AND THERE THEY WERE. Shining as if bedazzled under the fluorescent light of the hall leading to the dorms. A quartet of boys who looked as much in sync as a flock of birds flying in a perfect Λ shape.

Dorian could tell that Haruki recognized him sitting outside of an office with the word 'guidance counselor' written in gold cursive on the surface of the wooden door.  As expected he said nothing. He made no attempt to nod, only glanced at him through his spectacles like a guilty child. The rest of The Club decided to ignore him, but not without appraising his appearance. Dorian recognized the boy storming out of the headmaster's office on his first day.

Hell indeed, he thought bitterly, though his facial features remained frozen, seemingly indifferent. 

One of the boys, the one who held an antique pipe, suddenly boomed like an orchestra drum: "Hey, where is Nazari? Where's the old sport?"

Dorian's ears perked up in unexpected interest and he was able to take in their image one by one, the dark colors they combined to form the St.Nicholas Fencing Club. Two of them wore glasses, Haruki and the boy holding the pipe in between his full lips. Thin-rimmed with silver and round spectacles. The other two had tucked their  hands into their pant pockets and crossed their ankles in the same fashion. One white as the cocaine Dorian's father kept at hand during his mother's art shows, and the other warm as melting caramel.

They were not beautiful. Not in the way his mother preferred, but they were otherworldly. Kings between men, princess of the small community in St. Nicholas.

There was no sound Dorian could discern from the casual chatter about vacation in the Riviera to alarm him of what was to come.

Nazari, or as Dorian learn to call him Hector, appeared like a panther, slender and silent. Deathly silent. He had no aura surrounding him, no smell of Dom Perignon or the clicking of car keys. But he was by far the most alien, the most beautiful boy Dorian had ever seen, including himself. A vision of hollow perfection. Dorian was afraid to hear him speak.

But Hector was quick to do so, in a tone so glum you'd think he lost a relative a few seconds ago in the bathroom. "I might have to beg Gilbert to stop teaching the Great Gatsby, or there will be a generation of people calling each other old sport. " To which the boy with the pipe smiled, and slapped Hector's shoulder twice.

One of the boys did not smile. Without blinking under the mop of raven hair shielding his forehead, he proceeded to sneer. "Beg or suck that faggot's dick. "

Dorian felt his heart sinking. He felt no need to disclose his sexuality to complete strangers, as much as he needed to infiltrate their ranks. But it was a part of him that was hard to suppress. Frankly, a part he could not possibly deny.

A new kind of distaste was born in his mouth. He
stood up from the small, uncomfortable chair and knocked twice on the counselor's door. The boys looked at him and continued looking until the door opened, revealing rows upon rows of bookshelves and a petite, middle aged lady.

"Hello, Dorian," she mumbled while making her way back to her desk in a pair of horrible heels. Dorian couldn't bear to look at them. "Are the boys giving you a hard time?"

She was quick to get to business, he observed. An array of questions engulfed him, nearly drowning his previous feelings. He could feel nothing but annoyance. Have you been bullied? Any history of self-harm? How do you feel about your mother? Your father? Is he around a lot?

After a collection of pre-rehearsed answers were scribbled into her miniature moleskine, the woman smiled. "You sound perfectly healthy, Dorian. I'm afraid I might never see you again in this office."

I'm afraid those are the best news I've heard all day.

"A word of advice, " he heard her say using a tone that commanded attention,"you get involved with those boys out there, those little shits who think they own this school, and no one will believe your little angel facade. You mess with monsters, you become one. That's Nietzsche for you."

It might not have shaken Dorian to the core, but it did enough to cause a small rattle in his heart. A monster. So this boy, Nazari, he too was a monster, and knew monsters could be beautiful. He'd seen his mother do atrocious things. But his heart went livid in its cage, demanding justice for a boy he hardly knew rather than Dorian himself.

He wanted to be close to the monster and gaze into the abyss. He'd read Nietzsche in its original German, and he felt the counselor's gaze drilling a hole in his skull as he looked at his polished Oxford shoes under her desk.

"Have a good day, Mrs.Harris."

"It's Miss."

"I'm sure it is."

He exited the office and the boys were gone. All but one.

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