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"Here we are," Leigh announced as she and Cyan stopped in front of the door of their cabin. She reached for the handle and was about to push it down and open it, when it opened by itself. Leigh shrieked and let go, as if it was a…hot potato?
It turned out that the door didn't open it by itself. Someone opened it from the inside.
Leigh and Cyan gaped at the girl before them. She was petite and pretty, with straight black hair and tanned skin. She was obviously Asian, possibly Filipino or Indonesian.
She flashed them a very hesitant smile. "Hi. I heard you two talking, so…yeah…"
Insert awkward silence right about…now.
Leigh cleared her throat. "Um…not trying to be rude or anything, but…what are you doing in our cabin?"
The girl gave her a look. "Don't you know? We're sharing. There are supposed to be four in each cabin. Two Falcons and two Warriors, you know?" She rolled her eyes. "Teachers' tactics or something stupid like that."
"I didn't know that," Cyan piped up. She turned to Leigh. "Did you know that?"
Leigh shook her head. "No. But it doesn't matter." She smiled at the Warrior before her. "Hi. My name's Leigh. This," she said, gesturing towards Cyan, "is Cyan."
The girl smiled back. "I'm Jamie and I'm a soccer freak."
Leigh raised her eyebrows. That was somewhat random. "Um…okay?"
Jamie shrugged. "I'm a soccer freak, which means I'm a little reluctant with this whole…thing. But," she said, forcing herself to lighten the tone in her voice, "I'm trying to keep an open mind. But, you should know that your soccer team is really annoying."
Leigh had no idea how to respond to that. She had friends in the soccer team, for crying out loud! "Um…well…sorry?"
"No, no!" Jamie said quickly. "Don't be sorry. I'm sure your soccer team finds us annoying as well."
"I…erm…don't know about that."
"Oh. Okay." Her eyes suddenly widened. "You're still standing there! Sorry." She opened the door, ushering them in.
"Nice place," Cyan commented. She walked towards the curtained window and saw a beautiful view of the blue open waters.
Leigh studied the cabin. It was actually big. It had four single beds and a green couch, with a medium-sized TV in front of it. There were two big closets and two big bureau drawers. Then there were also the extra stuff…plants, lamps, and the like. All in all, the cabin was surprisingly spacious and pleasant.
A door suddenly opened, and a girl came out of the washroom (as Leigh found out when she peeked through). Her hair was sort of tomboyish, with a lot of short layers. She was tall and had a well-toned body. She took one quick look at Leigh and Cyan before shooting them a dirty glare and leaving the cabin.
"Er…sorry about that," Jamie said the moment the girl left. "Laurel is the captain of the soccer team and…you know." She smiled hesitantly. "She really hates this idea, but trust me when I say that she can be really nice."
Leigh nodded. "I'm…sure."
"Laurel already took the bed at the very left, and I took the one beside it. But we haven't decided anything about the closets or bureau drawers yet."
"We can do that when everybody's here," Cyan said. She smiled at Jamie. "Leigh and I are going on deck to check the whole place out. Do you want to come?"
Jamie hesitated. "No…um…that's all right." She fidgeted uncomfortably. "I have my own people…and…"
"We understand," Leigh cut in, sighing inwardly. "See you later."
In no time at all, Sea Maiden II was sailing through the blue open waters, heading for the Caribbean Islands. Leigh and Cyan walked on deck, heading for the front of the ship. There they saw Ethan and other R.A. friends, including Stephanie and Mariel. The picture would have been perfect, had Ryan not been in it. His back was against the white railings, arms crossed and scowl on face. Leigh tried not to scowl herself at the sight of him. Really…he was ruining everything.
"Guys," Ethan piped up, grinning maniacally, "guess where this is from."
Everyone watched him as he climbed on the railings, pumped his fists in the air and shouted, "I'M THE KING OF THE WORLD!"
They all snickered. Well, almost all of them. Ryan just snorted and rolled his eyes. The Warriors nearby, on the other hand, just shot them weird looks.
"Okay…now I need a Rose to do all that 'Jack, I'm flying!' crap," he announced teasingly.
Leigh's eyes flickered towards Cyan, who subtly edged herself away from the group, placing herself beside Ryan. Leigh frowned slightly, wondering why Cyan decided to pass up the "opportunity." Was she really that shy? Oh well…
"I'LL BE YOUR ROSE, ETHAN!" a girly voice piped up from nowhere. Leigh, along with others, turned and saw Rhonda Ark, a good friend of Emily. She was a curly-haired brunette, with a shapely body and a nice tan. It was unfortunate that her IQ level wasn't as attractive.
Leigh rolled her eyes as Rhonda literally pushed her way through the crowd, heading towards a panicked "Jack." The eyes of said Jack's twin then travelled towards Cyan, and she saw that the girl had a look of annoyance on her face.
"ETHAAAAAAN!" Rhonda cried happily as she flung her arms around his neck.
"Rhonda…I-I was just joking…" Ethan said weakly as he tried to pry her clingy arms off him. He looked at his group of friends, giving all of them a pleading, please-help-me-or-I'll-just-die look.
Rhonda pouted at him. "Y-you don't w-want me?" she asked shakily, her brown eyes brimmed with tears. Leigh rolled her own. Did she really think that that would work? Leigh didn't feel one tinge of remorse, and she was sure that the others felt the same.
Ethan gave her an uncomfortable look. "Rhonda," he said uneasily, "I just don't think we're right for each other…" He shot his friends a cold and discreet look as they sniggered at his situation.
Rhonda's eyes suddenly flashed with anger. "So you don't want me?" she said with a low tone, all fake sadness in her voice gone.
"He just said so five seconds ago," Cyan pointed out, taking her place next to Leigh. And when she did so, Rhonda shot her a fierce look. Being a girl who was slow to anger, Cyan just raised an eyebrow and shrugged.
"Fine!" Rhonda spat. "Just fine!" she whirled around and stomped away from him. Leigh snorted. Did she practise dramatic exits or something?
Her eyes suddenly travelled towards Ryan. She was surprised to see Emily close beside him. Her arms were securely wrapped around one of his, and she was chattering on and on, oblivious to the fact that the guy beside her was not listening. Said guy's position was the same: back against railings, arms crossed, scowl planted on lips. But the look on his face did look a lot darker than it was before…Leigh was sure that Emily was the cause of that.
She suddenly felt the urge to help him out. It seemed like a decent thing to do. After all, he did help her out with Blue Eyes. It would merely be a "paying her debt" thing.
With this in mind, she headed over to the pair. The moment Emily saw her, her eyes narrowed. Ryan, on the other hand, raised an eyebrow.
"What do you want, Leigh?" Emily asked sharply.
Leigh resisted the urge to roll her eyes. "If you must know," she said coolly, "Ryan promised to…to..." Her mind literally went blank. She couldn't think of one excuse to give.
Ethan was the one who saved the day. "He promised to take Leigh out on a walk!" he piped up.
Well…it depended on whose day was saved. Leigh's certainly wasn't, and by the angry glare Ryan was sending Ethan, his wasn't either. Guess it was everyone else's day, who broke into amused grins the moment Ethan opened his mouth.
Emily shot him an incredulous look. "A walk?"
"Yeah," Ethan drawled. "So that they can enjoy the warm breeze, the ocean waters, the beautiful sunlight…plus, there's also each other's company, you know?"
If looks could kill, Ethan's guts would be spilling out right about now.
Emily scowled. She then turned to Ryan, plastering on a sickeningly sweet smile on her face. "How about later, Ryan?"
"No can do," Ethan piped up. Again. "Ryan's gonna teach Leigh how to…to…"
"Play pool!" Caleb spoke up.
Ethan's eyes lit up. "Yeah!"
"Actually," Leigh said through clenched teeth, "I already know how to play."
Ethan smiled slightly and patted her shoulder. "Just keep telling yourself that, Leigh."
Insert Ethan's imaginary second death…now.
Emily frowned. "But you're going to take me to tonight's welcome party, aren't you Ryan? AREN'T YOU?!" she demanded.
"Actually," Ethan piped up, "Ryan's going with…"
"Mariel," Leigh finished triumphantly.
Mariel jumped slightly upon hearing her name. When she recovered from her little shock, she shook her head vigorously. "Actually, I'm going with…with…"
"She's going with Ryan," Leigh announced loudly.
Mariel shook her head. "No, no. I'm going with…"
"Me," Caleb finished. He smiled at Mariel. "Right?"
Mariel blushed a bit. That was pretty spontaneous. What a very odd way to get a date. "Erm…right."
"You're going with Ryan, Leigh," Ethan said.
Insert Ethan's imaginary third death…now.
Leigh balled her fists. "I am not!"
"See?!" Emily cried out. "I'm the one going with Ryaaaan!"
Insert Emily's death…now. (Murderer: unknown. Almost everyone glared at her at the same time.)
"LEIGH IS GOING WITH RYAN!" someone yelled at Emily. A chorus of "yeahs" followed.
Leigh clenched her fists. "SHUT UP, EVERYONE!" she roared, scaring everyone into shutting their mouths (yes, even Emily). "I AM NOT GOING WITH RYAN BECAUSE I'M ALREADY GOING WITH SOMEONE ELSE!"
That was a big fat lie, but they didn't have to know that, did they?
It was Ethan who broke the silence that came after. "Oh really?" he asked. "Who is it? I better have a talk with that guy!"
"Y-you don't know him…" Leigh said uncertainly. She took a deep breath and said, "None of you know him."
"That's because he doesn't exist," Emily said smugly. (Insert her second death now.)
"He does exist!" Leigh said hotly. "His name is…is…Vince…short for…erm…"
"Vincent?" Ethan suggested, his eyes twinkling in amusement.
She glared at him. "Right."
Only two people knew that she was lying, and that would be her brother and best friend. The rest, scary or stupid as it may be, believed her.
"I see…" Ethan said. "Vince Reynolds?"
"No! I told you that you don't know him!" Leigh said angrily.
"Because he's a Warrior!"
A stunned silence immediately followed the moment these words flew out of her mouth. Everyone stared at her in disbelief, their jaws dropped. Well, almost everyone...Cyan and Ethan had their eyebrows raised, corner of their lips twitching slightly. Ryan, on the other hand…
Let's just say that Leigh just had her first death.
"A Warrior?" Karla asked in surprise. "Wow." She turned to Ryan, who was staring at Leigh, and grinned a bit when she saw his flushed face. "Calm down, Ryan. I think you're hyperventilating."
Ryan exploded. "YOU'RE GOING WITH A DELSON FREAK?!" he shouted, his blazing eyes fixed on Leigh.
Leigh lifted her chin in defiance. "Yes," she said coolly. "Why should you care?"
"YOU'RE GOING WITH POND SC—" Ethan's hand not-so-gently flew to Ryan's mouth.
"Shut up, man," Ethan hissed quietly. "Do you want a fight to take place?"
Ryan looked around and saw that a few Warriors were glaring. He scowled and removed Ethan's hand. "Fine!" he spat. He turned to Leigh and glared. "You traitor."
Leigh's eyes widened. "Excuse me?! For your information, I can go with whomever I like, you—"
Bright flash. Leigh blinked and saw twinkling stars afterwards. She looked at Ryan and saw that he, too, had been blinded for a split second. The two exchanged quick looks and simultaneously turned.
Johnny stood before them, grinning maniacally with a camera in his hands. "Hi guys! Hi Leigh!" he said cheerfully. "Guess what? I volunteered to be the photographer for this trip! Isn't that really cool? I hope you didn't mind that picture I just took, Leigh! I think candid shots are just fun to take, you know? I hope you didn't mind that! Did you mind that? I really hope not! Well, you shouldn't worry because I think you're photogenic! I—"
"Shut up, Price," Ryan growled. "And I suggest you leave before I rip that camera off you and throw it overboard."
Johnny's eyes widened. A panicked look appeared on his face. "You wouldn't!" he cried in horror. He clutched his camera possessively and backed away. "You wouldn't!"
"I assure you I would," Ryan said dryly. "Now go away."
Johnny glared at him. "You're just jealous!"
Ryan raised an eyebrow. "About what?" he said coolly.
Johnny lifted his chin in defiance. "You're just jealous that Leigh wants me and not you!"
Leigh blanched at this. What the hell?! What madness was Johnny saying?! She did notwant him! Wherever did he get that ridiculous idea?
Ryan let out a humourless laugh. "She's all yours, man," he said, his grey eyes flickering towards Leigh for a brief moment.
"Good!" Johnny said triumphantly. He turned to Leigh and grinned at her. "Let's go, Leigh!"
What in God's name? Leigh scowled a bit. What the hell was wrong with Johnny?! "Actually, Johnny," she said agitatedly, "I think I'll stay here. You go ahead."
Johnny's eyes widened. "B-but Leigh!" he protested. "I want to show you some pictures I took!"
"Some other time," Leigh replied. After that, she didn't give Johnny a chance to protest even further. She turned to her friends. "Didn't they say that we're supposed to meet in the theatre at two o'clock?"
Anthony nodded. "Yeah. We have ten minutes."
"And what time does tonight's party start again?" Karla spoke up.
"Seven," Cyan replied. "And our attendance is mandatory."
Stephanie scowled. "What makes them think that this is actually going to work out? I'll bet you a million bucks that a big fight is going to break loose twenty minutes into the party."
Leigh perked up at this and scowled slightly. "Speaking of bets…"
"Gotta go!" Caleb said hastily. He left the group, practically running away from Leigh (and Ryan).
"Me too," Danny said. He left quickly with a somewhat puzzled Karla.
Soon there were only Cyan, Leigh, Ryan, and Ethan left. The four exchanged looks. Then Leigh turned to Ethan, frowning slightly.
"You're at the side I told you to go on, right?" she asked suspiciously.
Ethan gave her a look. "What?"
"The bet, Ethan," Leigh said. "Are you on the side where Ryan and I don't end up together?"
Ethan rolled his eyes. "Yeah, yeah," he said wearily. "But keep in mind that if I lose…"
"You won't lose," Ryan cut in impatiently. "Trust me."
"We should be heading to the theatre now," Cyan piped up. "It's almost two o'clock."
Ethan smiled at her. "All right." He took his place beside her, and they started walking. Leigh grinned, seeing that the two looked so…perfect for each other. Her eyes then accidentally met Ryan's, and she saw that he, too, saw what was going on between Ethan and Cyan. They exchanged amused looks, but after a split second of realizing that they hated each other, the amused looks turned into glares.
After this exchange took place, they simultaneously turned and followed their best friends, at the same time making sure that they maintained good distance between each other.
"Silence, everyone!" Mr. Wilson called out through the microphone. He was standing on the stage, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Everybody was so used to him wearing a nice suit that it was odd seeing him like that.
The chatter gradually died down, and all turned to look at R.A.'s headmaster. When silence had prevailed, Mr. Wilson beamed.
"Good afternoon!" he said cheerfully. "For those who don't know me, my name is Mr. Paul Wilson, Redwood Academy's headmaster. Mr. Bennett and I are here in this trip to monitor your progress." He smiled, almost slyly. "Let me remind you that any misbehaviour will result in punishment for all students, not just the ones who caused it. Is that clear?"
There were a few murmurs and whatnot.
"Now, here to give a welcome speech is Alice Bridgeman, Redwood Academy's student body president, and Chris Wright, Delson School's student body president!"
Applause and whistles came from the audience as a girl and a guy came up the stage. Both were smiling hesitantly, and Leigh noticed that they were staying away from each other as far as possible, not unlike Ryan and her.
"Hello, everyone," Alice greeted through the microphone. "I'm sure that we are all feeling the same way about this trip: hesitant and doubtful. Am I correct?"
The audience agreed.
Chris spoke up. "I know that a lot of you are really eager for this trip to end." He paused. Then his face broke into a wry grin. "I don't blame you. I feel the same way, especially since I was forced to go up this stage and do a speech with selfish brat."
Alice gasped. She then glared and grabbed the microphone. "The feeling is mutual, everyone. Do you know what it is like to be standing here with an arrogant git? This guy," she said, gesturing towards Chris, "is the most annoying and impossible loser I have ever met!"
The audience broke out into loud noise. Some were shouting angrily, some were talking loudly …
…and others were guffawing. It was pretty much chaotic.
Mr. Bennett ran on the stage and grabbed the microphone from Alice. He glared at the two student body presidents before him, then faced the audience. His face was flushed with anger.
"I am ashamed with all of you!" he yelled angrily. And by doing so, the noise died down. He scowled and turned to Alice and Chris. "You two especially!" he shouted. "I expect more from you, being the leaders of the student body! Shameful, I tell you!"
By now, the whole theatre was dead silent, and the only thing that could be heard was Mr. Bennett's angry yelling (and maybe even heavy breathing).
Mr. Wilson then calmly walked up the stage and took the microphone from his friend. "You have just earned your first punishment," he announced. "All of you, not just Alice and Chris."
There were a few groans and mutters from the crowd.
Leigh suddenly saw Mr. Wilson's face break into a devious grin. That was not good. She could almost imagine him doing an evil laugh…
"I have the perfect punishment," he said.
Insert dramatic pause here. The students held their breaths, awaiting his next sentence. The theatre was freakishly quiet. An ant would have been heard crawling on the carpet, but since it was a high-class cruise ship, there was no ant…
Finally, after what seemed like centuries, Mr. Wilson spoke up. "Each of you will be handcuffed with a person from the opposite school."
Insert angry roars from students right about…now. Leigh shook her head. The noise was deafening. Honestly! Did these headmasters, teachers, and parents have a death wish?
Hope you liked that. I once went to a fair thing, and they actually had people getting paid to handcuff two people together, or something like that. Hehehehe…anyway, please review!