No one in town knew much about him. They definitely didn’t know what it was like to be Dylan Riley. Although not one of the fine folk of Birmingport, Alabama would be able to give a good excuse as to why — other than he looked the part — the outsider had earned the reputation of being a ‘bad boy’ in the small town immediately. All the girls swooned over his ruggedly handsome face and his icy blue eyes. The guys all glared and grumbled. None of them took the time to get to know him though — except her.

Dylan sat brooding in the ill-lit corner of the local diner. The decor was tired-looking, the wall paper pealing in the corners. A loose light bulb continuously flickered above his head. Irritated, he tapped the dated, orange and brown lamp causing a clump of dust to fall on his half-eaten burger. “Doesn’t matter,” he thought. “Overcooked anyway. Everything’s overcooked here.”

He stared at his phone. She was supposed to call. If he wanted, he could have any girl in town, but she was the only one who spoke first — a smile had crossed her lips that said she knew more than she was telling  — the others just stare. He wasn’t the dating kind, but she was going to be his. Jessica Barton was no beauty queen, but she had a subtle charm about her. Wild and frizzy auburn hair framed a freckled face with olive-green eyes.  She was the girl who always had her nose in a book. The girl that popular girls only noticed in order to ignore her, but she had a creative and carefree spirit. She was independent. Dylan had to have her.

“Hi there.”

The voice was familiar. Dylan looked up from his phone and there she was in front of him. He looked back at his phone, confused, as if she had just popped out of it.

“I thought you’d be here. I don’t really like talking on the phone much,” Jessica twisted her fingers nervously through her hair and got tangled for a moment. An embarrassed smile escaped her lips, “I hope you don’t mind.”

His eyes were a piercing blue. Jessica could understand why all the girls were crazy about him, but she wouldn’t be one of them. He could do a lot more damage than just the average ‘bad boy’ in town, and she knew it. She wasn’t going to suffer the same fate as the others.

Dylan smiled, “Wanna go for a ride?”

Jessica grinned.

The wind blowing through her copper hair almost seemed to tame it. They drove his baby-blue, 1965 Mustang convertible into the night, talking and laughing. The moon was hanging low in the sky, fat and orange with wispy clouds painted across her belly. Dylan found a cutoff road, secluded in the woods, drove to the end and killed the engine.

“I don’t really date…” Dylan began.

“I know.” She moved in close.

He could almost taste her lips. He had her — he just knew it. Oh, the things he was going to do to her. She would never be the same again. “She thinks she knows so much, but she doesn’t, not really,” he thought.

“You’re not what everyone in town thinks you are.” Her breath was warm. The smell of bubble gum and Pepsi teased Dylan’s nose. She was intoxicating.

“I don’t know. Everyone here thinks I’m a bad seed.” Revelation struck. Perhaps she didn’t know as much as he thought. “What? You don’t?”

“Oh no… I know you’re no good for me.” She continued to move closer. Her lips barely brushed against his.

Confusion was swelling inside. What kind of game was this? No matter. He would win. Idiot girls — they always go crazy for the bad ones. Dylan had thought she was different though. She was to be his great conquest.

Jessica brought her hand up to his mouth. “You don’t just break girls’ hearts. You devastate lives.” Her finger slid softly down his lips.

She was about to find out just how true that was. He could feel the heat from her body rising. Aroused, he made his move. A sharp pain overcame him. His cold blue eyes became wide, changing into black pools, as she sunk the dagger into his heart.

“So cocky. Did you really think I didn’t know what you are?”

His body didn’t lax and slump. It became rigid and then began to liquefy into the white vinyl seat. A black ooze was still pooling and bubbling as Jessica stepped out of the car and into the night. She would go home to her books and remain invisible to her classmates.

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