The afternoon crawled by in the California heat. Lydia was slumped in lawn chair that sat on her apartment's patio, listening to her iPod and dozing off. A cold shock of water stung her face and her back, and she jerked upright, letting out a surprised scream. Laughter came from behind her.
"We got you GOOD!" Carlos called out, giving the other boys high fives. Carlos and Logan had huge waterguns in their hands. Lydia laughed good-naturedly.
"Yeah, so you got me. What do you guys want?" she jokingly demanded as she stood up to face them.
"There's some new girls at the Woods!" James said with a wink.
"Have you met them yet?" Kendall asked her. Lydia furrowed her brow.
"No, haven't seen them. When did they get here?"
"Well, the auburn haired girl got here a couple days ago, and this huge family with 3 boys and 3 girls just got here today." Logan said. Lydia raised her eyebrows. She watched Kendall and Logan exchange looks.
"Well, it seems like a couple of you have taken an interest to these newcomers," she joked, poking Kendall and Logan in the arm. They both blushed.
"I guess I'll have to find them and introduce myself. Someone needs to protect these poor girls from the likes of Big Time Rush," she said with a laugh.
"Hey! What do you mean 'from the likes of us'?" Carlos said, making air quotes to emphasize his point. Lydia smiled.
"First, I'll have to change out of this shirt, thanks to you guys," she said, indicating her dripping blouse, "See ya later." The boys said good bye in return, and scurried out of Lydia's apartment to continue their surveillance of the mysterious new girls.
Lydia searched around the Woods to find the rest of the newcomers. Down by the pool, she located the tiny, energetic girl and her gloomy sister. As soon as Juniper climbed out of the pool after doing a somersaulting cannonball Lydia approached her.
"Hi, I'm Lydia. I heard you're new here, and I just wanted to introduce myself," she said, holding out her hand. The short, brown haired girl gave her a grin as she shook her hand.
"Juniper," she replied, "And that's my sister Violet, and my brother Dominic, and my other brother Ivan, and (fill in this hole, Gracey, I can't remember the other brother's name!)," she said, pointing around the pool at her siblings. Lydia's eyes caught briefly on Dominic, who was about to leap off the diving board. She had to admit, he had some of the nicest muscles she'd ever seen on a guy in real life. Her attention turned back to Juniper.
"Wow, your whole family is here? Are you all trying to get jobs in Hollywood?"
"Yeah, we're all pretty talented. I'm hoping to get a job as an actress!" she exclaimed, "What about you?"
"I'm a singer. I've got a contract at Rocque Records."
" That's awesome! I hope we can all get hired," Juniper said wistfully. Lydia turned her gaze to Violet, who was slumped in her pool chair, listening to her iPod.
"Could you introduce me to your sister, Juniper?" Lydia asked.
"Sure!" Juniper bounced over to her sister, Lydia in tow.

"Niiisaaaa!"
Anisa gurgled as she turned over to face her alarm clock. Sure enough, 6:02. She started at the Palm Woods school today and her mother was a bit too excited to get her out of the apartment for the day.
Mrs. Livingston danced into her room singing her name, "Anisa, my darling, it is a time for education. Now get up and pretty yourself!"
"Mrufh." Anisa grunted.
"It's Monday!" Her mother cheered exiting her room.
Anisa lay in the yellow light for a 40 seconds, eyes closed. It was a trick she used called "40 winks". She closed her eyes and...
37...38...39...40 Her head reached the horrific number as she hauled her aching body out of bed to brush her teeth.

"Danielle Lemming?" The perky blonde teacher, who announced herself as Ms. Collins, was taking role. Anisa was next.
"And a new face," her voice was squeaky, like a cartoon mouse, she looked to Anisa and smiled. "Anisa Livingston, you'll be seated here." She pointed to an open desk next to the pale boy she'd seen before. "Right next to Logan." She winked, "No flirting you two!"
Logan's face turned beat red as the tall girl awkwardly slid into the chair next to his.
"I'm sorry." Anisa whispered. He smiled shyly.
"It's ok, she's like that." Logan quietly replied.
Not so bad.
The day lingered on and as it got out, Anisa was approached by a smiley strawberry blonde. She outstretched the only hand she was able to pull out from the text books she cradled in her arms.
"Lydia." She said professionally, shaking Anisa's skinny hand. "Lydia Moore."
"Anisa Livingston," she said with a smile.
"What brings you to the Palm Woods, Anisa Livingston?" Lydia asked, retrieving her own hand.
"Fame, fortune, and absolutely no respect from fellow performers." Anisa teased.
"You get used to it, really." Lydia shrugged. "What business are you in?" Lydia loved to hear the things kids came to Hollywood to do. They were usually actors, but sometimes the occupations could get wild.
"Music. I'm working on my first album over at Hawk Records."
"Hawk..." Lydia said the word slowly, her eyes slit slightly.
"Yeah he's... Different." It felt good to Anisa, for her to finally find someone who could understand her situation.
Lydia stared at her blue and white floral flats for a moment. "Is he trying to change you?" She looked up into Anisa's emerald eyes. Lydia's flashed in the light.
"Oh, sort of." Anisa tried to keep it personal, how she felt about that idiotic man. "I speak up as much as I can. You know, to let him know what I really want."
Liar, liar. Anisa guiltily thought.
Lydia nodded. "Just keep me posted. If that jerk tries to twist you up into a pop monster, don't let him. Kay?"
Anisa nodded and smiled.
"If you'll excuse me, I've got a harmony session over at Roque Records." Lydia put the emphasis on Roque. "See you around!" She called behind.
"Bye!" Anisa said with a grin.
Finally. A NICE person.