When I got to math class, Ginny Malcolm was sitting in Mala’s seat for some reason.
And top that off with some weird telepathic exchange those two gave each other, Mala left me there with her. Wtf?
Girls. Who could figure them out?
I decided to ignore whatever was going on with them. I’d just do my work and ask Mala about it later.
After I’d finished, Ginny said with a strange look on her face, “Hey, Liam. I was thinking about starting an archeology club. Want to join?”
Whoa. That totally came out of nowhere. But I was curious. “What’s an archeology club?”
She went on to explain that her parents were archeologists (I remembered her mentioning that before). They do excavations and find cool stuff–artifacts that no one else had discovered. Archeologists study ancient civilizations. Honestly, I’d never really knew what an archeologist was other than what I saw in movies. I actually thought they studied dinosaurs but that’s a paleontologist (Ginny was quick to point out).
“Okay…that sounds really cool. Let me know when the meetings are and I’ll come.” This archaeology thing was so interesting. I actually wanted to meet her parents one day. They were like real live Simdiana Jones’ types.
I didn’t get a chance to talk to Mala though. It seemed like she was avoiding me all day. When I texted her about it, she said she had a headache and went home early. I guessed she was still sick?
I was going to chalk today up to one of those shitty days where nothing majorly exciting happened but when I entered my driveway, my family was waiting there for me.
My sister, Brandy, grinned like she was holding a first class ribbon from her preschool. “Lee Lee, we got you something.”
“What’s up with everyone?” I asked. “Why are you all staring at me weirdly?”
My brother pointed. “You, bro, are the proud owner of this incredibly super cool, 180 horse power, turbo charged Jeep.”
My brain caught up with my eyes. “You’re shitting me.” I gulped.
What was going on? I was supposed to buy an old jeep with the money I saved up but they were so expensive, I knew I’d never be able to afford one.
“It’s yours, Liam,” Mom said. “You deserve it.”
Dad added, “And besides, we’re tired of toting your ass around everywhere.”
I picked up Brandy, wanting to leap around.
“You like it, Lee Lee?” she asked.
My little sister was so freaking sweet. “Yeah, baby girl. It’s amazing.”
I felt like I was living in a dream state.
Turned out, my folks were buttering me up for the bomb they were about to drop on me.
We were moving to Del Sol Valley. Dad actually took the Robotron part and Mom was totally on board with the whole thing. But she assured me I didn’t have to move with them. It was my choice. She hated the fact that she was torn away from her high school, and she wasn’t about to do that to me. She’d already talked with Grandpa and Granddad–since Granddad retired from the FBI, they said they’d stay with me until I finished high school.
I was so conflicted. I didn’t want to move away from Brindleton Bay. But then I didn’t want to be away from my family either. It was going to be tough on me to figure out what to do.
The following weekend, we took a trip to Del Sol Valley. Dad’s production company, Plumbob Pictures, owned this ridiculous mansion in the hills, away from paparazzi. It was gated with manned security. Already the media was buzzing about my dad being the next big screen superstar.
When the company’s limo dropped us off, I couldn’t believe my eyes.
“Holy shit!” I cried. I couldn’t help it. “We’re going to stay there?”
“More than just stay here, Liam,” Dad said. “Plumbob Pictures said we could live here until we built our own house.”
Mom sighed. “Don’t you think it’s a little…extreme?”
Extreme? It freaking rocked. It was like we were royalty or something.
The place even came with its own staff, including a butler.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Sanderson,” the butler said, shaking Dad’s hand. “Welcome to Pinnacles Palace. I am Marcus Weatherby. I’ll be at your service during your stay.”
“Hi, Marcus. You can call me James. Glad to be here.”
The butler’s face drew up like Dad spoke heresy. “Oh, no, Mr. Sanderson. I would never dare to call you by your first name. Come…let me show you around.”
Mom made a groaning sound as we entered. I had to admit. The place was a little on the hoity toidy side for us. I grew up in a normal house in a small town. Was everything going to change now that Dad was set to be a big movie star?
“This is the bar area where you may entertain guests,” Marcus said.
He drew open the drapes. “The view here is second to none. And that is a state of the art olympic sized pool where you can relax or get some exercise swimming laps.”
I spied a ginormous pool that looked as if it was surrounded by pure gold.
“What do you think, babydoll?” Dad’s voice was crazy excited.
Mom winced. “I don’t see how the kids will feel comfortable here. It’s made of marble and gold and the decorations look like they’d break if we even looked at them.”
The butler bowed. “Oh, your children should be most comfortable. The boys’ rooms are set upstairs and your daughter’s room is next to this one. Please, madame, allow me to show you to your daughter’s quarters at once.”
“See, babydoll, they have rooms set up for the kids. I told you they’d think of everything.”
One of the paintings over the fireplace I’d recognized from one of my history books. “Damn. I think I could get used to living like this, Mom.”
“Can I order an ice cream fudge sundae, Marcus?” Zack asked, sitting at the bar.
“I can arrange for that.” He lifted his hand. “Your daughter’s room is…this way.”
Mom gave Dad a look, but he just smiled and said, “Brandy’s room is this way.”
As I entered, it looked bigger than my room at home. And it was filled with tons of toys–things Brandy would like.
The butler walked in. “If you are wanting anything else for Miss Brandy, please tell me and we’ll get it as soon as possible.”
Mom looked around the room. I couldn’t tell if she liked it or not. I mean, what would be the problem except maybe her room door was a bit too big and made of gold and the walls glittered with expensive tapestry. Kind of over the top like the rest of the place.
“I do hope this meets with your approval, Mrs. Sanderson.”
Dad rubbed Mom’s arm. “What do you think, babydoll? Can we stay?”
Mom stared into Dad’s eyes and nodded.