Addergoole
Bonus Story
Acceptance

Year Four of the Addergoole School, Day One
Acacia


Back home. The school felt more like that every year, even with its restrictions and annoying requirements. Back where they ruled the halls. Back where she could be herself. Back where everyone knew why they should be afraid of her.

Except the newbies, of course. A skinny little Fourthy stormed out of a back hallway and shoved past Acacia – or tried to. For a moment, she thought it was the Director’s pet – same hair, same eyes – but this one was a younger, rougher-cut version. “Hello,” she purred.

“Get out of my way,” he snarled.

“No,” she smirked. That got his attention; he looked up at the three of them. Up; they were all taller than he was. They were taller than a lot of people. Sima and Allyse slipped around to flank him while he was trying to glower intimidating at Acacia.

“Are you trying to look scary?” she asked politely. “It would probably work better if you didn’t look like a constipated little girl.” He swore under his breath and tried to sidestep around her, but she was having fun. She shoved him back into Massima. “We weren’t done yet.”

He tried to step away again, but Sima had him. She shoved him into Allyse, who wrapped an arm around his throat. “Skinny fish, Sima, want to keep him?”

“Nah, too small,” Sima judged. “Not my type.”

Allyse shoved the boy back to Acacia. “Throw him back.”

Year Four of the Addergoole School, Week Three, Four
Allyse


She had a knack for observing unnoticed. Not invisibility, but more of a shucking what people expected of her. Thorne Girls were brash and in-your-face; the quiet one standing off to the side just listening couldn’t be a Thorne.

It was that knack that brought her just behind Taro and Rand in the middle of a conversation. “So are you enjoying being Meggie’s little lapdog?”

“Lapdog?” Taro laughed. “Man, you don’t know what you’re talking about. This is a sweet deal.”

“So all that running at her beck and call, that’s just for fun?”

“That’s just an act.” He shrugged, so pleased with himself Allyse wondered if he believed it. “After that bastard Shad, she feels better if she can pretend she’s in control.”

“Right. So you’re just pretending you’re her bitch.”

“Why not? It makes her happy, and a happy Megan means a happy Taro. It’s not like there’s not side benefits to this whole thing, you know. “

“Side benefits? You mean…?”

“Whenever I want it, yeah. You should try it.” Taro wandered off, looking smug and self-satisfied, leaving Rand with a thoughtful expression.

It didn’t take long after that. Taro had set the trap for them. Acacia was pretty lush bait for the boys when she wanted to be, and Rand practically closed the cage shut on himself. He glared sullenly at everyone as he wandered through the halls, tugging on the collar Cay had locked around his neck.

Allyse took Taro aside in a moment when Megan was occupied. “We owe you one,” she told him. “Not your Keeper, but you. You’ll have a chance to call it in.”

Year Four of the Addergoole School, Week Six
Massima


She stalked through the halls, cranky and, though she’d hit anyone who suggest it, sulky. Acacia had Rand, and he was breaking in a lot more easily then Carter and Aviv had. Allyse seemed content boy-less this year, knowing, she said, that the boy she needed would be along next year.

Sima didn’t want a boy. She wanted Doug, but after that first year, after the miscarriage he’d never known was his, he’d gotten distant, gone back to being just Mentor and trainer. The others seemed fine with that. But Sima wanted strength, fire, brains. She wanted…

She turned the corner and was confronted with a devil-may-care smile and a stunning pair of blue eyes. “You.” He looked nothing like Doug. It didn’t matter. “I want you.”

“Excuse me?” the boy blinked, thrusting his hands in his pockets.

She thought about being embarrassed but decided against it, instead, holding out her hand. “Hi, I’m Massima.” Even a Fourth should already know that.

One hand emerged from the pocket to shake hers. “Yeah, I’m Conrad.”

She shook his hand, eying his neck – bare – and his body – toned. “Want to come back to my room?”

“Sure?” he said, sounding a bit bewildered. He followed her, though. That’s what mattered; he followed her into the suite, and into her room. “I want you,” she repeated.

“Wait... you mean...?”

“No, I want your help with my History homework. Yes.”

“Oh. Well.” He swallowed hard; clearly the boy wasn’t used to such directness. She could deal with that. She tugged off her shirt and reached for his.

He pulled it off himself, dropping it as he watched her in what appeared to be mild disbelief. That was all right. She peeled her jeans off, smiling at him.

He smiled back at her, looking her up and down. The boy was shy, and nervous, but he seemed to know a good thing when he saw it. She looked good, and she knew it; not the soft, weak look that Ivette and Mea had and so many of the boys liked, but the sleek, defined look of a huntress, her curves defined by muscle tone rather than excess padding. He wanted her; she could see it in his eyes. She reached for him. This would be different, this time. She unbuttoned his pants, smiling. Finally.

He swallowed hard, looking down at her. “Sima...”

She didn’t want to talk. “Conrad.”

“Are you sure?”

She swallowed a snarl. “Yes. I’m sure.”

“But I don’t even know you...” She could tell how hard it was for him to speak those words, looking at her body. She didn’t understand why he was saying them at all.

“You will.” She pushed his pants down off his hips.

“And I’d like that, really I would, but don’t you think this is a little fast?”

“Fast?” This time she did snarl. “Not at all.” She shoved him towards the bed.

He sat heavily on it. “Hey, now, take it easy.”

She straddled him, pushing him onto his back. “This is the easy way.”

“No...” He frowned, trying to sit up. “No, Sima. I like you, but we can’t just do this.”

“Why not?” She let him get up. If she wanted to force someone, she’d use Cay’s boy toy.

“It’s not right... Look, if you want, we can go out on a date sometime.”

She snarled in frustration, pulling on a shirt. “Fine.”

“I’ll see you later.” He stood, collecting his clothes. She didn’t scream in frustration until she was sure he was gone. He would be hers, though. One way or another. Eventually.

Part Three of a 4-Part Thornes Series. For Discovery, Part Two, click here; for Transcendence, Part Four, click here


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