I spend the next week and a half in the hospital in and out of a concussion.
I got a broken nose and a massive headache. They kept me in the hospital for observation, but secretly I think the doctor just has sympathy for the condition my black eye was in.
I looked disgusting!
Between ditching and my aunt letting me cut and my medical leave, my homework pile has grown from annoying, to evil, to downright cruel. The whole time even through my swollen eye, all I can see is an ever growing pile of homework taunting me. I know I should start working on it; but I’m tired and when my eye returned to normal they began cutting me off from the painkillers and I can’t help it. I’m in pain and my head hurts too badly to focus.
I start to rise. I finally can sit up, but my head still hurts. I move to stand, but the movement is too much and my head throbs.
“Hey sir; doctor,” some person who I thought was a guy, but turns out to be a girl-damn-turns to face me. “So, um what’s the date today?” I ask with an innocent, perky chirp.
“Oh my!” says the doctor rushing over to my immediate attention looking ready to drag me off to intensive care at a moment’s notice. “Are you okay? What is your name? How old are you? How do you feel?”
Her bombardment of questions threatens to send me spiraling.
“I’m okay. My name is Lacey Night, but my sister swears my mom secretly told her that my middle name is Jane. I’m 15 years old and my birthday is May 11th. I feel fine, I’ll feel even better after you tell me what the date is, because I’ve been in and out of consciousness and haven’t had time to keep track on my calendar.”
“The date is Monday, Monday January 23rd,” she smiles kindly, but I try to shove past her, but she grabs my wrists.
“What time?” I ask eyes wild and rabid. “What time is it?”
“It’s about hmm seven o’clock maybe eight,” I push past her.
“I HAVE TO GO, I NEED TO GO TO MY SISTER! I NEED TO FIND HER! PLEASE!”
She regains control over my wrist and looks me in the eyes sternly.
“Ms. Night, is everything okay?” she asks with false concern. She just knows my aunt can get her fired with a bad word from me.
“I will be a whole lot better when I get to see Karly. You know one bad word from me and your job will slip from right under your sticky, little fingers,” I hiss snarling at the doctor.
I guess I was wrong about if she cares, because she grabs my wrists and looks me in the eye, face searching for signs of pain.
“Ms. Night, you suffered major head trauma and damage to your-“ she starts talking about medical injuries and stuff.
“It’s okay,” I whisper. “Please, I will be fine; I just don’t want to, I, I need to see her. PLEASE!” my voice is helpless.
“Okay, the worst of your wounds are healed,” she says.
“To be honest you are perfect. So hurry up and go before I change my mind,”
“Oh thank you!” I swing my feet off my bed and tear down the hall directly towards Karly’s room. I am still slightly dizzy and haven’t changed clothes, but I want to see Karly and … the sleepover.
I shift directions and dash towards my dorm room straightly through the door and into my closet. I grab my toiletries and a change of clothes. I have decided there is no point in trying to get to Karly, because she and Kimmi are long gone in the depths of girl world.
I put on a pair of waterproof slippers. I don’t trust the floor of the bathroom’s to be clean. One of the perks of being the headmistress’s niece, I know that the bathrooms are not cleaned regularly.
I walk down the hall and open the bathroom door. At this hour the bathrooms are overcrowded and flooding with hormonal, naked teenage girls showering. I uncomfortably search for an empty shower.
“Hey you just cut line,” says some girl who looks too much like a boy to belong in the girl’s bathroom.
“Sorry,” I say sheepishly. My head must really be messed up, because I didn’t notice the huge string of people crowded in a line swirling around the bathroom, a person away from trailing out the door.
“Please,” says the girl behind me. “She has a messed up head, I wouldn’t be surprised if she walked in here thinking it’s her bedroom.”
“I heard she cracked her skull open, by hitting her head on a book in the library.”
“Yeah, and when they went to stick it back together; they saw her head was empty. Wouldn’t matter, her head’s got nothing to protect,” smirks her neighbor chatting with a crude voice.
I crawl to the back of line where I wait for the next two hours until the girls from earlier get sick of hogging the stalls and run off to make curfew.
Great! Now I’ll get in trouble for being awake and have to go to bed dirty.
I jump into the shower and wash my hair, feeling exhausted.
What should I wear tomorrow? Do I have to devote my morning to another pampering session for Karly? How many people will be here?
These questions bounce around in my head uncontrollably. I want answers.
What do I do? My head hurts and I’m tired, I decide to call my BF.
My BF referring to my best friend of course, no time for boyfriends …
My best friend referring to the girl, being Saey not Allison. Too clingy and talkative for me, too much energy also.
I pick up my cell. It’s new, something I got in when we went shopping. My aunt said Karly and I will need one.
I dial Saey’s phone.
“Hey,” says Saey. “What’s up?”
After I don’t reply for several minutes she threatens to hang up.
“Lacey, is everything okay? Are you still there? Should I hang up?”
“Yes,” I manage. “I’m still here.”
It hurts me to lie to her, but it hurts me to tell her the truth. I wish no one had ever told Kimmi, so she and Sierra and Saey wouldn’t know.
“I’m wearing a purple dress tomorrow,” says Saey quietly. “And Sierra’s wearing lavender so we can sort of show we are together.”
How does Saey know it’s tomorrow, probably Karly told Sierra. It’s not common knowledge right? I quickly dismiss the thought and try to drop the topic, fast.
“I’m sure you’ll look ravishing darling,” I say in a mock British voice.
“Oh, but of course,” replies Saey with equal verve.
And then we both pause, because it’s so hard for both of us to act like friends at this point, when tomorrow she knows I will do anything to have Karly be chosen even if I have to hurt or even sabotage the competition. Which includes Saey.
“What are you wearing tomorrow?” asks Saey ignoring the pause.
“Something modest, I don’t want to draw attention away,” I stop before I say Karly, because that would sound really bad. Like I think I’d be the prettiest and Karly would be second.
“You should wear brown than,”
“Maybe,” I don’t feel like discussing my wardrobe with my sister’s competition, but Saey doesn’t seem to mind.
“Lacey, can I ask you something?”
I stop myself before I tell her anything. I don’t want her asking about a lot of things. What’s happening tomorrow, my past, my ability, my love life, my mother or my father.
“Yes,” I say cautiously, finger on the end call button ready to hang up in a second. I wait for her question keeping myself on guard.
“Why did you call me? Did you just want to hear the sound of your own voice, or rob me of sleep, because you’re hardly talking and you don’t sound approachable,”
I don’t have an answer for her so I just go mute.
“Do you want me to do your makeup in the morning?” I ask quietly.
“If you don’t purposely mess it up,” says Saey lightly, but I think she’s serious, because if necessary I would.
“I won’t. You should probably go to bed, get your beauty sleep,” I frown as I say it.
“Good night Lacey,” she says exasperated.
“Yeah,” I reply.
Before hanging up she says one final thing with a glum voice.
“I just can’t figure you out.”
She sighs and hangs up leaving me feeling worse than before.
Reluctantly I flop down on the bed, head on the wrong end.
I bang my foot against the wall and sit up groggily.
“Hey Lacey?” I say aloud. “What are you doing” You need to stop going in circles and start moving forward. You spend your whole life protecting someone else that you hardly exist. Who is Lacey Night?” I ask myself.
I wake up to the sound of bustling in the hallway, like there’s a crowd formed outside my door. And then I remember what today is-January 24th. Today is the day I guess.
My first reaction is just to sit up. There is something I’m missing. And then it hits me, it’s like 7:00a.m what’s with the commotion. This many people shouldn’t be awake yet.
I run out the door and am welcomed to a terrible sight that makes me blink twice. A crowd of girls in dresses and high heels with makeup splattered faces. My worst nightmare, a hallway of Barbie dolls.
Kimmi had to have told someone and they must’ve spilled their guts, it must’ve been when I was out with a black eye. Why else would all these girls be dressed up before sunrise?
What do I do? What do I do? I wrack my brain for answers, but find that to no avail I have none. Then something hits me.
Most of these girls are fives, they look about as god as Karly does with the makeup, but also the makeup is obvious. The prettiest girl here is Kerstin Séren. A French daughter of some noble.
French girls must be pretty. Oh my gosh. I haven’t even considered girls from other schools, or girls who are older and no longer in school. Also, there are about a billion eligible humans and all the demons I don’t have a number for. Karly never stood a chance. Now they’ll take her away, healers are rare and useful, but that’s nothing compared to me.
What to do? What to do? Umm … oh idea moment!
I run over to my closet nearly crashing into the door. I grab hoards of clothes and throw them on the bed messily.
Colours, what colour? Different colours tell different things about you on a first expression. If my idea works colour is a key factor, sort of.
Blue? Nah that’s unoriginal. Yellow? Friendly and nice? Not me. Green? Lively and energetic, I don’t think so. White? Gentle, radiant and sensitive. Gets dirty in an instant. Not for me. How about purple? Err Saey and Sierra sort of called that, not dazzling anyway. Pink? Frilly and girly most of the girls including Karly are wearing that. I need a colour no one else will be wearing or able to wear.
A colour no one would dare. A colour that will make everyone stare.
Red. Bold, striking red.
I find my dress: short, strapless, and a type of material that holds to my skin stiffly. I tie a black sash at my waist leaving the knot off at my right. Black leather gloves with finger and thumb holes. I start painting my nails a matching shade of red.
Once my nails are dry I continue. Hat? No too weird, maybe a headband. Nah, but I’ll pin my hair up. I out my hair in a messy side bun. Then I undo the bun and put a matching red streak through my blond hair. Perfect. I braid it off to my side down my right shoulder neatly, streak showing.
I slip on fishnet tights that go right over my toes. I pull on black pumps that are at least 2 inches too high. I also slip on a diamond anklet for flair.
I accidently knock over a perfume bottle onto the floor. I bend down to pick it up and then feel an awkward breeze go up or should I say down my dress.
I’m definitely not doing that again.
I exit my room to find the hallway that was so lively and loud earlier deserted. In a last minute hasty decision I put on some black eyeliner that complements my green eyes and some deep red lipstick that brings out the natural blush in my cheeks and then dash out into the hallway closing the door behind me.
I reach the main hall leading to the main room where an all-girls mandatory assembly appears to be taking place. I stay in the hall obscured by shadows, but I can still hear and see what’s happening inside. A lot of the girls are chatting nervously.
Finally after several minutes delay my aunt Veronica takes the stage.
“Welcome ladies, as I’m sure by your chosen attire most of you know today is an,” she chooses her next words carefully. “Important day. We have visitors today, very special visitors …” her voice is strained when she speaks. “I present to you his highness Michael,”
I swallow back the urge to laugh at my aunt addressing anyone as royalty. But, the man that walks on next gives more conflicting feelings. Mainly fear, anxiety and anger.
“Hello ladies,” he practically spits the words at us and it would’ve had the same effect if he did. He can’t hide his disdain, he loathes us. “I’m here to tell you that my sons are of age and they need wives,” he rolls his eyes. “Any questions?”
No one appears to have any. Apparently he gives everyone the straightforward speech and cold gaze to avoid pesky questions. Sadly one of Kimmi’s cocky older sisters raises her hand.
“Yes,” he breathes uneasily. “You!” he says pointing at her with an accusing finger like she’d committed a crime.
She hesitates and then asks her question.
“How will they be making the decision?” she asks breathing easy assuming the worst is over, but it isn’t.
“Come over here sweet heart,” croons Michael with a kind voice.
NO! NO! NO! But she can’t hear me and everyone assumes it is fine and she rises and accompanies him at the front of the room
I see my expression reflected in my aunt’s nervous face.
“Sons,” calls Michael and for the first time they appear and I’m not even slightly impressed by their appearances, maybe they look better in person but I doubt it. The other girls though appear to have gone in shock at their gorgeousness or something, because I hear lots of oohs and awes and I think some girls are drooling. Euh.
“Do any of you think you would want to marry this girl?” he asks in a cruel voice.
They shake their heads and her voice flushes with embarrassment.
“See honey?” he asks and then suddenly something occurs.
He is a really big man, and his black hair and dark brown eyes look almost black. It really is a scary appearance all in all.
“That’s how we make decisions, and since your unwanted I can just do this,” and I watch in a composed horror as he snaps her neck and she falls dead on the ground.
I hear crying and protests amongst the group of girls but Michael shushes them.
“Any other questions?” he asks with a malicious smile.
The silence that follows signals the answer to his question.
“Ladies, regularly scheduled classes are canceled except for female mandatory class. You will all report to room 14 at 7:25p.m. Use this time freely,” my aunt sighs. “Anything else?” she asks turning to face the men. With a shake of Michael’s head she hurries to wrap up the program.
“That will be all, please exit the main room in an orderly fashion,”
As everyone awaits to see where the men are going and still somehow eager to follow the girls wait. After a little while they walk out the door to outside smugly and are soon followed by a crowd of girls drawn to them.
Eventually I’m alone and watch the body being dragged out by some poor caretaker.
“You really should go join your classmates,” says an unfamiliar voice from behind me.
I turn around and am greeted by the prettiest or handsomest face I’ve ever seen. I feel like the girls slaving after the boys and am unable to string my next few words together.
“Yeah,” what was I going to say again? He is really cute. His brown hair is so cool and he’s tall and athletic and has tanned skin and really pretty lips and a good nose and red eyes and. Red eyes!?
I find myself looking him in the eye caught in his gaze. He is saying something, but I’m too distracted and don’t notice.
“What?” I ask snapping out of it.
“What’s your name?” he asks.
“Lacey, Lacey Night,” when I mention the last name Night he appears to have the same type of reaction as I had to his eyes.
“What’s yours?” I ask trying to regain his attention.
“Oh, Lucas, my name is Lucas,”
“Well Lucas what are you doing here?” I ask annoyed.
“I finally saw the first pretty girl I’ve seen in a long time. Actually you’re the prettiest girl I’ve ever met,” he says shrugging.
“Sounds like you’re trying to get me into your bed,” I says, but I can feel my cheeks burning red under his gaze.
“No, I don’t try to get people into bed, I’m a virgin. I told you I haven’t seen a pretty girl in a long time,” he says.
“With a face like yours, hard to believe,” I say smiling.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means I think your cute,”
“Who are you?” I interrupt the joking banter for a serious question.
“Lucas, I told you.”
“Tell me about yourself,”
“I’m 17, I think you’re pretty and that guy who just killed that girl is my dad,” he says reluctantly. “I understand if you don’t find me cute anymore.”
“I know a thing or two about lousy dads,” I say.
“Oh so pretty girl with daddy issues? You’re easier than I thought,”
“Hey,” I say nudging him.
“And violence tendencies,” he replies. I‘m laughing now, because it’s all true.
“You know if he’s your dad that makes you a demon,” I say glaring.
“Aren’t the eyes a dead giveaway?” he asks with a playful, but puzzling expression.
“I’d fall for it if you said it’s just a rare eye colour,” I say smiling, flashing my white teeth.
“Would you really?” he asks laughing at me, flicking my braid.
“I’m gullible like that,” I say with a ghost of a smile, but the topic is getting uncomfortable and he acknowledges my pause.
“You’re wondering why I’m not looking for a bride,” he says smiling like it’s a joke.
I actually wasn’t, but I am curious so I nod reluctantly.
“Like I told you I am 17, so I’m not eligible for any crown. Unless my father doesn’t pick a next king to take the throne before my birthday, which he probably won’t do,” I nod with a distracted glance to the noises coming from outside.
“Oh, I really should join the other girls outside,” I say.
“All they’re doing outside is getting to know- or better said, fawning over them while they spend the day getting to know them,” he says rolling his eyes exaggeratingly.
“But I want to go check on my little sister,” I say quietly trying not to seem rude.
“Very well,” he says with a slight nod, more like a tilt of the head. “See you around,”
“Goodbye Lucas,” I say half skipping out the other door to outside.
It’s more like a synthetic outside. We have a teacher whose ability involves the weather so it’s always the temperature the headmistress chooses.
Today it’s extremely warm and there’s a tropical summer breeze the riffles my braid.
The second I walk out that door three things are apparent to me. First, it’s colder than usual, but that’s likely, because of the shortness of my dress. Second, it’s almost dead silent. Third, every single eye turns toward my direction and awes with jealous remarks. Then I hear the worst possible statement I could at the moment.
“Hey Karly, you sister is a slut,” OH I HATE HER! Kimmi is such a- my thoughts are cut short by someone, a guy approaching me with a cocky ear to ear grin.
“Hey sweetheart, what’s your name?” the guy talks to me like I’m a young girl and makes me feel extra uncomfortable.
“Lacey,” I say with a miniature smile. “What’s yours?” I ask tilting my head slight inwards close to his ear.
“Brad. So Lacey, do you want to go somewhere we can talk,” even though, I don’t want to go somewhere to talk with him, I notice everyone’s eyes are still on me and hesitantly accept his offer.
Before I leave I see Kimmi and Karly both cozying up to one boy, a crowd of girls flocking to them, but that’s nothing compared to the jealous stares reserved for Brad.
I allow him to lead me into the courtyard away from curious ears and prying eyes. Cautiously he takes me hand and leads me with him past the courtyard and fields and meadows and gardens to the front of the school where several limousines are awaiting their departure. I’m genuinely curious to why he’s lead me here. I’m even more curious when he opens the door and gestures for me to enter
I do my best not to bend that much while getting in, but a slight laugh on his part reveals he got see more then he was expecting. Sighing a sit up even more uncomfortable. He takes the seat next to me and signals to the driver to go somewhere I don’t know and closes the privacy door thing that separates us from him.
After a minute of silence he reengages in the conversation.
“You don’t seem like the kind of girl who gets to go out much, so I decided I’d take you out somewhere and see if you can confirm my suspicions,” he says with a grin.
“Yeah well,” I shrug not knowing what to say, but he takes this as an invitation to pry further.
“So, which girls do you know who are of royal descent?” The turn in the conversation catches my attention and my world seems to snap back into proper focus.
Something weird comes over me I feel this weird feeling to tell the truth and then I realise he’s using some type of power on me trying to get answers. It’s a perfect plan actually, spend time with the pampered queen bee and the best looking girl and find out about everyone from the person who should know everything. But since I’m not actually the queen bee I don’t actually know much.
I ought to tell the truth, he can’t know that I have an ability.
“Yeah Kristen is of noble descent, but she wears more makeup then she weighs,” I say trying to sound stuck up.
“You’re stronger than I thought,”
“What?” I’m taken aback at this,
what does he think?
“I know who you are,” Oh my gosh, I’m trapped in a car with a demon and the last name Night that’ll be printed on my grave.
“Don’t be alarmed sweetheart,” yet again with the down talking. “I’m not going to hurt you. You’re strong, you’re royal and,” he smiles such a grin that makes me want to rip his head off.
“You’re prettier than I thought.”
Ugh! Caught in the heat of the moment I say the stupidest possible thing.
“I have a sister,”
“Hmm,” he ponders that for a minute and then decides something.
“Turn around,” he says to the driver pulling away the privacy protector.
What did I do? I totally just bought Karly a chance, I think, sort of.
The rest of the ride goes by smoothly in silence.
We renter the school parking lot and as he exits the car he offers me a hand. As to not be rude I take it. But, he doesn’t let go of it as I’d been expecting and drags me after him back towards the back of the school.
“See you around sweetheart.”