chemistry'. After registering it in my mind as the first lesson I would have today, I read the teacher's name beside it.

"Mr Creed?"

"That would be me." I once again returned my gaze to him. Charlotte was right about him being hot.

"Well, I'm sorry for bumping into you, sir." I apologised, failing to point out that it was his fault, not mine. I didn't particularly want to set off on the wrong foot with a new teacher.

"You should be. Remember that other people are probably walking behind you before you stop in the middle of a hall next time." Mr Creed replied in a highly arrogant and rude tone. My eyes widened and I started at him in shock. Had he really just said that? Mr Creed merely smirked at me again before brushing past me, making sure he bumped into my shoulder and then heading towards the staff table. Turning around, I watched him as he walked away - my mouth slightly open and my eyes still wide.

"A simple "don't worry about it" would've sufficed." I mumbled, grumpily before trudging off towards where Tristan sat. I was used to teachers thinking they were above us (after all they have been around longer and gone to university and all that jazz) but they still gave us students some respect. But it seemed that Mr Creed was the exception. What he had said was just plain rude. I mean, seriously? Manners don't cost a penny.

I gave a heavy, agitated sigh and I thumped down into my seat next to Tristan at the table, shoved his timetable at him and grabbed some toast off his plate. I ripped a bit off and shoved it into my mouth, chewing it with a little more force than necessary. My eyes drifted towards the staff table and I saw Mr Creed talking to Mr Whitney, a History teacher (Tristan's History teacher for this year, actually). After a couple of minutes he turned his head and saw me glaring at him. I watched as an arrogant smirk lit up his face and he then carried on his conversation with Mr Whitney. I grunted, still very annoyed at his rudeness and turned to face Tristan.

"Whoa, what's got you so worked up?" Tristan asked me. I sighed again and shook my head. To be honest, it's not something you should really get this worked up about. But people forgetting their manners or being rude for no apparent reason really got to me. I continued to eat my toast (still rather viciously, may I add) and listen to Tristan ramble on about Sports Studies and how he heard that you get a lot of homework and how he doesn't know where he's going to find the time to do it.

"I mean, I could've picked English Literature instead, but you know. That means I actually have to read something that isn't a sports magazine or a text book." He finished. I gave him a look and rolled my eyes.

"You know, for a nerd you don't actually read that much." I noted, whilst putting my timetable into my bag.

"That's because I'm not your average nerd. I'm a cool nerd. Honestly, Daleston, I thought you'd have worked that one out by now." He replied whilst ruffling my hair. I punched Tristan in the arm and then hastened to fix my hair. I'm not one of those girls who freak out when one hair is not in place, but I don't like to look scruffy. As I ran my fingers through my hair the bell went to tell us to get a move on to first period. I stood up, grabbed my bag and happily made my way out of the hall with Tristan.

I had those 'first lesson of the year' butterflies in my stomach. That was until I remembered my first lesson was Chemistry. Tristan and I turned left and began to walk down the science corridor as a scowl settled its way onto my face. We reached the classroom but Mr 'Remember that other people are walking behind you next time' hadn't arrived yet. Our class began gathering in the corridor to wait for him because his room was locked. I leaned against the wall next to the door whilst Tristan began talking to his cricket buddies which he hadn't seen all summer. I sighed and leant my head back on the wall too. Maybe I was being a little hasty. Maybe Mr Creed was actually a really nice guy and I just happened to wind him up slightly by bumping into him on his first day. Or he was just trying to set up an authoritative persona so I wouldn't give him hassle in class. From a first impression I would say that he's a narcissistic jerk, but first impressions are often wrong, aren't they? Yes, that seemed like a more logical explanation. With these thoughts in my head, I calmed myself down. I would be nice to him, no matter how rude he was to me. I needed to show him that he wouldn't get hassle from me without the need to be an arrogant prick.

"Sorry I'm late guys and girls. Just had to quickly pop into my office and grab my laptop," Came a voice form further up the corridor. I looked around at the other people in my class. None of them were listening to whoever was speaking; they were too busy talking amongst themselves. I looked back down to where the voice had originally came from and now I saw Mr Creed standing about three feet away from me, unlocking the classroom door. When he saw me, his eyes lit up in an amused way. He held the door open as he addressed the rest of the class. "Come on then people! Let's move this shindig into the classroom and then I can introduce myself!"

I stood where I was, waiting for Tristan so I let everyone else go into the room first. When Charlotte walked past me she glanced at Mr Creed who was still holding the door open and winked at me. I giggled and rolled my eyes at her. I then made a mental note to tell her about my encounter with him this morning, when we were back in our dorm. I had no doubt that she'd throw a fit about me walking into our new, hot Chemistry teacher. When I felt Tristan's presence by my side I began to walk into the classroom. Tristan walked in but before I had even stepped near the door, Mr Creed stepped out in front of me blocking my path. I looked up at him and once again I was overwhelmed by his appearance and proximity. As I breathed I took in his vanilla like smell and had to put up a bit of a fight to refrain a goofy smile emerging on my face.

"After me, I think." Mr Creed said as he looked down at me while a teasing look glinted in his eyes. I looked at him in the eyes and gave him my most innocent and bright smile and even batted my eyelashes at him a little.

"Of course, sir." I replied and then followed him into the classroom. I quickly found Tristan who had sat at the back of the classroom and settled down next to him. When I looked back up at the front I saw Mr Creed leaning on the front of his wooden desk which was in front of the white board. He had his arms crossed over his chest and it looked like he was staring at something out of the window behind me. I turned around to see what was so interesting that he could be staring at. When I looked out of the window I saw nothing but the empty courtyard that was behind the science block and a couple of trees. I turned back to look at him, slightly confused. Then it hit me. He was staring at me. I looked at him more intently this time and it took me a while before I registered his expression. He looked…irritated. What the hell? What did I do?! So, in response to his unexplainable irritated-ness which seemed to be directed at me – I did the only thing I could think of. I gave him the exact same arrogant smirk he had given me this morning when he had bumped into me and I even raised one of my eyebrows at him for added effect. I saw him mumble something and then he stood up straight and called the class to attention. I giggled and began to get out my Chemistry text book.

I didn't know why Mr Creed had been so arrogant to me this morning. I didn't know why he was so irritated by my response at the door, or why he had decided to pick on me. I mean, it was only his first day here! But I did know one thing – Chemistry was going to be a whole lot of fun this year.