Tabitha Lordes, aka the jilted ex-booty call of Drake Castleton, journeys to her aunt and uncle's house in New York. On her first day at a small private school, she finds out that maybe she should have left Drake alone after all so she could stay in River Valley. Because Saint Jude's Prep outside Ithaca is a close to hell as she could possibly imagine. And what's worse, her grades from Castleton High mean she has to go to summer school if she wants to graduate. It's not the end of the world, but resident bad guys Soren and Ansel have made her their pet project... and they make Drake look like a damn choir boy.
**bonus content not edited**
I hate it here. Hate it.
The room. The town. My Aunt's cooking, which was absolutely horrid and tasted worse than high school mystery meat. I was so close to eighteen that it would take a few extra heartbeats to get me there. The only thing that kept me sane was knowing that I didn't have to be in this house for much longer. Mere minutes actually.
Before I had to really face the music...
I could drop out. Just study for my GED, take the test. Screw it all. I'd just need somewhere to live while I did it, because my aunt and uncle would most definitely kick me out of their house. They were supervising my... rehabilitation, is what they called it.
Like I was a druggy or alcoholic, instead of a girl who'd just fallen in love with the very wrong, very worst kind of guy.
The guy who'd finally decided to be a decent human being, just not for my sake.
"Tabitha! You've got exactly ten minutes before I walk out of this door without you and instead of the morbidly expensive prep school your parents are paying for thanks to that old Castleton bitch, I'm going to send your ass to public. And trust me, you don't want to go to the one in our district!" Aunt Jackie's voice raged up at me, her words hoarse from all the shouting she did at my little twin cousins Corey and Caroline. They were thirteen, insufferable know-it-alls and both had unfortunately inherited my uncle's thick unibrow. The twins and Uncle Jerry were out of town for the weekend. Lucky them.
"I'm coming!" I shouted back, resisting the urge to slam the door behind me as I dragged my suitcase with one hand and supported the burgeoning box of all of my personal shit with the other.
Only this time it was into a dormitory with a bunch of strangers who'd probably known one another their entire lives. And here I was, coming in senior year with no connections. For a moment, I let myself imagine that this was how Tarryn had felt when she'd transferred... but then I stopped myself. That girl didn't need my sympathy. She'd waltzed in and stolen everything.
And I had nothing now.
I was alone.
But at least being the new girl meant something else too--my reputation was wiped clean. No one knew me, or Drake stupid Castleton.
I could start over.
Make good choices.
Meet a nicer guy.
"Is that what you're wearing?" Aunt Jackie quirked an eyebrow, studying the sheer faux tattoos long sleeve shirt that covered most of my upper body and the black tank top that kept my bra from actually showing. "You do realize that this is a catholic prep school?"
"And isn't Saint Jude the patron saint of lost souls? They should be totally accustomed to kids living on the edge of sin and needing a biblical-sized overhaul," I snapped, nearly dropping the box and having to release the suitcase to keep from sending everything crashing to the floor.
Not much was breakable, but there was the one thing. That stupid snow globe that Drake gave me before that bitch Tarryn had arrived. He'd gotten it after some family vacation to Paris. I didn't know why I kept it. It wasn't even really a gift; I'd just seen it in his pool house and said I liked it. He'd shoved it at me, mumbling about how it had been a peace offering from his mother before she left the trip early for another stint in rehab.
"Well, arrive like a prostitute if you want, because these will become your best friend soon." She held up a plastic dry cleaning bag, her expression triumphant.
Stuffed to the brim with white blouses, plaid skirts, and matching plaid bowties.
"You didn't tell me there was a uniform," I groaned, woefully eyeing the horrendous clothing.
"Gosh, it sure is a shame that you were forced to leave your old school. The one where students were allowed to express themselves through fashion."
"I hate you, Mom, and Dad," I grumbled.
"Good," Aunt Jackie nodded, throwing the heavy hanging bag over her arm and smirking. "It means we're doing something right. Maybe a little tough love will finally get you to straighten up, Tabitha. Because so far? I'm honestly surprised that you haven't landed in juvvie. Peeping Tom. Blackmail. Underage drinking."
"Don't forget the pregnancy scares," I winked, making it clear that it was a joke.
My aunt, though, just let her face melt into a horrified look. Good, at least I'd swiped that self-satisfied smile from her face. Who cared if she believed I was so dumb and slutty as to have a couple maybe babies at my age.
Saint Jude's Prep
3,466 existing students. & 1 new girl.
Saint Jude's Prep about half an hour outside Ithica, New York was exactly how I had pictured it. Stately red brick buildings with white trim. A giant chapel with a bell tower that marked the hour as we exited the banged-up minivan. Green lawns kept lush by sprinkler systems that probably used enough water in a day to keep a small country hydrated for a year.
"I've driving by this place before, but never had a chance to stop. It truly is a beautiful campus." Aunt Jackie gazed appreciatively at our surroundings.
"If you think hell's a pretty place on Earth..." I snarked, moving to the back of the vehicle to grab my things.
"I've already got your dorm and room assignment. Let's drop your things off before we go to the head office."
"Do I have a roommate?" I asked, both fear and hope warring in my stomach. If it was a decent roommate, maybe I could start Monday out on a good foot. Already have a built-in companion, not stick out like a sore thumb.
"No." One word, clipped and without sympathy.
"Because, Tabitha, there are an even number of girls in the senior class and all of them are paired up. The estabilishment didn't think it was wise to put an older, problematic young lady with the younger, more impressionable students."
"Maybe the senior boys have an odd man out." I smiled, knowing the comment would get a rise out of my aunt.
She whirled around, face disgusted. "Honestly, Tabitha! Boys are exactly what got you into this mess." She leaned in close, thin sallow face going red and brown eyes watery. "You are not to associate with boys. You are to keep your nose in your books, graduate, and try to not ruin your future!"
"Chill, Aunt Jackie." I shrugged. "I'm not interested in high school boys anymore anyways. Now, if there's a really cute male teacher, I'm not to be blamed for what I do."
I walked away as she sputtered and grumbled.
I didn't even know where I was going, and I didn't care. As long as I stole a few minutes alone without the judgement patrol ragging my every move.
I was lost in thought staring downward, heading aimlessly along a sidewalk and assuming Aunt Jackie was trailing behind me, when two shadows crossed my path.
"Well, look at what we have here, Ansel."
"An angel?" A second voice chimed in, "Or a demoness?"
"Has to be an angel, look at that face, Soren."
"But she's dressed like a demoness."
"A poser demoness. These aren't real tattoos!"
I looked up to find two large boys, one pale as moonlight and the other dark as the sky before dawn, blocking my path.
"Excuse me," I snapped, trying to push past them.
"You can pass, if you can answer a riddle." The pale skinned trouble maker quirked an eyebrow. "Want to do the honors, Ansel?"
"Most definitely," Ansel grinned. "Let's see..." His smile widened and he waggled his dark brows. "You stick your poles inside me. You tie me down to get me up. I get wet before you do. What am I?"
"God, your disgusting." I rolled my eyes, trying to step around them, but the two boys were faster, blocking me once more. "My aunt is right behind me. Stop or I'll shout rape."
"Your Aunt? We see no aunt." Soren made a show of leaning over to glance around me. He was so light skinned that he seemed to glow under the sunlight. The dude really needed a beach trip.
I turned enough to see the sidewalk behind me. They were right, Aunt Jackie was nowhere to be found. "Just move," I pressed, trying to push between them. They held me back easily, muscled arms bulging.
"Answer the riddle and you're free to go," Ansel's smile hadn't faded, his strange pale blue eyes peering down at me.
"Fine." I looked up at the clouds, sighing. "It's obviously a vagina. Right? Be crude to the new girl just for fun. Ha ha. We're all laughing. Now let me go."
"A demoness, I was right!"
"Tsk, you're always right, Ansel," Soren sighed. "With that sort of filthly mind, she can't be an angel."
"That wasn't right?" I struggled to adjust the box, cocking my hip out a little to displace the weight. "I mean. Stick your poles inside me. Come on."
"And do you have to be tied down to get up and aroused?" Ansel leaned down, licking his lips suggestively.
"God, fine. What is it then?" I grumbled, just wanting them to leave me alone so I could find my stupid aunt, the one I'd been more than happy to get rid of moments before.
"Alas, our dear demoness, it was a tent. What else could it be?" Ansel pecked me on the cheek quickly, before I could react. It was wet, sloppy. Soren let out a satisfied laugh.
"Maybe the next one will be an angel," Soren quipped, clapping Ansel on the back.
"Not likely. They're all dirty." Ansel winked.
And as pretty as you fucking please, the two jerks turned around and walked away from me.
Just as my aunt called my name.