First Threat

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“Melanie? May I come in?” Mr. Muller calls out softly after knocking.

“Sure, Mr. Muller.”

Mr. Muller lets himself in, close the door silently just in case Lisbeth decides to eavesdrop on us. Even if she tries, I know I’m able to hear her. He sees me sit on the bed, facing the window with the harmonica in my hand. I quickly shove the harmonica into my bag before Mr. Muller sees it.

“So, it had been eight years since I last saw you,” he says with soft voice. “What happened to you and Lisbeth? You two were like two peas in a pod, then all of a sudden, you and Nate were gone. How’s Nate? How are Nicholas and Cassandra? It’s been awhile since I saw them.”

I shake my head and explain, “My parents are dead, Mr. Muller. They died when Nate and I were ten.”

Mr. Muller looks shock so I explain everything in a rush. I told him how I started hunting werewolves, move to Meadow Falls where both our lives change, how I was thought to be dead, learn more about my parents who were HQ agents and how I am here to be Lisbeth’s Protector.

“Wow,” is all Mr. Muller says once I’ve finished telling my story.

“Lisbeth knows that we’re hiding something from her,” I tell him. “I promise that I’ll tell her everything. I need to get her forgiveness for what I’ve done years ago. I’m a bad person, Mr. Muller. Instead of going up to her and tell her everything, I ran away like a coward.”

“She’ll forgive you, Melanie,” Mr. Muller states.

I give him a look of surprise.

“It’s in her nature to do so,” he elaborates. “She got that gene from her mother.”

“But it still makes me guilty,” I argue. “I left her life seven years ago and then reappear as a different person.”

“You’re not different, Melanie.”

“I was, I am, and I will be. She knew me as Melanie Raquella, the girl who had been a horrible friend and know she knows me as Laney MacKenzie. Once she’s eighteen, she’s going to find out that neither Melanie Raquella or Laney MacKenzie actually exist. She wouldn’t know the real me.”

“Then tell her! Tell her you’re Melanie Meridian, the twin sister of Nate Meridian and the daughter of Nicholas and Cassandra Meridian. Tell her why you avoided her years ago. Tell her why you and Nate moved without telling her. Tell her that Nate never had feelings for her in the first place.”

It’s true. Lisbeth used to have a crush on Nate when we were younger. I always teased her about it whenever Nate talks to her in school.

“You know that crush was ages ago,” Mr. Muller dismisses that thought. “Besides, you did mention that he has a werewolf girlfriend – ”

“Actually, a fiancée.”

“ – and is expecting a baby. Huh, werewolves. Who would have thought mythical creatures exist. What a world we’re living in,” he ends with a shake of a head.

“Yeah. All this time, we’re living in the same world with werewolves, vampires, witches, demons…”

Mr. Muller scrunches his face up and laughs. “I’d rather know more if it’s truly necessary.”

I laugh as well. “No problem.”

Lisbeth’s father stares at my tattoo with awe. “So I’m guessing you’re not human, right? Surely Athena wouldn’t pick a human as Lisbeth’s Protector. She also did a great job at making you beyond recognizable. I swear, the only thing that is familiar of you now is your personality.”

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