Rule One

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“What are you doing here?” Lina asks in surprise when she opens the door. “Aren’t you supposed to be…”

“My uncle dismissed her early,” Leo answers for me.

Lina frowns but does not say anything. Leo turns towards me. “Please forgive my uncle, he is very busy these days. If you need any assistance, just give me a call.”

I smile at him. How sweet of him. “Thanks, Leo.”

“No problem, Lanie.”

We stare at each other for a few seconds as the situation becomes awkward. Leo blushes when Lina clears her throat.

“I guess I’ll see you around…” Leo trails off.

“Yeah… Bye.”

Without wasting another awkward second, Leo walks off. Lina has an amused look plastered on her face.

“So you guys calling each other nicknames now, Lanie?” Lina teases.

I groan. “Hush, Li.”

“So do you like Tyler?” Lina asks with excitement. She follows me until I put my books down on my desk full with other mythology books.

“No, I don’t! I like him just like a friend,” I answer her, turning to meet my eyes with her.

Lina pouts at me. “Don’t deny the fact, Mel! Everyone can see how he looks at you. Do you know that you’re the only one who gets along with him? No one can talk to him in less than one minute.”

I walk to the kitchen and the fridge to grab my daily dose of Coke. “Does it matter?” I ask Lina before sipping on the carbonated refreshment.

“Of course it does!”

I sigh. “Don’t you have class to go to?”

The cat shifter curses and smacks herself in realization. “I forgot! Bye, Mel!” With that, she runs out of the room with books in her arms, leaving me alone in the room. I chuckle softly to myself.

Thank God she’s gone or she would pester me to death.

I sit down, put the bottle of Coke on the desk with a piece of paper in front of me. I really need to write down the things that have been in my head so far.

Augustus Caesar.

Great York.

Nate.

Serum.

Hybrids.

Doctor Solomon and Doctor Galileo.

I stare at the list. I need to find a way to get away from HQ at least just for a while. I need to see Nate.

It is just too bad there is no wifi around here. Lina gave me a phone a few days ago, but I cannot call anyone other than Mary. What a sucky phone.

I asked Lina why no one has tried to get away from here and she told me that everyone doesn’t have a reason to do so. Their families are here. Lina has Nero here, who is her only family.

“It is rare for an HQ agent to have their family members not a part of the HQ family. Once you choose this job, it’s like handing your soul over to the devil. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing; it’s just that you are tied to this place forever,” Lina told me while we were watching the reruns of The Walking Dead.

“We’re not immortal, right?” I asked worriedly.

Lina barked a laugh, nearly falling off the couch. “No, Mel. When the time comes, we’ll die.”

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