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Dad is next to hug me after mum’s turns to say goodbye. Well, the goodbye consists of her usual mother-saying-goodbye-to-her-child-who-is-off-to-college-fountain-episode and telling-me-a-million-of-times-to-call-her-daily-or-she-will-haunt-me-down-with-a-pitchfork demand lasts for about fifteen minutes.

“Stay safe and don’t expose your identity, you hear me? Predator is going to keep tabs on you,” dad tells me while hugging me.

“I got it, dad,” I say with a laugh. It feels nice to have my parents who are crier of a mother and a protective father.

Once Nate is safely back, then I would feel much more at ease.

“Ready to go?” Augustus says, breaking the family moment. He is wearing a long-sleeved black shirt that hides his dragon tattoo with a pair of jeans. He looks breath-taking because of his messy hair.

I sigh and let go of dad. After another round of saying goodbye and hugging to my friends, I’m finally in the car with Augustus as the driver.

“So where are we heading, newbie?” Augustus asks me when he drives far enough for me to no longer see the Meridian mansion where my family and friends wave us off.

“Newborough,” I reply.

In the next ten minutes, we sit in complete silence. Augustus pays his full attention on the road while I look out of the window. We pass through the small town of Meadow Falls.

For some reasons, the town look really empty. I can’t find any familiar faces around.

Out of the blue, Augustus parks the car in front of Dave’s Bistro.

“What are you doing?” I ask him with confusion.

“We’re having breakfast here,” he says easily. Augustus unbuckles his seat belt and comes out of the car.

He opens my door while I refuse to move. “Are you crazy? What if they recognize me?”

“You look different now. Not to worry about getting recognized! I can even hardly recognize you so don’t be chicken and get out of the car,” he tells me with a snarky smile.

“You are such a pain, Augustus Caesar,” I remark when he offers his hand, but I reject him.

“Or so I heard,” he says, closing my door. “It’s just breakfast, Mel. There’s a high chance you won’t walk into a friend of yours or something.”

Unfortunately for him, when we take a step into Dave’s Bistro, I see Emma and Antoine having breakfast by the window.

“A high chance, eh?” I repeat with no amusement.


Augustus takes my hand before I can turn and escape from the future Alpha couple. My hand that he is holding is somehow warm and little tingly.

God, I sound like a girly girl right now.

I’m really nervous now that I’m in the same room with people who thinks that I’m dead. I mean, what if they really do recognize me beyond my Laney appearance? It will take quite a while to make up a lie.

We’re walking closer towards Emma and Antoine. My heart rate is increasing at every step we take.

Augustus then does something that surprises me; he tightens his grip on me and kisses me in the cheek.

“Calm down, newbie,” he whispers into my ear.

“Shut up,” I whisper back harshly. I look down at my clothes to see if I’m presentable. A white sweater and contrasting black jeans is presentable enough, I decide. As long as my Xuihcoatl tattoo is concealed.

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