Philosophy is fun with Mal. The teacher gives us a list of questions to answer together. They each have moral or ethical issues surrounding them and are designed to cause debate.
It gets heated between Mal and I on more than one occasion, as we disagree on some things and agree on others. Each time our opinions clash, sexual tension brews between us.
He looks at me with his cyan eyes, both annoyed and aroused at the same time. Most of the lesson, I don’t know whether I want to slap him or kiss him. It’s hot.
Mal grabs me for a quick kiss in the corridor before we go to lunch. Neither of us care about other students looking at us. They can look all they want. If I was them, I’d probably be jealous of me, too.
The boys need to go and collect their blood delivery from the reception, so I find the girls and sit with them at their table for about five minutes.
“I assume we won’t see you much this weekend? Do you think you’ll stay overnight at their dorm?” Irene asks.
I shrug in response. “I’m not sure,” I add. “We might check out our mated dorm.”
“Oh, yeah! Send us pics or let us come round and see it please? I remember Honey’s with Lawrence; it was so nice.”
“The bed was way bigger, too,” Honey says sadly. “Sucks having to lose my mate due to him graduating and then having to downgrade to a smaller queen-sized bed.”
“At least you’re seeing him this weekend,” I remind her, and she nods happily.
“Yes! Can’t wait.”
I spot Lucio in the doorway of the cafeteria. I nod in his direction and get to my feet.
“Got to go, ladies,” I tell them as I pick up my bag. “See you after school.”
I meet Lucio at the door. He takes my hand, kisses the back of it and then leads me up to their private drawing room. My other three mates are already reclined on the sofa, sipping from their glasses.
There is a glass of blood waiting for me on the coffee table. Oro pats the space next to him. I take a seat and Lucio sits down on my other side.
Lucio hands me the glass of bear blood and I eagerly take a large gulp. I lick my lips and put the glass back down before I chug the lot without really savouring it.
I lean back against the sofa and find Oro’s arm behind my neck, along the back of it. I cuddle up into his side, making him grin.
“What do you think about spending the night in our mated dorm this weekend?” Lucio asks me. “We’ve been discussing it. We are all up for trying the dorm out, but we don’t have to stay over if you don’t feel comfortable sleeping in the same bed as us yet.”
I chew my bottom lip as I think about it.
“It can’t hurt to stay there for one night, right?” I respond carefully. “It’s not like we’re going to complete the mating bond the second we all get into bed together.”
Four pairs of eyes suddenly turn heated at me making the mistake of talking about completing the bond. I cough loudly and they seem to snap out of it.
“Yes, exactly,” Mal says, his voice a little shaky. He clears his throat. “We’ll pick you up from your dorm tonight and go to our new one.”
“And we’ll go hunting on Saturday,” Esteban adds.
“And you can meet my snake on Sunday,” Lucio says.
It’s quiet for a moment before we all burst out laughing.
“I think she’s already met your snake,” Oro mutters under his breath.
I elbow his side playfully. “I’d love to meet your snake.”
Lucio grins at me. “Good. Her name is Serena.”
“Aw, I like that name.”
We stay talking all through lunch, there is no kissing this time, which means we actually get to know one another’s personalities rather than bodies.
I have business studies after lunch. I walk there with Lucio. The stares are a little less now that students have had a couple days to get used to me being with The Four.
Mr Andrews sets us a project to work on for the next few lessons. Lucio and I partner up and start it together.
My final lesson of the day is independent study. I find Sal in the library. I take a seat next to him and he looks up from his book.
“How are the four pains in the ass?” He asks dryly.
“Very good, thank you. What are you reading?”
I reach for the book to read the cover, but he slides it away from me, making me frown.
“Nothing,” he mutters quickly and slides the book into his bag before I can see it.
“Is it porn?” I ask teasingly.
He glares at me. “No. It’s not. My porn doesn’t come in the form of a musty old book, Emery.”
I scrunch up my nose. “I don’t even want to know what it comes in the form of, Salvador.”
He chuckles and pulls out his wallet.
“I’m getting some crisps from the vending machine. Want anything?”
I pull out my purse and grab a couple coins. I hand them to him.
“Something fizzy, please.”
He nods and stalks off towards the entrance, where the machines are. My eyes drop down to his bag on the floor. I want to know what he was reading and why he was so secretive about it.
A good friend wouldn’t look.
But what if he needs help with something?
Temptation takes over. I lean across his empty chair and pull down the flap of his bag. The book is wedged in the main section, cover facing me.
Lamia Blades – How to forge or destroy a hunter’s most deadly weapon.
I pull back as though I’ve been burned. Lamia blades are illegal. If a vampire is found with one, they can be tried in court and put to death.
There are a few ways to kill a vampire, but it’s difficult. You have to remove our heads from our bodies and burn both completely to ash. Any unburned remains can bring the vampire back.
A Lamia blade, however, is a simple way of killing a vampire. One stab to the heart will kill us every time. You need the blood of a vampire to make the blade in the first place.
Why is Salvador reading up on the weapon designed to kill us?
I smile and pretend everything is fine when he comes back with our refreshments. Inside, I am burning up with questions.
The bell at the end of the day signals the start of the weekend. I say goodbye to Sal and go back to my dorm.
When I get there, the girls are waiting for me.
“Surprise!” They all shout in unison.
Sitting on the coffee table, is a large black box.
“What is this?” I ask them, reaching for the box.
“Open it!” Esme demands excitedly.
I lift the lid and peel back the tissue paper to reveal beautiful lace and satin lingerie. I gently pick up the delicate bra and panty set.
“We thought you might need them for your new mated dorm,” Irene chirps happily. “Happy banging.”
The lingerie drops from my hands back into the box.
“Wow, thank you, girls,” I reply, completely shocked.
“I’ve got to go and meet Lawrence, but I hope you have an amazing weekend,” Honey tells me and pulls me into a hug.
I wrap my arms around her. “Thank you, you too. Say hi to Lawrence for us.”
“My sister is coming to stay with Irene and me. She’s all stressed out with the wedding drama and needs a break. Honey has agreed to let her stay in her room,” Esme explains, adding dramatically, “So, honestly, don’t feel bad about spending the time with your mates. We’ll survive without you.”
I roll my eyes. “Good to hear. I gotta go pack, girls. Thank you so much for lingerie, it’s beautiful. You’re the best.”
We wave off Honey and then I go to my room. I place my large overnight bag on the bed and stand in front of my wardrobe, wondering what the hell I should pack.
The mated dorms are only down the corridor, so it’s not exactly a big inconvenience if I forget something. There’s hardly a long way to go to collect stuff.
I pack workout clothes for tomorrow, when we go hunting. I slip the lingerie into the bottom of the bag, just in case. I pack some pretty pyjamas, loungewear and casual clothes for Sunday.
Esme pops her head around my door just as I’m finishing. “You’ve packed the lingerie, right?”
“Yes, I have.”
“Good.” She grins. “Remember to shave, too. Always be ready for an unexpected fingering.”
My mouth drops open as she shuts the door behind her.
An unexpected fingering?
Suddenly, my mind is filled with mental images of Lucio and I in the chemicals cupboard.
Okay, she has a point.
I shave in the shower and change into jeans and a top when I’m dried off. I pack my toiletries next and fix my make-up. By five o’clock, I’m ready and saying bye to the girls. My mates are waiting at the intersection between dorms.
They all look so handsome. I think they look fit in their uniforms anyway, but seeing them in their own, tight clothing that hugs every muscle and ridge is something else.
Like before, Oro is dressed up and Es is dressed down. Both Lucio and Mal are in muscle-fit t-shirts and joggers, what I would call smart gym-wear. Lucio steps forward first and kisses my forehead. Mal takes my bag from my shoulder.
“Are you ready to see our new dorm, Em?” Esteban asks.
We walk along the corridor, away from the segregated dorms and towards the mated dorms.
We’ve been given dorm number 11. Lucio pulls a set of keys from his pocket and unlocks it for us. The five of us eagerly step inside.