“It wasn’t very nice of you to hang up on me last week.” Mathew told me when he arrived in class, shifting his chair closer to mine. I didn’t move my eyes from the projected image by the board, continuing to take down notes before the professor decided to move on.
“I didn’t hang up on you. Xerxes did.”
There was a click of a pen and the rustling noises of papers beside me. “He is a bit too protective, don’t you think?”
I rolled my shoulders, distracted. “I don't know.” I murmured.
There was a scoff. “You can't deny it. His actions that evening a couple weeks ago spoke volumes.”
I didn’t respond. Agitation grew when he continued to talk, uncaring that I was trying to jot down notes. Finally I dropped my pen noisily, leveling him with a harsh glare.
“Mathew I’m busy. I’d rather you not talk right now; I have a lot of things to catch up on.”
He jerked back, surprise evident on his face. But then a smug smirk appeared. “I was wondering when you were going to stop me. I shall leave you be...for now.”
I sighed in exasperation, taking back up my pen and hurriedly writing again. He didn’t speak for the rest of the class, thankfully. But once it was over, he followed me outside into a spacious area with benches. Trying to ignore him proved to be impossible as he constantly breathed down my neck when I sat to read through a textbook.
“My mother told me she saw you the other day.” He stuffed a chicken curry roti into his mouth after speaking, his blue eyes gleaming almost wickedly as he watched me. I cleared my throat, turning back to the textbook.
“Okay.” I said, knowing that my simple response would baffle him. It seemed that when he had stated the sentence, he had wanted some outrageous form of a reaction from me. The stiffness in my shoulders dissolved when he stood and I looked up as he crossed over to the parking lot, over to his friends who had now arrived.
My stomach grumbled as I inhaled the still remaining scent of the spices and curry from Mathew’s roti, remembering that I hadn’t eaten breakfast in the morning. I finally put away my books and stood, walking off campus and to one of the food vans outside.
Luckily, the usual swarm of students eager to get some lunch weren’t around and I was able to order what I wanted with no delay. Arms folded, I watched as the steam rose in the atmosphere, taking a step back at the heat. And once again, my mind drifted back to the flames which had destroyed my home.
I turned away from the van at the sound of a car screeching noisily out of the college gates, ignoring the waving security guard who had wanted him to slow down. I shook my head at the sight of Mathew driving the car speedily, ignoring persons who had began to walk across the crosswalk.
“Young lady.” Garrett, the young cook called out. I faced him, handing over a crumpled bill and taking the wrapped up burger and package of hot chips.
“Thanks.” I said, beginning to walk away. I jerked to a stop by a light pole, eyes narrowing at the flyer attached to the wood. Reading it hastily, I took in the picture of a familiar eerie ring and the words of change being brought to the town.
The flyer basically encouraged people to join their club and a number rested at the bottom. On further inspection, I realized that it was one of the many flyers which I had seen last week, being handed out by Mathew’s mother and her friends.
I yanked it off, deciding that I would show Xerxes the paper and have his take on it. These people were up to no good.
I noticed Flynn’s car was parked in the driveway after Brad dropped me back to Xerxes’ home. My steps quickened as I went through the door, up the stairs that would lead to Xerxes’ office. Immediately I picked up on both baritones of the werewolves as I headed to the door, not bothering to knock.
Heads jolted upwards at me barging inside and I skidded to a stop as I saw unfamiliar faces.
“Rebecca,” Xerxes stood, the look of confusion and a dash of amusement being heard in his tone. He cleared his throat and walked to me, placing a hand on my back and drawing me forward.
“Rebecca, meet Easton. He is from Atlanta and will be staying in town for a couple days. He’ll be assisting us with some investigations."
I shook the warm hand offered, looking up into serious brown eyes which swept across my face scrutinizingly.
“And this is Kesley. She also will be helping us.” Xerxes nodded his head to the female, who gave a small smile. She immediately went back to the work laid out on the desk, her pen moving rapidly against the paper.
“I need to show you this,” I whispered quietly to Xerxes and then remembered it made no sense for me to do so, the other werewolves could hear me easily. I hurried unzipped my bag, taking out the flyer. Flynn spoke before Xerxes could say anything, lifting a flyer exactly like the one I had. He shook it out,
“We already saw one,” Flynn told me as I rounded the table, lifting the flyer identical to mine. Xerxes followed close behind me, the warmth which he exuded tickling the skin of my back. He took the paper from me, folding and tucking it away into the pocket of his coat. Easton coughed and indicated to the paperwork. There was a short spell of silence as all eyes fell on me.
“How about you take a short rest, Becca?” Xerxes suddenly asked, silver eyes dipping to my legs and then back to my face. I frowned at his words and the actions of what had just happened; they clearly did not want me to be present when they got back to discussion whatever it was that they had been before I barged inside.
Smirking quietly to myself, I sat heavily on Xerxes’ office chair, feeling the smooth leather press into my back as I slumped comfortably. Xerxes and I locked eyes and I could tell he was conflicted on whether he was going to tell me to leave or to remain where I sat.
Eventually, he made his decision and gestured to Kesley. She nodded.
“Okay, so I think it’s best that we dial the number on this flyer,” She waved the one Flynn had. “And see what the person on the other end has to say. It has to be either Easton or I that call. Otherwise, if you were to do so, there is the strong possibility of the individual recognizing your voice.”
“Understandable.” Xerxes rumbled. He slid a phone to her, which she took. The room was silent as she dialed the number, pressing a button so it was on speaker.
It rang five times and then went quiet, so Kesley decided to call once more. There was a loud click after the first ring, a soft hum and then an automatic voice,
Are you tired of werewolves roaming the streets of our town? Are you angry about the beasts living amongst us? If you are, then the Insurgency Club welcomes you to meet at 65 Kingston Hill tomorrow at 5:30 in the evening. You will find many like-minded people who also are frustrated about these werewolves. Discussions about the town and The Alpha will take place and you are welcomed to voice your opinion. Get there early!
The phone clicked as the message came to end. Kesley turned it off, nodding slowly.
“You were right.” She told Flynn. He looked over to a silent Xerxes, who remained standing by the chair I sat in. Arms were folded behind his back, eyes swirling with a dark emotion.
“We shall go there tomorrow,” Xerxes said, his voice almost a snarl. “I would like to hear what they have to say.”
When I spoke, the room became silent and a feeling of discomfort crept up as gazes shifted to me. Flynn shook his head and Easton clicked his pen, eyebrows raising.
A warm hand rested on my shoulder. “Could I have a word with you outside, Becca?”
The door shut closed behind us and I flinched at the heat from his fingers as they took mine, drawing me further away from the door.
“You will not be coming with us.” Xerxes told me, the stiff edge in his voice making it clear that he would stay firm about his words. “You are in no position to defend yourself if things were to get dangerous.”
I shrugged a shoulder. “My mother has a gun. Pretty sure that could come in handy if it needs to be used.”
His eyes narrowed. “There will be no need for you to use a gun because you aren't coming. I won’t take the risk of bringing you there and you possibly getting hurt.”
His fingers brushed away my hair from my face as I readied myself to protest. Warm lips pressed against my forehead, momentarily startling me. He lingered there for several heartbeats and finally withdrew.
“Please, Becca. Let’s not argue about this.” He rasped, his hand cupping my cheek. Those electric eyes were beginning to become hooded, something like lust forming in their depths before he finally blinked rapidly and turned reluctantly.
I watched with a clenched jaw when he walked back to his office and frowned. I would be going to that meeting; his disapproval won’t deter me.
My mother refused to give me her weapon. I sighed noisily, watching as she scrubbed down the countertop in her kitchen.
“I’ll just have it for a day ma. I’ll bring it back for you tomorrow.” I begged, my pleas falling on deaf ears as she once again shook her head.
“You aren’t getting it. That plan of yours isn’t great either. You and I both know that Xerxes will not be happy about it.” She paused at my silence. “Or do you not care about how he feels?”
She looked heavenward at my grumbling. “Whatever. You still aren’t taking my gun.”
I left the house minutes later in a sour mood. Confused, I watched as Brad, who had driven me to the house, pull away abruptly, driving quickly down the road. I stood on the bottom of the pathway, blinking as the vehicle went out of sight.
An engine sounded and I slowly turned to see Xerxes’ car driving up to me, halting by the sidewalk. He rolled down the window as I approached and said, “There’s been a change of plans.”