December sat alone in her room by the window pane, glancing at the black sky tainted with several streaks of lightning, before looking out at the deserted compound where a couple of lamp posts were stationed by the pathways and some students rushing towards the dormitory. The night air was chilly as the leafy trees danced to the gust of the wind. Moments later, droplets of rain pelt against the window before it started pouring heavily, but she had closed the windows by then.
A soft, lulling song played in the background, but December didn't pay any attention to it as her mind drifted elsewhere. Her brows furrowed as she thought back to the discussion she had with her friends earlier that day.
After the meeting at the clubroom, December had confided in both Raven and Brooke about Pierre.
"I'm just so annoyed!" December huffed.
Brooke and Raven both grinned at each other. They had listened to her going on about how much the guy grated on her nerves back then, not to mention it always amused both Raven and Brooke to see December aggravated like this. It seemed very clear to them that December, their normally quite composed friend obviously had boy troubles. And with the one person whom she truly couldn't stand, or so she claimed. As her friends, it fell upon their duty to help her in whatever way they could, and they were thrilled about this.
With a twinkle in their eyes, they both came to a conclusion: December didn't realize that she's starting to fall for him.
'That is if she hadn't already fallen for him,' Brooke thought with glee.
Raven leaned against a pillar and said not so subtly, "Has it ever occurred to you that maybe...you like him?"
December looked so aghast that the grey-eyed girl had to bite back a smile. "Like him? No way."
Brooke interjected, "Well, considering the things you said about the guy, what else could it be?"
She scoffed, "It could be a pain in the arse, that's for sure!"
Brooke refrained from rolling her eyes and pursed her lips instead. "I'd never pegged you as someone this obtuse, D."
At December's reproachful look, she amended. "Fine. But haven't you ever thought about what it may be like, not being so crossed with him?"
Raven, who had been observing the two of them bicker, agreed with a nod. "Exactly my thoughts. I think you'd be surprised to find that situation a pleasant one,"
Indignantly, December said, "Have you seen the guy? He's impossible."
"Now that sounds to me like you did consider such possibilities." Brooke gave her vexed friend a smile and a friendly pat on the back.
She paused at that, before giving her friend a look that said she was clearly out of her mind.
It's ridiculous, December thought. There was no way she was starting to like the obnoxious guy when everything about him ticks her off immensely. She had no idea where her friends had gotten an idea such as that.
Despite them being determined to make December see their point, she was also adamant in believing that both Raven and Brooke had gotten it all wrong with their stupendous display of theory.
"I cannot believe you would even suggest that. I don't like him," She said vehemently before adding, "and if he's not going to be civil first, then I sure as hell am not going to act like we're buddies." She crossed her arms and challenged her friends with a look that suggest them not to go against it.
Brooke being herself, refused to take that hint. She rolled her eyes exasperatedly and burst out, "Oh for the love of…! What are you, five?"
The blue eyed girl only held her friend's stare with a defiant look.
Raven, thinking this was not going anywhere at the moment, decided she'd stop them from possibly murdering one another. She was not that frustrated as Brooke was toward December's state of denial. After all, they had just given her an idea that she might have some crush on the one guy she couldn't stand.
She sighed and said, "Look guys, there's no need to get heated up because of this. Brooke," she turned to the tall girl, "I don't think you should push December on this. I mean, she's the one who'll decide what she's going to do with -"
December interjected as she threw her hands up and exclaimed with a sigh of relief. "Finally, someone who understands me!"
Raven looked to December and fixed her a look with a bit of an amusement and said, "And you should consider what we said. If you look at a different perspective, maybe things will be better for you, who knows." Then, she fixed her gaze on both of them, challenging the girls with an eyebrow raised. "Well?"
Brooke looked blankly at Raven before sighing. The level headed girl always won a sound argument among them, and she had to both admire and hate that. "Why do you always have to be the sensible one between us?" She grumbled.
Then, turning to her stubborn friend, she said to December, "I suppose Raven has a point. But aren't you tired of always picking a fight or avoiding him? Why let him bother you so much if you don't like the guy?"
December was startled by that revelation at first, before taking that in and letting the information sink. They had both apologized after that and went to get some snacks together but even after several hours later, the last bit of what Brooke said to her still echoed in her mind.
"Why let him bother you so much if you don't like the guy?"
Indeed, she had to agree wholeheartedly with Brooke on that. If she didn't like him, then why would his attitude or presence nagged at her?
As the thought came across her mind, another one formed and her heart almost skip a beat as her hand started to feel damp.
'But what if…what they said were true? Could it be that I harbored some feelings for that hotheaded idiot?' she thought with a sudden alarm.
As if such thought sounded even weirder than what her friends suggested, she blanched. Then, she felt like laughing. "Of course not! What would that be of Zach then? He's the one that I have a crush on," she murmured to herself before nodding vigorously with satisfaction. "Yes, Zach is the one that I like."
With that affirmation, she decided to let the matter drop, but not before drawing a conclusion on it: She likes Zach but she was also going to try to be civil with Pierre.
There was no way out of it, she knew, if she wanted to survive and enjoy the rest of her high school days with her friends and have good memories of it.
'There's no way I'm letting that random Scottish guy ruin my high school life because of our disposition,' she thought with a renewed determination.
December had to agree on what both her friends said, after all. If she didn't like him, then she shouldn't let herself be affected on whatever he did. The only way to overcome that is to treat him like her other acquaintances.
December went to bed that night with a smile on her face.
A few days later, she had put her plan into action, and was very pleased that everything seemed to be going well. It was a bit challenging at first because every time he was taunting her, she had to force the urge to retaliate a comeback down and ignore him, but the determination to put things the way they are to a stop kept reminding her why she was doing this. They had a couple of classes together, and she would either do her own thing or talk to him politely when the need arose. Never once had she risen to his baits, which was something that he did almost every time they crossed paths, and she was proud of herself. Even her friends had commented on her sudden conduct in a good natured way. Despite that, she would still need to keep up the bearing for possibly the rest of the year with him.
Nevertheless, she could feel that things were starting to look up and she felt great about it.
The same couldn't be said for Pierre however, because he was torn between confusion and a little irritated with December's change of behaviour. As soon as he realized that he was missing the reaction when he picked a fight with her, it got him to be even more annoyed…but with himself. Wasn't this what he wanted? For her to leave him alone? Then why on earth was he behaving like a besotted elementary schooler? He was disgusted with himself.
He scowled at no one as he walked towards the library, unware of his peers' frightened expression as they parted ways for him instantly.
He had disliked her immensely, especially with that encounter at that music store a couple of months ago, but now he didn't find that same feeling when it came to her. Not that he liked her, he just felt a little less hostile. To think that it was only recently that she was trying so hard to avoid him, but now she acted as if they were…just on normal circumstances. 'Talk about a complete turnabout,' he thought.
He didn't know why he felt unsettled by that, nor did he know how to go about it.
Pierre had been surprised when she actually nodded at him when they walked by each other, their gazes inadvertently locked on one another. Normally, she would have averted her gaze. That was only the first, he concluded when later that morning, she surprised him with how composed and politely controlled she had behaved despite him taunting and jeering at her.
Then, he almost stopped in his tracks as he thought about the situation.
If she wanted to treat him indifferently, then wouldn't that be better for him? He thought further as his brows furrowed. Was he even angry at her anymore for that incident? Well, he felt a little less indignant towards her, that's for sure. Ever since their blow out, he was only thinking about picking on her which had somehow surprised him, because he didn't think he was ever going to stop blaming her about it. Yet again, his rational part chastised him for being completely immature to dwell on such things like that. Not only that, he knew it was partially his fault they had collided. If he hadn't been in a rush to get the things onto the counter in fear of it falling out of his grasp, maybe that could have been avoided.
But shock and anger had blinded him from being rational at that moment.
"Ah, to hell with it," Pierre muttered to himself, immediately discarding the thoughts regarding their spat or condition.
He wasn't going to dwell on that anymore.
The whole school was buzzing with excitement, which came especially from the girls and December had a fairly good idea why. She would normally mind her own business and though she appeared to be doing just that, her ears weren't because Miranda Hutchison just had to shout to the whole world about the 'best piece of hunk she had ever seen'.
Miranda was in Karen's clique, and as part of the 'too cool for you' group and supposedly the number one source where it's the first place people got the news from, she felt inclined to be the source for any telling.
She was talking to a couple of her friends by the lockers, but with the booming voice with each word enunciated, she might as well be addressing it to all of the students occupying the hallway.
"Omigosh you guys! Guess what? I just met the hunkiest guy I've ever laid my eyes on and he has the most gorgeous eyes ever!" Miranda gushed dull wittedly.
A petite brunette beside Miranda seemed to be hanging on every word the ditzy brunette said. The girl then asked impatiently, "Well? Go on, Miranda! What does he looked like?"
She scoffed and rolled her eyes. "I was just getting there, Laura! So, anyways, his eyes were the palest blue I've ever seen and his hair is so black they look so polished like my manicured nails! "
Then, another girl whose name was Harriet gasped. "Can you see reflections too?"
Students were snickering and laughing and one of them, a guy whom December recognized to be from the swimming team said mockingly, "Gee Harriet, if his hair is that polished, not only can you see reflections, but I reckon you can also use it as a mirror to put on some make-up. And while you're at it, you might want to do it properly too." Boisterous laughter sounded from his group of posse among others.
Harriet looked like she wanted to claw his eyes out but Miranda beat her to it. "Oh shut up! What do you know about make-up anyway? Let's go, girls. We're done here!"
The team were by the hallway lockers and even though both Miranda and Harriet were out of sight, they were still taunting and making fun of the girls amongst themselves whilst making their way elsewhere.
December had to keep her giggles down when she heard Miranda's description. The remark of a person's hair being that shiny was quite hilarious but she had to admit the last part made by the guy wasn't necessary. After all, she didn't think Harriet's make up looked too bad, although she could maybe lay off caking her face too much with compact powders. She took two books for her History class next, and closed the locker shut.
It was only when she was on her way to class that Miranda's description really registered in her mind.
'…..his eyes were the palest blue I've ever seen and his hair is so black they look so polished…'
"Wait a minute," she paused before continuing, "Now why does that sound familiar...?"
She would like to think otherwise by saying there's a lot of guys in the academy with pale blue eyes and black hair but in her heart, she strongly believes this description matches the same guy she saw the day before.
She was curious about him. How did he managed to avoid their school's most nosiest students and gossipers if he had been around since yesterday, but only manages to be the focal attention of the student body today?
He was definitely a mysterious one, December thought.
"Alright, settle down now everyone!" Mr. Brown shouted over the uproar the students made. The middle aged man wiped his thick brow with a handkerchief and muttered something under his breath before shouting the same thing again. December felt a little sorry because he's been trying to keep the students quiet for at least five minutes now...but not sorry enough to try and help the grumpy man to quiet down her classmates.
'He brought this upon himself,' December thought as she thought to how he was always picking on her and even most of the students by giving low marks even when they didn't deserve it.
"Tch, what are we in, elementary?" A girl with heavily applied eyeliner rolled her eyes beside her and a few of her classmates smothered their laughs.
She silently agreed.799Please respect copyright.ＰＥＮＡＮＡYqO5Zbni84
December also just wanted to sleep. Since that morning, she had been controlling herself not to rise to Pierre's baits. On top of that, she had to juggle not one but two assignments of a weeks' worth and hand it in that evening. 'At least I've finished half of the first one…,' she thought before yawning, which turned into a yelp at the sound of her teacher's bellow.
"SILENCE!" Their substitute teacher finally cracked. His voice did, too.
"Honestly, give us a warning or something," she muttered to herself but narrowed her eyes slightly at the plump man. Everyone heed the order and decided then they had riled him up enough and chose to finally settle down.
Satisfied, he mumbled, "Finally." Then, in a louder voice, he said, "Today we will start quizzing on famous historical figures and their achievements throughout different centuries. You will be divided into pairs and-"
Mr. Brown was cut off mid-sentence by a knock sounded on the door. He exhaled loudly and grumbled something under his breath before disappearing out of the classroom.
Inside, the class started to unsettle again, and it wasn't because they were wondering what pulled their homeroom teacher out of the class. They were simply glad that he was distracted so they could mind their own business again. December on the other hand, was on the border on sleeping. 'I should really sleep early next time,' her mind echoed a thought before pulling her into a slumber.
Something was rousing her from her sleep and she blindly swatted it away from her, burrowing deeper into the haze of slumber. Not a minute later, she felt a tapping on her shoulder, then two.
"What?" she moaned drowsily.
"If you want to sleep, then go to your dorm and not do it here." A bored voice said.
Her brows furrowed before she reluctantly opened her eyes.
She sighed, then asked in a disgruntled manner. "What are you doing here?"
He had been sitting in the back row, trying to pay attention to the lesson at hand when a skinny guy stood then sat on an empty chair beside him, trying to engage him in a conversation about their History lesson. At first, he tried to reciprocate but soon after, the guy whose name was Deryck, talked his ear off without a stop and began pestering him on just about anything.
At that point, Pierre's patience had ran out and he scowled at the chatterbox which made him scampered away to the other side of the classroom.
He didn't particularly hate History. In fact, it was one of the subjects he actually liked and he didn't mind helping out those who wanted his help.
But to distract him with irrelevant things when he was trying to focus was another thing he couldn't stand. He didn't like Mr. Brown but at least the man taught them additional information that wasn't generic and found in textbook, making it interesting to pay attention to.
He normally would have listen attentively. He also wouldn't have given his classmates any second thoughts nor would he have spent time observing them when he could have gotten some knowledge from the teacher. However, Pierre didn't feel normal that day or otherwise he wouldn't feel too bored and resorted to doing just that.
As soon as Mr. Brown stepped out of the room, his gaze flew to December. The girl immediately went out as a light the moment their teacher stepped out. He watched as several expressions from smiling to frowning flickered across her face. 'Interesting,' he thought as he observed her sleeping form. A couple of the students beside her played a prank by whispering something in her ear but it didn't even wake her up. 'She sleeps like a hibernating bear,' Pierre thought with amazement as he tried not to laugh.
Mr. Brown came back a while later and assigned the class partners to work on the task he gave them, and Pierre wanted to laugh when his name was mentioned alongside hers. "Of all people, I just had to get her as my partner," he muttered to himself.
He looked at the plump but burly man again. 'Did he not notice she was sleeping? I'm sure he was looking at her when he called her name too.'
If that wasn't worse, the man didn't look like he wanted to drill someone when he came back. Instead of the old grumpy man, Mr. Brown came back looking cheery and radiant, for the lack of a better word, and that was something none of them could get used to, as per the evidence when they stopped what they were doing and stared open-mouthed at him.
The class was co-operative for the next few minutes, however, before everyone started to lose focus again, saved for a few who did paid attention.
Pierre narrowed his eyes at her and almost scowled. "In case you had forgotten, we're still in class and we're supposed to be partners for this assignment."
It took her a moment to gather around her surroundings before she responded, "Right." Then, as if it really registered in her mind where she was at the moment, her eyes went wide as she searched frantically for Mr. Brown.
Pierre had predicted the reaction from her. He gave her a small smirk and said, "He won't care. Just look around."
She did, and was a bit surprised that some of her sleeping classmates in the middle and back row didn't get reprimanded by their sour faced homeroom teacher. After all, he could get quite anal about the slightest thing. In fact, as she looked towards Mr. Brown, he seemed a little less angry and annoyed now which puzzled her.
"Why does he looked so happy?" December asked Pierre.
"Who knows? Maybe he got a raise or something." He replied before clearing his throat and said indifferently, "Let's just get started so we can finish this quicker and be done with it."
December had to blink twice. She had almost forgotten that this was the guy who always grated on her nerves and until yesterday, was doing so. They were actually having a normal conversation right now and it was quite hard for her to believe this. He was not irritating her….and she was not pretending to be nonchalant towards him.
This felt…strangely pleasant. A thought then struck her.
"Wait," she said before continuing after a pause, "What are we supposed to do, again?"
Pierre stared at her. 'Did she not focus on anything in class?' Pierre wondered. He then remembered she was practically sleeping the whole time and looked at her genuinely confused expression. 'Definitely not,' he added silently in a mischievous manner.
December had been trying to pay attention to what they were doing. So far, she had only managed to find and complete the information on two historical figures out of fifteen of them. Based on what Pierre explained, they were supposed to complete as much accurate telling of the historical figure which Mr. Brown had mentioned and taught during their classes. They had to jog their mind for the information and the pair who finished the fastest with the most correct answers would be given a few extra points each.
Always a sucker for free marks, December tried her best to do her part but it wasn't enough. She could practically feel the marks slipping away from her grasp. Her partner on the other hand, had completed eight of them and she hated his quick thinking ability. It was also at that moment that she decided she was in trouble if she didn't do something. 'Should I or should I not? I usually wouldn't…but my life depends on it!' December thought frantically.
"Uh, Pierre?" She hated how small her voice sounded.
"What?" His eyes were roving across the flashcards, figuring out which information he could store first before making his decision and scribbled down the answers. He glanced at her then.
December swallowed but forced herself to be nonchalant. "Y-you know, we're supposed to be partners here but you seem to be doing it all on your own."
He looked at her and raised a brow. "I didn't do it all. You've also completed them."
"Yeah, but it's only two," December almost raised her voice before checking herself then said, "Look, the point is you did eight and seemed to be moving faster than me. I just thought that maybe…" she trailed off.
She couldn't bring herself to say it after all. 'Coward,' her mind sneered at her.
'Damn it, December. It's just a simple sentence,' she tried to reason with herself.
Pierre kept staring at her. He was actually torn between smirking at her conflicting self or pretending he didn't realize what she was saying. He chose the former.
Smirking, he drawled lazily, "You want my help."
She paused and gave him a blank stare. 'Must he give me that damn smirk? That cocky idiot,' she tried not to seethe. Mentally closing her eyes and heaved a sigh, she added, 'I'm better than this. The moment he knew he's still getting to me, this would be all pointless.'
She smiled insincerely. "Yeah, you got me." Then, she added in a tone of both pain and hope, "So?"
"Say the magic word."
The smile fell from her face as she fixed him with an appalled look. "What are we, five?"
He gave her a smug look and said, "It works every time," before adding expectantly, "Well?"
She rolled her eyes before saying in the dullest tone she could muster. "Will you please help me so we can get those free marks?"
He made a slightly disappointed sound. "You can do better," he said before glancing at the clock on the wall and continued, "But since we're losing time, I'll accept that."
'You're unbelievable,' she wanted to shout at him.
Pierre did helped her, and they both progressed better than most of the students in the class. They almost didn't get those free marks, despite being the fastest pair due to the incorrect answer of a couple of the flashcards.
Pierre may not say anything to her but December knew deep down it had to be hers that was wrong.
Regardless, due to the power of persuasion and logical reasoning that December never would have thought Pierre possessed, they eventually managed to attain those marks.
To say she was stunned but grateful was an understatement. Still, December would rather suffocate herself than tell him that – although she did nod at him in thanks.
The response she received from him? Another smirk.
That afternoon, she stood by her locker and stuffed it with the books she carried. Closing it, she turned around just to spot Pierre at his locker and Karen.
The blonde was flirting as usual and Pierre seemed to be welcoming it by the look on his face. 'Someone needs to wipe that idiotic grin off his face,' she thought sourly.
Karen, who started to walk with Pierre and flirt at the same time caught her eye, giving December a haughty but victorious smirk before mouthing 'He's mine' to her.
She wanted to scream so badly, 'Take him, I don't care!' but refrained herself lest she looked like a raving lunatic.
'Someone needs to wipe that idiotic smirk off her face, too,' she thought with disdain.
She scrunched her nose in distaste at the sight of them turning around a corner before storming off.
Storming into her room, she threw herself on the bed and exhaled loudly. The sound of a slightly creaking door opening made her look.
Brooke came out of it and closed the door behind her, before resuming to dry her hair. She smiled at a dishevelled looking December.
"What's wrong? You looked like someone just pissed on you."
December frowned at the choice of words the girl used before saying tirelessly, "More like put a gallon of gasoline on me, but not lighting me up on fire…yet."
Brooke stopped towelling halfway and stared at the lying form of her friend. Dropping all casualties aside, she said, "Okay, that doesn't really make sense but it's also disturbing coming from you." Then, she added, "So, wanna tell me what's going on now?"
"Nothing, really." December muttered, narrowing her eyes at the tall girl.
"Just spit it out, D. You know it'll keep bugging you if you don't talk it out."
She sighed. Brooke was right, and although there are times when she just doesn't feel like talking it out, this wasn't it. She was really glad Brooke was here to hear her, although she didn't know how the girl got into the room and asked just that.
"I met Raven on her way out. My shower's not functioning again so I asked her if I could use you guys' shower. Hope you don't mind." She gave December a goofy smile, and the girl chuckled then said she didn't. It was, after all, a common thing that they do when one of their showers malfunctioned.
Sitting up right, she faced Brooke, who sat on Raven's bed.
"I saw Karen today." She started.
Brooke shrugged helplessly. "That can't be helped because she's everywhere in school. But of course, if you have a sound plan of how we can get rid of her permanently, tell me and I'll be willing to help." Then, she put a finger under her chin and said thoughtfully, "I think I do have some contacts."
December laughed. "Brooke, be serious!"
After their laughter ceased, December continued, "I saw her flirting with that angry looking guy, Pierre."
"Our newest club addition?" Brooke asked.
"The only one." December confirmed.
"Huh. I would have thought she would unsheathe her claws and pounce at him the moment he came here, but it took her a couple of months to do that. She must be losing her touch," Brooke remarked with a smirk.
Taking a pillow and hugging it to her chest, December shook her head. "I don't care about that. I just…," she trailed off, before thinking what she wanted to say next, "You know, she threatened me about him."
Brooke raised an eyebrow. "What, like," She made a gesture of connotations with her fingers, "'stay away from him 'cause he's bad news' sort of thing or 'stay away from him 'cause he's mine'?" Brooke then added casually, "The second one sounds more like her, though."
"Yeah, that's exactly what she did."
"That is so typical of her." Brooke rolled her eyes before continuing, "She's never threatened you before about some dudes she's after, hasn't she?"
December shook her head before saying in annoyance. "Why would she even bother with telling me all these things? I've never done anything to her or any of her friends. Heck, I've never even dated!"
"How is that last part relevant?" Brooke countered before shaking her head slightly, making the almost dried chestnut curls bounced a little. "Just ignore that bitch, D. She's jealous, I'm telling you."
December almost had her jaw dropped. "Of me?"
At her friend's enthusiastic nod, she continued, "Of what?"
Brooke gave her dubious friend a look. "You may be silly at times but you have more good qualities than her." At the girl's curious look, she elaborate. "Come on, D. You're good at archery and despite what you think, you're also pretty decent at Arts which is more than what I can say about her. She's probably only good at fucking."
At December's astonished look and before the girl could say anything, Brooke stopped her with a cheeky grin and said, "People talk." Then, she patted December's hand and smiled, "Give yourself some credits." before getting up to get out of the room.
A few seconds later, she peeked in and said, "You're okay, now?"
December smiled gratefully. "Yeah, thanks a lot, Brooke."
Brooke made a move to leave again but stopped. With a thoughtful look, she started, "You know, I've said this before, but….are you sure you don't have a crush on this Pierre guy?"
December was caught off guard by that question and became speechless as she struggled to form coherent sentences. "What-you-I…NO!"
The girl smiled like a Cheshire cat and taunted her flustered friend. "You sure? Not even a little?"
All Brooke received was a look of indifference, a serenely controlled look from December as she said, "Brooke, if that ever happens, I'll leave San Francisco to a place you'll never imagine existed." Then, she added proudly, "Besides, I like-"
Brooke interjected with a knowing grin. "Zach. Yes, I know."ns 184.108.40.206da2