Roman was late.
After hearing what Matthias had to say, he didn’t want to leave Nik’s side. People can say what they will about the Kings, but they always look after their own.
Noah and August had protested when Matthias dismissed the three of them to school. Roman wanted to argue as well, he wanted to know just as much as the others did what business the Queens had with their nephew, but Matthias held his ground against the younger Kings, he knew the effort would have been a waste of his time and energy. In spite of this, Roman sent Noah and August ahead, more than willing to receive whatever punishment may come to him if he were caught heading back home. Roman knew Matthias would be angry if he found out that he was late to school again, but it would make Roman feel more at ease knowing that Dani was heavily and subtly armed when she went out with Nik.
From the hidden safe in his room, he pulled three tiny smoke bombs August had carefully crafted, a loaded pistol, and two throwing knives. Roman also thought it was best to give her the customized brass knuckles he had planned to give her for her birthday.
After leaving his gifts where he knew she would find them, he sent her a message about what awaits her on his way out the door, knowing that she wouldn’t give him away to Matthias. Dani replied with a smiley face.
It was raining, and by the time Roman walked through the doors of Spades Central High School, he was soaked. His footsteps echoed down the empty halls and his clothes left a wet trail in his wake. Thank God he finally thought to leave a change of clothes in his locker after all of Noah’s nagging at him about it. Roman retrieved his clothes from his locker and headed into the boys bathroom to change; he was in the middle of texting the boys of his arrival when he saw her.
She was perched atop the window sill, a book spread open on her lap. The etched glass of the window let in enough light to make her look like a sad angel with her golden hair and snow white dress in this horrid public restroom.
Roman moved with a quick and silent ease, sliding into a stall and changing into the dry clothes. He poked his head out to see if she was still there; she was, but there was now a furrow to her brow, as if something was upsetting her.
His mind and body were not in agreement with each other as he told himself to leave as quietly as he had come but his feet carried him closer to her. With an effort, Roman caught himself up against a stall with a bang, cringing as he felt something slimey make contact with the skin of his hand.
She started at the sound, blinking rapidly as if waking from a dream. Their eyes met, ocean blue to oil black, and he thought it should not be possible that two people be so completely opposite of each other. Besides the obvious fact that he was a male and she was not, their differences always gave him more than enough reasons as to why he should stay away from her.
He’s been tainted with the darkness of his past and the blood shed of his present. His looks add to the reputation he’d gained as the dark King, his hair and eyes were black as night, making his fair skin look startlingly pale as he donned the darkest colors he owned. His preferred clothing had always been a weak attempt at blending into a crowd, sometimes he wished he could disappear into the shadows as easily as Asher when the heavy weight of the peoples’ gaze become too much for him to bear. Their eyes always filled with fear and judgement as he passed them by because they knew just what kind of Hell Kaden King had summoned him from.
She’s pure light, her eyes always shining a brilliant blue, perfectly paired with her golden hair. When someone were to think of her the first thing to come to mind would be of her lovely smile and musical laughter. She was beautiful and kind and selfless, a descendant from the angels themselves.
He never had any particular problems with her, but the reality was that he is Roman King and she is Melody Queen, a forbidden pair.
“What are you doing here?” She asks as she slides down from the sill.
An answer rests on the tip of his tongue but his lips do not allow a sound to escape him, instead he points a finger to the sign on the door that reads Men under the figure of what is supposed to represent a man. Melody’s eyes widen and a flush rises to her cheeks as she gathers her book and bag.
She reels back in surprise, reflecting what he felt, though he is careful not to show it. Roman mentally curses himself for the slip up as he watches her regain her composure.
What is wrong with him? He needs to be careful, she is a Queen.
Before she can respond, the shrill shriek of the bell sounds above them. Roman abruptly pulls the restroom door open and quickly makes his exit, blending into the sea of students as they flood out of classrooms in masses. It seems as though his personal bubble of space had become a physical manifestation over the years as the students around him practically press into each other leaning away from him so as to keep from disturbing the air around him. This used to bother him as a kid, but over time he learned that it was better people knew to stay away from him.
Roman had just placed his wet clothes on the top shelf of his locker when he heard August’s voice ring through the hall.
“. . . or I’ll blast ya into the middle of next week!”
He turns toward the sound, noticing the gathering crowd at the end of the hall. Roman catches glimpses of August’s flushed face and clenched fists between the excited shuffle of the crowd. He pushes his locker shut with a loud bang, catching the attention of a few people at the back of the growing audience. Their eyes widen and they hastily make way for him as he stalks towards the crowd. At first there was protests as he pushed his way through, but once people caught sight of who it was they were about to snap at, eyes turned down and apologies were stuttered. People fell away from him like water slipped through fingers and for a moment Roman chuckled under his breath imagining how ridiculous it must look that they did this.
August stands alone against two of the four youngest Queens: Levi Russo, the bane of Roman’s existence, and Nolan Easton. They’re smirking at August when Roman finally gets through the sea of people who excitedly wait for a bloody fight. Nolan reaches a hand out as if to affectionately pat August on the shoulder, but Roman knew that move. He watches August flinch back and before Nolan could touch him, Roman was there, holding Nolan’s wrist in a tight grip. He feels a sense of satisfaction at the surprise reflected in Nolan’s eyes and in the hiss of pain he releases as Roman tightened his grip. He knew he was going to get Hell for what he was about to do, but with the sudden target on Nik’s back and now this, Roman wanted to remind the Queens just who it was they were messing with.
“I warned you of what will happen if you tried to touch him again.”
Roman’s voice comes out deathly quite, words only meant to be shared between the two of them. He notes that a hush had fallen over the hall, everyone still and holding their breaths, and how Levi was now stepping towards them. Nolan’s eyes were wide with fear, just like the eyes of every person who dared test the limits of a King.
It was too easy.
Roman readjusts his grip and with a sudden move backed by a powerful force, Nolan’s wrist releases a terrible snap that echoes within the silent hall. Nolan falls to his knees with a cry of pain, his other hand clawing at Roman. Levi shoves Roman back, causing him to release his hold on Nolan. He’s yelling something at Roman, but it falls on deaf ears, Roman is still reliving the moments before Nolan went down. In a daze, he realizes he’s pressed against the lockers and now he can’t hear Levi’s words over the cheers from the surrounding audience. Levi’s fist is raised, and before he could think to defend himself, August is suddenly on Levi’s back and using all of his strength to pull him off of Roman.
With great effort, Roman pulls himself back into the present as he watches August deliver a solid punch to Levi’s jaw. Nolan rises from the ground, his eyes set on August, before he could think to do anything, Roman shoves him down again.
“Got an escape plan?” He asks August as they both stare down Levi.
“I was hoping to save this for later.”
August pulls a pair of goggles out of his bag and fastens them to his face. Roman knew better than to question this.
“Plug your nose, keep your mouth shut, and close your eyes.”
Roman did as he was told the second he caught sight of the small dark ball August pulled from his bag next. He had a moment to feel a bit of pity for everyone who was about to fall prey to one of August’s crafts before he felt as if he had walked into a cloud. The cheers from the crowd turned into screams and cries within a matter of seconds and all around him he could feel a greater chaos than the one he had started, as expected of August’s skill. August’s hand clasped Roman’s free one and he felt himself being pulled forward, occasionally other bodies would collide into him and August would tighten his grip and quicken their pace. Soon the feeling of being incased in a cloud left him and instead he felt the chill of the late October air.
“You can open your eyes now.”
August released Roman as he cautiously peeked an eye open.
“What the hell?”
August’s once red hair was now dark and matted down, every part of his body covered in a dark red liquid. He looked as if he had just bathed in a pool of blood and as Roman looked around he noticed he could say the same for the people who exited the building. He looked down at himself and shook his arms out, letting drops of red fall from his clothes like rain.
“It was still in the process of experimentation, but I’m pleased with the results. I was saving that for Halloween.” August holds a triumphant smile as he pulls the goggles from his face and lets them hang from his neck as he observes his work. Roman finally chances a glance at what madness August had created. From the doorway students are still pouring out of he can see what looked to be a thick red fog encasing the hall within. Everyone who passed through it looked as if they came straight out of a slaughter house.
“Impressive.” Roman murmured.
August beamed at that and began going into the workings of his craft, but Roman felt himself slipping away again. He watched droplets of water fall from the sky in various areas, then one caught his eye. It landed on a golden head and he followed it down to the blue of her eyes which were looking right into his own. Her head tilted to the side like a bird as she studied him, he refused to look away from her.
Melody’s attention left him as another demanded hers: it was Ryder Blake who stared him down now and this time Roman raised his brow, his eyes daring Ryder to be the next to challenge him. Like with Melody, Roman never had any particular qualms with Ryder other than the fact that he was a Queen, Ryder was much like him in the darkness department as well as personality. Had they not been who they were to each other now, they might have been friends.
A bustle of students passed between them then and he saw her only in glimpses. Between one second and the next, she was gone.
“I don’t enjoy this life of scars and killing.”