Chapter One:


"Alright class, tonight I want you to read pages four-ninety-two through five hundred and seven." The teacher wrote the assignment on the dry erase board behind her as she spoke. Suddenly a loud clash of a chair falling back alerted the entire class and forced me to jump almost completely out of my chair. "Mister McLaine! What are you doing?!" Out from behind the chair a heedful of vibrant purple hair popped up.
"Eh…heh…I fell asleep?" The purple haired boy stood back up rubbing his back and bringing the chair back up with him. "'Cause you know…this play is really boring." He yawned and sat back down in the chair flipping a bit of unruly purple hair. His name was David Sean McLaine, or so I'd heard, and he was one person you didn't want to meet in an alleyway. I had over heard some teachers and some students talking about how he was a thief, and how he did drugs, and even that he slept around with a lot of people. He really does look the part. With his black makeup around the eyes and his black lips, not to mention that unruly purple hair and lip ring…even a pierced eyebrow. The color of his hair alone reminds me of an evil character from a book I read once…but can never remember the name of.
"Well…Mister McLaine, if you think this play is so boring then," The teacher slammed a piece of paper down onto David's desk. On it I could read, 'Rodger Smith High school theatre presents: William Shakespeare's, Much Ado About Nothing' "You can take the part of Benedick. We have rehearsal everyday after school." David gaped at the teacher and began to stutter.
"B…but…I…I c…can't!" His black-framed eyes widened with what looked like fear.
"Too bad…I'll call your mother personally." She walked back to her desk turning to me before she got there and smiled. "And I do hope our young Claudio will be able to make it." I merely smiled back.
"On my honor my good lady…I will see you betwixt the hour of three and four." She laughed at my antics and turned to David once more.
"You'll also be tutored by Christopher-Allen here. He's the most Shakespeare inclined student I've seen in awhile." She turned and sat in her chair and looked at the clock. "Now I will see you all next class. And remember, read pages four-ninety-two through five hundred and seven," The bell rang, "Dismissed. Oh and I look forward to hearing you read as Benedick mister McLaine."
As I left the class I found myself pushed hard against a locker, the combination locks digging into my back, and my head forced up to meet a vicious stare of sharp gray eyes. A jingle of chains and a rustle of snaps was all I needed, besides a few strand of unruly purple hair, to identify who my attacker was. There stood David Sean McLaine before me with a look of pure hatred. My eyes focused and I could then make out a glimmer of a silver loop through a brownish-blond eyebrow.
"C…" I cleared my throat, hiding my obvious fear of the older teen in front of me, "Can I help you?" My voice squeaked. Feeling his grip tighten on my small shoulders I winced and began to think of what a pain these next few months were going to be.
"Yeah…you can get me the hell out of this stupid ass play!" David growled and let me go. He seemed to laugh a bit when he saw me wince. "And you can just say we do our tutoring, see I'm too busy for that." I fixed the shoulder strap on my backpack and looked down at my camo colored high tops.
"I'm sorry but…"
"But what?"
"I can't lie to a teacher and you could just do poorly at rehearsal today." I flinched, keeping my eyes shut tight, waiting for him to hit me or shove me back into the lockers. Think of my surprise when I heard a low almost cheerful laugh.
"You must believe everything you hear to flinch like that." I looked up at a now laughing teen. I didn't know whether to be angry that he was laughing at me or laugh as well. He must have seen the confusion in my eyes because he stopped laughing and looked down at me, considering the somewhat large height difference, and smiled. "Don't worry, I'm not some Satanist who's going to sacrifice you to my evil blood sucking lord." He patted my shoulder and walked away.
"W…Wait!" He turned around now walking backwards.
"In the library at lunch! We'll go over your character in the play!" He smiled again.
"Ok. See ya Shakespeare!" He laughed and ran down the hall. I blinked at the name and turned to walk down the hall in the opposite direction. My back aching the entire way.

At lunch I quickly ran to get my food walked to the library. When I got into the large room I found that David was already tucked away in a hidden corner with out a lunch. When I set my lunch down I pulled out a chair and sat down. He hadn't even noticed my presence considering he was too deeply entranced by the book in front of him. Upon reading the cover I knew the story at once, Innocence, Love, and Blood. It was a slightly controversial story about a demon/vampire man who falls in love with a young human boy who he saves and teaches magic. It was controversial at our school because a lot of people didn't like it's homosexual themes.
"I've read that." I stated loudly gaining his attention after he hurriedly put his bookmark in place and snapped it shut.
"Yeah. I thought it was beautifully written. Though I didn't care for the ending much." I smiled eating a french-fry and offering a few to him. After staring at me for a moment he took a fry and popped it into his mouth. When he was done eating the fried potato he looked at me again then opened his mouth to speak.
"So you didn't mind the whole Mercidius and Amadeo as…well…a…"
"Couple?" I finished his sentence with a smile on my face.
"Yeah." He laughed and put the book in his backpack. "I'm surprised though. Over three quarters of the school hate this book…" He looked at me and all I could do is nod. "Anyways…" He looked away quickly. "What was it we were going to work on?" I smiled taking a bite out of my hamburger and then turned to my backpack, pulling out my script.
"Ok you'll be playing the part of Benedick. He is a man who doesn't want to be married and laughs at those who are married or who want to be. Here listen to this quote, Ok?" I watched him and cleared my throat. "Ok…'I will not be sworn but Love may transform me to an oyster, but I'll take my oath on it, till he have made an oyster out of me, he shall never make such a fool.'" I looked up from the script. "Do you understand what he's saying?" David nodded, I was somewhat surprised.
"He's saying how if he were to fall in love and get married he would be a fool."
"What?" He cocked an eyebrow.
"Well you just don't talk in class and I thought…"
"That I'm stupid?" His expression changed from a pleasant one to a very sad one with a bit of anger in his eyes.
"Don't lie…" He stood and began to leave.
"No, no just wait!" I shot my hand out and grabbed his wrist. "Please I was surprised because not many people can understand Shakespearian language." He stopped and looked at me. But when I looked into his eyes I didn't see an angry teen with a bad temper, instead I saw a boy who was hurt and alone. "I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to make you think I was saying you're stupid, 'cause you're not." He nodded and sat back down.
"Sorry I jumped to conclusions…"
"It's ok…. Not read this line to yourself then read it out loud to me how ever you think Benedick would say it." I smiled again and handed him the script. He read it for what seemed like an hour the looked up and began to speak.
"'Two of them have the very bent of honor; And if their wisdom be misled in this, The practice of it lives in John the Bastard, Whose spirits toil in frame of villainies.'" He looked at me when he finished the line and I was in awe. He had spoken the quote with an air of dignity and seemed like he had taken the character to heart. He must have taken my awe for something else because he shifted and cleared his throat. "Did I do something wrong?" Quickly I snapped out of my trance and shook my head.
"No. No you did wonderful!" I laughed at the sight of his relieved face.
"Wow…no ones really said I was good at acting." He flushed a bit and smiled. The rest of the lunch period we spent going over his lines and even practicing the scenes we had together. When the bell finally rang I found myself not wanting to go. We had been talking and laughing quietly as if we had been friends for years.
"So Shakespeare, you have Acting III next don't you?" He handed the script back to me with a grin on his face. I was shocked…how was it that he knew what class I had next?
"We have the same class." He laughed and I couldn't help but feel horrible. How could I not know he had the same class as me? "It's ok. I'm only an aid in that class…no one ever sees me." He continued to laugh as we began to make our way to the auditorium. I still felt bad not knowing he was in my class, aid or not. When we reached the class Sean walked away, towards the prop loft, waving. "See ya later Shakespeare, I've got to organize the prop loft." I smiled back then began to wonder. Why did he call me 'Shakespeare'? It was weird to me. No one ever gave me a nickname, not even something like Chris. After a moment of thought a girl walked up to me.
"Hey Christopher-Allen!" I didn't respond and she leaned in close to me. "Hello… earth to Christopher-Allen….. you ok?" She soon followed my gaze up to the prop loft were I had watched Sean disappear behind a veil of costumes. "Oh I see…" She quickly grabbed my side making me flinch and yelp. "You like our techie Sean, don't ya?" At that I jumped and looked at her in shock.
"No! No I do not!" She laughed at my shocked expression and threw an arm around my shoulders.
"Sure you don't… that's why you watched him, or more his ass, go up the stairs after walking in with him…," She giggle again and I just glared.
"I was NOT watching his ass!" Talk about the worst moment for the room to go almost completely quiet, and I say almost because after my outburst a rather large crash was heard as a rack of costumes fell.
"I'm ok!" A muffled voice came from the pile of clothes. At that moment I knew he had heard me and I could feel the heat rise to my cheeks.
"Aw poor Christopher-Allen!" A boy in my class teased with a rather evil smirk. Tears began to well up in my eyes till I could not see. Before I would let anyone else make a comment I ran out the door and straight down the hall to the bathrooms. And there I stayed for the rest of class, crying. Did I really like Sean? How could I, I never really saw him except for a glance in the hall or while I was passing back papers for the teacher. I didn't know what to do anymore. I was afraid, afraid of facing Sean at rehearsal and afraid of facing that class ever again.