Although school came easy to Jill, it grew weary knowing that she couldn't affect what mattered most right now. Instead, she sat on a table top in the school's courtyard nearest to the woods listening to a more mellow playlist on her iPod. Her lunch sat forgotten in a small brown bag. She let her eyes drift to the boy sitting near the edge of the lunchroom. He'd been watching her all afternoon. He'd introduced himself as Robbie in her homeroom class. She'd given him a courtesy smile before ignoring him for the rest of the period. Not that he wasn't cute. He'd cut his curly brown hair almost to a buzz cut but she still saw the wavy pattern. His light brown eyes knew how to get her attention but she thought it best to avoid complications. Jill turned her attention back to the woods when she felt a familiar sensation of eyes watching. She sensed Vrag, rather than saw him and after giving the slightest of finger waves, his presence faded away again. She had little peace within the halls of the high school, with those who remembered her Goth days laughing at her new look, bullies teasing the 'smart girl' and all around jerks looking for someone to slap around. Lunchtime let her escape from the ugliness and regain her sanity. But not today. "Hey! This is our table," a boy said as he and his two buddies approached. Jill ignored them and upped the volume on her music. Before she knew it, one ripped her iPod from her hands, another took her lunch, tossed it to the ground and stomped it flat. The other reached to grab her but never got the chance. Robbie appeared like smoke. He shoved the boys away, snatched the iPod back and stood in front of her, challenging them. His brown eyes darkened and his fists clenched causing his biceps to swell under his t-shirt. She watch the bullies rethink their claim on her table and retreat. Jill knew she should thank him but it wasn't the first thing out her mouth.
"Are you stalking me?" she asked. "Yes," he said with a smile, handing back her iPod. He removed his backpack before bending down and retrieving her smashed lunch and discarding it. "Sorry about your lunch." "It's ok. Thanks anyway, Robbie." "Score one for the stalker. She remembers my name," he said. He pulled half a sandwich from his backpack and gave it to her. She laughed. "PB&J with the crust torn off? I've learned to eat the crust at my age."
"I gave the crust to a family of ducks on my way to school. The little ones, went wild for the jelly bits," he said. "Score another point for the stalker," Jill said as she took a bite. Robbie retrieved his backpack, winked and walked away. Jill watched him walk back inside as she finished the sandwich. She licked the sweet stickiness from her fingers before she scooped up her own backpack and headed back inside also. She hoped it wouldn't be too long before Robbie stalked her again. ### Robbie took a short cut through the woods after leaving school. He'd sat near the front of the building and watched Jill as she walked home. He sat there long after she'd disappeared from view. Shaking his head, he blew out a heavy sigh and walked past the small creek where his family of ducks nestled down for the night. He dropped a few crumbs and continued on. The woods grew darker as he reached the center. He stopped and leaned against a large tree and checked his watch. A few minutes late but he didn't care. A light flashed, blinding him for a few seconds before a hand clamped hard around his neck. "You're late, boy. You better have good news for King Ulvarg for your mother's sake." "I haven't found her yet," Robbie lied as he gasped and struggled against the wolf but it only laughed and dragged him back to his room. It was a small bedroom with all he needed to pull off being a high school student in the human world. The wolf tossed Robbie inside and stood in the doorway, keys in hand. "Then I suggest you try harder tomorrow, young jackal. King Ulvarg is tired of waiting. You better find her soon if you value your mother's life." He slammed the door and Robbie heard the lock slide shut. He didn't bother getting up from the floor. Curling into a ball, he tried not to think about tomorrow and what he had to do to Jill.