Grace of Spades

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Chapter 6

Keir





I want her. She is everything.

Shes gorgeous, she likes knives and she knows how to use them. She will be my queen.

She doesn't act like the other people here. She's doesn't care about titles or names and the way she talks makes me think she's been through some serious shit.

I want to protect her from everything. Maybe that means she shouldn't be around me but I cant let that happen. She's mine.

I watch her leave the cafeteria with the sway of her hips mesmerizing me.

"I like her." Alek says from beside me. "Shes tougher than she looks."

"Sweeter too." I mutter with a smirk before stalking forward to my next class, gym. I get changed into the gym uniform and ignore the usual locker room talk. I have to grind my teeth when I hear some comments about my Grace. I cant show that I like her too much. It would make her a target and I cant live with that.

Making my way out of the locker room I hear my Grace before I see her.

"I really don't care who you are. You try that shit again and it will be the last thing you do. Do you understand?" She hisses. Whoever she's talking to is silent but I hear a crunch of something before she walks out into the gym and stops my heart.

Her ass in those tiny burgundy shorts is a work of art. Her bouncing chest is wrapped tightly in the standard white tshirt as she makes her way to the coach. Then I see them. Scars.

They litter her tiny body some are big some are just groups of tiny little things. What happened to her?

I barely notice when the coach gestures over to goddamn Liam McConnell. I watch her walk over to him with a friendly smile and they stand together.

Lucky bastard is her partner for the obstacle course. We start with a run around the track outside. I only watch her. I watch her pace herself, and outlast just about everyone. An odd sense of pride fills my chest as I watch her.

She said something to make Liam laugh and I have to force down a growl as I line up behind them at the obstacle course with Alek.

"Breathe, man." Alek chuckles. He has a point i need to calm down. Just as im about to get my heart rate back to normal she pulls her back hair up into a pile ontop of her head and I see she has a tattoo on the back of her neck. Its an intricate black spade with a tiny skull in the middle framed by a curling design.

Alek takes a loud intake of breath that makes me turn to him.

"Later." He says distantly. I dont like it but im cut off by the starting whistle.







Grace



Liam is pretty funny. And he didn't look twice or make a big deal about my scars. I like him. Also, sexy as sin.

We line up at the start of the obstacle course together. Im so excited. I pull up my hair into a get-shit-done bun and hear a gasp from behind me. Shit, my tattoo.

That was fucking sloppy, Grace. Oh well, whats done is done. I'll deal with the aftermath. Its probably worse to hide it again right now. I dont want to draw more attention to it.

The whistle blows and Liam and I charge up the balance beam and swing on the rope across the pit. I keep up with Liam and try not to focus on how deliciously his body moves. We climb the wall and crawl under the net. We jump hurdles until the finish line. We laugh as we cross it with a high five.

We're let out early so I run to showers hoping to make it before anyone sees the full extent of my scars.

I check all the stalls before I get undressed making sure that asshole from before isn't hiding out with another camera. I mean, I already smashed the one. But I dont know how many he has. Rich people are weirder than I gave them credit for.

I rush through a shower and slide into my uniform and thigh rig before anyone else makes it to the locker room. I walk out into the hall and make my way to my locker.

I see Alek leaning against my locker looking away from me.

"Excuse me." I smile making him startle. "Sorry, didn't mean to scare you." I joke.

"Its all good." He mutters turning pink. "I wanted to talk to you."

"About?"

"Your tattoo." Shit. Play dumb.

"Which one?"

"The spade." Fuck.

"Do you like it? Its one of my favorites. I do wish I had put it somewhere else though..." I laugh. He gives me a thoughtful look and smiles.

"Ya its cute. It reminds me of something else though. I just can't put my finger on it." He lies.

"Huh." I shrug.

"What other tattoos do you have?" He asks.

"I have a bird tattoo."

"Where?" He presses losing a bit of his cool.

"Under my tits." I say shortly putting my hands on my hips. "What the hell is going on?"

"Nothing sorry." He mutters before walking away. I shake my head. That was too fucking close. Of course someone recognized it my first day. Its just my luck. I'll have to keep an eye on Alek.

"Did I hear that you have your tits tattooed?" I hear from behind me. I turn to see Kennedy grinning.

"Just under them." I laugh.

"What was that about?" She asks nodding to Alek's retreating form.

"He was being weird." I shrug. Not a lie.

"Whatever, lets go." She says leading me to her car.

I call Rudy on the way to Andras' place.

"Hey Rudy, its me."

"Hey Grace. Whats up? Ray didn't see you last night. Or today." Thats all I needed to hear. Ray is worried.

"Im fine. Shit went down with my parents and the police had me shipped off to the good part of town. Im safe. Tell Ray to chill before he does something stupid." I hear Kennedy chuckle beside me.

"Good. Im glad youre ok. You happy?" He asks in father mode.

"Its an adjustment." I admit.

"I bet. What part of town are you in?"

"High class."

"Well shit."

"Yep. I'll come visit soon."

"Alright. Fight night on Friday."

"Oooh... alright sign me up." I grin as he chuckles.

"Glad youre ok kid."

"Right back at ya old man. Give Ray my new number. See you soon." I hang up and feel better. I should have called this morning.

"Who was that?" Kennedy asks.

"A friend of mine from back home."

"And Ray? Is he a special friend?" He wiggles her eyebrows making me laugh.

"No. Hes cute but no. Hes my best friend."

"My mom always said that I should marry my best friend." She smirks.

"You are the worst." I chuckle as we pull up to the gate. "Sup Greg." I say waving at him in his guard box.

"Hello, Ms. Soprano." He chuckles. I howl with laughter as he lets us pull forward.

"What?"

"I gave him a fake ID."

"What?!" She screeches. I wave her inside with me. Richard is holding the door open for us.

"Hey Richard thank you. How's it going?"

"Very well Miss." He says stiffly but I see his tiny smile. One day I will get that man to laugh.

I lead Kennedy up to my room and I start stripping out of my uniform.

"Well hello to you too." She giggles.

"Oh please, you have the same equipment."

"I do not have a knife strapped to my thigh thank you very much." She argues.

"I dont know why not." I laugh. "Help me out with what to wear." I beg.

She tosses me a loose blue cropped top and high waisted black skinny jeans. I put them on and collect my usual knives. One in each boot, one in my pants pocket and one in my jacket and one between my boobs.

"I like your tit tattoo by the way." She giggles.

"Thank you." I say admiring it peeking out of the bottom of my shirt in the mirror. Im getting another one on my hip."

"Nice. Can I come with you?"

"Of course." I smile as we head back downstairs to the kitchen. I find Ruby singing and dancing to ABBA. I smile and walk up to her grabbing her hand and spin her around. She laughs as I dance with her.

"Kennedy, come join the party." I laugh. Kennedy drops her bag and shimmies her way over with a giggle. Ruby laughs as we dance and sing with her. Ruby spins me out across the kitchen and i bump into a hard chest. I look up still laughing and see a chuckling Christian looking down at me. Feeling absolutely no shame I grab his hand and drag him into the dance party. Ruby does not hold back and starts cackling while shaking her hips at him causing him to blush furiously.

I see Richard out of the corner of my eye and drag him into the party too. Before long hes doing the Saturday night fever dance better than John Travolta. I watch as Kennedy messes up Christian's hair in a weird dance move and Ruby cackles pointing at Andras moonwalking badly into the kitchen to join us.

"I was wondering who was responsible for laughter in this house." He chuckles.

"Sorry, not sorry!" I laugh spinning Ruby around again.

The doorbell rings cutting our dance party short. The men all become professional again in the blink of an eye and head to the door. Shame.

Ruby turns off the music and hands me a debit card wrapped in a watermelon post it note with the code on it. I give her a kiss on the cheek and thank her.

Kennedy and I head to the door but I stop in my tracks seeing Liam in the waiting room. Yes, that's what I'm calling it now.

"Liam?" I ask startling him out of looking at one of those weird paintings.

"Grace! Hi! I was looking for your uncle." He says loudly, his voice echoing through the hallway.

"Oh, well he should be around soon. Everything ok?" I ask.

"Yep I'm good." He says stiffly and a bit more quietly. Weird.

"Ok... well we're headed to the movies. I'll see you tomorrow?" I ask.

"Ya, I'll see you then." He says quickly. We get through the door when Kennedy bursts out.

"That was weird right?"

"Oh ya." I agree as we pull away to her house. Her house is a sprawling stucco estate. Very Mediterranean-esque.

I follow her up to her room. Her house looks super clean but, cold, empty. Until we reach her room. Its a mess of colour and noise and movement. Between the music playing and the posters covering the walls and the huge aquarium I feel like im in her brain.

She starts stripping down and throws on a black mini skirt and a MGK band tee and some chucks.

"Looking hot! Lets roll!" I cry making her laugh.
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