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The Bad Ones(7)
Stylo Fantome

Constantine was clearly beyond anything his father could've hoped for, and then some. He was tall and strong, with brown hair and smiling blue eyes. He could throw a football like he was born to do it. Like wherever he wanted the ball to go, that was the only choice it had – Con Masters did not miss. He had strong legs, could run fast. Broad shoulders, could knock anyone down.

He was beautiful.

Con was a year older than Dulcie, which was part of the reason they'd never shared a lot of classes. He was also exceptionally smart and took a lot of AP classes. Dulcie took the bare minimum of requirements, then filled up the rest of her schedule with as many art credits as were allowed. He spent all his extra time on the field or with friends. She spent all her extra time either at work or at home. They had no reason to interact. Had gone to school together their entire lives, and had barely ever spoken.

So why do I think about him all the time?

“Did you need help?”

Dulcie was startled into the present when a store clerk pushed open the door. She managed a smile and shook her head no, then walked into the building. She began pawing through aisles, looking for anything that would work for what she had in mind.

She didn't usually wear a costume to the Halloween dance – she'd always taken pictures for the yearbook. It's what she'd planned on doing that year, as well. But ever since their little tête-à-tête in detention, she'd known she would be dressing up.

The clerk wandered over and smiled at her, then poked at the clothing Dulcie had in her basket.

“Shopping for Halloween, huh? How fun. Do you know what you're going to be?”

Dulcie smiled and grabbed a thick, felt, burgundy coat from off a shelf.

“I'm going to go as Little Red Riding Hood.”

3

It was dark, as dances tended to be, and she couldn't tell who anyone was, obviously. No one really noticed Dulcie, but she was pretty sure that was also because no one recognized her. Her dress was indecently short, matching a lot of the other girls' costumes, and she wore a demi-mask over her eyes, along with the hood of her red cape pulled low over her forehead.

After laughing and chatting with a few friends for a while, Dulcie broke away and slowly walked around the room. The organizers had really outdone themselves, going all out with the decorations. A mummy hung from the basketball hoop and every now and then, it twitched and writhed around. Other displays had been set up in the corners, and where the bleachers were stretched out, fake spider webs had been thickly stretched across either side.

A DJ spun remixes of old Halloween classics, and some upperclassmen spiked the punch. A fight broke out at one point between a Legolas and a Frankenstein. It was actually pretty funny, watching while a sexy cat screamed at both of them.

She wasn't sure how long she'd been walking around when she realized someone was watching her. She hadn't noticed at first because his mask made it hard to tell. And on top of that, she stupidly realized she'd been looking for him in normal clothes. How ridiculous. Con Masters was like the first son of Fuller, so of course he always dressed up for Halloween.

Dulcie wasn't sure what made her recognize him. She'd been in the act of turning around and had stopped mid-spin when she noticed the figure standing against a wall. He was dressed as a plague doctor, and absurdly, her first thought was to wonder who'd made his mask. It was gorgeous, crafted out of dark lacquer wood, with what looked like onyx for the eyes. A wide brimmed hat and black material clung to his head, completely hiding any trace of his identity.

But she knew it was Con. He wore a long black duster to go with the theme of the mask, and the belt was cinched tight around his waist, accenting his narrow hips. The material fell away from his shoulders in a cape, highlighting how broad across he was, and all the black made him look even taller; he was every inch the shadowy figure from her drawing.

It seemed inevitable that she should walk over to him. They had dressed to match each other, after all. When she went to step forward, though, someone blocked her path.

“Dulcie! Lookin' hot.”

Chuck Beaty stood in front of her. He was in her class, a junior, and talk around the school was saying he would be the new quarterback after Con graduated. That was still almost a year away, but he'd already started acting like cock of the walk – emphasis on cock. Like he expected the entire student body and staff of Fuller High School to fall at his feet.

“Um, thanks?” she managed a reply, then she glanced over his shoulder. The plague doctor was gone, replaced by a werewolf.

“How come you don't dress like this more often?” Chuck asked, his eyes traveling over her form.

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