Before I could think better of it, I threw myself out the window.
Three stories up.
Shit. Shit. Shit.
I screamed the most girly scream ever as I flipped through the air. My breath ripped from my lungs as I thunked down on the ground. On my feet.
I didn’t have time to question my luck. I brushed myself off and scanned my surroundings. A courtyard full of kids my age stood frozen, staring at me. Some were wearing backpacks. Others carried books in their hands. One girl stopped with an apple halfway to her mouth. She looked at me like I’d lost my mind. Little did she know, I never really had it to begin with.
This had to be St. Ailbe’s.
I hoped I hadn’t flashed anyone.
Forest encircled the buildings. I picked a direction and prayed it was the right one.
I gave a demure wave. “No time to stop and chat. Things to do. Places to escape from.” I took off running. Something howled, and I glanced behind me.
What the hell? A blond wolf was chasing me.
My day really couldn’t get any better.
I pushed my legs to move faster. My lungs burned, but I kept going.
The forest teased me, only a few yards ahead and I’d hopefully disappear through the brush and trees. Out-running a wolf seemed like a long shot at best, but if I managed to get away from it and find the creek, then I probably could get to my house. Maybe. I’d figure out the rest when I got home.
I hit the tree line, and another wolf howled. I looked back. It was the white and gray one, along with the blond-ish one from earlier. They were right behind me.
Sweat dripped down my face, but I wouldn’t give up. I zigzagged through the woods hoping that would buy me some ground.
“Tessa! Stop!” Mr. Dawson yelled from behind me. He yelled something to someone in a language I couldn’t understand. There was more howling.
I didn’t look back. Adrenaline pumped through my veins.
And then something slammed into me from the side.
I hit the ground hard, rolling a few times before crashing to a stop against a tree. I gasped for air, but somebody was weighing me down. Hot breath brushed my face, and the person lifted up enough so that I could see his face.
Oh my God. Why the hell had a naked guy tackled me? “Move, you perv.”
I focused on his crystal blue eyes. They were laughing at me. “Do you believe in love at first sight? Or should I tackle you again?”
“Spare me the tired pick-up line. Where are your clothes!”
A big cloth fell over us.
“Mr. Matthews. Off Miss McCaide. Now,” Mr. Dawson said.
The guy winked at me, and hopped up. “Caught her,” he said as he pulled on a robe before I could see more than I needed to.
The wolf had disappeared, and some naked guy had appeared.
Goosebumps ran up my arms. There was no way what I was thinking could actually be right.
He reached down to help me, but I ignored it, getting up on my own.
The lady in the lab coat stood behind Mr. Dawson. Her high heels didn’t slow her down too much. Impressive, but I still didn’t trust her. I took a step back. She wasn’t getting near me again. No way in hell.
The gray and white wolf stood behind them. He growled at the blue-eyed guy and then turned around and ran back to the buildings.
Mr. Dawson inched toward me. “Why are you afraid, Tessa?”
I was trying to be more angry than scared, but somehow I was venturing into full-on terrified-mode. “I don’t know. Maybe because someone put me in a cage and stuck me with an assload of needles!”
“Tessa—” Lab Coat woman said, but Mr. Dawson cut her off.
“You were in the cage because you were feral.”
Blue Eyes let out a low whistle. “Impressive.”
“Thank you for your help, Mr. Matthews.” Mr. Dawson kept his eyes on me as he spoke to Blue Eyes. “You can go back to campus now.”
“Anytime. I love catching pretty ladies.” He winked. The air grew heavy and shimmered with heat. Blue Eyes’ arms and legs morphed as he got down on all fours. His face changed too fast for me to follow. The robe slid off as he moved. And then, instead of looking at a guy, I stood in front of a blond-colored wolf.
Someone cursed as the world faded to gray.
A high-pitched noise whined in my ear. Something slimy brushed against my face as everything came back into focus. The wolf was licking me. I sat up and scooted away until my back hit a tree.
“What the hell is that?” My breath came in hollow gasps.
“Good work, Mr. Matthews. I think she’s fully terrified now.” The wolf lay down and rolled over, exposing the length of his stomach. “Go back to the dorms,” Mr. Dawson said.