Roman Violets and Ash chapitre Chapitre 5

‘We’re actually doing this, Lacey. We’re going to college. Did you see how proud Elijah looked?’ I laughed, spinning in place while some obscure pop song trickled from my phone.

‘This is all he’s ever wanted for us…but you know we can’t back out now, right?’ She replied, and her uncertainty caused the first crack in my giddy exterior.

I sucked in a breath, held it for seven seconds and exhaled just like my old therapist taught me. Even now I could see his face, speckled with deep lines and pock marks, that flap of greasy white hair over his head. Those long, drawn-out meetings where I talked about my feelings and lack of memories were my primary motivation to act normal.

So long as I took my daily cocktail of medication and went to my bi-weekly appointments there was no need for a grueling three sessions a week.

‘We’re not going to back out.’ I insisted, determined to ride out this euphoric high for as long as possible.

My romance novel infected brain conjured one scenario after another. The shy, awkward main character starting her first day at an elite boarding school after a whirlwind make-over, always running from some elusive past I couldn’t wait to discover.

She’d turn heads the moment she walked through the doors, beautiful while never realizing it. There was usually a fifty percent chance she’d catch the eye of the golden-haired jock or the asshole in ripped jeans.

Personally, I always preferred the blue-eyed jock. There was something about arrogance topped with thick hair, dark eyes, and wrapped in leather jackets that made my blood boil.

I wanted romance, not high blood pressure and a maximum life span of forty-three.

‘Are you sure about this, Vi?’ Lacey asked, ears flattening. ‘It’s been a while since we’ve been in a public school…it’s not going to be like your novels.’

‘I’m just trying to stay positive, Lacey. I know it’s not going to be like a romance novel, and don’t pretend you aren’t listening in every time I read them. I could feel your presence plain as day when I read End Zone.’ I grinned and fell backwards onto my new bed, giggling as I slowly sunk into the blankets.

‘Human sports are interesting.’ She grumbled, narrowing her pale eyes.

I contorted my face into a stern expression that made Lacey snort and nodded solemnly, ‘…of course, it was the sports you stuck around for.’

‘Really, Ms. high and mighty? What drew you in?’ She asked with a twitch of her bushy tail.

‘You know exactly what drew me in. I’ve never hid that.’ I teased, seconds away from making her bristle when my stomach rumbled pitifully.

It had been hours since dinner and instead of sunlight streaming past the billowing folds of silken curtains in my bedroom, it was now moonlight.

I’d talked to Sylvia a bit longer, going over potential classes and a major while devouring my side salad that consisted of mostly lettuce and a few cherry tomatoes.

All werewolf schools, public and private, had warrior training. My heart quite literally skipped a beat when Sylvia assured me she’d look into certain accommodations that would allow me to skip training. It’s been years since my last blackout, and the last thing I needed was to ruin my lucky streak in this new town.

We agreed I’d take the weekend to think things over, to make sure this was what I really wanted. Truthfully, my mind had been made up the moment I saw Elijah’s encouraging smile.

‘As tasty as that soup was, we need something more filling.’ I groaned, a hand on my hungry stomach. It was soft and my belly poked out a little bit, but I was long past trying to starve myself to achieve the toned physique just about every she-wolf possessed. I had learned very young that if it wasn’t my scars people whispered about, it was my weight.

‘…could we maybe just pop on down to the kitchen?’ Lacey suggested, her voice low even though no one but me could hear her.

My lips twitched into a grin, ‘aren’t you the one who keeps us out of trouble?’

‘At one point, maybe. You kinda ruined that when you decided to work at the worst bar in town.’ She guffawed.

‘That’s fair.’ I nodded, leaping off the bed and onto my feet. ‘Speaking of the bar, I’ll need to find another while we’re here…’

‘We’ll probably have to travel out of town. The bars around here are probably more like nightclubs, which means we’ll run into other students. We can figure it out after we get some food in our stomachs.’ Lacey insisted, urging me out the door.

The walls were lined with identical doors crafted from an expensive dark wood, but there wasn’t so much as a peep coming from any of them. I wondered if they were all bedrooms and tried to picture each one as I turned the corner, skimming my fingers along the trimming on the wall as I walked.

There was one door that made me pause. I caught the faintest scent of cologne. The trail was so weak that I couldn’t even tell what it smelled like, only that it was masculine. I leaned in close, my cheek almost pressed against the door as I strained my ears.

‘Quit being nosy before someone catches us.’ Lacey scolded me.

Ignoring the little voice in my head that wondered if the door was locked, I continued down the hall. When I found the main staircases with minimal back tracking, my hope that I’d learn my way around this place was renewed.

Pausing on the balcony that overlooked the foyer and part of the living room, I wondered what it might’ve been like to grow up in a house like this. Running through these massive, twisting hallways would’ve been the first thing I did. Well, that and explore every single room.

My stomach rumbled again, and as I spotted the front doors my fingers twitched with that familiar urge. There was no way I could do my usual routine of checking the locks. I’d look insane if someone were to catch me.

Through the dimly lit dining room, I could see the lights in the kitchen were off. The doors they were built into made a soft swishing sound as I pushed past them. The effort I made to keep silent was for naught because the second I walked into the kitchen; the lights flicked on.

I was temporarily blinded, but still managed to spot Norma’s short and slender frame standing in front of the pantry, her arms crossed over her chest. The severe look on her face that reminded me of a dragon protecting its loot, softened when she realized it was me.

“You look ready for battle.” I let out an anxious laugh that confirmed my guilt.

Chapter 5 1

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