Chapter 3: Part 1

After some grumbles and mutterings, Gianna managed to force everyone out of the room. "Please, have a seat." She murmured to Maya. She waved her hand and an expensive looking black leather chair shot into the centre of the room, just in front of the desk. Maya sat down cautiously, wondering what sort of punishment she would get if she turned Gianna's chair into a walrus. "I really must apologise for their behaviour, they're all very... overwhelmed with certain preoccupations at the moment."

"You don't have to make excuses for them, they don't like me." Maya said trying to sound matter of fact about it. 

"Of course they do! Well, Arlo will come around, he's just very strong about his opinions and doesn't like the fact we've all ganged up against him on this. Kara's got a kind heart, although she doesn't tend to show it, especially to those she's just met. And Torr likes you, he's been on your side ever since we received the letter from Leonardo."

Great, the dog likes me. At least thats one person.

"And Jordan certainly likes you." Gianna said, but she frowned slightly as she said it.

"I think we all know what Jordan likes, and it's not my personality." Maya said, it was what Gianna was thinking anyway. "And do you mind if I ask," Maya didn't bother to let Gianna re-buff her last point "Why does Torr... you know, talk?" Gianna smiled.

"Torr wasn't always a dog, he was- cursed when he was human, destined to live forever as an Alsatian. He struggled at first, but soon came around on it. He rather likes this life now. If you want to talk to anyone, he may be a good person to start with, including me, of course."

"Thank you, but right now, I'm kind of overwhelmed, and asking more questions will just bring up answers I don't understand." Maya laughed shakily.

"Of course. Now I won't drill into you with questions just now, but we will need to figure out what you're capable of, although the flames-"

"I'm really sorry about that," Maya said, blushing "I don't know how it happened, I didn't even realise I was doing it."

"It's natural, the quicker we can get you to lessons, the faster you'll learn how to control it. Now, I've asked Arlo, Jordan and Kara to help you... learn the basics." Maya's throat tightened, not only because of the fact she would be spending more time with Arlo, but because she thought they would sooner burn her alive than train her. "Don't worry, I asked them for a reason, they're all very skilled, and good teachers." Gianna said, as if reading her thoughts. "But for now, we should probably find you a room, and get some food in you, you look tired."

"So this is like a hotel, as well as a court?" Maya asked

Gianna shook her head "This whole place is called the Court, but only the main building is used for, law purposes. The rest is, I suppose, like a giant hostel, many people live and train here, but the land spans miles, and many choose to live elsewhere, often amongst mortals. 

"Like Leonardo?" Gianna's expression darkened slightly.

"Leonardo spent time in both worlds, but eventually chose to go into hiding in the mortal world. Never you mind why, it's not important now." Maya wanted to ask more, but bit her tongue, unsure of what questions were welcome. 

"Now," said Gianna, rising from her chair to walk over to a large filing cabinet at the back of the office. She filed through, before pulling out a key, and a slip of paper. "This is your room key, but first you need to sign this, to prove you are staying here and accept our terms."

"What terms?"

"Oh you know, the usual, you will not use Whightlight inappropriately, seriously wounding or killing another Whightlighter, except in self defence, and so on. Do you agree?"

"Um, sure." Maya picked up a pen laying on the desk, and signed her name.

"And your Impression, please." Gianna said, waiting.

Maya paused, she wasn't sure she could remember the pattern, but she shut her eyes and tried to think of it. She felt the pen move, as if of its own accord, and when she opened her eyes, there was the finished mark, not a line out of place. She handed the slip back to Gianna, and picked up her room key. "I'll call Torr to come and take you," she held the door open for Maya, who went and stood in the corridor. "And Maya, if you have any worries at all, feel free to come and talk." She gave her one final, encouraging smile, before shutting the door. Maya stood in the corridor. Feeling lost and confused, and missing Eliza.

The End

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