Misty and Rita leaned toward Brielle and Raina. Bobby Crabtree also sat beside Rita, who happened to now be his wife, and looked at Brielle, seemingly studying her, before speaking.
“So, what did you do back in California all these years? We saw you in a few movies and videos, but that’s it,” he said in a snide voice.
“I was a dancer,” Brielle answered honestly.
“What kind of dancer? Ballet? Hip-hip? Square dancing? What?” Austin, another member of the clique, asked in a smart alicky tone as he stood behind Rita and Misty holding his beer. Other members of the clique walked up and joined Austin, behind Bobby, Rita, and Misty.
“Exotic,” Brielle answered.
Austin, who happened to be sipping his can of beer, suddenly turned his head away from the crowd and spewed it on the ground. A sudden hush fell over the entire class as eyebrows raised and eyes grew big as saucers. Rita and Bobby turned and looked at each other, then Rita looked at Misty, who sat on the opposite side of her from Bobby. Her eyes then returned to Brielle.
“’You wanna run that by us again?” Rita said in a shocked tone.
They all glared at Brielle before Ashton Childers asked in an insulting manner, “So, you were a stripper!”
“I prefer exotic dancer.” Brielle countered.
“Same thing.” Sarah said, raising her voice.
“It’s good money.” Brielle reminded them.
“Of course, it is! Men play thousands to see coochie dancing around on stage! Hell! You’re no better than a hooker!” Aaron spat.
“Yeah! You’re a little strip-tease!” Philip shouted.
Misty sneered at Brielle.
“So, you just move off to California and turn into a litte strip-whore! Because you know damn well that you wouldn’t get away with that shit here in Thomasville! You go where no one knows you and where you can get away with shit like that! You strip off your clothes and dance for the guys there! You couldn’t stand the thought of your old high school mates knowing what you became, so, your coward-ass folds up her tent and hightails it to the West Coast, where no one knows you and where that sort of thing is more acceptable! Am I right, Brielle!” Misty shouted in repugnance.
Picking Up Where They Left Off
“Right!” Rita agreed, “So, you, the filthy whore that you are, just decide to go to a place where you can be a slut and get away with it free and clear! ‘Sound about right, Brielle! You’re a piece of trash!”
Brielle could feel her cheeks sting and her hands begging to clinch into fists. This was getting too familiar! It was as if she were back in high school again, being bullied by the same pieces of garbage who had made her life hell before. And now they were trying to do it again, but Brielle managed to keep her composure. She looked Misty dead in the eyes.
“You don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.” She growled. Then she turned to Raina. “Come on, Raina. Let’s go. I refuse to be around people who haven’t grown up!”
“Ugh! Now you wanna to get on your moral high ground with us?” Sarah shouted.
“Bye!” Brielle said, putting her hand up to them.
“Oh, you wanna leave? What’s the matter, Brielle? Can’t take the heat? Can’t face us now?” Rita called out.
Brielle and Raina just kept on walking with their backs to them.
“She’s still a weak bitch just like she was in high school! Let her go if she wants to be a little chickenshit and leave!” Misty retorted.
Walking Away from The Drama
And Raina followed Brielle to her SUV.
“I can’t believe that bitch is back!” Aaron sneered.
“What are we going to do about her, Bobby?” Rita asked.
“Oh, I have a few ideas. Just be patient,” Bobby assured the rest of the class.
“Oh, hell no! She’s not leaving until we have our say with her!” Ashton said as he got up and followed Brielle and Raina to Brielle’s truck.
Brielle continued to the driver’s side of her vehicle and Raina to the passenger side. As Brielle opened the driver’s side door to get in, Ashton caught up with her and grabbed her by the wrist. “Where do you think you’re going, little lady?”
Suddenly, something in Brielle snapped. She used her martial arts training and punched Ashton in the nose, then did a front kick and sent him flying about ten feet until he hit the ground on his back. Brielle could hear gasps of utter shock as the rest of the class jumped up from where they were sitting.
“Oh, shit!” Raina shouted from the passenger seat of the truck.
The Crime of Self-Defense
Bobby just stood there, shocked at what he’d just seen. Wimpy, weak little Brielle Bennett, of all people! Kicking Ashton Childers’ butt? No freaking way! It couldn’t be! Brielle had left Thomasville weak and beaten down and returned a badass in control of her destiny? It couldn’t be! God forbid that!
Brielle continued to climb into the driver’s seat and started to close the door when Rita came running upon her. Seeing Rita approaching, Brielle threw the door back open, swung her knees outside the door while still sitting in the seat, grabbed the side of the roof of the car with both hands, and made a fierce front kick that sent Rita through the air, then on her back as well. Seeing his wife hurdled through the air, Bobby, who was the Sheriff, jumped from his seat. He ran toward Brielle as she slammed the door shut.
Brielle then cranked the engine, threw it into drive, and took off. As she peeled away, Sheriff Bobby chased the speeding vehicle but couldn’t catch up to it. He continued to run, pulling his gun and taking aim at the escaping truck…