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Author's Chapter Notes:
Previously on The Best and Worst Times- Freshmen year

Michael, Sara, Jill and the other Freshmen survived their first year of high school
Michael and Sara’s relationship is going strong and both enjoying getting to know each other.
Lincoln and Veronica break up and Linc end up sleeping with Lisa who is now pregnant with his baby
Sucre has feelings for Jill’s cousin who visited from Canada over spring break
The gang unsure as to what will happen to their close friendship since Linc and Veronica aren’t talking.
Chapter 1

As the summer heat hitting a record high in mid August Michael stripped down into his bathing suite and dove into the cool refreshing water in the pool in his backyard. He did a few laps back and forth enjoying the water on his body. He had spent many of his summer days swimming and lounging by the pool.

Him, Sara and all their friends had spent pretty much everyday together over the summer and there were a lot of great memories. As he continued to do laps in the pool Linc strolled out of the house with a ice cold drink and burger in hand and made his way to sit on the patio and watched as his brother pushed himself to do laps in the pool.

Over the summer Linc had got himself a job working at the restaurant Annie’s him that the gang like to hang out and that was owned by Charles Westmoreland, who was an old friend. With Lisa pregnant with his kid he was in need of money to help pay for some expenses. He was pretty much working his whole summer trying to rank in as much cash as he cold before school started up again in September.

As Michael swam to the edge of the pool he saw his brother sitting there eating his lunch still in uniform. With heavy breathing Michael braced himself with his arms and lifted himself out of the pool. He grabbed a towel and started to dry himself off as he slowly strolled over to his brother.

“You didn’t bring me anything?” Michael teased as he took a seat across from his brother.

“Hey I’m making eight bucks an hour and need every penny I can get for Lisa and the baby,” Linc snapped before taking a bite of his hamburger.

Michael sat back in his chair and bit his lip, he knew that Lisa and the baby was a sore subject as well as Veronica these days and Michael did his best not to bring them up. The brothers sat there in an awkward silence for a couple minutes. Michael was about to say something to help change the subset but before he could open his mouth they both heard the gate latch to the backyard being opened and then in skipped Sara and Jill.

At the sight of them Michael smiled and got up out of his chair and walked across the yard to his girlfriend and his childhood friend. His smile grew as he got closer to them and then his arms opened welcoming Sara. “Hey beautiful” he said softly as she walked into his arms for a hug.

She looked up at him with a huge smile on her face and then reached out to give him a quick kiss. “Hi” she answered with a huge smile.

“So where have you two been?” Michael asked playfully as he kept Sara locked his arm with no complaints from her.

“Well…” Jill began with a huge smirk on her face as she kept her hand hidden behind her back. By this time Linc had gotten up from the table and come over to see the girls. Jill and Sara both showed excited looks on their faces and then Jill continued, “You are now looking at two of Chicago’s newest drivers!”

Both Michael and Linc looked at the girls both surprised and shocked. With laughs both girls showed off their new licenses proudly and excitedly. “Well congratulations” Michael told them and gave Jill a hug and then Sara a kiss.

“Yeah congratulations” Linc added with a smile.

“Hey so does this mean you are now my own chauffer?” Michael joked since he still didn’t have his license since his birthday was in mid-September. Michael wrapped his arms around Sara from behind and had her lean back into him.

“You wish Scofield!” Sara said with a laugh as Michael leaned down to press a number of kisses to Sara’s ear as she giggled.

“Well is either of you interested in buying a car, cause mines for sale?” Linc told them.

All three of them turned to look at Linc with surprise looks. They couldn’t believe what they had just heard because Linc had saved up all his money for that car when he turned sixteen and was so proud of his first car. “What do you mean your selling it?” Jill asked.

“Well I need then money and selling that car is the best way to make a few hundred bucks” Linc answered looking really sad about the idea of selling his car.

“Linc…” Michael said but before he could finish Lincoln cut him off.

He was shaking his head not wanting to listen to what ever Michael was going to say. “No, don’t Michael I need the money and fast.”

“Look Linc I know you have been freaked out about this but come on you have time, Lisa’s not due until early of next year” Michael told him.

“Yeah well having a kid isn’t cheap and mom told me I need to make so much money for this or she is selling everything I own” Linc said although the others knew he was exacturating a bit.

“Well Linc you have been working non–stop this whole summer and you more then the rest of us need a break and a change of scenery,” Jill suggested with smile.

“What do you have in mind?”

“Well my cousin Jordana has invited us all to go up to her cottage in northern Ontario. I think it a great place for us all to relax before we head back to school for another year.” Jill said with a smile.

~*~*~*~

Sara rechecked her list of everything she had packed hoping she had everything accounted for. They were all leaving for the airport in a few hours to spend a few days with Jill’s cousin. Once everything was set she zipped it up and began to drag it down the stairs. It banged across the steps and she dragged it down and it informed her parents who were sitting in the kitchen that she was almost ready to go. When she reached the bottom she stood the big suitcase up and let out a tired breath.

He father entered the hallway and couldn’t help but let out a chuckle as he saw his daughter and her large over packed suitcase. “Wow I’m a little scared, if this is what you take for a weekend trip I can only imagine what you pack when you go away form collage.”

Sara let out a nervous laugh and ran her fingers threw her hair. “Um this isn’t everything I have another bag upstairs” she told her father and then as he laughed Sara headed upstairs to get her carryon bag. She quickly went to grab the bag and then raced back downstairs. She gave her mom a quick hug and then her dad helped her carry her luggage over to Jill’s house which luckily was right next door.

When the door swung open Jill quickly invited her in and the girls talked excitedly about the weekend to come. She said goodbye to her dad and as he left the house and head back home Sara and Jill made their way up to Jill’s room. “This is going to be awesome, just like old times,” Jill said as she took a seat on the bed.

“Have you heard from Veronica? Is she coming?” Sara asked as she moved across the room and sat on the bed with Jill.

“Well from what I’ve heard, yeah she’s coming” Jill told her.

“Even with Linc going as well?” Sara asked knowing full well that Linc and Veronica hadn’t talked all summer.

“I’m not quite sure how things are going between them, all I know is that they have both agreed to come and both know full well that the other is coming so it could be a very interesting trip” Jill stated as she turned to give Sara a smile.

The girls sat there talking and discussing Jill’s previous trips up to visit her cousin in Canada and all the things they could do up at the cottage. After about half an hour they heard the doorbell ring and both Jill and Sara got up from the bed and raced down stairs to find Katie and Kristine waiting at the front door.

After they greeted each other the girls quickly picked up their stuff and began to drag it out to the car. They piled as much as they could into the trunk but due the amount each girl had packed some of their luggage had to sit in the back seat of the SUV with the girls.

With Jill’s dad leading the way the girls followed as they walked through the airport. As they walked they girls had smiles on their faces and playfully talked as they walked. Checking the time Jill saw they had about half an hour before they had to board the plane.

“The others should be here soon, Paul said they were on their way” Kristine said as they all took a seat at a near by bench so they could wait for the others to arrive.

Jill’s dad was on the phone talking to someone and once he hung up, Jill got to her feet and walked over to her dad to find out what was going on. “Okay so I just talked to your aunt, they will be at the airport to pick you up in Thunder Bay,” he told his daughter. “They others should be here soon, but this is as far as I can go so once you past security your gate is just to the left” he added.

“Oh okay, thanks” Jill said with a smile, “Look dad you don’t have to stay you know, we’ll be fine.”

“You sure?” he asked his daughter.

“Yeah we’ll be okay” she said with a laugh and then gave her dad a hug. As she hugged him tight she felt her dad give her a quick kiss on the head before pulling away.

“Take care of yourself, and make sure Linc behaves, his mom is already skeptical about letting him go” her father said.

“Don’t worry, I’ll keep him in line” she joked.

“Of course you will” he dad said knowing that ever since they were kids Jill seemed to be in charge and Linc and Michael would do what ever Jill said. After one last hug he waved to the other girls and then made his way out of the airport.

The girls didn’t have to wait long before they saw Michael, Lincoln and the other guys making their way towards them. Both Michael and Sara smiled when they saw each other.

“Your late!” Jill teased with a smile.

“Only by a couple minutes but it wasn’t my fault, Paul here needed to make sure he didn’t forget any of his hair products” Linc shot back.

“Hey I don’t have hair products” Paul called out in defense.

The others just laughed; Michael and Sara moved closer together to share a kiss but turned back to the banter of Jill and Linc.

Jill smiled and then looked down to eye Linc’s very small bag that he was carrying. Unlike the girls who had about two bags each, Linc had one bag that seemed to be smaller then any of theirs. “Linc where’s all your stuff?”

“This is it,” he told her holding up his small bag that even looked half empty. “What’s with you all packing as if we are going for a year?”

“I like to be prepared but I didn’t bring a lot” Jill said with a laugh.

“Okay I’m sure you didn’t bring the kitchen sink, but you brought everything else” Linc teased and Jill only laughed and told him to shut up as she moved towards James and gave him a hug and kiss.

“So um when do we leave?” Sucre asked as he set his bag down by the others.

“Um well Veronica and Jess should be here soon and then we can pass security and board the plane,” Jill informed him.

“I’d say someone is a little anxious,” Sara said with a smirk as she gave Sucre a knowing look.

“What? I don’t know what you’re talking about” Sucre claimed although Sara didn’t believe him for a second.

“Come on Sucre, what happened between you and my cousin when she visited during spring break?” Jill asked.

“Nothing!” Sucre said although maybe a little too quickly and then had everyone looking at him with curiosity.

“What did you do Sucre?” Derek said teasingly.

“I didn’t do anything I swear” Sucre said although at the same time he was thinking of the unbelievable addicting kiss he had shared with Jordana on the night of the party during spring break.

Before anyone could say anything else Veronica and Jess were seen walking towards the group holding their bags and coffee for everyone. “Sorry we’re late but I figure we could all use this” Veronica said and everyone showed a grateful grin and accepted their coffee.

As the coffee cups were handed out they noticed that Veronica had even got Lincoln one. Jill gave a smile knowing that maybe this trip wasn’t going to be as awkward and stressful as she had first thought.

Linc accepted the coffee from Veronica and gave her a small smile, which she returned. A couple days earlier Linc and Veronica met for the first time over the summer. After Jill had told them about going up to visit Jordana they were both interested in going, Veronica knew after a summer of their friends having to choose sides and work out some kind of schedule so that they could see each of them without Veronica and Linc having to be in the same room it wasn’t fair anymore.

School was coming and it would be a lot harder to ignore each other and still see their friends so deciding to put their differences aside they knew each of them deserved a nice trip and agreed that the past would not be brought up over the weekend for the sake of their friends.

“So is everyone ready?” Jess asked them and as everyone gave a nod they all picked up the suitcases and bags and started to make their way to security check. There may be a lot of water under the bridge but hopefully this trip would help smooth thing out between the group before they all headed back for another year at Crane High.
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