Wulfgang:Bad Oak Boys, 3

By: Erin M. Leaf

Bad Oak Boys, 3

Chapter One

It’s time to rock ‘n’ roll. Silas River, drummer for Bad Oak and currently masquerading as a lowly college professor, walked to the back of the classroom and unlocked the door. Early morning sunlight streamed into the space. Once more he gave thanks for being lucky enough to land one of the rooms that had air conditioning. It never got insanely hot here on the Maine coast, but today’s coming temperatures would be enough to make lecturing in a small room with thirty people unpleasant without central air.

“He’s here? On campus? Are you sure?” a student leaning against the wall near the doorway asked. When Silas latched the door to stay open, the guy glanced at him dismissively, turning back to his friend as if nothing of importance had just happened. Which it hadn’t.

Because you are not a rock star here, idiot. Silas smiled wryly. Why would he expect the guy to treat him like someone special? He wasn’t. You’re in disguise, remember? He rubbed the unfamiliar stubble on his jaw and ran a hand over his short hair. He’d dyed it dark brown. He didn’t look like the drummer of a multi-platinum selling rock band anymore. The baggy corduroys he’d exchanged for his usual tight jeans probably helped, too, as did the overlarge button-down shirt and ratty sport jacket. He looked like an underpaid and overworked adjunct professor, which was exactly what he was, for now, anyway.

The student in the hall tugged at his slouchy beanie and shrugged at his friend. “If he’s here, that would be weird. Why would he be here? Why would he bother coming back? He left before we even graduated high school.”

“Yeah, I know it’s weird. I don’t know when he got back to town, but he’s coming to class. This class.” The second student’s reply was nearly inaudible. “I overheard my mom talking about it on the phone this morning.”

Silas couldn’t help wondering who this mysterious he was the two were discussing. An old friend? A hated classmate? He turned on his heel and made his way back to the front of the room.

“Shit. I thought he wouldn’t ever come back here. His mother married that freak, after all. He doesn’t belong in our territory.” Beanie guy made a face. “This is going to be a disaster.”

Silas froze. With those few words he suddenly knew that at least two of his students were shifters. Fuck. He thought he’d be on vacation from the whole werewolf thing for a while. His two cousins and their relationship with Forst Pack over the past two years had taught him that shifters came with an entirely new level of drama, above and beyond the usual human problems. He wanted a nice, three-month break from all the hoopla. He sighed, hoping the two had their animals under control. He had no desire to deal with young, impulsive wolves in his classroom.

“I know what I heard,” the guy’s friend said. He didn’t wear a hat like the other one, but a pair of big, clunky eyeglasses perched on his face like a giant insect. They didn’t seem to be corrective lenses.

All for show, then. Silas frowned, inexplicably annoyed. The two guys standing outside his classroom spoke softly, but the urgency in their voices carried their words to him. I feel bad for the guy they’re talking about. Their attitude irritated the crap out of him, and his first class hadn’t even started. He pushed the stack of papers he’d printed for his students to the other side of his laptop, lining them up with the desk’s edge. He took a deep breath. He was here to teach, not lose his temper or get embroiled in something that wasn’t his business.

“I thought he and his mom moved to New York?” the first guy asked, now blocking the open door. Silas stared at him, willing him to move, but the guy didn’t notice. He just shifted his hipster bag higher onto his shoulder and shook his head. “I thought after he left high school that they were gone for good.”

“They did move to the city. And then he joined the army, or maybe the navy, or something. I don’t know which it was. My mom is really happy about the whole thing because she was friends with Mrs. Marrok, and she’s moving back, too, to be with her son.” He pulled off his glasses and tapped them on the wall in an uneven pattern.

Silas gritted his teeth. As a drummer, there was one thing guaranteed to drive him insane: a badly timed beat. These two young men were treading on his last nerve, and they hadn’t even entered the classroom yet.

“It’s Ms. Marrok. She was always weird about that, remember? My mom said she had to take her husband’s name because he was the son of the old Alpha and the line had to continue. Mom told me that she refused to be the little missus, and made everyone call her Ms.,” the first guy said. “Something about not wanting to give up her own identity or whatever.” He snorted. “As if marrying the old man’s stunted human son wouldn’t guarantee that. Anyone who marries into the Alpha’s family automatically gets status from it, even when the family genes are fucked all to hell. My mother thought that attitude was cool, but I think the whole thing is bullshit. Mrs. Marrok was the wife of the Alpha’s son before he went postal and that’s it. End of story.”

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