Chapter Five

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Bridge

As if being dead weren't bad enough . . . Frowning at my reflection in the mirror, I turned, examining the uniform I'd been given. Apparently, this place ran more like a private school than I realized. The blue and white skirt reached my knees, entirely too big and unbecoming for me. Knee high, white socks clung to my legs, disappearing into the stocky, navy blue shoes that I already hated with a burning passion. The white, button up shirt I was required to wear wouldn't have been so bad, if it weren't for the school logo that had been embroidered on the right breast. There was a matching jacket and tie as well, both of which I eyed with disgust. I looked like the before picture of a makeover. The only comfort I got from the mirror was that I was still whole-not decomposed and dirty, that is. It didn't matter that how I looked was magic (they could have at least made me look cute in this horrible outfit, I thought), just that I didn't look gross anymore.

Murdered. The word shot through my mind like a rocket, sending shivers over my skin. Why would anyone want to murder me? What had happened? Screwing my eyes shut, I tried desperately to remember the last moments of my life. All that came up was the pain in my head, the blow that had killed me. Who had done it?

That question brought Tommy to mind, and his declaration that he was going to solve the case for me. Only, that wasn't the only thing brought to my mind.

I love you. He'd said it so fiercely, so honestly, that I hadn't had any choice but to believe him.

Blushing, I opened my eyes again, staring at my awkward form's reflection. Perhaps this creation could change his mind.

Sighing, I turned away from the mirror, crossing the tiny bathroom space and opening the door.

"About damn time, corpse." She was unnaturally beautiful, as were the two girls behind her, their skin somewhat pink with a healthy glow and clear of any blemishes. It was obvious that the one in front, the one who'd spoken to me, was the leader of the group. Her long, raven hair curled around her face and spread down her back, reaching all the way to her hips. Red eyes glared at me, contempt heavy in their gaze, their color matching that of her lips. The corners of her mouth were turned up in amusement, two long, white fangs gleaming against her bottom lip.

"What are you, the vampire watch?" I replied snottily, not particularly liking the name she'd called me. It also didn't seem fair that the uniform looked flawless on them-but it was clear they'd modified it somewhat. Where I had a long skirt, socks, and bulky shoes, they had perfect miniskirts, endlessly long, bare legs, and cute heels. Even the ugly shirt looked good on them, somehow.

"I swear, the corpses always take forever on the first day of term. It's like they never looked in a mirror while they were alive and are trying to make up for it." She drawled on to her friends, her smile growing more wicked by the second as she looked me over. "It looks like this one could have used a few extra minutes, though. What is going on with your hair?"

Shocked, I touched my hair, not having any idea what she was talking about. The clique burst into laughter at that, shoving past me as they flashed their teeth.

"Nice socks," one of the other girls snickered as she shut the door in my face.

"At least I'm not sharing a bathroom with two other girls at once," I shot back, not able to think of a better comeback. Ruffled, I gingerly felt my hair again. It had looked fine in the mirror.

"Don't mind them," a small, timid voice said behind me.

Jumping, I quickly turned around, beginning to wonder if living in a dorm would mean I never had any privacy. A short, petite girl who couldn't have been more than fourteen smiled at me, her long, blonde hair pulled up in a high ponytail. She had braces and was clutching a number of books to her chest, her lower half sporting the same look as mine.

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