The girl had lost her mind. “I ate a humungo-sized omelet, hash browns, a bagel with cream cheese, and a bowl of fruit. That’s more than I’ve ever eaten in one sitting.” There physically wasn’t any more room in my stomach.

Meredith rolled her eyes. “Hang on one second.” She walked back to the guy making the omelets, talking to him while pointing at me. He shook his head in disapproval.


Jeez. Why didn’t she call the National Guard while she was at it?

Meredith came back with some sandwiches in plastic bags and an apple. “Take these. You might not think you need them, but when your stomach growls in ten minutes, do yourself a favor and eat them. Okay?”

I saluted. “Yes, ma’am.” I shoved them in my bag.

We walked outside with a group of other students.

“The classes are all in there.” She pointed to a two-story red brick building next to the infirmary. “The physical stuff is on the first floor. Don’t want anyone going out a window, right?”

I laughed. “They’re not so bad.”

“I kind of was bummed about getting a suite-mate, but that moment changed my mind. The whole breaking the window with the IV stand and then jumping thing was kind of badass.”

“Thanks,” I said, grinning. “In retrospect, maybe not my smartest move, but you gotta go with what you’re feeling at the time, right?”

“Totally.” She laughed. “Anyway, the academic stuff is on the second floor. All of the lockers are there too, so we can stash your stuff.”

-- Advertisement --

Off to the side of the building was some training equipment. It looked way more Navy SEAL than high school. “What’s that?”

“Anyone who wants to be a Cazador has to pass a physical test and a sparring test. Most people try it after they graduate. Although some will come back and practice after graduation if they can’t pass it the first go-round.”

“Cazador? As in Spanish for hunter?”

“Yup. They keep the norms safe from all the things not so normal.”

My mind kept bouncing back and forth between two things: either these people were seriously demented or the world was a lot scarier than I thought. Werewolves weren’t bad enough? There had to be more?

Someone darted out of the woods between the buildings. Someone with strong arms, a broad chest, and long legs roped with muscle. I knew who it was, even from this distance. I stood frozen in place as I watched Dastien run toward the course with equal parts raw power and grace. He was wearing a pair of running shorts and nothing else.

“Wow.” It came out half moan as I watched the play of muscle across his body.

“Yeah. He’s kind of amazing to watch. One of the best Cazadores we’ve seen in a long time.”

Dastien ran at the hurdles, jumping over them without slowing down.

“But I thought he stayed here?”

“He goes out on assignment, but likes to keep his home base here. He teaches martial arts sometimes and gets the seniors ready for the Cazador test when he’s around.”

He took a running leap at the rope wall, gaining half of it by that alone. Hand over hand, he lifted his body up like it was easy. He leaped off the top of the wall, shifting midair, and landed as a beautiful white and gray wolf.

Well that was not what I was expecting to see. Undeniable proof that Dastien was a werewolf. I shoved any feelings I had about that way down. I had more than my fair share of junk to deal with for today.

Steeling my shoulders, I forced myself to turn away from him and keep walking.

Chapter Nineteen

The second floor had a long hallway lined with wooden doors and tall, black lockers. Each locker had a name on it instead of the usual numbers, and none of them had actual locks on them. Meredith pointed me in the right direction before heading to hers.

The schedule said I had English first. I left one notebook and the English books in my backpack, and dumped everything else in the locker. Meredith waited by one of the open doors.

All talking stopped when I entered the classroom.

“Ignore them,” Meredith said.

I focused on keeping my chin up and followed her to our seats. The teacher strode in. Everyone in the class sat up straight in their chairs as she set her papers down on her desk. I shifted in my seat, not knowing what I should be doing. I grabbed my notebook and a pen, and waited for class to begin.

I checked my schedule again for her name. Mrs. Ramirez. Thick black hair flowed down her back. Her large almond-shaped brown eyes made her look fey. She scanned the desks and stopped when she saw me.

“Hi, Tessa. Welcome to English. We’re doing Macbeth. Have you studied it before?”

-- Advertisement --