The entire situation was absurd, Lisanna thought to herself as she followed around the Student Council Vice-President, Takashi Imoto. She’d lost her scholarship over a part-time job she no longer had. Apparently, according to the dying geezer at her old school, working throughout the school week was prohibited for scholarship students. Lisanna felt bitter. If that was the case then she should have at least gotten a warning. Instead, she now walked through the halls of Normanth, delinquent central.
She’d heard the rumors about this school, as had most of the country. Tuition was ridiculously cheap but, in exchange, they accepted students who had nowhere else to go. In terms, they were students who were prone to violence and aggression. Their Student Council President was supposedly no better, having been kicked from every school on the coast. They said he was more like a gang leader than the President and he was seen, more often than not, on the roof of the school with some variation of woman. Lisanna worried about her safety, taking in her surroundings with disgust.
The walls were covered in graffiti and, despite it being class time, students littered the hallways. Lisanna couldn’t help but think it looked like a zoo and smelled like a barn. She saw a few females here but they were all barely dressed and Lisanna noted that the ratio was greatly distorted.
“Excuse me for asking, but I was wondering where all of the female students are.”
The boy paused, glancing over his shoulder at her and Lisanna suddenly felt very afraid. The smile that crept over his face was sarcastic and his voice was cold as he spoke to her, treating her like she was beneath him.
“What do you mean, princess?” He asked sarcastically, tacking on the nickname out of spite.
Lisanna refused to be intimidated and she glared back at him. “I mean, why are there so few female students?”
“We have them, mostly sluts and tramps who’d run out of boys to sleep with at their previous schools. Is that what you are? A slut?”
Lisanna couldn’t stand his tone, or his comment, but the fact was she believed he was being honest about their behavior. The girls she’d seen thus far had been flirting shamelessly with ten guys at once or perched on the laps of some man like a prized trophy. “How many are there?”
Takashi shrugged and turned to continue the tour. “I’m sure you can count them on your two hands,” He stated but Lisanna debated the validity of his statement.
They passed the Student Council room and turned up a narrow flight of stairs, Takashi insisting that she greet their President immediately. Upon arriving on the top landing, the boy’s attitude before her changed completely. Pulling off his glasses and tucking them in his back pocket, he stripped off his coat and loosened his tie. Instantaneously, his attitude was gone, as well, and he smiled back at her with amazing enthusiasm.
“Welcome to Normanth High School,” He chimed as he opened the door for her, sunlight flooding into her eyes. Lisanna stepped forward, blinking against the brightness, and spotted a group of students sitting on the roof. They all glanced up in surprised until Takashi popped his head around the door and bounded in.
“I found a new one.” He beamed, rushing over to a sleeping mass beneath the uniform coat and plopping down beside him. “This is our Student Council President, Lance.” He boasted as he leaned against the surrounding gate and sighed.
“Yo, Lance. I found a little lost kitten downstairs.”
The mass stirred, pushing himself off the cement with a yawn, and pulled his jacket off to reveal sun dyed hair and emerald eyes that shone with excitement. Lisanna stared, unable to remove her gaze from his face. He was as pretty as a woman and yet there was a masculinity to him that drew her. He watched her, and she could feel his gaze. He was sizing her up and, while she knew that she should be angry, she hoped she looked her best. Apparently he liked what he saw because he stood and moved towards her. Stopping a short distance in front of her, he smiled and extended his hand.
“Lance,” He remarked, his voice rough and sexy, a silver ball flashing as he spoke.
“Lisanna,” She replied, taking his hand and smiling warmly.
“So, you’re Anna?”
Lisanna nodded slowly, suddenly feeling a strange sense of familiarity. Shaking aside her strange thoughts, Lisanna eyed him over once more. He wasn’t really her type, not that she had a type, but he truly was beautiful. His skin was tan and his hair was blackish brown. It was shoulder length, pulled in to a ponytail against the back of his neck. She guessed that too many hours on the roof had led to his outdoorsy appearance and that his hair had once been as dark as night itself.
She could picture it in her mind, as if she’d opened the pages into a story about how he’d once been frail with a weak constitution and now that his health had improved he enjoyed basking in the sun. She blushed, realizing that she was totally staring at him in a daze, and noticed the group watching her intently.
“I’m really sorry.” She apologized with a deep bow and he laughed, the sound so warm and pleasant that she found herself wishing to hear it again. “It’s been a long week. I’m usually not so scatterbrained.”
Lance nodded in agreement and motioned for her to take a seat. They sat on the roof and talked for hours. Lance told her what he knew about her, having already seen her record, and she told her the little she knew about the school, basically rumors that she’d heard. He admitted to the school being a bit out of control and stated that it was the Student Council’s responsibility to maintain appearances that allowed them to control the rowdy students.
Takashi had jumped in at that point to apologize for his cruelty earlier, explaining that he was known as the Executioner of the Council. His responsibility was to instill fear into the students and to carry out orders regarding the punishment of the delinquents. Lisanna couldn’t really understand how the system worked but she listened, trying to absorb as much information as possible.
Later, Lance had introduced the group one by one. Lisanna now munched on a sandwich the President had given her while trying to remember everyone’s name. Takashi was the easiest to remember, as he’d been the first one she’d met, and he was the Vice-President. Talking to him was Erica Grynovish, a German exchange student who would be leaving in two weeks. Beside them were Ryan and Riana, the twins, who were the adopted children of the Principal. Alone in the corner was Aidan Hughes, the Student Council Treasurer and school loner. He had a bit of an attitude problem but apparently he was a genuinely nice guy. Of course, next to her was the school’s President and resident heart throb, Lance Michaels.
Lance had been prattling away about the school’s rules and regulations which were clearly never followed, not even by the Council themselves, but Lisanna was too absorbed in her thoughts to listen. Lisanna’s attention was suddenly drawn back as she heard her name.
“Excuse me.” She muttered and he smiled at her.
“It’ll be fun and none of the guys on center will dare to touch you if you agree.”
Lisanna stared at him in bewilderment. She had no idea what he was talking about but she hated to admit she hadn’t been listening to him at all. Conceding to her own belligerence, she nodded hesitantly.
“You will?” He chimed and she nodded more distinctly, taken in by his enthusiasm. “So how about we ditch tomorrow?”
Lisanna’s eyes widened in horror. “Ditch? Like as in cut class?”
Lance nodded before laughing. “What did you think I meant?”
Lisanna shook her head firmly and the students all joined in laughing. Takashi leaned closer and asked her incredulously, “What do you think we’ve been doing today?”
Lisanna was shocked. She’d kind of assumed that since she was with the Student Council that she would be alright but she should have known that this group would willingly miss class. She stood to storm away and Lance snatched up her wrist, pulling her down gently into his lap.
“It’s alright. It’s not like we’ll get in trouble. This school is probably a little different than what you’re used to but as long as you arrive for exams and pass, they don’t care if you fail to attend your classes.” He whispered softly into her ear and she was once again overwhelmed by the similarity. His voice was different, as was his body, but she felt the same in this man’s arms as she had in the others. She squirmed and his arms wrapped around her waist, holding her firmly against him.
“Nope,” He sung playfully. “I refuse to let you go.”
The action didn’t frighten her, as it normally would have. Instead, she found it strangely adorable. He was like a little kid craving for attention. Lisanna leaned into him and closed her eyes. “So, where are we going?”
Lance glanced down at her and smiled. “On our first date.”
Lisanna’s body tensed and she rubbed her temple, fighting an oncoming headache. So that was what she’d missed. Was she an absolute idiot? No, not an idiot. Clearly she enjoyed digging her own grave.
Lance could feel the change and he quickly set to reassure her. “We can go wherever you’d like and eat whatever you want. It’s all about what you want.”
Lisanna thought about it for a moment and then nodded in consent. She’d never really dated someone and she really had no desire to but she figured if she ever wanted to try it, this was the perfect guy. Although his appearance might give some people the wrong impression, he seemed genuine enough and was gentle and childish. They would probably have a lot of fun and, for whatever reason, Lisanna felt safe with him.
“Let’s go.” She hummed and Lance smiled, kissing her forehead.
Lisanna had no idea that as she rested in Lance’s arms outside her school gate, at that very moment, an extremely agitated Hayden was waiting to crush the world around her.