Chapter 2: The Game

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She hadn't realized how much she'd missed him until he finally came back, grinning ear to ear, eyes twinkling, auburn hair messy and careless, just as he'd always been.

"Hey, Ravenna! Looking cool as always. I swear, you look better every time I see you. Hello, Draven. And Winston, my man! How are you? Dude, you haven't called me in five days, what's up?" Griffin dropped his heavy backpack to the ground with a thud.

He paused. "Aw, crap," he pouted, "I think my phone's in there.

He glanced at his fallen backpack, then shrugged as he held his arms out to Winston for an embrace, shook Draven's hand, then turned to her.

"I'm last?"

His smile grew wider. It's a wonder his lips haven't ripped. "I always save the best for last."

Smooth talker. Good to know Griffin hadn't changed one bit. She hoped he never would. That would be tragic. Immediately after welcoming him back into their presence after two quiet months of summer, Ravenna realized the Inquisitors' need for Griffin: he balanced them in ways no one else could. His bright, glowing personality and easy smiles made up for the horrors behind the door of the storage room. Like the small bit of sunlight in a place of darkness. Like yin and yang, except the darkness defeated the light. The Inquisitors needed him as much as they needed Draven and Winston to function, although Griffin was not an officer like the other two.

Heck, she'd never admit it to anyone, but without Griffin, things felt empty. Cold. Horrible. She needed that bit of light from him to make up for all the dark shit that happened last year. Without his optimism, the Inquisitors would've lost their damn minds. Griffin was the only reason Winston hadn't cracked yet. And the reason she hadn't drowned from her own poison.

Suddenly, Griffin began laughing, conjuring a small, brief twitch of a smile from Draven and a relieved chuckle from Winston. Ravenna hadn't caught the joke, but she doubted it was funny. They only laughed because Griffin had. His joy was obnoxiously contagious.

Griffin bent down, swung the backpack over his shoulder with a soft grunt, then linked his arm into hers. Had it been anyone but him, Ravenna would've slapped the living daylights out of the person. He turned to Winston and Draven, both sitting awkwardly on the tabletop, "Come on, you two. Channing's game is gonna start. Let's go, let's go!"

He dropped his arm from Ravenna's grasp and dashed out the empty auditorium, the backpack slightly pulling him down as he ran. She smiled at how elegantly he moved. He was, afterall, a popular member of the track team. Although she despised athletes, sports, and most physical activities, Griffin was alright. Several Inquisitors were athletes, but they weren't stupid enough not to understand the intricacies that came from joining. She didn't mind people who merely played sports for fun, but she hated jocks. Thinking they're better than everyone else because of their physical poweress. How fucking stupid. Ignorant. They didn't get the beauty of subtlety or the wonders of intelligence. But although Griffin could pass as a "jock", he was just naive, not stupid. Mind you, he was also loyal as hell. The trait she valued the most in her followers.

By the time the four of them had made it to the bleachers above the football field, Griffin had disappeared, presumably to purchase some popcorn. Funny how Summerfield sold popcorn during practice games. She couldn't decide if Headmaster Goslington was being irrational or just plain brilliant. Probably the latter. After all, he allowed an illegal organization like the Inquisitors to exist. What could be more brilliant than that?

Ravenna seated herself somewhat in the middle, an empty seat between her and Winston to preserve for Griffin, as Draven sat to her left. Their seats were rather close to the players below, watching as they ran and threw the football. Ravenna never knew the rules to football and never bothered to learn. Sports were below her. The only reason she came along was to get some chatting time, in replacement for the lack of an Inquisitors meeting. Sometimes, she'd wish they were held daily, but then, they wouldn't be special anymore, would they? Besides, she didn't want to spend her after school time doing homework. She barely had any, since it was still the beginning of the school year. Except AP World History chapter readings from Mr. Johnson. Fuck that guy.

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