A change of subject was in order. “I guess everyone’s not just staring at me because I’m new?”

“Sorry, love.” Shannon’s lilting Irish voice surprised me. “It’s been a long time since anyone’s been bitten. It’s simply not done.”

Not done. Right. Because if that were really true, then how did I end up at St. Ailbe’s?

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I poked around at my mountain of food, and they started talking about some chemistry test coming up. I nodded when appropriate to the conversation that flowed around me, but couldn’t stop wondering about the whole biting thing. That was the second time that someone mentioned that werewolves didn’t bite humans. So why had Dastien done it?

“You should really finish that,” Meredith said.

I’d eaten some of it, but hadn’t even made a dent in the mound. Thinking about Dastien had killed my appetite. The thought of taking another bite made me want to gag. “You know, I think I’m good. I’m going to head back to my room.”

“Are you sure you—” Meredith said.

“I’m fine. Really.” I’d reached my limit. I was never great at being around people, and couldn’t remember the last time I’d been alone. This was all too much, and trying to pretend that it was normal and have a nice little dinner chat wasn’t working for me. “It was nice to meet all of you.”

As I stood up, the room went quiet again. I left my tray where it was, and strode across the room. Everyone stared, especially a group of girls from the table where Dastien had been sitting. Their gazes could have started a fire, mostly around me. I held my chin high as I walked past them. I hadn’t done anything wrong.

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When I got back to my room, I found my cell phone on the bed with a note tucked underneath it.

Call your parents. They want to hear from you.

—Michael Dawson.

I stared at my phone. What would I say? What did they have to tell me? Nothing and nothing.

I grabbed my laptop off the desk and started doing searches on werewolves and their bites. I found a lot of stuff that I didn’t think was right. One site said werewolves were started by a gypsy’s curse. Another site said you could go back to being human if you killed the werewolf that bit you. That was a pretty thought, but I was reasonably sure I wouldn’t be trying it out. I wasn’t that desperate. Yet.

One blogger wrote that werewolves could only shift when there was a full moon, but I already knew that wasn’t true. Chris had gone back and forth between the two forms in a fraction of a second this afternoon. A quick search confirmed that we were a little more than three weeks away from the next full moon.

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I was about to close my computer in frustration when I found a local news story. A girl was found dead about 100 miles north of San Antonio with her throat ripped out. All her blood was drained.

Meredith would probably tell me vampires or goblins did it. Hell, maybe a unicorn with rabies.

I rolled my eyes and closed my laptop, placing it on my desk to charge.

Mr. Dawson’s note was still on my bed. I read it again and dialed home. I snapped it closed before it started to ring.

I couldn’t call my parents, but there was one person I could call. I grinned as a plan formed in my mind.

Chapter Sixteen

Meredith knocked on the door connecting my room to the bathroom when she got back from dinner. “Tessa?” she whispered as she opened the door.

I hoped the lights being off would be hint enough, but I was prepared. Under the covers, I was fully dressed—black skinny jeans and a black t-shirt, but she wouldn’t be able to tell. I kept my breathing even and steady. The door quietly clicked closed.

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I stayed still until I heard the noises from her room quiet. I waited another two hours after that. Then one more just to make sure.

Everyone had to be asleep by then. It was after two in the morning. I threw off the covers and picked up my cell.

Axel picked up after one ring. “Are you okay?”

“No.” I kept my voice as quiet as possible. “This place is totally messed up. Come get me.”

The silence on the other end nearly did me in. I closed my eyes and prayed he’d do this for me. He had to. There was no one else.

“I dunno,” he said finally. “Mom and Dad would flip. They’re saying that you’re…that you…”

“Axel. Please. I’m asking for help. You know I wouldn’t ask if I had any other option.”

He sighed. “I didn’t say I wasn’t going to do it. I hear they have you under lockdown.”

“That’s not true. I’m in a dorm, not jail. Plus, campus has been quiet for hours now. Everyone is asleep.” I tiptoed to the window to double check, but nothing was moving. The courtyard was empty. Not one light was on in the buildings. The night was totally still. “I’m going to sneak out and go to the front gate of the school. Pick me up in fifteen.”

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