Home > Cruel (Savannah Heirs #1)

Cruel (Savannah Heirs #1)
Author: Coralee June, Raven Kennedy

Chapter One



Blood dripped from the corner of my lip. I wiped it away with the back of my hand before asking for more. “You hit like a bitch,” I said with a cruel smile, before bracing myself for the next backhanded slap. She wound back, but luckily, there was no power behind her movements. When she connected with my cheek, the light sting wasn’t worth crying over. I’d had worse.

Stephanie Palmisano wasn’t creative enough to come up with an insult that actually hurt me. It was always the same. Slut. Trash Whore. Bitch. She recycled the phrases that were shoved down her throat by everyone else at that fucking school, and then regurgitated them at my feet whenever she had an audience. She got off on showing off. Because what was the point of being vicious if you didn’t have anyone to witness it? She must’ve gotten that trait from her daddy, Judge Palmisano. He liked to put people in their places, too.

She was a pretty little thing, though. Most girls at Smith Academy counted their calories, but she liked to throw them back up. I knew my easygoing smile was pissing her off. It was a little victory, but I clung to it. “You never fucking learn,” she said, before winding back and slapping me again. I just had to hold on for a moment longer. Any second, the coaches would storm the bathroom and break up the fight. Being the principal's daughter meant that the faculty here had to at least pretend to care.

“You’re weak. You should eat something, Steph,” I said with a snarl.

I refused to hit her back. Not only because I feared the repercussions, but because I knew the force of my punch would hospitalize her. Unlike her, I was taught how to throw my body into the hit. I knew the spots to target, and I was strong with years of muscles from gymnastics. I could kill her if I had a mind to. But there was that phrase, that nagged me in the back of my mind. You know the one, that bullshit about great power and great responsibility. Just because I could break her body, didn’t mean I should.

“Fuck you, Scarlett,” she spat, before hitting me one last time. My head knocked back against the tile of the locker room showers. I was still wearing my gray gym uniform, my sweat making the cotton shirt they required us to wear stick to my body. She leaned over me as the crowd of girls watched, and then turned on the faucet above me, forcing icy water from it’s spout. The freezing temperature jolted all my senses. I shivered, which made them laugh harder.

But they couldn’t see me cry.

My fists clenched. Just one hit. I wanted to knock her on her ass and make her bleed just a little bit. But I knew the consequences of rage. It could become an addiction if you weren’t careful enough. Or at least, that’s what my mama told me the last time I got into a fight. She threw brochures for an all-girls school on her desk and told me that if she got one more complaint from a member of the school board, I was out.

She didn’t care that I was being bullied. She cared that people were talking at the cheer fundraiser. How could the preppy parents of Smith Academy trust their asshole teens with Principle Livingston, if she couldn’t handle her own daughter?

My blood washed down the drain as Stephanie and her group of dimwitted followers left the locker room, each of them dressed in their formal Smith Academy uniforms as they sauntered away. Such a fucking cliché. The mean girls targeted me out of boredom. I didn’t even bother checking my locker. I knew my navy uniform would either be missing or destroyed.

I dried off as best I could after I sat in the freezing water for a moment. I let my body grow cold and numb as I walked down the hall toward the nurse’s office. Nurse Courtney was a kind woman, too scared to go against the hierarchy of this pretentious school, but nice enough to hide spare uniforms in her desk for occasions like this. I didn’t blame her. Even the teachers feared looking at me for too long. No one wanted to rock the boat with my mama, or associate with the Heir’s public enemy number one.

The Heirs ran this school. Rogue, Bonham, Godfrey, and Luis. They used to be my best friends, but they threw me away seven months ago. They were the reason for my daily torment.

“Rough time in gym?” a familiar voice asked to my right.

I cringed, each hair on my neck standing straight at attention as I tried to steady my breathing.

Bonham Brodie could practically smell fear. I felt his eyes on my back as I walked faster. I wasn’t in the mood for his games today. I wasn’t in the mood to face any of the Heirs. Bonham came from old money. The kind of money that didn’t require him to work. His perpetual trust-fund family traded stocks worth millions just for fun, and spent their free time building social ladders just to burn them down whenever they felt like it.

“You not hear me? I’m talking to you. I thought all those etiquette classes your mama made you take were supposed to teach you manners, Scarlett,” he mocked.

The sounds of his sneakers hitting the tile behind me made my own steps increase in pace. Shit. If Nurse Courtney saw us together, she might not want to give me spare clothes. No one wanted to go up against Bonham. He was known for tearing down reputations. He could start any rumor about you and it would spread through Savannah like the wild fire that took down Mr. Green’s horse stables the past summer. Though I couldn’t confirm it, he was the reason I’d earned my notorious nickname: Trash Whore. I was named after the way my friends threw me away.

“I’m in a hurry,” I said, while glancing back at him over my shoulder.

Bonham was classically handsome. His strong jawline and dimpled chin could make anyone purr. He had vibrant green eyes and dirty blond hair, cut short but parted to the side. His Smith Academy’s crest was on his blazer pocket, and his tie was undone, hanging off him in a disheveled, sexy way.

I felt his fingers wrap around my bicep and I turned around, gasping when my eyes met his furious gaze. He clicked his tongue in disapproval when he saw the dried blood on my lip, and yanked me closer to inspect it. “Another fight, I see,” he said.

“Just another day,” I growled back before trying to pull myself from his grip. I couldn’t. He held me too tightly.

Bonham placed his thumb at my cut, pressing until he made it bleed again. He smeared the blood along my jawline, all while staring at me. “I think blood-red looks good on you, Scar,” he said, letting that cruel edge seep into his expression.

“It is my favorite color,” I replied sarcastically.

Bonham looked me up and down again. I recognized that critical eye. It was the same appraising look he’d given me two years ago, when he helped me pick a dress for Luis's birthday party. It was the same look he’d given me when he taught me to ride a bike as a kid, or when he tutored me in math. Assessing. Determined. Focused. It was a look that made me hate myself a little bit. Because, despite them making me a target at that fucked up school, it also gave me hope that my old best friend was still hiding in there somewhere, willing to take on the world alongside me.

As if he’d suddenly remembered that he didn’t want to touch me, Bonham quickly dropped his hands and looked around the empty halls, like he wanted to make sure no one had seen us together. Fucking prick.

“I still don’t understand why you don’t hit back,” Bonham said with a shrug before walking past me. I spun to watch his back. “We both know you could kick her ass.”

I bit my cracked lip, making more blood flow, the crimson drops landing on the tile floor at my feet. Yeah, I could kick her ass. Bonham would know, since he was the one who’d taught me how to fight in the first place. He once told me that all pretty girls should know how to defend themselves and throw a punch. I just never thought that I’d ever have to defend myself from them.

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