[Summary: Pure-hearted maiden and princess of Stockbrunn Academy Ellie Navarrete has been sentenced to a cruel fate: a partner project with Shreya Azima, a scoundrel belonging to a school gang known as the Wolves.
How is she supposed to manage that on top of a Vice President who hates her Treasurer’s guts, a cousin vying for her Presidential position, and Shreya’s sister who wants her dead? All in a day’s work for a high school princess!
A Wolf, a Princess, and a Kiss Part II: The Redwood Crossing Shoujo AU
“Ugh, you guys won’t believe the day I just had!” Ellie Navarrete, Student Council President and sufferer of way too many gay feelings, clunked her backpack onto her desk. They had the desks in their office space—an unused classroom—arranged into a long table formation.
The small group had gathered afterschool for their meeting. They were tasked with addressing their peers’ complaints, being liaisons for the student body and Stockbrunn Academy staff members, overseeing the various extracurricular clubs, and doing whatever else got assigned to them for the day. Ellie’s loud entrance swathed what should’ve been a serious affair in a casual vibe.
“Ooh, spill,” Marietta said, an eager grin brightening her features.
As the Treasurer, Marietta’s primary responsibility was the moolah AKA the financial stuff that made Ellie’s head spin. She watched over the dollar, dollar bills, y’all, or something like that. Ellie trusted her, so she never looked too far into the nuances of her job.
Sunny took her seat next to Ellie. A quick trip to a vending machine had given their Secretary another bag of chips to happily munch on. Cheddar and bacon flavor, natch. She pulled out her notebook, the front cover laden with puppy dog stickers.
“Somebody got partnered with a certain somebody for our Hamlet project,” Sunny said. “I’m not going to spoil who those somebodies are, but I bet you can guess.” She clicked her pen, the butt of it ending in a bright blue, fluffy plume.
“It’s the worst, like, literally THE worst thing that could happen to me.” Ellie slid lower in her chair. “This project’s going to kill me.”
“I’m going to kill you if we don’t get this meeting started. You’re late.” Maturity exuded from the young woman at the blackboard. She stood next to their agenda, a stick of chalk held between her slender fingers.
Zinnia Trotter was rocking a black, knee-length A-line skirt over mustard yellow leggings that ended in sharp leather boots, and a gray Tegan and Sara shirt that Ellie desperately wanted to steal. Her hair, long enough to go a bit past her shoulders, looked especially soft and luscious today. New shampoo? A change in her blow dryer setting?
“I’m not that late,” Ellie started.
“Ten minutes,” Zinnia said.
Ellie checked the wall clock. “I was eight minutes late and you know it.”
“Late is late.” Although the darling Student Council Vice President was a year younger than the rest of them, she came off like she was an ultra serious college student, or something.
Technically, that’s what Zinnia was. She had normal high school classes in the morning and community college classes in the afternoon, thanks to Stockbrunn’s dual-enrollment program. As if it wasn’t enough for her to be in their grade, she also had to overachieve by going well and truly beyond them. Zinnia was a gem.
“I made sure I was on time, and I was coming from somewhere else,” Zinnia said. “Can’t you put a little more effort in?”
Marietta coughed into her palm, something unintelligible hidden in her coughing spell.
“What was that?” Zinnia sniped at her.
Sunny leaned back in her seat. “This is gonna be good.” She scribbled something down into her notebook.
“Coming from somewhere else, like, say…that girl who dropped you off in the parking lot,” Marietta said.
“Wouldn’t that be someone, not somewhere?” Ellie asked, her teasing smile disappearing under the intensity of Zinnia’s glare. “Sorry.”
“I got a ride from her. So what?” Zinnia pressed the chalk into the blackboard.
“Or she got a ride from you. Let’s be politically correct here.” Marietta kept up with her goading.
Zinnia didn’t appreciate that. “If we don’t hurry up and get this meeting started, I’m going to leave.”
“Whoa, who’s riding with who now? Is it that Noemi girl or did Zinnia get back with Theres?” Ellie begged Marietta for details.
“Noemi. She got out of her car and opened the door for Zinnia and everything. How adorable,” Marietta said. She made kissy faces at Zinnia.
“That happened? Aww, I missed it,” Sunny said.
“Ew, Noemi, what? She’s got a whole album on Facebook that’s like, her blowing smoke rings and shit like that. She didn’t even make the album private. Here, I’ll show you.” Ellie grabbed her phone from her bag. “A couple of the pictures are kind of hot, but nooo, Zinnia. No.”
“Put your phone away,” Zinnia snapped. She banged her fist against the blackboard. “We’re friends. Nothing’s happening. You can all shut up and get to work already! Read the first bulletpoint, Sunny.”
Sunny stopped herself mid-reach of a potato chip. “Um, it says, ‘boy’s locker room graffiti.’ Someone keeps writing things about Pen Island. No one knows who’s doing it. I talked to some class reps about it the other day, and no one knows anything.”
“Snitches get switches,” Marietta commented.
“It’s stitches,” Zinnia corrected.
“No one’s ever going to admit they’re doing the Pen Island thing, and the more we keep asking about it, the more messages are going to appear. The last one took a power washing to get rid of, so Q Suri Sarah,” Marietta said.
“It’s que sera, sera,” Zinnia pronounced it the right way. “Are you saying things wrong on purpose?”
Marietta knocked her tongue on the roof of her mouth, the sound audible and heavy on the attitude.
Ellie received a notification on her phone.
“I told you to put that away,” Zinnia warned.
“Sorry, just one second, it’s important.” Ellie’s brown eyes lit up, and her stomach knotted, which were two pretty opposite feelings. Elation and anxiety warred inside of her. She thumbed her Facebook app open, the blue and white lay-out greeting her with a friend request.
Sunny peered over. “Looks like a certain somebody’s just friended a certain somebody else.”
“What do I do?” Ellie squeaked.
“Add her back, duh,” Sunny said. “You booked it out of there after class so she probably looked you up so you can work on the project together.” When she saw Marietta’s questioning look, she said, “it’s Shreya. She transferred into our English class today.”
“That’s the girl Ellie’s obsessed with,” Marietta said.
“I know, right?” Sunny confirmed.
“I hate her. I’m still pissed off about that whole smoking thing from this morning,” Ellie said.
“You should give her a piece of your mind. Tell her off,” Marietta encouraged.
“Totally will! I’m about to give her the business. Hold on, she just messaged me.” Ellie’s heart pounded in her chest. Her hand began to sweat as she worked out her responses.
Okay, so Ellie didn’t tell Shreya off, nor did Shreya act apologetic in any way about the cigarette incident. They kept things curt and Hamlet-oriented, which made sense. They were professional for the sake of their grades. Maybe they could bury the hatchet and see what kind of friendship would sprout out of that bladed soil.
Yeah, right, no! She’s a nasty, good-for-nothing Wolf. I’ll just confront her in-person. She won’t know what hit her.
“We’re done here.” Zinnia slammed the chalk onto its tray, so hard that the writing utensil cracked in half.
“Wait, why? We haven’t gotten to talk about the Swim Team’s fundraiser. They need our approval to start,” Sunny said.
“We’re done because you guys obviously have more important things to do. Ellie spent the last five minutes texting.”
“It was for school,” Ellie said. “I’m good now.”
“It didn’t sound like an emergency to me. You had to go and text her now, in the middle of a meeting,” Zinnia said.
“Aren’t you happy she did? I saw you doing some texting of your own while you were waiting,” Marietta said, her eyebrows raising.
“For a ride. A regular, normal ride in a car. You guys are always making things sound negative when they’re not.” Zinnia grabbed her bookbag from the floor. She hoisted its straps over her shoulders, its turtleshell appearance making it clear she had a couple textbooks jammed inside of it.
Marietta smirked. “I hope you’re packing protection in there. Do you still have that box Freesia got you for your birthday? It was a gag gift, but I know they haven’t expired yet.”
“Do you use the glow-in-the-dark ones or is Noemi more into flavors? She seems like a strawberry kind of girl.”
“Shut your mouth or I’ll—”
“Or you’ll what?” Marietta stood up, her chair screeching behind her. “Tell me what you’ll do.”
Zinnia huffed. “Ellie.”
“Um, yes?” Ellie didn’t want to be dragged in the middle of this.
“I’m going to file a motion for Marietta’s removal. She shouldn’t be our Treasurer anymore.”
Marietta laughed. “And what grounds are you going to use to fire me? You have nothing on me. So I made some off-color jokes. There’s nothing in the rules against that.”
Zinnia ignored Marietta. “I can’t work with her, Ellie.”
“But then who’s going to take her spot?” Ellie asked.
“You can ask Wilhelm to,” Zinnia said.
“Hell no to that. He’s been gunning for my spot since day one. We let him onto the Council and he’ll ruin everything,” Ellie said.
“I don’t think we should just go firing people,” Sunny spoke up. “That’s… That doesn’t seem very nice. Give her a chance.”
“I gave her a chance,” Zinnia seethed. “She wouldn’t be here if Freesia was still here.”
Marietta clapped her hands together. “Wow, and you know what else? You wouldn’t be the VP. Funny how her expulsion worked in your favor, too. You moved straight up to the top without a problem.”
“Ellie asked me to.”
“Let’s not kid ourselves thinking you’re so altristic,” Marietta said.
“Altruistic, virtuistic, whatever you are, you’re neither of those things. You think you’re so great, but you’re not.”
Thrown off by their mentioning of Freesia, Ellie keyed back into the conversation. “Guys, stop fighting. Marietta, chill with the jokes, and Zinnia, chill with the…just chill in general.”
Sunny covered her head. “You guys look like you’re about to shank each other. Let’s take it down a couple notches. We’re supposed to be friends.”
“I’m not her friend,” Zinnia said.
Marietta traced a fake tear coming down her eye. “Boo hoo, I’m so torn up inside.”
Zinnia glanced at her phone. “My ride’s here.”
“You’re actually leaving?” Ellie asked. “Just stay. We can take the rest of the meeting super seriously.”
“No. I’m going.”
“Remember, Zinnia, rubber before you love her,” Marietta said.
Zinnia drew in a breath. To Ellie, she said, “if Marietta stays as an officer, then I’m stepping down. I can’t take her BS anymore. I’m done.”
“Zinnia,” Ellie began.
“I’ll get the paperwork ready for her removal by next week. You look it over, then bring it to Principal Navarrete. I’m serious about this.” She strode to the door. No one got up to stop her. “Bye.”
Despite her fury, she softly closed the door behind her when she left.
“Yeah…she’s serious alright,” Sunny said.
“Let’s see if she puts her honey where her mouth is,” Marietta said.
“I thought it was money,” Sunny replied.
Marietta grinned. “I’ll catch you guys later. I’m going to walk home.”
“Ooh, you’re going to spy on Zinnia and Noemi, aren’t you? Hold on, I want to come. You wanna come, too, Ellie?”
Ellie waved her hand. “I’m going to get some stuff done here. I’m supposed to go home with my Mom today.”
“Cool,” Sunny said. “See you later.”
As soon as Sunny and Marietta left, Ellie took her familiar can-this-day-get-worse position of having her face down on her desk. The smooth surface felt mildly sticky on her cheek. She shuddered, and willed herself not to think of what could’ve been stuck on the desk.
A/N: There was a tie for which bonus you would get. This one ended up easier to work on. Thank you for your patience while I take a small break to creatively recover. The next canon chapter will be on the 21st.
Q Suri Sarah.