I've decided to keep all of Charias' POV snippets in one place, but since I'm writing them out of order, I'll be rearranging them chronologically as I post them. Sorry if it gets confusing. This it how it all begins.


Charias trudged through the fog, shivering as he left the warm sunshine on the beach for the endless gray blanket that shrouded Alyrrawood. After spending the summer cruising the open ocean and lounging on island shores never before seen by another person, it almost seemed a crime to return to this dismal, hopeless prison, but he was nothing if not masochistic. And considering how much some people were probably hoping he wouldn't return, he was just enough of an asshole to look forward to ruining their year, too.

As he crossed the wide, gravel road that ran from the dock up to the front entrance of the university, he was surprised to come across a guy standing there with his suitcase in hand, looking absolutely lost. Idiot.

"What are you doing here?" he asked, making the guy jump like a startled rabbit and spin around. He looked human, probably a mage. A Were wouldn't have gotten lost, not unless it had no sense of smell.

"I-I go to school here," the guy said stupidly. Like no shit. "Who are you?"

Why don't you try being nice to this one, for a change? his spirit said, her dry voice filled with bitter mirth. Who knows, you might actually have a friend this year.

The last thing Charias wanted was friends, and she knew it. "The dorms are on the south side," Charias said, heading in that direction. If the guy had any brains at all, he'd follow, but apparently he didn't. Charias heard him call out Wait, but Charias wasn't a tour guide. He strode through the fog alone and up to the back door of the dormitory building.

It's a new year, Shessikea said suddenly. Maybe you could try being just a little nicer to people. I hate to see you alone all the time.

"I like being alone," he said quietly. "Besides, I'm not alone. I have you."

Yes, but you and I can never have a physical relationship, she said, and having you jerk off all the time gets boring after a while, so try to get laid this year, please. For me.

Charias laughed. "You really are incorrigible."

I mean it.

"I know you do." Pulling open the back door, Charias stepped into the warm hallways of the dorm building, already crowded with incoming freshmen looking for their rooms and getting acquainted with their roommates. Charias' lip curled at the thought. Who were they going to stick him with this year? He was certain the annoying mage from last year had put in for a room change the day they met. He expected this year to be no different. Scowling, he headed for his room.

"Welcome back, Charias."

Charias glanced over at Fehkir, the dracorian Resident Advisor, standing in the doorway of her office, supervising the chaos of move-in day. She had a scowl to rival his own, her blue and gold eyes shadowed by heavy brows, but her knew her bad mood wasn't aimed at him. He wasn't sure if she actually liked him, but they had developed a relationship over the years that came close to friendship, without actually stepping over that line. She held rigidly to her rules and regulations, but he had a feeling their late-night conversations went above and beyond her assigned duties.

"Nice to see you again, ma'am," he said with a respectful nod as he continued on his way. As he approached his room, he could feel his shoulders tensing, his jaw clenching. While his status as an academic junior entitled him to a room on one of the upper floors, he preferred his ground-floor room, even if it meant he had to put up with an influx of new jackasses each year.

Taking a bracing breath, he shoved the door open and stormed into his room, intent upon making a lasting first impression and discouraging any thought of 'making friends', but then he saw his new roommate.

Oh, he's beautiful, Shessikea said. Charias stopped, frowning as his heart seemed to skip a beat. No doubt about it, the slender figure standing on the other side of the room was beautiful, his skin dark as coal, his long hair like spun silver, like moonlight, and his eyes were the brightest, most vivid blue Charias had ever seen. And he's a faerie, his spirit said, giving him a mental nudge. Be nice to him and maybe he'll help you act out some of the scenes from those books you like.

Charias gritted his teeth, wishing she hadn't brought up his penchant for faerie erotica. Now, he couldn't stop his gaze from traveling down the lithe body, lingering on his graceful arms and his elegant hands.

Quit staring. He's going to think you're a pervert, Shessikea said, her voice filled with dry humor. Charias didn't find anything funny about the situation.

"Who are you?" Charias demanded.

"I-is this your room?" the dark faerie asked. Charias nodded. "I guess I'm your roommate, then. I'm Izeri Auve." He started to reach out, like he wanted to shake hands, but seemed to realize that he was holding a pair of his underwear. Charias turned away and walked over to his dresser for some dry clothes.

You call that being nice, dear one? his spirit asked. I know you can be charming when you want to. Would it really be so bad to have a friend?

It wasn't the having that he opposed, it was the heartbreak and betrayal that would occur once said friend found out what he was. No one wanted to be friends with a shark and he loved his spirit too much to act like he was ashamed of her. He stripped off his wet shirt, his skin cold and raw, and struggled out of his stiff jeans, shoving them into his laundry bag. He pulled a towel out of his dresser and began to rub some warmth and feeling back into his chilled flesh.

"So…are you a mage?" the faerie asked, apparently a bit on the slow side.

"No," Charias replied.

Dear one, be nice or I swear I'll lose your clothes the next time we go swimming.

Charias hesitated. He was sure she was bluffing, but it made him curious. He understood her wanting him to have friends, but what was so special about this faerie?

"So, you're a Were, then? What kind?"

And there it was, the question that would kill whatever relationship Shessikea had hoped he could cultivate. "None of your business," Charias said. He heard the faerie shove his dresser drawer closed followed by a frustrated intake of breath. Charias just waited, his back to the room as he worked on drying himself

"If we're going to be roommates, can't we at least–"

"I don't like roommates," Charias said, trying to make it clear to the thick-headed in the room. "I don't like fey. I don't like people, so just shut up and mind your own business."

And that's why we never get laid, Shessikea said. Charias ignored her, stepping into a pair of boxers and pulling on a black T-shirt. Suddenly, the faerie stormed across the room and out into the hall, slamming the door behind him as he went.

"Mission accomplished," Charias said, slipping into his jeans.

Oh yes, you should be so proud of yourself, his spirit said.

"Hey, better now than later," Charias said. He waited a moment, then crossed the room and began digging through the faerie's half-empty duffel bag. He found clothes, books, some personal mementos and pictures, but nothing interesting. He pulled out a stack of text books and looked through them, grimacing to himself at the sight of the biology text that professor Tessex always used in his class. He stuffed the books back into the bag. Just his luck, he'd have to have that class with the faerie.

He shoved his feet into his shoes and grabbed his student ID off the top of his dresser. Looking through the faerie's books had reminded him that he needed to pick up his own from the library. He headed out, hands shoved deep into his pockets and a scowl on his face, staring down the start of another miserable year.