Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Circle Quartet: 19

Chapter 19

Being with Dad, even for one day and a half, is the most memorable day of my life. After the blooding ceremony, I spend most of my time with Dad. We have breakfast outside of the Academy this morning and Dad takes me shopping at the nearest mall. Dad knows that I love shopping, even it’s just a window shopping. Dad buys me a lot of stuffs and that includes the new cell phone. He says that the old one is too old for me so he buys the new one.

After that, we watch Kungfu Panda 2 at the cinema, twice. Dad and I really love the movie and we even cry the part when Po was adopted by Mr. Goose. We have lunch at the fast food restaurant and Dad sends me back to the Academy.

“I’m going now, little buddy. We’ll have a-father-and-daughter-outing next time. Send my warmest regards to your grandmothers, Jeff and Stefan,” he says before leaving and hugs me tight.

“Yeah. Have a safe journey, Dad. I’m going to miss you,” I whisper to his ear.

“Take care of yourself here and don’t get so naughty. Oh, by the way, text me every time you have a good progress with Stefan,” he lets go of me and winks. I roll my eyes. Dad laughs and pats my shoulder. “Beware of the stray dog. Cause it bites.”

“Dad, dogs really bite,” I say. Just like Stefan bit me back then. The scars are still visible.

“Text me if you miss me. See you next time, little buddy,” he waves as he runs because he has a plane to catch.

I wave back at him and chuckle. Dad can be clumsy sometimes. That’s the part that I love about him the most. But he’s getting serious; no one will ever get his way. He’s one of the greatest vampires in my family and he’s one of the Members of Vampire Council.

When Dad is totally out of my sight, I sigh. Yeah, I really miss him and I want to spend more time with him. We’re so close and sometimes I think I was being pampered by Dad.

I walk to the fountain and sit at the bench. I still remember the night where I saw a man standing in front of this fountain. After that, I never saw him again. Is he really a ghost? And why I passed out that night? I’m sure, 100 percent sure, that I saw him and asked Stefan whether he saw him or not and suddenly I was lying on the bed in the sickbay. I forgot to ask Dad whether a vampire can see ghost or spirit or not.

“Alice, why are you sitting alone here?” Mr. Saba appears behind me and nearly makes my heart jumps.

“Oh, Mr. Saba,” I stand up quickly and bow slightly to him.

“Alice, Alice, dear, you don’t have to do that. We’re in the same type of the family and in fact, you’re my granddaughter-in-law,” he chuckles. “You’re alone?”

I nod. “Yes, Mr. Saba.”

“Well, why don’t you join me for my private tea? Just the two of us,” he offers.

Private tea? “Umm…sure, Mr. Saba,” I smile.

I follow him to the West Building. Like the gallery at the North Hallway, this hallway is full of Stefan’s ancestors. Mr. Saba brings me to his room where it looks like Grandma Maegan’s. And I love the smell of the peppermint of this room.

I take a sit in front of Mr. Saba at the tea table. Mr. Saba is a person who likes decorations, I guess. There are lots of decorations hanging on the wall and also arranging neatly on the shelves.

“Don’t be so frighten, Alice. Have some tea,” he pours the tea to me. “Do you like this Academy?’” he asks and sips his tea.

“I like it very much, Mr. Saba,” I answer.

“You don’t have to be too formal to me, Alice. After all, you’re going to be part of the family. Call me Granddaddy like Stefy called me,” he smiles.

I nearly choke as I heard the word ‘Stefy’. He called Stefan, Stefy? It’s too cute for him. I wonder how will he react if I called him Stefy?

“Did Stefy give you trouble?” Mr. Saba asks and I shake my head. He seldom talks to me, not like he used to be. Sometimes I was wondering what has got into him. You know, he’s getting quieter and quieter,” Mr. Saba sighs.

“He seldom talks to me too, when we’re in high school. But when we came here, he’s trying to have some conversations with me. Maybe he’s shy,” I say, eating the cupcake slowly.

“Shy? Nah! He’s a werewolf and he’s not supposed to be shy. He must be strong, confident and outspoken. Like me,” he smirks and raises his eyebrows few times. I chuckle. Mr. Saba is funny and likes to crack jokes, just like Dad and Uncle Azure.

“Umm…Granddaddy, can I ask you something?” I ask.

“Sure. What is it?” he sips his tea.

“I read a lot about vampires and werewolves. And what I get from the books are werewolves and vampires are mutual enemy. So, how come you and Grandma Maegan are good friends?” I put the cup gently on the saucer.

“Well, actually, our great, great, great ancestors are not having a relationship just like these days. And, yes, vampires and werewolves were mutual enemy. We fought for more than hundred years. But as the time changed, we decided to be in one group and that’s why the Circle was formed. You see, we’re all special than any other normal human beings in this world so we need to unite so that we can still hold the legacy. And we are still continue with our legacy back in hundred years ago,” Mr. Saba explains and I feel like he used to be a History teacher when he was young.  

He also tells me about his past life where he met his late wife. And I admit that Mr. Saba’s wife was the most beautiful werewolf I ever seen. She looked so young with the brown braided hair. And she had the sweetest smile. He and my grandmothers are best friends and sometimes they like to argue on the small things.

I spend nearly one hour and a half with Mr. Saba and I enjoy his stories, especially about Stefan when he was small. There are some ‘top’ secrets about Stefan that Mr. Saba and I only know about them. He even shows me the picture of Stefan when he was small.

“I’ll see you later, Alice. Maybe we can have a nice private tea again some times,” he says as he ushers me along the hallway.

“Sure, Granddaddy. I have a wonderful time with you today,” I smile at him.

Mr. Saba pats on my shoulder gently. “Never let the stray dog gets on your way,” he smiles and leaves me near the fountain.

Stray dog? Is there any stray dog in here? Wait! Dad also mention about stray dog before he left. I think I should investigate about this stray dog. And the answer is in the library.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Circle Quartet: 18

Chapter 18

Madam Violet asks us to form into a group of four and each group have five group members. Each group must have the members from the different clans. Abbie and Stefan are in my group together with Helen Teal, a shifter and Dan Taupe, a wizard. We sit together in one group and the task for today is interviewing each other.

Abbie enjoys the class because she’s the one who do most of the talking. I interview Helen, Dan and Stefan, asking them about what they likes and dislikes, hobbies and so on without jotting the information on the book or the D-Vice. We need to remember every single thing that we ask. I know Abbie inside out so I don’t have to interview her. Next, Madam Violet calls name from each group to introduce the group members.

Abbie be the volunteer since she’s too excited to tell about our group. She explains every single detail about us, including the relationship between me and Stefan. And most of our classmates are shocked to hear about this. This is embarrassing! Some of them even congratulate us and ask Stefan when we are going to get married. I can see Stefan turns into beet red when Madam Violet teases him. And now I know that Madam Violet is Stefan’s second aunt from his mother’s side. No wonder she looks gorgeous.

The bell rings and we off to the History class. Aunt Sallie asks us about the review and she already shows our names on the touch-screen blackboard. Those who already sent the review, their names will be written in blue, so as mine and Abbie’s. Aunt Sallie is interested with my review and two others and she’ll put it in the bulletin so that people can read.

“Okay class, before I leave, I want to tell you that this weekend you’ll be having a blooding ceremony. You’ll turn into a real vampire soon, congratulations,” she beams and every one cheers. We have been waiting for this moment; the blooding ceremony.

Dad is going to come here this weekend and I can’t wait to see him. He texted me last night, saying that he’ll come. I know that he really miss me so much. Dad and I are very close and I share everything with him.

“Oh, I forgot to tell you that this is our last class. Next week you’ll be having the physical training class for 2 weeks, after the blooding ceremony. And after that, you’ll have some tests. I’ll see you around, guys. Have a nice weekend,” Aunt Sallie winks at us and the bell rings.

My clans – the vampires, are talking about the blooding ceremony which will be held this Saturday night. We can’t wait for the ceremony. That’ll be the day we’re going to be the real vampires. I can’t wait to have the fangs like my Dad has. And suck the blood from the human flesh. Yummy!

We’re been served with the best blood at the dining hall and this makes our clan feel so happy. Even I grab two bottles with Abbie. I guess I’m kinda greedy lately. Stefan joins us too – he joins for lunch, not drinking the blood. Abbie asks him a lot of question regarding our ‘engagement’. This makes Stefan feels awkward because I’m here too. I think he’s too shy to tell Abbie about our relationship.

There’s nothing much happen after the incident and I don’t even care if he’s my fiancé or not. We’re not like Zayne and Beatrice who are very mature and yet intimidating. And of course we’re definitely different from Raina and Tavis who like to laugh all day long, cracking stupid jokes and sharing ridiculous gifts. I miss Raina when I’m thinking of her. I wonder how she is doing.

The day that I have been waiting for is finally arrived. I’m waiting for Dad at the Hall of North Tower. He called me last night that he’ll be arriving this evening. Uncle Santos is already here and he takes Abbie for a shopping before attending the ceremony. Abbie asked me to join her but I told her that I wanted to wait for Dad.

Dad arrives with Grandma Maegan and I run towards him and give him how-much-I-miss-you hug. Dad shouts with joy as he hugs me and spins me around just like I’m still a seven-year old girl. He’s so happy to see me that he nearly burst into tears. Grandma Maegan ushers us to our room located in the basement of the North Tower. I didn’t know that this place exists!

 The stairs to the basement is really ancient, with the old stone walls and the torches light the way. I feel like I’m in the haunted mansion but I’m not scared. This is awesome! We reach the room where the door is incredibly huge. It’s a dungeon-like door. 

“Coolio!” Dad and I muse in unison as we step inside the room. This is a hotel! But it’s smaller than a suite like my room up in the tower but it’s still cool with the beds and the small fridge. The bathroom is small too but comfortable. We’re going to stay in this room before the ceremony begins.

“The whole family send the warmest regards to you. They really miss you so much especially Ace. And he brought something special for you,” Dad opens his travel trunk and hands me a box, wrapped in a black wrapping paper and a red ribbon.

I open the gift slowly and squeal with joy. Ace gave me books. There are three books. Two of them are novels and another one is a book on dating tips. He pastes a note on the dating book.

Dear Alice,

This is a must-read book. It’s essential for you to make a move on Stefan. I’m waiting for your wedding ceremony and remember, I want to be your best man! Good luck!

From your coolest and macho-est brother in the world,
Ace Black

I think I’m going to hit Ace when I came back to Sewra. Dad laughs out loud when he read the note.

“You don’t need to read this dating book, Alice,” says Dad who is trying to hold his laughter. “I have a lot of tips on dating and making a move. And I can give you one right now,” he winks.

I roll my eyes. “Yeah, Dad. Sure. Like I’m going to make a move on Stefan. That guy is so dense.”

Dad chuckles. “Someday you’ll realize that Stefan is madly in love with you. Believe me.”

I just sigh and nod. I don’t want to think about Stefan for this moment. I’m hungry and I can’t wait to go for the blooding ceremony. I can’t wait to drink Dad’s blood and sleep in a coffin for a day. And the next day, I’m a true vampire!

Dad brings me to the blooding hall where everyone gathers around, sitting in a circle while waiting for Grandma Maegan. She’s the Head of the Elders of the Vampire Clan so she needs to give a small talk on the ceremony. Grandma Maegan comes few minutes later with a smiling face. She greets all of us warmly and begins the ceremony.

Dad takes me to a small room and I’m so shock that there’s no coffin. I thought that we need to sleep in a coffin after drinking the blood from our parents.

“There’s no coffin?” I ask. All I can see are two beds and a machine.

“Coffin is too big for this room so beds are suitable. Go on. Lay down on the bed,” says Dad as he too, lies on the bed.

“But am I suppose to lie inside a coffin and wait for one day before I turn into a real vampire?” I stare at Dad.

“Honey, this is the modern session. It’s simple and fast. You don’t have to wait for a bloody day to regain your true form,” Dad smiles.

“But I like the old way. That way is much cooler than this,” I say, still feeling unsatisfied.

“Remember, Alice. This is the twenty first centuries,” Dad pats my head.

I roll my eyes. He likes to mention that twenty first centuries thing.

My cousin, Aiden, who is a Vampire Doctor, greets us. I lay on the bed next to Dad and Aiden begins the blood transfusion. This is not a ceremony that I’ve been waiting for! This looks like a blood donation. I want to ask Dad but he just smiles. Aiden, too, doesn’t answer my question.

10 minutes later, the blood transfusion thingy ends. Dad thanks Aiden. “Alice, say thanks to Aiden,” says Dad. I just murmur thanks and leave the room with Dad. Now I’m super hungry. I think I can eat 10 humans! My stomach can’t stop growling since this evening.

Dad takes me to the place where we gathered just now and every new vampire like I am seemed so hungry. Their faces look pale and I think mine is the same. I wave at Abbie who is coming back from the room with Uncle Santos.

“Hear, hear! Tonight ceremony will begin. Congratulation, new vampires! Now, let’s begin the feast!” she throws her arms in the air and the servants – I mean, her servants, serve the blood in the bottle.

I grab as many bottles as I can to drink the blood. This is the tastiest blood ever! After the feast, Dad takes me to the room that we stayed this evening. I look at myself in front of the mirror. I love my pale-looking face and my fangs. This is what I’ve been dreaming of. Dad says I look great. I’m now part of the nocturnal creatures. I can’t wait for hunting the humans!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Circle Quartet: 17

Chapter 17

“Jeff? What are you doing here? I thought you’re on your mission,” I ask him as he hugs me delightfully.

“I just came back. Then I found Zayne at the café and he told me that you guys are going to have batting training. But I think we can have more fun rather than training,” he smiles and glances at Zayne. Zayne smiles and nods.

“We’re going to have a competition,” says Zayne.

“But there are not enough players. We can’t play baseball with only 7 of us,” says Abbie.

“Well, let’s just think of something else,” Jeff shrugs. He’s running out of ideas, I suppose. I can tell by looking on his face.

They are still discussing, or should I say, arguing, what kind of games they should play. I take a seat at the bench and watch them. I don’t think we are going to play anything this evening because they seem pre-occupied with their discussion.

“Alice,” Stefan calls me as he is standing next to me, “want to practice swing?” he asks as he hands me the baseball bat.

I take the bat from him. Today, is the first time I hold the baseball bat. I never play baseball in my entire life. When I was small, Jeff and I used to play pitch-and-toss but only with the gloves and the ball, not the bat.

“Actually, I don’t know how to swing this thing,” I say.

“I can teach you. Come, I’ll show you how,” he smiles and I walk next to him.

He shows me the right way to hold the bat and explains about the types of swings. I don’t really understand what he’s explaining but I just nod my head. He demonstrates in slow motion how to make a perfect swing and asks me to try. I follow the steps that Stefan tells me and swing the bat slowly.

“That’s right. That’s the right way. Okay, now imagine that the ball is coming and swing the bat,” he says.

“Okay,” I nod and imagine the ball is coming. And then, I swing as hard as I could but unfortunately I hit Stefan’s head. “Stefan! Stefan, are you okay?” I crouch down next to him as he falls on the ground. I don’t think he’s going to be okay.

“Yeah, don’t worry. It’s just…,” he groans and rubs his head. It was bleeding.

The others rush towards us as Jeff saw what happen. “What’s going on?” asks Jeff.

“It was an accident, Jeff. I didn’t mean to hit him,” I say in panic.

“I’m okay,” says Stefan who is still rubbing his bleeding head.

“You’re bleeding!” I shriek and everyone has to cover their ears.

“It’s just a scratch, that’s all,” Stefan stands up. Zayne checks Stefan’s head and Beatrice heals him.

“I’m sorry, Stefan,” I look down on the ground.

Stefan pats my head. “Don’t worry about that, Alice. I’m fine now.”

Wait a minute? Did he just pat my head? I look up to him and he’s smiling. At the end, we haven’t played anything. Abbie and I go to our room to take a shower – even though we didn’t even sweat, and ready for dinner.

Jeff joins us at the dining hall too and tonight we’re having mushroom stew with steak. I love steak. Zayne gobble down the steak and ask for another one. What can I say? Werewolf loves meat. But Stefan doesn’t eat like his brother does. This one has manners. I still feel guilty about what happened this evening. But at least I know that I’m good in swinging the bat.

I go to the library again because I want to finish my review. I ask Abbie to come along but she says that the library looks like a haunted mansion so she doesn’t want to come. Stefan volunteers himself to accompany me to the library. Jeff and Zayne tease me and Stefan and they start to sing a love song, made from their own. Even Saffron, Beatrice and Abbie join them too. This is embarrassing.

It was 10.30 p.m. The librarian who is in-charge tonight announces that library will close any minute. Not many people come here at night. I already finish my review at that time and I am thinking of borrowing another book. I tell Stefan to tell the librarian that I want to borrow a book. The librarian waits for me until I pick a book, show the book to him and leave.

The hallway is quite dark but it doesn’t scare me. Stefan walks with me in silence. We pass the hallway until we reach the fountain. Suddenly, I see something near the fountain. There is a man wearing a white robe, standing near the fountain. He covers his head with hood.

“Stefan, do you see that guy?” I tug Stefan’s hand. “There, near the fountain,” I point to where the man is standing.

He stops and looks at the fountain. Then, he shakes his head. How can I see the man but he can’t? Don’t tell me that the man is a ghost and I’m the only one who can see him.

“Alice? Alice, are you okay?” I can hear Stefan’s voice faintly.

“Huh?” I open my eyes. I stare at him and look around. I realize that I am lying on bed and Stefan is sitting next to me. What’s going on here?

“You passed out,” he says.

“What?” I blink in disbelief.

“You tugged my hand and suddenly you passed out. I carry you here, in this sickbay. Are you not feeling well?” he touches my forehead. “Your body is quite warm.”

“I don’t know. The last thing I knew is I saw a man near the fountain and when I asked you, you said that you can’t see him,” I tell him what I saw just now.

“You must be tired, Alice. You should rest. I’ll call Jeff and let him know,” he pulls the blanket up to my chest and dials Jeff’s number.

I am still confused of what was happened just now. I know I saw the man at the fountain and I asked Stefan about him. How can I pass out without me, myself, knowing it? Jeff comes and asks us what happen. I tell Jeff about what I saw at the fountain and Stefan says that I’m having a fever.

Jeff touches my forehead. “Just a slight fever. Alice, did you take your supply this week?” he asks. I slowly shake my head. Jeff sighs. “Stefan, you take care of her for a while. I’m going to take the supply,” Jeff leaves the room.

Stefan sits on the chair next to the bed and tells me to rest. Jeff comes back few minutes later with two bottles of blood. I grab the bottle and gulp the blood. I never feel this thirsty before. I wipe my mouth with the back of my hand, ignoring Stefan who is watching me gulping the blood greedily. I don’t care. All I need is blood.

“And now, she’s okay,” Jeff turns to Stefan and raises his eyebrows.

I jump off the bed, feeling great. “I think I need to go back to my room. Abbie must be worried about me coming back late.”

Jeff hugs me. “Take of yourself, little buddy.” I hug him back and rush to the door. Before I get to the door, Jeff pulls my hand. “Don’t you want to give Stefan a good night hug too?”

I turn around and look at Stefan who is looking away. I can see that he’s blushing.

“Don’t ever think that I’m going to do that to him,” I frown at Jeff who is smiling mischievously at me.

“Aww, come on, Alice. It’s just a hug. Not a kiss,” teases Jeff. I pinch Jeff’s arm hard and he yelps in pain.

“Serve your right!” I rush to the door and turn around once again. “Thanks for your help, Stefan,” I wave at him and he waves back at me, smiling.

I didn’t tell Abbie what I saw last night. When I came back to my room, she was already sleeping soundly. She asked me what time I came back to room this morning and I told her I came back late because I was meeting Jeff. And of course, she was worried about her review. So now I am, in the dining room, helping her with the review.

15 minutes before the first bell rings, Abbie cheers joyfully as she finishes her review – with my help, of course. I give her some of my notes and she just copied it. We walk to the class. I haven’t seen Stefan this morning. Maybe he already went to the class. We’ll be having Sociology class after this, with Madam Violet.

“Hey, blood sucker. Never thought of meeting you here,” Cody appears in front of me with an evil smirk on his face.

“Leave me alone, will you,” I try to pass him but he blocks my way.

“Is this how you talk to your senior?” he frowns.

“I don’t have to be polite with a rude, second class senior,” I smirk at him.

Cody stares at me ferociously. I know that he’s not satisfied of what had happened the day I took the exams.

“If you excuse me, senior, I have a class to attend,” I stress on the word senior, which make him feel angrier.

“I don’t think that I’m going to let you go off easily this time, blood sucker,” he walks slowly towards me, cracking his knuckles.

Abbie stands behind me as Cody walks to us. He’s going to attack me. I know that he’s serious. And I’m ready to fight with him. Cody sends his first punch but before it reaches my face, somebody comes to the rescue.

“There are two things that you need to know, Cody. One; never punch a girl especially on the face. Second; don’t mess with my little sister,” Jeff stops his punch and grips his hand firmly.

Cody yelps in pain and bows down before us. “I’m sorry,” he mutters and scrambles away. I didn’t know that he’s scared of Jeff. And I realized that everyone bows their heads to Jeff.

“You better dash for the class, Alice, Abbie. The bell is going to ring anytime,” he winks at us and poof! Disappear into the air.

I grab Abbie’s hand and teleport to the class as fast as I can. And I am still wondering why people bow their heads to Jeff as he’s a prince or something. I better ask Jeff after school. Things are getting much more weirder here.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Circle Quartet: 16

Chapter 16

Here I am in the History class which is located at the first floor of the North Wing. I sit in the front row, listening to every single detail of the explanation from the teacher. Abbie wants me to join her at the back row but I refuse. There’s no way I’m sitting at the back during History. Abbie doesn’t like History like everybody in this class does. That’s why I’m the only person who sits in the front row. Impressive, isn’t it?

My History teacher is Sallie Amber, as known as, Abbie’s mother. She teaches History and she always has her eyes on Abbie who, I think, is snoring back there. She calls Abbie’s name several times, making sure that she listens to everything that she teaches.

We’re now listening about the greatness of our first successor, Prince Dracula. Although he might be a little mean, or should I say totally bad, but because of him, our clan has spread little by little in this world. And of course, our clan had gone through the evolution where we can stand during daylight. We don’t have to run away from the sunlight or afraid of the cross, stake and garlic.

“Homework for you before you leave, children. Write a review on Prince Dracula and your opinion about him. Submit the review via e-mail by tomorrow morning. That’s all, children. Have a nice day,” says Aunt Sallie. The bell rings and everyone yawns and stretches their body as if they have woken up from deep hibernation.

“Alice, let’s go to the dining hall. I’m starving,” groans Abbie, rubbing her sleepy eyes.

I laugh at her we go to the dining hall together. Abbie gobbles her meal down like a hungry wolf. Luckily Stefan is not around. If not, he’ll die with a heart attack seeing Abbie’s eating habit while she starves! The only thing that doesn’t have in this Academy is the lockers. We don’t use books here except for notebooks for students who prefer writing down the notes in the class. Everything is inside the D-vice.

After lunch, I ask Abbie if she wanted to go to the library with me. I need to finish the review before night time. Abbie refuses because she’s too sleepy and she wants to catch few winks. But she promises me to go to the Sport Centre this evening. So, I dash to the library right after lunch.

The library is so majestic. I repeat, majestic. It’s so big – I think it’s bigger than my mansion! There are mountain of shelves and one big screen near the door. We can search any kind of books there. In the corner on the right, there’s a librarian. She looks old with grey hair tied in bun. And she’s busy with her work. I walk to the big screen which is called Touch-O-Info. I look for Prince Dracula and every book of Prince Dracula appears from the screen including the number of shelf.

It’s not easy to get to the right shelf even if you already know the number. There are more than 50 shelves and 17 of them are the Vampires Section. The ladders are provided in case you need the book from fifth storeys and above. I climb the ladder to search about the Origin of Vampire. I need to read for my bed-time story.

I take a seat which is in the middle and I can see some of the spellcasters – that’s what we call witches and wizards here, summon the books by waving their fingers. This is cool! They don’t even need ladders. I take out my notebook from the bag and start scribbling the important points that I need to write in my review. I still prefer writing down the notes rather before typing the review in my D-vice. I read and re-read about the beginning of Prince Dracula turn into a vampire and jot down every detail about it.

Prince Dracula real name was Vlad the Impaler. He was called Dracula because he was the son of Dracul or Vlad II. His father was the member of Order of the Dragon, which is called Dracul. The only part that I don’t like the most is this prince married three times. Three times! I don’t think he’s the loyal type.

As I’m busy scribbling about my first ancestor, I realize that there’s someone sitting opposite to me. When I look up, I’m so surprise that the person is Stefan. How long he has been here? He looks at me and smiles. Oh, that smile, again.

“Hi,” he says.

“Hi, Stefan,” I try to smile nicely to him.

“Your first assignment?” he points to the book that I’m reading.

“Yeah. The review for my History class. What about you?” I ask.

“Same here. I need to do a little research on werewolves. My History teacher is going to do a pop quiz tomorrow,” he shows me the book of The Origin of Werewolves. Interesting. “Am I interrupting you, Alice?”

“No, no. Not at all,” I shake my head. I don’t want to show him that I don’t like him.

“Thanks,” he smiles, again. “Are you going somewhere this evening?”

“Abbie and I want to go to the Sport Centre. We’re going to play volleyball together. You want to join us too?” I ask. I can’t believe that I asked him! What’s wrong with me?

“Cool. I thought I want to ask both of you to play baseball. I want to do batting training. It’s been a while since I haven’t play after graduating,” he says.

“That would be great. I’ll ask Abbie. Oh, by the way, can I ask Beatrice and my other cousin, Saffron too?”

“Sure. The more the merrier. Zayne is coming too.”

I smile and continue with my work. I’m sort of happy when he asked me to join him for batting training. Maybe he’s not bad as I think.

We continue doing the review together until the alarm shriek horrifyingly. I think all of us nearly jumped from our seat after hearing that such alarm. We put the book and the rack near the exit. Stefan and I exit the library together.

We walk along the corridor and talk about our previous school. This is the first time that I feel comfortable walking beside him. And he smells nice too. We part our way when we reach the fountain which is located exactly at the centre of the Academy. Beatrice said once that the fountain has its own significance and history on why it was built at the centre of the Academy.

I promise Stefan to meet him at the Sport Centre. When I reach at my room, Abbie is still having her hibernation season. I can even hear her snoring quite loud. I shake her body violently saying that it is already past 8. She wakes up abruptly and murmuring a language that I don’t understand. And then she looks around and goes back to sleep.

“Abbie! Wake up! Let’s go to the Sport Centre,” I shake her arm.

“What for?” she moans with her eyes still close.

“I thought you said you want to play volleyball with me,” I say.

“I did? Well, I don’t think I’m going because I’m still sleepy,” she opens her eyes and yawns.

“Are you? I guess I have to go there by myself,” I glance at her. “Too bad you won’t join me and Stefan for batting training. He invited you too. I should tell him that you don’t want to.”

Now Abbie is fully wake up. “Really? He said that? What are we waiting for! Give me 5 minutes to get read,” she jumps off the bed and go to the bathroom.

Look likes my trick works out after all. I try not to laugh. Then Abbie pops her head from the bathroom. “I have a question that I was trying to ask you yesterday. Is Stefan really your fiancé?”

“Uh huh,” I nod.

“So Saffron is telling the truth. I thought Saffron was joking when she told me about you guys. But, you didn’t look like you fall for him,” Abbie walks out from the bathroom with a small towel wraps around her neck.

“Fall for him? Why should I? Even if we are engaged, it doesn’t mean that I have to fall for him,” I shrug and give her a naughty look. “You like him, don’t you?” I raise my eyebrows few times.

She blushes and tries to look away from me. “See. You really like him. You can take him if you want. He’s not my type anyway.”

“What? He’s so damn hot and you said that he wasn’t your type?” Abbie puts her hands on her hip.

I smile and nod.

“You’re crazy, Alice. He’s your fiancé and you guys should love each other like Beatrice and Zayne. They are so romantic. I think I want to find a werewolf for my boyfriend and I can cuddle him every night,” she laughs while combing her hair.

Abbie sometimes can be crazy. And she’s a dog lover. That’s why she loves werewolves so much. Maybe I can ask Stefan to turn into a werewolf so that Abbie could cuddle him and play Frisbee together every evening.

“I’m going to call Beatrice and Saffron if they want to join us too,” I say and dial Beatrice’s cell phone number. Then, there’s a knock on the door. Beatrice and Saffron come by and I tell them about the plan for this evening. Both of them agree to go for batting training.

We wear our sport suits and dash to the Sport Centre near the field. Stefan, Zayne and Jeff are already there. Wait a minute. Jeff is here too? He waves at us with the baseball bat. Why on earth is Jeff doing here? I thought he’s gone for his mission.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Circle Quartet: 15

Chapter 15

“Welcome to the Academy!” Beatrice and Saffron, my vampire cousin, greet me as I arrived with Abbie. We squeal in joy and hug each other.

“Hey, Bet! How are you doing?” I ask, still hugging her tightly.

“I’m doing great and I’m glad that you made it here. I heard from your Mom and Zayne that you and Stefan scored the test and made it to the Elite class,” she rubs my back and smiles at me as I let her go.

“It’s nice to see you guys here,” says Saffron. I haven’t seen her for a long time. And she’s also my senior. “Let us take you to your dorm. I think you can’t wait to see your room!”

“Great!” say Abbie and I in unison.

Both Beatrice and Saffron are in charge to help us to the dorm. They help us pick up our bag and show us to our dorm that is at the North Tower. This Academy has 4 main towers; North, South, East and West. The North are for vampires, South for wizards and witches, East for shape-shifters and West for werewolves.

We enter the North Hallways. The building looks old but with a modern touch with old grey bricks and shiny green tiles floor, just like a museum. Oh, forgot to mention about the hidden CCTV, in case students sneak out or do something nasty – Jeff told me the day before I got here. Pictures of our ancestors hang up on the wall along the hallway. And of course the picture that catches my eyes is the picture of Prince Dracula, the first vampire. He’s so gorgeous with his pale face and sharp eyes. I think he looked like Stefan, a little.

Our dorm is at the top of the tower, well not at the top but near the top, so we have to take an elevator. The floors of the tower represent the status of the students. Lower floor for lower students and highest for the Elite. We go up to the fourth floor. Saffron explains everything about the tower on our way but my mind is wandering somewhere because I can’t wait to know how’s my room is going to look like.

“Here we are. Your room and Abbie,” announces Saffron as we reached there.

At the door way to my room stands a dark brown mahogany door with, hey, our names on it hand-written in the middle, near the top. I smile at Abbie and she nods. She twists the door knob and when the door opens, our jaws drastically drop. This is not a dorm! This is a suite! With two expensive-looking beds, two mega-expensive wardrobes, two exclusive study tables, a flat screen TV, small cupboard for putting our food supplies and a small fridge! I rush to the bathroom. It’s a heart-fluttering bathroom with large tubs – more like a Jacuzzi. I don’t think I’m going home after this! And did I tell you that the room is carpeted?

We squeal in joy – again, as we hysterically saying that we really love this room so much. I love the bed and the small fridge. I open the cupboard and love the smell of the woods. Saffron opens the windows and we can see the tremendous sight of hills. We can see the sunset from here.

“Okay, girls, enough with your hysterics,” says Beatrice by knocking on the table. “There are couples of things you need to know since you are new here. There are cloaks in your cupboards. Make sure you wear them during assembly every Wednesday night. And these,” Beatrice takes out something from her bag, “are D-vice. The schedule, the classes and everything were in there. You don’t need books to go to class,” she hands the D-vice things to both of us.

The D-vice is like an iPad but way cooler. It contains everything inside and yes, it’s a touch-screen. I scream as I take the D-vice from Beatrice. You know that I’m a gadget lover! Few minutes later, Saffron and Beatrice excuses themselves to leave and they remind us to be discipline because the Academy is not like any other academies. And today is the only day that we can linger around the Academy because tomorrow, the classes will start and we won’t have any lingering-time anymore.

I call Mom and tell her about the amazing things in the Academy and the most amazing thing is, of course, my dorm. Mom is very glad to hear that I love the Academy. I also tell her about how cool the D-vice thing. I talk to Dad after that chat with him more than one hour. Dad tells me the whole thing about the Academy since he had been here too, when he was young. But during his time, the Academy is more like a haunted castle. I can understand that.

Before we go to bed, Abbie and I check the schedule for tomorrow in our D-vices. We’re so glad that we will be in the same class and we have decided to sit next to each other. There will be briefing about the Elites and the history class will be held at the different room. I can’t wait to go for the history class.

We have our breakfast at the main hall and the food is really yummy. There are a lot of choices but I still prefer to eat garlic bread stick, pancakes and milk. I can see Stefan eats with his brother, Zayne but I can’t find Beatrice or Saffron around. Maybe they already ate their breakfast and go to their classes. The first bell rings and all of us clear off the dining hall. Abbie and I walk to our class which is not far from the dining hall. I hope I won’t bump into that freaky-spiky-hair wolf.

The first sign that I see when I step in the class:

The Elite – Where The Awesomeness Begins

This class is awesome! I think I’ve been in the future. Everything is touch-screen, even the blackboard. But I’m kind of missing the blackboard back in the high school. Teacher will throw the blackboard duster to those who slept in the class. I take a sit in the front with Abbie and we put our D-vice on the desk.

Stefan walks in and approaches us. He gives his most wonderful smile – well, I think it is wonderful because Abbie can’t stop smiling and blushing. You can take him, Abbie, make him your favourite pet instead of having bunches of hamsters! Stefan sits beside me and asks about our dorm. Abbie answers all his questions. I just nod in agreement.

Then a young lady with silky black medium hairstyle walks in. She smiles at us and introduces herself. Her name is Madam Violet, a werewolf and she’s been teaching in this Academy for 10 years. 10. Years. She looks young but actually she’s the same age as my Mom. The boys are staring at her, admiring her sweet smile. I take a short glance at Stefan whom I think he’ll drool seeing Madam Violet but he’s not. He has no expression on his face. Oh, I forgot. He’s not interested in women, yet.

Madam Violet is very happy to be our homeroom teacher. She warmly welcomes us all and congratulate for making to the Elites. Elites are leaders, according to her. Then, she clasps her hands and announces that today is going to be an ice-breaking session. She distributes a small empty card for each of us, and a pen too. She asks us to write down our name and our favourite colour and animal for 1 minute. Then, we have to submit the cards to her.

I don’t take much time to write my favourite colour which is red and my favourite animal of all time, a dragon. We submit the cards to her and she shuffles them. Then, she takes one card and read what we have written just now and everybody must guess the real person who wrote down his/her favourite colour and animal. She already shows the name list on the modern blackboard. We enjoy guessing names and until my card is being announced. Red Dragon. I can hear my classmates whispering to each other; even Abbie didn’t know that it’s me. Then Stefan raises his hand and guesses my name, which is correct. I can’t believe that he can see through my card! He really can do that?

I slowly turn my head. “How did you know that it’s me?” I hiss.

“You told me once that you like dragon so much,” he whispers.

Did I?” I still am not satisfied. I didn’t remember saying that to him.

He nods innocently. Don’t think that I’ll fall for that.

Next is introducing ourselves. There are 20 students from different clans. We also need to tell our hope for the future before we can sit. Madam Violet explains briefly about the subjects that we have to take and the activities that we’re going to hold for this year including festivals and prom night. I like the festivals. I don’t think I’m going to like the Prom Night, not with Stefan around. Even if he asked me, I won’t go. Perhaps. It depends on how he’ll ask me.