Chapter One: The Bitch From Hell
Do you know what's worse than having to sneak into your own bedroom? Having to sneak into your own bedroom, only to find your books completely rearranged (after you'd spent hours making sure they were perfectly alphabetized), your bed short-sheeted, and your uniform all rumpled up, among other things.
God, how I hate David Weston.
See, after I brained David, I pretty much spent the rest of the weekend crashing in Scott's room – he got a single room, and we avoided security guards like the plague. Technically speaking, girls weren't allowed to be in the boys' dorms (and vice versa) after hours, let alone spending the night. We had this massive Buffy-slash-Angel-athon ("The Life and Times of Faith"), and we just hung out. Why, do you ask, did I spend the entire weekend with my brother? The answer's quite simple: I was deathly afraid to go back to my room.
I'd thrown many an object at Weston before, in a fit of temper. However, I'd never actually managed to hit him.
And therein lays the problem.
I did hit him, and not only did my conscience decide to make an unfortunate appearance, but I knew – I just knew – he was waiting for me back in my room, with some nefarious scheme in his twisted, perverted little mind. So I didn't go back until midnight Sunday, the night before classes began. And when I did come back, what did I find?
Chaos. Complete and utter chaos.
I had to spend an hour alone ironing out my uniform, then another hour trying to fix my bed, and then I had to spend another two hours reorganizing my backpack (yes, he even messed with my backpack, the jerk).
Have I mentioned as of late how much I do not like David Weston?
So anyway, I only got about three and a half hours of sleep, before Madison was shaking me awake to get ready for breakfast. After she suggested that I might want to get down to the Dining Hall before David messed with my food, too, I shot out of bed.
Like I really needed to tell you that.
It took me all of fifteen minutes to pull on my uniform after I showered, and I liked the feel of the fabric. Maple Ridge had gotten new uniforms this year, and they were pretty hot. The shirts were a simple white button-down, with a collar and the school crest on the left breast pocket, and the tie was red-and-yellow plaid to match the skirt. The skirt itself (yes, we still have that ancient tradition of the girls wearing skirts and the guys wearing pants) was pleated and came up to within an inch of my knees. Or at least, it was supposed to. My mother must have mixed up my measurements with Amanda's when she ordered my uniform (Mandy's at least two inches shorter than me), because my skirt was about two inches too short.
Madison whistled as I pulled on my white knee-high socks.
"What was that for?" I asked, pulling my hair into a messy bun.
"I knew you'd kick that good-girl look sooner or later," she grinned, pulling her own blonde locks into a ponytail.
"My mom messed up the skirt measurements!"
"Sure she did."
I slipped on my black flats and glared at her. "I think Weston's beginning to rub off on you. You never used to get so much pleasure out of annoying me."
"Speaking of dear David…" Madison paused, slinging her own bag over her shoulder. "I wonder what he and the others will say when they see all that leg?"
I groaned. If Weston can turn perfectly nice people like Maddy into sadists like himself, God forbid the day he decides to procreate.
"Morning, Maddy. So, what's your schedule?" Scott asked, taking a seat beside me.
"Good morning to you, too," I teased, tugging on his sleeve. He shook his head and pulled the scrunchie out of my hair. Sticking my tongue out at him, I combed a hand through my loose hair.
"Morning, Sam. So, Mads, how about it?"
"I forgot to pick up my schedule when I got my key," she replied, taking a sip of coffee. "I was planning to go after breakfast. You?"
"I haven't gotten mine yet, either. Want some company?"
I frowned in confusion; the first thing we did when we got to the campus was go to the main office to get our schedules and room keys. "Scott…"
"Yeah?" He gave me his innocent look. And if you know my brother like I do, you will know that he is anything but innocent.
"Scott, you already-"
Upon hearing the disembodied voice, I grinned. Scott, you lucky bastard, I thought. "Ian!" He sat on my other side, and I gave him a one-armed hug. "When did you get here?"
"Saturday night. Sam, you look good." I blushed. "Don't be modest."
"There's nothing for her to be modest about."
I stuck out my tongue at David, who'd made his unwanted appearance. He returned the gesture.
"First class, David?" Madison asked desperately, trying to diffuse the tension.
"Advanced Functions," he replied promptly. I groaned inwardly.
"How about you, Sam?"
"Dunno." She gave me a Look. It was a well-known fact that I memorized my timetable the second I got it.
"Pop-Tarts? You're having Pop-Tarts for breakfast?" Ian eyed the chocolate chip pastry in my hand with distaste. The guy was a health-food freak. Or at least, he'd turned into one this year. Alas, I was now the lone chocoholic of our little group.
"I need the sugar," I replied defensively, taking a sip of my milk. Especially if I'm going to be sharing first period with the King of Cretins. "Of course," I added aloud, "I wouldn't need the extra sugar to stay awake if someone hadn't fucked up my room last night." I ignored the juice coming out of Scott's nose, and glared pointedly at the person across from me.
"Well, someone wouldn't have fucked up your room if someone else hadn't chucked a five-hundred-pound dictionary at him," David replied shortly, returning the look. The bruise on his temple had turned into a magnificent amalgamation of purples and blues. Not to mention it was about the size of my fist. I frowned.
Damned conscience. It had to appear at the most unwanted times.
"It wasn't a dictionary, it was a thesaurus," I said tartly. "And it didn't weigh five hundred pounds. Maybe ten."
Ian laughed into his Cheerios. "You threw a thesaurus at him? You actually hit him?" He asked incredulously, his spoonful of cereal halfway to his lips.
So I'm notoriously known for my bad aim. But it's a statistical impossibility for me to miss all of the time. I kindly informed my friend of this fact.
"No, but you hit him. I heard a different story from a couple of tenth-grade girls when I was coming in."
"Oh?" This caught my interest. "What did you hear?"
"He heard nothing," David interjected, sending pointed looks at Ian.
I grinned. "I don't believe I was talking to you. Ian, darling, continue."
He obliged. But of course he did. Ian, much to Maddy's disappointment, often encourages the little verbal spars between Weston and me. Sometimes I wonder about that boy.
"I just heard the girls talking about how it was such a miracle that David got jumped by three Hell's Angels and only got that bruise."
I actually choked on my Pop-Tart. While I was spending a weekend hiding out when I could have otherwise been enjoying the last few days before school started, His Unholiness was going around telling people he'd been jumped by three biker dudes.
Well, I guess it beat the alternative of saying he'd been hit in the head with a ten-pound thesaurus by a girl who was half a foot shorter than he was and who couldn't aim to save her life.
"Well at least I wasn't hiding the entire weekend," David muttered.
"I was not hiding!" I replied hotly. A couple of people from the nearby tables were giving me strange looks. I lowered my voice. "I wasn't."
"Right. Which was why you avoided your own bedroom all weekend long like the plague."
I glared at him. How I longed to mess up his thick, dark hair. If, you know, it wasn't already perfectly-tousled.
"Yes, well, I didn't lie to everyone and said I got jumped when I got hit in the head by a dictionary," I retorted, my voice loud and clear. By this time, more than just a few people were looking. People began to giggle and snicker, shooting David amused looks.
"It wasn't a dictionary. It was a thesaurus," he mumbled.
"Right you are," I chirped, starting on my third Pop-Tart. David just glared.
My day didn't get any better. I'd left breakfast early to go to the main office, so I could get a new timetable. I'd be damned if I was going to stick with a schedule that had me seeing Weston first thing in the morning every other day. But, alas, the fates were once again against me. The secretary, tiny, frail little thing, yelled at me for five minutes, because I had the audacity to ask her what the time was.
Honestly, what ever was I thinking, asking such a daring question?
Senile old woman.
Needless to say, I decided to forego the timetable change.
But oh, that's not all. As I was coming out of the office, I bumped into Maddy and Scott, and brother dearest decided I was spying on him.
I have much better things to do with my precious time, thanks.
And of course, it started to rain when I was crossing the quad. Good thing I had a jacket on me. White shirts and rain do not a happy Sammy make. Especially when my skirt was already short, and half the guys at school were on permanent hormone overdrive.
Oh, but my personal favourite incident throughout the day happened at lunch, when some annoying little slut-wannabe threw her macaroni-and-meatloaf combo at me, because I apparently ruined her 'chance' with David.
What? All I did was kindly ask Weston if he wanted to get arrested for statutory rape, since said girl wasn't a junior like she told him, but was in fact in the eighth grade.
Yeah, he kind of walked off (asshole) and left me to deal with Little Miss Horny, who then proceeded to dump her lunch on me, causing me to miss my own meal, on account of the fact that I had to run back to my room and change my clothes.
But that's not the worst of it, by far. The worst of it came when I was going to my fourth-period class. Headmaster Quinn caught me during the change of classes and roped me into organizing this year's school fundraiser. After I promised I'd come up with a really kick-ass idea, I had to sprint across the quad (yep, my last two classes were on opposite sides of the campus) and up three flights of stairs.
I got to the classroom (sweaty, starving, and out of breath) just in time to see the door closing on me. I stuck my foot out, wincing slightly as the door slammed against my boot. I got a particularly nasty look from a head of shiny brown hair and dark green eyes.
That, my friends, was my first meeting with the new AP World History teacher at Maple Ridge Academy. Or, as I now fondly refer to her as, the Bitch from Hell.
But I digress.
She slowly opened the door, and gave me this really evil glare. I mean, are teachers even allowed to look at you like that?
"Sorry – for the lateness," I apologized in between gasps of air. "The headmaster – pulled me aside – during the – transition – between classes, and my last class – was all the way – on the other end of the-"
"Save it," she interrupted me. "I don't condone lateness, and I don't care for excuses."
I kind of half-listened to that last part, since I was too busy concentrating on the smirking boy who sat behind the only empty desk in the room.
Yes, I had the unfortunate luck to see Weston in both my first and last class of the day.
It's times like these I lose faith in a higher power.
"I'm usually not late," I continued, taking the empty seat and ignoring His Unholiness. "It won't happen again, I assure you."
"You're right. It won't. Detention this evening for your tardiness, Miss…" She checked the attendance list. "Ms. Spade. Oh, and detention tomorrow evening as well, for your inappropriate uniform." She stared pointedly at the skirt.
"Yeah, about that," I muttered, as le idiot behind me gave a loud wolf-whistle, which cued the other red-blooded males in the room to laugh at my expense.
"My mom mixed up my measurements…" I trailed off at her look. "No excuses. Right." I let out a weak laugh. "So… when's that detention, again?" Normally, I'd be outraged, but I was too exhausted to do anything.
"We'll speak after class, Ms. Spade. You've wasted enough of my time already."
"Sorry, Ms. Davalos," she corrected, her lips set in a thin, disapproving line.
"Right," I said again, losing all semblance of composure that I'd regained. "I didn't know your name, though."
"You would have, had you been here on time," she replied frostily.
Yeesh, is it just me, or did the temperature in this room just drop about forty degrees?
"Ms. D, cut her some slack." I groaned inwardly and buried my head. David Weston was speaking on my behalf. I was never going to live this down. "She was only late by a couple of minutes, and it really does take a long time to cross the quad."
"Perhaps you're right, Mr. Weston,' Ms. Davalos agreed.
I swear, Davalos had a split personality or something. It was the only way to explain how her voice went from ice-cold to honey-sweet as soon as she turned her attention from me to David. Actually, there was another way to explain it, but I didn't want to go there yet.
"Ms. Spade, you will only serve the detention for your uniform. The next time I see you, you had better be wearing school-sanctioned attire."
"I've already placed an order for new uniforms," I assured her.
"I don't care. You can thank Mr. Weston for my sudden leniency towards you. I assure you, it won't happen again." She turned to the chalkboard.
I inclined my head ever-so-slightly. "Thanks," I whispered reluctantly out of the corner of my mouth.
"You're welcome," he murmured back. "But you know, actions speak louder than words. If you really wanted to show me how grateful you are… stop by my room after class today. I guarantee you, we'll both have fun." I clenched my hands into fists. David chuckled. "Sam, you're too easy. …Well, if only you were easy."
He actually sounded wistful, the bastard.
"Ms. Spade." Ms. Davalos' voice rang through the room. "If you continue to distract my students, I shall be forced to remove you."
Distraction? Moi? What is she, high? Can she not see that the root of all evil is the distraction?
"Right. I'll try my best to stop Weston from trying to bed me," I snorted. "Of course, in the last three years, that hasn't really stopped him from hitting on me, but you know what they say. Persistence, persistence, persistence." Several people chuckled. Ms. Davalos was not one of those people, surprise surprise.
"Strike two, young lady."
What the hell? Not even my mother called me 'young lady'.
"Now, if Ms. Spade can control her hormones-" David let out a particularly loud laugh at that – "I'll start the class. Finally. I'd like all of us to get know each other a little better." She gave David this Look, and me sitting in front of him, I happened to see it.
Was it normal for teachers to give their students seductive looks?
Yeah, I didn't think so.
"I want to know you all on a more intimate level." Another Look, which earned a grinning David jealous glares from the rest of the guys. This was like "Teacher's Pet", happening right before my very eyes. Only this she-mantis chose the wrong victim. I highly doubted David was still innocent. Hell, half the senior girls could attest to that.
Can you say 'statutory rape'? I thought disgustedly. Davalos had to be at least ten years our senior. The law student in me knew that she could get in serious shit if she tried anything with David or any other student, and the sadist in me prayed that she would.
What? Was it that wrong to want to kick her out of the school after knowing her for a grand total of fifteen minutes?
"Of course," she continued, "there are some students who have no such depth." A look my way. "But we can always make allowances for their narrow-mindedness and short-sightedness."
What the hell is this woman playing at? I thought angrily. Did she not realize that she was the teacher, more specifically, the adult?
Normally, I am calm, composed, and completely in control. That day, however, was not my day.
"Ms. Spade, how about you start us off? A few words about yourself."
I smiled brightly. "Sure thing, Ms. D." She looked slightly taken aback. I bet that was because she thought I was going to refuse or throw a tantrum, or something.
She obviously did not know who she was dealing with.
"Okay, well, my name's Samantha, like you guys already know. I've been coming to Maple Ridge since ninth grade. I've got two brothers who also go here, and a sister who goes to public school back home in Toronto, which is where I was born and raised. Um, I like to swim and play badminton and soccer, and occasionally I'll bike, but there aren't a lot of places to do that on campus. My favourite colour is black, mainly just 'cause it goes with anything, but also because it's got a sort of mystery to it. My favourite flavour of ice cream is chocolate chip cookie dough, and my best friends are Madison Harper, Ian Hart, and Leah Green, a friend back in the city. In my humble opinion, Buffy the Vampire Slayer is the best show to ever grace the small screen. Oh. And I love books. A lot. I go through them faster than Weston goes through girlfriends."
That last one got me chuckles and giggles from the whole class.
Call me the class comedienne.
Ms. Davalos gave me this tight-lipped smile. "Black is a shade, not a colour, like any child learns in third-grade art class."
"And this show, this Buffy. It tells me a lot about your personality, Ms. Spade, that you would consider such a trivial show about vampires and the like to be worthy of watching. There's nothing wrong with indulging yourself now and again, but making a hobby out of something like this… you are a senior student, Ms. Spade. I suggest that you grow up and stop living in a dream world. You're off to university next year, provided you make it through my class, and you can't live with your head in the clouds when you've got reality to contend with."
I just sat there, blinking at her. The room got really quiet, but either she was too dense to realize it, or to ignorant to care.
Come on. It's like, elementary teaching to know that when the room sounds like death, someone's gonna get cussed out.
Three guesses who that someone would be in this case.
"Mr. Weston, would you like to go next?" There was that simpering smile again.
"I would, but I think Sam has something else to say," he drawled.
"Mr. Weston, how ever would you know that? Her back is to you."
Yes, how ever would you know that, David darling? I thought sarcastically, getting pissed at being talked about like I wasn't there. The woman insulted me, and then she insulted Buffy. No way was I going to take that lying down.
"I just know," he replied simply.
"Well bloody good for you, Weston. Give yourself cookie," I muttered, unable to take it any longer. Amusement sparkled in his dark chocolate eyes.
"Ms. Spade, watch your mouth," Ms. Davalos said coldly.
"No, you watch yours. I've been sitting here for the past half an hour, only to get bitched at and talked down to. So what if I was late? Am I not allowed to be late? Will the world end if, for once in my life, I am late? No, it damn well won't! You have no right to single me out and treat me like – like – like how you've been treating me," I finished lamely, my mental thesaurus taking a vacation in my anger.
"To the office, Ms. Spade. I assume that by now, you would know where it is, what with that foul temper of yours." Davalos crossed her arms over her chest and gave me this smirk. I swear. She was actually happy to see me lose my cool like that.
What the hell. Only one person ever made me get that pissed off that quickly, and he was currently hiding his laughter behind his textbook.
"No," I replied, picking up my bag. "I know where it is because contrary to what you believe, I am not some sort of delinquent. I help out around the school, I get good grades, I'm-"
"An ass-kisser?" David supplied, immediately looking as though he regretted his little slip-of-the-tongue. Even he knew that pushing me past a certain point meant the fun and games ended.
"Do not make me start with you," I muttered, glaring at him. I stalked towards the door. "And for your information, Buffy, like the other works of Joss Whedon, is packed with philosophical and societal issues, not to mention various mythologies and world legends, which incidentally tie quite well into this class," I replied primly, before slamming the door behind me.
And that was how I got my second in-school suspension on my first day of twelfth grade, by none other than the Bitch from Hell.