She’s an Alpha. I figure this out as I’m leaving Biology. The boy Louis closes in on her in a heartbeat. And while she looks like she wants to hiss at him, her eyes are trained on her seething friend at the front of the class, who I can hear once they step into the hall, yelling. If Mr. Welsh can hear her he says nothing. Instead, taking my schedule from me he points down the hallway to where the English department is. Towards what I remember is the Cafeteria.
The girl, Kat, is in my second period. She slouches in her seat when she sees me as if I’m revolting.
Do I smell that bad?
When Mr. Cooper tells me to sit with her I tense. I don’t want to be a burden. Especially as I’m already one at home. This place, as boring as it may be, might be the only sanctuary I can find from Eric’s control.
I’m ready to ask for a different seat when she turns and sticks her hand out. Her blue eyes shimmer. She’s definitely got that confidence thing going. At last, I take her hand. It’s soft and cool to the touch, uncalloused. I don’t think I’ve ever even touched a female before. (Is that creepy) Never even seen a female wolf. It perplexes me. I find myself staring into her eyes, as she stares into my hazel ones. The bell rings signaling the beginning of class and I jump, just as she does, turning to face the front of the room.
She’s up and out of her seat a second before class ends, hugging her ipad and notebook to her chest as she hurries out the door. I can’t help but lower my gaze to her lowerhalf, and the way her hips sway predatorily, one long leg in front of the other. Does she know she’s doing that?
I don’t have any money for lunch so I pull out my phone and sit in the farthest seat I can find in the corner of the cafeteria. There are five texts from Eric, giving me chores to do once I get back and how he’s angry I haven’t responded to him yet. I send him a quick apology and rub my hand over my face in frustration.
I can’t do anything for him right now. Even going out for a run earlier this morning had angered him. He can’t keep me from shifting. It’s my one outlet from the pain I’ve endured. Eric is emotionally abusive and I know it comes with the title but sometimes I consider just smothering him with a pillow while he sleeps. But again he keeps a roof over my head. That’s more than I could do on my own. I’m sure, if my parents had survived, we’d still be living in the forests of Montana. Having been born in my wolf form, there was a greater connection to my wolf. One that I love.
I find my eyes drifting over the lunch tables, trailing their way to Kat, who stares back at me. Kat. Such a strange name for a wolf.
I don’t realize I’m staring until his eyes find mine. He looks sad and frustrated and part of me feels responsible. “He doesn’t have a lunch.” I say, to no one in particular. Louis, who’d been about to take a large bite of his sandwhich sits straight before glancing his way.
“So?” He asks, going back in for that bite. It makes me frown. Carissa is silent as she sketches in her notebook, completely oblivious to the world.
“He should have a lunch.” I say. Rolling his eyes, his sets his food down, and leans over to get a better view around the human heads.
“He’s an Omega, Kat.” As if that explains it. I find myself narrowing my eyes.
“We don’t leave our Omegas to feed themselves.” Plus, I hardly believe he’s an Omega. He might be viewed as one, but there’s something about him I just can’t place.
“Different packs have different rules and customs. Leave it be.” While I know he’s right, it doesn’t make the situation right. He’s thin. It’s not something I noticed right away. Mostly because I’d rushed out of each class I had with him before he could stand, but he is thin. There are definitely muscles under his gray shirt, but it wouldn’t hurt for him to gain a few pounds.
“Mama,” I say, finding her knee deep in the garden out back where tomatoes and other vegetables grow. She looks up at me, a smile on her face. She always loved to grow.
“Hello Dear.” She says, wiping away some of the dirt. “How was school?” I shrug.
“I met the wolf.” She sets down her gardening tools.
“I thought we told you not to engage him.” She’s trying to be polite, but she’s tensed.
“I tried.” I tell her. “He’s in two my classes and Mr. Cooper paired him with me.” Mom stands and ushers for me to follow her inside. It’s a nice day out. The sun’s warm on my back. But it makes sense she doesn’t want to have this conversation outdoors with prying eyes and ears.
“What’s his name?” Her voice is soft as she sits down on the couch, surprising me. There’s a glimmer in her eyes.
“Cameron.” She waits for me to continue. “He’s awfully thin for a wolf his age.” I tell her. “And I- I know its their customs and whatever but still. Isn’t that dangerous?” She’s smiling slightly.
“I talked to Jeanette yesterday.” She says finally. “He doesn’t have much. His Alpha is his Guardian, so his parents are most likely dead. She wants to put him on the free meal program at school but it’s government run and you know how they are about wolves.”
“Should you be telling me this?” I ask. Mom shakes her head.
“Probably not.” She answers. “But you’re curious. About him.” I shrug.
“I could smell him yesterday. He was there for maybe two or three hours, but his scent was so overpowering...” Mom studies me but she doesn’t say anymore. We just sit there, listening to the wind in the trees outside.
I’ve been here for two weeks and have grown into my daily routine. Making breakfast, eating what’s left over, going to school, doing chores and homework, and sleep. Soon enough Friday comes around. “It’s a three-day weekend everyone and you know what that means.” Everyone, even Kat, groans as Mr. Cooper mentions it.
“Group projects,” Kat whispers to me right before Mr. Cooper says it.
“You’ll need to get together with your partner over the weekend. You have two options. You can either create a trailer, or you can re-write three scenes in a location other than the current setting, for a screenplay of the works we’ve discussed in class. Be creative and have fun with it.” The bell rings, and everyone gathers their stuff. Mr. Cooper is handing out directions at the door.
“He doesn’t mean desk partners... right?” Kat cringes. While we'd been talking more, our interactions didn't venture farther than the classroom.
“That’s exactly what he means.” She mutters. We each take one of the papers.
“Hand me your phone.” She says abruptly. I look down at her.
“What?” She stretches out her hand.
“Phone. Number. We have to meet somehow to get this done.” shaking my head out of my ass, I pull the phone out of my back pocket and hand it to her. She scrolls through my contacts. It only has seven numbers in it. And she starts adding her own as Louis approaches. His face hardens when he notices her with me.
“Kat.” He says, giving me the cold shoulder.
“Hmm?” She mumbles, looking up. She hands the phone back.
“History.” She raises her eyebrows, then glances across the hall.
“Yeah. Right there. Two feet from where I stand.” He’s growling, low and territorial. Kat barely blinks an eye. She looks up at me. “Text me after school and we’ll figure out how to get this done.” I can only nod as Louis ushers her away from me as if I’m an actual threat.