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[copyright AubreyParsons ©2014]


FRUSTRATION GNAWED AT my stomach as I shook the can in my hand. Aiming it at the brick wall and trying, once again, to mentally will there to be more paint, I growled when it didn't work. "Damn it," I muttered, shaking the silver can a few more times before throwing it on the ground. The loud crack of metal kitting concrete echoed through the silent night and I winced.

The cold wind whipped my hair around my face and a shiver ran down my spine in anticipation of being caught. I'd been trying to paint 'Fuck The Board' in graffiti on the side of the school with my personal signature—S.K. for Skye—but the damn spray paint wouldn't come out of the useless can.

I don't participate graffiti often, but tonight, I felt the need to prove a point. I'd over heard a teacher talking about a woman from the Board of Education earlier this morning in the cafeteria. She'd tried to say that the poor children and placement kids shouldn't be in the same school as the students with more money and better lives. That we didn't deserve this school in particular, all because it was the best in the area. So, I decided to get some payback. It's not like anyone would figure out who's making the graffiti, anyway. I kept my hood up and out of view for the security cameras, but no one would have recognized me had they seen my face. I was the kid no one noticed, and no one ever expects the quiet ones.

"Holy shit."

I spun around in surprise, heart racing as I recognized three familar faces.

Jay Spencer had hazel eyes, messy brown hair, and pale skin. With a bright smile, dimpled cheeks, and a labret under his bottom lip, he was known to be a hit with the ladies. He was charming, but had a temper rumored to be explosive.

Tyler Luck was the reckless but sweet one. He had dark brown hair that stuck up at every angle, bright green eyes, tanned skin, and a grin like the Cheshire cat's. He threw all of the best known parties when his parents weren't home, and had the most money out of the entire school. It was well known that his parents were borderline rich.

Cyrus Ross was the more serious one of their little group, with bright blue eyes, dirty blonde hair, and a height that towered over most. I'd lost count of the amount of parties I'd seen him guide his drunken friends from, being the obvious D.D. He was practically a mother to anyone he cared about.

Then there was Ryder Williams, the fourth of the boys, who seemed to be currently M.I.A. He had fluffy, dark brown hair, startling gray eyes, and a smile that left girls swooning. He was tall—not as tall as Cyrus, but taller than Tyler and Jay—and I couldn't name a time I hadn't seen him wearing some kind of hat or toboggan. He was admitably attractive, but looks aren't everything.

Ryder was the unofficial leader of their group—the one they all listened to. He had an air of authority, but no one but Jay, Cyrus, and Tyler knew anything about him. He was a complete enigma to everybody, and despite my curiously, I sure as hell wasn't planning to be the one to figure him out.

"She looks just like her," Tyler mumbled, raking his green eyes up and down my body. I didn't blame him for the wandering eyes; I looked nothing like my normal self.

I had on gray skinny jeans and a white tank top, clad in a black leather jacket with combat boots to match. My hair was down, brown eyes surrounded by black liner and mascara, where I usually wore it up with little to no makeup. It was a complete contrast to the oversized hoodies and sweatpants I typically wore, sitting quietly near the windows in classrooms.

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