A lady in a crisp pantsuit with red hair all smoothly twisted up on top of her head gives me a cool smile.
"Hello, you must be Gracelyn." I smile and nod politely. "Here are the books and supplies you will need for your classes. This is your schedule, your handbook, and your map." She hands me a pile of papers and textbooks. The textbooks look brand new. The spines aren't even broken in. My old school had books from the fifties still in circulation.
"Thank you." I say placing them in my bag but keep out my map and schedule. I look up to see a surprised expression on her face.
"You're welcome. Miss. Lowell, would you mind showing Miss. Jacobs around?" She asks looking at Kennedy.
"On it Ms. G." She grins looping arms with me and leading me out into the crowded halls. She shows me a giant library with floor to ceiling book shelves. It even has the wheeled ladders. I did the Belle spin from beauty and the beast. I am not ashamed. If ever there was a library specifically made for the spin it is this library.
"You a nerd too?" She asks.
"Unapologetically." I smile.
"Good. We can talk books and movies together. What are you up to tonight?" She grins.
"I gotta run downtown and maybe hit the gym but that's about it. Oh! And I have to meet my grandparents." I remember.
"I was wondering if you wanted to hang out tonight. Maybe tomorrow?" She asks.
"Well if you want to slum it with me tonight downtown you can." I smile.
"Ok, sounds good. I take it you have to pick up some stuff from your old place?"
"Nah. I got most of my stuff. I need to let some friends of mine know what's going on or they'll worry." I shrug.
"Got it. Ya, sounds like a plan." She grins. I'm excited Ray is going to love her.
It turns out Kennedy is in a few of my classes so we hang out and ignore the looks I'm getting until lunch where she shows me to the cafeteria.
We make our way to the line and I pick up a dish of French fries and a soda. I hear an obnoxious gasp from behind me. I turn to see a tall blonde with fake tits. Who has a boob job at seventeen?
"Kennedy who's your girlfriend?" She sneers. I glance at Kennedy who looks like she wants the floor to swallow her whole.
"Hi, I'm Grace." I smile.
"You're actually her girlfriend?" She gasps loudly attracting attention from the people around us. I shrug non-committally and keep a sweet smile on my face.
"God, this place has gone to the dogs." She scoffs. "A bunch of fags just walking around like nothing is wrong. Unbelievable." My smile loses a bit of its sweetness as I step towards her. I lean in and whisper in her ear.
"It really has gone to the dogs if bitches like you are let out of their pens." I pull back with another sweet smile plastered on my face and watch her sputter with rage. I turn to Kennedy and loop my arm through hers. "C'mon babe."
"You are my favorite person ever." She whispers.
"I take it that was part of the Bitch Brigade?" I ask.
"Ya, that's Addison." She says as we pay for our lunches and find a seat. I manage to sit with my back to the wall without suspicion. "Are you really ok with me being gay?" She says nervously.
"Why wouldn't I be? If it's who you are, it's who you are." I shrug. This poor girl must deal with some serious shit.
"You really are my favorite person." She mutters with a devious smile. "What did you say to her?"
"I told her it really has gone to the dogs if bitches like her are allowed out of their pens." I smile sweetly and bat my eyelashes. She sprays her apple juice across the table laughing. I hand her a napkin and start helping her clean up while we laugh.
"Hey Kennedy, what's so funny?" A deep voice asks. I look up and see grey eyes in a rough handsome face. He has a strapping figure with broad shoulders and distractingly thick arms. He's not the one speaking but he sends me a crooked smile that makes my heart pound anyway.
"Grace was just telling me a joke." She lies smoothly. I try to suppress a smile as I take a bite of my french fry.
"I don't think we've met. I'm Alek and this is my buddy Keir." Keir's friend smiles.
"Hey." I say with a smile looking at both of them.
"Do you mind if we join you ladies?" Alek asks. I shrug and look to Kennedy.
"Sure, have a seat boys!" She grins gesturing to the table like Vanna White. They each take a seat on either side of us and set down their trays of food. Alek has a burger and Keir has a slice of pizza. The pizza smells like heaven.
"I didn't know they had pizza." I wish I had.
"They don't. We left and picked it up. Same with the burger." Keir mutters quietly. I see Alek and Kennedy stare at him in shock out of the corner of my eye. I decide to ignore them.
"Where? It smells better than Theo's." I grin. He chuckles.
"It's from Russo's. Where's Theo's? I've never heard of it." He asks.
"Little place downtown. So much grease." I laugh. "And you can get a slice and a can of pop for two dollars." He chuckles.
"Ya, Russo's is like forty bucks for a pie."
"Jesus Christ." I mutter causing them all to laugh. I don't know how that's funny. That's fucking bullshit is what it is. No pizza is that good.
"So what are you ladies up to tonight?" Alek asks.
"Kennedy is slumming it with me tonight before I have to meet my grandparents." I say easily trying to ignore the gilded pizza beside me.
"Slumming it eh?" Alek chuckles.
"Ya I have to see some friends downtown." I say munching on another fry.
"Downtown? Isn't that a little rough for a little thing like you?" Alek teases. I know he doesn't mean it to be mean but it makes me bristle.
"We'll be fine." I say shortly.
"Are you sure? Maybe they should come with us." Kennedy says gently trying to difuse the situation. I smile at her and nod.
"It's all good. I'll go another day." I shrug. Maybe I'll just call Rudy at the gym and let him know and he can tell Ray. Ya, I'll do that. "What did you want to do?" I ask.
"Want to go see a movie?" She suggests looking a bit pink.
"Sure... oh wait, I gotta check with Andras. He called in the cavalry this morning because I went for a run." I chuckle. I pull out the phone Andras gave me and text him.
Me: Yo! Kennedy wants to go to a movie after school. Is it ok if I go with her?
Andras: Sure. Come by the house after school I'll have Ruby give you the debit card I set up for you.
Me: I'm sorry, the what?
Andras: The bank account. You have an allowance, you need a bank account.
Me: An allowance for what? Ruby hit me when I tried to help with the dishes.
Andras: Do well in school and you get an allowance. I'll leave it with Ruby.
Me: This is not over. Are the grandparents still coming over for dinner?
Andras: No, they're coming tomorrow instead. You're free tonight. Curfew is ten.
I glare at my phone not knowing how to deal with this.
"What's up?" Keir asks.
"Good to go for the movies. I just have to stop at the house first. And no grandparents tonight apparently." I say still glaring at my phone.
"That's ok. I want to get out of this uniform before we go out anyway." Kennedy assures me. "You boys wanna come with us?"
"Sure, what are we seeing?" Keir asks with a crooked smile.
"What do we want?" She asks taking out her phone. "We have a slasher flick, superheroes, or some racing action movie?"
"I vote racing and action." I say before standing up and clearing my tray and putting it away. I come back to see all three of them staring at me like I'm doing something wierd. I release a heavy sigh.
"What did I do now?" I ask.
"You cleaned." Kennedy snorts. I shake my head as I sit down. Fucking rich people.
"I vote racing too." Keir says changing the subject I send him a thankful smile. He nods and goes back to his pizza. I like him. It doesn't hurt that he's gorgeous.
"Ya, racing sounds good." Alek nods.
"Well that settles it. It starts at four." Kennedy grins getting up and putting her tray away. Atta girl! Stick it to the man!
"Hey there sweet thing." A sneering voice says from far too close. I turn to see a tall blonde guy with dull brown eyes and too white too straight teeth. "What are you doing with these assholes?" He laughs putting his hands on the back of Keir's chair. I notice Alek stiffen and Keir's jaw clench.
"Having lunch." I say regarding him. He has a fake smile and an aggressive look in his eye. I don't like him.
"Why didn't you come sit with us?" He asks looking me up and down.
"I don't know you."
"I'm Chad Huntington. I'm the captain of the rugby team." He beams proudly as the bell rings signaling the end of lunch.
"It's nice to meet you, but we better get to class." I say without a smile as I stand up and grab my bag. I see Kennedy wide eyed over by the trash can. I feel a large hand grip my bicep and force me back against a hard chest.
"Let go of me." I say coldly my heart pounding.
"I was talking to you." He breathes in my ear.
"And I was done. Let go of me. I won't say it again." I seeth. He shoves me around to face him so he can stare me down as he presses himself against me. Scarier men have tried and failed to make me do what they want.
"I don't think you know who I am."
"I think I don't care." I glare up at him. I see the flash of rage and I slowly move my hand to the knife at my hip. His rage fades into something worse. Lust.
I feel his hand start to smooth down my arm and migrate to my lower back and slide further down and freeze. My knife pressed against his groin finally getting my point across.
"You ever touch me again I will slice you from head to head. Do you understand me?" I whisper. He nods quickly eyes wide with fear. "Now let go." He does. "Don't come near me. And I believe you owe these gentlemen an apology."
"S-sorry guys. N-no harm right?" He stammers not taking his eyes away from mine.
"Ya. We're good." Alek says I can hear the smile in his voice. Crazy fucker. I take my knife away from Chad's precious parts and resheath it against my thigh.
"Have a great rest of your day Chad." I say cheerfully with a sweet smile. He doesn't hesitate to run to the door to get away from me. I turn to walk over to Kennedy when Alek starts talking.
"What was that?" He asks. I look over my shoulder and see Alek looking thrilled and Keir looking... hungry? Interesting.
"I don't know what you're talking about." I smile and head to Kennedy.