I fell to the ground, my backpack sliding across the polished hallway floor.
I could feel a shooting wave of pain from my wrist, having roughly hit the ground, and I immediately cradled it to my chest. At least it wasn‘t the worst pain I‘d ever felt.
“Ah shoot, I‘m so sorry,” a worried, husky voice said.
I looked up and saw a boy, maybe sixteen, staring down at me with a hand outstretched. But it wasn‘t the fall that now shocked me into silence, but rather his eyes.
They were like molten golden orbs, catching me off guard. I‘d never seen anything like it before. They stood out in contrast with his dark brown hair, making it impossible to miss.
I could tell that he was strong, his body being well–built to indicate he was a good fighter; a future warrior captain strength or higher, maybe even a ranked family member. But without my wolf and without him trying to throw authority at me, it would be impossible for me to tell for sure what exact status he held.
He stared back at me just as quizzically and I instantly knew then that he wasn‘t from around here. Anyone from the pack was used to my silver hair and violet eyes, but the foreign wolves were always shocked at first.
For a few moments, both of us were just staring at each other, confused at the other‘s appearance, until suddenly the second bell rang. A reminder that I had places to be and an entire species to save.
I was the one to break eye contact first and looked around, trying to find where my backpack had slid to.
“…Can I help you get up?” he asked, though a little awkwardly.
It was then that I realised he was still holding his hand out to me, of which I had been rudely ignoring.
Quickly, I clasped my uninjured one with his, and allowed him to lift me to my feet.
“We should probably go to the school infirmary and get that looked at,” he said, nodding towards my wrist.
I looked down and saw it was red, but it honestly didn‘t feel that bad. It would probably heal in a day even without my full wolf abilities.
“I think it should be okay,” I said. “Thank you anyway.”
I was about to retrieve my backpack and leave, but he then spoke again, pausing me.
“Well, it‘s that or you‘re going to have to explain to the teacher why you‘re so late for class.”
I bit the inside of my cheek.
“…I think we should go to the infirmary and get this looked at,” I agreed.
He smiled and grabbed my backpack, doing so before I could take another step or protest. It was an attractive smile that really complimented his face. Somehow, it felt like his eyes burned more when he did it.
“It‘s the least I can do,” he said, seeing my uneasy stare at him throwing my bag over his shoulder. “The last thing I need is a rumour going around saying that I beat up twelve year olds.”
I could feel my cheeks begin to heat up in embarrassment. “I‘m fourteen, actually.”
But he simply laughed off my correction. “Ah, sorry, sorry. That‘s my bad.”
There was something weirdly humiliating in how he called out our age difference. Internally, I was twenty four and much older than him.
I trailed behind after that, following him to the infirmary in silence. Luckily, we didn‘t have very far to go and arrived just as we rounded the corner. He politely knocked on the door before opening it wide for us to both enter.
“Hello, sweet Amelia,” he said, flashing a dazzling smile.
The nurse, Miss Williams, looked up and smiled brightly at the boy. I couldn‘t help but wonder if he was this friendly with all the staff.
“Oh! Cai! What are you doing here?” she asked.
She seemed almost flustered by his presence as she fixed her hair and clothes.
Miss Williams was on the younger side of staff working at school, probably since she was just a nurse. I would have guessed that she was no older than nineteen or twenty. However, over watching her obvious attempts at trying to look good for him, I couldn‘t help but roll my eyes.
She‘d called him Cai, though I didn‘t recognise the name. This told me he wasn‘t from a pack I was overly familiar with.
He gestured back towards the door where I was standing, waiting a little awkwardly.
“This little one bumped into me on the way to class and fell pretty badly. She‘s hurt her wrist.”
Her face fell when she finally noticed I was there. I was not a little one‘ and I certainly was never referred t oso casually by anyone in this school.
“Oh,” she said, clearing her throat. “Ok, sure, let‘s take a look. Come on in and take a seat on the bench.”
I walked over and sat down where she had instructed.
“Well, I‘ll leave you two lovely ladies be,” Caithen said. “I‘m sure I‘ll get my ass kicked by Mr Green if I‘m any later to class.”
He dropped my backpack by the bench and flashed me another smile. It didn‘t seem as impactful now ! knew he handed them out by the dozens. I was also still irritated at being referred to as ‘little one’ just moments before.
“Oh, don‘t you worry about that grumpy old man,” Miss Williams said and handed him a note. “Just give him this and explain. He can deal with me directly if he has any issues.”
He put a hand over his heart as he walked backwards towards the door. “You are too kind to me, Amelia.”
And she giggled while she watched him leave.
It was like an instant switch as soon as he left, her face no longer all smiley and happy. She inspected my wrist and wrapped it up without saying too much, sending me on my way to class before too long had passed.
The rest of the school day from there went surprisingly quickly and, thankfully, without any further hiccups. The teachers had definitely caught on to the fact I wasn‘t paying as much attention as normal but they mercifully let me be. Instead, I used the class time to prepare a few things in my head so I could immediately implement my first steps.
When I did finally arrive back home, I went straight upstairs to my room. But to my surprise, there were small boxes and bags everywhere.
Lucy was stood at the wardrobe and sharply looked up as I walked in.
“Oh, Miss!” Lucy said, startled. “I didn‘t think you‘d be home so quickly. I wanted to surprise you. Come and have a look.”
I walked over to her and saw she had been hanging up new clothes,
*I hope you like it!”
All of them were far more mature and to my taste; all sensible colours and up with the latest trends. No longer was everything pink and covered in frills and bows.
It made my chest swell to see how much effort she had put into it, far surpassing my initial request for her to just throw away my old clothes.
*Lucy…,” I said, at a loss for words. “Thank you for putting the time into doing this.”
“Well, I realised you weren‘t going to have many clothes left after I went through and bagged up the old ones. I agree that these will look far better on you.” She smiled at me which I reciprocated.
I bit my lip in thought. Would it be too soon to start my plan? She looked like she really did want to help and was genuine about it.
“Lucy…can I trust you?”
Her eyes rounded, surprised by the sudden question. “Of course! The young Miss can tell me anything.”
She smiled brightly again.
I walked over to my desk and began to write a letter.
“What did you want to tell me? Is it a secret? …Is it a boy?” She was playfully making guesses thinking! probably had something trivial to tell her. If only she knew.
I quickly sealed the envelope shut and handed it to her.
“I need you to deliver this. It‘s really important that tomorrow morning this letter is brought to the abandoned lot on Main Street. There is a large boulder on the property towards the back. It needs to be left next to that rock.”
Lucy was taken aback at the strange request. “Uhh…,” she said, unsure how to reply.
“This is really important, Lucy. It‘s life or death.”
I looked at her dead in the eye so she knew I was serious. I needed her to take me seriously in order for my plan to go ahead seamlessly.
“Of course, Miss,” Lucy finally said, tucking the letter away. “I‘d be happy to help you with that.”
“Thank you, Lucy. I appreciate it.” I sighed, relieved she‘d agreed. “Well, I have some school work to do now but thanks again for the clothes and for delivering that for me.”
“Not a problem, Miss. I‘ll leave you to it.”
She then walked to the door and was about to leave, but not before I remembered something else. I‘d almost forgotten the most crucial instructions.
“Oh! And Lucy?” I called out, stopping her in her tracks.
“Whatever you do…don‘t open it.”
And I simply smiled at her.
A slightly worried frown knitted on her face, but she nodded nonetheless, closing the door behind her.
I had gone over the different plans in my head during the day but all of them had led me back to this one. Unfortunately, there was no way around it. It needed to be done.