A hush fell over the girls eating popcorn and chatting in the common room when we entered. Just what I needed—a walk of shame.
“We’re going to sort this out,” Dr. Gonzales said as we climbed the stairs.
I didn’t have much faith in that, so I kept my silence.
Jason cleared his throat when we got to my door. “I’ll be here.”
I stepped inside alone, and slammed the door in his face. The threat under his words totally wasn’t appreciated. I kicked off my flip-flops and collapsed on my bed. As messed up as it was, being in trouble made me feel better about what I’d done to Imogene. Because in the real world, anyone who rips out someone’s throat should seriously be put in jail. Or a mental hospital. Or something.
Meredith tapped on the bathroom door connecting our rooms before peeking in. “People are in a frenzy, and some wolf is guarding your door. What the hell is going on?”
“You’re asking me?” She knew I didn’t understand anything at this place.
She walked over to my desk and clicked a track. A crowd screaming over a live recording of an Eric Morillo mix boomed over the speakers. Meredith settled down next to me. “Tell me exactly what happened,” she said softly.
“Imogene’s dad is here. He called for some sort of a tribunal?”
Meredith jumped up so fast I almost fell off the bed. “No freaking way!” she whisper shouted.
“He’s of the opinion that Mr. Dawson has lost control of the entire school, especially of me and Dastien.”
All of the color drained from Meredith’s face and she sat down hard on the bed. “That’s not good. What you did was no big deal. I mean people get into fights all the time here. Even the Seven know that—it’s normal for new weres.” She was quiet for a second and then got up to pace. “It’s gotta be more than just that. Mr. Dawson and Mr. Hoel have been fighting for years. They hate each other.”
“Dastien didn’t tell you about his parents?”
“He said they died.”
Meredith nodded. “Mr. Hoel has always been kind of against hiding ourselves from humans.”
I snorted. “Kind of obvious from his lecture.”
“I know, right? The guy is a total dick.”
I grinned. “Totally.”
“Back in the day—Mr. Hoel, Mr. Dawson, and Mr. Laurent, Dastien’s dad, were total BFFs. But one day Mr. Hoel got into it with a bunch of humans. He managed to get drunk—which is way hard with our metabolism—at some biker bar and called Mr. Laurent to go pick him up. By the time Mr. Laurent got there, the fight was in full swing. The only saving grace was that Mr. Hoel didn’t shift. Mr. Laurent had brought his wife. They tried to pull him out of the fight, but then one of the humans grabbed the shotgun that the bar owner stored just behind the bar. Close-range headshot will kill anything. Mr. Hoel ran. Dastien was an orphan. Mr. Dawson never forgave Mr. Hoel for being a moron. They fought over Dastien’s custody a bit, and animosity just skyrocketed from there.” She scrunched her nose. “Mr. Hoel has been trying to undermine Mr. Dawson’s place in the pack for a while now. He’s such an asshole.”
I stifled a groan. “And I played right into his hand.”
“Not your fault.” She paused. “I can’t believe he’s actually going for it. I mean he’s been trying to get a foothold with the Seven for years. But this…”
I was starting to feel nauseated. “It might not be all that complicated. I did kind of attack his daughter.”
She shook her head. “No. This is way fucked up. Especially after the whole vampire thing. He might be using you as an excuse, but this isn’t about you. This is bigger.” She headed for the door.
“Wait. Where are you going?”
“Recon. We need more info.”
“Good thinking. Keep me in the loop?”
“What am I? New?” She winked. “I’ll be back in a few.”
As I sat alone in my room, panic built inside of me, making the wolf rise closer to the surface. I closed my eyes and tried to do the breathing Dastien had showed me. I listened to the sound of the air flowing as it entered and left my body. My mind began to wander. I thought about the first time I’d seen Dastien. The intense pull that I felt between us. The day I first saw him. His sexy smile. The day I first heard his voice. I had way too many feelings about him. Mad. Attracted. Angry. Obsessed.
I pictured him pacing in Mr. Dawson’s tiny cabin. Back and forth. Back and forth. His scent—woods, grass, dirt, and something spicy, something just Dastien—filled me. The vision of him grew sharper as my mind focused. His muscles rippled under his shirt as he paced. Heat warmed my body at the sight. Trent and Mr. Dawson were talking at the dining table. Dastien reached the end of the room and paced back toward me.