INKITT READERS WHO ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH MY WORK:
-I do not write dramatic, emotional rollercoasters with twists, drama and death. There might not be enough drama for you, so just leave when you want to.
-I write about sex. A lot. Do not complain there is too much sex, just leave.
-There is never any mention of contraception and STIs.
-I make grammatical errors, I’m human. I would really appreciate you pointing them out so I can correct them!
‘Bri, it’s your sixteenth birthday next weekend. Please tell me why you are sat in the library revising, instead of planning your party!’ My best friend, Sage, whines at me.
I roll my eyes, but keep them focussed on my Maths textbook.
‘In case you’ve forgotten, Sage, we have our exams in less than two months. This is important, I’m revising.’
Sage scoffs and I finally look up at her. She’s leaning back in the chair, pushing it onto two legs. The thing teachers specifically ask us not to do. Her auburn hair is tied up in a messy bun and her green eyes are glowing with mischief.
‘I don’t know anyone who comes into school early to revise,’ she says, her voice teasing.
‘Yes, you do. You know me.’
She laughs at my response and, before I can stop her, she whips the textbook out from in front of me.
‘Hey!’ I protest. ‘Give that back!’
‘Nope. It’s form time, come on.’
The bell rings, signalling the start of the school day.
Sage and I are complete opposites in many ways. I’m practical, she’s reckless, I’m nervous, she’s adventurous, she has experience with boys, I have none.
I’m the Beta’s daughter, I’m expected to set a good example. My parents have raised me well and I know how to behave. At school, I try hard and I’m excelling in my classes. At home, I help out with my siblings.
Because I don’t get involved with drama or boys, I’m friends with almost everyone at school. But I only have two friends that I’m close to.
I’m the oldest at fifteen, I have four siblings. The twins, who are two, my younger sister, who is four and my younger brother, who is six. My parents have their hands full, so I help out whenever I can.
Sage and I go to our lockers, to collect our books for our first two lessons. I place them in my bag, zip it up and swing it over my shoulder.
We are in the same form, so we walk down the corridor together. It’s bustling with students, there’s over a thousand of us in this school.
The crowd parts slightly and soon, I see why.
Rhett Tiercel and his friends are striding right through the middle of the hallway. People part for them, because you really don’t want to get in their way.
Another two girls, Sage and I, all realise too late. The four of us are rudely bumped out of the way by the three males storming through, without a second thought.
The two girls opposite Sage and I, are shoved unceremoniously into the lockers. I stumble backwards into Sage, who manages to catch me. She wraps her arms around me from behind, supporting me with her body.
Then, the strangest thing happens.
Rhett Tiercel looks back over his shoulder. His brown eyes lock with mine.
He looks me up and down. ‘Sorry,’ he mutters.
He turns back around and the moment is broken. He disappears down the corridor with his gang.
’Did Rhett Tiercel just apologise?′ Sage asks, sounding as shocked as I feel.
I right myself and hitch my bag higher on my shoulder.
‘I guess so. There’s a first time for everything.’
Rhett. There’s no other way to describe Rhett, than as a bad-boy.
He has a troubled past, I know both of his parents died when he was younger. His uncle is his legal guardian, but from what I hear, he doesn’t care about Rhett at all.
He fights all the time, he swears profusely and he is always in the Alpha’s office, getting lectures from the Alpha and my father.
My father strongly dislikes him, he says he’s a troubled boy with no future ahead of him except prison if he keeps acting like this. They’ve tried to reach out to him, but he won’t let anyone get close to him.
Except his friends, and they’re all like him, angry and aggressive.
‘Come on, let’s get to form,’ Sage says and pulls me down the hall.
It’s an average Wednesday after that. The classes go by quickly and the day is relatively uneventful, until lunchtime.
I’m sat with Sage and Annie at our usual table, when everyone starts rushing outside. Curious as to what’s going on, the girls and I follow the hoard of students.
The crowd congregates right outside of the canteen. I squeeze through people to get to the front and see what is happening.
My mouth falls open in shock as I see Rhett fighting Robbie Yates. The two of them circle each other, dodging spars and growling aggressively.
Robbie is a typical jerk, he’s attractive and knows it. He likes to play with girls’ feelings.
I’m surprised that neither of them has shifted, but this is obviously something they want to do with their hands. There are no humans at our school, it’s not like they have to worry about keeping our secret.
‘What happened?’ I ask Link, who is stood next to me. He’s a sweet guy that I share French classes with.
‘Robbie rejected Susanna as his mate,’ Link whispers back.
I frown in confusion. Susanna is Rhett’s friend, I can understand why he is angry at Robbie. But how did Robbie and Susanna know they are mates?
We can only recognise our mates when we turn eighteen. Rhett, Susanna and Robbie are in the year above, they’re only seventeen.
‘How do they know they are mates?’ I ask Link.
‘Susanna turned eighteen this morning, she was held back a year,’ Link explains.
I focus back on the fight and realise that Rhett has overpowered Robbie and is now sat on his chest, beating his face to a pulp. Blood covers Rhett’s knuckles and Robbie’s face. It sprays across the tarmac.
Everyone is shouting, some are even cheering. I watch in horror, trying to get my body to move. One of Rhett’s friends, Lorenzo I think, grabs Rhett by the shoulders and tries to pull him off Robbie.
Rhett pushes him away easily. Even when two of Robbie’s friends try and intervene, Rhett fights them off, continuing to beat on Robbie’s face.
I don’t know what comes over me. I finally gain control of my body and I rush into the cleared circle. I throw myself at Rhett, wiping him out with me. We both fall to the floor, although his body breaks my fall.
The crowd goes silent. Rhett stares up at me in shock. His black hair is in disarray, his brown eyes are wide and staring right at me.
‘Stop,’ I say quietly to him.
He says nothing, but I watch him swallow. His Adam’s apple bobs, drawing my attention to his throat. He already has a couple of tattoos on it. He’s only seventeen, I don’t know how he got them done, because it’s illegal.
I realise that I’m lying on top of him, and I crawl off. I don’t have a chance to do anything else, because the principal shows up.
We are driven back to the pack house in separate cars. Once there, we are escorted to the Alpha’s office. Guards stand with Robbie and Rhett, ensuring they do not try to fight again. I stand beside them, nervously wondering how much trouble I’m in.
The Alpha and my dad enter. My dad’s eyes fall on me and widen in surprise as he realises his little girl is caught up in all this.
‘Explain what happened,’ Alpha Byron orders Robbie to give his account first. I’m surprised he can talk, he has two black eyes and a split lip. I think his nose might be broken too, but he’ll heal quickly, we all do.
He does, explaining how he rejected Susanna because he doesn’t want ‘a crazy pyro like her as a mate’. At that description of his friend, Rhett lunges towards Robbie. He’s held back and restrained by the guards behind him.
Rhett angrily gives his account, how Robbie is an ass who can’t appreciate a good thing when it hits him. He was teaching him a lesson.
Then their eyes fall on me. I swallow hard. My father gives me a reassuring nod.
‘I didn’t see much, Alpha. All I saw was the two of them fighting, I-uh jumped at Rhett to get him to stop.’
‘Do you think Rhett would have stopped before he inflicted any permanent damage to Robbie?’ The Alpha asks and I swallow hard.
No. He wouldn’t have. I saw the anger in Rhett’s eyes, he probably would have kept going. I don’t know whether he would have killed Robbie, but he certainly looked like he wanted to.
I can feel Rhett’s eyes, glaring at me as he stands to my right. I might be a good person, but I’m not a tattletale.
‘I couldn’t say, Alpha, I don’t know Rhett well enough,’ I reply quietly.
The Alpha sighs and runs a hand down his face.
‘Robbie, you need to go to the infirmary and get your injuries checked. I will only say this once,’ Alpha Byron pins him with a hard look, ‘you are a fool for rejecting your mate. You will live to regret that action, I’m sure. You have detention every lunchtime for two weeks for fighting on school premises. You are to stay away from Susanna until she heals from the rejection.’
Robbie looks pissed, but he nods and leaves the room. Leaving just Rhett and I stood next to each other.
‘Rhett Tiercel, what am I going to do with you?’ Alpha sighs heavily. ‘This is your fourth fight this year, I have lost count of how many in total. You have missed every counselling session that we arranged for you. I told you that you needed to show improvement. You haven’t.’
I glance at Rhett out of the corner of my eye. His hands are clenched into fists and his jaw is tense. He has a black eye, but other than that, he is unharmed.
‘You are exiled from this pack for one year. You will stay with your Aunt in the West Hemlock pack for the year, after which, we will review your situation and if you have shown improvement in your behaviour, you will be allowed to re-join our pack.’
Rhett doesn’t say a word. He simply nods and leaves the room.
The Alpha sighs again and runs his hand through his hair. His eyes land on me and they soften.
‘Thank you for giving your witness statement, Bria. Obviously, we knew that you were not involved in that fight. You are free to go now.’
‘Thank you, Alpha.’
My dad nods in approval and I leave the office.
That was a more eventful day than I was expecting.
A whole year without Rhett Tiercel.