Chapter 1

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There was someone sleeping on my desk. 

The HQ was usually empty when I arrived in the mornings, as I always got there very early out of habit and proximity. Three months at a relief mission in Iloilo hadn't changed my early bird habit though it felt a little strange to be back in the city after several months. Disaster response and relief was no joke, and after surviving the chaos of all the field offices and evacuation centers, it was nice to go back to a more orderly environment.

The tiny chimes on the door tinkled when I entered the main area, and I was greeted by a blast of cold air. It was dim, save for the daylight coming through the window blinds and the light coming through the bottom of the closed door of the pantry. Sir Tony, our boss, had probably gotten in early today, and was in the pantry enjoying his morning coffee. I didn't bother with the switches because it was light enough for me to make my way to my desk at the corner of the room. That is until I had the shock of my life when I saw the hunched figure over my desk.

It...didn't move even after I yelped. I remembered my male colleagues telling us last Halloween about a ghost that supposedly haunted the HQ, but no one believed them because we knew they were just pulling a prank on everyone. But what if it was true? What if there was a ghost, and it chose my table as its haunting ground because I hadn't been around to use it the past three months?

Except...ghosts didn't snore, I thought as the unidentified person belched loudly.

I crept up to the figure, and found that the so-called ghost was just a living, breathing human. A guy, from the looks of his sneaker-clad feet peeking out from under the table. He didn't move when I stomped to the switches to turn on the lights—maybe the hood that covered his head was thick enough to keep the lights from getting through. The surprise had faded, and now I was more irritated than frightened. Everyone here knew that I didn't like it when people used my desk without permission. It just wasn't polite, and my middle child syndrome means I'm very protective of my stuff.

It took me three shakes before he finally stirred. He lifted his hooded head and gave me a bleary look with a sleepy, "What?"

Our eyes met, and for a moment I was at a loss for words as I stared into the sleepy, dark depths. He blinked slowly, and the mere action had me mesmerized as his lashes brushed against his cheeks. Then he yawned and dropped his head back on the table, snapping me out of it.

"Excuse me," I said, trying to keep my voice calm and polite. "You're sleeping on my desk."

He lifted his head and yawned again. "What?"

"You. Are. On my desk," I repeated slowly, this time through gritted teeth.

"Oh." He blinked again, and I tried not to stare into those eyes. It was pretty distracting, those deep-set, wide, dark eyes. Pretty and distracting. He still looked clueless then he rubbed his eyes. The hood fell down to his shoulders when he shook his head, revealing a mop of thick, messy black hair.

"You're the girl who sits here," he said, blinking at me again. "They said you wouldn't be back until Monday. Sorry."

I narrowed my eyes at him as he pushed my chair back, stretching as he stood up. He was wearing a plaid shirt underneath the jacket that rose up as he raised his arms over his head, teasing my eyes with a hint of his bare, flat stomach. His arms dropped, and his shirt followed, covering the rest of him again.

He cleared his throat. I looked up hastily, my face burning at the thought that he caught me staring, but he wasn't even paying attention. He seemed to be looking at me, but his eyes were unfocused and sleepy. He blinked again, picked up his bag, and stepped away from my desk. I crossed my arms and watched him, hoping his vacant desk was the one at the other side of the room, but he shuffled to the empty desk beside mine.

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