Hope

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“Where the hell have you been?!” Augustus roars the moment I enter the mansion. He’s standing in the middle of the living room with his arms cross over his chest, showing off his bulging muscles that makes my mouth water.

I shake my head to concentrate on the issue.

Augustus glares at me as he walks over towards me. My feet are glued to the ground without me conscious of it.

“I – ”

“Do you know how worried I was?” Augustus cuts me off. “When I woke up, the house was empty! All I got was a letter! Mel, you are so stupid. Once you leave the territory, anything can happen! Demons could’ve kidnapped you. Thomas could’ve killed you without hesitation. Vampires, sirens, shifters, demons, rogue werewolves. They’re all on Thomas’s side. They could be anywhere!”

“Augustus,” I say, wanting to calm him down.

“Melanie Meridian,” he snaps. “Now that you’re here, I would appreciate the reasoning behind your disappearance.”

I look down at my shoes, avoiding looking at his angry dark eyes. “I was seeing Nate.”

“I was so busy trying to find where you could have gone and all you can say is that you were seeing… Wait, your brother?!” Augustus looks at me for confirmation.

I nod slowly. “He knows.”

Augustus’s mouth hangs open in shock. If he doesn’t close it soon, I don’t know what’s going to enter it.

“You told him?” he asks in shock.

“He found out by himself. I explained everything. He knows what to do.”

“What is he supposed to do?”

“I’m going to go train with Ziggy,” I say, turning away from him. That’s not the reason why I want to get away from here. This is a secret between Nate and I. I made him promise not to tell anyone, including Gwen. Nate knows that I am accepting my fate.

Now all I need to do is try to stay away from Augustus.

Even if it hurts me to do so, I know once I die, he will be heart broken. Now, it is my mission to stay away from him. That way, my death will not hurt him.

“We’re not done with this conversation!” Augustus yells when I make my way to my room upstairs.

Once dressed, I join the others who are already geared up for intense training. I stand next to Lisbeth, just in front of Ziggy.

He clears his throat loudly. One by one, voices lower until nothing but silence among us. My father walks over next to Ziggy with a grim look on his face.

“War is approaching sooner than we expect,” my father says with confidence. He keeps eye contact with the crowd. “The Oracle has informed me of her vision. Some of us will die. Some of them will die. A Gorgon and the Peacekeeper is the key. An innocent life will end this war. Once and for all. Death is the only way.

My blood runs cold, raising goosebumps on my skin. I rub my hand to pass the chills. That’s it.

Death is my chosen doom. Just so I can end this once and for all. I will do anything to keep my loved ones safe.

Mum, Lisbeth, dad, Nate.

Augustus.

A warm hand grabs my left hand, sending sparks. I look at the owner of the hand. He squeezes his hand without looking at me. He keeps his eyes trained on my father. I notice the blank look on his face, which I recognize.

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