“It’s dangerous, which is why you have to have permission. Only one in a hundred guys can survive the transformation. And almost no girls live through it, more like one in ten thousand. Which is why some people think that boys outnumber girls so much.” He pointed at me. “That’s why everyone’s curious about her.”

Goosebumps broke out over my skin. I could’ve died? Did Dastien even think about that?


I couldn’t let it show that he bothered me or they’d pick on me more. “Really with the pointing?”

“I’m willing to briefly discuss this, but let’s leave Miss McCaide out of it,” Mr. Dawson said.

That seemed highly doubtful.

“So, class, if it’s dangerous—why bite?”

The boy in front of me raised his hand. “Because we police the world’s big bads,” said the boy in front of me. “We try to protect the humans and all supes—a.k.a. Supernaturals—from things that would out us. Things that would make the world into an ugly place.” He shrugged. “In the past, we’ve gotten low in numbers and so—” He chomped his teeth and the class laughed.

“And what are the big bads, as you pups like to call them?” Mr. Dawson said.

“Fairies, well the bad ones, black witches, vamps, demons. You name it, we hunt it,” he said.

What in the hell were they talking about? Fairies? Demons? Vampires? Seriously?

Nikki’s hand shot up again.

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“Yes, Nikki?” Mr. Dawson said.

“Sometimes people find out about us and ask to get bitten.” She glared at me.

I met her stare, and she looked away instantly.

“That’s enough, Nikki.” Another hand shot up. “Yes, Gabriel?”

“Why would someone break the Law and bite a human? We have rules for a reason.”

I started a mental list of people to avoid. That dude was on it for sure.

“I know you all have questions about what happened, but I’m not going to answer questions about a private matter of one my students. Miss McCaide’s been through a lot, and she still has a hard time ahead of her. I expect you all to treat her with respect and compassion. This ends now.”

Nikki raised her hand again. “A whore—”

“Nikki!” Mr. Dawson said. This time power sizzled behind the command. The hair on my arms stood on end as it rolled through the room. “Did you not hear me? You will go—”

“You don’t even know me. None of you know me.” As much as I wanted Mr. Dawson to fight this battle for me, I couldn’t let him. I’d had enough of this. “I’m not a whore. I didn’t know he had a girlfriend. If he even had a girlfriend. To be perfectly clear, I sure as hell didn’t ask for this. This right here is a nightmare.” I motioned around the room. “And you’ve all just made it that much more shitacular. I hope each of you is feeling really awesome about that right now. And you,” I pointed to Nikki, but she couldn’t meet my gaze. “If you say one more word I swear to God I won’t be responsible for what I do, you stupid—” The hot, woozy feeling was back with a vengeance. I was so done with this class. I grabbed my backpack and my half eaten sandwich.

“Tessa. Wait,” Mr. Dawson called after me. Power backed the command, but I shook it off and kept moving. I heard shocked murmurs from the class but I didn’t look.

I strode out the door, ran to the stairwell, and slammed into Dastien.

Why had I dared the day to get worse? I was seriously dumb sometimes.

Dastien’s scent filled me. I wanted to bathe in it.

I pushed him away. It wasn’t easy, but I had to. For my own sanity. I tried to step around him, but he blocked my way. “Move.” I shoved him, but it was like trying to push a boulder.

“Tessa. Calm down for a second.”

“Calm down? Do you know what I just went through in there?”

He tucked my hair behind my ear. “Tessa, I—”

I slapped his hand away. “No. Don’t. I can’t. Not right now.” A tear slipped free. I wiped it away with my gloved hand. There was no way I would let him see me fall apart. “Please. Let me go.”


“Please. Just let me be.”

“If that’s what you really want.” He frowned and stepped aside.

I raced down the stairs and out into the courtyard. A black Expedition pulled between the buildings, narrowly missing me.

I slammed my hand on the hood of the car, like any good Angelino would do. “Hey. Watch it.”

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