Determined

Four families: Cooper, Turner, Hughes and Andrews all have unimaginable strength and agility. They were born to be hunters. Hunters of demons and shape shifters that lurk in the darkness. All of them against the human race.

When Harriet Turner turns 16 her father tells her to pack her bags and say goodbye to her life. She is reluctant at first but once she arrives at the 'boarding school' she meets new people and begins to fit in.

There Harriet meets a boy who goes by the name Iggy, he is different to the other hunters and seems a distant person. Harriet is the only one he can trust but can she trust him?

This is a novel that mixes legend, romance and action to make a heart-pounding tale come to life.

Copyright © Georgia Ward 2013

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4. {chapter three}

My shoulder is sore when I wake so I drag myself from the bed and open the cupboards, I yank out a packet of tablets I picked up at the store before the banquet, tilting my head back I swallow and nearly choke as there is a knock at the door. I cough and finally fully swallow the tablet when they knock again. “Give me a minute!” I shout, pulling on a large t-shirt I open the door, it is the tattoo guy. I yank my shirt down over my bare legs. He surprises me by being at my cabin unexpectedly. “Can I help you?” I ask awkwardly.

“I wanted to wish you good luck today.” He declares to me, I feel underdressed because of only being in a t-shirt, my legs are cold and so is the weather outside. I go to say something but stop when he gives a little sigh making the mood even more awkward; we stand in silence before I decide to ask.

“What’s your name?” He laughs and I wonder why, “It’s just you’ve not told me.” He doesn’t explain his laughter but he does tell me his name.

“My name is Dean,” I am still looking confused until he explains why he finds his own name funny and interesting, “My father is the Dean.” Then I get why he laughed, he is the son to the Dean and his name is Dean. Basically now I don’t know what to call who because they are both, in some way called, Dean Chambers.

There is another knock at my door, I huff as I go to answer it, this time it is Emily. She walks in and looks to Dean and then back at me. “Am I interrupting something?” Emily asks giving me a hinted look; I laugh and shake my head.

“Dean was just wishing me good luck.” Emily smiles at him. Just as Emily is about to speak there is another knock at my door. “How popular am I today?” Emily laughs and answers the door for me.

“Morning Harri...Emily.”Greg says as he walks in, then he sees Dean and goes into protective brother mode, I try to stop him but then he sees me in just a t-shirt and goes mental, in his head, but I can see it in his eyes, what he is thinking about and I’ll tell you now, it isn’t good. He has the wrong idea and he is set on it now, he points to the door and shouts, “Everyone out!”

“Greg...” I try to stop him again but he pushes me off him and then slams the door after Dean exits. He pulls me to my bed and sits me down. “What the hell, why’d you kick my friends out?” I say to him, the anger getting the better of me.

“Who was that boy?” Greg asks, I don’t want to answer but eventually he will make me tell the truth.

I stand, arms folded, but it makes no difference to the levels of intimidation in the room, Greg is still the intimidating one, it annoyed me how Greg was always intimidating but only because he was tall and towered over everyone. I relax my arms as I realize that I will not make a difference, “That was Dean, the Dean’s son and my tattoo artist.” Greg sneers at my answer so I add, “He came to wish me good luck.”

“Sure he did.” I sigh and roll my eyes as he speaks sarcastically and patronizingly towards me. I move to the bed and chuck myself down on it, Greg never got this protective over Brody, and maybe it is because he knew Brody before I did, before Brody and Greg were no longer friends.

“When does training start?” I ask with a large huff.

“Twenty minutes, your training uniform is in the wardrobe.” I stand as Greg heads for the door, I watch as he turns, glances at me, and then leaves.

I pull my uniform from the wardrobe; it is all black, vest top, skin tight sweat pants and socks. I guess we are doing the training with just socks on. I slip into my uniform and slip another pill.

×××

The class is small, I count 10 or 11 students all looking just as scared as the next, I see they all look around 16 and I suppose they are. I am the only one there who looks tired from last night’s banquet but that is probably because of the pain I was, and am, in. It may also be the fact that I am not letting the others see my fear, I know better than to do that.

I can see there are groups already, groups of friends and I am left on my own as Emily goes to stand with a few others, for a few moments I am alone before a tall, but thin, boy approaches me and holds his hand out. “Ethan, and you are?” I take his hand cautiously but then weakly smile and give his hand a good and warm shake.

“Harriet.” Ethan smiles and looks to a girl across the room and waves to her, signalling her to join us, as she does she doesn’t hold her hand out to me, she takes me in her arms and hugs me tightly.

“Maria this is Harriet.” She lets go of me and smiles. “Harriet why don’t you come and meet the rest of us?” As I follow Ethan and Maria is see they are leading me to a large group with most of the class. Only four are missing and I see them in the corner of the hall, Emily is one of them.

As I join the group they all turn to look at me, the circle of names start. Ethan, Alex, Maria, Mia, Theo, Iggy. Iggy. The boy on the plane, he seems morbid and unhappy but then he looks at me and gives me a small smile, that lights up my face but when he turns back to the others his face is sad again. Harriet.

For a few minutes we just naturally chat, well all of us apart from Iggy and then disperse as the trainer enters accompanied by Dean Chambers, the actual Dean, the trainer is a very muscular guy, even more muscular than the boy on the plane or tattoo Dean, he has tufted light brown hair that is messy.“Welcome everyone, I am Max. I already know a few of you from family get meet ups but from this point I am your trainer and only that, there are no exceptions even to my close family.” I glance around to see which ones are the close family, I can tell by the expressions. There are two, both stood grinning, a small, lanky girl and a boy who is just taller than her, as they hold the same expression of a large grin I can tell that they are twins. They are two of the three that were stood in the corner away from the rest of us.

Iggy nudges me and I turn to him, he is taller than me so I have to look up to him. “Nice tattoo.” He whispers to me stiffly, I had almost forgotten about the tattoo until now, I smile warmly and thank him before turning back to the trainer.

“Today we will be going straight into combat training but first I would like you to look at the person on your left and then the right.”We all do as he says, to my left, Iggy and to my right, Iggy’s brother, Theo. “One of these people will be your friend, the other, your enemy.”At this point in time I have no idea which is which as I know neither of them well enough.

Theo gives me a weak smile and Iggy is expressionless, he rubs his neck, signalling that he is nervous about something. I turn to see that Max is staring at me, or at least in my direction, wide-eyed and weird.

I keep eye contact with him until he speaks, “You.” Max points to me and I see Dean Chambers sit up straight, anticipating something interesting or dangerous to happen. I point to myself and Max nods so I step forward, I can feel the eyes on me, it is intimidating and I feel like a cow at a slaughter house, they are eyeing me up and down trying to work out my strengths and weakness’ but I try to not give any away, apart from the fact that I am small and weak. “Come into the ring.” There, in the middle of the room, is a boxing ring. The first thing we are learning is combat, of course there is a boxing ring.

I step into the ring and keep my eyes on Max, he grabs my hands, I allow him to, and he stares straight into my eyes as he pulls my hands up, palms facing me, to cover my face. “This is the defence position.”No one says anything but I look to Iggy to find that he is staring at me with intensity. I quickly snap my head back to Max and nervously gulp. Max leans into my ear and says, “Just relax and let your reflexes take over.” I shake my head and give Max a look of worry. That is what I am worried about, I take a deep breath; I don’t want to hurt my trainer on the first day, people will be afraid of me.

Max takes a few steps away from me. I scan the class, they are all expressionless like- I feel a large ache of pain in my face as I am hit forcefully and fall to the floor. Max stares down at me and then looks to the class. “Rule one, keep your eye on the opponent.” One moment I am myself and the next rage is pumping through my body at an alarming rate.

I jump to my feet and punch Max in the ribs, he is winded and staggers back. His face is priceless to me, but I make no expression to show that, I am serious. Max stands and throws at me, I dodge by crouching and then when I rise back up I throw a punch at his jaw, successfully hitting him. Once again he isn’t concentrating. I think about my mother saying not to hurt people while they are down but then reconsider and kick my leg at his, sweeping him to the ground.

I hear a gasp and snap back into the real world, my arms loosen and drop to my sides. What have I done? Max looks unconscious as he lies on the floor with a bloody nose. I drop to my knees. I can’t remember making any of those decisions. I fight back the tears that are welling up in my eyes and my hand clasps my mouth.  I hear footsteps and look up to see Dean Chambers looking down at me, he helps me up. “I am so sorry, Sir.” I look around the room once more; this time the faces of the other trainees are expressionless or filled with awe. I pull Max up to his feet. Max smiles at me and says, “Wow.” A few times. And then the clapping begins and I see Dean Chambers clap along with the class.

As I step out of the ring I am met by Ethan who hugs me. “It’s alright.” I smile as I return the hug.

“Thank you.” I reply.

“It was amazing.” Theo adds.

“Yeah...amazing.” I hear a girl say sarcastically. The crowd of people parts to reveal the twins and Emily. The female twin holds her hand out, “Lyla.” I don’t take her hand so she drops it and glares at me like I am a person that has just insulted her. She gives another glare before walking away.

×××

I sit down at a table on my own just a few seats away from Greg and his friends but far enough to be sat on my own. My hands are shaking as I lift my fork and begin to eat. The silence doesn’t last long as I am joined by Theo and Alex. “What’s wrong?” Theo asks. “You were great.” I bite my lip but don’t speak.

“It really was, intriguing.” Alex adds. I give a little smile and then put my fork down; shoving my hands over my face I half scream half grunt. The whole cafeteria goes silent and stares at me like I am a freak show. Theo places his hand on my back and begins to rub it.

“It’s alright Harriet.” I begin to cry into my palms, I want to leave and am about to when Greg steps over and takes the seat next to me. He pulls me to him and tucks my head in his shoulder, and then he begins to stroke my hair.

“Can you tell me why she’s being like this?” Greg asks Theo and Alex. All I can hear are voices behind me.

“She beat up the trainer.” I hear Alex say, I pull my head up.

“Not on purpose.” Greg laughs. “Why are you laughing?”

“You are upset over beating up the trainer?” Greg asks. I slap him and wipe away my tears, as I look up I see Iggy staring at me from across the room, he doesn’t look serious though, he is looking at me in a caring manner. As I turn my head a little bit more I see Dean Chambers staring at me also.

I stand and walk to Dean Chambers as Greg watches. “Hello, Sir.”

“Call me Harold.” I nod. “Walk with me.” I nod again as he begins walking and so do I.

“What would you like to talk about, Sir?” I realize my mistake and correct myself, “Harold.”

“You.”

I give Dean Chambers a weird look. “Me?” He nods.

“You are a fast learner Miss Turner.” I grin.

“Call me Harriet.” He gives a little chuckle as we continue walking out of the school. “And thank you, Harold.” I find it weird saying Harold instead of Sir or Dean Chambers, like calling my dad Michael. I wonder why he wished to talk to me in particular. “I wonder why I am so good. I have never had any type of training.” I know Harold has the answer but I see he wishes to keep it from me and he knows I can tell.

“Now is not the time for you to know. There is a lot that will be revealed in the coming weeks Harriet. It has all been kept from you for your own good.”

“I know I realized that a long time ago.” Harold looks back to the school and so do I. The bell rings and I turn to Harold.

“You better get back.” Harold says, I begin to walk away but turn back as he speaks again, “Oh and Harriet,”

“Yes Harold?”

“Don’t let it get you down, you were good.” I smile and run back to the school.

×××

“Now we know the rules I am going to make you endure a real fight. And it only ends when the other is unconscious or beaten up.” Max says his face is bruised but no longer bleeding. I turn to see a few nervous looks but I keep a straight face.

Max calls the first too and I watch Iggy stand from the bench and approach the ring with Caleb, the male twin, following him into the ring. Iggy looks as depressed as he did when I first met him but before the fight starts he shoots me a look. “Good luck.” Max exits the ring and signals for them to start.

Both of the boys are giving glares, they don’t like each other which means the fight should be easy and Iggy should win but Caleb is fast at moving. The two of them circle for a few moments before Lyla shouts, “Get on with it!” Then Caleb turns to look at her, breaking rule one. Iggy seizes his chance and punches Caleb’s ribs. Caleb falls back so Iggy kicks him brutally. As Caleb lies on the floor I can’t watch. I turn away and see Dean Chambers enter the room, I hear grunts of pain from Caleb and then they stop and as I turn I see Caleb seeming lifeless on the floor of the boxing ring covered in blood. Max is holding Iggy’s hand up in victory; he is victorious while the other is a loser who will feel the pain of this fight for weeks to come.

Iggy makes eye contact with me and I abruptly look away. “Harriet and Lyla.” I spin around and gulp. I don’t want to fight again; I don’t want to hurt anyone. The first time was a mistake and now I stand there, frozen to the spot. “Come on Harriet.” I take a deep breath and make my way to the ring; Theo is watching me walk to the ring, pity in his eyes. As I look to Iggy he gives me the most emotionless stare anyone could possibly give.

Lyla does not look even a little bit worried to fight me and I hope she wins, I really do. I have to try and fight the other side off. She glares at me and sneers. I get my hands ready and Max tells us to begin.

She does not take any time with lunging for me and I don’t dodge, I let her pull me to the ground. I do not try to stand but Max thinks I should so I do. As I stand I don’t move my arms or anything and Lyla sees her chance. Pulling her fist back I clench my eyes closed and wait for the pain but it does not come and when I open my eyes I am holding Lyla’s arm, twisting it backwards. She cries out in pain.

I release her arm and she thinks she has a chance for a split second before I do the same flip I did over the red demon at the school and watch her turn around foolishly just for me to whack her in the jaw. I hear a gasp but continue. I pin her down to the floor and kneel over her, pressing down on her chest. “Give it up.” She shakes her head and tries to bite me before I slap her cheek with a mighty force. “Give...it...up!” I shout, spitting her face.

“I surrender.” Lyla screams.

“Wimp.” I stand and begin to walk away, make her think she has the upper hand, I hear her stand and charge at me, I abruptly turn and as she runs at me she collides with my fist and falls to the ground. “Once surrender has been called that is the end of the fight right Max?” I look up to him and he doesn’t speak just nods. I kick myself off of her and exit the ring. I point at Dean Chambers. “Harold,” He stands and steps towards me.

“Yes Harriet?” He smiles at me.

“How did I do?”

“Exceptionally.” I grin and thank him. “Would you like to join me for a cup of tea?” I nod.

“Of course.”

I hear a murmur from one of the other trainees, she called him Harold. Then there is another, and now she is having a tea with him. I turn to the ground and my eyes skip to Emily who is avoiding my glare. I glance to Lyla who is trying to stand but can’t. I did that, and I am happy with myself. 

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