Wolf Girl (Wolf Girl #1) by Leia Stone





Mondays.

I hated Mondays. They were like your period, they just snuck up on you out of nowhere and ruined your week.

I settled into first period with a literal troll breathing down the back of my neck. Starting my sophomore year in college with the same rejects who tormented me in middle and high school was not my ideal academic environment, but the only option available to me at the moment. Spinning in my seat, I glared the troll down. His nostrils flared, making the small tusks in his cheeks point upward, giving me a gnarly view of his tiny brain through his giant nostrils.

“Packard,” I growled, “we’ve talked about personal space before. Please keep your acid breath to yourself.”

A few of the other students snickered, but when Packard took my bag and chucked it across the room, they quieted.

My bag hit the wall with a thud and slid to the ground, splaying its contents all over the floor.

Rage welled up inside of me as I closed my eyes, breathing deeply, trying to keep my wolf calm. Acid Breath knew what he was doing. If he could get me to awaken my wolf, even the tiniest bit, I’d be suspended. Even being cuffed at birth, my wolf still tried to break free every chance she got. It was something that was forbidden at Delphi High and was equally forbidden at Delphi University.

Breathe, breathe, breathe.

Om Dali lama.

Fur rippled down the edges of my arms and I cursed to myself.

I felt Packard draw closer, the heat from his disgusting oily skin pressing in on me. “Go on, Wolf Girl. Show me what you’re made of.”

My eyes snapped open and they must have been yellow, because he reeled backward.

Wolf Girl.

Since I was five years old, the magical rejects that went to Delphi Elementary School had called me Wolf Girl. Why? Because no other wolves went here. I was the only one with a family stupid enough to get tossed out of Wolf City. There were tons of trolls, even more witches, a few vampires, and lots of fey, but the wolves … we kept a tight hold on our pack. You really had to fuck up to be cast out to live with the magical riffraff among the humans.

The cuffs on my wrist sent a magical pulse throughout my skin, and then an electrifying pain shot up my arms. Anything to keep my wolf at bay.

I hated this place. I hated what they did to me. The teacher hadn’t entered the classroom yet, so technically if I could just calm down and not get caught with furry arms or yellow eyes…

“Take a breather,” my one and only friend, Raven, whispered from her seat beside me.

Good idea. Sometimes she knew me better than I knew myself. Witches had a way with reading people’s emotions.

I stood, tearing down the aisle and past where my bag lay splayed out on the floor. Bursting from the door of the classroom, I ran down the hallway; the entire time my wolf was beating on my chest, begging to be let free.

Stay calm, stay calm, I told my inner wolf. She had a mind of her own, never listened to anything I told her, didn’t care that we’d been cuffed and kept from shifting; she tried any chance she got to be free. It didn’t matter that the cuffs electrocuted me when she tried to get out, it didn’t matter that she’d never actually been let out and never would. She didn’t care. The fur rippled down my arms as I envisioned tearing Packard’s throat out and shoving it up his ass.

Just one shift, one run, one howl, and I could appease her. Being human felt like a cage, and when I got angry it was even harder to keep her inside that cage.

My nails sharpened to points; the seams of my cutoff jean-shorts swelled.

“Calm the fuck down,” I growled at myself, my voice gruff with my wolf. Magic shot from the cuffs and pain laced along my spine again as I stumbled past a few witches.

Over a decade of being bullied at Delphi and my parents wondered why I had anger issues. Just once I wanted to let loose and show them all how much I hated them, but I was afraid I’d actually kill someone, and the cuffs would probably kill me before then.

I needed to release some of this tension, go for a run or something before I exploded. The last fifteen years of being this school’s punching bag had finally broken me and I was ready to snap.

I ran down the hall, feeling the muscles in my body tighten and clench. The simple act of exercising worked wonders for taming my wolf. I did it often to ward off an attempted shift when I was around my human friends in my apartment building. One patch of fur here at Delphi with a bunch of magical kids wasn’t so much a big deal as it was with the human population.

I burst free of the double doors and into the school parking lot. And that’s when my wolf surged to the surface.