Beneath The Mask [On Hold]

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Chapter 7

✱Emma's POV✱

Today is Friday, meaning that it has been 5 days since I joined the University of Fine Arts.

The past 3 days have been drama free. Yesterday, Ryder and I met and finished choreographing almost half of our routine. We had decided on the theme to our waltz to be 'Love at first sight'. Ironic, I know. We will have to be damn good actors to pull this off.

Also, Ben, Olivia and I have become quite close.

Right now, I'm getting out of my last class for the day, Home Economics, with Olivia.

We both were discussing - more like laughing- about the mishap one of the other students had while baking a lemon shortcake, when we saw a crowd formed around something. When we both went there, we saw Ryan and Sophia trying to push their way through.

"What's wrong? Is it another fight?" Olivia asked Ryan.

He agreed and said that Blake and Ben were having a fight with some people and that he didn't know why they were fighting.

The four of us pushed our way through the crowd together and Ryan immediately went and tried to stop the fight.

But, as much as he tried, he couldn't, he, Blake and Ben were outnumbered. I decided that I had no other option than to step in.

I went and stood between the guys and pushed them apart.

"Blue! What the fuck are you doing? Move before you get hurt." Blake yelled.

"Yes Emma, move or else you might get hurt." Ben agreed with him.

"Listen to the boys, hotstuff. You shouldn't have come between us. This is between us and Blake. But I can make time for you later." One of the the guys, who looked like he was in his mid-twenties, said with a smirk on his face.

"Listen to me when I say this nicely, get out of here." I said without any emotion.

"No can do darling. We have some unfinished business with Blakey Boy here."

"Blue, move. I have some people I need to beat up." Ryder said, clenching his jaw.

At his words, both the parties started moving toward each other with their fists raised.

I gave my friend and my... acquaintance my infamous death glare and the two of them stepped back, visibly gulping.

I whipped my head towards the other group with the same glare and said, "I said, get the fuck out of here."

Before any of them could say anything, a voice behind us yelled, "May I know what is going on here?"

We all turned around to see Mr. Wilson, the Dean, walking towards us with a frown on his face. The guys Blake and Ben were fighting with ran away once they saw him.

"I want everybody to disperse, except the 3 of you. I want you three to come with me to my office." He said, pointing at us.

"Sir, Emma didn't do anything. She was just trying to-"

"It's okay, Ben. I'll go. We will be right behind you, Dean." I said, cutting Ben off with a smile.

That being said, the 3 of us followed Mr. Wilson to his office.

When we reached there, he told us to wait outside until he would ask us to come in.

Once the Dean went into his office, I immediately turned to Ben and Ryder and asked, "Before we go in there, can one of you tell me what that fight was about?"

"I don't know. When I went there, it was Blake alone fighting them, so I tried you stop them. But they started attacking me too, so I fought back. " Ben reasoned.

Both of us turned to Ryder.

He just raised an eyebrow and said that it was none of our business.

The Dean came back and told us to come in one by one. I volunteered to go in first. Once we got seated, he asked me what my name was.

When I answered him, he looked back at me with a look of newfound respect and said, "Ah... So you're Emma Sparx. I've been meaning to speak to you. In fact, I wanted to speak to you since Monday, but I've been busy. Michael has informed me about the reason for your arrival. I think this might help you." He said, handing me a file.

"I have personally narrowed down the people I think might be the drug dealer, don't worry, I've made sure nobody else knows who you are. But don't narrow it down to just these people, it can honestly be anyone. I'm just hoping that you can find him or her soon. The thought that one of my students is a drug dealer really scares me."

"Thank you very much Mr. Wilson. I'm sure this will help me."

The rest of our conversation was boring so let me sum it up for you.

I told him that I would try to find the dealer as soon as I could and he said that he would help in any way he can. I also managed to get Ben and Ryder out of trouble by assuring him that they wouldn't get into a fight on campus again.

When I came out, I told the duo sitting out that they don't have to go in and that they were out of trouble. When they asked me how I did it, I told them not to worry about it. By now, we had reached outside where Olivia, Ryan and Sophia were waiting for us.

While Ben and Ryder explained the whole situation to their friends, Olivia pulled me aside.

"Emma, I need a favor from you." She started, rather hesitantly.

"Ask away, Olive." I said, encouraging her.

"I know that you and Blake aren't the best of friends, but I was hoping that you could help him."

I raised an eyebrow at her.

"You see, he won't want to go home in this condition and Sophia and I still have have two classes, otherwise I'd help him myself. Also, Ryan and him have not been talking with each other for some reason, so I doubt he'll go with him."

"Fine." I reluctantly agreed.

Once we rejoined the group, Olivia explained the arrangement to Ryder.

"What?! No way!" He yelled.

"Too bad you don't have a choice Blake, unless you want Danielle to see you like this." Olivia retorted, glaring at him.

"What about my car? I can't leave my car here." He said triumphantly.

Olivia shrunk back, obviously rethinking her plan.

"Ryan, how did you get to college?" I asked.

"I took the campus bus with Ben."

"Do you think you can drop off Ryder's car at my place. I'll text you the address." I suggested.

"Sure. I don't mind."

"It's settled then." Olivia said with a smile on her face.

"Can I know why you are getting along with this." Ryder sneered at me with narrowed eyes.

"Even I'm not very eager about this Ryder. I'm just doing Olive a favour."

He just huffed and turned away knowing that he wouldn't win this war.

I told Ben to join us and that I would drop him on the way.

〰️✱〰️

It's been five minutes since the 3 of us left campus and I'm ready to throw both of these idiots out of my car. They have been arguing with each other ever since they got in this car.

"I don't get what you're so mad about. I was just trying to help you!" Ben yelled.

"I didn't ask you for help damnit!" Ryder yelled back, equally loud.

"Can the two of you just shut up!" I yelled at both of them before either of them could say another word.

Both of them just scowled at each other and looked out the window.

"Thank you. Now Ben, tell me the directions to your house please."

〰️✱〰️

Silence.

My entire house is filled with silence as I clean the wounds on Ryder's face. Once I was done with that, I told him to wait as I got him an ice pack. He just nodded. He hasn't spoken a word to me since we left campus. I just rolled my eyes and made my way to the kitchen.

But before I could do so, the doorbell rang.

I opened the door to see Ryan standing there with a smile on his face.

"Hey, these are his keys." He said, handing me the keys. "Sweet ride, by the way. Was it a gift?"

"Thanks. I gifted it to myself on my eighteenth birthday." I replied, grinning.

"Cool."

"Wanna come in? Blake's still here, obviously. Maybe he can give you a ride."

"No, it's fine. There's a bus stand nearby. I'll take the bus. I'm kinda in a rush anyways."

Once he left, I made my way to the kitchen and and picked up an ice pack for Ryder's face.

"Here," I said, handing him the keys and the ice pack. "The ice pack will help with the bruises."

Again, he just nodded and held the ice pack on his swollen cheek.

I just went and sat on the single sofa.

"You shouldn't have intervened in the fight earlier." He said after a few seconds.

"It isn't a big deal." I replied, shrugging.

"It is. Don't you get it? They've seen you now. They are not good people, Blue!" His volume increased with every word.

"What makes you think that I care, Ryder."

"You should Blue! They are going to use this insolent attitude of yours against you! Don't think you are better than everyone."

"Damn Ryder, you're an extremely judgemental person aren't you?" By now I was getting slightly angry.

"It's not called being judgemental when you know what a person is as soon as you meet them." He said, looking at me with challenging eyes.

"Oh really now? Then tell me Blake Ryder, what do you think you know about me?" I said, barely able to control my anger anymore.

"I know that you are a Daddy's Little Princess and that you have been handed everything to you in a silver platter. I know that you believe that you think you are better than anybody out there. I know that you never had to work hard for anything in your life. You are just one spoilt bitch who thinks that who thinks she's too good for this world."

His words triggered emotions and memories that I had managed to bury deep inside me over the years.

You think you are any good. You will never be good. You will always remain a little spoilt brat that thinks she's better than me.

My father's words rang in my head.

"Get out." I managed to grit out.

"What?" I heard him say.

"I said, Get. The. Fuck. Out. Out of my house!" I yelled.

Thankfully, he left before he could witness my panic attack.

Once I managed to feel better, I went through the files the Dean gave me. But I can't rely just on these.

Tomorrow, I have to go to the Gala that Mike asked me to come to. I will be taking Carter as my plus one.

I just hope that tomorrow will go without any problems or surprises.

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