INTEGRATION (Bonfire Academy Book Two) (Bonfire Chronicles)

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Authors: Imogen Rose
first, in the shifter wing. The place smelled so bad that I had to pinch my nose as we walked up the steps to the fourth floor. There was, of course, no way Mason was going to be in his room, but the list of places The Smelt asked Jagger to check had Mason’s room on the top of it.
    “Didn’t you check his room already?” I asked Jagger.
    “I did, but I want to check again in case he’s back after flying around to calm down.”
    “Seems like a bit of a waste of time.”
    “Maybe. But I’ve been hanging out with Mason a lot. His father is adamant that he graduates now that he’s managed to get him back here. I’m pretty sure that M. Drasco will force him back to his quarters, and then probably take him back to The Smelt. I’ve just got to find out where he is and let The Smelt know, that’s all.”
    I heard raised voices coming from Mason’s room as we approached. Jagger grabbed my shoulder, bringing me to a stop one door away from Mason’s. The shouting voice was definitely M. Drasco. Reading his son the riot act, no doubt. I heard an unfamiliar voice, an elderly female from the sound of it, definitely not Mason’s. I looked up at Jagger, raising my eyebrows, wondering if his sense of hearing could make out whom it was.
    He shrugged.
    Hard as I tried, I couldn’t tell what was being said through the soundproofed walls.
    I put my lips to Jagger’s ear and whispered, “Can you hear that? The old woman?”
    He shook his head. “In Mason’s room? I can’t hear a thing.”
    “Yeah. I can make out three voices—Mason, his father, and an old lady. Like real old.” Really old ladies were a rarity at the Academy, so I couldn’t think of anyone to match the voice to as I went through the library of staff images in my head.
    “Any idea who it could be?” Jagger asked. “I can’t think of any elderly ladies. Could it be Mason’s mom? His biological one?”
    “You think? Maybe his grandma? I mean, I doubt his dad’s married to someone so old.” I wished I could knock on the door, but we’d been given very strict instructions not to approach Mason, just to let Frau Schmelder know when we found him. I got my cell out of my pocket and called her.
    “Did you find Mason?” she asked.
    “Yes, in his room with his dad and someone else, an old lady. Do you want us to bring him back to your office?” I asked hopefully.
    “No. And what took you so long to get back to me? His room was first on the list.”
    “Oh, never mind. Leave the area. If they are in his room, I fully expect them to come back to my office on their own. I suspect Mason is getting a talking to.”
    “Certainly sounds like it. There is someone else in the room. Sounds like an old lady,” I said again.
    “Oh? Any idea who she is?”
    “Hmm. Oh, well. Do as I say. I’ll figure this out.”
    “What do you want Jagger and me to do now?”
    “Go back to your scheduled activities. Check your iPads.”
    “What about Faustine?”
    “Quinn is with her. The two of you need to just get out of there now. Understood?”
    “We have to leave,” I whispered to Jagger when she hung up.
    “No way! I want to see who’s in the room.”
    “Me too, but we can’t stay.” I pointed at the surveillance cameras and waved. The Smelt was sure to be watching us. In fact, she had probably been watching the room for a while, but I guessed Mason and his father hadn’t used the front door. They must have flown in, but what about the woman? Was she a shifter? I had to know.
    “Oh, what the heck.” I walked over and knocked on Mason’s door before Jagger had a chance to stop me. The voices went silent instantly. I knocked again. No reply.
    “They’re not going to open the door!” Jagger whispered.
    I remembered his skill at unlocking doors from our Enrichment year when he’d even managed to break into The Smelt’s office. “Got your tools?”
    He brought out his Victorinox knife and started fiddling with the lock. I heard a

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