PROLOGUE

"Miss Tachibana, how many times do I have to warn you about reading this in class rather than focusing on the assignment at hand?"

Holding the surf magazine out in front of the young girl, the science teacher Lawrence Anderson gave a shake of his head. "I do not know what's wrong with your attitude but if you don't shape up and focus on your schoolwork I'm afraid you'll be held back a year."

The girl standing in front of the teacher flipped her hair over her shoulder narrowing her eyes and crossing her arms over her chest. "Fine, so be it, it's not as if I'll use anything you teach anyway. So what is the point? My career plan is to become a famous surfer and I will hire people to know the scientific crap that you think is oh so important."

"Miss Tachibana do you want to be sent to detention for disrespecting me?" demanded Lawrence. "Adjust your attitude and go back to class!"

"Bite me!" The girl said. "And I've gotten detention today already so you're wasting your breath on making an idle threat."

Lawrence held back his temper; grabbed the girl's arm and pulled her towards the principal's office. "If you can't take school seriously and think you know everything I believe a trip to the principal's office will do you some good."

"Tch, oh sure like the great principal will punish me for speaking my mind about how I feel about the crap you're trying to teach and shove down our throats."

The girl knew she was testing the limits of her teacher's patience but she did not care. The first chance she would get she would blow off school and go on in to a career as a surfer. That was the plan when she learned how to surf in water and learn to swim rather than nearly drowning which in turn would have someone save her from the fate of drowning.

"Get in there!" Lawrence ordered pointing to the office door. "You also have detention this Saturday, and don't try to skip it or else you'll be suspended from school."

"Oh yes, Massa I'll be there," the girl said giving a mock bow. "Is there anything else you want me to do? Like get you a pipe and slippers?"

Lawrence glared and turned heading off back to his classroom, he began questioning how the other teachers dealt with such a rude and bratty student. He shook his head massaging his temples and silently sent a word of prayer hoping that maybe this time the principal would get through to the troubled girl.

"Miss Tachibana, it's nice to see you again." The Principal said glancing up from the papers, she had been reading. Principal Yale was the firm but fair principal, she was well liked by some of the students and normally her punishments were not serve depending on the offense. However, her red hair had flecks of gray in it due to the recent months taking a toll on her. It was due to the young woman sitting in the chair before her. "Care to discuss your behavior this time?"

"Of course Helena," Meimi said not caring that she had called her principal by her first name. "Ok, so like I was reading the newest edition of Surf Lyfe magazine with Mr. Anderson waddles over to my desk and takes it right from my hands! Instead of asking for me to put it away he just snatched it from me."

"Meimi, I know you enjoy surfing but maybe it was better to read it in your free time rather than class time," Ms. Yale said. "Was there anything going on in class that you needed to pay attention to?"

Meimi rolled her eyes. "Some crap about knowing how to properly light a Bunsen burner without setting the school on fire, as if I'd care about something like that when it's not even important to know outside this torture establishment." She stood up walking towards the bookshelf and opened the candy dish fishing out three chocolate truffles.

"Meimi, your behavior has gotten worse, is there something going on at home that you wish to talk about?" Ms. Yale knew Meimi's behavior had progressively become worse with the loss of her parents and knew that her older sister took on the task of raising her. However, she began questioning if maybe the arrangement was not working.

"Everything is oh so peachy keen at home," Meimi said sarcastically. "If it wasn't were you planning to send the suits in to watch us like a hawk?"

"Meimi Tachibana, I am hoping to get through to you but your behavior only shows you're not taking your academics seriously or have an respect for authority," Ms. Yale said standing up. "So for your punishment you're to serve three weeks detention and seeing the school counselor to work through your issues at home."

"So you're punishing me for poking a hole in your plan?" Meimi rolled her eyes. "Go ahead, I don't mind talking to the shrink and hanging around this place an hour later than most. Maybe I'll even learn a valuable lesson."

"Miss Tachibana, you may return to class." Ms. Yale said. "And I expect you to clean up your act and I'll be speaking with your guardian about your attitude."

"Go ahead; she'll just back me up." Meimi left the room as she slammed the door behind her. She gave a small smile and laughed at how she managed to piss off her teachers. It was not as if she would get into serious trouble. Her older sister was not great at parenting nor would she even care about the lack of respect she gave the faculty. "Tch…when I become a famous surfer I'm so out of here and hell I might demolish this place to make way for a surf gear store."


"Taylen, I advise you not to go on this vacation, you have the sixtieth surf competition to practice for and last time I checked you also have photo-shoots and interviews to attend."

A young woman with short dark brown hair glanced at her day planner while following the young man she was managing through the airport. She had been trying to talk some sense into him but to no avail.

"Listen Krista, I'm not going to run myself into the ground because you want to schedule so many appearances in one week." Walking towards the ticket desk, he pulled out his ID and sheet of paper with the flight number and information on it as he entered it in the self-check in computer. "I need a break; I'm tired of having to adhere to some insane schedule you've prepared for me."

"You're going to really do this to me?" asked Krista. "Taylen what about your fans, are you sure you want to disappoint them?"

"My fans will understand that I need a break," Taylen said running a hand through his bleach blonde hair, his green eyes narrowed in annoyance as he listened to Krista telling him things that she did not know about. "What good am I if I collapse during a competition, I rather not be known as the late Taylen Frostwind."

"You're going to tell me that you're going on a three month break without practicing and expect to be in top condition for the competition in July?" Krista raised an eyebrow following Taylen towards security check in. "Taylen you're making a big mistake and don't expect me to cover for you when you break your neck out there on those waves."

"I'll practice when I get to my vacation spot," Taylen said. "The house that I had built has two pools with the same equipment that I use here at home to practice, it may not be the same as the ocean waves but it's better than nothing." He turned and began walking through security check ignoring Krista's yelling, rolling his eyes, and shaking his head. There was one unseen benefit in the arrangement, he would be away from her yelling for three months and focus on what was important to him.

It'd been at least four years since he had an actual break, all those other times that he assumed were vacations consisted of interviews, being mobbed by the press and hiding from any fan that would blab to everyone and their cousin about his whereabouts.

The whole reason he slowly hated his career was that his tyrant of a manager would see to it that she controlled every aspect of his life even making it impossible for him to pursue outside interests. Looking up at the large board indicating the departing flights he felt at ease that his flight to County Gem would be leaving in an hour. That gave him time to relax and change into his disguise so no one would recognize him on the plane or in the airport.

Maybe this vacation would give him time to make a decision on what he really wanted to do with his life. He had been surfing since the age of thirteen and was slowly losing his interest in the sport. Sure, it brought him many deals and sponsors but it was not bringing him much happiness. He did feel at ease and one with the water but he wanted more out of life and wanted to stop pretending he did not know life outside the beach or off a surfboard.

Glancing at the nearby departing flights screen he nodded and headed towards the nearby men's restroom to change into his disguise. He'd at least have the chance to not be bothered by the press, he was grateful he used his normal driver's license which was meant for personal purposes instead of using the one in which had his picture of him dressed as a surfer.


"He had some nerve to confiscate my magazine,"

Meimi walked home with her two friends as they had spent the day in detention together, the teacher due to talking instead of studying or remaining quiet had separated them. It was not as if they cared anyway, they used their cell phones to text one another. "He even wrinkled the page that had the full page spread of Taylen."
"Meimi, you're going to get in trouble with your sister if you keep behaving like this," Aria said. "I mean my mom doesn't care about me getting detention but your sister is going to end your life."

"She won't do that, we have a mutual understanding that as long as she doesn't mess with me, and I don't mess with her." Meimi said simply. "Lain is totally cool with me doing as I please."

"How do you figure her chasing you down the street with her drill was cool?" asked Tori curiously. "She was angry with that test grade you got on your last history test, and I never seen her that angry before, not even when you borrowed her red mini skirt without asking and spilled paint on it from that paint party."

"Relax, I got this," Meimi said. "I'll just have a little talk with Lain and explain to her that it wasn't my fault that half the staff at school has it out for me."

"Good luck with that,"

"Hey, look at that,"

The girls stopped walking and glanced at the large wire fence around the normally abandoned field. It had a house sitting far off down the newly paved driveway and there were flowers being planted everywhere with freshly laid sod over the dirt.

"Someone finally bought the old Jenkins place," Tori said in surprise. "Hey Ari did you hear your parents mention who bought the land?"

"Well I heard my dad say some young man from Hawaii was using this place as a vacation home but I didn't get the name of the person." Aria said. "But what kind of person would want to come here for vacation?"

"Maybe it's Taylen Frostwind's property?" Meimi said shaking her head before laughing. "As if my darling Taylen would choose to vacation here, he'd so choose somewhere exciting like LA or hell DC. But he would not come here, unless he wants to experience the ranching life."

Tori and Aria looked at each other, back at Meimi before nodding in agreement, and began laughing along with her.

"Yeah, it's probably someone's grandson who is a rodeo star," Aria said, she looked at her watch. "Anyway I gotta get home now, supper is ready and my mom is probably freaking out that I am not home yet."

"Ok, see you later Aria," Tori said.

"Say hi to Hippie mom for me." Meimi said. She looked up noticing Tori heading in the other direction. "Tor where are you going,"

"I gotta go meet Mrs. Young at her house, my grandpa asked me to pick up something for him." Tori said. "I'll email you later ok Mei-shu?"

"Sure," Meimi waved to her friend and turned back to look through the fence once more, she began wondering just who could live there and why they chose to vacation in County Gem. She did not think her town was a bad place but excitement was rather scarce and she preferred to live a life of excitement and on the edge.

Maybe she could take a quick peek through the windows and around the yard; it was not as if she would get in trouble since no one lived there yet. However, she was not sure if the construction crew had left yet. With a nod, she decided to go snoop around. There was no harm in just looking.

Pulling off her blazer, she tossed it onto the ground and sat her backpack down as she began climbing the fence. If she could get over the fence, she would be able to explore the grounds and have the chance to see who was moving in. Hiking her leg over the fence, she was just about to jump down.

"Hold it right there young lady."

Damn, the fuzz had caught her, looking down she saw it was her older sister's friend and the resident sheriff, Sarah Jenson.

"Ah, hi there Sarah, I was just going over the fence to get my backpack that I had accidentally thrown over the fence." Meimi said quietly.

Sarah rolled her eyes and picked up the blue backpack that Meimi had left with her blazer. "You mean this one?" she asked. "Meimi get down from there now."

With a sigh, Meimi climbed down the fence and picked up her blazer dusting it off. She hated it when Sarah caught her because she knew that she would probably tell Lain of the mischief she had done. "Oh Sarah I love what you've done with your uniform it's so brown and it's working for you girl!"

"Meimi, do you know that I wasn't pleased to get a call from one of the neighbors about a young lady climbing a fence onto personal property?" Sarah asked. "Now, I could take you in and have your sister come pick you up from the station but I'll take you home and you can explain to Lain why you were trespassing."

"Can't this stay between us Sarah?"

"No, now march,"

"Yes ma'am."

End Chapter