Claire's POV

I, Claire Beaumont, am not your average teenage girl. I'm spunky and have a little bit of a 'I'll kick your ass' attitude. I've been told I'm very pretty though, with my light honey blonde curls and slightly hourglass figure. I'm very slim, but still have nice curves. I like to dress prettily, so I can look at myself in the mirrors and windows as I walk by. And I might like to be a little bit cutesy for the guys. Just a little.

I step out of my mom's car and give her a wave. "Bye mom, love you!"

"Love you, too, babydoll! I'll see you later!" She calls back before she rolls up the window and drives off. I smile confidently and walk into school with a slight bounce in my step. I ignore the looks I get from the teenage boys. What? I'm not interested in a boyfriend right now. I just like feeling confident in the way I look, for my own enjoyment.

I stop by my locker, where my friend Allie greets me. "What's up, girl?" I shrug and close my locker after getting the books I need. "Nothing much. What about you?"

"You would not believe what I just heard!" She then dives into some elaborate story about Seanna, the head cheerleader, and her horrible break-up at a party last night. I'm not the party kind of girl. Most people kick me out of even small birthday gatherings. I have a little problem of expressing annoyance through kicking. If someone says something that annoys me, I just kick their shins. Simple, right?

Of course.

It's so smart.

When I go to collect my things at the end of the school day there's a strange black streak across my locker door. I stare at it in confusion, and feel a pressure on my right arm. I look over, and Allie looks like she's going to pass out in excitement as she grips my arm. "Do you know what that is?!" She shrieks. I shake my head as she joggles me back and forth. "No, I don't, now stop killing my brain cells." She stops but practically glows in excitement as she claps her hands together. "You have you know what this is!" I shake my head again. "Just tell me!" She takes a deep, dramatic breath. "Okay. So, my cousin told me about this last year. There's no way you can't know, everybody knows about these invites." I sigh. "What invites?"

"The invites to Carnegie Mansion, duuuuuh!"

"Carnegie Mansion . . . ?" I trail off in confusion. Now it looks like Allie is about to have a seizure. "You really don't know. Oh my gosh, I have to tell you." She takes a slow breath. "Carnegie Mansion is the most elusive place on earth. Nobody knows exactly where it is. Although it is rumored that it's on a small island off the coast." I nod, letting her know I'm listening. "Once a year, six teenagers, three boys and three girls, and one randomly picked teen of either gender, are invited to the Mansion."

"What do they do?"

"Nobody knows. They never talk about it. My cousin said her friend Stacy went, and was never the same since."

"Never the same . . . how?"

Allie shrugs. "She has random memory losses and skips. She's a little jittery as well."

"What'd she say about the Mansion?"

"That's just it," Allie says, dropping her voice and leaning closer to me. "She doesn't remember."

I freeze. "She . . . d-doesn't remember?" I stutter. Allie nods. I take a shaky breath. "What did the others say about it? Do you remember who they were?" She scrunches her face up, concentrating. "I don't remember who they were . . ." She shrugs likes it's no big deal. "Perhaps I'll remember later."

I look at my locker, a million thoughts running through my head. The main one being fear. "I don't want it."

"You can't refuse the invite!" Allie argues. I frown. "Sure I can. It's an invite. It will have an RSVP."

"No, Claire, you don't understand." She looks me dead in the eye, and is the most serious I've ever seen her in my entire life. "You can't refuse it."

"Can't?" I ask quietly. She nods slowly. "You have no choice once you are chosen."

I gulp and look at my locker. I slowly open it, my hand trembling. Dangling before me inside my locker is a large cream envelope with a magenta wax seal. I glance at Allie who nods, and gently take the envelope in my hands. It's heavier than I thought it would be.

I gently pull the seal open, lifting the folded paper out.

Garrett's POV

I, Garrett Hornfield, am King of the Court.

The Basketball Court, that is.

But it's what my friends and teammates call me.

I say a goodbye to my mom before entering the garage and getting in my car. I start it up and drive to school.

When I park and get out, one of my buddies, Ryan, calls a greeting out to me. I wave and call a greeting back.

My best friend Adam meets me on the front steps of the school, where we hang out until it's time for class.

The classes go as usual that day. It's what happens later that surprises me.

I'm laughing with my friends as we walk down the hall, playfully shoving each other, when one of my friends taps my shoulder. He juts his chin out, looking towards the lockers. "Hey man, look." I follow the direction of his eyes, and notice something dark on my locker door. We walk over. I grin as I realize what the mark is, and my friends start whooping, elbowing me and shoving me. I open my locker with a grin, taking the large envelope in my hands. I quickly open it up and pull the paper out. I read over it, my friends looking over my shoulder. My grin widens as I read the instructions, and my friends mutter jealously.

Dear Garrett,

You are cordially invited to a dinner party at Carnegie mansion, on October 22nd, at 7:00 o'clock. Please be punctual. You will be picked up on the north shore of Avonlea Beach, at the old dock.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Ricard Carnegie

"Ricard Carnegie . . ." Adam mutters quietly. "Isn't he dead? Like, one hundred years ago or something? I remember something about him in the book I read about Shelter Island. He made his own island somewhere off the north coast and lived there. It's supposedly where Carnegie Mansion is located."

"Well," I say slowly. "Dead or not, I'm on my way to Carnegie Mansion."

Hey guys! So chapter one, yay! Hopefully chapter two will be along before too long.

IMPORTANT: I'm going to focus mainly on Claire, and sometimes Garrett - so I won't do POV's for any of the others. Sorry! It's just too many people, lol.

And the place where they live is made up. Shelter Island isn't (it's in NY) but I made up Avonlea Beach, and the island the mansion is located on.

There should be more drama is chapter two! We're finally going to see the elusive Mansion! Woot-woot!

Please review and let me know what you think! I return ALL reviews! :)

Angel Princess 31