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Authors: Mason Sabre

Cade (4 page)

BOOK: Cade
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“If you can think of one, I'm all ears,” Stephen replied grimly.

Suddenly, headlights came into view. Only these ones didn’t go past. They turned onto the lane and Cade, Gemma and Stephen all ducked behind Cade’s car.

“Doesn’t look like we have a choice,” muttered Cade. “We’re screwed either way.”

“Do you really think it can work?” Gemma glanced from Cade to Stephen. “Do you really think we can get them both to the other side?”

“Well what else can we do? The kid’s here. Cade’s here. His house is over the water. And sure as shit that boy he found isn’t Jesus. We can’t walk on water today.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Seven

 

Stephen held his hand out to Cade for the car keys. “You’re bound to the boy. You can ride in the back. If he wakes up, you calm his shit down.” Cade stared at him, clearly displeased with the idea of not being the one to drive. “Don’t look at me like that. You offered yourself up for this sacrifice. Give me the keys before your dad and everyone turns up and we all end up exiled together.”

“You’re banned from driving, remember?” Gemma said to her brother, her face stern with admonishment.

“Just because I am banned, doesn’t mean I can't drive.” Stephen’s face lit up with the same expression of mischief that used to so often cross his features as a child. He’d been so good at convincing Cade to take part in his next brilliant plan, which always inevitably led them into trouble.

“If you drive like an idiot, you’ll get us caught.”

“Good job I'm not an idiot then, isn’t it?” Stephen’s unrepentant grin had Gemma rolling her eyes in exasperation. “Keys?”

What Stephen was saying made sense. It did. But that didn’t stop Cade’s reluctance. He trusted Stephen. He trusted him with anything—well, almost anything. He had got them into more trouble than he could recall. But getting them away from there? Stephen was a one-man band. He went into fights hard. There was a reason he was a Society Fighter. He was fast and bold and, sometimes, reckless. Cade was the exact opposite—calm and level-headed. Exactly what this drive needed right now. It needed calculation, keeping an eye out for any threat and not driving them into a trap.

“If his hunger wakes and it’s me or Gem,” Stephen said, pointing between himself and his sister, “he’ll rip us to shit before we have time to do anything. You know he will.” He paused, looking Cade square in the eye. “I’m not scared of the kid, but if it’s me in the back and he turns, I’ll take him down.”

“And
this
is why I worry about you driving. Because if you see a block in the road, you’ll take that down, too.”

“What choice do we have?”

Gemma touched Cade’s arm lightly. “We’re doing what’s best for the boy,” she offered gently.

“If anything happens to …” He wanted to say
to you
, but he finished with a hanging, “… us ...”

“Nothing will happen,” Stephen said, not budging.

Cade glanced at the boy through the window. He was awake but not alert. Nothing more than a frightened child in that moment. He had curled into the corner, hugging his knees to his chest. One dirty, bloody hand clutched the top of his bag. Cade wasn’t sure how conscious the boy actually was. His eyes were bright and no longer
Human
. They held a tint of blue to them, and Cade knew that he could turn at any minute.

“Fine,” he said eventually, pulling his keys from his pocket and slapping them into Stephens’s hand. “You damn well better drive slowly. Lights off. They have the whole place lit up like it’s fucking Christmas. They can’t see us before we see them.”

“They won’t see us at all,” Stephen promised.

Before Stephen got into the driver’s seat, he peered into the back. The boy’s eyes had shut now, his head still down on his knees.

“He’s just a kid,” Gemma murmured. “
Someone’s
kid. Maybe his family is looking for him?”

“We’ll check the radio when we get to my place. But he can't go back. Not like this.” Cade set his jaw in determination. It pained him to see the concern on Gemma’s face. He hated to see anything other than light in her eyes. Except … except … He shut his mind down and refused to go there. “Let’s do this.”

Stephen started the engine as Cade and Gemma slipped into the car. He drove slowly, lights off, just as Cade had said. With their enhanced hearing, all three would catch any sound long before they even caught sight of any roads and blockades.

“This one, too,” Stephen said, gritting his teeth. They had tried several lanes, and there had been a road block on every single one of them so far. He swore and reversed once more. They had to try all the lanes before the estuary. That had to be the last resort, but it looked like they were going to have to take it. There wasn’t anywhere else they could go. 

Gemma sat quietly in the front seat of the car. Cade watched her, the silky length of her hair, the way the loose tendrils fell around her face and fluttered gently in the breeze. Her delicate hand reached up to tuck a strand behind her ear, and Cade wished it was his hand instead of hers. As if sensing his eyes on her, her eyes flicked up to the mirror on the visor above her and her eyes met his. The force of it was like being hit by a truck, the wind knocked out of him. With her eyes still on him, Gemma reached down the side of her seat, between her and the door where Stephen wouldn’t see, and held out her hand to Cade. He knew he shouldn’t. He knew that it was wrong in so many ways. But he needed her touch.

“We can't go farther than this,” Stephen said suddenly, pulling to a stop just outside the car park to one of the areas forbidden to
Others
. It was just outside a
Human
summer caravan site. The kinds of places they took their spoilt little darlings to in the summer for a break they didn’t deserve after school so that they could whine about ice cream and money for the arcade before making themselves vomit from the over-indulgence of high-sugared foods that they gorged into their flabby bellies. Oh, they had the luxury of eating what they wanted and as much as they liked. Obesity was becoming the best friend of most
Humans
.

“I hate these places,” Stephen said, scowling.

“Just a place for money and shit,” said Cade absently, his eyes still on Gemma’s. She tightened her hold on his hand for a second, then slowly let go. Cade had to fight the sudden feeling of loss, his heart clenching painfully in his chest.

“Smells like it, too,” agreed Stephen. “Part of me wishes we could unleash this half-breed on them. Is he still out of it?” He threw a quick glance at the back seat.

Cade reached over and placed his hand on the back of the boy’s neck. He was warm to touch—too warm. “He has a fever.” Cade closed his eyes and searched for the small wolf. He was easier to find now. He was exactly where he had left him before. “He’s sleeping.”

“How do we do this?” Gemma’s eyes were riveted on the boy. “Make him shift in the car? Carry him?”

“We drag him out and
make
him shift,” said Stephen imperturbably.

Gemma shot him an appalled look. “He’ll go into a frenzy. Maybe we need to get food for him first.”

Stephen shook his head. “There’s no time.” He pointed out ahead of them. A car pulled in and when it stopped and the doors opened, the three of them watched the happy little
Human
family hop out of the car. “We need to just get to the water and shift. We leave the car here. It’s not illegal for us to park here.”

“We need to take his bag just in case,” Cade said.

“No one’s going to find it.”

“If they do, and it’s in my car, where do think they are going to come looking?”

Stephen glanced at Gemma for backup, but saw he was alone in this. “Fine, but Gemma carries it in her mouth.”

“Do I look like your lap dog?” she grumbled.

“You’re a tabby cat, sweetheart. Do as you’re told.”

“And you’re a sexist pig,” she muttered. He smirked before continuing with his plan. 

“Gemma takes the bag. She swims by you. You guide the boy, and I’ll swim behind you both and make sure nothing happens. We carry him down to the water and we shift there. There’s plenty of shade, and no
Humans
are going to come out there at this time. We go over by the bridge. It’s the shortest part.  We swim there.”

“We’ve just got to get there.” Cade watched as the
Humans
closed the door to their caravan for the night.

“Aye, we do. Ready?”

Cade nodded.

The boy was light. It wasn’t so hard to get him down to the path. It was a trail that
Human
kids used in the daytime. Cade turned his nose up at the stench of it. They slid through some bushes and then down to the bank, made up mostly of sand and mud that created a sludgy mess.

“Here will do.” Stephen motioned towards an overgrown area behind them. It gave them some protection from any lost
Humans
. “Then we go to the right and get in the water. You need to shift first, and then the boy.”

“Stay behind me then,” said Cade as he lay the boy down on the ground. He didn’t want them close if this went wrong. He didn’t want Gemma close. Stephen could handle himself easily enough. So could Gemma, but he wasn’t going to risk anything. He pulled his shirt off, kicked off his trainers and then removed his jeans. He held them out to Gemma so that she could stuff them into the boy’s bag for the other side. He stood there naked, and he had to tell himself that the glances Gemma stole were not what he thought, only what he wanted them to be. Nudity amongst
Others
was as natural as breathing, so when Gemma seemed to be staring, her eyes lingering on his body, Cade’s heart did a somersault. But he had no time to wonder. He closed his eyes.

His
wolf
was tired in his mind. He had already shifted for one night, and he stood wearily in his mind. Cade still called to him, though. Summoned him and invited him to take over. It only took seconds for the fur to begin to peak through his skin and his bones begin to move. He ground his teeth as the shift ripped through his body, realigning everything so that he became a new form. When he was done, he went to the boy, but found himself hesitating. This bond was growing deeper with each connection, and this would need a great amount of connection to bring about the boy’s shift. His first shift.

Cade didn’t believe in God, but he did ask that they make it through this. Not that he knew who he was asking. He hoped the boy would forgive him because he was about to rip the poor kid’s body to shreds without his permission.

The small
wolf
was inside where he left him. In the corner of his mind.
Come to me
, Cade whispered to him.
Come here
. The small
wolf
only raised his weary head and stared. Cade took a tentative step towards him, not wanting to startle him or set him off. He stared at the small
wolf
, eyes locked together. He pushed everything in his mind into the boy, flinging the howl he had saved as energy into him and picturing the boy’s
wolf
getting larger.

Let go.
Cade said.
Let the wolf become you
.

The small
wolf
gave a frightened look, his blue eyes reflecting the depth of his fear. Cade’s heart squeezed at the sight. He hated what he had to do.

Close your eyes and let him grow
.

The boy let out his own howl, but it was not like Cade’s. This one was filled with pain and terror as the shift took hold of the boy. He slashed out with his claws in desperation, panic digging in deep.

Outside their minds, Cade knew the boy’s actions would be mimicking those of the
wolf’s
. His fingers would curl unnaturally as he grasped for air, his head snapping from side to side as he fought the realignment of his facial bones, back arching as the shift took hold of him. Cade leapt for the young
wolf
, blanketing him protectively.  He knew that contact would bind them more, but he was desperate to calm both child and wolf. The fur on the small
wolf’s
head streaked with browns, weaving in and out like a badge of ownership. Cade allowed it go so far and then gradually let go. He opened his mind, welcoming the young
wolf
inside. Cade didn’t expect the flood of sorrow and despair that rushed in. The deluge threatened to drown him. He heard screams and yells, the harsh words of a man … the boy’s father. He saw laughter and games, heard the thunderous crash and felt the sorrow of a life lost.

Gasping for breath, Cade snapped open his eyes and almost lost his balance. He instinctively tightened his hold on the
wolf
he was holding in his mind.

Stephen stepped forward. “Have you got him?”

In front of Cade, stood a small wolf. His blue eyes started up at him helplessly, terror in them—yet there was strength, too. The boy’s clothes lay shredded and strewn around them.

BOOK: Cade
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