PROJECT X

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Chapter 2

JUNE

The girl looked down at her scuffed up fur boots and sighed as she slung her bag over her shoulder.

Her nerves were on edge as she looked up at the rather large and intricate looking school building of Brisbaine High.

Already she didn't like the atmosphere it gave off. Elegant and stylish looking tiles that glistened around the exterior rather then brick which normal schools had. It looked more like a rich kids private academy rather then a public high school.

"Juniper," Her father called her name in his heavy accent and she peeked into the car from her open door. "Try to have fun and make new friends, yes?" June nibbled at her lower lip.

Making friends had never been an easy task for her but she nodded nonetheless as her father drove off leaving her at the front of her new school.

Her head was held high as she entered immediately catching the eyes of lazy students nearby by who still hadn't made it to first period.

Just because she was in a new school didn't mean she had to act like a lonesome loser that couldn't fight for herself.

June strode into the front office and was out in five minutes time with her new schedule and a map of the school in hand. Turns out she had math first thing in the morning. How unfortunate.

When she knocked on the door the teacher was a young and gentle looking lady that didn't mind her being late. It was her first day after all.

"Everyone, please meet our new student Juniper Griffyn." The teacher introduced her to the rest of the class who didn't seem to care that she was fresh meat.

She scanned the room of new faces and caught eyes with a male sitting in the back of the room near the window. His eyes were the prettiest shade of blue she had ever seen. Not too bright, but not dull either. A nice silver or dark grey color that had her captivated.

"Juniper?"

"Huh?" She turned her head to find the teacher looking at her with curiosity.

"Why don't you introduce yourself to the class?"

June cleared her throat and fixed her posture to stand tall and seem intimidating.

"There isn't much to know about and even less I'd like to share," She stated rather bluntly shifted the bag on her shoulder. "Please refer to me as June, thank you."

She ended her short introduction and helped herself to one of the few empty seats in the class. The other students gave her an array of different looks. Some beamed at her with curiosity, others of annoyance, and most ignored her all together.

June was seated at the second seat of the first row, across the classroom from the boy with silver eyes. She glanced at him just once more. He was wearing a red jacket and black baseball cap which now hung over his face and hid it from view.

That was the one and only time she bothered to look at him before she was sucked into the world of complicated equations and calculations.


An hour and a half later the class was finally over. The bell rang shrill and loud. The room became hectic as students started packing up there things and a few new students came in to attend the current class.

June shoved her necessities into her practically empty bag, engrossed on untangling her headphones so she could ease her boredom with some music.

Just as she fixed them and was getting out of her seat a girl walked in. She stood tall and beautiful, her long silky hair flowing down her back and face bare but still radiating beauty.

The strange thing was the teacher and the students stood and greeted her with a bow as if she was royalty. June stood confused as the ordeal lasted a few seconds before every one continued with what they were doing. No one seemed to mind that she hadn't participated in the odd ritual.

The entrancing girl walked across the room to the mystery boy who had been spectating her from afar. As she walked closer, her heels clicking on the tiled floor he stood, matching her height. The two maintained eye contact for a brief second before the male picked up his bag and took a step back to allow her to sit.

The boy bumped into the princess girls' side on purpose it seemed before he too exited the class.

The doll-like female gazed back at him to watch him leave and as she did June was filled with curiosity at their interaction.

ASH
It was the time of day that Ash hated most. Lunch. Most students would be thrilled at the bell that rang for them to fill their stomachs but every day she dreaded it.

Her only meal was a small packet of chips which she'd devoured halfway through chemistry and she had no pocket money to buy herself anything from the school cafeteria. That left her as a sore loser who kept her head down on the table as everyone chatted and ate about around her.

She hated it. Ash would much rather be at the library, curled up with a new book or surfing the web for articles that caught her interest. But her special group of friends failed to ever let her miss a lunch period.

Though they understood she was an introvert and craved her alone time they also knew just how much she needed the social interaction.

Ash was depositing her bag into her locker when she felt a presence beside her. She didn't need to look to know who it was.

"You're going to love me for this!" Candy, one of the few friends that Ash had and whom she had a frenemy relationship with beamed at her as her locker door closed.

"Did you buy me food?" She inquired with a chuckle and Candy playfully batted at her arm.

"You wish. Zenna has an important test she needs to prepare for so she won't be around and Roxy didn't come today. It's just you and I at your favorite place ever," Candy hooked an arm around hers before dragging her down the marbled hallway towards the Library.

They walked inside with ease the librarian giving each a glance before returning to the book she was reading.

The two found a computer at as far away from other students as possible and Candy quickly typed in her information to grant herself access to the internet.

Ash scrolled through her phone as Candy typed away at the keyboard searching for her so called news. An excited squeak left her lips as she found the article she was looking for and swatted at Ash's arm to get her attention.

"What?" Ash looked towards the screen and read the title of the report. "Ravi King holds the most BB shares," She read out loud before giving a look of confusion at her friend. "So? What does that have to do with anything?"

"Ravi King holds 15% of BB shares while his sister holds 14% with a grand total of 29%, more then any of the other shareholders that barely get 1% at all," Candy explained as she scrolled through the article to find key facts.

"Again, what does that have to do with anything?" Ash still wasn't up to date on why this was needed to know information.

"It means in the case that anything happens to our treacherous principal than Ravi King holds all the power to the school. Which in return means he could be persuaded to help out Insta Y in the future," Ash raised a brow upon hearing their group name be mentioned. Sure their intentions may be a bit much but in the name of revenge and justice, anything goes.

Candy took out her own phone and took a screen shot of the screen before her eyes flickered up over the screen to see someone walk in.

"Hey that's the new girl," She whispered as said new girl June looked about the area and walked over to the mystery section and started scanning the shelves for an interesting book.

Ash watched her with little to no curiosity. Though most new kids tried not to be in the spotlight June looked as if she was relishing in it. Her head held high and body radiating confidence it made Ash roll her eyes. There were far too many girls like June in the school already and she wasn't in the mood to get tangled into that web again.

"We should go say hi!" Candy stood quickly in the process dropping her phone and banging her knee on the table as she did so. "Ow!" She rubbed at her sore spot just as the librarian shushed her and she apologized.

"How about we not," But her arm was being pulled and she was out of her seat before Ash could protest further. Candy stalked up to the new female and tapped her shoulder politely.

June had dutch plaits running across the top of her head before ending as two braided pig tails at either side. She had no makeup on but her eyes really popped and the intensity of her gaze felt as if she may be looking right into your soul.

Candy cleared her throat and held out a hand for the other to shake.

"I'm Candy, the resident Brisbaine musical prodigy," She stated cheerfully. June looked down at her outstretched hand before going back to finding a book.

"She's not interested as no one ever is Candy, come on," Ash pulled at her jacket once before heading back to their prior seat of behind.

Candy pouted at her rejection and tapped the newcomers arm once more.

"If you have questions or need anything, I'm always here to help," with that she returned to her friend.

Maana Blue walks into the library to everyone's immediate attention. Students shuffle quickly from their chairs to stand and give her a bow. Ash and Candy were not any of those students.

June notices from across the room, the way they completely ignore her presence. Maybe there was something she could ask Candy after all.


TAMI
The girl secured her headphones into her ears before she pressed the shuffle button of her playlists. Her head bobbed to the steady music. Books were exchanged from her bag to her locker before she was slamming it shut, enjoying the freedom of having a school day be over.

Tami's phone buzzed just thirty seconds into the song seeing a text from Danial saying to meet him at his studio. She didn't reply but she wondered why he'd text such a thing when he knew Tami would visit him after school anyway.

She was lucky enough to live near Brisbaine high so unlike most seniors who'd be taking a car or even the bus she would be walking home in the blazing sun. It was twenty minutes later she unlocking the door to her childhood home to find it empty as usual.

Her mother worked hard to support the two of them but to any outsiders you'd never imagine Tami would be getting by with two part time jobs while her mother worked double shifts to grind in the money.

Tami trudged to the kitchen, pulling out a water bottle to ease her dry throat. A sticky note was hanging from the refrigerator door.

'I'll be working late tonight. Make pasta for dinner or you can order something for yourself. I left the money in your jewelry box. Stay safe xxMommaBear'

Tami read over the note a few times, a deep saddening pang pinching at her chest. If there was one thing she wanted it was for her mother to be free of any burden and live peacefully. But the dream was far off.

She pulled out a few baby carrots from the fridge as a snack and munched on them as she grabbed her long board and keys to the house before heading out again.


Danial's studio was in the basement of a well off penthouse complex on the rich side of town. He was the only son of Arnold Jaype of JP Electronics and although he wasn't very bright he still had the strong motivation to take on the family company one day.

Many believed Danial would the downfall to his family's hard work over the years but those were people who didn't see how hard he was trying to live up to his name.

To motivate his only son Arnold Jaype made a deal with Danial. If he was willing to get his grades in check for his future his father would buy him a studio penthouse that he so desperately craved.

Thus how Tami now stood in front of the skyscraper building, the sun beating down at her even in the late afternoon. With her long board tucked under her arm she was able to walk straight to the staircase that led down into their hangout. She was greeted by the familiar lock pad that required a code and with ease typed it in to grant herself entry.

She entered to the sound of loud thudding music. Her long board was rested against the wall just beside the door as she also shrugged of her backpack.

The interior was familiar so it didn't took her just a few seconds to remove her shoes and take the two additional steps down into the lounging area where she chucked her bag onto the nearest couch.

Plopping down on said couch she let out a heavy sigh.

"Danny?" She called into the void of the music hoping to hear a response but she got none. The lounging area was decorated nicely in a rectangular pattern in the middle of the large penthouse, a coffee table nestled in the middle with various seating arrangements around it.

The penthouse accommodated four bedrooms all located towards the back with three bathrooms, two of which were connected to two rooms while the third was available just as you entered.

The kitchen was set to the left of the lounge area, raising up by a few steps and spanned out against the wall and the corner that met with the first bedroom.

All in all it was a great place to be at and Tami was glad she had somewhere to hangout besides her lonely townhouse.

After a full five minutes of no reply from her friend Tami got up to investigate and see where he was. It wasn't hard to do so. She followed the music to the fourth bedroom which had been decorated as a recording studio, fit with a keyboard, drum set, two guitars, speakers on each side, two microphones standing tall in the middle, two computer monitors, a whole lot of cables and wires, and a glass pane that separated it all accordingly. All in all it looked like a professional studio that could be used be a composer.

Danial had a headset on and was tapping against the desk, his fingers panning over various buttons every once in a while before he clicked something on the computer screen and the music was cut off.

He stood up and clapped as Candy stepped from one side of the glass pane to the other by a small door just to the right of the room.

"That was amazing. We'll try doing your vocals tomorrow alright?" Candy nodded as she high fived the male before looking past him in Tami's direction.

Danial watched her gaze and a grin broke out as he saw his best friend.

"Tamana! When did you get here?" He greeted her with a hug which resulted in him picking her up and causing a squeak to escape her lips before she was set back down.

She punched his arm in annoyance and he rubbed at it teasingly with a pout.

"I got here ages ago and I told you never to call me that," Danial apologized under his breath before Candy cleared her thought.

"Well if that's all for today Danny I'm heading out."

"Of course, I'll see you tomorrow," Candy grabbed at her journal that was set at the desk of the recording studio before waltzing out the room with Danny and Tami following behind.

The two plopped down in the lounge just as Candy was turning the knob to leave.

"Don't forget Ash and Zenna will be here soon to prepare for the school broadcasting for next week."

Tami's body stiffened at the words, the girl looking towards Danny with a glare as he was scrolling through his phone. The door slammed shut and Tami grabbed the nearest cushion to chuck at the boy's head causing for it to fly over and smash the glass vase that had been beside him.

"What was that for?"

"Why did you invite me if you knew Ash was coming over today?" She seethed through her teeth and Danial shrugged.

"Honestly Tami it's been two years. You can't avoid her forever."

She looked at him and scoffed grabbing at her bag and getting ready to leave.

"You can't go," Danny said casually, arms crossed against his chest as he laid comfortably on the sofa his gaze fixed at the girls back.

"Convince me," She stated without turning around.

"Your mother called. She wants you stay here for the night. Her shifts run until early morning and she doesn't want you staying at home alone," Danny licked at his lips after his explanation padding his way to the kitchen and rummaging through the refrigerator. "What do you want to eat?"

Tami stood frozen at his reply and didn't bother to answer his question either.

It was only when the door opened with a beep did she quickly turn her back towards the two that walked in. She didn't need to look at their faces to know who it was. The instant tension that suddenly surrounded the atmosphere was enough of a hint.

She dropped her bag back on the couch and walked to Danny in the kitchen, her hand resting on his over the refrigerator door. It wasn't a romantic gesture rather one of soothing and comfort.

Danny was her best friend and being around him made Tami feel calm and secure, something she really needed at a time like this.

Their eyes met, the female biting the inside of her cheek to the point she might even make it bleed.

"I'll make dinner, you go work...," Tami whispered in earshot for only the other to hear. Danny looked past her to Ash and Zenna, both of whom were watching with unknowing looks before he nodded.

"Okay."

ASH
Ash always wondered if fate worked in such a tangled mess or if it was just her fate that was this chaotic.

Her best friend stood by her side while her ex best friend was just across the room avoiding her as usual. A million memories flashed in her mind. Summer days and starry nights, joyful laughs and heartbreaking cries, memories that had been swept under the rug ages ago.

But she wasn't here to dwell on the past. She had a job to do and this was no time to get emotional.

The two were quick to turn the empty coffee table into an array of journals, notes, articles, various books, till papers were falling off the edge.

Danny sat at an adjacent one seater sofa, the three of them bouncing ideas off of each other and writing down anything and everything that could be useful for the future.

"What are we doing for the new broadcasting team auditions? Everyone will be lined up to get the scholarship money. It'll be near impossible to pick anyone who wants to join the crew for the work experience," Ash tapped her pen on her notepad, her tongue flicking out to lick her lower lip as she was deep in thought.

"We can ask for resumes and qualifications. If anyone's serious they'll go through the trouble," Danny inquired and Zenna shook her head.

"More people would go through the trouble for the scholarship."

"True." The three continued to busy themselves, switching to the news announcements for next week and finishing up the final layout that needed to be reported to the principal the following Monday.

Tami was very immersed in making a hearty meal of chicken pasta with a side of mashed potatoes and fried vegetables. As the time slipped and her meal slowly came together she was finding it harder to concentrate on what she needed to.

Over the course of the next two hours she kept glancing in the others directions, her eyes always landing on Ash. She looked better then she had before. Seemed happier and looked happier.

A tiny voice in the back of her mind was telling her that without Tami in her life Ash was flourishing like a flower who had been starved of water.

It was eight at night by the time the three started to clean up and call it a day.

"Candy will be here tomorrow for her vocal recording so if you guys want to come by with her we can get both that and this last statement for the broadcasting team done before the weekend," Danny explained and the two females nodded their head.

"That's a good idea. I'll text her later about it," Zenna nodded and slung her back over her shoulder getting ready to leave but Danny stopped her.

"Why don't you two stay for dinner, it's awfully late," The knife Tami had been using to chop fruits for her salad came down with a harsh thud against the cutting board as she heard the words.

Likewise Ash tripped over her shoelace and slammed right into Zenna who had to hold the two of them up so they wouldn't go tumbling to the ground.

The two friends exchanged nervous looks.

"I don't think that's a good idea Danial. Thank you for the offer though," Ash tried to reason with him nicely but Danny was already pulling their bags off and ushering them to sit.

"You're not going anywhere. I insist."

TAMI
It was possibly the most suffocating meal Tami has ever had in her life. The four of them sat at the dining table which had room for eight.

Danial was seated at the head with Tami to her right, Ash and Zenna to his left. The boy himself was busy scarfing down his pasta while the girls could only look down at their plates rather ruefully.

"You did amazing with dinner as always Tams," Danny gave her a thumbs up which she returned with a small smile.

Ash trailed her fork over the shredded chicken in her pasta and gave it a good stab.

"That must mean you're here often hmm?" She asked with a hint of teasing in her tone.

Tami was frozen for a brief second, digesting the fact that her former best friend had just talked directly to her for the first time in over two years.

"Of course. Actually my mother called in to ask Danny and have me stay the night," Ash looked up at her with dark eyes, meeting her smug gaze. "Some of our mothers trust us enough to do stuff like that," She continued with a venomous voice which hit Ash right where she knew it would.

The later clenched her jaw about ready to give Tami a piece of her mind when a beep could be heard.

The four turned their heads to see who it was, the instant clicking of heels heard on the marbled floor.

"You've got to be kidding me," Tami grumbled under her breathe as Maana Blue strode in as if she owned the place and right behind her was her partner in crime Rachel Cheon.

"Danny, baby, it's quite rude to start dinner when you're guests haven't even arrived yet," Zenna and Ash rolled their eyes while Tami was ready to burst a vein.

"He's not your 'baby'," Tami countered angrily. Maana chuckled showing off her pearly teeth as she and Rachel found seats at the other end of the table.

"Jealous hun? It look goods on you, it always has," She smiled sickeningly sweet as she nodded towards Ash a direct hit to both of them and the later stood, her chair screeching behind her.

"Thank you so much for dinner Danial but we really need to get going."

"You're leaving so soon? But the fun has just begun!" Rachel clicked her nails against the table as she watched both Tami and Ash's expression change into confusion.

The door beeped.

If the room hadn't been tense before, it was sure to explode now.

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