This was a new beginning for me; it had to be.

I frantically played with the ends of my hair, ripping off all the split ends in sight. A haircut was long overdue. I have dreamt of this day for years now. Not that I was sure it was going to come but I still had my wishes. What is so significant about today, you ask? The answer to your question is one word; freedom.

The voice of the secretary I had just spoke to less than 10 minutes ago interrupted my thoughts, "Miss Cruz? Headmaster Grey is ready for you." I shot up from my seat trying to push out the nervousness and anxiety.

While picking up my old, battered bag, I nodded over at the blond lady behind the desk before making my way over to the chocolate brown wooden door. I took a deep breath then reached for the door knob twisting it open, surprised not to hear a single rusty sound as I made my way in.

"Come on in Miss Cruz." The stern voice of a middle-aged woman startled me. I had always thought Headmaster Grey was a 'he'. I quickly shuffled over to the chair that was placed in front of her desk, trying to process the truth of her gender.

My presence didn't seem to stop her absurdly fast typing. In fact, I think I made her type faster than normal.

"Just give me one moment, thank you." I sucked in a breath, nodding over at her. I took this time to really analyze her. From the top of her short, pin straight strawberry blond hair all the way down to the professional pointed black heels that she wore on her feet. She was as perfect as a middle-aged woman could get. She was intimidating and I could sense her uptight attitude.

"Okay, Miss Cruz. It says here you've received a full tuition scholarship, correct?" Her voice was demanding and firm.

I nodded my head in response, afraid to say something wrong; which I am fully capable of doing.

"Miss Cruz, I expect to hear your response rather than needing to look up each time I ask a question to see if you merely nod your head up and down or side to side."

"Yes ma'am." I croaked. My voice was far too close to stuttering.

"Good. Now I will repeat my question; it says you have received a full tuition scholarship, is this information correct?" Oh boy, she was strict.

"Yes ma'am." I tried to control my breathing as it hitched abnormally.

"Mm we have very few of those here." She stated absent-mindedly.

"I know ma'am."

"Your GPA is phenomenal and the grades sent over from your old school are fantastic, no wonder you received this scholarship." I watched as her eyes moved around the computer screen in front of her, reading.

"Thank you, ma'am." I looked down at my twitching fingers.

"Still, the rules of the scholarship do not change." She cleared her throat, "if your GPA reaches below a 3.5, you are out. If you receive three strikes by breaking any rule here, you are out. Understood? Three strikes Miss Cruz, no more; no less." Her voice was stern and straightforward.

"I wouldn't expect anything else Ma'am."

"Good." She smiled, "I suspect you will be reading all the rules and regulations that are in your handbook tonight. So by tomorrow you will have it memorized, am I right?"

"Of course, Mrs. Grey."

"Very well Miss Cruz, you are free to go. My secretary will give you your room key, your handbook, and schedule." She returned to her computer, typing as if her life depended on it.

"Thank you, Headmaster Grey."

I didn't wait for her reply as I got up quickly and headed for the door.

"Oh and Miss Cruz?" I glanced over my shoulder waiting for her to continue, "Welcome to Grey's Academy."

I smiled widely, exited the room and walked over to the secretary. She smiled and pointed to a folder on the desk in front of me. I willingly grabbed it, instantly opening it up. The first thing that caught my eye was a key; a key to my dorm room.

I placed the key and folder into my bag and walked out the front door and down the steps. I looked both ways before running behind the bush, which was to my left, picking up my duffle bag. I struggled to balance as I stood up and tripped over a branch on the floor.

"Crud." I muttered angrily. I reached down for my duffle bag once again, but gasped at the sight of two muscular hands already picking it up. I quickly scrambled to my feet, dusting the dirt off my white v-neck.

I slowly looked up to meet the most attractive boy I have ever laid eyes on; that was not an exaggeration. His eyes were crystal blue, wait no they were grey, no green. They were perfect. His dark brown hair that spiked up slightly in the front gave him a manly look. And the tight fitted shirt he was wearing stopped my breathing.

"Are you okay?" His voice was deep and esoteric. How cliché?

It was then that I noticed the dark and mysterious vibe he had. I could feel it radiating off his body.

"Do I need to take you to the nurse?"

Oh god, I still haven't replied. Speak Catalina, speak!

"No, I'm f-fine. T-thank y-you." Did I really just stutter? I mentally slapped myself and closed my eyes. When I reopened them, I reached for the duffle bag that was hung over Dark and Dangerous's shoulders. Yes, that's what he was; dangerous.

He quickly pulled back, "I think I've got it handled a bit more then you."

My eye brows rose up at him.

"You just tripped, don't give me that look. Where are you headed?"

I looked down at my feet then began to search through the folder in my bag. I pulled out the yellow slip of paper that had my schedule on it, along with my dorm room location.

I tried looking for my voice to speak but I gave up and just handed him the paper. A mischievous grin appeared on his face, "Well look at that, we're in the same cluster."

I kept my mouth shut and followed him as he led me down a long pathway towards a building that said NORTH QUAD. See there were two clusters; north quad, and the south quad. These were where the dorm rooms were located. Otherwise known as where I'd be living for the next year or so.

"You're awfully quiet." I decided to break the silence that was aggravating me. He barely shrugged in response.

I looked up at him staring straight ahead. I was fascinated how he could keep a straight face for such a long time.

"Do you ever smile?" That got a reaction out of him. His head snapped my way and his eyebrows furrowed together in confusion but still said nothing. The rest of the walk was quiet. The air was awkward, in a way, and I couldn't help but wish he weren't so dismal.

We finally stopped in front of a door that said 2A. Oh hey, that's my room.

"Where did you think I was taking you?" He questioned quizzically. Wait did I say that out loud? His face had softened and I noticed a hint of sadness in his eyes.

"I-I mean- I didn't mean to s-say that." Curse my stuttering and curse his inevitable looks.

He kept a straight face, completely unaffected, "are you going to open the door any time soon?"

I felt my face heat up yet again as I rummaged through my bag pulling out a plain grey key. I placed it in the door knob and clicked it open carefully.

I heard Dark and Dangerous cuss under his breath as a loud squeal came from inside the room.

I watched as the flawless brown haired girl jumped up from the bed she was sitting on and ran over to Dark and Dangerous. Of course, he's is taken. Wait, why do I care?

"Why are you here Nathanial?" The girl questioned eagerly. So Nathanial was his name.

"I was helping, er, her." He pointed towards me, "I believe she's your new roommate."

"Oh yay! I love getting a new roommate." She quickly skipped over to me with a wide smile, "Hello! My name is Danielle." Her happiness was contagious. I smiled at her, "Catalina."

"Well, Catalina, I see you've already met my good for nothing brother, Nathanial." Brother?

"Oh dearest sister, you are so kind." Nathanial groaned.

"I guess you can say that." I mumbled, avoiding his eyes.

"Don't scare her off Danielle." Nathanial warned.

"Oh please, Catty and I are going to be great friends. I can see it now, now shoo!" I winced as she called me Catty. I eyed Nathanial as he set down my bag and pulled out a chair to sit. Danielle rolled her eyes then turned to me, "He's so stubborn."


I grinned over at him, "I can feel the love."

As Danielle and I laughed, that familiar straight face continued to abide on Nathanial's face. I coughed awkwardly, trying to hide the fact that I had been evidently staring.

"Well it looks like you got decorating under control." I giggled nervously, gesturing to the room.

"Oh yes! But we need to finish your side! Did you bring anything to decorate?"

I cleared my throat, I would if I had money, "Er, nope! I didn't find anything interesting." I giggled nervously, turning around to hide my face of embarrassment.

"Well that's a shame! We should go shopping. Ah, yes! Get dressed, we're going shopping!" She shrieked while digging into her drawers.

"This is exactly how you'll scare her off." Nathanial narrowed his eyes at his sister. I watched as they stood eyeing each other before finally standing in between them, "Okay okay! I'm not going anywhere, okay?" I glanced over at Nathanial then adverted my eyes to Daniella, "and we can go shopping, I just don't promise on getting anything."

Her scowl was replaced with a wide smile, "I'm going to go brush my hair."

I rolled my eyes and laughed as she walked into the bathroom.

"You don't have to go, you know?"

"It's fine. I want to go."

He eyed me suspiciously then shrugged, "Well, that'll be my cue to get out of here. I'll see you around Catty." I winced again at the nickname. I could tell he noticed this time because he quickly looked down. While he was walking out of the room he mumbled my full name.

I sighed then sat on my bed.

"Okay, I'm ready!" Danielle grabbed a purse from the side of her bed and walked towards the door. I slowly followed her.

"How are we getting to the mall?"

She shoved the key in the door, locking it, "My car, of course."

"Of course she has a car." I muttered quietly to myself.

"What was that?"

"Oh, nothing."

She continued to ramble on, pointless story after pointless story. My brain had blocked out her voice, involuntarily thinking of nothing but Nathanial.