Authors: Tate Layman
“Rory and nice don’t belong in the same sentence.
She’s nuts,” Mark laughed.
“I thought she seemed sweet,” Whit stated, which just caused another round of laughter.
She looked around, confused.
“You don’t need to defend Rory, Whit.
We’re friends with her,” Nolan explained with a quick look in her direction.
“Was her gang of tall boys with her?” Christopher asked.
“Yeah, there were three guys with her, but I can’t remember their names.”
“Were they Tavis, Alec, and Darian?”
Nolan asked with a grin.
“Yeah, that’s them.
They all helped me move in, which saved me a lot of time and stairs,” Whit said with a smile. The guys nodded, before they started telling her about Tavis and Darian. Whit remembered that Tavis was large and very muscular, and now thanks to her dinner companions she was about to find out why. Mark explained that Tavis was something called a scavenger or bonecrusher. When Whit asked what that was, her table companions looked shocked that she didn’t already know.
“Whit, what exactly
do you know about Maverick?” Nolan asked with a frown.
“I know students who attend Maverick are special.
I know some of the talents or specialties, but not all of them,” she answered honestly.
“Okay, we can help you out here
. First off, at Maverick no one hides their talent or gift. Be proud of what you can do. It’s just part of being here. We all have something different about us,” Nolan said with a wink before continuing. “So we’ll start with me. I’m a caster, or I guess ‘spellcaster’ is the correct term. I specialize in fire. However, some casters deal with water and ice, others in lightning and energy. Mark, your turn.”
“I’m called a bonecrusher,
same as Tavis. I’m not as large as him yet. Bonecrushers are extremely strong. We can rip someone apart with very little effort. Our arms and legs are also super powerful. We can run faster, and jump higher and longer than anybody. Our bodies are made for survival. Basically I’m awesome.” He grinned, then winked. “Sam, your turn.”
Whit knew her mouth was hanging open, but she just couldn’t absorb what
Nolan and Mark had told her. Before Sam started explaining his talent, she held up both hands to stop the conversation.
“So,” she said pointing a finger in
Nolan’s direction, “you can start fires or shoot fire out of your fingers?”
grinned. “Yeah, just a few of my many talents.” He opened his palm toward Whit and before she could blink, a little fireball appeared in his hand. He blew it in Sam’s direction, and the next thing Whit saw was Sam’s tray on fire. Whit jumped up from her chair and looked around for some water, but the boys remained seated and watched as the fire got smaller and then went out.
“What happened?” Whit asked.
“I put it out. I controlled the fire because I started it. Anyway,” Nolan said with a shake of his head, “do you want us to stop? I mean, you’ll have an orientation meeting tomorrow about some of this. It’s okay if you want us to shut up. We know it’s a lot to take in.”
“No, don’t stop! T
ell me about the other talents. I’ve been curious about this since I first visited the school, but I never imagined there were actually people who could
this stuff. It’s just hard to believe.” Whit turned her attention to Sam. Finally, someone was telling her about the gifts. And they weren’t exactly what she was expecting. She had thought vampires and werewolves, but bonecrushers. Who even knew those existed? And casting? That seemed really cool. Why couldn’t she have that gift instead of those horrible dreams? Whit glanced at Sam, who was next and she had to admit that her curiosity was definitely edging out her fear.
m classified as a stalker. My five senses are way beyond those of a normal human. My eyesight is similar to that of an eagle. I can see from long distances, and zoom in on things like a camera does. I can smell and hear things from a mile away. My hearing is why I have to wear these special hearing aids around school.” He leaned toward Whit so she could his ears. “They help filter noise so I don’t go crazy. My sense of touch is also receptive to certain types of information. I can tell by touching things what they’re made of or if someone has altered them in some way. Last, but certainly not least, is taste. I taste foods and smells in the air to a greater effect. I can track people easily, but demons … well, not so much. They have a certain stench to them, see. I’m still learning about demons and how they affect me. And why. I’m definitely a work in progress,” Sam finished with a small laugh. “But if someone is awesome, it’d be me.” He laughed as he shoved Mark.
there are things out in the world, bad things like demons?” Whit asked with a look of horror.
“Yeah, there are bad things
.” Nolan looked straight into Whit’s eyes. When she started to ask more about the bad things, Nolan shook his head and Whit knew that particular subject was closed to her. Or at least not something that Nolan wanted to talk about.
She glanced around the table until she came to the guy sitting on her left side. Christopher had been quiet throughout dinner, and Whit wasn’t sure if she wanted to hear anymore tonight. Maybe it would be best not to make him talk about it. She glanced at her watch and read the time: 8:03. From the school information sheet, Whit knew the dorms were locked at 8:30 on Sundays, and all students were required to be inside at that time. If nothing else, it gave her a convenient excuse.
“Guys, I hate to run off when
you’re being so helpful, but it’s already 8 and I need to get ready for tomorrow.” Whit felt somewhat relieved to be escaping further explanation of the gifts. She didn’t think she could handle much more in one day. She gathered up her trash and the remains of her food, stood, and said good night. As Whit left the cafeteria, she heard Nolan shout her name and watched as he ran to catch up with her.
“I’ll walk with you back to your dorm, if that’s okay?”
She was surprised, but tried not to let it show on her face.
“Yeah, that would help me actually. Without you I’d probably get lost and end up walking around all night.” She forced a laugh and then tried to force her eyes away from his deliciousness. Whit’s heart was beating so fast, she was sure he could hear it. Goodness, her hands were starting to sweat, so she tried to wipe them on her jeans without drawing his attention. Nolan interrupted her thoughts when he grabbed her arm and saved her from running into a bush.
in a daze,” she said trying to come up with an excuse and hide her blush. “My brain’s working overtime trying to put together everything you guys told me tonight. It’s a lot to take in.” She noticed that Nolan’s hand was still on her arm. At that moment, she remembered her dream about Nolan and her walking down the hall laughing. She didn’t know if it was thinking about that dream or his hand on her arm, but suddenly she started feeling bit better.
ow that you know all about me, will you tell me what your gift is?” he asked as he stepped back from her.
She took a deep breath, trying to get her hormones under control.
He was just a guy, she told herself. After a moment of silence, Whit realized he was waiting on her to answer. Since she hadn’t heard the question, she asked him to repeat it, mentally shaking herself.
“Now that you know all about me, will you tell me what your gift is?”
for a second, but decided it was only fair. “I have dreams that end up happening, so I guess that means I’m psychic, or I’m going to be one once I learn to control the dreams,” Whit explained with a shrug, finally feeling like she had her reaction to him under control.
His face lit up.
“Cool, so you see the future! Did you dream about Maverick?” he asked.
“Some things about it,”
Whit blurted out before she could stop herself. Thank goodness her mouth shut before she embarrassed herself and told him about the dream he was in.
frowned when Whit stopped talking. “I’m sorry if we scared you tonight. I just remember what it was like when I was new a couple of years ago. I remember being scared.” He glanced at the ground. “Guess I wanted to make sure you felt welcome instead.”
As they made their way up the front walkway to the girls’ dorm, Whit thought about how lucky she was to finally meet a guy with potential. Nolan was gorgeous, sweet, and just seemed like a genuinely nice guy. Plus, he had flirted and seemed like he might be interested in her. Could it be that it was that easy to meet someone? She turned to Nolan with the intention of thanking him and asking if maybe he wanted to meet her for breakfast tomorrow, when all of a sudden a girl ran by and all but tackled him to the ground. Whit stepped back in surprise. Nolan grabbed the girl and turned her toward Whit.
“Sorry about that
, Whit. This is Caroline,” he introduced offhandedly with a grin.
“Nice to meet yo
u,” Whit said, feeling a bit awkward. Was that his girlfriend? “Well, good night,” she said as she turned with a wave and headed into the dorm. Thank goodness she hadn’t asked him to breakfast. Of
he had a girlfriend. A guy that good looking always had a girlfriend. But what really bothered Whit was the way her flirted and made her feel like he was interested.
As she opened the door, she couldn’t help glancing
back over her shoulder at the couple, who were now caught up in a pretty heated make-out session. Good grief, she thought, at least go behind a bush or something. She rolled her eyes. Before the door could close all the way, she thought she heard Nolan shout out something that sounded like, “Good night Whit.”
She didn’t bother to answer.
The climb to the seventh floor exhausted her even more. By the time she reached her room, her breathing was strained. As Whit slowly opened her door, she overhead voices and knew that someone was with Nalini in their room. The conversation stopped immediately when the two girls saw Whit. Whit noticed that Nalini had changed into her pajamas, which was a tank top and short set. The other girl, who was laying on Whit’s bed, was simply too beautiful for words. She looked like a model, with her long, dark hair and flawless pale skin. Whit didn’t particularly like anyone messing with her stuff or laying on her bed, but she didn’t want to cause trouble the first night. The beautiful girl turned and looked over Whit before returning her gaze to Nalini. From that glance, Whit knew that the two girls had been discussing her, and it made her feel uncomfortable. Before the silence became too long, the beautiful girl focused back on Whit.
“You must be Whitni.
Nalini was just telling me about you,” she said. Whit was curious what Nalini could possibly have said, since she’d only talked to her for about five seconds. But she wasn’t about to ask.
ut everyone calls me Whit,” she corrected with a friendly grin.
Darby. We usually hang out in the evenings, just to warn you. I invade your room frequently,” she laughed. Whit recalled the boys at dinner saying something about Darby starting trouble, but then Nolan defended her, saying that she was usually nice. Whit thought she probably needed to decide for herself about Darby. She would be careful what she said around her until she knew for sure, though.
ow was dinner?” Nalini asked.
“It was good. I met a few more people
, which is good,” Whit said with a shrug.
“Who’d you meet?
We can tell you all the dirt on them,” Darby grinned.
, I sat with four guys. They were really sweet. Their names were Mark, Sam, um … Christopher I think, and Nolan.” Whit noticed that Darby’s eyes narrowed when she heard Nolan’s name. Just from that look, Whit knew something about him had upset Darby. Thinking back to how Nolan defended her, Whit wondered whether they’d been involved with each other, or were
Judging by the make-out session going on downstairs, she hoped not.
“You were lucky then. Those are a very tasty set of guys. How exactly did you find yourself at their table?” Darby asked, scowling slightly.
question was downright insulting, but Whit held her temper in check and calmly explained what had happened in the cafeteria. “They could tell I was new to Maverick and were just being nice. You know, taking pity on the new girl,” she said, trying to make it a joke.
They’re really quite a nice little group. Nolan and I are very close. That sounds just like him to take pity on a new student,” Darby said with a smirk.
Whit wondered if Darby was telling the truth about
Nolan or just warning her off. If she was lying, she was very good at it. Before the conversation could continue, though, a loud knock sounded at the door. Nalini rushed over and opened it, before turning around with a huff.
“Whit, there’s someone at the door for you
.” She rolled her eyes, which caused Darby to giggle. Whit noticed Rory standing right outside the doorway, not entering the room.