“No, he’s definitely hotter than Noah Neck.” Scarlet finalized, causing Victoria to turn to her with a gasp.
“Okay, one, don’t go saying someone’s hotter than someone when you don’t even know their real name, and two, Noah Beck is daddy. No one could ever change my mind.” Victoria protested.
“Wait, his name isn’t Noah Neck?” Scarlet asked, genuinely confused. Vi and I started to chuckle.
“This is why old ladies can’t go calling people hot; they don’t even know what hot is anymore.” Vi laughed.
“Old lady? I’m only 24!”
“Okay, Vi, I’m going to have to agree with Scarlet on this one. Chase Stokes is pretty hot.” I interrupt.
“What? How dare you turn on me like that!” Vi gasps, hand over her chest.
“Oh, are we also talking girls? I mean, the only reason I watched Outer Banks was because of Madison Bailey. I mean, that girl can make any person’s panties melt.” Scarlet smirks. Vi chuckles, lightly slapping her arm.
“We get you dig girls, Scar, but we were only mentioning boys. Keyword ‘boys’. No boy will ever be a ‘man’.” Vi scoffs, making me laugh.
“Well someone had their heart broken,” I chuckle. The room turns awkwardly quiet, making me cringe. Scar turns to Vi, her mouth a straight line.
“You didn’t tell her?” Scar whispers, and Vi rolls her eyes.
“Seven ended our little...thing...that was happening this summer.” Vi sighs, crossing her arms over her chest in discomfort. Oh my god. Seven?
I stay there in silence, giving Vi the ‘stare’. The ‘how-could-you-ever-make-that-stupid-of-a-decision’ stare.
“I knowwww, okay? I shouldn’t have gotten wrapped up with Seven. He’s trouble, but girl! If you saw what he was packing in his-”
“LA, LA, LA, LA! I do not need to know that.” I yell, clasping my hands over my ears like a child hearing a fire alarm. They proceeded to laugh at my action.
“Seven is like my child, so I’m glad that was stopped as soon as it started.” Scar chuckled, rolling off of Vi’s bed to stand. She pulls her phone out from her back pocket and begins to type.
“But, let’s be real Vi,” I say, “he’s Seven Maddox! Literally has never done a relationship as far as anyone in this world knows.”
“I know.” Vi sighs, pulling her fuzzy pink blanket tighter around her.
“I love you so much, okay? Scar and I just want you to be happy. You deserve it!” I smile, wrapping my arms around Vi in a big bear hug. Vi leans her head on mine, grinning.
“Thank you, Alle.”
“Aw shit,” Scar moans, causing Vi and I to turn to her in shock.
“Never make a noise like that again, por favor.” Vi cringed, making Scar smirk.
“Damn, you liked it so much you had to pull out your español? Okay, I see you-”
“Shut up.” Vi groaned, chucking her blanket onto Scar.
“Never, but for real, Leo wants us to go to the club to meet up with the gang.” Scar explains while throwing the blanket back onto the bed. We all continue to complain in unison.
The Valdis Bullets is the gang that Vi and Scar are in, Scar mostly because the gang leader, Leo, is her Mom. Leo owns a club called “The Scarlet Club”, which she proudly named after her daughter. That’s the gang’s hangout and where they usually do all of their meetings.
Vi has been my best friend since the 3rd grade. The day I chose to sit beside her and give her my Uncrustables PB & J during lunch led to a lifelong friendship. Even though Vi is what someone would label as “popular”, that’s never stopped her from being my best friend.
Yeah, it surprised me too. I thought she’d drop me for some brainless petty girl.
I met Scarlet through Vi. When Vi joined the gang, her and Scarlet clicked immediately. I’m positive it was their fashion sense that made them become besties; that seems like the most logical reason. We’ve all started hanging out with one other and I can vouch that this is probably the most chaotic friend group to ever exist.
“Okay, let’s go.” Vi sighs, and the two girls begin to change their clothes.
I stand there, making the executive decision to stay in my oversized blue sweatshirt and black leggings with a high ponytail. I’m not going to change my clothes, mostly because I’m too lazy too.
“HOT MAMA!” I hear someone shout as soon as I open the doors to “The Scarlet Club″. I glanced over to the bar to see my guy best friend, Loui, running over to me. He crashes into my body, engulfing me into an extremely tight hug.
“Hey Loui,” I smile at his use of the nickname he’s given me. He’s my blonde-headed bestie that I would take a bullet for. I love him to death.
“Why are you here? I literally have not seen you all summer! Where have you been?” He asks, practically dragging me over to the bar where he was sitting before.
“I’m sorry, I’ve-” I start, but stop when my head is yanked back by my hair, making me yelp. Turning around, I look up to lock eyes with horrid hazel ones. Oh, shoot bejesus on a popsicle stick. I forgot he’d be here.
Seven Maddox stands behind me, cackling with a beer bottle in his hand. A cursid smirk takes over his expression, knowing that him, even just being in my presence, annoys the living life out of me.
“Hey Angel,” He chuckles, thinking that the daggers my eyes are shooting him are somewhat funny. It won’t be so funny right after I slap that stupid smile straight off his face.
“Piss off,” I hiss, turning my back to him to walk over to Scar and Vi.
Scarlet is on the brink of laughter, thinking that this childish fighting between Seven and I is comical. Vi, on the other hand, is doing everything in her power to avoid him. She’s practically hiding under her cherry red leather jacket.
“Alle, what’s been going on between you two? This has been happening for years,” Scar questions, sliding on her bedazzled black leather jacket over her white tank top and ripped skinny jeans. Her lightly curled ginger red hair makes her look even more badass in the outfit, and I’m here for it.
“I honestly don’t know. He just has something against me, I guess.” I sigh.
Ever since freshman year, Seven has been out picking and tormenting me. From nagging at me during the middle of our shared classes to knocking my books out of my hands in the hall, he has been out to make my whole high school experience as miserable as possible. But Seven Maddox can’t get to me, I won’t let him.
“Girl, what did you even do to him?” Scarlet asks.
“I existed, that’s what I did.” I turn back to look at Seven, who is also watching me. Taking a sip from his beer, he shoots me a wink and turns back to Loui and Oliver, two other gang members.
I roll my eyes and glance over at Vi, whose acting like the cuticles of her nails are the most interesting thing in the world. She looks up to me, wide eyed, and gestures her eyes to Seven to signal how awkward she feels at the moment. I grin, beckoning her over, and she rushes to me while fixing her leather jacket.
“I don’t know if I can be here. This is too goddamn-” Vi starts ranting, but is interrupted by a booming voice coming from the back of the bar.
“Numbers! Devilboy! Olive Tree! Where ya at?” Scarlet’s Mom, Leo, shouts from her office in the back of the club. She walks out to examine all of the people present for the meeting.
Leo loves creating nicknames for all of the gang members for her own personal entertainment. Seven is “Numbers”, Loui is “Devilboy″ because his birth name is Lucifer, and Oliver is “Olive Tree”. Even I have a nickname, though I’m not part of the gang.
“Brownie Bites! Good to see you, sweetie.” Leo smiles, walking over to embrace me in a hug. She is stern with everyone, but has a little sweet spot for me. Loui says it’s because I’m a person that people naturally like and Seven says it’s because I’m a kiss-ass. Well, he can go jump in front of an ice cream truck for all I care.
Leo lets go of me and looks around the room. Leo’s 5′4 stature makes my 5′7 height look tall, but that doesn’t make her any less daunt. Her long bleached hair flows down the right side of her face, the left side completely buzz-cut. Her ears are covered with silver piercings and fairly large o-rings are placed in her lobes. Tattoos of foreign designs scatter all over her skin, matching her intimidation to a T. She’s terrifying, but a teddy bear at heart.
“Okay people, let’s get down to business,” Leo announces, and the whole room turns absolutely silent. The power this woman has. She drags a chair to her from the bar, turning it around so she can straddle it and rest her arm on the back of the chair.
“I may have done the best or most stupidest thing for the gang.” She starts to explain. “The Eastside Cattel-”
“Cattle? Like cows? The fuck,” Oliver begins to laugh, others in the gang joining him.
“Boys!” Leo yelled, bringing the room back to complete silence. “Even though their gang name is close to that of a group of cows, they are dangerous.”
“But what’s the issue? Aren’t we the best in the area?” Oliver questioned.
“Yes, in the Westside, but they are the best in the Eastside. Now shut up so I can talk. What I’m trying to get to is that we may have a chance to reconcile with the Cattel. We will be making a heat exchange with them.”
“Heat exchange?” I question.
“A gun trade.” Scarlet explains. My eyes widen.
“That’s arms trafficking!” I whisper-yell to Scarlet, who glances at me with a raised eyebrow.
“So?” She chuckles, turning back to listen to Leo. I honestly shouldn’t be this surprised about it, I mean, they are in a gang, but the goody-goody in me always gets a little bit flustered when rules are broken.
“Can’t handle a little trouble, Allegra?” Seven whispers in my ear, sending shivers up my spine. I turn to him and give him a cold stare, to which he returns with a smirk. I roll my eyes at his overly cocky move, which clearly makes him frustrated because his jaw clenched for a quick moment.
“Don’t roll your eyes at me, love.” He demands, his voice lower than its usual tone. It scared me and made me feel a bit flustered on the inside, a feeling I didn’t necessarily want to feel.
Is it odd that I was really close to saying “yes sir” in reply?
I look away and return my focus back to Leo’s speech.
“-and when we rendezvous with the Cattel, we will be going in empty handed, except for the guns we’ll be trading.” Leo finishes. There is a brief moment of silence before Oliver decides to share his piece.
“This has to be the most fucked up thing our gang will ever do. Walk into another gang’s territory empty handed? Leo, what in the world are you thinking? We’re going to get whacked.”
Leo looks to him and smirks. “I’m not that dumb, Olive Tree. We’ll have people on the outside watching for suspicious behavior. The ones going in will be empty handed but the hot shots on the outside will be keeping a good eye. None of my Bullets are getting ‘whacked’, not on my watch.”
“Just go ahead and say you love us, Mama Valdis, because you ’bout said the closest thing to it.” Loui awed. Leo chuckles, playfully smacking the back of his head with her hand while rising from her chair.
“I tolerate you guys, that’s what I was saying.” She laughs, walking over to Scar, Vi, and I.
“Oh, New Chick, I needed to tell you that you won’t be coming to this trade-off. Just because it’s so dangerous and you’re so new, I want you to get used to the gang first before you go out and possibly fight with them. I also need to see what you’re made of. I can already tell you’re gonna be a sharp shot, I just need to see that punching arm of yours.” Leo explains to Vi, whose smile slightly fades.
“Oh-um-okay.” Vi nods, watching Leo walk off. Once Leo was out of range, Vi rolled her eyes, adding an overly dramatic groan of agitation. Classic Victoria Carter.
“You’re not going to listen, are you?” Scarlet chuckles, and Vi sends her playful wink.
“Aww, you know me so well.”
The school bell rings, signaling first period has ended. The first day of junior year has never stretched out for so long.
I, along with everyone else, rush to pack our notes and folders into our bags and run out the classroom door. With my new class schedule in hand, I walk into the overly crowded school hallway, filled with confused freshmen, overly confident sophomores, stressed out juniors, and careless seniors. I stroll around to try to locate my locker, since I slept in this morning and didn’t have enough time to practice the locker combination.
Little did I know that there would be a Seven Maddox waiting on me. He’s leaning on the locker beside mine, his gaze lowered and focused on his phone. Once he lets out a profoundly large breath, he looks up to meet my eyes. As if on cue, a blasted smirk takes over his lips. Oh, how I hate that smirk.
I scoff and continue making my way to my locker. As soon as I open it, I purposely swing it hard to the side to try to hit Seven, but his hand catches the locker door before it can smack his face.
“Hah, that’s on fast reflexes, Angel.” He smiles, slamming the locker shut as soon as I put my bag into the locker and get the binders I need for my next class. “What class do you have next?” I ignore him and look down at my schedule, making my way to my next class. He steps in front of me, blocking my path like the giant he is.
“Hey-” I yell, shooting eye daggers at this boy who has the audacity to boop my nose and snatch my school schedule from out of my hand.
“Chemistry? Wow! I have that too! Let’s go,” He smiles, grabbing my wrist and pulling me to the Chemistry classroom. I attempt to wiggle my wrist out of his grip, but it’s too tight.
We arrive at our Chemistry class, walking in to see the teacher sitting people into groups of three at different lab tables. Oh lord.
I pray a silent prayer in my head as the teacher calls out names. “Please don’t make me sit by-”
“At table six, I have Seven Maddox, Gabriel Tucker, and Allegra Davis.” The teacher announces, and I swear I want to jump out the 2 storied classroom window.
“Well, let’s sit down, lab buddy.” Seven smirks, walking over to table six.
I’m seriously going to die.