Chapter One and a Half: The ~A~ Report

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Content Warning: crude language, mentions of child abuse, mentions of inflicting bodily harm, public humiliation

One moment the boys could hear the muffled noise of the students in the cafeteria and the next, they were completely silent. Kota tilted his head and nudged his glasses up his nose like it'd help him figure out what was going on. Victor's tapping fingers stilled on his lap and Luke hopped up from his spot next to North, brown eyes trained on the door. Silas furrowed his eyebrows and rubbed the back of his neck, while Nathan's mouth formed an o-shape as he scratched his arm. North's eyes swept over his brothers before they found the door.

What the hell? What could make hundreds of students quiet that quickly?

"The fuck?" Gabriel said, looking up from his position on the grass. He had been doodling idly in his sketch book, but now it lay slack against his thighs, abandoned for the moment. "Something happened."

"There are hundreds of students in there," Luke said. "They've never been that quiet before."

"North, go check it out," Kota commanded, fixing him with a level stare that screamed dominance and authority. "We're gonna need someone in there if it's bad. Victor, you access the camera footage. Let's see what's going on."

"It's probably something stupid," North said. The students erupted into laughter, and his certainty that this was nothing to get worked up about increased exponentially. He sighed when Kota didn't budge. "Fine, I'll go anyway, I guess."

Kota was their team lead and North would never disobey a direct order, but sometimes it really got under his skin. He was always the one left to deal with this type of shit. It was bad enough to be surrounded by hormonal teenagers eight hours a day, but to have to interact with them? Be the intermediary in their fights or, if things turned physical, break them apart by force? His brothers—besides Nathan and Silas—were never the ones who checked out stuff like this. They all had their strengths and weaknesses, North acknowledged that, but couldn't he breathe for a minute? These kids never knew when to stop.

North stood, tilting his head back and forth to crack his neck, then linked his fingers together and pushed out to crack his knuckles. He had no clue what he was walking into, but he couldn't afford to be caught off guard.

As soon as he walked through the door, his eyes found the tiny girl barreling toward him. She looked about fifteen: barely five feet tall, less than a hundred pounds. Her hair was a dirty blonde shade that shone in the light coming in from behind him.

Freshman. Had to be.

Clearly she hadn't seen him, but there was no time to stop her now. He braced himself for impact.

She slammed right into him, her face colliding directly with the lower-middle of his chest. It knocked the wind right out of him. He flung an arm out to grip the door frame and wrapped his free arm around her back, effectively steadying both of them. With an impact that severe, she would have went flying if he hadn't grabbed her. She was so tiny, she could have gotten hurt pretty badly; he'd basically fucking body-checked her, after all.

"What the..." he mumbled.

He was about to let her go, but then he took in her appearance. Her eyes were a beautiful shade of muted green and tear stains coated her flushed cheeks. He tightened his grip on the door frame until it hurt. Her eyes widened when she looked up at him.

Why was she running like that? What was she trying to get away from? Most importantly, though, who the hell had made her cry and where could he find them?

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