Chapter 1: The Black Party.

"Give me the green light;

Give me just one night.

I'm ready to go right now,

I'm ready to go right now.

We could go all night;

Give me the green light.

I'm ready to go right now,

I'm ready to go right now."

-Green Light

-John Legend

He leaned forward, his mouth tracing hers. He ran a slow hand up her neck and through her hair, soft and delicate. She leaned into him, her long auburn hair cascading in front of their faces like a curtain across a stage. Her own hands worked their way up his shirt, her fingertips tracing every contour of the muscles hidden underneath. Their faces so close together that they couldn't read each other's expressions; hers anxious and wanting; his twisted with mischief.

"Lin, I want you so badly." Her voice escaped her lips like the smoke from a cigarette. Their bodies now more one than two, their movements: the beating of their very hearts.

"I'm yours." He whispered across her ear, the feeling like a sensual touch. Her shoulders shuddered and she pressed in closer to him. He pushed her away, but just far enough that they could pull off each other's shirts. Their cotton barriers gone she pushed Lin back; his shoulder blades hit the back rest of the bed. His hands wove their way down her body with the precision of a master violinist working with his instrument. Their bodies ebbed and swelled like the waves of the ocean. His lips found hers, hers found his. His fingers traced the outlines of her breasts, she moaned in ecstasy. Her fingers fumbled with his belt buckle- the sound of metal in a sea of flesh.

"I want to hear you say my name Lin." She commanded. "I want to hear you scream it." She gripped his shoulders. Her nails dug into his skin- pleasure in pain.

And Lin realized he didn't know her name.

"Hey! Ry, my man, have you seen Blake?" Kyle forced his way through the throng of pulsating bodies all draped in black. Ryland's hand hovered over his mouth, holding a red, plastic cup filled with questionable contents.

"Which one?" Ryland countered. He stood almost a head taller than Kyle, their differences like day and night. While Ryland was tall, and broad, with dark skin and hair shaved close to his skull, Kyle was average height, and lanky, built like a runner, with skin as pale as porcelain and long blonde hair that constantly got in his eyes. Though tonight they both wore all black. Not only were the two totally different in appearance, but their personalities were total opposites. Calm, composed, and intelligent versus brash, hot headed, and crude, respectively.

"Blake, not Cake." Kyle specified with a slight roll of his dark blue eyes. His brown eyebrows knitted together and belied his hair color.

"Right, of course," Ryland's voice carried the sarcasm he relayed well. And it wasn't lost on Kyle. They both shook their heads at the other. Ryland would never understand these American kids and their fascination with nicknaming each other. "I think Blake is over that way, try the den, mate." Just for a moment, possibly missed by anyone listening, Ryland's British accent sounded through.

"The den?" Kyle recited, to make sure he heard right over the loud bass that reverberated through the room and shook their bones. He would never understand why Ry didn't like the nicknames that they all used for each other. Kyle believed that it brought everyone closer. Or at least as close was this group could get and still slip the daggers into each other's backs.

Ryland merely nodded his head and turned back to the girl he had been chatting up, a senior that Kyle vaguely remembered being called Donna. She was pretty cute, a California tan and a blonde bob. Her fingers tickled the air as she talked. Kyle turned away from the pair and knifed his way through the crowd again, his red cup held out behind him like a keel, and his free hand out in front of him like a bow of a ship to cut through the waves of partiers. It didn't take long to locate the den. And sure enough, there was Blake. In a simple black t-shirt and black jeans.

The den was large, much larger than the one in Kyle's own home. The ceiling was arched and there was a fan that lazily spun almost twenty feet up, not helping circulate the air or cool the room at all. There was a fire place on one wall, the mantle had been removed of all trinkets and breakables, and a half circle of large, overstuffed arm chairs across the room. Hanging above the bare mantle was a 36 inch plasma HD television. Music videos played across the screen, but the music that blared through the entire house didn't match the videos that played on screen. Below the T.V. and in front of the fireplace sat a table laden with so many snacks that its legs groaned and threatened to buckle. Standing next to the snack table was Blake, his eyes glued to whoever was shaking their ass on screen.

"Hey, Blake, how are you doing man?" Kyle asked him as he walked across the room to stand by his side.

"Oh, hello Ky. How are you doing on this glorious evening?" Blake turned to face his approaching companion. The smile on his face was wide and genuine, winkling the corner of his eyes. His black hair was longer than Kyle's and waved side to side hiding his ears. His glasses with the thick black rims magnified his dark eyes to twice their regular size.

"I need you to do me a solid and I.D. this girl for me; no one seems to know who she is." Kyle put an arm around Blake in a show of camaraderie. Blake looked skeptical, but he knew why Kyle had come to him. "Come on! You know like everyone!" Kyle spoke what Blake was thinking when he saw the skeptical glint in his eyes.

"Okay, Okay, I'll do it Ky." Blake shrugged the other's arm off his shoulder. Kyle led him through the dining room (which was missing the dining room table) and back out to the pool. The two of them stopped next to the dive board and Kyle motioned with his cup a girl standing the center of a gaggle of giggling girls in the gazebo.

She was tall and thin, like a model. Her skin was tanned in a perfect evenness that had to be fake. The hair that cascaded down her back waved and curled at the ends, and was almost the same color as her tan. She wore a pale lip gloss that accentuated and plumped her already full lips. Just pass them they could see her perfect, white smile. She wore a short black skirt with a plunging neckline. She flipped her hair as she laughed and touched the shoulders of the girls she was talking to.

"Her?" Blake specified, his thick eyebrows rising in skepticism again. Kyle nodded hungrily. He licked his lips like a wolf watching a suckling pig. "Really? She looks just like every other Californian trophy wife." He didn't hide his disgust well and Kyle snapped back from his fantasy to scowl at him.

"She's gorgeous!" Kyle argued, his words harsh and loud. A couple of partygoers around them stepped away. Blake looked back at the girl and shrugged. To each their own. He took Kyle's cup and downed it. Miller light. He made a face and wiped his lips with the back of his hand.

"Her name is Samantha Washington. She moved here three days ago." Blake dropped the information all rather matter-of-factly.

Kyle knew Blake's reputation, but was still a little shocked. "If she just moved here three days ago how do you already know her? And how did she get invited to the Black Party?"

"She moved in across the street from T.J. and I was at his house yesterday. And as to how she got in, she's cousins with Carly who brought her along." Blake's eyes scanned the pool deck for a keg, he needed refueling- he could feel his buzz wearing off.

"Wow, is there anything you don't know Blake my man?" Kyle patted him on the back.

"The capital of Eritrea." Blake muttered absent-mindedly as he ambled off in search of alcohol. Kyle's eyes followed the hunch of his back until he disappeared into the crowd. Kyle then melded into the crowd himself. He had to find T.J.

Blake's eyes adjusted to the dim light. Unlike the male that shared her name, her eyes were light, the color of fresh grass. Her dark, almost black, hair blew across her eyes. She ran one of her long fingers across her face, gathering up the strands and tucking them behind her ear. She slowly turned her head and smiled at T.J. Her face had soft features and light skin that accentuated her beauty by bringing out her eyes and lips.

T.J. on the other hand had strong, sharp features and a warm complexion, like hard caramel candy. His black hair was cropped short to keep it out of his eyes during broadcasts. His eyes were a dark brown that brought up images of cherry wood and forests.

"Hello beautiful." He whispered to her. Two words shared between the two of them and the night air. His voice was thick and smooth, like a celebrity's. His body was as angular as his facial structure. His shoulders broadened by the black suit jacket he wore. He wore a black shirt underneath with some 80's television show on it. His legs were crossed and propped up on a support beam, draped in black slacks.

"T.J., why do you do that?" Blake herself was in a black strapless one piece that hung over her endless legs. A sheer shawl had been wrapped around her shoulders, but since discarded.

"Do what?" He asked in his composed way. He turned his whole body towards her and propped his head up on his hand.

"Call me beautiful like that?" The color rose in her cheeks as she blushed a little. He sighed, a long and drawn out sound.

"Because that is what you are, my little Achy-Blakey." He ran one of his strong, confident hands down the side of her face. It was rough (calloused from all the writing he did) but not unpleasant. If there was one thing that bothered him it was Blake's way of asking why he did things that were normal in a healthy relationship.

"Why are you with me?" She asked. He sighed again. This time he placed a finger on her lips to keep her quiet, but then thought of something better to keep her silent. He leaned in and pressed his lips against hers. Not lightly, but with the commanding force that he carried himself with. She at first tried to pull back, but then fell into the kiss. He slid across the roof and wrapped his strong arms around her waist. She ran one had up his arms feeling the chords of his muscles tense beneath his skin.

"Hey, T.J. Ky wants you." The trapdoor behind the couple burst open, clacking loudly and startling them both. Blake scrambled away and gathered her shawl, pulling it close around her shoulders as she rose to her feet. T.J. scoffed and rolled over. Sitting up he locked eyes with the obviously drunk boy staring back at him.

"What does Ky want?" He almost growled. His lips dropped into a scowl.

"I don't know man! You don't need to snap, he just asked for you." He slurred the last three words together and then sank back down the trap hole and back into the party. T.J. let out a third sigh and turned back to Blake, his face softening.

"Don't worry about me, just go find out what Ky wants." She muttered. Her eyes searched the tiles for her shoes. T.J. gave her an apologetic look of defeat. But she waved it away dismissfully.

"I need to find Lin anyway." She took a few tentative steps after him. He quickly turned away from her to hide his mild annoyance. He knew that no matter how close the two of them got he would never come between her and Lindell, so he never pressed the matter.

No matter how much it pestered him.

"Then come with, if anyone would know where Lin is Ky would." T.J. pointed out. He still didn't look back at Blake as he started down the ladder.

For all the things said about Blake her Ice Queenesque coldness was a lie. She could sense his tenseness (his words became clipped when he was jealous, it was cute) and she decided to drop the subject of Lindell. She could totally emphasize with her boyfriend, but Lindell and she had been friends since the first day of preschool. (He had pushed her into a pile of glue bottles, covering her with the stuff; they had to cut her hair short like a boy's to get it all out.) No one knew them like each other. Lindell was her brother practically. Nothing would ever tear them apart. It was the one solid fact in a world of wobbling theories.

Blake solemnly followed T.J. down the ladder. The sound of their footfalls lost in the rhythmic reverberations of the distant speakers.

Kyle stood at the bottom of the ladder with his arms crossed and his head angled in a cocky way that was oh-so-him. His light pink lips were twisted in a mischievous smirk. It was obvious a scheme (though not a very smart one) was cooking up behind that angelic face.

"T.J. my man!" Kyle put an arm of camaraderie around the taller boy's shoulders. Blake rolled her eyes and gave an exasperated sigh as she shoved pass them. Kyle had joined their circle in elementary school and considered Lin his best friend, even if the feeling wasn't mutual. She had seen his game so many times she could practically quote him.

"What now Ky?"

"Come on man! Why do you have to say it like that?"

"What now Ky." (It was now more of a statement than a question.)

"Okay, okay. I need a favor dude. Just an itty-bitty, tiny favor, I mean remember all that I've done for you. This isn't even that bi-"

"What now Ky."

"Dude, okay! I want to meet your new neighbor, Sam or Sammy or something like that."

By now Blake could no longer discern their voices from that of the rest of the mingling guests. She was making her way up the stairwell to the second story. She knew how to find Lindell. Look for the bedrooms. When one first met her best friend there were two things that had to be quickly established:

1) Lindell = Sex


2) Sex = Lindell

On her left she heard moaning and heavy breaths just beyond a large oak door. She could already tell that Lindell wasn't one of the people involved in that coitus. Though they had never had sex (even during that short time while they dated, which might have been why it ended so quickly) she knew his voice and his bestial sounds. Her feet padded down the soft carpet. Only now did she realized that she had left her shoes on the roof, it was okay though, Ryland would find them and return them without a doubt.

The next door had the sounds of sobbing behind it. This instantly caught her attention. Sure at parties there were lots of tears. But they were always loud, and out in the open, a dramatic, theatrical thing. These, these were different, quiet and personal sounds. Blake slowly opened the door and peeked in. Lindell looked back up at her. She was a little startled, but it was obvious the feminine sounds were not from him, but from the girl lying on the bed next to him. Her bare back was to the door and her auburn hair pooled on the sheets around her.

"Uh… Lin?" Blake whispered, trying not to disturb the crying girl. Lindell stood up and the sheet that had been wrapped around his lower half fell away. Another thing that Blake had grown used to was Lindell's blatant nudity. He would walk around naked in a stranger's house for all he cared.

But tonight he slipped back into his black boxers and black slacks. He stepped out into the hall with Blake.

"Hey B.L. how's my favorite little drama queen tonight?" He chortled. His voice was grainy and nowhere near as smooth as T.J.'s. But that was okay because it carried a certain burlesque sexuality in it.

"Um, what the hell did you do to that girl?" Blake's usually light and airy voice was now shrill.

Lindell took his time answering her question. First he pulled a pack of Dunhill Special Reserves from his pants pocket. Taking one between his lips he pulled out a golden lighter. He leaned into the small flame and took a long drag of his fag. Leaning back he craned his neck and exhaled all the tar filled smoke from his lungs.

"I fucked her." He stated with an odd finality. "Then she started to cry like that, I have no idea why." His ice blue eyes met her light green ones. Lindell had those eyes that were so cold an intense they seemed to stab into you like icicles. They would send shivers down your spine just meeting him eye to eye.

"What? And you are sure it has nothing to do with something you did?" She asked. He shrugged his wide shoulders and took another drag from his gasper.

"I fucked her, end of story, I don't even know her name." his voice was flat and cold sounding. This was the only thing about Lindell that turned other people off of him. He showed no real emotions and didn't seem to care about anyone. Blake knew that this wasn't true, and it only seemed as such because he was so guarded around most people. Of course Blake wasn't most people.

"Let's get out of here B.L., this chick is depressing me. Where's Ky? Didn't he say he had some M and M's?" He smiled at Blake and used his free hand to tuck some strands of hair out of her face. The warm gesture caught her a little off guard, but before she could fully react he snorted and walked away. "I could go for some Hug Drug right now!" He laughed over his shoulder.

Blake stumbled after him. "What about your shirt?" She asked. He ran a hand down his own muscles, as if he was just realizing that he didn't have it on.

"Just leave it; she can use it for a handkerchief or something." He dismissed.

Kyle and T.J. were making their way towards the gazebo, but not fast enough for Kyle. He was almost shaking with anticipation. T.J. was a little sour that his alone time with Blake had been interrupted for this, but his mood was quickly rising. He loved being surrounded by people, and there was no better place for that than a party.

And the Black Party at that. The sign that the summer had come to an end. Every year there was a Black Party, the Sunday before the first day of school. All the students would show up on their first day back hung-over and tired. Then Monday night there would be the White Dance. A "mingling" activity put together by the school to introduce the new students to the old ones. The White Dance would of course roll over into White After-parties and everyone will come to the second day of school hung-over and tired.

As is the life of the rich, the fabulous, and the young.

Poor them.

Kyle saw his main obstacle before they got to the gazebo. He could already feel the wall rising between him and Sam. An invisible and intangible barrier. The barrier's name was Naomi.


The fact that Samantha Washington was standing in a circle of Naomi Johnson's closest confidents wouldn't have been a problem at last year's Black Party. (Well, besides the fact that Sam was probably in a different state during last year's Black Party.) Of course that had also been before The Fall. An event that (because he was friends with Blake (the female)) was never spoken of.

"T.J.! How nice to see you!" Mimi's voice was bubbly in the same way as a poisoned glass of champagne.

"Naomi." His voice was flat. Cold. He and Mimi had a… complicated history.

"Wow! Mimi! I'm surprised you got in. I was sure I read a 'No Bitches' rule on the invitation." Kyle cheerily greeted. He tossed his blonde bangs out of his eyes and smiled directly at Sam. A couple of girls in the group chuckled.

Most of the girls were standing, but Mimi herself was sitting in one of the oversized wicker chairs. She wore a short black dress with a glittery, sheer skirt over it. Her long, slender, dark legs were crossed before her. She looked the total opposite of Blake. Her skin much too tan (but not that fake orange shit) and her hair much too blonde (almost white). Her eyes were a dark blue, almost black. Nautical and yet vile, like pools of water ready to consume and drown you. She leaned back, her straight hair framing her insidious smile. Her wicker chair; her throne.

To her right sat Cheryl. Almost a head taller and as black as night, she had an afro that was large and loose, like a perm gone wild. Cher's eyes were adverted, intently studying some non-existent speck on her black skin tight jeans. Cher no longer made eye contact with any of Blake's friends.

And, quite frankly, Ky didn't blame her, he would've been ashamed too after what she had done.

"Oh, witty, but here I thought you couldn't read." Mimi's biting words brought any wandering thoughts back to the battle at hand.

Ky's smile never wavered. "Don't listen to her," This he directed at Sam, "Everyone knows she's a lying, back stabbing slut." The last part was repeated with such venomess ferocity that the entire gazebo fell silent.

"That's hurtful coming from someone who's friends with Lin." This, of course, was a double edge blade. For everyone knew that however much Lin was a slut, Mimi and him shared beds quite often. This weak comeback was obvious to everyone and it wasn't supported with any cheers or laughs. Mimi realized that she was quickly losing this bout and conceded by waving dismissively and asking: "Why are you two here anyway?"

T.J. let out one of his trademark sighs. He stepped between Mimi and Ky and nodded tentatively at her court. "You're Samantha right?" his voice was filled with relief. "I'm T.J."

"My new neighbor, right, I remember you." Her voice was lilting and airy- something generic. "Where's that Blake boy?"

T.J.'s face scrunched in confusion before he remembered that Blake (the know-it-all) had been with him last time they had met. "Oh, he's somewhere out there- in the party." Kyle nudged him to keep him on track. "Yeah, well, I want to introduce you to my friend Kyle- Ky." T.J. patted his "friend" on the shoulder.

"Hi." She met Ky's eyes for a second before looking away, the color in her cheeks rising. Mimi made a disgusting gagging sound and rolled her eyes. "You're kinda funny."

"If you liked that there's way more I could show you." He smiled wide, and slightly crooked. She chuckled mindlessly. Now T.J. was disgusted too.

"I'm going to go find Cake." He excused and ambled back into the crowd. (Cake his girlfriend, not the delicious, frosted food.)

Suddenly Ky was alone in enemy territory and feeling mighty exposed. He smiled at Sam and asked if she wanted to get something to drink.

"Sure." She wrapped a thin arm around his and they started off.

"Wait Sammy, don't go." Carly gripped Sam's arm tightly. The two girls shared a look and some girl-telepathy. Sam's arm slipped from Ky's arm. He was losing her, dammit.

"Hey have either of you ever met Lin?" He flipped his trump card. "I've heard him talk about you before, Carly."

"Really? Lindell Rothschild?" Carly's eyes lit up. Hook, line, and sinker.

To the north of the pool there were three round booths. Plastic and uncomfortable, Lin, Blake, and T.J. were occupying one now. Red plastic cups sitting in front of each of them on the table.

Lin's eyes searched the crowd for his next victim. He was silent, brooding, the hunter on the prowl. Next to him Blake and T.J. rubbed noses and whispered sweet nothings.

"Lin, Cake!" Ky stepped up to their table, a girl on each arm. "This is Sam," She smiled and waved at each in turn. "And Lin, I'm sure you already know her cousin Carly." This was the cue. Lin's eyes snapped to the girl on Ky's left. Average height but slender, her black hair was cropped short and her round face had a classic Hollywood feel. His hunt was over, thank you Kyle!

Ky and Sam slid in next to T.J. and Blake. Carly sat next to Lin- across from them.

"I haven't seen you around before, are you a freshmen?" Blake asked Sam. It was rare for a freshmen to come to the Black Party, but not unheard of. T.J. (sitting between the two girls) gave an exasperated sigh and clonked his head back on the booth.

"No, she actually just moved here from..." Ky's voice trailed off.

"Florida." Sam finished his sentence and squeezed his arm gently. He nuzzled his nose against her cheek. She giggled.

"What part, my family has a summer home down there?" Blake's voice was warm and inviting, and yet shallow. Mindless banter between strangers.

"Miami." Sam used her free hand to flip her wavy hair over her shoulder.

"Oh, like CSI: Miami! I love that show so much." Ky exclaimed. Good, now he had something in common with her.

"Uh... yeah I guess." Sam gave him a look of disbelief. That had to be a joke. Right?

Across the table Lin and Carly were already making out. Sucking out each other's souls. His hands under her shirt, her hands feeling his shirtless abs.

"CAKE!" a guy screeched. Ky and Sam covered their ears and looked for the fire. Dave came running over and slapped his hands palms down on the table. "Like, oh my god, Cake, have you seen Mimi? She looks hideous tonight!" Not a fire, but still flaming.

Ky, having just seen Mimi, had no idea what Dave was talking about. She had probably broken some unspoken fashion law. And if ever there were actual fashion police Dave would most definitely be their commander-in-chief. Speaking of which, Dave was wearing a black collared shirt with a black sweater vest over it. His pleated black pants were impeccable and perfectly creased. A checkered fedora sat on his head, tilted just enough, over his short brown hair.

By this time Perro, Dave's boyfriend (though in all honesty Dave was Perro's boyfriend) had walked up next to him. Perro's brown eyes, the color of good top soil, glanced around the table; taking in all its inhabitants. His gaze fell heavily on Lin and Carly, who hadn't been interrupted from their face sucking. Perro's hand snatched Dave's and he pecked him on the cheek.

"Hey Dave, Pear Pear, did you two just get here?" Blake asked, skimming over the Mimi comment.

"No, we've been here, like, an hour or so." Dave said. The two of them slid in next to Ky. Everyone ended up having to shift: finally interrupting Lin and Carly. In the end Carly and Lin sat, still wrapped together, on the end, Blake and T.J. sat next to them, Sam sat on Kyle's lap (no complaints from him, even if her ass was a little boney) and Dave and Perro sat on the opposite end from Lin and Carly. Introductions were quickly rushed. Carly and Dave already knew each other (of course) and Sam seemed to have no issue with the gay thing. (South Beach was apparently some sort of gay mecca.)

"Well now that we are all settled in," This was Lin talking in his faux-friendly voice. "Ky where's those m and m's you have?" Kyle's face lit up and he tried to get them out of his pants pocket. Sam and him both shifted uncomfortably for a moment as he fished them out.

"X?" Carly asked as she eyed the little baggy with a handful of colorful pills in it. The bag of ecstasy was handed around the table. Both T.J. and Blake took one each. Lin grabbed two from the bag, but Carly shook her head when offered (minus points in Lin's book). Dave also passed it on. Perro took one, but only because Lin did, and Ky and Sam took one each.

"To our Junior year!" Perro toasted. Contrary to Dave's high pitched, lispy voice, Perro's was deep and rough. They each picked up their cups, downed their pills, and chased them with beer. Except Lin, who took both of his dry.

Everyone laughed. T.J. took the initiative to turn his attention back to Blake. The two of them giggled and whispered. Sam and Dave started to talk about the clubs in the area. Perro kept trying to make out with Dave, but he kept shoving him away. Perro finally settled on glowering at Lin and Carly who were dry humping in their seat.

The crowd parted and Mimi walked up, followed by Cher and eight other girls. She glared down at the table and pursed her lips.

"Carly, Sam we're going, let's go." Mimi commanded as if she were talking to two dogs. Sam shifted on Ky's lap and returned Mimi's gaze.

"That's okay, we're staying. I guess I'll see you at school tomorrow."

Mimi took a step back. Her face looked like she had just been slapped. She ran a hand through her smooth hair and composed herself. "Carly, come on, tell Sam we're going." But Carly was gone; she was now just another one of Lin's appendages.

"They can stay if they want." Blake stated calmly. T.J. glanced at her. Be careful. She didn't even look at him, she knew the danger.

"I'm sorry, I don't speak cheating skank." Mimi snapped.

"Shut up Naomi." T.J. hissed through clenched teeth.

Mimi looked down the brim of her perfectly sculpted nose at him. He was a pile of dog shit she had just stepped in. He glared at her, she turned back to Blake. "Oh, I see you're wearing that dress I gave you. Do you remember that day Blakey? Wasn't it fun?" Her voice was bubbly again. "Hmm, must not be as rich as we all thought. Second hand dress," Her voice was sharp now. "Second hand fag," She glared at Dave, "Oh, and second hand fuck." She smiled like a serpent at T.J.


"Shut up you bitch!" T.J. and Dave both yelled, jumping to their feet.

"Oh really? I forgot that this was yours." Blake squeezed T.J.'s hand. Hard. "But deary me, you must not be as popular as we all thought because you are surrounded by second hand friends." This jab wasn't just aimed at Mimi, but her whole posse.

"Really? They were your friends? You have an odd way of showing it by cheating on your boyfriend with one of their brothers." Mimi almost snarled. Cher looked away quickly, across the terrace.

"It's time for you to go Mimi." Now Lin spoke. His voice was cold and harsh, his eyes matched his voice. Carly sat next to him with her arms crossed. Mimi glared at him but didn't retort.

An uneasy and awkward silence fell over the two groups. The crowd and dance music grew louder. Then louder still an unbearable blaring noise that shook their heads and hands. At Blake's table those on X felt the music coursing through their veins. They were breathing the sounds, sweating the beats.

It was stiflingly hot.

"Go Mimi." Lin was now standing. Though he seemed to be the least affected by the drugs his ripped core was still matted with sweat. "Now."

And then the Black Party was over. They all heard a scream: a screech of pure terror. People were vacating the house as fast as possible. The terrace was overflowing with people, pushing, shoving, ebbing, and flowing. Panic. Many were shoved off and into the pool.

A crash.

An earthquake.

The whole house shook on its foundations. The music started to skip in what ever CD player it was in.

To save...

To save...

To save...

Through the den, through the kitchen, across the terrace, into the pool.

To save the world.

There was no question as to who the two girls were in the vehicle. There was no question as to whether or not they were still alive. There was no question as to why it happened. Why a car was sinking into the pool, why the chlorine water was slowly being dyed red.

Everyone was sober in an instant.

Everyone was silent in an instant.

Four minutes to save the world.

The Black Party was over.