I moved the pencil about the page, the soft scratch of lead against paper a murmur in the background of the conversation. Nah, I wasn’t the best at drawing, but I had always found it enjoyable.

Even though the weird events of the day, I could not help feel inexplicably happy and very content. Well, I guess it felt like old days; it was like a great big family reunion. All of my best friends, and Marc….

“Stop moving,” I scolded Marc playfully, looking up at him to give him a smile. He froze in his position, yet continued to speak. I half-listened to their conversation, biting my lip as I erased a few lines.

“.....you’re a fighter,” Marc stated, a certain bitterness in his voice drawing me into their conversation. “Other people aren’t so naturally inclined,”

“You’re talking about yourself,” Jake said; Marc narrowed my eyes,

“A few others as well,”

“Look come on Marc, just because your power isn’t the best, don’t be sour,”

“I’m not sour,” Marc snapped, Jake smirked, and Jade entered the room.

“Be nice,” she said to Jake. She smiled slightly. “Fighting isn’t for all of us, but together we make a great team.”

“Agreed,” Marc grinned back.

“And I just want to put this out there,” Luke called up walking in, “Can you guys just get over whatever is making you so mad at each other?”

“I’m not mad,” Marc said quickly; perhaps too quickly.

“Me either,” Jake replied,

 Jade began to laugh,“Oh come on guys, you’ve had a thing with each other since…” She trailed off her eyes widening,

“Since…?” I continued.

 Jade looked embarrassed. She muttered, “Doesn’t matter,”

“Tell us,” Jake probed a glint in his eye,

“Since I kissed Marc,” she whispered,

“You what?!” I cried out, looking from Jade to Marc. I had always known Marc had a “thing” for Jade.....but I don’t know....I felt....betrayed somehow.

“It was ages ago,” Marc and Jade said at the same time; she smiled.

“Almost a year ago today, I was sad, we hadn’t got our partners yet and it just sort of happened.” Jade added.

 Marc nodded in agreement, “I wasn’t thinking straight,”

“Me either,” she agreed.

I felt slightly calmer, though I was still a bit disquieted. “I wish you’d told me,” I murmured. But then again, how would he tell me that he kissed Jade....?

“Sorry, did I tell you I loved you?” Marc asked. I smiled slightly and nodded, turning back to my drawing, thoughtful.

“Anyway, that’s not my point, are you going to make up?” Luke asked,

“Sure, we did before, we shook on it, remember?”  said Marc.

“A lot of good that did,” Ellie scoffed from the corner,

“I don’t want to intrude,” Eoin said placing his book down, “But I always learnt the best way to build bonds with people was to perform with them.”  All of us turned to look at him. I wondered at his suggestion, and I assumed everyone else did as well.  “I think we should host a Luxternia Talent Show, LTS.” Marc gave a look of mild disgust, which I couldn’t help giggling at. “Don’t look at me like that, it’ll be fun.”

“Right, Marc and Jake are together.” Jade began. I choked on another laugh- Marc still wore a face of disgust, like he had tasted something incredibly sour; Jake’s face portrayed slight arrogance. “Let’s mix it up, Ellie and Eoin, Eve and Luke, Lucinda and Ben, Charlotte and Zoey and William and Jade… I mean William and me,”

“That is mixing it up, anyone wanna exchange partners?” Marc asked.

“Hardy Hardy Har,” Jade said slyly, “We’ll host the talent show tomorrow evening.”

I smiled and stood up, placing my “work” aside. “I better go and speak to Charley,” I turned and left the room. I was quite glad I got paired with Charley-spending time with Marc I had gotten to know her a bit. What were we going to do? I couldn’t sing....that was a definite ‘no’. I could play piano....but was there even a piano in this house....?

“Ow!” my toe jammed into something hard, and I nearly tumbled to the ground. “Huh?” A piano sat off to the side of the hall. I shook my head. These “magic” houses always amazed me.

Nah, not piano.......”Zoey, you OK?” Charley came around the corner.

“Oh, yeah. Hey, I was just looking for you,” I looked to her. “We’re having a.....talent show and you and I are a pair.” I shrugged, chuckling.

She half laughed, “Alright.”

The End

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