Chapter 2

The book fell from my hands to the ground. I quickly picked it up, replaced it on the shelf, and turned around. There stood a man, hair white as snow and an ugly scar marring his own muscular arm. His eyes stared at me with a piercing ice blue color, almost identical to my own.

"Excuse me?"

The man looked panicked, and confused, almost as if he knew who I was and felt like I shouldn't be here. He stammered for a moment, trying to find what to tell me. Finally He cleared his throat and spoke to me, "Your roommate found your stuff and was wondering where you were. She seems quite eager to meet you, so please go."

"Yes, sir," I responded quietly before walking towards the door.

"And next time don't let me catch you in here without my permission first."

I walked through the halls briskly. The man had lied to me, well, not completely. That was not the reason he had said "it's you." No, he knew me. I had no clue how, but I would figure it out. As I opened the door to the bedroom, I found myself in the embrace of a young girl my age.

"Hello, I'm Elli," She greeted in a high and excited voice. Based on her reactions to having a new roommate I inferred she hated being alone and was way too easily excited.

"Hello. I am Lyra Cross," I responded. I was not a hugger at all, and felt invaded.

"You should get into uniform before doing anymore wandering, and it will be lunch time in a few minutes anyway, so we should hurry up."

I nodded and quickly walked over to where I had put my things, to find a closet already filled the school uniform. As it was a walk in closet, I stepped in and closed the door to change. The uniform consisted of a black and white striped, knee length skirt and a white blouse with a black vest that had a crest on it. It was not the school crest, but I easily figured it must have been to show I was a Tiger, and not something else, like, and Okapi. From there I simply put on the white stockings and my black shoes and stepped back into the bedroom.

The lunch room seemed small compared to the building's giant size. There were tables that seemed were full of students who knew exactly where to sit. Elli tugged me towards the kitchen to get our food.

A hideous old lady, or possibly man, placed a huge juicy steak on her plate and a spoonful of some purple mush that smelt almost as bad as it looked. The next person gave her a glass of red wine. Oh, I hadn't h red wine since my father had let me steal a sip when I was little. Mother had caught him and scolded him, then sent me to bed. After that I wasn't allowed to even look at a glass of wine without mother giving me a scolding look.

I followed Elli as she led me to the table that had to be where the tigers sat.

"Everyone, this is Lyra Cross. She just joined our school today. I think we all agree that a debut party is called for?"

I felt uncomfortable as they all glanced over me. One boy in particular kept glancing at my chest, and I couldn't help but feel totally exposed. I felt like maybe they were waiting for me to say something so I spoke, "Hello."

The boy stood up and walked over to me. He pulled out a chair and offered it to me. Slowly I walked over and set down my tray. He held out his hand for me to shake and I responded in turn.

"Hello Lyra Cross. My name is Emory O'Brien."

O'Brien? I knew that name. There was only one family with enough prestige to be here, one family with that name who had a child tragically attacked when he was three. He was the son of the Second son of the king. I was in the presence of royalty.

I pulled my hand and went to curtsy, but he grabbed my arm and stopped me. "Do not bother with such formality. My family has practically abandoned me. And I have all but rejected them."

I nodded slowly and he motioned for me to sit. As I sat, he pushed the chair in for me. Nobody else spoke. They all just stared at me, examining me. I ate my steak slowly. And I as I finished I poked at the purple mush on my plate. I scooped a little on my fork and put it in my mouth. It didn't taste bad. But the texture was off. It felt like some weird vegetable trying to be passed off as mashed potatoes.

"It's smashed purple cauliflower."

I looked up to see another lovely blonde (seeing as all the tigers appeared to be blonde or red-haired) speaking.

"I am Lana Doyle."

"Nice to meet you."

I don't believe I know the Cross name, it is so common you know. Do you come from money?"

"Oh, um yes. My Father is the second son of Jonathon Cross the earl of Trithia. He was arranged to marry my mother who is the third cousin five times removed to the prince. After being married, My father was sent to the rain forest to do some research and my mother had been taught well enough to assist. I was born there and that's when I was attacked. They decided their research was done and brought me back here." I told her, feeling quite proud that could state my amazing lineage.

"Well, I suppose Gabriella was correct."

I looked at Elli as she glared at Lana. It had been said out of disrespect, and I examined Elli closer. She wore no fancy jewelry that the other Tigers wore, myself included, and her uniform looked like she had worn it for years. Suddenly I realized that she must have not have come from money like it seemed most predators did.

The others seemed to nod in agreement. It seemed that miss Lana was the alpha female, and that meant what she said went. Based off that, I quickly figured the alpha male was Emory and so they were courting.

I looked back at the purple mush. Purple cauliflower? I had never heard of it, and yet it tasted fairly good. Soon enough I was done eating and Elli had finished too. We excused ourselves under the premise that she was going to lead me back to our room before heading off to class.

"I'm sorry," I muttered. I felt awful that Elli was subjected to that.

"Sorry for what?"

"You didn't get a debut, did you?"

She remained quiet.

"It's not fair how prejudice they are about money."

"Forget it, I get to participate, and often help plan. I get to be the reason behind a lot of smiles, so it's fine."

No it wasn't and I would make sure she got her debut party no matter how much convincing it took.

A/N: I hope you all enjoyed this chapter though it seems nobody really reads. I hope over time More people read and enjoy. Please leave a review if you read this. Please leave it as a christmas present as this is my christmas/hannakah/quanza present to you. I don't know where this story is going so i will being writing every chance i get and have inspiration.