“Dylan Galloway.” The teacher sighed. “You realize class is half over. You wouldn’t happen to have a pass, would you?”
“Nope.” His usual seat in the back corner was taken up with the new kid again. Huh, he didn’t know his name. The desk in front of him was empty just like yesterday, so Dylan headed over, giving a slight nod of greeting to New Kid.
“If you’re late to class one more time, I’m giving you detention and I’m calling your parents.”
“Okay.” He really didn’t care. The rest of his classes were just things to sit through until he could get to Major Magical Control. New Kid had been put in that class for a reason, and he couldn’t wait until he found out what he could do. Maybe New Kid would be a bigger challenge than the fox sisters.
The teacher sighed again and went back to his lesson. Blah, blah, Revolutionary War something. Dylan glanced back at New Kid. The dork was taking notes like it was the most important thing in the world. Dylan thought of how lost he’d looked in the lunch room yesterday. The guy had turned as pale as a vampire staring at the carnivore buffet. Dylan still wasn’t sure why he’d helped him or why he let the kid eat lunch with him.
Because I’m lonely. He clamped down on that thought. He wasn’t lonely. He didn’t need anyone.
He got proof of that in the hall after class. A girl walked by, stopped long enough to toss her hair and glare at him. He frowned, not recognizing her. Then he caught the flash of the necklace hanging just above her boobs, INDIRA spelled out in gold letters.
“You got a new body.”
“Do you like it?” She flipped her hair again, long and blonde. Her eyes were blue, skin flawless and white. “Well, too bad. You’ll never get any of this.” She set a hand on her hip.
Dylan rolled his eyes. “Whatever.” He walked away. They’d gone a few dates last year, held hands and kissed a few times. Then he realized she was annoying and dumped her. They hadn’t really done anything, and she acted like it was a big deal.
“Whatever yourself, asshole.”
Several kids looked at him, then quickly looked away. Even as annoying as she was, he had to give Indira points for not being afraid of him. Her and the fox sisters… and New Kid. But New Kid didn’t know what he was.
At lunch he claimed a table and looked around for New Kid, arguing with himself about whether he cared. Then he started to worry he’d scared him off with all the fire he’d thrown around yesterday. The poor guy was new to town and probably just found out about all this weird shit.
Then he appeared, carrying a tray and heading toward Dylan’s table. He hesitated, glanced around the lunchroom like he hoped to find someone. Had he made a friend since yesterday? After a moment, New Kid set his jaw and came over. His tray made a soft clack as he set it on the table. “So you can throw fire. And so can those girls,” New Kid said.
“Did you guess yet?”
He frowned. “Guess what?”
“What I am?”
New Kid waved a hand in the general direction of the room. “I don’t know what most of these people are.” Then he ducked, like he was afraid someone had overheard him.
“What’s your name?”
The change of subject seemed to confuse him. “Aiden.”
“Well, Aiden, those are vampires.” He pointed to a group at one end of a table. “There and there are witches. Some like to use different names, like spell-caster or mage. Humans with magic powers. Over there are ghouls.” He shifted to point at the far side. “Werewolves. And over there are a selkie, a kappa, a harpy, two werehyenas, and a tengu.” He turned back to see Aiden staring.
The boy blinked a few times. “Um, so… what are you?”
“I want you to guess.” Dylan held up a finger. “No cheating. You can’t ask anyone. You have to figure it out some other way.”
He shrugged. “Because I’m bored.”
Aiden took a bite of his pizza. His plate was full today, no more rabbit food. “Do you know what I am?”
“No. But I bet I can figure it out before you figure out what I am.” The list of possibilities wasn’t too long if this guy didn’t know the first thing about magic but he’d been put straight into Major Magical Control.
“Bet what?” Aiden looked skeptical.
“No way. I’m not betting anything unless I know what it is.”
Man, this guy was no fun. “Fine. The loser has to get up on the table, in the middle of lunch, and sing a song of the winner’s choice.”
Aiden laughed. “That is so stupid.” He looked down at his plate for a moment. “Okay fine. Are you a demon?”
“What if somebody says what I am? And you overhear them?”
“Then nobody wins. Same thing if you overhear what I am.”
“How do I know you’ll be honest about it?” Aiden frowned and picked up his pizza again.
“Guess we’ll just have to trust each other.” Dylan thought he figured out what it was, why he was bothering talking to Aiden. It was nice to have someone not know what he was. Of course, now that he’d made a game out of guessing, that might not last long.