A sigh escaped from Ed's lips as he set down his cell phone on his bed. He rolled onto his stomach and stared out the window, tucking his arms underneath his chin. He did not like this plan, not one bit. Of course, he trusted Morgan. She was his best friend and the closest thing he had to family. But really, the only reason he agreed to place his most valuable possession in the hands of his least favorite underclassman was because Morgan was ruthless, and in hyena form she was much bigger than he was. Magic could be a real bitch sometimes.
There were other factors to consider for this plan too. Hudson had to be out of his room, long enough for Ed and Morgan to slip in and out. Ed had sent a text to Jasper, telling him that it was part of a "really great prank" and that the plan could not be executed without the help of Peter Pan. Jasper had agreed excitedly, and assured Ed that he'd have Nate rushed out of the room for dinner and "some quality roommate bonding". He didn't want to know what that meant. Sometimes Ed was really glad that he was born when he was, because if he had to share living quarters with Jasper Kensington, he might have blown his brains out across the walls in freshman year. Okay, maybe not really, suicide is a little extreme, even for Ed, but still. If his feelings were strong enough, he would have done something .
Now, Ed was presented with an entirely different sort of something. He sat up and let out another large puff of air, enough to make his fringe move. Slipping his phone into his pocket, Ed pushed himself up from his bed and crossed the room to pick up his bass from its stand in the corner. She was still plugged into his amplifier, and he gave the strings an affectionate strum. He knew that in the worst case scenario, she might get some cooties from being in Hudson’s room, and that his beloved bass would be returned to him after the scheme went through, but there was still something bittersweet about giving her up to a stranger. Especially if that stranger is a complete jackass.
Ed glanced at his alarm clock and determined that he still had some time before Morgan showed up, so he slipped the guitar strap around his shoulders and unplugged the bass from the amp. After all, if anyone heard him playing too loudly, the whole plan might be blown. And Ed didn’t want to let Morgan down. Biting his lip absentmindedly and closing his eyes, he began to play Green Day’s ‘Longview.’ The notes and the feel of his bass in his hands eased Ed’s nerves. It would have sounded much better if he could have played it louder, but there would be time for that later. He finished the song and his muscles were relaxed, but he must have been tenser than he thought because he tasted blood on his bottom lip. Occupational hazard, he supposed.
He lapped up the blood and ran his tongue over the puncture wound as he heard a steady knock at the door. Swinging his guitar across his back, Ed made his way to the lounge outside his bedroom and opened the door. Sure enough, there was Big Bad Morgan herself, looking as menacing as ever. Ed had to admit, sometimes he still felt a little nervous around her, but after four years of getting as close as they were, it wasn’t as bad. He stepped aside to let her in and scooped up his boots from behind the door. He moved to sit on the arm of the couch to tug his boots on and his phone buzzed in his pocket. That was Jasper. Ed pulled his phone out, read the message and beamed up at Morgan, feigning confidence.
“The chicken has flown the coop.”
Her army boots thudding on the floor, Morgan strode down the hallway, ignoring the students hurrying to get out of her way. Frankly, she would have found it more worthy of attention if someone hadn’t tried to get the hell out of her way, especially when her mood was this black. Anyone unfortunate enough to be too slow today would have Nathaniel Hudson to thank for whatever horrors were visited upon them. This wasn’t just a case of her being angered by a single incident. This was the sound of pebbles clattering before an avalanche of built-up resentment and annoyance came crashing down. Anyone with even half a brain knew better than to get in Big Bad Morgan’s way when she was on her way to raining on someone’s parade. This much aggression, if diverted, could end up obliterating an unwary bystander or two without losing any of its force.
That smarmy bastard – with his multiple-hundred-dollar Armani coats and leather shoes that he’d probably personally picked off the back of the actual cow. To someone like Morgan, who had to fight for every scrap of care and attention she’d ever gotten with a rowdy gang of siblings and the rest of the concerns weighing on her overworked parents, his very existence was enough to be an affront in itself. The fact that he lorded over everyone else, like he was too good for Nemare Academy, well that just set her teeth on edge. Not a good idea when said teeth can potentially bite through a man’s thigh bone. It wasn’t even as though he bothered to hide his superiority, either. She could see him cringing every time she opened her mouth to let out a raw New York accent. As though it hurt him to be around poor people. Huh, poor baby!
The way he spoke to her was the cherry on the top. Morgan didn’t just demand respect from everyone not qualified to outmatch her in some way – she expected it. And having a smug bugger like Hudson waltzing around talking to her like she was just a sidekick, in the same way that the person who cleaned his clothes at home was just a maid, well, that wasn’t to be tolerated. Morgan’s respect had to be earned, and Hudson certainly hadn’t done that. If he had actively set out to rile her, he couldn’t have done a better job of it. She was tired of him, tired of his pansy privileged ass. He needed to be taken down a few pegs, and soon.
Fortunately, Morgan had a plan. It hadn’t taken that much to get one of her best friends on board to carry it out with her. She figured Hudson wouldn’t even notice it if the price of two (or three, or four) large pizzas grew legs and walked away. Spoilt little price. His daddy probably already had a trust fund set up for him to slide into as soon as he graduated. Ugh. As far as she was concerned, in this particular case, she was doing the world a favour. The best part about her plan was, of course, the fact that it only needed one initial effort, and then the rest would be completely taken care of by the school itself. Morgan had seen the rulebook – she’d copied it out a few times in a well-intentioned detention exercise – and she knew that stealing from another student was considered a grave offence indeed.
Especially if it were something valuable.
Something like, say, a treasured bass guitar.
Kicking Ed’s dorm room door open, letting the noise announce her presence for any dudes doing dude things. Having grown up in a house of brothers, and been the top dog of a street gang for a while, Morgan wasn’t really bothered by the gross things boys did in their spare time. In fact, odds were she would probably be able to outgross them in several areas. Delicate and dainty weren’t so much irrelevant as antonyms. The sound that greeted her in return was a familiar one, which made her roll her eyes as she strolled into Ed’s room. He was playing his bass, the big baby. As much as she loved the weird kid (shut up), she would probably never stop teasing him about his attachment to his guitar. As far as unmusical Morgan was concerned, it was just an instrument, just a bit of wood (or plastic) with strings on it. Not something that needed a name or could feel pain or any of the other ridiculous things Ed seemed to believe.
Oh well. Everyone needs a hobby.
"The chicken has flown the coop."
"So Kensington actually paid attention for long enough to get him out?" she replied with a laugh, setting her hands on her hips. "Come on, hurry up. He won’t be out of there forever." Letting her gaze drift around her friend’s room, she waited impatiently for him to finish getting his boots on. Giving her head a slight shake, she returned her gaze to Ed, tipping her head to the side as she checked the underside of his boots for any mud. It would be pretty dumb to go to all this trouble only to leave incriminating evidence behind. Eyeing the guitar slung around his back, a smirk tugged at her lips. "You realise you can’t carry it like that, dumbass," she told him, using the pejorative as a kind of affectionate nickname. "We’re trying not to be obvious here." She let out another mildly unsettling chuckle – the only kind of laugh suitable for a hyena in human form, of course.