Rebellion is officially LIVE!
This was my first pre-order so I was extremely nervous about the whole process, but I'm excited for all of you to read it. This is a new series about shifters and romance and all kinds of mischief and I hope you love it!
I put the first chapter here so you can check it out.
Night school sucked fairy ass. We only followed the darkened schedule because it was better for the rich vampires and the scaredy-cat humans. God forbid they run into a shifter in the hallway or, worse, a vamp. Creator knows the upheaval and mass world chaos that would cause.
Night after night of pushing against my natural clock wore on me. As soon as I graduated, my life would contain sunshine again, and a tan for goodness’ sake. Pale as fuck clashed with my hair.
“How late did you stay up this time?” Kandra asked as I slammed my locker shut a little too hard and we began to walk the few steps from the building to the coffee cart run by another pack of shifters—raising money for a trip to Romania or some shit. The dark-and-potent brew was overpriced, but I needed the boost. Ten p.m. was the beginning of what I already knew would be a long day. Surprisingly, the line wasn’t long, which I was grateful for, but also scared me. Maybe the stuff was toxic. Oh, who was I kidding, it would probably be the only thing strong enough to wake me up if it was. The guy behind the coffee stand, scented like a bear, handed me my coffee and smiled a little too grinny—too many teeth.
Bear shifters were weird.
I stuck my tongue out at him. Shit, that might’ve given him ideas.
I took a long sip before anything was added, needing the hot wake-up right then.
I finally replied to Kandra, “I don’t know. I stopped looking after four. This night shit can bite my ass. I’m tired of being tired.”
My best friend laughed loudly and shoved against my shoulder, almost making me spill my coffee and came close to strangulation in the process. “It’s been two years, and we have less than a month until we graduate. Suck it up, buttercup.”
I scrunched my nose at her girly name for me. I was no buttercup. Of course, she was right. I didn’t have much longer.
When I thought of it that way, some more time in school would be a welcome invitation.
I stirred way too much cookie-flavored creamer into my already sweetened latte and sat down outside the cafeteria at one of those plastic tables with the tiny, circular stools that smelled like it was made from defrosted Tater Tots. My butt ended up numb after I rose from the tiny seats every single time. And don’t even think about trying to sit down on them in a dress or a skirt, not that I wore those.
I was a tight jeans kind of girl.
But I’d seen the struggle in more than one of my classmates.
The doors to the cafeteria were open since it was a cool night. The swift wind blew in, and I pushed a stray pale-pink hair back into place. None of the paras inside felt temperature except the shifters, and we were well insulated.
I quipped back at my friend after taking a few sips. “Easy for you to say. You don’t have to work.”
She sighed and the corners of her black lined lips fell. “Sorry, babe. I didn’t mean…”
I shrugged and reached across the table to pat her hand. “It’s fine. Anyway, I love my job at the Alpha’s house. Doing his laundry is my favorite.”
I made a throwing-up motion.
A swerve of fear swept through my chest at the thought I might be overheard, so I glanced over my shoulder around the stark cafeteria, making sure I had no one’s attention. Everyone seemed to be engrossed in conversation.
Thank you, Creator.
The pack boys huddled together, their female groupies pretending to be bored while fawning over them like glaze over a hot donut.
Damn, I could use a donut or twelve.
Zenith caught my eye and winked from across the room. I almost threw up in my mouth. Apparently, he and his father both triggered my gag reflex tonight.
His hair was slicked back, and he dressed like a fifties gang member, but with way tighter pants, as though the pants forgot he was a finger-snapping cigarette smoker and wanted him to be a hipster instead. It was like Grease met Abercrombie and not in a good way.
And his shoes were white. I would have to take a match to all of one day. What a bonfire that would be.
Oops, honey, I’m sorry. Your clothes just…set themselves on fire.
Scanning the room for listening ears, I eyed the vamps and the fairies hanging together, all riches and gold and sparkle. Those things meshed, I supposed. Which was why they chose to group up.
And then there were the Rogue. Led by Alaric, or seemed to be, those shifters stuck to themselves and obeyed the rules of school and the pack enough not to get their heads bitten off by the Alpha but not so much that they were allowed on pack grounds. The Alpha told us they were the worst kind of shifters—traitors and outcasts—not good enough to be called pack.
A sense of belonging was crucial to shifters.
I envied their lack of oppression, but at the same time pitied their animals. From what I heard, they lived in squalor and poverty though their clothes said otherwise.
Their presence was strange at best, but Alaric, well, let’s just say I wouldn’t mind if I was caught in the dark with him—alone—for hours.
He had a way and a scent that called to me though I hadn’t admitted the fact to anyone, even my best friend. Rogue were off limits to me and every other female—I liked my head on my neck and not rolling on the ground, thank you very much. In our pack, dating a rogue would be the same as betrayal and betrayal earned you expulsion from the pack or death. Not that I’d ever seen the Alpha kill anyone, but still.
We weren’t even allowed to speak to them unless it was something school related or we were on the verge of death and only a Rogue could save us.
I breathed a sigh of relief. Either way, no one heard me and my complaining. The Alpha had insisted I stay on pack lands, close to him, after my parents died, so that I would be safe. It was all bullshit, of course.
The real reason was much more foul.
I was betrothed to his son, the winker from the pack boys with the tight pants. He probably had pink eye from one of the pack skanks; that’s why he was winking.
No telling what else was crawling in, around, or on him.
“Boxers or briefs?” Kandra said, leaning forward. I smelled the cinnamon from her coffee on her breath. Her dyed-black hair swished toward me, framing her heart-shaped face.
“The Alpha?” She nodded. “Oh, eeew. Both, actually. But I use gloves. Gloves are required for me and for him.”
Kandra shivered and stuck out her tongue.
“Well, I guess that will change soon,” she said, taking a look behind her at Zenith. She turned back and whispered to me, “When I look at him, I want to sing that Will Ferrell tight-pants song. You know the one?”
Great, now I would be singing that song to myself the whole time. And she’d just ruined it by linking it to Zenith.
“I used to love that song and that act. Thanks a lot.” I sighed and rested my face on my palm. “Why does it have to be him, Kandra? Of all the males in the world…”
Kandra pointed her finger at me and waggled it. “There you go, questioning the Alpha
Alpha again. What’s the number-one rule?”
I put my head on the table, pulled myself from the position, and knocked my forehead against the cool plastic one more time, trying to knock some sense into myself. “The Alpha’s word is final.”
“Ding, ding, ding. You win. I would say congrats on the prize, but honestly, I’m thinking about giving you some serious antibiotics before the mating.”
I choked on my latte. “More like buying stock in pharmaceuticals.”
We weren’t kidding about the antibiotics and creepy crawlies when it came to Zenith. He’d had most of the females in the pack who weren’t mated and some vamps, if the rumors were correct. But we females were expected to keep our virtue under lock and key, well the betrothed ones, at least—me—I was expected to keep my virtue intact.
“Stop it. There’s nothing I can do. I’m simply going to enjoy my free time while I can.”
She slapped me on the back, making me cough. “That’s my girl. In the morning, after school, let’s go run.”
“Deal.” My answer was interrupted by the bell. We got up, and I pushed my bag back onto my shoulder. That’s what I would have to do, all right.
Make the best of my single time.