The Misadventure of Chloe Saunders

Chapter 1

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Chloe scrambled out of the car, hearing Milos call after her, "Have a good day, Miss Saunders!"

She managed a half-assed smile before her sneaker caught on a crack in the concrete and down she went. Her phone slid across the pavement and her books scattered.

"Damn," she hissed as she scrabbled for her things.

As she sat there, on her knees, inspecting her phone for cracks, she heard a voice say, "Who the hell put their—oh."

She turned and found a hulk of a boy standing behind her, his big, white sneakers stepping on the edge of her tote bag. His hair fell into his face, as though he were trying hide but his eyes cut through her, piercing, the color of granny smith apples.

She opened her mouth, to apologize, but he cut her off.

"Don't leave your mess in the middle of the goddamn sidewalk, moron," he spat and walked towards the school, uncaring that he kicked her bag and everything fell out again.

"H-hey!" she cried as the door swung behind him. Thunder clapped and she glanced up as the first drop hit her eyebrow. Hurriedly she tucked everything back into her bag, scooped up her phone as the downpour hit hard, soaking her to the bone within seconds.

Today was going to be shitty.


"Is this seat taken?"

Chloe looked up from her Algebra textbook to see a dark-haired boy with a smarmy smile. He was a football player, wearing the school's letterman jacket and jeans; his wavy, dark hair was slicked back like an eel.

He gave her a smile like the cat that devoured the canary as he sank into the seat. "What're you studying?" he breathed in her ear. Discreetly as she could, she scooted away, hands shaking.

"I'm Royce," the boy offered. Like it made any difference that he was ogling her unabashedly if she knew his name.

"C-Chloe," she responded. Did you really just stutter again?

Royce gave her another smile, this one more of a leer than anything.

Her skin prickled. "I-I should go," she stammered out; heart thumping when he stood abruptly and several heads whipped towards them.

She wanted to slip under the table and never come out but a quick glance at the clock told her she needed to get to music class. She gathered up her binder and textbooks and bid Royce a goodbye.

"I'll walk you," he offered.

"N-no thanks."

When she declined, his face went dark with anger and she scrambled back, fear taking over.

She tripped and hit the ground, jarring her funny bone.

Royce let out a loud laugh like she'd told him the funniest joke and fear shifted into high gear, turning into terror. His eyes pierced her, hot and violent, filled with hate and lust.

She got to her feet and took off out of the library, feet slapping the floor. What was that guy's problem? He freaks me out.

She sprinted around the corner and had the prickling sensation that he was following her so she picked up pace and crashed headfirst into someone.

The two of them fell to the floor and she lay there, trying not to cry, feeling very scared, very confused and in pain.

Her hip ached as she got to her knees and heard the guy she'd smacked into moan a growl. "I-I'm s-so sorry," she apologized, face warming as she took note of his muscular physique and round ass that filled the seat of his jeans very nicely. "I-I w-wasn't—"

"Will you shut up for two seconds?" snapped the deep rumble of a voice.

Her face flashed hot as the guy sat up and turned, his eyes cutting through her. What the hell—it was the guy from this morning, the one who'd yelled at her.

"What the fuck is your problem?" he growled, and his voice sent excited shivers up her spine.

He seemed to stare at her for a minute, eyes darting around, looking at her face.

If she looked close enough, she could see her wide-eyed, flush-faced reflection in his wide pupils; she looked scared.

"What—" he tried.

A loud voice cut him off and Chloe's heart stuttered in beating.

The boy from the library—Royce was it?—was walking straight towards them.

Panic filled up her chest, made it hard to breathe. Shakily, she tried to pack up her things and calm down but her eyes were filling with tears of terror and she couldn't stop them.

"Souza." Royce's voice was cold, angry.

"Banks." The yelling boy's tone was indifferent.

Chloe ducked her head down when Royce addressed her and instead stared at his expensive, chunky sneakers.

"You left me so suddenly back there, Chloe," he laughed and she shook her head when he extended his hand down to her. "What's a pretty girl like you doing with an ugly guy like him?"

She slapped his hand away. "I-I think y-you're the one w-who's ugly, R-Royce," she spat out, the tips of her ears burning when his smile turned sharp and violent as his stance grew rigid.

"Really?" The tone of his voice sent her scuttling back but he grabbed her leg and leaned down, his face in hers.

"Banks," came the other boy's growling voice.

She could feel the pulse beating wildly in wrists, in her ankles even, as Royce's tan, angry face swept close to hers. Her frightened, panic-stricken eyes met his as he whispered, so softly that she had to strain to hear it, "You're going to be mine, whether you want it—" He punctuated with a twist her foot, making her cry and try, weakly albeit, to kick him, "—or not."

"D-don't t-to-ouch me!" she whispered out, fear constricting her voice when he laughed mockingly at her and dropped her foot.

"Watch out, she's a spitfire. Spitfires are always fun. It's been awhile since I had one." Royce licked his lips and she jerked away, horrified.

"Banks!" came the rude boy's sharp bark and his arm looped around Chloe, dragging her back.

She struggled to stand. "Look like the pup thinks he's found a girlfriend," laughed out a girl's voice. A copper-skinned girl with coppery braids slinked around the corner in high wedges.

She jolted as dark eyes met her blue ones. "Rae?" Chloe gasped out.

"Hello, Chloe," she sneered as Chloe dug her nails into her palms.

"You know her?" Souza asked in her ear.

She felt herself nod frozenly.

How could she ever forget the bitch who forced her to move schools and ruined her entire eighth grade year after her mom passed away?

"Oh yeah, we know each other," Rae snickered with a flirty smile.