“We have a problem,” she said as we got out.
I barely heard the rumble Mr. Dawson gave before it stopped. “What now?”
“It’s Imogene,” Dr. Gonzales said.
Oh shit. “Is she okay?” I asked. “I mean, is she still—”
Dr. Gonzales held up a hand. “She’s fine, although she might not be for long. Rupert Hoel is here—”
Mr. Dawson’s door slammed so hard that for a second I thought the SUV might flip over.
“Why is he here this time?” His voice was too calm and soft.
“He believes you’ve lost control of the student body. That our prize student has gone Feral and turned a local. That the mutt is uncontrollable and almost killed his daughter. He believes this situation is very serious, and needs to be tended to. He demands that the two of them be held before a full tribunal.”
What the hell did a “full tribunal” mean?
Mr. Dawson’s fists were in tight balls as he looked off into the woods, at seemingly nothing in particular. At least I thought it was nothing until four people stepped out from beyond the thick. Four men wearing all black with no shoes. They flowed as one.
Cazadores. And I sure as hell didn’t like the way they were watching me. Their eyes pinned me in place as they navigated around the last of the forest.
The tallest one stepped forward. “You’ll have to come with us.”
He couldn’t mean me?
Mr. Dawson stepped in front of me, blocking the leader’s path. “She won’t be going anywhere.”
“What would you have me do, Michael?” he said. He looked familiar, but I couldn’t place where I’d seen him before.
“She’s done nothing wrong, Trent.” As soon as Dastien said his name, it clicked. He was the one from the bookstore.
“Dude. You’re in trouble too,” Trent said.
Dastien stood shoulder to shoulder with Mr. Dawson. I had to peek between them to see what was going on. “Fine. This is my fault. I’ll go on trial. Alone.”
“Everyone needs to calm down,” Mr. Dawson said. “No one is going anywhere.”
Trent reached for something in his back pocket. “I’ve got orders from—”
“I’m sure Rupert is forgetting that Sebastian and Donovan have already met and evaluated the situation here.”
Trent’s mouth dropped open before he recovered. He shook his head. “It’s too late. Once a tribunal has been called for it can’t be undone. Can it?”
Mr. Dawson’s growl echoed among the buildings.
Dr. Gonzales put a hand on his arm. “We know full well that it cannot be avoided. But they’re fine here. Dastien is a trusted Cazadore. He’ll not run.”
“And the girl? She nearly killed Imogene.”
He was totally right. The image of my hand dripping with her blood flashed in my mind. I was going to be sick.
“She can wait in her room for Sebastian and Donovan to return,” she said.
“Fine. James will stand guard at her door,” Trent said.
“Where is Rupert now?” Mr. Dawson said. The power in his voice raised goose bumps all over my body.
“He’s using your office,” Dr. Gonzales said.
Mr. Dawson’s fists clenched and released. Clenched and released. “Trent, you can come with me and Dastien. The rest of you can go to hell for all I care.”
What was going on?
Dastien watched me over his shoulder as they walked toward Mr. Dawson’s cabin. I couldn’t help but feel a little lost without him.
Dr. Gonzales closed the distance between us, putting her arm around my shoulders. “It’s going to be okay.”
Jason gave a snort. “I’m not sure I’d promise her anything.”
Finally someone was being honest. I hadn’t seen Dr. Gonzales since I got to St. Ailbe’s. Pretty much nothing had gone right since then. It took effort for me not to shake her arm off.
Dr. Gonzales’ grey eyes flashed to silver as she growled at Jason. I hadn’t thought of her as a fighter, but there was no mistaking the challenge she’d issued.
He stared at the ground. “Just my opinion. No offense meant.”
“While you’re here, you will show some kindness to Teresa. You wouldn’t believe the pain and the struggle she went through just to survive transformation.” Dr. Gonzales blew out her breath hard. “And now this.”
I purposefully hadn’t thought about what had happened in the week I’d been “asleep.” For the first time, I kind of wanted to ask questions. I looked over at Jason and bit my tongue. Something about the way his accusing, flat brown eyes rubbed me the wrong way.