Double Edged War
The mention of the foster system made it click. They wanted someone disposable, so if something did happen at this school, no one would care. “You want someone who nobody would miss if there was an accident.” Kaelin clarified bluntly.
“Kaelin! That’s not what he said. You should be more polite—” Mrs. Wringle scolded.
“That’s alright, Mrs. Wringle. He has every right to question. He’s the one who has to attend the school. He needs to know that he will be safe when he goes there.” Principal Landler interrupted before turning back to Kaelin. “That’s not how I would have put it. There are risks but I don’t believe that you will be in any danger there. Naturally, the Academy would pick up your tuition and any other expenses. We offer one of the finest educations in the nation, human, vampire or otherwise. Our graduates continue to be accepted into every Ivy League college across the nation, even since our exposure. And, if the year goes successfully, you’d of course be welcome to finish out your senior year there as well. This is the chance of a lifetime.”
“Where is this Academy? I mean, I know it’s across the border, but where? Would I be able to walk?” Kaelin asked. It was a twenty-minute walk to the wall as it was.
“Well, part of your tuition covers living expenses. We have dorms, but given your situation, we also have a few nice studio apartments close by. It’s all taken care of.” Principal Landler answered.
Any thought Kaelin had of taking the offer vanished. Who would take care of Kiana if he left? Mrs. Fowler barely remembered when he was there.
"I’m sorry, sir, but that’s just not possible. I can’t leave Kia—” he rephrased. “I have responsibilities here. I just can’t pick up and move. Otherwise, I might have considered it, but the way it is…” He shrugged his shoulders. He had more than just himself to think of.
Principal Landler looked at him for a moment, his expression searching, then turned to the other man. They exchanged a few glances he couldn’t interpret before turning back. Principal Landler spoke slowly. “Well Kaelin, our academy is located close enough to the border that it would be possible for someone to drive you to and from campus, although it would have to be one of ours, for security’s sake. If that was your only concern, then we can still make an agreement.”
Kaelin still hesitated.
“Mrs. Fowler’s already signed the paperwork.” Mrs. Wringle said. “I can override her permission, if you insist on being stubborn, but if I do that, she would no longer be able to remain your guardian.”
“She’s getting paid,” Kaelin frowned. “Isn’t she?”
“That’s none of your concern.” Mrs. Wringle answered.
“She’s getting a small fund to help with the inconvenience of you not being there to walk the other children to school, or get them off the bus.” Principal Landler replied, ignoring Kaelin’s caseworker.
“So I don’t have a choice then.” Kaelin shoved his hands deeper into his pockets. “When do I start?”
His hand itched to grab the knife hidden in his glove box. He could defend himself without it, but not without causing injuries. The knife would be just enough intimidation to stop the fight before it started, unless it was a gang...in which case, he’d rather have it on him anyway. Before he could decide, the door opened and the human walked over.
“You must be Edward?” The boy leaned into the car window.
Endymion glared, his teeth grinding. “Endymion. The name’s Endymion.” He already wanted to eat the boy and they’d only met. He glanced at the clock. Not even a full minute.
“Oh, then I suppose you don’t sparkle…” the boy wondered out loud.
“I can’t believe that damn book still exists. Of course we don’t fucking sparkle.” Endymion spat. He put the car into drive. “Are you getting in or not?”
He winced as the kid sank into the seat. He was filthy, with old holey jeans that were gross and… ready for the trash, a shirt that Endymion thought may have once been black… but sure as hell wasn’t now. He could hear the rattle of broken ribs. A sound Endymion knew. He eyed the boy when he hissed. Maybe this kid was part of that gang that was going to steal his car.
Endymion pulled out of the side street and onto the main road. He gunned it.
“Don’t. Touch. Anything.” He only had the car one day. He didn’t want it ruined.
“Whatever.” The kid said.