Coffee Shop

2162 Words
Caleb POV Never did I imagine I would find myself in the city and the training academy, but Amaris, a witch who I regarded as a cherished aunt, had foreseen a danger in the city. Although there weren’t many specifics provided, her sense of urgency pushed us to investigate and take action to avoid any potential catastrophe that could undo all the efforts my parents have made. Eager to fulfill my duty as a prince and protect our kingdom, I volunteered to undertake this mission. Meanwhile, my parents were preoccupied with assisting my sister, who had turned eighteen and was struggling with her wolf transformation. They were also occupied with securing dangerous areas that posed a threat to humans. As a student, I could navigate through the city arousing no unnecessary suspicion. The city itself disgusted me, just like it did my father’s Zane and Alex. A long time ago, my mother found herself trapped in this location, and despite her best efforts to assist in the revitalization of a safe and improved city, it felt as though the torment she experienced had left a lasting mark. Eager to establish relationships with someone of my social status, the students gathered around me, hoping to be my friend. However, I despised the fact that people only wanted to get to know me because of my title. The female wolves at the academy, knowing I am twenty and unmated, hoped that I would consider them as potential chosen mates. Some of them even tried extravagant gestures, which were almost comical in their attempts to impress me. At the moment, I went with the flow, actively taking part in conversations and unraveling the hidden dynamics of this city. I was determined to uncover the truth, to unravel the mysteries that plagued this city. A small group of students I met from the academy convinced me to go to the campus coffee shop. Although I really did not have a taste for coffee, two of them were full-time residents of the city, offering a chance to discuss any strange or different occurrences in the area. The faster I understood the issue, the sooner I could resolve it and escape from this place. The group that invited me comprised four werewolves: Chris, Roger, Faith, and Renee. Luckily, unlike most of the students I’ve associated with, they didn’t seem to impress me. Instead, they sought genuine friendship, making this small gathering a little more bearable for me. Once we entered the coffee shop, my attention was immediately drawn to a strange girl sitting in a chair by the window. Something about her seemed different, an air of mystery surrounding her. As I sat down with the group, her presence lingered in the back of my mind. Her scent, distinct amongst the crowd, intrigued me, yet I couldn’t pinpoint why. She was definitely not human, but she also didn’t possess the scent of a werewolf or vampire. What was she? I tried my best to monitor her, my senses heightened. The sights and sounds of the coffee shop faded into the background as my focus remained on the mysterious girl. Even my wolf grew restless, urging me to get closer to her. He felt drawn to her, just as I did, but we both couldn’t comprehend why. If she was our mate, our senses would have confirmed it with a stronger scent, but her scent was subtle, driving my wolf, Mace, into a frenzy. Though I was supposed to be investigating Amaris’ premonition and gathering information from my classmates, I couldn’t tear my attention away from the girl. Lost in my thoughts, I snapped back to reality when Chris snapped his fingers in front of me. “Earth to Caleb, you are completely zoned out,” he stated, bringing me back to the present moment. I shook my head, refocusing my attention on the small group I came with. The group erupted in laughter. “Looks like you could use some strong coffee,” Renee suggested, her voice tinged with amusement. I shook my head, declining her offer, and instead opted for a bottle of water. Being part vampire, my cravings veered towards blood rather than food. Everything else seemed tasteless. The only beverage that enticed me was whisky. Its appeal was something I had in common with my mother. I settled into my chair, adjusting my position, and turned my gaze towards Faith and Rodger. They were mates, originating from this very city, and I wasted no time in questioning them. “Have you noticed anything peculiar happening in the city?” I inquired. Rodger chuckled. “Peculiar, you say? Well, this city is a melting pot of diverse beings, so what might be strange elsewhere is quite ordinary here.” I sighed. “I suppose I meant anything that stands out from the usual strangeness,” I clarified. Faith tapped her fingers on the rim of her coffee mug, deep in thought. “Hmm, it’s not exactly new, but now and then, people seem to vanish, leaving no trace behind. It’s always those who possess a certain uniqueness, and their disappearances remain unsolved,” she explained. This revelation caught me off guard. Why hadn’t my parents ever mentioned this to me? “Most of those who go missing are often criminals, so it’s likely someone seeking revenge,” Rodger chimed in, his tone matter-of-fact. I nodded, understanding his point, but still insisted, “Regardless of their background, every disappearance should be investigated.” I made a mental note to gather information on all the missing cases in this area as soon as I left the coffee shop. As I took another sip of my water, the subtle scent of the mysterious girl washed over me once again. Intrigued, I glanced in her direction. Despite being on campus for a week, I had never laid eyes on her before. “Do any of you know who that girl is?” turning my head towards her. “No, she must be a new student,” they all responded, almost in unison. Renee, a very outgoing member of the group, stood up from her chair. “I’ll invite her over. If she’s new, I’m sure she would be happy to make some friends,” she said with a genuine smile. Part of me wanted to stop Renee, but the strange girl’s intriguing scent compelled me to let her proceed. Renee returned with the new girl in tow, wearing an enthusiastic smile. “Everyone, this is Rain. She’s a potential student who came to observe classes for a month before deciding,” Renee introduced us, as she rearranged her chair and pulled up another for Rain. “It’s nice to meet you, Rain,” I said, extending my hand. Rain hesitated for a moment, her gaze lingering over me as if she were unsure whether to accept my gesture.she placed her hand in mine. The moment our skin made contact, a pleasurable sensation traveled up my arm, and my wolf fought to take over. “Mate, but she’s hiding her scent,” he howled, a mixture of excitement and confusion. However, Rain seemed unfazed by our handshake, as if she couldn’t sense the powerful bond of a werewolf mate. Sensing her discomfort, I suppressed my instincts for now. A werewolf mate bond could be overwhelming for someone who wasn’t the same species. But above all, I was determined to get to know her better now. “So, you’re a potential student. Where did you come from? I haven’t seen you around the city before,” Faith asked Rain, her voice filled with curiosity. Rain hesitated for a moment before answering, her eyes darting around the table. “A small town in the middle of nowhere. It’s a tight-knit community,” she replied, her voice carrying a hint of mystery. As I observed Rain, I couldn’t help but sense she was hiding something. She avoided revealing where she was from. However, I let it go for now. “So, what classes are you going to observe? I know the majority are fighting skills, but there are some educational courses mixed in,” Renee inquired. Rain reached into her bag and pulled out a folded piece of paper. She handed it to Renee, who studied the schedule. “My classes were chosen for me, so I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with them,” Rain responded. Renee’s eyebrows shot up in surprise as she examined the schedule. “Wow, well, it looks like you have one class with me. But if I’m not mistaken, your schedule is identical to Caleb’s. I’m sure he can help you find your way to your classes tomorrow, since you’re new,” she suggested, her voice filled with friendliness. I felt a rush of nerves as Renee looked at me with a small smile. “Sure, yes, I can help if you need to know your way around,” I stammered, my words stumbling out like an awkward fool. “Thanks, that would be appreciated,” Rain responded, her tone off, leaving me with a lingering sense of uncertainty. Perhaps I was mistaken, but something about her response felt odd. A faint ding resonated from Rain’s bag as she rummaged through it once more, pulling out an old flip phone. She unfolded it, her gaze fixated on the screen for a moment before looking up. “Thank you for inviting me to join you for a moment, but I have to be going,” she said, rising from her seat and making her way towards the door. “If you’re going to help her to her classes, find out where she is staying.” Renee spoke. I nodded in agreement, acknowledging her suggestion, realizing that I now had an excuse to follow her. Leaving the shop, I spotted Rain leaning against the building, oblivious to my presence. Before I could approach her, a grungy older gentleman approached her. My wolf snarled within me, sensing that something was wrong. I restrained myself, wanting to uncover the truth. I moved closer, remaining undetected. From this vantage point, I could now hear her conversation with my heightened hearing. “You are to check in with the boss twice a day,” the man said, handing her a box containing what appeared to be a newer model phone. “I will, don’t worry. I won’t let him down.” Rain responded to the man. “I still don’t get why the boss would send a pet, especially a good-looking one. You better not disappoint him,” the man retorted before walking away. Rain watched him depart and then she resumed her journey, walking away once again. I made my move and caught up with her. “Rain,” I said, surprising her as she turned to face me. “Hey, if you want me to help you to your classes tomorrow, we should arrange somewhere to meet up and let me give you my number,” I said. “Oh, sorry, I forgot. Thank you. We can meet up right around here if that works,” she responded. Then she pulled out a small notebook from her bag. “Sorry, my phone’s kind of old, but I just got a new one and will set it up later,” she said, handing me the notebook and a pen for my number. “It’s getting late. How about I walk you back to your place? It’s not safe to travel alone at night in the city,” I offered as I handed her back the notebook with my number. “Sure,” she responded, her shoulders shrugging. “I don’t live far, but I don’t mind the company.” To my surprise, we ended up in the same dormitory where I was staying. “Looks like we live in the same building, so we should see a lot of each other,” I said, a smile playing on my lips. “I look forward to it. I’ll see you tomorrow morning, and I’ll message you once I have my phone set up,” she said, opening her door. I smiled, nodding my head. “If you need anyone to show you around later tonight, message me,” I offered right before she closed her door. Suppressing my wolf was going to be challenging, but I realized now that Rain didn’t sense our bond or was ignoring it. I couldn’t shake off the feeling that something was off, though. The way she was acting strange, the encounter with that man - it all raised questions. Was she in some sort of trouble? I was determined to sort this out. Walking away, I made one last stop at the city police station. I requested a list of all the individuals who had gone missing, determined to find any connection to Amaris premonition. Once done, I called it a night, the weight of the unknown pressing on me.
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