“You know that new kid's been following you around all day, right?" Stacey asked, sticking her latest wad of gum onto her lunch tray. “It's creepy."
Stacey was right. I'd figured it out long before she had. Everywhere I went, Edgar was somewhere nearby, always wearing that slightly-too-big smile on his face. Even now, he was sitting two tables away from us, his eyes never leaving me. I kept myself from looking in his direction, though.
“He either knows you from somewhere," Stacey mused.
“No he doesn't!" I shot back.
“Or he's got a major crush on you," she finished, giving me a coy wink.
I felt my face redden, and I had to quell the sudden urge to bite her. “Somehow, I don't think that's it either."
Stacey shrugged, “Well, whatever the reason, he won't take his eyes off you." She looked down at her salad, and then back at me. “Maybe he's a psycho waiting to catch you alone and knife you."
“Or blast me with a magic wand…" I added before I realized what I was saying, and then clamped my mouth shut.
Stacey gave me one of her patented “you're crazy" looks, shook her head in resignation, and began to eat her lunch. I tried to focus on my chicken sandwich, but found I couldn't work up an appetite, which was strange. The meat was processed and I could taste every preservative inside, courtesy of my werewolf taste buds, but that normally didn't matter. If it's meat, a wolf isn't likely to turn it down. Between being attacked by the freaky arm man, being rescued by Edgar, finding out I was probably responsible for murdering a little girl, and then being followed all over school by Edgar, I wasn't sure I could stomach any food.
“That stuff's gonna kill you, you know," Stacey said through a mouthful of green stuff. She pointed at my sandwich, “Can't believe you stopped being a vegan."
“It's been half a year already," I snapped. “Get over it!"
“There's more chemicals in that thing than a…" Stacey faltered. “A thing with lots of chemicals in it."
I shot her a look, and then took a big bite out of the sandwich just to spite her, chewing it with obvious relish. Stacey glared at me, and then went back to her salad.
“It's just not right," she groused. “We're not supposed to eat our animal brethren!"
More brethren to me than you, I thought. I think that gives me the right to eat them if I want.
The argument was childish, I know, but it managed to take my mind off of Edgar for a few minutes. We finished our lunches in silence, and then got up to leave. Stacey put her gum back into her mouth, and announced that she had to go to the restroom. I stood in the hallway, waiting for her to return. As I waited, random bits of conversation drifted into my ears as the other students and teachers walked by.
“… going to snow again tomorrow night."
“Nobody got above a 60 on my test…"
“How long are your parents going to be gone?"
“Hi, my name's Edgar!"
My pulse spiked, and I spun around to find none other than Edgar himself standing beside me. I put a hand to my chest, trying to calm my heart down. Scaring a werewolf is not a good idea- I learned that the hard way. I wanted to yell at him, but that wouldn't do much for keeping a low profile.
“Yeah," I said once I'd caught my breath again. “Yeah, you told me already."
“You remembered!" he exclaimed, brightening up.
He wasn't all that tall, I realized. I wasn't either, but I still stood a good three inches above him. Not a hair was out of place on his head, and his face was clean shaven.
“Um," I said tentatively, beginning to back away, “I need to go."
“There's something we need to talk about," Edgar said, following me.
“I don't know what you did back there this morning," I said, trying to sound nonchalant as I hurried my pace, “but I don't want anything more to do with it."
“You really have no idea?" he asked, speeding up to a jog to keep up with me. “It was magic. I'd have thought that'd be obvious."
I stopped in my tracks and turned to look at him in bewilderment.
“Magic?" I asked. “You're joking, right?"
Edgar shrugged, “You're a werewolf, right? Is magic really so hard to believe in?"
I froze, a shocked look on my face.
“W-what did you just say?" I asked, unable to keep my voice from trembling slightly.
“Magic shouldn't be so hard to believe in," he said again. “After all…"
“No, not that!" I hissed, and then lowered my voice. “I mean about my being a… you know."
“Oh, that?" he shrugged again, “We've been keeping an eye on you ever since the attack six months ago."
I felt my blood run cold. For half a minute, I could only stare at him. He was a tiny, scrawny boy. Being what I am, he wouldn't have lasted five seconds in a fist fight with me, and yet he had me completely and totally intimidated- all without taking that innocent little smile off his face.
“Who are you?" I asked at last, my voice hardly more than a whisper.
He stuck his hand out for me to shake, “Hi, my name is Edgar, licensed wizard and battle mage. I'm here to protect you!"
NEXT TIME: Licensed wizard and battle mage, huh? Here to protect her, huh? If Amber hadn’t just been attacked by a crazy growing-arms-out-of-the-wall Octopus guy, I’d probably be skeptical. But, seeing as how she was indeed just attacked by a crazy growing-arms-out-of-the-wall Octopus guy, I’d say he’s most likely legit.