I wasn't sure what hit me first. Archer's elbow in my rib or the fact that I had his lips inches from mine. Our PE teacher was more than satisfied to see me in pain. Archer grinned at me I laid there awkwardly, until he reached his hand out and pulled me up. Alex stood glaring at me. I was oddly happy by it and but that feeling disappeared when Archer wrapped his arms around her thin waist.
I cringed as I watched everybody else go and get beat up by each other. I didn't pay much attention to them and my eyes kept trailing back to Alex and Archer. Something wasn't right between the two of them. It almost seemed like it was all fake. Even though he acted like he loved her, I wasn't sure. He pretended to love Elodie, though we all knew he never did. I was still wary about trusting him. I could trust Alex, to some extent.
"Take a picture, it'll last longer." Alex yelled over to me when we were leaving. She must've caught me staring. I walked back to the main building, my legs aching with every stride up the hill. I sure hadn't stayed in shape over the summer.
I was exhausted when I finally sat down at dinner. Who knew that sitting through four hours of boring classes could make you so hungry and tired? I loaded up my plate and started to eat hungrily. I never felt so hungry before in my life.
Alex and Archer sat across from me and Jenna, again. I was getting annoyed by them constantly sitting across from us. Alex pursed her lips when she saw my shoveling food in my mouth. I slowed down and took smaller bites.
"So, what trouble did you get yourself into over the summer?" Archer asked me.
I shrugged. "Nothing too exciting. What'd you do?"
"Went back home, met Alex, and did a ton of homework." Jenna laughed at his description of the summer.
"Yeah, they gave me so much homework over the summer, too." Jenna agreed and sipped her water.
I smiled. "I got mine done pretty fast, mostly because I had nothing to do."
Archer grinned. "Well, Mercer, you should've called and we could've met you somewhere." Alex bit her lip, probably trying not to protest Archer's idea.
"Maybe next summer." I said happily and took a bite of garlic bread. I watched as Alex picked at her mashed potatoes and pushed them around. "Hungry, much?" I said sarcastically, eating my potatoes.
Alex glared at me. "I would watch your back if I were you." Archer looked over at her.
"Well, if you were me, you might actually be pretty cool." I shot back.
Archer tilted his head and raised his eyebrows at me. Alex huffed and dropped her fork on her plate. Archer put his hand on her waist.
"She's kidding, Alex. Calm down." He sounded only half sarcastic. Alex looked at him and leaned over to whisper something to him. He nodded and kissed her cheek.
Jenna glanced over at me and shook her head. I smirked. "So, what classes do you have tomorrow?"
"Mythology, and then our massive PE test." Archer said and Alex and Jenna nodded in agreement.
I frowned. "Wait what test?"
Jenna looked at me. "We've been in school for a month, Sophie. That means the PE test."
"There wasn't one last year." I said, still confused.
Alex quickly explained. "After the first month of school in your last year, you have to take the PE test. The test is almost the entire afternoon and it's really tough and people have actually died."
Archer shook his head. "No, they haven't." Alex and Jenna nodded. "No, Alex, they haven't. The Vandy isn't that bad."
Jenna shrugged. "She does look like she'll kill someone every few minutes."
"How does the test work?" I asked.
Archer explained. "It's not that hard. All you have to do is partner up with someone and do whatever she tells you. It's kinda scary, especially because she tends to make everyone pair up with someone bigger than them. But it's not too bad, just don't forget what all the moves are or you're toast."
I nodded, storing up all the information in my head. "Thanks," I said and finished my dinner.
After dinner we all headed up the stairs. I watched as Archer and Alex stopped on the second floor. Archer was saying something that made her upset. Jenna and I watched quietly, hoping they couldn't see us. Alex tried to walk away and Archer caught her by her waist and pulled her back. She shook her head at something then Archer must've said something right because she ran her fingers through his dark hair and he kissed her. I wanted to look away while they kissed, but I couldn't. It was like I wanted to prove to myself that I was stupid for falling for him.
Jenna and I turned and hurried up to our room when Alex finally broke away from Archer and walked up the stairs. We jumped on Jenna's bed and sat there talking when Alex walked in.
"Enjoy the show?" Alex asked as she sat down on her bed.
Jenna and I looked over at her. "What show?" I asked, acting like I didn't have a clue.
"Don't act stupid, Sophie." Alex rolled her eyes. "Look, I know you had a thing for Archer last year, but he's with me now. You need to accept that and move on."
I pretended to think for a minute. "Actually, we had a thing." Alex's eyebrows knitted together and she looked confused. "Oh, I'm guessing he didn't tell you about the cellar?"
Alex shrugged. "How do I know you're not making all of it up?"
"Fine," I smiled. "ask Archer to show you exactly what he did in that cellar. Then you come tell me there weren't any feelings."
Alex glared at me. "Leave me alone, Sophie." She stood up and grabbed her pajamas and walked out of the room.
"Wow, Sophie." Jenna shook her head in dismay.
I frowned. "What?"
"That was really harsh." Jenna said, playing with her pink comforter. "She's had a lot of crap from everyone already because she's with Archer and she didn't need that."
"She thinks because she's with him she can walk all over everyone and that she's better than everyone." I said.
Jenna sighed. "I think you need to lay off and just let her mess up her own life. It's not our business. But you did put up a pretty good argument." Jenna grinned.
Jenna and I trudged to breakfast, our eyes still drooping from the lack of sleep we got last night when we stayed up studying for the PE test. Thankfully, breakfast was an hour later today because of the test. We were so out of it that we didn't even think when we sat down across from Archer and Alex, both of whom looked just as equally tired.
I slowly scooped some oatmeal onto my plate and Jenna passed me a piece of toast. I grabbed some bacon and carefully poured orange juice. We all ate in silence, there was barely any talking in the room because of the sleep everyone missed.
Alex was actually eating, probably trying to regain any strength she lost last night from studying. Archer kept giving her more food, and if I wasn't so tired I would've made a joke about him trying to fatten her up but I couldn't even force the words out of my mouth.
Jenna and I had mythology class that morning, but we had it with Archer and Alex. For some reason, that was the only class they had for any of the witches and warlocks, so we all ended up crammed into a small class room. I was so close to Archer, I could feel his breath on my arm.
The class seemed much longer than normal and we ended right before lunch. Alex, Jenna, and I slowly heaved our bodies up the stairs into our room and managed to change out of our skirts and blazers into our blue t-shirts and yoga-ish pants. I slipped on my track shoes and laced them up. Alex was trying to pull her long, curly hair into a ponytail. I copied her and hoped secretly my ears didn't stick out.
The three of us walked back down the stairs, meeting up with Archer on the way. The way his shirt stretched across his toned chest still gave me goosebumps and made my ears burn. Throughout lunch, I tried my hardest not to stare at him but I must've failed because after lunch he walked next to me and was being sarcastic like we used to before I discovered he was an eye.
"Did you miss me over the summer, Mercer? You look like you haven't seen boys in a while." He said and laughed at his own joke.
I shrugged. "I saw plenty of guys."
"Really?" He said sarcastically and I nodded. "Just thought I'd let you know, but Alex is pretty upset by how you were looking at me."
I turned red. "I wasn't looking at you!" My lie was so bad that I had to recall how bad of a liar I was.
Archer laughed. "You're right, you weren't looking at me. You were drooling."
I turned more red, I was surprised I hadn't caught on fire yet. "Was not." I muttered.
"Sure," He said and I heard someone come up next to him.
I frowned when Alex walked next to Archer, her finger intertwined with his. I wanted to puke and go hide under my covers in bed. But I forced myself to keep walking and not chuck up everything I had just eaten.
The Vandy separated us up by boys and girls, we stood against different walls facing each other. I stood in-between Alex and Jenna. The Vandy was marking us off, taking attendance and sizing us up.
Alex stood a few inches taller than me and I never realized how beautiful she really was. Her long legs were thin and toned, her stomach flat, and her arms matched her lanky legs. Her blue eyes were framed by thick dark eyelashes and they stood out against her tanned skin and dark hair. Side-swept bangs framed her strong jaw. I had been jealous of her since the moment I met her but for some reason, today I was really upset with how perfect she seemed. I made it my goal for the day to find something wrong with her.
The Vandy was pulling boys forward who were tall, muscular, and strongly built. I watched in horror as Archer was pulled. She then started calling forward girls.
"Opal, Alexandra." Alex stepped forward, smiling at Archer. "Mercer, Sophia." I stepped next to Alex, much in her dismay. The Vandy kept calling girls forward and Jenna looked thrilled that she wasn't called.
"I'm going to be grading you on how well you can attack." She smiled coyly. "Cross, Archer." He stepped next to her. "Mercer, Sophia." I shook slightly when I stepped closer to The Vandy. "Mr. Cross, please preform move fifteen."
I braced myself for his musclar body to be slammed into me. I don't even remember what he did, but I remember feeling his knee in my gut. He pulled me up from the mat and smiled at me, but his smile seemed apologetic.
"Mr. Cross, please preform move eight." Archer groaned and I braced myself again, this time I flew into the crowd of girls and they kept me from falling over.
"Very good." She smiled and wrote something down on her clipboard. "Now I'll be grading you on your attacks with someone who's attacking you." She scanned the group of girls who she had called forward. "Opal, Alexandra."
Alex took my spot and Archer grinned at her. The Vandy must've known they were together because she immediately made Archer preform one of the worst attacks.
"Miss Opal, please preform move seven while Mr. Cross will preform move thirteen." Archer shook his head, and Alex's body was shaking in fear. "Mr. Cross, move thirteen. Now."
"No, that could kill her." Archer said, his right eyebrow raised.
The Vandy smiled. "That's a risk I'm willing to take."
Archer shook his head again. "It's not a risk I'm willing to take."
"Mr. Cross, would you care to explain to the whole class why you won't preform move thirteen on Miss Opal?" The Vandy snickered.
"I won't preform it because I'm not going to risk her life. It doesn't matter what our relationship is. I won't preform it." Archer repeated.
The Vandy smiled and motioned over to me. "Will you preform move thirteen on Miss Mercer?" Archer shook his head. "Mr. Cross, preform move thirteen on Miss Opal or Miss Mercer, or you will receive a failing grade in this class."
Archer looked over at Alex. He pulled her to him and whispered in her ear. "I can't do this."
Alex shook her head. "I'm attacking you anyways so I can't get hurt."
"I'm not hurting you, Alex." Archer pleaded.
Alex smiled. "Don't worry about me. I'll be fine."
"I could kill you." Archer said, his eyebrows knotted. "I'm not risking it.
Alex stepped back. "I'm doing it, wanna be a coward and not fight a girl?" She said loudly and Archer smiled realizing she was saying that just so he'd have fight her or else risk looking un-manly infront of his entire class.
"Any day now, Mr. Cross." The Vandy said, stepping back.
Archer and Alex stepped back, both of them counting in their heads. I cringed when they both attacked each other. Archer's hand under her chin as if to snap her neck and her knee in his stomach. I watched as he twisted her arm back and slammed his elbow hard into her ribs. She let out a scream when he landed on top of her, his knee in between her rib cage. Archer quickly slid off of her and sat next to her, trying to see if she was okay.
The Vandy rushed over to Alex, who wasn't moving. Alex look sickly pale and I watched as Archer slipped his arm under her knees and head, picking her up. The Vandy held the door for him as he carried her to Cal's cabin.
"Alright, let's finish the exam so you can go to dinner."
The rest of the exam went awfully. I had countless bruises, the obstacle course had me covered in mud, and she had dropped us into the lake hoping we could get back out. I was exempt from that because the last time she tried that, the lake trapped me because I was a demon.
Archer missed the rest of the exam and I headed down to Cal's before dinner to see if Alex was okay. I knocked on the door and Cal opened it.
"Hi, Sophie." He said and held the door open for me to walk in. "What happened to you?"
"Obstacle course." I said and he nodded, apparently he knew what that meant.
I searched the small cabin for Alex and saw her laying on Cal's bed, her long hair was loose again and it flowed around her. For someone in such bad condition, she was still stunning. I looked down and saw her shirt was off and she was covered in bruises and I could see where Archer's knee had been because now it had been replaced with a deep purple and black bruise that had spread across her ribs.
"Was it really that bad?" I asked Cal who was standing next to me.
He nodded. "Archer's not a small person. I still can't believe she would make him preform move thirteen. That's reserved for the more dire of situations due to it's destructive manners."
I shook my head at how sick and twisted the whole thing had been. Archer saw me and stood up, moving away from Alex's side. She stirred when he left but stayed out. "Hey, Mercer." He said.
"I'm really sorry, Archer." I said.
Archer looked at me. "It's not your fault, I should've just taken the F. I really hurt her."
"What did you do?" I asked.
Archer looked at Cal who answered. "Broke two ribs, bruised at least three more, and gave her that nasty thing." He motioned to the black and purple bruise.
"Ouch," I said, looking at Alex's bandaged ribs. "Can you heal her ribs?"
"I can, but she's still going to have those bruises." Cal said.
Alex moved, her blue eyes blinked back into focus and she searched the room. Alex tried to sit up but fell back down with the sharp pain that was in her side. Archer and Cal rushed over to her, both of them concerned for how badly she could hurt herself by just moving.
I realized I needed to get back to the school so I could eat dinner. "I have to get back, I hope Alex is okay." I said and I heard Cal tell me that the door was unlocked.
I rushed back to the school and hurried into the dinning hall, and took my seat next to Jenna.
"Where were you?" Jenna asked, her mouth full of food.
I dumped some soup into my bowl and grabbed a handful of crackers. "I went to go see Alex. She's really beat up."
"How bad?" Jenna asked.
"Broke two ribs, bruised some more, I think he knocked her out too. And she's got this really big purple and black bruise on her ribs from where Archer kneed her. It's pretty nasty looking."
Jenna shook her head. "Mrs. Casnoff had to talk to The Vandy afterwards and someone said Mrs. Casnoff might try to get the council to ban move thirteen from the school."
My eyes widened. "Wow," I said in awe as I scooped up some soup and poured it in my mouth. The warmth rose from my toes and I felt warm again. The air outside had been cold when I was walking back to the castle from seeing Alex.
That night, Alex didn't come back but we did see Archer walk past the dining hall on our way up to our room. I ran to catch up with him.
"Cross!" I yelled and he turned around. "Hey," I said, breathless.
"What do you want, Mercer?" He asked, his voice sounded tired and defeated.
I smiled weakly. "I just wanted to let you know I'm really sorry that you had to do that."
Archer looked down. "I should've just said no and left. Alex means the world to me and I hurt her because I was too vain to take a F."
"We make mistakes." I said, I still wasn't sure how to comfort him because he just sounded like he would keep on beating himself up about it.
Archer shrugged. "Yeah, I guess."
"Is she coming back tomorrow?" I asked.
Archer nodded. "That's what Cal said. He said it's not too difficult to fix but she's going to be really sore."
"Yeah, I'd bet." I said.
Archer smiled. "I've got to go, tons of homework."
I nodded. "Me too."
"See you later, Mercer." He said, smiled his oh-so-cute smile and walked away. I watched him leave then walked up to my room.
I plopped down on Jenna's bed next to her. She put her book down and looked over at me. I stared at the ceiling as I spoke. "I am hopelessly in love with Archer Cross." She rolled her eyes. "Again."
I'm finally updating. I apologize for the long wait, I've been so busy with life and school. I really hope to start updating my stories again at a more regular, consistant schedule but I know that will be a little difficult. Anyways, please review and let me know how I'm doing. I love hearing from you. :)