Bonus Chapter | Chase Kingsley
There’s a click. He’s actually unbuckling his seatbelt. “But if I left you alone with them, I’d lose Ms. Hall’s trust.”
There’s definitely a smirk on his lips.
Hold it! *MC presses pause*
kittyykiss requested this, so let’s see what Chase was thinking when our fellow Cupcake was being threatened. Would you do the honors, Kitty?
*kittyykiss presses the rewind button*
Chase wasn’t one to dwell on the little things—he had learned a long time ago that they were insignificant, not worth his time—but he couldn’t seem to keep his mind from wandering to the leather jacket draped over the back of his chair. He knew it was a bad idea to offer it to Vixen with an opened wound, but he hadn’t listened to the reasoning part of his conscience and ended up letting her wear it in fear that she would freeze in the night air. Now, though, he was starting to feel his mistake. Every time he breathed in, he smelled a dust of vanilla, and he wasn’t sure what it was doing to his concentration.
Chase had failed to tell his friend about his experiment with the human teenager. In fact, the main reason he was going over to Darestin’s house so late Friday night was to tell him that he had been right: the humans in this part of town were interesting in the most unexpected ways. He hadn’t expected to run into Vixen at the convenience store, nor had he expected a small ambush waiting for her in the trees across from said convenience store. He had offered her a ride out of selfishness—if someone messed with his inquiry before he could get results, he would forever be disappointed—and ended up forgetting how attractive she smelled until Darestin had pointed it out.
“Did you have a human female in your car, dude?” He had asked, breathing through his nose with concentration.“Smells like icing. Was she good?”
It wasn’t meant to be a challenge, Chase knew that logically, but the way his eyes shifted made him uneasy, on edge.
He growled, narrowing his eyes and baring his teeth.
“Woah, man.” He held up his hands, showing defeat. “Didn’t realize it was that serious, my bad.”
Chase rubbed his temples, trying to compose himself.
He was too old to be so riled up from a memory. It wasn’t like it was Darestin’s fault; he had simply assumed what would have happened in any other case. It was Chase’s fault, being too attached to his subject. He needed to separate himself more.
“I think we should tell someone,” a soft voice murmured as they walked down the hall, drawing his attention away from his mind. “It could be something serious.”
“It was just white powder,” another girl reasoned. “How bad can it be?”
As they passed his classroom, he could see them exchange looks before smiling enthusiastically. When they went to walk through the door, however, they got too excited and tried to go through at the same time, getting stuck between the frames. They sputtered at each other, throwing out incoherent cusswords that made Chase chuckle a little, before they finally worked it out, the shorter one slipping under and coming to his desk.
“Mr. Kingsley, we... we have something to tell you,” she said.
He watched as the other girl made her way to his desk, and noticed both of them were avoiding looking him in the eye. From the sound of their pounding heart, he could tell they were nervous, he just wasn’t sure if it was because they had a meager crush on him, or because they had something important to tell him. Maybe both.
“What’s wrong?” He put extra effort into making his voice soft and understanding.
“We just came from Mr. Canty’s room, sir,” the taller one explained, “and there was some sort of powder on one of the desks.”
He tilted his head, confused. “Powder?”
She nodded, short hair bouncing. “White powder, covering the entire desk.”
“And floor,” the small one piped in, “but it was only that desk, no one else's.”
It was probably some prank one of the upperclassmen decided to pull, but Chase stood up anyway, needing to get away from the strong vanilla filling his every move.
“Let’s go check it out, shall we?”
He had to resist the urge to smirk when the girls squealed quietly to themselves.
The moment he closed the door to his classroom, however, he registered another smell. It was faint, but it was almost like caster oil. And it was in the direction of Jeremy Canty’s classroom.
“You said it was white powder?” he double-checked, heading down the hall.
He nodded, walking slightly faster.
“You go ahead,” he heard Vixen say, voice void of any emotion. “I have class.”
When he managed to get to the doorway, he saw Whitney reach her hand out. “Don’t give us that,” she snaps, trying to grab Vixen’s wrist, “Let’s go before—”
“What’s going on in here?” he interrupted, stepping through the doorway. The girls who had been following behind him hid themselves in the crowd, like they didn’t want the three girls gathered in a circle to know that they were the one who told.
His eyes caught sight of Nicole and Whitney, both crowding Vixen, who was standing next to the chalked desk, the powder covering the side of her palm. Out of reflex, he inhaled, breathing in the scent of vanilla and castor oil.
“Is that your desk?” His question was directed at Vixen, trying to keep himself calm.
She nodded, eyes focusing on him.
He felt his anger breaching and tried not to grind his teeth as he looked at Nicole. “Get Dean Gibson,” he said coolly, ignoring the way she flinched back. “Tell him to meet me in the lounge after he calls the police.”
Her eyes went wide, staring at him with disbelief. “The police?” she repeated.
He gave her a curt nod. “And hurry. Run, if you have to. If anyone says anything to you, tell them it’s an emergency and they can come to me if they have any problems with it.”
Whitney suddenly straightened up, stepping in front of Nicole with determination. “I’m not leaving Cupcake,” she said stubbornly.
“She’ll be fine,” he assured her. “I’ll be with her.”
“That’s exactly why I’m not leaving,” she said.
He didn’t understand what she meant, but Vixen needed to get away from the poison and she was in his way. “Excuse me?”
“I’ll be fine, Whit,” Vixen suddenly said, stepping over to him.
She cut her off, holding her hand up. “It’s fine, Whit,” Vixen repeats. “I promise. Go get Leon and the rest.”
Whitney looked conflicted, and the curiosity to know what was behind the meaning of their conversation burned in the back of his mind. Reluctantly, she closed her mouth and headed out of the room, leaving Chase and Vixen with a class full of confused students.
“Alright, everyone out of the room.” Chase easily took control of the situation. “Ms. Tyler, you come with me. Don’t touch anything.” The last thing they needed was for the ricin to spread.
Vixen did as she was told, following behind him, trying to keep up with his pace. He needed to get somewhere where they could wash the poison off safely without adding to the possible panic. He decided on the science lab since he was sure that the Chemistry teacher didn’t have a class first thing in the morning. He grabbed Vixen’s clean hand, ignoring the heat radiating from her body, and pulled her inside, towards the chemical faucet. She was surprised but made no protest as he grabbed her wrist and directed it under the water. He saw her cringe from the corner of his eyes, though, only moments before a potent rush of vanilla attacked at him.
He stiffened, clamping his mouth shut as his muscles tightened, freezing.
Her voice brought him back. Shaking his head, he rinsed off her palm, keeping his mind clear. She looked at him, questions in her wide eyes, but he ignored her, pretending to focus on the white mixture falling down the drain.
“What’s going on?” he heard her mutter.
He waited until he was certain the poison had been washed off. If he left even a little, it could enter the mysterious wounds on her forearm, potentially poisoning her. She still looked dazed, though, like she had no idea how serious the situation was.
“Do you know what that white powder was, Vixen?”
She shook her head.
“It was ricin,” he said. “Poison.”
Instead of shock or panic, he got a blank look. Her heartbeat didn’t even waver. “Is that the reason you had Gibson call the police? To investigate?”
Her arm was still resting on the ledge, water dripping from her fingertips to the sink. “Yes,” he stated, grabbing a towel to wipe her hand. “Someone did it to scare you specifically. Hopefully, they can get something from the school’s cameras.”
“But there aren’t any cameras in the classrooms,” she pointed out. “I don’t even think there are any in the hallways.”
“There aren’t, but we can at least see if the person who did it was someone who came in the school or if it was someone already in the school.”
“Good luck narrowing it down,” she muttered. “I have a lot of enemies.”
“I know,” he said, remembering the people hiding in the bushes the other night. “But it’s the best we can do.”
She nodded, like she understood he was trying to think of other ways to help. “I’m sure Leon and the others will appreciate it—probably a good thing you did it before Whitler goes off the rails too. Congrats, you’ve probably just won a lot of brownie points from the school and the scariest gang at Cheshire High. You should feel accomplished.”
His hand stopped moving, surprised. It wasn’t accusatory—she wasn’t angry—it was just a statement of fact. Like that was the motive behind everything, so she wasn’t surprised. “I did it because someone threatened you, not because I wanted ‘brownie points’ from anyone,” he said, looking at her, willing her to comprehend. “You understand that, right? They threatened to poison you, Vixen.”
She simply shrugged, looking at the sink. “Yeah, I understand. What’s your point?”
“Point?” he repeated, halting all movement.
Her expression is blank, void. “So, they threatened me. What does it matter? No one else was hurt; Whit and Nikki are okay, right?”
He didn’t get what she was getting at, but he nodded.
“Then there’s no problem,” she said easily, lifting a shoulder. “I’m just glad you got there before someone else touched it. Ricin is poisonous if it’s breathed in, right?”
His mind raced, thoughts on fire. He knew she put her friends before herself, but he never knew it was this much. He knew that she didn’t have much self-preservation, could tell from the way she barely blinked when he told her poison had been covering her desk, but he never knew it was to the point where she could calmly talk about her own death.
And the entire school thought she was heartless.
“Strange,” he murmured.
He could hear her heart speed up, eyes wide as her face flushed, and he finally took the time to take in her appearance, ignoring it earlier because of the urgency. Her hair was messy, chaotic bangs covering a little of her brown eyes, making him want to reach out and brush it out of her face. The jeans she was wearing matched the color of her hair, so light that he could barely tell if there was any white substance on them. Her shirt hung off her shoulders, distracting him for a split second as he caught the first glimpse of her shoulders and neck, bare to the air.
The atmosphere between them had steadily became intoxicating; vanilla suddenly in every sense he had since the adrenaline at her being in danger had gone away.
“We should go,” he decided, releasing her hand. “The dean should be on his way to the teachers’ lounge by now, probably with your friends following closely behind him.”
She blinked a few times, getting out of her thoughts, and nodded.
*MC hits stop button*
How I love Chase’s mind. Makes you look at Vixen in a different light, right? Makes you look at everything in a different light, honestly.
Make sure to comment or PM me chapters you want as bonus chapters, cupcakes! I love seeing what character you all want to get to know better; makes me feel like you want to understand the voices in my head.