“I have an idea, but…” He shrugged.
Admitting they didn’t have all the answers made me trust him a little more. No one was perfect. And he seemed reasonably upset that this whole thing had gone down like it had. I took the hand he offered, and let him pull me up. “So, what now?”
Dr. Gonzales stood with me. “You’ll take classes here, and learn to be one of us. It’s going to take time, Tessa. You have to be patient.”
I snorted. “Patience isn’t one of my virtues.”
“You’ll learn it,” she said. “You’ll control your emotions, and hopefully one day, you can go to college, grow up, and take a place in our world.”
Our world. Not the world.
Fantastic. Was there any way I could get back to my world?
Dr. Gonzales put an arm around my shoulder and I suppressed the urge to shrug it off. It wasn’t her fault she had to stick me with needles. I’d forgive her. Maybe. But how was I going to forgive Dastien?
“Come on,” she said. “Let’s go back to campus. I’ll show you to your new room. I’m sure Michael can find your suite-mate. Meredith’s been looking forward to finally meeting you.”
My new room? Suite-mate? I was going to have to actually live here. That totally blew. “I’m not sure I’m good company right now. Plus, I tend to have a hard time with making friends.”
“I think it’ll be much easier here,” Mr. Dawson said. “We’re all different.”
He had that right. Visions were weird. But werewolves? Total freaks of nature. I laughed at the thought. If I hadn’t just seen my hands changing, felt the pain of it, I’d have thought they were nuts.
It wasn’t until we were walking through the courtyard that I realized that Dr. Gonzales had touched me skin-to-skin, and I hadn’t gotten a thing from her. Not even a hint of a vision. I tugged on my gloves, making sure they were still there.
It was a fluke. No need to panic.
Okay, maybe a little bit of panicking.
Dr. Gonzales led me through the courtyard to a three story red-brick building. The unobtrusive sign on it read “Girl’s Dormitory” in plain font. The walls inside were a pale mint. It was decorated in Pottery Barn-esque stuff. A large navy sectional and love seat surrounded a flat screen hanging against the far wall. To the right was a little kitchenette with top of the line appliances, and dual Subzero fridges. A girl was poking around in one of them. It was fully stocked with food, each item in a plastic container and labeled.
Looked like whoever organized the fridge could be my new BFF.
Three other girls were chatting on the couches as some lame reality show played on the TV. It—this building, the way it was decorated, and the girls hanging out—all seemed so normal. I don’t know why that surprised me, but it did.
Dr. Gonzales cleared her throat. The girls paused the TV and swiveled on the couch to stare at me.
“Ladies, this is Tessa.”
They gave a chorus of “hi’s” as they gawked at me. I almost reached for my face to check for dirt when a tall, thin girl stood up. She flicked her perfectly silky straight light brown hair over one shoulder and smirked at me.
“You look familiar. Oh, right.” She laughed and tapped one of her friends. “That’s the girl who jumped out the window.”
I raised an eyebrow at Dr. Gonzales. “It sure will be easier here, huh?”
Dr. Gonzales had the grace to look a bit embarrassed. “I know you’ll do your best to welcome Tessa to her new home.”
La Bitch grinned. “We’ll welcome her.”
I wondered what her idea of “welcoming” would involve.
Dr. Gonzales led me to a stairwell. “We’re lucky we have the space to give everyone their own rooms, but you share a bath with the room to the right of you. I think you’ll find you have a lot in common with your suitemate, Meredith.” She stopped in front of a door, number 27, and handed me a key. “There is no need to lock it. We’re completely safe here, but I wasn’t sure if you’d feel more comfortable this way.”
Hell yes I’d feel more comfortable that way. The looks those girls were giving me downstairs were not exactly friendly. I didn’t trust anyone here.
Inside was a small room with a desk, full sized bed, end table, and chest of drawers. They were all Ikea white lacquered. A bright purple poster in a gaudy black frame brushed with hints of gold hung above my bed. It was an outline of the Cheshire Cat’s big grin. Underneath the grin was big bold font that read, “Keep Calm. We’re all Mad Here.”