Destruct: The Guard Trilogy

60 min.

Chapter 1

My best friends’ scream jolts me out of my daydream. I whip my head in her direction, trying to figure out what’s going on. Jacinta dashes across our small room, fumbling and cringing as she tramples every piece of our belongings on the way. I try my hardest to hide my smile at her comical performance but I just don’t have the willpower to last before laughter takes over. She makes it to her bed and flops down as more cries of pain come flying from her lips.

“What happened?” I ask as I try to smother the smile across my face.

Jacinta’s head snaps up with a fierce glare. “It’s not funny, Bianca. It freaking hurts,” she moans, tilting her head towards a large cardboard box. “I stubbed my toe on the stupid boxes.”

Tears begin to swell in her blue eyes and guilt pours through me as I realize she must actually be in a lot of pain. I haul myself off the floor and cross the short distance of our room. Hitting pause on my IPod, I crouch down in front of her bed and reach out, taking her foot in my hand and do my best to pry away her manicured fingers, which are doing a great job of cutting the blood circulation to her toes. “Give me a look,” I request.

She groans as she pulls her hand away from her foot and sucks in a pained, deep breath.

Leaning over her, I take a good look. Her fair skin is quickly turning an angry deep shade of red and there is no doubt in my mind that come tomorrow, she will be sporting a nasty bruise. “Well, at least it’s not bleeding,” I say with an encouraging smile. “You’ll have an awesome bruise though.”

Jacinta stretches her leg out, giving her toes an experimental wiggle. “It will be okay in a bit,” she pouts as she studies her toes.

“Oh, well, in that case… Get off your ass, we have packing to do.”

“Fine,” she smirks. “But we’re switching. I’ll do the wardrobe while you do the bathroom,” she demands as she gets up off her bed and slowly puts her foot down, testing her weight on the injury.

“No way, I’ll do anything but pack that bathroom,” I beg as images of the jam-packed bathroom drawers assault my mind. Jacinta hobbles over and plonks herself down in front of the wardrobe.

“Tough luck Hoochy, I’m here now,” she grins. “Besides, I’ve already done most of it, there are only a few things left,” she informs me, tucking a stray lock of blonde hair behind her ear and turning her attention towards the wardrobe.

I give Jacinta my best ‘you owe me’ look and make my way into the bathroom, hitting play on the music on my way past. I take a quick look around our cramped bathroom, finding the box that Jacinta was half way through packing and allow my mind to drift as I get to work, preparing to move our lives to the senior campus.

Thirty minutes later, I’m tossing the last shampoo bottle into the box and taping it up. I pick up the box to place it on the ever growing pile of crap near the door and catch my reflection in the small bathroom mirror. My green eyes stare back at me as I take in my long dark hair that looks like a bird’s nest after I neglected to brush it this morning, but usually with a little attention, it’s actually quite awesome. My small frame mimics Jacinta’s, though lucky me, I’m just that bit taller and proud to say that since the awkward teen years, I have most definitely filled out.

Jacinta walks past the bathroom door holding a box full of clothes and catches me admiring myself. “Careful,” she warns. “An ugly face like yours is bound to crack that mirror again,” she laughs as she adds the box to the pile. I give her a one fingered salute which earns me a wicked grin from the blonde goddess.

I grab the permanent marker and scribble the word ‘bathroom’ on top of my box before glancing up at our now empty room. A sudden wave of sadness courses through me as I recall how fast the past few years have gone by. Now I’m about to move my life over to the senior campus and start a whole new chapter.

I make my way over to my stripped bed and sit on the edge, letting a loud sigh slip from my lips, imagining the photograph that I used to keep on my bedside table which is now buried deep in boxes.

My eyes scan across the room and come to a stop on the naked wardrobe and I laugh as I recall the fond memories of Jacinta and I struggling to close the doors, time and time again as our clothes threatened to splinter the wooden doors apart.

“What crawled up your butt?” Jacinta asks as she hobbles over, probably milking her injury as usual.

“I’m going to miss this place,” I sigh, scanning the room once more.

“Don’t tell me you’re getting all sentimental? Or is it that time of the month?” she mocks in a sarcastic tone.

“No,” I laugh mimicking her earlier tone. “But seriously, as if you’re not going to miss our little room, we have so many memories here,” I say, remembering our first junior year party we held, being the only students who were able to get our mischievous hands on a bottle of Vodka, making us the life of the party and every other party since.

“Yeah, I know what you mean. I’ll miss this little shoe box too, but come on, It’s not like were moving schools or anything like that. It’s the same people, same place just a different room and a shit load more freedom. I’m too excited about the next 12 months to worry about how much were going to miss our little shack here.”

“You’re right, it’s going to be a great year. I can feel it,” I grin, my earlier memories completely forgotten as thoughts of Combat Training shoot through my mind.

An unexpected knock sounds at our door. I give Jacinta a quick look, soundlessly asking if she is expecting anyone. She gives me an un-lady-like shrug and I jump up to answer it, finding our dorm supervisor, Mrs. Clark. The old bat must have been the dorm matron here for at least a million years and of course the absolute bane of my existence. She adjusts the small glasses sitting atop her nose and runs a hand through her greying hair before giving me a polite smile.

“Hey, Mrs. C. What can we do for you?” I ask, pulling the door wide.

“Hello Dear,” she greets. “I’ve come to see if you girls are ready to move your belongings to the senior campus now? We’re running ahead of schedule. Apparently, last year’s Senior’s couldn’t get off campus fast enough,” she says, with a giggle, taking amusement out of her own wit.

I glance back at Jacinta, who is still sitting on my bed. “We good to go?”

She takes a quick glance around the room “Ah… yeah. Pretty sure we’ve got everything, it’s just your iPod and speakers on the desk.”

I quickly pack up my things, throwing them into the closest box and turn back to Mrs. Clark. “Hell, yeah, Mrs. C. Let’s get this show on the road.”

Jacinta attempts to stifle a laugh while Mrs. Clark gives me a stern look. “Watch your language, Bianca. I know you're still on holidays but I am more than willing to write you a detention slip for your first day back.”

“Sorry,” I smile at her. She gives me a warning look with a raised eyebrow before turning around, wobbling down the hallway and disappearing through the double doors to find a platform trolley to move our things.

Mrs. Clark is back in no time and we load up the trolley before exiting our room for the last time. We walk out across the academy towards the senior campus and I realise, that with majority of the students still out on Christmas break, I have never quite seen this place so empty. A feeling of loneliness washes over me and is gone quicker than it came.

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The Guard Academy, home of The Children of The Guard, basically a boarding school for kids like me who were born into our society or ‘community’ as the older and wiser members like to call it. Their official name being ‘The Guard’, a fancy name for humans who know of the supernatural world and strive to protect the rest of the world from its existence, mainly through physical means.

The Guard like to think of themselves as a tight-knit community. The families generally live in the same neighbourhoods and don’t tend to socialize with the regular humans as we’re taught that our society is superior due to our ‘protective capabilities’. Which really is just a load of crap and another way for The Guard to talk themselves up and remain relevant. Our neighbourhoods keep getting bigger and bigger to the point where The Guard now have a Headquarters and community in each state of nearly every country.

As I was born into our society, my future is pretty much planned out for me. I will spend the rest of my life serving The Guard and protecting the human world from any and all supernatural creatures. Which means my childhood and teenage years, along with all other Children of The Guard are spent at one of our many Academies. I think I got the lucky end of the stick though as I ended up here in Australia where our summers are scorchers and our winters, well, they certainly aren’t cold. I’m still hanging out for snow to hit the Academy but after my seventeen years, I’ve learned, it’s never going to happen here.

The Academy is broken up into three campuses. There’s the Elementary campus, for children aged five through to twelve. The Junior campus, for ages thirteen through to seventeen, meaning my little sister Millie, who turns thirteen this year will be moving up to the Junior campus. Last but certainly not least, is the senior campus, for students turning eighteen, which would be me and Jacinta.

Here at The Academy, we learn and study all things supernatural from Fairy Enchantment Defensive skills where we are taught how to use counteractive spells through the use of nature to defend against fairy magic, werewolf and vampire studies where we are taught every detail about their kind from strengths and weaknesses, diets and habitats to my very favourite class being Combat Training. Here we learn to physically defend against these creatures. Well, usually only Vampires and Werewolves, the fairies tend not to fight as they prefer to use their magic as their main defence, which, to be honest, I consider cheating. During our training we cover all other supernatural creatures such as mermaids and trolls but for the past couple of hundred years the Vampires, Fairies and werewolves have been our biggest threat.

Combat Training is the only class where I am not required to have my head stuffed in a textbook. We’re taught to fight, to use weapons and not to mention, the boys tend to get quite competitive during this class which means, well-built boys, full of testosterone fighting till the death, or well until someone is on their ass, glistening with manly sweat. So yeah, Combat Training is definitely my favourite class, though on of the best parts are that the week following our eighteenth birthday, we are sent out into the wilderness with an instructor of equal gender to complete our Navigation Test. 48 hours of nothing but forest while completing challenges. It is going to be awesome.

During our schooling we are taught all the regular subjects like Math, Science, History, and languages. The Academy has always put a lot of strain on us to be fluent in as many languages as possible as we never know where we will be placed after graduation. On top of these ‘normal’ classes, we then participate in each of the five elective classes. Fairy, Werewolf and Vampire Studies, Combat Training and then Alchemy which teaches us all sorts of useful things such as supernatural disposal, which sounds kind of epic, but to tell the truth, it’s a lot of book work so it really isn’t for me.

At the end of junior year, we are tested in each of these elective classes. These tests determine which elective class we will be placed in for our senior year. Which, in turn, limits the type of assignment we will receive after graduation, so pretty much, Junior year was just as important as what senior year is going to be.

All junior year I made sure I worked my ass off in my Combat Training. Well I guess that’s exactly what the other 50 students moving into their senior year have done to get into their desired elective. It has been my ultimate dream to be on the front lines of The Guard, which in the human world, I would say is the equivalent of a SWAT team, a really epic, awesome SWAT team. So at the end of junior year, when I was placed in Combat Training for my elective class, I was absolutely stoked, on cloud-freaking-nine. Well, to tell the truth, I was actually quite shocked as well, I had always assumed, that being a girl with a small frame, I would not be chosen to go ahead with Combat Training for senior year.

Females are rarely placed in Combat Training due to sheer lack of size and strength but I’ve always wanted to prove that I’m the exception. I won’t be held back because of petty reasons like that and besides, my Dad always told me I could be whatever I wanted to be and I chose to be just like him, a fighter on the Front Lines. So when I received my test results at the end of the year, I couldn’t be happier. This also came with the realization that I would most likely be the only girl in my Combat Training Class and would ultimately mean that I am going to get my ass kicked, day in and day out unless I put a ton of effort in. So with that in mind, I have a lot of hard work to do.

Christmas break for our community is our most treasured time, as it is the only break we get all year round. So for many families, it is the only time we get to see each other. Though luckily for me and Millie, our Mum doesn’t live too far away and visits as often as possible. So naturally, most of the students have gone to stay with family before the new school year begins. The majority of the students finishing Junior year had opted to have two weeks with family, then return to the academy early to get themselves set up for senior year. Jacinta and I being no exception to that.

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A nervous, excited energy begins seeping into my bones as we reach the senior campus. We stop just inside the door of the female dorm rooms waiting for Mrs C. as she pulls out a piece of paper that looks as though it has been folded and unfolded a million times. Adjusting her glasses and using her finger to scan the paper, she finds what she is looking for.

“Ah, here we go,” she announces. “Looks like you’ll be in room twelve. Follow me,” she orders and continues wobbling down the hallway, stopping at the supervisor’s desk and fishing through a small container filled with keys. She pulls out a key with a yellow tag reading ‘Room 12’. She nods to herself and continues down the hallway without a backward glance until we finally reach lucky door 12 that will belong to Jacinta and I, for the next year.

“Here we are girls. I’m sure you can handle it from here, just remember to bring the trolley back to the junior campus when you’re done,” Mrs. C instructs before stretching out her hand and dropping the key in mine. “Don’t lose it.”

We nod eagerly at her as Jacinta rips the key from my hand and jams it straight in the lock, giving it a swift flick of her wrist. Jacinta grabs the handle and pushes her way in with me closely on her heels. The room is a complete opposite of our old room and nearly twice the size. Fresh cream paint adorn the walls opposed to the dull grey of our last, two beds sit under a huge window which lights the room up brilliantly. There’s a small couch and desk to the side of the room with a mat laying on the ground in front, creating a sort of lounge room.

My mind is blown. Our last room hardly had room to move, I had to do my tummy crunches on my bed as it was always too hard to find space on the floor but now I’ll be able to do a complete workout. Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating a little bit.

I lock gazes with Jacinta and a wide grin spreads over both our faces. “I know, right,” I say, agreeing with her smile. We step further into the room and start exploring. I beeline for the bathroom while Jacinta dives deeper into the room. I push the bathroom door open and I instantly fall in love. It is most definitely better than our last, the shower is bigger, the vanity is bigger and the mirror is much, much bigger. My old bathroom had a crack in the mirror, which if you stood directly in the centre, it would distort your image so we always had to stand off to the right. If you went to the left, there was a good chance of falling into the shower, a shower that had a loose shower head, cracked tiles and water that never seemed to get hot enough. I mean, I had always heard stories about how awesome the senior campus was but I never actually saw for myself. I guess, I’m a ‘don’t believe it until you see it’ kind of girl.

“You have to take a look at this,” I shout.

“No, you have to take a look at this,” she calls back.

I run out of the bathroom and find Jacinta standing in front of our new wardrobe, her mouth hanging open in disbelief. I make my way over, curious as to what could possibly be so exciting about the wardrobe when I finally see it. What I thought was a wardrobe door is actually a door into a tiny little kitchen. Complete with a kettle, microwave, and a teeny, tiny, little fridge.

We have hit the jackpot.

“You’re kidding me,” I say, my eyes bugging out of my head and my jaw dropping to the floor.

“What did I tell you? This year is going to be awesome.”

After I finally get my mind around how unbelievably amazing our room is and wipe the drool off my face, we begin to unpack, setting up our room just the way we like it. I grab the box with my speakers in it and set them up on our new desk, plug my iPod in and hit shuffle. “Welcome home,” I smile as we get on with the task of unpacking this monstrosity of boxes.

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It’s after 10 pm when we put the final touches on our room. I am completely and utterly exhausted. I flop into bed, grab my laptop off my bedside table and begin typing out an email. I consider texting but Mum has always been shocking with her phone.

To: Gabrielle Moore

From: Bianca Moore

Subject: Senior Campus!

Hey Mum,

It has been a major day! Jacinta and I finally got around to packing our room then Mrs. Clark said we were good to move into the senior dorm so we have literally spent the whole day packing and then unpacking.

Our room is amazing, even comes equipped with a kitchen and lounge room, I can’t wait for you to see it. I’ll give you the grand tour next week when you drop Millie off.

Hope you’re doing okay.

Love you,

Bianca

I put my laptop on the floor and slide it under my bed. I scoot down, pulling the blankets tight around my shoulders and fall into a deep, well-deserved sleep.


Chapter 2

The past week has flown by. It has pretty much just been the seniors here on campus, hanging out and mucking around as we wait for the school term to start. It’s Wednesday morning when I receive a call from Mum saying that she was an hour away with Millie and make plans to meet her at the front gates of the Academy.

When her car pulls up, excitement fills me. Millie jumps out and rushes towards me, flinging her arms around my neck. Millie is basically a mini-me, though hasn’t quite grown into herself yet. She is shy and guarded around most people, but with me, she is more than happy to be herself. I meet Mum at the back of the car and give her a big squeeze before turning to open the boot and grabbing Millie’s bag.

“How’s my girl?” mum asks.

“I’m good. I’m so excited about starting Combat Training on Monday,” I beam.

Mum gives me what she thinks is an encouraging smile, though I see the sadness and concern behind her eyes. “I know, you’re going to do great, sweetheart.”

I give her another tight hug. “I’m going to be ok,” I reassure her as we start towards the Elementary dorm to pack up Millie’s room.

We spend the day packing and moving, and luckily for us, Millie doesn’t have nearly as much stuff as I do. By lunch, we have finished setting up her new room and after hearing me rave about my room all morning, it’s not long before we’re heading straight towards it.

“Oh, whoa,” Millie says as she storms into the centre of the room, not needing any introductions to the shocked Jacinta sitting on her bed, surprised by the sudden twelve-year-old roaming around our room.

“Oh hey, Mrs. Moore,” Jacinta chimes at my Mum, hopping up and giving her a big hug.

Mum wraps her arms around Jacinta in a tight squeeze. “Oh Jacinta darling, I have known you since you were five years old. How many times do I need to tell you to call me Gabrielle?”

“Sorry,” she says, bashfully. “How have you been?”

I leave Mum and Jacinta to their catch up and show Millie all my favourite features of my room and am pleased to see the same jaw dropping reaction from Millie when I show off our kitchen.

“Bianca wasn’t wrong about this room,” I hear my Mum say to Jacinta. “I think you’ll be quite comfortable here. I doubt you’ll actually get any school work done,” she laughs.

“I know, we’ve already planned our first senior party,” she jokes.

Before long we have finished the grand tour of our room and stand in front of Mum’s parked car saying our goodbyes. “Be safe,” Mum says as her eyes begin to water. “I’ll miss you girls.”

“We’ll miss you too,” I say as Millie and I both barrel into Mum with the tightest hug we can possibly manage. I know I only saw her two weeks ago but not knowing when the next time I might see her again has my emotions running wild.

Mum steps back from us leaving a hand on either of our shoulders with tears still in her green eyes. “I wish your father were here. He would be so proud of you both.”

“We know, Mum,” I say, giving her a sad smile. “I wish he were here too.”

Mum is quiet for a while, no doubt thinking about the anniversary of his death that is approaching in the next two days. Her gaze falls upon us in that weird, loving way only a mother could do. “Alright, I better get going. Be good, train hard and I’ll call as often as I can.” She gives us each a kiss on the cheek and climbs into her car, waving goodbye as she puts the car in drive and disappears through the gates.

“It’s just you and me now, kid,” I say to Millie as I walk her back to the junior campus. “You know where to find me if you need anything.”

“Yeah, yeah, and you know where to find me too,” she responds.

“When did you get so big?” I ask, suddenly surprised by how mature she has become over the last year.

“Oh, that happened while you were busy fussing about some guy or which colour you wanted to paint your nails,” she laughs.

“Wow, you really are my sister,” I laugh, realizing her attitude is more like mine than I had ever known. “But seriously, choosing the perfect colour is a very important part of a woman’s life, you’ll soon understand,” I smile.

I drop her at her room with a big hug and a promise to visit as soon as I can and head back to find Jacinta.

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Beep, beep, beep

I wake with a jump as my alarm rings loudly through the room. I reach over and turn it off, realizing it’s finally the first day of senior year and let the grin spread over my face. I sit up in bed and look across at Jacinta who is squinting at the early morning light shining into our room.

“I got the shower first,” I yell, jumping up and bolting into the bathroom, slamming the door behind me.

“Damn it,” Jacinta groans from the other side of the door. “You better be fast.”

Ten minutes later, I’ve finished in the shower. I wrap a towel around me and exit the bathroom. “It’s your turn,” I announce moving towards my wardrobe.

“Finally,” Jacinta scowls and makes her way into the bathroom.

The Academy doesn’t make us wear a uniform though they are pretty strict on the ‘appropriate clothing’ rule. Since I’ll be in combat for the most of my day, I pick out my favourite workout shorts that sit just perfectly on my butt and grab a cute green t-shirt. I sit on the edge of my bed tying up my shoes as Jacinta makes her way out of the bathroom.

“Good timing,” I say as I slip back into the bathroom and begin the usual morning ritual of doing my hair and makeup. I tie my long thick hair up and finish off my look by running the black mascara over my long lashes and letting my green eyes ‘pop’. Yep, just perfect for the first day of senior year. I had considered parting ways with my long hair over the break but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I guess it will be a lot of buns and up-do’s for me.

I wait for Jacinta to finish getting ready and grab my bag that’s been dumped on the desk before finally heading down to the cafeteria for breakfast. As we walk through the door we find the cafeteria buzzing with senior students. We walk over to the long bar filled with endless choices. I search the long table until my eyes rest on what I’ve been craving and I beeline straight for the pancakes, filling my plate and getting a little cup of maple syrup and butter.

I find an empty table and take a seat when I reconsider my breakfast. I go back over to the breakfast bar and add some whipped cream and strawberries to the top of my stack. I walk back to the table with a huge, satisfied smile, waving to Jacinta when she gets that stupid look on her face, wondering where I have gone. Jacinta sits down with a plate of bacon and eggs.

“I’m going to grab a juice, you want one?” she asks, getting up again.

“Yes, apple blackcurrant, please,” I say.

As Jacinta disappears from the table, I get stuck into my pancakes. “My, oh my, look what the cat dragged in,” I look up with a mouth full of pancakes into the beautiful faces of Trey Carter and Daniel Wilson, both unbelievably good looking in that turning from a boy to a man kind of way. The boys have been best friend with Jacinta and I since before I can remember, there has never been a time where I can’t remember these two going along with all my crazy ideas. Well, to be honest, Daniel’s ideas are just as crazy as mine, if not worse.

Trey has got the typical beachy, surfer vibe just like Jacinta and I’m pretty sure he has a pretty nasty crush on her too, which of course, she is completely oblivious to but I will make it my life’s mission to get these two together, even if it kills me. I know she feels it too, after all Trey has floppy golden hair, green eyes, and a ripped body, just the way she likes it.

Daniel, on the other hand, has been my on/off crush for the past year and I am happy to announce the crush is finally off. Well, at least I think it is anyway. He is a complete flirt, though I don’t mind as it’s a total ego boost and besides, who doesn’t like a little male attention. In the looks department, he is a complete opposite of Trey with his dark hair and intentionally seductive eyes. Daniel is a complete player and absolute heart breaker with his smooth talking and ripped body, though with both boys also being selected for Combat Training, being ripped is kind of a requirement for these guys.

A grin spreads over my face. “Well if it isn’t Tweddle Dee and Tweddle Dumb,” I say as they sit down on the other side of the table. “You guys excited for Training?” I ask.

“Hell yeah,” Daniel says. “I get to see you every day,” he winks, apparently laying the charm on thick today.

Jacinta plonks an Orange Juice down in front of me and takes her seat. “Hey, I wanted Apple Blackcurrant.” I complain as Trey’s eyes zero in on her.

“Tough luck, they were all out. It was either this or water,” Jacinta explains, “and I assumed, by the number of calories you’re insisting on devouring today, you weren’t feeling the water thing.”

“That would be correct,” I laugh as I dig back into my pancakes and begin mumbling around a full mouth. “Water sucks.”

We finish off our breakfast and before I know it, we’re running late. The four of us scrape our plates and get on our way to the main hall to receive our class schedules when I realise I’ve left my phone on my bedside table. Crap. I can’t possibly make it through the day without my phone.

“You guys go,” I say. “I’ll be there in a minute.”

Jacinta gives me a questioning look but shrugs it off before she heads off to the hall with the boys. I take off towards my room and slam straight into a solid wall. “Oomph,” I grunt as my body is flown backwards. I stumble around, trying to find my balance when I realise it’s not a wall, but a very solid body. A body which is now covered in steaming coffee.

My eyes instantly roam up the wall of muscle to find a very pissed off man staring down at me with a scowl. If he wasn’t about to lose his shit, I’d say he was damn sexy. “Sorry,” I cringe as I wonder who the hell this guy is. “I’ll grab you some paper towels,” I offer and turn back towards the cafeteria.

“Don’t bother,” the man growls with a shake of his head as coffee drips down his arms and into a puddle at his feet.

“Ok, then,” I say a little awkwardly as I turn back to him, only to start gawking as the coffee begins to really seep into his clothes and glue his white shirt to the hard ridges of his chest and abs. Wowza. I’m pretty sure I drool a little and have to mentally check that my mouth isn’t hanging open.

Seriously? Who is this guy? He’s definitely too young to be a teacher. Maybe he is someone’s older brother? I don’t know, but I will make it my mission to find out. If he doesn’t need any paper towel, how about a date? That I could certainly help him with.

“Don’t you have somewhere to be?” He asks with a raised eyebrow and a strange authority deep in his voice.

“Uh, yeah,” I say, again very awkwardly. But let’s face it. Some battles just aren’t worth fighting. I think I’ll cut with my losses before I make things even worse. I can figure out who this guy is later, find a way to apologise properly. Say under the bleachers? “Sorry,” I murmur with a cringe before taking off like a bat out of hell. Making sure I keep my eyes up and watching where I’m going.

Five minutes later, I meet Jacinta at the hall and we walk through the big double doors together, the largest building on the senior campus and find Mr. Garcia, my slightly overweight and slightly greasy Science teacher from Junior year. “Good morning,” he says. “Please find your seats, they are in alphabetical order by surname,” he instructs. “And make it snappy, we have classes to get started on,” he adds before glancing away. Geez, would it kill him to have a bit of enthusiasm for a Monday morning and possibly some deodorant?

I glance over at Jacinta who has the same annoyed expression on her face at having to deal with Mr. Garcia this early in the day and roll my eyes at her. She gives me a knowing grin before she heads off towards the front of the room. I head to the back and find my spot. I squish my way through the mass of students until I find a ‘M’ written in marker, taped to the chair in front and turn down that row, searching for my name. It doesn’t take long before I find the chair in question with a folded slip of paper reading my name. I fall into my chair between a scowling Jessie Martin, who had missed out on getting into Combat Training and Ron Munroe, possibly the strangest kid on campus, but he is harmless. I pick up the paper and take a seat, unfolding it as I wait for the teachers to get the show on the road.

I look down at the paper and find my class schedule. I scan the page attempting to commit the schedule to memory.

Bianca Moore:

Monday: Werewolf Studies, Science, Mathematics, Combat Training

Tuesday: Alchemy, National History, Language, Combat Training

Wednesday: Fairy Studies, Geography, Study Period, Combat Training

Thursday: Vampire Studies, Guard Law, Guard History, Combat Training

Friday: English, Science, Mathematics, Combat Training

Hmm, it doesn’t seem too bad. Hearing what sounds like someone squawking, I glance up from my schedule to find The Academy Principal, Ms. Peterson, in her best skirt suit with her hair pulled back in a slick bun, looking as professional as ever while attempting to get the rooms attention. With Mr. Garcia joining her and giving an ear-shattering whistle that echo’s throughout the large hall, followed by a satisfied smile as the room quiets down. Ms Peterson and I have always had a bit of a love/hate relationship. She loves to get me in trouble and I hate being sent to her office, which happens a lot more than I care to admit.

“All right. Now that I’ve got your attention,” Ms Peterson says, looking annoyed that it has taken so long to get started, but what did she expect on our first day back of our senior year? “I’d like to welcome you all back to a new year. I trust you have all had a wonderful break,” she says.

“Now, it’s time to get serious. Your senior year has finally fallen upon you and I feel you should all by now understand the importance this year will have on your lives and your future as part of The Guard. I expect that each and every one of you will put in the effort required to get yourselves exactly where you need to go. So, with that in mind, I’m sure you would have all noticed your class schedule on your chairs. If you have not already, I’d like you to take a quick moment to familiarise yourselves with your new schedule.”

Ms Peterson pauses for all of thirty seconds before starting up again. “Right, now that’s out of the way, I’d like to introduce you all to your new senior year advisor, Ms Layton,” she says, indicating to the tall young blonde who has suddenly appeared standing next to Ms Peterson. She couldn’t be any older than thirty. A wolf whistle followed by a murmur of appreciation from the male half of the students echoes through the room as she takes her position behind the podium.

“Good morning seniors, As Ms Peterson said, I am your new senior year advisor, my name is Ms Layton. Now, I won’t keep you long as you have your first class to get to,” she starts. “I’d like you to think of me as less of an authority figure and more of a friend, someone who can offer you guidance and assistance throughout the year. My office is in the back rooms of the Library, so do feel free to drop in when needed. I know your senior year will come with many challenges and a tough workload, so I will be having individual meetings with you all over the next few weeks to see how you are settling in and handling your studies. So unless Ms Peterson has anything else to add,” she says, glancing towards Ms Peterson, who shakes her head. “Then I’d like you all to grab a year planner from the back of the room, then you may be dismissed to attend your first class of your senior year.” Ms Layton steps down from the small stage at the top of the room and the hall immediately fills with noise and moving bodies. I make my way to the back of the room and grab a planner, jamming it into my bag while searching the hall for Jacinta and finding her by the door as the crowd pushes us out.

“What’s your schedule like?” I ask when we eventually manage to exit the hall, completely forgetting to tell her all about the hot, coffee guy from this morning.

“It’s pretty good. Can’t complain. I’ve got Vampire Studies up first,” she tells me with a less than interested tone. Jacinta has never really cared for Vampire Studies, she’s all into the fairy magic.

Jacinta had been placed in Fairy Studies which she was also happy with. Fairy Enchantment Defensive Skills have always been a major interest for her, so with us both exactly in the classes we want to be and assigned the same dorm room again for the senior year, this ultimately means senior year is going to be ah-mazing!

“Ah, I’m heading to Werewolf Studies,” I say mimicking her earlier tone. Looking at Jacinta who gives me a funny look, knowing just how much I hate any class that isn’t physical. “Do you think we have any classes together?” I ask as I pull out my schedule.

“Show me,” Jacinta stops walking and rifles through her bag, pulling out her new planner, which of course already has her schedule neatly folded and tucked safely into the plastic cover. She pulls it out and together we compare.

“Oh yeah, we have Tuesday morning’s and Guard Law together,” I smile.

“Awesome,” Jacinta chimes. “Looks like we get a study period together as well, I can’t wait.”

“Girls.” Mr. Garcia shouts, giving us a stern look “Get to class.”

Jacinta and I stammer out a half-assed apology and get going off to our first class with a quick goodbye.

----------

I sit through my morning classes with an excited jitter flowing through me, far too excited about starting my Combat Training class this afternoon to even try to concentrate on my school work. Jacinta and I devour our lunch in record timing. “Do you have any idea who your instructors will be?” she asks adding onto our current conversation about her wacko teacher she was given for her Language class.

Majority of the time students never know who their teachers will be as The Guard like to replace teachers every year, sure we have some who stick around for the boring subject’s like Math and Science but for the elective classes the teachers are always new. The Guard like to think of it as having the best possible education for the students by having teachers pulled right from the field. Keeping it fresh, I guess. Which I have to agree with, as that means I’m about to get an instructor who has some actual experience in the field rather than someone who has spent their lifetime in a training room. Which is pretty darn exciting. I’m pretty sure the teachers are given a few months’ notice to prepare lesson plans and go over curriculum but The Guard don’t think it’s necessary to let us in on that little tid-bit, so we’re stuck with a surprise.

“I have no clue. Though, I do know it’s usually one female and one male,” I say. “But either way, they better be good.”

“What better be good?” I hear coming from a husky voice behind me. I look up into the face of Trey who is trying his hardest to balance two lunch trays and I suddenly fear for my outfit. I jump up and grab one of the trays and place it down on the table. Trey puts the other one down and slides it across to the empty spot beside him.

“We were just talking about who our instructors are going to be,” I say. Trey nods as he takes a bite into a greasy hamburger. “You sure you want to eat that right before Combat Training?” I ask, momentarily concerned for his wellbeing.

“Hell yeah. Do you know how good this thing is?” he brags with a full mouth. “And besides, my stomach’s made of iron,” he grins as Daniel comes and joins us at our table.

“Why hello, pretty ladies,” Daniel says, giving me an exaggerated wink. “You ready to have your ass handed to you?”

“Oh please. I’ll take you down in seconds,” I grin, seeing Jacinta rolling her eyes at me.

“Yeah? I’d love to see you try, though, you know, I’m always open to rumbling with you,” he smirks.

“Geez, laying it on thick today,” I laugh. “But seriously, keep dreaming,” I say as he picks up his own hamburger and digs in.

“You two are going to regret those burgers soon,” I laugh, shaking my head at these two idiots and watching in disgust as they annihilate their lunch and wash it down with a coke. I glance over at Jacinta who is watching them with the same repulsive look.

“How hot is the new year advisor?” Daniel suddenly pipes up.

“Tell me about it. I do love a hot blonde,” Trey agrees with a smile and a quick glance in Jacinta’s direction that she doesn’t notice. Could he be any more obvious?

The bell indicating the end of lunch rings and we all get up from our spot. “Have fun learning your fairy shit,” I say to Jacinta.

“Have fun learning how to kill things and beating on the boys,” she replies.

“Oh, I intend to,” I laugh, hearing Trey and Daniel snorting behind me as if there was no chance in Hell that I’d actually be able to beat them. We exit the cafeteria and turn towards the senior’s Combat building with an excited smile spreading wide over each of our faces. This is it, I think to myself, the beginning of the rest of my life

.

Chapter 3

I enter the large room and join the small group that has already begun to form. I look around, taking in my surroundings. The room is huge and with so few people in it, you’d be able to hear a pin drop. There’s a small stage at the front of the room which I’m assuming is used for academy meetings and such. As I walk deeper into the room, I notice five sets of sparring mats have been set up, though I’m sure they are more of a permanent fixture in this great room. I realise that I am indeed the only girl but that was expected. There are nine males, including Trey and Daniel amongst our small group who are all waiting anxiously to find out just what this class is going to be like.

“Hey Bianca,” I hear, looking up to find the voice belonging to Luke Bailey, my loser ex-boyfriend, who is still holding a grudge from when I dumped his sorry ass three years ago because he didn’t want to accept my ‘no means no’ policy. I had punched him square in the face, knocking him to the ground with the majority of his friends there to see.

“Oh please, do keep talking, I just love how the sound of your voice makes my ears bleed,” I say in a tone that I keep for special occasions, just like this.

“I heard you were in this class but didn’t think it was actually true,” he laughs ignoring my snide comment.

“Why? Worried I’m going to kick your ass… Again?” I laugh, fixing him with a stare and reminding him just how dangerous I can be. I hear Trey and Daniel break into a laughter as Luke’s face turns beet red. His eyes flash with embarrassment which quickly turns to rage. Oh yeah, looks like that party is still a sore point for him. “Come on, just try and touch me.” I dare him, itching for the chance to feel my fist slam into his face again.

Luke takes a step forward as Trey and Daniel step up beside me, ready to jump into what could quickly become an all-out brawl. The door of the training room flies opens, startling us all. I spin around to see a small brown haired woman with plain features, dressed in all black striding towards our group with purpose and I recognize her instantly, Tessa Grey.

Shock surges through me as a lifetime of memories swarm through my mind. My Dad’s Guard Partner, She had been a great friend of the family, though after Dad had died her visits had gotten further and further apart. A wide grin appears on my face. If she is one of my instructors, I am going to be over the moon, she is short and slim like me, though her moves are fast and deadly and I have always looked up to her. Tessa is an amazing fighter with amazing skills. I know I can learn a lot from her.

Tessa comes to a stop in front of us, silently raises the water bottle in her hand and places it firmly on top of a training dummy. Without warning she throws her body around into a spectacular spinning roundhouse kick right in the centre of the dummy. The impact sends the water bottle flying high into the sky. On its decent, Tessa kicks her leg out again, slamming it into the side of the water bottle and sending it flying across the room. The bottle slams into the far wall and immediately drops, landing perfectly in the rubbish bin below.

I’ve seen her do this trick before when I was younger and it impressed me just as much as it does now. She always used to come over and she and Dad would show me all sorts of cool things, she was the one who gave me my first pair of boxing gloves. I glance at the other students who are all gaping at her with their mouths hanging wide open. She turns to face us and studies the small group, her eyes looking over each of us. As her eyes pass each of the boys, I grin as I watch each and every single one of them straighten their posture, giving her all their respect just as she deserves. Her gaze stops when she gets to me and she gives me a small smile and nod. She takes a quick second and continues looking down the line of students doing her best to remain professional.

“My name is Tessa Grey and I have been assigned as one of your instructors for your senior year. I graduated third in my class. I have many years’ experience in the field and have faced down more of the supernatural than you could imagine.”

The room is dead quiet as the class takes in her words. “You will all do well to pay attention and learn as much as you can from both my guidance and experiences. I will say this once and once only,” she says, giving the boys all a hard look. “I will not tolerate any bull shit from you, put one foot wrong and I will not hesitate to kick your ass. Is that clear?” The boys eagerly nod their heads in response as I smirk at her badass routine. “Now, your other instructor,” she says, raising her hand, indicating to the back of the room.

I turn around and my world falls flat on its face.

Shit. It’s the guy I spilt coffee all over this morning. Just my freaking luck.

Mr. Sexy Coffee Man, dressed in all black and standing at the back of the room. The white t-shirt from this morning looked hot but in all black, he looks dangerous and lethal. He leans against the wall, hands in his pockets with one leg propped up, looking extremely unimpressed with the group standing before him, though I would too if my day started with a coffee burn all over my chest.

He peels himself off the wall and slowly walks towards us, lifting his chiselled arm to run his hand through his dark hair. His eyes bore into each and every one of us and there is no doubt in my mind that this is the kind of guy you would never bring home to meet the parents. A slight stubble dons his jaw, making my mouth water and my fingers twitch to feel it. I can practically feel my ovaries exploding inside me.

He comes to a standstill next to Tessa, still with an unimpressed look on his face. “My name is Rylan Neill,” he says as the group around me erupt into awed gasps. Crap. I spilt coffee all over Rylan Freaking Neill. If there was ever a moment to awkwardly back away, this would be it.

Rylan Neill, better known as Guard royalty, he must have graduated at least four years ago and was ranked first in his class, but not just first, his results majorly surpassed any of his fellow classmates and his records have never been close to being beaten. I’m a complete idiot for not recognising him this morning. Rumour has it he went straight into the Front Lines and went straight to the top of his field, though I also heard he was an absolute asshole, which if you take this morning as an example, that would be correct.

Some say he has our current leader, Brett Norrington in his back pocket which is why he rose in ranking so fast. Others say he had a girlfriend or a sister who was kicked out of The Guard and had to live amongst regular humans which is why he is so closed off, but I’m not so sure about that one. I even heard that on his last mission, he took out four vampires alone and saved a group of hippy teenagers, again, not something I completely believe. I mean, sure, the guy is good but no one could be that good.

He steps forward and begins walking down the line of students scowling at each and every one of us, though that scowl deepens when he recognises me. “I am here to prepare you for your future of being on the front lines. I believe that respect is earned, not given and the only way you are going to earn my respect is by putting one hundred percent into each of your training sessions. Now, if you are not committed to putting in the type of effort that is required of you to become a fighter for the Guard, then there is the door and I suggest you leave,” he says, raising that chiselled arm again, indicating towards the door. I glance over at the other students in my class, each of them with a fierce look of determination plastered on their faces. “Your training session starts at 1 pm. As of 1.01, you are late and will suffer the consequences.”

“As you would all know, your first defence against a supernatural being is a weapon. We will touch on this in more detail in the weeks to come, however, if and when your weapon fails you need to fight,” he starts, then launches into the days plan.

The class is broken into pairs and are told we will be sparring for most of the week so our instructors can gauge our skills. Luckily for me, I’ve been paired with Daniel. “You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting for this moment,” he says as we walk over to our sparring mat, throwing his arm over my shoulder.

I laugh and shake my head at him trying to ignore his flirty tendencies but fail miserably. Today’s session is going to be fun. Changing topic, I ask, “What do you think of the instructors?”

“I think Tessa will be good, she seems like she knows what she is doing, but this guy,” he scoffs, indicating with a quick nod of his head in Rylan’s direction. “A bit full on.”

“Yeah, I got that impression too. I heard he was a jerk,” I say as we step onto our mats and get in position, “I think he’ll be tough on us.”

“Was it not clear what was asked of you?” I hear a stern voice behind me. I spin around to find myself standing directly in front of a wall of Rylan’s pure muscle. So close I can smell him and man does he smell good.

Raising my eyes to meet his, bypassing the sharpest jawline I’ve ever seen. “Yes. Perfectly clear,” I say attempting to sound untouchable but trembling when I notice the gold specks deep within his dark eyes. Hoping he takes my tremble as a sign of unease rather than my girly emotions getting the best of me. Get a hold of yourself, Bianca. I scold myself and attempt to take my mind off his smouldering good looks, intoxicating smell, and enticing gold speckled eyes.

“What’s your name?” he orders.

“Bianca Moore” I respond, sounding braver than I feel.

His eyes travel up and down my body, taking in my small frame and poorly toned muscle, somehow managing not to look like a creepy perve in the process. “Are you sure you’re in the right class, Bianca Moore?” he asks, a challenge clear in his voice.

Fury ripples through my body at his question, his good looks instantly forgotten. Who is he to judge me? Wanting desperately to prove my worth. “Why don’t you wait and see,” I chide with far too much attitude, accepting his challenge and giving him my best ‘don’t mess with me’ glare.

His lips press together as he studies me with interest, his eyes sparkling and making the gold speckles that much more prominent. Apparently, he isn’t used to anyone standing up to his challenges. Though one thing is clear, he is certainly not fazed by my glare that has had so much success in the past. “Get on with it,” he orders, dismissing me and turning away. Yep, no matter how good looking he is, this guy is definitely a jerk.

I turn back to face Daniel. “Oh shit,” he laughs. “Way to get on his bad side.”

“I know. What a d-bag,” I grumble, “I spilt his coffee all over him this morning.”

“You’re in deep shit,” Daniel agrees, lunging for me as I dodge his oncoming fist. “Oh, come on,” he says with a grin. “Just let me get my hands on you at least once.”

“That will never happen, besides, I didn’t think I was your type, I’m not inflatable,” I say grinning back at him, kicking him hard and putting him flat on his ass.

----------

An hour later Daniel has got me pinned to the ground and I am absolutely exhausted. Those last few weeks of lounging around have really taken its toll on my body. Tessa and Rylan stand in the centre of the training room and call us over. Daniel reaches a strong hand down to help me up off the ground and I wince as he pulls me up. “Told you I could whip your ass," I say as we both hobble over to meet with Tessa.

“Whatever,” he scoffs. “I annihilated you,” he says proudly, holding me up.

“Please, I must have got you on your ass at least ten times.”

“Pft, you got me down once and that was sheer luck,” he laughs. I punch him lightly in the side where one of my kicks had landed earlier and laugh as he winces in pain.

“Was that sheer luck?” I ask, laughing as we reach the rest of the students who all look just as bad as I’m feeling.

“Ok, so you don’t completely suck,” he whispers in a low voice, flashing me an award winning smile with just the right amount of twinkle in his dark eyes. Good God, Daniel is an exceptional looking guy.

“Alright, guys. Good job today,” Tessa says, interrupting my unwelcome thoughts. “Now, after a few observations of your skills so far, it seems each of you still has a long way to go before you are even close to being ready for the front lines,” she sighs, sounding as if she had hoped we were already a lot further along. “But having said that, you have all worked extremely hard today and if you remain consistent in your efforts, I am sure you will all succeed.”

Tessa walks over to a table and grabs some papers and begins handing them out. “This is a schedule of the training we will be doing and why. I trust you will all read through this and come prepared for each and every session,” she says, then finishes off her end-of-the-class speech and sends us all on our way, making sure that we all get a good night’s rest for another day of sparring tomorrow.

Trey, Daniel and I walk over towards the small stage which has somehow become the designated bag dumping area. I grab my bag and sling it over my shoulder, keeping my lesson schedule in my hand so I can go over it on the way back to my dorm. I hear my name being called and turn around to find Tessa walking towards me. I glance at Trey and Daniel, giving them the universal sign for ‘don’t wait up’ and turn back towards Tessa, giving her my biggest smile.

“How are you? It’s been far too long. I didn’t realise you’d already be in senior year, I was shocked when I saw your name on the class attendance list,” she says giving me a big hug. I give her a tight squeeze, realising just how much I have missed her.

“I know, it must be at least three years since we’ve seen you,” I reply, trying to remember the last time Tessa had visited but come up blank.

“Yes, far too long. How’s your Mum? And Millie?” she asks fondly.

“They’re good. Millie has just started on the junior campus and Mum is alright, though I think she’s little lonely but she would never admit it.” I say, suddenly feeling down at the thought of Mum always being alone. She gives me a sad smile, clearly understanding the thoughts that are going through my mind.

“Yeah, I’ll have to go and visit her soon,” she promises. “But anyway, the reason I wanted to talk to you is, with you now my student, I wanted to make sure that you understand that while we are in a training session, our relationship needs to stay strictly professional,” she explains in a too kind voice, fearful that her words might break my heart.

“Oh, of course,” I agree. “I completely understand.”

“Ok good, I’m glad.” she says gently giving my shoulder a squeeze. “Though I’m really happy you’re in my class. I was watching you and I think you did pretty good today. You remind me of myself when I was your age with the small frame and all. I think you’d be able to learn a lot from me,” she says in her professional instructor voice. “Though you need to know that this year is not going to be easy. You’ll probably have to put in twice as much work as the guys to build up your muscle and speed if you intend on taking out any of the supernatural.”

“Yes, I know. I never thought it would be easy,” I tell her. She gives me a friendly smile and sends me on my way. I leave the training room and stroll back to my dorm room, thinking about the conversation I’d just had with Tessa. I realise I want nothing more than to prove not only to her but Rylan too, that I can make it in this class.

Back in my dorm room, finding myself alone. I flop onto my bed and go over the combat schedule and can’t help but grin at all the things we’re going to be going over. It’s so detailed that I’m momentarily surprised by the efforts Rylan and Tessa have put into our training. We’re going to be going over all sorts of stuff from one on one combat, to groups and even one against a group. Next week we get our introduction into weapons which then continues in heaps of detail in the weeks following when swords, whips and chemicals are added. I must admit that seeing it all written down is making me feel extremely giddy and excited inside.

We will learn particular skills for being in combat against werewolves and vampires, then aquatic based skills for battling against the Mer-people and creatures of the sea, though, it’s incredibly rare that a member of The Guard will ever battle against these creatures but it’s always a great skill to know. My eyes skim down the schedule and I realise just how much work is going to be involved in graduating this year. I mean, we learn about defence against Trolls and Pixies for goodness sake. This year is going to be epic.

Glancing at the time I realise Jacinta is still nowhere to be seen, I pull out my phone and begin writing out a text.

Bianca - Where r u?

Jacinta – Library, I’ve got homework already. Won’t be long.

Bianca - K, bring me a muffin?

Jacinta - lol ok fatty.

Tossing my phone on my bedside table, I reach under my bed, pull out my laptop and boot it up. After waiting the agonizing five minutes it takes to get it started. I open up my emails and start typing.

To: Gabrielle Moore

From: Bianca Moore

Subject: First Day!

Hey Mum,

We had our first day today and you wouldn’t believe how great it was, well apart from all the classes, they were pretty boring as usual.

Combat Training was awesome! Though, I’m going to be pretty sore in the morning. I have Tessa as my instructor which is great. I was paired with Daniel for sparring and totally whipped his butt, though it wasn’t easy! Tessa said I did pretty good but thinks it’s going to take a lot of training to keep up with the guys. She mentioned she will try and visit soon.

We have this other instructor Rylan. He seems a bit tough but nothing I can’t handle.

I’ll pop over sometime during the week to check in on Millie.

Love you.

Bianca.

Feeling sore from combat training, I scoot myself off my bed and onto the floor to begin stretching out my body, knowing just how sore my muscles are going to be in the morning. As I’m finishing off my stretching, the door opens and Jacinta comes flying through.

“Think quick,” she sings and with a flick of her wrist, I’m struck in the head. I look down to find a chocolate muffin looking as inviting as ever now resting in my lap.

“Hey”, I cry, reaching up and rubbing my head where the muffin had hit.

“I thought you said you wanted a muffin?” she asks as innocently as ever. “I’m only doing what has been asked of me.”

“You’re such an idiot,” I laugh ripping open the packaging and shovelling a giant piece of muffin into my mouth.

“What are you doing on the floor?” Jacinta asks making herself comfortable opposite me.

“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m stretching. Training was full on. My whole body is aching. Though I’m sure Daniel probably feels worse,” I say as a wicked grin spreads wide over my face. Jacinta grins back at me with her ‘tell me more’ look. “Oh, I pretty much had him begging for mercy," I say, confidence radiating from me.

“Are you serious?” she laughs as I give her an enthusiastic nod. “He’s never going to live that down.”

“Well… Maybe just a little bit serious,” I laugh. “How was fairy studies?” I ask, throwing another piece of delicious chocolate muffin into my mouth.

“It was so good,” she raves. “I have Miss Davis and she really knows what she is talking about and for some reason she really likes me,” she smiles. “Though, I’ve got Nora in my class,” she adds as an afterthought.

“Oh, that sucks,” I say. Nora was in Jacinta’s Fairy Studies class last year and has always been an ‘A Class Bitch’ though, we never figured out why.

“Who are your instructors?” she asks, making me launch into a full blown explanation of Tessa and Rylan while accidentally ‘forgetting’ to mention the effect his smouldering good looks had on me.

When I hear the ‘ping’ coming from my laptop indicating an incoming email. I reach up onto my bed, pull my laptop into my lap and see an incoming email from Gabrielle Moore. “Oooh, it’s from Mum,” I say with a childish smile, clicking on the email to open it up.

To: Bianca Moore

From: Gabrielle Moore

Subject: Re: First Day!

Hi Darling,

I’m so happy you’ve had a great first day and who would have thought you’d have Tessa as your instructor. Make sure you listen and train hard. She may be small but she is certainly a force to be reckoned with. She will make a great instructor.

Let me know how Millie is going.

I’ve got to run. I miss you both so much already.

Love Mum.

Jacinta and I spend the afternoon watching Dirty Dancing and chatting about our classes, teachers, and friends. Before long, exhaustion takes over my aching body. I climb into bed thinking about dark, gold speckled eyes as I drift off to sleep.

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