"Owen Kline, minus five points for forgetting your school tie and leaving your top 2 buttons undone," said Emily Schuster sharply. She quickly jotted down the misconduct on her note pad and handed Owen a pink slip.
"You're kidding," moaned Owen.
"Rule 54 of the Tuscany Academy Guidebook strictly says that all students must wear the Tuscany Academy ordained uniform. For boys, that would be a crisp white button up, the evergreen blazer with the Tuscany emblem embroidered on the right chest, trousers that hit a inch below the ankle, and the maroon tie. Sweaters optional - solid colors only," recited Emily calmly. "Without your tie, the uniform is incomplete hence the markdown."
Emily spun around when she noticed another rule breaker. "Monica Walsh, this is your second offense. I repeat, rule 32 forbids you from wearing stilettos on campus. You are to wear loafers!"
"Whatever. I'd take a pink slip any day to walk around in my Jimmy Choo's. I'd rather be dead than be caught in loafers."
Emily's green eyes glowed, "you are dangerously close to losing your off campus privileges Monica. One more violation and you won't be leaving campus until Summer Break."
Monica frowned before slipping off her heels and pulling out the school sanctioned loafers.
"Ugh, there goes the Ice Queen again preaching about the rules," whispered Charlotte Sawyer.
"Can't she ever give that goody two shoe act a rest?" Chimed in Annie Wang.
Even though their whispers were said loud enough for Emily to hear, she was not fazed at all. As disciplinary prefect and head of student security at Tuscany Academy, it was both a honor and duty for her to ensure that all was up to the school's incredibly lofty standards. After all, this was one of the premier academies in the world and the most exclusive high school in the United States. Only the creme de la creme had the privilege of attending the school. Her classmates ranged from heirs and heiresses to Olympic medal athletes - and it was a common occurrence for students to take off for months to run their family corporation or for a film shoot. Wealthy, beautiful, and intelligent - the school body was composed of the elite. However, Emily Schuster was none of that and she was fine with it that way.
She walked through the marble hallway swiftly and purposefully. Students steered away from her - the pink sheets in her hand a visual warning that danger was approaching. Unknown to them was that her mind was elsewhere. Vice Principal Henderson had called her to the office for a special assignment. Knowing him, God knows what he might have in store for her.
Kyle Duncan swept his hand through his bleached blonde hair and eyed the old, balding man in front of him lazily. Even though it was only his first day, Kyle sat on the sofa as if he ruled the school. He plopped his feet onto the coffee table without batting an eye. He grinned challengingly as if goading him to pick a fight.
Vice Principal Henderson winced a little when he saw his precious desk being used as a foot rest, but he let it slide. After all, this was Kyle Duncan, the son of the "corporate emperor" Brandon Duncan. While the deadline for enrollment had passed months ago, Mr. Henderson was willing to make an exception for Kyle when Mr. Duncan had "donated" 2 million dollars to the school. While Mr. Henderson had initially been doubtful about whether or not Kyle should be accepted, the money eventually won him over. It wasn't everyday 2 million dollars came rolling in. How bad could he possibly be? Rumors get out of control and no matter how notorious Kyle is known to be - he's still a student. Even if he is as bad as they make him out to be, there's only 4 more months until graduation and he's be gone. In the end, Mr. Henderson was convinced this was a win win situation. Wiping the beads of sweat that was forming on his thin hair line, he continued where he let off.
"And, like I mentioned before, it's an absolute pleasure to have you here. I am sure that the atmosphere of this school will have wonderful influence on you. With over 200 acres of sprawling oaks and maples as your courtyard and a cathedral dating from the 18th century-Everything here exemplifies higher education amidst nature and culture. We dedicate ourselves to making every one of our students become the best in whatever they set out to be and-"No need to continue Mr. Harrison," Kyle said drily.
"It's Henderson." He corrected uncomfortably.
Kyle gave a brief, sarcastic smile, "Mr. Harrison, I get it. You got the money; you don't need to fake being thankful for having me. I'm sure my father sold me off for a hefty sum, 1 million? No, let me guess 2? Well, as my records show, there's nothing that will be pleasant about me staying here." Kyle emphasized "pleasant" sardonically and Mr. Henderson couldn't help but squirm a little in his seat.
Giving the sweating headmaster a devilish grin, Kyle stood up to leave when a knock interrupted their conversation.
"Come in," the Vice Principal weakly called out and Kyle's dark blue eyes widened at what he saw. He let out a little snort of disbelief. Was this girl for real?
A cartoon character had just walked in. Her dark brown hair was pulled into two thick braids, and her face was covered by huge, tinted tortoiseshell glasses. Her blazer was large enough to be the vice principal's, and a brown plaid skirt swung below her knees. There was an inch of skin before her legs were covered in thick wooly black socks. In her hands were various forms and fliers, and scoffed when he made out the title of the book she was carrying. "Tuscany Academy's Guideline: Rules to abide by to be an outstanding Tuscany Owl". She was the dorkiest girl he ever saw in his life.
"Mr. Henderson, you wanted to see me?" She asked softly.
"Yes," Mr. Henderson squealed. He was staring at her as if she was his knight in shining armor, thought Kyle drily.
Kyle sighed loudly in exasperation and plopped back down on the seat. He wanted to be anywhere but here. This was his fourth transfer his senior year of high school and his father's final attempt at ensuring that Kyle wraps up his final year without a hitch before heading to Yale - his father's alma mater. In a true Duncan fashion, Kyle was plucked away from his high school in Malibu, California to this God forsaken, preppy dungeon of a high school without a warning until the day before the transfer. He felt jet lagged and cranky, and it didn't help that the old man in front of him spent at least 3 hours prattling on about the campus and another 4 hours about his extensive African art collection. And now, here was a girl who exemplified everything he loathed. A rule abiding, ass kissing girl who will probably live her life fulfilling her mommy and daddy's expectations, going to some elite university, and being the model wife to some corporate husband hosting dinners and shit before expecting her own kids to do the same boring thing. He hated it. He hated how everyone abided by this farcical system, and he hated it even more that no matter what shit he got himself into, he would be expected to do the same. Because he's a Duncan and the sole heir, no less.
Mr. Henderson nudged Emily towards Kyle so that she was standing directly above him. He gave her the same taunting grin that he gave to Mr. Henderson.
If this was going be the last couple of months before he has to sell his soul to the devil, he planned on wrecking as much havoc as he can.
Mr. Henderson gave a little cough before awkwardly introducing her,"Kyle, this is Emily Schuster, our school prefect who is in charge of the disciplinary division; and if I may mention, an Honorary State Peace Award winner."
Emily saw right through Mr. Henderson's wide smile. It was no secret to her that the current vice principal detested her and she knew why. She wasn't a daughter of a millionaire, or a movie star, or a foreign prime minister nor was she academically brilliant. It was by pure chance that she got into this school, and he never let that fact go past him. It was only the Peace Award that she recieved when she disarmed a campus gunman that got him to warm up to her a bit. But in truth, if it wasn't for the headmaster, she would've been kicked out ages ago.
"Emily, this is Kyle Duncan." Mr. Henderson looked at her pointedly and she gave a stiff smile towards the new student. The first things she noticed about him were the multitudes of rules he was breaking... on the very first day of school. No uniform on. Unnaturally bright blonde hair. Piercing. Gum chewing. Rings that highly resemble weapons. Emily couldn't help but cringe slightly at all the offences. "Nice to meet you, Kyle." She extended her hand which he ignored and she let it drop. No point in making a scene with a jerk. Still, she felt her fist clench slightly in irritation.
"Anyways, I hope you two get along because Emily is going to be the one who guides you around the school," continued Mr. Henderson pretending to be oblivious of Kyle's obvious lack of respect.
She bit back a groan as she eyed him again. From the rebellious glint in his dark blue eyes to the smug way he leaned back onto the sofa, everything about him exuded arrogance and trouble. He was exactly the type of guy she didn't want to deal with.
"Actually," Emily tried slowly, "Mr. Henderson, it's my turn to patrol the school right now so I can't."
"Can't you just take him along with you?" He looked at her pleadingly and she felt a smirk creep on her face. It wasn't just any day that Mr. Henderson looked that desperate. Giving in, she gave a little nod before turning back to Kyle. He was staring at her like she was a freak and she really didn't appreciate it, and before she could ask him if her face was that fascinating, Mr. Henderson called out his name and gingerly asked him, "Kyle, could you please wait outside the room. There's something I have to discuss with Miss Schuster here privately."
Kyle didn't have to be told twice as he hopped off the velvet sofa and walked out of the musty room. Emily watched his retreating figure before turning back to the vice principal.
"Emily, I know what you're thinking." He paused and thought about his words carefully, "Kyle Duncan is very significant to this school. His admission here was looked upon highly by the board; after all he is worth quite a sum." Rolling his neck a bit, he looked at her with steely eyes, "Basically, what I'm trying to say is don't do anything stupid or unnecessary. I don't want to see another Jimmy Hull incident."
Emily immediately felt a bad taste in her mouth at the thought of Jimmy Hull. He was a student at Tuscany Academy a year ago before he got transferred out. Coming from an extremely wealthy and affluential family, he was haughty and had a nasty temper which he frequently let out on fellow students. One day, Emily had caught him beating up a student and had promptly dragged him to the vice principal. However, instead of recieving the punishment he deserved, Jimmy Hull got off scott free after "donating" a Ming Dynasty vase to Henderson. Regardless of whatever Mr. Henderson covers it up as, Emily knew all too well how willing and susceptible Mr. Henderson was to a little bribery. Enraged, Emily had brought up the topic to the headmaster who then promptly issued suspension. However, before it was able to take place, Jimmy's parents had transferred him over to a different school. Even now, Mr. Henderson held it against her. Especially since he believed she was the reason he wasn't promoted that year.
"And make sure he stays out of trouble," added Mr. Henderson. Shifting through sheets, he let out a sigh as he skimmed through a thick file, "He has quite the reputation."
Emily gave a curt nod and asked calmly, "Is that all?"
He smiled condescendingly, "That's it. We don't want to keep Mr. Duncan waiting."
With a little nod, Emily left the building and took a deep breath of air before looking around for him. I can do this. After pacing around the entrance for a bit, she finally found him sitting by the fountain surrounded by a swarm of girls whom were all swaying their hips and tossing their perfect, blow dried hair. Rolling her eyes, she walked up to him and their faces darkened in annoyance.
"Can't you see we're busy here," said Naomi Watson snidely as she arched her eyebrow while circling Emily like a hawk. She tossed her blonde hair behind her back as she gave her a once over. "Shouldn't a goody two shoe like you be in class? What are you doing out here?"
Emily clenched her fist in irritation but did her best to sound cordial. "I can ask you the same thing. There's still 15 minutes before it's snack time. Unless you want a detention, I would suggest you to scram."
"Oh, there we go," Naomi drawled. "And I thought the school harpy was finally letting loose a bit. Guess you're still as anal as ever, huh? Don't you ever get sick of repeating that?"
The girls around her snickered appreciatively. As much as they talked shit about Emily behind her back, they were usually too chicken to say anything in front of the frosty school disciplinary prefect. The only person who openly said whatever she felt was Naomi, and they couldn't be surprised. Naomi Watson was only one of the richest heiresses in America whose daddy would do anything for her with just the word. She was so wealthy that there are rumors that he bought her a jet that she takes to Paris every weekend for a shopping spree and even a private cafe where she can study without the stress of being "surrounded by plebeians". With everything she ever wants right at her finger tips, Naomi acted as recklessly and impulsively as she wanted without fear of retribution-which included insulting Emily whenever she had a chance.
Knowing this, Emily didn't rise to take the bait and tried to maintain calm. Naomi usually stopped when she got bored which was only when Emily didn't react the way she wanted to. Thus, instead of giving chewing her out the way she wanted to, she stoically said, "Use profanity one more time and I will have to punish you."
"Ooh, I'm so scared," she said sarcastically. "What're you going to do? Spank me?"
"I'm going to give you one more warning. Go to class or I will have to-DINGGGG DONGGGG! Emily's word was cut off by the school bell which echoed from the administration building's tower.
"Op, guess that threat's not gonna work," Naomi laughed haughtily as the other girls chimed in.
Instead of gracing her with a response, Emily decided to ignore her and instead focus on the task at hand. Kyle who was watching the exchange raised an eye brow at her as though challenging her to say something back. Thankfully, Naomi's attention was diverted when she saw the soccer team walking back from practice. With one last scathing glance, she quickly scampered over to them while the rest of the girls stuck near Kyle.
Ready to move on, Emily drew her attention to Kyle, "Next class starts in 20 minutes, I'll give you a quick tour-"Didn't you hear her? We're busy here so GTFO." A sharp voice cut her off and a hand grabbed Emily's shoulder. Emily easily broke away from the grip and slowly turned around and flung her steely gaze to the blonde who was glaring at her challengingly.
She did a quick scan and pointed out scathingly, "Natasha Clark. Of course. Your skirt is 2 inches too short; go change into gym shorts immediately. Nail polish is not allowed, by the way that's a disturbingly bright shade of fuchsia. Your top five buttons are undone, and the purple eyeliner needs to be gone. Your next class is with me, and if I don't find all of that fixed, you're getting a Saturday detention with Mr. O' Halley and you'll be getting a pink slip."
Natasha's glossed lips turned into a perfect O and Emily quickly added, "No gum chewing either. Or you'll have to clean the gum off the bottom of cafeteria tables."
Natasha quickly spitted it out and threw it into a trash can and Emily gave her a frosty smile. "See you next period."
"That b*tch." Natasha muttered.
"No profanity or there's the soap bar," exclaimed Emily when she heard her remark.
Natasha's face whitened at the mention of the soap and Emily had to suppress a laugh. Oh, the soap bar. Emily nostalgically thought about the time when the headmaster doused her mouth with a bar of organic soap for cursing. It still left a bitter taste in her mouth, but a sweet feeling warmed her heart. He has been gone for a while on some private business, and Emily missed him sorely. After all, it was because of him that she got to be at this school instead of back in the gang. She still remembered when she first saw him.
"Leave me alone! I need to go." She roared furiously as she tried to push past him. Even with such a willowy frame, his body was like a steel wall and she was gently pushed back. The room was a disaster, picture frames were broken, chairs were toppled over, and even the window had a huge hole. She had tried to jump out resulting in an even larger injury. Even when she was being so reckless, he had been treating her gently. He had always treated her gently. Ever since she woke up three days ago, barely moving and in throbbing pain. He had been there. Taking care of her. Yet she didn't need him anymore. She had to go. The gang. The gang was waiting for her. He was waiting for her.
"Not with those injuries." He sighed.
"I've been with you for a week now! I can't stay any longer. How many times do I have to tell you?" She roared. He looked at her with pity and she grew furious. "What the hell is your problem? Look, unless you want to me blast your head off, you will let me leave this room." She glared at him angrily. "The only reason you're not dead yet is cause of these bullet holes."
Emily gently rubbed her finger on the edge of her shoulder. The scar from the bullet was still there. 3 years, and the mark of that fateful night still lingered on her body. The night that she gave up her life as a gangster, and decided to live as an ordinary student.
"Where exactly are we going?" Asked Kyle.
Emily quickly pulled herself out of her daze and adjusted her glasses. "First stop is The courtyard."
Surrounded by magnolia trees and neat rows of barely budding tulips, the courtyard was the center of the school. From there, it was about a 10 minute walk to each school building that encompassed the small circle. As the place that was most visited, meticulous care and planning was put into the design of it and truly, it was a magnificent area. In the center of the courtyard's garden was a gleaming white gazebo with the words Scientia Potentia Est inscribed on the border.
"Knowledge is power," Kyle said casually.
"Scientia Potentia Est. Knowledge is power." He gazed at her with a bored expression. "Kind of a cliche, don't you think?"
"I think it's wonderful," Emily said primly. He smirked at her response.
"Let me see your schedule," she ordered as she parked them onto one of the benches.
Kyle let out a sigh of annoyance. He'd much rather watch her tell off the annoying chicks than go to class. Sure they were hot, but he was still hungover from yesterday's party, and their yapping was giving him a killer headache. And as for Ms. Feisty pants, Kyle was impressed.
For a small and pathetic looking girl, she seemed surprisingly capable of taking care of herself. He dug the schedule out of his pocket and carelessly handed it to her. The crumpled white sheet fell to the floor and she threw him a glare when she realized he would make no effort to pick it up himself. He half shrugged in a mock apology. She bent down to get it and he found himself staring at her legs then her ass. When she rose back up, he cleared his throat and looked away.
Emily narrowed her eyes, understanding what just occurred. "Keep your eyes off my rump or else I'll make you serve detention for sexual harassment."
He let out a snort, "Don't worry, dweeb. I couldn't help but notice how flat your ass is. Is that a side effect of having a stick up in there all the time?"
She rolled her eye, but couldn't help retort, "And is that insufferable attitude of yours a side effect of your pig headedness? Or were you just born that way?"
He cocked an eyebrow impressed but also incensed that she dared talk back to him. "And I'm assuming that's how you talk to all the new kids at school? What a warm welcome. I'm surprised you haven't been fired yet."
"Thankfully, not all the students here are as stuck up as you so I don't have to resort to arguing," she muttered defensively.
"Ah, so you're saying this is an argument? You should've said so earlier. Then I would've actually put a fight." He grinned scathingly.
Emily sighed as she massaged her temples, "Look, I'm not here to start a fight. Let me just take you to your classes and show you this school."
"And here I was thinking there was finally something interesting about this fucking place," he sighed dramatically.
Emily threw him a dirty glare. "You're new so I'm letting it go... but next time, another swear word from your mouth, you're going to be swallowing soap."
"That sounds kinda kinky," he smirked. Before Emily could retort something back, he had already started heading off. What a prick.
As she scanned his schedule, she mentally willed the earth to swallow her whole so she can escape the oncoming nightmare. 4 classes? How in the world did they manage to get 4 classes together with all the classes this school has to offer. Worst is, they were all back to back. She let out a groan. She could barely tolerate him now, how was she going to deal with him everyday for 4 hours.
"What?" Asked Kyle uninterestedly. He plucked a leaf off his jacket and studied the garden with a bored expression.
"Nothing," Emily muttered drily. "Lets head on to the science building first. Your first period is with Mr. Montgomery. He's one of the nicest teachers on the campus, you'll like him. But second period, Mrs. Preciado? She's horrifying. You won't learn anything from her. Best to just study at home with the text book."
Going over each class and teacher, Kyle wanted to tune it all out. After all, he wasn't even planning on going to classes. He had already planned out what he'll do instead; clubbing, clubbing, and more clubbing. After all, Manhattan was just across the bridge, and there was no place better than the Big Apple to party at. However, that voice of hers kept pressing him to listen. Maybe it was the shock from finding out it was so different from her image. Soft. Husky. Low. Kind of like Scar Jo's, without the anger reigned back like earlier, her voice was simply soothing. Maybe it was the fact that she was far too close to him for him to simply ignore. Yet he hung onto her every word.
Before he could even process what he was saying, his heart was on his sleeve and he had mumbled out, "You've got a nice voice." Where the fuck did that just come from... Kyle felt his face turn warm as he mentally shot himself.
Emily paused mid sentence, unsure of what to say next.
Well this is awkward.