The Whitlock Academy

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Chapter Five

Emery’s POV.

After lunch, I have philosophy and mythology. I arrive early to class and the teacher assigns me to a seat on the far left-hand side. I get my things out and doodle in my notepad while the other students come in.

A girl sits down at the desk to my left. There is an aisle between us, but she leans over it to introduce herself.

“I’m Marie,” she says, offering her hand. “I’m Student President, so let me know if you have any questions or anything you need help with.”

“I’m Emery,” I reply and shake her hand. “Thank you.”

She reminds me of Patty Simcox from Grease. I bet she’s good at her job, she’s so perky and bubbly.

The teacher starts the class, explaining that we will be continuing the topic we started last week, the myth of the werewolf. Notorious for being vampires’ main enemy but totally fictional, werewolves are highly praised by humans but are, in fact, just a myth.

I’m making notes from the board when the door swings open. Everyone looks up to see who has entered. A tall man enters the room. He cannot be described as a boy, even though he is wearing the student uniform. His blazer is thrown over his shoulder and he’s holding onto it with one finger. His white shirt is crumpled and untucked from his trousers, but it strains against the muscles under it.

His black hair is tousled and unkempt, cut in a sexy, shaggy kind of way. It falls into his eyes.

His eyes are like two pools of Mediterranean water. They’re almost as light as a shade of cyan and look like they’re glowing.

The teacher looks the student up and down, purses his lips and turns back to the board. The student scans the class, glaring at everyone individually. His eyes land on the empty seat next to me and then slide over to me.

I feel like my throat has closed and no air can get in or out. My lips part and I inhale sharply, flooding my lungs with air. The man’s eyes narrow but he steps forward and approaches the desk. He throws his blazer over the back of the chair, drops his bag and gracefully falls into the seat with a sigh.

This close to him, I can smell his wonderful scent. Like sea breeze and sandalwood. It’s addictive. Like the refreshing smell just after rain.

He rolls up his sleeves, revealing his prophecy tattoo. I stare at it as he grabs a book and a pen from his bag. His tattoo, although shaped the same, is different to mine. His starts off as bright cobalt blue and half-way, changes to blood red. Half and half. An Elemental and an Amores.

He’s one of The Four.

I swallow hard and tear my gaze away from his tattoo. It’s rude to stare and he doesn’t seem like the kind of guy you want to piss off. He has this dangerous aura around him, like he might snap and kill you if you anger him.

It’s a whole different vibe to the golden surfer-boy, Oro. I’m surprised they’re friends really, they seem like total opposites from the little I have witnessed.

“Does anybody remember the three ways that you can supposedly kill a werewolf? Anyone? Perhaps you can enlighten us, Malvolio.”

Malvolio.

Malvolio and Oro.

The man next to me tenses up. He lifts his eyes up to the teacher to glare at him.

If looks can kill.

“Silver bullets, decapitation or removal of the heart,” he answers, sounding bored and uninterested.

“Thank you. That’s right.”

The teacher carries on talking, but I can only focus on Malvolio’s voice. I only got to hear it for a few seconds, but I want to hear it again already. It was so deep and husky, so freaking sexy.

I can barely relax for the rest of the lesson. I make notes, but nothing goes into my brain. I can’t concentrate because of the gorgeous guy sitting to my right.

When the bell goes, he’s the first to his feet and gliding out of the class with a grace unnatural for his huge build. I stumble along with the crowd, heading to my final lesson, skills. I asked the girls about the skills lessons earlier, as there’s no information about them on the timetable.

Apparently, they are lessons that are mandatory for every student. They are meant to teach us vital skills that we will need in later life.

For example, we are trained in hand-to-hand combat and self-defence. We are taught how to treat wounds in an emergency and even how to improve our hunting skills.

When I get to the classroom, we are taken by the teacher to the gymnasium. Two other classes are already there with their teachers. I spot Honey and Esmeralda.

We are told that the classes are combining for a self-defence lesson today. The first instruction is to take off our blazers and shoes. We hang our jackets on the hooks on the wall.

Next, we have to partner up. I look over at Honey and Esmeralda. We all share an anxious glance. There’s three of us. This can’t work.

“Hey, wanna be partners?”

Relief fills me as I turn to the sound of Salvador’s voice. I look over at the girls and nod. They’re both staring at me in shock, obviously not expecting me to know Salvador Whitlock.

“Sure,” I reply with a smile.

Sal and I find a space and stand opposite each other, as instructed.

“Face your partner and take one step forward. Hold your hands like this,” the teacher shouts and demonstrates. “This is your offence position.”

We copy his movements. Sal meets my eyes and we both burst out laughing. It’s relatively quiet in the gym and a few students look over in our direction, which makes us try and stifle our laughter.

“Next, Partner 1, turn your back to Partner 2. Partner 2, reach around Partner 1 from behind and get them is this position. This is a headlock.”

I turn my back to Sal, and he comes to stand behind me. His chest presses to my back. I can feel the heat from his chest permeating through my shirt. He smells of ginger and cinnamon. I blush due to our close proximity.

The prophecy flame has shown that I have a mate somewhere. I highly doubt that he is Sal. I like him, he’s funny and, admittedly, attractive, but there’s no lustful spark. No desire.

Sal reaches around and puts me into a headlock but doesn’t squeeze or choke me. I don’t think my future mate would like seeing me in this hold, touching another person.

“Enjoying yourself, Emery?” He teases.

I roll my eyes. “Not as much as you, Salvador.”

“I think your red cheeks are a flaming giveaway.”

“Shut up.”

Copying the two teachers demonstrating at the front, we practice the offence and defence positions. It’s not a bad way to spend the hour. It beats equations and calculations.

We take a break half-way through. Sal gets us both a glass of water from the cooler. Everyone is seated on the mats, talking. I decide to find out a little more about the mysterious ‘Four’.

“Have you heard of The Four?” I ask Sal.

He snorts and throws his head back. “Have I been living under a rock? Of course, I’ve heard of them, Emmie. Why do you ask?”

I shrug. “No reason. The girls were telling me about them at lunch. I have Oro and Malvolio in some of my lessons.”

“Was Malvolio glaring? That’s all he does, glare at people,” Sal says dryly. “Oro doesn’t talk much, does he? He’s more the quiet, pensive type.”

“I haven’t really noticed, that’s why I’m asking. The teacher was weird with Malvolio, though. He didn’t get in any trouble for being late to class.”

Sal scowls. “Yeah. The parents of The Four are on the Governors’ board. Their families helped found the academy with my great-grandfather. They’re Whitlock royalty, like me. We don’t get in trouble.”

“Must be nice,” I comment.

Sal shrugs. “It has got its perks, but it sucks to have such a big name to live up to.”

“I can imagine that’s a lot of pressure.”

He shakes his head. “You have no idea. Nothing I can ever do will impress or please my father.”

I open my mouth to try and say something -anything- to comfort him, but he changes the subject.

“The Four are in line to take over their parents’ royal duties. They are distant members of the royal family, so they have their own land and titles. They’ve been out of school this week to learn the ropes.”

“Were they meant to be in this lesson?”

“All four of them usually are. But they probably figured they can skip this one. They’re all trained to fight already. They were on all of the school teams last year, but they had to stop competing because students were getting hurt. No one could match up to them.”

“Wow. They sound…” I try to think of the right word. Sal waits patiently with his signature smirk on his face. “Like a bunch of overachievers.”

That makes Salvador laugh. A proper belly laugh that has people looking at us again. I can see Honey and Esme watching us with interest.

“Yeah, that’s exactly what they are,” he replies when he’s sobered up. “People either love them or hate them. You’re either obsessed with them or jealous of them.”

“Which one are you?”

Sal sneers. “Which one do you think?”

“What are you jealous of? You’re Whitlock royalty, too.”

He pins me with a look that makes me feel like I’ve said something stupid.

“They have destined mates, Emery. I have a death sentence. I know what I’d choose if I had a choice.”

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