Home > EVIL QUEEN : A Dark High School Elite Romance

EVIL QUEEN : A Dark High School Elite Romance
Author: Rebel Hart

 

1

 

 

Nathan

 

 

The blaring of my alarm in my ear was a wholly unwelcome sound. I wouldn’t say that I enjoyed my winter break, but regardless of the constant headaches, frequent upset stomach, and generally being on the verge of a mental breakdown, not having to think about school for a whole two weeks was a nice escape from at least some of my problems.

Just getting to winter break had been intense. No one said much about what happened, and Cherri dropped off the face of the earth. When The Royal Court met for lunch, we sat in total silence, and we didn't speak much in class either. They were all still upset with me, and I deserved it, so I didn't push them. By the time the holidays and the two-week break came around, it was a double-edged sword. We all needed the break, but the weight of everything that had happened dropped on us like atomic bombs, and the wreckage was difficult to sift through.

With my arms stretched above my head, I cracked my neck to the left, then to the right, then reached out to my right and put my arm down. I expected it to find purchase on another body there, but I found only the comforter of my bed. Glancing over, I noticed that there was no one there. I’d be lying if I said I was surprised, but midnight slip-outs were something I was increasingly becoming used to. To be safe, I flipped back the covers, climbed out of bed, and padded my way out of my bedroom and down the spiral staircase to my kitchen and living room. I glanced into the kitchen, and though there was no one there, there was a fresh pot of coffee steaming in the coffee maker.

I walked over and lifted the pot from the machine, then whispered, “Thanks, Nikki.”

With a small smile on my face, I poured myself a cup of coffee, only mixed in a small amount of cream, and then carried it back upstairs with me so that I could get ready for school. Ordinarily, I would spend an insane amount of time picking out a carefully coordinated outfit to wear, probably even messaging Kyle and even Brayden to tell them to wear something similar, but the fact of the matter was, I didn’t have that energy in me. Though I would likely catch a glance of myself in a mirror at some point throughout the day and be disappointed with what I had on, I couldn’t be bothered about that for the time being.

Instead, I grabbed the first respectful top and pants I could find and carried them into the bathroom with me. I started the shower, ripped off the pajama pants I was wearing, and climbed in. An involuntary sigh came out of my mouth as the heated water blasted the top of my head. Showering was my least favorite task as of late because I didn’t want to get in, and then once I was in, I didn’t want to get out. I’d found that, ever since my mom died, my dad disappeared, and my estranged half-brother went on the chase, it was the base-minimum, keep yourself alive and kicking tasks that I struggled with the most.

Thank God that Nikita had been with me most of the winter break to see to it that I ate and bathed.

After about twenty minutes in the shower, my head started to hurt. It was something that had been happening as of late, likely because before my dad left, if I spent more than about ten minutes in the shower, he’d be in the bathroom, screaming about the amount of time I was wasting away. Nikita had slowly worked with me to try and break me out of my ingrained habits, but they weren’t dying easily. Sometimes, I still felt like I could hear my dad’s loud, demanding voice, screaming at me, telling me I was a disappointment to him.

Who was the disappointment now?

It only took another two minutes for my headache to overwhelm my sense of pride, and I washed my body free of the soap I’d lathered onto it and then turned the water off and climbed out. The digital clock that was built into the mirror on the wall opposite the shower read that the time was four-fifteen in the morning. School didn’t officially start until eight o’clock, and during the break, if I woke up too early, I could just go back to sleep, but if I tried that now, I’d oversleep and miss the first day back. I wasn’t being forced to study business, practice my languages, or listen to lectures about being a man.

What did normal students do in the four hours before school?

I got dressed at as slow a pace as I could justify and then walked back into my bedroom. With a slump, I dropped down onto my bed and stared at the wall. Part of me told myself to go to sleep, part of me told myself to grab my laptop and work on business matters, and part of me told myself to just leave and drive until I got somewhere interesting. Nothing sounded good, and nothing had for a while, but only one of the options I came up with made any real sense, so I stood up, grabbed my backpack, slung it over my back, snagged my coffee, and made my way back downstairs.

I stepped down into the sunken living room couch and fished my laptop out of my backpack. It whirred to life as soon as I lifted the lid, but then I was met with the infamous updates screen. A sigh blew out of me, but it wasn’t all bad. I set the computer down on the couch, stepped back onto the main level, and walked into the kitchen. I wasn’t a chef, so I kept my fridge stocked with quick-grab items that I could eat without any preparation. When my parents were still around, they used to have a world-class chef prepare me breakfast every day, but about a week after they were gone, I caught him celebrating their absence and fired him. I grabbed a banana and topped off my coffee before walking back into the living room and sitting down next to my computer to eat while I waited.

Eventually, the updates finished, so I opened up my emails and let out a hiss of frustration. “Shit.”

The inbox was jam-packed with people contacting me from my father’s company, wondering what they should do next with my dad MIA. He was the president, sure, but weren’t Fortune 500 companies supposed to have an entire hierarchy so that they could continue to function if the head got lobbed off? Hell, knowing my dad, there had to be more than one person waiting for him to keel over one day so that they could rise up and take his spot.

Were they really so useless without him?

It wasn’t like medical supplies needed active selling. All hospitals, prisons, and schools were in the market for them, not to mention the department stores and insurance companies with whom we had multi-billion-dollar contracts to be their go-to supplier. All they had to do was keep showing up and doing things as they always had been. How hard was that?

I started to type a thorough, extravagant email to the president of the board of directors, who was the main person contacting me, but after about six paragraphs, I just picked up my phone and called. It was still early in the morning, but I didn’t care. If a group of grown adults was going to bug a high-school student non-stop about how to run a business, they were going to get advice on my schedule.

“Mr. Loche?” Arden Taft, the president of the board, greeted. His voice was groggy as if he was just waking up, and I could hear a second voice grumbling in the background. “Good morning.”

“Good morning. Also, call me Nathan.”

“Yes, sir.” There was some shifting, and then I could hear Arden moving, likely climbing out of bed. “What can I do for you, sir?”

“Arden, I realize my dad is MIA, but I cannot wake up to fifty emails from you guys. I’m still in high school. I start school again today. Why is it so difficult to continue operations with just one man missing?” I was snippier than I wanted to be, but I was also irritated.

“Sir, you have to understand, your father didn’t allow anyone other than himself to make decisions. He doesn’t have any protocol for what to do if he isn’t around, only to defer to you. Now, we can both imagine that he assumed that wouldn’t come into play as early in your life as it has, but it’s where we are.”

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