Crimson Wars - Book 1 - Blood Sisters


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First Drop




The first sensation came. Cold. Icy coldness enveloped every inch of my body. As much as I wanted to keep my eyes closed until the end, they flew open on their own. It didn't matter. I couldn't see anything through the dark abyss. For some reason, I'd taken a deep breath first. It could be chocked up to reflex, or maybe fear. Drowning would not be a pleasant experience.

As I sank, my life flashed before my eyes. I saw my mom, who had been dead for several years. She loved me more than anything else in the world; this much I remembered--unlike that asshole who dared call himself a father. Anyone who could punch their daughter in the face for coming home late did not deserve a child.

Even if I wanted to turn back, to swim up and take another shot at life, I would never be able to--My boots were heavy and pulled me deeper by the second.

I closed my eyes again, ignoring the urge to open my mouth and take a breath.

My mother's blonde hair blew in the wind as we stood on the hill outside of Crimson Wharf. We had a favorite tree there; a tree I would never see again. Mom and I would sit under the sycamore, and have picnics, read stories, and even play board games. It all seemed so silly now. Then again, I'd only been a nine years old.

Burning spread across my lungs, and before long my oxygen would run out, my mouth would open, and the water would rush in, filling me. Maybe they'd find my bloated corpse on the beach by the pier, or maybe they'd never find me at all. No one would ever know the reason for my suicide. At that moment, I regretted not having left a note. Again, I could never turn back the hands of time. Death would claim me soon.

In the deepest recesses of my mind, I heard my own voice. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I couldn't be stronger. But I have nothing left to live for. An abusive dad, a jerk of a boyfriend, and not a friend to speak of in the world. Can you blame me? Can anyone really blame me? The better off without Kyrie Garnet."

My inner dialogue ceased as my mouth finally burst open, and the water rushed in. I grabbed my throat and choked. It dawned on me then; I didn't actually WANT to die. I just wanted things to get better. Reaching down, I tried to untie my left boot, but I couldn't get a hold of the lace. No! I didn't want to die! I wanted to live!

My body no longer wanted to function, as I sank into the silence of the deep. I'd screwed up, just like always. My final act would be considered one huge screw up. Life had come to an end.

Air exploded around me, and I flew through the air. There came a loud splash as I slammed into the pier. Water expelled itself from my mouth as I choked and sucked in rapid breaths.

I couldn't understand what had happened; how I'd been saved, but then a pair of bare feet padded by my head and I saw a lithe, silhouette jumped onto the railing, and then leap. The leap couldn't have been possible, for the person soared thirty feet and disappeared into the shadows at the base of the lighthouse.

"What in the hell?" I whispered as I finally caught my breath.

Everything inside told me to run as home as fast as I could. This person, or creature--thing--defied physics. Instead of fleeing, I got to my feet and ran a few steps, but my waterlogged, tall boots, slowed me down. Kneeling, I untied each boot just enough to slip my feet out. I ran down the pier, to the stairs onto the beach.

"Hello?" I called out as I neared the road to the lighthouse.

No answer came, but I could see the form moving, in the dark.

"I see you, ya know!" I shouted. "Come out. I just want to thank you."

The form launched out of the darkness and landed in the sand just a few feet away. My mouth fell open as I stared at the beautiful girl. She had hair, the color of the sky on a cloudless day, and her ruby lips contrasted off of her pale skin. I stepped back as she finished zipping up her corset, which did little to hide her cleavage.

"H-How did you--?"

She held a finger to my lips, and I shut up. The girl took my hand in hers and turned it over. "You're finger's bleeding." Her voice soothed my sadness just with those three words.

"I must've cut my finger when I jumped--I mean, fell into the ocean," I whispered.

She plucked my fingertip into her mouth and sucked. Tingling and goosebumps exploded all over all of my skin. My mouth hung open as she dropped my hand and licked her lips.

The girl giggled, and held up her finger, showing me its flawless nature. To my horror, long fangs sprouted from her mouth, and she bit her lifted digit. I wanted to run, I wanted to scream 'monster!' and escape as fast as possible, but my feet froze in place. The girl put her bleeding finger to my lips and stared at me. I could only stare back.

With a smile and a nod, she put her finger between my lips. She had cold blood, but it tasted sweeter than I would've expected. She nodded again, and on instinct, I sucked for a brief moment, drawing more of the substance into my mouth. I swallowed it down, enthralled by this beautiful girl.

She pulled back and pointed behind me. I spun around, expecting to find another such, fanged person. I found nothing but the trees on the edge of the beach. Turning back, I found the aqua-haired girl had vanished.

"Huh? W-Wait! Where'd you go?" I asked.

I looked toward the pier and spotted a black cat leaping onto it from the sand, but other than that, I stood alone, barefoot, soaking wet, and cold, on Crimson Wharf Beach.

"See you later," came a voice from nowhere. "Blood sister."

Little did I know just what that title would come to mean, and how my life had just changed, forever.

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Drop 01: Nightmare



A mysterious girl with blue hair. She couldn't exist. That's what I kept telling myself as I walked barefoot, along the side of the road. I had no way of knowing of the time since my watch had died in the water. Not only had it died, but I should also've died. I stopped and looked at the clear, star-lit sky. In Crimson Wharf, the stars were almost always visible, it seemed.

"What just happened?" I whispered, taking my crimson hair in hand and squeezing out the water.

I gave a heavy sigh and thought about dropping my boots. They weighed enough regularly, but now they were soaked. Of course, that's what happens when you jumped into the ocean fully clothed. You get soaked. Also, of course, I'd had no intention of ever surfacing again. My thoughts went full circle back to the fanged girl.

"Dammit." I lowered my eyes. "Why can't I get you out of my head?"

She'd called me her blood sister.

"Okay!" I dropped my boots and threw my arms out before me. "You hit your head, and the tide brought you back to the beach. There's no way that girl can exist! For the love of all that's good, she had FANGS!"

When I closed my eyes and pictured her angled jaw, and flawless pale skin, I found a smile creeping across my lips.

"Stop that!" I snapped.

If anyone had been around, they would've thought me insane. Thankfully, the forested road rarely bore traffic.

With a grumble, I scooped up my boots and continued trudging on. After a mile, and being halfway home, my feet felt plenty sore. I groaned and complained until I finally made it to my front lawn.

That's where I stopped.

Sitting in the driveway, I found an old, beat-up Jeeps sitting next to my dad's pickup truck and speedboat. At first, my heart raced. The Jeep belonged to my boyfriend, Michael. That also meant Michael sat inside my house, with my dad, probably waiting for me.

"Wonderful!" I spat and skirted the lawn to get a view inside. Through partially drawn curtains, I could see Michael sitting in the armchair; my DAD's favorite recliner. He never let anyone sit there. The last time I did so, I got a beating so bad, I had welts on my ass for weeks.

The fact that Michael had come to my house, and met my dad, made me shudder. Dad always told me if I ever had a boyfriend, he would kill him, and then cut off my boobs. With his insanity level, I had never thought him lying. I dropped my boots again and held my arm across my chest.

I paced back and forth on the lawn. "Michael is probably dead. My dad's going to cut off my boobs. I should just go back to the lake and end it." At the end of my rant, the blue-haired girl entered my mind again. "GO AWAY!" I shouted.

The neighbor's dog immediately howled and went into a wild barking spree. I covered my mouth and shook my head.

"No, no, no!" I whispered and looked in the window again. Michael had left the chair.

I turned on my heel and sprinted behind the speedboat, silently cursing.

"Kyrie?" Michael called from my front door. "Are you out here?"

I glanced across the yard and spotted my white boots sitting on one of the stepping-stones.

"Son-of-a-bitch!" I hissed.

Michael chuckled. "Oh, Kyrie, are you playing my favorite game? Leaving articles of clothing around for me to find?"

I stayed hidden, hoping beyond hope he wouldn't see me. Why on Earth had he come to my house anyway? Well, at least Dad hadn't killed him.

"Come out, come out, wherever you are!" Michael sang.

I watched his shadow stretch as he stepped into the yard. Only moments later, did he peek around the side of the boat. I bit my lip and gave a small wave.

"There you are, my love bunny," he said. "What are you doing out here? Wait, why are you soaking wet?"

I forced a smile and shrugged. "I went swimming?"

"You're such a silly bunny," he said. "Grab your boots and come inside. You'll catch a cold if you stay out here all wet."

He approached and took my wrist, pulling me out into the yard. I bent over to grab my boots, and he smacked my ass so hard, it left a stinging pain.

"Michael!" I gasped. "Not here! What if my dad sees?"

"Don't be so paranoid!" Michael said, coming in for a kiss. The overwhelming stench of alcohol passed over my nostrils, and I gagged.

"Have you been drinking?" I reared back, shaking my head.

"Just a little, Bunny," he said and grabbed my ass, pulling me so close our lower bodies were touching.

"You know you aren't supposed to be drinking!" I whispered.

He laughed. "Why not? I'm twenty-one!"

"AND an alcoholic!" I tried to push him away, but he held me tight.

Michael lowered his face and nibbled the side of my neck. An explosion of tingles shot through my entire body and let an involuntary moan.

"You in the mood?" he asked.

"NO!" I pushed hard and stumbled, back, landing on my behind.

Michael walked by me and headed for the open front door. "Go get changed. Your dad and I were having a great conversation; I'm sure you'll love to hear about."

As he disappeared into the house, I muttered, "Thanks for helping me up, asshole."

Boots in hand, I slumped into the house, only taking a brief glance into the living room. Michael had returned to Dad's chair, and Dad sat on the couch across from him, a forty in his hand. We met eyes for a moment, and I didn't see the usual hatred he bore towards me. He looked, dare I say, happy.

"Come here," Dad said.

I opened my mouth to respond, and Michael lifted his hand. "No, no, no. She went swimming, so she needs to change. She can join us in a moment."

"Did she now?" Dad grinned. "Well, hurry up and change!"

The very fact that he didn't sound angry chilled me to the bone. Not a lick of the situation made any sense. Whatever would come of it, it couldn't be good.

I hurried up the stairs and rushed into my room. A silky nightgown lay spread out on my bed. My jaw dropped. "Michael, you cannot expect me to wear that !" I never wore ANYTHING that exposed my legs. I hated my thunder thighs.

"Change into your present!" Michael shouted from downstairs.

I pursed my lips and groaned. "Asshole."

My wet skinny jeans did NOT come off easily, nor did my long-sleeve shirt. After removing my undergarments, I pulled on the nightgown and glanced in the mirror. I shook my head and quickly put on a bra underneath. Even though I couldn't boast being the big chested, it showed off way too much. I would never feel comfortable in such a getup.

"Hurry it up, Love Bunny!" Michael called.

My face burned red. How could he call me that in front of Dad and still be breathing?

I left the room and walked downstairs, feeling more exposed than I ever wanted to feel. Michael turned as I walked into the living room. He grinned at my dad. "Do you see how beautiful she is?"

Dad clapped his hands. "I've always thought my little angel was the most beautiful in the world!"

"This doesn't make any sense!" I turned to Michael.

He patted his leg. "Come, sit, my Love Bunny!"

My eyes shot to Dad, who merely smiled as if he'd never heard the pet name. I glanced at Michael's knee, and he patted it again. With reluctance, I sat down, and he pulled me back into the chair with him. He threw his arm around my shoulder and hugged me tightly.

Again, I looked to Dad, fearing he'd have his shotgun out and ready to kill us both, but no, he leaned back, taking a drink of his booze.

"So, um, what were you talking about?" I asked.

Dad stood and set down his empty bottle. "Mike here was just telling me the good news."

"Good news?" I scoffed. "Like what? About some god or another?"

Dad laughed. "No, you know I'm already as pious as they come."

"Yeah, right," I murmured.

"The good news!" Michael said. "Remember you just told me after school today?"

I stared at him, drawing a blank.

"The GOOD news." he repeated through clenched teeth.

"I got nothin'."

Michael sighed and placed his palm on my belly. "Don't be nervous. Your dad already knows about the bun in the oven."

My jaw dropped. "Michael, I'm no--"

He squeezed me tighter and cut off my words. I looked him in the eyes, and he glared with a thousand tiny knives.

Dad came over and ran his hand through my hair. "It's okay, my wonderful daughter. I'm not upset. If it had been any other guy, I probably would've killed him and cut off your titties."

I set my jaw and looked at Michael for an explanation. He grinned.

"You see, my old man just kicked the bucket today," Michael said. "And well, he left me a HUGE inheritance."

My heart raced again. "H-How much?" Then I shook my head. "Forget I said that! I'm sorry to hear about your dad..."

"We both know he was a shithead," Michael said. "Unlike YOUR dad, who is one of the kindest men in the world."

"Please, Mike, you flatter me. I'm happy you've come into five million bucks!"

"Five. Million?" My jaw dropped.

Michael nodded and pushed me forward so hard; I stumbled to my feet. Dad didn't even seem to notice. My now rich boyfriend stood, walked around in front of me, and fell to one knee.

My eyes widened as he reached into his pocket. I shook my head and looked to Dad for help once more, but he smiled and nodded.

Michael withdrew a small black box from his pocket. "Kyrie Garnet, I want you to make an honest man out of me. I want to make an honest woman out of you. I thought long and hard about this decision, but with our unborn baby on the way, I knew this was the best decision for all three--"

Dad cut in. "Four."

"Yes, four, of us."

"This has to be a joke..." I whispered.

Michael shook his head. "No, Love Bunny, it isn't. Will...will you marry me?"

He popped open the ring case before I could respond, and my jaw dropped. Not because he'd just proposed, but because the engagement ring didn't even have a single diamond. I stared at a silver band that he probably from a twenty-five cent machine.

I took a step back and looked at dad. He nodded. "Kyrie, I've given Michael my blessing. All you have to do is say YES, and you'll be married before the month's end."

Full blown anxiety struck my chest, and I felt like I couldn't breathe. At any moment, my heart would explode, and I would keel over. "This can't be real...this night cannot be real."

Michael took the ring from the case, and grabbed my hand, trying to shove it on my ring finger.

"W-Wait!" I said.

"Your silence is yes enough, my Love Bunny," Michael shoved the ring on, which fell right back off. He didn't even know my ring size at all.

I stepped back, looking at Dad, then back at Michael. "This has to be a joke! I'm not pregnant! I'm not getting married! I...I hate you both, and I hate my life!"

I spun on my heel and raced for the stairs, my feet pounding each step until I dove through my door and kicked it closed. I fell onto my bed, grasping my face, digging in my nails.

"This can't be happening!" I whispered. "No, no, no! This can't be! No! This is insane! There was no blue-haired fang girl, Michael didn't propose to me, and I'm DEFINITELY not pregnant. That's it. I died and went to Hell. THIS is Hell!"

Downstairs, I could hear Michael and Dad exchanging words, but I couldn't make them out. I fell onto my side and curled into the fetal position. Tears found their way from my eyes, as I accepted my cruel fate.

Before long, I heard footfalls coming up the stairs. I glanced at the door as it swung open. Michael’s silhouette blocked the light from outside. He walked in and shut the door behind him.

"Are you an idiot?" he hissed.

"No, but you are!" I snapped.

He groaned. "I just talked your dad into letting us get married so we can go have all the AMAZING sex we want! You can move into a new house with me! We can do it three times a day, every day!"

"What the hell!" I cried. "What's wrong with you? Your dad just died, and you're thinking about sex?"

"Isn't that all there is to think about?" he asked.

I glared at him, as he walked to the bedside. He undid his belt buckle and dropped his pants. I continued to glare. He came closer and said, "You'd better apologize and make it up to me."

Rage erupted. I kicked out as hard as I could and connected right into his balls. Michael stumbled back, as he gave a high-pitched squeal.

"You BITCH!" he said.

"Takes one to know one!" I grabbed a pair of scissors from my bedside table. "Now get the hell out of here before I cut off your dick!"

His eyes showed such fury; I expected him to throttle and have his way with me. I shook my head, ready to defend myself, but Michael grabbed the door and left, cursing up a foul storm.

I jumped up and slammed the door shut, locking it. Downstairs, my dad and Michael were speaking with raised voices.

"That little bitch did WHAT?" Dad asked.

"You better get her in line!" Michael said. "Or you won't see a drop of my inheritance!"

"Don't you worry," Dad said. "That little bitch is going to get it now!"

Michael laughed. "No...I wouldn't want you to hurt the baby."

I narrowed my eyes and shouted. "There is no baby!"

The downstairs door slammed shut, and Dad stomped his way upstairs. He pounded on my door. "Kyrie, you little slut! You get pregnant and don't even agree to marry the jerk? You'll never find any better than him! No one will want you with a baby! No one!"

I closed my eyes tight as he continued to pound and belittle me through the door. After ten minutes at least, he left, and I finally found silence. I pictured Michael’s face and snarled. "I wish you would die!"

As soon as those words left my lips again, I saw the mysterious blue-haired girl in my mind. She smiled with those wicked fangs. At that moment, I wanted nothing more for her to be real.

"If we're blood sisters," I whispered. "Please save me from this nightmare."

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Drop 02: Monday



My eyes were crusted shut. I swiped my hand across my face, clearing the gunk, and stared up at the ceiling of my bedroom. Each of the posters stared back at me, some depicting dark unicorns, others with morbid skeletal firebirds, and then, of course, those with dire wolves, and other fanged beasts. There were my friends, and no one else.

"Why does life suck so badly?" I whispered, wiping my eyes once more.

Morning light came in through my heavy drawn curtains and the babbling of a brook through the open window. The air felt fresh on my skin, which meant another maybe not-so-hot day in Crimson Wharf.

My head rolled the other way, and I looked at my dragon alarm clock, which took the shape of a spiked, winged dragon. More than once, I'd stabbed myself rolling over to turn it off. Eventually, I'd stopped setting the alarm and gained a pretty accurate internal clock.

I watched the seconds tick by for a few minutes until it turned seven o' clock. School would start in forty-five minutes, which meant I needed to get ready.

Sitting up, I glanced at the mirror and found my eyes red and puffy, and dried snot under my nose. I sighed and walked into my bathroom, turning on the warm water in the sink. After a few moments, I dunked my head in and rubbed my face clean. I pulled back and examined myself in the mirror. My blonde roots were coming back in. I'd have to get another dye soon, but where would I get the money for that?

I didn't bother showering, even though I felt gross with the remnants of salt water clinging to my skin. Showering sucked. In fact, water sucked. I took off the gross nightgown and changed into a long skirt, combat boots, and a tight dark t-shirt featuring a big black panther. If I wore such morbid clothing, hopefully, people would just leave me alone.

I snatched up my backpack from my computer chair and slung it over my shoulder. Before I left the room, I stopped and put my forehead against the door.

"When you see Michael..." I whispered. "Act like nothing ever happened. It was all just a nightmare."

The last thing I wanted to do, would be to lose the only person that SOMEWHAT cared about me. I slipped from my room and silently closed the door. My dad had probably passed out somewhere around the house, but waking him would be awakening a rageful grizzly bear.

I tiptoed down the stairs and glanced into the living room. Nothing. I glanced the other way and into the kitchen, and found the bastard. Dad lay sprawled on the floor, an empty bottle of whiskey just within reach of his fingertips. I shook my head and decided it best to leave him like that. In the entry hall, I found the front door wide open.

"Nice to know any axe-murderer could come in and kill us in our sleep." I sighed, but then wondered if that would be a blessing. "Pregnant!" I scoffed as I left the house. "Michael, you don't have enough sperm!" I shut the door behind me but didn't let it click.

With that, I walked across my yard, hopping from stepping-stone to stepping stone as I did since childhood. Back then, my mother would watch me and cheer me on. My mother...I sighed and shook away the thought. I didn't need to feel even more depressed. She'd died nearly a decade ago.

I hopped from the last stone to the edge of the street and almost tripped, but caught myself on the mailbox. A quick glance around allowed me to see no one had spotted me. Not a soul in sight. Which seemed unusual. I checked my watch; a quarter after seven.

"Where are your jerk wad?" I asked, looking up and down the street for Michael's jeep, but didn't find it. I stomped my foot. "You're going to make me late!"

Even though I hated school, I kept up my attendance and grades for the most part. I'd never been late to school. I fished my cell out of my backpack and swiped it open. The battery level sat at ten percent. Crap, I'd forgotten to charge it overnight.

With a deep sigh, I pulled up Michael and hit call. It took several seconds with the bad reception, but finally, it rang.

I tapped my boot and glanced at my watch again. A faint tune caught my ear. It sounded like my school's alma mater. My face screwed up in confusion. As far as I knew, only Michael had that ringtone.

I slowly turned my head to the driveway, and I felt even more confused. Michael's jeep sat parked in my driveway, the same spot as from the night before.

"Michael?" I ran over to the jeep and looked inside; empty except for Michael's cell, sitting on the passenger seat. It rang with a picture of me on the screen. Worry hit my heart and spread through my veins. Only for a moment, though. It came to mind that he'd been drinking the night before. He only lived a few miles away, so he probably just decided better safe than sorry.

"Maybe you're not so stupid after all." I shrugged. "You're lucky; I care about you." I reached inside and grabbed his phone.

It would be a mile walk to school, which meant I needed to hurry. Michael had likely already gotten there.

By the time I came within a few minutes of the school, my feet ached. I'd probably gained some blisters from my mad power walking.

"Ow, ow, ow!" I muttered after each step.

I walked onto the concrete path leading to the school entrance. My watch told me the time; 7:45 am. I'd made it with fifteen minutes to spare. I breathed a sigh of relief and walked the curved path until the entry stairs came into sight.

Standing at the bottom, I spied a figure in a hoodie. Given the lithe, short form, it had to be a girl. She seemed rather awkward, standing there in flip-flops, and skinny jeans. She shifted from one foot to the other, staring at the doors, as if waiting for something.

I walked by, and without looking back, said, "You'd better hurry up and get inside. There are only fifteen minutes until the bell."

"Wait," came a smooth voice.

I wanted to hurry inside and ignore the girl, but she compelled me to stop.

"Yes?" I turned back.

Her face remained hidden by the large hood, as she held onto the straps of her backpack. She didn't say anything else. Had I imagined things?

"Did you say something?" I asked.

"Y-Yes," she stammered. "I want to ask you a question."

I tilted my head. "Oookay...What did you want to know?"

"Is this Crimson Wharf High School?" she asked.

I looked over at the sign standing next to the stairs. It clearly named the school.

"Um...yeah," I said.

The girl nodded. "Good, I'm in the right place."

"All right, well I have to get to class and--"

"Please don't go just yet."

I frowned. "What's wrong now?"

The girl took a few steps closer, never looking up. "I'm new here, and I can't...get inside."

My brows furrowed. "Sure you can...Just come on in."

I could only see her lips, which spread into a broad smile. "Thank you."

With the roll of my eyes, I turned and walked inside the building, holding the door open for the strange girl. She walked by without saying another word. I watched her walk down the hall, and the way her hips swayed, I felt captivated to watch. Finally, she walked around a corner, and I felt free once more. "What an oddball!" I whispered.

Now my watch gave me ten minutes to get to class. I needed to get to my locker, which thankfully stood right next to Michael's.

I rushed down the hall and reached the row of poppy red lockers at the end of the first floor. I stopped at mine and turned the combination lock three times, Six-two-seventeen. My locker popped open, and I rummaged inside, grabbing my spare phone charger, and my chemistry book. I hated chemistry, and that of course, would be my next destination. Slamming it shut, I hopped down a few columns and turned Michael's combo lock. Five-ten-six.

I pulled the locker open. A pile of junk fell out of the locker, and I barely managed to dodge before anything landed on my feet.

"Gosh, clean up once in a while, dude!" I said.

I kneeled down and picked up some books, and saw a pair of feet walk past. Glancing up, I spotted the girl from earlier, walking away once again.

"Hey!" I called out as I stood and shoved Michael's books back into the locker.

She stopped but didn't turn around.

"Are you looking for your class?" I asked.


I shoved Michael’s cell phone into his locker and closed the door. "You said you're new here, right? Which class are you looking for?"

The girl reached into her pocket and pulled out a small slip of paper. As I watched her, I hoped she would say Chemistry. Maybe we could sit together, and possibly even become friends.

"U.S. History," said and my heart sank. Why had I even thought of something so stupid? The universe wouldn't allow me to have friends.

"With Mr. Gulla?" I asked.

"Yeah." She still didn't turn.

"It's upstairs. First room on the right. He's a great teacher; you'll really like him."

The girl gave a strange giggle. "Okay, thank you, Kyrie!"

She jogged down the hall, her flops slapping the floor with each step. I watched her go again, and after she turned up the stairs, something dawned on me.

"How did she know my name?" I wondered aloud.

I bit my lower lip, trying to figure out. No one knew my name. The teachers barely even knew.

The loud warning bell rang, meaning I had only a few minutes to get to class. I spun on my heel and ran to the Chemistry classroom. As I made it, Ms. Nile stood by the door, watching me. She narrowed her eyes as I closed in. I almost thought she would shut the door in my face, locking me out, as per the policy for tardy students.

I squeezed by her, and the door shut a split-second later. At the front of the classroom sat the only open seat. I muttered a curse as I took it, and pulled my Chemistry book from my backpack.

Ms. Nile walked to the front of the class and leaned against her desk. "Now, everyone, as I failed to mention yesterday, this is now regular chemistry, not Advanced."

Everyone cheered, and I sighed with relief. I'd failed Advanced Chemistry the year before.

Ms. Nile continued. "But guess what, everyone? I've decided, that with God as my witness, I'm going to make this class harder than Advanced Chemistry. Every one of you will accept God into your studies, and you WILL pass with a perfect grade. If a single one of you fails to do so, none of you will pass this class. I will give you all an 'F.'"

My jaw hit the desk, and everyone in the class now groaned.

"You gotta be kidding me!" one guy in the back said.

"No, I am not!" Ms. Nile said. "I am a God fearing woman, and I'll whip the fear into all of you."

Inside my veins, my blood boiled. If I couldn't pass an advanced class, how could I pass this one? Furthermore, religion and public schools were meant to be kept separate. I didn't know which made me angrier, but taking one look at the teacher's smug face, I exploded.

My chair flew from beneath me as I jumped to my feet. Ms. Nile opened her mouth to say something, and she probably did, but I stormed out of that classroom, taking my backpack with me.

I walked down the hall, heading towards the Counselor's office. If I didn't get moved from that class and into another, I would never pass my junior year of high school, and I would fail at life forever.

Just as I made it to Counselor's office, my phone vibrated in my pocket. I stopped and retrieved it. A text message from Michael sat on the screen.

'Come to the girl's restroom on the first floor.'

My heart skipped a beat. Michael wanted to do something. I usually would never have given in to his lustful ways at school, but with the anger in my veins, I decided to say eff it.

I turned from the office and headed back toward the girl's restroom. During my trek, I had to pass the Chemistry room again, but I ducked under the window, so no one would see me pass.

I made it to the restroom and pushed inside.

"Michael? " I asked.

I got no response as I walked all the way to the back. "Are you in here?"

After checking under each stall, I found no one hiding and waiting for me. Annoyance built on top of my anger.

"Michael, if you want this, you'd better get your ass in here!" I glared at my reflection in the mirror.

Hanging my head, I sighed. A hand landed on my shoulder, and I screeched. When I spun around, I found a figure standing before me; the hooded girl.

She took a few steps back as I said, "You scared the shit out of me!"

A grin spread across her red lips as she pulled back her hood, revealing a head full of shaggy blue hair.

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