Two weeks 1 day later
A war had broken out. If I’m being honest, it was inevitable, but now it was full-on war. It had been two weeks and one day since Oliver had defaced my locker and I’d broken his nose and fractured his jaw. The school had suspended us both for two weeks.
The Blackthorns and Ravenwoods had all taken sides and as for Chase: he said he would stay at Ryder’s house, we didn’t want to risk anyone at school finding out Chase was staying with me, people would go crazy.
If I’m being honest I was pretty annoyed at Chase for choosing Ravenwood, I knew that that was his school and all, but Oliver started this fight. It wasn’t our fault.
“We could light a fire.” Wild said jumping up onto the playground wall, “And blame it on them.”
It was the third time she had suggested that, I was starting to get concerned.
“If you keep saying that, people are going to start wondering if you’re the one who burned our actual school down.”
Nobody actually knew who burned down Blackthorn High, but whoever it was, was some evil genius, because now we were stuck here with the Ravenwoods.
“I still can’t believe Ryder and Chase picked Ravenwood, especially since Oliver clearly deserved what he got.”
Telling Wild about Taylor had been hard. At first, she was mad at herself for not noticing, then really upset because I didn’t tell her and she thought I trusted her. And then angry at Taylor, really angry.
“It doesn’t matter, we’ll be out of here soon enough, only a couple more months then Blackthorn will have been rebuilt.”
“Can’t wait to leave this all behind.” Wild sighed looking out at the school.
“What? All the clean floors and functioning bathrooms and non-flickering lights and textbooks without missing pages?”
“Well no, not that. It’s just, when we’re here at Ravenwood, we’re outsiders. No matter how shitty Blackthorn was, that was our school.”
Truly speaking, I didn’t know why Wild went to Blackthorn. Her parents were next-level rich, she even lived closer to Ravenwood, in a nice neighbourhood, I only recently moved house to get away from the crime, but that was only after Mum got pregnant with Storm. Wild could afford to go to private school, I didn’t know why she didn’t.
“We should probably head to divided Maths.” I said glancing at the time.
According to Wild, after mine and Oliver’s fight, smaller fights had broken out between kids in the two schools, so the teachers had gone back to what they did last year- divided classes. Now Chase and I weren’t in any of the same classes.
Not that I cared anyway, right? I mean we weren’t even friends. Not anymore. Even though every time I felt like the world around me was falling apart, he somehow managed to make everything seem a little better. Even though I should hate him. Even though every time he walked in the room I had this strange kind of nervous feeling. Even though all I could think about lately was the hazel in his eyes and the sharp lines of slender muscle running across his body and the…
“Blaze!” Wild hissed elbowing me as though trying to impale my arm on her elbow.
Miss Keenan was standing over my desk arms folded in annoyance. She had never liked me very much, probably because Mum slept with her husband.
“As I was saying…” She said carrying in with the lesson.
Wild turned to me.
“What is up with you?” She whispered.
Besides daydreaming about a straight boy I was supposed to hate?
Her eyes widened.
“You were thinking about someone. A boy obviously, who?”
I didn’t say anything, not when we were surrounded by a load of Blackthorns. Unfortunately, Wild was too persistent for her own good.
I looked away, fearful of what I might give away in my face if she said Chase’s name.
“Wild, just leave it.” I sighed.
“No, Wild seriously.”
She hesitated for a moment before quietly murmuring.
Maybe if I lied she would leave it alone.
She bit her lip thoughtfully and rolled her eyes before smiling psychotically just how she had taught Storm to.
“It’s Chase isn’t it?” She whispered.
“What? No, I don’t even like him.” I said.
“Hmmm, sure. We’ll discuss this further at lunch.”
But just as we were dismissed for lunch later that day, I planned to quickly run to the boys’ bathroom. However, Wild rugby tackled me to the ground with an excessive and uncalled amount of force. As if she wasn’t a normal human being and was incapable of basic communication, my best friend dragged me into an empty French classroom and slammed the door shut.
“Wild I don’t have a crush on Chase.”
“And even if I did, which I don’t…”
“Blaze, Chase likes you too.”
The fuck? No, he didn’t. He hated me. He was Chase Lopez, as in my enemy/friend/crush/fighting partner.
“Wild he’s straight.”
“What? No he isn’t.”
How would she know that? He’d only ever had girlfriends, he just dated Holly Valentine last month.
“And how would you know?”
“My boyfriend told me obviously.”
Wild had been on about some secret boyfriend, something about forbidden love and a Romeo and Juliet situation. But I was pretty sure she was only saying that because I hid my relationship with Taylor and she wanted to get even.
“Well, even if he’s not straight, we’re completely incompatible.” I said.
Wild was about to reply before we were interrupted by the sound of teachers coming down the corridor towards the classroom. We had kind of forgotten that we weren’t in a movie, we couldn’t just walk into a random classroom and stay there as though it didn’t actually belong to a teacher.
“I’m just saying, you two would make a pretty cute couple.” She laughed as we made our way to the cafeteria.
“Don’t torture me.” I groaned.
“Oh come on Blaze, I see the way Chase looks at you. You two always look like you’re either about to eat each other’s faces off, or rip each other’s faces off.”
Because what Wild had described there was a perfectly healthy relationship, wasn’t it?
“No we don’t.” I said quickly, too quickly.
Wild stopped walking, pausing for dramatics because everything with her was a performance.
“What happened? Did you guys kiss?”
“No, we didn’t.” I said firmly, “But we nearly maybe did, a while ago, in the kitchen, I was upset and it was late. But we didn’t, he didn’t.”
“Did you want to?”
“I was with Taylor.”
“You’re not answering the question.”
“Yes, maybe, I don’t know. But we didn’t.”
“But you wanted to.”
“Wild just leave it.”
“Okay fine.” She said waiting a few seconds to speak again, “But you want to fuck him, right?”
“Ew Wild shut up, no.”
She smirked, what was she smirking about? She was the one with the obsessive crush on Ryder June, if anything I should be interrogating her, although I had already heard her incredibly detailed make out fantasies about him.
“Well, my informant says he likes you too.” She said.
Of course, because her imaginary boyfriend was very helpful. What was up with people and imaginary boyfriends/girlfriends? Chase said Ryder too had made up some secret girlfriend who he had refused to disclose the identity of.
“It doesn’t matter; we’re not getting together.”
“Aw, why not?”
But as we walked into the cafeteria, it was pretty clear as to why. There was Chase, talking to Holly Valentine, she was laughing and touching his arm, flicking her hair back like the perfect high-school cheerleader cliché.
“Fuck Ravenwood.” I muttered under my breath as Wild and I went to sit with the other Blackthorns.
Barely ten minutes passed before two Ravenwoods walked past our table whispering, the boy looked up for a second and murmured something to the girl. I only caught the end of the sentence but it ended with ‘fucking slut’.
“Something you want to say?” I snarled standing up.
They both flinched and the girl took a step backwards but the boy scoffed and straightened himself.
“Yeah, it’s just hard to eat with all you Blackthorn sluts ruining the view.” He said before glancing at Wild, “Except you gorgeous.”
Wild physically choked on her soda water as he said that.
“Call me a slut again.” I said curling my fists up.
“Okay, slut.” He grinned.
I lunged forwards ready to murder him in that instance. My feet left the ground, and I raised my arm, but my fist never connected. Arms were around my waist pulling me away, arms I recognised instantly.
“Blaze stop it, it’s not worth it.” Chase said as he put me back down and the other boy went back to his friends, laughing like he was the King of the fucking world.
“Don’t tell me what to do.” I snapped ready to run after the King.
Chase grabbed my arm again and this time, I turned around and sucker-punched him. I hadn’t meant to actually hurt him and send him crashing into the wall, I just wanted him to leave me alone like he’d done so perfectly for the last two weeks.
“What’s wrong with you?” He shouted.
“I hate you!” I shouted back.
Complete silence. I did hate him. I hated Chase more than anyone else. I hated that he had waltzed into my life and made me fall in love with him, he’d made me fall in love with him and I couldn’t have him. I hated his stupid lips, and his stupid eyes, and his stupid laugh, and his stupid voice, and his stupid everything.