Corrie laughed. On her way back from the dining hall, she’d met Charlie on the path, and they were walking to Gilkey together. While she knew she should go inside and get back to studying for her math midterm, she was having too much fun to go be boring now.
“Aren’t you a bit cold?” Charlie asked her, draping his arm around her shoulders.
“We’re almost to Gilkey,” she pointed out. “And it’s not that cold tonight. I’m warm enough in my hat.”
“Are you sure?” He squeezed her shoulders, shaking her a little bit.
“I didn’t say I was complaining about the arm,” Corrie said, grinning. “Just that you don’t need the excuse.”
“Oh, good,” Charlie said, just as they reached the building. But instead of swiping his ID to unlock the door as she expected, he used the arm around her shoulders to turn her and push her gently against the wall of the building. In the shadows there, he pressed close and kissed her.
Tingling all over, she kissed him back, putting her arms around his neck to keep him close. He was so much fun to have around. No other guy had ever made her this excited while she felt safe at the same time.
Of course, that didn’t stop her from teasing him a little when he drew back to take a breath. She grinned up at him—he was only a little taller than she was. “What was that? Giving in to your bestial side?”
He gave a mock growl. “What, doesn’t every beauty like a beast?” He bent again to kiss her neck, but Corrie couldn’t stop giggling.
“That’s not up to your usual standard,” she said. “Calling me a beauty.”
“Well, it’s true.” He pouted a little.
“Regardless, I’m not sure I should feel safe being pushed around by a werewolf.”
His grin returned, odd in the dim lighting, but still sexy. “Don’t worry, Corrie. The full moon is still a while away.”
“Oh, so I shouldn’t be afraid of you losing control?”
“I’ll only lose control if I decide to.” He crushed her against the wall with his body. “Since, you know, that’s actually the way it works. And it’s pretty much impossible for me to lose control enough to bite you. I know the consequences of that, and I wouldn’t do it to you.”
Corrie swallowed. “That’s not the control I’m worried about,” she said, a little shakily. This was getting intense—she could feel every curve of his muscle, even though her light jacket. He, of course, didn’t seem to feel the need for any outerwear.
He seemed to understand and backed away a little, though his hands still rested against the stone wall just above her shoulders. “You really don’t have to worry. I’d never do anything you didn’t want.”
She smiled and lightly ran her hand over his shoulder and pectoral muscle. “I know that. I’m not worried.” It wasn’t only his control that she was concerned about, after all. Maybe soon… but she really did have to study tonight. She couldn’t let herself get distracted.
She could change the subject. “Do you know the consequences of you biting me? I mean, I’m not actually human.” He’d explained to her that born werewolves, like he was—and like her father was—had complete control over their ability to shift forms. They could change whenever they wanted, and even in wolf form, they retained their human minds and self-control. But bitten werewolves didn’t have the same abilities: they were forced to change to wolf form at every full moon, and they truly turned into ravening beasts then. Corrie was neither, but she wasn’t fully human, either.
Charlie eased off a little more, dropping his hands to his sides. “You know, that’s a good point. I’m not sure if the problem would be the same. Maybe your werewolf blood would let you have control, even though you can’t shift now.”
“I think I’d prefer not to risk it, though.”
He nodded. “I agree.” He held his hand out to her, and she took it, pushed away from the wall, and followed him to the front door of the building. “Though you’ve gotten me curious. I might have to see if I can find anything about half-werewolves.”
“Are there any others?” she asked as they went inside. “I had the impression my dad had never heard of any.”
“I’m not sure,” he said. “So I guess I’ll see if I can research it.”
She raised her eyebrows. “Don’t let it distract you from, you know, graduating.”
“I won’t,” he said with a sigh. “So it might have to wait until summer.”
She let go of his hand and started to head for the stairs, then stopped as she remembered a question she’d never gotten around to asking him. “Speaking of research questions.” She checked that no one else was in the hall. “Werewolves and faeries share the land around Chatoyant College. Do you have any agreement with them?”