"Carlos! How's Raelyn?" Jay asked as his frosty haired friend walked into their room.
"She's alright." He replied, grabbing the bottle of juice that was sat on the coffee table.
"Is Rob all healed?"
Carlos snorted. "If he was totally healed, he would end up needing fixed again…" He grumbled, clenching his fist.
"What did he do this time?" Jay sighed pulling a t-shirt over his head.
"Well he decided to kiss her… before he got attacked."
Jay frowned. "He did what?"
"He kissed her Jay! That stuck up jerk thought it would be clever to kiss my girlfriend…"
Jay groaned. "Hasn't he gotten it into his thick head? She chose you, she's rejected him so many times."
"Yes, but he still doesn't think I'm right for her."
"If you weren't, do you think that she'd trust you with her pack? With her secrets? Rob doesn't even know a fraction of what you do about her."
Carlos smiled slightly, raising his arm, watching the sunlight dance in the fire amber. "I know."
Jay rolled his eyes. "You are being weird again." He barked a laugh. "Get ready so we can go to class."
Carlos nodded and went into the bathroom.
Raelyn stood in the shower, letting the white-hot water hit her skin. My father… he hurt my pack… my friend… what else is he going to do? Is he doing this to draw me out? Make me lose my cool? Or is he just being plain cruel? The water merged with the salty tears pouring from her eyes. Why can't he just leave me alone? Does he even sense that the new alpha shares his blood? If that new sub is involved, whether he's my father or just working for him… then the school is in danger. She looked down to see blood swirling down the plughole. She opened her hand to see little but deep half moon shape cuts, caused by her nails digging into the flesh. She sighed and turned off the water. "Once I find out who you are… you better run and hide…"
Raelyn met Carlos and Jay at their door as planned and they walked to class.
Later that day, Raelyn went back to her room alone and started to read her mother's journal.
She talks of him like he's a kind person… but the big bad wolf I've had problems with is cruel, heartless, and cowardly. She flicked through the pages. But… she truly loved him. She stopped at one of the pages. "First transition?" She swallowed.
I know this is going to sound scary, little one. But I need to tell what will happen when you go through your first full shift into a wolf. I am going to explain as best as I can, the way your father explained to me.
He said that the first shift happens when shape shifters are about thirteen years old. Since you are half human… so I don't know if the same rule would apply for you.
Normally after the first, a shift will occur when emotions are running high. Anger, sadness and deep love and passion. Your father learned how to control his shifts, so he could do it at will, I don't know how he did that, I'm sorry I can't help you with that.
He told me that it was like his blood was boiling, his jaw began to hurt, and his eye sight was more vivid than it already was. He experienced a lot of pain but said that it's not so bad after the first.
Now, I don't want you to be afraid my love, I know that you're going to be strong and amazing, just like he was. If you feel the change starting, lock yourself in a room where you can't hurt yourself or anyone around you.
This is all I can tell you, good luck my child.
Raelyn felt herself shake, closing the journal. "Is that what's happening to me? Am I preparing for my first full shift?" She put the journal back in it's hiding place and walked around the room. "What if it happens… and my friends are around? What if the rest of the school sees?" She sighed. "What if I hurt somebody?" She made up her mind and headed for the library.
"Carlos! Heads up!"
Carlos looked over to receive a blow to the head with the tourney ball.
"Carlos!" Ben jogged over. "What's the matter with you?"
Carlos sighed. "It's nothing, sorry I kinda spaced out."
"You've been doing that all day by the sounds of it." Ben put his hands on his hips. "Is it Rae?"
Carlos took off his helmet. "Sorry. I'm just worried about her since yesterday."
Ben bit his lip and looked over to the coach. "One moment." He walked towards the said man.
"What is it, King Ben?" Coach asked.
"I was wondering if we could stop for the day? Carlos has something he needs to do, and I think Jay and I need to be there to help."
Coach looked over to the frosty haired boy. "Alright. But we'll put in an extra hour in tomorrow."
Ben smiled. "You know it." He went back to Carlos. "Get going." He patted his friend's shoulder.
Carlos met his gaze. "What?"
"Go and see her or whatever you have to do."
Carlos smiled. "Thanks." He ran to the changing rooms.
Raelyn was standing on stepladders, looking at all the titles on the top shelf. Shape shifters…
Raelyn snapped her gaze towards the familiar voice of her sub teacher, Alex. "You could say that." She mumbled. Why is he here? Why now?
"Watch yourself, those ladders don't look very sturdy." He observed.
She looked down at him. "I think I'll be fine." She smiled slightly. A book caught her interest, so she pulled it from the shelf before carefully climbing back down the ladders. She walked to her chair at one of the tables.
Alex watched her quietly. "I hear that you are a huntsman? A bit young, aren't you?"
She frowned. "It's in my blood." She replied.
He sighed and sat down across from her and picked up a book, flicking through it. "You recently went to the Isle with Lady Mal and her friends, yes?"
She finally met his gaze. "Yes, I did."
"So, the isle. How was it?"
"Kinda like most places, only there is a magical barrier keeping them there." She returned to her reading.
"You're dating one of the four that Ben allowed into Auradon a few years ago."
She exhaled. "I'm sorry, but really, what has that got to do with you?"
"Just curious. I'm new here."
"I've only been here since October. Join the club."
"Rae?" Carlos appeared around the bookshelves.
Raelyn looked up and smiled at him, relieved to see him. "Hey!"
"Hey." He looked to Alex. "Sir." He walked up and sat next to Raelyn. "You alright?"
She nodded her head.
"Well, I'll leave you love-birds alone." Alex got up. "Raelyn, just a pointer, don't believe everything you read in those books. Only an actual shape shifter can give you the real facts." He added.
"Well, if I find one, I'll ask them." She met his eyes again.
A ghost of a smirk flashed across his features. "Good luck." He saluted and strode away.
Carlos glared at Alex's retreating figure. "He still gives me the creeps." He looked to Raelyn. "Raelyn?" He took her hand. "You're heating up again?" He whispered.
She swallowed and took deep calming breaths. "I'm on the verge of my first shift…" She breathed.
"Fairy Godmother did say that if your emotions run high, it can be triggered." Carlos recalled.
She nodded. "Exactly…" She stood up and put the books into her bag. "Let's go."
He got up too and they left the library.
"I was reading my mom's journal. She mentions what to expect but not many details. I thought I'd do a bit of research." She sighed, feeling herself calm down with his presence. "Anyway, I thought you had practice." She rounded him.
He took her hand. "I couldn't concentrate. I'm worried about you."
She squeezed his hand reassuringly. "I'll be fine. After my first shift it should be plain sailing."
"So, what did that teacher want?"
"He seemed very interested in me and the fact I hang out with you guys from the isle."
"Strange. He seems very interested in you."
They arrived at Raelyn's dorm and locked the door.
Raelyn collapsed onto her bed. "I was thinking…" She mused.
He lay down next to her on his side, watching her face. "What?"
"Maybe I should just let the shift take over… in a safe place of course. But if the first is the worst… I might as well get it over with." She swallowed. "My mom's journal said that my father learned how to control his shifts. Maybe I can too."
"Is that what you were researching?"
She nodded. "She said after this first shift, my wolf will take over every time my emotions go haywire. I can't have that kinda problem in my line of work."
"Yeah, okay then. Next time we're somewhere you can freely wolf out, I'll keep a look out whilst you do your thing." He sighed softly. "You'll get through this. Once you've shifted, you'll be strong enough to fight your dad head on."
She smiled. "Yeah, and I can truly be the alpha of my pack." She shuffled closer to him and snuggled into his chest. "I'm glad that I have you and everyone else."
He wrapped his arms around her. "Me too."