Cruel (Savannah Heirs #1) - Coralee June, Raven Kennedy

Chapter One

Blood dripped from the corner of my lip. I wiped it away with the back of my hand before asking for more. “You hit like a bitch,” I said with a cruel smile, before bracing myself for the next backhanded slap. She wound back, but luckily, there was no power behind her movements. When she connected with my cheek, the light sting wasn’t worth crying over. I’d had worse.

Stephanie Palmisano wasn’t creative enough to come up with an insult that actually hurt me. It was always the same. Slut. Trash Whore. Bitch. She recycled the phrases that were shoved down her throat by everyone else at that fucking school, and then regurgitated them at my feet whenever she had an audience. She got off on showing off. Because what was the point of being vicious if you didn’t have anyone to witness it? She must’ve gotten that trait from her daddy, Judge Palmisano. He liked to put people in their places, too.

She was a pretty little thing, though. Most girls at Smith Academy counted their calories, but she liked to throw them back up. I knew my easygoing smile was pissing her off. It was a little victory, but I clung to it. “You never fucking learn,” she said, before winding back and slapping me again. I just had to hold on for a moment longer. Any second, the coaches would storm the bathroom and break up the fight. Being the principal's daughter meant that the faculty here had to at least pretend to care.

“You’re weak. You should eat something, Steph,” I said with a snarl.

I refused to hit her back. Not only because I feared the repercussions, but because I knew the force of my punch would hospitalize her. Unlike her, I was taught how to throw my body into the hit. I knew the spots to target, and I was strong with years of muscles from gymnastics. I could kill her if I had a mind to. But there was that phrase, that nagged me in the back of my mind. You know the one, that bullshit about great power and great responsibility. Just because I could break her body, didn’t mean I should.

“Fuck you, Scarlett,” she spat, before hitting me one last time. My head knocked back against the tile of the locker room showers. I was still wearing my gray gym uniform, my sweat making the cotton shirt they required us to wear stick to my body. She leaned over me as the crowd of girls watched, and then turned on the faucet above me, forcing icy water from it’s spout. The freezing temperature jolted all my senses. I shivered, which made them laugh harder.

But they couldn’t see me cry.

My fists clenched. Just one hit. I wanted to knock her on her ass and make her bleed just a little bit. But I knew the consequences of rage. It could become an addiction if you weren’t careful enough. Or at least, that’s what my mama told me the last time I got into a fight. She threw brochures for an all-girls school on her desk and told me that if she got one more complaint from a member of the school board, I was out.

She didn’t care that I was being bullied. She cared that people were talking at the cheer fundraiser. How could the preppy parents of Smith Academy trust their asshole teens with Principle Livingston, if she couldn’t handle her own daughter?

My blood washed down the drain as Stephanie and her group of dimwitted followers left the locker room, each of them dressed in