Bloodground High

Jemima Crawford, daughter of one of the most powerful vampires on the planet, turned troublesome when her mum died. So now, to get her in order, her father is shipping her off to Bloodground High, a school for only the best of the teenage vampires. But there's nothing Jemima wouldn't rather do...

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1. Welcome to Bloodground High

I stared out of the car window in dismay. Before me stood a large, Victorian manor house, complete with large windows, red bricks and a looming front door. I turned in my seat to face my dad.

“Please don’t make me do this.” I begged before he could form whatever sentence I could see his mouth beginning to say. He ran a hand through his wispy grey hair, emerald eyes flashing in annoyance.

“Jemima, you’re going to learn how to control your powers and this is the perfect place to do it.” He snapped in reply. I twirled a brown curl of hair around my finger to stop myself from clenching my fists.

“This is ridiculous. I don’t need to go to Vampire School. I’m way more advanced than these other idiots. You said so yourself!” I muttered crossly. Dad sighed, grasping the steering wheel firmly. I silently willed him to drive us home again. No such luck.

“You might be more advanced, Jem, but you have less self control.” He replied and got out of our car. It was a black, pristine Mercedes. Yeah, Dad’s a wealthy business man, what can I say? Life has its perks. I grabbed hold of my backpack and stormed out of the car, keeping my face hidden. This was unbearable.

Dad grabbed one of my green suitcases and handed it to me. I set it on the ground and began to wheel it towards the entrance. I ignored my dad and made my way quickly to the daunting door, painted black. Seriously, could it get any gloomier? I sighed heavily.

I reached up and seized hold of the golden knocker shaped as a lion. I was yanked forward with sudden force and sent sprawling on the carpet of the manor house. I rolled over and a strict looking woman with obviously dyed black hair and scarily empty dark eyes loomed over me.

“Ah, Miss Crawford.” She drawled, holding the ‘w’ in my name for an extra second. I scrambled up, checking nobody had been watching. Phew, I was all good. Dad walked in, the whole room suddenly looking up.

Dad has that kind of ‘gift’. He fills up the whole room with just his presence. Everyone noticed him. Everyone knew who he was. I didn’t have that kind of power over people. I just had an attitude problem, or so dad said.

“Mr Crawford, it’s been awhile.” The lady’s attention snapped to my father and she batted her eyelashes at him. I mimed vomiting. Dad tried not to chuckle.

“Yes, Ms Weatherly, it has.” Dad replied. “Twenty years or so, I’d say.” She laughed sickeningly and I gave a little cough. Ms Weatherly glared coldly at me but Dad simply shot me a grateful look.

“Um... I’m new here. Where’s my dorm?” I asked, ignoring Ms Weatherly’s angry looks. It looked like we weren’t going to be friends. Shame. Not. Like I needed friends. I was a vampire! Vampires don’t have friends.

“Go up the Main Stairs, turn left, up the next set of stairs and your dorm is third on the left.” Before I could ask her to repeat it, she was shoving me towards the Main Staircase. Immediately, Ms Weatherly turned back to my dad, looping her arm through Dad’s. Gross.

I trod up the stairs grumpily. This sucked. Everything was either red or black. Where was the colour? Not all vampires liked red and black! Those colours were so overused. I picked at a red curtain in disgust. If they were green, the sun would hit them and reflect a green glow on the wall. These curtains were too thick for that. I sighed.

I followed Ms Weatherly’s instructions, turning left at the top of the stairway. I walked down the long corridor, reflecting on what had got me in this dump in the first place. Mum’s death, that’s what.

She’d died two years ago but the feeling of grief was still fresh. I’d taken it out on everyone and everything. Dad went mental and did everything he could to try and control me but nothing worked. I was too enraged.

Every day I got worse. Finally, I grew out of control. Even I couldn’t tame my anger... or my craving. I was desperate for human blood that I’d do anything to get it. I almost risked exposing vampire kind because of it. Not something I’m proud of. But that’s how I ended up at Bloodground High.

I made my way up the next flight of stairs and took pushed open the third door on the left. A girl with golden blonde hair and ice cold blue eyes was lounging on the bed next to the window, earphones plugged in and the music turned up high. I strained to hear what she was listening to. Heavy metal. Seriously, how original was that for a vampire?

I dumped my bag on my bags on my bed and started to unpack. Once I was done, I grabbed a book and my own iPod, stuffed the headphones in and turned up ‘1973’ by James Blunt. Don’t judge, okay? It was my Mum’s favourite song. And yeah, she was human, what’s your point?

After a few hours of reading, I got up. I needed to stretch my legs, burn off some energy. I grabbed my phone, iPod and tied on my running trainers. I was ready.

I made my way out of the manor house, grateful for the change of scenery. All that red and black was beginning to make me sick. They needed to get a refund from their interior designer cos the place sucked. Excuse the pun.

I turned up my music and started at a low jog. The only good thing about this place was that it was surrounded by a wood. Perfect for running and a little alone time.

The forest was truly beautiful, stretching out further than I dared to go just yet. There was some incredible wildlife hidden in the trunks of the trees and a sparkling stream running off through the middle. Yeah, just because I’m a vampire, doesn’t mean I don’t like nature. Seriously, get your facts right.

I turned back, noticing it was getting dark. Plus, everything was starting to look new. I didn’t feel like getting lost just yet. Maybe a few days into the term I could make a run for it. But not just yet.

It took me around forty minutes to make it back. Luckily, I hadn’t got lost in the forest or run into any night prowling beasts and it was now pitch black. My foot had only just stepped through the doorway when Ms Weatherly came storming in. Oh god. What did I do?

“Miss Crawford! You were supposed to be present at dinner an hour ago!” She screeched. I shrugged helplessly.

“Sorry, didn’t get the memo.” I replied. She trembled with anger before pointing with conviction at the staircase.

“Get to your dorm. NOW!” She screamed, her eyes burning with fury. I raised an eyebrow. Seriously, anger management much? She needed to take a chill pill, or two.

“Okay crabby, keep your hair on.” I muttered, rolling my eyes. I could see her practically explode right there and then. I hurried past, holding in my laughter and shot up the stairs as she yelled abuse at me. Jeez, was everyone at Bloodground High this friendly?

I entered my dorm. The blonde girl was in the same position as before, sprawled on her bed listening to her emo music. Seriously, she was making vampires look bad. I grabbed my rucksack and pulled out a bag of Haribo’s. Thank God I thought to pack you! I thought to myself.

Blondie took one look at the sweets, yanked at her earphones and stared at me like I was mad.

“What are you doing?” She cried, yanking the sweet packet away from me. “They’ll damage your teeth!” I snatched them back and glared fiercely at her.

“I’m hungry. Deal with it.” I snapped and fell back on my bed, stuffing on into my mouth. Blondie shivered in disgust. God, uptight much? They were just sweets, not frigging bombs! She turned away, shoving her earphones back in, practically retching. You are such a baby, I thought wryly.

I decided to get an early sleep. I had no clue when I was waking up the next morning since no one would tell me anything so I decided I might as well get ahead of everyone else. When Blondie wasn’t looking, I stuffed the Haribo’s into my bedside draw and snuggled into my bed. It wasn’t long before I was asleep.

The blaring of an angry alarm clock woke me from my sleep. I rubbed my eyes blearily.

“What...” My eyes adjusted to the light and I saw Blondie towering over me.

“Get up, Sleeping Ugly.” She hissed, whacking me over the head with a pillow. I groaned and threw the covers off. “We’ve got Hunting first period.” Hunting? What kind of lesson was that? I should’ve guessed we weren’t doing English or Maths.

I got dressed quickly in my walking boots, a clean pair of jeans, a brown leather jacket and an emerald top. I swept a brush quickly through my chestnut hair and figured it was the best it was gonna get.

Blondie hovered at the door.

“Breakfast is in three minutes. You coming?” She asked, taping her fingers impatiently on the door frame. I grabbed my iPod and shoved it in my jacket pocket.

“Already there.” I replied with a wink. “For the record, I’m Jemima.” Blondie’s blue eyes met my emerald ones.

“Jess.” She replied. “We’re late.” Jess looked at her watch and flicked her blonde hair over her shoulder. I rolled my eyes. Was that all she cared about? Promptness? I sighed and shoved past her, thudding down the stairs to make a point. I didn’t know what point I was making but I was making one.

Jess and I entered the hall and suddenly everyone’s eyes were on us. Literally all two hundred eyes. Oh, let me guess. We’re late, I thought crossly. God, these people were insufferable. What was their problem?

Jess grabbed me by my jacket and dragged me to the nearest table. I stared around at the people on our table. There was another girl, ginger with dark eyes, a freakishly tall guy with a messy mop of dirty blonde hair and creepy grey eyes, a guy with dark wavy hair and chocolaty eyes and some other guy with black hair and icy blue eyes just like Jess’.

“Uh... hi.” Jess squeaked, staring awkwardly around. Great start. Not. The ginger girl stared at me, as if trying to tell if I was worth the trouble. I returned the look angrily. Her eyes flickered in annoyance and she turned to the gorgeous guy with chocolate eyes.

“Hey, I’m Justin.” The blonde guy told us, sticking out a hand. Jess shook it immediately. I however, stared at it for a few seconds to make some kind of statement and then shook his hand. Don’t ask me why. I just roll like that.

“I’m Jess. Both our names begin with J, weird, huh?” I face palmed myself. What was wrong with her? Was she always this socially awkward? Thank god, Justin seemed to not mind at all. Maybe he was just as weird.

“And you are?” Justin looked at me with his weird grey eyes.

“Jemima. Jemima Crawford.” At that very moment, Justin spat out the drink he’d been gulping down. Yep, dropping my last name in there had that kind of effect on people. My family was the richest and one of the most powerful vamp clans out there.

“Crawford?” The ginger spluttered. I had the whole table’s attention. I rolled my eyes.

“Yeah, Crawford. Get over it.” I snapped, snatched a loaf of bread from the table and stormed off. All of them were pathetic excuses for vampires. If they could be intimidated by a name, what the heck else could intimidate them? I was in the middle of a bunch of losers.

I heard footsteps behind me.

“Jemima, stop!” Jess puffed, cutting in front of me. “You can’t miss breakfast. You’ll get into trouble. Come back to the table.” She begged, taking hold of my wrists. I sighed, nodding. Although, they’d all think I was a complete psycho.

Jess dragged me back to the table, where everyone’s eyes glued back onto me the moment my butt hit the seat. I unhooked the hair from behind my ear and let it fall over my face. I didn’t feel like an audience right then.

“So... you’re a Crawford, huh?” The black haired guy tried to make conversation. “I’m Isaac.” I gave him a look as if to say ‘do I care?’ Since he knew who I was, he leant back and dropped it, even though I could tell he wanted to break me in two.

Jess shoved a bowl of cornflakes in front of me. Urgh. Cornflakes. They were the worst kind of cereal ever.

“Anyone got any sugar?” They all gaped at me. “Urgh, what now?” I snapped, staring at them individually. Jess gave me a pointed look. “Is this about the teeth again? Cos it’s driving me insane.” The ginger stared at me with a look of utter disgust. Justin was just staring fondly at Jess. Wow, crush much?

I shovelled down the cornflakes, trying not to gag, and got up from the table without another word. This time, Jess didn’t follow me. First period, according to a random girl I found, was in five minutes. So, I had a little bit of time to get back my taste buds.

I rushed up to my dorm and shovelled down a few Haribo’s. Much better. I checked my watch and was just closing the door when the bell sounded. First period Hunting, here I come.

When I got to the field everyone else was there.

“Alright, team up.” The teacher called out. Justin grabbed Jess by the waist and she giggled. Isaac looked at the ginger and she sighed longingly, looking at the gorgeous brown eyed guy from earlier. Everyone else paired up.

“I guess you’re my partner then.” The brown eyed guy muttered, giving me a one over. I returned the look and he laughed. He was probably one of the cutest guys I’ve ever seen in my life. Tall, dark, mysterious... Deep, incredible eyes, stunning smile. Correction, he was the cutest guy I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

“I’m Aaron.” He told me.

“I’m-”

“Jemima Crawford.” He interrupted. I raised an eyebrow and nodded. “You said earlier.”

“Now, that your all paired up,” The teacher called. “We can start hunting. Off you go.” Everyone rushed off. Aaron waited patiently for me but I stood there, gaping.

“He’s not gonna teach us first?” I asked, confused. He laughed, grabbed me by the hand and took off. He was fast, I’d give him that, but I was faster. Soon, it became some kind of competition. Aaron and I sped through the woods at top speed. Yeah, we were supposed to be hunting but what the heck? This was so much more fun!

“Okay, I give up.” Aaron shouted finally, gasping for air. I stopped and walked over to him, grinning. 1-nil to Jemima.

And suddenly, I realized maybe this school wouldn't be so bad. If I tried a little harder I could have friends here. Maybe... I could even get a boyfriend here.... I realized I wanted Aaron to be my boyfriend even though we'd only just met. I got a serious reality check.

The ginger girl from our table sprinted forward, propelled herself into Aaron's arms with a giggle, and kissed him. My mouth dropped open. Of course he wasn't single. What the hell had I been thinking?

"Oh... hey, Jemima," The ginger muttered when she saw me. I gave her a small wave before walking off. This was a load of crap. I couldn't face either of them now. I was too embarrassed of my own thoughts just moments ago.

Footsteps sounded behind me.

"Jemima? You okay?" Aaron asked, grabbing my hand and turning me to face him. I yanked myself out of his grip. He was so not allowed to touch me like that. Not now, not ever.

"I'm fine. Now go back to your girlfriend." I snapped. Aaron stared at me, his face softening. I begged him to not say anything. I didn't particularly want to have this discussion with him, or anyone for that matter.

"Jem, we're not dating." He replied softly, provoking a confused look from me. "It's kind of... weird joke, I guess. She likes me, yeah, but that was a joke that we had last year to make light of the situation."

"You kiss people for a joke?" I asked in puzzlement. Aaron laughed, taking my hands again. I felt my limbs turn to jelly.

"Not always," He muttered softly. His head ducked and I realized what was happening. I didn't try to stop it though. I mean, that's pretty weird considering we'd only just met... I can't really explain it. Aaron moved closer, his warmth radiating towards me. Whoever said vampires are freezing cold is an idiot.

Suddenly a whistle blew and the teacher was calling us in. We both jerked back, laughing awkwardly. Aaron smiled, reached for my hand and dragged me forward.

Maybe this school wouldn't be so bad...

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