Chapter 1: New Faces in an Old Town
In the sleepy town of Casswillow everyone knows everyone's business. Its a tiny town in South Carolina, picturesque shops lined the streets of downtown, old Victorian homes with rail fences surrounding the manicured lawns. With summer ending the leaves were changing colors, pools were closing, and a new school year was about to start. Casswillow Private School wasn't your normal private high school. It was a school of excellence to the faculty and alumni but to the current students they just wanted to get out. They prided their athletic department but they had always been missing something until now. Construction had begun the previous year for a start of the art in-ground, olympic pool. The principal, Mr. Bradshaw, thought the school needed a swim team, the students thought it was because he wanted another state championship trophy in the display case in the school's front office.
Taylor Anderson hummed along to the Rihanna song playing on her Ipod as she jogged around her suburban neighborhood. She had ran the first two miles now she was cooling down as she approached her house, but there was a moving truck blocking the view of her two story brick house. Taking an earbud out she noticed two boys, around her age, sitting on the curb watching the movers lower pieces of furniture from the back of the truck. As she got closer she couldn't help but notice how handsome each of them were. One had dark blonde hair just long enough to cover his forehead, when he stood up she saw how tall he was, he had a lean body but there was definite muscle tone. The other had dark curly hair that he shook to get out of his eyes. His long arms rested on his knees, Taylor could see his muscles clearly through his white V-neck.
Inside she hoped she didn't look like a hot mess as she started walking down the sidewalk. She instantly regretted wearing her baggy dance team T-shirt and her older brother's football shorts. 'All right maybe they won't even notice you.' She thought but quickly stopped in her tracks seeing one of the boys turn to see her. She saw him wave making her duck her head and smile. "Hello there," He said, his deep voice sending a chill down her back.
"Hi...y'all just moving in?" She asked doing an internal facepalm. 'Of course they're moving in, way to go, Tay.'
"Slowly but surely." The curly haired boy sighed standing up. "I'm Tristan and this is my brother Nathan." Nathan smiled at her making her blush.
"I'm Taylor, your next door neighbor." She explained pointing to her house.
"Oh...you on a dance team?" Nathan asked pointing to her shirt.
"Uh yeah," She stammered looking down at her black shirt. "What school are y'all going to, if you don't mind me asking?"
"I think mom said it was Casswillow Private, we're going to be swimmers there this year." Tristan said.
"Boys, come in here, we need your help with the boxes." They heard someone call from the front door.
Taylor looked over to see an older gentleman holding the door open. He had to at least be in his late sixties early seventies. "Oh well I guess we better be going. Maybe we'll see you around?"
"Maybe." She smiled watching them walk into the house before jogging to her own.
She slammed the door before sprinting up the stairs to her bedroom, not even paying attention to her mom sitting in the living room. Closing her white door she grabbed her cell phone off the desk. Hitting send twice she called one of her best friends Lynne Davis. "Hello?" She heard.
"Ok...you still coming over for night swimming tonight?"
"Yeah, its like the last night we're going to be able to before it gets cold, why?"
"I have new neighbors, just a fair warning." Taylor smiled sitting on her full sized bed.
She heard a pause on the other line. "Boys or girls? Cute or ugly? Am I going to have to actually care what I look like when I come over? I need details, Bubbles!"
"Boys, very cute, and you might want to wear the bikini I know you hate but it looks amazing on you." She explained taking off her tennis shoes.
Lynne groaned. "Do I have to? Some of us aren't blessed in the upper department like you."
Taylor shook her head. "Buttercup, trust me, when you see these guys you will be glad you listened to me."
"Fine, I better not regret this." Lynne grumbled before hanging up.
Taylor tossed her phone to the side before hearing her mom yell her name downstairs. Opening the door she saw her other best friend Michelle King trudge up the stairs. "Hey...crying baby again?"
"Yup...I had no problem when mom told me Sheena was having a baby, I had a problem when she said she would also be moving back in once she had the baby." Michelle grumbled laying back on her friend's bed. "I saw a moving truck outside, who's moving into the Cooper's old house?"
Taylor glanced out her window to see Tristan and Nathan, only this time they weren't alone. Now there was three more boys. One had dark onyx hair and tan skin, he was wearing a plain white T-shirt and jeans. The other two were shorter, one had blonde hair and was laughing at something that was said. The last boy had shaggy brown hair and had a slight tan. "Uh...they did." She muttered.
Michelle quickly hopped up to see who her friend was talking about. "Whoa...I'm moving into your house. Did you meet them?"
"I met two of them." She whispered pointing to the brothers she had talked to earlier. "I don't know who the other three are."
Michelle and Taylor stood at the window until one boy glanced up making them quickly fall to the floor. "Great, now my neighbors are gonna think I'm a creeper." Taylor mumbled crawling away.
Later that night Taylor's mom cooked supper for her daughter and her friends. "So mom, have you seen our new neighbors?" Taylor asked eating a spoonful of chili.
"I did earlier, why?"
"They're hot." Michelle laughed.
Taylor's dad looked up from his bowl. "I didn't notice that, but I did see an old man holding hands with the mom."
"That's a little weird." Lynne muttered taking a sip of her water.
Taylor's mom quickly changed the subject asking Taylor and Michelle how dance practice was going. Then the attention was focused on Lynne who announced she was going to be photo editor for the yearbook. After they ate and helped clean up the girls went to change into their bathing suits. It was already dusk as they walked outside to Taylor's family in-ground pool. Almost every night during their summer vacation they went swimming. It was just relaxing to turn all the lights off and look up at the stars. Michelle fixed the straps of her light green bikini before jumping right into the deep end. Taylor helped Lynne tie the back of her red polka dotted two piece before glancing in the window to look at her own suit, a navy ruffle bandeau top with matching bottoms. All the girls were athletic with muscle tone in all the right places but still made sure they had feminine curves.
Lynne and Taylor cannonballed into the deep end before swimming back to the surface. "Yeah, its definitely getting colder." Lynne mumbled feeling a slight chill.
Michelle nodded, her jaw trembling. "I vote we just sit on the side, its so cold I can't even get used to the water."
Taylor and Lynne agreed as they climbed out of the pool. Shaking out their hair they plopped down next to each other. Unknown to them they weren't alone. The boys sat on the other side of the fence on the patio. "Did you guys hear that?" Nathan asked.
"Sounds like our neighbors are having a late night swim." Tristan smirked looking around at his brother and their friends.
The girls were sitting on the concrete with their feet dangling over the water, barely touching it, talking about the upcoming first day of school. "I have Coach Mosley first thing in the morning, I swear he hates me." Michelle exclaimed.
Taylor was about to say something when she heard a squeak. Turning around she saw nothing but the tall wooden fence. Thinking it was nothing she turned her attention back to her friends. She immediately regretted it when she felt something hit her in the head. "Fire!" They heard.
Quickly looking around they saw the boys with water balloons in their hands. They laughed as they threw the balloons at the defenseless girls. The girls were outnumbered and trying to dodge the attacks. Lynne and Michelle ducked and ran over to the shed on the corner of the yard. Taylor hopped up and ran over to the side of her house, avoiding the balloons to until she reached the water hose. Turning it on blast she sprayed the boys until they all were soaked. "All right! All right, we surrender!" They yelled dropping the rest of their balloons.
Taylor dropped the hose and walked over to her friends who handed her a towel. "Nice to see you again." She laughed.
Tristan smiled shaking his hair out. "Hello." He smiled.
"Lynne, Michelle, I would like you to meet my new neighbors." Taylor chuckled. "Tristan and Nathan."
"How is everyone?" Nathan asked. "Oh these are our friends Jake," The dark haired boy waved. "Connor." The blonde smiled. "And last but not least is Lucas." The brunette smiled and waved.
"It was all Tristan's idea." Lucas pointed to his friend.
"Thanks, man, thanks a lot." Tristan grumbled.
Taylor shook her head. "I'll be right back." She laughed walking into her house to grab five more towels. As she was walking through the hallway her dad stopped her, his eyes were half open indicating he just woke up.
"Who's out there?" He asked, sleep still evident in his voice.
"My friends and the boys from next door, they tried to get us with water balloons but it didn't work." She explained. "And dad...its only like nine o'clock."
"I know but me and your mom are old." He sighed. "All right, just try and keep it down out there."
"We will." Taylor said quickly knowing the only reason her dad was so cool about guys being over is because of how tired he was.
Walking back out she saw the boys shivering and her friends wrapped up in their towels. "Here you go, boys." She said handing them each a fluffy towel.
"Thanks." They said.
The girls watched as the boys stripped off their wet T-shirts, they couldn't help but notice all of the boys had a six pack, pecks, these boys definitely took care of themselves. "Uh...I'm cold, is anyone else cold?" Lynne asked breaking her gaze away from Tristan.
"Yeah...Tay, how about we start a fire or something?" Michelle muttered rubbing her upper arms.
Taylor nodded and walked over to her family's fire pit that hadn't been used since the previous year, it still had firewood in it from the last time it was used. "You ladies go change, we'll start it." Lucas smiled.
The girls glanced at each other before walking into the house. They ran upstairs to change really fast into sweats and hoodies. "Taylor, you didn't say they were Abercrombie models!" Lynne exclaimed.
Taylor quickly shushed her. "My parents are asleep," She whispered. "And I told you they were cute."
Michelle laughed as she pulled on her black 'Sophomore' sweatshirt. "Cute is a definite understatement, they look even better than when we saw them in the window earlier."
"Well lets hurry up and change so we can get to know them better." Lynne chuckled stepping into her dark blue sweatpants.
Pulling their hair up as they ran downstairs they saw a huge fire from the backdoor. "Wow...that didn't take them long." Michelle muttered as they walked outside.
"Dang, were y'all boyscouts or something?" Lynne asked as they grabbed a few chairs from the shed.
"Nah, we just know what we're doing." Jake smirked taking a chair from Michelle.
Everyone fell silent, the only sounds were the snapping of the twigs in the fire. Finally Lynne couldn't take it anymore. "So...water balloons? Really?"
The boys laughed. "Hey, we had to have some excuse to come over here and hang out with you three."
"A simple, 'Hey can we come over?' would have sufficed." Taylor smiled glancing over at Nathan from across the fire.
"Aw, now what's the fun in that?" Connor laughed. "Plus we've never been that subtle."
"How long have you guys been friends?" Michelle asked.
"Uh...for as long as we can remember. We were raised together." Nathan explained. "Our families have always been close."
"Is that why all of you moved here at the same time?" Taylor said pulling her blonde hair down, letting it fall on her shoulders.
"Yeah, plus we were told coming here would be the best way to earn a swim scholarship." Lucas sighed. "Something about your school is one of the most well known in the state, even though the swim team was new there would be scouts at every meet."
The girls nodded thinking about their school. Almost every sports team had won a state championship within the past ten years, the football team had won for the past three years. "I still remember when we were told a swim team was being assembled." Michelle mumbled. "I think Brody Masterson was the first person to sign up."
"Who's Brody Masterson?" Jake asked.
All the girls rolled their eyes. "He's your typical jock, he exceeds at every sport and thinks he's untouchable, but he was kicked off the football team last year due to a failed drug test." Lynne said.
"But since his daddy is mayor of the town it was never released to the public," Taylor grumbled. "They told everyone due to the coaches he wouldn't return to the team, now I guess he's going to try and be the star of the swim team."
"Doubt it," Tristan snickered. "Me and my brother here have won state titles for the past two years, he'll have some competition if he thinks he's going to run things."
"I hope so, he's a douche, the only reason he passed Algebra III last year is because he would kiss up to the teacher." Michelle exclaimed.
"Nathan? Tristan?" They heard from across the fence.
"Coming, mom!" Nathan called back. "Well ladies, sorry, but we gotta get back."
"All right, we'll see you later. Next time leave the water balloons at home." Lynne smiled as they stood up from their chairs.
"No promises." Connor said as they walked back to the gate.
The girls waited until they were out of sight before smiling to each other. Taylor grabbed the hose again to put the fire out before they headed into the house. Across the fence the boys watched them, making sure they were inside. When the light turned out Tristan turned to his brother. "Maybe this town won't be so bad after all."
"I don't think so either, just remember why we had to come here in the first place." He sighed.
The boys nodded as they walked inside where they noticed their mothers gathered around in the living room. "Has anything happened since you moved in?" Jake's mother, Annie, asked.
"No, thankfully, I think we got away from whatever was stalking us back home." Miranda, Nathan and Tristan's mom sighed.
"Well hopefully whatever it was stayed back in Salem." Joan muttered wrapping her arms around Connor who nodded his head at his mom.
"We don't know that for sure so you boys need to be careful, be on the lookout at all times, understand?" Felicia warned. Lucas nodded, he had seen his mom this worried before, only one time. Ever since then he always seen a little fear in her eyes but she always tried to hide it.
"We'll be careful, we promise." Nathan sighed, looking down at the carpet. "Where is he?"
"He went to bed early, I think he's still trying to adjust to his new environment." Miranda frowned, crossing her arms.
"Well we better head home, none of us need to be out late." Joan said grabbing her purse.
Everyone filed out of the house, saying quiet goodbyes. As the last pair of taillights disappeared into the night Tristan and Nathan turned to their mom. "I'm going to bed, its been a day." She sighed giving both her son's a hug. "Get some sleep, tomorrow we have to get everything you boys will need for school."
As she walked up the stairs she smiled at her boys but it faded as she reached the second floor. She looked down the hallway to the closed door and her heart broke thinking of who was on the other side. Closing her eyes she walked into her room and tried to sleep.
The next morning Taylor woke up to someone sitting on her back. "Buttercup, get off me." She mumbled into her pillow.
"Come on! We gotta go shopping for a first day of school outfit." Lynne laughed bouncing up and down.
"How can I get up if you're sitting on me?"
Michelle laughed fixing her curly hair. "She has a point." She smiled looking back at her friends in the mirror.
Lynne nodded and quickly hopped off the bed. Grumbling to herself Taylor held up her arm for her friend to drag her out of bed. Finally Lynne gave up. "You know for a skinny girl you're like a dead weight." She laughed.
Taylor shook her head and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. "I thought we already went shopping for a back to school outfit?"
"We did, but I just wanted to get out of the house for the last day of summer vacation before we have to go back to the hellhole they call school. So shower, now. Go!" Lynne stammered in all one breath.
"Fine, fine, jeez, you're pushy in the morning." Taylor muttered walking into the bathroom.
Tristan, Nathan, and Lucas walked through the doors of the local mall. "God, my mom's so freaked whenever I step out the door nowadays." Lucas groaned looking up at the high ceilings.
"Yeah, ours too, but they said as long as we're not alone we should be fine." Tristan sighed. "Where is everyone?"
Nathan pulled out his cell phone. "Jake had to pick up Connor, he said they're on their way. Come on, lets take a look around."
The boys nodded as they started walking around the first floor of the mall. They walked into a Gamestop first, they noticed a few girls walking by check them out. Lucas smacked Tristan on the chest. "I think I'm gonna like it here."
"What about Ellie?" Tristan asked looking at the newest football game.
Lucas frowned. "I had to break up with her, for her safety." He mumbled, he still remembered how sad she was when he told her it was over.
"Its ok man, when all this is over, you'll get her back." Nathan whispered patting his friend on the shoulder.
"If all this ends, you mean." Lucas muttered.
The girls walked out of Forever21 each with a bag in their hand. "Back to school sales, what could be better?" Michelle sighed happily as they walked from store to store.
As they walked Lynne came to a sudden stop. She smiled seeing familiar faces in the Gamestop. Taylor and Michelle seemed to spot them at the same time. "Should we go say hi?" Taylor asked.
"No, let them come to us." Lynne whispered as they sat down on a bench. "Just act like you don't see them."
Taylor and Michelle chuckled but did what they were told. Tristan sighed as they walked out of the store but he noticed the girls sitting on the bench. Directing his head in their direction Nathan and Lucas saw them. Without saying a word they walked over to them. "Hey there," Tristan smiled.
"Hi," Lynne grinned looking up at the boy, almost getting lost in his sea green eyes.
"How long have you girls been here?" Lucas asked.
"Uh not long, we had to make a quick trip to Forever21." Michelle explained, feeling a little disappointed a certain boy wasn't with them.
"Well are you three hungry? We were about to meet up with Connor and Jake at the foot court." Nathan smirked. "Knowing Connor he's going to try and eat everything in sight."
The girls laughed. "We would love to, we haven't eaten anything all day."
The girls stood up from the seats and walked with the boys towards the food court. For a while the boys wanted to forget everything and just be teenagers and they hoped the girls could help them, even if they were unaware of how much they were helping.
So something new? Yeah, I'm gonna try this out so let me know what you think. Don't worry I'll update everything else as soon as I can :)