Author's Note: Yay for a new story! This one I'm already starting to like a lot. I'd hope so, since I'm writing it. Anyhoo, sorry if there seems like there's a lot of information dumping in this chapter, but I wanted to kind of let you all get to know the main characters a little and fill you in on some of the more subtle details of their personalities. I'm starting to think this coupling is going to be my favorite, so hopefully you'll all find this as interesting as I do. Enjoy!
Shadow "Kite" Kitsune
If there was one thing Aiden Haliburton hated more than anything, it was people. He had always hated how people would sell out so easily, trying so hard to pretend to be something or someone they weren't for the sake of getting other people that were equally if not more pathetic then they were to like them. But perhaps the most irksome detail Aiden despised which was so evident within human nature was how even the most sane and intelligent of people can become so crazy and stupid when they found someone that they fell head over heels in love with. Humans were obviously emotion driven creatures, and the fact that people would give into those emotions instead of applying logic to their actions frustrated Aiden more than words could describe.
Everyday was the same thing, day in and day out. Aiden would sit through class after class and have to listen to a bunch of whiney, bitching people complain about how unfair everything in life was and how their boyfriend or girlfriend was being difficult and so on, so forth. Nobody seemed to notice or care how much it got under Aiden's skin. Of course, he couldn't care less about the people that were always whining and carrying on, complaining about this or that or the other constantly. He didn't give a damn about them or what they said, and they probably didn't give a damn about anything he thought or said, either.
Aiden was seventeen years old, starting on his second semester of his senior year of high school, and couldn't be more excited or anxious about getting the hell out of there and get his life on the road. He was relatively short for his age, coming in at a measly five foot three inches, which unfortunately for him ran in his family. But aside from his height, he was a slender, slightly built young man with a naturally tanned body, and had short hair which he was constantly dying; right now his hair was dyed white. There were several piercings on his body, all of which were located on his head: he had a lip ring, two spider bites, and had each of his ears pierced twice- one in the ear lobes, another further up through the cartilage. He was a reasonably attractive young man, and often had several girls who had a "huge crush" on him trying to flirt around with him. Unfortunately for them, once they had met him and gotten to know him a little bit, they immediately changed their minds and ran off to find some other nicer, prettier, stupider guy to gush over.
What very few people knew, however, was that Aiden was a homosexual, and very few guys had ever had the pleasure of so much as getting a peck on the cheek from him. Needless to say, Aiden was rather conservative with his homosexuality. It wasn't that he was ashamed of what he was or anything, in fact, he was proud to flaunt that around when the opportunity revealed itself. But to Aiden, people who relentlessly wave what they are around like a banner, trying to advertise what they are and make a "statement" were intellectually shallow people, individuals who focus on one aspect in their life and exploit it, use it to define themselves as a person.
Aiden had few friends, and the few he had were his closest and greatest friends. They were some of the few people Aiden truly held any respect for. They dressed however they wanted to dress, acted however they wanted to act, and simply were who they were with no strings attached. They didn't feel the urge or desire to try and impress anyone, to change in order to meet another person's standards. Those were qualities Aiden admired, and that was perhaps the ties that bound them all together.
It was a typical Monday morning. The sun rose, the same group of birds sat outside up in a tree and sang their happy little songs of joy, and the sound of Aiden's alarm clock wakened him from a deep, peaceful slumber. As usual, Aiden groaned into his pillow, hoping he could manage to slip in a few extra minutes of sleep before his aunt came in to get him up for school. But then, as if right on cue, a short, stout woman stormed into his room dressed in a robe and a shower cap, flipping the light switch on to wake him up.
"Time to get up, Aiden. Don't loaf around or you'll be late for school again," said his Aunt Denise.
Aiden groaned once more, and threw his pillow in her general direction, aimlessly hoping to hit her. But instead, his pillow hit the wall several feet to her right before falling to the ground.
"You missed again. Better luck tomorrow," she said with a smug grin as she closed the door behind her.
Now lying in bed without a pillow, Aiden laid flat on his back, staring out into space, debating whether or not he wanted to get out of bed yet or not. Squeezing his eyes shut and rubbing the sleep out of the corners, Aiden decided it would be better not to incur the wrath of his aunt upon him and have her storming in with the shower nozzle spraying freezing cold water all over the place. Making a great effort to get out of bed, Aiden rose, and stretched, yawning all the while. He couldn't wait until he graduated, then he wouldn't have to worry about getting out of bed at 6 AM to go to school.
Aunt Denise wasn't one to get up at the crack of dawn to cook breakfast, so more often than not, breakfast consisted of either dry cereal and milk, oatmeal, or some kind of cereal bar that tasted more like cardboard than any kind of cereal one could imagine. Sitting at the breakfast table were Aiden's twelve year old cousin, Emily, who was eating some kind of sugar coated cereal with different colored marshmallows in it, and Aiden's cousin Stephen, who was about the same age as him. Aiden was always the last person to come out to eat, and since he wasn't much for eating first thing in the morning, he normally drank milk or orange juice and took one of the foul tasting cereal bars to eat on his way to school (which ended up in the bottom of his messenger bag instead).
It was a familiar scene for Aiden to come to breakfast to find Stephen sitting at the table with his guitar in hand, practicing some song he had to learn for music class while his bowl of cereal or oatmeal, whichever he was eating that particular morning, sat there to get cold or mushy. While Emily was busy eating her cereal, Stephen and Aiden would carry on conversations about the band Stephen was in, or about some new song idea one or the other had come up with.
"Sleep well?" Stephen asked as Aiden came to join him at the table.
"I'd have slept better if your mom hadn't come and woken me up at 6 AM to go to prison," Aiden replied.
Stephen smirked, and continued practicing the different strings on his guitar.
"You have practice today?" Aiden asked, standing at the kitchen counter to pour himself a glass of orange juice.
"Yeah. We're meeting up at Jay's house and getting ready for that gig we're playing Thursday," Stephen replied.
"Sweet. You have any 'extracurricular activities' planned for afterward?" Aiden asked. By extracurricular activities he meant, of course, smoking weed and getting high.
"You know it," Stephen said with a grin.
"You and your extracurriculars," Aiden said, rolling his eyes.
"Yeah? Well how about you and those sin sticks you have in your man purse there?" Stephen said, acknowledging Aiden's messenger bag sitting on the counter.
"Those only kill my heart and lungs, not my brain cells," Aiden replied with a smirk.
"You have your poison, I have mine," Stephen said.
All of a sudden, Denise hurried into the kitchen dressed up in a fancy purple pantsuit and high heels.
"What are you two saying about poison?" she asked as she took up Stephen and Emily's bowls to place in the sink.
"Oh, nothing. Just talking about a box of rat poison I found in the boys bathroom at school the other day," Aiden replied cooly. "You know, if that fell in the wrong hands, it could have seriously hurt someone."
"Yeah, totally," Stephen said, returning his guitar to it's sturdy leather case. "You ready dude?"
"Yeah sure," Aiden said, guzzling down his glass of orange juice, handing it to Denise before he left. "See ya later, Aunt Denise," he said with a smirk and wink.
"Yeah, yeah. Have a good day, boys," Denise said as she gave them a wave good-bye.
"Any day at school makes it impossible to have a good day," Aiden called back just as he slipped out the door.
As he and Stephen loaded up into Stephen's truck, Aiden immediately whipped out his box of cigarettes, and lit it up. Stephen rolled his eyes at him.
"You and your cigarettes," he said.
Aiden smiled, and took a puff.
"We each have our poisons," he repeated, exhaling a mouthful of white smoke.
It was Maxwell Somerhaulder's first day at his new school, and already he was making a mental note of who to get to know better, and who to keep several light years away from. Instantly Max knew who he would have a chance with, and who he might need to work a little bit to get on with. Regardless, he would have his way, and there had never been a single person who could resist his immense charm.
Being bisexual, Max was able to experience the best of both worlds. When he was still living in California where his dad worked at a large, successful law firm, Max had quite a reputation as the local playboy. He didn't just shoot for those who attended the same school as him. No, he went for guys or girls who went to other schools, sometimes even college students. He had become such a smooth talker he believed he could walk up to anybody on the streets and if he asked, they would do just about anything for him. It was the gift he had inherited from his father, the renowned defense attorney Lance Somerhaulder. Now that his father had decided to move to Florida to set up another branch of his law firm in Daytona, Max had a new crop of unplucked treasures to flirt around with.
Max was a reasonably tall young man, around six foot even, and was a drop dead gorgeous boy at that. Since he got his smooth talking and height from his father, he naturally got his mother's striking good looks and charm. It was no surprise that, being the son of a former model, Max should grow up to be featured in a number of surfing magazines and advertising for companies such as CK, Tommy Hilfiger, and Abercrombie, being revered as one of the most exciting new faces in the modeling business. Everybody clamored to have him advertise for them and endorse their product, but while Max enjoyed modeling, his true love in life was surfing. It seemed funny that Max made his modeling debut after being featured in a number of surfing magazines. With his sexy, slender body, a six pack, a light tan complexion, and moppy dirty blonde hair, Max was every girls dream guy.
After having checked out all the guys and girls he could, Max reported to the school office where he could receive his schedule, and then proceed to his first class. When he went in, he immediately grabbed the attention of all the secretaries in the office.
"Can I help you?" a middle aged woman with short red hair asked with a dazzling white smile.
Determined to leave an impression on the ladies in the office, Max figured he had best turn on his charm if he wanted to get in good with the school staff. He gave his own dazzling white smile, and leaned across the counter.
"Maybe," he replied. "I'm needing to pick up my schedule. I'm new here."
"What's your name?" asked another secretary with long brown hair, quickly poking her head around the corner from another room.
"Max Somerhaulder," he replied, winking with a smile at the brown haired secretary.
"Oh, right! I'll get that for you right away!" the red headed secretary said.
"No, no. I'm already standing up, I can get it," the other said.
"Oh, no. Don't trouble yourself. I can get it."
"But you're already sitting down so I'll get it."
"But I saw him first!" the red headed secretary exclaimed.
Just then, a third, blonde haired secretary swept in and handed Max his schedule.
"Here you go, cutie," the blonde haired woman said with a smile.
"Thank you, ma'am," Max said. He glanced at the other two women, and gave a nod. "Thank you too, ladies."
As Max turned to leave, the three secretaries couldn't help but blush and laugh amongst themselves. As he walked down the hall to his first class, Max couldn't help but chuckle to himself.
'Looks like the old Max charm works on just about anyone,' he thought.
Aiden was in his first period chemistry class, text messaging a friend in another class while he waited for class to start. When the last bell rang, everyone took their seats, and waited for the teacher to come in. Shortly after the bell had rang, a tall, pale, and thin man with messy, crazy gray hair and a white lab coat walked in with a briefcase in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other. He had on a thick pair of glasses then made his eyes look much larger than they really were. If anyone were to have seen him walking down the street, one would have believed him to be a very strange individual. That couldn't be anymore true, except that he was also one of the best chemistry teachers in the school, and everyone fought and struggled to get in his classes. But, luckily for Aiden, he had gotten to know Mr. Fitzgerald way back in his ninth grade biology class, back before he ever taught chemistry. Since the two had become such good friends, Aiden was one of the first students he chose to be in his class.
"Good morning, class. Sorry I'm late. Some lout at the Starbucks down the street forgot to put sugar and cream in my coffee so I had to go back in and do it myself. The nerve of some people!" Mr. Fitzgerald shouted.
The class erupted into laughter as he set his belongings down, and approached the front board.
"Alright now, settle down. Today we're going to start on chapter nineteen in your text books, so I want you all to take out your notebooks so we can take down some notes," he instructed.
As everyone began taking out their notebooks and pens, the door suddenly opened, and everyone's attention was diverted to the door. A series of loud whispers bounced around the room as everyone tried figuring out who the stranger at the door was. While Mr. Fitzgerald waved the newcomer up to him, Aiden watched on, and could instantly tell that the guy who just walked in was a new kid. And, judging by the way he dressed and carried himself, he had to be a complete asshole.
"Alright, everyone. Listen up. We've got a new addition to our class, and his name is Max Somerhaulder. So try not to make him feel like he has something hanging out of his nose by staring at him too much," Mr. Fitzgerald said.
The class laughed once again at Mr. Fitzgerald leaned in close to Max, whispering into his ear. Everyone else except Aiden was laughing, because he knew that since he sat at a table all by himself, and all the other tables in the room were being occupied, that the only place Max could sit was next to him.
"You can sit next to Aiden here at the front. Try not to let him bite you," Mr. Fitzgerald said loud enough for Aiden to hear.
Aiden could feel his insides constrict as Max made his way over to his table, and sat down. All the while, he could feel Max's gaze fix onto him, looking him over, summing him up. All the while, Aiden felt like stabbing him in the face with his pen.
"Hey," Max said, smiling at Aiden, and then winking. "You must be Aiden."
Aiden felt the urge to sass back at Max simply for talking to him, but figured he hadn't really done anything to deserve any sort of lashing (yet). So he simply turned back to him, smiled, and nodded.
"Yeeeeah," Aiden replied. "That'd be me."
"Cool piercings," Max said. "I bet they hurt like hell."
"Yeah, I bet they did," Aiden said, looking back at the head of the class as Mr. Fitzgerald began his lesson.
For the remainder of the class period, Aiden could feel the discomforting gaze of Max watching him. Without even having to guess, Aiden knew that he was going to hate Maxwell Somerhaulder.