Chapter 5

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English Lit came after lunch. A subject Giselle was much more comfortable with – and even more so when she spotted Mr. Puppy-Dog Eyes as she entered the room. Seriously, hot guy overload at this school. And despite her earlier faux pas in chemistry, he still gave her a smile when their eyes met. Unlike the taciturn Ash, he seemed almost eager to say hello, and she'd be more than happy to say it back. Aside from the adorable eyes that drew you under their spell, he had a nice body to match. Not very tall, she'd noticed earlier, but taller than she was, which was all that really mattered. And that windswept hair just begged for her to run her fingers through it.

What was wrong with her? Giselle had to stop herself from drooling. She'd never been so boy crazy before. Must have something to do with the moon cycle. As it grew larger, it always played havoc with her moods.

"You have paperwork for me, don't you, dear?" asked an older woman with her hair tied back in a severe bun, with a hand already held out to receive it.

"Yes, here." Giselle fished out her schedule from her notebook and handed it over.

"I'm Ms. Freeman, dear." She spoke with an English accent, which seemed all too appropriate for the subject, and matched her grandma-esque look. "We're in the middle of Much Ado about Nothing. You'll need to catch up on the reading if you've never read it."

"I've read it before." She'd hoped to impress her new teacher, but the dismissive look Ms. Freeman gave her said otherwise.

"This semester we are studying the masters, and will be re-creating works in our own pen for the final grade. I'll expect you to hold to the same standard as the others. No leeway for latecomers in my class."

"Will you want it in iambic pentameter, or just in our own words?" Again she tried to show herself in a good light, but it seemed she missed the mark.

"Aren't you just a clever clogs?" Ms. Freeman sighed impatiently. "Have a seat next to Mr. Matthews there in the third row."

Mr. Matthews was far too proper a name for Mr. Puppy-Dog Eyes. Not that her nickname for him was any better, but she'd soon learn his real name, as they'd be sitting together for the rest of the semester. What a stroke of luck. She walked over and took her seat, giving a little hello smile to her new neighbor.

The bell sounded, and Ash strolled in out of breath as if he'd been running the entire lunch break. "Sorry, Ms. Freeman." He threw himself into the seat at the front of the class.

As soon as he'd walked into the classroom, her eyes locked on to him, and she could see a similar response from other girls in the class as well. That boy had animal magnetism to spare.

"Bet you're glad you don't have to sit next to him in this class," Mr. Matthews whispered.

"What?" Giselle said, slightly confused.

"He's a bit rude. Or, at least that's how it looked earlier in Chem."

"Oh. Yeah. That."

"It's okay, I won't bite your head off. I'm not that kind of animal. By the way, I'm Damien."

Why had he chosen those words specifically? 'Not that kind of animal'? Was he some other form of animal? She didn't smell anything other than too much cologne on him, but maybe that was to cover up his natural scent. Could there be more wolves here than she'd originally thought? Was this some kind of supernatural high school? Wouldn't that just be the icing on the cake? Giselle laughed to herself, and then realized that she might have just made Damien think she'd been laughing at him. Couldn't she do anything right?

"Sorry. I'm Giselle."

"You're the new girl, eh?"

"What was your first clue?" She hadn't meant it to come out that way. She'd been going for funny and sarcastic, but it came out as bitch.

"Oh. I see. That's how it is."

"No. Sorry. I didn't..."

"It's cool. I'm crap at small talk too. Let me get your number, and we can have a real conversation."

Damn. Did that just happen? Giselle was dumbfounded, to say the least, but flattered all the same. She bit down on her lip looked away for a moment, hoping the flush in her cheeks might fade before he noticed. Puppy-Dog Eyes... er, Damien... was hot and fast. Probably a bad combination, but what the heck. She scrawled her number out on a piece of paper and passed it over to him. He took it, and a moment later her phone buzzed.

"Now you've got my number," Damien said. "There's a group heading up to Mount Charleston this weekend. Come with us. You don't have to ski."

Every fiber of her being was screaming, Yes! She took a breath and calmed her excitement. "I'll think about it."

"That's girl-speak for no."

"It is not!"

"So you'll go, then?"

"Okay, but I'll have to check with my...friends." She wasn't sure what to call Taylor and Di yet. They weren't really family, and they'd only just recently become friends.

"I'll bet they won't mind. I know Di's going."

He had the self-assurance of an Alpha, that was for sure. Maybe he was one, and all that cologne was masking it. As she wondered silently what she should say next, she caught sight of Asher glancing back at her. Was that disappointment in his eyes? What the hell did he have to be disappointed about? Boys... No point in trying to figure them out.

"How do you know Di?" She tried to ask it with a nice a tone as she could manage, but it still came out as an accusation.

"We go way back. You'll have to ask her, though... nothing bad, I swear."

"You're not exactly earning any points by being mysterious."

"Not something I can talk about in public. If you know what I mean." He lowered his voice. "Wolfgirl..."

She let the words hang in the air, even more curious now about Damien that she'd been before. Clearly he knew about her... and Di.

"I take it you're just as special?"

"Not in the same way, but yes."

Oh, just come out with it already! "Then we'll have a lot to discuss later, huh?"

"So, that means I can call you later?"

She couldn't hide the blush. Her heart had skipped more than one beat as it raced. Was this really happening? Damn. Hot guy overload and a date. She had to take a breath before speaking again.

"Yeah. Call me."

"And we can talk about the... snow day." Damien sounded a little less self-assured, but only slightly so.

"Right." She laughed under her breath. "If Di's going, I'll have no excuse." Damn. She'd done it again. Why did everything she said have to make her sound like a royal bitch? "Sorry. What I meant was..."

"Books open. No more talking. We're in the fourth act... Giselle Richards, our new student, will you begin to read for us, please."

Giselle smiled awkwardly at Damian. "Mount Charleston sounds like fun," she whispered, and then opened her book up to read.

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