Chapter Nine

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Bridge

Tommy's hands were shaking, resting on my waist as he held me close, the tension in the air so thick I felt like my leg would crack in half again from the weight of it. However, his touch steadied me. When I should have been flipping out that a werewolf just dragged me through the school and mangled my leg, I was content to sit on his lap, my face buried in the crease of his neck, curled in his protective embrace.

He reminded me so much of home. The way he smelled, the feeling his presence gave me, even the way he smiled at me. All of it felt natural. Safe.

He'd carried me into the headmaster's office, sitting in a chair as he announced that we would wait for someone to be able to come see to my leg. So far, no one had shown up. They had all rushed off to help Angelica. I hoped they were able to save her; she was mean, but she didn't deserve to die.

"Is it bad?" I asked quietly, unable to look at my leg. It may have been technically dead and spelled to look normal, but I still felt every single tooth that had torn into me and snapped the bone.

His hands stopped shaking a little as he took a deep breath, apparently examining my leg for me. "It's pretty bad," he admitted, squeezing me in reassurance. "But the witches will take care of it fine."

"Will it look like that when I look . . . like I'm supposed to? Like a zombie?" His skin was so soft and warm, I couldn't help but rub my cheek across it a little.

He hesitated, one of his hands moving and rubbing my back slightly. "Yes. The leg will always be broken now. When you're . . . not dead looking, it will be fine. But if you ever go out without the spell, it will be very hard for you to go anywhere on your own. I'm sorry, Bridge."

"You say that a lot." I chuckled, my warm breath making his skin ripple with gooseflesh. "This isn't your fault either."

"I don't understand why it went after you. It shouldn't have been here at all. The marks on the other two werewolves were cloaked with magic." He sounded frustrated, but his touch was soft, reassuring even, as he continued to rub my back.

"Marks? I don't understand." My arms were still wrapped around his shoulders. Suddenly, I wished he was sitting forward, so I could comfort him with a back rub in return.

"When a werewolf bites a human and turns them, they leave a magical mark. It helps them locate the new pack members during the next full moon, so they can run together and protect themselves. The two boys that were bitten had their marks hidden, though, so the wolf wouldn't come to the school and they could learn to function with their conditions." His head rested on top of mine lightly, the feel of him engulfing me.

"The wolf wouldn't have known where the school was on his own?" It was embarrassing to still not know things about this world, but he didn't seem to mind answering all of my questions.

"Not this kind, no. The person probably isn't even aware that they are a werewolf. Most human minds block out the memories of changing and what they did as the animal."

"There's more than one kind of werewolf?" I should have known that-Garrett didn't look anything like the one that had attacked me, but was obviously a wolf of some kind.

"There are three types," a voice said behind us.

Tommy jumped, his head lifting off mine and I glanced up, seeing Headmaster Garrett in the doorway, Angelica looking sickly beside her.

"If you don't mind, I'd like to get Angelica taken care of before we discuss it further, though." A witch entered the room behind the two of them and made a beeline straight for me.

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