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Six months later...

I couldn't believe Theo wasn't well enough to come on the residential. In fact, I didn't believe it. He'd been acting so strangely lately, I'd kind of given up on asking him what was wrong. I sat in my seat, staring glumly out of the window as I felt some slide into the seat beside me.

'Penny for your thoughts?'

I turned to see Jax grinning at me, his dark hair flopping into his eyes as I groaned inwardly.

'I'm fine.'

'Liar. Romeo isn't here and you are pining for him.' He smirked as he held out a chocolate bar, his eyes drifting past me to the window.

'I'm not pining for him. I'm just... sad he's not here.'

'Isn't that the same thing?' He frowned, puzzled. The coach engine started as I reluctantly took the chocolate bar.

'I guess.'

He studied me for a minute before pulling his phone out, and typing away. He then slid his phone into my hands, asking me to watch the video. It was fail army. I rolled my eyes as he nodded at it, leaning forward so I could smell his strong aftershave.

'Jesus, Jax. Do you swim in cologne?'

He made a face as he nodded back at the video.

'Watch it.' He commanded as I sighed, watching people making spectacles of them selves. He was roaring with laughter next to me as the teacher stopped beside us, frowning as she moved through the pile of envelopes.

'Hannah and Freya. Jax and Dylan.' She said, dropping envelopes onto our laps as we exchanged a look before asking the same question in unison.


The teacher sighed before looking at us with exasperation.

'Its the final year retreat for all of the surrounding schools. So this year the schools are mixed and you'll be sharing with someone from another school.'

'Great.' Muttered Jax as I stared at the teacher in horror. Other schools? Jax did a double take when he saw my face.


'Kyle will be there.' I whispered as he stared at me blankly.


'My ex.'

I suddenly felt sick, as I wondered if I could feign a sudden illness and get off the coach. There was no way I could see him.

'Was it messy?' Jax asked as he watched me carefully. He looked as worried as I did, which made me laugh nervously.

'He cheated on me.'

'Ouch. Yet, did you a favour. Am I right?!' He winked as I shrugged with a smile on my face.

'Yeah, I guess he did. Jax, why are you sitting with me?'

He looked like a rabbit in headlights as he rolled his eyes.

'I'm just looking out for my besties girl.'

He leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes as I pulled my phone out of my bag plugging my headphones in. The rest of the journey dragged as I played Panic At The Disco on full blast, avoiding conversation with anyone as I feigned sleep. I felt the coach stop as I nudged Jax, who had fallen asleep on my shoulder.

'God I'm starving.' He mumbled as he sat up, rubbing his eyes sleepily. We all filed out of the coach, and I slung my bag over my shoulder as I waited for my little cabin case to be handed out. I slid sunglasses on as I studied the envelope.

'Amethyst House. Room 301.' I read as I felt an arm link with mine. I glanced up to see a pretty girl from my English class grinning at me. I tried to place her name but I struggled, as she nodded at my envelope.

'I'm in Amethyst. I thought we could find it together.'

Sara? Lara?

'Sorry, I've forgotten your name...'

'Mara.' She smiled, a real warm and genuine smile. She had chocolate brown hair which she wore in a ponytail, and freckles sprinkled all over her face. She had bright green eyes that sparkled as she spoke.

'And you're Hannah De Luca.'

I laughed as I shook my head.

'Not quite.'

'Well, nearly.' She scoffed as I saw my case on the sidewalk. 'Where is he anyway?'

'Ah, he's not well.'

'Oh. Well then maybe we could hang out?' She said hopefully, as I nodded. She located her case too, and I noticed it had hippie stickers all over it, and a bright pink scarf attached to it.

'My mom said I would find it in a sea of cases.' She groaned as I laughed. She was refreshing to be around, and I admired how she liked to be different. She wore tie dyed dungarees and a bright pink t shirt with Doc Martin's, which was a sharp contrast to the skinny jeans and crop tops.

'Your mom sounds wise.'

We all followed the wave of students as they spilled from coaches everywhere, most of them wearing matching t shirts and most dancing their way up to the large building before us. A large sign showed us we had arrived to Raleigh Freedom, and I saw ziplines and giant swings over by a large field. I wasn't remotely sporty, and had hoped for nice weather so I could attempt to get a tan. I thought of Theo, and my heart ached for him. I missed his touch already, the way he always had to be touching me in some capacity. I had quickly gotten used to being his girlfriend, and I realised I was going to struggle more than I thought without him. I followed Mara to our 'house' which over looked the football field. Luckily my room was on the ground floor, and I saw the door already open. A tall blonde stood there, in a sports outfit as she stretched.

'Hey there. I'm Freya, from Hill Halley High.' She beamed as she turned to me. I noticed she had severe acne that she had tried to hide with make up, which only made it look angrier. I returned the smile as I pushed my hair behind my ear.

'I'm Hannah. From Foxton High.' I reached out to shake her extended hand as I pulled my case over to the empty bed beside the window.

'I always get up for a run super early so I thought I'd grab the bed near the door. Hope that's ok?'

She was unloading protein packs and bottles of water as I nodded, gazing out of the window. The guys had already started congregating on the field, which must be four times the size of the one we had at school.

'So we need to go and sign up for whatever activities we want to do, if any. You coming?' She asked, as she grabbed two keys from the side of the desk beside her bed.

'Yeah, why not?' I followed her out my heart pounding at the thought of seeing Kyle. Maybe he hadn't come. Mara bounded up beside me as she smiled at Freya kindly, introducing herself.

'FREYA!' I heard someone squeal as they ran up behind us, grabbing her into a bear hug. 'Omg girl, it's been so long!'

'Hey! Oh, I've missed you so much! Guys, this is Vix. Vix this is Hannah and Mara.'

We all smiled at Vix who bounced on her feet, pulling us into a hug.

'So what school are you guys from?' She asked excitedly as I answered.

'Foxton, you?'

'Foxton? Ooh doesn't Jax Duffy go there?' Her eyes were wide as she spoke dreamily, and I held back a laugh.

'Yeah. He's my boyfriends best friend.'

'No fricking way!' She gasped as Mara nodded.

'Theo De Luca?'

'He's so hot, oh you lucky girl. Please introduce me to Jax.' She begged as she pouted. 'The hottest guys in our school are Harry Malone and Kyle Reef. But they are only into college girls.'

I froze at the mention of his name as I felt a wave of dizziness come over me.

'Oh, theres Kyle now. He must be staying in our house. Always nice to have a bit of eye candy.' She laughed as the others joined in. I turned my head slowly, almost as though I had no option but to look.

He was leaning against a wall, as he stared at his phone intently. His dark blonde hair was in its usual style of a messy quiff, shaved on the sides and long on top. He wore a black leather jacket over skin tight white t shirt and denim pants, with converse trainers. I felt my body freeze as he lifted his eyes up, as though someone had told him I was staring at him. His eyes narrowed as his mouth opened and closed before lifting a hand in acknowledgement. Mara frowned, turning to look at me as Vix jabbed me in the ribs.

'Kyle is waving at you. Wave back. Oh my god.'

I blinked, aware we had locked eye contact for longer than necessary, and I turned back to Vix.

'No thanks. Is there another way we could go?' I turned away, walking blindly in the opposite direction as I heard the girls running after me.

'Wait! Do you know him?' Demanded Vix, as I tried to breathe normally.

'He's my ex.' I confessed as her eyes widened.

'No fucking way.'

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