Chapter 25:


Midnight King

Everything was spiraling out of control.

Honey escapes a kick that would have pierced right through her brain had she not dropped her head in time. The point of the stilettos follows her every movement, chasing her around the makeshift ring made by the feet of gawking bystanders.

A fist digs into her side. She clenches her jaw tight.

Right. Like Honey would ever let these lowlifes have the satisfaction of making her scream. Ganging up on her like this, they didn’t deserve to witness an ounce of her pain or a single shred of weakness. Her elbow and his nose make a nice pair.

The crack of his nose blesses their union.

He passes out cold. 

These oversized muscle brains were starting to make her sweat. She dabs at the moisture around her hairline, careful not to smear her foundation because reapplying makeup for stupid oafs like these made her shudder with disgust.

Two of them lay at her feet. Three more to go.

Less than a breath passes before the heel comes back to smash in her gut. Fashionable and functional, she couldn’t even be mad about it.

She is mad that they’re digging into her abdomen though.

Reeling back, Honey avoids breaking her ribs but the pain is sharp and noticeable. Breathing began to feel like a chore, she can feel the imprint of the shoe’s sole every time she inhales.

Not only that, but her skates couldn’t keep up with her movements. These are her decorated, pink skates with charms and colorful laces, they aren’t as flexible or as durable and they’ll break on her if she isn’t careful.

And these dimwits weren’t going down easy.

Damn this red-colored idiot.

“You might think of me as a coward jumping you like this,” Vogue’s foot retracts and his stilettos click as they meet the floor underneath him, “but I’m just taking preventative measures for my eventual ascension to King. Both The King and Queen are third years so once they graduate, I’ll be succeeding them.”

Vogue wears a handsome smile, the type of grin that only the most popular boy in school could pull off, although Honey thinks it’s revolting on his face. Along with that all too familiar gleaming, self-absorbed confidence.

He’s also always posing. 

Arms crossed over his head while he displays the sharp line of his jaw. Waiting for someone to take a picture of him as he hides behind the onslaught of his little army.

If Vogue was a classical statue set up in some high-end museum, Honey would not hesitate to shatter him with one push of her foot.

Consequences be damned.

He dodges her with a ballet-like elegance, pirouetting in the air and flaunting the flexibility of his legs, the part of him that takes up two-thirds of his body and could be classified as stilts rather than limbs. Despite the exaggerated height, Vogue is lithe, the kicks are fast and strategically placed so that Honey has to sacrifice her balance to avoid them.

Then the lackeys attack her when she loses her footing.

They aren’t as coordinated as Vogue or as successful in landing a hit on her, but they keep her from taking any sort of break. Persistent although she throws one over to the ground and rams her shoulder into the chest of another so hard the wind gets knocked out of him.

The stiletto again.

She takes another beating against the forearm blocking her face. It mostly flies past her but the pointed heel draws a bloody gash through her skin.

There’s an opening.

Honey grabs onto his leg and pulls. Trying to make him stumble.

Instead, he follows her pull, grabbing both her shoulders and forcing her body forward. Her stomach meets his other knee and she chokes on air.

It hurts.

Like someone has suddenly lit her abdomen on fire and the flames spread all the way to her back, crawling up her spine. Her stomach jumps into her throat and she wonders if it’ll be worth it to vomit on him.

He valued his clothes with a deadly determination. Keeping her hands off him as much as he could and forcing her back whenever she came too close.

Honey gets it, a good outfit deserves respect. And Vogue’s deserved a bit of bile down the front. Just to match his disgusting smirk.

She spits at his feet, near his precious shoes so that he jumps back a step, giving her some extra distance.

Her stomach feels numb. Her lungs are fatigued from the lack of oxygen. Her brain barely has time to think before his little minions are on her again.

Misha had been right.

She knows it although it sullies her pride. Her usual reckless style wasn’t enough for the elite rankers, this time she didn’t have his special “training” to rely on. It was her and her wits. And it wasn’t enough.

Her nose scrunches.

She doesn’t want to think about Misha.

Honey kicks one boy so hard that he spins on his descent to the floor, unconscious body skidding along the street.

She doesn’t care that he and Elias haven’t talked to her in weeks.

Honey evades a kick to her head, skating backward fast enough to make her wheels creak loudly as she backs up.

She never needed those idiots anyway.

Honey throws an elbow into the jaw of another boy, then a second one for good measure until he falls with a heavy thud.

She was just using them to get at Charlotte, they mean nothing to her.

Honey’s breath shudders.

Her lungs are desperate for air, but the accursed heel knocks the breath right out of her again.

She looks behind her, for someone or something, she doesn't know what, but it’s empty. A swarm of faces she doesn’t recognize watch her like they’re watching a wrestling match on TV. Cheering for every brutal hit. Caging her in with the prison they’ve formed around the fight. Waiting for someone to give up. Or get knocked out.

Nobody’s on her side here. They’ll pick sides when there’s a winner.

A fist finds her cheekbone.

Her eyes are burning.

She’s been on her own before, she can do this alone without the hair clip freak and the red haired prince holding her back. She never needed anyone. Everyone who came close to her before eventually left and she sees no reason why those two idiots would be any different.

Friends? No, they were just her stepping stones for revenge.

The last of Vogue’s crew nearly gets her again, but Honey dives under his punch and hooks a foot around one of his legs. He falls back, head hitting the hard concrete and staying down after Honey’s skates finish him off.

She wipes at her mouth.

No matter how many gasps she takes, her body is starved for air.

The red stiletto sweeps her off her own feet and she watches the world turn on its side.

“Oh, such a shame we don’t have the warehouse audience to see the fiery hunnie.bunnie143 finally burn out.”

Her voice is somewhere lodged in her throat and no matter how many piercing words she had in her arsenal, they refuse to leave the narrowing cavern of her esophagus, unable to find space between her breaths to speak.

A kick to her side.

It burns.

She rolls over onto her stomach, but it wasn’t any better. Vogue finds a place on her back and steps on it until the heel nearly punctures right through her flesh. Honey chews the inside of her cheek to hold back a scream. She bites down so hard she tastes metal.

It makes her insides churn.

“Poor dear, where’s all your attitude? Both The Rook and The Knight must have been weaker than I thought since they lost to you.”


It broils hot in her nerves and reduces everything to ash and to nothing but the feeling of a foot on her back, crushing her pride, groveling on the floor for the second time in her life.

She told herself she wouldn’t let it happen again.

Abandoning herself to her father’s dojo, to her mother’s roller derby team, to her own self isolation until she hammered it into her very being that never would she be under someone’s foot like this again.

The first time belonged to Charlotte.

Charlotte. Charlotte. Charlotte.

Everything taken away by those merciless green eyes.

Honey feels the pulse of her heart thundering in her ears, loud enough to drown out the crowd, but not nearly enough to mute Vogue’s loathsome voice.

She hates it. She hates it with every cell in her body.

The foot drives in deeper. Honey’s nails dig into the cement.

Her teeth clamp shut, hard enough to make her skull ache and leave a soreness in her gums.

Enough. She’s had enough of this freak and his ridiculous shoes. Unfortunately, he has ruined heels for her, she won’t be able to wear them without feeling them impaling her through the back.

Reminding her of her own fragile pride.

Adrenaline. The hormone consumes her.

Her nerves crackle with electricity, with hatred, with fire, itching to rip flesh and bone with just her bare nails, to viciously stamp out the obstacles that ever had the misfortune of standing in her way.

She’ll throw away her hesitation. Her doubts and any caution she had left.

Misha had said she was too reckless, but maybe not reckless enough.

She rolls into the weight of the stiletto, it’s gouging her skin and she can feel the warmth of blood in her back, but it blurs with the rush of the adrenaline, and the point of the heel becomes nothing but a minor inconvenience.

Everything is numb.

Even her thoughts. They melt together. They collide and drift apart. They abandon her to her instincts and before she realizes it, she’s twisted around and her hands clasp onto Vogue’s high heel. The red thing tight in her grip.

Vogue didn't move out of her way as she had asked. 

So she’ll keep her promise.

Honey throws his leg off her.

He stumbles, but one foot now bare. The stiletto is still in Honey’s clutches, her blood still fresh on the tip of the heel.

Honey gets to her feet.

One of her skates has a scuff in the side, the fabric frays apart like an open wound. The lovely pink, now sporting an ugly, threadbare, gash.

“Give that back.”

Vogue’s repulsive voice has gone icily cold. Stressing syllables not meant to emphasized. Saying each word with a pause.

He holds a hand out for the shoe.

Oh sure, she’ll give it back. The blood boiling through her veins will return the shoe safely to its owner.

Her arm swings. Her body moves. The heel leaves her grasp at a speed only discernible by the flash of red that streaks through the air.

And directly into Vogue’s photogenic features.

The stiletto clatters to the ground. Vogue doubles over in pain, hands covering his precious face and a thin trail of blood seeps through his fingers. It stains his shirt red.

But why stop there? Honey could be nice today and give him a whole new matching outfit.

All in the same color.

She seizes the moment.

Honey has no thoughts at all really. Her face falls into its perfect scowl, its usual demeanor where everything is pulled towards the center of her face, the center of her wrinkled nose. Scrunched in anger. In bloodlust. In rage.

All she sees is red, red, red. And feels nothing but the shoe in her hand and its repeated arcs downward at something she cannot see.

It all burns a vibrant hue.

It’s almost beautiful.

Charlotte would look great in this color.

Her senses are dulled, everything has gone monotone from her hearing to her taste buds and she doesn’t notice someone standing right behind her until they tap on her back. Right above the puncture on her shoulder blade.

Another one.

She'll rip them apart to secure her rightful position. This fame, this popularity was hers. And she’ll do what she has to to keep it.

Honey swings the shoe at her unknown attacker.

It stops just short.

She feels something. A shackle on her wrist.

No, not a shackle, a hand so tight it cuts off circulation to her fingers and she drops the shoe. It begins to hurt.

This one too. She’ll get rid of every obstacle in her path. Every. Single. One.

But every kick gets caught. Every punch gets stopped. Everything she does to get these hands off her, to make sure she’ll never grovel at someone’s feet ever again, fails. Anger sears her insides to a blackened char, she can smell nothing but smoke and blood as she wrestles wildly to get out of this constricting hold.


She knows that voice.

The idiot’s voice she hasn’t heard in a long while. Usually accompanied with a gentle voice that was soft and kind. And an energetic voice that seemed too eager for everything.

The world bleeds back into color, except she’s still covered in red and her hands are dripping with it. Vogue lays motionless on the ground beside her. The crowd rumbles back into awareness through her muffled ears.

And Misha’s face breaks through the receding redness, twisting with an expression she doesn’t understand. One she’s never got from him before. 

There’s someone else standing behind him.

Honey hadn’t swung the shoe at Misha.

The fire in her nerves is doused in an instant.

It’s Gray.

And they look terrified.