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Nightshade

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I sat through the meeting with my Keeper, Eva, hearing her drone on and on about the upcoming union with the other alpha, Killian Jones of the Roger Pack. Truth is, the guy is a total prick and I dreaded the day when it would come. Killian was always being trailed around by desperate girls just even wanting a chance with him. I hated how the rules stated he could do whatever the fuck he wanted and I had to stay the pure child of the White Pack. We 'guarded' over the Eno Mountain which the Keepers claimed was an important sight for them however they refused to tell us why. I looked around the long, dining room table where the rest of my pack was seated also listening to the lecture. Ruby, Zelena, Sabine, Henry and Billy. I caught Ruby rolling her eyes and sadly, Eva caught it.
“Ruby! You should be listening to this as well due to you being Emma's Beta! You are her second in command and therefore you should also know the intimate connection and finesse she will have to embody!” Eva snapped. Her shadow guards, Wraiths, loomed behind her smelling like burnt paper and houses and everything that was foul. Everyone knew they were the Keepers' guards because depending on how they were conjured, it was the worst punishment possible.
“Yes ma'am sorry ma'am.” Ruby said hardly sounding sorry. I had to try with everything in me not to laugh or smile or show any sort of amusement.
“It's Mistress!” She snapped again.
“I'm sorry Mistress Eva.” Ruby corrected flatly. She was always antagonizing Eva and if it weren't for her being my Beta and one of the best hunters in my pack, I was sure she would have been killed by now. My parents, Mary Margaret and David Nolan sat on either side of me and I could feel them frowning at me and my pack without even looking. I was kinda the rebel of the family. Henry, my brother looked up to me but had more sense than me. However I was still alpha due to my excellent leading abilities which is the main reason I was chosen to lead the next generation of the White pack. They could technically vote me off and set someone else up. Just because my parents were alphas doesn't mean I had to be one. Guardian politics were different than the normal wolf code due to the fact we can shift from human to wolf and wolf to human without the help of a moon and being controlled by an outside power and not by the alphas. Normal wolves protected their territory but it was for a different reason. But for us, it was a sight that meant something big and was immensely important for them to have us guard it so diligently and have constant patrols with giant as grizzlies guarding it. No matter how many times I asked my parents they dodged the question and brought up why I should be just content with guarding it. How it was a small price to pray. Since we were Guardians, the Keepers provided for us, their faithful servants. We never had worry about money, if we wished to continue our schooling, we got into whatever we needed with no questions asked. Huge houses that had the top of the line appliances and several recreation rooms for different purposes. Bars, movie theaters, small game room. Whatever we wanted and whatever cars we wanted. Again, they spoiled us and we guarded. That was that. End of discussion. Period.

After what seemed like hours of her talking about how I need to have more finesse and more...feminine for Killian, she finally shut up about the Union and began talking about something that caught my attention.
“Now. On another note, we are having a new student transfer to Storybrooke High and I expect you to make her feel comfortable. Which mean being nice to her despite her being human. She is a senior and will be in much of the same classes as you and share a lunch.” Eva explained while placing her fingers together and pointing them toward the ceiling. I looked at my pack in question. No one. I mean absolutely NO ONE, transferred to Storybrooke High. The last one that did left he next week due to forcing to be in classes with two wolf packs. Before we could even ask why she was a transfer and being forced to make her comfortable, Eva stood and left after bidding goodbye to my parents and me pack and I. When the parchment and aged wine smelling woman and her foul shadow guards left, I asked the question everyone was thinking;
“Who the hell transfers?” Ruby asked.
“Yeah. I mean, no one transfers, especially as a senior.” Henry agreed. “Shouldn't she have done research before moving here?”
“I don't know guys, she is somehow important to the Keepers because they asked us to make her feel welcome. We can only do what they say and somehow figure out how to get information.” They all agreed as my father walked up to us.
“Emma and Sabine, it's time for patrol.” He told us. The inky black haired girl and I stood up and kissed the top of Henry's head.
“We'll see you guys soon.” I called out as we walked out the front door. Sabine and I shifted, her into her black wolf form and me into my gray.
'Ready?' I asked her.
'Of course! Remember who you are talking to?' She asked. I snorted and we began our run around the perimeter of the mountain we were supposed to guard.

After an hour of the patrol we made our way back to my mansion after hunting a couple of rabbits as a snack. We passed the final perimeter and I smelled it before I saw it. Bear and blood. I barked at Sabine causing her to stop in her tracks. I lifted my nose into the air and took deep breaths trying to find the trail.
'What is it?' She asked.
'I don't know. Bears shouldn't be out this time of day.'
'Bears are weird here Emma. You know this.'
'I know but it just doesn't make sense.' I insisted. She snorted and began smelling the air too. It was when my nose pointed east that the smell hit me like a train and I took off toward it trying to figure out why I was going after it. If it was for a human, I could be punished and we tried to stay out of the way of humans. On the food chain, they were at the bottom and we were the predators. I could hear Sabine calling out my name but I ignored it feeling myself being propelled to where the situation was. Sure enough, it was a huge grizzly looming over a brunette girl. There was blood on her temple and shoulder where her jacket was torn. I could tell she was either paralyzed by fear or somehow her leg was injured to where she couldn't walk. I took a step forward and paused thinking through my head of the situations that could happen should news get out about me saving a human. Feeling the sympathetic part of me, I ran forward growling at the bear. It was to big for me to kill on my own but I knew I could injure it enough to leave the woman alone. I latched onto its left front leg and thrashed my head around hoping to wound it enough. Sabine soon came toward me and bit into it's neck sending it rearing on it's back legs letting out a pained roar before running off, shaking our grip from it's skin. I shook myself and looked at the terrified woman. She was beautiful. Unfairly so. Her brown eyes were wide with fear and disbelief, her brown hair dishevled from the long braid it was in and her tanned skin pale from the cold and fear. She was gripping her right leg and I could see it was bleeding from a swipe of the bear's claws. She should be dead. Hardly anyone could survive it, especially since her left shoulder was wounded the same way.
'Emma?' Sabine questioned. I backed away like I was going to leave but I couldn't. Something was screaming at me to run and leave and never look back but I couldn't.
'Go.' I told her.
'But-'
'I said go Sabine!' I snapped. The black wolf walked over and nuzzled under my chin and licked it before disappearing from the clearing. Doing something I was forbidden to do, I shifted into a human, revealing myself in my shorts and tank top I had worn for pajamas before I left for patrol. The woman's eyes widened eve more in fear and tried backing away but her leg and shoulder wouldn't allow it.
“Easy. I'm not going to hurt you.” I heard myself saying. What the hell was I doing?! The woman whimpered in pain. I knelt down next to her, willing my canines to emerge from my mouth and bit into my arm. Yet another thing I was doing that was against our laws. So far at least three were broken. I held out my arm over her mouth and she shook her head quickly.
“If you don't drink you will die.” I told her. In the reflection in her eyes, I saw my eyes had flashed golden for a second before returning to my green color. I pressed it to her lips and each time she tried to move her head, it followed. Getting tired of her protests I pinched her shoulder just under one of the long gashes which made her gasp in pain and open her mouth. When the first taste of my blood hit her tongue she moaned and grasped onto my arm. As she did, I saw the gashes close and her skin at least return some of it's color. When it was done and I was sure she was out of danger, I yanked my arm away licking the wound to close it.
“Get out of here and don't come back. This is private property.” I told her and before I could turn away and shift, she grabbed my wrist.
“What's your name?” She asked me, her voice with a deep tone that sent shivers down my spine.
“I can't tell you.” I told her.
“So you can save me but not tell me your name?” The woman snorted.
“I shouldn't have down that either.” I stomped away hoping she would leave me alone and get the hell off of the mountain but one could only hope. She grabbed my wrist again and before she could speak, I punched her in the face. Sure it was a little insensitive. I mean I just saved her yet I just punched her knocking her out. I saw a black jeep in the distance and picked her up, throwing her over my shoulder cursing on the situation I was in. I set her in the front seat catching sight of a intricate blue cross tattoo on the back of her neck. Wow. A trespasser, adrenaline and trend junkie. Who knew? I shut the door and ran back to where I could smell Sabine.
'What happened?' The black wolf asked as I shifted back into my human form and leaned against a tree.
“What the fuck did I just do?” I cursed and broke down. The pack had always known I never cried and if I did it was when I was alone or in the rare cases with them. With Sabine being clueless of how to handle my situation, she pulled me into an embrace and stroked my hair while I unloaded my worries in the form of tears feeling the conflicting feelings of what I had just done and how many laws I just broke by just a few minutes. What have I done?

Chapter Text

After staying out far 20 minutes too long, Sabine I made our way back to the house without addressing the situation that just happened between me and the tiny human. Her eyes wouldn't leave my mind no matter how many time I have tried to push them out. They were etched into my soul. Maybe it was because I had healed her and somehow she had imprinted on me or maybe it was because of the guilt or the act of rebelliousness I felt when I fought the bear and saved her. Sabine hugged me before she hopped into her black camero and drove down the private road that held the houses of the pack members from my parents. My pack was made up of their pack members' children. My parents beta was mine and so on. My dad was sitting at his desk with a tumbler of scotch writing something down and I could only assume pack business. He looked up an smiled at me.
“We were wondering when you going to come home. Have to much fun without us?” he joked. Out of my parents he was the paid back, fun one while my mother was the uptight one. Now don't get me wrong, I loved her dearly it was just she took everything so seriously.
“Nah. Just a normal patrol. We hunted rabbits though so that might have been it.” I shrugged feeling my chest clench in worry hoping they didn't find out. I mean I knew it was just us but who knew what kind of things the Keepers kept out there? “I'm going to head up and get some homework done. I have a project due in a couple days.” He nodded.
“Alright sweetie. I will let you know when dinner is done.” He said standing to hug me and place a kiss on the top of my head. I started toward the stairs that would lead to my room when his voice stopped me again.
“And Emma?”
“Yeah dad?”
“Go easy on your mother.” He replied and made no other comment. I prepared for the worst when I opened my door and seeing my already messy room, even worse. I saw all my jeans and shirts on my bed and my drawers torn apart.
“MOM!” I yelled she emerged from my closet holding my old Beatles shirt in her hand like it was a dead animal.
“Do you not have anything nice? Like lace or silk?”
“No!” I snapped.
“You need to be more feminine for Killian Emma. You will have certain duties as a wife that you have to full fill.”
“He needs a warrior mom.” She pointed to a pile of several bags of clothes from several places like Victoria's Secret and other high end brands.
“Wear those or I will get rid of everything that is cotton in your room for good.”
“I'm 17 mom.”
“Yes and an alpha being subject to a union to one of the best male alpha's in a very long while. Everyone talks about him. How they wish everyone was like him.” I rolled my eyes in response. She only saw what he wanted them too. I could only wonder how he will act when we are together. I heard footsteps that weren't my father' and saw my little brother Henry at my door eating an apple. He's widened at the mess in my room.
“Whoa, hurricane mom arrives with no survivors.” He grinned. Mom whirled around and saw him leaning against the door.
“Henry!”
“Just saying mom.” Henry shrugged.
“I have some things for you too so don't start.” His eyes widened in horror before he ran off before we heard the slamming of door and the tell tale click of it being locked.
“Do I have to mom?” I groaned.
“Yes.” She said firmly. I rolled my eyes.
“Fine. Now get out.” Mom kissed my cheek before leaving me to put my room together again. I sighed and began to organize it again and deciding to clean it while I put my phone on the speaker doc and listened to my music as loud as I could hoping to drown out the brown eyes I had momentarily forgotten while I argued with my mother. I knew I would never be able to not think about them whenever I saw someone with brown eyes.

Once my room was actually clean and I could walk around without stepping on clothing, though I knew it would only last a week at the most, a laid down on my bed with no grace at all remembering Eva's comment about my lack of finesse.
“Finesse my ass bitch.” I muttered before pulling out my book called, The Strongest Steel. Hoping for once school could come quickly so I could leave the house but then remembered the clothing mom bought me then I hoped it wouldn't come at all.

When Monday morning came around I had wished my bed would swallow me whole. I quickly searched through my excuses to get out of going to school but I wasn't a good liar when it came to health. Other things, yes. But not my health. I reluctantly got up and pulled out a black pleated, skirt, black lace panties paired with a nicer red shirt with my favorite Toms. So I was still dressed a little better but in my own way. Mom grumbled when she saw it wasn't as nice as she had wanted it but noting it was better than before and left me alone. Dad however nodded once and didn't ask a thing knowing my mother had somehow warned him not to. Henry, however, commented on it.
“I don't think you need to wear things like that to get Killian's attention Em.” I rolled my eyes.
“Says Mr. I'm-going-to-wear-nice-ass-jeans-to-nice-for-school.” I snorted.
“I don't have a sex hungry alpha after me.” Henry shot back with a smirk. Dad couldn't help but let out a small bark of laughter which earned a glare from mom.
“Shut it you little shit.” I muttered before slapping him on the back of the head playfully. We both grabbed Luna bars and made our lunches before getting into my old Volkswagen Bug. I guess my nerves had influenced my driving because Henry looked pale and frightened.
“I know you are nervous but do you need to make me nervous for my life?” He asked. I winced.
“Sorry Henry. You know how Killian makes me.” I apologized while grabbed my aztec design book bag and began walking into the school meeting up with the rest of my pack at the front door. Ruby and Zelena, the ones who constantly teased me about Killian, grinned wolfishly, no pun intended, when they saw me. Zelena let out a whistle.
“Well you seemed to have finally listened to your mother's advice.” She said. I glared at her although she didn't back down.
“She threatened to throw my band t-shirts, leather jackets and jeans away.” I told them. Ruby eyed my ass playfully.
“Hmm. I think the jeans make your ass look better.” She snickered.
“Agreed.” The others piped in except Henry who looked extremely uncomfortable. The bell that signaled classes were getting ready to start.
“Come on guys. Lets go to our lockers.” Billy said. Billy was gay. Like really gay. Whenever we needed love advice or any other type, we went to him. He was the pack shrink. However, due to the fact Keepers hated alternative lifestyles like same sex relationships and I worried about him because of it. And we could only do some much with love advice because we were going to be paired with members from Killian's pack anyway. Either way, risky moves.

When we reached our lockers, the normal chatter of the halls died down and I knew Killian and his pack were coming over by us. Killian led Robin, Little John, Mason and Neville. Clad in his usual all leather ensemble and excessive eyeliner, he made his way by my pack. The bristled and moved closer to me as if threatening them if challenged. He looked at them with amusement.
“Are you going to call off your soldiers Lily.” I snarled at him when he called me by my middle name. I hated it. I didn't think of myself as a lily. It was Calla but same thing.
“No and I have told you not to call me that.” He smirked and it did things to my insides. Not all of them good.
“Yes. You have. But soon we will be calling each other every name. Mrs. Jones.” I could feel Ruby reacting to his underlying meaning to his words. She never trusted him and whenever he made comments like that it pissed her off even more. I grabbed her hand before she could move and squeezed it hoping to convey I was fine and I wouldn't let him get to me.
“We have three months Emma. Three months until you and I start our life together.” He kissed my cheek, his beard scraping across my skin in an unpleasant way, before he walked off laughing with the others. I shuddered and felt Henry pat my shoulder.
“We'll help you keep him in line Emma. Don't worry.” He assured me. I hummed.
“I don't think you could do much Hen. He's an alpha. He has the final say.”
“So are you!” He exclaimed. I smiled and hugged him. He was always looking out for me.
“I know I am. But he's a male alpha. Therefore he has more authority than I do.”
“Not over us.” Billy brought up.
“Guys.” I said warningly. We have had this discussion before. Promising if I had different views on something they would follow me and not Killian. I knew if they did it would mean trouble for them but not as much as me. There were so many things they could do to me that would be worse than a few stern words and lack of privileges.
“We have your back Emma. Whether they like it or not.” Sabine said and the rest of them nodded. Sometimes I wondered if she encouraged their mischievous behavior but I found I didn't mind it that much.

I walked to my first class, AP English and froze when I saw the person that was seated next to my desk. The woman who I saved in the woods. The arm she drank from burned and I placed a hand over it hoping it would stop. She looked up and her eyes blinked in recognition. I knew I couldn't sit somewhere else. Ms. Nova had a knack for her seating charts. She was a good teacher but when it came to following the rules, she was putty under principal Blue's control. She was known as Blue because of her obsession for the color. Her real name was Mother Superior. I always thought the woman was shady but everyone did when it came to us. The truth was, everyone was scared of the Keepers. They held so much more power and money they could do anything they pleased and get away with it. Was it fair? Hell no. I cleared my throat deciding it was best to remain impassive and professional near the woman in fear of anyone detecting anything.
“Hi.” The woman said. Her voice still sent shivers down my spine but this time it was in awe and not in fear or wonder.
“Hello.”
“I want to thank you-”
“Don't mention it. Really. Don't.” I told her but I was wishing I was alone somewhere so I could tell her everything. Something about her helped me feel free. Like I had no expectations from her to be graceful and everything I had to be as an alpha. There was so much pressure and while my packmates helped take some of the pressure off by behaving and helping me when they could, they could only hold pack duties. Not alpha duties. I could feel her gaze on me and I found myself fighting not to meet it because I knew the moment I did I would be at her mercy. But soon enough, the magnetic pull of her amber eyes overcame my defenses and I found myself looking at them and I was struck anew about how beautiful she was.
“Whats your name?” She asked me.
“Emma. Emma Swan.” I replied breathlessly. The reason I had a different last name was because I decided to change it. I wanted to prove I would be committed to be an alpha for as long as I lived. And though it was kinda of a different way of saying it, swans were committed to doing something which was mainly mating but whatever. Same thing. Just different situation. The brunette smiled and held out her hand.
“I'm Regina.” She told me. I smiled at her, noticing how natural it felt to do so.
“Nice to meet you Regina.”
“You too Emma.”
“So I heard you are a transfer?”
“Yeah. Mom decided a last minute move. She has some friends here that want to do business here so she decided to move here.” She shrugged.
“What does she do?”
“Honestly? I don't know. She does a little bit of everything.” Regina answered tossing her hair back which I noticed was down this time and not in a braid. It shined like the sun was shining down on it and it alone. Her eyes, were a whole other story. They seemed to change color depending on her mood and right now they were the most gorgeous shade of amber I had ever seen. Oh god. No. Don't think these thoughts. You belong to Killian. No one else. I took a deep breath and wrestled in my emotions just as Killian and his beta Robin walked in. Killian saw me and smiled and tilted his head at the gorgeous brunette next to me.
“Ah, this must be the girl Efron was talking about.”
“Pardon?”
“Our Keepers were told to keep an eye on you.” Robin said a smile that looked like he was trying to be flirtatious adorned his features. Regina raised an eyebrow.
“One, I don't need to be watched out for. I keep track of myself.” She said then looked at Robin. “And I'm sorry. I have absolutely no taste for men or animals like you.” I couldn't help but laugh at the expression on Robin's face before his features hardened in anger and he puffed out his chest.
“You need a good man to show you what you should be feeling. Not a substitute.” Regina rolled her eyes.
“Well if I ever do I will be sure NOT to go to you.”
“Bitch.” Robin muttered and stormed off toward his seat toward the back of the class.
“I have something to talk to you about my dear Lily.” Killian said placing his hand under my chin and stroking it. It took everything in me not to slap it away.
“We will at lunch.” I told him. He smirked.
“A pleasure to meet you.” Killian said and whistled a tune as he met up with his beta. I felt dirty after his interaction with me. Even worse since Regina saw and I could only wonder what she thought of me now. I crossed my arms tightly around my stomach and shrunk within myself. I couldn't look at Regina but found why I was caring what she thought of me. She was getting under my skin and I didn't like it one bit.
“Who is he?” She asked.
“His name is Killian Jones. He's the other alpha here.” I replied.
“And you are the other.” She stated. I shrugged not answering her question. She tried asking why he behaved the way he did but I refused to answer more in fear of what she would ask and what I would say in return because I couldn't break anything else. Then she asked what I was and what I meant by alpha. So she has never heard of Guardians. Cool. Perfect. It will stay that way.

 

 

REGINA POV

I had finally met the person who saved my life just days ago. I had tried asking my mother, Cora, about her but she just tilted her head in confusion and said it might have been one of the other students at school who hiked. I of course left out the details of being attacked by a bear and being saved by drinking the blood of a girl who could shift into a wolf. Was she a werewolf? But there was no full moon for a few weeks. But she had taken the whole 'I saw a bear and another girl had been hiking and drove it away before it could hurt me' and the vague description of the girl as well. She had shrugged it off saying there was a group that hiked quite frequently so she wasn't surprised. But there had been something else in her tone. It was one she used when she wasn't saying as much as she knew and this made me more suspicious. Who was this girl?

When I heard she was the other alpha that roamed the halls I paused. She seemed like a strong leader. Why would she let him treat her like she is his property? A toy? Despite my better judgement telling me to leave it alone, I had to ask.
“Why was he treating you like that?” No answer.
“You're a leader. Why allow yourself to be treated like you are owned?” Still no answer. Then the one question I would beg for her to answer.
“What do you mean by you and Killian being alphas? What are you?” She tensed but never answered. I sighed and gave up feeling the stares at the back of my head from the other alpha and his friend as if watching my every move. I swallowed hard and leaned back in my chair and waited for the bell to ring. When it did, a short brunette walked in with a friendly smile.
“Good morning everyone. We have a new student today and I want you to make her feel welcome.” She said and gestured to me. I raised my hand for a moment feeling subconscious. “This is Regina and she is a senior. Emma, will you make sure she has a basic idea of what unit we are in?”
“Of course Ms. Nova.” The brunette teacher smiled and inclined her head toward Emma in thanks.
“Right now we are working on poetry and other literature from the Dark Romanticism period. You know like Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne and what not. We just started yesterday so you haven't missed much.” Emma started and passed her notebook over. “Copy my notes.” She added while she pulled out some loose leaf paper and titled it the date and and chapter Ms. Nova had written on the board. I looked at her as she tuned into what the teacher was talking about as I went back and forth from copying Emma's notes and writing my own. Killian would make jokes throughout the class with Robin and Ms. Nova barely acknowledged it. I frowned. Why wasn't she disciplining them? At my old school you would have been sent down to the office. Whatever it was, something was definitely different about the school. And not the fact to alphas walked through the halls.

 

EMMA POV

I could hear Regina scribbling away quickly at her own notebook and paper as she wrote down my notes and the notes on the smartboard. I thought about the question she had asked me. Why she had sounded so desperate to know who I was and why Killian treated me the way he did. Truth was when the union happened he would be the dominate alpha. All I would do was back him up and carry pups at 19 years old. The Keepers were anxious about this union because one hadn't happened in many years and it was between two very promising alphas. I was trained well by my parents to be a strong leader and warrior and Killian, well his father was more firm in his teachings so I could only hope he would treat me with respect and not like a slave. I felt a pull toward this girl who sat next to me, casting glances my way whenever she could as if I was a puzzle she was trying to figure out. One I couldn't let her solve or it would mean severe consequences on my part.

When the bell rang, Regina had already given me my notebook back and I dashed out of the classroom as quick as I could, leaving a curious brunette behind. I knew she wouldn't stop asking questions. She was far to curious. I managed to go through the next 2 periods before I went to biology, seeing her sitting with a couple other kids who were her new lab partners. I groaned to myself and forced myself to ignore her gaze as I walked toward Killian and Ren, my lab partners for my science class
“Hey there Lily.” Killian smirked. I sighed hating the nickname and how dirty he made it sound.
“Hi Emma.” Ren said. Ren was one of the football players. You could tell by his muscles. He wasn't a Guardian but I knew he would make a great one if he was.
“Hey.” I said casting a quick and small smile to them both. Mr. Oswald explained the lab we were doing today which was easy and not all that exciting. The unspoken deal my group had was they would perform it while I grabbed the supplies and wrote down the notes and answers for them to copy. I didn't mind it but I also wished I could be more involved in the experience rather than watching. Out of the 8 teachers I had, Mr. Oswald was the most terrified of us wolves. If Killian or I asked him for something, even if we didn't need it and it would only cause trouble, he would give it to us. Plus, Killian's father, Efron and his Keeper, Emile, were constantly breathing down the school's necks. The Keepers controlled what they taught, what websites to block and what to serve during the lunches despite not owning the school. I seriously wondered if they held more power over the president and only hoped none of the Keepers in the US would run for office or we would be totally and utterly screwed. I surfed through my Facebook and Instagram during class since there was barely anything to write until I spelled the familiar perfume of Regina. I groaned to myself and looked up, seeing her walking toward us. I hoped the message of 'stay back' that I was hoping that was going through my eyes was evident but either she ignored it or it was just a messed up look. Killian looked up at her and grinned wolfishly.
“I was wondering if I could talk to Emma for a moment?” She asked timidly.
“There is nothing to discuss.” I said harshly. I saw the small flicker of hurt in her eyes before she made her way back to her table.
“Who was she?” Ren questioned.
“Some new girl.” I said clearing my throat hoping to sound nonchalant.
“What would she want to discuss with you?” Killian snapped. I rolled my eyes.
“The union isn't until October and until then, I am my own woman with my own pack.” I snapped before shoving my books in my bag and walked out. I escaped to the library where I knew I would be safe. Killian never came into the library unless he absolutely had too. He thought reading was pointless and distorted people's views on reality. Well our reality is different from the humans moron, I thought. I pulled out my Dantes Divine Comedy book and started where I left off in the middle of Paradisio. I remained there until the lunch bell rang.

 

HENRY POV

I had the new girl I remembered being told we were supposed to be watching over in my health class. She seemed bored and always knew the answer for each question. She couldn't drop the class because you had to take it before you graduated sometime in your 4 years of high school. I thought back to my sister. From the talks we had when we would patrol together, I knew she was gay but the Keepers frowned upon alternative lifestyles. Even if we could just be with who we want and mate or whatever so the pack lines keep going. Emma had begged me not to tell anyone knowing that not only she could get into trouble, but so would mom because she failed to teach Emma her place. Her place being beneath Killian and following his orders and backing them up no matter how wrong they were.

Regina was pretty and I wondered if Emma had met her yet. I could see them together. Both of them were smart. Emma was making honors every year and I knew she could get into the best colleges if she weren't stuck here. Regina caught me staring and gave me a friendly smile and I smiled back. I knew 2nd period I had a new friend even though we shouldn't be friends with humans. I caught sight of Dax, one of the Keeper's kids, the one who was going to inherit the pack, or so the rumor was, after the union. He sent me a chilling smile through his sunglasses and I fought back a shudder and returned to my work. The Keepers had always given me the chills. Dax more so.

 

 

CORA POV

I sat in the new club of Efron's called Eden as we went through the discussion of what would happen to my daughter during the union.
“She is the scion. The one who will be the end of us all.” Efron hissed. When I had asked why her and not some other human.
“How so?'
“She just is! She has the blue cross tattoo on the back of her neck! Surely you have seen it as she is your daughter!” Eva snapped. I had not but I kept this information to myself.
“Whats in it for me?”
“Protection. Should you ever run into trouble no harm will come to you by any law other than our own. A hefty cash reward as well and the next pack subject to the union can be yours.” Emile said taking a drag on his cigar. I curled my lip in disgust. The short haired man had already had about 3 in the last 2 hours during the discussion. One could not have to much help. And I was always stepping on the wrong toes. I smiled.
“Deal.” I purred. The two Keepers and one alpha grinned and began drawing up the contract that would seal the fate of my daughter and my future.

 

EMMA POV

When lunch came I made my way to the usual table where my pack took their places. I smiled as I observed Henry and Zelena joking around with each other. I couldn't help but put aside the anxiety of the upcoming union which I permanently resided itself on my chest and be glad I had wonderful friends.
“Hey guys.” I greeted as I took my spot catching the glimpse of the other pack as they walked in. The other humans parted ways like the red sea as Killian strode through with Robin glaring at everyone. I had to roll my eyes. I knew the humans meant very little to us but he could treat them with some respect. The others broke off to the table they had claimed as their own since freshman year while he and Robin came by us.
“My father would like to extend his invitation to Efron's new club.”
“Henry's not old enough.” I cut in.
“But Emma.” He whined and I held a hand up silencing him.
“So? Eva's 14 year old is going.” Killian told us shrugging as if it was no big deal. Efron's clubs had basically no rules except fighting, underage drinking and stealing. Drugs were handed out as much as alcohol like it was going out of style.
“Please Emma.” Henry begged. I looked at him and his puppy dog eyes. I could never go against them and let out a long and defeated sigh.
“Fine.” I conceded. Killian grinned.
“Excellent. See you at 8.”
“Efron's clubs are always awesome.” Ruby gushed as Sabine, Billy and Zelena agreed with her as I tuned them out. I wasn't much of a party person. I preferred reading and quiet spots as well as music. Things I knew I could lose once I became an alpha of a new pack. Henry kept sending me worried glances as I as picked at my fruit salad, leaving my grilled cheese untouched. I let out a huff, looking around the cafeteria and saw Regina with her lab partners laughing at what one of them said. She looked so free. Untouched. I could only dream and wish of being like her but I knew I couldn't. I was locked up in prison. One I had known I was in since I was 5.

 

History and Mythology were boring and I couldn't get Regina off my mind. I cursed myself for letting her get to me like this. Little things would bring her to mind no matter how many times I pushed her away. I paged through my mythology book seeing some pages marked out knowing it was the Keepers doing. None of my pack mates knew why they restricted some knowledge and none of the Keepers or their kids would let up any information. They would just give us a cruel grin and brush it off. Some kids were nice but the others, mainly the ones surrounding the Roger pack, were cruel and treated everyone like shit. Even their Guardians.
“I wish something interesting would happen.” I heard Billy grumble next to me and I hummed in agreement. My last period of the day, we got our wish in the weirdest way possible. Little did I know how strong the Keeper influence was.

Chapter Text

My next class was called Big Ideas but it was more like a philosophy class. There wasn't a ton of homework except reading and some note taking which was fine by me. Less homework to do although it forced me to focus on pack duties as well as my mom go on and on about how I am supposed to act once the union is over. Whenever I ask what happens exactly, she dodges the subject completely and sends me to my room if I continue to push it. The others have tried to find out as well for my sake and sanity. I was the kind of person who liked to be prepared. I like to know whats going to happen so if something goes wrong, then I have an idea on how to fix it quickly while hoping no one or not many people get hurt. But this time I was left to my anxieties alone and that fact alone terrified me to no end. I took my normal seat while letting out a long breath glad the day was over. I was excused from study hall if I was a senior since its a free period, I could just go home. Soon the familiar sweet scent hit my nose and I groaned in annoyance. It seemed I would never shake Regina out of my classes and my guilty thoughts would never end. I wanted to talk to her. If I wasn't a Guardian I would without a doubt but due to my position and expectations, I couldn't. Either follow my master's orders or pay the consequences.

 

Everyone fell silent as Mr. Gold walked in. His cane making soft taping sounds as he limped into the room. He could walk normally but there were days when his leg would cause him pain. He never went into how he got it. He would just shrug and say he was in a bad fight many year ago, then continue on teaching. He grabbed a black marker and wrote 'WHAT IS THE TRUE STATE OF NATURE?' in big letters on the board.
“Now, give me some examples of this topic.” He told us.
“In paradisum. Paradise. Eden.” Killian said while he flashed me a wicked smile. I resisted the impulse to roll my eyes.
“Very good Mr. Jones. Is paradise lost? Maybe? Maybe not? Some enlightened philosiphers thought the New World would be the new Eden.” Mr. Gold nodded.
“Tabula Rasa.” I added. “The Blank Slate.”
“Very good as well, Ms. Swan. Each and every person is born with endless possibility inside them. Locke's theory gained quite a following.”
“Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes.” The familiar voice said. I groaned internally already feeling the prickling sensation I always felt when something was about to happen. All of the non humans seemed to as well because they stiffened in their seats. All the humans looked impressed with the latin phrases being tossed around and the women were fluttering their eyes at Killian after he mentioned paradise.
“The War of All Against All.” Regina frowned when no one said anything. “Thomas Hobbes is often considered a foundational theorist about the states of nature.” She continued although her voice dwindled and became more hesitate. Mr. Gold turned and his face was pale as he looked closely at his new student. Regina swallowed hard at his expression.
“I do a lot of reading on my own.” She murmured.
“Hobbes isn't in our readings.” A cool voice said. Everyone turned to where the voice came from. Logan was Efron Bane's son. Always asleep and slacking in his classes but due to his dad no one batted an eye. I tossed a sad look at Regina knowing if he had a temper like his father, Regina was in for it and I knew there wasn't much I could do to protect her.
“What? That doesn't make any sense!” Regina snapped. “He's in all the standard philosophy texts.” She twirled a pen between her fingers showing her growing anxiousness but she kept pushing on about her beliefs. Mr. Gold cast a look at Logan who tilted his head as if daring him to do something,
“Um, the Mountain School does not include Thomas Hobbes in any of our readings.” He croaked. I glanced at Killian whose face looked as shocked and worried as I was feeling. Mr. Gold was the exact image of composure and control. No one dared step out of line in his classes.
“What?” Regina asked. The room was silent for a moment.
Logan turned toward Regina. “Hobbes has been concluded as somewhat banal for our considerations.”
“By who?” Regina asked as she leveled her own glare on Logan. All the Keepers and Guardians were looking at Regina and the humans looked like they wanted to run out of the room or hide under their desks. And with that, the conversation was dropped. Logan pulled off his designer sunglass he wore weather it was sunny or cloudy out, and leaned back in his seat lazily.
“The Regents,” He said as if he was correcting a child's mistake and in this case, he was. “One of whom is your mother, Regina. Also my father and several other significant people who protect the reputation of this institution.” He made it seem like school was an actual institution. In a way it was because despite the fact I wanted to resist the union, I was trapped with no way out.
My jaw dropped. Mother?
“And they've censored Hobbes?” Regina asked. “I've never heard of anything more ridiculous.”
“Let's move on, shall we?” Mr. Gold asked as beads of sweat appeared on his forehead, desperate to get off the topic but something told me he wanted to discuss it.
“Why? Why wouldn't you study Hobbes? He's arguably the founder of this subject of discussion.” Regina exclaimed. I sighed as my fingers dug into the edges of my desk. Regina may has have walked in front of a firing squad and the way things were going, we were never going to go forward in this discussion. I can't believe I am helping her once more when I told myself I wouldn't.
“Because we know better.” I growled. “We can evolve from Hobbes's disastrous world and not wallow in the violence he's spoken of. War is a savage schoomaster, right?”
Mr. Gold gave me a grateful smile while he wiped his brow of the sweat that had gathered there and I nodded once. “Thank you, Ms. Swan. Nice use of Thucydides as well. Theorists that we will study in this class have more of a hopeful look on everything in the world rather than Hobbes did.” Killian began to beat his pens on his desk like they were drumsticks. “I don't know, savagery seems okay to me.” All the Guardians, except me, burst into laughter. The humans shrunk in their seats while Regina looked completely and utterly confused. The younger Keepers smirked while throwing us disdainful glances at me and my fellow wolves.
Regina's words were more frustrated and insistent. “Hobbes isn't talking about savagery at all. He's talking about the ceaseless struggle of power. Strife unending that makes the world go round. That is the true state of nature. You cannot just ignore it because some stuffed shirts call it vulgar.” Killian turned and faced Regina as he regarded the girl with a gaze that seemed admiring but also wary. Robin glanced at his alpha, then me then to Regina. He was looking like he was waiting for one of us to spontaneously combust. Zelena stared at Regina as if the brunette's skin had turned inside out. Logan sighed heavily as he examined his fingernails. Regina threw a pleading look at Mr. Gold who had started to sweat and look more than a little uncomfortable once again.
“Can we please talk about the war of all against all? I think it's the most important idea that I have ever come across in philosophy.” Regina begged. Everyone's breath was baited as we waited for the teacher's answer. The sweat that had formed dropped like tear drops as he turned toward the board. Oh god.
“I suppose….” He started as he started to write the term on the board before his hand jerked and the marker dropped again. He picked it up once more before it happened a second time.
“You should work on your reflexes Mr. Gold.” Killian snickered and I glared a disapproving look at him which he frowned at, looking like a kicked puppy. A nervous titter moved all through the classroom. He didn't respond as he seemed to try to pull himself together but the shaking moved down his arm until it hit his shoulder, then he fell to the floor in violent convulsing. White spittle collected at the corner of his mouth and dripped down his jawline.
“Oh my god! He's having a seizure!” A human girl shrieked. I think her name was Rachel but I had never bothered to learn their names unless I absolutely had too. Robin bolted from his desk and knelt next to our convulsing teacher before he shouted at the still screeching teenager. “Shut up and go get the goddamn nurse!” The girl ran from the classroom and the other students pulled out their phones.
“Put your phones away now!” Logan said, his voice sharp and crisp with the command. Nurse Eugina came in. She was also known as Granny by the Keepers and Guardians. She was a Keeper who oversaw the small infirmary in the school although I highly doubted she had any medical experience. It's why I seldom went down there unless I had too. Robin, who had stilled Mr. Gold's convulsions with sheer, brute strength, frowned. “He needs an ambulance.”
“No, he doesn't.” Logan snarled. Granny pushed through those who were crowding the teacher.
“In case you haven't noticed, we are done for the day. Go find somewhere else to be.” He added. I really hated how the Keeper kids treated the humans. At least we were somewhat decent when we interacted with them although most of the time we ignored them completely. Most bolted from the room while cramming books and binders in their bags as the left, a few stared for a few more moments at Robin then slunk off. Logan gazed back at us with smug confidence that made my hackles rise then I looked at Granny. The gray haired woman marred with a hump on her back was kneeling next to Mr. Gold gestured to two men who pushed a gurney into the classroom.
“I'll take it from here Robin.” She told him. Robin nodded once before releasing Mr. Gold who flailed immediately. Granny pulled a syringe of pinkish liquid before plunging it into his neck. His spasms began to slow before he went still then unconscious. Granny nodded to the two men who lifted the teacher and set him on the gurney before wheeling him out. Granny turned toward Logan who had an uncharacteristic smile on her lips.
“Thank you for sending Rachel to get me, Mr. Bane.” The golden haired boy gave a dismissive gesture with his right hand.
“Your prompt attention is the matter that was noted Lana.” Granny dipped into a curtsy and left the classroom. Logan then sauntered toward Regina.
“Lets take a walk.” He told the brunette. Though she hadn't looked afraid throughout the hell of a day in class, she looked terrified now and sent me a scared look which I pretended to ignore.
“What the hell just happened?” She asked.
“Mr. Gold is an epileptic. It's a shame really. He's a excellent teacher.” Logan explained. I caught the fingers that were behind his band flicking oddly. Regina's eyes fluttered as Logan smiled and slid an arm around her shoulders, steering her toward the door.
“I'll give you a ride home. I am sure your mother would like to hear about your first day.” As the Keeper and Regina left the classroom, Logan shot one last smile to us Guardians who were the last ones in the room. Killian leapt to his feet since we were no longer monitored by any Keeper. I thought about moving from leaning against the teacher's desk but further evaluation, my legs felt like Jell-o and I didn't want any contact with Killian at that point. Killian's gaze moved to mine and he moved over taking my hands in his own.
“Emma?” He asked softly. “Are you okay, love?” I pulled out of his grasp.
“Her mother. Logan said she's a Regent. That's impossible. God. Why would the Keepers want to have anything to do with a human girl? Who is her mother?”
“I think her name is Cora. I overheard my father and Efron talking about it this weekend.” Robin said. Zelena shrugged.
“I don't know. I have never heard of them adopting a human. We all know how the Keeper kids treat them here at school. I could only imagine what it would be like at home.” The red head said.
“And what happened to Mr. Gold?” Robin asked.
“When the hell did you all become idiots?” Sabine asked, speaking for the first time the entire class period. “He isn't an epileptic you morons. You know the phrase that stupid human girl kept saying? Yeah, it's forbidden. He triggered one of the Keepers's wards around the school to make no one strays from topics they deemed appropriate for discussions. Gold was being punished for even attempting to discuss it. Keepers don't tolerate behavior like that.”
“So no ambulance?” Robin said turning toward the inky black haired girl.
“A doctor couldn't do anything for him. Granny is the only one who could do something.” Sabine shrugged. “She's the spellwarder in the school. Don't you know anything?” Zelena snickered and I raised an eyebrow at my pack member who shrugged. Sabine stood and with a glare, strode out of the classroom gracefully. The grace my mom is constantly trying to get me symbolize.Even though Sabine was my beta and should technically not disrespect me, she had a point and she was frustrated in watching our beloved teacher get sent away because of Regina.