I felt every eye on us as we made our way through the halls of the school. Men looked on in shock and disdain, while the girl’s stared on with slack jaws and pink cheeks.
“Who the hell is that?” One guy jeered as we walked passed him and his small group of friends.
“He is cute." A girl muttered a little too loudly, giving me the urge to roll my eyes.
“I thought she was with Masato?” A familiar male voice, one of Eric’s friends, questioned.
“Um, why are they all staring at me?” Zach leaned down a little and whispered into my ear.
“Because you’re the hot new guy, that’s why.”
Despite the fact he’d shaved and cut his hair a little, he still, as Mahala had put it, looked as hot as lava.
“Remind me to hit Emmett for making me do this.”
“It’s only for three months; you’ll be fine. This way.” I flicked my head as I caught sight of Eric looking over as if he’d seen a ghost.
“I thought our lockers were-”
“Yes, but first, you’re going to apologize to Eric.” As we got closer to Eric, his eye went wide as he turned away. “Eric wait, don’t run, please. This dickhead owes you an apology.”
“Or he wants to kick my ass into next year.” Eric scoffed as he folded his arms across his broad chest.
“No, seriously, I am sorry. That was a real dick move on my part. I just saw you scare my sister and-”
“Sister? Wait, since when do you have a brother?” Eric’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion at me.
“In the fire, we got separated.” I began to explain with the best story Emmett’s mind could muster up, “They took me straight away while Zach was still in there. I got sent one place, and he got sent another. They never told me he’d survived, and they never told him I had. We don’t know why.”
“I saw you scare her Thursday, so I figured you knew her. I was here by chance, so I wanted to check it was her, it’s been ten years. Then you called her a silver-haired bitch! Can you blame a guy for protecting his sister?”
Eric stood there bemused as he glanced between Zach and I. “No, I guess not. Look, Hallie, I’m sorry for being a jerk to you.”
I shrugged, “Eh, I grew accustomed to our little banter. However, next time you want to call me a bitch, say it to my face. At least then, I can tell you to go fuck a donkey.”
Eric paused for a moment before he relaxed and let out a small chuckle, “Or a Cactus, right?”
“Exactly. Now can we go back to how it was? You annoying the hell out of me. Masato wanting to slap you and Mahala sighing in exasperation as she wonders how she’s related to you?”
“Sure thing, Silver. And hey, Zach?”
“Welcome to the hell that is high school. If you don’t fancy hanging out with the girls, you’re welcome to join us.”
“Thanks.” Zach smiled, “Come on, the last thing I need is to be late to class on my first day.”
“See ya, Eric.”
“So, how was high school?” Alicia asked as Zach, and I stepped in the door after what was a long day full of stares and a million questions.
“All I’ll say is you’re evil for making Hale go through that every time you move.” Zach chuckled, flinging his bag by the door.
“Usually she can go right to college because we’ve stuck to countries where you leave a sixteen. Sadly, America is different, so we had no choice.”
“College isn’t as bad, and you get to pick your subjects, which is pretty neat. I’ve done English lit, History because well, come on; I’ve lived some of it. Then there was computing, graphics design, and I can even paint your nails and give you a manicure to make you all pretty.”
“Um, I’ll pass on the whole manicure thing, thanks, Hale.” Zach shook his head as his brow raised.
“Aw, I think you’d be the prettiest boy in town with a manicure.” Alicia patronized as she pinched Zach’s cheek.
“Go on, Zach, she does a good job.” Masato appeared from the living room, a smirk creeping on his lips.
Zach sighed as he shook his head, “Yeah, I can see my sisters been in good hands. You’re all crazy.”
“Better than being boring.” Alicia shrugged, “Now, tonights a hunting night, but we’re going to have to go elsewhere. A new wolf pack moved in near our usual spot.”
I furrowed my eyebrows in concern, “That’s the second one that’s moved in since we got here.”
“Yeah, we need to be careful and stay close. There’s a Vampire clan nearby too. Thankfully Emmett took a look before work; they’re nothing to do with our old group.”
“Why the hell are a whole bunch of supernaturals suddenly moving in?” Masato sounded bothered as his lips twisted in interest.
“Emmett thinks it’s because here there’s us two and you three. Supernatural creatures tend to gravitate when there are larger groups. They’re all too far out to cause worry for the people here, but hunting wise we’ll have to be quick and careful.”
“Maybe we should start coming with you.”
“No, Zach.” Alicia shook her head firmly, “You’d think safety in numbers, but it puts us at more risk. The more of us there are, the more likely they are to pick up on our scent. It also means the less room we have to move around in the safe zones. Plus, we can get into the forest without being seen because of the speed; you can’t.”
“It’s why I don’t go.” Masato added, “Going to look a bit odd, two guys walking into the woods, late at night, every few days.”
Zach sighed as his usual tall stance blighted, “Yeah, I guess. Sorry, overprotective habit. Need to remember Hallie here isn’t that little girl I once knew.”
“It’s okay. I like you’re still so protective over me.” I smiled up at him and pressed a kiss to his cheek.
Maybe most sisters would have found themselves annoyed, but it was one thing I’d missed about Zach. He always looked out for me, and it made me feel safe, knowing he was right there to protect me and stand by me.
“Right, well, you two, please go do your homework. Masato, could you give me a hand with dinner? Emmett won’t be home until a little later.”
“Sure.” Masato nodded.
“Urgh whoever invented homework, I’d like to sit there and give them a migraine.” Zach chuckled. “Come on, Hale, you can attempt to explain this shit to me.”