“Peter!” Cerys cried, forgetting that he didn’t want her fretting over him. “Himeko, go get help from the office.” she gasped as she ran over to her brother.
Himeko nodded, and headed off towards the office.
“If you like that freak so much, you sit with him!” one of bullies shouted.
James walked up to the student, peering down at him from at least a foot more in height. He looked ready to throw a punch, and Cerys wasn’t sure whether she should stop him or check on her brother. As much as she hated to see him get into trouble on his first day at Oak Hollow High, a part of her hoped that the bullies would egt a taste of their own medicine.
“You listen to me,” James said, looking to the other bully every few words. “You will not so much as look at that young man anymore! You will not talk about him with other people, you will not go anywhere near him– you will not even think about him without it being, ‘gee, he’s a nice guy after all.’ If I hear even one word that you are making life difficult for him. I will not tolerate bullying or any other rudeness at this school.”
James looked around at the crowd gathered around him. “Does anyone else have a problem with being nice?” he snapped. Nobody argued with him.
The bullies had sunk to their knees, and James loomed above them like the Colossus over Rhodes. They were starting to mutter things, begging him not to hurt them. He did not seem impressed.
Just as the bell ending freshman lunch rang, two staff-members from the office came walking up to the crowd. The told most of the students to disperse, head back to class, go get lunch, anything to get them out of the way.
“What is going on here?” one of them asked.
“It’s them again,” Cerys told them. “Just like I told you last week, they keep harassing my brother. I thought the student handbook said that everyone had a right to their own orientation and identity.”
“He’s your brother?” James asked, looking between her and Peter.
“Yeah, and we’re only at this high school because we were told that he would be kept safe.” Cerys eyed the staff members angrily.
“This will be dealt with, Miss Westminster,” one of them assured her. “In the meantime, expect to be called down to give you statement as to what just happened.”
The bullies were escorted away, avoiding getting too close to James as they followed the office workers. When they were gone, Cerys looked up at him, her eyes wide and her mouth hanging open.
“How in the world did you get the two toughest bullies in the school to stand down like that?”
James shrugged. “It must be my personality.”
“Or the fact that you’re what—six feet tall and not even eighteen yet!” Cerys added for him.
He did not seem moved. Instead, he turned toward Peter, who was now on his feet and letting Bayani wipes the last off the grass off his books before putting them in his bag.
“Are you okay?” James asked him. “I mean, it’s a stupid question in this case, but I feel like I should ask it.”