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Bitter Heart

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Caden Miller. Hot, cynical, and notoriously labelled the bad boy of Crestmont High. Attention-seekers flirt with him. Idiots fight with him. The ones who know what's good for them, stay away from him. If you fight him, you know you'll lose soon. Short-tempered, mysterious, and those oh-so-hot looks. All of that was enough for a person to fall head over heels for him. If only he cared to give a sh*t about them. Not when he was also the youngest gang leader in New York City, with just one mission in mind: stop his equally cynical brother from ruining his life more than he already had. Skylar Anderson. Not a nerd. Or a cheerleader. All she cares about is her workaholic (and maybe even a little dysfunctional) parents, her adorable cat and her not-so adorable best friend, and her sleep. Quite literally. Living a normal and carefree life, trying her best not to flunk Physics, there wasn't anything more that she wanted. Until she receives a letter in her mailbox... ...and that normal, carefree life goes right above the clouds. . . . "Tʜᴇ ᴘʀᴏʙʟᴇᴍ ɪꜱ," ʜᴇ ꜱᴀɪᴅ ᴀꜱ ʜᴇ ʟᴇᴀɴᴇᴅ ᴄʟᴏꜱᴇʀ, "Iғ ɪ ᴋɪꜱꜱ ʏᴏᴜ, ɪ ᴅᴏɴ'ᴛ ᴛʜɪɴᴋ ɪ'ᴅ ʙᴇ ᴀʙʟᴇ ᴛᴏ ꜱᴛᴏᴘ."

Chapter 1

Skylar's POV

I was seconds away from breaking apart.

It felt like I would. I could almost hear my heart shattering into tiny little pieces. A million pieces. Every possible emotion overwhelmed me, but only one stood out more than the others,

Misery.

All because today was Monday.

The miserable day that led to a whole new week of school? What more was there to sob about? I absolutely despised waking up so early--for such purpose--with a burning passion.

It wasn't like senior year at Crestmont High was a menace to go through. I didn't get bullied or had to face those typical mean girls (ones who had no idea what they were doing with their life choices) or had terrible teachers.

It just wasn't my thing.

I preferred sleeping late. I preferred staying curled up under my duvet more than anything. Except for cupcakes, of course. Which might've been the only reason I had to drag myself out of bed.

"Sky, I swear, only one minute." Alex threatened over the phone. "You've got exactly one minute to get downstairs before I eat all these cupcakes by myself."

That was the most malicious statement I had ever heard leaving Alex's mouth. And he was supposed to be my best friend!

One minute I wanted to sleep for the rest of the century, and the next I was blackmailed into rummaging through my closet to pick out a decent outfit.

Settling on a sweater (one that looked washed) and a pair of jeans, I rushed downstairs and out of my house without saying any goodbyes. Not like I had anyone to say goodbye to. Both of my parents were real hard-working lawyers, meaning that they woke up extra early and came back sometime after midnight.

Sometimes they didn't come back at all, travelling towns or cities over without even letting me know.

I didn't complain, though. My parents and I had this...relationship where I never asked them of their time, and they didn't ask much from me either. Just good grades as long as it gets me accepted to a medical school. Which, let's be honest, gave me nightmares sometimes.

"You're such an elephant for cupcakes," Alex commented as I slid into the passenger seat. "What took you so long?"

I grumbled a response, placing my bag and my dark coat on my lap. Alex hated my sleeping schedule. I liked to think he was just jealous of the close relationship I had with my sleep.

I didn't tell him though, that I was sound asleep until he'd called. Even if that was a usual occurrence, Alex gave me dirty, disappointed looks the whole day if I told him so out loud. And then there were those cupcakes too at stake. Alex might not hand me over the paper bag he currently had in his hands.

"Chicken got in my way," I lied. "And I tripped on the um cereal box. I needed to clean the mess." I ended it all with a short, awkward laugh, patting my bed head. Apparently, I couldn't lie for sh*t.

Who even laughs just after waking up?

"You know how much I hate making a mess," I added. "Especially so early in the morning."

I knew that excuse was rubbish and Alex knew that too. Because firstly, Chicken (my cat) didn't wake up until I came back from school. Secondly, I never gave a sh*t about messes in my life.

Alex, being the nicest friend he was, chose to ignore the lies tumbling out of my lips. He threw me the paper bag and I clutched onto it a little too happily, knowing what was inside. Yummy, chocolaty goodness.

I forgot how Mondays were supposed to be evil and nothing, nothing could ever make them any less miserable. Not until I unfolded the paper bag, only to widen my eyes when I found crumpled, heavy pieces of paper inside. Not a single cupcake. Not one.

I looked up in horror, specifically at Alex whose gaze was focused on the road ahead--a serene expression on his face as if he hadn't just given me literal trash instead of cupcakes.

"Alex, you f*ck*ng monster." I slumped my forehead against the glove compartment. Groaned, then thudded my head against it again. "You cannot do this to me. I will not let you do this to me!"

A slow smirk tugged on his lips as he drove.

"You are evil, Alexander! How can you do that? I thought you loved me!" I whined a little more, smacked his shoulder, before crossing my arms with a frown.

He chuckled and pulled into the school parking lot. "The day you wake up early would be the day I'll give you real cupcakes, Sky," He said, "And besides, the bakery was closed."

I glared at him. "You're even more horrible than Severus Snape!" Then I frowned because I didn't quite remember Snape being that bad. "Or not, maybe."

Maybe I shouldn't have spent the whole night last night watching and rewatching Half Blood Prince. Clearly, living alone in that big of a house was really getting to my head.

Alex clicked his tongue in disapproval before stopping his car. "Stop being so dramatic. If I hadn't bribed you with cupcakes, you'd still be in bed."

He wasn't entirely wrong. But at least I had something to look forward to. Some purpose to my life. Chocolate cupcakes sounded good enough to quench the misery of a Monday. Now I had nothing.

"It's not good to play with someone's feelings." I kept frowning at him.

Alex glanced at me, and maybe, just maybe, I might've seen the slight guilt in his eyes. "Come on, Sky." He rolled his eyes. "Physics is waiting, yes? Don't stay in here for too long. I'll see you later."

Right as he opened his door to leave, he leaned back to place a quick kiss at the side of my head.

I sighed and grumbled under my breath. This wasn't fair.

I watched Alex join his football friends, with various girls sneaking glances at him.

In addition to him being on the football team, Alex had those wavy blond locks that everyone fell for. Seriously, it was way too easy. Girls fell for him way too easily.

It should've passed on to me too since I was his best friend, you know? But no, hell no. The only two times I was asked out on a date was because Alex wanted me to third wheel his date. Awfully painful, that's how it was.

Guys rarely spared me a second glance, let alone fall in love with me. Maybe that was because I cared more about my sleep than my social life (which, hey, a girl has to sleep, right?), or maybe it was just because I was found buried halfway in textbooks most of the time.

Was that my fault though? The textbook part, I mean. Mom had made me take every subject known to mankind in all my years of high school. How was one supposed to go and party all night when I had tests and surprise quizzes popping up every f*ck*ng where?

Alex was lucky that way. He didn't have parents who wanted to be impressed all the d*mn time. Besides, I had Alex. We'd been best friends since we were kids. I didn't need anyone else.

Except for those cupcakes, I reminded myself miserably.

Gathering my things, I exited the car and sighed as I shut the door behind me. No cupcakes plus no sleep equalled a really angry Skylar.

I would make him realize what a big mistake he made.

Plotting the best revenge plan of the century, I made my way towards my locker. Most girls and boys were gossiping (like always), chatting and laughing and not so discreetly eyeing any and every hot candidate.

Typical high school morning.

"Hey, Hanna." I greeted with a small smile as I approached my locker.

I didn't usually acknowledge people in the hallways, but Hanna was pretty much the same as me; she was more of the quiet type and didn't care much for the latest gossip. And since she was my locker buddy, I couldn't just ignore her.

Hanna mirrored my smile, then left for class. Out of the two of us, I guess I was mostly the talker here.

After struggling to open my locker, I pulled out my textbooks and mentally gagged realizing that I had Physics first and Mr Frank had probably graded our tests papers by now.

Could this day turn out any worse?

The bell rang then, a shrill, will-make-your-ears-bleed noise indicating the start of the first period and pulling me away from my thoughts. Most people started rushing to their respective classrooms. As for me, I leaned my forehead against my locker, wishing that I could just disappear and sleep. Wishing that I was anywhere but here.

Preferably my bed.

Finally, after much deliberation, I took a deep breath and started walking towards my classroom.

Maybe Mr Frank fell down his stairs or something. Not that I wanted him dead. God, no. But hey, a little cold wasn't that bad now, was it? Maybe there will be no graded test papers today. Maybe when I enter the classroom--

Perhaps I was a little too lost in my thoughts (intense thoughts, if I do say so myself) to see the person right in front of me. Apparently, he hadn't seen me either because he seemed to be in quite a rush. Because he was in a hurry and I was actively daydreaming, I slammed into him, yelped, and fell backwards. Right on my butt.

Right after you accidentally slam into someone and fall, you expect the guy to give you a hand and help you up, right? Especially if he was the reason for said fall. I expected that too. But when I managed to look up with a small frown, he was nowhere in sight.

I glanced over my shoulder and huffed in sheer annoyance when I saw him walking away towards the grounds, not even bothering to throw a fake apology towards me.

Slowly getting up, I dusted myself off and rolled my eyes almost in disbelief.

I didn't even have to take another look to figure out who that had been. There was only one person, maybe even throughout the entire universe, who was capable of such disgrace.

Caden Miller.

_____

Chapter 2

Skylar's POV

"Why aren't you eating anything?" Alex asked, eyeing my untouched lunch tray.

Normally, food would've been my only desire at this moment, but right now just the sight of it made me all queasy. Rethinking about what exactly I had done to fuck with my fate.

I glanced at my tray once more before muttering, "I got a C." With a frown, I looked him straight in the eye. "Again."

I picked up a cold fry and chewed on it, hoping to work up an appetite again. It worked for all of five seconds before flashes of my Physics's test paper and a big red C on it appeared right before my eyes. I suppose I had to accept the fact that I could definitely not have lunch today.

A small snicker escaped his lips, which made me pass him a wounded look before he gave me the sincerest apology, "That sucks, Sky."

I glared at him this time and he put his hands up in surrender. Som

Heroes

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