I shivered against the harsh wind and told myself not to pay attention to various eyes on me as I walked up the gravel driveway and into the university grounds, concentrating on the solid crunch sound each step caused. It was a little harder to ignore people in the corridors though. A few shoved into me, none too lightly. I just shook it off and kept walking. Hoping Marti was okay. I had been told to go to the headmistress's office first and had a piece of paper with instructions. The more floors I went up, the quieter things were. I'd be crept out a little if it weren't for the constant sunlight streaming through the window, showing the dust drifting lazily through the air. I purposely waved my hand through it in order to watch it erratically spin. I'm not sure why I did it, but it calmed me a little, randomly attacking tiny bits of dust. I heard the huge door open with a groan as I reached for the handle and backed away a step. Maybe the headmistress liked to fit in with the stereotype? Or she had a twisted sense of humour and wanted to weird me out. Of course I saw something I didnt' expect.
“Katie,” Ben said. His voice guarded as he studied me. He shoved his hands in his pockets and glanced around nervously. I guess he didn't want to be seen with me after everything.
“Are you okay?” He asked, something faltering in his voice and I wondered why he was bothering to force the kindness.
“I'm fine,” I replied with a forced shrug.
“That's...good,” He said, his eyes looking everywhere but mine. His feet shifted as he tried to think of something else. I waited, trying to ignore the stretched out silence that was far too loud in my mind.
“If you don't want to be around me, I understand. I'd prefer that to this awkwardness,” I blurted. Ben raised his head and did meet my eyes. His own wide and shocked.
“Why would I want to avoid you?” he asked, genuine confusion in his tone.
“Because I'm related to Stephen Redding, also known as big dumba** who hates supernatural's,” I replied, eyebrow raised.
“True, but your nothing like him,” He said. He opened his mouth as if he was going to continue before snapping his mouth shut.
“No, I'm just over dramatic, short-tempered and moody,” I replied, cringing slightly as I recalled some of the crap I'd given him. He gave a non-committal shrug.
“Your the only human in a school full of people who could potential hurt you or eat you or scare you or....can kind of understand, I can deal with being the punching bag,” He said. A small smile tugging his lips. The half-smile made his face look adorable, completely different from his barbed smile. I murmured “Oh,” no clue what to say to that.
“I should probably go and see about Marti,” I said. Trying to change the subject before my mind whirled with completely ridiculous thoughts.
“We already found her, she's being set up in our dorm. Victoria spent next to an hour apologising to her.” He said with a laugh, “Ivory helped her get out of the chaos.” I told myself I'd have to thank Ivory later as relief burned through me, she was okay.
“Well, I think I still have to see her, she seemed pretty insistent on the phone,” I said, he shurgged and held open the door. I expected him to leave but he followed me in. The room was huge and the centre was pretty sparse apart from the old-fashioned wine-red rug. There were shelves lining the walls and at the other end of the room was a huge desk and behind it sat a women with silver hair and jade eyes, a pair of half spectacles perched on her nose. Though I figured those were for show since most supernatural's had near-perfect senses.
“Katelyn Ronda, nice to meet you. I'm headmistress Stella, but you can call me Claudia,” The women said standing up and holding out a hand. I reached to shake it and paused. I recognised that name...
“Wait, are you-” I began
“-Ben's grandmother? Yes,” She finished with a smile, taking my hand. I shook it and sat in one of tall leather chairs opposite her desk. Ben took the other and he seemed a little uncomfortable. I guess he wanted the relation to stay a secret. I noted the big, black curtains behind Claudia, covering what I assumed was a big window. I wondered why she covered it when her ageing would suggest she was a born vampire like Ben.
“As Ben already told you, we have located Marti and moved her to the dorm. She has chosen her major and will start classes shortly. I've already arranged for Ben and few trusted others to help with you and hers protection,” She explained.
“Oh, You don't-” I started, my face growing red
“-Yes we do Miss Ronda. You think that riot will be the only thing? I am sure more is to come my dear. I need to ensure this university continues to have a good reputation. Otherwise it will be shut down and any attempt at progress with overcoming segregation will be lost.” Claudia's eyes looked intense and I simply nodded. Because her stare scared me, just a little.
“That's all I wanted to discuss, you two can go.” I stood up and walked out without saying anything then hesitated at the door to say thank you, she merely nodded.
“So, back to normal?” I asked as me and Ben descended the stairs and he laughed. A laughter I had to join in because he had a pretty damn good point.
“When has anything around you been normal?” he had a point. Without thinking I let out a long sigh and leaned into him. I felt his body freeze up and pulled away, feeling dumb and mortified, why did I do that? He opened his mouth to say something. And I increased my pace. Whatever he was going to say died as he sped up to keep up. Not that it would've been especially hard for him.