“You all must be guessing why I requested a meeting this morning,” Gary said in a good mood, and I wondered why he was so cheeky at 6 a.m. He ignored the grunts he received in response.
The boys still wore their PJs and were suffering from a collective case of awful bed hair. I was the last to arrive -- not surprisingly, since I was the only one in the house who had bothered to change clothes and brush my hair.
The need to look somewhat presentable put me in a less than comfortable situation when the only seat left in Gary’s spacious office was next to Matthew. Considering the situation between us, I might have hoped the others would be more thoughtful and not make me sit next to him. No such luck.
I avoided making eye contact with Matthew as I took my seat on the big leather couch, putting maximum space between us. He shifted in his seat uneasily.
Gary’s office was a mix of contradictory influences. It had several pieces that could easily belong to a very conservative law firm, like the massive mahogany desk and the button tufted, classic leather sectional sofa in dark brown. His chair had a classic design too but it was in neon green leather, and the paintings hurt the eyes if you stared at them for too long. It was like two different people had decorated the office. The result would make an interior designer have a seizure.
I focused my attention on Gary sitting behind his desk, and waited for him to explain why we had been summoned for the second time in less than twenty-four hours. Alexia, our charge, was coming to Santa Barbara to spend her summer vacation with us and as usual, we had gone through a debriefing the day before.
As the Prodigies, we had been appointed since birth to be her protectors. However, unlike the majority of our fellow Arcadians, our abilities hadn’t started to manifest until very recently. The appointment had been more symbolic than anything else. This year, however, things would change.
Sean yawned loudly and received an instant glare from his twin brother in return. Not that he cared. My own twin sister, Mia, smiled sympathetically at Zach, which prompted him to soften his countenance.
“I’m pretty sure you must have a good reason for the meeting.” Matthew replied to Gary’s earlier statement, and I looked over at him. He was impossibly good looking, even with disheveled hair.
He sensed me staring and glanced my way, eyebrows furrowed. I felt heat rush to my cheeks and looked away.
Gary stood up and started to pace in front of us. “I just received word from the Council that Melanie must remain in Arcadia until she completes her training.”
“Why?” I asked. A sliver of dread pierced my heart. Since our abilities started to manifest we had taken turns going to Arcadia for training, but we never stayed more than a few days.
“Do you know how long it will take?” Zach asked before Gary could answer my question.
Gary stuffed his hands in his pockets and shrugged. “Who knows? But don’t worry about it. I’m sure she’ll be back in a jiff.”
A typical Gary response, I thought as I tried to hide my annoyance. Sometimes I wondered why Gary, with his carefree personality, had been appointed to be our mentor. And the Council wondered why we didn’t take our roles more seriously. It was kind of hard to relate with the tragedy of our planet when we had never lived on it, and the person who should be guiding us treated everything like a joke.
M. H. Soars is what we like to call a United Nations child. She was born in the United States but grew up in several different countries which gave her a broader perspective of life. She has always been passionate about books and stories and at a certain point had a comic book series going.
With a background in fashion design she always thought she was going to follow that path. But the characters in her head kept begging to be set free. So she decided to write their stories. A couple of years and a baby later, the first installment of her Arcadian Wars series is finally done.
M. H. Soars currently resides in New Mexico with her husband and baby daughter. She loves to read novels in the YA, PNR, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Chick Lit genres. When not devouring said novels, you may find her shopping online (she's an expert), blogging about fashion, or trying to teach her daughter to walk (even though she's too young for that).
If you would like to learn more about M. H. Soars and her projects you can follow her on Facebook | Goodreads | Blog | Twitter