“You have not been looking good lately,” Samantha declared. “You need like, a spa day or something. Maybe we should go out and get manicures.”
That would be nice. I totally could have used a girl’s day. The kind that actually involves someone who was a girl 24/7, at least. On the surface, spending several weeks with a group of attractive guys sounds fun. However, that was only in theory. In reality, it was severely nerve-wracking. I might have been developing a twitch.
It had been some time since I had left that haunted house. My ankle turned out to be bruised, not sprained, and after a few days of limping, I was back to normal. I told my mom I fell down the stairs. With Alex to back up all of my claims, it was a lot easier convincing her of things. Furthermore, the boys showed no signs of possession since then, so I supposed I was in the clear now. That didn’t stop me from being on the defensive, though.
A boy asked me out this morning and I screamed and ran away. He could have been a Frankenstein Vampire voodoo Santa Claus for all I knew. It was another member of the Hawtness, Allan, which only made things more suspicious. He was kind of a library nerd, but was still on the list because Samantha said he was book sexy. When I asked her what that meant, she said it meant you wanted to have sex with him on top of a pile of books.
“We could also go to the Demetrius concert coming up,” Samantha winked at me.
I sighed. “You’ve already forced me to have a Demetrius poster in my bedroom. You want me to have to go to a loud, noisy concert too?
“Well, not all of us are surrounded by a constant stream of hot guys. Going to a Demetrius concert might be the closest I come to heaven.” Samantha gave me a puppy-eyed look.
I turned my head, trying to ignore her. Her lip fell down, tears welling in her eyes. It was times like this I remembered she was also in the drama club. I turned back to her.
“Fine, you win! We’ll go.”
Samantha laughed, clapping her hands, just as the bell rang.
“Alright everybody,” our aging English teacher spoke up. “I’m nine months pregnant and ready to pop, if you hadn’t noticed up until this point. As a result, I’ll be starting my maternity leave immediately. You will instead be taught by Mr. Xavier, the new substitute teacher.”
Oh yeah, the teacher had been seeming a bit chunky lately. However, wasn’t she a little old to be having a baby? She was almost thirty. The class broke into whispers at this announcement. Samantha rammed her elbow into me numerous times. Finally, I smacked her arm away and turned to her.
“What is it?” I snapped under my breath.
“Mr. Xavier is one of the hawtness,” Samantha whispered.
“A teacher can’t be a hawtness.”
“He can if he looks like Mr. Xavier. I saw him in the halls this morning.”
I knew what she meant. A moment later a young, handsome man walked into the class. He had dark brown hair, a deep smile, and perhaps the greenest eyes I had ever seen on a person. He was wearing a t-shirt under a sports coat. He had one hand in his pocket and moved with a swagger that I couldn’t put my finger on.
“I just wanted to be here to introduce him. He has already received all of my notes and will follow my class lectures diligently. Please be respectful. Now excuse me, I’ll be off.” The old English teacher waved to her students before leaving the room.
“Well, that was brief.” The substitute smirked. “But yes, I am Mr. Xavier and I look forward to getting to know each and every one of you.”
The new teacher had an accent. I couldn’t put my finger on it. It sounded old-timey and proper. Mr. Xavier looked at each and every student in the class, the girls especially, and his eyes seemed to linger on me just a bit longer. Was there a look of recognition in those eyes? I was just growing paranoid.
“The first thing I will need is a student to help me after school. I have some things I want to rearrange in the classroom and some student perspective would be appreciated. Who would be interested?”
Several girls raised their hands. I wasn’t one of them. I had a meeting with the boys’ club activities after school and didn’t have the time. Although, something was off about Mr. Xavier. The last thing I needed to find out was that Mr. Xavier was another supernatural being. No chances this time. What if he was a Mummy? Maybe I should investigate? Now I was curious. No, curiosity already got me five guys messing up my life. I would not add another.
“How about you, Jane?” the man pointed at me.
The blood drained in my face. Samantha glanced at me, but it seemed she had grown past her jealousy. Now she just sighed at the inevitability of it all, her phone under the desk rapidly typing a tweet telling the whole school. A small panic attack surged through me. It wasn’t fair. I beat my curiosity. I didn’t raise my hand. Why was this still happening?
“How… how did you know my name?” I got out. Maybe if I just asked, things would be less problematic. It’s simple; are you, or have you ever been a magical creature, supernatural being, or dead?
“Seating chart?” he pulled up a folder from his desk. “I find the ones that don’t volunteer tend to have the more important things to say. I hope that’s alright.”
Some of the girls threw dirty looks at me. I just nodded; there was nothing else I could do. Mr. Xavier gave me a reassuring smile before looking back down at his folder. Suddenly, his smile turned sour.
“And another piece of news looks like we are getting a transfer student joining us today.”
Samantha seemed to perk up at the news, always the one for a new toy or a piece of gossip. When the person walked in through the door, my expression soon echoed Mr. Xavier’s. An incredibly attractive boy walked in. He had deep red lips and was perhaps the most beautiful person I had ever seen. Several of the girls around me shifted in their seats at just the sight of him. Alex.
Why did Alex have to be in a male form now? For that matter, why did he think this wasn’t extremely dangerous? If he shimmered in front of someone because of a sudden shift in who he likes, it would be impossible to explain. Alex gave me a deep smile, causing Samantha to let out another prolonged sigh of regret. Strangely enough, Mr. Xavier frowned at the behavior.
He put Alex in a seat on the exact opposite side of mine. It wouldn’t have been odd if he hadn’t had to kick a girl out of her seat in order to do it. That girl ended up moving to a seat adjacent to mine. Fortunately, no one was putting two and two together, simply more fascinated by the beautiful boy that joined their class. Samantha was most likely biding her time before she called me that night, demanding all of my secrets.
I sighed, regretfully. It would be another one of those days. Mr. Xavier began the lesson. He seemed surprisingly adept in English, although he seemed to have almost a child-like giddiness associated with it. When one of the students fired a spitball across the room at the back of another student’s head, Mr. Xavier responded by wadding up a piece of paper and returning the favor. To everyone’s shock and surprise, it landed directly in between the eyes of the offender. The class responded by breaking out into laughter. The person deserved it, he was always gross; but can a teacher really do that?
The class was over before it began and, being the last class of the day, the students filed out quickly. I waited for Mr. Xavier to tell me what he needed. Given my habit of staying later, I supposed I was probably a good choice to stay after school to help the teacher. I noticed Alex staying as well. After the majority of the students were gone, I moved over to him.
“Well?” I huffed.
Alex held up his hands, looking defensive, “Don’t look at me. This is mom’s doing. She saw me staying at home and before I knew it, I was being enrolled in school.”
I pinched the bridge of my nose. Of course, mom would do that. Well, he lived with me now. I couldn’t just leave him at home all the time. However, bringing another one of them into my school life just kept making things messier and messier.
“But why are you in boy form now?”
“Would you rather I came looking like your sister? I think that would cause more questions than this.”
“How’d you get around my mom enrolling you as a girl?”
Alex raised an eyebrow. “I’m a demon; is it really that hard to imagine? Plus, now I can be in the H club!”
“Oh, right.” Alex stuck out his tongue. “We didn’t tell you about the name yet. We decided to call the club the H club. Stands for Hawtness Club. No one really got it, but Rune said you’d like it.”
A blush came up on my cheeks. Rune knew. Of course, he would be the one to know about that kind of thing. Still, doing that was embarrassing. Hopefully, no one else asked too much about the name’s meaning. However, if Rune knew, soon everyone else would know too. I winced, so much for my private joke. Alex looked at me curiously and I focused back on him.
“What about you? Can you handle this? I mean, if you change… plus you’ve had trouble keeping a reign on your libido in the past.”
“I’ve got a better handle on it. Rune’s given me some tips to improve my ability to control myself, and it seems like it is working.”
That’s an idea for a Samantha fanfic right there. I scrunched up my nose. Maybe it’s better not to think about Rune having the talk with Alex on controlling his urges. Although, now that it was in my brain, I wanted to hear that conversation.
“Alex,” Mr. Xavier suddenly spoke up from the other side of the room, interrupting us. “I appreciate your willingness to stay after, but Jane has already volunteered. You won’t be needed.”
Both Alex and I frowned. Volunteering isn’t exactly the way I’d put it. It was more like being forced against my will.
“It’s alright,” Alex gave Mr. Xavier a winning smile, “I’ll stay out of your way.”
Mr. Xavier grimaced. “Just go, I have things that need doing.”
Alex’s smile slipped from his face. He seemed taken aback that he wasn’t able to sway the teacher’s opinion on him with a look. I supposed he was the wrong sex for it. The smile came back a moment later when he turned to me.
“Well, I can see that I’m not needed.” Alex shrugged, standing up. “I’ll talk to you at our first school meeting. I’ll let everyone know to wait for you.”
Alex gracefully stood and walked out of the room. Mr. Xavier watched his back with daggers until he left. He moved over to the door and peered out to make sure Alex was gone, then closed the door firmly. That was a little odd. The teacher turned back to me, a grin popping on his face as he walked over.
“What did you need help with?” I asked, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable.
Mr. Xavier walked over to me with that swagger in his step. He smiled down at me, placing his hands on either shoulder.
“Jane, you and I need to do a lot of things together.”
I attempted to pull back. In a sudden swift motion, he grabbed the back of my chair and pulled me forward. He moved on top. His legs wrapped around me. His body pressed up against me. His eyes stared into mine. I gulped loudly, frozen as if in a daze. His body smelled of fresh apple blossoms.
I forced myself to work up the courage to say something. “Mr. Xavier, I…”
Mr. Xavier put his finger to my lips, shaking his head. “It’s okay. Together you and I are going to do everything.”
The door burst open and the teacher looked back in surprise. Andrew and Rune both raced into the room, heading for us. Each boy grabbed an arm, dragging the teacher back and then throwing him. I wasn’t sure which I was more surprised about; the teacher coming on to me or Andrew and Rune attacking him. Mr. Xavier landed hard on his butt in the corner of the room.
“You stay the hell away from her,” Rune snapped.
My eyes widened as I turned between Mr. Xavier and the two boys. I jumped out of my chair and moved between them. If I didn’t stop this now, someone would get hurt. The door flew open again in a rush. Alex in her female form burst in, leading Daniel and Stephan. Daniel looked around the room quickly before taking a breath. His eyes snapped to the teacher’s and he joined the others with open anger on his face.
“What’s the meaning of this? You can’t do this to a teacher!” Mr. Xavier replied angrily, trying to move back into a standing position.
Daniel moved forward past me, shoving his foot into Mr. Xavier’s gut and knocking him to the ground. “That’s true. However, you’re not really a teacher, are you?”
Suddenly, the teacher stopped struggling. The look on his face twisted and he grinned darkly. Andrew and Rune looked at each other. A brief flash of confusion on their faces was followed by understanding. They seemed to know what was going on. Well, none of this was making any sense to me.
“What’s going on?” I demanded from the boys.
Stephan put a hand gently on my shoulder. “I suspected as soon as Alex told me about the odd teacher that rushed him out the door. This person is not your substitute teacher. He’s been taken over by the ghost from the mansion.”