Lunch passed and I was introduced to two other people in the circle of bizarre friends, a couple, Kate and Corin. There seemed to be tension as soon as they arrived, and I guessed it was something to do with the guy. They seemed nice, and Kate was cute so that helped. I grinned and watched them, listening to their conversation but thinking about Oliver. Poor guy. I actually felt a little sorry for him. He floundered a little when I confronted him. I could tell teasing him was going to be fun.
Dinner was the same; surprisingly good food, talk of the holidays and school beginning. I saw my mum watching me occasionally, and she seemed happy. Guess she liked that I had a load of guys around me. Bloody homophobe.
I was also having to be careful where I walked. My near miss with Alice, one of Al's ghosts had freaked me a little. I mean... ugh. The irony in being killed by a ghost would not improve the idea in my brain. Whatever the girls problem was, I'd rather keep a distance.
Al and Flynn were busy telling me the rules.
"...And there's no using powers inappropriately, no swimming in the lake, no-"
"-Wait, no swimming?" I repeated as though I hadn't already heard that.
"Well that's a shame I mean... I love swimming."
"What, you came prepared? Got your swimsuit?" Kate grinned.
"Who needs swimsuits?" I winked and we both laughed as all the guys around us perked their ears.
"Sounds like I'm going to enjoy this year." Corin chuckled, kissing Kate's cheek and then standing. "I'm going to get another drink, anyone else want one?"
We put in orders and he disappeared to the machine with our money.
"So, would anyone be up for a swim?" I asked.
"Seriously?" Kate replied.
"We'd get in so much trouble." Al said, concerned.
"What are they going to do? Term hasn't officially started." I reasoned.
"True." Naomi said. I was surprised; she wasn't really that talkative around me. "But then, they'd still punish us. So that point is moot." Ah, okay.
"I think it'd be fun." Kate said.
"Especially if none of you have bathing suits." Flynn muttered. We all looked at him and he stared back, startled. "Did I say that out loud?"
"Look, I reckon we should do it." I said.
"Do what?" Corin had returned, arms full of drinks. He passed them out and then sat down.
"Go for a swim. In the lake. Tonight." I said, opening my bottle and taking a gulp.
"Well I'm in." He replied. Kate nodded.
"Fine, I guess you've twisted my arm." Flynn said, grinning at me. I raised and eyebrow at him.
Al looked over his shoulder and started arguing with someone. I looked away, a little freaked. Naomi and Makenna were staring at me.
"Come on ladies. It'll be fun." I winked.
"Yeah come on you two!" Kate encouraged.
"Okay." Makenna said, apparently surprising herself.
Naomi nodded when Makenna elbowed her.
"Alright, we're all in!" Corin settled back in his chair easily, throwing his arm around Kate as she snuggled in to him. "Awesome. When?"
"Well, there's no CCTV so I guess we meet down there? It's safer than going in a big group. Say around midnight?"
"There's a warden that patrols at night."
"Well Flynn can help with that."
I watched as they all got excited about it. It was nice... starting to have friends. My mum had freaked about my last lot, stopped me meeting them outside of school, talking to them outside of school... it had gotten awkward. Especially with Cara...
I snapped back when I realised everyone was going.
"Do you want to join?" Kate asked.
"Sorry, I was thinking... what are we doing?"
"Chilling in the common room. There's a pool table, tv, things like that."
"Oh, yeah sure. Lead the way." I grinned grabbing my satchel.
The common room was cool. Nice and really chilled. I liked it. Kate and Corin were letting me draw them as they sat on the sofa, curled up, chatting. Corin kept playing with Kate's fingers.
"Are you done?" Makenna asked, peering over. "Oh woah, that's pretty good. You know you should do protest art, draw the consequences of actions like what is happening to the ice caps-"
"-here she goes again." Corin chuckled. "Can you save the earth another time?"
Makenna glared at him and shot a ball straight in to the pouch of the pool table.
"It's not finished, but you can have a look." I said, turning it to them to defuse whatever tension there might be.
They were happy and I grinned. It was nice, having people appreciate my talents again.
We stayed there until just before ten o'clock curfew, because it was a school night, and then disappeared in to our rooms, giving each other secret looks. I grinned, sitting there in my room, finishing my sketch. When it clicked quarter to midnight I decided that was close enough, and that I'd go now. Opening the door and peering out, I saw some of the others doing the same. Grinning I found Flynn.
"We good to go?" I whispered.
"One sec... yup. He's at the back now."
We crept down the stairs at the end of the corridor and across the entrance hall.
"Door's locked!" I whispered. "How did you not know that?"
"We've never tried sneaking out before!" Someone hissed. I think it was Naomi.
"There's a side door!" Someone else muttered.
I followed them there, and it was only locked by a latch. Opening it, we made our way out and ran for the trees as quietly as possible. Once in the trees, it was only a matter of making it to the lake.
"This is so much fun!" Kate chuckled, taking my arm as we scurried through the trees. We were all in pjs and as we ran I felt a childish giggle rising in my throat. I pushed it down. This was no where near as bad as some of the things I'd done, but getting these guys to be a part of it was a good start to being cheeky and a little bit disruptive here.
We reached the lake and everyone stood there, peering down.
"It'll be cold." Flynn said.
"I can fix that." Makenna replied. "As long as you stay near me that is."
"Right then. Who's first?" I asked cheekily. Someone lit the candles we'd brought with us and put them at the edge under a tree, so we could see. Everyone sprang in to a slight light. They all looked a little nervous. "Right then. Looks like it's going to be me." I grinned. I took a candle to the water and checked how deep it was, then placed the candle down, and pulled my top over my head revealing my bra. Then I slipped off my pj bottoms and waded in to the lake. It was a bit cold, but not too bad. I reached a point where the water was at my waist before I turned round.
"Come on then. Or are you scared?" I grinned towards the candles. The moon shone on the lake, so I knew they'd be able to see me. It was only in the dense trees that it was dark. Kate was the first to join, followed swiftly by Corin. Then everyone followed. Al was the last, second only to Naomi who seemed conscious of her body. But then they all did a little bit.
The water warmed when Makenna got near, and it was sufficient for us to begin to enjoy ourselves.