The slash of red moved. "Er, Eden, this is rather late to be coming in isn't it?" she asked while glancing pointedly at a delicate silver and marcasite watch on her wrist. "I know you said you had to go home for a family emergency, but I was expecting you back earlier. Or at least a phone call to say you would be late." She peered through the window in attempt to see who had deposited Eden back at the house, but it was too dark. Eden tried to control the stupid grin she knew she wore and drew her eyebrows together to look concerned.
"Oh, well Mrs Bell, I am so sorry, but time just ran away from my father and I, with everything going on."
"I trust everything is alright though?" Mrs Bell asked.
"Yes of course," Eden replied breezily and did not elaborate. She shifted from one foot to another and sighed. There was a long pause as Mrs Bell deliberated what to say.
"Okay, Eden. As I said, it's late, so please can you go upstairs and get ready for bed." Eden gratefully stepped past Mrs Bell and continued up the stair case.
"Oh, and Eden?" Eden rolled her eyes and turned around.
"Please call me next time and it would be better to have a bit more information of your whereabouts. You are supposed to be in the Academy's care, after all," she said.
"Yes, Mrs Bell. Of course", Eden replied sweetly and practically ran up the stairs towards her dorm.
"I wonder when she's coming back?" Bambi asked no one in particular as she sat on Bethany's bed and picked at the nail polish on her toe nails.
"She texted me earlier to say she was on her way," Sabrina said smugly, waving her iPhone as if to prove it.
"Has she said anything else?" Sky asked running her hand over her cropped hair.
"Nope. Just that she was on her way back, that's all."
Bambi looked up and grinned at Sabrina, "She doesn't tell you everything then, does she?" Sabrina stuck her tongue out at Bambi in response.
"I could text Dapper and see if he knows if Teddy is back," Sky said.
"I'm sure she'll be back soon," a voice squeaked from the corner of the room and the girls all looked sharply at Lottie who was sitting up in bed reading a book.
"Did you even know she was in here?" Bambi whispered and the girls all laughed. Lottie shrugged and went back to her book, but the truth was she was an anxious as the others to know where Eden was, and most importantly, what had happened with Teddy. She glanced at her mobile on the nightstand to see if it was flashing with a new text, but it remained blank. She had given herself a firm talking to since Eden left last night. It was obvious Teddy wasn't interested in her. Why would he be? And then she remembered the way he had looked at her. And sat and talked with her. And put her number into his phone. And then a few hours later gone off and had sex with Eden. She sighed loudly. It just obviously wasn't meant to be.
The door swung open and a familiar voice sing-songed, "I'm baaaack!" and the huddle of girls all unfolded themselves from the beds they were perching or lying on and rushed over to Eden who, even Lottie had to admit, looked glowing.
"What happened, what happened? Tell us everything!" they were all asking simultaneously and pawing at her like a flock of birds over their prey. Eden, who usually didn't like to be touched much, relished in the attention and milked it as much as possible by not saying anything. She walked over to her bed (with the girls still clinging on to her), dropped her bag on the floor and slowly removed off her coat and slipped off her shoes. She sat down and calmly looked around her taking in the anticipation and frustration emanating from her friends (and Lottie who was pretending to read her book with a disinterested expression.)
"So? Tell us!" Sabrina stood over Eden with her hands on her hips.
"Alright, hang on a minute, let me catch my breath!" Eden said.
"Come on, spill!" Bethany said.
"Well, put it this way, Teddy certainly did," Eden said wickedly and grinned at the group around her.
It took a moment for her friends to work out what that meant, but Sky who was slightly more intelligent caught on immediately.
"Eurgh, gross, Eden!"
"What?" Bambi asked looking confused.
"Forget it," Sky replied. "So you did it then?" she nodded at Eden?
"Yep. All night and all day," she flicked her hair over her shoulder and looked very pleased with herself. Lottie groaned inwardly and tried to concentrate on the words which were flickering in front of her, but she couldn't and looked up at Eden.
"It was amazing," she said dreamily. "I never thought it could be like that."
"But what about Jeff, you said the same about him?" Sabrina asked.
"Jeff? Oh yes, Jeff. Oh well, you know, that was good, but this was something else." Eden quickly recovered. She had forgotten the others thought this was far from her first time.
"Teddy is just very experienced, you know? And so fit and strong."
"Didn't you say that about Mike?" Bambi enquired.
"Oh shut up, Bambs. Let her talk!" Sky snapped.
"Sorry," Bambi said. She sat down next to Eden and asked conspiratorially, "So what's his you know what like?" Eden opened her mouth to reply, but the door swung open with a bang and Mrs Bell stepped into the room.
"You should all be ready for bed," she said with her hands on her nipped in waist. "Eden, I already mentioned you were late and you're not even unpacked or undressed. Get ready for bed immediately. And you!" she pointed at Bambi and Sky, "You don't belong here so go back to your dorms." There was a pause. "IMMEDIATELY," she shouted. Bambi and Sky bolted.
"Right, I am going to be back in five minutes to turn your lights out so you better all be in bed," she said more calmly, turned around and walked out.
Eden started to remove her clothes and reached for her Juicy Couture pink velour shorts which had the word 'Princess' printed across the back and matching T-shirt. She looked down at her breasts before she removed her bra.
"Oh dear, seems I have a love bite," she said and giggled.
"Do you know the best thing?" Eden asked her friends who were getting under their duvets.
"What?" they asked in unison?
"Teddy said he was in love with me." Eden said, looking directly at Lottie.