STAWP | Chapter 27

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I bring the tray of bacon out just as kids start trickling in. The youngest look about Nicki's age, while the oldest are probably closer to my age.

"Sofie. Sofie!" Nicki calls the moment she spots me. She's with another girl and she brings her over to meet me. Unlike Nicki, who's wearing pink again—sans Bieber this time—her friend is dressed in a lime-green t-shirt and her hair is braided with matching beads. She's even wearing matching glasses, which have to be fake because wolves have perfect vision.

"This is Nisha," Nicki introduces her friend. "Joshie doesn't live at the house yet." She cups the side of her mouth with her hand and looks around to make sure no one's listening. "He can't shift," she stage whispers.

Nisha nods emphatically, then glances at the table and gasps. She looks horrified, though everything looks normal to me... just a bunch of kids taking their seats, or standing in groups, talking and laughing.

"We have to go," Nicki yells, grabbing Nisha's hand. "See you later, Sofie!"

The two girls run across the dining room toward a group of kids their age. Nicki places her hands on her hips and says something to a boy who's picked the seat closest to the exit. He quickly gets up and moves over by two seats, leaving space for Nicki and Nisha to sit together.

Zara walks in a few seconds later and waves when she spots me. She's wearing a cute skirt, high-heeled booties, and a red tank top—all things that weren't in her closet when I was trying her stuff on earlier or when I was doing laundry. She's also has a bunch of red and black bracelets on, which weren't in her room when I cleaned it. Maybe wolves borrow each other's stuff all the time at a pack house? That would explain why Zara gave me half her stuff without even blinking an eye.

She spots Logan, who's at the table on his phone, and goes to grab a chair next to him. I notice how flawless her makeup is and once again hope I get a chance to borrow some before I run away. I don't think I can pull off the thick black eyeliner, glittery eye-shadow and very shiny lip-gloss, but maybe some light eye-shadow and clear lip gloss?

Logan puts away his phone when Zara sits down, glances my way, and says something that makes her burst out laughing. Is he talking about me? I wonder, moving closer so I can overhear. Did he tell her I smell like sausages? That I showered with him in the same room? That we totally made out?

"Mr. Marten is so weird." Zara giggles when I get closer, and I realize they're talking about someone else—probably a teacher. Wow, I'm paranoid.

I head back inside the kitchen to grab another tray, but Luna stops me. "You can go sit down, Saffron. We're pretty much done in here." She grabs the French toast, and Mr. and Mrs. Jacobs carry out more sausages and bacon.

I nod and head back to the dining room. When I get there, Jasper's in the seat next to Zara. The two of them don't hold hands or act like they're a couple or anything, but he keeps sneaking glances at her and she does the same.

I walk up to the three of them and hesitate, not really sure I'd be welcome to sit with them. When they don't notice me, I start to turn away and look for another place to sit, but Logan stops me.

"I saved you a seat." He winks, patting a chair on his left. I sit down and am both relieved and disappointed when he turns back to his friends, acting like we didn't totally hook up.

A few seconds later, a girl sits down next to Jasper. She's that same blonde whose friend made fun of my outfit yesterday and the one whose photo Zara has hanging above her desk.

The girl checks out my outfit, including my new flats, but she doesn't laugh or comment.

"Sofie, meet Jess. Jess, Sofie," Zara introduces us.

"Hi," I greet Jess awkwardly, and not just because of the way she looked over my clothes. Last night, Zara mentioned that her friend who got dumped by her boyfriend when he found his mate is named Jess. Unless she has two friends with the same name, this has to be her.

Jess doesn't say anything. She just sort of stares past me, like I'm not really there, or she's the one who's somewhere else. There's a sad air about her, and I instantly feel bad for her. She definitely looks like she's just gone through a breakup.

"Did you finish chapter eight for English?" Zara asks Jess, leaning over Jasper so she can talk to her more easily. It's subtle, but I catch Jasper breathing in Zara's scent. Unlike me, I'm pretty sure she doesn't smell like 'sausages.'

"Yah, sure," Jess mumbles.

"Did you answer question three? The one on literary technique?" Zara prompts.

"I don't remember," Jess replies tonelessly and a few seconds of awkward silence follow.

"So," Logan finally says, "you guys want to see a movie this Friday?"

"Great idea," Zara replies instantly, though her smile is obviously fake and she gives Jasper a wistful look. I guess by Friday, the two of them will be broken up, and he'll be with some other girl.

"Sure, man," Jasper adds, though I can tell he's uncomfortable. I guess he's wondering how things will be between him and Zara.

"Jess?" Zara asks pointedly.

"Yah, sure," she mumbles, but she looks like she's about to cry.

I've never been to the movies and I definitely don't have the money. I doubt that matters though, since I won't be around by Friday. Plus, I should make long-term plans so no one suspects I'm going to run away. "I'm in," I say and only then realize that the invite might not extend to me. "That is if you guys want me t—"

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