"I wonder if they've got the 'honeymoon suite," Ellie grinned once Jade and Jake disappeared. I laughed and walked into the room next to the one we'd been fighting over.

I instantly got into the shower; not taking in the room at all. I enjoyed the feel of the warm water.

I dried and pulled on clean clothes: black combats and a dark blue T-Shirt. I glanced around the room. It was a thousand times better than the accomodations I'd been living in the last few months.

I smelt the familiar scent of Ellie's cooking and smiled. I pulled on some socks and black trainers before heading downstairs. My stomach was very empty and I'd missed my Irish Pixie's food. She'd cooked the weirdest of things when I'd visited her and was a bit apprehensive.

I entered the kitchen and gave Ellie a quick kiss. I raised my eyebrow at her ingredients but made no comment. I sat down just as Marc walked in. He saw Ellie cooking and winked at her.

"You know what? I'm glad to be back," He said.

"Me, too," we all agreed. Well, I was now that I was clean. I'd missed my friends.

"And no matter what comes my way," Marc continued, "Whatever happens, I'm excited for it."

"Too true," Will replied.

"Want a hand Ellie?" Ben offered.

"Bottom drawer has plates in, if you wouldn't mind doing that, Ben," Ellie said, tasting the food. She glanced up and took in everyone's faces.

"I hope you dudes are hungry," Ellie smiled, amused at our worried expressions. It was a bit... odd even for Ellie. She put the food on the table and sat next to me. Nobody was willing to try it; not even me and I was starving. Ellie sighed.

"Erm, Ellie we love your cooking , but, erm..." Lucinda's voice trailed away.

"What is it?" I demanded, ignoring Zoey's sharp look.

"Spaghetti, with chicken fillets and burgers all cut up and mixed with tomato sauce," Ellie informed us, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world. I was about to make a sarcastic comment but Eve spoke up then.

"Chicken and burgers in a spaghetti mix?" Ellie sighed again.

"Listen, cooking doesn't have to make sense. The world doesn't make sense. There no rules in life saying, you can't put chicken and burgers together in spaghetti mix. My, my," Ellie swallowed, "My mum told me that, the... day that she..." I took her hand under the table. No one else knew what she was going to say. I lent her some strength. She gripped my hand tightly.

She told them all what happened to her mother and about the fire. She explained about never being able to cry. Tears slowly slid down her cheeks.

"Anyway, that's my story. So what's the plan?" Ellie asked. We fell silent for a few minutes.

"I'm so sorry, I know how you feel," Jade said to Ellie suddenly. I tuned them out, the conversation was private.

"I know what it's like not to have a parent around," Will called over.

"We did, until my dad came back with that," Marc gestured to Charley. I grinned as she stuck her tongue out at him. The atmosphere lightened considerably. It was odd how, after all we'd gone through, we never really knew much about each others families. It never came up. Hearing a little about the others' family troubles it didn't surprise me that no one particularly wanted to share that part of their lives.

"So, posh boy, what's boarding school like?" I asked Jake. He smiled at me.

"It's not bad; the school workload is huge thought." Shame, I thought. At least I didn't have to deal with school work anymore.

"Is it me, or has Jake's already British accent got posher?" Ellie's eyes flashed mischieviously.

"I think it has!" Will agreed.

"Thanks guys, it kinda happens when you're hanging around millionaires," Jake said. I rolled my eyes at him.

"I like it," Jade smiled at him and he kissed her cheek.

"Well, of course she's going to say that!" I laughed, "I think it's hilarious."

"What about your accent, Mr. Americano?" Jake teased.

"What's wrong with American accents?" Zoey piped up, with mock indignance on her face. I grinned, Jake should not have made that jibe about American accents with so many Americans here.

"None of you have commented on my accent," Eoin said. I processed his words. He had a slight American accent too. Like those people who were born in America and then moved to England; their accents fading over time.

"It's cool," said the Russian accented Lucinda.

“Look guys, I know I’m the new guy, I know I’m quiet and that you already know each other like siblings. I just want to say I’m all for this, I don’t want to be looked at as someone who doesn’t fit in.”

“We don’t look at you like that,” Charley insisted, “I’m new too.”

“I know, but you have connections. No one knows anything about me.” He had a point.

“We know a little,” Jade contradicted.

“Like what?” Eoin challenged.

“Like, you’re called Eoin…” I suppressed a snort. It was a good try, I'll give Jade that much.

"I'm sorry," Jade said sincerely, grimacing.

"I'm fine, just proving my point," Eoin grinned and ate another mouthful, effectively ending the conversation. I shook my head, what a way to kill the mood. I smiled though, he'd said less than ten sentences in that conversation and somehow made himself a part of the group that had ignored him.

When we were done, I helped Ellie clear the table and followed the others to the lounge.

"Where's Alexander?" Marc frowned.

"He went into the basement," Ellie said.

"What are we supposed to do now?" Jake asked.

"What are we supposed to do now?" I imitated his posh accent. Considering how strong my American one was I didn't think I did too badly.

"Shut up," Jake rolled his eyes.

"Shut up," I mimicked. Jake smothered a grin.

"Seriously, it's so childish, Luke," Jade chastened. I smiled and raised an eyebrow.

"Sorry, Mummy," I teased. We dispersed to do different things after that. Ellie and I went to examine the house. I wrapped an arm around her waist.

"Are you going to tell me now?" Ellie asked. I didn't pretend to misunderstand. I was surprised that she still remembered that I'd promised to tell her why I hadn't been in touch after everything that had happened since.

I glanced at her and then away. I explained in whispers what had happened to me since running away. When I was done she said just one word.

"Paul." I nodded and saw sympathy fill her eyes. Then she grinned.

"At least I know what to get you for your next birthday. A new mobile phone," she said.

"Cell phone," I corrected. She rolled her eyes.

"It's the same thing," she sighed.

"Guys! Group meeting in the drawing room," Someone - Ben, I think - shouted.

"Just like the old days," Ellie and I muttered at the same time.

The End

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