Sex and Retribution ( A Dark Bully Romance)

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Sitting in front of my computers erases everything. Especially the invisibility of my existence at this school. It eases the ache growing in my heart at the lack of….. everything. With Magnolia gone, I only have Tristan. Never in the two years since I met him on a gaming server, have I thought about meeting him. Or telling him about every detail of my life. But right now? Right now I’m close to spilling my guts over a text message about how screwed up everything is right now. Socializing has never been my forte, for obvious reason, but I miss it. Her.

I miss Magnolia poking me in the ribs to remind me a teacher was talking. Or repeating softly in my ear when I missed a key point. My shoulders sag at the thoughts, my forehead resting against my palms. This is all so fucked. How did I even convince myself I could do this? How did I even imagine I could figure out who killed her... maybe she hurt herself? No. No. You can’t stab yourself 30 times at the angle the wounds were and have done it yourself. Someone did this to her and covered it up in the reports. I have to remind myself. Again. I can’t get lost in the rush of the bullying. Or get lost in the boys that might have led her to slaughter. Everyone is still a suspect, and my number one suspect's phone content is currently loading onto my computer.

Like I told Zepp, this is a piece of cake. It’s like I’ve prepared to do this my whole life. From an outsider’s perspective, it is impossible to break through the code Carter has in place. From a computer genius’s perspective, my software can break through anything in a matter of minutes. So I don’t have to figure out whether his code is his dick length or his birthday or his mommy’s birthday or whatever people use as their codes. It could be 12345 for all I know, but who is stupid enough to do that?

My software pings, loading the contents of Carter’s phone onto my screen. From here I can mirror everything he does from here on out and get all his notifications, including emails and text messages. The only downfall? I can’t screen his live phone calls. I can see who called. But what they talk about will be a mystery. One of these days, someone out there will invent a phone call recording app transferable to my software.

My leg bounces again with the exhilaration of finally seeing what this phone holds. All-day it’s sat protected in my skirt, burning a hole in it. I could have skipped class and done this right away, but despite being invisible, my attendance is mandatory. And my education is very important to me.

I go straight for the kill, searching through every---What. The. Hell. I blink twice to make sure I’m seeing straight. There’s... nothing. Blank. Nadda. Not a trace. No text messages available. No phone records. No emails. There’s nothing. I look through his internet history—a bunch of nothing. This has been on my mind all day and this fucker erases everything! My knuckles knock into the wood of my desk, forcing my lungs to expand from the pain exploding in my hand. Crap. So this won’t be as easy as I thought. There’s still a way. Always a way. Like most computers, you can’t erase everything, it’s always still there. Whether it’s in the cloud or buried in the deep depths of the hard drive. I can find it. It just takes time. Lots of time. Thankfully, I have time right now.

With a grunt of frustration, I dig, cutting through the red-ribboned protective software. Strip by strip, piece by piece, I finally cut through the bullshit masking his secrets. Crap. It’s AntiEyes. One of the many programs designed for privacy. Drug dealers use it, the mafia uses it—shit—even the president uses it. But don’t ask me how I know that. I most definitely didn’t dig through the White House’s protected files, glimpsing their protection protocols. Not me. Never. I wouldn’t do something evil and illegal like that. At least that’s what I tell myself.

AntiEyes has its perks. A lot of them, actually. When I first learned about it last year, it intrigued me, so much so, I did my research. From every keystroke to your emails, and down to your text messages, AntiEyes erases it immediately. Tucking the information away into a small part of your hard drive, covered in darkness. Much like a black hole. With lots and lots of red tape hovering above it, blocking it from prying eyes. What goes into the deepest darkest depths of the black hole, stays there. But much like gravity, what gets sucked into the shitty black hole has to come back out at some point. And that’s exactly what my software does within a matter of ten minutes. It sucks every ounce of information out as if it were a vacuum and his privacy was the dirt it devoured.

The contacts hidden in the darkness come rolling out first. Dad. Mother. Cuntface, I’m guessing Piper. Gold digging whore. Hmm—maybe that’s his stepmother? Piper’s mom? Odd, though. Her mother comes from money. Maybe the divorce left her penniless? Then the names edge off into obscure names. Alpha. Omega. Beta. Delta. Dickhead. Douchecanoe. Master Douchebag. Slugeater. Pantylicker. I—mean... what the hell? Who gives their contacts these awful names? But I mean, if he’s looking for anonymity, then he’s got it.

The emails ping in next, followed by the internet searches, and then finally the holy grail flashes across my computer screen. The text messages. The emails show nothing of interest, just like Harlow’s. Its scholarship information, college information, and sports information. Seems he’s going to CaliState for soccer, of all things. He doesn’t seem the type, honestly. More of the football type, like Seger and Zepp. He’s built for it. All that mean, lean muscle hiding beneath his rough exterior. My imagination conjures that angry, twisting sneer he wears so well. Mowing players down left and right, scoring on his own. With his rage, he could easily be the only player on the field and probably win by 50 points.

When I finally dive into the text messages---my brain turns to mush. Literal mush. There’s so much here. So many questions pop into my mind.

Pantylicker, Slugeater, Alpha, and Omega, all have a group chat with him.

Pantylicker: that shit was epic, wasn’t it?

Slugeater: didn’t seem phased to me.

Omega: it was bullshit... she just walked away

Carter: just leave it be for now…. Alpha will be in touch.

Odd. It seems like... they are talking about me. Maybe? Was it the stinky poop in the locker thing? I’m surprised I haven’t gotten an email about that yet. Like the door. The hallway still smells like shit anyway……

Alpha: Family meeting. I will call in five minutes, you know the drill.

Carter: Yes, alpha.

More messages like the ones above pour in over the next several minutes. I save every one to my computer so I could look into it more. Plus, with new ones from mirroring his phone, I’ll never be out of the loop. Unless he realizes what I’ve done. Then—well — I’m roadkill. Probably worse than that. My body will be found in a ditch somewhere, rotting, because Carter is a ruthless psycho. Or he’ll dissolve my wrecked body in acid or something. I shake my head at the thoughts swirling about my death. No. He can’t really kill me, can he?

This Alpha though. They said nothing more than “family meeting” over the messages. Just like in the cafeteria when Carter came smashing over to Piper my first day. Alpha means…. the one in charge. Are they the ones pulling all the strings? Damn it, I wish I could hear phone calls! But what if…..

I look up Alpha in his contacts and find the number associated with it. My tracer works quickly and efficiently, pinging me with the results within a minute. My heart stops at the name in front of me, it’s something I’ve never seen before.

The Apocalypse.

That’s it. That’s who it traced me to. There’s not a physical address. There’s nothing there. Just…. The Apocalypse. So what am I to think? Is this Alpha, the Apocalypse... the end to everything? To me? If he’s pulling the strings with a name like that, I’m thoroughly screwed.

Tristan: I got an idea on how to trace that camera.

Me: Finally, I thought you forgot about me. :)

Tristan: I could never forget about you. Have faith, Addi.

Me: All my faith is in you right now, Tristan. I really need some good news.

Tristan: are those fucking bastards giving you a hard time?

Me: Nothing I can’t handle.

Tristan: give me their fucking names I’ll write the walls with their fucking blood

Me: Jesus…… what’s gotten into you today?

Tristan: No bullshit? Just some fucked up things going on... can’t talk about it.

Me: No bullshit? Me too.

Tristan types out some long and drawn-out process to track the camera placed in my room a week ago. It’s a process, something that will take some time to dial into, but it’s an idea at least. Better than I had before.

Seger: you fucking coming? It’s 4. Unless you're dead... which wouldn’t fkn surprise me.

I frown at his message. How’d he get my number? Freaking Chase. Ugh. I type a few lines into the computer, beginning my manual trace—part one, and sit back. I can leave it for the few hours it’ll take to break down the security codes put in place on the camera. I drop Carter’s belongings into my pocket again, intending to drop them in the library, somewhere he’ll find it again. So he thinks he lost them and never finds out I took them. Again, death and all. I’d like to stay alive.

Me: on my way, lost track of time.

Seger: and I thought you’d be the punctual one, glad you’re not dead.

Me: Right. Give me a minute. Still alive, thanks.

Seger punches the library table as I arrive. And then does it again and again. Reddening his fist to the shade of a tomato, much like his snarling face.

“Mr. West! If you continue that ruckus, I must ask you to leave.” The librarian hisses towards our table. The veins in her forehead protrude, giving her face an almost purple appearance.

Seger’s nostrils flare in irritation, fingers strumming wildly through his hair. “Math threatening your puppy?” I ask, sitting across from him. I grab my books, spread them out, and then snatch the offending math paper in front of him. Another F. It is only the first week of school, and he’s already failing this course. Fantastic. I have my work cut out for me. Good thing Seger is a quick study.

“Not math,” he fumes, placing his forehead onto the table. “Stupid fucking BULLSHIT.” He grumbles towards the floor, whisper-shouting his words.

“Mr. West!” The librarian yells again, climbing to her swollen feet.

“Fuck off! You have a job because we pay your over-inflated salary! Sit down,” he growls, staring over at her with malice dripping from his words. She pales, stumbling to her seat, fumbling with the computer in front of her. Trying to pretend a student didn’t put her in her place.

“That wasn’t very nice of you,” I say, peering at him from across the table. A grunt and a middle finger greet me. I sigh, we will get nowhere with this math if he keeps acting out. Although I’m finally glimpsing the real Seger, Magnolia described once or twice.

“What’s wrong, Seger?” I ask, placing my hands under my chin. I lean my elbow onto the table, chills rising up my spine. His mouth curls back into a snarl, finger jabbing into the paper in front of me.

“If I don’t get at least a fucking B in this impossible fucking class, I can’t play football. And if I can’t play fucking football, then I can’t go to CaliState, and if I can’t make it to CaliState, my fucking gold digger of a step-mom gets every god-damned thing my father has worked for and it’ll fuck me when I go into his fucking business!” He pinches the bridge of his nose, breathing harshly. His chest vibrates as he inhales and exhales. With a clenched fist, he hits the table again, without the angry yells of the librarian.

He buries his face in his hands out of frustration. “Well, I can help with math,” I whisper, trying to figure this situation out. How do I make sure he doesn’t blow up on me too?

“Yeah, yeah, New Girl, I know,” he mumbles into his hands, sliding them down his face. Regret flashes through his eyes. “Sorry, just frustrated today. You really helped with your method yesterday.” He shakes his head with a defeated sigh. “Can you explain this new shit to me too?”

“Yeah,” His whole body relaxes at my statement, his rage seeming to melt away.

“Give me a second,” he holds up a finger and walks away. I watch in utter fascination as he transforms, going from the rage monster to relaxed and all smiles before my eyes. Seger saunters over to the librarian with the world’s biggest smile lighting up his face, charming her with his smooth as ice words. Muttering words I can’t hear, but by the look on her face, it’s an apology. She looks up at him, respect gleaming in her eyes. She nods, smiling back, blushing all over. He waves at her and walks back towards me.

“I’m going to have to cut out early, last-minute practice tonight.” He says sitting back down, looking down at the scrap piece of paper I started scribbling notes for him on.

“That’s fine,” I say, starting my session with him.

An hour passes and Seger’s mood improves. He’s gone from melodramatic to pleasant. It’s easy to see why Seger frightened Magnolia with his outbursts. Harsh words slipped out an hour ago, along with the table beating, and I can only imagine how much worse he could get. He was ready to take it out on the silver-haired librarian. But his quick charm turned the whole situation upside-down.

Seger finishes up a problem, handing the piece of paper back to me. I check it over, smiling at his improvement. “You’re learning fast. Your step monster won’t have a chance.” I say sliding the paper back to him. He cocks his head to the side, checking me over, confusion flashing in his eyes.

Zepp appears out of nowhere, taps his brother on the shoulder, and nods towards the exit. Seger looks down at his smartwatch and grimaces. “Sorry, I have to take off. Thanks for the help, I’ll see ya Monday?” Hopeful eyes meet mine and I nod.

“See you Monday,” I say through a small smile. They take off in the opposite direction, leaving me in the dust. As I gather my paper into my bag, hushed whispers greet my ears. Making my way down a back aisle, I follow what sounds like Zepp’s voice. He’s muttering something. More than something, maybe harsh words? Words filled with panic and helplessness.

“You’re going to have to peel him out of bed,” I stop on the opposite side of a stack of books, peering through a tiny hole, completely hidden from their view by the books above and below me. Ainsley leans against a row of books with her arms crossed.

“Damnit,” Seger breaths. “He hasn’t been this bad... since…”

“I know,” Ainsley mumbles. “It’s like it’s happening all over again.”

“We have to make her leave before….”

“I know,” sadness seeps into her voice. “Just like last time. But will it work?” She asks with blood-shot eyes. Finally, making eye contact with the twins hovering above her.

“No,” Zepp snorts, peering over my way, but quickly turns back to her. Phew — I’m still invisible. “She’s stubborn,” he sighs.

“Too fucking stubborn,” Seger replies, shaking his head.

“Then what?” Ainsley says looking to them for answers.

“We’ll figure it out,” Zepp replies with a resigned sigh.

“I’ll work on Chase. Dude can’t miss practice again. Coach will blow a gasket if he doesn’t show his face.” Seger says, starting to walk away. Zepp and Ainsley talk for a few more minutes. My brain wanders a million miles away, trying to dissect their words.

“You find what you were fucking looking for?” Carter’s cruel voice breaths in my ear again, body heat engulfing my back. Shivers run down my back when his warm breaths blow across my bare neck. My eyes close in a panic, my brain catching up with the situation. “I don’t think I’ve ever met a dumber fucking broad than you.” He growls again. Crap. Yeah, he caught me. Mental note—thoroughly pissing off a violent, biting dog is never in my best interest. Especially Carter. When the boys warned me how dangerous he is, I should have listened. Hopefully, my body parts will still be intact when he’s through with me.

“Took you long enough,” I mutter. His fingers dig deep into my skirt pockets, searching for the prize in its depths. Growling like a wild, dangerous animal taking back his possessions. One by one. You know, all of them. Keys. Wallet. Phone. I lifted his entire life in one swipe of his pockets. My body whirls around against my will to face his snarling face. His fingers wrap around my neck again, but like in the alley, he doesn’t squeeze. It’s more of a dominance, control kind of squeeze.

“I beat my fucking head against the wall, trying to figure out who the fuck had the balls to take my shit. And wouldn’t you fucking know it? My little bitch ass troll has some big goddamn balls.” He moves into my personal space, learning from his previous ball kick. Leaning his tight body against mine, putting tiny amounts of pressure into my neck. Leaning my head backward so I’m staring up at his ugly, sneering face. Well... ugly isn’t exactly the way to describe him. No, Carter’s hot. In that, “I’m bad for your health” kind of way. Kind of like a drug you shouldn’t consume, knowing it how addictive it will be. But do it anyway, facing the dire consequences.

“How far did you get, little troll? Did your beady little eyes feast on all my secrets?” He smirks through that sentence, roughly pressing my back into the bookcase behind me.

“Not very far. AntiEyes a bitch.” His face pales for the first time I’ve ever seen. Actually pales. Looking more like a ghost who hasn’t touched sunlight in years with panic roaring through his eyes.

“I fucking knew it,” he whispers, wiggling my head with his fist slightly. “I fucking knew you pulled that shit with Harlow and as hilarious as it fucking was, you are as fucking stupid as you look.” I frown at his use of words. Stupid? Who’s he calling stupid?

“I resent that,” I mutter. “I’m not stupid.”

“Oh no, obviously fucking not, Troll. You fucking,” he cracks a smile at that, looking away. “You fucking hacked that her FlashGram and made up that disgusting gonorrhea bullshit.” He chuckles through that, shaking his head like it’s the best joke he’s ever heard.

“That wasn’t bullshit,” I say again. His eyebrows raise.

“No shit?” He asks, smirking.

“No shit,” I reply.

“Enlighten me, how the fuck did you get her medical shit?” He asks, raising his brows.

“Patient portal,” I reply, my neck stiffening from the force of having to look up at his giant ass.

“And?” He questions. “How the fuck did you do that? That shits impossible unless you have the right tools.” Crap. Crap. He’s fishing for answers. Avoid, avoid, avoid!

“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I guessed the password, simple.” His eyes narrow in on me again.

“Normal people don’t know shit about AntiEyes or how to get into a two-step verified FlashGram account, and they fucking definitely don’t guess passwords to Patient Portals to view vile as fuck test results.” He eyes my face, shaking his head. “You’re a goddamned computer genius locked in the body of a fucking troll.” He grumbles, losing his hold on my neck. He steps back, running his hands nervously through his hair.

“I’ll ask again, how fucking far did you make it into my phone?” Fuck my life, he knows. He freaking knows exactly what I did. I could tell him everything or I could get the answers I need. I need him to play my game of twenty questions. Now to see if he’ll cooperate.

“Who is the Apoco--” His hand covers my mouth in a second.

“You shut the fuck up.” He hisses, “Don’t you say that name aloud again.” He hisses again. I run my tongue over his palm, but he only tightens his hold on my mouth.

“Well... who is he?” My muffled voice vibrates against his palm, but instead of answering me like a normal person, he spins my body around. Pulling my back to his chest, he picks me up like I’m as light as a feather. I kick my feet, but his strong arms circle me, making my struggles futile.

“For fuck’s sakes, don’t kick my god damned dick again. You know how fucking long it took to get over your last wicked knee jab? Stay fucking still.” He grumbles in my ear. “We’re going to talk…. where cameras aren’t, because if you haven’t fucking realized they follow everything you do through them, then you are fucking stupid.” He grumbles more, kicking open… the boy’s bathroom off the library. Not again!

He tosses me down, my front colliding with the wall. I squeal as his hand presses into my back. “I’m going to lock this door, you fucking check the stalls, then we chat.” He pushes me away. I duck my head, checking each stall for signs of life, but there’s no one in here.

“It’s clear,” I say folding my arms across my chest. “Was all this necessary?” I ask, gesturing towards the bathroom. “I’m really tired of getting thrown into the guy's disgusting bathrooms. Our parents pay a ton of money... and it’s so gross in here. It smells like piss... and... Ew… shit.” My nose wrinkles at the disgusting smells. This one is way dingier than the last one the twins threw me in. How do I keep getting myself into these types of situations?

He rubs his fingers over his palm, wiping away my spit. Secretly sending an odd thrill through me, I at least got to him riled up a bit. I could have bit his fingers off for that stunt, he’s lucky he has any digits left and only got a tongue lick to the palm. Wait—where has that palm been? Ew. He could have — touched himself. I wonder what gets Cruel Carter off? What kind of lover is he? Rough? Crazy? Wait — why am I wondering these things about him? Crap. Stupid brain, stop conjuring up these images. Focus. Crazy man in a bathroom alone with you, focus Kaycee.

“Are you fucking done bitching yet?” He asks, stalking towards me. Oh right, that scary, sneering face is exactly what he’d look like screwing someone. Although—oh no, not sexy, Kaycee, focus. Stupid bad boy attraction. For the first time since meeting him, I want to pee my pants. Danger wafts off of him like a stench, heightening my fight-or-flight mode. My muscles turn rigid. He easily lifted me to the bathroom and locked the door. Closing us off from the world or people who could help me if he beat me bloody and left me to die. A sharp shiver sparks up my spin, draining my confidence. But I can’t give up in the face of danger — no. I have to be like Simba, right? I laugh in the face of danger! Bwahaha.

Yeah — I’ll keep telling myself that for now.

“I quite enjoy bitching, as you say.” I lift my chin in defiance, looking earth’s Devil in his clouded over eyes. He squints, eyes zoning in on my hard swallow.

“I can fucking tell, now listen to me,” he gets right in my face, pointing a finger at my nose. “That name. That one you tried to say? Don’t. Don’t speak it aloud. Those fucking cameras? They catch every fucking thing in this school... and who do you think it goes to?” My stomach drops to my feet, parting my lips from the surprise.

“The camera in my room,” I whisper unintentionally before I can sink my teeth into my tongue to stop my rogue mouth.

“Your room? You kinky?” He asks through a grunt.

“Fuck off. Someone put a camera in my vent.” Now, why am I telling him this again? Right, because I can’t stop myself from saying stupid words.

“It’s them.” He says finally, rubbing his hand over his jaw. “Fucking them.” He grunts, turning his body from me. His fingers run through his blonde hair at a frantic pace, ruffling up his locks.

“Who is them?” I ask, shaking my head. “This makes no sense, none of this shit makes sense…” First Magnolia... now me? Why me? Have they found out what I’m here to do and want to silence me?

“I know your ass by now, stop asking stupid questions. Seriously… it’s going to get you killed.” He growls in a warning.

“But all this? The texts, the threats, is it them?” I ask through a high-pitched squeal, trying to control the panic bleeding through my veins. My palms sweat. My throat constricts, tightening my breathes. With a heaving chest, I look back at Carter who is in front of me again. Eyes wide, taking in the effect his words are having on me.

“More stupid fucking questions.” He says again. “If there’s one thing you should understand about this hellhole you call home, is secrets in this place are like currency, little troll. If you have any…….. you’re fair game. If they say slash tires, you slash tires. If they say jump off a bridge, then you do it. Or all your shit is out for the world to see. You don’t play their game, they take you down in a fiery pit and scorch you until everyone knows what you’ve done. Big or small, they exploit you, ruin you, and then you’re theirs.” He raises his brow and looks over his shoulder. His throat bobs, eyes focusing back on me.

My heart nearly stops in my chest. Bright white dots form in my vision as the kingdom around me comes crashing down. The world crumbles before my feet, an earthquake taking over my trembling hands. I haven’t stumbled upon some simple bullying scenario. No. Nothing in this place is in black and white. No — I’ve fallen into the grey abyss, a middle area. I’ve stumbled upon some black-cloak wearing underground bullshit cult, manipulating everyone around them with the most simple tool they have. Something so simple, it’s been around for generations upon generations. Hell — at one point the head of the FBI used it to get what he wanted. More terms in office. He even got a building named after him. He used pictures, cameras, and videos. Anything he could get his hands on to break the people surrounding him. So it seems to me, this Apocalypse person, whoever they are, is throwing their weight around through these same means. Behind the scenes, using anyone and everyone to get what they want. But what they want, exactly, is what I don’t know.

“Blackmail?” I ask, looking up at him for confirmation.

“More stupid fucking questions,” He says nodding his head up and down. And that’s all the confirmation I need. Blackmail, blackmail, that’s how they’re getting everyone to do their dirty work. Bringing more and more questions to the tip of my tongue, but I think I’ve worn out my welcome with the devil before me.

“Now…. the real reason I brought you here. You can’t steal my shit, hack into it, and get away with it. Time to learn a lesson, sweetheart.” A cruel smile, much like his name, appears on his lips. Pulling back into a wicked grin he should never wear around anyone unless he wants them to pee their pants. Which—well — he’s getting the desired effect right now. Horns and a tail could sprout from his body with hellfire erupting around him while cackling like a witch. And I’d believe it. Evil. Dangerous. Words to describe the man in front of me.

His hand darts out so fast, fisting in my hair, I can’t react fast enough. The roots pull, a scream pulling from my throat. I thrash my body, trying to loosen his grip on my hair. I try to go for his groin again, but he’s adapted to my defensive moves. Despite my attempts to flee, my feet drag on the floor and it’s useless. He has at least a hundred pounds on me, there’s no fighting against him. He leads me to the wheelchair accessible bathroom stall, slamming the door behind us. He kicks behind my knees, making me fall to the ground, hovering my face above the toilet. The disgusting, shit-stained toilet. With a pee ring yellowing the brim, a mere inch away from my nose. I widen my eyes. He may not kill me, but he’s going to drown me in someone else’s piss.

“Oh NOO! NOO! Not this!” I shout as he forces my face into the toilet. Cold water hits my face as I try to force my way back out. My eyes and mouth firmly squeeze shut, trying to avoid inhaling the water.

“No more stupid fucking question. No more stealing my shit.” He says into my ear, bringing my head back out of the water. I gasp for air, pulling the freshness into my burning lungs. “Tread lightly, Kaycee. I know I’ve warned you before but from here on out. These games only get worse.”

I cough into the air, settling my breaths. “How do I make it stop?” I whisper, pleading for him to give me an answer. But my face finds the disgusting toilet water again, and he holds my head there for what seems like forever. Black dots dance in my vision before he finally pulls my head out again. Water flies everywhere, as I cough and sputter, trying to get the water out of my nose and mouth. I’m going to need an hour shower again when I get home.

“You wanna stay alive, Kaycee? Do you want to go back to mommy and daddy at Christmas time?” He whispers in my ear, draping the wet strands of my hair behind my ear. I nod, because what else can I say?

“Then you turn back now, tell them you weren’t cut out for this place. The Apocalypse, whoever he may be, is out for your fucking heart. You think this swirly and a dildo in your locker is all they have in store for you? No. So much fucking worse, Kaycee Cole. Go home. Live. And don’t come back.” He shoves my head to the side, knocking into the stall’s wall. I wipe the water from my face, sighing at his warning words. I get to my feet, dusting my skirt down, and look back up at Carter. He shoves his hands in his pockets, staring at me in almost disbelief. My chin lifts, confidence soaring through me. He thinks gross toilet water, a dildo, and threats could keep me from finding the answers I need? He’s dead wrong.

“I can’t do that, Carter. Tell the Apocalypse to bring it. I’m not leaving here until I’ve figured out what I came here for.” His lips form a deep frown.

“Fucking stupid bitch. You think this is something to play around with? You heard about those kids in the Bluff, right? Just down the street? Those bodies they found?” I nod my head. Because yeah, I heard about them, but they weren’t students here, just ordinary people from town. Suicides were found by the police, at least once a month.

“That was for fun. You’re business, Kaycee, and obviously, you’re sticking your sticky little troll nose in places it shouldn’t be.” He growls again, rage flashing in his eyes at my attitude. But he doesn’t get it. His friend isn’t laying in a grave because someone stabbed her 30 times and covered it up with the flick of his wrist. No. He’s never been through something like that. He’s just a spoiled rich boy with an attitude for miles and evil running through his veins.

“I’m not leaving,” I say again in a stronger voice. Carter scoffs at me, throwing open the stall door, and stalks out.

“Your fucking funeral then, bitch.” He says right before he leaves. I stare at my wet reflection in the mirror, tasting bile on my tongue. On the plus side, I got cryptic answers. On the negative side, I’m soaking wet and still have more stupid questions.

When will I win this?

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