Lili St. Crow
Dru and Graves are taken to the Schola. She notices that everyone she sees in the Order looks like a teenager. They separate her from Graves and put her in a room with a bed where she goes to sleep almost instantly.
A week later, Dru spares with a djamphir boy named Irving. She does pretty well at first. When he charges her, she decides to punch him instead of throwing him into the wall. She goes flying with him, but before they hit, Graves attacks him. Dru gets him to call down and she checks to make sure Irving is alright. Her bloody nose sprays all over the djamphir (svetocha blood makes them crazy with bloodlust) and the teacher, Dylan, has to hold him down while Graves and the other wulfen get Dru out. There is a ringing in her head and the world goes fuzzy around her.
Dylan is upset with Dru for putting herself in danger. he explains that she has to start from the beginning and will have to wait for Christophe to return to start physical training. She doesn’t feel challenged and gets bored with her classes, so she begs for a different plan. Dylan says he can’t do anything and dismisses her. Graves offers to bring her food when he goes out, but she turns it down, jealous of the freedom he has at the Schola. Dru goes to the girls’ bath to soak in a healing liquid. Completely alone, she has time to think about her parents and their different endings by the same sucker, Sergej.
Even there is a fog that hides the cafeteria workers, Dru still goes there to eat. She’s not very interested in her food though. Graves joins her and tells her about his classes. He hands her a burger and fries and she starts to eat. Someone teases him and he flips him the bird. Dru tells him that she wonders where the money comes from to fund the Schola. He says he will try to find out. She asks if she can go to watch him spar, but he says it isn’t a good idea. She storms away, frustrated at her loneliness.
Dru wakes up from a nightmare about her zombie-dad coming home to attack her. She wakes up to still hear the tapping from the window, which Christophe uses to get into the room. She holds her knife while he asks how she is doing. He goes after her and takes it away. Dru is able to get away and looks for escape while Christophe critics her. He tells her that she is safer at a smaller Schola where he can watch her easier, but this was not where her mother was. He is worried about the traitor and thinks they aren’t training Dru as part of some plan.
Christophe leaves a pair of malaika (wooden swords for killing vampires) and promises to teach her how to use them when he returns. However, he wants her to attend classes and watch for suspicious activity. She thinks about all the people she has lost and has a renewed determination.
Dru goes to the cafeteria for breakfast before classes. A submissive wulf named Dibs sits with her. A djamphir makes fun of him and he has to stop Dru from retaliating. Graves joins them, and she gets angry at his freedom again. She wants to hit him, but can’t understand why. He calls her down and promises to bring her back a milkshake when he gets in later that night, though he never shows up.
In history class, the instructor goes over the difference between how wulfen and djamphirs fight. An alarm sounds and everyone leaves Dru alone to go to their assigned battle stations, including Graves, who she asked to stay with her. he waits a moment for someone to escort her to her room, but Gran’s owl arrives first. She follows it as quickly as she can. She tastes wax oranges and hears howling behind her. She heads for the trees.
Dru makes her way through the woods. She falls into a thorn bush and looses the owl. The wulf approaches and she can see it is Ash. She stays as still as possible as he sniffs around. A sucker joins him, saying the master wants Dru. Ash turns on him and attacks the vampire. Dru uses the opening to run. She hears the wulf’s howl and keeps going until she is tackled.
Ash holds Dru down and tires to keep her quiet. Shen the sucker catches up, Ash attacks him and sends his blood flying all over. He crouches down and looks at Dru, then puts his nose to her cheek. Graves starts calling her name and Ash takes off.
Dylan has a lot of questions when the find Dru in the woods. Graves tells him to back off and starts walking her back to the Schola. He takes her to the girls’ bath and helps her undress and he goes in fully clothed with her. She tells him what happened and about Christophe’s visit. She goes to kiss him, but her turns his head and she gets his cheek. She passes it off as a thank you and stays in the bath a while after he leaves.
Dru waits in Dylan’s office to be questioned. When he arrives, he has a svetocha, Anna, with him. She explains that the Order suspects Christophe might be involved in the attacks because he is Sergej’s offspring. Dru has a bad feeling about her. Anna shows her part of a file containing two pictures of Dru’s parent’s house (before and after the attack). She says she has a transcript, but Anna tells her it is classified and won’t show it to her. She then orders Dru to inform them when Christophe comes to visit her. After Anna leaves, Dru asks Dylan who was supposed to be watching her. He informs her that the roster is missing. She goes back to her room and finds a note from a “friend” telling her to meet at the boathouse.
During history class, the teacher starts explaining the strategical differences between djamphir and wulfen. Dru wants to know if there is a way to revers the affects of a wulf being broken. After class, Shanks, a werwulf, accuses Dru of wanting to break wulfen. Graves stands up for her and Shanks hits him. The world slows down and Dru attacks Shanks. She lets someone pull her off before she kills him, but the blood hunger hits her. Graves holds her back while ordering the wulfen back that want to attack her. Djamphir enter the room and take her away. Graves stays with her through it all.
Dru is sent away to calm down and Graves takes her to the library. She admits that she doesn’t know who she is anymore and he explains it is part of growing up. She asks him about any lingering desires to go home. Graves tells her that he likes it there with her. They dive into the stack of books they pulled form the stacks to research how to help the Broken. Graves takes her back to her room with the books before his last class. She falls asleep reading.
While the sun is still up and most of the Schola is sleeping, Dru climbs out her window and onto the roof. The cuts on her hand heal quickly as she feels the “aspect” go over her. She finds a way down and to the boathouse. Christophe is there and she immediately starts asking questions, accusing him of lying. He comes at her quickly and puts her knife to his chest, showing her how to kill him and egging her on to do it. She doesn’t and instead tells him everything that has happened since she last saw him. He promises that he will save her, even though he couldn’t save her mother.
Graves joins Dru in the cafeteria. She wants to tell him about meeting Christophe in the boathouse, but can’t seem to do it. He suggests that she gets a chair to barricade her door when she says she’s worried about an attack. She skips class to take one there and can feel that someone was in her room. the lock of hair Christophe left her is gone and she finds someone’s blond strand of hair on the stand, which could belong to any of several people.
In the middle of the day, Graves sneaks Dru out of the Schola to run with some of the werwulfen. Shanks and a few others are against it at first, but they decide to let her go with them. She keeps up and is able to clear her mind. When they all stop, she and a few wulfen start retching. Suddenly, they feel like friends as they catch their breaths and laugh together.
Dru sits with the wulfen in a classroom discussing what has happened. She leaves out a few key points (Christophe’s visits, another svetocha) while they listen. Graves points out that they might be using her as bait. Another wulf points out that it doesn’t explain why they aren’t training her. She tells them about Ash, who they call the last of the Silverbacks. They don’t seem to have too much hope for him. Shanks accuses her of being like all other djamphir and she goes off on him. A teach approaches and Dru leaves them to draw him away from the wulfen. Dylan finds her in the cafeteria and wants to show her something. He admits that they may not be able to trust Anna.
Dylan has been suspicious of how the Order has been giving odd directives to protect Dru. He tells her that he is at the lowly reform school because of his loyalties to Christophe and her mom. He gives her the original copy of the transcript (without redactions) to give to Christophe. Dylan gives Dru her gun that was taken when she arrived at the Schola. He says that he is going to try to find Christophe to warn him. Back in her room, Dru tries to come up with a plan. She packs her bag while thinking about all the lessons her family taught her. She plans to leave Graves behind, knowing he is happy at the Schola. She will hide from those trying to kill her, maybe at Gran’s cottage. She prepares to leave.
Dru comes up with a plan to leave at the beginning of the night’s classes. She walks out her door with her packed bag, but no one is watching her room. The alarm sounds. She starts down her escape route, but hears nosferatu marching. She hides in a janitor’s closet until they pass and then moves impossibly fast to get away. When she realizes the Schola is burning. She stops to debate what to do before going back for Graves.
While running back to find Graves, Ash leaps in front of Dru to heard her away from the vampires. They see her and she runs, but knows she is not fast enough to evade them. She jumps through a wall of flames to escape and then realizes she is trapped. Oxygen starts to run out quickly. Someone pulls her out and she hears voices. Graves, Dibs, Shanks, and Christophe are among them, talking about a heater. Dylan is running a distraction to give them time to get away. Dru is mostly carried.
Dibs hooks an oxygen take up to Dru’s nose to help her breathe. They know the vampires are near and getting closer. Christophe asks Dru to borrow something from her. She agrees and doesn’t realize he means her blood until his fangs are almost in her wrist. She doesn’t protest, but wants to scream out when it feels like he is sucking out her soul. Graves holds her through the process. Afterwards, Christophe creates blood fog to hide them and disappears to fight the vampires. Graves carries Dru on his back and she passes out.
Dru wakes up in the morning to Graves arguing with Peter about leaving Shanks behind because of his injuries. Graves uses his commanding voice to inform the pack that it isn’t a democracy and they aren’t leaving anyone behind. Andy suggests they go to a compound run by his kin to rest so they can make it to the city. Dru offers to go off on her own to keep the vampires off the wulfen. Graves refuses and decides to take Andy’s offer. Dru feels odd that she doesn’t have the “touch” and wonders if that is what it is like to be normal.
The group continues on, and the touch is slowly returning to Dru. Someone asks how much Christophe took to be able to do what he did and keep it up. Dru answers that he sucked three times. Dibs mentions bonding, but is cut off when a helicopter approaches. They worry about the fog not holding up and Dru throws a hex at the flying machine, knowing it isn’t friendly. There is an explosion when it hits that knocks them to the ground. Dru passes out.
Dru wakes up in the middle of the night in a bed. Christophe tells her that they made it to Andy’s family’s compound. He explains that he was raised by his father and Dylan brought him to the side of good. Her mother kept him there. He kisses her and tells her that she will have to keep him there before leaving to get Graves. When Dru wakes up again, Graves is in the bed with her. He asks if she “likes” Christophe. She says no, but feels like she’s lying. She doesn’t want to admit that he scares her. She tells him that she is holding out for someone else and curls up agains him.
Dru gets cleaned up in the morning and joins the wulfen for breakfast. Peter has a fresh back eye Shanks gave him for trying to leave him behind. He plans to join her, Graves, and Christophe when they head to the city. Christophe talks to a wulf named Amelia and Dru suddenly knows it is time to go.
Christophe, Dru, Graves, Shanks, and Dibs all get in an old Dodge Dart that has been resorted (by a wulf named Corey) and take off.
The group stops for lunch and Dru has a few moments alone to show Christophe the transcript Dylan gave her. He promises he didn’t betray her mom and tells her to keep it secret. Later they pull into a garage and Christophe orders the wulfen out. He tells Dru to ward her room and that he will sleep outside her door. Once again he wants her to understand that he couldn’t betray her mom. When he gets out of the car, he sends Shanks to check the abandoned house. Christophe and Graves have a silent exchange of challenging manliness before they go inside. Dru and graves wake up in the middle of the night. he points out that something is outside. She goes to the window and sees Ash. When they make eye contact, she opens the window and he jumps in, collapsing and covered in blood. Christophe comes in and wants to kill the Broken, but Dru won’t let him. She asks Graves for help and he picks Ash up so they can all get away from the approaching vampires.
Graves and Dibs finish carrying Ash to the car. Christophe gives Shanks the keys and the rest of them pile into the back. Christophe jumps into the front seat and Shanks crashes through the garage door. As they drive away, Christophe is firing at the things that are following them while Dru tries to calm Ash down.
Shanks heads for the highway, but the Burner catches up and lands on the back of the car. Christophe shoots half of her head off, and most of the eminent threat is over. After driving for a while, they near the main Schola. Christophe knows the traitor is still a threat, and therefore wants to make sure that everyone at the Schola knows that Dru is arriving. He sets their expectations before jumping out without answering Dru’s questions. They pull in and male djamphir come out to greet them.