| Lia |
I grimaced at the paper that was staring back at me. I blinked twice, hoping that the words would change and that my twin’s classes were the same as mine. But no matter how many times I blinked, appearing like someone with an absence seizure, it still showed the same words and numbers.
I groaned inwardly. Just great.
“Well, I guess I have to see you later,” I grumbled.
Cassy smirked. “You’re not a toddler anymore to have separation anxieties.”
I scrunched my nose and made a face. “Just go already.”
Chuckling, Cassy waved her hand and ambled towards her class. We should have been here yesterday since it was the first day of classes but it was our parent’s death anniversary so we delayed our attendance for one day. As a result, we went for the classes first before settling in the dorms.
I checked my schedule again and studied the labels of each passing door. Good thing that I was good with directions so I followed the instructions of the Ilwani teacher from the administration office and arrived precisely to my class.
I inhaled and prepared myself for the stares that I would surely receive.
Avoiding any eye contact, I quickly scanned the room for a vacant chair and sat down. I could feel numerous eyes on me so I opened my bag and grabbed my headphone, placing it on my ears and tuning out everyone. I was not here to make friends.
Tapping my foot to the rhythm of the music, it took a good three songs before the teacher─a middle aged woman with ash brown hair─entered the room. It was hard to guess the real age of an Ilwani as compared to the human calendar, but if I would guess, I would say she was one hundred fifty more or less.
I fought the urge to yawn and close my eyes as she droned on and on about the basic history of Vulgari. I tried not to be disrespectful because I was happy that she did not ask me to introduce myself and just acknowledged my presence to the class.
I sighed in relief when my last class finished. I met Cassy and we silently walked to the parking lot, getting ourselves inside our second-hand 2010 Civic and drove to the Ilwani dorm.
The road to the dorm provided us with the view of the Syren building and the east side fighting arena. Being here still felt unreal. The other day I was just busking in the streets with my guitar and now we were finally in Mesina, the place we’ve been planning on attending for years.
After parking our car in the basement, we dragged our bags and went to the reception. The female who was stationed there surveyed us curiously before accepting our enrollment forms. She did not say a word while typing something and scanning the small screen in front of her. Afterward, she welcomed us and gave us our key cards.
Three girls were lounging in the lobby and were openly staring at us with sneers on their faces.
“They’re the transferees right?”
“What a slut. Flirting the moment she got out of the car.”
I mentally scoffed. I guessed girls like them were everywhere, it doesn’t matter whether you are human or Vulgari, once a bitch, always a bitch.
They most probably have a thing for my mate. I couldn’t blame them. He was a fine specimen. I bet it was only the taboo that was holding them back.
A chandelier ‘suddenly’ loosened and was about to drop at us when Cassy waved her hand and it fell crashing in another direction. I smirked, Cassy shrugged, her eyes looking straight ahead. I pity the one who will be cleaning that up. But then again, we were in the Ilwani dorm, they could just magically repair that.
I tapped my foot as we waited for the elevator to open. When we entered, the others who were waiting with us did not come forward to share the same elevator. I shrugged and pressed the close button and the number four.
Cassy sighed when we were alone together. “It’s amazing here, isn’t it? We’ve never been to this kind of place before, it’s too expensive for us.”
I smiled at her. “Yeah. I can’t believe this is free. Everything’s just too fancy and glamorous.”
The elevator dinged and opened when we reached the fourth floor. Black carpeted floor and the smell of expensive perfume greeted us. We read the signs and and followed it until we found our rooms who were beside each other. She tapped her card to room 423 and I tapped mine to room 424.
With one foot in the door, I leaned my head back and called out to Cassy who was about to enter her unit. “Hey Cassy, I’m going to the forest later.” I leaned my ear to the side and made one sniff to make sure no one was around the hallway before continuing, “Don’t worry, I won’t shift and I will stay in the Mesina territory. I’ll just play some music.” I smiled cheekily.
“Fine. Take your phone with you,” she reminded me and entered her room.
True to my words, I went to a part of the forest that was not covered by my mate’s pack. Although, for some reason, I went to a spot that was bordering his territory.
I sat on the dirt, placed my back on a tree, and placed my guitar on my lap. I strummed it for a while, humming a little. After a moment, I immersed myself into the whole song that has been singing in my head for the whole day.
Are you going to Scarborough Fair:
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Remember me to one who lives there.
He once was a true love of mine.
Images of mama and me flocked my mind. She used to sing this song with me, her voice angelic and soft. My father was also there, Cassy on his lap, with the look of pure adoration on his face.
I looked up and appreciated the slow dance of the leaves above me. The way they swayed according to the hum of the wind seemed picturesque and ethereal at the moment. I closed my eyes and continued the song. Music has been my companion aside from my twin. It pulled me through all those years of loss and pain, a thin thread of hope that I had desperately clung on to, a complete lifesaver.
Apart from music, my affinity to nature was also something that I cherish. The tranquility of the forest touched my soul and I couldn’t help but be captivated by my surrounding where thick creepers hung from every tree, and a range of flowers was scattered sporadically.
My head instantly whirled when I heard the sound of a snap of a twig.
I found myself face to face with my mate’s wolf. His wolf remained on his territory, an invisible line separating the two of us. My wolf threatened to come out but I pushed her down. It was still my first day and I couldn’t risk being exposed, even if he’s my mate.
He growled, exposing his canines to me. His presence was so menacing that I had to stop myself from quivering.
“Easy boy,” I laughed nervously. “What? You’ve never heard a girl singing? Did that turn you on?” I mocked.
He shifted to his human form in less than a minute. “Who are you and why are you not registered on Ilwania’s registry?”
I stood up and pulled my guitar closer to me, refusing to let his height intimidate me. Narrowing my eyes at him, I wondered why he knew that I was still not registered. “I’m Nathalia Levina. I had a special circumstance,” I said, shrugging.
“And what is that?”
“Am I inclined to answer all your questions? I don’t even know you,” I arched an eyebrow and crossed my arms over my chest.
He considered me for a moment before responding, “I’m Theo. Now answer my question,” he demanded.
“What is this, an interrogation? Where are your cuffs, Mister Policeman? You know, I could think of other better ways to use those cuffs,” I said suggestively. I moved closer to him but he growled in warning when my foot crossed his territory so I pulled back.
He looked me up from head to toe and his gaze lingered on my breast. “Sorry, but those are too small for my taste.”
What did he just say?! He did not just insult my breasts. They are fine, thank you!
I struggled to maintain my composure. “Really? That’s unfortunate then. You might change your mind when you touch them,” I said, riling him. “You’ll never know...”
“Stop saying those filthy words, Ilwani. You’re disgusting me,” he sneered and I tried my best to mask the pain his words made me feel. “Just answer my goddamn question.”
I smirked. “As I’ve said, I enrolled in special circumstances.” I watched in fascination as his thick brows joined each other. I also noticed that his eyelashes were really long and I had a strong urge to trace them with my finger. Taking a hold of myself, I continued my explanation, “You know, the one when a Vulgari was orphaned and never knew her parents, lived with humans and recently found that she’s a Vulgari.” The lie eased smoothly from my lips. “Ilwani don’t have packs, you know. We take care of ourselves.”
His studied me, his eyes roaming my face, probably searching for hints of deception.
When he seemed to have found none, his jaw clenched and gave me a cold hard stare. “Just make sure that you are not feeding me any lies. Take care of your registration before you get into any problems.” With that, he turned his back on me and shifted back to his wolf.
I watched as he gracefully blazed through the dark woods, his stride sure and strong, until he disappeared completely from my view.
I gasped when a tear escaped my eyes. I shook my head in disbelief as I wiped the sudden onslaught of tears. My control on my wolf decreased, allowing her to come to life in my head once again.
I squeezed my eyes shut, letting it all out to calm myself. To be crying over a mate who couldn’t be mine was ridiculous.
Why am I acting like this? Why would my eyes leak just because of a guy who I only met recently? I was a walking fucking contradiction. The mate pull was indeed truly stupid.
Or maybe my tears were just the result of my frustration. How dare he demand things from me? Who is he exactly?
Taking a deep breath, I convinced myself that this was just a minor setback. I should keep my entire focus on our goal. After all, I have bigger fish to fry.