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Icy Winds - Chapter One


Stephani Meyer-Hinojosa

"Good morning class!" Mrs. Sanchez greeted her chattering students. A usual day for Mrs. Sanchez and her pupils would be to start the day with a warm up question, but not today. Today she would introduce a new student. "Today we have received a new student from..." She shuffled through graded papers trying to find a student information card. "Ah... Here we are, we have a student from Hong Kong. Azriel Li would you stand up please?"

From the very back of the room a tall boy stood up. He was very handsome with mesmerizing gray eyes. This Azriel looked very dark and callous, but Mrs. Sanchez wouldn't judge someone she did not know.

"Mr. Li would you tell us a little about yourself, like do you have any hobbies?"

Azriel's eyes remained emotionless, devoid of any interest in Mrs. Sanchez's question.

" I have no hobbies..." He said dryly, his eyes locked with Mrs. Sanchez's eyes. He stood there taking in her discomfort. It felt like he was looking straight through her and she was helpless under his frozen glare. Finally he sat down, tired of the stupid game he was playing with the teacher. Relieved from her release, Mrs. Sanchez continued with the attendance.

"Abby, Aura-Dawn, Cris, Darin, Nemesis... Nemesis..." Mrs. Sanchez looked up from her paper and so did the eyes of the entire class including Azriel. Azriel followed the stares of his classmates to a small girl right next to him. She was beautiful with such fair skin and slim features Azriel was in awe at her appearance. The girl was asleep on her desk; she was so quiet Azriel, even with his demon senses, didn't know she was there.

"Nemesis Angele wake up..." Nemesis' eyes opened and narrowed in an annoyed expression. Azriel studied her emerald green eyes with interest. Nem lifted her head, flipping her fire red curls back away from her face.

Suddenly Nem's scowl faded. " Yes Mrs. Sanchez I'm here..." She smiled sweetly at the teacher, showing Mrs. Sanchez that she would pay attention. Nem looked over at Azriel, who was pretending to ignore her. "Hello Azriel."

Azriel continued to ignore her, determined to chase any thoughts of her away from him. Nem got a little flustered at Azriel's rudeness toward her, but she wouldn't give up so easy.

"So you come from Hong Kong right? What's it like there?" It suddenly occurred to Azriel that the whole time the teacher was introducing him Nem was asleep. So how could she possibly have known anything that was said unless she heard it somewhere else? Azriel turned toward her, unable to ignore her persistent voice anymore. He secured his eyes to hers, making a connection between their minds.

"You were asleep; how do you know my name and where I come from?"

Nem did not shrink away from his gaze like the teacher did. In fact he read her mind and he found that she liked his icy glare. He didn't scare her at all, but that probably was because of the fact that she didn't know who or what he was. Nem turned away with a frown on her face.

"I don't know..." Nem liked this mysterious newcomer; he was so different from all the other boys in the school. Nem always had a kind of sixth sense, she could feel someone's energy. If it was evil, she would get a chill down her spin and if it was good she would feel a kind of warmth fill her heart.

Azriel gave her one last hellish glance and focused on the teacher again. Nem wasn't sure about Azriel, it was like he had one soul on the edge of good and evil. His gray eyes sent chills down Nem's spine but his voice gave her the feeling of warmth. Class continued without any more interruptions and of course it was boring as hell. When class was over Nem rushed to her second period class to see her best friend Rosemarie to tell her about Azriel.

"Rosemarie, guess what... There's a new guy in my class his name is Azriel... and..."

Rosemarie leaned in closer to hear about her friend's new fascination. Nem looked at Rosemarie's round face and thought it was better if she didn't gossip over Azriel; he didn't deserve it anyway. Nem smiled. "Never mind..." Rosemarie was just about to insist that Nem continue when the teacher walked in. The teacher smiled at his well-behaved class of hoodlums and began class with high spirits.

The first lunch period would prove to be a momentous one because Azriel had made some new friends in his second period class when one of the class troublemakers happened to mistake Azriel as a weakling. Azriel avoided trouble during class by simply ignoring the ignorant fool, but the boy continued to hound Azriel during lunch. Nem caught sight of the trouble that was going to spawn itself and decided to step in. She stood next to Azriel and told the troublemaker to buzz off. The boy laughed and told her she was lucky he didn't hit girls. He called a greasy looking girl over to him and told her to "take care" of Nem. The girl began to talk a lot of dirt to Nem and started to push Nem's shoulders back. Annoyed by Nem's pacifism the girl swung a fake nailed fist at Nem. Nem ducked, causing the girl to hit the wall. She staggered back, her knuckles bruised.

The hound boy came swinging punches at Nem and all the while Azriel watched as Nem dodged each one. After awhile Azriel became bored with this game of tag and he stepped in. He grabbed Nem's attacker by the neck and picking him up threw him across the floor; the whole cafeteria watched in shock.

Azriel gave Nem an evil grin and that's when the administrators and the cops came. They handcuffed Nem and Azriel and escorted them to the office. Azriel and Nem were told that they were suspended from school for two weeks.

"Two weeks? Why so long?" Nem was in a panic; her mother would surely murder her. Azriel sat silently next to Nem with not the slightest hint of concern. The principal sat in his comfy little swivel chair folding his hands across his crossed legs.

"You would have gotten off with two days if this was a normal fight, but the boy you injured was almost strangled to death and the side of his head is all torn and bloody from skidding across the floor... I would have suspended you for the rest of the year if the boy hadn't insisted I take it easy on you. I don't understand you kids."

With that Nem and Azriel were escorted out of the building. Nem had pretended to call her mother to come pick her up but the truth was she didn't want to get pummeled so she faked it. Azriel didn't call anyone. He said he would walk and no one argued. Azriel started to walk down the main road with Nem close behind. She had tons of time to kill and nowhere to go, so Azriel was her first choice.

Azriel stopped in front of a gigantic bush and started to pull at the tangled mess. Soon he dragged out a brand new Harley Davidson hog. Nem's jaw dropped. Azriel turned to Nem, watching her reaction.

"Where did you learn how to dodge punches like that?"

Nem looked at him for a moment and then back at the Harley. She smiled devilishly at him. Azriel was taken aback by this but kept his expression impassive.

"If I tell you will I get to ride the Harley?"

Azriel stared at Nem with a look of pure resentment. He stared longer than he wanted to and gave in; he nodded yes.

"Well I learned from my great uncle. He was a self defense instructor in L.A." Somehow Azriel expected more of an explanation, but he was in no mood to talk anymore. He got on the bike and started it up, and waited for Nem to get on. Nem was enjoying every bit of the ride, especially the fact that she had to hold on to Azriel's waist so she wouldn't fall off. Azriel would never admit it to anyone, not even himself, that he liked the feel of her soft hands on his sides.

They drove up a hillside and into a driveway in front of a massive house. Nem would never have expected Azriel to live in such an expensive fancy house. Azriel totally ignored her when they made their way up to the door. Azriel opened the door and Nem thought he would be cruel and slam it in her face but instead he left it open. As Nem stepped into the house she noticed there were a lot of boxes stacked in the corner that were full of women's clothing. Nem thought maybe Azriel lived with his girlfriend or something because nobody even mentioned his mother.

Suddenly from up stairs a voice yelled at Azriel. "Li is that you? Did you get expelled already? Man, you don't waste time, do you?" Then a girl about 5'6" with brown hair and hazel eyes came down the stairs. Azriel didn't even acknowledge her existence. Nem tried to look as pleasant as possible with her hair in one big knot from her previous ride.

"Hello there, and who might you be? Are you a girlfriend or just a friend? Oh I'm sorry sweetie, how rude of me. My name is Sasha - what's your name?" Sasha smiled, trying to make her new guest comfortable. Nem felt very relaxed with Sasha, she had such a humble smile.

"My name's Nemesis but everyone calls me Nem... Um... I'm not even a friend of Azriel's. I'm just an accomplice to his crime..."

Sasha began to laugh so loud Nem was sure Azriel could here her down the hall. She started to fan herself, trying to catch her breath.

"That sounds like Azriel alright. He always ends up pulling people in like that but I guess that's the way he makes friends. Well he makes friends of the ones that survive. Don't get him wrong, he really is a nice guy, it's just he has his demons to tame. Come on, let's go fix your hair; it looks like you got sucked into a whirlwind." Sasha led Nem up to her room. "So what exactly did Azriel do this time? He didn't kill anyone did he? Or put someone in a coma?"

Nem tried to put it lightly so it wouldn't sound so bad, but no matter how she would say it the news was still bad.

"Well it was nothing like that, he just almost strangled a boy to death and threw him across the floor, causing the boy's head to become torn and bloody... Not that much of a deal. Oh, and we were both suspended for two weeks."

Sasha's mouth was hanging open like she had seen a ghost. Nem waited patiently for Sasha to come back to her senses.

"So how did you get involved with something like that?" Sasha guided Nem to a chair.

"I was just around and... I guess... I just wanted to prove that I could be just as tough as Azriel is..."

Sasha giggled as she began to brush Nem's frizzy knots. It was quiet for a while and Nem's hair started to look like a movie star's.

"Nem, I know we've just met, but will you do me a favor?" She set down the brush and Nem turned around to hear Sasha's request.

"My boyfriend and I are going out tonight and I wanted to take Azriel with us to keep an eye on him... so I wanted you to go with us as his date... I know you're perfect for him. You're strong willed, tough, and plus you're so pretty... You could be my sister, please?"

Nem was a little shocked at what Sasha said. Nem perfect for Azriel - ha! He is just a rude bully who thinks since Nem is so small that he can intimidate her; no way.

"Sure, but I'm in my school clothes..." Sasha walked over to a closet and brought out a sweet little black dress that seemed a bit short. She sat on the bed and invited Nem to sit down next to her.

"Now I'm going to let you borrow this; I think we're the same size. Go try it on!"

Nem slipped on the dress and it fit perfectly with her petite curvy figure. The dress wasn't as short as Nem had thought but it was still a little skimpy. She showed Sasha reluctantly Nem's hands still tugging at the bottom.

"Oh Nem, you're an angel! You're going to knock Azriel's socks off."

Nem called her mom and asked in the most innocent childlike voice if she could go out with a couple of friends. Luckily, her mother was going out too so it was compromised and whined over until Nem was even able to spend the night. So then the fun began. Sasha's boyfriend arrived and everyone was waiting for Azriel to come.

Sasha got tired of waiting and went to nag at Azriel. All Nem and Alan (Sasha's boyfriend) heard was Sasha's voice then a loud crash and then a thud. It was totally silent for a long time. Nem thought Azriel had done something to Sasha but they appeared in the hall after a while. Sasha was practically dragging Azriel behind her.

When Azriel saw Nem for the first time in that tight little dress he smirked devilishly, impressed by how much more magnificent she looked. He soon realized that he was actually showing an emotion he became detached again. The plan of the evening was dinner a movie then home which sounded just fine to everyone. Sasha was determined to have a perfect evening even if she had to drag everyone through the mud to do it. They all got in Alan's car. Nem and Azriel sat in the back while Sasha and Alan sat in the front talking about how boring the day was without each other.

Azriel wasn't paying any mind to them, he was looking out the widow thinking of a way of escape. They arrived at the restaurant; Azriel was glad at least he would get food out of this. No one spoke a word to each other mainly because of the food that they were shoveling in their mouths. Azriel hadn't spoken a word nor had Nem. Sasha got worried, she thought they weren't having fun. Well of course Azriel wasn't, but he didn't believe in having fun at all.

"Nem are you alright? You've been quiet all night - what's wrong?"

Nem looked up from her plate and smiled. "I'm alright...I'm just thinking, that's all."

Sasha stared at Nem for a while to confirm that she wasn't just covering something up. She left it alone after Alan suggested that they move on to the movie. The group decided to walk to the movie house that was just down the street.

Azriel walked way behind everyone else. Nem walked beside him. "Why do you avoid people? You can stare right into their eyes and yet you look straight through them..."

Azriel gazed coldly at Nem. He was just about to say something when someone called out his name.

"Li of the ice winds we have come for your head!" Azriel turned around to see two figures. One was the size of an armored truck and the other was almost as small as Nem. They appeared to be human but Azriel could sense they were demons. Azriel was ready to fight these stupid morons at any time but Nem was right next to him and he didn't want her to get in the way.

"Come on, I'm ready for you... I'll even give you a free shot. Nem, go to Sasha."

Nem knew what was going to happen but she wasn't going to run away. She wanted Azriel to see that she wasn't afraid of him or anyone else. "No. I'm not going anywhere."

Azriel didn't even look at her, he somehow anticipated her answer. The big demon came charging toward Azriel with his sword drawn. In the blink of an eye Azriel had grabbed the sword from the demon and cut its head off with one slash of the sword. Nem was in total shock but she was also very impressed at Azriel's speed. The other demon began flinging axes at Azriel in a fit of rage at his friend's quick defeat. Azriel raised the sword up and deflected the axes back at the demon. The demon was able to dodge all the axes except one, which hit him square between the eyes.

By that time Sasha and Alan had heard the commotion and came to see what the trouble was. Everyone on the streets that saw what happened ran in fear of Azriel.

"Nem, come on. Let's go before the cops get here." Sasha grabbed Nem by the wrist , pulling her away from the crime scene and away from Azriel.

"Wait Sasha - what about Azriel?"

"He can take care of himself. Now come on! I don't want to have to bail you out of jail." Sasha, Nem, and Alan ran back to the car and drove off. Nem was wondering what would happen to Azriel. They made it back to the house safe and they all stood outside and hoped Azriel got away.

"I'm going inside, Nem, you should too." Sasha and Nem turned around to go inside, only to find Azriel standing in the doorway.

Nem jumped. He startled her and Azriel knew it. Sasha didn't say a word, she just gave Azriel an angry glance and walked inside pulling Nem behind her. That night Nem slept in the room next to Sasha's room. She lay there for hours unable to get a wink of sleep. So she got up and started to walk around the house, exploring its long halls. She came to an open door and peeked inside. There was Azriel sitting on the windowsill with a thoughtful look on his face. Of course Nem didn't notice anything except Azriel's bare chest and the sweat dripping off his hard abs. She stood there staring. Azriel sensed her presence and looked straight at her suddenly. Nem was a little surprised but she was getting used to his strange behavior.

"What do you want?"

Nem stiffened, a little angry at his bad-mannered greeting. She walked toward him and stuck out her tongue at him.

"I don't want anything... not from you anyway..."

Azriel smirked and to Nem's surprise it had no evil intentions; it was an amused smirk. Nem smiled. She was happy he actually showed some emotion.

"Azriel, where is your mother... and your father?"

He looked up at Nem with a blank look. Nem smiled in a small attempt to comfort him. He stared at Nem for a long time as if he was looking for something in her eyes. He looked away, allowing his demon side to take over.

"Go away, it's none of your business..."

This time Nem wasn't offended by Azriel's rudeness because she knew it really wasn't her business. She couldn't help but think it had to be painful, the look in Azriel's eyes were so grief-stricken. Nem didn't want to push him so she told him good night and went back to her room.

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