Here's chapter two! It took way too long, didn't it? It is longer than the previous, though. :3


"Are you sure you can't come over?" Jake asked, scratching the side of his head. Adeline nodded, drawing her books closer to her chest. They were on their way to their lockers to drop off their books before lunch; they'd just come from Biology.

"I told you, I'm absolutely sure," Adeline insisted. "I've got something to do."

"And that something doesn't involve your best friend?"

"Correct."

Jake sighed, dramatically placing a hand over his heart. "It hurts, Adeline. It hurts."

No doubt he was practicing for the school play. Every winter, up until March 20th, Jacob over-dramatized everything, hoping to get the lead in the next production. So far, it had worked. In middle school, he'd been Aladdin (8th Grade) and Prince Philip (6th Grade). Last year, as a freshman, he was the male lead in a play written by a student.

Dumping her books into her locker and turning to go to the cafeteria, Adeline pointed out a very obvious fact. "You've got a meeting today, anyway."

"I was planning on skipping. We're not doing anything, just sitting around, talking about the most pointless stuff in the world."

"Volunteering?"

"You've got it."

She sighed, shaking her head and turning it to face him once more. "I swear, you don't care about-"

She was cut off, tripping over a stray history book and falling into another student. She knocked him to the ground, landing in a very awkward position.

"Oh, god, I'm sorry!" Adeline said, backing off of him. A blush darkened his already tan cheeks and he stood up quickly.

"S'okay," he muttered, glancing at Jake quickly turning to leave.

"Wait!" Jake exclaimed. "One does not simply knock over a young maiden and then leave her to die!"

"Jake, I knocked him over," Adeline said, standing up. Jake pushed her back onto the floor. "What-"

"Help her up," Jake insisted, keeping a hand on her shoulder. "Or she shall be cursed to a late lunchtime."

The boy looked at Jake, rolling his eyes. "I don't really-"

"Do you want to condemn a beauty such as her to something as horrific as that?"

"Jake-"

"No words!"

Adeline sighed; he was obviously in one of his 'weird' – or, as he called them, 'chivalrous knight' – moods. "Just do it so we can go to lunch."

The boy bit his lip and held his hand out to her, which she took. As soon as she took it, Jake lifted his hand from his shoulder and the boy helped her up. "We should probably hurry now," he said.

Adeline nodded, and the three raced to the cafeteria, slowing to a walk when they passed the room of an extremely strict teacher. She looked over at the boy; for some reason he seemed familiar. What do I know him from?

Eventually, they got through the line. All of the moderately good food was gone, so they were stuck with an apple and a stale peanut-butter and jelly sandwich each. After buying a Coke from a nearby machine, Adeline sat down next to Jake and the boy, who had sat down at their table with lack of a better place to sit.

"So, who are you, anyway?" Jake asked, mouth full of peanut-butter. The boy ignored him, head down, staring at the table. "I asked you a question."

"Jake, would you just leave him alone? It's your fault he's sitting here," Adeline pointed out. Jake sighed.

"I just wanted to know who the fiend that subjected us to this was."

Adeline rolled her eyes and was about to say something, but the boy beat her to it. "It's okay..." he said quietly. "I'm Casey."

"I'm Jake, and that's Adeline!"

"I know."

Adeline was a bit creeped out by this revelation, but didn't say anything. The look was apparently enough, however, as a blush stained Casey's cheeks yet again. "What? We're in the same English class."

"Oh, that's why you seem familiar!" Adeline exclaimed. They had the last period of the day together, and he'd been one of the few people glaring at Collin yesterday.

Casey nodded.

"Since Addy is 'busy' today, do you want to come over? I need an excuse to miss the Student Council meeting," Jake asked, a slightly desperate look on his face. Casey shook his head quickly.

"Sorry. Busy."

"You people are horrible. I bet you're going to the zoo in the middle of winter or something idiotic like that.

Adeline bit her lip. He doesn't know how right he is.


Adeline was the first one there, leaning against the cold glass of the fish exhibit. Her breath came out in short, visible puffs. It was completely ridiculous that the zoo was open in the middle of winter, and even more ridiculous that she was there.

There was a figure walking toward her. She figured it must have been another of the Shifters, because nobody in their right mind would be at a zoo in the middle of winter. Said person was wearing all black, hands shoved in his pockets.

Adeline fought the temptation to wave idiotically as he came closer, especially after he came close enough for Adeline to realize it was Casey. Who would've thought, out of all people, he was one of them.

"Adeline?" Casey asked, eyes narrowed in confusion. He was shivering, probably because he wasn't wearing a jacket, just a light, zip-up hoodie. "Are you one of – I mean – Are you a Shifter too?"

Adeline nodded, her eyes on the ground. "When do you think the others will get here?" she wondered out loud, not really expecting an answer.

She didn't get one. Casey stood in front of her, not speaking a word. They stood there in the awkward silence until a rather...unexpected person showed up.

"To all that care, and that would be all, I am here!"

Adeline knew who it was without even looking up. Collin Williams; nobody else – except maybe Jake – would say something like that. The boy bounded over to the two, slinging his arm around Casey's shoulders. "So, Adeline Parker, smartest kid in the class and..." he looked at Casey. "You're decidedly bat-like, no doubt you're the_night_kills...so...Adeline Parker and Bat Boy!"

Casey's eyes narrowed even more, so only a fraction of the bright green irises were showing. He shoved Collin away from him, taking a step to the side – just to be safe. "Don't call me Bat Boy."

"Yeah, yeah – Oh, the last one's here!" Collin said brightly, changing subjects abruptly. He waved idiotically, just like Adeline was been thinking of doing earlier, at the last person of their group. Another boy. Adeline couldn't tell who it was from this distance, but she could tell that she was going to be the only girl.

"It's Jared!" Collin said brightly. As the figure came closer Adeline saw that it was indeed Jared Larkson. It was an amazing coincidence that all four of them had their last period class together. It was also kind of odd, like the whole thing had been set up.

"So, now what?" Casey said, tugging his sleeves to cover more of his hands and sinking deeper into his sweater, looking extremely turtle-like.

"I think we should probably go to one of our houses," Jared said quietly, biting his lower lip. Adeline realized how...odd of a person he was. He played basketball, and was rather good at it, but it seemed like he'd just rather be left alone. He was close to another of the basketball team, an outgoing jerk of a boy named Garrett, but didn't seem to be friends with anyone else. He was quiet, and polite, and seemed insecure most of the time.

And he wasn't ugly, either. He was kind of like a downgraded version of Collin...except the fact that the two had nothing in common except for their hair, and even that was different, except the style of it.

Yes, Adeline had nothing to do in English except observe the people around her. She thought she probably had everyone's personality down, but she was probably wrong.

"Adeline? What do you think?"

Adeline blinked. She could think about her companions later, not when they were discussing plans. "Um, about what?"

"We were saying that we should probably go to my house," Collin said. "Mainly because it looks kind of suspicious for us to be standing here, and also because Bat Boy's freezing to death."

Casey glared at him. I'll add annoyingly persistent to Collin's list of attributes...Adeline thought.

"Yeah, that sounds good," she agreed.

"Did anyone drive here, or does nobody have a driver's license?" Collin asked, keeping the conversation going. It was probably good that he was one of the Shifters, if he wasn't, they'd probably be stuck in an awkward silence.

"Don't have a driver's license."

"I don't have a car."

"I don't have either."

Collin sighed. "Well, that means we're walking. Unless you want to catch a bus?"

Casey shook his head quickly, and Adeline followed suit. Jared didn't seem to care one way or another, either that or he didn't want to voice – or put an action to – his opinion. Public buses were pretty creepy, filled with old ladies talking none too quietly about how 'kids did nothing worthwhile these days' and businessmen that ignored everyone, occasionally talking sharply into their phones, but mostly just clutching their briefcases with a stony expression on their faces.

"Walking it is then!" Adeline didn't know how someone could have such a positive outlook on everything. Surely Collin could see that, while somewhat better than taking the bus, walking was cold, and tiring. Adeline knew she was a bit of a pessimist. She also didn't have any inclination to change her views on life.

The group walked hurriedly out of the zoo, confusing the employees as to why they bothered paying the entrance fee in the first place.

"Cold?" Collin asked. Adeline turned her head to see that the question was directed toward Casey, who was shivering violently. What is the temperature, anyway? Adeline wondered, searching for a billboard that might give some insight. The time would be nice, too. She'd told her mother she wouldn't be able to babysit tonight, but she wanted to be home before it was too late, just in case.

After a twenty or so minutes of silence (Casey hadn't answered Collin's question, and nobody really felt like talking, anyway), they stopped in front of nice, two-story house. "Here we are!" Collin said cheerfully, bounding up to the door and opening it with a turn of his wrist.

Are more of his family there, or do they just leave their house unlocked?

"Take off your shoes, and we can sit in the living room," Collin instructed, kicking his black-and-red Vans across the room. Adeline slipped out of her shoes (she'd worn ones that didn't have to be tied today) and followed the teen to a nice, roomy space. There was a couch and two armchairs surrounding a large TV. Adeline sat down in one of the armchairs.

Collin switched on the television and flipped through the channels until he got to the news. "Thought we needed some background noise. You three aren't the most talkative, if you haven't noticed."

"So, why are we here?" Casey asked from the other chair. He looked uncomfortable, sitting on the edge of the seat, as if he was ready to run at a moment's notice.

"Adeline emailed the website to me, and I printed out the directions to get to camp," Jared said quietly. He rummaged through his backpack and came up with a white piece of paper. He passed it to Collin.

"Well, it's not too far...Montana," Collin said, nodding slowly. "What was the URL?"

Jared didn't answer, so Adeline took the initiative and answered for him. "It was...shiftersrus dot com , I think."

Collin snorted and stood up abruptly, starting to walk out of the room. When he realized nobody was following, he turned around, a slightly annoyed look on his face. "Well?"

Adeline jumped up quickly. She skirted the television and fell into step beside Casey. "Where are we going?"

"My room. I've got a computer up there, and we can look more into this Shifter thing."

They proceeded silently to Collin's room. It was quite uncomfortable with the boys. Not only were they all completely different (Collin was outgoing and optimistic, Casey was sarcastic and annoyed, and Jared...well, Jared...she didn't know anything about Jared), but she was the only girl. Sure, she spent most of her time with Jake, who was male, but she had a few friends that were girls. There was Kathy, and Olivia, and Ellen! And the twins, Naomi and Carleigh.

They went to a different school, but they counted. She spent most weekends with them, Jake, and the boys from over there.

But, they didn't matter. From what she'd read of the website – which wasn't much, her mother had come home not long after she'd found it, and she'd had to shut down the laptop – they'd have to leave their current home.

And there was nothing they could do about it.

The complexity of their situation seemed like nothing next to the mess of a room Collin had, however. Picking her way through a whirlwind of clothes, books, and random items that didn't seem to have a purpose, Adeline eventually made it over to the computer. Collin was already sitting in the chair, eyes glued on the screen.

"Glad I left it on. This thing takes ages to start up," Collin muttered to himself, tapping his fingers on the keyboard while he waited for the browser to load.

He had a dinosaur of a computer. It was a Gateway – or at least that's what the keyboard proclaimed. She supposed he could have switched out the keyboard, monitor, and mouse, or even the computer itself multiple times, but it was still slower than any computers she'd used in a long while.

"Shiftersrus, right?" Collin asked, pausing a minute before typing into the address bar. Not waiting for an answer, the brown-haired teen typed it in, hitting enter with a flourish that was entirely unnecessary.

The box asking for a password popped up. "Password, anyone?"

"It was liber," Casey said, leaning over the chair and staring at the screen. He bit his lower lip, watching as Collin, slowing down his typing speed quite a bit, put in the password and hit enter.

"Should I tell him I printed out every page?"

Jared's quiet voice by her ear made Adeline jump. She turned her head to see his round, baby-like face looking intensely at her, hand already digging around in his backpack. She managed a giggle. "You could. Or we could go look at them while they agonize over the slow computer."

Jared cracked a small smile and sat at the foot of the bed, pulling out a huge stack of papers. Adeline sat next to him, waiting for him to hand her some of the documents. He split the tower in two, handing her the bottom half. She looked down at the first page and began to read.

Shifters' School

Being a very, very secret organization, we have our own school. This is partially because if we went out into the real world, we'd be killed, and partly because it's a cool name. Who wouldn't want to go to a school called 'Shifters' School?'

Anyway, our curriculum supports kindergarten through twelfth grade. Younger students, or elementary kids, live with their parents/foster parents. Once you hit middle school (seventh grade), you move into the dorms. Each grade has a dorm building, which is split into four floors. The first floor is the lounge, kitchen, and cafeteria. There are also group showers here, if, for some reason, you don't feel like using the ones in your room.

The second floor is for Third Class Shifters, or Shifters that are born into a normal family. The third floor is for Second Class Shifters, Shifters with one Shifter parent, and the fourth floor is for Third Class Shifters, or full-blooded Shifters.

Each dorm room is meant to accommodate two students. Girls share rooms with girls, and boys share rooms with boys. Simple enough. If there is an odd number of boys or girls and there are no more rooms, a room will have to have three people, unless a Shifter of a higher or lower class is willing to take them in.

Classes are normal, you've got Math, English, History, Health, Physical Education, Science, and stuff like that. However, there are a few electives for High School students (French, Spanish, German, Choir, Band, Cooking, Computers, and Creative Writing), and, depending on your future profession in the Shifter community, special classes.

Follow the links below to get more information on elementary school, middle school, or high school.

Elementary School

Middle School.

High School.

"Hey, Jared, do you have a page that's titled 'High School'?" Adeline asked, looking up from the paper. Jared flipped through the pages until he found the proper one and handed over to Adeline.

"What are you two doing?" Casey asked, turning away from the computer.

"Jared printed out all of the pages last night," Adeline said. "We thought it would be better if we just let you two figure out your computer problems on your own, so we started looking at them. Did you know they have their own high school?"

"Of course they would, they'd be killed if they went to normal school," Casey scoffed, but sat down beside Adeline anyway. "Can I see?"

Collin, annoyed at not being the center of attention anymore, shoved the chair back and kneeled on the bed behind them, rising over them so he could see everything. "I wanna see one!"

Jared handed back a page titled 'Classes.' Collin leaned back, propping his feet on the Science textbook he had laid on the bed. Adeline handed a random page to Casey and began to read the 'High School' page.

High School

So, you're going into high school? Good for you! As you probably already know, high school for Shifters is different than high school for normal people. First of all, we've got eight periods in a day, because we've got more classes to fit in.

You're all forced to take the basic classes.

Math

Teacher – Mr. Potter, First Class Shifter

English

Teacher – Mr. Acres, First Class Shifter

Science

Teacher – Miss Tope, Second Class Shifter

History

Teacher – Mrs. Garret, Third Class Shifter

Health

Teacher – Miss Kolben, First Class Shifter

Physical Education

Teacher – Mr. Hennnigan, First Class Shifter

Then, you have to pick one of these electives...

French

Teacher – Mr. Lacey, Third Class Shifter

German

Teacher – Mr. Reynolds, Second Class Shifter

Spanish

Teacher – Mr. Kerr, Second Class Shifter

Choir

Teacher – Miss Holloway, Third Class Shifter

Band

Teacher – Miss Ponce, Second Class Shifter

Cooking

Teacher – Mrs. Corbin, Third Class Shifter

Computers

Teacher – Miss Espinal, Third Class Shifter

Creative Writing

Teacher – Mr. Holliday, Second Class Shifter

Also, depending on your Shift (animal you turn into, for the Third Class), you're required to take an extra class that will prepare you for your future.

Protectors

Taught by Ian Glatus

Protectors are often smaller, fiercer animals such as foxes, average-sized dogs, and coyotes. They work on protecting weaker Shifters and, in desperate times of war, the camp itself.

Spies

Taught by Adrian Pinleum

Spies often turn into smaller, often flight-capable, animals such as bats, house cats, and some birds. They'll spy on Hunters and learn their secret plans.

Fighters

This class is split into two – the aerial attack and the ground attack.

Air Force

Taught by Hart Evans

Before Adeline could read further, however, her phone vibrated. She dropped the paper and dug her cell phone out of her pocket. She flipped it open and pushed the Talk button.

"Adeline, where are you?"

It was her mother. She sounded frantic. "Mom, I'm just doing a project with some kids from school."

"Tell me the name, I'll look up their address and come pick you up right away!"

Adeline sighed. She handed the papers back to Jared. "Collin Williams, Mom. Hey, Collin, what are your parents' names?"

"Scott and Arlene."

"Scott and Arlene Williams. Sorry, guys, I've got to go."


She is Perfectly Flawed: Thanks. :3 Stalking is always good! :D

Whispbreeze: Yeah, I didn't want to make her something as 'Epic and Powerful' as a wolf, so coyote it is! Yay! :3