❝ ready for those flashing lights ❞

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This photo of us,
It don't have a price.
Ready for those flashing lights,
'Cause you know that baby I,
I'm your biggest fan,
I'll follow you until you love me.

"Paparazzi" - Lady Gaga

      By Wednesday, I had almost gotten used to the Elite.

      They insisted that I sit with them at lunch, and Jacen was always at my locker to make sure I followed through. I saw them in a couple of my classes and sometimes we talked in the hall.

      It threw the whole school into chaos as they tried to figure out why their royalty, was talking to a lowly subject like me.  Rumors swirled, each one being more outrageous than the last. Skylar and I even had a competition going where we tried to find the most ridiculous reason as to why the Elite had taken an interest in me.

      The Elite weren't awful.

      Vanessa was nice and funny, though she definitely a lot of blonde moments. I wasn't sure if I could really call us ‘close’ after a week, but she was the closest to thing to a friend that I had at this school.

      I got along pretty well with Skylar, since we had a similar sense of humor.

      Nathan was nice, but pretty quiet. I didn't talk to him much, because he wasn't in any of my classes, nor did we have much in common.

      Jacen and I had a weird sort of relationship. He was always cracking inappropriate jokes, which I replied to with not-so-nice comments, but we didn't hate each other.

      It was just Keira and Ashton that I still couldn't figure out. Keira, their supposed queen, who usually spent the lunch of Nathan's lap, watching us with amused eyes. And Ashton, the guy I was supposed to make fall in love with me, who I had barely seen since Saturday.

      But other than those two, it wasn't all that bad. I actually found myself almost enjoying their company.

      A bucket of cold water came in the form of Jenna Tunclet. She wasn't just in my English class, she was in almost all of them, I just hadn't noticed because, like me, she was usually hidden away in a corner. But during the week, I had looked up more than once to see her watching me.

      I had caught a lot of people staring at me since everything with the Elite happened, but there was something different in the way Jenna watched me. There wasn't confusion, as to why the Elite would be hanging out with me, of all people, or jealousy, or contempt. No, she just looked worried. And that unnerved me.

      It wasn't until today that she did more than stare. "Elena, can I talk to you?" she asked I passed her desk. I bit the inside of my lip for a second, then slid into the desk next to her.

      History and Biology were the only classes I had where you had a desk partner. Skylar was in my Biology class, so I usually sat with her. Last History class I had sat with a girl who tried to steal my phone. And while her expression when I had caught her had been hilarious, I would rather not go through a repeat of that.

      Before I could even turn to Jenna to see what she wanted to talk to me about, Mrs. Gastern, our History teacher, started the lesson. She spent the entire period talking. There was no break where I could say anything to Jenna, or her to me.

      Our class was unusually quiet this period. Most of the students didn't respect most of the teachers at Blaire Academy, but everyone was listening. I looked around. They were all watching Mrs. Gastern- and glancing at me every now and then.

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