Elements: The Gifted

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Chapter 5: Hunter Academy

It was a long day as Tabby gave us an exhausting tour of the academy grounds. I made sure to take notes of where my classes were, where the library was etc. The whole time during the tour, I stayed completely aware of Alexander. He stayed in the very back, keeping his distance from the group as much as possible. It was sad. Nobody in the group would talk to him. No one really even gave him second glance. It broke my heart. At one point though, I saw Cameron and Jamie laughing amongst each other, pointing and smirking in Alexander’s direction. He must have heard them at some point because eventually Alexander was glaring at them. It was a terrifying look on his handsome face. Jamie and Cameron stopped after that, their faces deathly pale as we went from classroom to classroom. When we were finally done for the day, we followed Tabby to a very large building that looked about fourteen stories high. It kind of reminded me of a fancy hotel. We went up two flights of stairs until we finally made it to our destination. The door had the inscription “Class of 2019” written in gold on it. We followed Tabby into a large, spacious room, stuffed with various armchairs and couches. On the west side of the room was a fire place, with a flat screen TV hanging above it on the wall. Around the corner was a small, stainless white kitchenette.

“Gather around everyone,” Tabby said as some of my classmates took seats in some of the comfortable couches and chairs. “Now I know everyone is exhausted from today’s adventure, but today hasn’t ended yet. You see those six staircases?”

I don’t how I could have missed them. They were right there, completely visible. There were six archways with staircases. The steps looked like they were made of stone, while above each door frame was a carved symbol. On the left side of the room was a symbol of a snowflake, which made me think of ice. The other symbol was that of a small flame, which represented fire. The next symbol looked like a teardrop, which was for water. On the right side of the room, above the door frames, was the symbol of wings, which was probably for air. The next was a leaf, which meant earth and then above the last door frame was the symbol of a question mark, which I could only assume was for the unique’s. It was cool, but I didn’t understand why there were so many staircases? Unless…

Ms. Tabby answered my unspoken question. “Each staircase leads to your rooms. You will have no roommate.” I sighed with relieve. No pestering roommate. Yay. “The symbols above the doorways are where your groups will be staying. No exceptions. On the left side of the room we have ice, fire, and water. Then on the right side we have air, earth, and the unique’s. Your name will be on your bedroom door, along with a password. You will have to key in the password to get in your room. Don’t give them out to anyone. Not even your N’Sync’s. Your bags and other things should already be in there, along with your school uniform and schedule. So all you have to do tonight is unpack and get settled. Tomorrow you will be attending your classes. Please try to get there early. Some teachers are complacent, but it’s still best to get there before the tardy bell. Enjoy your new home everyone. Here you will be a like a big family. You might as well get used to it because this is where you’ll be staying until you graduate, which won’t be in about five more years. Are there any questions?”

Nobody had any. We just continued to look at one another as Ms. Tabby searched around the room for raised hands. Again, I saw Alexander as he kept a wide berth between himself and the rest of the student body. He leaned against the wall, looking lost in thought. I wonder if he even listened to a word Ms. Tabby said.

“Well,” she said. “Since nobody has any questions I’ll leave you guys to get settled in. Curfew is at ten and yes we will come by to check and see if everybody is asleep. Goodnight and I will see you all tomorrow.” Ms. Tabby left then, and as she closed the door behind her, everyone started talking all at once. I listened to Jordan, Morgan, and Gabrielle as they talked of classes and teachers, while also watching Alexander. For once he didn’t look angry. He actually looked…lonely. Alexander seemed to sense me staring at him as he met my steady gaze. He seemed bemused, probably wondering why I was staring at him. My lips stretched into a smile. Maybe if he knew somebody around here liked him, then maybe he won’t feel so sad. Maybe he’ll want to be friends. He didn’t smile back though – just glared murderously at me. My smile disappeared. What was with the death stare? I didn’t do anything to him. How could he be so cold towards me? Alexander tore his gaze away from me as he swiftly walked across the room and up the stairs where he and the other fire users would be staying. He disappeared and I could distinctly hear the sound of a door slamming shut. I looked around me. Did no one notice him and his hasty retreat? Or did they simply just act like he didn’t exist? I sighed as I gave up trying to listen to the others and their conversations. Maybe being Alexander’s friend isn’t going to be as easy as I thought.

Around eight I decided to leave Jordan and the others to go get settled in. I walked up the staircase with slow, deliberate steps, thinking about tomorrow. I hope the teachers here aren’t too strict. I hope we don’t get assigned too much homework. Then again, it was the first day. I’m hoping they don’t assign us homework period. When I found the door with my name on it, I started looking for the piece of paper with my password. I eventually found it. It was hidden behind my name, taped to the door. I examined the numbers and letters printed on the small piece of paper. SDM11D7UA90. I typed that into the little key pad and heard the door click as it unlocked. I smiled, satisfied as I slipped the piece of paper into my back pocket. No doubt I’m going to have to find somewhere to keep it. At least until I got it memorized. I examined the little room as I closed the door behind me. The walls were white and bare, with one small window seat overlooking the academy grounds. The floors were made of dark wood, with the exception of the pink welcoming mat in front of the door. There was a desk in the right hand corner with my laptop already in place, with a bookshelf next to it, displaying some of my books.

On the left side of the room was my bed, which was already made. My pink and purple poke-a-dot comforter stretched across the bed with added throw pillows. There, next to the bed, was a nightstand with a lamp and my alarm clock. I might need to set that later. A door across the room was slightly ajar, giving me a glimpse inside. It was the bathroom.

The bathroom was just as plain, with its white, bare walls and wooden floors. The bathtub was just as boring, with it’s practically see through shower curtain. There was one sink and a toilet, and to my surprise, a small closet. Why it was in the bathroom, I didn’t know, but I decided to start there as I went to get my suitcase to unpack. I was just about to grab it when I finally noticed my uniform folded neatly on my bed. How did I miss that? Apparently I’m unobservant today. I must be completely exhausted from the tour. I picked it up to examine it and nearly screamed in horror. It wasn’t that it was ugly that made me throw it across the room in disgust. It was just that the skirt was so short. The shirt was pretty cute. It was a white, long sleeved shirt with a long black tie attached around the neckline. Pure and simple. The skirt was black and if worn, would come to about my thighs. Why would they make us wear these? At my school you got in trouble for wearing anything that went above your knees. I was so mortified by the skirt that I almost didn’t notice the schedule pinned to it. When I unpinned my schedule from my uniform, I looked it over with nervous anticipation.

Spencer Danielle Mason


Monday’s and Wednesday’s:

1. Combat and Training 8:05-9:00 (Mr. Gale Howl)

2. Elemental Magic (Year 1) 9:05-10:00 (Mr. Solomon Hans)

3. Magic and Spells (Year 1) 10:05-11:00 (Ms. Loretta Hardwick)

4. Lunch 11:05-12:00

5. Weapons (Year 1) 12:05-1:00 (Ms. Joanna Peril)

6. Latin 1 1:05-2:00 (Ms. Tabby Crawford)

7. Independent Study 2:05-3:00

8. Demonology (Year 1) 3:05-4:00 (Mr. Ash Grey)

9. Training 4:05-5:00 (Mr. Ash Grey)

Wow. That’s a lot of classes. Of course all this was just on Monday’s and Wednesday’s. I looked at the rest of the schedule. It was overwhelming.

Tuesday’s and Thursday’s:

1. PE 8:05-9:00 (Mr. Orin Song)

2. English 1 9:05-10:00 (Ms. Holly Call)

3. Human History 10:05-11:00 (Mr. Orion Xavier)

4. Lunch 11:05-12:00

5. Communications 12:05-1:00 (Mrs. Felicity York)

6. Algebra 1:05-2:00 (Mr. Hank Sullen)

7. Independent Study 2:05-3:00

8. Biology 3:05-4:00 (Mrs. Debbie Donald)

9. Training 4:05-5:00 (Mr. Ash Grey)

How the hell I’m I supposed to keep up with all these classes and assignments? Oh my God! Short skirts, nine classes each day…how am I going to survive at this school? I did okay back in my world, but that’s only because I had the same classes’ every day. Well, at least the weekend starts early here and I get Friday’s off. I will probably make that homework day.

I decided to go to bed early after I was done unpacking everything. I changed into my favorite pajamas and got into bed, curling into a ball, trying to shut out the images of classes and book work.

The next day started all too soon. I almost fell out of my bed when my alarm clock went off; telling me it was six in the morning. I groaned and crushed one of the many throw pillows over my face. Why does it have to be so early? With great reluctance, I dragged my ass out of bed and into my bathroom. I showered quickly and after I brushed my teeth, I put on the god awful uniform. I grimaced at my reflection in the mirror. I hate short skirts. I never liked anything that showed even a glimpse of my legs, which were startling pale. Well, nothing I can do now. What’s done is done. I’m just going to have to get over it and accept the inevitable. Then I remembered that I had some black pantyhose somewhere. After I slipped on the pantyhose, I put on the black boots next. They looked more like combat boots, with buckles here and there. The buckles are probably there for holding weapons.

I met Jordan and the others in the cafeteria where they were serving breakfast. I wasn’t much of a morning person, which meant my stomach hadn’t woken up yet. So I went straight to the table that they sat at. I took a seat next to Jordan, who was eating a bagel smothered in butter.

“How can you eat that with so much butter? It’s disgusting.”

“Maybe to you. To me, it’s delicious.”

Gabrielle turned towards me. “Can I see your schedule?”

I pulled it out of my backpack and handed it to her wordlessly. She examined it quickly. “Looks like we have Latin 1, English 1, and Human History together. I’ll bet Human History will be fascinating. To know a little bit about the Powerless and their history. Of course you probably already know most of it.”

“Not really,” I said. “I could never really focus on any of my history classes back home. They always seemed kind of dull to me.”

“They sound dull too,” Morgan said his mouth full of pancakes. Gabrielle and I grimaced. “The Powerless are such a boring species.”

I scowled at him. “My mother is Powerless.”

“But,” Gabrielle said, cutting off whatever Morgan was about to say. It was probably something mean. “We came from the Powerless. So we can do magic and are better skilled in fighting then they are. We’re still human – still just as mortal as they are. There is no reason to be dissing the Powerless, Morgan.” I suddenly had this urge to get up and hug Gabrielle.

When the bell rang I grabbed my stuff and headed towards the gymnasium where I would be attending my Combat and Training’s class. I was shocked to see Jordan and Morgan heading that way.

“Do you guys have Combat and Training this period, too?”

“Yeah,” Jordan said. “I think our group, your group, and the fire users have this class together.”

I was excited to know that the fire group would be with us. That meant I would see Alexander.

I looked at Morgan curiously. “What does Gabrielle have first period?”

“I think they have Demonology with the water and unique users.”

“I think they do all morning and most of the afternoon.” Jordan said as we made our way into the gymnasium. So did that mean I had most of my classes with the air and fire users? The gym was a lot cleaner than the one back at my school. The basketball court looked spotless and clean, while the hoops looked intact. The bleachers didn’t creak or feel like they might cave in as we all took a seat and waited for Mr. Howl to appear. I looked around me at all the students in my class. I wasn’t good in math, but if I was correct then there were approximately thirty-two people in Combat and Training. I could see Abigail and some other girls that were fire users, which were Sarah Digby, Madilyn Haze, and Lacey Michaelson. They sat huddled next to each other, talking and laughing the way girls usually do. The only girl and fire user that did not hang out with them was Scarlett Blackthorn and she kept throwing dagger looks in Abigail’s direction. Hm. I wonder what that’s about. My heart nearly stopped when I noticed Alexander on the top bleacher. He was alone as usual, staring straight ahead with his arms crossed tightly over his chest. He seemed uncomfortable as if he didn’t want to be here. Like yesterday, he seemed to sense my gaze and turned to look at me. He didn’t glare this time as he continued to stare back. Usually I didn’t like it when people stared at me. It always made me wonder what they were seeing, if they were judging me for my appearance. But with him I didn’t mind so much. I almost welcomed it.

I jumped when I heard a whistle and looked straight ahead.

Mr. Howl looked like he might be in his early thirties, with light brown skin and hair that was styled in dreads. I found that quite odd, but shrugged it off. He had gray, piercing eyes that seemed to miss nothing, with strict, handsome features. He seemed to frown at the class.

“Welcome,” he said in gruff-like-voice. “To Combat and Training. This is not PE nor is this Elemental Magic. This class is for testing your strengths, your vulnerabilities, and whether or not you can kick ass or not.” Some students, mostly fire users, cackled when Mr. Howl said the word “ass,” which made me think that they were very immature. “You will not use any elemental magic in this class. Do so and you are out of here for the rest of the class period and you will receive a zero. This is a physical class, made for fighting and testing your endurance. It’s very important and will probably help you become better fighters. Believe me – one day you’ll be glad you took this class.”

The rest of the class period we went through the dos and don’ts of the weight room where we would be spending most of our time in this class. I didn’t remember a word he said. I was happy that I had Jordan in here with me. As my N’Sync, this was a perfect class for us. We seemed very compatible with each other, but were we a good team when it came to fighting? When Mr. Howl dismissed us, I was relieved. Just sitting in there in that gym made me feel sweaty and gross. I fought the urge to run back to my room and take a shower.

Next was Elemental Magic and I was happy to know that I had this class with Jordan and Alexander as well. Jordan, Morgan, and I sat in the front of the class, watching as other ice, fire, and air users filled the room, and the bench-like-desks that the class seemed to provide us with. When Alexander walked into the room, he went straight to the back of the class. Some people seemed to cringe at his proximity, but pretended not to notice him as he took a seat.

“Who are you looking at?”

I jumped and met Jordan’s eyes. He was staring at me strangely. “Nobody…I was just looking around.” I lied.

He seemed to relax. “For a minute there I thought you were staring at Torchwood.”

I felt angry for some reason. “So what if I was?” I demanded. “Are you going to shun me for it – like you and everyone do him?”

“Whoa.” He said rather defensively. “Where did that come from?”

“I just don’t like the way everyone treats him. He’s not Azazel—“

“Don’t say his name.” Jordan hissed. “It’s bad luck. No, Alexander isn’t him, but you never know. Some say he’s in league with his father, that he’s a spy. Look you just can’t trust him.”

“Who can’t you trust?” Scarlett Blackthorn asked. She seemed to have appeared out of thin air as she took a seat next to Morgan. He eyed her in disbelief and horror.

“What the hell are you sitting with us for? Go away.” Morgan said, while making shooing motions with his hands. Scarlett seemed totally oblivious as she sat her things on the floor.

“So what were you guys talking about?” she asked curiously.

“None of your business.” Morgan growled.

“Ignore him,” I said to Scarlett, who looked like she was doing just that. “I was just talking about the unfairness of how everyone treats Alexander Torchwood.”

Scarlett’s lips tightened at the mention of his name. “Isn’t he a spy for his father?”

Despite Morgan’s irritation towards Scarlett, he and Jordan started chuckling.

I sighed in exasperation. “You’re all mean. I hope you know that.”

“Yeah,” Morgan said snidely. “And you’re a pain in the ass.”

I was about to say something even cruder until Mr. Hans entered the classroom, looking bright and cheerful. “Welcome to first year Elemental Magic’s class. I am you’re instructor Solomon Hans and I will teach you how to learn some of the five elements. Most of you will probably learn two or three of them by the time you graduate. Some of you will probably specialize in four, which is very rare.

“One thing everyone here should know about me is that I am gifted. I could do all of the elements by the time I turned twelve. I didn’t specialize in my unique until later on, which is common for all hunters.

“Now in this class you will not only play with your own magic, but will practice in others. Don’t worry, though. Even if you don’t specialize in the elements that we practice in here for the day, you will still get a good grade for participation. You will also learn how to sense hunters and their powers. For example, I sense some air, ice, and fire users. Something else as well…” he gasped then and looked straight at me, his eyes filled with wonder. “You there,” He said, pointing at me. “What’s your name?”

“S-Spencer Mason.” I stuttered.

Mr. Hans smiled gently at me. “Could you come forward and stand in front of the class. I want everyone to see you.”

I wanted to groan and disappear completely as I got up from my chair. I walked slowly towards the front of the class, looking at Mr. Hans before turning to stare at my classmates. Some looked at me with awe and amazement, while others, like Abigail and some of the other fire users, seemed bored in comparison. I even watched as Abigail pretended to yawn, making some of the fire users that were closest to her, laugh. She smiled maliciously at me.

I ignored her and looked directly at Alexander, who for once, didn’t stare off into space or glare at everything in sight. For once, he perked up looking suddenly interested in what was going on. I don’t know why, but I felt hot all of sudden.

“If I’m not wrong,” Mr. Hans said, pulling me from my thoughts. “You are gifted, are you not?”

“Y-yes, sir.” I said. Damn it. Why can’t my voice stop shaking?

“Amazing,” he said. “And how old were you when you started specializing?”

“Seven. I was eleven when I specialized in the last element, which was earth.”

Mr. Hans seemed to squeal with delight. “That’s incredible. And what’s even more amazing is that you are only half-Reaper. The fact that you are as strong as you are in all the elements is completely amazing!”

I could feel my face burning as he continued to compliment and embarrass me in front of my classmates. Why me? I thought to the heavens. Why must the attention always be directed at me? Why can’t it be somebody else for a change? Being gifted seemed more like a curse than anything else at this point, especially at this school.

When Mr. Hans told me I could go back to my seat, I almost died from relieve. When I was settled in my seat, I felt Jordan rub my back, trying to sooth and comfort me. All my anger and aggravation towards Jordan disappeared from that one simple touch. I smiled at him, which he returned.

“Now, back to unique abilities. They are…hard to specialize in, but special in every way. Mostly there mental and sometimes can even be physical. For example,” he said as he stood in front of Morgan.

Morgan eyed him wearily. “What are you—“But he didn’t get a chance to voice the question. Mr. Hans, with such quick and fast fingers, touched Morgan’s forehead. Instantly, Morgan’s face connected with the desk, making a loud bang, causing some of the students to wince and shout, “Ooooh!” Jordan shook his brother’s arm, but it was no use. Morgan was out cold. I smiled, hearing his soft snores. He was going to have one major headache when he woke up.

“What happened to my brother?” Jordan demanded.

Mr. Hans didn’t seem worried. “Oh, he’s fine, Mr. Grey. He’s just asleep. He’ll wake up sooner or later.” Jordan looked unconvinced, but left his brother alone for the remainder of class.

“Now are there any questions about this course?”

Abigail raised her hand. Mr. Hans nodded at her. “I was just wondering about Ms. Gifted over there.” She eyed me scornfully. I exchanged looks with Jordan, who just shrugged. Clearly he was just as confused about her hostility as I was. I looked back at her, bemused. She was still giving me dirty looks. What the hell was her problem?

“What about her?” Mr. Hans asked.

“Well, if she’s gifted,” she snarled the word. “Then why is she in this class? It seems to me like it’s pointless to have her in here. She can already do all five. To me, it’s almost like the school put her in here to rub it in our faces.” Some of the students murmured in agreement, while some others like Jordan, Scarlett, Alicia, Jennifer, and even Alexander eyed her in disbelief.

“Well, to answer your question, Ms. Westchester,” Mr. Hans said rather stiffly. He didn’t seem to like her attitude either. “Ms. Mason is in here because she still needs to learn how to control her powers.” He shrugged. “Maybe she can even help others around the class. I’m sure she knows some techniques that will help others specialize faster.”

I couldn’t help but smile.

“But that’s so unfair!” Abigail argued.

“What is it about this situation that’s unfair?” Said a voice from the back of the room. Everyone turned around simultaneously and looked at Alexander. I was stunned to hear him speak. Even his voice was beautiful. I heard him talk once, but that was only at the sorting ceremony and even then I could barely hear him, he was so quiet. Now his voice seemed to ring throughout the classroom. “Do you really feel that way or are you just jealous because Spencer’s getting all the attention and you’re not.” I felt a thrill go through me when he said my name. I didn’t even know he knew it. He always seemed lost in thought. I just assumed he probably missed everything, including learning who his classmates were.

Abigail scoffed at that. “Me, jealous of her! Please. I’m the mayor’s daughter. I don’t have time for such petty emotions, especially ones that concern her.” Yup. My suspicions were confirmed. Exactly like Katie.

“Yeah, you just keep telling yourself that.”

“Oh, why don’t you just disappear and join you’re father!” she seethed. Everyone gaped at her. Nobody could believe that she just went there. Alex turned away, looking back to the front of the classroom. I threw a glare in Abigail’s direction. What a complete troll.

Class continued uneventful after that. I glanced at Alexander every now and again as Mr. Hans went through the rules. He seemed lost in thought again. Probably repeating Abigail’s words over and over in his head.

When the bell rang, I watched Alexander as he left the classroom, his head bent down as if he didn’t want people to look at him. As if he was trying to blend in with the scenery, or trying to stay invisible. I’m going to have to find a way to tell him how grateful I am for him standing up for me. After all, he didn’t have too. I looked back at Jordan. He shook his brother roughly, trying again, to wake him up. At one point he slapped him upside the head.

“It’s not working, Mr. Hans.”

Scarlett and I snickered as Mr. Hans shook Morgan awake. He looked dazed and confused as he looked up at Mr. Hans. I noted that there was drool on the table. “What happened?” he asked drowsily.

“I used my unique ability on you and you were out cold for the rest of class.”

“Oh,” he mumbled. I bit my lip to keep from laughing. “Does that mean I get a bad grade for today’s class?”

“Naw,” Mr. Hans said. “But you do get points for letting me use you as an example, though.”

Morgan just grimaced.

I took a seat next to Jordan when we arrived to Magic and Spells. It was two people to a table and I saw, with not much surprise, as Alexander had a table to himself. Everyone else had a partner. Our teacher, Ms. Hardwick, was a sweet young woman. Her long, black hair came to about her waist, and the glasses that she had perched on the bridge of her nose made her light, brown eyes look bigger then they naturally were.

“You must be wondering why hunters, such as yourselves, are taking a class that which is Magic and Spells. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is reason.” I was completely awestruck by her. Her voice was very…magical, (no pun intended) compelling. I could listen to her all day. “Performing magic and reading spell books can sometimes be useful when hunting demons, when you need to summon a demon, or when you simply want to torture a demon. You could make a potion that could get a demon to spill all its secrets, or you could make a serum for them to drink that will burn they’re insides. There are so many things you can learn in this class. Believe me, as a full-fledged hunter someday, it’s important to get connected with the magic part within. Sure, we can control the elements. That’s almost as easy as breathing in our case, but sometimes our magic isn’t always enough. It can stall them for some time, but other times magic, the one’s in books, is what you will most likely need when capturing demons.

“Now, before we go any deeper in our discussion on magic, I want you all to listen as I call out your name.” She paused as she looked over the roster. “Jennifer Allen, I want you to sit with Jackie Lee.”

“What?” Jennifer squeaked. She cast a glance in Jackie’s direction. He didn’t look any happier about this new seating arrangement then Jennifer did.

“But Ms. Hardwick,” Alicia said, in a pleading voice. “She’s sitting with me. Why does Jennifer have to move?”

“Ah,” Ms. Hardwick said. “That’s exactly the case. Everyone here is sitting with someone they know. Well, why not sit with someone that you’re not familiar with? It will be good practice for all of you.” Everyone groaned, but didn’t argue. “Now, there are thirty-two people in this class. One table is going to have three instead of two people, just to make it where no one feels left out. The person I will partner you with will be the person you will be sitting with for the rest of the year. No exceptions.”

“But that’s not fair,” Morgan said, hotly. “What if the person you assign us to is the person we can’t stand.” He was looking right at Scarlett when he said that.

“Well, all I can say is suck it up and pretend to like each other because you’re staying with that person until the year is up. Jamie Black you will be sitting with…Bailey Williams.”

Bailey, another ice user, was sweet as can be and quiet as a mouse. You never heard a peep from her. I felt some sympathy for the poor girl. Partners with Jamie. Ugh. That was almost beyond cruel. I started wondering who I’ll be sitting with. I hoped that Ms. Hardwick wouldn’t sit me with Cameron or Abigail. Otherwise this is going to be a long year.

“Scarlett Blackthorn.” Scarlett seemed tense as she waited for Ms. Hardwick to tell her who her partner was. “You will be sitting with Morgan Grey.”

“You have got to be kidding me! Of all the rotten luck.” Morgan said, petulantly. I rolled my eyes at him. He was being so immature about all this. Scarlett wasn’t that bad.

When she got to Jordan’s name, I was happy to hear him partnered with Alicia. I waved as he walked down the aisle and towards Alicia’s table. He seemed to hesitate as he took a seat.

“Hi.” I heard him say. Huh. If I didn’t know any better I’d say he sounded nervous.

I smiled.

“Hi.” she said in return. I stifled a laugh as I saw Jordan’s face turn bright red. I wonder if he’s not used to talking to pretty girls. Has he never had a girlfriend? With Jordan’s looks, I’m sure he has.

“Spencer Mason.” I looked up at the sound of my name. “You will be with Alexander Torchwood.”

Everyone went silent at the sound of his name. Me, I was jubilant. Maybe I can finally get the nerve to talk and thank him for earlier. I was just about to grab my things and move to the back of the room where he sat, when his harsh voice made me stop in my tracks.

“I don’t need a partner. I can work fine on my own.”

Ms. Hardwick remained impassive as she looked at Alexander. He seemed angry, which had me confused. Did he not want to sit with me? Obviously not with the evil looks he keeps throwing in my direction. I repressed a sigh.

“I’m afraid you have no choice, Mr. Torchwood. Not unless you want a bad grade for the day.” What was amazing was that Ms. Hardwick didn’t even flinch when addressing him. She didn’t look scared like the others when speaking or talking about him. She looked calm, collected. I admired her.

Alexander looked like he might protest, but he just sighed loudly and moved his stuff to the floor, making room for me. I made my way to the back, sitting my backpack on the floor. I took my seat as I tried to fight the urge that involved turning my head to stare at him. I couldn’t fight it for long, though. Alexander was staring straight ahead, his arms crossed tightly over his chest, blue eyes glaring at everything in sight, even me, as he turned to meet my gaze. I felt my face burn as I watched him scrutinize my face. My heart felt like it my pop right out of my chest. I didn’t like him looking at me that way. I smiled sweetly at him, hoping maybe his face might soften. It didn’t work. When he turned away, I felt my smile disappear. Again, this is not going to be easy.

“Don’t think that just because you’re my partner means that I’m going to talk to you.” I frowned. But he was talking to me. “I don’t like you. I don’t like anyone. Stay out of my way and I’ll stay out of yours. Got it?”

He says he doesn’t like me, but why had he stood up for me in Elemental Magic, if that were the case? I voiced the question out loud. “Well, if you don’t like me, then why did you stand up for me earlier? Surely you wouldn’t have gone through all that trouble just to protect someone you don’t like.”

“Oh, I like you a lot more than that drama queen over there,” he cocked his head in Abigail’s direction. She was sitting with Cameron Johnson, laughing and flirting. I grimaced. Those two would be the perfect couple. They might even be soul mates. “But that still doesn’t change how I feel.”

“Why is that? I’ve never done anything to you. Why do you dislike me?”

“Because,” Alexander said, turning his handsome face back towards me. “You’re just like everyone else. Ms. Popularity. You don’t care about me, nor do you care if I even exist. No one cares about poor, pathetic Alexander Torchwood, son of Azazel, the madman who nearly destroyed half of Eden.”

I was shocked to hear him say his father’s name. Then again, after watching your mother being brutally murdered by your father, you’d be more angry then scared too.

“Um, “I said with almost uncontained anger. “I think you’re a bit wrong about me on all accounts. Yes, people pay attention to me because I am gifted, but that doesn’t exactly make me part of the ‘in crowd.’ Now I can understand you’re dislike for the rest of the student body and even the teachers – but me! I have been trying to stand up for you whenever you’re name is even mentioned. I tell my friends that you are nothing like Azazel. Don’t believe me – ask Jordan.

“And the whole ‘No one cares for Alexander’ bit sounds to me like you’re feeling sorry for yourself. To be honest, I don’t blame you, but if you weren’t such an asshole to people, maybe others might like you.”

He frowned, but didn’t reply as he turned his attention back to the front. Ms. Hardwick was going on about the importance of spell using. I barely heard her. I was so angry.

When the bell rang, I gathered my things and turned apprehensively towards Alexander. “By the way,” I said, a bit gruffly. “Thank you. You didn’t have to stand up for me this morning, but you did and for that I’m grateful. Even while I’m pissed that you would make such rude assumptions about me!” He didn’t say anything – Just continued to stare at me. “Good day.” I said through clench teeth before walking away. I did not look, nor did I talk to him for the rest of the school day.

I ate my lunch in silence as Jordan, Morgan, and Gabrielle talked about their morning classes. I was still upset about what went down in Magic and Spells. I felt a rush of anger as I relived our conversation.

You’re just like everyone else. Ms. Popularity. You don’t care about me, nor do you care if I even exist. No one cares about poor, pathetic Alexander Torchwood, son of Azazel, the madman who nearly destroyed half of Eden.

I felt my hands curl into fists. How dare he say that I didn’t care? I’ve all but went out of my way to be nice to him and this is how he treats me? Unbelievable!

I must have looked scary because my friends were eyeing me wearily.

“Um,” Jordan said. “Are you okay, Spencer?”

“Yeah, you look like you might be sick.” Morgan said.

“I’m fine.” I mumbled. No need for them to know how mad I am. I wasn’t really in the mood to share the events that happened in last period. Why did I ever want to be friends with Alexander in the first place? Jeesh. I’m such an idiot. It was obvious from his always angry expressions that he wanted nothing to do with anyone. My attraction towards him must have been why I was so oblivious to all the signs. I honestly believed that one simple smile would have turned him soft, that he might actually find me worth befriending. Well, he didn’t have to worry because I fully intend to stay out of his way.

“There you go again,” Morgan said, chewing his food rather loudly. It was disgusting. “That look that says you’re having an upset stomach.” I turned my angry gaze on him. He looked startled by my expression. I was a bit disappointed that he didn’t go running out of the room.

“What’s wrong, Spencer?” Gabrielle asked her gentle voice full of concern “You’ve been down since you guys got here. What’s up?”

“Is it because you’re stuck with Torchwood?” Morgan cooed.

“Butt out.” I snapped at him.

It was then that we were joined by two girls, none other than Scarlett Blackthorn and Mia Good. Morgan was angry. “You just have to come over here and sit with us. What? Destroying my mornings wasn’t good enough for you. You have to destroy my lunch break too?”

Scarlett scoffed. “Lighten up, Grey. God, you can be such a drama queen sometimes.” I couldn’t help but crack a smile at that. She wasn’t too far off.

“That is true.” Gabrielle agreed. She seemed amused as she turned to grin at him.

“I forbid you to talk to her.” Morgan said, through gritted teeth.

“Oh my lord,” she said, clearly exasperated. “Stop being all high and mighty. I can talk to whoever the hell I want too. You’re my N’Sync not my father. And besides,” she added quickly. “Scarlett has never done a thing to you. I don’t know why you hold so much resentment towards her.”

“Maybe because she’s annoying.” he murmured.

Everyone heard him.

I’m annoying,” Scarlett laughed. “Right back at you, Grey.”

Morgan didn’t reply. He just continued to eat in angry silence.

“So what are you guys doing over here?” I finally asked, trying desperately to get my mind off of him.

“We thought we come and hang out with you guys. Mia just couldn’t stop talking about Gabrielle’s wonderful company from this morning.”

“We had so much fun,” Mia said, her voice high and bubbly. “We even swooned over the hotness that was, Mr. Grey.”

“My uncle!” Morgan looked outraged. Gabrielle met Morgan’s angry gaze with a sheepish expression. “When did you start getting the hot’s for uncle Ash?”

”I don’t have the ‘hot’s’ for him. I just thought he looked…cuter than…usual.”

“Uh-huh.” Morgan said, unconvinced. “You like him. Don’t deny it. I can see it in your mind and on your face.”

Gabrielle frowned. “You know I hate it when you do that. You’re not even supposed to be in my head. Not unless I’m in danger.”

“Oh, you’re in danger alright.” Jordan said, smiling.

“Yeah, in danger of falling in love!” I added teasingly. Jordan and I laughed. Scarlett and Mia joined in while Gabrielle and Morgan just glared.

“That’s not funny.” Morgan said, perturbed.

“Oh, it is.” Jordan said, eyeing his brother playfully. “You just don’t have any sense of humor.”

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