Mom laughed. “You have to be who you are.”

Dad was already in his full suit. His hair was still a little damp from the shower. “Except let’s not take off the gloves today. Okay, princess?”

“John!” Mom was about to dig into Dad again.

Advertisement

“It’s too early in the morning for contradicting parents. Be yourself. Don’t be yourself. My head hurts already. Someone get me my AM medicine quickstyle.”

Dad opened the fridge and handed me an icy cold Diet Coke.

I popped the top and took a long chug. “Okay. Brain function returning. So which one of you lucky parental units is going to drive me to school?”

They shared a look. “Neither,” Mom said.

I set down my Diet Coke. “Well, if you think I’m going to go wake up Axel, then you’re going to be disappointed. I don’t feel like getting slugged.”

“He’s not driving you either,” Dad said.

-- Advertisement --

“Are you guys high? I can’t walk to school from here. It’d take me all day.” No way. “Please don’t tell me I have to catch the bus for my first day of senior year. Even you two wouldn’t be that cruel.” It wasn’t that I had anything against taking the bus, per se, but for me it presented all kinds of problems. The goal was to minimize the number of visions I got per day, not add to them.

They just stood there smiling. Waiting for me to realize something.

Holy shit.

My only defense for being so dense was that it was before eight AM. Anything before ten AM and I’m lucky if I can speak my native language coherently.

I ran out the front door. A new black VW Tiguan sat in the driveway with the other cars. “Nice.” Any car would’ve been amazing, but they’d picked the exact one I’d been lusting after.

Dad stepped out onto the porch and handed me the keys. “Have a good day, princess.”

Advertisement

I shocked him by giving him a big hug. Then ran inside and did the same to Mom.

“Thanks, guys. Way to start my year off in style.”

Dad wrapped an arm around Mom as she stepped outside to wave good-bye. “We try,” he said. “Now go, or you’ll be late.”

Once inside, I took a deep breath and inhaled the lovely new leather scent. The car was a classic black on black. And it was perfect. I set up my iPhone to link to it, and once I had the navi going and my music playing, I headed for school.

Chapter Five

The school was made up of two four-story buildings in an L-shape. The parking lot faced a football field with full-on stadium style seating and lights. Another smaller field backed up to it, but didn’t have as nice of a scoreboard or the seating. This place wasn’t messing around when it came to football.

I slid down from the car and grabbed my backpack. If my life were a movie, everyone would’ve noticed me walking through the parking lot and stared. Good thing I lived in real life, and was blissfully ignored. I even moved through my first few periods managing not to speak to anyone. But as I doodled over the fourth syllabus of the day, something tapped against my back.

I glanced behind me.

-- Advertisement --

The girl with long fire-red hair had been in my last class, too. She passed me a note, and I slid it under my textbook as the teacher looked my way. As soon as she turned, I opened the carefully folded note.

Hot pink ink gleamed off the paper. Not my favorite choice in pen color, but who was I to judge. “Are you really from LA?”

I wrote a quick reply asking her how she knew, and twisted my arm to place the note on her desk without looking back.

A second later, the tap came again. “Small town. Word gets around. Plus, Mrs. Kelly—the front office lady—has a big mouth. That’s so cool!” The exclamation point was dotted with a heart. “Let’s talk at lunch.”

This was probably a bad idea. Psychometrics—people who got visions from touch—didn’t make good friends. I didn’t need to take my gloves off to know that we probably weren’t going to hit it off. Still, if I wanted friends, I had to keep an open mind.

The redhead appeared by my side before the shrilling bell had time to end. “I’m Rosalyn.” She was wearing a short frilly skirt and tank top. Her bright smile faltered as she took in my T-shirt. Maybe I should’ve gone with something less obscure, more Beiber-esque. I snorted before I could stop it.

She didn’t look amused. I cleared my throat and her gaze met mine. Her smile returned, but this time didn’t reach her eyes.

“Hi. I’m Tessa.” I loaded my arms with books just in case she had the urge to shake hands.

-- Advertisement --