Summary: Elexis McGrey is your average high school senior. Except for one thing. She doesn't know where she's going in life. She's given up on everything; academics, friends, talents, interests, love, you name it. Why? Simply because, nothing ever goes her way. The one person she's been in love with for her entire high school life, is a jerk who couldn't give a crap about anyone, her teacher's hate her, and her family is being torn apart. That's when Kai Hiwatari walked into her life. Could it really be any worse?

- Sympathy For The Devil -

- Chapter 1 -

Fire. Fuel. Ambition. I hated it when they said it. Like on a cold windy day, their words swept through me like that chilling breeze, going right through whatever protective barriers I held up against them. It cut through me like a thousand knives, cutting me…right to my very bones. I had always felt that way. The stranger. Standing alone. Outside on that cold windy day, I would stare at others. Always looking in. Always, on the outside. The voice at the front of the room had long begun to bore me. I had drifted far from it long ago. Drifted, just as I drifted from everything else in life. My studies, my ambitions, my so-called talents, my love interests. Nothing really seemed to matter anymore. And why would it? It was all just a bad dream, I would sometimes think. But if this was a dream…then what was reality? Maybe there was no reality. Just the endless cycle of happiness, breakdown, and tragedy. Then there was that rebounding stage that lead you back to happiness again. God I hated it.

"Miss McGrey, care to share your thoughts with the rest of the class?"

My head snapped upwards towards the direction of the irritated voice. Who else but my calculus professor? His thick black eyebrows were furrowed, his eyes small and glaring towards me, in my direction. He was tapping his foot impatiently, as if expecting a reply. When I didn't answer, he sighed.

"That was not a rhetorical question, Miss McGrey, it does require a response." I gulped, my pupils dilating. What now?

"I … I uhh…" I began intelligently.

"Your mental absence never ceases to amaze me Miss McGrey. You know, if you plan on coming to class in flesh, you might as well bring your smarts as well. Or just don't come at all."

His voice sounded sterner than usual. It caused my heart to speed up in slight fear, my cheeks stinging red as my ears picked up soft snickering from directions all around. I wanted to look. I wanted to see who it was. But I would not dare. It would only be more humiliating.

"I don't think she comes with any smarts at all, sir," an amused voice slurred out from the back. I couldn't help but turn. I couldn't help but look. The voice had belonged of course to none other than Tala Valkov himself. My eyes caught his for a moment, his turquoise clashing with my deep ocean blue. There was something cruel in those eyes. Something cold, hostile, and unwelcoming, yet something fearless, defiant and bold all at once. He always looked down on people. I hated it. But I loved him. I always have. Don't ask me why. He isn't a very liked character. But for some reason, I had always thought him to be different. We used to get along I suppose- But not anymore. High school has a tendency to change people, and dramatically at that. Who would have thought I could still care about someone who constantly humiliated me. As if a sudden flood of emotions hit me, I stood up quickly lowering my head allowing the raven locks to cover my eyes so that the tears I shed would not be seen. Picking up my books I stalked out of the room quietly, ignoring the whispers and quiet laughs that continued to haunt my ears from all around me. Tala was cold, calculating, and merciless to put at best. Most people thought he didn't have emotional capacity, but I knew he did. How else would he be able to manipulate other people so easily? He knew exactly how to pull your strings, and if there was one thing I knew, it was that he enjoyed it… a lot.

Once outside, a good distance from the dreaded classroom, I dropped my books. They fell with a loud thud, spilling over the hallway floor. My head was still low, my teary, sad eyes still shielded by my hair. Sighing, I slid down the wall I was leaning against. Bringing my knees up to my chin I whimpered softly, hugging myself. I could subconsciously hear the soft padding of feet coming towards me. I ignored it. I didn't want to look up or acknowledge their presence. I hoped they just didn't see me. Why should they? People usually didn't see me anyways. The padding stopped.

"Um..excuse me but, are you ok?" a high pitched, almost perky sounding voice asked.

I opened my eyes and slowly looked up. It took my eyes some time to adjust after all those worthless tears I had cried out. A girl stood in front of me. She was about 5'3, extremely scrawny I might add. However she seemed to hold so much life in that tiny little structure of hers. Her big eyes were a bright vibrant green, her hair a chestnut brown, reaching down to her shoulders. It seemed to stick outwards slightly adding to her vibrancy. Her frown of concern was quickly replaced with a warm smile as she saw I had responded.

"I'm fine." I said through a shaky voice. I didn't know when it had gotten so weak.

"You sure?" she inquired again, a look of worry crossing her face once more. "Ya look like ya had an encounter with that jerk Tala or sumtin."

I couldn't help but feel my heart sink. Everyone said that. I almost felt angry. 'He's not a jerk!' I wanted to yell. But what did I have to back those words up? What was I even thinking? Look at me! Sitting here, crying over something that jerk did say…

"I'm Steffie!" the girl exclaimed, holding her hand out in introduction.

"Lex," I croaked, taking the petite girl's hand as she hauled me to my feet.

She frowned once again. "Why don't I see you around? I know like everyone in this school, but I never see you."

I hated it when people said that. The reason they never saw me was because I was always invisible, or just because I hid places where you usually wouldn't see people anyways. Like on the school roof, skipping class, gazing at the sky. Sometimes I'd lie there, staring at the clouds, hoping some strange airship would swoop down and just take me away somewhere where I didn't know anyone. That's what I really needed. To go somewhere where no one knew me.

"I..don't really go to class as much as I should I guess," I replied hesitantly, eyeing the girl known as Steffie carefully for some kind of negative reaction.

She simply blinked. I was beginning to get the impression she was one of those people who couldn't be fazed by any tragedy. Her short brown hair curled outwards past her ears, and her blue eyes seemed to sparkle infinitely at me. I thought for only a brief moment that I would have smiled.

"Well, Lexie, you certainly don't look like the type to skip class. But hey whatever, your decision." She chirped the last sentence, smiling brightly again. "Sooo wanna tell me what happened!"

"No."

"Aww…" she sulked for a moment. It was evident she didn't like the fact that I didn't trust her.

"You're not used to having people not tell you things are you?" I inquired.

Steffie eyed me curiously. "Not really. I mean, people usually trust me ya know. I like to help people, and that's why people tell me they troubles, ya know?"

"I see."

"Say, you wanna go for lunch with me? I'm starving and it's almost one o'clock anyways."

I paused for a moment. Could I really trust this girl? But then again, did I really have reason not to? She seemed friendly and helpful enough. Not only that, it was only lunch. It's not like she could pull some nasty joke on me in such a short amount of time. Right? Of course. What am I thinking? Not everyone on this planet is like everyone I know…

I hauled myself off the ground then, trying my best to stand up straight with a confident posture. Steffie continued to grin at me, as if her face was permanently stuck that way. I too was surprised I hadn't seen her around school, and for some reason I almost regretted it. It would have been nice to know such a cheerful person a little earlier.

We made our way out of the building and down the street. The streets were bustling with life. Cars zoomed up and down the streets none stop. People yelled at each other out of anger, but also out of greeting. I gazed across the street as a girl no older than myself waved frantically at a group of teens a few meters down the street. They quickly joined together exchanging hugs and smiles. I wish I had someone like that.

I was quickly shaken out of my thoughts as Steffie made a sharp right turn into the local Macdonald's. The girl was practically skipping as we walked up to the ordering counter.

"Ummmmmm, I'll have a happy meal, with a diet coke, no ice pleeeease. Annnnnd I'll have a smarty McFlurry with extra caramel sauce!" the short brunette chirped at the scruffy looking guy at the counter who was pressing the buttons on his ordering machine frantically, attempting to keep up with the speed of Steffie's voice.

"I'll just have a cheeseburger and sprite please." I ordered politely.

After receiving the orders we slowly made our way around the restaurant, looking for a clear table. Unfortunately all the students tended to swarm the fast food places during lunch making it impossible to find an empty seat if you were more than two minutes late.

"Hey! Steff! Haul your ass over here before you get trampled by the nerd club!"

I spun around to the sound of the voice. To the left, a boy with blonde hair, jelled in all sorts of directions waved at us. He had a goofy looking grin on his face, and freckles nearly covering his whole face. He was definitely a skater punk of some sort. I think I had seen him before, in history. He had a good sense of humour. Always made jokes about the teachers. I think his name was…

"Max! Heyyy what are you doing here I thought you were at the skate park!" Steffie chirped as she dragged me over to the table where the blonde known as Max was sitting. There was someone sitting with him. His dark raven hair was tied back in a long tail down his back, a friendly smile planted on his lips.

"Well I was gonna, until Ray here convinced me it would be a bad idea, considering we got chased out by the cops last time." The blonde replied still grinning. Finally noticing me, he turned eyeing my curiously. "Friend of yours?" he asked, his grin shrinking ever so slightly.

"Yeaaah this is Lexie. Lexie, these are my buddies, Max, and Ray."

Max gave a goofy wave, while Ray looked up for a moment revealing attractive facial features, before smiling gently, and nodding his head at me.

"Hey don't mind this guy, he's just a weirdo," the boy known as Max laughed, hitting Ray playfully on the shoulder.

"Hey hey hey, come now, I ain't the one skating in graveyards," Ray replied defensively, earning a grumble from Max.

The two boys then turned their attention to me. "So Lex… what year are you in? I don't think I've seen you around before?" Ray asked genuinely.

I paused for a moment. 'Of course you haven't…' I thought before opening my mouth to speak.

"I'm in my final year," I said slowly, watching the boy's facial expression as he tilted his head to one side, seeming curious about me.

"Oh I see… well I suppose we just don't have any classes together. That's probably why I never see you. What subjects are you taking?" Ray continued. He definitely seemed nice so far…

"Um…mostly arts.. and some history… and then there's calculus," I said the last part slowly, cringing as I spoke, causing Max to burst out into fits of laughter.

"Calculus! Oh man… that course is a bitch! Please don't tell me you have that gasbag McFeifer…" he exclaimed. They were still…being….nice…

I sighed. "Unfortunately I do… he just made a fool of me today for dozing off in the middle of class… Tala didn't help much," I added at the end, a slight blush crossing my cheeks.

I noticed Ray's face darken at the mention of Tala's name.

"That guy can be a real dick," he scowled. "Just don't pay any attention to him. He's not worth your time."

I considered this for a moment. Anything Tala said usually affected me like a natural disaster. Maybe it would be best if I told myself he wasn't worth it? Well… easier said than done of course…

A quiet beeping interrupted my thoughts as I looked down at my wristwatch. It read 1:45. Lunch was over.

"Hey, it's been great talking to you guys but uhh, I should run now I don't want to be late for class…" I said as I backed away slowly trying to get myself out. It's not that I didn't want friends, I really did. I realized my problem was I wasn't used to people being nice to me, or people in general. I had trouble socializing in these environments, and I needed out, fast.

"Whaaat don't tell me you're THAT excited to run off and LEARN, are you!" Steffie exclaimed in awe.

I paused momentarily, lowering my head and staring at the ground in embarrassment. "Well see…" I began, trying to think up the least humiliating sentence. "I..I have art. And I really like art. It's…probably one of the only things I enjoy." I mumbled to the blue and white tiles.

There seemed to be a moment of silence when all time stopped.

"You must be talented to love it so much to actually want to go to class."

Blinking, I looked up to meet Ray's honey coloured eyes. They were warm and considerate.

"Umm, yes…" I replied stupidly. "So I'll…see you around then?" I asked unsurely looking from Ray, to Steffie, to Max.

Steffie grinned from eye to eye. "You bet!"

-------------------------

I sighed as I rapidly walked out of the restaurant. That wasn't so bad, I thought to myself. They seemed nice enough. Now, if only I could get to that stupid art class on time, things would be just fine.

I could hear Mrs. Talbot, my art teacher, giving out instructions to the class. Wait, those weren't instructions. Those were introductions. A new student must have transferred or something. Oh perfect. I scowled at myself for having such impeccable timing. Now I'd have to walk into the room in the middle of a student introduction. Oh well, been through worse.

Turning the doorknob, I slowly opened the door. It squeaked slightly, encouraging everyone in the room to turn and look at the intruder. Me.

"Sorry I'm late Mrs. Talbot."

The elderly woman sighed, "That's alright dear, just don't let it happen again. I'm sorry Kai, please continue."

Kai? I turned to the figure known as 'Kai.' As suspected he was new in this class. I had seen him around in the halls. Actually, I think he was in my calculus class. Oh dear Lord. That means he saw my little scene today. I audibly gulped. He seemed irritated by my intrusion. In fact, he seemed easily irritable all together. His cold mahogany eyes pierced through me with a dangerous glare. Despite the deadly look on his face, he was relatively attractive, I suppose. He had two-toned blue hair, spiked around in all different directions, in a similar fashion to Max. His skin was slightly tanned, and porcelain like, somewhat like my own, only mine tended to turn red from embarrassment a lot more.

I felt uncomfortable under his glare. It reminded me of Tala's glare, only this one wasn't exactly malicious like Tala's. It was just…annoyed. I slowly turned to make my way to my seat, but not before I managed to crash into a stool, hitting my knee, and knocking over the watercolors. The class erupted in laughter, leaving me hopping in pain. I winced as I hobbled over to my usual seat at the empty table. I was always the only one there.

Mrs. Talbot shook her head, a slight smile evident on her old thin lips.

"Kai, have a seat over there at Elexis' table. She's always all by herself anyways."

I could feel my face heat up slightly. The new student, Kai, looked at me indifferently. The irritation somewhat left his face. He strode over to me silently, sitting down on the stool next to mine. I turned my head to examine him. His eyes were closed, and his arms crossed. He almost seemed to be concentrating or something. As if feeling my eyes on him, his own snapped open, immediately finding their way to mine.

"You want something?" he asked coldly.

Gulping once again, I shook my head. This guy seemed more unapproachable than my calculus teacher, and I really didn't want to get on his bad side. He glared momentarily, before turning away again, listening to the instructions given by Mrs. Talbot. We were to draw a scenery of our choice that we remembered from our childhood. It was meant to be something that to us, represented freedom. It took me a while to think of this scenery. There really was no place in the world that I felt free. I thought for a moment, thinking of the various childhood memories that popped up. Well, there was that one place- It was an old abandoned house where no one lived. I think it used to be an orphanage, although it close down a while ago. I used to go there whenever my parents would fight. I couldn't stand their yelling and screaming, making my head throb with migraines. So every time I would find myself trapped in the middle of their unhappiness, I ran to that orphanage. Maybe because it was a place where children were, where there were no adults to really control them, or hurt them. To me, that lack of control was freedom.

Before long class had ended, and we were to hand in our sketches of 'freedom.' Mrs. Talbot eyed me warily as she looked at mine. Even I had to admit, it was rather depressing for a place that was supposed to represent freedom.

The day was now over, and somehow I had managed to get through it alive and in one piece. I walked rather quickly, not being able to wait to get out of this place. I stared at the dark pavement as always, ignoring the shouts of the other students around me. However, before I could reach the street, I was bumped rather hard from the side, sending me crashing to the ground. I winced.

"What the..?" I looked up to see a flash of blood red hair. "Tala?"

Yes, it was Tala, and he did not seemed too pleased. A trickle of blood fell from his lips. He seemed to have been hit quite harshly by someone. My eyes followed Tala's cold glare to the figure standing a few meters away. Kai. He also didn't appear very thrilled. Before long, Tala had already attacked Kai, obviously wanting to get back at him for the earlier hit. The two exchanged numerous blows, but Kai seemed to be a superior fighter, obviously more skilled. One final punch sent Tala cascading to the ground, blood running out his nose. By now a huge crowd had gathered, watching the fight, and cheering on. Kai cautiously walked over to the red-head, who was attempting to stand. Suddenly out of absolutely nowhere, Tala spun around, lashing out at his unsuspecting opponent, something sharp and metallic in his left hand. With one slash, Kai's head snapped to the other direction, blood flying from his face.

I gasped, shock and awe filling me as I stared on in horrific fascination. It seemed from here that he had been slashed dead, but that was not the case. A dark red line was now visible across Kai's left eye, blood gushing as he cupped the wound with his hand.

That was definitely going to leave a mark.

ok I know, different Character for Lexie this story, but I wanted to do something a bit more angsty…TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK!