She shoved my shoulder until my back knocked into the lockers. “Give it to me.”

I didn’t like her touching me. And I sure as shit didn’t like the way she had me cornered. “I don’t have anything to give you. So get your hand. Off. Me.”


She snarled and pushed me again.

My tenuous control shattered. Heat burned my skin and my teeth lengthened, nipping my lip. “Get your hand off me.”

She moved her hand. Faster than I could track, her fist slammed into my face. My head whipped back, cracking against the lockers. I was too angry to feel any pain.

A door squeaked open.

“Tessa. Imogene. Stop fighting right now!”

I growled at Mrs. Ramirez. She looked at the ground and stepped back. Mrs. Ramirez whispered to someone to find Dastien or Mr. Dawson, but all my focus was on Imogene.

The next punch hit my stomach, and the air whooshed out of me. She hit my face again, and I tasted blood.

My wolf growled. A red haze narrowed my vision until all I saw was Imogene. My arms rippled as fur covered them. I launched myself across the hallway, throwing Imogene against the lockers. The part of me awakening was scary, but I was done being polite.

I punched and her nose crunched in response. I wrapped my arms and legs around her and twisted. We landed on the ground with me sitting on top of her hips.

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“Stop. Moving. Now.” I put a little power behind the words and she quit struggling. I didn’t let go. I wouldn’t be tricked twice. I sat up on top of her torso so she couldn’t move, and put my hand on her chest to keep her still.

My anger blossomed as I stared down at her. My gloves ripped along the tips as my fingers lengthened and nails grew until it looked like something in between hand and claw. I was torn between what the wolf wanted—to end a rival for good, and what I wanted—to maintain some semblance of my sanity.

Imogene struggled under me. If she started to fight me again, I didn’t know what my wolf would do, and that scared me. My nails drew blood as they touched the soft part of her neck. If I relaxed my hand at all, they would tear right through her flesh.

“Once I tell Dastien what a freak you are, he won’t want anything to do with you. Look at your arm, caught between forms. It’s disgusting.”

Her comment pushed me over the edge. I growled and let my nails penetrate her neck.

“Tessa!” Dastien sprinted down the hall. “Merde.” He dropped down on the floor next to us. “Tessa. Let her go.” He pulled off his shirt and balled it up. “We’ve got to stop the bleeding.”

He picked her over me. That thought had the wolf whimpering.

He put the wadded up shirt next to my hand and looked me in the eyes. “Let her go. Now.”

Shock pulled me free of the last twinges of anger. All that was left was normal Tessa. Blood stained the front of Imogene’s shirt. Her eyes rolled back in her head.

Bile rose in my throat.

Oh my God. I’d never gotten in a fight. Until martial arts class, I’d never hit anyone. Never even pushed anyone. I could have killed her. I crawled backwards until I hit the opposite wall of lockers and pulled off my stained and shredded gloves. Each classroom door was open with the teachers guarding it.

Why hadn’t they stopped me?

“I need some help,” Dastien said. His hand was wet with blood as he put pressure on the wound.

The teachers finally moved into action. Mrs. Ramirez reached them first. “Adrian, go grab Mr. Dawson and Dr. Gonzales. Hurry.”

People poured out of the rooms, crowding the hallway. I couldn’t stand them staring at me. I did the only thing I could think of, I ran.

It was cowardly, but I’d hit my limit. Dastien called for me to stop. To wait for him. But I didn’t look back. He’d shown me time and again with his actions what he really wanted. Who he wanted. If he cared about me, he wouldn’t have run away all those times. He wouldn’t have been able to.

I flew out the front entryway of the school and followed the road to the main highway. I moved faster than I ever had before, my lungs barely registering the strain.

A sign led to town. I moved on autopilot, not caring where I went.

I slowly started to see familiar markers. And then I just ran faster.

I didn’t stop until I got to the yellow house with the big tree in front. “Mom!” I raced up the porch steps and banged on the door. “Mom!”

Her feet clattered on the stairs as she ran to the door. “Oh my God, Tessa. What happened? Are you okay? Are you hurt?”

I looked down to see my shirt and my arm splattered with blood. “I don’t know.”

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