"I hate you! I don't want to see you ever again!" she shouted, tears of fury in her eyes.

"Neither do I!" he shouted before getting out of the house and banging the door shut.

After 6 months of steady relationship, a big fight spoiled it all. No one could have seen it coming; they were the happiest couple you could ever find. A little spark transformed into a fire and turned everything into ash. A couple of weeks after the incident, Warren turned into a catatonic albino while Paola was off in another Knights' mission. She never heard about Warren's problem, not after much later. Maybe they would've gotten in touch again if Warren hadn't entered a comma…but enough of fussing about the past, let's go to the present...


Warren was walking towards Kendra, who was outside chatting with fairies. That was her first reunion as a Knight of the Dawn, so it was normal that she wanted to get away of it all, but her Lieutenant had an assignment for her. He was sorry that Kendra had to be involved in all of this, specially if the Sphinx was the captain. He wasn't so sure they could trust Vanessa though...he didn't know what to think. He was so lost in his own thoughts that he barely noticed that he had bumped into someone.

-"Watch your step!" an angry feminine voice shouted

-"Sorry" he replied in a slightly mocking tone. Then he froze, realizing what he had heard. That voice...no, it couldn't be her. He had imagined it, because he missed her so much and his mind was playing games with him...

She was thinking something similar. Of all the people who were gathered here, he had to bump into her. But then again, she could've imagined it. But then, why was he frozen too?

-"W-warren?" she asked dubiously. Warren's heart accelerated. It was her! He had to play it cool. He smiled; then remembered he had the mask on.

-"The same" After hearing his response, she turned and ran. She was such a coward! Why couldn't she confront him? Because it was hard, and she ran away from hard things. Anyway, when she stopped running, she regretted it instantly. How was she supposed to find him now?! Everyone looked the same. She punched the wall furiously. Why was she so stupid, enough to run away from an opportunity like this? Eventually she calmed down a little, and started to make up her mind. Sure, she had seen Warren again...but he probably had already made his life, probably had a girlfriend and all. Maybe it was Vanessa. The thought of her archenemy having his ex boyfriend made her stomach churn. Their natural rivalry had only intensified when both of them fell in love with the same guy, who, she remembered smugly, had chosen her, Paola, over Vanessa. But now everything was lost...Paola shed a single tear as she decided to forget Warren and everything that had happened between them. That belonged to a beautiful past...

Warren stood there dumbstruck. Why had she run away like that? It was definitely her; he could recognize that voice anywhere. Warren started walking again, trying to forget the incident. But he couldn't...he had been so close to her again, after all those years of hearing nothing about her. Paola...he smiled to himself, remembering the first time they met, he had a hard time trying to pronounce her pretty Italian name correctly. The smile turned into a scowl as he remembered their last fight, the one that separated them completely. He would probably never see her again, so he had to let her go...she probably had a new boyfriend now, someone who wouldn't make the mistake he did. Let her go.

He finally arrived to Kendra.

"Kendra? They want to issue your assignment." he said

"Okay," Kendra turned to face the fairies. Warren was worried someone would see her, that would lead to awkward explanations. "Secret preserves?" she asked them. They replied with chirps and sounds that reminded him of glitter, though he wasn't sure why.

"Thanks for being so helpful," Fairies talked a little more in their funny language, then scattered.

Warren held the screen open and Kendra exited. "Be glad you weren't spotted surrounded by chatty fairies," he said.

"It just sort of happened" Kendra replied

"Learn anything?"

"Not much. Except that these fairies didn't get the memo to give me the cold shoulder." They quietly continued to walk, minds in completely different places. Kendra worried about everything the fairies had told her and about her fairykind status. In the other hand, Warren worried about certain person, who should be there with him, but wasn't... After some time of walking, interrupted only slightly by Tanu, they returned to the same room where they had met the Captain earlier. A person in a gold trimmed mask stood by the fireplace. Once Warren and Kendra closed the door, Dougan removed his mask, prompting Kendra and Warren to do the same.

"How did you like your first meeting as a Knight?" Dougan asked Kendra.

"It made me nervous," she admitted.

"Good, that was part of the aim," he said. "We need to keep on our toes now more than ever. Are you ready for your assignment?"

"Sure," Kendra said

Warren and Kendra sat down on the sofa, but Dougan remained standing, hands clasped behind his back. "Warren, have you ever heard of Lost Mesa?"

"Can't say I have" Warren replied, eyebrows knitted together

"Clearly you know about some of the secret preserves like Fablehaven. Lost Mesa is another of the secret preserves"

"The refuge in Arizona," Warren deduced "I know of it, though I hadn't heard the name. I've never been there."

"Lost Mesa is in Navajo land. What do you know about the objects hidden on the secret preserves?"

"There are five secret preserves, each with a hidden artifact," Kendra said. "Together, the artifacts can open Zzyzx, the main demon prison."

"The captain told me you would know," Dougan said. "Protecting these artifacts from exploitation is the top priority of the Knights of the Dawn. We have strong reason to suspect that the Society has learned the location of Lost Mesa. We sent in a small team to recover the artifact there, in order to transfer it to a safer repository. The team has encountered some trouble, so I am personally going there to complete the operation. I need Kendra to come with me, so that she can recharge the artifact before we extract it. We understand she has that ability."

"A few questions. First off, what sort of trouble did the current team encounter?" Warren asked.

"They found the caverns where the artifact lies hidden," Dougan said. "The traps guarding the prize proved too much for the three of them. One of the three members perished, and a second was badly injured."

"Sounds like an ideal situation for involving a fourteen-year-old girl. Why exactly do you need to charge the artifact?"

"The Captain thinks that if the artifact is operational we can use its power to better conceal it."

"Does he know which artifact it is?"

"He or she does not."

"Won't activating the artifacts make them much more dangerous if they fall into the wrong hands?"

"Do you really think the Society won't find a way to charge them if they ever lay hands on them? If anything, charging the artifacts now will make Kendra safer. The Society won't be after her to jump start their prison keys."

Warren jumped from his seat and stared at Dougan intently. "Dougan, level with me, is the Captain the Sphinx?"

"That's one of many popular theories," Dougan smiled "No theory I've heard has it right."

"That is exactly what I would say if I were trying to conceal the truth, specially if one of the theories were accurate"

"It's also what you'd say if all the theories were false. Warren, I have to warn you, this line of questioning is unacceptable."

"Warren shook his head. "I can't elaborate why, but the question is important. I don't care who the Captain is, as long as he isn't the Sphinx. Just swear that to me."

"I'm not swearing one way or the other. Don't push me, Warren. I'll already have to speak with the Captain about your sudden interest on his or her identity. Don't make it worse. For all of our sakes, I can't expose anything about the leader of the Knights."

"Then Kendra isn't going to Lost Mesa. If necessary, she'll resign to her Knighthood." Warren turned to face her. "Would you mind having the shortest career in the history of the Knights of the Dawn?"

"I'll do whatever you think is best," Kendra said.

"I don't appreciate being strong armed" Dougan growled.

"I don't like being kept in the dark" Warren countered. "Dougan, you know me. I don't ask for intelligence just to satisfy my curiosity. I've got a reason"

"Look, will the two of you keep the following information private? Not a word to anyone!"

"I promise." Warren said. Kendra just nodded.

"The Captain is not the Sphinx. We like the rumour, because it distracts people from the truth, so don't spoil it. Now you tell me, what would it matter if the Captain were the Sphinx?"

"What do you know about the events at Fablehaven this summer?" Warren asked

"Were there events out of the ordinary?"

"Then I can't tell you. None of this is huge deal, just me being overly cautious. Which I tend to be if the fate of the world is on the line. If the Captain sees fit to fill you in on what happened, maybe we can talk more."

"I hear you. I told you what you wanted. Are you ready to step aside and allow Kendra to come to Lost Mesa with me?"

"Who else is going?"

"Just me, Kendra, Gavin and..." Dougan suddenly seemed uncomfortable "Well, you know this one..."

"Who is it?" Warren asked cautiously

"Paola" Dougan spluttered after an uncomfortable pause. Warren made an agonizing sound. Perfect. Perfect! Now that he had decided to forget all about her and get a new life, she had to meddle in his plans. As usual.

"Why her?" Warren asked in a small voice. Kendra couldn't understand what was happening. Who was this Paola character? Why was Warren so upset about her coming? He wasn't even invited to the mission.

"She is one of our best adventurers, and has explored Lost Mesa before. Besides, during her time at India she met a witch that practiced white magic, who taught her to define auras, between other stuff. She can now tell if someone is human, an avatar or something disguised to look as a human. She is going to be very useful. But, why do you care? The mission doesn't include you."

"Do you really think I'm going to let Kendra go unguarded? No. She needs to be willing to do it and I have to go with her for her to go, though I don't want to. Besides, I could come in handy. I know how to do my stuff."

"Alright. I just need to talk with the Captain about it, if he's willing to let you come along then you're invited."

"Understandable" Warren said as Dougan left the room. Once he was gone he let out a sharp groan. Now he was going to have to spend several days, weeks, maybe even months with her. The girl who had stolen his heart and wasn't going to give it back anytime soon, specially if she kept hanging around him.

"Warren. Warren!" Kendra was snapping her fingers in front of his face. Warren was acting very strange since Dougan had mentioned the girl. Besides, why was Dougan so unwilling to say the name? Who was she?! And what did she have to do with Warren?!

"Oh, sorry!" Warren said snapping back to reality "I got lost in my thoughts."

"Who is the girl Dougan mentioned? Paola?" Kendra noticed that Warren had clenched his jaw and fists after hearing the name. Quickly he composed himself and relaxed.

"Long story" he said sighing. "Now let's concentrate on the mission..."

AUTHOR'S NOTE

Hi! This is the beginning of my story, which is going to be about Warren and an OC, as you may have noticed. English is not my native language, so if you find any grammar or spelling mistakes don't be afraid of telling me. I know this first chapter is a bit confusing, but everything is going to be explained in the next chapter. Right now you are as lost as Kendra, well, perhaps a bit less. If you are a fan of Vanessa or Vanessa/Warren I warn you: there's a lot of hating on Vanessa in this story, from my OC's point of view, as they are natural rivals. I will try to update as fast as possible, please give my story a shot and tell me what you think!

Love,

PaolaBurgess