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Twisted Heaven Part 2
continued from part 1...
“It is so kind of you, Miss Jenkins, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to show me around.” Blaine said almost mockingly.
“My name is Kaily, first of all. Secondly, we are not ‘friends’ as you blatantly told Mr. Binks. But we have met before. You so kindly threatened me yesterday. Not exactly my definition of a cordial encounter.” She retorted.
“Threatened? I think it was more of a direct question. I simply asked you to show me around town the other day when I bumped into you in the rain. I did not expect you to give me such a quick refusal. I lost my temper. I apologize. What is it about me that bothers you so much?” he asked.
Kaily’s mind was spinning. She could not believe he asked her such a presumptuous question. “Your freaky soul-searching eyes and…you creep me out stalker!” she thought. “Im sorry. Maybe we got off on the wrong foot. I’m Kaily. It is nice to meet you, Blaine. Why don’t I show you around campus?” she proclaimed with a plastic smile.
“Your sincerity touches me.” He added sarcastically. They walked through the crowded hallways together. Cheerleaders giggled, jocks stared, and geeks murmured with wide eyes at the strange new kid. They too saw the coldness in his eyes. “Gotta get that boom boom boom. That boom boom boom..” Kaily’s phone rang and she touched the screen to unlock it. She read the text from her best friend.
WAT R U DOIN WIT DA WEIRD EMO KID?! HE GOT THE HOTS FOR U
OR WAT GIRL? CREEPO!!!!!
Kaily avoided Blaine’s stare as she tapped the touch screen to reply. Without glancing down, her fingers frantically typed:
Cool it chika! He creepy bt NOTHIN is goin on. Cool it. minds me of a stalker. FYI dnt look n his eyes….AHHHHH!!! :o KJ
“Who was that?” Blaine asked casually.
“Just a friend. She had a homework question,” Kaily lied.
“Ah,” Blaine said, unconvinced.
“Boom boom boom…” Kaily snatched her phone up again.
KJ- TNKS 4 DA WARNING! LOL IS IT THAT BAD? KINDA CUTE, THOUGH. AM I RIGHT? CEPT 4 DA HOLE CREEPO STALKER THING, HE IS ADORABLE! HAHA. LUV STEPH
Kaily suppressed a laugh when Blaine looked her way. She quickly replied:
s- dream on! Noooooooooooo seriously he is scary. Not jk. Im kinda worried. C me asap! Yikes!!!!!!!!! -kj
Kaily turned her phone on vibrate and stuck it in her back pocket.
“Nice phone,” Blaine commented.
“Thanks. My mom is always getting free stuff from her clients. She is an interior designer for businesses. She recently did a job with Verizon. Anyway, here is lunch. Just get in line over there. Tell the lady what you want and pay at the end of the line. Sit wherever you want. I have some things to do, so I will meet up with you later. Think you can handle that?” Kaily looked at Blaine. His eyes were wide as he gazed around the large room. Rows and rows of cafeteria benches were lined up wall to wall. The floors were covered in blue and white tiles. There was not a single window in the place, giving the room a secluded feel. The walls were painted a dull blue. Each table was crowded with talking students. He looked a little overwhelmed.
“Yes. I got it.” He smiled at her.
“Okay, I’ll see you later.” Kaily waved and hurried to her usual spot. She looked knowingly at Stephanie, who sat with her boyfriend, Cameron. Stephanie had long blonde hair, today it was styled in a messy bun on top of her head. Big hoop earrings adorned her ears and she was working a tight yellow jersey dress. A silver belt at her waist completed her look. Stephanie was the fashionista of the newspaper. Her boyfriend, not so much. Cameron had shaggy brown hair and baggy skater clothes. He could always be relied on for all music needs. Kaily took her seat next to Steph and sied deeply.
“I don’t know what to do with him. I just can’t handle the stares he gives me.”
“Kay, suck it up! How bad can he be? It’s not like it’s permanent. It is only one day, girl. You got this.” Stephanie reassured her.
“Speak of the devil,” Cameron said as Blaine walked over.
“Is this seat taken?” he asked and motioned in front of Kaily.
“No, dude. Go for it!” Cameron said all too eagerly. Kaily glared at Cameron with her piercing green eyes. All Cameron did was smirk, mischief glimmering in his eyes.
“Thanks,” Blaine said and flashed his sparkling teeth. Kaily’s heart dropped to her stomach and she wanted to scream, to claw those evil eyes from that beautiful face. His mere words brought shivers down his spine, goose bumps covering her arms and legs. What was it about him that put such fear in her heart? She avoided his eyes throughout the lunch period. She was glued to the sandwich in front of her. She glanced at the clock every few minutes and time seemed to pass in slow motion. Tick….tock….tick….tock….
“Hey it’s Kaily right? I’m Shawn.” A deep voice came from over Kaily’s shoulder. She looked up and completely forgot to breathe. Two pools of blue of blue reflected her face as she stared into the eyes of the man standing adjacent to her. A broad neck supported a defined jaw and tan face. His sandy brown hair was styled in spikes. Not the kind of spikes that make you stare and wonder: how much hair gel does the poor boy goes through? And: did he look in the mirror when before he left his house? Shawn’s hair was the kind of spikes that make you think: his hair looks really nice. He clearly cares about his appearance and has his own style. An apparent five o’clock shadow stretched from his hairline to his chin. He wore a tank top and an open, button down dark blue shirt. He paired it with a pair of faded jeans.
“Yes, I am Kaily,” she said in her most flirtatious voice. Cameron snorted on the other side of the table and tried to suppress his laughter. Stephanie kicked him under the table, but her red pump slipped and she kicked Blaine instead. Blaine lashed out and grabbed Stephanie’s wrist. His eyes changed from black to crimson in a split second and he let out a animal-like snarl. Kaily was taken aback. Her heart beat faster out of fear. Just as suddenly, his eyes changed back to normal and he resumed the careless expression. He released Stephanie’s wrist and looked apologetically at her. Stephanie’s eyes were wide while she rubbed her wrist in shock.
“Im sorry, I don’t know what came over me. My apologies Steph. I mean no harm, I assure you. I guess my nerves from the my first day of school are catching up to me. I’m a little jumpy and on edge. I’m very sorry.”
“It’s ..fi..ne.” Stephanie said with a nervous laugh.
“You are?” Shawn asked quizzically. Kaily detected a hint of animosity behind those simple words.
“Im Blaine.” He said coldly.
“Nice to meet you,” Shawn said.
There was a silent battle going on between the two men. Stephanie and Cameron seemed oblivious to it, but Kaily knew there was something apprehensive about the whole thing. As a journalist, she used clues to come to conclusions. Her mind instantly started to spin, considering possibilities for this strange encounter. “I know Blaine is strange. And he almost attacked my best friend. But there is a certain acrimony that even he isn’t prone to. And Shawn seems like a decent guy. Attractive? Yes. I love the way his eyes sparkle. And the way he smiles. And how he said, ‘It’s Kaily, right?’ Just his voice makes me feel all weird inside. I wonder if he likes me? Could I really be that lucky? Kaily, get a hold of yourself and stop daydreaming. Use your instinct and high intelligence! Ha! I am complimenting myself. Oh stop it Kaily, you are too kind! No really, Kaily, you are positively brilliant! No, Kaily, you are the smartest person I know! You are pretty too! Pretty? No, I don’t particularly think so. Okay Kaily, enough flattery. Back to the matter at hand. Shawn definitely had some bitterness behind his polite inquiries. Maybe they have met before and things didn’t go so well. Maybe Blaine is some creepy vampire and Shawn is my night in shining armor, coming to the rescue. No. That is a little too outlandish, even for me. Maybe Shawn just doesn’t like Blaine. First impressions are important and Blaine failed in that department. Assaulting an innocent stranger is not the best way to introduce yourself. Or maybe Blaine doesn’t like Shawn. Maybe they don’t like each other. But that all comes back to one thing: They have met before.” Kaily finished her inner conversation and arrived back in reality.
“So, Shawn. . . you were saying?” Kaily asked, blinking a little more than necessary.
“Oh right,” he began. “I was just reading last month’s issue of the newspaper. And I must say, I was very impressed with your work. I was wondering is you had any openings among your staff, Miss Editor?” he smiled and Kaily couldn’t help but smile back.
“As a matter of fact, we do!” she said quickly. “Cam, could you show Blaine to Pre-Cal? I think he has Mrs. Emerson. It’s the room right next to detention. Im sure you know where that is. I’m going to bring Shawn to meet our staff in the printing room.” Without waiting for a response, she grabbed her and hurried Shawn out the door.
“Interesting fellow,” Shawn pointed out.
“Yes indeed,” Kaily said. “Or do you already know that because you have met before?” she wondered. Her boots clacked down the empty hallway. “So you are a senior?” she asked.
“Yes, but I wont hold it against you that you are a junior,” he smirked.
“Thanks, you are so kind,” she giggled and they both laughed. “Here we are, newspaper headquarters!” she announced. Kaily dug through her bag in search of the key. “It is in here somewhere, I am sure. I put it here just yesterday. This is so embarrassing,” she muttered, her cheeks turning red. Shawn stood next to her, his hand covering his mouth in an attempt to be polite and not laugh at his lovely escort. He was finally able to make a straight face when she looked up from her bag. “Aha!” she exclaimed and raised the key in success. Shawn chuckled quietly as she unlocked the door.
Kaily looked around at the stacks of paper all around. Piles and piles of unorganization cluttered the small room. Eight computers were scattered around the crowded space. Rows of shelving lined all four walls. They were filled with books, magazines, periodicals, Almanacs, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and other resources. Kaily breathed in the smell of ink and paper, so wonderfully familiar.
“I hope you didn’t have high expectations. I know it’s not much, but don’t judge a book by its cover, right?” Kaily slid into one of the computer chairs and set down her keys. She typed in her password and pulled up the March layout. This is what we have so far. We have all of the headlines and ads for the month; it’s going to be a tight deadline. All of this chaos about Stephen has made it tough for us to get interviews. The media wants us out of it, so they can stick their noses in it instead.
“I bet that has made things really hard,” he said. “But you should be able to get a good story out it right? And I can help you out. I’m not the best writer in the world, but I get the job done.” He winked at her.
“I might take you up on that offer, actually. The staff should be here any second. I will introduce you to the gang.” Kaily got up from the computer and walked over to the far wall. “Shawn, this is our duty wall.” He chuckled and she laughed as well. “Anyway, this wall is designated for assignments only. Each member of our team has his or her own board. On the boards, I put the different article assignments. I use sticky notes to remind the writers of their deadlines and goals. So basically, our writers and designers live off of this wall. When we complete an issue, the boards are cleared. They always enjoy seeing an empty board, because it means they have done their part. But that doesn’t last long, because we start a new issue the very next day. So if you want to stay up to date, I recommend you visit this wall frequently. But enough about that, the staff should be here.” She looked around at the empty room.
“If they are anything like you, I have found the right place.” He smiled at her and their eyes met. She quickly looked away. At that moment, the bell rang and she sighed in relief.
The other journalists started to pour in the room. At the head of the pack was Stephanie, cell phone in hand and sunglasses on her head. Following her were Tamarie, Kipper, and Mack. Tamarie stood barely five foot tall. She wore jeans and was sporting her favorite tee that said: “I AM SHORT. GET USED TO IT.” Her dark skin made the bright colors she wore stand out even more. She accessorized with pink glasses, matching converse sneakers, and a white ribbon in her long black braid.
Kipper was the essence of a nerd. He had a face full of freckles and large rimmed glasses. He was well over six feet tall and all legs. His khaki slacks ended above his ankles; the poor guy couldn’t find pants to fit his lanky legs. To make matters worse, he tucked in his white polo shirt. His hair was strawberry blonde, but cut very short. Kaily had hesitated to hire him at first, based solely on his appearance. His insightful and thought provoking poetry won her over.
Mack was their graphic designer. He took care of all the layouts, cartoons, color palettes, and general designs. Mack wore his long black hair pulled in a pony tail. Both of his parents were Korean, so he shared their dark complexion. He took pride in his heritage and he dressed in the latest fashion. Today, he wore brown cargo shorts, a graphic tee, and sandals. He also had bracelets and necklaces that looked almost Hawaiian. That summed up the staff. These five people ran the paper; a wide variety of social class and race, but great talent. From gossip to the weather, they could handle it all.
Kaily introduced them all to Shawn, “You already know Steph. She handles the gossip, advice, and fashion columns. Then this is Tamarie. She knows what’s happening in the news, weather, and also sells our ads. Kyle goes by Kipper. He is an amazing poet. I go to him whenever I need some creative inspiration. I give him any topic or article that needs some ingenuity. Mack is our local tech guy. He is an expert in all computer design. Finally, there is me! I do all the sports, upcoming events, and seasonal articles. Then I have all the editing, proofing, and ask the editor column. We all pitch in with writing other stuff like the fiction and other articles. It would be really awesome to have a fresh mind with new ideas on board. It would also be great to lighten the load a little. Welcome aboard!” She finished.
“Thanks everyone. I’m really excited to get to know yall and dive right into this. I think Miss Jenkins could use some help with her busy workload. So I would be happy to handle the sports. Plus she is too pretty to get in the locker room where the behind-the-scenes action happens,” Shawn said. Everyone laughed.
“Okay guys, back to work!” Kaily said. “Shawn, I will put you with Kip today. He can show you the ropes and help you just get comfortable. I think I will have you start with one article. You will explore Steven’s kidnapping. Get an insider’s look at what happened. Take some interviews, talk to teachers, gab with students, do whatever it takes to get the job done. Add some flair. Make it captivating but factual. Got it?”
“Yes Ma’am,” Shawn agreed.
6th period flew by. The journalists had more than enough work to keep them busy. There wasn’t enough time in the day to get all the tasks accomplished. Before she knew it, Kaily was leaving her last class of the day. She had not seen Blaine since lunch and felt relieved. As she stood in the hallway, she dug through her huge bag and pulled out her iTouch. She stuck in the headphones and walked down the hallway, jamming with Kelly Clarkson. She stopped by her locker to grab some homework, then made for the exit. An all-too-familiar gaze met her. Blaine leaned against a locker a few feet off and was looking in her direction.
“Miss Kaily Jenkins, I missed you today,” he said in is gruff voice.
“Blaine,” Kaily forced a greeting. “How was your first day at Rockwood High?”
“You were the only ray of sunshine in my bleak day,” he smiled. Kaily felt coldness wash over. She could feel the friction between their bodies; his so cold and hard…hers so warm and smooth. She stood transfixed, still afraid to look into his dark eyes.
“Kaily?” he questioned. Kaily only stared at the ground, avoiding his gaze. With a pale hand, he reached out and caressed her face. His ice-cold touch sent shivers up her spine. She shirked away and gritted her teeth.
“I’m sorry Blaine, I have to go.” She walked quickly away and didn’t dare look back because she could feel those horrible eyes barring into her back.