Amberley Prescott

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Upon entering the banquet decked all up in a phony gold theme and garments, my eyes fell upon a table stationed in the back of the room. Its contents were red solo cups, crystal flutes, cans of beer, and bottles of champagne, an endless paradise to secure my last rites.

Taste after taste—sour, disgusting, pungent, or intense—invaded my tastebuds as I wasted away many a cup full of beer, and spoiled a crystal flute of champagne. The world became a swirl of gold hues. And the demons in my brain grew louder and louder and louder until it was an opera of ire: he ... will pay. Again and again and again. 

Yes, Xzavier Faye, would pay. Burning with us was too merciful for him. He needed to undergo the pain of being alone. He needed to feel the emptiness he instilled in our dormitory. He would pay for us all. Martyred or not, justice would be reckoned with.  

His blood before ours. 

I smashed a flute until it was a long blade clenched under my knuckles. My eyes were set on the devil's spawn as he indulged in idle banter with Jace Hook. His hair was sooty black. His skin was an olive pallor. His wings were pathetic. He was the epitome of cowardice and arrogance. How repulsive he was. 

A little jingle sang in my brain as I made my way towards Xzavier: bad news; he's bad news, so save your tears; he's just a ruse. A ruse of gentleness, compassion, of any virtue. He was a monster of vice. My front teeth dug into my lower lip as my jaw clenched. 

Bad news. He's bad news. Save your tears. He's just a ruse. 

Closer and closer, I drew to my fatal foe. Closer and closer became his demise. All I need was blood oozing from an artery, and Xzavier would've been writhing on the floor until his limbs splayed, and his lungs gave out. 

Bad news, Xzavier. 

Inches away from my victory, the warmth of a set of fingers seeped across my shoulder. "Put the glass down." All of a sudden, the world went quiet, even the opera in my head. It was no more than static from a radio as the glass blade clashed against the linoleum. 

I turned around to meet an auburn-haired girl with glowing skin and a gold toga. "Why are you stopping me?" I asked. I'm sure, by then, my words and syllables were prolonged and wavering.

"Name's Melia," the girl replied. At her brisk response, I slowly blinked and groaned before she went on. "My father is Hercules. Hero stuff is kind of his thing, so I thought I would save your soul. Hades isn't pleasant to those who find themselves in the Underworld." 

"I don't care about my soul," I assured Melia as she grabbed me by the wrist. I jerked back, bumping into Xzavier, who froze with shock. I spun around to meet his wide eyes and quivering lips. A rush of heat surged through my veins, and a drop of sweat rolled down my face. "I-I-I'm sorry." My voice was as ragged as his lips as he focused his attention on me. He sure had heard  Melia attempting to stall me from stabbing him in a vital area based on the fear laced in his irises. 

I turned away, my shoulders hunched against my neck, embracing Melia's calm appearance. An unbiased soul, she must've been. Unlike everyone else in the room, she didn't have a tint of scorn in her eyes. She gazed at me as if I wasn't culpable of any crime. 

Maybe it was just liquor in my veins, wiring my senses to a seral state of mind, but she was quite attractive with those slight curves in her sides, and freckled button nose. And her pink, cherry lips seemed to call my name: Amberley. Amberley. Amberley. 

"Come." I offered her my hand, seeking the warmth of her fingers between mine. "Have a drink with me." Her cheeks turned rosy. 

"O-okay." And her fingers laced through mine, the warmth seeping across my hand as we made our way to the back of the Mess Hall. One sip. Two sips. Three. We drained the banquet of their first bottle of champagne and then retreated to a corner behind the concessions tables. 

Stars twinkled in her eyes as a beautiful piano ballad sifted through the room. "You're beautiful." That's all I could say as my hands rested against her cheeks. 

And then came the reply my screwed-up mind wanted to hear. "So are you." And just like that, the space between us closed. My lips tangled in her kiss. Her hands caressed my forearms between the popping of our moans.

And then a familiar voice roared through the room. "M-Dorm 8B, Neve, and Xzavier!" 

Oh great, I thought. We're dead. 

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