“Come on, Haven! You’re going to be late!”
I bit my lip and looked at my reflection once more. My blonde hair was in its usual natural waves, but I had clipped half of it back to look a little more put-together.
My makeup wasn’t anything special, partly out of my inability to apply it, and partly because the natural look suited my surroundings.
I’d thought I looked okay, but now that it was time to go I was starting to doubt myself.
“Haven, seriously, you don’t want to be late, do you!?” my aunt yelled. I sighed and grabbed my backpack before heading down the stairs.
My nerves increased with each step I took.
“Sorry, I was just brushing my teeth.”
Aunt Sarah’s gaze softened. “Nervous?”
I nodded numbly. “Extremely.”
“Don’t worry, kiddo, you’re a knockout! They are going to love you!”
I wasn’t sure who she meant when she said “they”. Surely she wasn’t promising that the entire student body was going to love me.
“You’re seventeen, right?” she asked a few minutes later, as she drove.
I nodded. “Yeah, why?”
“So you can drive?”
I shrugged. “Well I have my learner’s permit, so I can only drive with another licensed driver…”
Shelaughed. “Are you a good driver?”
“Yeah, I guess.”
She smiled. “Perfect, we’ll have to get you a car then. As long as you know what you’re doing, the cops around here will leave you alone. That way, I’ll be able to leave earlier in the morning and get home sooner.”
I bit my lip. “What if I get a ticket?”
“Well, I am a lawyer after all!” She laughed and took a right turn.
A large, prison-like, building came into view and my stomach did a few somersaults.
This drab place could only be a high school.
“Here we are, Thompson High! Oh, you’re going to love it here.” She pulled up in front of the school and smiled. “This is it, Haven. I hope you have a good day.”
I smiled nervously and began to unbuckle my seatbelt when she stopped me.
“Do you have money for lunch?”
I nodded and she smiled. “Perfect, now smile!”
I smiled and she smiled even wider. “Good, no food in your teeth.”
I blushed wildly and got out of the car. I sent her a quick wave and watched as she peeled out of the parking lot.
I had a feeling my Aunt Sarah was going to be more like my big sister than a legal guardian.
I took a deep breath and turned around, gazing at the huge building in front of me.
Students were standing in clusters just outside the school doors, and a few lingered out in the field and on the steps.
I shrugged my bag onto one of my shoulders and started forward.
No one paid me any attention as I walked into the school and headed for the office. It wasn’t like one new student was going to have everybody staring or anything.
But still, I had expected more of a reaction. I found myself feeling relieved, and when I walked into the office I was able to relax a little.
“Hi, I’m Haven Mathie, I’m a transfer student,” I said to the secretary.
The secretary looked up at my face and shuffled through some files that were sitting on her desk. “Haven Mathie, grade twelve, right?”
I nodded and she handed me a slim folder. I peeked inside to see my schedule, a school map, a page of the student code of conduct and a slip I had to get all my teachers to sign.
“When does the first bell ring?” I asked.
The woman glanced at her watch, frowning, “In about fifteen minutes. Good luck on your first day.”
I thanked her and headed back into the chaotic halls. I looked at my schedule which had my locker number printed on it; B167. I groaned and looked around, having no clue where to go.
I wandered around, my face glued to the map. I was shoved this way and that, due to the busy hallway and my lack of focus. I suddenly felt a hand on my arm, and I jumped.
“Hey there, sorry if I scared you; you just looked a little lost.” I turned and saw a beyond-gorgeous boy.
He was blonde, with deep brown eyes and soft, pink lips. He had a straight nose and high cheekbones, which shined under a golden tan.
As I looked at him more closely, I realised I knew him. He was the boy I had seen running with the girl yesterday evening.
“Oh, I umm—hi.” I blinked a few times, trying to clear my head.
The boy smiled, sending my stomach into a nervous fit of butterflies. He had the warmest eyes I had ever seen.
“I’m Jude, and you are?”
I smiled. “Haven, I’m new here.”
“I figured that, seeing as you have no idea where you’re going.”
I blushed. “We’re neighbours,” I blurted.
He laughed. “Are we now?”
I nodded. “Yeah, I saw you running with a girl…I swear you saw me…”
Jude shrugged, looking at ease. “That was probably Rachel; she’s my sister.”
I nodded. “Can you help me find my locker? It’s B167.”
Jude reached up and ruffled his hair. “What do you know, that’s right beside mine.”
The butterflies in my stomach rejoiced as I tried to remain nonchalant. “Cool.”
Jude laughed. “I’m heading there now, I’ll show you the way.”
As we walked down the halls, a bunch of random people said hi to Jude, and eyed me. I just walked along, happy that I had made an acquaintance already.
“So where did you move here from?” he asked.
“Pennsylvania,” I replied.
He nodded. “That’s pretty far from here. Any reason in particular?”
I struggled for the right words. “I came to live with my Aunt Sarah.”
“What about your par—”
I watched as the petite blonde I had seen yesterday came running over to us. She stopped when she saw me, and then looked at Jude as if asking for help.
He smiled and nodded and she came nearer, holding out her hand for me to take.
“I’m Rachel, you must be the new one.”
“The new one?” I questioned.
Rachel blushed. “I meant the new student.”
I nodded slowly, and let myself smile. “It’s nice to meet you, Rachel. I’m Haven…the new one.”
Jude chucked and showed me my locker. I quickly put my things away and turned to face Jude and Rachel.
“Since our lockers are close, we probably have homeroom together; can I see your schedule?”
I handed Jude my schedule and watched as his eyes scanned the paper.
“Well?” I asked, hoping that we had at least one class together.
“We have English and Art together, and Rachel and you have P.E. together”
Rachel squealed. “This is great! We’re going to rule that class.”
I squinted at her. “I don’t think I’ll be ruling gym class anytime soon; I suck at sports.”
She laughed. “Good one.”
The first warning bell rang and her brown eyes widened. “Anyway, I gotta go. Mr. Archer is a grouch when you’re late. See ya at lunch!”
“Shall we go and face the terror of English together, Haven?” Jude asked, wiggling his eyebrows at me.
I laughed. “Indeed we shall.”
We walked to our class and took seats next to one another. The teacher regarded me and then went back to writing on the board.
When the bell rang, he turned around and faced us all.
“Good morning, class! Before we start the lesson, I just wanted to take a second to let our new student introduce herself!”
I took that as my cue and stood up with a bright smile. “Hello everyone, I’m Haven and I just moved here from Pennsylvania—”
“Sorry I’m late, Mr. Muñoz!” A deep voice boomed, interrupting me. From the sound of it, he wasn’t really sorry—it sounded as though he was mocking the teacher.
“Logan, do you have a late slip?” Mr. Muñoz glared at the boy.
I followed his glare and then froze. In the doorway stood a tall, muscular boy who really did not look like a boy at all.
He had a mess of dark hair that was long and unruly; it hung across his forehead and grazed his gray eyes.
Muscle defined every inch of his body, and his devil’s smirk said he knew his looks could make any girl swoon.
His voice rocked me right to the core. It was rough, yet strangely soft and comforting at the same time. It sounded like a voice that belonged to power, to confidence.
I averted my eyes and blushed when I realised that my wolf had let out an appreciative grumble at the sight of the boy.
“Well, go get one, then.”
The boy laughed. “I would, but then I would probably end up missing another ten minutes of your wonderful class, Mr. Muñoz. We wouldn’t want that, right?”
The teacher fumed while the rest of the class snickered. “Just take a seat, Logan.”
The boy shrugged and took the seat directly behind my desk.
“What is she standing up for?” I heard him ask.
I blushed and sat down, feeling defeated. Jude reached over and gave my hand a quick squeeze, reassuring me.
I tried to focus on the lesson but it was hard when all I could hear were Logan’s smart remarks, which came intermittently, especially if Mr. Muñoz stumbled over a fact or forgot his place in the lesson plan.
When the bell rang, I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I was only vaguely aware that Jude was following me.
“Hey, you okay?” he asked, sounding worried.
I shrugged, brushing him off. “My brain is feeling a little fried. New school, boring class, that’s all.”
Jude smiled, somewhat knowingly. “Not to mention the fact that Logan is in our class. He’s kind of got the rep for being the school jerk. But he’s not that bad a guy, at least not to me.”
I shrugged and decided to change the subject. “Do we have our next class together?”
Jude shook his head, and my heart plummeted. “Unfortunately, no we don’t. We have the last class together, though. But don’t worry, I’ll walk you to your history class.”
He smiled. “And then I’ll swing by and pick you up before lunch if you want. Wouldn’t want you sitting alone on your first day.”
I grinned at him, relief cooling some of the nerves in my stomach. “Thanks, Jude. That would be awesome.”
He smiled at me, “No problem.”
Before I knew it, we had arrived at my history class. I thanked Jude for his help and walked in, feeling self-conscious all over again.
I took a seat toward the back of the class and focused on doodling all over my binder. Then I heard a deep laugh and wanted to groan.
I peeked up through my lashes to see Logan walk in with another tall boy behind him.
“Dude,” I heard the unknown boy whisper, “is that the new girl? She’s hot. Lucky Jude.”
I blushed and scribbled faster.
“Hot? I don’t think so, she’s mediocre—if that. Jude can have her.”
The words pierced me like a knife. He didn’t even know me, and he was already tossing me aside.
I wasn’t in need of validation, not from a stranger. But I was human—or at least, mostly human—and it hurt to have my appearance criticised.
“Are you serious, man? You must be crazy, just look at her! All cute and innocent. Wouldn’t you want to take her and—”
Logan groaned. “Save your dirty thoughts for yourself, okay, Deacon?”
I heard Deacon laugh and blushed even harder. They sat in the back row as well, so that all that separated Deacon and I was one empty desk.
Our history teacher, Mr. Gades, wasted no time introducing me, but decided instead to get straight into the lesson.
While I was furiously copying down the notes that were on the board, a piece of paper landed on my notebook.
I looked at it for a second and then decided against my better judgement to open it.
I had to swallow the vomit that rose in my throat. I ripped up the vile note until it was no more than paper confetti.
I looked over at Deacon, who was smirking and making inappropriate gestures at me, and glared at him.
Then I looked over at Logan, who was regarding me with a detached, almost businesslike, expression.
I looked at his cold face, then immediately looked away, unwilling to meet his eyes.
When the bell rang I hurried out of the class to avoid Deacon and ran into a very solid Jude. He laughed and grabbed my shoulders, steadying me.
“You alright there? You look a little flustered.”
I brushed his hands away and grumbled, “I’m fine.”
Just then, Deacon and Logan came out of the classroom, making a ruckus. I gathered from the way the other students ignored them that they made this sort of scene all the time.
Deacon winked at me and smirked at Jude before disappearing down the hall. Logan never gave me a second glance.
“Well, he’s seemed to have taken an interest in you. But no need to worry, it won’t last long. A week at the most.”
Jude laughed and took my hand in his as if it were the most natural thing in the world.
When he touched me I felt a warmth, a calming effect, wash through me, and I was able to smile.
He tugged me along to the cafeteria where we bought our lunches and then sat with Rachel and her friend Cecily.
“Everyone’s been talking about you, Haven!” Rachel squealed, “Apparently the boys are making bets on who’s going to get with you first. My money is on Jude.”
I choked on my water, and felt it trickle down my shirt. I looked at Rachel with wide eyes while Jude just laughed nonchalantly.
“That’s not funny, Jude!” I tried to be serious but his laugh was infectious, and I soon found myself smiling against my will.
“Ugh, that’s so disgusting,” I heard Cecily whisper.
I turned around and saw Logan lip-locking with a brunette. The sight sent a weird pang to my gut, and I scolded myself.
I couldn’t delude myself into the age-old fantasy of capturing the good-looking jerk’s attention. I needed to scrub my brain.
“Who’s that?” I asked, dabbing at the front of my shirt with a napkin.
Cecily snorted, flipping her red hair over her shoulder. “That’s Logan and his girlfriend; her name is Dakota, and she’s a real bitch.”
Rachel laughed. “I second that.”
“All they do is make out.” Cecily grimaced.
I crinkled my nose. “Gross.”
I looked over my shoulder and saw with relief that they had stopped kissing.
Logan, as though he had sensed my gaze, looked over and met my eyes.
That’s when the world froze.
I was lost, completely and utterly lost in those gray eyes. They held me captive.
It felt as though my body had been electrocuted—every cell was alive, on edge. And suddenly, I felt complete.
Which was weird, considering I’d never noticed that anything was missing before.
The moment was ruined when Rachel threw her napkin at my face. I turned my head sharply to glare at her, wanting nothing more than to growl but knowing I had to restrain myself.
“What the hell was that!” Cecily asked, sounding appalled.
“What was what?” I looked over at Jude, who was glaring down at his lunch.
“You were staring at Logan like you were ready to follow him off of a cliff!” Rachel explained.
I shook my head. “No I wasn’t.”
Cecily frowned. “You looked lost…”
Rachel suddenly became distracted. “Look at that!” We all turned and looked toward Logan.
Dakota was trying to get at his face but he kept pushing her away, refusing her affection.
He glared at her and said something I couldn’t hear. He then turned his gaze to me. I froze, just like the last time, but for a completely different reason.
Logan was glaring at me without any warmth in his gray eyes.
He continued to glare at me as he flipped his tray over and stormed out of the cafeteria, slamming the door as he went and leaving every student staring after him.
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