I smile. “After the Gurney Battle, Nate and I started to celebrate our birthday ourselves. When we were fourteen, Nate and I skipped school to celebrate our birthday at Creek Complex in Little Creek. That complex was epic because it has a bowling alley, ice-skating rink, bookstores, restaurants, and lots more. The only reason we went there is to learn how to ice-skate on our birthday. Since we were fourteen and naïve, we refused to take lessons and learnt to skate ourselves. It was the most embarrassing yet fun thing to do in my life. Nate and I would cling into each other while we take baby steps. If one falls, the other will follow.”

Augustus laughs when I say this. He suddenly frowns; laughter lines disappear as he looks serious.

“I can’t believe you and your brother left alone when you were ten. I know that your parents are to blame for it and I know you forgive them for what they did, I still think it’s unfair to leave such young kids to themselves,” he says angrily. “Thomas was worse by giving you no other options. Either be a werewolf hunter and live alone or go to an orphanage and get separated. What kind of adult let this happen to you? Thomas was irresponsible to do so.”

I sigh deeply. “His intentions was clear, Augustus. He wanted Nate and I to join him so he can use us against our mother. It took me a while to realize why he sounded desperate during the hybrid meeting almost a year ago.”

He shakes his head. “Eight years without guardians. I’m surprised at how well you two can take care of yourself after all these years despite the challenges you went through. Not to mention you hunted down werewolves! Remarkable if compared to Aurora’s and my life.”

“How did Aurora become a mermaid?” I ask with curiosity.

“To become a mer, you have to see the King of Atlantis and answer his questions. He will ask you all sorts of questions to see whether you’re loyal to him and Poseidon. Obviously, Aurora passed the test and was given two days to enjoy her last human days. Once a mer, you’ll never turn back to human.”

“Wow,” I say in wonder. “Did you attempt this test?”

Augustus snorts. “No way. I never liked the idea of having a tail instead of legs so instead, I asked your father if I can be an HQ Agent and a shifter. Anyway, the King of Atlantis has the magic to turn humans he picked into mer. I remember the first time Aurora turned into one, it was a scary memory. It took her almost six hours to complete her transformation and she was only fifteen. Her screams haunt me some nights…”

He shudders.

“You know what’s the ironic part?” I ask with a secretive smile.

Augustus waits for me to continue.

“That you two have water characteristics in common,” I say. “You are a water dragon shifter while she is a mermaid.”

“Well,” Augustus drawls. “You and your mother have common characteristics as well. You have the ability to shift into a Xuihcoatl, which is a gigantic snake. Your mother is Medusa, who has snakes as hair.”

“Genetic works in amazing ways, huh?”

“Definitely,” he agrees.

We drive past a sign that makes me smile widely. “Guess what, Augustus? We’re finally in Newborough! Now, take the next road on the right that heads to the city. Somewhere in the city, there’ll be a place called Alonso’s. It’s an Italian restaurant.”

“You don’t need to be so cranky,” he says, changing the gears. He drives to where I instruct him.

“You didn’t let me eat this morning so of course I’m cranky!” I complain.

Augustus snorts out loud. “Thank goodness I gave you Coke this morning or you would have been worse.”

I laugh. “You have absolutely no idea.” Yes, he doesn’t know about my condition yet. He didn’t witness my Coke-mental state yet.

Augustus doesn’t reply, only making himself busy by looking for a parking spot. The city is quite pack with people who are now out to have lunch break.

Augustus’s phone rings loudly, making me flinch in surprise. He looks at the screen before handing it to me. It is an unknown number.

Nevertheless, I recognize that number.

“Hey, Mary,” I greet her.

“Melanie, I’m in the airport now and my flight is leaving in about an hour time, so I should be arriving at about three. Jake and Jane are already on their way to Meadow Falls,” she reports to me.

“Okay,” I say. “Augustus and I will pick you up at three.”

I am about to hang up when she stops me by saying, “Mel, why do you need me?”

I sigh and then tell her, “You used to be a witch hunter, right?”

“Yes… What about it?”

“We need your help to find as many covens as you can. We need their help to not just help us in this war, but also cure my mother,” I tell her.

Mary keeps quiet for a while. “Not all witches are good, you know. There are some who can trick us and get away with it.”

“I know, Mary, but it is important that we have at least one coven on our side or at least willing to reverse mum’s curse. Please, Mary.”

She sighs from the other line. I hear someone announcing a flight in the background.

“Fine,” she surrenders. “I’ll lead you to a few that I know of, but I can’t guarantee their agreement to get involved in this.”

“Thanks, Mary!”

“What about the other HQ Agents? Some of them are still clueless about what had happened,” she tells me.

I think about it. “Call my father. He is still technically Director and he’ll know what to do.”

“Alright. I’ll see you in two hours’ time.”

The two of us put down the phone at the same time. I give Augustus back his phone before realizing that he had already parked the car in front of Alonso’s.

“Let’s go and eat,” I say happily, jumping out of the car.

He chuckles at how cartoonish I look. He follows suit behind me. I am so excited at the thought of food alone that I nearly trip on the curb. Augustus’s quick reflexes stop my face from making contact with the pavement.

He pulls me towards his chest, steadying me. I stare into his dark eyes that seem to suck me into a different dimension. It is so deep that I can never look away from them. His soft hair is a little messy at the front.

Out of instincts, I raise my right hand and cup his left cheek. His face is smooth, showing no sign of stubbles. He moves closer into my touch.

“Thanks,” I say softly.

He smiles a little. “No problem. Let’s feed you, shall we?”

I laugh as he lets go of me. Together, we enter the Italian restaurant.

Maybe Augustus is not so bad after all. 

Author's Note

More Melagustus moments! Okay, enough with the lovey-dovey. Next chapter will have some action and maybe more cliffhangers! Beware!

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