“Mr. Blackwell? Are you seeing Ms. Harris?”
The question was accompanied by a round of snickers and jeers. A young girl at the front of the class whirled around to face the boy who had made the query and wrinkled her nose in disdain.
“Of course he’s not. She’s a vampire, you idiot.”
The boy lifted his chin as the rest of the class quietened, waiting to see how the argument would play out between the resident troublemaker and the class know-it-all.
“What’s that got to do with anything?” the troublemaker asked indignantly.
The know-it-all rolled her eyes. “Werewolves and vampires hate each other. Have done since the fourteen-hundreds. Don’t you remember the Great Hunt? We learned about it in History last month!”
The troublemaker leaned back in his chair until it was tipped on two legs. “Nah. Was probably too busy laughing about your crush on Mr. Hill.”
There was another round of snickers as the girl’s face flushed bright red and she snapped her attention to the front of the class again, refusing to make eye contact with her peers.
Adam Blackwell cleared his throat pointedly. “Mr. Wilson, to answer your question; no. I’m not ‘seeing’ Ms. Harris. We are, however, friends.” He smiled, a sparkle in his eyes. “Now since we’re discussing personal matters, would you like me to tell the class what I found scribbled out in the margin of your exercise book last Thursday?”
Jake Wilson’s smug smirk fell instantly and the tips of his ears tinged with pink. “No, sir,” he murmured weakly.
“Very well,” hummed Adam before he gestured to the board. “May I continue the lesson on meiosis?”
Jake nodded, sinking lower into his seat as his peers shot him curious glances or knowing grins.
Adam bit back a chuckle. High schoolers were easy once you lowered yourself to their level.
The bell rang twenty minutes later, signifying the end of class. It would ring again in five minutes when the next class began. Adam watched his students shove their books and stationery into their various bags and rucksacks before traipsing out of the room, single file. They were a mixture of humans, werewolves, witches, faeries, shape shifters, vampires, and a myriad of other creatures. This was a rather normal sight for an English high school and, although there could be some tension between the different species, every student was given equal opportunities to learn and excel.
Opportunities didn’t only extend to students either; the teachers at Crowford High school consisted of a similar combination of different species and no species was favoured over another when it came to promotions or pay. Schools today didn’t tolerate speciesism the same way they had decades ago - although that wasn’t to say that there weren’t issues with both students and teachers.
Adam Blackwell was a twenty-eight-year-old werewolf. He stood a little over six feet tall and he had black hair that wasn’t so much styled as it was a perpetual bedhead. His eyes were a striking shade of blue and they were usually crinkled at the corners with mischief. He was a regular at the gym, not because he felt that he had something to prove, but because he enjoyed trying out different classes and playing around with the equipment. He was rather fond of the roller-discos that the local gym held and he was a sucker for anything involving a pool.
He taught Biology at Crowford High school and he was an alpha - heir to the Blackwell pack and all of its territories.
He also had a pet milk snake called Lily.
Adam chuckled and turned towards the door as Sierra Harris slipped into the class. She leaned against the wall; arms folded as her purple-tinted curls tumbled over her shoulders. She was wearing her signature black biker jacket and leatherette jeans, and Adam privately mused over how much more confident she was now that she wasn’t under the thumb of her cheating ex-husband.
“Hello, gorgeous,” he purred playfully and she laughed before wandering over to his desk and searching for the snack stash he kept in drawer number three. She resurfaced with an already-unwrapped chocolate bar.
“How’d the date go?” Adam asked as Sierra elegantly crammed half the bar into her mouth.
She grimaced and shook her head. “Another knot-head alpha. He actually had the audacity to order for me because, and I quote, he didn’t want me ‘losing my figure’.”
Adam winced and watched as she demolished the rest of the chocolate bar. This wasn’t the first time that Sierra had been on a date with an overbearing alpha male. Even the beta males sometimes went out of their way to prove that they would be the dominant one in the relationship. It was quite concerning actually, considering that Sierra was a beta. He couldn’t imagine what the omegas had to put up with.
“Honestly, I think I’m better off eternally single,” Sierra huffed. “Or maybe I should become a lesbian. You always hear those stories of women dating other women after a bad relationship.” She eyed his drawer for more snacks.
“As long as you don’t get back together with Tobias, you have my full love and support,” hummed Adam as he stole a biscuit before she could grasp it. She pouted at him and he winked.
“Do you have a class now?”
He nodded. “Year sevens. Photosynthesis.”
She pulled a face. “The nice year sevens or the class clowns?”
She snorted and ambled away from his desk. “Yikes. Well, have fun with that. I’ve got a free period.”
“That’s because you don’t teach a real subject,” Adam teased.
“Electronics is absolutely a real subject!”
“It’s playing with computers all day.”
“Can you build a computer out of five capacitors and a handful of resistors? No? I didn’t think so.” She blew him a kiss before sliding out of the door and strutting towards the break room. He watched her hips sway and shook his head in amusement.
It was true that vampires and werewolves didn’t usually get along, even in this day and age, but Adam had enjoyed Sierra’s company since his own high school days and they had been close friends for many years now. She was practically family.
“Oi, Mr. McMillan says you’re not a real alpha,” was the first thing that Declan Stewart announced as he walked into class. Declan was an imp - a literal imp, with a slender tail and a pair of stubby horns - and he was usually flanked by a group of four friends. Despite having only joined the school four months ago, they had already garnered a reputation as the school’s resident bad boys and had been disciplined on multiple counts.
The only subject they seemed to hold the slightest interest in was Physical Education, and that meant that they put a lot of stock in what P.E. teacher Mr. McMillan had to say.
Adam wasn’t a violent wolf. In fact, most people told him that he was quite patient. However, Carter McMillan was the sort of person that pushed all of Adam’s buttons. The other werewolf had no redeeming qualities - he was a loud, aggressive, alpha brute and he seemed to have an incessant need to prove that he was ‘top dog’.
Most staff members were aware that the Blackwells and McMillans had an intense pack rivalry and meetings were arranged so that the two pack heirs were mostly kept apart. Whilst Adam was certain that he could control himself around Carter, he wasn’t sure that the opposite was true, so he appreciated the school’s efforts. That being said, he and Carter had been known to come to blows on a few occasions and Adam would rather not have to explain new scars to his exasperated father.
Adam wanted to reply, “Mr. McMillan is a pig-headed arsehole,” but what he actually said was, “Well, my birth certificate says ‘alpha’ and when I checked this morning, I was still an alpha.”
Declan snorted and his friends snickered around him. Adam wasn’t really sure what to make of the response and he didn’t particularly care. Few creatures could detect the difference between non-distressed alphas, betas, and omegas, since very few species had those designations. Werewolves and vampires were commonly known to have secondary genders - or ‘designations’ - and some other species had similar classifications, but they were few and far between.
The word ‘alpha’ didn’t particularly mean anything to Declan and that meant that Carter had made that comment to get under Adam’s skin. Unfortunately for Carter, Adam wasn’t fragile enough to care what he thought.
“All right, settle down. We’re starting a new topic today, so open your booklets to page seven...”