The Secrets of the Gothic Artist

The Leader of Rebels

"Jayden! Get up, you little dickhead!"

I groaned as my older brother's baritone voice filtered through my closed door. I groaned and buried my head under my pillow. I was still reeling from the party we threw last night, which ended on a sour note when our stupid landlord called the police because we couldn't "keep it down."

"Jayden! You'll be late for school! Get up!"

Knowing my bastard of a brother wouldn't shut the hell up until I did as he ordered, I threw the covers off my body and stood up.

"All right, already, you goddamn bastard! Shut the fuck up!"

I heard him laugh loudly, "I love you too, little brother."

I ignored him as I walked out of my room and into the hallway to the bathroom. As I did so I cursed my brother. He had turned on the AC the night before to conquer the body heat of more than thirty people and had forgotten to turn it down. Therefore my nude body was feeling the effects.

Ever since I had been an adolescent, I slept buck naked for some reason. I tried it once when I found my dad asleep— nude of course—next to a random red-head, and my small childish mind pieced together the logical conclusion that sleeping naked was the norm, and I'd been fucking up the sleeping ritual all those years.

Later of course, I realized my mistake, but I found I could not sleep when I wore clothes. It was much comfier and it felt better when I could feel the sheets against my skin. My older brother shared the same sentiment and then I decided to screw the world and do as I wanted. What happened in my bed was my business and no one else's—save a partner if I was feeling generous with my bed space.

There was the often problem of getting rid of the "morning wood" so to speak, that happened more frequently because of my chosen sleeping habits. This morning thankfully had no such occurrence, probably due to my moron of a brother's oh so serene wake up call.

I entered the bathroom and began my morning business. I looked in the mirror as I brushed my teeth and flinched. I looked like shit. My hazel eyes were bloodshot, and my face looked… drained. Hopefully I would look better after I finished getting ready. I wasn't one who was hooked on looks, but I did not need the world knowing I had been completely blazed the night before thank you very much. I turned on the shower and jumped in.

Ten minutes later, I dashed out with a towel around my waist. I had to rush if I was going to make it to school on time. Don't get me wrong, I would love to skip, but not if my brother was going to be on my ass the entire day. I grabbed a tight black shirt with a red skull that I had bought the week before and jumped into my bondage pants before slipping on matching gothic shoes giving me extra height.

My clothes—contrary to popular belief—never took me long. It was all my piercings that took forever. I had gotten my piercings when I had turned fifteen. I had always been intrigued by the concept of body art so I had as many piercings as I deemed necessary. I had a fair amount—more than average but less than psychos with so many holes in their body, no one could tell what was what. I drew the line when it came to tattoos though. I had had one done on my back, one of a demonic and angel wing. I had designed it myself and looked far and wide for someone who could replicate it to perfection. It was intricately detailed, and man had it hurt like a bitch.

Never again, people. I don't give a shit if people think I'm a pussy for not taking that kind of pain. Never again.

After placing the rings and studs in my left eyebrow and my ears, I placed my last earring- a dangling cross- on my left earlobe. I grabbed my shoulder-length raven hair and put in a low ponytail.

There all done.

I raced into the living room where my twenty-three year old brother sat causally watching some random porno. I ignored it, having grown up with finding him watching meaningless sex or violence every other day, as I went into the small kitchen and took out an apple.

Terence Fay had raised me since I had been thirteen, and he had been eighteen. Our father, infamous Duarte Fay, a well-known drug lord, had been in a coma for the last five years. After our mother had died by Leukemia when I was a toddler, my father had turned to drugs as means of relief. After successfully becoming a drug lord and a drug addict to boot, he had slowly spiraled down into the state he was in now. We hardly ever visited him in the hospital, first because we didn't see the point of talking to someone who couldn't hear you, and second, I never really liked my father any way.

Terry visited him more often than I did. At least twice a month. I didn't feel guilty, I had a deeper connection with my brother, who had raised me. My father had never been discovered, but we had moved to a new area where Terry took over the "family business"—but not at the large scale our father dealt in. We had enough to live comfortably in our apartment complex and indulge ourselves once and a while. I occasionally did and dealt with psychoactive drugs but not too much. I did like resembling a normal human most of the time.

I glanced at my watch.

7:45 a.m.

Shit! I threw the half eaten apple in the trash. Realizing I had forgotten my backpack I raced to my room. I found it on the side of the wall, not bothering to close it I just grabbed it and proceeded to make my way out of the room. As I did I passed my open sketchbook with various erasers and pencils sprawled over my bed.

Obviously I had decided to draw in my intoxicated state. I sighed before deciding to look at what the hell I drew while being completely drugged.

As per usual, it wasn't a disaster. In fact, it was actually pretty good. It was a drawing of rose.

So I'm not too original, sue me.

The large gray rose had a dagger embedded inside with blood dripping down from the cut and petals floating to the ground. The thorns created a type of decorative design that bordered the whole thing- or it was supposed to if I had finished. It still needed a good amount of shading and touch up.

I'm not sure when exactly I had time to draw amongst the raving music and tongue wrestling with any random attractive female, but that's how the world spins. I quickly tucked my sketchbook and pencils into my bag and gave said bag a shake to make it all fit before racing out the door.

"One more ticket, Jay, and I'll kick your ass!" I heard my brother yell but ignored him as I raced to my motorcycle-—I'm not a fan of cars—and put on my helmet and sped off.

I sighed in relief as I saw the school up ahead. I had sped like a madman and had five minutes to spare. I forced myself to slow down as I entered the school zone and got caught up in traffic. Soon, I turned into the student parking lot and noticed it was pretty vacant of pedestrians. Most of the students were already inside.

I freely picked up the speed a little trying to get to my assigned parking spot when someone crossed my path. I immediately put on the brakes but realized I was going too fast and that person was going too slowly.

Oh shit!

Thankfully, the person—who I found was a girl—was snatched out of harm's way just as I passed. I made it to a stop and in fury took off my helmet.

"What the fuck is wrong with you? Do you want to get killed?"

It was then that I realized who exactly I had almost made into road kill. None other than Sarina D'Aubigne aka Teen Queen of Golden Summers High School. Damn… why her of all people?

I stared at her before realizing where I was looking and tore my gaze from her… very blessed body. The girl was beautiful, of that there was no doubt, and almost every guy and some girls I knew lusted after her, but her beauty was only skin deep, of that I would swear my life on.

I ignored the glare of her bulldog boyfriend. I couldn't recall his name… Matt or something, but I knew he was the most well-known football team's linebacker.

I suddenly found steel gray eyes casually sizing me up and down, and that's when it hit me. The Queen was checking me out. I narrowed my eyes. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind when someone finds me attractive but not when it was her.

Although I had never crossed paths with her until now, I knew Sarina was bad news. She had done quite a lot of harm to people—some of them I had known—over the years. The woman was as cold-hearted as they come, and so I had to take a shot while I had the verbal shotgun perfectly aimed.

"So what, not only are you blind, you're deaf too?"

That seemed to do it. Her exotic and colder than ice eyes narrowed as she stood up with the help of her boyfriend—I'm assuming anyway—and looked on the verge of basically kicking my ass when her friends—if you can really call them that—reached her and delayed whatever comeback she had planned.

Candy Vanderpoel aka Life's Epitome of Idiocy checked over Sarina with a blind panic, "Sarina, are you all right?" She turned to me and glared, "What the hell was that? Were you trying to kill her?"

I scoffed. Really, could the girl get any blonder?

"Kill her? She just walked right across without looking! It's not my fault the dumb blonde forgot to look both ways."

"Watch the way you talk about my girlfriend, you little pixie."

I had to quirk a brow at the linebacker's... comeback really wasn't the right word… attempt to prove his I.Q. was higher than a pebble's, there we go. Did this moron really think he scared me? Sure he was bigger, but I bet I'd induce him to have a mental breakdown if I forced him to count higher than five.

"Nice one..."

I smirked as the football player seethed. However, I couldn't enjoy my victory for long as The Queen found her voice.

"Thank you, Max, but I'll take it from here."

I raised a brow as she began walking toward me, and her silver tongue got to work.

"Look, whoever you are, I could very well put you in jail for attempting to run me over."

Who was the one who walked right across without remembering the simple rule of looking both ways?

"Who the hell drives sixty miles an hour in a parking lot? Everyone here comes to park not race the oxygen in the air. You should have been going slower." I simply watched as she stopped and gave me a satisfied smirk, "So this dumb blonde is not at fault for your inept driving." She turned and began to walk away.

I had to let out a scoff and muttered, "So the queen says…"

At once, she spun around. If looks could kill, I'd be six feet under having Dipteral insects help decompose my rotting corpse.

"What did you say?"

I snorted as I turned off the engine of my motorcycle. No point in wasting gas when occupied in a battle that might never end. I sure as hell wasn't going to back down, and I knew she wouldn't either. I leaned comfortably on the vehicle, "I'm sure you heard me, but if you're deaf, I'd be happy to repeat it."

She seemed to look genuinely amused for a moment before obviously finding the situation no longer entertaining, "You have no idea who you're messing with."

"By the looks of it neither do you."

She opened her mouth, and I readied myself for a retort when a voice cut thorough.

"What's going on here? Why aren't you kids going to class?"

I almost groaned as I recognized the rather large school police officer. Officer Trenton and I had quite a strong relationship which consisted mainly of him busting my ass for being late to first period.

"Well?" He asked impatiently, his dark blonde mustache moving as he did so.

Fortunately, before I could BS my way out of the situation, The Queen did what she did best. Manipulate.

"Nothing's happening, Officer Trenton. We're just… talking."

I was almost astounded by the way her face changed. From conniving to sinfully sweet. I'm not going to lie… it disgusted me. How can a human being be so fucking two faced?

Amazingly, Officer Trenton knew better than falling into the lies of the Jezebel. "I doubt it, Sarina, but I'll let you go this time. Get to class." He turned to me and gave me a knowing glare, "Jayden, park your bike and get inside. I don't want to bust you again for being late."

I rolled my eyes, "Whatever." I really couldn't afford to get in anymore trouble for the time being, and I wanted to get away from… well, safe to say I never wanted to even look at Sarina D'Aubigne again if I could help it. Not bothering to spare her another glance, I started up my bike and took off.

I pulled into my spot and noticed the white truck three spots down was occupied by a group of teen boys who seemed to have no intentions of getting to class anytime soon. I sighed before placing my helmet in the crook of my arm and walking over to them.

As I neared I heard snippets of the conversation, one voice stood out above the rest.

"Y despues se lo tomo todo, güey!"

I shook my head ruefully as a chorus laughter reached my ears. Fernando Sanchez aka Ace was always rambunctious, except in morning classes were he tended to shut down until further notice. However at the current time, he was busy standing on the back of the truck where other boys sat—or stood around him, listening intently.

Ace seemed to want to launch into another story but when he caught sight of me, he grinned. "Hey, Jay! Come on over!"

I casually leaned against the side of the white truck, "Shouldn't you be getting to class? Didn't you say if you were late to first period one more time, you'd get detention for the whole week?"

The Mexican American shrugged in his navy blue hoodie which was currently not sheltering his gravity-defying hair. I seriously doubted the boy had ever heard of a comb.

"Nah. We have plenty of time, cabron."

No sooner had he said that, the school bell rang loud for all to hear. I rolled my eyes and then gestured to the small light-skinned boy sitting next to him.

"Come on, Zuki."

The Japanese boy blinked and gave a grin before obediently jumping off the truck. "Hai, Fayden-san."

I rolled my eyes but knew it was useless to insist that Zuki call me by my regular—American—name.

Kazuki "Zuki" Yamada was a foreign exchange student. I've only known him for a total of two weeks since school began, but the overzealous youth had gotten quite attached to Ace— and me by default since the Latino was my best friend.

As we entered the school, I caught a glance of Miss Royal Bitch beginning to climb the stairs strangely alone. Anytime I caught sight of her in school, she was surrounded by countless others. I mentally shook my head as I diverted my gaze. I had never spared her a second thought before our encounter, and I remained determined to continue to do so.

"Is everything all right, Fayden-san?"

"Yeah. Please try to call me Jayden, Zuki."

The freshman boy smiled, "I cannot do that. You…" He paused for a moment, "You… upstream?"

I gave a faint smile. The boy was trying hard to pick up English. It wasn't easy, and I always made sure never to tease him about it. "Upset, you mean?"

Zuki's eyes dawned with realization as he shook his head vigorously, "Hai, Hai. Upset."

I shook my head ruefully but with a faint smile, "No, I'm fine." I glanced at my watch, "Come on. We need to hurry. We're already pushing it as it is."

Pushing all other disrupting thoughts out of my mind, I began to climb the stairs to head to my French class. I'd try my hardest to avoid The Teen Queen and move on with my usual schedule. Some chance encounters where just that—chance. It was my senior year before hopefully going to the Art Institute of Chicago. High school could be a bitch, but soon it would be all over. A distant memory…

I paused in the middle of the stairs.

Why did I have the feeling that wasn't exactly according to plan?