1 Chapter 1: Dis-Orientation

Loren POV

“Lorey-Bear!!” my childhood friend, Riley shouted as I stepped out of the car.

Riley was wearing a gray campus hoodie with the logo “Silverstone” printed over it. He ran over to me and we hugged excitedly.

“Rile-bile,” I teased him back.

“Ouch!” he said and he mocked hurt feelings, “Still using that mean old nickname for me, your best friend in the whole wide world.”

“I will keep calling you Rile-bile until you stop with the Lorey-bear nick-name like I’m five,” I laughed and stuck my tongue out at him.

I had not seen Riley in a year since he started at Silverstone University of Magicks. The school had a strict policy of only allowing enrolled students and alumni on campus grounds. I had always thought this was strange until my mother had revealed the existence of magic to me about a month ago.

I punched Riley on the arm and he winced.

“What was that for?” Riley complained as he rubbed his arm.

“That,” I began, “was for keeping the fact that you’re a freaking wizard a secret from me! And not telling me that I was a wizard as well.”

“Not a wizard yet,” Riley corrected me, “you have to graduate to be called a wizard and I’m going more down the alchemy path than the excitement of casting fireballs and lightning bolts. But I am sorry I never told you, I wanted to so badly but your mom made me swear not to say anything; you know how scary she can be.”

I nodded in agreement, my mother could indeed be intimidating.

“So I have been assigned by the grace of fate to conduct your campus tour and get you up to speed since you are starting a month late,” Riley continued, “so please follow me, madam.”

We hadn’t even begun to discuss which buildings were which, when a basketball seemed to roll out of nowhere and Riley had the misfortune of not seeing it.

Watching him tumble to the ground had me nearly doubled over with laughter. His face was as red as a tomato and his eyes were wide with shock.

When I turned to see where the ball had come from, there stood an incredibly handsome group of guys. No, not handsome, downright hot. One look and I knew they were jocks, a group of people I had no business entertaining. Too much drama.

The tallest and the most gorgeous one glanced over. His buff arms threatened the integrity of the seams on his shirt, and confidence radiated from every inch of his beautiful body.

Stop drooling! I scolded myself, and tried to peel my eyes off him.

And then I’m sure my jaw was on the ground with the way he smirked in my direction.

My heart skipped a beat. What’s wrong with me?!

Then, as in slow motion, he started walking towards me - oh, not me, Riley. I was disappointed.

What was I thinking? What was I disappointed about? I despised myself sometimes.

“Sorry, man,” he said as he offered a hand to Riley. “Are you okay?”

“I’m fine,” Riley responded curtly, ignoring the offer and standing himself up.

“Just wanted to make sure. You’d think as the basketball team, we’d have better handling,” he chuckled. He cast me one more smirk and jogged back to his friends.

“Who WAS that?” I asked Riley.

“Nobody. Just a werewolf. Let’s keep going.”

A werewolf?? There was still so much for me to learn.

I could tell he was still embarrassed, so I let him continue guiding me across campus without pushing farther.

I was beginning to get overwhelmed with all the excitement and new information about this brand new world of magic.I barely noticed I was hungry until my belly gave a huge growl.

I smiled bashfully as Riley laughed at me.

“And that is a sign for us to take a break from our tour,” Riley said. “I’ll explain more over lunch."


After lunch, Riley showed me more of the campus, explaining which students studied in which buildings. Just as I was getting used to magic being real, he started explaining all the types of supernatural creatures that live, work, and study on campus.

This was going to be a lot to adjust to.

When the tour was over, we decided to head to a pub with Riley’s friend Jamaiah, who brought along some of her friends. I was not much of a drinker, having grown up with a strict mother, so I was inexperienced when it came to drinking and soon found myself getting tipsy.

As Jamaiah was filling me in on the campus gossip, the door to the pub swung open, nearly off its hinges. A wall of laughter, cheers, and chatter pushed its way through the room in the form of the basketball team and cheerleaders.

Great, I thought, now they’re not only jocks, but they’re drunk jocks; a match made in h*ll, if you asked me.

There, in the center of it all, stood Mr. Dreamy from earlier. His friends were clapping him on the back, the cheerleaders fawning over his very existence. He stood and smiled, accepting the praise for the win against a rival school.

God, what a smile. It was the brightest thing in this bar.

Even the bartenders were starstruck, as they poured free drinks for everyone in their group. Not like they needed any more.

I didn’t even realize I was staring until Jamaiah poked me in the side. I jumped halfway out of my seat, which made her giggle.

“If you keep staring, your eyes are gonna dry up,” she joked. “Wanna get closer to the action?”

I wanted nothing more than to be closer to this beautiful man, but Riley’s face soured faster than I’ve ever seen.

“Go entertain those dogs, I don’t care,” he mumbled, mostly to himself.

“Oh relax, it’s not like we’re setting them up for marriage,” Jamaiah joked.

She grabbed my arm and before I knew it, we were on the dance floor, just a few feet away from the sweaty, jostling bodies of the jocks and cheerleaders.

He was wearing a plain black t-shirt that showed off every bulging muscle. His jeans were simple, but they definitely accentuated his...assets.

Before I could gather my bearings, Jamaiah hip-bumped me to the beat of the music. She pushed me directly into the crowd, sending me stumbling into the man I’ve been staring at for the last twenty minutes. I looked back at her shocked, and she just winked and kept dancing.

Jamaiah…you just wait!!

“Well, hello again,” he chuckled.

Holy crap, he was even hotter up close. His auburn waves nearly fell into his emerald eyes, but he pulled a strong hand through his locks before that could happen. His chiseled jawline could cut through glass and his broad shoulders were a marvel to look at.

“Hey,” I slurred. My stomach rose and sank in a matter of seconds. Trying to find something that was not awkward to say in this situation, I muttered “Thanks for earlier.”

“Not at all my dear,” he said sweetly over the music.

He was sculpted by the gods himself. No doubt.

Sure, it was great to hear him call me “my dear”. In fact, I wanted him to call me that and so, SO much more.

A few cheerleaders glared at me after hearing him, but I paid them no mind.

On the other hand, there was some part of my brain that was still sober and logical. This guy is just another jock. I had to keep reminding myself that. A meathead jock that cares about sports and landing another girl to f*ck. I would not be one of those girls.

Before I knew what was happening, he was pushing a drink towards me.

“Take it, it’s free thanks to the bartender over there,” he nodded towards the man who looked overwhelmed by the sudden business.

He may have been hot, but not enough to take a random drink from a guy I, let’s be real, don’t even know. I had to play it cool.

“No, thank you. I should get back to my friends,” I blurted out, despite wanting to spend the evening with him. Maybe even the night. Maybe even forever.

Snap out of it! I warned myself. He’s just another guy. There are plenty of guys on campus to ogle over.

He placed his hand on my arm and it sent shivers down my spine. Where he touched me felt like it was on fire, burning straight through my skin and warming my soul. I could smell his cologne from how close he was; cedarwood and spice filled my nostrils.

“I guess I’ll see you around then,” he nearly whispered.

All I could do was nod and run away. I didn’t even ask him his name. Stupid, stupid Loren.

“Are you okay Loren? Did he hurt you?” Riley asked me, trying to hide the annoyance in his voice.

What was Riley’s deal with this guy?

“I’m fine,” I answered, my words slightly slurred. I certainly wasn’t hurt, and I was far too tipsy to care about whatever beef they may have.

Before I could say anything else, my stomach turned and I knew exactly what was going to happen next.

“Bathroom!” I yelled and ran to the nearest restroom, throwing up in the toilet.

It was decided: I would never ever drink again no matter how much fun Jamaiah made it seem. I wiped and washed my face with cold water, trying to regain a semblance of sobriety but it was very minimal. At least the world seemed to stop spinning.

I exited the bathroom and ran into another problem: the pub looked completely different than when I had left.

I looked around. As drunk as I was, I was 100% sure this wasn’t the bar I spent the last few hours in. The loud clamor of drunk college students was replaced with a quiet murmur throughout the room.

Instead of the chaos that was a college pub, I found myself standing in a swanky, upscale bar, one that I was clearly underdressed for.

The lighting was different. It was less hide-the-gross-floor dark and more ambient lighting with a purple LED hue. Instead of the pounding of club mixes blasting through the speakers, there was some soft jazz to accompany the chill atmosphere.

The thing that really made my heart beat faster was that the table where Riley and the others had been sitting was gone!

I began to panic and nearly fell over when I bumped into a wall – of muscle.

Wait, what the…!

“Hey! Easy there,” a low and gentle male voice rang above me. I couldn’t help being drawn to him. His voice was so intoxicating that I felt goosebumps all over my body.

I couldn’t think clearly. His voice sounded familiar. Where did I hear it before?

The owner of the voice chuckled, “Are you okay?”

I looked up, admitted to him, “I’m lost.”

“I’m Alex,” he replied.

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