Excerpt: Bullies

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A movement caught my eye and a brief glance confirmed that I knew the dark haired girl now walking next to me. Victoria was also an orphan of the wars, though she was now being fostered by a Defender family and I couldn’t help but mentally shudder at the memory of her attacking another student when she’d first come from the last outpost on Titan One. Tori had been locked in a cellar for more than a week before a Defender patrol had found her and her kind needed blood to survive. I knew she couldn’t help being a  bloodtaker and I never picked on her the way other here did but she almost made my skin crawl with her sometimes violet, sometimes red eyes. If not for the King’s law making those under 16 exempt, she might have been put down. Which would have been a waste, considering her skills but as a blood taker, she was part of a genetically altered species that had been banned and hunted nearly to extinction during the revolt of 270 AW. The same was true of me, though I wasn’t of the same species. My blood wasn’t pure either.

Her violet eyes met mine for a brief second and I though she wanted to ask me something but we were both distracted by a loud group of voices behind us, calling out insults to those they passed.

“There’s Greg. Look at that bowl cut!” Hard laughed honked out.

“Hey blood mistress! Vampira!”

“Hey, Vicki! I cut myself! Hungry?” There was a howl of cruel laughter and though her flawlessly beautiful face turned scarlet in embarrassment, she spun around angrily.

“Yes. So much I may not be able to control myself!” She hissed and her words stopped them. Stopped me too. Was she serious?

“Well, come here!” She snapped and I hid a smile at the immediate cowardice hat had a tense silence filling the chilly summer day.

The three bully’s were all two years above them in lessons, members of the inner paddock guard, and all very talented. Donre’s skills ere already famous at the academy, his trances ruthless, ad it was him Tori kept her eyes on. The other two were high ranked fighters and worse, they were both Readers. Being able to predict your opponents next move was a dangerous gift to challenge even one at a time and yet, it was easy to see they feared her.

“Gonna be late. Come on.” Donre’s voice was clearly reluctant and I thought maybe the blood taker may want to watch out for him later. Clearly, the green eyes empath didn’t like being backed off and I couldn’t help but admire Tori fro being able to do it. Few could.

The trio of mad teenagers sulked around her and though I was safe enough from their bullying, I still waited respectfully for them to pass. These three were the reason no one in their class had liberties this month but none of them had protested the punishment. Being out into medicare was the best outcome you could hope for if you challenged Donre or his twin brothers, Marco and Eric…

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