My cheeks flushed, and I made haste to finish my business and wash my hands, but not before recognizing the one that said she thought they would have s*x this weekend, as the blonde Atlas was playing tonsil hockey with. Rage and jealousy bubbled through me as I left the bathroom. I tried to make sense of those ridiculous feelings when I finally returned to my locker, and just like Denny predicted, he had yet to get there. So I jumped, trying to reach the combination lock Den had to help me do this morning. “f**k this day and f**k this locker!”
I growled, slamming my fists against the lockers. Warm hands wrapped around my waist, and I squeaked as my feet left the ground, making my locker eye level. I quickly opened my locker, exchanging the materials, hoping whoever was behind me didn’t drop me. That thought made my already thudding heart jump a little faster. Finally, I closed my locker, and my feet met the floor again. “Thanks for the—” My words caught in my throat as Atlas’s dark eyes looked through my soul. “Poor little bird. You can’t do anything for yourself, can you?” his snarky remark pissed me off, and I couldn’t stop the scoff from slipping out.
His eyebrow c****d up, probably not expecting defiance from his loyal subjects this early. But then he blew me off, ruffling my hair up the way he and Axel have done my whole life. “I didn’t ask you for help, did I, Atlas?” I snapped as I turned to walk away. The rubber toe of my ratty shoes caught on the tile sending me flying to my face, and my books and papers scattered the floor. Atlas’s laughter made my cheeks flush as I got up, readjusting this fugly uniform skirt that probably showed him every inch of my ass. Denny ran up, helping me gather my things which I greedily snatched. “I got it!” my voice sounded like gravel, and my eyes were black as night. “Harley.” Denny’s voice warned me of what I already knew. I was seeing red, and my wolf was fronting. “Run along, little bird, before you hurt yourself.” Atlas laughed as he tried to send me away. I turned to defend myself when Denny pulled me forward, shaking his head no. “I will be waiting here after your next class, I promise. Just go.” He said, urging me forward gently. I was relieved when neither of the twins had my next class.
I like this teacher; she is engaging and makes me laugh. I felt comfortable here like I could do this after all. She dismissed us for lunch, and true to his word, Denny was waiting for me this time. “Don’t pay no mind to Atlas. Both of them are struggling with keeping control of themselves. They are coming into their wolves next week… you know how emotional and hard that it is.” He whispered the last part, making my heart clench tight. I do remember. It was awful and scary, and the pain of the first shift is indescribable. Denny changed the texts I needed for my next class, and he walked with me to the cafeteria. I packed both of us chicken and steak quesadillas that I had made last night with a side salad. I tossed him his food, and we plopped into a chair. I smiled when he threw a bottle of water at me. We quickly settled in, talking and laughing about nothing until the twins walked up, flopping down with the soggy lunches they purchased from the line, grumbling and growling under their breath. I thought of what Den had said and unwrapped the two extra quesadillas and salad bowl I had brought for if Denny didn’t get full. I slid one in front of each of them without breaking mine and Denny’s conversation about the border patrol he was on the other night when I heard a slight groan of satisfaction as they dug into the food. Knowing they enjoyed my cooking made me want to smile so badly, but I managed to swallow it.
The blonde from the bathroom walked up, flopping down in Atlas’s lap again. I couldn’t stop my eyes from rolling this time as I cleaned up the mess and gathered the bowls. “Den, can you stash these in your locker without forgetting them or put them in mine, maybe?” I asked, standing with the bag of stacked Tupperware. “Why are you even here? Aren’t you like ten?” She laughed, tossing her hair back. I tried to tell myself not to engage with her. Because I knew she just wanted a rise out of me. But I couldn’t help it. “Wait, aren’t you the girl pimping out her cooter for a free nose job?? Goddess, that is disgusting.” I snarled, walking away from the daggers in her eyes she had directed at me. The rest of the day, I rode my high from knocking her down a notch until Denny texted me, telling me to grab the bowls from his locker. He would wait for me in the parking lot, much like I had expected he had forgotten them. I turned the corner a few feet from his locker when the slick slurping sounds filled the hallway along with screechy grunts. I peeked into the classroom where the sounds came from to find Atlas pinning the blonde over the teacher’s desk.
His handsome face was scrunched up in concentration as he slammed into her. His lips were slightly parted, and sweat glistened on his chest. I backed away, grabbing the bowls and running like hell before anyone saw me here— before Atlas saw me here. Bile rose in my throat like a science fair volcano as I busted through the double door that would take me into the parking lot. My body heaved on its own as I wrapped myself around a stone pillar with my lunch spilling from me. How could I be so deeply repulsed and intrigued by the two of them? “Harley, are you alright?” Denny grabbed my shoulders, looking me over. “Let’s go!” I took him with my shaking hand, running for his car. He opened the door for me, and I shrank into the seat as fur started spewing from my skin, my claws elongating like deadly spears, and a whine tore from me as I fit my wolf for control.