Chapter One: Bets Placed
SATURDAY, 8:30 pm, Jensen's Diner, Port Hujson.
The diner was crowded and lively. Most tables were full, mostly occupied by youngsters. A group of seventeen-eighteen-year-olds were piled up at a corner, a few blocks away from the counter. They were surrounding a small round table that had twisted cans and empty bottles. Between two boys, there was a girl with long, curly blonde hair. She sipped her drink through a straw; her eyes rolled around from head to head aimlessly. The two boys were busy in conversation.
"I'll place my bet on Ron finishing her drink in—three minutes," the redhead boy on her right said with a grin.
Ron stopped sipping from her straw and turned her head at him, eyebrow raised.
"Three bucks," said the sand-blonde boy from her left, "She finishes in two."
Ron turned her head at him this time; her straw still stuck statically in her mouth.
"You're on," said the redhead.
Ron, sitting upright, looked at both of them quietly.
"Well, don't stop," said the sand-blonde, "Keep sipping, then."
"Take your time," added the redhead quickly.
Ron, throwing an exasperated look at the two of them, groaned and dropped her bottle flat on the floor. Not shattering completely, it cracked with a cackle and stayed there.
The redhead and the sand-blonde flushed and began chirping. "Serves you right, though," said Ron with a smile, "No bets on me. None."
"If you want to place your bet, do it on something more appropriate."
The three turned their heads at a tall figure that had appeared behind them. He was fair with shaggy brown hair that made him rather appealing.
"You name it," said the sand-blonde. Ron stared at the new appearance with a spark of red across her cheeks.
"Like her," the brown haired boy said as he pointed his chin forward.
The others followed his gaze.
There was someone at the table nearest to them. It was supposedly a girl, as the brown haired boy had declared,...