As soon as we re-enter The Underworld and return back to the academy, the others have gone back to the dorms.
"I'll just let them know that you're back," Rama says, flipping out a mobile out of his pocket. It looks similar to an Iphone, but, instead of with a bitten apple on the back, it instead has a bat on the back.
"Oh, yeah, this is an Ephone, by the way, The Underworld's equivalent of an Iphone," he explains to me. "I mean, the human world secretly often import goods to The Underworld, but then we also make some of our stuff, too." Ahh. I get it. Well, I get that it's an Underworld rip-off version of an Iphone, but that's all I get.
"So is it just like an Iphone?" I ask him. 'Course, he's rich. He'll be able to afford stuff like that.
"Yeah, just about, with the cloud and that," he replies. "Except for it's called an Ecloud."
"Cool," I casually reply. I wish I had an Iphone!
"So, um, thanks for saving me," I reply. He gazes at me lovingly and cups my cheek.
"You're a girl worth saving," he says before lightly kissing me again.
"Uh...Rama," I begin to protest, but he kisses me before I can protest more. I kiss him back, my lips moving with his lightly. But then I feel guilty. I pull back before it gets more steamy.
"What's wrong?" Rama asks me, caressing my cheek tenderly. Dear of him.
"Um, Rama, as much as I like you, I shouldn't be doing this," I reply, then turn away from him, feeling ashamed and embarrassed.
"Because you're with Howl?" He asks me.
"It's not fair on him, and it's not fair on you, either. You deserve a girl who doesn't cheat, and you deserve someone better than me," I say. He shakes his head, and stands beside me, wrapping an arm around my shoulder.
"No, you deserve someone better than him," he says. "You're a true heroine, Whitney, whether you like it or not."
"No, I'm a slag, you must think it too, as I so willingly kissed you despite being with Howl," I mutter under my breath. I turn to him. "Look...I'll break up with Howl, ok?" Don't get me wrong, I like Howl, but I was, in truth, only using him to move on from Riley. And that's cruel of me. I only truly like him as a friend. But how am I supposed to explain all this to him? It'll break his heart. I want to be with someone I truly like, and that is Rama.
But then there's still Wolfie...
Hmmm. Damn you, Whitney, why get yourself into this mess? I fiercely think to myself before I rush away from a bewildered Rama, confused myself. How am I supposed to make sense of any of this? I like multiple guys at a time, and I feel awful! I shouldn't be doing this to Howl. He actually likes me, perhaps even loves me. And Howl's the kind of guy who's passionate when it comes to relationships. He deserves someone better.
I don't want to do this any more.
I conjure up the hellrider, get interrogated and arrive home in less than five minutes.
I like Whitney. She's pretty and all that. I can tell she likes me too, but now I feel guilty for enticing her away like that. Howl's gonna kill me when he finds out I've stolen his girl. But Whit's her own person. She can like whoever she wants. But...I want her.
"Why you"- someone suddenly grabs hold of me by the collar and slams me against the tree. Howl. His amber eyes are narrowed and his fist is clenched.
"Where's Whitney?" He instantly demands. I laugh lightly, deciding the best way to go is to play dumb.
"What do you mean?" I reply. "She's safe, she's at home now."
"You man whore!" He yells at me. "You kissed her! Do you know how much I love her?!"
"Should you really be addressing your prince with such words?" I smartly retort, quirking an eyebrow at him. "Just who do you think you're talking to? And no, what are you on about? I saved her from a vampire and escorted her home safely."
"Lies," Howl's eyes narrow at me suspiciously. "A certain so-and-so told me that she saw you two kissing in the human world, and you never went back home with her." I laugh mockingly at him.
"Don't always believe everything that you hear, Howl," I wisely advise him. A snarl rips out through his throat.
"So how come that this so-and-so then happens to have been tracking down Whitney and was at Drake Memorial Park exactly where Whitney was? I mean, this so-and-so hardly knows the human world, so she would hardly have made it up then, would she?"
"Well, did she say why she was tracking Whitney?" I ask him. He shakes his head.
"No, but she came here though."
"Who was it?"
"It was Ayesha Cole."
"Who the hell's that?"
"Just some slag-hoe bitch that used to go to this school who's in the year above me," he explains. I get up right into his face threateningly, gripping his shoulder furiously.
"Well you can tell this Ayesha Cole that she is not needed here," I growl. "Whit's got all the protection she needs."
"You know, Whit isn't as weak as she looks," Howl points out.
"But she isn't as strong as us shape-shifters, now, is she?" I snarl right back.
"Are you doubting her abilities?"
"No; it's for her own good."
"Well then tell me something? Why the hell are you here? She's got everything she needs right at this school." I chuckle to myself at that and raise an eyebrow mockingly at him.
"You really are stupid," I retort back. "Don't get cocky with me, Mister. You think that Soloman actually cares for her safety then you are so wrong. Maybe, one day you'll realise that Soloman isn't the king - or God I should so rightly put it - as he makes out to be. He's pulling the strings here. And if you can't see that then you are blinded." I try not to sound over-confident, just confident enough. He stares at me in horror, trembling in fear as I strengthen my grip on him intentionally, cringing in pain.
"Will you let go of me? Please?" He begs me, whimpering like a little puppy. However, I respect his wishes, and let go. With the cockiest little smirk I've ever seen before in my life, he instantly raises a fist and punches me in the face. A sharp pain hits me for a moment, but it fades not so long after. Enraged, I lunge at him in wolf form.
"You wanna fight then be my guest," Howl challenges. However, a large griselled grey wolf (large for a wolf), approaches cautiously towards the scene. His sharp yellow eyes blaze in fury. As soon as he spots me he comes charging towards me. He's bigger than me by about five inches, but I'll be much bigger than he'll ever be, some day.
"Wolfgang," I smirk wolf-ishly at him. He snarls with pure menace at me.
"You twat," he snarls menacingly. "You stole my girl! The girl I love! I've known her for longer than you yet you intend to entice her away from us?! Just who do you think you are, you arrogant prick?!"
"Hey, she's my girlfriend," Howl protests. He turns on him, snarling.
"Back off Howl, you weed, you won't last two seconds in this fight," Wolfgang says, then turns back to me. "And you can back off too, Prince what's-your-face, do you hear me?"
"How disrespectful to your prince, god and perhaps future King," I retort back. I know it's boastful and arrogant of me to rub it in, but I'm too far gone to care.
"I'll show you disrespect you mutt! Why would I ever follow you?! I'd rather form a pack with a bunch of pussies than stick with you and your mutts! Everything was fine until you got here! I wanna tear you to shreds like I would with a deer right now."
"Fine by me", I shrug, smirking wolf-ishly at his stupidity. Is he really this stupid to not know that he will lose?
"I'll take you on anytime," I reply, then finish with, "Mutt." With a ferocious enraged snarl he leaps up into the air and at me, but I'm ready. I instantly dodge as he lands, and I snap at his side. He dodges too, and snips at my underbelly. I sink my jaws deep into his side, and warm blood flows into my mouth and spurts out everywhere. He yelps out in pain. Wolfgang turns and does the same, but his bite isn't quite as powerful as mine, but I yelp out in pain anyway. We move away from each other, then circle each other; yellow eyes narrowed, snarling and snapping and scanning each other's movements. We then charge at each other, bashing heads, and snapping at each other's throats. He snaps at me relentlessly, razor-sharp teeth glistening with fresh blood. Suddenly, I feel teeth sink into my ankle. I glance downwards to see a grey-ish sandy-ish Mexican wolf hanging onto my ankle, snarling, however his eyes widen in fear as I glance at him. I instantly fling him off, but not too hard so that he lands not too far. Wolfgang takes this opportunity to try and dig his teeth in again, but I'm too quick and instantly deflect his attack, smashing him with a paw in his jaw. He cries out in pain, but is relentless. I don't wanna do this, but I do. With inhuman-speed I propel myself towards him and smash him into the ground, creating a crater in the process. He lies there, battered and limp. Not dead, as a long pink tongue hangs out, panting. I turn to Howl, without snarling or growling. I shoot him an earnest look, and he immediately backs off and flees with a whimper. I glance back to the injured Wolfgang.
"Wolfgang, I know you're gonna hate me for this, but I am sorry I had to do that," I tell him. "I'll apologise to you as long as you apologise to me."
"Wolfie!" I come bashing through to the infirmary to see him in his hospital bed like I once was, except in human form. Everyone's staring at me with accusing facial expressions, angry and betrayed. I try to ignore them, but feel a guilty conscience begin to stir up inside me immediately. Luckily, the nurse isn't here to spot me, and, ultimately, report me to Soloman.
Don't try to deny it...they all know, a voice inside me tells me, but I block it out.
"Whit, calm down!" Katie tries to console me.
"No! I won't calm down!" I yell, then glare viciously at a worried Rama. "You." I stab an accusing finger at him.
"It was him that went for me first," Rama puts his hand up in protest. "I had to do it otherwise he wouldn't have stopped. He'd gone crazy."
"Like a mad dog with rabies," I hear Tanya snigger in the background, then erupts into stupid irritable laughter. This time I turn and shoot a dangerous glare at her, and her expression immediately falls sullen. I turn back to Rama.
"I'm sorry," I say, backtracking. "But why are you all staring at me like this?" Sapphire is the first to step forward.
"Don't try to act so innocent, Whit, we know what happened. We all know what this is all about," she says, arms folded across her chest. She has a sharp tone to her voice. Ouch.
"Yeah, you slut," Jamie viciously snaps.
"Why didn't you tell us before?" Katie demands silently, in a small sad voice.
"Because I haven't had a chance to tell you!" I yell at them, only realising what I've just said only after I had said it.
"So, why are you acting so innocent, then?" Franky says. "If you know what we're talking about." Damn it, Whitney. You idiot. I mentally slap myself.
"I'm not acting innocent," I mumble.
"What was that?" Jamie cups his ear mockingly, leaning towards me slightly.
"Stop it, all of you!" Tanya fiercely exclaims. "Whitney ain't no slut, Imma slut here." Everyone turns to her in surprise.
"It's not like as if she's betrayed us or anything!" Tanya continues to defend me. "Nobody here's perfect; everyone makes mistakes. Hell, I've made a shedload of mistakes with guys and it's not right to turn on her like this."
"She's right," Katie agrees. "And I wasn't turning on her, I'm just sad, that's all."
"Guys, it's my fault," Rama says, trying to defend me. "I practically forced myself onto her."
"You make it sound like I've been raped," I mutter under my breath. " And, No, you didn't," I say. "I willingly kissed you back. Stop making excuses for me. It isn't right to cheat, and, for once, I admit I'm in the wrong."
"I loved you, Whit," a sad familiar voice calls through and Howl enters, face tear stained. "I thought you were special; you really are amazing. But now, I can see you're nothing more than those hoes in the year above."
"No! I'm not like them at all! I swear! I didn't intend for any of this to happen!" I cry out to him.
"That's why I attacked Rama. Because I went mad. I'm sorry. This is my fault," he beckons out with a sad sigh.
"Howl," a serious voice approaches him. In an instant Rama has a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sorry." Howl shrugs his hand off angrily, shaking in betrayal.
"You're probably better for her than I am, anyway," Howl mutters. "I can't protect her. But you can. That's what she needs right now." Rama smiles apologetically at him.
"Even I can't completely protect her. But we're all growing in power. One day, we'll be the most powerful group of shape-shifters and mixed-bloods that have ever existed." I realise that he's referring to the vampire incident back at Drake Memorial Park.
"Yeah, you will," Howl says. With that, he leaves. I huff, arms folded across my chest.
"I don't need to be mollycoddled," I say coldly.
"You may need your head someday," Rama advises. "In order to stay...alive." I slightly gulp back fearfully.
"Don't be so naive, Whitney," Sapphire says, her original anger towards me fading. "At this precise moment in time, you can't handle what's out there." I narrow my eyes at her suspiciously.
"Are you doubting my abilities?" I ask her.
"No; just like the rest of us, you still have a lot to learn," she corrects me.
"But you don't trust me," I say what they're so obviously thinking aloud.
"Maybe...after cheating on Howl, lets just tone it down a little for now," Diego slightly prompts. I shrug hopelessly.
"You don't have to hide it," I say. "It's over; what's done is done." In frustration, I slam the door shut outside in a childish manner.