Chapter 2

We enter the busy cafeteria. Me still musing over the boy in the auditorium while Kieth ranted about what a couple of bickering fools Garry and Matt were. I turned to make my way to the lunch line when Ein grabs my arm.

"Don't bother." He smiles guiding Kieth and me through the crowed room. "I already called ahead and made reservations."

I groan. "God Ein. Will you ever let me get back to normal?"

Ein looks at me critically. "No! Because what you called normal is in no way normal. I mean God, Leo. We barely talked to each other and we are roommates, which means there was no way you maintained any relationships around here."

"That's not true." I interrupt his rant. "A lot of guys here aren't good friends with there roommates."

"They are at least acquaintances, Leo." He rolls his eyes. "And they usually don't spend much time in their room because they are with OTHER people. You are always in there or maybe in the library, or the West Lawn, which is always deserted, or maybe looking up some stocks or some other business related stuff, or…"

"Why Ein have you been following me? You really shouldn't be stringing along dear old Kieth then."

"Who are you calling old?" Kieth huffed pulling out his chair. I flashed him a grin. Wait, when did we get to the table?

I look at Ein who looks pointedly at me and then at the seat on the other side of Kieth. I sigh and take the seat as a tray with my usual burger and fries is pushed in front of me. I smile my thanks to Kane who simply smiles back and takes a sip of his Coke. I raise an eyebrow. Seems Kane's done it again. His hair is now a lightning blue, amazingly close to silver. He meets my gaze and grins, running his hand through his hair.

"So when are you going to let me play with your sandy locks, babe?" He continues to grin and reaches over and pulls a few strands of my hair for emphasis.

I snort and bat his hand away. There is no way I am letting Kane play with my hair. It's not that I don't trust him. Hell, I let him cut my hair every couple of weeks. It's just that, as I mentioned before, he has a serious fascination with me and the color pink. I shudder involuntarily.

"Hot pink." He snickers, obviously picking up on my train of thoughts.

I glare at him. Then eat a fry as I look him over. Kane's not what you'd think of as the hair dresser type. Then again, that depends on what you think is the hair dresser type. He looks like your typical rebel. Spiked hair, tons of piercing, though they were mostly restricted to his ears, leather jewelry and a sloppy take on the normal uniform. Of course, this said very little 'bout his personality. True, Kane did have an attitude and a lil bit of a problem with authority, but, then again, what teenager doesn't. Other than that Kane was pretty average in academics and in attitude. That may seem pretty bland but it says a lot about Kane. His family is one of those old money types, strict rules on attitude, behavior… life in general. He's pretty strong to have come out of that environment as relaxed and content as he is, true he has some anger issues but if he came out completely unscathed I'd be worried.

He still came out better than Tony. Tony was the last member of this group and Kane's boyfriend. He and Kane had been together forever. They're families knew each other, ran in the same circles, not that they would actually run. Tony was the troubled child. He reacted much differently than Kane did to the controlling environment. Kane was always there for him though which resulted in an almost obsessive attachment. He's working past it now, even starting seeing the school shrink, which was also my suggestion though I'm sure others must have mentioned it earlier. Never expected that one to be taken seriously. Why did these kids actually take me so seriously? Guess I just elicit the blind obedience kind of attitude.

I frown a bit. Tony's not here. He's always with Kane. He was getting better but still, he'd always be with Kane or, more recently, with one of this group. I look over the table. Kieth's to my right and Ein is on his. Kane is opposite me and Tyler is to his left with an empty seat between them. James is missing too, so all seems in order. He's probably with Tony.

"So," I smile seeing Kane look at me again and Tyler and Ein pause in their conversation to listen. "Where are your other halves?" Nodding my head to the pair across the table.

"See, he does care 'bout us." Tyler smiles at Ein, probably referring to their previous conversation. Ein just snorts. Tyler smiles again turning his leaf green gaze on me and running his fingers through his hair. I follow those fingers and blink.

"He got to you too." I sigh. Tyler's chestnut hair now has its tips frosted a blood red, dark and striking.

He smiles at me sheepishly. "Yeah." He eats a fry. "Tony got a tutor to help him in…" He stops and looks at Kane.

"Chemistry." Kane states between bites.

"Yeah." Tye resumes. "He mentioned the tutor was this new kid, just transferred. James recognized the name and said he'd go with him." He eats another fry.

"He knew the kid?"

Tye shrugs and I take that as a yes. From there the conversation enters a lull. I hate those. I mean HATE them. As in I would actually try to make conversation.

"…. Heard anything more 'bout our mystery man?" I can't believe I said, and yes, I was referring to the hit man.

Ein leaned forward on the table to look at me, his eyes sparkling. Did I mention that he was quite the lil gossip monger? And this was big news.

"Nothing new. All I have is what I told you. He was in his thirties, was found a ways outside of town shot to death and had a gun and a pre-paid cell on him. He was staying at one of the local cheap motels and they checked the cell to find calls to only New York, no number that could be used." He finally stopped for a breath and scanned the table.

Yes, I'm from New York. Yes, it's very typical. And no, I have no real accent so I couldn't be connected -that- easily. The reason for the lack of accent is that, although my mom was very into the whole mafia…tradition?...she hated the New York accent and had me in some kind of elocution lessons since I was little.

Kane just shrugged. "I haven't got nothing." He turns to Tye who just smiles.

"What do you know?!" Ein demands immediately.

"Nothing much." Oooh, smile's grown into a grin.

"Tyyyyeeee." And look, there are the puppy dog eyes.

"Well," Tyler repositions himself leaning forward a bit as if to divulge a great secret. Everyone else mimicked his position, all eager to hear. I suppress a groan and continue to eat. "From what I heard, they called up some guys from NYC and it seems the guy was a suspect in some killings or something and some people mentioned seeing him around campus over the past few weeks or so."

"So they think he was after some one in here? Like he was a hit man or something?" Keith said, leaning back in his chair.

Tye just nodded and resumed eating.

"Why would they want someone in here?" Kane questioned.

"I know! He works for the mob and there's someone important with a kid stashed away in here somewhere!" Ein's eyes are sparkling and I choke a bit on a fry.

"Nice theory, hun." Kieth smiles and runs his hand through Ein's hair. Ein turns to look at him and then shrugs, instantly dismissing the idea. Thank you up there, whoever you are. I sigh. Another lull, but I'd be damned if I'm going to do anything. I will not say anything. I will not.

"So…" Damn. I completely lack self-control, which could also be blame for the whole hit man situation when I think about it.

"My, Leo. You're just so eloquent." James says effectively announcing his arrival. He grins and drops a kiss on Tye's cheek before pausing, looking 'round the table and frowning.

Tye looks up at him, takes his hand and pulls him into the vacant seat between himself and Kane. "What's wrong, babe?"

James just looks around a bit. I turn and follow his gaze. Moving towards us is Tony, balancing a tray in each hand. So that's where he was. I'm impressed he went alone. I look back at James who is still following him. I see Tye shrug and can feel Kieth do the same. Kane has taken to doing the same as James, protective nature and habit kicking in. Both their eyes followed the same path until Tony got to the table.

Kane kept his eyes on Tony and pulled out the chair to his right for him to sit. After Tony did that, Kane placed a kiss on his forehead earning a blush and a shy smile.

James' eyes had moved away from Tony the moment he reached Kane's side. Right now he was smiling at a place to my left and I, as well as everyone else, turned at the sound of a chair scratching the floor.

Well, what do you know? Whoever it is up there must really like me today.

"Everyone," James starts, a reassuring smile plastered on his face. "This is an old friend of mine. His parents and mine are pretty close, though I haven't seen him for a while. Mikhail, these are my friends. This is Tyler, my boyfriend."

Tyler smiled and nodded.

"This is Kane. He's my boyfriend." Tony adds in a small voice. Kane smiles and slings an arm over his shoulders.

"These two are Ein and Kieth. They're together too. And the guy to your right is Leo, he's Ein's roommate." James finishes off the introductions.

"Nice to meet you all." The voice was quiet, just loud enough for everyone to know that something was said.

"Hi" Ein piped in quickly. "So you're our dear Tony's Chemistry savior. Is that the only thing you're interested in? Like do you have any hobbies?"

"Just jump right into twenty questions, Ein." Kieth chuckled. Ein pouts a bit and everyone snickers at the look on Kieth's face.

"He likes music." I say calmly turning to my left and feeling everyone stare at me questioningly. "So, exactly what was wrong with that bass intro.?" I grin as I see two amused feline eyes peer out at me through strands of ebony hair.


Okay, so I took 4ever to update. Blame college, Architecture is hard. That and I've had a serious case of writer's block. But I'll try. I promise.