Charla just looked at the boy with s slight blank stare, she honestly didn’t really expect to see this guy again, but this wasn’t the city, the likelihood of running into someone again in this town could be high unless that person is trying to go unnoticed.
“And what is it exactly that we need to talk about?” Charla asked the young man.
The young man scoffed and in that moment he rushed her, fist in the air ready to punch only to have Charla move fluidly just out of his punch and hooked her foot along his as her hand grasped the back of his head causing the man to flip to the ground.
“Whoa…” was the only thing Alex could say. Alex had known Charla had taken some form of self-defence, all things considered it made sense with what she knew of Charla’s history, but she didn’t fully think she would move with such fluidity.
Charla looked at him with a blank expression. “Is that all?”
Gritting teeth the man kicked out his leg to Charla, but she merely jumped back as if it was nothing, when she landed Charla handed Alex her headphones. “Hold this; I don’t want them to brake.”
“Why the hell does he want to fight you?” Alex asked as she held on to them.
Charla looked to the young man with a slight narrow gaze. “I don’t think it’s a fight that he really wants. That punch and kick didn’t carry the weight to do harm, this isn’t really a fight. I think he just wants to see what I can do.”
“But why would he?”
Charla recalled how this young man kept swinging at her just yesterday. “It’s just an assumption really, but before that.” she looked back to the young man. “What’s your name? I think before we continue it’d be good to at least know whose punching me.”
The young man scoffed as he stood. “Do you normally ask for people’s names in a fight?”
She tilted her head slightly. “I could ask the same of you, you said you wanted to talk but instead you throw a punch, had I been someone else they would have taken a direct hit.”
He gave a slight smirk. “Yeah, but you aren’t a normal girl. Who taught you, it’s not self-taught you were trained by someone, someone really good.”
Charla smiled slightly at the memory of her father teaching her the correct movements while in the countries he would take her too. “I won’t deny that, but you should at least tell me who you are.”
“Fine, I go by Joel, Joel Vander, are you happy now?”
Charla was quite for a moment, merely looking at him seeing how he was dressed and his bleached blond hair was done in a cru-cut and blue eyes. He wore the standard school uniform but wore a slight baggy jacket. Even though his clothes seemed somewhat loose Charla could see that he actually had some strength, he wasn’t stocky, far from it; he was taller than she and had a somewhat thick muscular build. But his stance was wide, how both feet were firmly planted on the ground, giving no sign of moving.
Then she saw his hands.
Though he tried to hide them with his hands slightly resting along the lining of his jacket pockets she could see faint cuts and bruises, any normal person could just assume he hurt his hands doing something stupid but seeing how some part of his right hand was bandaged told Charla otherwise. This boy had been in several fights, he’d stand his ground no matter what, that much she knew on their first encounter.
“Joel, huh?” she said making eye contact with him once more. “I’m Charla, though you don’t really want my name you just want to see what I can do. Is there anything I could say that would per sway you otherwise?”
His blue eyes narrowed on her. “You know I won’t.”
She sighed and closed her eyes. “I suppose I do…”
Alex looked back and forth between the two, remaining quite, in all honesty she had been through her own kinds of brawls with people, but this… this was different, this wasn’t a fight, far from it. It felt like a test, one of skill and ability. The air around Charla seemed to change, before she was mellow, relaxed and unnerved, but now her body was still the same yet the way she seemed to look at Joel said she was weighing his skill. Judging his total merit before even making a move, all the while remaining silent though it all with only the wind rustling the leave in the nearby trees.
When Charla let out a slow even breath she opened her eyes looking fierce as she remained how she stood, she took no stance, none whatsoever as she merely looked a Joel, waiting in silence.
So you want me to attack first then huh? Joel thought as he clenched his fist and leapt forwards. Fine let’s see how you like this!
Charla merely dodge it, taking a step to the side, she moved fluidly as she kept avoiding his punches and kicks, as if waiting for an opening. When she found one she went for a strike, with both palms flat against his chest making him stagger back. Gritting his teeth he tried to get her on the offensive but nothing seemed to work on her, her eyes kept shifting watching his every move, Joel had taken kickboxing in the past, but this girl seemed to be on a completely different level then him, no an entirely different league. She was a challenge, and Joel was never the type to back down from one, even if he knew it was stupid, it was just something in him.
He threw another punch but this time instead of dodging or smacking his arm away Charla grasped his wrist and elbow with her hands before kicking him in his calf to get him off balance then flipping him over to land on his back, before taking several steps back as if waiting for another attack.
But then Alex’s attention was soon drawn to a person who let out a long whistle. “Man she threw you for a loop, literally. I thought they only did that in those Kung-fu movies.”
“What the…?” Alex couldn’t help but say aloud. “Fox?”
The Native American boy with the black hair and red highlights looked to Alex and smiled. “Hey Al, been a while, how you doing?”
“Why are you and Sabin here?” Alex asked indicating to the other, rather very tall, dark skinned young man that stood near Fox.
“Just to see the goof getting his butt kicked by the girl, that’s all. Sabin and I kept telling him that fighting her would probably be a super bad idea, seeing as how she basically trounced him yesterday from just smacking his arms away. It was awesome, sad, but awesome.”
Charla looked at Joel who was still on the ground before closing in the distance and offering a hand to him. Joel eyed her hand suspiciously before taking it.
“Thanks…” he muttered before looking to the other two boys. “And who are you calling sad Fox? I’d like to see you try fighting her!”
“Dude, I don’t even know her,” he glanced to Sabin. “Do you?”
Sabin merely shook his head.
“I was taught by my father, in my family we’ve been told that self-defence is needed since our family background has been riddled with kidnappings in the past.”
Fox looked intruded. “Oh? And what family is that?”
“Liebert,” she said and Fox went still.
“Wait… uh, what’s your name exactly?”
“Charla, Charla Liebert.”
Fox’s mouth soon went agape while Sabin looked slightly wide eyed. “Dude…” Fox said in shock before pointing at her. “You’re Charla Liebert?!”
Joel just looked confused. “Fox, it’s just a name, why are you freaking?”
“Just a name, are you kidding? She’s from one of the founding families! Holy… oh that’s just so cool! Joel you just got your butt kicked by a Liebert!”
Joel still looked at Fox with a frown. “What’s the big deal? It’s just a name Fox, chill…”
“Dude are you kidding? It’s like saying the Mona Lisa is just a painting.”
Both Charla and Joel just looked at the young man with a blank expression before Charla changed the topic. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah I’m…” but his words were cut short when the sound of a girl gasping drew all of their attention to see Sarah looking surprised then angry. “Sarah?” Joel said rather surprised.
“What are you doing?” Sarah demanded as she stomped over to them and placed her hands on her hips. “Are you fighting with her?”
Joel flinched and began stammering in response, but Charla then spoke over him. “We weren’t fighting. It was practice.”
“Practice?” Sarah repeated.
Charla nodded. “We were, he wanted to know about my self-defence when he asked so I showed him. That’s all.”
Asked as in punching without warning... Alex thought dryly.
Fox looked at Sarah. “You know her?”
“I met her on the first day, she was heading home early because she wasn’t well.” she said before looking back to Charla. “But are you really okay? You mentioned in your text that you were fine but…”
Charla merely placed a hand on Sarah’s shoulder. “I am, I’m sorry for worrying you. a lot’s been happening these past few weeks, but I can manage.”
Joel merely glanced at Charla recalling how she looked almost ill yesterday, granted she seemed much better today but something still bothered him but found he couldn’t bring himself to ask with everyone else around. “Thanks for the lesson,” he told her. “You wouldn’t mind… if you and I went again would you?”
Before Charla could answer Sarah stepped in. “Oh no you don’t once was enough don’t you think? Even if it is practice doing this at school can only lead to trouble.”
“You know she has a point,” Alex said before handing Charla back the headphones. “Besides we were going to head to the library when we spoke with Mordecai.”
“What about class?” Fox asked.
Alex looked at him with an arch stare. “I could say the same thing about you three, I got why blond-boy here wasn’t but you two? You know if you miss another day of class Fox your Mom is going to have a fit.”
“Hey don’t bring my good Mother into this, and besides if you have to know we came out here with Sarah, we didn’t even know that Joel was here until we saw you guys duke---I mean practice out here.” he said quickly changing his words when he saw Joel glare at him.
“What the heck were you doing out here then?” Alex asked.
“We were trying to locate Matthew’s desk.” Sarah said.
“Matthew?” Alex said while trying to think on the name.
“Matthew Braun,” Fox said. “He’s a guy in our class, real skinny kid and dark brown hair like a mop. He was the guy that you,” he indicated to Charla. “Saw us trying to talk to when you met us, we were just trying to get info as to who was doing that to him but he misinterpreted the action thinking we were going to hurt him. Although with Joel’s demanding demeanor I kind of don’t blame him.” he said that last bit softly which Joel heard clearly.
“What was that Fox?” he snapped. “Want to say that to my face?”
Fox merely gave a nervous laugh but Sarah gave Joel another angry look practically silencing the remainder of the group.
Not long after Charla headed to the library just like she said she would with school books in toe as she headed to back of the vast place. The library itself was connected to the main building of the school but was rather large in size and even had a slightly raised second floor which had an abundance of windows looking out to the forest area of the school.
The library was a place that Charla could relax and feel somewhat at peace without the pressures of being constantly stared at. Alex had to go back to class, or more specifically being dragged back by Jason, telling her that she can’t keep skipping unless she wants her Dad to be angry, which Charla was fine with, since she rather enjoyed the solitude that the library could bring her.
Her hazel green eyes looked out the window to the trees with its vibrant colours of reds, yellows, oranges, browns and golds. Something about how it looked on the trees made them somehow look more alive even though they were going dormant for winter. Pulling her eyes away from it, Charla began to do some of her school work only to pause in between studying and grabbing a drink from a nearby vending machine. She came to a halt when hearing a number of students were now talking to themselves about the recent events of what was happening in the town, though it was of only from students passing by it made her feel rather uneasy. She placed her headphones with music on low trying to ignore it going back to where she was studying only to find herself staring out the window like before, with the music it helped calm her uneased nerves, as if the music was flowing through the leaves in the wind. She had become so transfixed by the leaves that she hadn’t noticed someone sitting across for her until he spoke.
“You did say that you’d be here.” she turned, removing her headphones, to see Mordecai standing across from her. “You don’t mind if I sit here?”
Charla went to look back out the window. “Go right ahead, not like I own the place.” He offered a half smile before she added. “Don’t you have class?”
“On Wednesdays I always have the last period blank, so I tend to come here to study on my own.” he said as he opened one of his notebooks. “No one tends to bother me here.”
Charla knew that in some cases a student would have at least one blank space in their classes, meaning that depending on what time a student could show up later, have a longer lunch or just leave school early without having any repercussions, unless they were dealing with awful teachers. Which was the case at her old school, but not here as it seemed. “Not even that girl?” Charla asked giving a sideways glance. “She’s in your class right? Long pale blonde hair, blue eyes, wears way too much makeup in my opinion.”
“That’s Stacy Vander, and yes she doesn’t come here. Too boring she says.”
No appreciation for quite. “Vander… I think I met her brother, Joel, know him?”
“I know of him. When did you meet him?”
“Yesterday, though it was only momentary when I went to get some fresh air, though I got to know him more today.”
“I see…” he said before noticing that she was now working on her own assignments so he began to work on his as well.
Though after a while thinking over the events of what took place with Alex and the others began to slightly bother her. “I don’t get it…” she said allowed.
“Are you stuck?”
Charla shook her head. “That’s not what I mean, before, after you left and when I was talking with Joel one of his friends, a native American boy, began freaking out, acting all happy over the fact that I’m a Liebert. That’s never happened to me before.”
Mordecai leaned back in his chair. “It’s a normal reaction, you tend to get used to it after a while. Although, it is something that bugs my brother to no end with his job, people keep saying that the Winchester family has a big influence on the police department and now that my brother is a detective it makes people even a little more… adamant about it.”
“So people give you that reaction too?”
He shrugged. “Sometimes, but when you live in this town long enough, and get to know its people the whole hype tends to die off…”
Charla cringed. “That just sounds creepy; I wonder if this is what high profile celebrities have to go through on a daily basis.”
“Well you’ve only seen it once, if it kept happening what would you do?”
Mentally Charla could picture herself fighting them off with her self-defence while holding signs that read: “Leave me alone!”
“I have some ideas…” she said dead-pan. “But if it kept happening I’d just hide in my room, safest option right there, well, for the most part.”
“True,” Mordecai agreed. “But it’s not a common question to ask, from what my brother tells me your father was the same.”
“What? My Dad was like that?”
Mordecai nodded. “Yes, and even your uncle too, at least to some degree. Though from what my brother’s told me, which isn’t much, he was against having to go along with the family but he did anyway at some point, never spoke as to why.”
I never knew… Charla thought. But then again, how could I have known? It’s not like I would have to begin with.
“By the way,” Mordecai spoke drawing Charla out of her thoughts. “I meant to ask this earlier, but your not angry with me are you? about the fact that I knew your brother and hid that from you when we first met.”
Charla frowned at him. “Why would I be mad about that? I couldn’t remember much of anything after the accident, and you’ve said it yourself that you mainly interacted with my brother not me. He was your rival after all…”
“So you remember that,”
She shot him an unamused look. “You told it to me when I ran into you on my jog my first week here.” she took off her headphones and placed them on top of the table, her fingers running over the rose emblem. “Look, I’m not mad; I wouldn’t be since I couldn’t remember. And I’m sure if my brother was still here he’d probably introduce me to you like it’s the first time we’ve met.”
Sounds like something Carlin would do. Mordecai thought before looking to the headphones. “You always wear those. Were they from your brother?”
Charla nodded. “It was a birthday gift, something he planned all on his own; it was his first… and his last.”
Mordecai felt like he knew what she meant but before he could even confirm it, a sudden commotion came from the first floor; both Charla and Mordecai looked to each other before heading down to see what the noise was all about. “What’s going on?” Mordecai asked a male student who couldn’t seem to hold his surprise.
“Mordecai, you won’t believe it, but a triple murder just happened last night!”
Everything in Charla turned to ice.
Mordecai frowned. “What? Where?”
“In the caves by the mountains, police are keeping quiet but people are speculating it might be the same guy in the city, can you believe that?!”
He said nothing in response; instead he looked to Charla who hung back from the crowd. Her whole body was shaking, hands over mouth, eyes wide with fear.
No… was all that came to her mind. Not again… no… Damnit all no!!