Prologue: Priorities

"Come on, Jay, you've gotta come!"

"Yeah, man, you're the guest of honor."

Jayden shook his head. "Sorry, guys. I need to study. Test tomorrow."

His friends groaned.

Kevin sighed. "Jay, you're the best point guard the team's ever had."

"Full basketball scholarship. You don't need to study. For four years." Justin added.

"And I bet they'd be more'n happy to give you another four if you wanted." Kevin noted.

But Jayden just smiled. "I need to keep my grades up, or Coach Carter'll boot me off the team."

Justin rolled his eyes. "Uh-huh. Sure he would."

"Jayden, seriously." Kevin frowned. "You're the one who won us the game last night. If you're not at the party…"

"I need to study." Jayden said firmly.

Justin and Kevin continued trying to wheedle their friend into attending the celebration party, but the golden boy of Couer de la Lune University refused to budge.

Two hours later, at five in the evening, Jayden sat in his room, trying to wrap his mind around the concepts in his abnormal psychology study guide. And while twenty year-old Jayden sat in his comfortable dorm room, another student from the same psych class left his battered and rundown apartment building, too worried about finding something to eat to even consider studying.

To be continued in Chapter 1: A New Partnership