Give Me Clemency


"You're nothing."


"You have no one."


"You're a worthless whore."




The girl wailed as the pain from the final blow radiated through her body. She slumped off the edge of the bed and landed hard on the tile floor. Tears stung at her eyes before streaming down her cheeks, landing in drops below. Hearing his insults in her native language left her infuriated. Yet she did nothing, not even attempting to fight back, or shelter her battered body from his frenzied hits.

Her blood red hair spilled over her face, pooling onto the white tile beneath, contrasting with it eerily. She hurt everywhere, inside and out. I am worthless. I am nothing. She let out a slow, shaky breath and struggled against her swollen lids to open her eyes wider, tossing her hair over her shoulder and away from her face.

17. He had beaten her 17 times, and she couldn't do anything about it. She wouldn't do anything about it. She was tired; both emotionally and physically drained. I deserve it.

Subconsciously she felt her body tense at the sound of him coming near. He crouched down, flush against her naked back, and placed his gruff cheek against hers before turning to stare into her eyes. She immediately shivered at his intent gaze and tried to look away, but he grabbed her cheeks and held her face close.

His one evident eye was a startling steel grey in color, glazed over with hunger and lust. She moved her focus onto the black patch that covered the other and could see the very bottom of a faint jagged line.

Underneath the piece of fabric was a scar. What it was from, she had no idea, and for that she was grateful. She didn't want to know, and she didn't want to care. The idea that seeing the old wound would instill any feelings of sympathy for him made her feel sick; but she couldn't help it. She was weak.

His focus shifted from her eyes as he leaned back and ran his hand along the fresh welts along her back, inhaling deeply; satisfied as she hissed in pain. He smirked, watching her body writhe beneath him, stopping his hand just above her still covered bottom. He rested his head back down by hers, hand reaching further beneath the top of her pants, lips caressing her ear with each word he spoke.

"And one more for good luck, birthday girl."

His stale breath was hot against her neck, and smelled bitter with alcohol. She squeezed her eyes shut and bit her lip until she tasted blood.


All the air in her lungs collapsed out of her body in a single breath as the wooden stick hit her left side. She wheezed and cracked her eyes open to see him swiftly leave the room, dropping the weapon by the door. She felt like a fish out of water as she tried to force her lungs to take in air. They responded slowly as she moved into a sitting position, tucking her head in between her knees, breathing slowly. She wrapped her arms around her bare torso as she reached for her shirt that lay in a crumpled heap on the floor.

She pulled it tentatively over her head, wincing as she lifted her arms above shoulder level. The thin material aggravated the tender flesh of her back. Grunting, she grimaced and pulled herself up onto her bed. She curled up into a ball in the middle, her hands folded up against the crook of her neck. Tears forced their way out of her tight shut eyes as she waited for the darkness to take her.

It wasn't the last time she would cry herself to sleep.

Chapter 1

17 year old Kory Anders struggled against the flow of people in the hallway, gradually making her way to her locker. They slammed their bodies into her as if she wasn't even there. It didn't bother her; or at least that's what she told herself.

One person in particular knocked into an especially sore spot on her side. She winced and gasped, immediately clutching her hand to the dark bruise she knew resided underneath her bulky cardigan.


She turned her head just barely in time to see a flash of jet black hair weaving through the sea of bodies. She said nothing in return, as he was already long gone, but let a small smile tug at her lips. She knew exactly who that was, and just thinking about the fact that he had spoken to her made her heart flutter.

His name was Richard John Grayson, and he was Gotham cities famous playboy. Adoptive son of even bigger playboy Bruce Wayne, Richard was beautiful, and everyone wanted him. He had dated the majority of girls at Gotham High, and done even more of them. No one could turn him down; he was too gorgeous.

His pale skin contrasted greatly with his disheveled night-like hair and crystal blue eyes. He was tall and toned with the limber frame of an athlete. He had a strong set jaw and a charming smile that would melt any girl like butter. She could only imagine the feeling of being wrapped up in his strong arms, or of feeling his warm calloused fingers dancing along her skin, melding her whole body into his lean form.

She felt her cheeks flush, startled by the thoughts she was having. She knew no guy would ever feel this way about her, let alone a guy like Richard.

It wasn't that her appearance was utterly repulsive, she was actually quite a beautiful girl, but she had herself locked away; built up strong walls to protect her from the people and their constant judgement.

Kory had moved to Gotham at the beginning of the school year from Jump city. She'd lived in Jump for seven years, having moved there when she was only eight years old from her home country of Tameran. Tameran was a small island located on the outside of the Bahamas, and for that reason her appearance differed greatly from that of her peers. Her deep crimson hair and alarming emerald eyes, all paired together with her warm caramel skin caused her to stick out like a sore thumb.

She knew several languages, and English not being her first left her with slightly bizarre speaking patterns; yet another thing that the vicious females would use to taunt her. Her first day at Gotham High had been full of plenty of guys calling after her, and most girls becoming green with envy. But Kory didn't like the attention.

Her lack in self-confidence had caused her to remain reclusive: sitting by herself in class, mostly skipping lunch to read in the library, opting to run on the track during gym rather than participate in the daily activity.

After her first couple of days in Gotham passed, and she had yet to respond to the invitations to parties or dates, people moved on. The guys decided she was a self-righteous prude, and the girls concluded she was a cocky bitch. No one pursued her after that; in attempts of either friendship or something more.

All accept one…

His name was Xavier Redd, or X as everyone called him, and he was your classic drug dealing no fucks given bad boy of the school. He, like Richard, had the luscious ebony hair that all the girls lusted after, except his was shaggier, as compared to Richard's whose was always styled in his signature spikes.

Xavier's eyes were an icy grey, always sparkling with the slick smirk that permanently dressed his lips. Xavier loved doing everything wrong, and he always wanted what he couldn't have.

And what he wanted was Kory.

He didn't at all desire a relationship with her; Xavier didn't date. He just wanted one thing; her innocence.

And as far as he cared, he would crawl through the depths of Hell if that meant he could be the one to have Kory. To be the first one to massage all of her soft womanly curves like no one else had, to make her scream his name beneath him with pleasure…That's what he wanted.

Of course Kory was far too naive to realize the extent of his true intentions, but she brushed him off regardless, uninterested in having a relationship, especially with someone like him. Kory had more important things to focus on in her life.

She let out a sigh of frustration as her locker refused to open again.

"Oh X'hal." She muttered, worrying she would be late for class. She lifted her hand to brush a stray strand of hair behind her ear, but froze when she felt someone else's cool touch against her cheek. She went to pull away but paused as Xavier lightly tugged on a tress of her hair, holding her still.

"Need some help cutie?" Xavier flirted, leaning coolly on his side against the locker next to hers. She made to move away again, but froze as he toyed with her hair between his fingers momentarily, before brushing it behind her ear.

"What's your combo?" He challenged, flicking his gaze to her lips before slowly dragging it back to her eyes.

"8-43-40" She replied, stepping back. She did not like how he looked at her. She almost felt as though he had the ability to see right through her clothes. She instinctually crossed her arms over her chest.

He smirked at her briefly, before turning his attention to her lock. He rotated the nob a couple of times, exhaled deeply, and stepped back, opening the door with him.

"Tada." He grinned.

"I thank you Xavier." Kory said, without sparing him a glance as she retrieved her books. She latched her locker shut and brushed passed him, walking swiftly to class.

Xavier stared at her from behind for a moment before he pressed forward and fell into step with her. "No problem cutie. How 'bout you thank me with a date?" He replied with a wink.

"Oh no Xavier, I do not think I would enjoy that right now."

She ceased her train of thought when she turned to see Xavier roll his eyes with a smirk.

"Whatever, maybe later. See you around Cutie." And with that he branched off down another hallway, leaving her on her own.

Kory hugged her books tighter against her form, using them to shield herself from the mass of bodies, most of which were much larger than her. Kory was tiny. She had a very willowy build and was incredibly light on her feet. Although she was a tall 5'9'', she had the tendency to slouch, caving in on herself to keep out of the way causing her to appear much shorter.

She reached her class and grasped the door knob firmly, preparing herself for the cruel words that awaited her inside. She hauled the door open and froze.

The room was empty; not even Madame Rouge sat at her desk. Kory glanced at the clock and realized it was 5 minutes before the warning bell would even ring. She took her seat at the front of the room, slouching over and placing her head on the desk. She was exhausted and wanted nothing more than to sleep. Discussing Hamlet was the last thing she felt like doing, regardless of how much she loved the story.

Her chest ached with every breath she took, and the frigid January air from her morning walk to school hadn't helped at all. She looked up and realized the top of her cardigan had slipped off her shoulder. She pulled it up hastily, re-covering the purple mass of broken capillaries along her collar bone. She was so tired.

Kory placed her head back down and slowly began to drift off, thinking back to her life in Tameran; surrounded by her family and friends. Back to when she wasn't so lonely, and when people didn't call her a freak. It seemed like another lifetime.

Her rest was interrupted by the first bell as her peers began to trickle in. Most of them moved their chairs and grouped together, talking about their weekend plans. Kory just stared straight at the board, absently tapping her heel rapidly on the floor.

The seat to her right remained empty. No one had wanted to sit next to her yesterday, nobody wanted to sit next to her today. She sighed, lifting her head up and moving her hands to underneath her thighs, sitting on them; something she often did to keep from fidgeting too much.

The class was nearly full, only several seats remaining open. The teacher had yet to arrive and she glanced at the clock. One minute to seven, then six hours until it was time to go home.

Her gaze shifted to below the clock, landing on the door just as it opened, revealing the last students of the class and Kory's breath hitched. In walked in Richard Grayson and a few of his group; Victor Stone, Karen Beecher, and Rachel Roth. Following hopelessly behind were Kitten Moth, her boyfriend Fang Smith, and her best friend Chloe Zeg.

Victor Stone, nicknamed Vic, was a big guy with a big heart. He had deep mocha skin and bright brown eyes that were constantly glowing with laughter. He was the quarter back on the football team, and dating captain of the dance team, Karen Beecher.

Karen, often times known as Bee, was one of the most joyous girls you could ever meet; but she also had, as Victor would say, a spicy side. She was incredibly sassy and not afraid to speak her mind. One thing she was not afraid to express was her incredible love for Victor. They had been friends since 4th grade, and officially a couple since 6th. Some would call them crazy, and Richard was one of them, but there was no denying the love that they held for each other.

Karen had curly brown hair that she wore in two buns on either side of her head. She had light hazel eyes and a bright smile that captured Vic's heart.

Lastly, there was Rachel Roth. She really didn't have a nickname, aside from Rae, which her boyfriend Gar insisted on calling her, even against her constant complaints. Rachel was pale enough to give Snow White a run for her money, and had deep purple, shoulder length hair. Her eyes were actually a startling shade of periwinkle that she had been teased for nonstop as a child.

Her boyfriend Garfield Logan, or Gar, could be summed up in one word: a goofball. He was a short, thin boy with sandy blonde hair, deep green eyes and light freckles that scattered predominately across the bridge of his nose. It had taken him about two years to convince Rachel to finally let him take her out on a date. They had been together ever since; mostly happy.

Richard and his group proceeded on, trying their best to ignore the desperate guests that followed close behind.

Kitten and Chloe fawned over Richard, completely disregarding the presence of Fang and his watchful eye. Kory shifted her gaze down, praying to X'hal that Kitten and Chloe wouldn't notice her. Of course she wasn't that lucky.

She watched them eye the seats behind her hungrily. They sashayed over and sat down, Fang lugging behind them as Richard and his friends passed by on their way to the back of the class. Kory could feel Kitten and Chloe's eyes burning a hole in her head, and struggled to keep her attention on her lap.

"Hey Kory." Kitten hissed, flipping her platinum hair over her shoulder. "Haven't seen you for a couple of weeks. Hope everything's okay."

"Nothing happened, hmm?" Chloe chided in almost the same tone as Kitten.

Kory clenched her eyes shut, her hands forming fists as she tried to ignore them. Of course they knew. Everybody did. The school had been required to send out a letter to all the students alerting them of the death of last years beloved senior Koma Anders, and offering grief counseling to those who needed it. They knew she died, and yet they continued to taunt her. Had they no feelings?

Her questions were answered shortly as Kitten leaned towards her and scoffed. "Don't go playing the victim Kory. We all know your sister drove off some bridge to get the fuck away from you. I don't blame her; no idea why she didn't do it sooner." Her voice had risen several octaves and effectively captured the attention of the entire class.

Kory felt her face heat up, and she knew it must have been as red as her hair. She couldn't stop the tears that welled in her eyes as she staggered up out of her chair, dropping her Hamlet book in the process. She bent down to retrieve it and Kitten didn't hesitate to uncap her Starbucks drink and to pour it all over her.

The icy beverage ran through her hair and all down her face. It pooled into the crevices of her sweater, and slowly dripped to the floor around her. She stayed crouched as her tears ran freely down the bridge of her nose, joining the mixture of liquid on the ground.

The room was silent, sans Kitten and Chloe's sniggering, and Kory's pathetic sniffling. She wiped the mixture of chai and tears from her burning eyes and shuffled towards the door, leaving her things behind and wrapping her arms tightly around herself. She looked briefly towards the back of the room and found her eyes locked with Richard Grayson.

She felt vulnerable under his gaze. They were so incredibly blue, and she felt as though she wouldn't mind drowning in them. What struck her most about them was the faint hint of sadness they held. She almost felt like he might say something; that he might care…but the moment passed and his gaze shifted away to the board behind.

At that moment Madame Rouge walked in late to class and took in the sight. The sad wet girl continued on her way out. Kitten and Chloe staunched their giggles along with a few other students.

Madame Rouge peered at their guilty faces, and huffed turning towards the board and began to write about foils in Hamlet. She didn't care to get involved in whatever had just been going on before her arrival, and only hoped that the Ander's girl didn't go and jump off a bridge; that she could get in trouble for.

The rest of the class pulled out their pens and notebooks and copied what Madame Rouge wrote, quietly whispering among themselves.

Dick in particular had trouble focusing on what was going on. He couldn't take his mind off that girl. She had looked him right in the eyes, and she looked so sad; so vulnerable.

He turned to face Bee, who was currently preoccupied with her loving boyfriend Vic, gently caressing his hand underneath the table as he whispered into her ear. "Hey Bee, did you know who that was?" Dick asked, trying not too seem too bothered by the previous events.

She turned to him, clenching Vic's hand tightly, her dark eyebrows deeply furrowed together. "Her names Kory Anders. Poor girl. I've only ever talked to her a couple times, mostly about physics homework, and she seemed sweet as anything; terribly shy though. She's kittens current chew toy."

"Anders..." Richard thought aloud. "Sounds familiar." He concluded, his voice softening as he was talking more so to himself now than anyone else.

"Well Kitten wasn't lying." Vic spoke up. "Her sister crashed her car off a bridge couple weeks ago. Police said it was a suicide."

"Oh yeah." Richard recognized hearing the story on the local news, even little tid-bits floating around school. "Koma Anders right? Senior last year?"

"Yeah, that's her. She was one royal..." Bee paused, inhaling deeply through her nose. "Knew how to make you feel pretty damn special though."

"Koma Anders was a conniving bitch, and everyone knew it." Rachel cut in, barely sparing them a glance as she continued to copy what Madame Rouge wrote on the board. The corners of her mouth turned up in a smirk as she turned to face Richard. "She was in a different guy's bed every week. Almost a bigger "playboy" than you, Dick.

Vic guffawed, earning a sharp glare from Madame Rouge. Karen covered his mouth with her hand and smiled apologetically. Rouge squinted her eyes at them, and then returned to the board.

"You can work in groups of no more than three, and I'll approve of them next class." Madame Rouge spoke in her thick accent. "Oh, and please make sure nobody is left out, we don't need any drama over a Hamlet project. You can now get together and brainstorm." And with that she sat at her desk and pulled out a book.

"Okay, do you guys have any clue what this project is?" Bee groaned.

"No idea and I'm gonna worry about it later. But hey, you guys coming to my party Friday? Gonna be pretty sweet: alcohol, music, babes-" Vic blanched as Karen cleared her throat and lifted a brow to him.

"For Dick I mean! Ain't nobody got nothing on my Honey Bee." He said, nuzzling her neck.

Karen rolled her eyes and turned to face Rachel. "You go through this with Gar?" She inquired, stifling a giggle as Vic snorted against her skin.

"Gar may be an idiot, but he knows what I'd do to him if he ever did something stupid." She moved one of her pale slender fingers in a horizontal cutting motion across her pants zipper.

"Aye! You saying you threatened to cut off your boyfriends dick if he ever-"

"Yup." Rachel replied smugly. "And it works."

Dick and Vic exchanged uneasy looks, visibly paling as they moved their hands to protect their crotches. Karen laughed at their discomfort while Rachel smirked and turned back to her notes.

"Uhhhh so you guys commin' or what?" Vic asked, shaking his head in an attempt to get some very scary images out of his head.

"Of course I'll be there baby." Karen said, smooching his cheek.

Vic blushed and wrapped his arm tightly around her small waist. "Hey, how about you two?"

"I'll be there, but Gar's grounded for the weekend." She rolled her eyes. "He failed his calc. exam."

"Damn. Hey, what about you Dick? Wouldn't be much of a party without 'The Dick Grayson' there." Vic exclaimed, quoting his fingers to emphasize his name.

Dick huffed, exasperated. "Oh ha ha. Yeah I'll probably stop by. Bruce's away this weekend so I don't have too much going on." He ran his hand roughly through his hair, moving his spikes into further disarray that was anything but unattractive to the female population.

"Awesome man." Vic opened his mouth to say more, but hesitated. He raised his hands to cover Bee's ears and leaned across her, getting closer to Richard. "And remember what I said, plenty of hot babes, I mean really hot chicks, very into you." Vic whispered as Bee playfully swatted at his hands.

"I can still hear you Victor Stone!" She squealed as he tickled her sides and leaned away.

The bell eventually rang, signaling the end of the period as all the students filed out the door. Dick rubbed his hand over his eyes and down his face. He hoped Kitten wouldn't be there, not that Vic would invite her. She just had the tendency to show up on her own terms with Chloe and Fang.

Dick yawned and stumbled from his chair. He stretched, raising his arms above his head and made his way down the aisle of desks, grunting as he stumbled forward. He looked down to see a disregarded Hamlet book, remembering that Kory Anders had dropped it after she left the room. He picked it up and tucked it firmly under his arm as he proceeded to step carefully around the sticky spot on the floor. Maybe he would see her around the halls and could return it to her, ask if she was okay…

As much as the media liked to make him out to be a cold hearted playboy, he wasn't. Okay, he was definitely a playboy, but he wasn't heartless. He cared about his friends, his step-father and butler, and he cared enough about Kory to at least be sure she was okay.