Mom came into my room shortly after, letting me know everything with the school was in order. I would be officially starting school tomorrow, the thought frightening yet exciting.
I laid in bed that night, picking my phone up to send Kris a text. I ran my fingers over the keyboard, struggling to figure out what to say. Alyssa and I never really texted. We hung out constantly, but rarely ever communicated over the phone.
‘I’m all set for school tomorrow. What time does it start?’
‘Cool! Starts at 7, be at my house at 6:45’
I had meant to send a response, but my eyes were fluttering warily. I fell asleep on top of the covers, my phone resting on my chest. The next morning, Mom peeked her head in the door waking me up in the process.
“What time is it?” I grumbled, squinting down at my phone.
“5:30.” Mom responded, “Bet you’re regretting not taking me up on my earlier offer. You could’ve been home for another week.”
“Definitely regretting it.” I rolled my eyes, pulling myself from bed.
I hopped in the shower quickly, thankful my shoulder length hair would dry on it’s own. I picked up some of the makeup I hadn’t used in years. Alyssa once tried to show me how to use it, and I failed miserably. I wasn’t terrible at eyeliner, so I applied some lightly to my round eyes. The eyeliner made my unique eyes stand out against my light skin. They were brown in color, but had vibrant gold swirling throughout them. I had never seen another pair of eyes similar to my own.
I slipped on something comfortable and headed downstairs. A box of pop tarts sat on the table and I couldn’t help but chuckle. Not everything could change after all.
I was knocking on Kris’s door at 6:43, my stomach rolling nervously. Just a few seconds later Beta Ned opened the door. His eyes lit up when he saw me, a grin forming on his face.
“I’m guessin’ you’re not here for me.” Beta Ned chuckled, “Tell your Mom I’ll be over around 5 tomorrow.”
“Will do.” I nodded, having no clue what he was talking about. Discomfort swirled in my stomach at the thought of Beta Ned coming over. Why was he hanging out with my Mom? Was it bad of me not to want them to get too close?
“You actually showed.” Kris chuckled, slinging his book bag over his shoulder. “I thought I scared you off yesterday. I was just in a bad mood.”
“It happens to the best of us.” I chuckled, “As scary as you are, I really do need a ride.”
Kris chuckled, making something flutter in my stomach. It sounded silly, but the prospect of making friends excited me. It was something I never had before. I didn’t want to be the outcast in this pack. I didn’t need to stand out either, I simply just wanted to fit in.
“Because you called me scary, I’m making you sit in the back.” Kris snickered, and I followed him out the front door. “We’re picking up a few of my friends. They don’t bite--well, Nicki does but you might enjoy that.”
My stomach lurched and my eyes widened. I hoped his friends were nice. Lila shook her head at my cowardice, sending me a little strength. I sat in the back seat, silent as Kris pulled up to one of the nicer looking houses.
An identical looking guy and girl hopped into the car. The guy sat up front, while the girl slid in next to me. Her eyes widened as she looked at me, then flickered over to Kris.
“Uh, Kris?” The girl asked warily, humor glinting in her eyes. “You know you got a girl back here, right?”
“Yes, Nicki.” Kris rolled his eyes, “The girl is named Raelynn. She just moved here.”
“Raelynn.” Nicki paused, pursing her full lips. “I like it.”
“Nicki has a thing for names.” The guy in the passenger seat scoffed at Nicki.
From the five minute drive, I could see what Kris meant about Nicki. She was a handful, a whirl wind of sass and energy. She was also one of the most stunning she-wolves I had ever seen. Her chocolate hair fell down her back in long waves, her eyes bright and inviting.
The other guy sitting in the front seat was Nicki’s twin brother, Dustin. He was much calmer than his twin, and seemed to be filled to the brim with sarcasm. They were both identical in their extreme good looks and impeccable wardrobe.
We stopped by yet another house, still much nicer than my own. A girl with cappuccino skin strolled from the house, locking the front door behind her. Her hair was long and silky, curling down her back in tight ringlets.
The girl slid in the back beside Nicki and I, squishing me in the middle. She too gave me a wary glance as she noticed I was in the car.
“Raelynn.” I grinned, feeling my nerves spike.
“Tyra.” The girl’s full lips turned up in a smile.
Then the strangest thing happened, everyone in the car started talking. I was brought into the conversation multiple times, kept included the entire time. It was effortless for these four friends to bring me into their group. I was beginning to think I wasn’t an outcast at all, my old town had it wrong.
“There’s one more of us.” Dustin chuckled, “The most pleasant of us all.”
“Liam isn’t that bad.” Tyra rolled her eyes, “You just get on his nerves.”
“He still loves me though.” Dustin shrugged, his eyes on the rear view mirror.
“Does he even have a choice?” Tyra rolled her eyes at Dustin.
“Not at all.” Dustin shook his head, a smirk playing on his lips.
We pulled into the school parking lot, right next to a cherry red car. The car sleek and smooth, clearly being taken well care of.
I stood around aimlessly as we all got out of the car. My eyes were watching the slow trickle of students flood into the building. This school was much larger than what I was used to. I was thankful to already have four people to ask directions.
“Get out!” Dustin muttered, knocking on the red car’s window.
Dustin jumped back as the car door opened and a guy stepped out. His hair was a nice sandy blonde, his eyes a bright shade of blue. Something sharp ran through my chest as I thought about who he looked like.
“It’s 7am, Dustin.” The guy rolled his eyes, “Do you wake up like this or does it take time to build?”
“Nope.” Dustin shook his head, “It’s called waking up in a good mood. Y’know, excited to start the day and all.”
The guy rolled his eyes and turned to walk through the parking lot. His eyes focused in on me, as I was standing in his line of sight.
“You’re the newcomer my Dad told me about.” The guy nodded, walking up to me.
“That’s me.” I chuckled breathlessly. His gaze was intense, making my hairs stand on end.
“I’m Liam, my Dad’s the Alpha.” Liam nodded, a smile forming on his face.
“Raelynn.” I nodded, returning his smile.
“What brings you to our town?” Liam grinned down at me, gesturing for me to follow him.
“Just needed a change of scenery.” I forced my words to remain calm, my thoughts flickering back to Atlas.
If Liam could see the change in my eyes, he didn’t comment. He shifted the conversation to my Mom, asking what she did for a living.
Turns out Liam is the eldest of four boys. His Mom and Dad still rule the pack, but let Liam take charge occasionally. Liam’s Dad makes each of the boys go through their grueling training process. Liam says the training program has produced some of the best werewolf warriors in the world.
This school had five long classes stretched out into an entire day. My first two classes had Kris and Nicki, while my last three had Liam, Dustin and Tyra.
When lunch period rolled around, I scanned the room anxiously. Lunch was always the period I hated the most. The tormenting wouldn’t be as bad in a classroom, but there were never any teachers in the lunchroom.
Liam caught me looking around wildly and called me over to his table. For just a split second, I thought he was talking to someone else.
The five of them sat with a couple other students, adding to the list of names I would have to learn. Each one of them were accepting of me, bringing me into the group as though I had been here all along.