"I still don't understand why we had to move away from the pack, and why I have to go to a new school." I mumbled between bites of my breakfast.
"I've already told you Nova." Mom sighed.
I gave her a blank stare.
"We need eyes and ears on the inside, and you know how dangerous the Lasher pack is. We need to keep tabs on them." She explained for the hundredth time.
I rolled my eyes, "How am I suppose to keep tabs on them if I don't even know what they look like?"
Every pack has something that all the members wear, whether it's a tattoo, some form of jewelry, or something else. And mom has refused to tell me what the Lasher pack's thing is.
The Blood Fang pack, which we belong to, have a small red tattoo of a single drop of blood. Everyone gets their tattoo at sixteen, and last year I got mine behind my right ear.
"You'll know when you see them." Mom replied, finishing off her morning coffee.
I sighed in annoyance and shoved another spoon of cereal into my mouth to stop me from asking any more questions. I knew mom wasn't going to give me any real answers, so why bother?
Mom suddenly got up from her spot at the kitchen table and grabbed her car keys, "If we don't leave now you'll be late for school."
"Great." I muttered to myself as I gave my half eaten bowl of cereal one last longing glance before following her out to the car.
I glared at everything we drove past as we made our way to my new school. Why does it have to be so pretty here? I'm going to have a difficult time hating this place if it always looks this nice.
A tall tree stood proudly in the front lawn of every house, creating a leafy canopy to drive under, and every now and then the clear blue sky would peek through gaps in the trees. This place looks like it's straight out of a magazine.
And just when I didn't think I could get more impressed by this town, the high school came into view.
My jaw dropped at the sleek, modern building that was all glass and steel. What happened to high schools being depressing brick buildings with ivy crawling up the sides?
We don't have any buildings as magnificent as this back home, which is surprising because it's just the next town over, no more than a thirty minute drive away.
I didn't expect a town as small as this to be so luxurious. Although it's called Emerald Lake, which sounds prestigious, so I really shouldn't be surprised. My town's called North Lake, which sounds as plain as it is.
"Are you just going to sit there and stare?" Mom asked, pulling me out of my thoughts. I was so in awe of the school that I didn't notice we were parked out front now.
I subtly shook my head to clear my mind and focus on the real reason I'm here. To spy on our rival pack.
I scanned the parking lot to see if I could pick out anyone in the Lasher pack, but failed miserably. Why did mom insist that I would just "know" who they were when I saw them? Why is she setting me up to let our pack down?
"See you after school." I mumbled, grumpily pushing the car door open and stepping out into the worst first day of school I'll ever have.
"I'll be right here when the last bell rings." Mom called after me as I made my way to the front doors.
I looked over my shoulder to acknowledge that I heard her, and then went back to glaring at the school. The one good thing about today is that mom got my schedule last week, so I already knew my locker number and the general area my classes were in. There won't be as much attention on me since I won't be looking down at a piece of paper so I can navigate the school. Maybe people won't notice I'm new.
I quickly entered the school and found my locker easily enough. Even though I didn't need to put anything in there yet, it comforted me to know where it was so I didn't have to scramble to find it in between classes.
Once I'd memorized exactly where my locker was, I headed off to first period - English. Great way to start off the day.
I was the first one in class which made me uncomfortable, the next few people to come in are going to notice me, and realize that they haven't seen me before. Starting at a new school in the middle of the year sucks. Royally.
I slouched down in my seat as people started to fill up the room, mentally giving myself a pat on the shoulder for picking a spot at the very back of the room, right beside a window. Now if I get bored I can just look outside at this stupidly beautiful town.
The bell rang about ten minutes after I got into class, and the teacher began the lesson without so much as a word to me. I was expecting the standard "Class, we have a new student" speech, but maybe they don't do that here. I hope my luck is that good, but I doubt it.
As the teacher droned on about essay format, I looked out the window and focused on the forest just beyond the football field. My wolf ached to run between the trees, and it took everything in me to stay seated. It's been a couple weeks since we've been for a run, I've been so busy moving, and my wolf is getting antsy.
Suddenly my attention was drawn to the door, where the most wonderful, musky pine smell was coming from. I could also pick up traces of wolf.
A moment later the owner of the scent entered the room and my heart stopped.
Mate! My wolf barked, howling happily in my head.
"Aj Harris, nice of you to show up." The teacher announced, giving the guy a stern look.
Aj gave the teacher an apologetic smile, "Sorry sir, I was helping my mom with something."
I couldn't tear my eyes away from the beautiful boy standing awkwardly at the front of the class. Everything about him was perfect, from his cute, sandy blonde hair, to his hypnotic blue eyes, and finally his well build, tall stature.
Thank you Moon Goddess for blessing me with the worlds hottest mate.
"Seeing as you're being so generous today, you wouldn't mind showing our new student Nova Foster around then, right?" The teacher replied, gesturing in my direction.
Aj's eyes found me and I noticed them widen in shock like I'm sure mine had, as the realization of finding his mate dawned on him.
"Yes sir." He mumbled distractedly, taking a seat in the first open desk he came across, still holding my stare. He only broke eye contact when the teacher resumed the lesson and he had to face forward.
For the rest of class all I could think about was my new reality. Everything is different now, and all because some guy walked into the room.
I jumped when someone touched my arm and electric currents raced through my body.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you. Class is over." Aj, the new root to all of my problems, said, giving me a cute apologetic smile.
"Oh." Was my lame response as I quickly gathered my stuff and got up to leave.
"What do you have next period?" He asked once we got into the crowded hallway.
I furrowed my eyebrows as I thought about the answer. I memorized my timetable but my brain felt foggy with him around.
When I couldn't come up with an answer I dove into my backpack to retrieve the piece of paper with all my school information on it.
"Spare." I finally answered.
Aj nodded in approval as he looked over my shoulder at the piece of paper, causing his hair to flop onto his forehead, "I have a spare too."
I smiled at the chance to spend more time with my mate.
I can't believe I finally found him. The one person who's destined to love me no matter what. The one I'll spend the rest of my life with.
"Since we don't have class, do you want the grand tour of the school now?" He asked, never taking his eyes off me.
By the size of this place, I'm not sure one spare period would be enough time to show me everything, but I nodded anyway.
We silently walked down the hallway as students scurried off to class, and although it wasn't awkward, I wanted so desperately to fill the space between us with endless questions. I wanted to know everything about him, but I didn't want to annoy him.
"So what brings you to Emerald Lake? I haven't seen you at the pack house." Aj asked, gazing down at me in a way I'd never been looked at before. I had his full, undivided attention and it was obvious that he was actually interested in my answer.
Not many people actually want to know anything about me, they think they know me already because they know my family.
"My mom and I are part of a small pack in Vancouver and we came here to make allies." I recited the lie my mom and I came up with in case I was asked the exact question Aj asked.
"You can count my pack as an ally." He responded without hesitation. He doesn't even know me or anything about my pack, and he's going to blindly agree to be allies with us? He's so trusting.
I smiled up at him as we arrived at what must be the cafeteria.
"This is the cafeteria." Aj confirmed my assumption.
I glanced around and rolled my eyes at how nice it was. Every lunch table had padded benches to sit on, there was a little convenience store in the room, and the usual place where people can buy their lunch. No doubt the food will be fancy and expensive.
"A convenience store." I deadpanned.
This school is so over the top.
"The school board thought that students wouldn't leave school grounds durning lunch as much if we had one." Aj explained, shrugging like it was no big deal.
After that we continued down some more hallways, passing rooms not important enough for Aj to tell me about.
"Does Aj stand for something?" I asked, making conversation. Usually the J in a name like that is for junior.
"Yeah, Asher Junior." He replied, his eyes clouding with sadness for a second before he blinked it away and returned to normal.
"Is that your fathers name?" I questioned, and silently wondered if it was a family tradition of his to pass on that name.
When I looked back at Aj his eyes were clouded with sadness again. "Yeah, I was named after him because he died before I was born."
My heart ached for him. It must be so hard growing up without ever knowing your dad.
I placed my hand on his arm comfortingly and tried to ignore the sparks that shot through my whole body at the simple physical contact with my mate. "I'm so sorry, that must be so hard for you and your mom."
He shrugged, "My mother died right after giving birth to me, so her best friend raised me. I grew up with her and her mate as my mom and dad so I never really missed out on parents. They love me just like my birth parents would've."
I felt even worse for bringing up his parents, after he was done speaking.
"What about your dad, you didn't mention him moving here with you and your mom." Aj pointed out, changing the subject.
My mood dropped slightly at the reminder that my dad wasn't here with us.
"He's back with the pack." I told him.
Aj nodded in understanding. Males are very important in a pack seeing as they're usually stronger and better fighters. If the pack was ever under attack, they need all the men they can get.
Not to mention the fact that my dad is the alpha. He can't just leave.
"Do you have any siblings?" Aj asked to break the silence that fell over us. I forgot for a second that he was even there as I thought about my dad.
I shook my head, "No, do you?"
His eyes brightened as he answered, "I have a younger sister named Lizzy. Mom named her after my birth mother Liza."
I smiled at how happy he looked talking about his family. He obviously adores them.
"So." I began, but hesitated. I was curious about something, although the question might upset him.
"Yeah?" He asked, rising his brows in anticipation for what I was going to say.
"What happened to your birth dad?"
I braced myself for the sadness to invade his eyes again but instead they darkened in anger. He's mad at me for asking, isn't he? I knew I shouldn't have asked.
"He was murdered." Aj muttered between clenched teeth.
"By the Blood Fang pack. Our biggest enemies."
My blood ran cold.