ADURO ET ATER: REVERTOR

PROLOGUE

Bethany ducked to avoid being hit. Her opponent was almost her even. If she wasn't careful, he would win. She didn't want that at all. That would only make him smug. She wanted to avoid that at all costs. Besides, she had a reputation to uphold. Catching their punch, Beth pulled them over her hip. She heard them groan in pain when they hit the floor.

"You're faster than you look."

"That comes with practice, Keeran." Beth answered as she brushed her dark brown hair from her eyes. It was a few inches longer than shoulder length, longer than it usually was and kind of curled at the ends. Her eyes were crystal pools of bright green, which she had inherited from her mother, Elise. Her creamy skin was pale from working at night all the time, but she wasn't as pale as some. There was still color to her skin.

The black shirt, corset, pants and boots she wore framed her figure perfectly. She was slim and toned from being an agent in the Knights of the Holy Order. One thing was for sure, the Order certainly had kept her on her toes. Even though she was a hardened hunter, Beth was still a beauty. That, again, was something she had inherited from her mother. Of course, if anyone told her that was pretty, she would casually dismiss it. Huntresses weren't meant to catch the eyes of men. Bethany offered her hand to Keeran to help him up.

Keeran was an interesting boy. He was only a year older than Beth was. She was 16 and he was 17. The boy was always dressed in all black, which wasn't that unusual around the Order. But what was unusual, however, was the fact that he always wore black gloves over his hands. His hair was pulled back into a ponytail and it was as black as ink. Keeran was forever wearing a hat, so Beth had never really seen his face. Then again, she doubted anyone had. He had joined the Order about six months ago. Bethany, on the other hand, had been here since she was eight. That was why she was training him. Also, Jinette ordered her to.

Keeran took Beth's hand and pulled hard. Beth lost her balance and fell on the ground. Keeran was up in a flash and placed his foot on her stomach.

"I win." He said smugly. Bethany fought the urge to roll her eyes.

Without any hesitation whatsoever, Beth grabbed his ankle and pulled. Keeran was thrown to the ground almost instantly. Beth was then on her feet. She placed her boot on his throat and gently pressed down.

"You're getting better." Bethany corrected him. The girl then moved away from him to get her black, ankle-length, leather coat.

"You aren't going to help me up?"

"No." Beth replied rather bluntly as she turned to him and slipped her coat on over her shoulders. "I'm not going to fall for that again."

Keeran sighed and pushed himself up to stand.

"What are you doing for dinner?" Keeran asked the girl as he put on his long, black cloak.

"I'm just going to eat something." Beth replied, feeling a little uncomfortable. Keeran had a habit of doing that to her…and she didn't like it. She was uncomfortable because she knew what was probably coming next.

"I was wondering if you would like to join me." He half stated, half asked.

And there it was. Okay, now Beth was very uncomfortable. Unlike most girls her age, Bethany wasn't married, engaged, or looking to do so. She didn't even have a boyfriend. Frankly, she wasn't interested in the whole idea. Keeran kept asking her to accompany him to several different places, but Beth always told him no. Honestly, was he ever going to take a hint? Besides, sometimes he just gave her the creeps.

"That's nice of you Keeran, but I'm helping Carl with something and I don't know how long it will take." She answered as calmly as she could, making an effort to be polite.

"Some other time then." Keeran then nodded to her and quickly left the room.

Beth sighed heavily once he was gone. A lot of the young girls in the Order had a thing for him, but Beth didn't. She guessed they liked him a lot because he was the 'dark and mysterious' type. They found that attractive for some reason. She did know, however, that Keeran knows that a lot of girls like him. Therefore, his head often swells to twice it's recommended size. Beth grabbed her black, wide-brimmed hat, placed it on her head and then pulled it low over her glittering emerald eyes. She then sighed irately.

"Men."

The teenage girl ended up helping her long time friend, William Larc most of the day. He was 17, soon to be 18. He had cut his hair since Beth had last come back to the Order six months ago during the disastrous Transylvania assignment. It was a sandy blonde color and just long enough to fall into his deep sapphire blue eyes. He was handsome and muscular from having to train the newbies who entered the Order. He also went out on missions every now and then, but no where near as much as Beth did. Usually, he stayed in the lab with his Uncle Carl making stuff explode. It was really no surprise when Bethany found the pair hunched over a table covered in papers.

"Hi Will."

The two scientists jumped and looked up to see Beth smiling at them.

"We didn't hear you." Will said flashing one of his smiles at her. That smile made a lot of the girls around melt as well. There were two guys in the Order that all the young girls fawned over. They were Will and Keeran. Keeran was the designated 'bad boy', and Will was the 'knight in shining armor' that any girl could take home to their parents and live happily ever after with. Of course, Will knew that many of the girls liked him, but it never bothered him much. He was in love with his work. Beth returned the smile he gave her.

"What are you working on?"

"Nothing really in particular." Carl replied.

"Want to help anyway?" Will asked the girl. She nodded.

"It's better than going to dinner with Keeran." Beth mumbled.

Will stiffened up like he always did when someone mentioned Keeran around him. Beth knew perfectly well what Will's thoughts on the boy were. He was another Mikal. Mikal was another agent in the Order who was much older than they were. He thought he was a hot shot and slept with a different girl ever single week, but he would only keep her around that long if he liked her a lot. Mikal wasn't loyal to Jinette and everyone knew it. He preferred to follow the 'politician', as Beth often called him. His real name was Cardinal Amery, second in command at the Order right under Jinette. Amery had approached Beth a few times to try and get her to 'see his reasoning' as he would so often put it. The last time Bethany saw him, she had threatened to shoot him and flipped him off. That was only last week. (She knew that she'd probably go to Hell for that too…but, man! It felt good!)

Bethany was extremely loyal to Jinette. He had been there for Beth when she was only a small child and he had been close friends with her grandparents, Charlotte and Jean. They had even named Jinette her legal guardian when they died. Besides, Jinette is a good guy and (in Beth's opinion) a good leader. That's why he was the head and Amery wasn't.

"When did he ask you to do that?" Carl asked looking up from his papers. He had a pair of spectacles over his eyes that made them look one hundred times larger than they really were. Typical Carl.

"About ten minutes ago." Bethany replied in a sigh.

"You said 'no', right?" Will asked, sounding a little worried.

"Of course I did! Sometimes he just gives me the creeps!" Beth said picking up an odd looking what she guessed was a gun and began fiddling with it.

"Besides, I'm not the dating type anyway. I'd scare all the men away in a matter of seconds."

The teenage girl accidentally hit something and a small silver ball rolled from it. The little ball rolled across the table and then began to bounce on the floor. Carl and Will quickly dived under the table. Will then grabbed Beth's arm and forced her to do the same.

"Hit the deck!" Will screamed. Half the lab, recognizing the warning that frequently rang through the air, scrambled for shelter. The small silver ball then exploded. There was a thunderous boom and a large ball of fire that slowly vanished. When it had, the normal commotion of the lab continued on, most people mumbling about Carl's dangerous inventions. Beth, Will and Carl then came out from their shelter. Beth's just looked Carl and Will over with her mouth open slightly in shock.

"Remind me never to touching anything on your table ever again." Beth told them.

Only one out of the three of them knew that, from hidden deep in the shadows that they had grown to love, someone was rolling their ice blue eyes.