Chapter Three – What Happens In English
Amy nervously walked into her next class; already she had pissed off the popular and had to redo her maths. Still she gazed around the classroom. The room had elegant woodwork walls with gold around a section of each in a pattern, the floors were also elegant wood. She looked around the room desperate for a seat and saw one, it was next to Duke, she was already late but was happy to see Duke again. So far he was the only nice normal guy here, who noticed she existed anyway.She made her way and sat down looking straight to Duke hoping her line was good enough, this was an English lecture after all.
“Hey Mr Potter right”? She asked keeping her face as straight as she could. Duke turned his head to her in a minor show of surprise before his eyes sparkled as he smiled then laughed kindly. He wore a grey muscle top, or a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off, his dark jeans and white DC gym boots. His left bicep had a harsh bandage around it and a small cut ruined the look of his cheek, he seemed not to even notice the nasty cut that made Amy wince.
“Ma’am its Porter... Duke Porter” his James bond rip off didn’t take; he failed so miserably Amy laughed. This was something she did know about. Everyone knew James Bond.
“Give up your James Bond dreams, Duke” his face turned sad then offended making Amy’s laughter cut short. She winced internally, wondering how the hell she could apologise to someone she had just met. She knew she was an idiot for offending the only person who had been openly nice to her.
“Now that was so harsh Amy” Duke then pretended to sob but his laughter was undeniable Amy also resumed her laughter, Duke was such an easy going guy why did he hang with guys like Pryce and Hunter who were dark and heavy?
Anna Sunday gave a lecture on fictional writing while the class mostly just drew pictures and notes amongst each other, not all were for any age under 15, Duke and Amy talked, well Duke talked Amy listened. She began to notice Duke would look over her shoulder slightly but shrugged it off to looking around the class. His talk was now like a secret code Amy assumed he was talking about the Sea.
“So Ams ya like the waves” Duke asked as he rolled a pen around his fingers with amazing dexterity. Amy was enchanted as she watched his fingers bend and tense as the pencil hit them, keeping it wavering yet perfectly balanced. She saw the familiarity with the pencil and rolling it, almost like his fingers could dance around the thin wood he held.
“Me I love the left handers I ride them for ages, can carve em almost like I ride the tube” Duke concluded, rolling the pencil a new way so it ended up sitting in his hand. She saw his muscles resist hammering downwards into the table with the pencil. This confused Amy further. Was Duke a drummer, or did he have a violence issue with pencils?
“I have no idea what you just said Duke” sure she could have read his thoughts but somehow that seemed rude. Not that she knew the manners with invading people’s heads; it always seemed a little rude and risky considering what she could uncover. Once Amy had read the thoughts of a man fantasising about his best friend’s wife in a very rough way. The blush that covered Amy’s face had been one of the worst as she saw the images through her head. That was one of the times she regretted her gifts.
Duke was now looking down at his piece of paper, sketching roughly as he occasionally glanced over his shoulder, eyes longing before they returned to the paper. He never stopped talking to Amy with that enthusiasm that was Duke’s trademark.
“Hey Dork Lay off the fake surfie talk ya trash bag” Gregg called from a few seats down causing a bunch of leather jacketed jocks to laugh. Gregg smiled smugly, his back up was obviously essential to his ego. Duke glared yet his voice was sweet.
“How’s the leg Gregg, last I saw you were squealing like a pig on the ground”?
Gregg’s crowd went boo then did the famous whistle that went deeper in tone till the explosion noise, crash and burn in other words, Gregg was still smug as he came up with a new retort.
“Did ya neck get cut from my chokehold or a failed attempt at suicide not even the reaper wants you, you’re a pussy sucker even in death” Gregg’s tone had gone too far.
Duke turned his head angrily and Amy noticed a small cut under his chin, had Duke tried to kill himself? Amy took a moment before she dismissed the notion. His wrists were clean and the cut was not angled right, or so she imagined. It was more a wound from someone else. But who would try to actually kill Duke? Harm? Sure, Gregg or any one of his lackeys but actually kill; she didn’t know anyone who would.
Duke smiled ever so sweetly yet his thoughts were raging, strangely, it was not for his own esteem his thoughts raged.
“Next time you try and attack a man from behind or a blind side make sure it’s not one of us. Next time I may not tell Pryce to lay off. Magic healing is very costly maybe that’s why you don’t wear a shirt eh Gregg” a few people on Duke’s side of the room laughed, the war was on.
Gregg Snarled as he viciously stood up, his chair flew back out of his way as he now shouted in a blind rage, face screwed up and rapidly going the colour of a ripe tomato.
“Douche bag useless little boy”, his crowd cheered wildly it seemed the whole class had choses sides.
Duke in turn snarled his snarl however sounded like a wolf, truly frightening and rumbling.
“You need to use a douche bag Gregg, your ass is filth that has been up it” Duke’s thoughts were now also blind rage as he slowly stood up his eyes flashing and his cheeks pale. His crowd went wild throwing a few books into the air as both sides stood up.
Only three people remained seated, Pryce who seemed very unemotional, Amy who was trying to keep her head down and a red haired girl who Amy could feel the anger emanating from.
“Sit down NOW”! Anna’s voice rung out but none took any notice.
“Butt out dog breath” Duke insulted then turned back to take Gregg’s splattering insults.
“That is it, Gregg finish him” Anna screamed now cheering with Gregg’s side, Amy saw the red haired girl shaking angrily, an explosion was in order.
The girl was slender with an oval shaped face, a sharp chin, high cheek bones and dangerous deep green eyes. Her hair was cut to be short at the back coming to a triangle at shoulder length at the front. She wore a white t-shirt with a leather vest and a Scottish patterned red tie. Her short skirt matched her tie and the black leather punk belt drew the eye, considering her belt buckle was a skull with pigtails this was expected. She also wore fishnet tights and black leather boots with silver buckles up the outside.
She looked at Amy her face was bright red and her eyes flaming then growled, she obviously was fed up with the fight, and then she stood her chair actually breaking as it hit the desk behind her
“ENOUGH!” Her voice was like the crack of a whip. Midrange average by all means with no clear accent. The crowd and the arguing boys fell silent.
“Finally you listen to me” Anna said earning a growl and a glare from the girl, Anna quickly sat down she too was scared. The girl exhaled quickly
“Now honestly boys we don’t need this over our heads. If you want to fight then just pull ya fricken pants down and compare the size of ya cocks if that’s what you do Jesus Christ” her voice was still scary yet it had become more normal.
“Well I’m not ashamed” Duke stated boldly his hands now resting near his belt buckle, Amy decided to look away just in case yet his thoughts showed he had no intention of revealing any more of his skin.
“Girls please leave” he added as if he just remembered, he was at least polite.
Gregg looked around the room then laughed as he turned his back to Duke. Duke reached out and spun him around.
“What is your problem man? You’ve been on my case since day one” Duke yelled. Gregg glared.
“I don’t like people checking out my girl” Gregg wrapped his arm around Sally roughly, as if she was a possession or pet. She groaned very quietly although Amy couldn’t tell if it was with pleasure or annoyance.
“Sally’s a beautiful woman Gregg, she chooses to be yours. That doesn’t give you the right to treat her like a trophy” Duke’s reply earned a punch from Gregg. The bully then grabbed Duke’s sketch and glared at it. Amy caught a flash of it and felt almost broken by Duke’s rush of fear. Gregg however let out a scoff and tore the drawing to pieces.
“Come on. We’re leaving” Gregg ordered, his bunch of jocks roamed out with him leaving Duke staring sadly after them through the falling pieces of his drawing.
Lunchtime was hell for Amy. Duke was nowhere around, neither was any friendly familiar face. Nervously she thought back to the classroom fight that had happened and found herself wondering about the girl Gregg had been with. She looked familiar, but she couldn’t place it. She hardly saw anyone, except her friend from around four years ago, Sally Waiter. She winced at the memories that followed, including her feet which was had caused the most heartache for Amy.
“I thought I recognised you” a friendly female voice came from behind her as a hand touched her shoulder. Amy fought to keep her eyes down on the ground as the arm wrapped around her shoulders and the familiar yet long gone footsteps fell into beat with hers.
“Hi” Amy said softly, keeping her head down. Sally noticed and gave her shoulder a comforting squeeze.
“How long has it been?” Sally asked with her usually chirpy attitude. Amy couldn’t help feel a pang of pain as she whispered.
“Four years, nine days, sixty two hours and thirty eight minutes, fifteen seconds” she cursed her memory, the time ticking down in her mind. Sally didn’t seem in the least bit shocked as Amy looked into her soft green eyes. Sally shrugged.
“I thought it was ten days” she gave a signature smile, which in turn made Amy smile. Before she knew it Sally had her laughing along and walking with linked arms. While Sally was comfortable being quite childish Amy was self-conscious and hung her head.
“You know, Duke’s quite the catch” Sally suddenly became serious, eyes alight with mischief. Amy felt herself blush as she rushed out a few words.
“N…n…no. not like that! With Duke? No! He’s hung up on you” she froze, realising what she had said. Sally’s eyes were also wide, yet there was something dark within them. Almost like she was plotting something Amy wasn’t meant to see.
“Gregg’s… um…” Amy struggled for words. What nice thing could she say about that pig? She failed to find anything nice to say about him.
“Tall” she finally finished, rather lamely. Sally grinned and shrugged, again the darkness beginning to show in her movements.
“He serves his purpose… for now” The way Sally said it left a lot of Amy’s imagination. She shuddered for the second time at her teenagehood friend.
The sun beat down heavily on the field, leaving Pryce and Hunter more than a little anxious. Duke seemed carefree, kicking his soccer ball on one foot as he hopped. Hunter was rushing him, trying to distract Duke enough to steal the ball but the blonde wasn’t having any of that. He kept his balance on the green field, never once losing timing as he spun and avoided Hunter with minimal movements. Pryce walked with them, shaking his head as they continued frolicking. If you saw them you would swear Hunter was a student and Pryce the TA.
“Seriously, old man?” Duke demanded, kicking the ball to Pryce. He caught it with one hand and pulled it into his body, tucking it under his arm with a few movements of one arm.He felt the mud flecks digging into his side and slipping in his hand but he kept the ball still.
“I’ll old man you, Duke” Hunter taunted, walking towards the blonde who lifted his arms and one leg in a karate kick threat. He tucked his middle and ring finger down on each hand while extending the other fingers. That coupled with his facial expression broke Hunter down laughing. After a moment to prove his point Duke broke down laughing also, neither of the laughing men looked at the amused twinkle in Pryce’s eyes.
“Alrighty boys! Shirt’s off, we start training in ten!” The coach yelled, Pryce screwed his face up at the order and gestured to the coach.
“I would rather keep my shirt on, Coach” Pryce spoke softly to the listening aging Coach, Hunter nodded in agreement, as the Coach gave them both a look. His greying eyebrows and hair were greasy; his breath was like pretzels from a sports bar. The old man gave a look of knowledge, the wrong knowledge Hunter was sure.
“Do you have a problem with girls seeing you shirtless?” he challenged.
“No sir, I’m afraid they’ll mob me afterwards” Hunter spoke calmly, lifting the hem of his shirt to show off some of his muscle. Pryce didn’t follow suit. He knew if he did, the Coach would indeed insist he remove his clothing, or at least his shirt. The Coach looked at Hunter, who nearly always had his body bare in some fashion appropriate yet mouth-watering way, it was Pryce who was the prude. It didn’t take much guesswork to know Hunter was covering for Pryce.
“You’re not that hot, Newman. Now strip” the coach directed his words towards Pryce. Silently surrendering he looked to Duke. Duke shrugged, already pulling the grey shirt over his head. The blonde chuckled as Pryce stared at his friend, not in a lustful way but rather a slightly insecure way. Duke knew it wasn’t muscle tone he was worried about, it was his paleness. Even Hunter looked darker than Pryce, who was nervously removing his black T-shirt.
“Lookin’ hot, Pryce” Hunter teased, slapping Pryce’s stomach. There was a loud smack as flesh connected with flesh, Pryce naturally grunted before he fixed Hunter with a look. Pryce threw the ball to Duke and continued eyeing Hunter with the look of a predator. Silently they began the chase as Hunter dashed off, Pryce sprinting after him in a second. It ended up with Duke throwing the ball at Hunter, who caught it moments before Pryce plummeted through him with a bone shattering tackle.
“Ommmph… Damn it Pryce! Why are you such a meanie?” Hunter growled as he lay on his back panting, Pryce was close beside covered in mud. The mud mixed with their paleness perfectly, giving them a disguise as well as a rugged look.
“Meanie?” Pryce asked, giving Hunter his “really” look. Somehow, Hunter had kept his shades on the entire time. Pryce got to his feet and offered his left hand down to Hunter, looking with his blank face but twinkling eyes. He had been accused of many things, and he had done more, but having ugly, blank eyes was never something anyone said he had. The way his eyes twinkled in amusement was rare, and when shown men across the world said it was a crime that such stunning, expressive eyes exist in another male and not themselves.
“Arsehole then” Hunter said simply, pushing his shades back up with his right hand as Pryce pulled him to his feet by his left. The sense hurt his shoulder a little but Pryce was strong and deliberate with his pull. With the perfect amount of force and aggression and Hunter was standing evenly on his feet as if he had never been down. His hair was still in that perfect Mohawk and his shades were on straight. Only the mud down his back suggested he had ever been on the ground.
“Ten laps boys” The coach yelled, blew his whistle loudly then clapped his hands.
“Let’s go” he cried, which sounded like “lets geeyo” but no one said anything about that. The groups were spread out, with the jocks and Gregg at the opposite end to the superiorly muscled boys.
The ground was solid beneath their feet, making them almost fly across the ground as they lightly jogged, keeping pace so they avoided Gregg, or anyone else for that matter. They looked at each other then the coach until his attention was focused on the larger boisterous group.
“Did you get anything on this rapist case?” Pryce asked Hunter softly. The vampire nodded calmly, looking across the field before whispering.
“Why are you so interested in this?”
“It’s human domain” Duke added when Pryce gave his death stare.
“Only girl issues get him this uppity” Hunter stated, winking at Duke as Pryce glared. The larger man disguised it with an eye roll.
“I forgot” Hunter slapped his hand to his face in mockery, which almost made Duke chuckle out loud. Pryce gave him a steady look, already knowing where his dark haired companion was going.
“What did you forget Hunter?” Duke asked perfectly innocently, also assuming where Hunter was going.
“We are interrupting Pryce’s hourly brooding time” Hunter chuckled, leaping out of Pryce’s long reach.
“How dare you” Duke gasped, laughing loudly as he too leapt out of Pryce’s reach. The larger man was trapped between the two joking lads, which didn’t bide well for him.
“I am not broody” Pryce huffed.
“Let’s debate this after sports. Right now I actually do want to know why you’re interested in this case” Duke spoke genuinely and looked to his friend. Pryce looked almost worried for a second as he furrowed his brows.
“And in that girl for that matter. She’s nothing special” Hunter added in a tone that hinted his dislike. Pryce gave him a silent but deadly look before Duke cut in.
“Come on Hunter, did you smell her?” He paused as Pryce and Hunter stared at him. Duke cleared his throat.
“That sounded a lot less creepy in my head”
“She’s young, innocent. There’s something about her that draws danger to her. She’s as good as any for me to play guardian for. Also this rapist is going after young girls. He could easily take Amy. And I don’t want that happening…” Pryce answered softly.
“You’re sure this isn’t you hunting her?” Hunter asked softly.
A day had passed and Amy found herself in front of the library, which was on the second level. Amy nervously stared at the stone and old wooden doors patched up yet not replaced. The castle restored theme continued to shine brightly. The door was weathered, with a smooth yet layered texture to the touch. Amy couldn’t explain the sudden nervousness she felt as she pushed the door, hearing the click and scripted creak of the old door.
Inside was dull, yet the floor was fresh and bright, the walls a soft green into the wooden floor and matching roof. Bookshelves lined nearly every wall, filled with books Amy hadn’t even heard of. She didn’t however flinch away from this, she felt at home. She was nervous; anticipating something big would happen if she could find the right book.
She walked to the first shelf she saw with the classical Vampire novels on it, without pause she pulled out the first book she touched. Twilight. A romantic vampire novel, so it seemed. Amy lowered her brow as she remembered how people had ranted about Vampires sparkling and been perfect. She shook her head almost instantly at the idea. Pryce was not perfect, he had obvious flaws but they only added to his mystique.
“That books a load of crap if you want vampires” Duke’s friendly voice came a quiet whisper. Instantly Amy jumped with a small squeak of surprise. She turned to see Duke’s brilliant eyes a few inches from her, his breath touching her. This wasn’t a Duke play, this was how Pryce acted. Instantly she paid closer attention, trying to find the clue Duke was giving her.
“Where are the good books?” she asked. Duke posed a thoughtful face, the corner of his mouth twitched into a friendly smile as he leaned back, hand against the shelf as he held her in, refusing her an easy escape.
“Depends. Do you want sexy fiction or harsh reality” Amy thought his voice sounded so beautiful the way he said the line. He also held charm, almost the same amount as Pryce and Hunter and yet his skin wasn’t pale, his hair wasn’t dark and he most certainly wasn’t sleazy or broody.
“I want reality” Amy answered honestly, a little short of breath. She never harboured a romantic view of Duke, but when he was this close he was undeniably attractive and even a little scary. He was not his usual, carefree self. Every action had a point, if only Amy could see it. it was then Amy looked to where he had been wounded the day before only to see clear skin. This wasn’t normal, maybe she had to investigate Duke as well.
“Good looks and brains. I’ll be dammed” Duke gave her a genuine smile, eyes flashing around as he discreetly looked around the room before he leaned closer still, almost whispering in her ear.
“Down the back Amy. Don’t get lost and whatever you do, don’t touch the oldest bookshelf” Duke warned as he leaned back, book tucked in his free hand. He then began walking away, holding a copy of the Twilight spoof Nightlight in his hand.
“Thankyou” Amy whispered, eyes traveling around the room as she walked into the darkness. The floor creaked, the air was heavy as if it was a scripted haunted library and yet Amy felt no fear. She knew somewhere in the shadows someone was watching her. Someone had always watching for as long as she could remember. Amy’s eyes browsed the books until her eyes came upon a black leather spined book with gold engravings in some mythic language. Again, she wondered about her situation and that strange Pryce. By the gods, Amy Black wondered.
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