Chapter 4

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Thank God for lunch. Giselle's stomach was so empty it was practically feasting on itself. No doubt everyone around her could hear the gurgling and complaining. Just another embarrassment to add to the list of reasons that homeschooling was a better option for her. She barreled into the cafeteria and headed for the shortest line in the lunchroom. Window-style, like a walk-up fast food joint, there was a menu overhead with generic choices and prices. Giselle ordered one of everything. Pizza, burger, fries, juice, side salad with Italian dressing, the works! She wanted it all. It didn't matter that school lunch wasn't really food. More like foodish-looking products with artificial taste, color, and smell. It didn't matter at that moment. She was starving, and her wolf was restless. She'd gnaw on a table leg if it meant her stomach would stop complaining.

Picking up her overloaded tray, she scanned the room for her group. Feeding time at the zoo would have been easier to manage than school lunch hour. Tables were filling up faster than she could reach them. Pre-determined groups had laid claim to specific areas of the room and set up invisible boundaries that must have been known to the regulars. She certainly couldn't see them, but one step too close to the Goth group earned her sneers and hisses that had her wolf ready to surface. Giselle tried to remember she'd already embarrassed herself more than once today; she'd best be on good behavior at least until day two.

She spotted Di already sitting in the farthest corner near the windows and headed for her. "Where's Taylor?"

Di faux pouted. "She's on second lunch."

"That sucks," Giselle said, and proceeded to stuff her face with a slice of cardboard pizza.

"Nah, she's got friends to keep her company. School council, party planning committee, that kind of thing."

"Overachiever?" Giselle asked.

"Social butterfly," Di answered. "But she's also got the connections. If you need it, she can get it. Pays to have friends in high places."

Giselle couldn't imagine what special things she'd need in school, but smiled and continued to wolf down her food. Onto the sawdust-flavored burger. "So. Who wants to tell me about the other pack here?" she asked between bites.

"Could you be any louder?" Di cringed. "Or more disgusting? Chew with your mouth closed, please!"

She couldn't help herself. That would be the last time she skipped breakfast! "Like anyone listening knows what I really mean." She gulped down a soda and wiped her mouth clean. Vikings probably had better table manners than she at this point, but if she didn't sate the beast, there'd be more problems than sloppy eating. Her wolf demanded more food.

"Whatever, Elle." Di rolled her eyes and scooted her chair a few inches away from Giselle. "Don't stress. The others are not our friends. That's all you need to know right now."

She'd made a big deal about warning her, and that was her reason? Nope. Not going to fly. "Screw what I need to know. Give me something to work with here. I need details."

Di huffed as if her word were law and to challenge it was an insult. "When you are made an official member of the pack, maybe Martina will tell you. It's not my place."

New family or pack or whatever they were, Giselle could see some arguments in their future. Di's attitude was grating on her nerves, to say the least. But she tried with a cleansing breath to calm her wolf and work a different angle to find answers.

"Fine. If I decide to join, I'll ask Martina. But for now at least tell me about Ash.... The boy. Because I sit next to him in Chem and in Writing. He's..."

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