Blue genes

Cece's never been fully accepted; in New York or at home, in England, and finally being accepted into the most exclusive clique at her new boarding school seems to good to be true. But Ceces about to found out that there's a lot more to college than boys and Jell-O shots, when she discovers the real reason she's suddenly popular... and that it has nothing to do with her shining personality and more to do with her genetics. Now she has to decide if it's all too weird or if her home from home is the closest to a real home she's ever had.


2. First impressions and study sessions

I rolled my eyes. One more time. Once again my car moaned at me miserably, spluttered and died... why? I rested my head against the worn leather of the steering wheel. First day of my new college (Chaplin) and my car dies. It's not like I'm already freaking out enough already...I can imagine my dad's voice "I told you so-" No, not today. I will not give him the satisfaction. Kicking open the injured door of my battered jag, I hoist my bag firmly on to my shoulder and kick angrily through the English morning fog in the freezing cold, with a sinking feeling that I'm going to be extremely late to my first day of college. I play with the fog between my fingers, twirling it into shapes and teasing it into letters. Funny talent to have, I know. A girl in my senior school could get her feet behind her head, I could manipulate the elements, I guess we both won in the lottery of weird talents. Most people were freaked out when she did it as well... partly because she always wore a skirt and they got way more than they bargained for. Not me though, you get what you get, nothing more. It's not like I could kill anyone with a cold rush of air or a glow of warmth, I wasn't like supernatural or anything...

Ten minutes later...

Ten minutes in, and my head had filled with terrible scenarios of the day ahead; what if it turns out all my A and A* grades were a massive fluke and I'm actually stupid. I attempt to do an equation in my head to check, but stop myself. It's not being stupid I should worry about, or ugly. Because I'm neither of those things- even though I did stand in front of my mirror for thirty minutes contemplating it; seriously I'm all skin and bone, my hips jut out to far and I look practically malnourished. Anyway, I have bigger fish to fry, like standing out maybe a little bit more without giving away that I'm a grade A freak. My dad thinks I'm crazy, "you need to blend in or people are going to notice, your never careful enough..." But I know what it's like to feel invisible and it's not fun.

 I finally turned an unfamiliar corner so that I'm beside a main road and not in the middle of a field. Which is where I live. In a house of course, not just in  field. I drop the circus act with the fog and return to acting inconspicuous, I only see one car in the distance but I'm not taking risks. Like I said, I'm not stupid. The driver of the approaching car is driving way to fast and I look sceptically at the Puke yellow Maserati, which was anything but inconspicuous in the North of England. Although the school I'm attending does have a reputation of bringing in the richest and most horrible teenagers from across the world, the surrounding area is mainly inhibited by farmers and retired OAP's. I squint trying to catch a glimpse of my maybe class mate. But as it comes closer all I can see are blacked out windows and a glimmer in the bumper of a hiding sun.

All of a sudden I'm hurled back using my suede bag as protection, as the car drives at 80 miles per hour through a 1 meter deep puddle, right next to where I'm walking. "Ahhh," I scream, completely soaked, I shake my hair out like a cat and look up in time to hear the car slowing down and honking in the distance, before speeding away. "Oh my God." I stand their absolutely stunned. I have to use a little bit of heat. I can't go in like this. On my first day. I throw my hands up in the air. "Why am I cursed, why can I not just have one day without anything going wrong, just once, on my first day of college? Why?" I think of all the strings of swear words I could use to describe the driver of that wretched Maserati but nothing comes close.

I whip my head round in every direction and half step into the shelter of the row of oaks sporadically growing on either side of the road. Then, I begin to spread a warm cocoon evenly over my body, worried about anyone accidently catching a glimpse of me. I know people can't technically see heat. But when I do this my hair sort of, well, floats, and my eyes glow yellow- like, really yellow... imagine yellow, then times by a gazillion- and that might kind of freak some people out.

My clothes almost instantly stopped clinging to my skin and silk shirt, once again. hangs loosely over my tiny waist as it should, my skinny jeans hugged my thighs a little bit less and my Ella Tanum black tweed coat, that had been slung over my arm at the time, had got the worst of it, but was now only slightly damp- I threw it on as an extra precaution from other idiots. Slightly better, I added a little wind as a makeshift hairdryer, but the damage was already done. My hair, which was ironed straight, had now returned to its natural state of a curly mess. "Right," I sighed, completely exhausted, realising that by the time I got to the college the school day would have ended.

I stuck my thumb out nonchalantly, in an attempt to hitch a ride and tried to not seem absolutely terrified of being picked up by a male stranger and taken to an evil lair. You could scare him off I assured myself, but my stomach remained unsettled. Two minutes later a porche arrived in the distance, and I let go of my breath when it slowed down and a (thank God) girl poked her head out of the window. Immediately I know we're going to the same place, because her trade mark good looks and halo of fluffy blonde hair scream Chaplin, and her American accent has the twang of an upper class socialite, "Hello?" She questions.

I instantly feel self conscience of the state I'm in. Frizzy hair, no car, the only non-black designer cloths I could find from the back of my mum's old wardrobe (I went through a goth phase) and a stupid grin on my face which wont shift.

"Hi, Do you go to Chaplin?" I rush, way to over enthusiastically- think demure, think demure I repeat over and over to myself.

"Yeah, first day, do you want a lift?" She smiles at me sweetly but I can tell that she's trying to suss me out .

"Yea," I smile, hoping that if I limit the things I say, she'll take longer to figure out that we are solar systems away from each other on the social pyramid. "I'm Cece," I state.


"I like your coat," India notes in a heavy American accent, after 10 minutes, finally breaking the awkward silence in the car.

"It's my mums," I return, thankful that her piercing green eyes are on the winding road and not me.

"You wear your parents clothes?" She says, trying but failing to keep the distaste out of her voice. Oh yeah, probably shouldn't have said that.

"It's in my mum's collection, she's a fashion designer" I say truthfully. My mum is a fashion designer, and the shirt is part of her collection... But it's still hers.

"What's she called?" India asked politely

"Ella Tanum," I reply casually, finally glad I'd said something not totally uncool. She turns to look at me dumbfounded, which isn't the usual response. "You-" She started, before stopping herself.

"Your joking!" She squeals, recovering from whatever just happened and reacting like any other person would have. "I love her!  her Autumn collection was gorgeous," She drawled the gorgeous , like she truly meant it and I completely forgot her initial response and couldn't help but feel a little proud. "What's it like living with the leader of a fashion empire," She enthuses. I sigh...

"I wouldn't know- she lives in New York- I used to live with her but... I missed England" I lied. The reason I was in England and not New York was an incident involving glowy eyes and floaty hair when I was 15. I moved back to England before my 16th and a year later I still hadn't really seen her yet (Other than over Skype); I didn't want to go back and she sure as hell wasn't seeing my dad again.

"you're parents aren't together?"  India questioned, turning her head slightly to acknowledge the sensitivity of the topic. It put me on edge, everything this girl did seemed so calculated... and perfect.

"Not since I was born," Because I was born.

"My parent split a year ago, both remarried now," She divulged.

"That was quick!" I gasped before reprehending myself for not being calculated, at all.

"It's OK, it quadrupled my allowance, both my parents paid the same amount they would have done together, then they started competing and both doubled the sum again. It's totally awesome," She trilled gleefully.

I was beginning to like this girl, she was shallow- and I loved that. Finally she was showing signs of human life in her inhumanly perfect robot head.

"Do like shopping?" I asked, racking my brains for something to say, then immediately regretting it. Do you like shopping? How lame could I be?

"Ugh, duh," She cried out, once again making me grin. Thank god she didn't notice how totally lame I actually was, or at least she pretended that she didn't notice.

"Once a year I close down Saks, for me and  few friends so that we can shop in total privacy- I have a platinum card there." She rushed, "You could totally come!" Wow, say the right thing and get invited to awesome places- must keep in mind for the rest of today, I told myself.

"I've known for, like, two seconds," I laugh, relaxing a little.

"You have good vibes. Those are totally important Cece, beside me and you are the same," She nodded solemnly.

"Ok, good vibes," I giggled, ignoring the "same" comment which was so untrue, "I wonder if anyone else at the college will like my vibes?"

"Don't even worry, I know everyone;  this girl, Eva had this debutants ball thing in Manhattan last month and I swear everyone there is coming to Chapin. I did as much networking as I could,"  I nodded, a little bit disappointed, even if I was still living in new York, no way would I have been invited to party like that.

"I arranged to share a dorm with a girl called Raven, she's a friend if the family's , I've only met her a few times but-"

"She had good vibes?" I cut in. I knew you couldn't choose your dorm mates usually, but I had a feeling India could get anything she wanted if she put her mind to it.

"Totally," India chimed. "Who you sharing a dorm with?"

"I'm not, I live just next to campus, there wasn't any point," I shrugged.

"Oh, I didn't see any houses around here,"

"It's pretty small-" I lied, I didn't see any point in bragging, "I usually live their alone though, and compared to New York apartments, everything is spacious."

"Where's your dad?" India asked.

"He lives in London most of the time but visits once a week," I didn't mention the house keepers because usually I find it pretty lonely anyway, but India looked at me like I was the coolest thing in the world.

"You should have a party there; near campus, no parents, its perfect!" She beamed, her blonde hair bouncing against her shoulders as she flung her head round, as though solving an impossible puzzle.

"Who would I invite, I've not even started college yet!" I countered, laughing internally at the insanity of it all, and forgetting how miserable I was at home.

"Who ever's cool, Ce, we social elite must stick together dawling," India flashed her perfect smile at me and in a movie-like moment I realised that India genuinely thought I was cool... I wondered how long that would last...

"Ce, get your face on, we're here," She teased, turning off the engine of her silver porche and sliding into the brisk English air. I had no idea what "Get your face on" meant but I assumed it was a bit like what she was doing- which was pouting and looking like a complete college goddess... I wasn't quite sure I could do that. But I'll never know if I never try.

As she locked the car, I finally got a chance to check out India's outfit and recognised my mothers grey cashmere sweater and a Prada pleather skirt from next season. Her shoes were louieboutons and she had paired it with a trench coat, black tights and a gorgeous black scarf. My mum would love this girl, and I hoped she would stay true to her word, take me to Saks and then dress me.

I tried to mimic India's subtle confidence whilst thinking all this but felt inadequately placed next to her. Giving up, I attempted to look friendly instead, but somehow I don't think that's going to cut it in a place like this. The whole place was immaculate and the form room block (which was all I could see at the moment) was breathtaking, it looked like it was something out of pride and prejudice. Not to mention everyone I saw were ridiculously good looking and self assured, their drivers trailing after them with arms full of suit cases, as they settled into their home for the next three years.

"Oh, that's raven," India pointed at the most stunning girl I'd ever seen in my whole life, she was at least 5'10, with silvery black hair, falling in a perfect line just past her hips and wearing an ensemble that made me want to dig myself a hole and sit in it ... Never in a million years would I ever be that fashionable- my mother might be a designer but dressing myself was not something I enjoyed, whereas this girl oozed style in her Marc Jacob's coat, black jeans, fur shawl and high heeled riding boots

"Whoa," I whispered under my breath. I wasn't sure about good vibes but she defiantly had an aura of something.

"Rae!" India called over. I squirmed as raven glanced up from her crowd of admirers with a look of disdain.

"India?" She purred, her face softening slightly. "Darling," she walked towards her -without a hint of a wobble in her 6 inch heels- and embraced her warmly. "Picking up strays again?" She laughed, referring to me. I felt my skin warm up and wanted the ground to swallow me whole.

"Raven, Cece," India giggled by way of introduction "she's Ella Tanums daughter," her face turned serious for a few seconds and I saw understanding pass between the two long legged girls. Looking at them, I realised the two juxtaposed each other in almost every way, India had rosy cheeks, all American good looks and exuded light, whereas raven was as sharp angles and edges and looked like some sort of goddess of the night.

"Not in New York any more then?" Ravens mouth twitched at the corner, suddenly paying attention to my presence. I felt like half of this conversation was completely unspoken. India gave her a disapproving look.

"I don't live with my mum..." I started. I was about to say anymore when Raven cut me off.

"But you did?" I started to worry about how much this equally captivating and terrifying creature knew about me.

"Do I know you?" I inquired, my brow creased in frustration.

"No, but you will," she smiled, her pore less face was completely uncreased and calm. In fact there was a general calm that surrounded raven that unnerved me. The bell broke ravens stare and the thrase "saved by the bell" rung in my ears.

"Bye babe," india air kissed me on both cheeks and subtlety whispered something in ravens ear as she did the same to her. I didn't give it a second thought; everyone I had met so far had been a little strange, albeit that was only two people. Hopefully I could meet some people who didn't terrify me before the day was out.

"What's your class?" Raven held her hand out for my planner and I handed it to her without hesitation, what was I supposed to do? Say no to Raven? "Mythology?" She looked amused. I shrugged- why did she care?

"I think it's interesting," I muttered defensively, immediately regretting the high pitched whine in my voice. Shut up Cece.

"Same," raven smiled. "I'll come with you," ...Wait...What?

"You took mythology?" From what I had heard, I was part of the small handful of students barely filling the one class for the subject.

"Sure," Raven grinned, in a -think what ever you want to think- kind of

way. Something about that grin made me think that she was lying. But why would she change her class? For me? I shook myself internally and told myself to get a grip. Why would she do that? I just have an over reactive imagination. Probably.

After two hours of being followed by my new shadow, in what would have been an excellent first two lessons, I was eager to ditch raven and her judgmental eyes and her bitchy comments and try to meet some people that didn't hate me so much. Which she did... Hate me that is- I could tell. But yet she still kept me under surveillance like she had to babysit me. Usually I'd be flattered that someone like her was changing classes for me but Raven not only irritated me, but confused me too. Why? That was all I'd been trying to work out. Why the hell was she suddenly glued to me side after referring to me as a stray? In the mean time, I hadn't been able to meet anyone else because she practically hissed and bared her perfectly shaped talons at anyone who strayed too close.

As soon as the bell cut off my English lit professor, I made a beeline for the door, stuffing my scarce notes into my bag as I went. I charged down the hallway zigzagging through the oncoming crowd, hoping Raven was still back in class and had not yet figured out that I'd gone. "Turn right," Ravens clipped voice stopped me in my tracks and I spun round, how in hell had she kept up and why was she still following me? She didn't have the excuse of having the same classes as me, it was lunch now.

"Excuse me?" I demanded, frustrated that I hadn't managed to loose her  and find India again.

Raven didn't even look up from her iPhone as she tapped another text for the thousandth time today. "Turn right. India, her brother, Cynthia- my cousin- Nate and Seb (the twins) are waiting for us in the lunch hall," I was comforted by the mention of India and relaxed a little. But why was raven inviting me to hang out with her and her clique for lunch? Was that what India asked her to do? To include me or something? I think I might know why she'd been following me around now- maybe it was her perverse idea of bonding...Obediently, I turned right at the entrance to the lunch hall and let raven lead me to this table full of strangers that she had spoke off.

Almost immediately as you entered the heart of the school, you could see who was in what clique, who was crushing on who and who was completely stranded. It was only the first day but I was guessing that most the people here had hung out in the same circles their whole lives, and probably their parents, and their grandparents. These kids had legacys behind them and there popularity was completely pre determined by how affluent their parents were, before they were born. I should have been one of those stranded few, who hadn't quite yet found each other and formed a clique of misfits. That should be my clique.

Yet here I was being dragged to the most popular clique in the school by a girl, I'm pretty sure I'd seen in my mums it girl magazines that she used to be obsessed with. As we came closer I spotted India sitting on one if the Hogwarts-esque wooden tables put in neat rows throughout the lunch hall, swinging her toned legs back and forth and soaking up the admiration of two blonde males sitting either side of her, who were completely identical in size and structure.

Those must be the twins I noted, Nate and...? I struggled to remember their names and this might have been due to the fact my brain had turned to mush after seeing not one golden haired, 6'6 god, but two- they were every girls fantasy but India squatted them away laughing like she was out of their league. Next to them was a dainty red headed girl with cropped spikey hair and the facial features of a fairy tale pixie, who was chatting animatedly to a tall boy (however not as tall as the twins) with dark hair that curled at the nape of his neck and toned broad shoulders, he was facing away from me, but looking at the others and the back of his head, I knew he too would be dangerously good looking too.

"Ce," India waved at me excitedly when she saw me and the twins gaze's ran over my body and face , making me extremely self conscience. One of them wolf whistled when I was finally close enough to see the detail in their faces- i wasn't disappointed- their faces were perfectly symmetrical and even more gorgeous up close, and my face flushed pink. They both stood up and the one to my right introduced himself as Nate, "Excuse my brother, he forgets his brain when he sees a pretty girl," his twin, Seb, the one who had whistled, winked at me and I smiled at them both nervously, "where's is she then?" I asked trying to refuse the complement- which he probably only made out of pity.

"That would be me," Raven purred, elegantly seating herself below India.

"Pretty isn't the word I'd use," Seb laughed, mischief twinkling in his eye.

"How about manipulative, cold hearted and viscous?" Nate asked his brother, coldly.

"Or all of the above," the dark haired boy, he must be India's brother finally turned to face us, but he was staring too intently at me to even glance at raven. He jaw bones were sharp enough to cut your hand on, his piercing green eyes were the only resemblance he bore to his sister, and although he wasn't as typically good looking as the twins with his unplucked eyebrows and crooked nose, his face was mysterious and intruiging, drawing me in like a moth to a flame.

"Your just angry because I'm out of your leagues, even when you ohave to sell yourselves as a package deal to increase your appeal," Ravens eyes glinted, daring them to argue with her, but Nate just looked mildly amused and Seb just pouted.

I'm not sure Damien had taken any notice to the drama though because he was still staring at me and I too lost interest in the twins squabbling and Ravens quips as Damien leaned forward, and my breathe caught in my throat. He reached out to tuck a stray curl behind my ear and I resisted the urge to sigh.

"You'd look better with your hair straightened," He said, his face grinning meanly. I stepped back and crossed my arms, the trance broken, how dare he comment on my biggest insecurity and confirm my fears that the twins complements were out of politeness. "It was, until some jerk drove through a puddle at 80 miles per hour and soaked me," irritation creeped into my voice which only widened his smirk.

"Maybe he wanted to see you in a wet shirt.. I wouldn't blame him," I glared at him, how chauvinistic could one guy get. "It could have been a girl," I said for the sake of arguing. How had I been so caught up with this guys looks, without even knowing what he was like as a person, I scolded myself. Next time I should remember to be less superficial.

"Oh, please God let it be a girl, please let there be some girl on girl action this term, I've been begging Santa for the past ten years," Seb cut through the icy silence, humorously, but my eyes never left Damien's.

"Don't you mean thirteen," the small red headed girl laughed as patted the space next to where she was perched on the table, as Damien wondered away towards Raven and India, winking at me as he left. I rolled my eyes.

"Don't worry, he's just an idiot," She smiled widely at me, but she was referring to Seb not Damien. I heard a mumbled "That hurts," from behind me, and I stifled a giggle as the girl pulled me up next to her. I realised that I had been left with the twins and this small girl and looked for India, or even Raven, for support. But they were huddled together at the other end of the long table, leaving me with three people I hardly knew.

"So, your mums Ella, right?" The bird like girl questioned. The twins looked unfazed by this statement, so I assumed this wasn't news to them... Had they been speaking about me before I arrived? "Oh, I'm Cynthia by the way, Ravens cousin," She introduced herself quickly, realising I didn't know who she was.

"Whoa," I widened my eyes and glanced quickly behind me to Raven and back to Cynthia. I vaguely remember Raven mentioning a cousin, but so far sweet natured, Cynthia didn't look like any sort of distant relative to bitchy Raven.

"I know, how can hippy dippy Eco warrior Cynthia be related to bitch face Raven? But I know their parents, and it's true," Nate assured me. I didn't know what surprised me more, that Nate had had the balls to call Raven a Bitch when she was standing a few meters away, or that the devil not only wore six inch heals but had parents- which isn't the sort of picture the Bible had warned me of.

"Cynthia's my favourite," Seb blinked adorably up at Cynthia and she laughed, her eyes twinkling. Whoa, that must have been the prettiest laugh I'd ever heard. Seb looked mesmerised.

"And if Raven asked you'd say the same to her," Her sing song voice trilled, and she patted his head affectionately. However, from the longing looks Seb was giving her and the reassuring glances Nate was giving him, I had no doubt that Cynthia was Seb's favourite and my heart went out to him. Even though I'd known him for under an hour, he's playfulness and innocence made him hard to not like. In contrast, his brother was dry, sarcastic and seemingly unaffected by anything, and him I related too way more and also liked.

"So, your mum?" Nate asked, steering the conversation away from Seb's crush to save his brothers dignity.

"My mum," I looked knowingly at Nate and went along with it. He grinned at me thankfully, which is the first time I'd seen him do that- properly smile. Was it me or had I actually made a good first impression (not something I usually did,). Or maybe it was just my good vibes?

 "Hey, we"re having a study session at lunch time in the library," India rushed gleefully, "you game?" Seb whooped and Cynthia looked uncharacteristically devious.

"Why not?" Nate answered, and I suddenly couldn't wait for this shifty sounding study session. "You haven't lived until you've attended one of Cynthia's study sessions," Nate winked at me.

"I'm game," I shrugged and smiled. Cynthia squeaked and clapped her hands together

"This is going to be major!"




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