When Ace Knights threw himself into his studies at the London School of Science fourteen years ago, it was to fulfill his dreams of becoming an astronaut. But now his billionaire father, Xavier Knights, insists he put his career on hold to look after the family business while he seeks round-the globe-treatment for Ace’s mother. Enter Veronica Sullivan, the newest investor in Knights Corp and the mysterious girl who protected Ace from the bullies back in college before suddenly leaving on Prom Night. The two strive to forge a business relationship, but with so many unanswered questions about the past, the secrets they both have kept all these years threaten to tumble out. A risk that doesn’t come without costs.
Age Rating: 18+
The Bewitched Knights: An Arrangement Spin-off
My eyes scanned through the encyclopedia, wanting to know more about the gas helium.
It had been fourteen days since I was stuck in the subject, and the more I learned about it, the more fascinated I became.
It was why I had ended up sitting in the library, reading through the encyclopedia and jotting the points down in my notebook.
I looked up to find Jung-Hwa approaching with his hands full of drawing sheets. He took a seat at the table before me.
“What’s this?” I asked as I took one of the drawing sheets and rolled it open to find cell diagrams of all living beings.
“Assignment!” he said in his Korean accent.
“All right!” I said as I rolled it closed and looked back at my notes.
“Did you finish your assignments?” he asked, which made me look up at him.
“Not yet,” was my simple reply before continuing to look through the encyclopedia. “I have been busy.”
“Busy? Tomorrow is the last day to submit the assignment, Ace. You know Mr. Acton very well, and on top of that, he gave us twenty assignments to finish and submit in two weeks.
“Half of the students are running here and there, searching for the study materials, and here you are! Man, you will be in trouble!” he exclaimed as he looked up and rubbed his hair.
“Deadline is tomorrow. Till then, we have so much time on our hands to complete it,” I said as I took the highlighter pen and ran it over a certain line in my notebook.
“Of course! I forgot with whom I’m talking.” He laughed, and I looked at him and signaled him to lower his voice. He bit his tongue as he looked around, checking if he had disturbed anyone in the library.
“The almighty genius, Mr. Ace Knights,” he whispered, and that made me grin at him.
“I don’t really like that name,” I remarked, and all he did was pick up his drawing sheets and shrug at me.
“Really?” He chuckled. “But your smile says the opposite, and moreover, everyone knows you by this name only.” He winked at me, and I sighed.
“I know you can finish up your assignment in a single night, but just help me with mine. I have five more assignments left to finish.
“Could you please come to my room after you are done with your”—he looked at my notebook and the encyclopedia—“work?”
“I am almost done, man! Head up to your room. I will be there in an hour,” I said as I got up, closed all my books, and put the pens and highlighters back in my bag.
“Where are you going?” he asked as he eyed my bag.
“To eat…” I grinned, and he nodded his head, then we walked out of the library.
It’s been six years since I first came to London, leaving my house and family.
My mother wasn’t really happy with me going abroad, but thankfully, my dad supported me, and it was how I ended up transferring, at a young age, to the London School of Science for further studies.
Life in London was hard for me, as I missed my mother and her food the most.
Sometimes, she would pay me a surprise visit, along with my sister, Amelia, but other than that, we would FaceTime each other every night.
It turned out to be our habit, much to my father’s annoyance, because the calls last three to four hours, with my mom avoiding him and ignoring him every single day.
But then they were like every other parent, caring and worried for me, and I knew my father had assigned the guard at the school’s door to keep tabs on me and report to him whenever possible.
My father did things secretively, but it was always obvious to me, and I didn’t really ever mind.
“Can I have some more of this mild Caribbean chicken, please?” I asked the lady who was serving, and she smiled.
“Of course, my dear!” She added more pieces and handed me the tray. “Here you go!” she chirped, and I smiled at her.
“Thank you,” I replied as I searched for a place to sit in the cafeteria.
Finally, I found one in the corner, near the window, and took my seat, keeping my bag on the chair next to mine as I began eating in peace.
The cafeteria was crowded, and students were in a group, enjoying their meal, gossiping, and laughing.
As always, I was alone, sitting away from them, isolating myself. Most of the time, I had Jung with me for company but other times, I was alone.
It wasn’t as if no other groups invited me or anything; it was me. I liked being alone, and I concentrated more on eating my food in peace rather than talking about people or socializing.
“Look who’s here,” I heard a familiar annoying voice say and didn’t bother to look up.
“The almighty genius, Ace Knights,” Elliot Abram said, mocking me in a girlie tone as I continued eating my food.
Why does he always show up whenever I’m eating?
He is going to throw my food now? Better hurry up and eat as much as I can to save myself from hunger.
“Hey! Nerd! I’m talking to you!” he sneered as he slammed his hands on my table, making the curry on my plate splash on my glasses.
They laughed like hyenas, enjoying my state as I removed my glasses and wiped off the curry with a tissue. What a normal day!
It was actually a normal day for me because from the day I joined the London School of Science, Elliot Abram, the son of a school trustee, made it his life’s goal to bully me until my dying day.
He disliked me from the beginning and vowed to take away my peaceful leisure time every single day. I had been immune to his acts for a long time, and whatever he did, didn’t really have any effect on me.
I had spent my six years locked in the bathroom. Sometimes I would find my toothbrush in the toilet, my notes torn and thrown away in the garbage, my glasses broken, food thrown in my face, and every type of chaos.
Eventually, it ended up with me becoming immunized to such acts that I didn’t really care. It was like a normal routine to me now.
I could always complain about him, and I was sure my father could easily solve this matter and throw his father out of the country.
But as I was away from home, I didn’t have any wish to worry my family and especially my mother, or she would end up severely hurting herself if she came to know about this.
Only one more year left before we graduated and we would all be on our way to pursuing our dreams.
I had made up my mind to endure this a little longer because I knew I wouldn’t have to face him ever again in my life.
Elliot was a year older than me and taller. He had red curly hair and was already well built, and looked like a mini sumo wrestler.
He would usually pull me by my shirt and thrash me around or pick me up from the ground by my collar and throw me somewhere, most of the time, into the garbage can…
But I gave him less importance as my mother had always told me that people who liked to seek attention behaved in such a way to show that they were powerful so everyone would respect them and fear them.
The main agenda was to seek attention, which was why I never assigned him any importance and ignored him and his acts like the plague, much to his ~annoyance~.
“What, Knights? Are you going to take that ugly oily hair of yours to your grave?” he remarked, referring to my perfectly combed hair.
And even though I wanted to roll my eyes at him, I restrained myself from doing so.
Where the hell are you, Jung?
Jung didn’t really fear him. In fact, he was the only guy who would talk back to him, but he always ended up hurting himself for me.
“And where is your Chinese friend?” He looked around, and I clenched my jaw.
“He is Korean,” I corrected him, and immediately his head turned in my direction, and he smirked. “So the frog finally let go of his tongue to speak.”
“Here!” He threw some sheets of paper before me. “Finish my assignments and submit them to my room before eight.”
I took his sheets and handed them back to him. “I haven’t finished mine. I can’t do it.”
As I said that, my tray immediately shot into the air, spilling all over the window and causing people to look our way.
“What’s going on, Abram?” Two more of his friends joined him, and he sneered at me.
“The nerd is being a smartass over here,” he remarked, and they glared at me.
“Look! Knights! I gave you work, and you have to do it.”
I couldn’t breathe as he held me by my collar, blocking my airway.
“Finish it on time. If you don’t—” He was interrupted by someone clearing their throat.
“Can I take a seat over here?” a girl asked, and above all that chaos, we looked over to find a girl with raven hair holding her food tray and looking at the vacant seat next to me.
I had never seen her around before. But she ignored the scene that was going on and looked over at me with my collar in Elliot’s hand.
“Hey! Newbie! Can’t you see what’s going on here?” Elliot snarled at her, and she only raised an eyebrow at him.
“Veronica. My name is Veronica,” she said as she placed her tray on my table.
Elliot immediately let go of my collar and put all his attention on her. Suddenly, he was looking her up and down and smirking.
“Oh, well, hello, Veronica.” He thrust out his hand for a handshake, and I adjusted my shirt and my glasses, looking for a way out.
It would be good if I got my bag and left if I wanted to avoid doing all his assignments, so it was why I picked my bag up from the chair.
“Thank you,” she said and immediately sat down on the chair, blocking me from leaving.
Because I was sitting next to the window in the corner, the only way to get out from behind the table was to move the chair next to me, on which the girl now sat.
Well…what a normal day!
“Are you ignoring me, Veronica?” Elliot leaned over and looked at her while she took her tray and began eating her food, completely ignoring the red-haired bully before her.
I wanted to tell her that she shouldn’t do that if she didn’t wish to be on Elliot’s hit list, but because Elliot was right before me, I couldn’t speak, so I hugged my bag and watched what was going on.
Veronica, on the other hand, took her fork and ate her salad in silence, not bothering with Elliot’s presence.
I noticed this annoyed Elliot even more as his face grew red in anger, and he slammed his hand once again on the table.
“Yes?” Veronica looked up questioningly, still eating her food.
“Look! Newbie…you need to know your position. Answer me when I’m asking something because you wouldn’t like to be in trouble. Am I clear?
“If you want to know what trouble I can give you, then you better ask the nerd right beside you, and he will tell you all the dishes I have in my trouble menu.”
He smirked as he looked my way, and I found my legs wobbling in anticipation of something bad happening.
“Okay,” was her response as she carried on eating her food, uninterested in what Elliot had just said.
I watched as Elliot put his hand in the air, ready to throw her food tray to retain his dominance and the threat he’d just made.
I was sure the food tray would land over me, so I hugged my bag tightly, ready to make it a shield, but I was beyond surprised when I saw Veronica stop his hand with her left hand.
Effortlessly, she gripped his hand by his wrist and continued eating using her right hand, making all the people in the cafeteria gasp.
“And since I am here, let me make something clear to you. The first thing is…”
A yelp escaped Elliot’s mouth as I jumped in my seat and watched him in horror.
“Never disturb me when I am eating. I do not like people annoying me when I am eating,” Veronica said and, putting pressure on his wrist, turned it in an odd position, making him scream.
Her grip did not even look tight, but I was amazed that she could hurt Elliot using a single hand.
What in the world is she doing?
Elliot thrashed his left hand that was still in Veronica’s grasp, wanting to free it, but Veronica ended up turning it even more, and he screamed in pain and put his head on the table, writhing in agony.
Finally, Veronica let his hand go and picked up the knife to slice her chicken as she eyed him. He cursed under his breath.
“Now, as you get to know me more this year, I will be sure to let you know the other things I don’t like either. So, if you don’t mind”—she picked up a piece of chicken and put it in her mouth—“I am eating.”
Elliot stood up while his friends looked confused about what had just happened and glared at Veronica.
“You have put yourself in danger. We will face each other soon,” Elliot said as he adjusted his shirt and, glaring her way, picked up his drawing sheets in anger and walked away.
I couldn’t believe what had just happened. I looked back at Veronica, who continued eating her food as if nothing had happened. Why did she do that? I wanted to ask but thought it was none of my business.
I wanted to leave but couldn’t as she was eating her food, and she didn’t like when people disturbed her while she was eating.
So, I stayed in my seat and waited for her to finish so I could leave.
Turns out the day wasn’t really as normal as I had thought it to be.