Home > Blackthorn Elite : A Dark Bully College Romance

Blackthorn Elite : A Dark Bully College Romance
Author: J.L.Beck

 

1

 

 

Willow

 

 

“I didn’t do it. I didn’t fucking do it.” Brett’s voice echoes in my mind. The image of him being taken out of the court room plays behind my closed eyes. I wake up drenched from head to toe in sweat, my heart racing inside my chest, beating against my rib cage like it might break free and fly away. I don’t remember the last time I had a nightmare like this. Sitting up in my bed, I shove the covers off my clammy body and force air into my lungs, reminding myself that I did the right thing.

You’re a good person, Willow. You know it was him. You did the right thing. I tell myself as I drag my butt into the shower and get ready for the day. Thank God these dorms have bathrooms attached to each room. I guess that’s to be expected in one of the most elite universities in the country.

Washing my hair and body on autopilot, I rinse off and step out, grabbing a fluffy towel off the rack.

There is a small brunch event for all the freshmen and their families, and if I’m late… Shivers ripple down my back at the thought. After all the things my father did to get me into this school, I don’t want to think of what might happen to me if I mess this up.

“You’ll do right by our family name. You won’t make a mockery out of me like your sister did, will you?” My father’s stern voice rings out through my ears as a reminder of what’s to come. Even after everything my sister had gone through, he still blamed her, still disowned her. Now she has nothing, and I’m forced to live up to my father’s incredibly high standards. Then again, it’s this or allow my sister to be homeless.

The only plus side to being here is that it’s a two-hour drive from my father’s estate to Blackthorn, and I doubt he will attend any of the family events, nor does he expect me to come home for the weekends. Thank God for that.

Alice, my roommate, groans into her pillow, her silky blonde hair nothing more than a knotted mess on her head. “It’s morning already? It feels like I hardly slept,” she groans.

“You literally drank like three Starbucks Espressos last night. I’m shocked you went to bed at all,” I snort.

“It’s not my fault your definition of water and mine are two different things,” she yawns as she slowly pushes from the bed. “I need coffee to function, okay? Don’t hate.”

My lips turn up into a tiny smile, and I laugh softly. Alice is everything I’m not; lighthearted, funny, comes from a loving family. She doesn’t have a care in the world, while I carry so many burdens, my back hurts.

She is, the glass is half-full, kind of person, while I’m, the glass is always half-empty, kind. Maybe we are a case of opposites attract because, since the moment I walked into the dorms, we hit it off. Alice introduced herself with a bright smile on her face, and like two magnets, we were drawn to each other. She’s only been my roommate for a week, but we’ve already grown closer than I thought possible.

When I arrived at Blackthorn, I had very low expectations when it came to making friends. Back home, I had a plethora of friends; girls and guys. I was the popular girl, just like my sister had been. But all of that changed one night two years ago.

After everyone found out about what happened to my sister, everything fell apart. People stopped talking to me and turned their backs on us. They passed me in the school hallway like I was nothing more than a stranger, whispering to their friends. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hurt by it, but honestly, I got over it. I don’t need people to pretend to be my friends. If they are not real friends, then they are not worthy of being my friend at all.

“Is your dad coming to the freshman welcome brunch?” Tensing at the mention of my father, I shake my head.

“No, he’s got to work, and it’s too long of a drive for him to make out here.”

“Oh, sorry. I thought I might get to meet your family,” she chimes, blissfully unaware of what an ass my dad is. I haven’t told her any of my family drama yet, and I don’t think I will, not anytime soon at least. I would like to keep at least one person as a friend.

Getting dressed quickly, I tug on a pair of black skinny jeans and a pink blouse, then I look at myself in the mirror. With my long black hair still wet and clinging to my shoulders, I look like a drowned cat.

Alice goes into the bathroom to shower. I start drying the mangled strands of hair, using the brush to straighten them out as I go and then apply some light makeup, using the mirror in our room.

Twenty minutes later, like the beauty queen she is, she comes out of the bathroom, fully dressed and ready. I slip into my ankle boots and finish myself off with a spritz of my favorite perfume.

“Ready?” Alice turns to me and smiles.

“Ready,” I confirm, and we both head out together.

The walk to Lincoln Hall is short, and we make it there in under ten minutes. The building itself looks older than dirt, but inside it’s beautiful, with high ceilings and huge windows that let lots of light in. Entering the room, I discover it’s already filling up with people. There is an entrance table with one of the helpers handing out name tags and explaining the seating chart. Great, I won’t be able to sit with Alice like I had hoped. A nervous knot forms in my stomach. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles, Willow. Sighing, I walk up to the table.

“Willow Bradford,” I tell the lady at the table.

“Good morning, Miss Bradford, you will be sitting at table eight, and your father is already here,” she smiles, and I almost choke on the air in my lungs.

“What?” I don’t understand. He’s not supposed to be here. Why is he here? Suddenly any appetite I might have had is gone, and all I want to do is go back to the dorm and crawl in my bed. But I can’t, definitely not now. Scanning the room slowly half praying this woman might be wrong, I spot him. Damnit. My insides burn, and my muscles tighten. There he is sitting at our assigned table, wearing a gray tailored suit looking every bit out of his element. His dark gaze moves about the room, watching as students pass by with their parents. Parents that care. That love them. As I stare, one single question remains. What the hell is he doing here?

“Oh, cool. Your dad came, after all,” Alice exclaims excitedly. “My family is at table 3, but we can get together later, okay?” She’s bubbling at the seams with excitement over seeing her parents, while I would rather stick forks in my eyes. I swallow thickly, the saliva in my mouth suddenly turning to glue. Not wanting to have to explain to her the shitshow that is my family, I just nod instead.

We part ways, and it takes everything inside me to continue walking toward that table. I’m angry, sad, and disappointed because this was supposed to be my break. My chance at freedom, instead, it feels more like a gilded cage. All over again, I’m trapped, just like I was at home.

“There you are,” my father greets me with a forced smile as I walk up to the table. He gets up, presses a kiss to my cheek, and pulls my chair out for me. Once we’re both seated, he leans in so no one else can hear and says, “Would it have killed you to wear a dress for an event like this?”

What the hell?

He straightens back up, and I stare at him dumbfoundedly. What has gotten into him? Why is this stupid brunch so important to him, and what is wrong with the clothes I’m wearing? This isn’t a charity ball or some fundraiser. Everyone else is dressed in a similar fashion to me.

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