"I won't be back 'till dark, so don't wait up for me," I told him.

"Okay!" he said. "Be safe!"

He always managed to get me to chuckle on that. Being safe is not what matters anymore, it's winning. It's revenge, because up to this day no one knows who the assassins were or why they killed my family. And I need answers. Fast.

That's why I went to one of the Jokers. The Jokers. There are two set of Jokers in this world. Just like in the cards. Jokers, as known, are very temperamental and fickle. They want the best news and the newest scandal. People in the lower society of the cards tend to avoid the Jokers, in fear of having any of their cards taken away. But in the higher ups, like me, tend to bargain with them.

"Well, whaddaya know," I spotted one of them. Sage. Sage's the obnoxious one. With his green hair and red eye contact, he had been classified as a lunatic. A good one though, he holds thousands of cards about everyone. Cards you hold are very important. They tell about yourself and about others. If you have a King of Spade card, that means you know something about the Spade's King that no one else's knows. So it's like trading secrets or sometimes, stealing them or just by chance-having luck. And this is my luck.

I had asked him to meet me in the old building cell block 'A' just around the corner of my neighborhood. I had brought a gun with me, just in case. I'm very good at handling guns, as far as I know; I have been holding a gun ever since I could remember. I also brought a small, slick knife. A family crest that you inherit once your parents pass away. Or in my case, all my family had died.

"What can I do for you, my Queen?" He bowed at me with a smirk on his face. He probably has a vague clue of what I'm trying to do and I need him to side with me just until I'm Queen.

"I have ten cards for you," I said.

"Ten cards!" he squealed. "Sit, sit! Let's talk for a while, shall we?"

I sat on an antique sofa which looked like it was about to collapse any minute.

"Ten cards for you to keep quiet."

"That's very, very tempting," he snared, taking a seat across from me. "What kind of cards are we talking about?"

"X's cards and mine."

He began to look serious, focusing on my set of cards.

"Hmmmm, tempting...very." He has a tendency to repeat everything he says, which sometimes gets on my nerves.

"Well?" I asked.

"Well, I guess it will do," his eyes were like an animal's, waiting for its meal.

"No one has taken you yet, am I correct?" I asked. Sometimes, jokers are taken to a specific house that they serve under. They might be skilled and cunning, but their value is lower than an Ace.

"Why should I accept any proposal when I'm free as a bird?" He said but I could hear it, the crack in his voice. He knows he can't survive long being a free joker, but I know that he hates being under anything. So the next thing I'm going to bargain will definitely secure my plan.

"How would you like to be the King of Diamond?"

"Baaaah!" he cracked up but then he frowned and said; "Stop fooling around and get to the point."

"Do I look like I kid?" I asked him. "You should know very well that Slater's don't 'fool around' while in business."

"There is already a Diamond King standing, how are you going to make me King and why?"

"Is not it obvious by now?" Silence. Followed by another silence. Followed by his smile.

"You're going to overthrow the Queen, aren't you?"

"Exactly." I smiled back. "In order to do that, I need you to work with me."

"And I'm guessing being King is my reward?"

I nodded.

"Scandalous, very scandalous. What makes you think I'm not just going to hand this information to the Queen herself? Or to anybody else?"

"Because being a King will supply you with endless possibilities."

He sighed in defeat. He knows he can't fool around with me. He knows I have figured it all out.

"I guess being King sounds good."

I didn't think he'd agree that quickly, he must have his own agenda but I can't linger around and figure out what it is; I have to keep on moving. So I left him with that offer and visited my good old friend, Fae.


Verona Slater

"I don't get why you have to switch schools," complained Sky.

"What? Afraid you will miss me?"

"I see you every day, that's not my point,"

"Nuh-uh, I will be living in a dormitory starting today."

"I can always visit you," he was making up excuses.

"Look, we both have missions to do," I looked at him while fixing my tie. "The idiot's basically in love with you, you just gotta get her. And that's not gonna happen if I'm in the way of things."

"But this is not what I signed up for," he took my hand away and fixed my tie for me.

"And you think I wanna be away from you, my little knight?" I started unbuttoning his shirt.

"Stop," he said gripping my hand gently.

"What if I meet someone better," I whispered in his ears. "Someone stronger and much more appealing to the eyes?"

He sighed and let go. He grabbed his bag and left my room. I giggled in response.

"Verona," my sister came in. "You gotta stop playing with his emotions."

I scoffed. "And what fun will that be? Besides, I'm not gonna stop until he' big enough to admit it."

"Remember, keep your profile low for a week or two and meet up with our Secretary and do some scouting. You will be next in the line and you will want people you could trust,"

"Yea, yea," I sighed. I know there is more than why they sent me to another school. Something I gotta do, but they're not telling me so I'll just keep on playing in their hands and see what ends up.

Once I got into the school, a sudden nervousness hit me. I tried to brush it off but I hate feeling out of place. This wasn't my territory…yet.

"Hey, I'm Stefan," a blonde guy with glasses suddenly came up to me.

"I'm Mae by the way." Not using my first name just in case he recognized who I'm.

"You mean Verona?"


"I'm the Secretary," he whispered in my ear, smiling.

"Oh, I…I never thought you'd be this young," I said. "And cute."

"Well, thanks your majesty."

He likes to play and that's good. I needed somebody who's up for some games.

"Here is your suite, two floors down is mine if you ever need anything, and here is your first assignment."

"Assignment?" I grabbed the folder from his hand and looked at him with a confused expression.

"Well, your mission or whatever you wanna call it," he opened my dorm and we both inspect the room.

"Pretty nice," I whispered to myself.

"Your classes start in about an hour, I will see you then," he winked at me.

"Bye," I bit my lower lip and shut the door.

"Assignment? Ugh, I can't believe this," I sat down on the sofa and opened the folder.

Assignment #1

Befriend LeAnne Faugh

Princess of the Clubs

I tried to forget about the assignment as soon as I entered the classroom. There is no way I could just 'befriend' someone, I'm not the type of a friendly person to begin with.

"You must be new," the girl sitting next to me said. I gotta admit, she looks quite intimidating.

"Is it that obvious," I giggled at her. "Mae."


"Really now?"

"It's my nickname,"

"Ah, same here,"

"Looks like we're not so different," she said.

"Maybe not," I replied. I knew I was going to like her with her intimidating grey eyes and her striking black hair.

"I see you've met Fae," Stefan said sitting next to me.

"We were just talking how similar our nicknames were," I told him immediately so he won't confuse to call me Verona for a while.

"Ah," he smiled at me. He catches on pretty fast, I like that.

By lunch time, I was starving but I didn't know where to sit. I was trying to look for Fae or Stefan nonchalantly but it wasn't working out. Nevertheless, I got my food for the day and sat down on an empty table.

"Hey there pretty girl, mind if we sit next to you?" a couple of jocks were asking, already sneering.

"Well, yes, I do,"

"Uh-," the guy said.

"Sorry ladies, but she's all mine," Stefan to the rescue. They sighed in disappointment and just like that, they bounced.

"Sorry I was late,"

"It's cool, it's not like I was looking for you or anything," I smiled.

He smiled back. But it wasn't the flirtatious smile I wanted to see. It was just a smile you give to your own sister. Not the kind of smile Sky gives me and that irritated me a little bit.

"Mind if I join?" Fae asked.

"Not at all!" I said. It was nice having to know another girl; I was all alone in my other school with Sky. Boy did I stick with him like glue. We were inseparable.

"So, when were you gonna tell me that your name's actually Verona?"

I gulped and looked at Stefan and he slightly shook his head.

"I did my homework,"

"Whenever I thought it was appropriate to get to know who Fae really is," I smiled at her. Maybe it wasn't so nice knowing another girl.

"Well, I'm LeAnne Faugh but you can still call me Fae," she said.

Well, that was easy. Looks like I don't have to try so hard to befriend this LeAnne after all.


Verona Slater

"But Fae!" I whined.


"Why not!"

"Cause I just can't kill my best friend like that!"

"You're not gonna kill me, just pretend to kill me, there is a difference!"

We were shouting nonstop and if we don't calm down, one of us was going to strike the other.

"Ask the Hearts to do it!"

"Well…they might actually do it!"

"Go ahead and blow yourself up!"

"But I need your help!"


"Fae! Come on! You gotta trust me. I need my throne back," my voice started cracking. That should do it. That should bring her ego down and finally agree with me. I have known her for four years and she's one of the closest people I got right now.

"Alright, fine! You win! As you always do!" She sighed. I had to admit it, I smirked a little.

"Okay, so…I need a way to talk the Queen of Hearts alone,"

"You're trippy," she said. "There is no way she would want to see you all alone."

"Alright, well, whatever, I just need to talk to her and you can…I don't…you can help me with that."

"How? How am I possibly going to help you talk to the Queen of Hearts?"

"Ask Ben to ask for me, aren't they close friends or something?"

"Ben hates you,"

"What are you talking about? Ben loves me,"

"No, as in, he literally hates you,"

"Alright, well, I don't need you to emphasize it anymore," I sighed. This was so troublesome that I could feel myself giving up when I have not even really started.

"I'll see what I can do," Fae said opening the door. "I will call you once you have your 'meeting' with her."

"Fine," I stood up and left. There was no hugging or squealing between us, no, we've never been that way with each other. It was always tough love when it comes to the both of us.

Once I got home, I was already tired; arguing with people is not me. I went to a lot of places today just to convince a lot of people not to do this, not to do that. I feel like a babysitter. I stripped everything and laid down. I couldn't handle thinking what my life is as of right now. It seems as if four years ago, I was just living my life, taking it easy and now I have to work hard every single day and come to this dormitory I have to call home. I miss my parents and my sister. I miss Stefan. I miss the life I had. But there is no point in mourning anymore. The past is the past and I have to deal with the present. Though, I cry at night wishing I was also dead. The razors and the pills were not far away but I have to fight. It's in my blood to fight. It's in my blood to take revenge.