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A disgruntled huff escaped Minty as Spike drove away, another one came forcefully out of her when she saw that both Lilith and Juno pretty much ignored her. She hated being ignored, she knew she was too good to stand around and no one pays attention to her. So Minty turned on her heel and stomped off in the direction of the school building.

As she angrily walked through the crowd of students a distant voice could be heard. ”Minty…. She ignored it and kept walking. “Yo Minty!” the voice apparently belonged to Zeke Volontis, an annoying, cocky, tall, lanky dude with a middle part who had caught up with Minty placing his hand on her shoulder.

The girl aggressively shrugged his hand off “What do you want Ezekiel?!” she groaned rolling her eyes as she turned her head to glare at him. The boy had been trying to take her out for the whole of their junior year and a good part of the summer. Obviously, he was not her type and she had shut him down every time.

“Woah woah… Someone has woken up in a sour mood…” he laughed and flashed her his shit-eating grin. He quickly wiped it off his face when he saw the death threateningly stare Minty gave him “Uh- Hey listen I’m glad I caught up to you actually! So tonight my band is having this show at ‘The Sp-’”

Minty stopped in her tracks and turned towards Zeke “Let me stop you right there before you embarrass yourself in front of all these people” she gestured wildly around at the students milling around “What makes you think that I’d come and watch your lame jazz band play at a stuffy cigar bar?” she raised her eyebrow at him. Just as she was about to lean into her insults she spotted the grand duke of idiots himself following a young-looking blonde girl she didn’t recognize. Minty narrowed her eyes and bit her lower lip.

“On second thought… I’ll see you there!” she said and continued on through the crowd quickly without letting the dumbstruck boy get another word in.

When she finally entered the building she registered herself at the counter slapped the name sticker on her chest and went to the designated area where the tour would start. She spent a few minutes looking for someone with the tag that read Marion. When she couldn’t find anyone with that archaic name she decided she had better things to do than to wait around like some idiot. She scrounged up some spare paper from her bag and scribbled on it before pasting the note on the wall with tape from the crafting supplies she carried in her bag.

Hey Marion!

Meet me in the art room and we can start this tour or whatever.
The art room is down the hall from here, it’s the door with all the paint spatter on it.

See you there
Aramintah (Minty)


“So that’s why I don’t recommend any of the vending machines. If you’re in dire need of a snack or drink, just check the expiration dates first.”

Ellie was trying her best to give a fully comprehensive tour of Rosefell to Richie and Miki, which not only included the official academic locations, but also referenced the unofficial good, bad, and the ugly. These were tips about what days to avoid in the cafeteria, places where each clique tended to congregate, teachers who’s good side you wanted to be on and more. Her goal was to be honest with them about what they were getting themselves into, and if she could save the two of them from a few bad experiences or situations, the brunette would consider that a job well done. At least that’s what she would have wanted if she were attending a new school.

“That’s the library,” Ellie gestured to the double wooden doors on their right as the three of them passed by, glass paned windows looking into a lackluster variety of novels and textbooks with tables and chairs in between. “Ms. Bennington the librarian tends to be a bit… harsh, so just don’t talk loudly or chew gum in there or she’ll kick you out.”

Miki felt extremely underwhelmed by the tour so far. The vending machines seemed to be as basic as one might expect from an underfunded school such as Rosefell and the Library equal to it on the disappointment scale. But she didn’t have any interest in either of those. “What does this school offer in terms of extracurriculars? Or is your school so poor, that it can’t even afford that much?” It might not seem like it, but Miki was being nice when she asked her question.

The brunette girl sighed, the topic a sore subject amongst most Rosefell students. “We do have a few extracurriculars, but the majority of the funding goes towards the sports teams we have. Football comes first and then basketball, but the rest are underfunded like soccer, track and field, and even the cheer team.” Ellie explained, waving to some of the kids she knew as they passed by them. “As for the arts- which is my wheelhouse- the school gives us the space and the classes, but we’re expected to provide our own supplies. It’s similar to when any student-run club wants to go to a competition or trip, they have to fund it themselves.”

The girl stopped in front of the Nurse’s office, motioning to it with a flair of her arm. “Great place to take a nap in the middle of the day- just say you have a headache and they’ll let you spend the rest of the period there. However, I don’t suggest going to them with any real injuries or serious medical concerns.” It was an ironic comment, as her own mother was a school nurse, but Ellie knew that they selected more qualified nurses for the younger kids as opposed to the older ones thinking that the teens could better fend for themselves. Which was false.

Miki glanced at the nurses office for a quick moment, grimacing at the state of it, then she turned away, going back to what Ellie said about the cheer team. “If I’m truly going to attend this school on a daily basis -- for a year -- there’s no way the cheer team will be underfunded. Daddy will hear about this!” She declared, smiling at her surprisingly-helpful tour guide. “I think I was wrong about you, Ellie. You might have the looks of a plain jane, uninteresting girl and you even speak like one, but you provided me with some valuable information.” Without warning, Miki pulled Ellie into a forced hug that lasted for three seconds, no more and no less. “Thank you.”

Richie who had silently following along with the tour tried to keep a happy face as he nodded along to what Ellie was showing them. Though inside he shared most of what Miki was spouting but not wanting to step on any toes, he kept his mouth shut. An opinion he definitely did not share was that Ellie was plain, from where Richie was standing she looked very interesting, from her outfit that she obviously meticulously had picked out to the way she carried herself. She for sure was interesting. “Yeah! Thanks for this really, now we don’t have to get lost in this… uh… quaint labyrinth.” He chuckled quietly more to himself than anything. “So you’re into art? My sister is at NYU and living her artist dreams, we could probably donate her extra stuff that she left behind… if you’d like.” he mused.

Ellie wasn’t sure whether to feel insulted or flattered by Miki’s words, but didn’t have the time to process as she was pulled into a tight and uncomfortable embrace. The brunette remained stiff as a board, completely taken aback by the previously harsh girl’s sudden change in demeanor, and was thankful that she was released from her clutches a few moments later. God, where was Lil when you needed her? “Uh… you’re welcome.” She managed to muster, glancing around awkwardly trying to and switch gears, but was brought back by Richie’s smooth voice.

“Yeah, I’m into art- I’m trying to go to art school after graduation. Not sure if it’ll happen though, but a girl can dream!” Ellie explained, her eyes lighting up at the mention of her future aspirations. Anyone who knew the brunette was aware that she worked her ass off at the Diner and the after school program in order to save up for tuition fees to fund her education. She had the skill to easily get into any school of her choice, but it was financial aid and scholarships that would determine her fate. At the mention of donating his sister’s spare supplies, Ellie raised her eyebrows in shock.

“Wow... that’s so generous. You totally don’t have to, but I’m sure a bunch of the art students here would really appreciate and benefit from that.”

“Honestly I don’t think that she’d even notice” Richie shrugged his shoulders. “And I think that dad would love to get it out of the house anyway.” he added with a wink and a smile. “And speaking of the cheer squad, I think I saw the captain outside commanding some poor dude. So I guess you’d have to fight for the top of the pyramid Miki…” he mused and turned to face the high strung princess.

Ellie tried her best to keep her composure and not swoon as Richie winked at her, a barely noticeable flush tingeing her cheeks. “Well then, that’d be great.” The girl replied, offering the boy a smile back before realizing who he was talking about as he flipped the subject. “That would be Melissa...” The brunette laughed before providing Miki with more context. “Melissa Elliot: captain of the cheer squad, top of the Rosefell food chain, and queen of thorns. If you want to be a cheerleader, you’d be smart to impress her and not step on her toes. She can be… finicky.”

Miki could only stare at Ellie. It was the kind of stare that verged on glaring -- the kind that shot daggers at the poor girl. Miki was short, but she had the poise and potential of someone far greater and the fact that Plain Jane Ellie implied that she would have to impress Melissa was, at best, laughable. “Honey please,” she said with a hairflip, “if there’s anyone who’ll have to impress, it’s that Poor Man’s me you Rosies call a queen.” Her words came out sharper than she intended, but she meant every word. “She thinks she’s hot shit. And maybe all these years of surrounding herself by people who affirmed that notion is why, but she hasn’t had to deal with me on a regular basis. I’ll prove the only thing hot about the Queen of Thorns is the hot air that leaves her less-than-stellar lips whenever she decides to speak.”

Although her advice was from a genuine place, and she had every good intention by trying to help the new student out, Ellie found herself dry mouthed and caught off guard as Miki tore into her and ripped Melissa to shreds. The brunette was not expecting such a visceral reaction, one that came from a place of pure elitism, so she struggled to find the proper words to respond with. “Um… I, uh…” She stammered, trying to form a coherent sentence after being on the receiving end of such fiery tenacity. The girl’s previously tinged cheeks swelled with more heat, simply embarrassed that she had suggested such a thing moments ago. After taking a small breath, her lips finally enunciated words. “Well… good luck with that. I doubt Melissa will give up her crown very easily.”

”No self-respecting queen would. But it’s okay because I enjoy a good challenge. It’ll make for a satisfying victory when I utterly crush her until all of her rose petals are burned.” Miki stood firm in her stance regarding Melissa, but even she had the self-awareness that her attitude just might be too much for the poor girl. ”I suppose that’s enough. I think I’ll take a rain check on the rest of the tour, though.” She offered Ellie the most sincerest, apologetic expression she could muster. “Thank you for showing me this much, though. Truly.” Miki brought in Ellie for another impromptu hug and took off into a strut away from the two.

The Rosefell girl was convinced that she had just witnessed the rebirth of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. How could someone be so cruel and conniving one moment and sweet as candy the next? After only spending a short time with her, the brunette determined that Miki was easily worse than Melissa, way worse. At least she was on the dark haired girl’s good side... possibly? As the future queen strode away, Ellie exhaled the breath that she didn’t realize she had been holding and turned to Richie, a confused expression gracing her delicate features.

“Is she always like that?”

Richie turned his head sideways as he watched Mike saunter away before looking down at Ellie “You mean dramatic beyond compare?” he gave her another smile “Yes.” he crossed his arms over his chest as they both stared after Miki’s shrinking figure. “Anyway, I have AP Chem this morning, you wouldn’t know where the lab is would you?” he asked with that famous Diedrikson eye-sparkle.

The brunette tried to hold back a laugh, but couldn’t help it as Richie summed Miki up in the few words that seemed to fit her to a tee. “Hopefully neither of us will be around for the blood bath that will be Melissa and Miki’s first meeting…” The girl commented before the blonde haired boy inquired about the location of his first class. “Ooh, AP Chem… someone’s a smarty pants eh?” Ellie teased with a smirk, surprising herself as her demeanor shifted to one that was a bit more playful. “]“I’m headed towards there anyway, I’ll show you.”

“Smarty… pants?” Richie whispered to himself “I don’t know about that… I just need a science class to get my dad off my back, ever since I quit lacrosse he’s been on me to focus on school. Says I have a family name to uphold” he offered an empty laugh, even though he was the one who enjoyed school the most out of the golden trio, he’d much rather take an extra shift at The Spirit to focus on his passion. “And chemistry was the one thing that seemed interesting enough!” his voice pepping up again.

The brunette motioned for the boy to follow as she pivoted and began to walk in the direction of the Lab in question. She was admittedly not going towards the science wing (her first class was English), but she didn’t mind. Besides, he was nice to look at, and if walking him to class meant that she got to spend a few extra minutes with him... it was a win in her eyes.

Many of the Rosefell students did not return Richie’s attempts at pleasantries, in fact, most of them just returned his smiles and nods with scowls and eye-rolls. It seemed like fitting in would be an uphill battle. He looked to his best friend for some support, but he seemed to be in some deep thought so the blond just continued on.

Just as they reached the front doors of the decrepit building, the sound of screeching tires could be heard all over the schoolyard. Richie turned to see what had made the ruckus, his blue eyes widened in shock and mild horror as he saw his mother’s car and in it: his mother and cousin with horrified look plastered on their faces. It seems like they had almost hit a student on their way to park.

He opened his mouth as if to say something but nothing came out, he wanted to go over and yell at his mother, but he also didn’t really want to let people know he was part of that mess. Why in the world was his mother driving?! Anyone would have been a better ride for his cousin. He reminisced back to all of his near-death experiences while being driven to lacrosse practice and how he made his father promise to never let his mother drive again.

He turned back around choosing to ignore it and hoping the situation would resolve itself somehow. Instead, he patted Marcos on the back signaling to enter the building. As they did he noticed that the inside matched the outside, the paint was chipping from the walls and the floor was scuffed from the thousands of students that had walked on them. Richie shot his friend another concerned look before continuing on towards the table cluttered with papers and nametags. Behind the table, a tired-looking member of the faculty stared back at them and asked “Name?” in a monotone voice.

“Uh… Richard Diedrikson” The blond stated smiling turning on his charm. Even though it went over the older woman’s head it seemed as she just nodded quickly and threw over a tag with his name and a photocopied map of the school.

“You can sit over there and wait until your guide comes and picks you up… next!” the graying lady gestured for him to move out of the way. Richie shrugged and headed to the bench that she had pointed to as Marcos got what he assumed to be the same treatment that he had just gotten. He looked down at the sticker that bore his full name. His eyebrows knitted together. The more he saw it he didn’t like how it looked, he started digging around in his book bag until he found a pen. With it, he scribbled over what was written on it and wrote instead “Richie. D”. He figured it wouldn’t matter… it’s not like he would introduce himself as Richard anyway.

Richie Diedrikson, Marcos Kingsley, and Aiden Howard
@Spooner, @TootsiePop, and @Melissa

Tapping his thumb on the steering wheel of his car Richie’s eyes were focused on his phone again. Particularly the gray bubble with three blinking dots on the screen. He had sent Vanessa a message as soon as he had put the Cadillac in park while he waited for his friends to come out of the giant house. For some reason, he had a weird feeling in the pit of his stomach from their call this morning. But Vanessa assured him that she was just in a rush to get to class. Richie decided he was fine with her explanation, he didn’t want to be that clingy boyfriend who didn’t trust his girlfriend just because he wasn’t there to check in on her.

As soon as he pocketed his phone he heard his name being called. He whipped his head up and saw that it was Marcos’s sister Trixie coming down the road with her brother trudging down the walkway behind her, his signature brooding face plastered on him. Richie flashed the girl his wide pearly white smile as he jumped out of his car and gave Trixie a friendly tight hug.

“How’ve you been Trix? Haven’t seen you in a while” he let her go as Marcos came closer and switched his attention to his main boy. “You alright there buddy… tough morning? Did Trix beat you in pullups?” he asked with a wink wrapping his arm around him slapping Marcos’s shoulder hard as he did.

"He’ll live, he’s just grumpy. Woke up on the wrong side of the bed. As for me,” She glanced up at Richie, with tender admiration (he was the angel on her brother’s shoulder), "I’ve been alright. Spent a lot of girl time with my mom, ‘specially during Labor Day weekend. We saw Aunty Julie—” who resides in Beverly Hills, California, "—and spent the whole time at her spa.”

Trixie smiled to herself, knowing well enough she needed that time because who doesn’t like doing self care things with their mom? "Luna—” One of her cousins, “—wanted me to ask you if you were single yet, but don’t worry I told her you are dedicated, loyal, and in a loving relationship! There was a tinge of jealousy briefly on Marcos’ sister’s face, which was clear that she didn’t enjoy her cousin talking about relationships and such. One day she’ll have herself a good boyfriend, but for now, for her papi she had to focus on her studies.

The blond boy let out a chuckle, the one time Richie had met the Kingsley’s twin cousins Luna had been quite intense with her intentions. ”Well thanks for informing her for me”

“Where’s Aiden and Liv?” Richie asked looking behind the pair, where the Howard siblings were shining with their absence.

Almost as if the mere mention of the blondes summoned them, Aiden’s Jeep raced around the corner in true reckless fashion, tearing down the quiet street as Liv held on for dear life in the passenger seat. As always, he had grossly underestimated how long it’d take to get there, this time forgetting the construction zone that had conveniently popped up over the weekend on one of the main roads. He sped into the Kingsley’s driveway, not even waiting for the car to gently roll to a stop before cutting the engine.

“We’re here!” Aiden shouted out hurriedly as he quickly opened his car door and tumbled out. He looked down at his phone to check the time, noting that it was not a minute past when Richie had asked them to be ready for pick up. It was also not a minute earlier. Take that, Diedrikson! “We’re not late, we’re here!”

“Good, you know how Richie rolls. We would’ve left you two behind.” Marcos grinned, his mood slowly but surely shifting now that he was surrounded by family. He took a moment to punch his friend’s arm and joke, “Ready to see the hot selection? I’m sure you’ve been dying for some of that after labor day weekend.”

“Yeah… definitely…”

Meanwhile, his sister pushed open the passenger side door and stepped out gracefully, revealing an unmistakable pissed off expression on her face. “Drive any faster… I dare you.” Liv uttered, almost looking nauseated with the speed her brother had driven them there. She smoothed out her dress before walking towards the Cadillac trying to stabilize herself once more from the rollercoaster of a ride she didn’t sign up for. “I swear to god, Richie, if you drive anything like my brother I’m getting out of the car and walking.”

“No one drives like your brother…” Richie’s eyes flicked to Aiden’s mud-stained Jeep and then back to his best friend.

Not wanting to waste any of Richie’s time, Trixie quickly tossed her phone to her brother, "Pictures! Come here, Liv.” The small latina grabbed her bestie and made sure that their backdrop was of her estate’s landscape and not the cars. "You look gorg. Rosefell won’t even know what’s coming for them.”

“Okay, in three… two… one…”

Liv’s expression changed from annoyed to carefree in two seconds flat as she smiled and posed for the camera with Trixie. If there was anything that could lighten the mood she was in, it was an impromptu photo shoot. After a few pictures, she pulled her brother into the frame, having promised her mother that they’d take at least one picture together. Aiden tried to look happy, but in all reality he just wanted to get to school as soon as possible so that he could finally see Fiamma.

After only taking a single picture, the blonde boy clapped his hands together, “Okay, that’s enough, let’s get this show on the road.” Realizing how unlike the usual non-academically inclined sounded, he blurted out a false statement. “Don’t want to keep the ladies of Rosefell waiting.” Liv rolled her eyes.

“Yeah, you’re right. We should get going. Maybe my daily post will be a picture with Fi.” Marcos nodded, as he gave his sister her phone and swiftly claimed shotgun. “Shotgun, by the way.” Marcos updated his instagram at least once a day and the type of picture had to display some kind of message, so maybe it should be with the one girl that could put up with him. He didn’t have enough Fi on his page, which probably made him look like a bad friend.

"Looks like Aiden is sitting in between me and Liv!” Trixie teased, as she gave Richie a thumbs up that they were indeed ready to go.

“Great…” Aiden commented unenthusiastically. Whether he was referring to the fact that Marcos was going to post a picture with his girlfriend or being squished between his sister and Trixie was unclear to the group.

Richie held the door open for the girls and Aiden making sure they were all settled and belted before he flipped his seat back and got in himself. The Cadillac purred into action as soon as Richie turned the key and he pulled them out from the Kingsley driveway. The drive through town went smoothly mainly because Richie knew Columbus like the back of his hand from cruising around clearing his head.

As their new school came into view the driver looked to Marcos with a slight worry in his eye. It really looked worse than he had imagined. But as always it was Richie’s job to keep morale up high. So as he parked his car he exclaimed “We have arrived in our new kingdom, let’s get to ruling!” he turned to smile at the girls “Try not to get into too much trouble, huh? Your brothers are going to bitch too much if you do” he winked at them before jumping out of the car and letting them out of the back seat.

Liv smirked, slipping out of the backseat with ease. “No promises!” She chimed, grabbing Trixie’s hand and pulling her away towards the front entrance of their new “school”... if you could even call it that.

“Hey, Richie, keep my brother from making a fool of himself and Aiden: don’t be a bad influence.” Trixie waved goodbye, hooking her arm around Liv.

“We’ll meet you guys back here at the end of the day, see you later!” The blonde called over her shoulder as the two disappeared into the mass of students.

Aiden shook his head with a laugh, stretching out his legs after being cramped in the backseat for the majority of the ride. As much as he loved his sister, leaving her to her own devices was… risky. The boy took a good look around for the first time, the other cars in the parking lot signaling that they were not in the Emerald City anymore and unfortunately transported back to Kansas. This is Rosefell? I always passed by here and thought it was a condemned mental institution.”

Richie just shrugged his shoulders before grabbing his bag and casually throwing it over his back. “Let’s just… you know… go in” he laughed at his own lack of enthusiasm and started to lead the trio towards the school entrance. As he looked around he tried to look as pleasant as he could smiling at the new faces trying to make as good of an impression as possible.

While his friends were in a rush to enter the awful building, Marcos scanned the lot and spotted someone hiding in their car. He grinned, “Let’s pick up a little mouse first.”

The blonde boy followed Marcos’ eyes to the familiar white Fiat that sat on the opposite end of the parking lot and a smile instantly appeared and lit up his face. She was here! Deciding to be selfish, Aiden turned to his friends a little too eagerly. “I’ll go and get her! You guys go ahead and scope things out. We’ll be over in a few.” He stated all too quickly before pivoting his heel and sauntering over to where Fiamma was parked.

Richie raised an eyebrow as he watched the normally lazy Aiden spring into action with renewed vigor as he almost jogged across the parking lot. He stared after him for a while before continuing on with Marcos. “We should find the people that are supposed to show us around” he fished his phone out to check his emails again “Mines named... eeeh… Eleanor Roberts, who did you get?”

“Man, you got a girl. Lucky. I got this guy named JayVaughn… let’s find your person first.”

Minty sighed as she pushed the leaned back on the bench having grown tired of scrolling her Instagram feed. Instead, she pocketed her phone and focused her eyes on the new students arriving. She spotted Lucas, one of her old hookups who looked like he had spent most of the summer in the gym by the looks of him. Minty made a mental note to reconnect with him later during the day.

Then of course there were all of the new faces that no doubt belonged to the Liberty transplants. Some looking nervously around, but most of them wearing smug looks of superiority. After a few moments of exchanging nasty glances with some of the girls stepping out of their shiny cars, Minty turned around at the familiar sound of a dingy old Dodge Charge. Her chocolate eyes narrowed and she bit her lip, an annoyed breath escaped Minty as she stood up quickly.

It didn’t take long for Minty to stop over there, as she did she noticed how Spike had stuck his head out of his window scamming on some poor girl. Another annoying grunt escaped her as she continued to stomp over to the hunk of junk.

“So you can’t even set an alarm, dumbnuts?!” Minty exclaimed loudly swinging her arm up in the air and bringing it down swiftly smacking her hand down on the car roof over Spike’s head. She bent down to get up in his face pushing Spike’s head back into his car. “Move over…” she said as she leaned over him pushing her body against his into the car to grab the tea that she spotted in his cup holder. “At least you got my order right” she purred as she retracted herself from the car, giving Spike that look as her face passed his.

Minty flipped her silky hair back as she straightened up taking a long sip from her tea looking back at the girls that Spike no doubt had been harassing. Her eyes focused first on the girl getting off her… motorcycle. Minty raised an eyebrow, really? A motorcycle? Had they been transported back to the early 2000’s, when girls on big bikes were considered the height of sexy? She shook her head and flicked her eyes to the girl standing closest to them.

“I’m sorry… was this idiot bothering you? He has a tendency to d-” Minty almost choked on the tapioca pearls as her mind registered who she was looking at.

“J-juno?!” Minty coughed in disbelief.

Was this really the small introverted little girl she was friends with in elementary school. Damn, she had really filled out since then. Minty’s eyes traveled up and down the redhead’s body but lingered at a specific part. It dawned on her why Spike had stopped here, to begin with. She turned her head quickly to shoot Spike a fiery look. But before she had the chance to chew him out about it Lillith joined the fray.

“Oh hey, Lil…” Minty sighed crossing her arms across her chest looking down at Spike expectantly, waiting for an answer to what was actually up.

A blond head leaned against a newly tanned hand whose wrist was wrapped in a shiny Rolex watch. The head and hand belonged to Richard Diedrikson who currently was absentmindedly poking at his scrambled eggs. Even though it was still pretty early in the morning Richie has already accomplished a lot.

He and his father had gone on their morning run, where they get the chance to finally be alone and talk about everything and nothing, the Cadillac had been polished and readied for its upcoming journey, and now he was seated at the dining room table reading his e-mails about his new school.

His mother passed behind him running her hand through his hair looking over his shoulder at his phone. “The amount we paid to that school, you would think that they could keep it open…” she lamented as her hand traveled down to her son’s shoulder where she gave it a little squeeze.

Richie jerked his head away and ran his own hand through it, trying to look at his reflection in the shiny cabinet door across from him. He had a precise way he wanted his hair even though it didn’t look like it, something his mother never understood.

“Come on mom… it can’t be that bad at this new place,” Richie said as he pocketed his phone when he was satisfied with his hair once again.

A grunt could be heard from behind the large coffeecup his father was holding against his lips. “It better not be or the Liberty board is going to sue, and I will be backing that decision,” he said sternly almost more as a command than a statement. Richie took the hint that he was supposed to report back at the end of the school day.

“Understood…” the young man whispered as he leaned back in his chair. His pocket vibrated and he slipped out his phone once again. The screen showed a picture of a blonde girl and Richie’s face brightened instantly, he held up a finger to his father and snuck out to the foyer.

“Good morning Vee” he greeted smiling to himself looking down at the shiny black and white marble flooring.

“Morning stud, how was the weekend with the boys?” his girlfriend Vanessa’s voice could be heard from the other end calling, from three states over in Vermont where she attended Meadow University.

Richie searched his mind to even begin to describe the golden trio’s Hamptons weekend, in the end, he settled for “Oh you know, the usual… a lot of boozing and a lot of cruising” he let out a little laugh. “How about you babe, what did you get up to this weekend?”

“Nothing much just hung out with my new roommate… she’s kinda weird… You’ll love her!” she exclaimed. A knock could be heard in the background after a slight pause Vanessa returned “I’m sorry Richie I need to jet… I miss you, I’ll call you tonight! Love you have a great day at the new school!”

“Bye! I lov-” he got cut off by the beeping noise of Vanessa hanging up. He sighed as he put his phone back in his pocket, grabbing his jacket putting it on in one swift movement. He slung his already packed school bag across his shoulder before yelling “Bye I’m leaving! I need to pick up the guys” he could hear his parent’s distant goodbyes before he made his way outside and over to his shiny car.

He carefully caressed the side of his orange beauty as he got in and turned the key. As soon as she started to purr Richie felt a calm rushing over him. He pulled out of the Diedrikson estate and made his way over to Marcos’s house.

When he arrived he put his car in park and pressed his hand on the middle of the steering wheel letting out a long and loud honk letting his friend know that he was there and ready for them.

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