Chapter 15 ~~The Senior Ball~~
An hour later, Ethan was anxious to see Kia in all of her party finery and was sitting in the living room dressed in his tux looking at the corsage that Angela had delivered for him today, waiting for Kia to come down the stairs. He had known she would look beautiful, as she always did, but he had not been prepared for how gorgeous she was as she descended the stairs with his mother and Lucy following close behind. His mouth fell open and his eyes got huge as he watched her walk slowly towards him.
Lucy had done a wonderful job on her hair and makeup. Lucy, had made her beautiful eyes pop with the expert shading with the navy blue and plum colors she had used. Lucy had used a bronze blusher to define her cheekbones, making her look older and more mature. Her lips were a deep dark red and Angela had loaned her a cameo choker on a dark blue ribbon that was tied around her neck.
He stood up and held up his hand to stop her halfway across the room. “I want to have a mental picture of you like that. My goddess, Kia, you are absolutely gorgeous.” Ethan said as he finished the last three steps to stand in front of her. He lifted his hand next to her face but was afraid to touch her as he might mess up her makeup or hair.
Kia couldn’t stop the big smile on her face, pleased that he approved of how she looked. “I’m going to have to beat the other girls off with a stick when they see you! You look so hot!” Kia told him as she stretched up to kiss him lightly.
Ethan presented Kia with the corsage and thankfully it came with a wrist band because Ethan’s hands were actually shaking and he knew he would never have gotten it pinned on without sticking her or ripping her dress. He wanted to carry her upstairs and rip the fancy clothes off and make love to her all night.
After several pictures, they were finally on their way to the city. They arrived at the high school and just as Kia had suspected, they caused quite a stir when they walked up to the gym. Everyone was whispering “Who is that?” The boys wanted to know who the hot chick was while the girls were drooling over Ethan’s dark good looks.
The girl that checked them in couldn’t believe it when Kia told them who she was but she quickly spread the word that she was the shy, frumpy girl that many of them had gone to school with for several years but no one recognized her.
Ethan was getting a kick out of seeing how happy Kia was at that moment. Only he knew what she was actually thinking. “See why I hated going here? They are all so fake, pretending to know me and being friendly. It’s only because they want me to introduce you.”
As they began to walk inside, suddenly Ethan’s hair stood up on the back of his neck and he paused to look around but didn’t see anything out of place. Errol was pacing back and forth in his mind and his fur was standing straight up as he sensed something was wrong.
They entered the gym which had been transformed by decorations to look like the night with a big quarter moon hanging over the band stand and stars of various sizes and tiny planets hanging on thin icicle silver streamers from the ceiling. The theme being “Over the moon”. The floor was covered with fake clouds created by smoke machines in each corner of the room.
One side of the room had tables with plates of finger sandwiches, chicken wings, cookies, cupcakes and other pastries lined one wall along with several big bowls of punch. A teacher stood at that table to keep anyone from spiking the beverages with alcohol. Rows of round tables and chairs flowed down each side of the room for people to sit when they were eating or weren’t dancing. Music was starting off softer until everyone was inside and the band was excellent.
Since they had eaten before they left home, neither of them were particularly hungry but they did collect cups of the punch and stood watching the other students as they came into the room.
Erica Boswell, Kia’s counselor, recognized Kia and Ethan as soon as she entered the room and it was not hard to see why she had heard several comments, a few of them rather snide, when she had been walking through the crowd outside. She walked right over to Kia and Ethan and welcomed them.
“I’m so glad you came and my goodness, Kia, don’t you look beautiful. I love your dress and your hair.” Erica said.
“Thank you, Ms. Boswell. You look very pretty tonight too.” Kia blushed.
“And Ethan, you look very handsome. You have many of the girls drooling and their boyfriends wanting to pick fights with you because their girlfriends are so jealous of Kia right now.” Ms. Boswell complimented him.
“Thank you. Don’t worry, I’ll make it plain to any of the boys that come around that Kia is the only one for me, so they have nothing to worry about.” Ethan said graciously.
“Well you two have created quite the stir. I do hope that you will enjoy yourselves. I unfortunately have to circulate and make my presence known.” Ms. Boswell said. “Thank goodness this is the last dance of the year and summer break is coming up. I’m finally going to take a vacation this year.”
“Oh that sounds like fun. Where are you going?” Kia asked.
“My sister and I are going to visit family. My brother and his wife live in San Diego and we’re going to spend two whole weeks laying on the beach and eating all the fresh seafood we can get our hands on.” Ms. Boswell said with a sigh.
“Oh that does sound like fun. I’ve heard they have a great zoo in San Diego too.” Kia said.
“I’ve heard that too and we might take my brother’s kids. He has two little girls, 6 and 8 years old. It will be nice to spend some time with children that aren’t so jaded as many of the high school aged children can sometimes be. Kia, it has been a pleasure knowing you and I wish you well in your future.” Ms. Boswell said.
“Oh Ms. Boswell, I recently found out my birth parents’ last name was Peterson. Is it too late to get my diploma changed to show their last name?” Kia asked.
“I’m not sure but if it is possible, I’ll take care of it.” Ms. Boswell assured her before she left them.
“She seems like a nice lady.” Ethan said.
“She was always good to me. I’m going to miss talking to her.” Kia said.
Just then the song changed to a slow dance song that was a particular favorite of Ethan’s and he took her hand and led her on to the dance floor as the band performed “Boys II Men’s” “I’ll make love to you”.
As the song began, a mirror ball dropped from the ceiling and the spot lights came on to make the ball reflect thousands of tiny spots of light all over the room. Black lights gave the room a romantic glow like moonlight. There were only a few couples on the dance floor as Ethan led Kia around the floor, holding one hand close to his heart and his other hand holding her close to his body. Kia laid her head on his chest and closed her eyes. She couldn’t believe that she was here with him. Tonight was turning out to be everything she had always dreamed it would be and she would never be able to thank him and Angela for convincing her to come tonight.
She tried to ignore the whispers and dagger eyes that followed them around the room. Kia wasn’t a vain person but she couldn’t deny that the jealousy radiating from the other students in the room was definitely a boost to her ego.
As the song ended, Kia looked up at Ethan with a dreamy smile on her face. Ethan stopped dancing, lowered his head and kissed her. The “AAAAHHHH”s that broke out among the girls around the room had them smiling at each other as they slowly walked off the dance floor, arms around each other as Ethan kept her close to his side.
He had also heard several hateful thoughts from some of the boys in the room and wanted to make sure that his being here did not become an issue and spoil Kia’s night.
They sat and people watched as the music changed and got louder and the floor filled up with dancers. They joined in on several other dances and Kia was surprised that Ethan was up on all of the latest music and dance steps. She had often practiced by herself or with the other girls at the group home.
Several times, boys who had previously never given Kia a second glance before tried to ask her to dance or to cut in while she and Ethan were dancing but Kia always refused. Also several of the “Elite” girls, these were the girls that only dated the jocks or most handsome boys at school, tried to buddy up to Kia so that they could get closer to Ethan but he made it plain right up front that he wasn’t interested in talking to them and a few of them left muttering obscenities under their breath, calling him snob or jackass.
After a line dance they both participated in, Kia came off the floor needing to use the ladies room.
“Do you think you’ll be able to keep them off of you while I go to the restroom?” Kia grinned at him.
“I think I’ll survive but hurry back. Link me if you need me.” Ethan smiled down at her.
The restrooms were located outside of the gym on the side facing the athletic fields and there were a couple of smaller buildings that held sports equipment and a larger building that housed the electrical transformer that fed the school, creating a sort of outdoor corridor.
There were several bunches of kids standing around drinking from bottles covered with brown paper bags or smoking cigarettes or weed. The pungent odor of the weed was a dead give away as the gentle breeze blew it in her direction. Kia hurried into the restroom and found several girls that she recognized but had never really spoken to before brushing their hair or freshening their makeup.
One of the girls, named Tina, Kia recognized as having been in her English class, stepped in front of her when she walked in.
“Hey, your Kia, right?” She asked.
“Yes, that’s right. You’re Tina, right?” Kia answered.
“Who’s the hottie you came with? Damn, girl. He is super fine.” Tina asked.
“He rescued me when my foster dad tried to rape me.” Kia answered and wasn’t surprised when Tina’s eyes got bigger. It wasn’t like she could say that Ethan was her mate because these human girls just wouldn’t understand what that meant.
Tina’s eyes went to her left hand and noticed that there was no ring on her finger. “So, he’s not your fiance or anything like that?” Tina asked.
“It’s a little more complicated than that but if you don’t mind, I really need to use the restroom. If you will excuse me.” Kia said, as she pushed past Tina and entered a stall. She could hear them whispering as she lifted her skirt and pulled down her panties and panty hose. When she sat down, she heard all of the girls leave the bathroom which she was grateful for since it meant she wouldn’t have to deal with them when she came out.
Kia emptied her bladder and struggled to get her panty hose back in place without catching the back of her dress in them but she finally managed it and was glad to see that the restroom was still empty as she crossed to the sinks to wash her hands. Her hair was still neatly in place and only her lipstick needed to be freshened up so she quickly applied a fresh coat before leaving the restroom.
As she stepped out of the restroom, there were several boys standing on the sidewalk as if they had been waiting for her. She recognized a couple of them from classes she had shared with them. The best looking one was also among one of the biggest and two years ago, Kia had a secret crush on him but he had never even given her a glance.
Kevin Graves was very good looking with his dark black hair that he wore long enough to curl around his ears and it touched his collar in the back. He had big brown bedroom eyes and full luscious lips. Kia had spent many nights wishing he would wrap his muscular arms around her and she would lay her head on his broad shoulders.
Tonight he was dressed pretty much as he always did with a leather biker jacket, black jeans and biker boots. Now she recognized Kevin for what he was, a pretty boy punk. She had seen him bully other boys at school and he usually treated the girls that he went out with like trash, which most of them were.
“Hey, Kia. How’s tricks? You look very pretty tonight.” Kevin said, blowing smoke over her head.
“Hello, Kevin. Thank you.” Kia said as she went to step past him.
“Hey, where are you going in such a hurry? I thought we might spend some time catching up and maybe getting to know each other a little better.” Kevin said, catching her by the arm as she went to step past him.
“I’m here with someone and I really should get back to the dance.” Kia said, as she tried to pull her arm out of his grasp. She kept telling herself to keep her temper under control. Tia was pacing back and forth, begging Kia to let her out.
“Your fancy pants, pretty boy can just wait.” Kevin said as he pushed her up against the wall and tried to kiss her. Since Tia had shown herself, Kia was now much stronger than she looked and she pushed against Kevin’s chest as she brought her knee up and caught him in the crotch, causing him to let her go as he bent over in pain, dropping to his knees as he clutched himself. “Bitch! You’re going to pay for that. Get her!” Kevin huffed.
“Ethan! HELP!” Kia mind linked as the other boys rushed at her. There were four of them and she might have had a chance if there were only one or two but four was just too much. They held her against the wall and one of the boys tried to put his hand up her dress as one pushed against her chest, trying to fondle her breast.
Suddenly, Ethan was there and boys went flying in different directions as he grabbed them by their collars and flung them away from her. They sailed through the air, hitting either the side of the buildings or landing in heaps on the grass. Two of them were knocked unconscious when their heads hit the wooden walls of the sports supply building. The two that landed on the grass, jumped up and ran.
Ethan was breathing hard as he stood over Kevin, ready to rip him to shreds if he so much as breathed wrong. Kevin didn’t have enough common sense to keep his mouth shut as he struggled to stand up. He looked from Ethan to Kia and said “Keep her. Damned orphan trash is not worth my time.”
Kia saw Ethan’s eyes change from their beautiful blue to silver and knew that unless she did something quick, Errol was going to come out and kill Kevin as Ethan growled low in his throat. “No, Ethan. He’s not worth it and everyone will find out.” Kia linked with him.
Ethan looked at her and while he was furious that someone had dared to put their hands on his mate, he knew Kia was right. The young punk was a human. To kill him here and now would mean exposure to his kind and that would put the pack in danger.
“Kia has more class in her little finger than you or anyone you’ve ever known and she’s mine. Even think something bad about her and I’ll rip your head off.” Ethan growled, his eyes flashing silver as he glared at Kevin.
Just then the boys football coach and a school security guard came around the corner. “What’s going on here?” Coach Brad Myers demanded.
“Kevin and his friends attacked me and Ethan stopped them.” Kia hurried to explain.
“Graves, you are not even supposed to be here tonight. You were banned from school social functions when the principal expelled you last month. Now you attack a top student? Gary, take him in. Kia, are you going to press charges?” Coach Myers asked her.
Kia looked at Ethan and mind linked her “It’s up to you.”
“I’m not hurt. He mainly just scared me. He’s going to be hurting for a while from how I kneed him. No, I won’t press charges this time.” Kia said making the “this time” pronounced.
The security guard, Gary, grabbed Kevin by the arm and led him away, telling him “Graves, you must have an angel watching over you. You are so lucky! That guy looks like he could have taken your head off and she could have nailed your hide to the wall with attempted rape charges. You better count your blessings and get your act together.”
“So sorry this had to happen, Kia. Why don’t you go back inside and enjoy the rest of the dance.” Coach Myers said as he walked over and helped the two boys that were starting to come to, up off the ground.
“Thanks coach but I think I’ve had enough of this dance and we’ll be leaving now.” Kia said.
She and Ethan walked out to the parking lot and got in his car without saying a word. Ethan put his hand out to push the start button and Kia noticed his hand was shaking.
“Ethan? Are you OK?” Kia said, putting her hand on his.
“Oh God, Kia! When I heard you link me for help, I thought my heart had stopped. I bet some of the girls that were trying to flirt with me are going to think I’m some kind of magician or ghost because I used my wolf speed to leave the room so they didn’t even see me leave. But I just wanted to get to you as fast as I could. It took everything in me not to let Errol out when I saw those boys with their hands on you. Are you alright? They didn’t hurt you, did they?” Ethan said as he pulled her into his arms as much as the tight confines of his sports car would allow.
“No, baby. I’m not hurt. Kevin however is going to be sore for a while. I managed to give him a hard knee to his privates. He went down hard.” Kia grinned at him, earning her a big smile and a deep, loving kiss.
“Come on. Let’s go find some place to eat and head on to the hotel. I’m hungry!” Ethan said as she moved back to her own seat and he started the car. They went through the drive thru at a local burger joint and got burgers, fries and milkshakes. They checked in at the Marriott and got strange looks as they carried their fast food bags while the bellhop carried their overnight bags up to their room.
They ate their food mostly in silence, knowing that if they talked about what had happened anymore, they would not end up eating at all. Ethan wanted to take her to bed and show her just how much she means to him.
He wished he had already bought her engagement ring but while he had found one online that he liked, he had not purchased it yet. His mother had told him that Kia’s class ring was a size 5 and had fit either hand so now he could get the ring and all he had left to do was figure out what he was going to say and when.
He didn’t want her to know he was going to propose until he had it in his hand and hoped to do it the night of the Luna Ball after she had been introduced as his Luna. If she agreed, he was going to have the pack minister perform the wedding that night.
He had already talked to his father about it and his father had given his blessing that they could take two weeks to have a honeymoon. Ethan suspected that his father hoped that they would return with Kia pregnant with his first grandchild.
While Ethan definitely wanted to have children with Kia, he felt they had plenty of time and didn’t want to rush her to get pregnant and had asked both of his parents not to be making comments to Kia.
“She’s only 18 and to be quite frank, I’d like for us to have time for just us first. She’s got so much to learn about being in a pack as well as being the Luna to a large pack. I’m afraid she will be overwhelmed if she were to get pregnant right away. Don’t worry, I’m sure we will be making you grandparents soon enough. Just please don’t push.” Ethan had told them.
“Alright son! You are right. Kia has a lot to learn and one of the things she needs to learn soon is how to fight. She has to be able to protect not only herself but other weaker pack members. Once the Luna ball is over, I’ll take her to start training with the other women.” Angela told him.
“That’s fine mom. Thanks!” Ethan had been glad that his mother was so willing to help out his mate. She seemed to have taken a true liking to Kia from day one.
Kia brought him back to the present when she asked, “Ethan, were you planning on coming back to town on Monday?”
“Well, since we didn’t get to take care of you getting your birth certificate, I guess we had better. Why?” Ethan replied.
“Well, Lucy and I want to come into town to buy fabric for my gown and she promised to bring Tanya to town to pick up her stuff from the dorms and her car. I bet now that she’s met Mitch, she might be kind of anxious to come back to town. All we are going to do is drop her off. Whether or not she goes right back home is up to her. Anyway, I want to give Lucy as much time as possible to make my dress. I know you have better things to do than to chauffeur me back and forth to town so Lucy can drive me and I could just take care of my birth certificate as one of the stops we have to make.” Kia said.
“Well, it’s up to you. I don’t mind driving you but if you are wanting a girl bonding day with Lucy and Tanya, that’s fine by me. I do have a lot of pack business that I could use the day to take care of but I also have some town business to take care of as well. How about I drive all of you to town, we drop Tanya off at the college, then I drop you and Lucy off at the fabric store. You can do your shopping while I take care of my business and then I’ll come back and pick you up and we can go take care of your birth certificate. How’s that?” Ethan said.
“That’s great! One trip instead of several. What is going to happen if Mitch and Tanya get together?” Kia asked.
“What do you mean?” Ethan asked, curious to know what she was thinking.
“Well, Tanya is a member of our pack but Mitch is not. If they get together, where will they live? Do you think they will continue to live in Omaha or will they move to Mitch’s pack or come home and live with Tanya’s folks?” Kia asked.
“Wow. I’m not sure. That will be up to them. I know Mitch only moved to Omaha because he was hoping that he would find his mate in the city. I know he wants to stop being a cop so I would say that they will either go home to his pack, which I doubt, since his brother is the Beta of his pack and there’s not really a place for him there unless he becomes a security warrior like Josh is to our pack.
I could find something for him with our pack but I doubt if he wants to live with her folks. He might be willing to live close to them but I would suspect that he would want for them to have their own place, which is very possible.” Ethan said.
“I can understand that.” Kia said.
“Do you want your own house?” Ethan said, suspecting this whole line of questioning was leading up to her saying she wanted to live away from the pack house.
“I don’t mind living at the pack house. It’s definitely easier to get to work and back, since it’s only one floor away but sometimes I feel like I’m intruding into your mom’s space. I mean, she’s given up her office to me and says she’ll just sit off to one side on the meeting table while I’m learning to be Luna and I sometimes feel like it should be me sitting over there and her behind the desk.” Kia admitted.
“Well, we can build our own little place where we can get away when we want to be alone but we still have to go to work every day. I know with the rogues making trouble, I wouldn’t feel comfortable with you being there alone.
Speaking of the future. You are going to have to start training soon. My mom has already offered to help you learn how to defend yourself.” Ethan said and then watched her face. He saw her eyes grow wide and her mouth dropped open.
After a minute or two she finally whispered “Do you mean I have to learn how to fight?”
“Yep. As Luna, you have to be prepared to defend the weaker members of the pack, not be one of them.” Ethan said, trying hard to hide his amusement as that sank in.
“I’ve never been much of a fighter. I’m so small that I don’t pose much of a threat.” Kia said, almost to herself.
“Tell that to the guy you just dropped to his knees tonight! Hahahaha! Besides, you may be small but Tia is not. Heck, she’s almost as big as Errol. She just has to learn basic combat techniques in case the rogues get past us and go after her or say for instance, the children. What would you do if a rogue were trying to attack one of the pack children?”
Ethan felt a sense of pride when he saw a determined look cross her face. “OK. When are we going to start?” Kia asked.
“Mom, said you can wait until after the Luna Ball. She knows you’ve got a lot on your plate right now. But half of that is over now that the Senior ball is over. Now we just have to get you through graduation and then you can really start to focus on learning to be a Luna.” Ethan said.
“I just hope I don’t let you down.” Kia said.