Her first thought when she woke up was that she hated him. Her second thought, as her nose woke up, was that she needed a shower. She left an imprint of her face in the make-up smeared on her pillow. She slithered out of bed, sheets trailing after her like grasping arms. The bathroom smelled like him, soap plus Old Spice: the Great Outdoors. He’d even left her the hot water. The considerate bastard. She let the water pummel her into a more functional state of consciousness. Out and wrapped in a towel, she scoured her face raw. Then it felt naked so she dashed on some quick highlights, then experimented and ended up with dramatic eyes and subtle lips. Whatever.
Towel hung up, she leaned in the bathroom door to survey her room. Last night’s outfit had managed to crumple into the same pile, his side of the bed was made up and he’d vanished without a trace other than the faint scent of deodorant. BREEP, BREEP, BREEP – she ran over and slammed her alarm. Class in twenty minutes. Cheese it. She tossed on clothes – ended up in neon purple sweats and a green hoodie with some folk lyrics down the back. Grabbed her bag, slipped on flip flops, and banged out the door. The sun promptly attacked her. After a few minutes of informing the sun it was a heartless orb of volatile reactions, she dug her tablet out of her bag and woke it up.
“Wow, you’re actually running on time,” Suny said.
Lane glared at her tablet. “Someone has a full charge.”
“No thanks to you,” her tablet blithely retorted. “The weather is clear, you have three new messages, and your aura is patchy and gross.”
“Liam, Sendara, and Irene. Primarily social. Sendara’s regards school projects.”
“Hey Lane, um, we need to talk about your drive, it isn’t sharing files with the school computers…”
“Suny, what is Miles up to?”
“You’ll have to ask him,” her tablet said primly.
“Suny, I know the two of you talk.”
“Just because we keep in sync for your benefit and have one of the better working relationships out of our household, does not mean I am going to ask Miles why he is grumpy with the Junicos.”
Lane sighed, as if she didn’t have enough problems with breathing people, now her electronics were deciding to be clique-y.
“Suny, block all traffic from Kent or his familiars. I’m offline as far as he’s concerned for the next two weeks.”
“I would like to point out that this tactic is rarely effective-”
“I would rather fight him in person than lie online for two weeks – no one wins there, Suny.”
“As you’d like, Lane.” Suny obligingly passed the message off to the many sundry electronics in Lane’s network. “During your class, may I tinker with a few of your apps?”
“As long as you keep a record and explain what you did and why.”
“Skyle is being problematic. I am going to improve call quality and the online identifier settings.”
“Carry on. I’ve got to roll.” Lane put Suny in the outside pocket and walked into the vine covered brick of Tallman Hall. Other students wended through the corridors, picking the appropriate doors. Lane made it into her room and slumped into the closest chair at the table. Her stomach informed her she had been ignoring it. She laid her head on the table and groaned.
Lane held up her middle finger to cut off any further commentary.
“Fine. But if you keep your head down, I won’t give you a breakfast burrito.”
At the magic words, Lane’s head shot up and she grasped unerringly at the bag Ryder was holding out. “Mine.”
Ryder laughed and sat down next to her, unwrapping her own burrito. “Think Lovelace is going to be interesting today?”
“Nope. But I like my grades – and my skin. So I am going to eat burrito and pay attention like a good little witch.”
“If you say so.”
“I do say so.”
Lady Lovelace swept in, traditional tall black hat perched on tightly tamed grey hair and dark robes billowing around her. Silence descended. Of course, then Suny started screaming.
“LANE! HELP LANE!” Lane nearly dropped her burrito, but managed to set it down before rifling through her bag to grab Suny. Suny’s screen was flashing blue and the white text of failures was rolling with increasingly dangerous speed. She pulled up the keyboard and fought back. At the active resistance, the attack stopped. She took Suny off the network and settled the powered down tablet back in her bag. Everyone was staring at her. Miss Lovelace spoke into the dead silence. “All taken care of Miss Levisson?”
“Yes Miss Lovelace.” Lane gathered her burrito back up and did her best to sink back into her chair and out or mortal sight. She was less than effective. And it was only Tuesday.
Thievery! We all robbed Bek. Check out what this ring of thieves made with her first line.