My head hit the desk with a loud clunk. I jerked upright, blinking rapidly. What the hell had just happened?
“I’m sorry, Miss Lebron, am I boring you?” Tall, dark, and deadly was my teacher as he loomed over my desk.
Shit, I’d fallen asleep in class again. Damn those Compass brothers, keeping me out all night in the forest. We’d been searching for the prison again. Another fruitless search.
“Sorry, sir,” I said, slinking lower in my seat. I rubbed a hand across my mouth to make sure I didn’t have sleep-drool on my face.
Like a lot of older vamps, our history teacher, Mr. Vendir Vamissa, hadn’t forgotten the last supernatural war – when shifters and vampires had fought on opposite sides – so I wasn’t surprised when he hissed before dismissing me with a flick of his bald head. When he reached the front of the class he leveled another dark look in my direction. I was too strong for compulsion to roll me. Still, all vampires were scary when they locked you in their gaze. Thankfully, he started lecturing again, picking up where he’d left off about the origins of the Slothman. No wonder I’d fallen asleep.
Jacob Compass – one of the quadruplets who were my best friends – nudged me. “Nice one, Jessa, pissing off the vamp before dinnertime.”
I narrowed my eyebrows at him, a slight growl rumbling my chest. “You’re an asshat. Why didn’t you wake me?”
The amusement in Jacob’s grass-green eyes was clear. “Hey, I wanted to stay home last night, but everyone follows Tyson when he reveals his brilliant plans.” He flicked a small orange flame between his fingertips. Jacob was fey, with power over the elements, although he was extra obsessed with fire.
Tyson spun in his chair, pointing a long finger at Jacob. “I’m sitting right here, dick.”
I knew the brothers as well as I knew myself, and there was no doubt Tyson, who was a wizard, wanted to punch his brother. The only thing stopping a fistfight was our current awkward seating arrangement. Tyson was in the row in front of us.
Jacob, Tyson, Braxton and Maximus Compass had been my best friends for most of my twenty-two years. They were quads who – through a quirk in nature or genetics – somehow contained the souls of four different supernatural races.
Our little pack had gone through early learning, special training, and now attended a private supernatural, ‘supes’ college together. Six thousand members of the supernatural community lived in our town of Stratford, Connecticut. Witch magic protected our borders and repelled humans from entering, and there was a very important reason for this. Our town was a gateway, a guardian community, protecting those very fragile and innocent humans from the darkness they never even knew existed. Stratford was a supernatural prison community, the keepers of your worst nightmares.
Maximus, the vampire, was the daredevil of the group. “So are we heading out tonight?”
Braxton growled from my other side. “No. Jessa’s tired. And we have a council meeting after class.”
Our continued conversation had the teacher hissing in our direction again. In a room this size, vampire hearing didn’t miss anything. We shut our mouths and pretended to listen, but it was too late. Vendir’s expression indicated that I needed to be taught a lesson in respect. Or fear. Of course he didn’t try that shit with the Compasses. Sometimes I hated being small and female. Although, to be underestimated … well, sometimes that was deliciously ironic.
With super speed, Vendir was beside my desk again, the eyes of our classmates following him.
“It’s in your best interest to stop interrupting my lesson, Jessa. You don’t want to push me too far. I can make life very difficult for you.”