Every year in Coldean, Melanie Burden invited everyone on the estate to a huge costume ball to celebrate the end of winter. It was the highlight of the year for many and a night to forget for others. The repercussions of a night filled with dancing, alcohol and hormones were usually enough to keep some locked up untill Christmas rolled around again.

Caroline Eriksson opened her front door and dropped her bag on the hall table. She sighed and scooped up her post, flinging the bills over her shoulder onto the floor. The door slammed shut behind her as Caroline walked into the kitchen. A thick envelope with her name embossed in gold on the front made her gasp. She ripped it open and screamed in delight, dancing a little jig around the kitchen. Caroline ran back out into the hall, skidding on the wooden floor and slamming into the wall. She shook her head and scooped up her bag, yanking her mobile out. She slid down the wall and sat on the floor while she dialled a number.

Sada London scooped up her cordless phone from the living room table and almost shouted down the line.

"Caz! What are you going as?"

"I don't know! I might wait and see what Armin wants to do. We could go as something together, like Andy Pandy and Loopy Lou, that could be cute!" Sada rolled her eyes and tried not to groan; she flopped onto the sofa and rubbed her eyes. She was so sick of hearing about Armin frigging Stokes, the first real boyfriend was always the biggest pain in the arse. They agreed to meet at the bus stop with another friend and head into town to go shopping for costumes.

Claire Hellal was waiting at the bus stop when Caroline and Sada came running down the hill. They jumped around in a small circle screaming and laughing. Caroline suddenly stepped away from them and used the glass in the bus stop to check her hair, makeup and outfit. Sada sighed, that could only mean one thing. She turned and saw Armin Stokes heading their way. He was tall and muscular with thick brown hair and deep blue eyes. Sada could see the attraction but he was an arrogant son of a bitch and Caroline could do so much better.

"Leave them alone, Nibblet." Sada jumped and spun around, smiling a little. Romeo Tiggett raised an eyebrow at her before kissing her cheek.

"You can't make decisions for her" he whispered. Sada sighed; she linked arms with him and followed them onto the bus.

They crossed the main square towards a parade of shops and saw Alec Shimmerman waiting for them. His tightly curled, bright ginger hair was like a beacon across the crowd. Claire jogged towards him and they joined hands, jumping in a circle and shrieking.

"Is he sure he's straight?" asked Armin, sniggering. Sada almost snarled.

"He's more man then you, pal" she snapped. She strode past him and headed for the nearest store.