“Ms. Raina,” one of my two new bodyguards said. “Our ETA is seven minutes.”
“Thank you, Joel,” I said, relaxing in the back seat of my limo, a glass of gin in hand, and my handbag next to me.
I was a crime lord, a member of a group dedicated to ending the world, and with all my friends, I’d either turned my back on them, or they’d turned their backs on me.
And yet I still wanted to go to school.
The night I was recruited into the Votary, I’d been planning on taking on the life of a completely normal, high school girl. Those plans may have been thrown off track, but with everything going on, I wanted to maintain some semblance of familiarity in my life.
Dr. Gerbe had volunteered to give me private lessons instead, claiming to be smarter than every teacher and student in the school combined, but I’d declined. This wasn’t about continuing my education.
Besides, I had unfinished business there.
I was wearing my usual Cresting Prep uniform, it having been washed and pressed the night before. This morning, I’d seen there was still a little dirt on my blazer, and so I’d beaten my laundress before heading off for school.
Of course it was wrong to do so; evil even. But it was an excuse to take out my anger on someone, and damn it, that was something I’d needed to do desperately.
In addition to my uniform, I was wearing 14K diamond stud earrings, high heels, and black lipstick. If I didn’t hate myself so much, I’d say it was the best I’d looked for school in months.
“Joel,” I said.
“Yes Ma’am?” he responded.
Taking a sip of gin, I asked, “How many people have you killed?”
Joel, stopping at a red light, answered my question by saying, “I’m not sure Ma’am. I’m sorry I can’t give you an exact number, but the number is definitely in the triple digits.”
Upon hearing that, I chugged back the rest of my gin, knowing that it would burn like crazy.
“Right,” I mumbled. “What about you?” I asked my other bodyguard. “Uh….um.”
“My name is Jakeem, Ms. Raina,” he said, seeing that I’d forgotten his name. “Like my partner, my body count is in the triple digits.”
“Good,” i nodded. “That’s good,” I said, putting down my glass. I then took a shot glass from the dry bar and poured myself some strong, Mexican tequila. Briefly staring at my reflection in the drink, I then chugged it back. Shaking, I once again said, “Good.”
The light turned green, and the limo resumed movement.
Gritting my teeth, I slammed my head against my clenched fists.
“Damn it,” I whispered. “I was so close to getting out. Why did this have to happen?” Taking a deep breath, I raised my head, and turned my eyes to the bruises on my wrists, staring at my father’s handiwork. “Damn it.”
I loved Daddy. Even if…even if he’d started having fun with me again. I couldn’t defy him. He was in charge of the Votary. He was going to end the world. I couldn’t stop him. And the only way to save anyone was to do everything I could to support him.
A few minutes later, my phone rang, my current ringtone, “Carry on to Tomorrow”, blasting.
“Hello,” I said, answering my phone, not bothering to look who it was.
“Good morning Ms. Raina,” a man said.
“Who is this?” I asked, staring at my fingernails.
“Uh, I’m Toby Macrove, I’m the foreman for construction of the First Church of Lightning Bee.”
“Right,” I said, smiling, and purposely sounding like a bitch. “And what reason do you have to bother me?”
“Well Ma’am,” he started, sounding like he was about to piss his pants in fear. I wonder what Daddy had told him about me to make him so scared. “Me and a few of my boys went to go check out the site Mr. Davenport purchased and set the site to be built on, but we’ve run into a bit of a…problem.”
My smile turned into a scowl.
“What is it?” I growled. Nothing could get in the way of Daddy’s plans, and I would do whatever was necessary to keep things on schedule.
“There appears to be over two dozen homeless people squatting in the building that’s currently here, and they refuse to leave. What do you want us to do?”
I took a deep breath, preparing myself for what I was about to say.
“Lightning Bee does not care for the homeless,” I said, sickening myself to my core that I’d misrepresent Carter like that. “Leave the site for now, and come back tomorrow. They’ll be gone.”
Toby mumbled incoherently before finally getting his words out.
“Ma’am, we’re not getting involved with anything illegal, right?”
I clutched my phone tightly enough that if I was a Demigod, it’d be crushed.
“Smart people don’t ask questions Toby,” I said plainly, hanging up. Throwing my phone down on the floor, I exhaled. Continuing to stare down at the floor, I spoke to my bodyguards. “Joel, Jakeem, after you drop me off at school, I need you to head down to the construction site for the church. Get the homeless pieces of shit out of there by any means necessary. That site needs to be cleared out so the current complex can be torn down, and construction can begin. Lethal force is authorized.”
“Yes Ma’am,” the two bald bodyguards said in unison.
Biting my lip, I nodded a few times.
“ETA, Joel?” I asked.
“Three minutes, thirty seconds, Ms. Raina,” he answered respectfully.
“Right,” I said. Deciding to take advantage of the remaining time I had before arriving at Cresting, I grabbed the bottle of Everclear, the strongest alcohol I had available to me, from the dry bar, opened it up, and started chugging it back.
Cresting Prep hadn’t been damaged during Demongeddon. However, between that and the hostage situation a few months ago, a lot of parents had deemed the city no longer safe for their kids, and shipped them off to boarding schools. That meant that there were only a couple hundred students left.
Thankfully, a little birdie had told me that one bitch in particular still was here.
As I walked up the path to the school, I noticed people on both sides of the crisp lawn laughing at me. Not a surprise. The bitch had been making up new rumors about me every week. It didn’t bother me at all though. In less than a year, they’d all be dead, and I’d be a god.
Dumb bitches, I thought to myself. Don’t they know that I could kill them all?!
I stopped walking and slammed my hand against my forehead.
“No,” I said. “I can’t go back to thinking like this. Can’t let the facade become real.”
“Talking to yourself now, Ray?” a black girl named Sierra said, walking up to me, laughing.
I let myself crack a real, authentic smile.
“You really shouldn’t be talking to me in that manner,” I said, turning to her.
“And why’s that?” Sierra asked rhetorically. “Latest I heard, you’re not a hero or a bitch. Just some religious fanatic who’s helping her daddy run a stupid church.”
Still smiling, I sighed.
“We’ll see if you’re still thinking that way by the time the first bell rings,” I said, walking away from Sierra without another word.
Immediately upon entering the school, I was hit by a surprise.
“Morning slut!” Ally shouted excitedly, jumping out at me from behind a corner.
Ally was looking great as usual. Her hair had been styled into a bitching bob cut, and she’d seriously pimped out her uniform. Instead of the usual black stocking most girls wore with their uniform, Ally was wearing white ones with a bunch of designs cut out in them. She was wearing a red headband, and it seemed she’d sewn on a gold trim to her blazer.
“Ally,” I said awkwardly. “Hi.”
“No need to be nervous,” she said, reaching out her hand which held a cup of coffee toward me.
“Are you…giving me this?” I asked.
“Duh,” she answered. “I know it’s not my job anymore, and you didn’t ask me to do it, but…I wanted to.” She smiled.
“Thank you Ally,” I said, taking the hot cup.
“You’re welcome,” she said happily. “Now do you wanna tell me why you’ve been ignoring me?”
Oh no. I didn’t want to lie to Ally, but I couldn’t just tell her what the Votary’s plans were.
“What do you mean?” I asked. “I haven’t been avoiding you,” I lied.
“Right. Cause from my perspective, one day we’re having a great time, chilling out at the strip club and getting you ready to come back to a normal life, and the next thing I know you’re spending all your time with you dad, even turning away from me when you see me in the halls. So what’s up? Really.”
I was speechless. I had no idea what I was supposed to say. Carter and Malcolm? I know they’ll never fully forgive me, and I’d already lost Sammy and the rest of my team. I wasn’t willing to lose Ally too.
“Let’s…” I paused. “Let’s walk.”
The two of us made our way up the staircase, and I have to say, I loved how much more open the halls were than they had been in the past.
“So…um,” I said.
Come on Ray, think. Can’t tell her the truth. Can’t lie to her. Can’t say nothing.
“Oh, shit,” Ally said. “Look who it is.”
Thank God, I thought. She changed the topic. Anything is better than talking about this.
I looked in the direction Ally was, and, at her locker…was Angie.
Anything but that.
Angie was in ever worse shape than the last time I’d seen her. Somehow! She’d gotten from being really overweight to positively obese. She must have been at least 250 lbs. Her face was almost 100% covered in bruises and pimples, and her uniform was completely disheveled. Worst of all though, she wasn’t on crutches anymore. She was in a wheelchair.
I turned my head to the ground, clenching my eyes shut, and Ally was instantly able to tell what was going through my head.
“This isn’t your fault Raina,” she said. “You may have made her this year’s target, but everything that’s happened to her was done by Lindsay and her girls. Don’t feel bad.” I shook my head. “Come on. I’ve talked to her. She told me how you offered to write her a blank check. You tried to do the right thing!”
I smiled a bit.
“Did she also tell you how I damaged Kim and Lana’s brains?” I asked.
“Yeeeeah,” she giggled. “That kinda freaked her out.”
I sighed again. “I know.” I turned to Ally. “I’m gonna go talk to her.”
After I took a few steps, Ally grabbed my arm.
“Are you sure that’s a good idea, Ray?” she asked.
“I want to know how she got in a wheelchair.”
“Okay,” she said. “But I’m right here if you need me.”
I smiled at Ally before making my way over to Angie.
Just as she shut her locker, I reached her, and, unsurprisingly, she wasn’t happy to see me.
“God damnit,” she said. “What do you, cunt?”
Just stay firm, Raina.
“Who did this to you?” I asked. “Who put you in a damn chair?!”
She shook her head, scowling at me.
“What?!” I reacted in shock. “No I didn’t!”
“Yes you did!” she screamed, slamming her fist against the lockers. “Remember when you bashed Lana and Kim’s brains in? Yeah, Lindsey blamed me! She got a bunch of people together, and while I was home, they set my damn house on fire! As you can see, I got out alive, but not before I got crushed under some rubble.” She bit her lip. “And now, I’m a cripple, my family is living in a tiny ass apartment, and because of all of this, my grades have been dropping, and I’m probably gonna lose my scholarship.”
“I’m so sorry,” I said, wiping away a tear while it was still in my eye.
“You know, I am getting really sick of you saying that to me!” She shook her head again. “Can’t believe I’m doing this.” She glared at me hard. “I don’t want billions of dollars. But my family does need money if we’re going to survive. If you really want to start making things up to me, you could give me the money my family needs to get back on its feet.”
Yes! Finally! A chance to do something good for her! I thought.
Don’t tell me you’re really gonna give her the money, I heard my voice say.
“No,” I said. “Not again.”
Standing beside Angie was me in my Queen costume. She looked just as monstrous as ever.
Come on! she screamed. It’s like you said to Sierra. In just a few short months, all these sluts will be dead, you’ll be a god. Why should you do ANYTHING for them?
“Because,” I whispered.
Because nothing! she screamed. You don’t owe this poor slut anything! If you’re really gonna insist on attending this school for the next few months, you should be ruling it like you used to. With an iron fist!
“Ray, are you okay?” Ally asked, coming over to me.
“What’s her damage?” Angie asked.
Come on! she howled. You were already planning on dethroning the bitch! Take it for yourself!
“Ray, talk to me,” Ally said, putting a hand on my shoulder.
“All I did was ask her for money.”
Do it Raina! Treat her like the dirt that she is!
“No, no, no,” I whispered.
Do it! Show all of these bitches who’s in charge! Deal with them like you did those homeless squatters!
“No. I don’t want to!”
“Raina, I’m taking you to the nurse,” Aly said.
“Probably a good idea,” Angie added.
DO IT! DO IT! DO IT!
“FINE!” I screamed, pushing over Angie’s wheelchair, and sending her to the ground.
I was panting, and all around me, people were whispering and gasping.
“Ray, what are you doing?” Ally asked.
I took a deep breath.
“I don’t know Ally.”
“You cunt! You fucking cunt!” Angie said from the floor, clearly in pain.
I did what I had to. I did what I needed to do to not lose my mind.
“Ray, we should get out of here,” Ally suggested.
“Not so fast Al,” Lindsey said, appearing from down the hall, a group of cheerleaders surrounding her.
Upon seeing Lindsey, the Queen Bitch of All, I put on an evil smirk.
“Hello Lindsey,” Ally growled.
“Now is that any way to talk to an old friend?” Lindsey mocked. “I couldn’t help but notice that act of complete ruthlessness right there. Something you wanna tell me?”
“Someone help me,” Angie moaned.
“Quiet!” Lindsey and I shouted at her simultaneously before turning our attention back to each other.
“Yes Lindsey, there is something I want to tell you,” I said, excited. “You’re done.”
“Huh?” she mocked, laughing with her girls.
I widened my evil smirk.
“As of 6: 46 this morning, your father was fired from his law firm and place under arrest for money laundering. There still needs to be a trial obviously, but I can pretty much guarantee he’ll be found guilty.”
Lindsey was taken aback by that, and the expression on her face was delicious.
“No. You can’t do that You know the dirt I have on you!”
“You have nothing on me,” I said calmly. “What you do have is an expulsion notice.”
Having her dad fired, framing him for money laundering, having Lindsey expelled; all as easy as pie. It all just comes down to who has the most money, and that’s me.
“No, no!” Lindsey screamed in a high pitched voice. “You can’t get away with this! I’ll tell everyone who you are!”
“Honey,” I laughed. “After last night, everyone already knows who I am. I’m Raina Davenport, heiress to the Davenport fortune and co-founder of the First Church of Lightning Bee.” I then got in close and whispered in LIndsey’s ear. “And every last bit of evidence of you know what has been wiped clean.” I stepped back away from her. “You should probably get going.”
Her face red, she screamed, “You bitch!” before running down the hall, presumably on her way out of the building.
All of the students in the hall looked to be in shock.
After all the rumors Lindsey had spread about me going soft, losing my edge, and being a complete loser, they couldn’t believe what they were seeing.
This was my moment. And I was going to enjoy it.
“Attention students of Cresting Prep! Your true queen has returned! And I swear I will do my best to weed out every loser and poor student in our school, and make them suffer!”
All around, there were cheers, and Lindsey’s “friends”, the cheerleaders, all circled around me, complimenting me.
I was having fun, taking it all in, but Ally grabbed my arm, pulling me away from everyone else, and into an empty classroom.
“Come on Ally, I was having fun back there,” I said. “What’s the problem?”
“What’s the problem?!” Ally screamed. “What’s the problem with you?! Ray, I thought you’d finally turned yourself around. I thought you felt ashamed for your actions as queen of the school. I thought…I thought you’d become the girl I’ve always loved.”
She was on the verge of tears.
And I could only one thing to do to make her happy.
I tossed my handbag on a desk, put down my coffee, flung off my blazer, and shoved Ally against the wall, pressing my lips against her’s.
Sammy dumped me, I thought. Why shouldn’t I be with the one person I can still be happy with?!
To my surprise, Ally didn’t seem to like what I’d done, pushing me back.
She shook her head.
“No Raina. Not like this.”
“Come no!” I shouted. “Listen Ally, what you saw out there. Me hurting Angie and destroying Lindsey. Reclaiming my throne?! I am doing so many worse things than those! And I don’t like that I’m doing it, okay?! I hate the things that I’m being forced to do! But I don’t have a choice, and I’m just doing anything that might help keep me sane! Please try to understand.”
Ally kept her eyes squarely focused on me.
“Please just tell me what’s going on,” she said. “Or I promise I will never talk to you again.”
Tears coming down my face, I nodded.
“Fine. You wanna know? The Church of Lightning Bee? That thing I’m a founder of? Yeah, it’s not really meant to celebrate Carter. It’s just phase one in the end of humanity. And I have to do every damn thing I can to help wipe out humanity, because if I don’t, I won’t be able to protect the people I care about most, including you!”
My make-up ruined by my tears, I covered my face with both of my palms.
Unexpectedly, Ally put her hands over mine.
“This is for me?!” she exclaimed. “I don’t know about any of this ‘ending the world’ business, but you should know that I don’t like seeing you this way.”
I pulled my palms away, thus sending her hands off me as well.
“And I don’t want to see you dead! You! Carter! Malcolm! I love you all, and I refuse to let you die! Not when I have a chance to stop it from happening!”
“Is there really no other way?” she asked. “You can’t fight against whatever it is that’s gonna kill us all? No one can?”
I shook my head.
“I see,” she said.
“Please try to understand that I hate having to act this way. I’m the same Raina that was shooting the shit with you at the strip club a few weeks ago. This is just a mask. A mask I’m wearing for you.” I swallowed. “But, I do completely understand if you don’t want to be friends anymore after hearing this.”
Ally slowly shook her head. From the look on her face, I knew that at the very least, she knew what I was saying was true.
“No Ray,” she said. “ I don’t want to be your friend.”
“I thought so,” I said.
Ally then turned away from me…and locked the door to the classroom.
Upon turning back to me, she said, “You dirty bitch.”
She pounced on me, sending us both to the floor.
“Ally,” I said as she straddled me, taking off her blazer.
“Just shut up, okay,” she said, bending down and starting to make out with me. I’d never kissed a girl before…and she tasted so much better than any guy.
We grabbed each other’s heads as we continued to express what we were feeling, both of us moaning.
After a solid two minutes of this, Ally raised her head.
“Wow,” I said, gasping. “You’re amazing.”
“No Raina,” she smiled. “You are.”
And with that, there were no more words.