Don't Try Me (Broke & Bullied, #1) - Kai Juniper

Chapter One


"Welcome," a woman says as I walk in the school office. She hurries up to me, a big smile on her face. "Here's your student ID." She hands it to me. "Keep it with you at all times."

I look at the ID, specifically the photo. My hair's in my eyes, I'm not smiling, and I'm looking to the side. The photo was taken last week, when my mom and I came in to fill out the admission paperwork. The guy who took the photo didn't tell me when he was taking it, which explains the hair in my eyes and the angry look on my face. Actually, the look was because of my dad, who called me that morning in yet another attempt to get me to forgive him. I didn't answer his call and deleted his message.

"Any way I can get a new photo?" I ask, holding up the ID.

"I'm afraid not," the woman says, returning to her desk. "Can you find your way to class or do you need me to show you?"

"I'll figure it out.” I hoist my backpack over my shoulder and stuff the ID in my pocket.

Wearing jeans was a mistake. It's hot and humid today and the school isn't air conditioned. I'm already sweating through my shirt and my skinny jeans feel like they're melting into my legs.

"Watch it!" a guy says, bumping my arm as I exit the office. He's tall and thin with a mohawk and a ring in his nose.

Looking down the hall, I notice it's a lot less crowded than it was just a few minutes ago. I check my phone. Shit. Class is about to start.

I run down the hall and turn right, down another hall. Some girls see me running and laugh. I ignore them, slowing my run to a fast walk, making it to the classroom just as the bell goes off.

Opening the door, I see a full classroom but no teacher. Guess I'm not late after all. Every seat is taken except for a spot in the very back. As I'm heading there, I hear a guy mutter 'rich bitch' as I pass.

He thinks I'm rich? If he only knew. Why would he think that? I'm not wearing anything that would even hint that I had money.

Those days are over. If that guy had called me that a year ago, he would've been right—about me being rich, not a bitch. I had the fancy clothes. Designer purse. Attended a private prep school. And now? A year later? I'm at a public high school in a not-so-great area of Chicago. And to make matters worse, I have to ride the bus because my mom had to sell my car after my asshole father took off, taking his money with him.

"Don't even think about it," a deep voice grunts as I head to the one and only seat left. It's in the very last row, which only has two desks, one occupied by the guy who grunted at me and the other that's empty and wedged up against the window.

"I need a seat," I tell the guy. He has a baseball cap on, pulled down so far it almost covers his eyes. He's leaned back, his head down, arms crossed over his massive chest. The guy is huge, way bigger than any guy I've ever seen in high school. Maybe he's repeating a grade. Or maybe he works here. Maybe he's the janitor, or a security guy, although if that were true, I'm not sure why he'd be in class.

"You need to move," I say, standing by his