Chapter 24 - The Hickey Disease
I walk down the hallways of the school, books tucked under my arm as I head towards the library to do some study. Gym is my least favorite so, I’m making up any excuse I can to not exercise for a double period. Plus Vulcan woke me up at what should be an illegal hour to get two hours of training done so my body was already sore and tired from being hit more times that I could remember.
But just as I turn around a corner, I’m pulled into a room by the back of my shirt. Shrieking, my books fall to the ground as I turn and glare at Rico James; Kaden’s best friend. Shoving him, I rub the sore spot on my neck where the collar of my top almost choked me.
“Rude!” I scowl, watching as he smiles sheepishly in return. “What do you guys want?”
″We need your help.″ Kaden states, aimlessly throwing a set of keys in the air and catching them.
His friends all stare at me expectantly, my curiosity piquing as I wonder what they need my help for. Kaden arches his brow in my direction and takes his feet off the table.
″If it’s homework related then no.″
He rolls his eyes, crossing my arms. ″I wouldn’t ask you to help me with something I clearly don’t do. I need your help to carry out a prank.″
“As much as I would love to, I don’t have time. There’s an English paper calling my name, unfortunately.” I roll my eyes with a long sigh, starting to pick up my books.
“Fine, go ahead and miss out on the most epic prank of the year.” Kaden smirks wickedly when I stop and look at him in curiosity.
″What’s the plan?″ I give in, making them grin and pull up a chair. Soon enough, we’re immersed in a heated discussion about strategy and details.
We’re all positioned, in pairs, in two chosen hallways of the school. Rico has managed to disable the cameras that cover the footage of every hallway, so the principal won’t be able check to see if it was us.
Checking my watch, I wave to Kaden to follow me as we step up behind the corner. I take out my phone, noticing the others do the same, and text my friends, warning them to stay behind at the end of class. When asked of the reason, I give vague answers so it’ll be a surprise when they see the chaos that’s about to unfold in three...two...one!
The ringing of the bell echoes in the quiet hallway and seconds after, classroom doors burst open. The numerous alarm clocks placed on top of lockers go off at the same time, causing students to jump in fright. Because their attention is on the noise, I watch as they step out into the hallway and spill the red solo cups filled with water.
Naturally, people start realizing that it’s a prank and choose to either stay inside their classrooms or step out and make a mess. Eventually, we make our way into the middle once the coast is clear and nobody can assume that it was us. Blending into the crowd, I push my way to the forefront and see my friends who I had texted giving me a thumbs up and breaking out into hysterics. Alex snatches two cups and throws water onto his friend, howling as Zach grins and takes off his shirt, shaking his head once he realizes that we’re behind the whole thing.
Before going through with the prank, we all decided to stay back after school and clean up. And tomorrow, we plan to donate a sum of money for any damage done.
“What is going on here?!” A thick accented voice bellows, making everyone halt and turn.
There stands Principal Moretti in a crisp grey suit and sporting a very red face. A deep scowl is set into his features as he eyes the crowd with narrowed eyes, as if searching for someone...until his eyes land on me.
I remain expressionless as his stare turns into a hateful glare before he lifts his hand and points a chubby finger in my direction. He then proceeds to bark out my name along with Alex, Kaden and all his friends who stand by us. With a swift turn, he marches down the hallway and assuming we have to follow, we head in the direction of his office with a roll of our eyes.
As soon as we get to the reception desk, we’re told to go right in. Walking into his office, Mr. Moretti waves at us to close the door without looking up, his focus on the files in front of him. Kaden and I take the chairs by the desk with the rest of the boys standing behind us, waiting for him to say something.
“Why is it that almost all of my students are covered in water except you seven?” He muses dryly, staring each of us down.
“We were last to leave the classrooms instead of screaming and running around like headless chickens.” Kaden states in a bored tone before gesturing to his leather jacket. “I didn’t pay half of my paycheck for this to be ruined, old man.”
Principal Moretti glares at him and if looks could kill, Kaden would be six feet under the ground. “Mr Reid, it would do you well to speak to others with respect.”
“Workin’ on it...sir.” He replies, tipping his imaginary hat.
Rico half chuckles and half coughs behind me, making me shake my head at Kaden’s dismissive tone. I straighten when Moretti turns to the rest of us, his narrowed eyes scrutinizing us. With a defeated grumble, he lets us off with a warning, stating that he will be keeping a close eye on us. Because Rico had disabled the cameras, there is no evidence of who caused the chaos.
I follow everyone out of the office, the boys grinning when we are in the clear. They whine dramatically, telling me to lighten up before recounting what happened twenty minutes ago, which causes me to give in and chuckle. The expressions of some students were downright hilarious.
“Alright, back to class. Fun’s over.” Kaden grins cheekily, lighting a cigarette which I immediately snatch from his fingers and throw out the window.
“What the fuck?!” He yells, eyes widened comically.
“Can’t smoke on school property.” I sing, making my way down the hallway.
“What?! Now you care about the school and it’s students?” He shoves me lightly, making me kick his shin.
“Oh, don’t be such a baby. You can go back to being a wannabe, bad boy after school.” I smirk in satisfaction when his blue eyes glint with frustration.
“I am not a wannabe.” He seethes, making me cry out and hit his arm repeatedly when he puts me in a headlock.
“Yes...you...are!” I grunt, trying to kick his leg out from underneath him.
“You little shit -”
“Maxwell! Reid! My office, now!” We groan when Principal Moretti yells behind us. Turns out he wasn’t kidding when he said he’ll be keeping a close eye on us.
You know it can’t be good when your classmates have been staring at you all day. Either I reek, my brow game isn’t on point, there’s something other than makeup on my face or I have a sign stuck to my back that is downright gossip worthy.
I walk down the school hallway later that afternoon, wondering why most students are looking my way and whispering to each other. I had started to notice it right after my French lesson that people are acting weirder than usual today and it has something to do with me. I’m pretty sure I put deodorant on, I wonder whilst discreetly sniffing myself. Shrugging it off, I continue my walk to the cafeteria amidst a crowd of hungry students.
I queue behind Alex and tap him on the shoulder as I pick up a red tray. He turns around to smile at me before pulling me to his side. I grab a chicken wrap, a green apple and some juice before paying and joining him to our walk back to the noisy, crowded table. Damon is also here. He tends to drop by the school from time to time whenever he’s on a break. Although he has graduated, people have grown used to him coming in to check on Sophia.
Placing my tray down, I take a seat before putting my hair up in a high ponytail. Biting into my wrap, I look around to see everyone smirking knowingly at me.
″Okay if I stink or have something on my face just tell me. I’ve had enough of people staring at me!″ Alex bursts into a fit of laughter beside me, making me frown at him in confusion.
Damon is looking at me with an angry expression whilst Sophia winks at me and gives me a thumbs up. A few other pack members chuckle before eating their food again.
″Aurora, you’ve got hickeys all over your neck! That’s what everyone is staring at.″ Alex sighs, tapping my neck.
″Oh.″ I murmur in embarrassment as I look down, letting my hair free to cover the marks.
“You need to be admitted pronto.” Alex states seriously, his elbow leaning against the large red table.
“And why is that?” I roll my eyes.
″Tell me, did you feel Vulcan’s canines scrape against your skin?″
“Um...I don’t know - maybe!” I blurt, wondering why he’s asking me such questions.
“That’s it! Some of the venom from his canines rubbed off on your skin. The doctors need to cut that infected part out now.”
I freeze just as I’m about to take a bite from my wrap before rolling my eyes. “Sure.”
His aqua blue eyes sadden and I almost think he isn’t kidding, until I think of the absurdity of it all. ″I’m serious! Your skin is literally going to be peeling off and the hospital you’re going to is described as hell on earth. Nurses are rude, doctors stab you with needles, no TV, disgusting food and uncomfortable beds!″
“Alex, I highly doubt Vulcan’s canines have venom on them.” I argue, turning my body on the bench to face him.
″Of course they do!″ Alex slams his fist down on the table and sends Damon a look before pointing at me. ″Tell her Damon! Look, she’s already as pale as a ghost. That’s the first symptom.″
“It’s true, Aurora.” Damon frowns, leaning over the table to look at my neck more closely. “Yep, that’s a nasty one right there.”
″And Vulcan knew this would happen?” I ask, my lunch forgotten.
“Yes but, he was probably too caught up in the moment to realize.” Damon shakes his head, clenching his fists in anger.
“And what are the other symptoms?” I ask Alex, swatting his hand away from my neck.
″Uh...aha! I remember now! You’ll get a rash out of nowhere; nails will turn yellow and fall off and -″
“He’s a dead man walking!” I shoot up from my seat and march out of the cafeteria, ignoring Damon and Alex’s calls.
Grabbing my bag and books from the locker, I run to the office. Signing out, I race out of the school and across the yard. A guard dressed in black catches up with me and takes my things before opening the door. Seating myself, I watch as he shuts the door and gets into the front seat to drive me home.
Marching through the pack house, people watch me in concern with some questioning why I’m so upset. I rush faster to my destination and burst through the door of his office, slamming it shut behind me.
″You jerk, I’m going to kill you!″ I yell, glaring at him murderously.
His head snaps up, eyes zeroing in on me in confusion before a loud growl escapes his lips. ″Why are you home early - wait, what are you talking about?”
I run around his desk and punch him in the chest, slapping his shoulders and arms when he tries to hold me. Eventually, he grabs both wrists, holds them in one hand and grips my chin with the other. ″What. Happened?″
″I’m going to be admitted into a horrible hospital where they don’t give you food and stick needles into you every day and -″
“Sweetheart, who told you that?” He pulls me onto his lap, snarling furiously when I struggle.
″Don’t you sweetheart me, mister! I’m in this mess because you couldn’t control yourself!” I snap, pulling back slightly. “Alexander and Damon said I got infected by your venom and I’m going to get sick and look horrific. Is this true?!”
I pull the collar of my top and show him my neck. His once black eyes switch to a calm green as he looks at me in confusion. I breathe harshly as the adrenaline rush disappears, causing him to tighten his arms around my waist and rub my back soothingly.
″Tell me exactly what happened.″ He instructs, cupping my face as he stares at me worriedly.
“People had been staring at me all day but when I pulled up my hair in the cafeteria, Alex said that there were hickeys all over my neck and I had to go to a hospital.” I explain, watching him frown. “He said that when your canines scraped against my neck, you injected some type of venom which will cause my skin to peel off! I didn’t believe him at first but then, Damon told me it was true.”
“Этот ублюдок!” He states angrily, pulling me closer to him and resting his chin atop of my head before chuckling slightly. ″You are so gullible, Aurora. Nothing is going to happen to you, you’re going to be perfectly alright. I promise.” (That mother fucker.)
″Wait, what?″ I mumble, looking up at him.
His hand rubs my lower back whilst he shakes his head. ″Alexander and Damon made that up. I need to have a word with those assholes.”
“They what?!” I screech, staring at him with wide eyes. “I’m going to make their lives hell, starting by stuffing their lockers with a paint bomb and then -”
“Not going to happen. I got an e-mail about the Principal being suspicious about you involved in a prank today.” He glares, making my jaw drop.
“I had nothing to do with it!” I lie, crossing my fingers behind my back.
He pulls my hand out from behind and stares at me with a bored expression, making me blush in embarrassment. “Sure, babe. Whatever you say.”
“Why would he call you anyway? Darius and Theia are my guardians.” I frown, getting off his lap.
He growls, not liking the distance I put between us one bit. “I had it changed, whatever concerns you will be dealt by me. More important, legal work will be handled by the Valentine’s.”
“You had no right!” I sputter, staring at him in shock.
“Aurora, if something happens to you I want to be there immediately. Blame it on my protective nature, I don’t care.” He runs a hand over his face tiredly before shooting me a desperate look, although I don’t think he realizes. “Please, just come here.”
Frowning at the sudden deflation in his mood, I make my way to him quietly. He sighs in relief as soon as he pulls me into his arms, settling me on his lap so that I’m sitting sideways. Murmuring a small “thank you,” he kisses my temple and resumes working; replying to e-mails and printing stuff. Occasionally, he’ll kiss my forehead and start rubbing my arm, comfortingly.
After a silent hour, I’m just about to doze off when someone turns the handle noisily. Looking back, I see that his computer is now turned off and he’s leaning back in his chair. Indigo cringes when he notices me looking around sleepily and mouths an apology to which I just smile reassuringly to in reply.
″Vulcan, everything’s been set. The car’s waiting for you as well as the council members. Come down when you’re ready.″
He leaves, making me shoot a confused look at Vulcan. ″What is he talking about?″
He sighs and picks me up, placing me on the desk. ″It’s a good thing you came home early. The royal court wants me to appear with the council members. I’ll be gone for two or three days.″
“Oh...” I pout, making him groan and peck my lips.
″Caia, Nikolai and a few guards will be in the house as well as outside. Don’t talk to any of the men, go to school, come straight back and please, do not get hyper again.”
I huff, rolling my eyes. He notices and stares at me knowingly until I give in and promise that I will do as he said. He walks to the couches placed near his bookshelf and picks up a large, black duffel bag whilst I hop off the desk.
″Now, come here. Moon Goddess knows how much I’ll miss those sweet kisses of yours.” He grumbles, as if he’s angry that he’s leaving.
I chuckle when he impatiently pulls me by the arm and gives me a long, fierce kiss. All too soon, he pulls away making me frown in sadness and longing. A horn sounds from below making me pout up at him. I don’t want him to leave.
We walk downstairs, Vulcan and I arguing when he keeps setting more rules. Finally, I push him out the door and smirk when he glares at me. He talks to the guards for a bit before giving his siblings and I a stern look. Once he’s seated in the car, I lean over to Nikolai and Caia.
″So, what are you guys doing home so early?″
″Pack meeting, everyone had to attend and we decided to be the caring people that we are and stay with you after.″ Caia whispers back, the tell tale signs of a smirk on her lips.
I roll my eyes and chuckle, watching the black car drive off. I stand there for a while, staring at the now tiny car speeding off. Am I crazy to admit that I miss him already? Sighing, I turn around to face two, mad grins. Gracing them with one of my own, I hurry inside with Nikolai and Caia behind me. We have the whole house to ourselves!