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The Tears That Will Not be Shed

Ciara took her seat with her friends, launching right back into the secret humiliation of some poor girl. Harsh giggles as well as obvious mockery could be heard throughout the whole cafe.

Ramsey raised an eyebrow as they shouted through to Desmond that they were going on break.

Crap, I inwardly screamed, that was totally intentional.

Hooking the Chief's order up, I ambled towards Ciara's table, waiting for the utter destruction of my character.

"What can I get you girls?"

Smirking, Ciara looked up at me with those cold, dead eyes of hers and, not for the first time, I wondered how someone so despicable could be related to one of my greatest friends.

As if knowing what abuse was about to be hurled my way, her posse sat to attention.

Fuck me, honestly.

"Ashley, love the hair, it just scream sea urchin," I rolled my eyes. "I thought you'd be serving stinking crap to us, I didn't realise putting yourself on the menu was also a choice."

The table erupted in synchronized laughter. I was being bullied by fifteen year old girls, how sad was this?

"Yup, so is that a Coke for everyone?"

"Uhh, no. Diet, you moron. And we'll all have the salmon salad."

The girl across from her shifted in her seat, careful not  to look at her directly.

"Actually, Ciara, I'm really hungry. I was going to buy the platter."

My friend's sister stared her groupie down, expression growing more intense with the longer she refused to give in.

Ciara, from the moment she grew a conscience, had always used her cunning ways to get what she wanted. It hadn't failed her so far either, she ruled her school year like the Homecoming Queen she was destined to be. It's just a shame all that power was put into horrendous efforts to drag other people down.

"I'm sorry, did the pig squeal? I'm doing you a favor."

Narrowing my eyes, I wrote down the right order and headed back. There wasn't many people that would trade places with me, no wonder Ramsey fucked off as soon as they spotted danger.

People like Ciara were scum, so I had absolutely no idea how any of us tolerated her that night. It wasn't like she made a habit of hanging out with us, either.

After handing the Chief his food, I pretended to occupy myself with the till as I glanced between them. I wouldn't put it past her to have pissed him off on Founder's Day, she tended to ruin all things traditional and good.

Finally, her and her posse's orders were ready, so I relayed it back to them as I served. When I placed a full plate of wilkes, crab, mussels and all sorts in front of her most recent member, I swear the whole diner turned silent.

And facing the deafening silence, I also met eyes with the Ice Queen herself.

"And the variety platter for the lady." Watching her as she seethed, I piqued a brow. "Enjoy your meal."

I caught attention of the Chief as I whirled back around. I wanted to gauge his reaction, only the Lord knows why.

Although all I received was a front row seat to yolk juice running down his chin.

I could distinguish plates moving, roughly, and the squeak of a few metal chairs, as they were pulled away from the table. It would be no surprise if it meant what I thought it did.

“What the fuck do you think you're doing? You think that because you're such a special little girl you're invincible?" The queen was out for my blood.

I turned, just before she had the chance to do it. Ciara and I were roundabout the same height, which was unfortunate for me, since she was still a young teenager and maturing, but she didn't intimidate me. She could stand tall and look down on me all she wanted, but the fact of the matter was, she was the ant that would ultimately get crushed under my shoe.

And her colony watched us, ready to carry the weight off her shoulders, if needed.

"Ciara, I'm at work, I'd ask you respect that."

She chewed the inside of her cheek, a grisly laugh slowly escaping.

“Respect. Is that truly what you deserve?"

I shifted my balance. She didn't scare me, I'd grown up as a regular punching bag for her, so I was immune to whatever abuse she hurled.

I could hear Ramsey calling me back, probably to knock some sense into me, but I couldn't pay heed to their words.

"Shut up, Ciara."

"You know, because I thought that people's business was nobody's but their own. Yet, there you were on Founder's Day, sticking it where you don't belong..." Shaking her head, I had no clue why my phalanges all grew cold. "If you took on half of your advice, maybe you wouldn't have been targeted."

I exhaled.

The diner had dropped in temperature, except for the fire that burned in Ciara's eyes. While she remained nice and safe in the warmth of her self-security, the rest of us were left out to freeze.

My veins were clogged. My breathing had stopped. All was not what it once was.

"What are you talking about?"

But I knew. I knew what she meant.

And, going by the sly grin that emerged on her face, so did she.

"I hope the water wasn't too cold."