"Attention everyone!" The gymnastics instructor yelled over the noise of chatting and laughing throughout the large hall.
"Please make two lines with your chosen pair." She continued with her nasal voice. "Today we have a special assistant to help us with training." Her voice became solemn while concluding the sentence.
Elena coupled with Rex, while Giulia stood in front of her brother. "Let's show these puppies how it's done!" Rex smirked with amused eyes, receiving a snort from a Black Devil wolf in return.
The first few weeks at Redwood High had gone on smoothly, after their first eventful day, with the fight and Marco meeting his brooding mate. Glances and stares were the only attention Elena and Giulia had received and, in all honesty, they had also managed to become friendly with some Black Devil classmates. Rex was fully accepted in the Redwood football team, as he was one of the best players.
And Marco, well... he was a totally different case. On several occasions, when he appeared from behind a corner or entered a room, many Black Devil students stopped talking and directly stared at him, petrified, like he had a black shadow hovering over him everywhere he went. Other times, they slightly bowed their heads.
Once, a young guy had accidentally bumped Marco and his books scattered all over the floor, and he was so mortified that he ended up fainting at Marco's feet.
At first, Marco didn't mind, pretending he wasn't affected. He was either ignoring them or scoffing, like a superior being. However, after some more episodes, he was totally pissed at those Devils students, at his unaware mate and, also, at Elena and Rex, who started to bow their heads ~ in a sarcastic way, to add fuel to a very pissed fire.
One afternoon, after a group of students had approached Elena's and Marco's direction when suddenly they moved in the opposite side, Marco grunted loudly and called his mate by phone. He complained with such exaggeration that Elena was laughing so hard, she had to hold herself up on Marco's stiff shoulder to prevent from falling on the floor. She could imagine the speechless face of a shocked Crucifero on the other line, under his mate's attack. Marco could be such a drama queen when he wanted to.
The following day, the majority of Black Devil students were missing and Rex sarcastically said that Crucifero had put them in chains and enslaved them... Well, later on, they discovered his joke wasn't so far from the truth: they had undergone strenuous training, barely allowed to eat and rest the entire day. Marco held a satisfied grin on his face for the remainder of the day, but not because he enjoyed the suffering of his other fellow students. It was a caring gesture from his mate, even if a bit dramatic and violent.
"Is Crucifero the special trainer today?" Elena asked Marco, fiddling with his phone.
"As if I know what he does" He responded, rolling his eyes.
"Who could this special trainer be, then?" Giulia joined the conversation, ignoring her brother's pouting face.
"I heard from Crucifero that their Alpha is back. So maybe it's him?" Marco mentioned casually, checking his nails with too much interest. Elena and Giulia looked at each other and then back at Marco again. "Did Cruci actually tell you that?" Giulia questioned with a hint of suspicion. "Did he actually pronounce three words in a row?" Rex mocked from behind. Elena placed her elbow on Marco's shoulder. "Crucifero already said three words in a row, Rex! Leave Marco alone!" She said with fake seriousness that didn't go unnoticed by a grinning Rex
"HE IS MIIIINE!" Elena growled loudly, imitating Crucifero's deep voice, and resulting in a flood of laughter from Rex and Giulia, a snort from Marco and some coughs from herself, since she forced her vocal chords too much in pretending to be Marco's mate. "That's karma!" Marco jeered and poked repeatedly at her sides, suffocating Elena between more coughs and laughs.
"Sooo.." Giulia intervened and looked at Marco with anticipation. "Pff yes ok!" Marco exclaimed rolling his eyes. "When I said 'I heard' I literally meant I heard." He explained.
"You mean you were eavesdropping on your mate!" Elena stated, with a fake accusation in her voice. His mouth trembled into a smile. "Well, a mate has to do what a mate has to do!"
"I wouldn't be surprised if you were checking his phone either." Giulia mentioned casually. When Marco didn't reply with a guilty expression on his face, Rex shook his head, mouthing "Stalker".
"So! Get to the point." Elena continued.
"You heard Crucifero talking to someone and you have figured out his Alpha is back"
"No! I assumed it!" Marco replied while resting his elbow on Rex's shoulder nonchalantly. "He was repeating the name 'Mirko' and 'Alpha' in the same conversation in a way that they are the same person and also in a way that the same person happened to be on the phone with Crucifero himself... probably." He said in an intentionally complicated way to confuse them.
Giulia pursed her lips, while Rex chuckled.
"So you spied on him while he received a call from, 'probably', his Alpha, whose name is, 'probably', Mirko." Rex deduced from the long speech, while Marco blushed and finally nodded..
"And by the way he was speaking, you are sure that his Alpha is back." Giulia concluded, receiving another nod.
While her friends were laughing at Marco, Elena was lost in her own thoughts, reflecting on the strange shivers she felt when she heard that name...
Just the name made her feel on the inside, while Titilas was purring like a radiator.
Why did she feel that way?
And then, a very tall guy with shady eyes made his entrance through the main door of the gym. An aura of pure power and domination spread from this new werewolf. It was difficult to detect how old he was at first sight, he could have been around 25, but also in his early thirties.
A few whispers reached Elena's super ears.
"I heard Alpha is coming with him." Another voice spoke nearby.
"I hope he comes to school naked!" A she-wolf giggled.
Elena was getting used to constantly being surprised by Black Devil's high-ranked members ~ a Beta and now a Gamma still so young, studying part time, likely due to being very busy with their pack duties... or torturing rogues... or eating them alive. Whatever the reason, they were busy and full of responsibilities at that early age.
And obviously they looked quite terrifying and serious, but those werewolves were barely adults! Elena's curiosity to see the Black Devil Alpha was killing her; she had been hearing about him and his famous black wolf, Craken, since she could remember.
Her wolf suddenly howled, alerting Elena into looking around for any sign of danger.
'What's happening Tits?' She asked her with concern. Her wolf had been acting crazy and moody since they had started at the new school. Later at home, Elena was intent on seriously understanding what was going on with her.
"Alright people, start with a simple punch and deviation exercise." The Gamma commanded with little emotion; his eyes scanned Marco briefly and then moved away so quickly that Elena could have imagined it.
"Yes Gamma, he is the best person as well as the famous mate of the Killing Machine from your pack!" Elena smiled at her thought.
When all the students faced each other and began the exercise, he started to walk around, giving feedback. He also stopped a few fights between his low-tempered pack members. Just a glare from him was enough to pacify disputes.
Elena had to admit that he was frightening, even for her, already used to her father and some of the Full Moon Warriors' ferocity. His eyes were so cold and empty, Elena felt sorry for this young man ~ it was like witnessing a rough and malicious soul trapped in the body of a normal young guy.
Black Devil pack members probably assumed that Full Moon's ones were weaker, solely because their work-out sessions were more human, but they could not have been more mistaken. In fact, when the time to wrestle came, Elena and her friends won every time, and quickly too.
Their Gamma never showed a single emotion, apart from when Marco was about to fight a large brute from Black Devil: then he was slightly more attentive and stiffer, perhaps under menace of his Beta, who surely had commanded him to keep an eye on Marco. The latter, at first, could seem weaker compared to a massive Rex, but it was all appearance: his Beta blood and cunningness were so ingrained in him, that Marco was a tenacious and smart adversary.
"Alright!" Gamma Rolando interrupted all the chatting after the fight sessions concluded.
"Black Devil members listen up!" He commanded. "Your Alpha will be joining soon for a short meeting about your new training schedule." He continued, shushing everyone instantaneously at the mention of their Alpha's visit.
"Full Moon and rogues, you are dismissed from this class." The Gamma didn't wait for reply as he moved to talk to the teacher, who was now agitated and sweating.
Elena bit her lips, increasingly curious than ever by their Alpha's arrival at the school. She sensed a weird pull and curiosity toward him and wanted to see what he looked like in person. With a Beta and Gamma like those two creatures, the Alpha would probably arrive at the school in his wolf form, with his dark wings and red horns.
"Remember that the volleyball trials will be held tomorrow over here" A random voice interrupted Elena's thoughts. "That would be fun!" An excited Giulia giggled, hugging Elena with one arm and Rex with the other. "I will come to cheer!" Rex said, mimicking her voice with a fake girly tone, which cost him a jab from Giulia.
"Come on Rex, haven't you already checked out all the chicks in school?" Marco replied with an exasperated expression. Now that he had a mate, Rex had lost his partner in crime.
"They are never enough for our big boy here, right Rexy?" Elena laughed and pinched Rex's cheeks, the same way you would do to a baby. And, as babies normally hated it, Rex was not different. "You little rat!" He caught Elena and threw her over his shoulder, among Marco and Giulia's laughs, while Elena groaned.
And then, out of nowhere, Elena was hit again.
That delectable scent.
The same one she had sniffed the first day at school. The scent that launched her in the middle of a wild forest: there it was, in the air again. Her wolf was howling uncontrollably, but Elena ignored her, lost in her own world. She couldn't explain the sensations exploding inside her, the unadulterated feeling of completion and magical bliss. She stared at the main entry of the gym and felt the inexplicable need to run and open it, like there was a magnet pulling her toward it to reveal what, or who, was behind it.
And then, suddenly, while Elena was on one of Rex's shoulder like a sack of potatoes, her hair a messy nest around her face and her legs kicking the air (or Rex) to free herself, he entered from that same door she just stared at, opposite of where they were heading.
The most beautiful creature she had ever laid eyes on. Pure, raw beauty and primitive power.