We were finally told we could leave. It was break time and, as usual, I had nothing to do. We walked back to the form room, Spike holding my hand. There were a few people from our year that stared but I didn't really care. What did it matter what they thought?
Someone grabbed me round the waist from behind and put me over his shoulder. Whoever it was laughed. I recognised that laugh. It was Zev's laugh. I could see Nik, Axel, Nephi and Jay behind us - well, in front of me.
"Zev, put me down," I demanded.
"Um, maybe later," he laughed.
"Now, please, Zev. I don't really appreciate the entire school looking up my skirt."
He pulled my skirt down a bit. I frowned, but only the others could see.
"Zev, put her down," Spike said.
"Zevran, put Ingrid down please," said Mrs Smith, the home ec teacher, using Zev's real name.
He put me down on the ground and mumbled something to Mrs Smith. We walked past her. I narrowed my eyes at Zev but started laughing. We walked to our form room and sat down on the desks.
"So how are you?" Zev asked me.
I shrugged. "Alright, I guess, all things considered. I'm still alive, aren't I?" I replied.
"Well, yeah, but how are you really? About all of it?" he asked.
"Better." I looked at Spike and held his hand.
School was boring, but not as bad as usual. And I definitely wouldn't say it was uneventful. I was sat in the woods with the boys. They'd raided a rabbit den earlier and were happily eating their prizes. Matthew seemed to be playing with his.
The sun had been down for a little while and I was trying not to explode with happiness. I was lying down with Spike - in wolf form! I'd finally done it. It was hard and it hurt my back a little bit, but I didn't care. I mean, I was a wolf again!
I loved being able to see things from a different height, being able to smell all the trails from the day and everything.
Spike touched my ear with his nose so I put my head against his. I was watching the pack. It was nice to be able to hear them all properly again. The silence had got lonely. I may have always had a very restricted circle of friends but we were as close as magnets - just, you know, not the repelling sides.
David called Spike to him so he jumped up and walked off. Spike was gone for a while. I saw something that nobody else seemed to notice: another wolf. A lone wolf. He wasn't just a wolf though, his eyes showed the human understanding.
He tipped his head to the side and beckoned to me. I shook my head and he repeated the action. I reluctantly got up - no one noticed - and went over to the new wolf. He led me further away from the pack, which I should have been wary and cautious about.
I stopped a little way away from him. He moved closer to me, touching my shoulder with his. Before I could move away he sniffed my muzzle and licked my chin. I myself had no idea what was going on but the conscious wolf inside knew what it was. It was courtship behaviour.
I growled and snapped at him. He moved towards me again anyway. He put his paw over my back. I snapped at him again. There was a blur and the male wolf was gone.