Great, that’s just great. It’s bad enough that I transferred here in the middle of the academic year, but did I have to spill soda on myself on the first day? For a werewolf, my reflexes were pretty shit.
“Um, excuse me, where is the bathroom?” I asked a girl who was passing by me. She stopped talking to whoever she was talking to on her phone and gave me a once over.
“Who’re you?” She asked, but it wasn’t a derogatory tone, it was one of pure curiosity.
“I’m the new girl.” I supplied lamely. In this middle of nowhere university, didn’t everyone know everyone anyway?
Her bright blue eyes widened and she blushed at her own bashfulness. “Of course! I’m sorry, the bathroom is down this corridor, to your right. There should be a big green sign.” She supplied, much more collectively now.
I nodded, gave her a polite thanks and walked away before she could ask me anything else.
A lot of collective stares were directed at me as I made the short walk to my destination, but no one dared approaching me. That was good, I was glad. If things went right nobody was going to discover who I really was.
Once inside, I took off my shirt and placed it in the sink - attempting to rinse out the stain and then dry it under the hand dryer. For goodness sake! I was a Princess!
Funny how I used that as a complaint and a privilege when it suited me.
My phone buzzed and I saw that it was another message from my brother, the future King. I didn’t bother to open it. Not yet, not when I could say something that I didn’t mean.
When I stepped out again, there she was, standing nervously before noticing me notice her. I knew that I had that effect on people, being a royal automatically intimidated people in my presence, and I was just fine with it. It would keep most people at a distance - but not this one. She seemed….tenacious.
I waited as she walked over to me, a hesitant smile on her face. Her short brown curls made her look shorter than she actually was, but she looked cute nonetheless. “New girl, I was wondering if you wanted to sit with us? I know that lunch is nearly over” - she gestured at my now dry top -” but from tomorrow, I mean.” She seemed genuine - she didn’t know who I was either, I could tell that she was human.
Maybe this was what I needed, somebody who wasn’t a werewolf.
“No, but thank you.”
Maybe I needed no one.
Her face fell, a small frown still remained on her features but she nodded politely, not really taken aback.
What? I said thank you. I thought to myself, squashing the small seed of guilt that was blossoming in the pit of my stomach.
“Oh, well. In case you change your mind - I’m Leilani, it was nice to meet you.” She said courteously before walking away, not asking for my name. Maybe she knew I wouldn’t give it. She was a good reader then.
I turned down the hallway and walked in the opposite direction, off to find the next class before the bell rang, signalling the end of lunch.
It was fascinating. I loved everything there was about finance and numbers and marketing. I wanted to be a sole owner of a business, head an entire chain, make something from scratch. It was a small goal, considering what life had actually laid out for me. I shook off my thoughts and went back to paying attention to the professor. He was a nice man, hadn’t asked me to introduce myself to the class like the Business Administration professor had, and for that I was glad.
Everybody would want to know why this mysterious girl had transferred in the middle of the semester. How did she get her credits transferred? Who was she? I really didn’t want the attention. I was always given it, and for those of you who thought that that was the dream - the grass was always greener on the other side.
I wanted peace and quiet, I wanted space. I wanted an escape. And so far, despite my cold behaviour, I was enjoying it.
I wanted to run into the woods and live in an isolated cabin, but I was far too ambitious for that. And, my brother and parents would never allow this. My blood boiled at the word. Allow? As if I were a child!
So? A compromise, father called it. For now I could study at some far away university, ignore pack tradition, avoid royal social interactions. I picked a business degree, seeing as it was the most interesting, and then I picked a far away town - away from all the chaos that came with being a sister to the upcoming King.
The town of Geone. It was tiny and isolated, and yet somehow had one of the best business schools there were. It even had a neighbouring town that had been abandoned. I liked it here.
The decision to join a mixed school - which meant both werewolf and human populations, was my father’s. He thought it would teach me to be humble, and I didn’t mind. It would give me the space I needed from those awestruck werewolf women who only befriended me to befriend Reece. The men were inconsequential, I was forbidden to date anyone except my mate, who I hoped to never meet.
I could barely handle being confined by the life of royalty, a mate would be the last thing I needed in my life.
The students all shuffled around as my third class for the day was over. I gathered my books, and my neat notes into a pile and dumped them in my bag when a loud cracking sound resounded from it, and then transparent, nice smelling liquid spilled out.
Thankfully, the class was almost empty and the few students turned their heads to give me curious looks before rushing off to their next classes.
But as soon as the smell hit my nose, I hissed. It was the perfume I’d been given to hide my scent! I had to be careful with this - if it came in the hands of other werewolves, my identity could be revealed!
It suddenly occurred to me that I didn’t put any on myself, after I washed my shirt from the soda and I could be reeking of royalty again!
If any of the other werewolves in the Geone pack smelled a lone wolf I would be in big trouble!
Shit! Shit! Shit!
My other bottles were stocked at home - Dammit -I will have to miss Business Ethics.
With a clenched jaw I hauled my bag, blocking out the depressing thought of my wet notes, and left the classroom in a hurry. I think the professor called on me but I outright ignored him as I broke into a steady walk - not too fast so that I didn’t sweat and leave a scent.
My house was a ten minutes walk from the university, and I had a car, but I’d chosen to walk. It was a convertible - courtesy of my mother - and I just really wanted to blend in. I pulled the bag to the front, trying to discreetly rub the rest of the fruity perfume on me, but it had already evaporated.
If I got caught, my brother would definitely insist on bodyguards - and I had fought way too hard to lose this stipulation in our compromise. In my fast-paced walking, I felt my phone buzz once more.
I knew who it would be - seeing as I hadn’t given anybody at the university my number. I rolled my eyes and fished it out - Reece.
Reply to my texts, or I will call you.
And I rolled my eyes again.
And if you don’t pick up my call you know I’ll fly down there.
At this, I groaned.
Hello, idiot brother. It is I, Sienna Wolf, replying from the unsafe world of young-adult humans who’s only target is to have sex and take drugs. The horror.
Smartass. How are you?
I knew that his concern was genuine. I knew that it wasn’t his fault that we were royals. I knew that he hadn’t asked for this and my irritation with him was solely only the circumstances surrounding him.
I’m good. First day was good.
Classes for the day are already over?
I chose to not tell him that I was currently hurling myself towards my house, because I’d already risked exposure.
That made me falter in my hasty steps.
Sienna….not everyone is after you for your title.
Easy for him to say, he had Flora, and she was human so there was no way she even knew who she’d bagged!
What if my mate loved me just for my name? And my friends? I’d rather not have any.
I just prefer it this way, Reece. This year is going to be about me, and just me.
Alright, suit yourself, princess.
He knew I hated it when he called me that.
I resumed my pace again as I saw my house in the distance. I was almost there.
My mind soured with the conversation. This was why I didn’t want to reply. It was so irritating to talk to them! They always acted as though they had to fix me. Could I, for once, just discover my own calling and decide how I should behave and who I should let in?
What was it with Kings and a god complex? Sometimes people had to be left alone and not everyone wanted to be helped.
I shrugged the thoughts away, as I unlocked my door, and punched in the alarm code, thanking the Goddess that I hadn’t crossed paths with anyone.
Day two wasn’t that much different, but I was enjoying it. I had to catch up on a lot of stuff as I had joined four weeks into the semester but I was looking forward to just sitting in the library, by myself, like an ordinary person and learning. Not that I wanted to be ordinary. I was going to be brilliant. I would work hard, and teach myself things that didn’t center around werewolves, and royal literature, and self defense classes - alright the last one had been fun when I did undergo training - but you get what I mean.
So there I was, studying in the library, when Leilani sauntered past me, holding a sheet of paper in her hand - I saw a red circle, and within it was a grade.
Hmmm, she was in my business administration classes and I was having a hard time getting my head around the subject.
She caught me staring at her, but instead of shying away, or getting creeped out, she gave me a full blown smile and waved silently - we were in the library after all.
Maybe she really just was a kind person.
So I did something I never thought I would - I waved back. Surprise registered on her face, before she beamed at me, but then she sat at the table she had just walked over to, and I was left a little speechless. I didn’t understand what to do next. To go over there and talk to her? Could I just ask her to help me? How did this work?
Most people just came to me in a swarm, not for me, obviously, but for my last name. I was disarmed here.
Humans were complicated things.
But then again, so were werewolves. Reece’s words came back to me and I sighed. Maybe human friends would be fine.
As long as I didn’t accidentally bite one of them, I snickered to myself.
But still, I had to be careful with where I was going with this. A study buddy, wouldn’t harm me, I decided.
Without another thought, I got up from my chair, and walked straight to her desk. She was hunched over a book I didn’t recognize, her fingers twirling a pencil as she read.
“I have some doubts.” I said, awkwardly, feeling shy all of a sudden. So this was what it felt like to be the new girl, who actually wanted to make friends.
Leilani looked at me, and then to the book I was gesturing at, and then smiled. “Sure. But can we do this in a half hour? I have some notes I need to complete.” She asked me politely, not a hint of irritation in her voice.
I stood there, dumbfounded. She wasn’t immediately agreeing to what I wanted? But she wasn’t being snobby either. I could only nod at her before turning around, ready to walk back to my table.
I felt her hand coming towards me before it actually did - werewolf reflexes, and I spun around automatically, my hands up ahead of me.
“Oh!” She made a surprised sound and everyone around us looked up. My cheeks flushed in embarrassment as I realized that she had only meant to call me, but didn’t want to make noise and I dropped my hands.
Why oh why can’t I just be normal?!
“I’m sorry..” I told her, looking away. Everyone else had gone back to their work. The library is, generally, full of nerds - this wasn’t a cafeteria. Leilani’s stunned expression made way for a reassuring one before she raised her hand and tucked her short hair behind her ear, “I just wanted to say, that you can sit here, if you’d like to.” Her words were a whisper, I didn’t know if this was because of my actions or because she was in a library, but I felt terrible.
Minute one of interaction and I had already scared her. Then her words registered and I brushed away my concern. “Yes, I’d like that.” I told her.
We sat in companionable silence for a short while, with me working on some other lecture notes while she finished hers. I liked it. It was peaceful, and comfortable at the same time. Silence was a rare commodity with Reece, back at the palace. And peace? That was only in treaties.
“So,” Leilani said, shutting her book, “What is it that you’re having trouble with?”