Not many people have had to realize how intimidating a simple handgun is.

   But then, not many people went through what Derek had been through.

   Everyone. All 100 or so students plus a couple faculty were lined up against the back wall of the ballroom. Derek luckily managed to sit in front of Alex, blocking him the best he can.

   Students around him were murmuring. He managed to catch a glimpse of Brittney Broils. She was a sobbing mess with several of her friends crowded around her trying to keep her quiet.

   Derek was worse.

   Not that people could see, but his ears wouldn’t stop ringing with the sound of distant gunfire. A fragment. A piece of the past that shouldn’t be replaying right now.

   His hands twitched spastically so he stuffed them into his pockets. Derek screwed his eyes shut. I hate condition white…

   The adrenaline was kicking in real well now. Not that Derek could use it. He opened an eye and trained it on the gunman.

   The masked creep was pacing frantically in front of everyone. Odd. He had a leather jacket on. It was practically 80 degrees today. Leather gloves too, hands was shaking just as much as Derek’s, except Derek wasn’t holding a deadly weapon in his hands. Not looking good for you either, Leathers… Derek felt his heart rate jump up a little bit higher. The ringing stopped. FINALLY.

   He scanned his immediate area. Clair was pale faced, as was practically all his other classmates. She was hugging her knees close to her chest and staring at her feet silently. Derek was about to shift his gaze on, but hesitated. He took off his tux, damn thing was useless anyway, crawled to her side and wrapped it around her shoulders.

   She didn’t move. His eyes then found Alex. Derek stopped.

   Alex had his tux off too, wrapped around Grace, who was quivering slightly. His left arm was around her back, rubbing her shoulder softly.

The End

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