A matter of style
Room 12 of the North dormitory looked great. A stack of folded out boxes sat near the door with Chase Wright sitting on top of it. He surveyed the room, and recognised a good job done. Cordan was sitting on the bed, wearing a dark t-shirt and a pair of black jeans. He had taken his jacket off earlier, revealing his arms. His skin was pale, nearly white, and his arms were surprisingly muscled. He was very thin, his clothes almost hanging off him, giving him the appearance of some kind of vampire. Cordan jumped off the bed, and walked over to Chase. "Thank you, Chase." He said, and smiled. His teeth were white and unnaturally sharp, adding further to the vampiric look. "It was my pleasure. We have no classes tomorrow remember, to prepare for the ball. If you do end up making it, I would advise you to wear something nice, it is a big event."
"Point taken. I might see you there. Anyway, it's nearly dinner, right? We should probably head down."
"It's in another 10 minutes. Meet me in the hall after you have gotten ready and we will go."Chase headed across the hall while Cordan opened his newly-filled wardrobe. He pulled out a clean pair of jeans and a black shirt. The cold didn't affect him as it did most others. He wandered into the bathroom and washed his hands before meeting Chase in the hallway. "Geez." He said. "Take your time." Cordan laughed. It was a strange laugh, eerie and hollow. "So... Where are you from, Cordan?" Cordan looked at him. "I am from a place far from here. My mother died last year, and left me a lot of money, so I decided to come out here, live at the school for a while." Chase hesitated slightly before speaking. "Oh, I'm sorry Cordan." "Don't be, you didn't know, and it's not like being sorry is going to change anything."
"OH... Well, I'm sorry anyway." Cordan laughed again. "What about your father? If you don't mind me asking."
"My father is... Somewhere. Haven't seen him in years, and I intend to keep it that way for as long as possible."
"Oh... So things between you two aren't the best, huh?"
"Not in the slightest. The last time we met almost ended in bloodshed. Put simply, I don't want to see him, and he doesn't want to see me. It works out for both of us."
"Fair enough then."
"I thought so." And then they arrived at the dining hall. It was a huge, rectangular building filled with long tables, each one going from end to end. At the opposite end to the two students was a Massive kitchen with a long canteen bench in front of it. Piled behind the bench were trays of every kind of food, being dished and replaced by a team of kitchen assistants. Cordan and Chase walked up the middle of the tables, surrounded by hungry students busily conversing with their friends about the holidays. Chase quickly located his other friends and moved towards them, dragging Cordan along behind him. "Hey everyone! This is Cordan, he is new this year-" He was interrupted by Raven, who brushed past him and went to Cordan. "Hi! Would you like to go the ball with me?" She asked, smiling broadly. His face showed the first sign of colouring they had seen, and Raven laughed. "Umm.. Ok." He said. "Yay!" She yelled and wrapped her arms around him. He went a rather dark shade of crimson.
After dinner, Cordan slipped off, alone, to his room. He fell backwards onto his bed, and lay there for a few minutes. He then stood up and walked over to his wardrobe, reached into the bottom of it and pulled out a small box. It was black, and had a strange symbol carved into the top of it. Cordan put his hand on the symbol, and it glowed slightly before fading, and the top of the box lifted off. Inside were hundreds of little red tablets, each about the size of a pinhead, and the colour of blood. He poured a glass of water from the bathroom sink and dropped one of the tablets into it. It fizzed and bubbled up, turning the water red and thick. It steamed slightly in the cold air. Cordan picked it up, drank the whole thing and shuddered. There came a knock at his door, and he rinsed out the glass then walked over to it. It was Chase. "I see you got yourself a date for the ball." He said with a wink as he walked into the room. "I guess I did." Chase laughed. "You should have seen you... You went so red."
"Shut up... It wasn't my fault."
"No, but it was still funny." Cordan scowled at him. Chase laughed even harder, so Cordan just gave up. When he had composed himself again, Chase stood back up. "I am going to get to bed now, you might want to do the same. Big day tomorrow, eh? And we get to sleep in, which is a rather rare occurrence around here. Anyway, goodnight."
"Night, Chase. And I think I might take that advise." Chase smiled again, then left, shutting the door behind him. Cordan locked the door, switched off the light and put his head on the pillow. Within seconds the world faded into the peaceful blackness of sleep.
He awoke at precisely 2:34pm the next day to the sound of knocking on the door. He got up clumsily, and stumbled over to the door. He unlocked it. Standing outside was, again, Chase. "Wow... You look terrible." He said. "Do you have any idea what time it is? Raven has been looking for you all day... Have a shower and get dressed then come down to the library with me, ok?"
"Suuuure..." Cordan mumbled.
"You're completely out of it, aren't you?"
"Umm... what?" Chase started laughing again. He walked over to Cordan and practically pushed him into his closet. "Grab some clean clothes, then get in the shower, ok? And make it quick, we don't really have long." Cordan did as he was told, barely registering what was going on. He turned on the shower, but didn't turn on the heat. As soon as he had woken up a bit he got out and dried himself off. He quickly brushed his teeth and threw on his clothes, then left the bathroom. Chase looked up from the bed and smiled. "Let's go then!"
The two new friends descended to the second floor, to where the schools vast library was situated. Half of it was full of student lounges, where they found the others sitting. Raven immediately jumped up and ran over to Cordan. "Where the hell have you been?"
"You were asleep? We are going to a ball tonight! You can't be sleeping!"
"Well... This way I won't be tired tonight, will I?"Raven glared at him. "You had better wear something nice."
"I will, don't worry."
"It is, isn't it?"
"Well, hate to break up you two lovebirds, and this is quite funny to watch, but we should probably go get ready..."
"Lovebirds?! I have only spoken to the guy once!" Raven turned and punched Chase in the arm. He stumbled backwards a couple steps, laughing his head off. For his part, Cordan just turned red again.
Back at his room, Chase and Sapphire were dissecting Cordan's wardrobe for clothes to wear. All the clothes that were suitable were either torn or dirty. Chase turned to Cordan, who was sitting on the bad. I think we need to go into town. I need to head in anyway, gotta get myself something too."
"Who are you going with?"
"Who do you think?" He laughed and Sapphire hugged him. "Oh." Said Cordan, and he laughed too. A bus should be leaving in about half an hour; it always does on the day of the ball. Come on. Sapphire, are you coming?"
"No, I have clothes thank you very much. And Raven wanted me to help her get ready. She must really like you Cordan." She smiled and walked off. "What was that supposed to mean?"
"Well, Raven doesn't exactly make a show of trying to impress people."
"Lucky me then."
"Yeah, very lucky. Anyways, we had better head down to the bus stop. Have you got enough money?"
"Yeah, I'm rich, remember?"
"Have you got enough money?"
"Cordan, practically everyone at this place is rich."
"Fair enough then."
"I thought so."
"You'd hope so, wouldn't you?"
"Well, if you said something without actually thinking it, it would be weird."
"I guess so."
"Again, hopefully." Chase sighed. "Hurry up or we'll miss the bus."
"You changed the subject."
"Indeed I did."
"Fair enough then."
"Well, we really should go, I wasn't kidding about missing the bus..."
"Oh. Fair point then. Let's go."
The bus pulled into town half an hour later. By then it was almost 5pm, and the bus went back at 6. "We don't have much time, but I know a good place. Come on." Chase led Cordan through the streets until they reached a small clothing store on the main road. Inside was a collection of exquisite suits and tuxedos; hand tailored by expert craftsmen, and very expensive. Not that that bothered the two students, they had all the money they could wish for. One of the displays caught Cordan's eye, and he approached it. It was a suit. The vest was black on the outside and a deep blue on the inner lining. The tie and shoes were both black, as with the pants, and a white shirt went under it. It was a very fine piece of tailoring. He called over the store's owner, who took his measurements and went off to get one that would fit him. Meanwhile, Chase had found a suit of his own. It was similar to Cordan's, yet the inner lining was a deep green colour. He had one fetched for him by a shop assistant. Soon enough there suits were brought to them; they paid and left, and were on their way back to the college.