Chapter 1


Lissa and I got checked in at the office. The lady working handed us our schedules, a map, and a calendar for school activities throughout the year. After that, we made our way to the girls' dorm across campus. As soon as we did we saw the whole campus bustling about with students hurrying to their rooms to drop off their stuff before class. We quickly jogged to our building to drop off our stuff like everyone else.

I made my way to the gym (Gym first hour. Yay! Note sarcasm) finding the location of the locker rooms I looked around to find the locker with my name on it. When I eventually found it I noticed another name on it, "Mia Rinaldi". The name sounded familiar. I opened the locker and found two sets of clothes. One was a size large and the other was a size small. Holy crap how small was this kid?! I grabbed the one that was clearly mine and changed. I assumed I got there early because by the time I was done my classmates were just coming in. I was the first one into the gym and the first one to start warm-ups. Our warm-up consisted of running four laps, then push-ups for a minute, and sit-ups for a minute.

It wasn't until I finished that I noticed him. A guy was standing in the corner near the bleachers. His hair was in a small ponytail and a few stands had fallen loose, framing his face. He looked as though he had already done what I just did. The other kids came in finally and started to do the warm-up. After a few minutes when we had already started a game of soccer, one more student joined us.

"Jesse! Thank you for finally gracing us with your presence! Eight laps around the court, two minutes of push-ups and sit-ups." the coach yelled to him.

"Oh come on! I'm not even that late!" the boy, Jesse apparently, complained.

"Class started at 8:05 it is now 8:30. You are very late. Get going. If you're lucky you'll finish before class ends." Ouch! It was already hard enough to run four laps and he had to do eight. The bonuses of a private school. "Get back to the game!" The entire game had stopped because everyone wanted to watch the spectacle with eager eyes gathering every detail so they could all gossip about it later to their friends. Jesse was not lucky because he finished by the time the class was over. Not only that but now and then a stray ball would fly out of bounds and hit him.

I walked into the locker room after class to change back into my uniform. In front of my locker was a short, petite girl standing at about 5' 3". She looked as though she should be in the middle school building. She had her back to me and she was talking to a friend of hers.

"Excuse me, you're in my way." She spun around to face me. "This is my locker. I think you might have the wrong locker room. Middle School is on West Campus."

"I'm a Sophomore for your information! My name is Mia Rinaldi. You must be Rosemarie Hathaway,"

"It's Rose. I have to change so please move."

"No, I quite like standing right here."

"Fine," I walked over to her and shoved my way in front of the locker resulting in her stumbling backward. I grabbed my things and stormed off to the bathroom stalls to change. I hurried up so I could get to my next class on time.

The next class that I had was art. Dad always said I was good at drawing. He's constantly prompting me to draw. I had always preferred exercise. That was my way to release my anger. It had become my... "creative outlet" so to speak. Due to my tendency to act out (violently I might add), Dad signed me up for combat training. Their whole schtick was to control your anger and guide it to the nearest non-living thing. That was four years ago. And you can see how well that worked out for me. Now don't even begin to think that this is because of my mom's absence in my life. This started back when I was five when my mom still had custody of me. I got into a lot of trouble for my "outbursts". When I was five my and Lissa's teacher thought it would be a great idea for us to practice writing our full names. Asking five-year-old's to write out Rosemarie Anne Hathaway, and Vasilisa Sabina Rhea Dragomir was like asking someone to not do their favorite thing for two years. Ridiculous and impossible. My actions were what you might expect. I took my pencil box and chucked it at the teacher's head, earning her a bag of ice and a trip to the nurses, while I won a surprise visit from my mother in the principal's office.

I arrived in class just as the bell rang which meant everyone had chosen their seats. This left me in the back next to... him. It was him, the guy from the gym. He had taken his hair out and now hung down just brushing his shoulders. I walked up the aisle tentatively. We had tables that we shared with someone as a workspace for the year. I took my seat next to him and pulled out my sketchpad.

"Good morning class, and welcome to Art. I will be your teacher Mr. Nagy. Take out a piece of paper to take notes on, we will start the year with Slavic art." He pulled up a slideshow and started the presentation. He went over what they typically painted, shading techniques, and the color schemes they paired together. In the end, Mr. Nagy gave us time to draw our piece of Slavic art.

"Hello, my name is Dimitri Belikov." I looked up.

"My name's Rose." So he's Russian. Not expecting that.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Rose. I look forward to sharing a workspace." The class continued and Dimitri didn't say anything else. When Mr. Nagy dismissed us, I hurried out of the classroom to the weight room.

The rest of the day passed quickly. I had Junior Language Arts 4th hour (blegh), lunch where I compared schedules with Lissa and found out she was a complete nerd and placed in Advanced Calculus (which means we only have three classes together instead of four). Then, I had Biology, Precalculus, European History, and Study Hall.

"Ugh… why do you have to be such a nerd?" I groaned and laid my head on the table. My hair had been up for the first half of the day but now hung in wavy sections around my shoulders.

"Because, unlike you, I have plans for my future. I want to be a teacher and maybe someday open a school of my own. Lissa patted my back grinning slightly.

"Hey! I do have a plan. Deal with things as they come."

"That's not a very great plan Rose. What happens if something comes along that you can't beat, or you don't have the skills, or anything needed to get past it?"

"Easy. I'll get you to help me."

"You, Rose Hathaway, plan to ask for help. If that happens I'll grow wings." She chuckled for a second then got up. "We gotta get ready for Biology."

"Fine," I sighed as I got up from my chair.

Biology wasn't the worst thing in the world, but it certainly wasn't my favorite. Dimitri was there again. He sat in the back corner and stared at his desk. His eyes made fleeting glances around the area. It was almost like he was seeing everything and nothing all at once. He looked up at my entrance and glanced between Lissa and me, looking back down again. I thought I saw something flicker in his eyes before he looked down, but it disappeared so fast I must've imagined it.

School ended at three and we walked back to the dorms. Lissa and I, fortunately, shared a room, but that also meant that she would force me to do my homework.

"Let's do our homework before we unpack," Lissa said. Of course, as soon as we walk in the door she wants to do work.

"Liss, really? We just got here and you immediately want to study instead of relaxing."

"If you relax you'll push it off until like ten and then complain that you're too tired for work. So yeah, we're doing it now." Grudgingly I sat down on my bed and started my homework. Starting with the harder stuff, I pulled out my Precalculus book and began working on questions '2-30 evens'. I wanted to save my Slavic Art homework for last, just cause I knew it would be kinda messy.

An hour later I finished my Precalculus and European History homework. I pulled out my sketchpad to look at the drawing. It was a very rough sketch but enough that I knew how I wanted the end product to look. I grabbed a bunch of blues, greens, yellows, and reds out of my supplies. Lissa had left an hour ago to meet with a study group to split the work on something. I don't know. I've never been in a study group. I didn't want Lissa to see it until Mr. Nagy had graded it. To be on the safe side, once I was done I shoved it under my bed to dry. Now it was 4:45 and I was freaking starving.

The walk to the cafeteria was about five minutes. They tried to put it right in the middle point between the classes and the dorms. I walked in and the first thing I smelled was burgers. Not like normal cafeteria meat they call burgers, but like, real all cow burgers. My mouth was watering.

I instantly grabbed a try to dish up, moving down the line grabbing the array of food they had laid out. When I reached the end of the line and went to pay for my food, I felt the hairs on my neck stand on end. I swiveled around and Dimitri was standing there patiently waiting for me to pay for my supper. I turned back around and looked at the total. $5.28. Damn. I only had 5 bucks with me. I hadn't thought that a school would tax the food in their cafeteria. I mean, it's a freaking school.

I pulled out the five and started to ask if I could give them the 28 cents later when Dimitri's hand reached over and handed the lunch lady the odd change I was missing. I moved over to the side and waited for him to pay for his food.

"Thanks for covering me. I can pay you back. I just didn't think that a school would tax the students."

"Don't worry about it. My mother gave me plenty of money to last until Christmas break." He gave a small shrug and that face that revealed nothing remained.

"Well, yeah, but I just kinda took your money" I countered.

"No, I gave it away to help a classmate who needed it." Leaving at that he walked off to a table in the corner while I stood there, like an idiot, before walking back to my room, confused by the exchange that just occurred.