I wish I had a boyfriend.
I snapped my book shut and cupped my chin with my open palm, my elbow on the desk. With a dreamy sigh, I began to daydream about the future love of my life.
He was going to be exactly like one of my numerous book boyfriends, I thought with another sigh. He had to be handsome and tall. He had to be funny, nice and kind of shy. He had to laugh at my jokes, no matter how stupid they were. He had to treat me well. He had to tell me I'm beautiful, even though I was not.
And he had to stay with me and love me and only me forever.
I knew it was silly of me to love guys from fictional stories. But there was nothing better than falling in love with a fictional character and imagining that the girl he was falling in love with was me. If I could, I'd barter my soul for a chance to have a guy just like my countless book boyfriends. The problem was the choosing.
I had already decided to figure that one out later if I ever got the chance.
Boys in books were infinitely better, not that I ever had a boyfriend. I just knew it.
Smiling faintly, I looked at the cover and at the man gracing it. The male protagonist in this book was just my type. Handsome, funny, sensitive and kind. The female protagonist never had a chance. Imagining him as my real-life boyfriend made me giggle quietly in my seat.
Heck, if someone had noticed they'd probably think I was insane.
This was what daydreams were for, to be anything but sane, realistic and pessimistic. It should be against daydreaming laws for someone to be negative. And I was far from being negative when I daydreamed.
"Did you hear what happened last night?"
I jerked my head up, the worry in the voice cutting through my thoughts. My classmates were huddled together in the middle of the classroom, all of them absorbed with the discussion. I tilted my head towards them and began to eavesdrop.
"I heard he beat up someone last night."
"Dwayne Williams, a senior."
"What? The vice-captain of the football team? That's so f****d up!"
"He won't tell the authorities who did it, though. But I'm f*****g sure it was him."
"It's definitely him. Who would beat someone up with no reason?"
I shivered surreptitiously as I registered the subject of the discussion. No wonder they all looked like someone killed their puppies. They were talking about him. Goose bumps began to rise along my arms and I rubbed my hands over them.
My dream boyfriend would definitely, definitely not be him.
Who were they talking about?
They were talking about the infamous Leon Gage.
I shivered once more. I couldn't even think about him without shaking or my heart beating furiously, not because I was crushing on the guy, but because just the mere mention of his name terrified the heck out of me.
I haven't even seen the guy and yet, because of all the rumors circulating around school, I was already wishing I'd never, ever lay my eyes on him. Because according to them, if your eyes meet with his even for a second, you are dead.
It was not an exaggeration because if you become his target, you might as well be dead.
I shook my head to clear my mind of these scary thoughts. A loud burst of laughter coming from the huddle made me stare at them again.
I bit my lip as I watched them with envy. I wanted to be in that huddle, too. I wanted to be with them, talking about anything, laughing and smiling at each other.
But I couldn't. I was too shy to do so.
My family had just moved to this city a couple of months back. I then got transferred to the prestigious, exclusive school, East Private School. It was the worst of luck when I came down with a freaking cold on the first day of classes. A week went by and when I was finally able to go to school, everyone had already formed their own little groups and cliques and I was too shy to introduce myself.
It didn't help that almost everyone knew everyone since kindergarten, considering that East Private School was a combined primary and secondary school, making it even harder for me to infiltrate the different stratums. So I pretended not to care and instead, immersed myself in the world of books. And sadly, I was getting used to being alone.
It was a good thing I had my books with me. There was nothing like a good book to help me get through anything. It was my escape from the world into a story that was way more interesting than my life would ever be. Because truth be told, my life was a bore.
I brushed the hair off my face and fished another book out of my bag. I began to read, losing myself to other people's lives far more exciting than mine.
It was time to find another book boyfriend.
I blinked as the book I was holding vanished from my hands. I raised my head in slow motion. Hannah, a classmate and a complete pain in the neck, sat on my desk, my book in her hand. I reached for it and she held her hand over her head.
My eyebrows furrowed together in confusion, my eyes glued to my book. "Umm..."
"Can I borrow a highlighter pen?" she asked.
I sighed loudly as I began to dig inside my bag. I should have known. This kept happening to me. She kept happening to me.
And I was in a really good part of the book, I thought, disgruntled.
I found one and handed it to her, resisting the urge to pull out all of her long, red hair from the scalp. She gave me my book back and I practically snatched it from her. She huffed and used my highlighter pen to mark something in her notebook.
"Can you not do that again?" I said quietly to her.
"Do what?" she asked, not looking up from her task.
"Take my book away."
She laughed aloud. "It's the only way to get your attention when you're reading, nerd. Nothing else seems to be working."
I frowned, not wanting to admit she was right. Whenever I was reading, the whole world around me ceased to exist anymore. I even forget to eat and sleep.
"Can you not call me that word?" I tried again. "I have a name."
"Whatever you say, nerd." I rolled my eyes in exasperation as she went on, "Here's your pen back, nerd. Thanks, nerd."
I growled at her direction. Hannah was the only person in my class who noticed me and kept talking to me. Usually, it was to borrow my notes or a pen, or she would ask a question about a subject she was confused with. And whenever she wanted to have a chat, she always grabbed my books from me.
I didn't know why she couldn't ask her friends or another classmate. I hadn't the slightest idea what Hannah's intention was, if she wanted to be friends with me or just loved messing with me almost to the point of bullying. She never acted as if we were friends nor did she introduce me to hers.
Besides, she was too infuriating for me to consider as a friend too. If I wasn't shy, invisible and against violence, I would have wiped the smug expression on her pretty face with my fist. I didn't know what it was about her that made me feel this strongly nor did I intend to know.
"Why do you keep reading books?"
I pretended to be absorbed with my book, hoping she'd take the hint and go back to her desk. My book disappeared again from my hands and I resisted the urge to groan.
"So?" she asked again.
"Because they're nice," I answered holding my hand out to take my book back.
She scoffed. "Nice? That's it? And you wonder why I keep calling you nerd, nerd."
"You are so annoying," I mumbled under my breath.
She must have heard because she laughed.
"Chill, nerd." She handed me my book back and I pressed it tight against my chest. "I was just kidding. Or not."
I glared at her and didn't bother to reply.
"Hannah, we're going to the cafeteria. Are you coming?" her friend called out to her from the door.
"Yeah, I'm coming." She flicked my forehead lightly and gave me a grin when my scowl deepened. "Bye, nerd."
I watched her as she left the classroom with her friends, laughing about something they said. It had been a long time since I did something like that with someone else and I sorely missed having friends. I wasn't really popular in my old school but I had genuine friends. We still talked and sent each other texts and emails but it wasn't going to be enough. Soon, they'll forget about me and I, them.
Heading to the direction of the cafeteria, I claimed the last empty table outside and pulled out a sandwich and juice box from my bag. Carefully, I unwrapped the sandwich and took a bite. I stared at the flowerbeds and low shrubs in front of me as I chewed, contemplating the merits, or rather demerits, of skipping school.
I felt bored, so, so bored. Every day was just a drab monotony of school, novels and home. I wanted to go somewhere, maybe to the beach. Or to the zoo. I hadn't been there since I was little. I should try to liven my life up a bit. Heaven knows I needed to spice up my life.
Suddenly, I felt the tension in the air around me. I turned my head around and noticed that all the other tables were void of students. They were pushing and shoving each other to get through the cafeteria glass doors, worried expressions apparent on their faces. I glanced up. Perhaps it was raining and I didn't feel it? But the sky was clear.
I was getting a real bad feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Why did they leave?
At that moment, I was aware that everyone in the cafeteria was staring beyond me. I stiffened as realization dawned. The color drained from my face. There was only one reason why the other kids would flee.
He was here.
I heard footsteps coming towards me. My heart dropped. I slowly rotated my head forward, keeping my eyes downcast. A large shadow loomed across the table and began to inch its way toward me. I dropped my sandwich on the table as my hands began to tremble. I clenched them together to stop them from shaking but it was useless. My whole body was in tremors.
I almost stopped breathing.
"Eyes on me," he growled menacingly and I lifted my gaze to him.
I never met him before but without a doubt, it was truly him, Leon Gage.
My first thought of him was that he was hot. Scary hot and gorgeous. He had dark black hair, a strong jaw and piercing silvery-gray eyes. He was tall, maybe 6'2", and had a lean and fit body, a body which could easily pick me up and snap me into two in a second.
A tattoo drifted up his neck. He wore a black leather jacket and I could see through his tight black t-shirt he was all muscle. His jeans tightened around his hips when he moved. He was like a god. A sexy god.
I would have swooned in ecstasy if he wasn't downright terrifying.
He stopped in front of me, his eyes impassively roaming my whole face and body. I shivered once more and a feral grin spread across his face.
I thought about running for it. The table acted as a barrier between us and maybe it could give me the advantage to outrun him. I wasn't exactly the cross-country running type but surely the terror coursing through my veins was enough boost to help me escape whatever it was that he was planning for me.
"Don't even think about it."
I flinched visibly as he climbed onto the table, walked across it and sat on the edge close to me, his legs dangling beside me. He leaned over and curled a lock of my hair around his finger. I swallowed back a whimper.
"I like you," he declared, his eyes glinting dangerously. His voice was low, deep and as sinister as his appearance.
My heart started to beat again. Faster it beat against my chest. My eyes grew wide and I felt the color rushing back to my face in a full-on blush.
He wrapped his hand around my arm and pulled me up. He placed me between his legs, his arms around my waist. I put my hands on his hard chest and tried to put some space between us but he was having none of it. He pressed me close and leaned his face inches from me, his piercing eyes boring into mine.
"What are you doing?" I whispered to him in panic.
His silvery-gray eyes held mine and for a moment, I forgot my predicament and stared into them. They were too mesmerizing, beautiful and mysterious.
I blinked. Then my jaw dropped.
Oh, my God. Did he just say what I think he said?
"I'm what?" I asked shrilly, my heart hammering, my need to flee overpowering but my sense of self-preservation rooted me on the spot.
His neck bent and his lips found my ear. "You, Sophia Gideon, are now mine."
I lost all the color left in my face. Someone above must hate me. Sure, I had wished for a boyfriend. And for something to spice up my life.
But not him. Please not him.
I didn't care if he was handsome and tall because he was definitely not shy nor was he nice. I should have not made that wish. I should not have complained that my life was boring. I changed my mind. I want boring. Boring was nice. Boring wasn't going to pound me straight to the ground with one blow at the top of my head. Boring wasn't going to kill me.
I did what any normal female would do in this situation.
Leon Gage wanted to laugh. Or punch someone in the face.
Ignoring the distressed screams and panicked voices coming from the cafeteria, he hitched his new girlfriend up in his arms and began the trek to the school infirmary. When the other students saw him passing, they fled in wide-eyed terror. The halls quickly became deserted, not another single student in sight.
He kicked the door to the infirmary open, the door bouncing off the wall with a bang, and treaded into the room. A young nurse sat behind a desk, her lunch falling unbeknownst from her open mouth, her face deathly pale.
He dumped Sophia on the nearest bed and gave the nurse a glance. The nurse was still frozen, staring up at him and blinking rapidly. He easily read the expression on her face.
"She passed out," he deadpanned. "Don't wake her up."
The nurse managed to swallow her food and gave him a nod. He walked out of the room, out of the school building, and went to his car. He beeped the locks, opened the door and folded into his ride. He didn't bother putting on his seat-belt as he skidded out of the parking lot, wheels screeching against the asphalt.
Ten minutes later, he was in his house, watching action and gore on television, but his mind was elsewhere.
His mind was on Sophia Gideon.
And he liked what he saw.
The reports he got said that she was cute, which was f****d-up because she wasn't f*****g cute. Babies were called cute. Little animals were called cute. Grown-ass girls were either hot or f*****g ugly.
Sophia was pretty, unbelievably pretty. Her skin was so fair, her lips full and pink, her light-blonde hair falling into waves down her back. She wasn't tall, barely reaching his shoulder. And her eyes were a clear light blue, a blue so perfect and so pure.
A pureness he was going to defile with his tainted hands if he tried. Or if she let him in. But he didn't care. No, he f*****g didn't.
Her body was so soft against his, he was positive he sported a semi while he held her. He almost couldn't concentrate on the plan. He felt her chest against him, and he just knew under the shapeless sweater she wore she was round and curvy. He wanted to just stay there and stare at her forever. Or put her body on the table under his and f**k her until she writhes and screams when he made her come.
And he probably would have if she didn't faint dead away in his arms.
An irate voice cut through his thoughts.
"What the hell?"
Leon glanced over his shoulder. John, his best friend, stood at the open door to his house, his pierced face looking pissed as hell.
"That wasn't part of the plan, Leon. f**k, that wasn't even the plan!"
Leon rolled his eyes skyward. He shouldn't have given him the key and password to the house if he knew he'd barged in like this. Still, he was amazed John got here so fast. Leon lived on the outskirts of town, in a one story house with three bedrooms, an island kitchen looking into the dining room and great room, and a large back deck and yard. John must have driven fast.
He gave John the cold shoulder and resumed watching the movie. He picked up the remote and turned the volume up until the sounds of guns, screams and blood spurting blasted around the living room.
John wasn't deterred, however, and marched towards the television. He pulled the plug and the racket went off.
"So, I guess you heard?" Leon said, unfazed as he took a cigarette from his pack.
"Of course, I f*****g heard. Hell, Leon. I was supposed to be the one, remember?" John spat at him. "We talked about this."
"You were taking your time," Leon bit off.
"I was going to do it after class!"
"You were being a p***y and you know it," he returned. "We don't have time to wait for you to man up."
"f**k you, Leon!" John snapped.
"Are you seriously arguing with me about this?" Leon cast a dark glower at his best friend. "Are you in love with that girl or something?"
Leon leaned back. "Then what the hell is your problem? So I strayed from the plan. It changes nothing. The plan is still on."
"I'm worried about you."
Leon inhaled sharply and narrowed his gaze at him. "What did you say?"
John rubbed a hand over his closely shaven dark hair and sat on the couch beside him. He snatched the unlit cigarette from Leon and put it in his mouth. "Nothing. Forget I said anything."
Leon was seriously getting pissed. "So?"
"Fine. I give up." John lit the end of the cigarette and gave Leon a loaded look. "But you owe me."
"I don't owe you s**t. At least you won't be held down by some chick and you'd still be f*****g every easy lay in the city."
"Are you telling me you'll go celibate while the plan is going on?" John asked with disbelief in his tone.
Leon gave him a sly grin. "Are you f*****g kidding, John? I have a girlfriend."
John's jaw slackened comically, the cigarette in his mouth teetering precariously.
"You have a f****d-up sense of humor," he grumbled when he recovered from the shock.
"Who said I was kidding?"
Leon shot up from the couch and sauntered into his room, leaving a stunned John. He closed the door and dropped onto his bed with a dark chuckle.
Everything was going to start tomorrow. The plan was finally in motion.
He turned so he was lying on his back and smirked at the ceiling.
This was going to be fun.