The Wildcards

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Chapter 3

Pulling the hood of his hoodie up, Asher puts his foot up on the back of the bus seat in front of him and plays with his tongue ring as he stares out the window waiting for the metropolitan transport bus to finally arrive near Stem at Cardiff, his new high school, new hunting ground, the third in a year, though this time it’s his choice. Feeling the bus slow down he eyes naturally leap to the front as others, even a few teens, load in. Any new toys? What pretties do you bring me?

A flame of fiery red hair flickers in sight as a slender bouncy girl boards. Her belt chains rattle against her baggy black pants, and her milky white mid-drift sways under the cropped black top she’s wearing. The girl’s Caribbean blue eyes set on Asher and her lips curl up in a small smile, “Hey, hot stuff, this seat taken?”

Turning at her light raspy voice, Asher reaches inside his hood and removes his earbuds, fighting the grin that wants to slide across his face. Prey often hop into his grasp but this one... “Go ahead,” he answers, his voice deeper than a girl’s but not yet to that of a boy who’s finished puberty, though there’s a slight growl to his words.

“Thanks,” she says with a wink and shrugs off her backpack, revealing a well-used skateboard attached to it.

Eyeing the board Asher raises a brow, he can ride but most girls generally

can’t. What a novel little plaything you are, what else will you reveal to me? “There’s a nice skate park by me, Rancho Penasquitos skatepark. If you do more than just use that to get from point A to point B.”

The redhead lights up, “I go there all the time. I live over in La Jolla, and it’s nice to get away.”

Biting his lip ring, Asher nods, rich kids make good marks, naive, plenty to spend. If something goes missing they just shrug it off and buy a new one. ”Must be nice.”

“Eh,” she shrugs, “not really my scene. I’m Charlie, by the way.”

“Ash.”

“Nice ta meetcha, Ash. I’m headed to Stem. Where are you serving your four years of torture that adults like to call high school?”

The corner of his lip slightly curls, “Stem at Cardiff.”

That makes her eyes slightly widen, “You must be new. I know I haven’t seen you there before. Upperclassman, right?”

Asher stills as he goes to put his earbuds back in as he fights the smirk that wants to slide across his face, so easy.

“So you’re coming from P.Q.” Charlie sinks down into the seat beside him and props her knees up on the back of the chair in front of her. “I’ve got a few friends over there. Did you just move into the area? Or just got accepted into Stem?”

“I was drafted in.”

She gives him a curious look, “Drafted? Never heard that one before. I would say I was forced under threat of death, but actually I like it there it’s very diverse. All sorts of walks of life.”

“I expect spoiled rich kids considering its Cardiff by the Sea. That and few like me,” he adds pulling a knife from one of his many pockets without her even seeing him retrieve it. Twirling it in his hand he smirks before it disappears from view again.

Her brow arches, mildly impressed. She’s only seen one other guy work a knife with that much ease. “Some, but I really don’t hang out with many of them. Like I said,” she shifts in her seat, growing disinterested in talking about those in her social class. “The rich kids aren’t really my scene. They’re... dull.”

“That they are but,” his eyes run over her, “They do have their uses.”

“I guess,” she sighs. “So, what do you do in your free time to keep yourself entertained?”

A twisted smile curves itself across his lips, oh little fox that’s a damned if I do question. “A great many things, most I would be a fool to go into. You?”

She smirks, “That’s a question,” but she doesn’t give an answer. “Looks like we are getting to know each other well. We’ll be best friends in no time at this rate.” She bites her lip and drums on her legs with her palms, “Oh! I’m in a band, that’s something legal I’ll confess to.”

“A good one?” He raises a brow as he bites his lip ring drawing her eyes to his lips. “Or just one that never leaves its garage and makes cats yowl?” A hint of amusement plays in his rare yet oddly vivid ice blue eyes.

Charlie chuckles, as a genuine smirk crosses her face. “I don’t know if we are good or not. We play at the Icehouse a lot and have yet to have a chorus of cats join me as I sing, though that would be hilarious. We are playing again this weekend, Haunted Sirens if you’re interested.”

“Ah, yes, we go there often. My brother likes music, including the Sirens. Stayed when I bailed for funner entertainment last time. Don’t ask him to sing for you though... ever.” He lightly shivers to show just how ear wrenching it is.

She lets out a little snort, “Thanks for the warning. I think I saw you there, actually.′ Her head bobs as she realizes she’s seen him before, “I did. I saw your entertainment."

“I had many forms of entertainment that night, little fox, some more enjoyable than others. I don’t remember running into you though.”

“Eh,” she shrugs, “not surprising. You seemed occupied and I’m not that impressive, I admit.” I’m not sure I agree with that just yet, little fox. Her eyes shift to the windows, “Ooo, we’re here!” Charlie exclaims as she jumps up from her seat.

Turning his head, Asher lifts a brow at the contemporary mainly glass, four-story building before rising himself and hoisting his black backpack on his shoulder, his wallet chain with a distinct Bane emblem connected to the piece on his belt loop, jingling as he does so.

Charlie lets out an appreciative whistle as she admires Asher’s ass through his military-style cargo pants and his black hoodie.

So bold, most girls will only eye fuck me from afar.

Charlie gives him a quick wink, “Hopefully we can ride together every morning, you’re entertaining.”

Oh, yes... “Sure, though I know this isn’t your normal bus, not if you’re coming from La Jolla.” I’m definitely not done playing with you, little fox.

Charlie smirks, “I got a lot of ... friends in the area.”

"Right, friends, or friends?” He cocks a knowing brow at her.

“Friends,” she says with a wink and bounds off the bus. As she passes by a middle-aged woman, he notices her hand brush against the woman’s bag and quickly pockets something.

Shaking his head, Asher follows Charlie out and up the stairs, his eyes traveling the exterior of the building. A slight breeze hits him bringing the smell of salt to him from the ocean as his gaze washes over his fellow students.

Catching sight of two of the boys from that street gang he’s seen over in the Oceanside area, his eyes narrow before he shifts his direction. Time to put those little rats in their place. Striding over to them with the little redhead happily following him, Asher lets his dark presence snap out though surprisingly the girl beside him doesn’t seem to notice. The same cannot be said about the two boys he’s approaching. The taller blonde one, most likely a senior, warily eyes him a hint of recognition in his eyes but it’s his younger friend, the one wearing a beanie, that’s his target. The way he stands and interacts with those around them speaks plainly of an arrogant, hotheaded kid. A perfect target and given the lack of recognition in his eyes he has no idea who he is, unlike his older friend.

“Can I help you?” The younger of the two arrogantly demands as he eyes Asher up and down not realizing just who is in his presence. “Goth boy,” he spits out.

“Jesus, Max. Be rude as fuck why don’t you,” Charlie glares at the young punk. “Are your balls in a bit of a bundle?” She gives him a little tsk.

“Why? You offerin’ to fix that?” Gabber mouths off raising a brow to her only to get smacked upside the head by Jakob, the blonde senior behind him.

“Be respectful,” Jakcob says, a hint of a French Canadian accent coming through. “Sorry Charlie,” his gaze shifts to Asher. “Who’s your friend?”

“Ash,” she gestures to the dark presence next to her, “The idiot that is mouthing off is Max Barlow, we call him Gabber. And this fine fellow,” she points to the tall, muscular, blonde with amber eyes, “is our local hockey Einstein, Jakob ‘Monty’ Taylor.” She says the last boy’s name like a wrestling ring announcer.

Mounty nods, “Transfer?” Asher nods. “From where? We both live up in Oceanside.”

“I know,” Asher deadpans, surprising them both.

Gabber’s eyes run over him, “You looking to...” hitting him with an elbow Mounty shakes his head reminding Max just where they are.

“What part are you from?” Jakob raises a brow.

“P.Q.” That makes Max and Jakob do a double-take since Rancho Penasquitos is nowhere near Oceanside, in fact, it’s over forty-five minutes away. It also makes a look of unease cross Jakob’s face as his eyes run over the Asher again.

“P.Q.’s a long-ass bus ride,” Charlie states as her attention starts to wander to the kids entering the school, “been there, done that.”

“What did you say your last name was?” Jakob asks.

A predatory grin crosses Asher’s face, “German, Ash German.” Turning on his heels, he heads towards the door only to have Charlie follow him.

Glancing at him out of the corner of her eye, Charlie’s head snaps back to her friends who seem uneasy after hearing his name. A look briefly crosses her face as she tries to piece something together. Her eyes wander a bit, as the name ‘German’ repeats silently on her lips.

Her eyes grow slightly wide and she stops, taking him in. A confused scowl nestles on her brow. I met Ash German, The Grim Reaper, at Ryker’s bakery. This is not the same guy. Yeah, they look close, but the very air about this one is different. There’s a darker pulse to him, an air of... something and she’s not the only one to notice it. As they walk into Stem’s entrance the girls in the hall seem to sense his arrival while others seem to stiffen like they know a predator on some level is in their mix.

Charlie takes in the reactions around her, as she starts to play with her little puzzle, “You know what I love for breakfast? Pancakes, with fruit on the side.”

“Then get it,” Ash aloofly declares as his eyes take in the area, his lip curling in amusement at something he sees. “Where’s the office?”

“Past the main stairs and to the left.” Charlie comes up behind him and points past a set of wide blue stairs that lead to the upper floors. “Cause god forbid they put the main office in plain sight for newcomers to see. Want me to show you?”

“No, I’ll see you later little fox,” but the words are barely out of his lips before her attention is drawn away.

“Cool, yeah.” her hand dips into the pocket that she slipped something into earlier and takes off running to a tall lanky boy with a square jaw. With a squeal of delight, she jumps into his arms wrapping her legs around him. Slipping off the guy, she plants a chocolate bar in his hand and whispers into his ear.

Leaving the little fox to frolic, Asher bypasses the stairs most everyone else is taking and instead turns right down the hall she indicated. Watching two different groups of jocks, ones who clearly dislike each other by their body language, come within range of each other a cruel smirk threatens to pull at the corner of his face.

Waiting for them to pass, Asher allows himself to blend into their mix only to snap his foot out causing the one to crash into another. Defiantly moving out of the line of fire a twisted grin crosses his face as a fight ensues between them just outside the office doors. Throwing open the office door he lets his eyes widen, “There’s a fight!” he calls out gesturing frantically to his side causing the principal and vice-principal to rush out to deal with the ensuing chaos outside their doors.

Dipping into the records office as the lady within comes to see what’s going on he pulls open the drawer with the ‘G’ names within it and swiftly switches out his file with his brothers. Pocketing Ash’s file he replaces it with his own only to return to the reception’s office. Everything else Ash would take care of, the paper trail alone is his to do.

“Are you alright dear?” A forty-year-old woman lifts her concerned eyes up as her kind gaze sweeps over him only to have a look of confusion cross her face when she can’t place him. “You don’t look familiar.”

Nodding, Asher lifts his ice blue eyes up to her and instantly she falls prey to his hypnotic gaze, “I’m new.”

“Name?” She asks, almost stumbling over her words as the power of his gaze ensnares her to his will.

“Asher German.” He flashes her a killer playboy smile he reserves for just such things.

“Ah yes, I remember. The McWiddeys ward...” her gaze runs over his body as a bit of pity mixes in with her hunger. Typing on her keyboard she grabs something off the printer a few moments later. “Here you are love, Algebra.” The receptionist looks up and bites her lip clearly wanting to offer him a bit more of her services but instead she just says, “I do hope you’ll behave dearie.”

Behave? I’m not here to behave. “Thank you,” Asher icily says out his eyes dropping to the schedule in his hands, releasing her from his grasp as he turns to leave. Math, biology, shop...

Shop? Uh cars, they can’t be serious, why on earth would I want that class.

Lang arts, history art, German. Well at least I got art and they remembered my foreign language of choice. And Shops could be useful... I suppose, if I want to do more than just boost a car.

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