Chapter 17: The Council's girls

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Chapter 17

The day started out like any other; I woke up, my mom called me down for breakfast, my dad grunted a reluctant hello, Carson picked me up and took me to school. We kissed goodbye in the car and went on our separate ways.

School even progressed like usual; I listened to Lyla and Matt bicker like an old married couple, I got through the stares Lucas gave me in class and even managed to get out so fast he didn’t even see me leave. Yup a seemingly regular day right? Nothing too exciting, no drama, just good old fashion normal right?

WRONG!

Today was the day I was to go to martial arts. My wounds had finally healed so Carson said it was time I went and damned if I wasn’t scared out of my wits. I stood outside the auditorium after school where they had training, and sighed. My palms had gone clammy so I wiped it against my track pants then took a staggering breath before pushing the door and going in.  

Guys and girls milled around, some drinking water or other energy drinks, others stretching and some just standing around talking. Nobody seemed to notice me and there was no sign of Steven.

 So far so good.

I dropped my bags on the bottom bench and took at seat. Placing my elbows on my knees and my chin in my hands.

‘Guess I’m early’ I thought to myself.

Everybody seemed to know each other and while I recognized a few of them from either my class or just around school, I‘d never actually spoken to them so I decided to just keep it that way and watch them do their thing. Who knows, maybe Steven fell off the face of the earth and maybe the coach would ignore me.

“You know, I’m starting to think I’m having a nightmare because in real life, a little cock sucker like you wouldn’t still be alive and certainly wouldn’t be here. So since this is a dream, maybe I’ll just try to enjoy it until I wake up.”

I jumped up when I heard his voice, heart pounding a thousand beats a second. Steven stood in front me, arms folded and a huge smirk on his face. I was surprised he wasn’t surrounded by his usual cloud of smoke and his idiotic friends.

“N-no I think maybe I’m the one having the nightmare so let’s just both decide to wake up and ignore each other?” I said, trying to get him to see that I didn’t want any trouble.

No such luck.

He grabbed me by my shirt collar and pulled me across the room. When we reached the centre of the space he let me go and I staggered.

“So you here to learn how to fight? I’ll teach you.”  He grinned, the creepiest grin I’d ever seen and I took a step back then automatically raised my hands to ward him off.

“N-no just… please Steven.” I pleaded.

I hated pain. I hated getting beaten up. I felt like a coward for begging but when you were a weakling fearing for your life it was the best you could do. Well it was either that or run, so instead of waiting for his punch, which I could predict, I turned and tore through the auditorium. When I almost reached the door I wasn’t surprised to feel his hand on my arm.

Of course he was faster than me.

He pulled me from the door and threw me to the floor. I quickly surveyed the room and was a bit surprised that no one was watching. I suppose being that this was martial arts, people were used to seeing fights so this one was no different.

I let out a cry when I felt his boot connect with my side and curled up in a ball, trying to shield myself from him. His boot connected again and again and before I knew it my lip was swollen and bloody. He’d ‘accidentally’ kicked me in the face. I clutched my hands to my mouth and cried out in pain rolling on the floor like a bug that was stuck on its back.

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