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It's only been one week and already I feel overwhelmed, with the combination of new things to learn and boys to completely avoid, I feel like I'm drowning. Farrah, the twins and I are always more or less holed up in one of our rooms practicing and bingeing on junk foods. Melody and Lyric have both worked their way into our hearts and I have to admit, I'm not mad at it. Even though they look so much alike, with their chocolate skin, hazel eyes and pouty lips, they are very much different. While Lyric is more vocal and outgoing, Melody is more laid back and quiet. Both girls are very much focussed on their magic, so that makes us the perfect foursome.

We're currently studying psionic, first going over what Melody learned since she's in a different class, then going over our own work. The way we see it, if we incorporate everything from both classes, we learn a lot more and at a better rate than the other kids. The other kids who, by the way, prefer to hang out and throw parties. We've even found ourselves in the wrong end of ridicule a time or two, because we didn't attend any of the parties, but we don't let it bother us for the most part. I can tell Farrah wants to get out there and mingle sometimes but chooses to stay in with me because she knows I'm trying to keep a low profile. It bothers me some, but when I even think about running into either Asher or Echo, I immediately push that feeling down.

Since that first day in manipulation I've done a decent enough job of avoiding contact, both physical and eye, with both guys but I know realistically that eventually I have to face them. And why am I the one avoiding them? Echo is the one with the girlfriend but doing things like kissing me and holding my hand. It was only a kiss on the cheek and barely a hand hold, but still. Not to mention Asher, with all his secrets. I have enough to worry about without adding them to the mix. Right?

We still haven't been able to get too much information on Cree, at least nothing anout my mom, and that frustrated me the most. It was the investigation on my mind that caused me to make the dumb mistake I did.

"Guys, it's Saturday night, let's go see what's happening on campus." The trio of girls turned to me like I had a second head growing out my neck.

"Are you sure you wanna do that?" Farrah eyes me closely, trying to send me an unspoken message. I understood clearly, ' you're supposed to be avoiding Echo', but I was done avoiding and tired of only studying.

"Yeah, why not? I heard there was gonna be something in the freshmen rec room, let's go." I avert my eyes because I didn't want her to dissuade me.

"I heard about it too, there's going to be vareet and lots of it." Lyric chimes in, waggling her eyebrows suggestively.

" What's that? " Farrah and I ask at the same time.

"You've never had vareet?" The meek Melody inquires.

" Institute kids remember? " I ask, moving my finger between Farrah and myself.

"That's right, we keep forgetting. Well you're in for a treat." Lyric responds. "It's basically a witches brew, a beverage. You know alcohol does nothing for our kind unless we drink like a truck load of it, and even then it wears off pretty quickly." We both nod our heads, not sure we're liking where this is headed. "Right, well vareet is able to get us a little tipsy, not much."

We both look at each other and back at the twins. "I don't know about that guys. I mean, we can go to the party but I'm not trying to get drunk here." I tell them.

"No silly." Melody giggles and the sound fits her name perfectly. "You still have to drink a whole bunch to get drunk, but one cup won't do it."

"Yeah, we can get one drink and mingle a little. Play a few games, dance, we can even practice what we've been learning if we get totally bored." Well that sounded like fun, and they did say that it took a lot to get drunk. What the hell.

Farrah and I seemed to come to the same conclusion because we both say, "Let's do it." This brought the girls into full on celebration mode, Lyric getting off the bed to dance around the room and Melody mirroring her movements from her position on the bed.

This ought to be fun.

When we get to the rec room, I suddenly feel awkward and out of place. The low bass of the music reverberates through the room, the volume low enough to not draw too much attention to the dorm. The twins had explained that while having a party wasn't forbidden, the vareet that was being served is. Students mingle with each other, some sitting on the sofas and talking, while some were off in a corner making out. There were even the few who were playing games and laughing. All of them, and I mean all of them were dressed to the nines, leaving me feeling like I should have done what the girls did and gotten dressed up. All three of them had changed into something nice and done their hair and makeup, Farrah showing off her manipulation skills, I on the other hand had brushed it off. My thinking was it was only a dorm party, everyone was probably dressed normally.

Boy was I wrong.

Looking around I also notice that not only are they all dressed nice, but there are also a few of them who have additional flourishes. One girl has glittery fairy wings sprouting out the sides of her head whereas the guy she's laughing with has humongous eyes. I know for a fact those aren't his real eyes because I'm sure I'd remember seeing a guy with eyes that size walking around this past week.

Farrah and I stand dumbstruck just looking at the twins for answers but for some reason they keep avoiding eye contact. The twins grab hold of our hands and pull us toward the table where drinks were being served. A tall slender boy with pale skin and a ridiculously straight and long nose stands behind the table and when Lyric approaches him a smile finds it's place on his face revealing a hint of fang.

While a pureblood vamp like Asher has no choice but to have his fangs on display every time he smiles or speaks, hybrids can retract theirs at will. Some, like this guy, choose not to. We all watch as Lyric leans over the table and motions for him to come closer as she whispers something in his ear. He reaches below the table and produces four vials filled with a lavender liquid.

Excitement in her eyes, she leads us to a corner of the room and passes out the vials. I pop the cork and bring it to my nose, inhaling the strawberry aroma. Weird. Smells like strawberry but it's purple? We all make eye contact and down the contents in one gulp and I'm further confused when the bittersweet taste of grapefruit assaults my tastebuds.

Almost instantly I could feel the effects of the liquid. My fingers felt tingly and my head had a slight swirly-ness about it. I turn to Farrah to get her take on the strange drink and bust out laughing when I see her bottom lip swell and stretch until it was touching her chin. Her hand comes up to meet it and her eyes pop open as she tries to stuff it back in place,

"Wha da hewl?" She screams.

"We may have forgotten to mention that the vareet also gives you weird glamours." Melody cackles as Farrah slurps up some drool that attempts to leave her mouth.

We're all laughing when I notice Melody skin has a golden shine coming through and her ears are now pointy like a little pixie. We don't even get time to admire how cute she looks because we're all laughing again when Lyric's boobs grow five times larger than they were. And she had some pretty hefty ones before she drank the vareet.

Were all cracking up when Farrah's eyes land on me and go wide. "What?" I ask, trying to figure out what my glamour entailed. I bring my hands up and turn them over but it looks the same. I turn to ask the twins what the problem was but the both of them are staring at something behind me with lust filled eyes.

"So you were too chicken to try the vareet as well huh?" Goosebumbs litter my skin when the velvety smooth sound of Asher's voice hits my ear. I whirl around and there he is, so close I could smell the chocolatey aroma of his skin. I crane my head upward since he's a good six inches taller than I am and our eyes connect.

I instinctively take a step back and brush my hair behind my ear. "I did have some for your information, there's probably just something wrong with my batch." I look away from him and I finally notice Drew and Dave standing behind him. There's also a girl who I've never seen before standing next to Drew and staring daggers at me. Ignoring her I greet the two guys. "Hey Dave, hey Drew." I purposely called them out by name so that she knows I don't care who she is or why she's looking at me the way she is and I smirk when her eyes narrow slighlty.

"Hey Gen." They reply in unison. "Hey girls, looking good tonight." Drew says to the the girls standing behind me while Dave acknowledges his sentiments with a dazzling flirty smile. I roll my eyes when I hear the twins giggle.

"Yeah, thure I wook weaw good." I hear Farrah mutter and couldn't help the laugh that escapes my lips. The guys take that as an opening and burst out laughing as well. Dave is the first to sober up and says, "Vareet side effect aside, you look.... hot." His eyes rake over her form slowly and I hear her sharp inhale and I know her cheeks are bright red.

Asher hasn't taken his eyes off me and I could feel his intense stare. Deciding to deal with this head on, I look him in the eyes, daring him to say something. Our standoff is interrupted when the blonde bitch shoves her way between us and snaps her fingers in front of Asher's eyes.

Anger briefly flashes across his face before he lowers his eyes to her. "I'm bored, let's go." She crosses her arms across her chest a scowl marring her forhead.

"You can go. I'm busy." He says, and sidesteps her to place himself in front of me once more. "I've barely seen you outside of class Genesis. If I didn't know better I'd think you were avoiding me." The blonde bitch huffs in frustration and storms off.

"I haven't been, we've just been busy that's all." It wasn't entirely a lie, we had been busy studying and practicing. Asher looks over his shoulder at the guys and they both walk over to the girls.

"Would you ladies like to get a drink with us?" Panic fills me when they all turn and head in the direction of the drink station, leaving me alone with Asher. The guy I've been avoiding successfully all week along.

I'm gonna kill Farrah, the traitor.

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