Yes, kiddies, this contains slash. yaoi. MxM. GAY MEN. Whatever you want to call it. I've never gotten a flame for any yaoi stuff, so please, don't be the first. If you don't like it, just don't read it. You have been given fair warning.

- Cruelty -

Chapter 1: Masen-Rodgers Preparatory

"Oh my God, I haven't seen you in forever!"

"God, I know, how are you, what have you been up to, how was your summer?"

A lean, pale boy listened wistfully to the two girls outside the open window regaling each other with stories of their summer. ("We went to Switzerland, I thought it would be boring, but the shopping was to die for!" the first one squealed loudly.) He lightly traced a long finger up and down the ridge of a raised scar that twisted from his back to halfway around his left hip bone.

He was surrounded by a picturesque room that made the slightly frayed, second hand uniform he was wearing look even shabbier. The room had three polished mahogany sleigh beds, three matching dressers, and three desks of the same highly polished, expensive wood. His grandfather's old second hand laptop sat on the desk closest to his bed, looking almost as out of place as he did with its scratched surface and one broken hinge.

The room was one of many dorms in the senior house at the ridiculously expensive boarding school, Masen-Rodgers preparatory academy. It was located in upstate New York among beautiful, rolling farms and a collection of tiny towns. The boy's name was Nalin (the unusual name was his father's idea). He was one of only a handful of students accepted into Masen-Rodgers scholarship program. Before now, he had never been out of his home state of Texas, and he'd never been away from his grandparents' farm for more than a week.

The door to the dorm room slammed against the wall as a stocky boy with a square jaw and a head full of neatly sheared brown curls kicked it open. He dragged behind him loads of expensive looking luggage, and a jingling dorm key hung from his hand. Nalin could tell in one glance that his uniforms were brand new. He nervously fiddled with the edges of his slightly frayed sweater as the boy pulled his things into the room.

"Hi, you must be Nalin Peterson," the boy said, walking across the room and smartly shaking hands with him.

"Yeah," Nalin replied, not sure what to say.

"We'll be roommates, my name's Tomas, but you can call me Tom."

"Alright…" Nalin looked into Tom's bright brown eyes and forced himself to make a small smile.

"Nalin's quite an unusual name. Where'd you get it?" Tom asked.

"Um, I'm not sure. It was my dad's idea; I think it may be Hebrew. My mom hated it." Nalin blushed as he said it. His unusual names always prompted questions, he had to answer these questions with the truth, and the truth involved his parents. Thinking about his parents was not something he liked to do.

"Wow, well that's cool."

"Yeah," Nalin agreed awkwardly, staring at the hardwood floors under his feet. Tom moved across the room to unpack all of the leather suitcases that he'd brought. All the while he babbled on and on about how great the school was ("one of the finest in the country," he said) the classes, the teachers he'd had, the workload, and most of all, this organization he'd been invited to join called the 'class monitors'.

"We take turns patrolling the halls after curfew, we each patrol once a week. We report any wrongdoings we find to Headmistress Maddock. Of course, it's only the top of the class, those of us with spotless permanent records and top grades." He puffed his chest out proudly as he said this, a broad smile stretching across his face.

After the subject of the qualities of the school and its current headmistress ("Brilliant woman," Tom had said. "Really enforces the rules, and of course, treats us monitors exceptionally well") had been thoroughly covered, Tom started in on their third roommate.

"I think I should warn you," he said, a dark look crossing his face. "I know, as a class monitor, how bad he really is. All the other kids think he and his friends are some kind of gods, but I know better. He's a real troublemaker, gives us a lot of problems. His name's-,"

But Nalin never found out what his name was, for just as Tom was about to tell him, the door opened for a second time, and three noisy people trooped in.

"It was excellent, I managed to lose the parents at the front gates," a tall, very handsome boy was saying. He had thick, dark hair that was a bit too long; it spilled into his dark grey eyes, and nearly touched his shoulders. He was strong and fit, built like an athlete, and at least a head and a half taller than Nalin.

The two teens behind him were listening intently. One was tall and redheaded, his face covered in orange freckles. The other was a short, tan, and strong looking girl with light blonde hair that was cut above her ears and sparkling green eyes.

The dark haired boy paused, realizing that there were two other boys in the room.

"What's that freshman doing in here?" He asked in his deep voice, his dark grey eyes fixed on Nalin.

"That's Nalin," Tom said in a hard voice. "He's our roommate, and a junior, just like us."

"Does that mean we're roommates too?" The grey eyed boy asked in disgust, moving his eyes from Nalin to Tom.

"Unfortunately," Tom answered briskly.

Nalin was sure he was blushing furiously as he stared at the ground. He'd always been rather short, and sure he was a little thinner and leaner than the other boys, but he didn't really look like a freshman, did he?

The unfortunate conclusion he came to was yes, he did look like a freshman. He was utterly young and fragile looking, his hazel eyes were round and questioning, and his face was smooth and unmarred, blushes spread frequently over his pale cheekbones.

He couldn't help but think that if the dark haired boy could see the criss-crossing, discolored scars across his back, he would no longer think he looked like a freshman.

He squeezed his eyes shut momentarily and concentrated on the angry words being exchanged between Tom and the other boy, wrestling his thoughts away from that dark corner in his mind.

"Oh, I'm so worried, little class monitor Tom Covski is going to get me!" The dark haired boy hissed nastily.

An angry, splotchy flush of red had spread over Tom's wide cheekbones.

"You'd better watch yourself, all three of you," he said threateningly.

"Tom?" Another girl walked into the now crowded room. She was even slighter than Nalin, with light brown eyes, thin dirty blonde hair, and small freckles scattered haphazardly across her nose, cheeks, and forehead.

"Victoria, can you wait a minute?" he asked harshly. She looked scared, and glanced at Nalin, who was sure his expression was something like her own. She backed silently into a corner.

"No, no, Tomas, we want to hear what Victoria has to say." The boy turned his hard grey eyes towards Victoria, smiling mockingly at her. "Come to defend your oaf of a friend? Trust me; he's pompous enough to do that himself."

The poor girl shrank away from him; her wide eyes darted around the room, as if looking for a means of escape.

"I- we were just planning on going down to the Dining Hall together," she said meekly.

The blonde girl, who until now had been silent, rested her hand on his strong arm and pulled him away.

"Leaver her alone," she hissed under her breath. The redhead gave him a reproachful look as well, and he seemed to remember himself.

"Fine; I was just going to leave my stuff here anyway." The group turned and left the room, leaving behind his pile of expensive designer leather suitcases next to the bed by the window.

Tom was still breathing heavily.

"That was what I was talking about," he said. "Lucas Marks is a big troublemaker, so are his little friends." He paused to collect himself. After his breathing slowed, he said, "This is Victoria Bonnet. Victoria, this is Nalin, my roommate."

"Nice to meet you," Victoria said, her high pitched voice was less nervous than it was before; she seemed to gain some of her confidence back. "Want to join us in the cafeteria?"

"Sure. Is the food here any good?" he asked, relieved the fight was over. They began to walk out of the dorm together.

"Its okay, but it's not good enough to eat when we have permission to go off campus. We drive to the city to eat whenever we can."

"How far away is the city?"

"It's a pretty good drive. 45 minutes on a good day, an hour on a bad."

Nalin tried to keep smiling pleasantly. He wasn't in possession of a car; his grandparents could never afford to buy him one. It looked like he wouldn't be making any weekend trips into the city unless it was with a friend. He was once again reminded of what an oddity he was here. Even nervous Victoria's parents were probably loaded.

To get to the Dining Hall, the group had to walk outside. Victoria and Tom had no problem adjusting to the cold after the warmth of the dorm, but Nalin's teeth rattled together embarrassingly and he had to cross his arms snuggly over his body to keep himself from shaking. It was colder here in August than it was in December in Texas.

"Cold?" Tom asked.

"Very. It was never this cold in Texas."

The discussion of the climate in his hometown compared to that of upstate New York carried them all the way to the dining hall.

The Masen-Rodgers dining hall was beautiful. It was full of small, round tables surrounded by six dark colored wooden chairs each. It was nicer than most restaurants Nalin had been to, and the food was amazing. He could eat forever; the selection of gourmet food seemed to go on infinitely.

"I thought you said the food was just 'ok'," he said after he'd eaten as much as he possibly could. He leaned back in his chair, staring up at the ceiling where a chandelier glowed against the dark polished wooden rafters.

"Its marginal, but it can't compare to the restaurants in the city," Tom said. Nalin could only imagine the swanky restaurants that Tom and Victoria's families ate at. That silenced him, and he waited quietly for his two companions to finish as he continued to stare at the ceiling, contemplating how out of place he was.

That night Nalin climbed into one of the impeccably clean showers in the boys' bathroom, making particularly sure the frosted glass door was closed and locked securely before taking off his clothes and throwing them over it. The only other people there were Tom and one other boy. It seemed that most of the senior boys showered in the morning. His mind was still dwelling on how much he didn't fit in here. Everything from his name to his appearance to the fact that he had no money was unusual. The hot water calmed his tense muscles, but it couldn't reach deep enough to calm his tightly clenched, sad heart.

When he'd finally had enough of breathing in steam, he twisted the knob until the water subsided, and reached outside for his towel and the pajamas hanging on the hook on the wall outside his shower. He dried himself off, staying in the cubicle as he pulled his oversized navy t-shirt and checkered boxers on.

He typically tried to avoid mirrors, but he had to look at himself in the wall of mirrors hanging above the granite sinks as he brushed his teeth. He wasn't surprised at the face looking back at him, his coarse light brown hair was still wet and it stuck up at odd angles. His hazel eyes were round, giving him an innocent, questioning look. He quickly spat out his toothpaste and scrubbed his face vigorously, so that his smooth skin glowed red. He left the bathroom just as Tom was climbing out of the shower with a towel clutched around his hips and water dripping from his hair.

Lucas didn't come in until very late that night, after Tom and Nalin had gone to bed. Tom was snoring softly, but Nalin was still wide awake. He watched as Lucas yawned and threw his sheets on his bed, the moonlight from the un-curtained window bounced off his hard body. Lucas really was very attractive, Nalin was sure that half the girls in the school were head over heels for him. That was his very last thought as exhaustion pounced on him and he fell unexpectedly into a deep sleep.

A/N: Ok, I've already written chapter 1-9 of this story. I'll upload the first five chapters and then, after that, I'll upload a chapter every Sunday night. Okay?

Please review, I really want to know what you guys think.