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“Hello?” I ask slowly.

“Melanie,” Mary’s familiar voice says from the other line. “How are you doing with your new life? Did anyone bully you? Did you make any new friends?”

I can’t help but chuckle at how caring she sounds. She sounds like an older protective sister.

Just like Nate.

“I’m okay. No, no one bullies me and yes, I made a few new friends,” I assure her. “How is Nate?”

Mary hesitates before she answers me, “He’s fine.” She pauses and adds, “Physically, at least.”

“What about Gwen? His mate?” I ask, looking around me. I’m in a room with the HQ agents either on the phone or in front of a computer. Most of them have geeky glasses on. All of them are wearing white too.

“She has been trying to calm your brother down, but… He refused to leave his room. It’s really bad, Melanie,” she says, whispering towards the end.

A sob is stuck in my throat but I’m unable to do anything. I’m too stunned to do anything until Mary asks, “Melanie?”

“I’m here,” I whisper, clearing my throat. “How about my sister? Cassie?”

“She’s been with her mate all the time. Rick is his name, right?”

I gulp. “Yes.”

“Well, I better get going. If anyone causes you any trouble, tell Director, okay?” she tells me sternly.

I grin. “Yes, mum.”

In my head, I imagine her rolling her eyes at me. “Ciao.” Without wasting any more seconds, she hangs up on me.

I sigh and hand the phone back to the HQ agent who brought me here. He puts the phone down on the desk and leads me back to the cafeteria. My new friends notice that I’m not in the mood to talk, which I greatly appreciate it. I take a seat in between Lina and Tyler.

As if sensing my bad mood, Lina’s guardian animal Nila sits on my lap and purrs against me. I chuckle and scratch behind Nila’s ears.

“Thanks,” I tell Lina.

She smiles back and digs into her noodles with a pair of chopsticks. I didn’t realize until that very moment that I’m hungry.

“Here,” Tyler says softly, giving me his sandwich.

I look at him in surprise. He looks like a shy yet nice guy.

“Thanks,” I say back with a smile. “Are you sure you don’t want it?”

“You need to eat,” he says shyly. “And the soup is enough for me.”

His cheeks turn pink as he continues to eat his soup. I can’t help but stare at his lion tattoo. Why is his guardian animal is a lion when his personality is the opposite?

Maybe the phrase ‘opposites attracts’ do exists even in the supernatural world. Nero is talking in hushed voices with Ella. Judging by the annoyed look on Ella’s face, I wouldn’t be surprised if she punched him. Bobbi and Lucy are eating in silence while listening to Ella and Nero’s conversation.

I look around the cafeteria as I eat. Most of the HQ agent trainees are sitting in groups as well except for a very familiar guy.

The dragon tattoo dude.

“I heard that you’ll be training with Director,” Tyler tells me softly. “Augustus is also training under Director.”

“So his name is Augustus?” I ask.

He nods, looking at me. I can’t help but stare at his eyes. How can his eyes be so blue?

“It is very rare to have mythical creatures as your guardian animals. Rare guardian animals sometimes have advantages and disadavantages. Take Thomas’s sabre-tooth tiger for example. It is one of a kind but he has to stay hidden from humans or the world since sabre-tooth tiger extinct eventhough his guardian animal is one of the strongest in the world. Most HQ agents with predatory guardian animals are usually given the job to watch over hunters. Others with weak guardian animals will work here in the HQ building. Rare HQ agents like Augustus will most probably protect someone important to the supernatural world, especially gods and goddesses,” Tyler tells me.

My eyes widen at the amount of information he’s telling me.

“That’s fascinating,” I remark.

He grins at me, showing off his pearly white teeth.

“So, uh, since you’re new and stuff… Would you like me to show you around the building?” he offers, his cheeks turning redder than before.

“That would be splendid, Tyler.”

Author's Note

*smack* *smack* I hate myself for not researching on flutes earlier. Seriously, I didn't know how long is a flute because the only time I have ever seen a flute is in my theory book. *smack* Gotta start editing The Hunter in Meadow Falls. Oh, and out of curiosity, how many of you are reading this book are guys? 





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