Chapter 2: Stuck on a feeling
“Why do you tease her so much?” My brother mutters amusedly.
I don’t look at Carrick as he watches the girls rush down the hallway. I refuse to admit that my eyes are glued on the perfect curve of Amara’s firm backside.
Shaking my thoughts off, I turn to Carrick with a devilish smile. “It’s fun. She’s so freaking sweet. It makes me want to mess with her.”
Carrick doesn’t smile, though. Instead, he quirks a brow and says. “Don’t mess with her, man. I think her dad owns the school..”
Chuckling, I caress my fingers over my lips and make my way to class. “Seriously, man, her dad doesn’t own the school.”
He chuckles and punches my shoulder playfully. “Yeah, but she might as well. Her family is loaded. She is so high maintenance that all of the guys in school can’t afford her.”
My mind wanders back to how good she felt when our bodies touched. She is perfect from head to toe. I couldn’t stop staring at her long legs without getting hard. I wanted to lift her into my arms and wrap those gorgeous legs around me. Amara Vega is the school’s golden girl. Not even Nevaeh, my brother Mikhail’s girlfriend, could compete.
Her father is some big-time lawyer, and her mother a former beauty queen.
She’s also a real-life pageant beauty queen. I remember the first time I saw her. It was my junior year. Everyone was dressed up for picture day. Amara was wearing this really hot red dress that molded to her body. It wasn’t a slutty dress. The skirt went down to her knees, with cap sleeves. She looked classy, and I wanted her.
Unfortunately, she took one look at my leather jacket, black tank-top, ripped jeans, and wrote me off. Of course, it didn’t help that I was being arrested for vandalism.
A couple of weeks before picture day, one of the boys in the soccer team got in an altercation with a rival school and vandalized their gym. Because I had just gotten into an argument with the other team’s captain a few days before, I was blamed.
The captain of the team’s girl was hitting on me, and he took it personally. When the idiot police heard about it, I became their prime suspect. Of course, they ignored the fact that I was with my brothers at Cal State when it happened. Alex wanted us all to go tour the campus. Eventually, they figured out who really did it, but the damage was done. I had already been arrested in front of the school and Amara.
I’ll never forget the look of horror on her face when the police arrived and cuffed me. She gave me a wide berth after that. Since I couldn’t get her to like me. I did what any stupid teenage boy would do. I lived up to her expectations and became the school’s bad boy.
As I stride down the hallway, I push thoughts of her to the back of my mind. There's no point in wanting something you can't have. Carrick remains quiet, but I know him too well. I know that there is something on his mind.
“So, what’s up with you and Haley?”
He shrugs and stares ahead. Which makes me think that there’s more. “You like her, don’t you?”
His breath hitches as he stiffens his spine. “It’s not like that. She’s sweet.”
I pat his shoulder. “I say go for it, man. You’d make a cute couple.” I utter as I pinch his cheek mockingly.
He smacks my hand away with a stiff glower. “Fuck off, Kell! I wouldn’t talk considering you have a thing for the beauty queen.”
My head snaps up, and my eyes narrow in warning. Feeling pissed, I punch him in the arm and glare at him. “Screw you, Carrick.”
He gives me a knowing smirk. “No, thanks, bro. I’m not into dudes.”
We’re about to round the corner when a loud booming voice interrupts our conversation. “Well, if it isn’t Kell and Carrick Cross. Shouldn’t you boys be in class?”
Carrick and I turn and face our principal, Mr. Moody. His brow is set in a frown, and he’s standing there with his arms firmly crossed in front of his chest.
“My office. Now!” He states firmly.
Carrick and I look at each other with a grimace.
Without a word, we follow Mr. Moody to the office. Carrick flinches when the door slams behind us─ I don’t. I’m more used to being in Mr. Moody’s office than Carrick is.
Carrick is the quintessential good boy. He gets good grades, cleans his room, and always says the right thing. You’d think he’d be a little more feral considering that he’s a werewolf. No, Carrick is not my real brother, but I love him like one. We’re both the same height and have similar coloring, but Carrick’s hair is more golden, where mine has more brown. I have blue eyes, and he has hazel eyes. His skin is darker, and he’s scruffier looking. I think it’s a werewolf thing.
Mr. Moody points to the chairs. “Have a seat, boys.”
Carrick gulps loudly and takes a seat. I simply slump down as if I was laying on my living room couch.
Mr. Moody gives me a sour look as he takes a seat behind his gleaming oak desk. The sun is shining from the office’s picture window, highlighting his son and daughter’s pictures on the desk’s shiny surface. Eyes narrowed, he leans back in his squeaky chair and folds his hands together. “Do either of you want to tell me why you’re both roaming the school hallways when you should be in class?”
Carrick clears his throat and gives him a charming smile. “I’m sorry, sir. My brother and I simply became distracted and didn’t hear the bell. It will never happen again.”
Mr. Moody returns his good-natured smile then looks at me. “I would believe your excuse, Carrick if it wasn’t for the fact that your brother here is a recurring visitor to this office.”
He gazes into my eyes and gives me a measuring look. “Do you have something to say, Mr. Cross?”
I sigh with exasperation as I slump further in my seat. “Listen, Mr. Moody, Carrick, and I didn’t do anything. The truth is, he was on his way to class, but I distracted him.”
Carrick’s head snaps in my direction with a, “what the hell are you doing?” look.
I simply smile innocently and look back at Mr. Moody. “Seriously, Mr. M. You know I’m the troublemaker.”
Mr. Moody releases an exasperated sigh and uncoils his hands. “Very well, Carrick, if what your brother says is true, then there’s no reason for you to be here. But remember, if I see you loitering in the hallways again, I will give you detention for the rest of your days. Do you understand?” Carrick puckers his mouth and nods his head. “Yes, sir.”
Carrick and I rise from our chairs. However, before we can leave, Mr. Moody holds his hand up and says. “Not you, Kell. Carrick can go, but you and I have to talk.”
Carrick turns to me in question, but I shake my head and wave him away. There’s no reason for him to get in trouble too. Alex would be even more pissed if both of us got in trouble.
Clearing his throat, Mr. Moody stands up, opens the door and gives us an impatient glare as he waits for Carrick to exit. “I suggest you go before I change my mind.”
Carrick gives me one last helpless look and walks away.
Once Carrick is out of the room, Mr. Moody moves back to his chair and takes a seat. We both stare wordlessly at each other until Mr. Moody finally takes a deep breath, opens a drawer in his desk, and rifles through it.
I watch confused as he withdraws a file and slides it across the desk to stop in front of me. I look at the file in question then back at Mr. Moody. “What’s this?”
Mr. Moody entwines his fingers over his rotund stomach and leans back in his chair. He reminds me of one of those old-time detectives from the movies that Nevaeh likes to watch. His dress shirt strains over his chest, and his tie lat limp over his large stomach. Yet, somehow, he still manages to look intimidating.
The chair groans as he leans forward and points to the file. “That is your disciplinary file.”
My jaw tightens as I reach for the thick file and run my fingers across the cover, feeling my heart speed up.
Mr. Moody clears his throat and lifts the file's jacket open. “This is just a file. For the past two years, you’ve done everything you can to be labeled as the school's bad boy. However, your grades didn’t start declining until the end of the year. Look, Kell, I know that you’ve had a rough upbringing. I know that you and your brothers moved here for a new start, and you mostly accomplished it. I just don’t understand why you’re sabotaging your future?”
My throat clogs and my vision hazes as each word strikes me like a knife through the heart. But Mr. Moody continues without pause. “School started several weeks ago, Kell.”
I nod my head. “I know.” He frowns in consternation. “Do you, Kell?” He asks firmly. “Because I’ve spoken to a few of your teachers, and it’s not looking good. You barely scraped through last year, and now you’re missing work from nearly all of your classes.”
I gaze down at my hands and swallow hard. My eyes blur with emotion as I open my mouth to talk, but the only thing that comes out is a croak. “I know, sir…” I swallow again. “I try, but I just…I don’t know. I guess I’m too stupid for school.” I end with a whisper.
Mr. Moody sits there for a moment, his brow furrowed. Then, he responds, “Look, Kell, the teachers I spoke to said that you were failing. However, they also said you were trying. Some even said that you are a good kid. Mr. Carl, your math teacher, is the only one that’s not failing you. He says you’re actually ahead of the class. That you pick up the formulas instantly. There has to be some way for you to be as successful in other classes. Maybe we can work something out.”
I give him a hopeful look and raise my hand to rub the kink in the back of my neck. “I’d do anything, sir. Believe it or not, I do want to pass.”
He nods his head and slams his meaty palm over the table excitedly. “Very well. How about we start with a tutor?”
I shrug my shoulders. “Sure, but I don’t know if it will help.”
He smiles in encouragement and rises from the chair. “We’ll start out with a tutor first. And if you still have problems, we’ll figure it out. Okay?”
I nod my head, feeling relief course through me as I rise from the chair and extend my hand. “Thank you, sir.”
He places his hand over mine and grasps it firmly as he looks into my eyes. “I’m glad to help, Kell. Just don’t make an idiot out of me. I’ll have Ms. Chase set up a tutoring schedule for you today.”
With those words, he reaches into his desk and pulls out a notepad and pencil, scribbles something, then tears the sheet out and hands it to me. “Here’s a pass for your next class. You’ll also find a pass for a meeting with your tutor in the library after school.”
Jaw tight, I take the sheet and place it in my jean’s pocket.
“I’m going out on a limb for you, Kell. This is your last chance to make things right. All I ask is that you show up to all your tutoring sessions and work hard. Once you’re back on track, we’ll meet again and reconsider your tutoring.” He stops for a moment and raises his index finger thoughtfully. “Oh, and I also want you to consider joining a club or sport. I don’t care what it is. But I want you to start contributing to this school and stay out of trouble. Colleges like students who can balance school and extracurricular activities. You have until the end of the week to join one.”
He places his hand on my shoulder and says with conviction. “I believe in you, Kell. You just have to believe in yourself. Got it?”
I sigh in relief, feeling a burden lift from my shoulders. For a while now, I’ve felt like I was a failure in school. I couldn’t even talk to Carrick about it. But now I feel a glimmer of hope. Maybe things will be easier this time.
I owe Alex and my brothers so much. I just can’t disappoint them. I would have never been where I am without them. Carrick, Mikhail, and Rowan are my foster brothers. Carrick is a werewolf, Mikhail is a hybrid Demon/Angel, and Rowan is a vampire. We’re all supernatural beings. Alex, our foster father, is a Dhampir. He took us in after the Supernatural Council tried to execute us.
As for me, I’m a Nephilim. A Nephilim is what we call a supernatural who is part angel and part human. I have long black feathered wings, claws, and fangs. My eyes glow like a blue glow stick when I change into my Nephilim form. Angels don’t have fangs or claws. Alex told me that for a long time, angels believed that Nephilim was unnatural. It was against divine law or something for angels and humans to mix; nevertheless, they have children together. It didn’t help that Nephilim have claws and fangs. Some feel that we are closer to being demons than angels.
I was eight years old when I found out what I was. My mother was an angel, and my dad a human. I remember we moved around a lot. One day I asked my mom why, and she told me that people were not happy that she and dad were together. That’s when she explained to me what a Nephilim was. I will never forget the day my parents died.
It was the middle of the night. We were driving home after having a nice dinner. I remember my mom and dad were smiling and talking. I was in the back seat of the car tired from the day's events when suddenly, several large pops resounded around us. My body jolted as the car flipped over. I could hear my mother’s cries, and my father curses as they tried to gain control of the steering wheel, but the car continued to flip.
My stomach ached as the seat belt's strap dug into it. As the car rolled, I raised my hands up and tried to hold onto the roof. Eventually, my mother’s cries stopped, and the car came to a halt. We landed upside down. I looked around to see if my parents were moving. “Momma!” I screamed out. She didn’t respond. “Dad!” I screamed again as I tried to release myself from the seatbelt's hold. Squirming in my seat, I pulled and twisted the catch with very little result. After a few moments, I stopped trying to escape and laid there frightened. Feeling desperate, I called out to my parents again, but there was still no response. A noise in the distance soon alerted me that people were coming. I could hear footsteps in the distance, and I wanted to call out for help, but something stopped me. What if they were there to hurt me?
Then, as if by magic, my seatbelt came loose, and I fell hard onto the roof of the car. I blinked, as lights danced behind my eyes and waited for a moment until my sight cleared. As slowly as I could, I crawled to the front seat of the car until I saw my mom. She was strapped to her seat with a giant metal shard embedded in her chest as if someone shot it through the windshield. Moving closer, I reached for her when suddenly a hand grasped my arm. Startled, I gasped then turn to face my father. “Kell...” He coughed out raggedly as blood poured out of his mouth. I could see his lips moving, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying. “Dad,” I whispered, moving closer. Moving his hand, he pulled my ear close to his lips. “Get…out Kell…” he strangled out. I looked around, shaking my head in denial. “What? No, dad.”
But my dad wasn’t having any of it as he gripped me tighter. “Go, Kell!” He said with a stern voice. “Please go, son. They’ll kill you…go.” He whispered as he choked and heaved.
I didn’t know what to do. I tried to clean his mouth, but suddenly he just stopped heaving. I watched in horror as my father’s chest stuttered with one last breath, and his eyes lost focus. After a moment, there was no more movement. He was dead.
But what about my mother? My father was human, but I knew that my mom wasn’t. I turned to check on her and nearly broke apart when I was met with her sightless eyes. I’ll never forget the vacant look on her face. My mom and dad were gone. That’s when I heard the footsteps coming closer. Heeding my father’s words, I slowly made my way out of the car and slunk away. I was about ten feet away when I saw men approaching my parent’s car.
Not knowing what else to do, I hid behind a tree and watched as the strange men opened the car doors. They were all covered in black and holding swords in their hands. They reminded me of night wraiths bearing down on their prey. Frightened, I watched as they circled the car and pointed their guns. I didn’t understand why this was happening. My parents were good people. They’ve never hurt anyone. Why would anyone want to hurt them?
The men searched around the car carefully. From my perch, I could hear someone asking questions. “Where is he? Where’s the boy?” The question was asked over and over again as they searched around the car. I closed my eyes tightly, trying to remain quiet when they closed the doors and aimed their flashlights around the area. I knew that they were looking for me and that if I didn’t move, they wouldn’t find me. I looked around for somewhere to hide until I noticed the cliff’s edge a few feet away from where I was standing.
We were driving down a California coast when our car was hit. There were plenty of hills and mountains where I was. Trying not to make noise, I crab-walked my way down the hill as I tried to stay out of the men’s sight. As I made my way to my hiding place, I held on to some roots and rocks. My heart nearly stopped when a light flashed near my hiding place. Panicked, I pushed my back against the rocks until I was nearly blending into the wall. Terror froze me in place at the thought that I could be found. For a couple of seconds, I held my breath as I frantically searched for an escape. But there was nowhere else to go.
After a couple of minutes, the lights faded away, and the shadows standing above me disappeared. I could hear the sounds of male voices calling out in the distance. “Nothing here, boss! We better get going before the police get here!” The sounds of sirens resounded in the distance. Thankfully the voices eventually disappeared, and the hill became eerily silent. But I was too frightened to move. I don’t know how long I lay there, shaking and terrorized until the police found me. Somehow, I was able to dazedly make my way out of the hiding place and back to my parent’s car.
According to my file, which I had taken from the office when I was placed in foster care, the police labeled my parent’s death as an accident. I would have believed it if it wasn’t for the fact that my mom was an angel and not easy to kill. However, they said that my mother died from a branch stabbing through her heart. More like a sacred sword through her heart. A couple of years ago, Alex researched my parent's case and found that they were killed by hunters. The council caught up to the hunters soon after they killed my parents and executed them.
I was put in the foster care system soon after their death. I went from home to home for five years until Alex found me. My foster families were unsure of what to do with me. I was a really wild and angry boy back then. I had no real home, and I missed my family. I met Carrick and the others when Alex brought me home. That was the first time that I felt like I fit in. I just hope that I can get through school and make them proud.