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Authors: Mason Sabre

Cade (8 page)

BOOK: Cade
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Cade went over to the small fridge under the counter and pulled out a frozen piece of meat as they talked. He grabbed a plate and tossed it into the microwave before hitting defrost on the display. Stephen had stilled and was scowling at him.

“You don’t have to watch me cook,” Cade muttered.

“That’s not cooking.” Stephen scoffed. “That’s revulsion in a bag. Don’t even come over here and eat that in front of me. I’m not going to sit and watch you poison your body that way.”

“You could have brought me something back with the boy’s food if you were so concerned.”

Gemma could hear the edge in Cade’s voice, even though she knew his words were meant to be said jokingly. There was a hint of tiredness and defeat to them, like he really couldn’t be bothered to fight about it.

“You could keep fresh meat in the fridge,” Stephen said. “There’s an entire field of bloody sheep out there. Don’t you … I don’t know … fancy some fresh lamb chops or something?” Stephen laughed at his own joke and Cade rolled his eyes. “Big bad wolf could find some little pigs or something?”

“Big bad wolf could find himself a nice, tasty cat to eat or something,” replied Cade.

Stephen grinned. “Meow.”

When the food was defrosted but still raw, Cade sat at the table and then proceeded to eat his rabbit with as much noise as he could manage. Gemma stifled a laugh, sure that he had chosen to sit opposite Stephen on purpose.

Stephen fake retched as he watched him.  “I have no idea how you can stand to put that in your mouth.”

Cade cut off a sliver and then offered it to Stephen. “Mmm … it’s really good. I’ll share if you like.” Stephen screwed his face up in disgust and it was Cade’s turn to grin.

“Stop. You’re scaring him,” Gemma chuckled, earning herself a tug on her hair from her brother. Stephen leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms, his expression one of pure disapproval as he watched Cade finish off his meal.

“What did your dad have to say when you called him?” Cade asked.

Stephen sighed heavily. “We lost Newberry, Breckenridge and Duncliffe Woods. All of them fucking burnt down and gone. Society is there. They’re going nuts. My dad wants me home, but I told him it’ll have to wait for morning. I don’t have my car, and I'm not walking. The
Humans
will pick my ass up just for being out after dark like a bad little boy.”

“Do they know what they’re looking for?” Gemma tried her hardest not to visualise the
Humans
creeping up to Cade’s house as they spoke, ready to ambush them.

“They don’t know,” said Stephen, shaking his head. Then he laughed. “They're looking for something that is over six feet tall. Something with claws like swords, red eyes and two sets of razor-sharp teeth.”

Gemma sat back in her chair as Stephen spoke, and stretched her legs out in front of her. Little butterflies of apprehension danced in her stomach as she dared to move her bare foot and rest it on Cade’s, tucking her toes under the hem of his jeans. His eyes flicked to hers and his entire body tensed. He glanced back at Stephen, as if checking if he had seen, but Stephen seemed lost in his own thoughts at that moment. Cade’s shoulders remained stiff, and a muscle worked in his jaw, but Gemma was delighted to see that he didn’t move his foot away. That just made the need to touch him hitch up even further.

Cade cleared his throat before speaking again, his eyes avoiding Gemma’s again. “Goddamn
Humans
. They just twist shit all the time. I suppose we should at least be thankful they aren’t looking for the boy. “

“No, but sure as shit they will kill him anyway when they learn that he is a half-breed. Won’t matter what he has or has not done. You know they won’t let him live.” Stephen got up to pour himself more coffee and Cade’s gaze darted back to Gemma. She watched him struggle with some kind of emotion, his eyes falling to her mouth after a moment and lingering on her lips. Gemma’s heart sped up, her lips parting of their own volition. The draw of him was so powerful that she had no idea how she stayed put, the overwhelming compulsion to crawl onto his lap almost irresistible. She quickly removed her foot from his before she made a total fool of herself, her body’s violent reaction to that hot look shocking her. God, if she ever got Cade into her bed, sex with him would be explosive. Breathing raggedly, she couldn’t contain the excitement that coursed through her veins at the look of disappointment that flitted over Cade’s features as she withdrew her foot—the fact that he had also not pulled away from her giving her heart hope.

They both averted their gaze as soon as Stephen turned back to face them. Gemma’s heart was pounding like a jackhammer while Cade sat there looking calm and collected—as if the entire earth had not just shuddered under their very feet. Stephen’s eyes narrowed on Gemma as he leaned against the counter with his mug. “You okay?” he said, frowning at her.

Oh god. Could he hear her frantic heartbeat? He was
Other
, their hearing heightened. She nodded earnestly, not trusting herself to speak, hoping he’d just believe she was feeling a little anxious. Cade and Stephen were both extremely tall men, but at Stephen’s six feet, four inches to Cade’s was six feet, Stephen seemed to tower over almost everyone in any room. As he stood in the kitchen now while they sat, Gemma couldn’t help but feel that sense of being dwarfed even more. Stephen had a predatory air about him that made people tread carefully. Only a fool would ever try to sneak up on him—and actually hope to get out alive. “Have you decided what you're going to do exactly?” Stephen looked at Cade as he took a sip of the hot liquid in his mug. “I mean, you have this boy upstairs, and he isn’t going anywhere after what we just saw.”

Cade shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“Your father’s going to go like hell at this.”

“Oh, for sure,” Cade replied. “But I’m not just going to push the boy out. I’ll find something.”

“You could train him,” Gemma added. “Don’t tell your dad about him until he is ready. Get him trained up so that he controls everything. Get him trained so that he is of use.”

“That could take ages,” said Stephen.

“Maybe, but then at least it makes it harder for Trevor to argue.”

“You mean like sneak him in a side door?”

“Exactly,” she said as she leaned back. “Make it that he can't say no.” Gemma glanced from one to the other. It was the best shot they had. Cade wasn’t beta to his pack—that was his brother, Aaron. “You could pay for him.
We
could pay for him,” she corrected. “Between us, we get him Society status and then no fucker can touch him.”

“And when they find out he is a half-breed?” asked Stephen.

“Then we run,” said Cade. “Fast.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Twelve

 

Cade’s house had so many rooms that when it came to sleeping arrangements, there wasn’t ever really an issue with who would go where. The problem was mostly actual beds. Gemma was taking Cade’s bed, although Stephen had protested. “If the boy wakes up, where’s the first place he is going to go?”

“I can handle myself,” Gemma had scolded him, and he had eventually given up. He was taking the small room that went over the porch. It was nothing more than a tiny box room. There was no bed in it, but Stephen set up the camping cot that Cade had. It was all he needed, he had said. Cade took the sofa—after he managed to find it under all that paperwork. Not that he would manage much sleep on it anyway he mused. The truth was that he would have preferred to have slept in the room next to the boy. Just in case.

Cade stood in the bathroom, the small lamp that rested on the chair casting odd shadows around the small room. He grabbed the sides of the sink and waited for the throbbing in his head to subside. Judging by the pressure at his temples, it didn’t seem likely that was going to happen any time soon. He was burning up under his shirt and his vision swam as he raised his head to stare into the mirror. It took a moment for his reflection to actually come into focus. His mind filled with chaos and his thoughts tumbled around in his confused and troubled mind. Nothing was making any sense to him and the more he tried to force it, the less effective he was.

What would he do with the boy? That was the ultimate question. Was he prepared to take him on full-time? It occurred to Cade that perhaps the boy had a family searching for him. The boy could have been the child of someone of importance. Perhaps there was a nationwide search for the kid. Loving parents and all that shit. Of course, Cade chased that stupid thought away easily. If there was a family looking for the boy, wouldn’t they have found him? The boy’s shoes alone indicated that he had walked a very long way. What were the chances that his family were looking? Slim. It was a better bet that the family had thrown the boy out. They’d not accept an
Other
as one of their own—even if he was a half-breed, and even if he had been one of their own before he had been turned.

“Stupid fucking
Humans
and their beliefs,” Cade growled under his breath.

Cade glared at himself in the mirror, questioning himself and every decision he had made in the last few hours.  How much hatred the
Humans
had for
Others
to enable them to turf out their own flesh and blood; a child. So what if they had caught what
Humans
termed a
disease
. Was that really a good enough reason? Someone gets sick and then they’re thrown out? Cade was willing to bet his life on the conviction that that would be the boy’s story. It was usually how it went. Except … this boy … he was different. He had made it somehow. Half-breeds never did—not to Cade’s knowledge anyway. Usually it was the shift that got them. This boy had strength at least.

Turning on the tap, Cade let the water run for a moment so that it was as cold as possible. His face was pale in the mirror, the rims of his eyes red and the whites bloodshot. It was his connection with the boy—he was sure of it.  Was that how the boy was making it? Through Cade—through their energy? It had to be the reason why Cade had felt so drained before that he had basically passed out.

Cupping his hands under the running water, Cade splashed some onto his face. “Shit.” The water was like ice against his burning skin. He gritted his teeth and splashed on more, until the tingle under his skin began to subside and his mind began to clear. He was running a fever, except, he knew that it wasn’t his. It was the boy’s. Cade hoped it worked the other way and that if he cooled himself down, he could cool the boy down, too.

Cade patted his face dry with the small hand towel that he kept on the back of the door. He stopped and inhaled deeply. It smelt like Gemma—sweet and musky all at the same time. He kept it against his face and drowned in the scent. It calmed his
wolf
. He had found the piece of him that had been missing, the part that completed him. But it was wrong and forbidden. Reluctantly, he hung the towel back up and tried not to ponder what had happened before in the kitchen. Perhaps Gemma had simply needed contact tonight—perhaps she had needed something to calm her nerves. But
cats
didn’t need touch like wolves did, so it didn’t really make sense. Had she been flirting with him? Had what had happened after their shift earlier this evening not been in his imagination, and Gemma was actually trying to seduce him? The entire notion seemed absolutely absurd. Yet, he had heard her heart speed up, watched how her lips had parted in silent invitation, and sensed her arousal. He swore silently. Whatever the case, he had to stay away from her. This was Gemma. This was Stephen’s little sister. Practically his, too.

The small lamp in the hallway barely cast any light at all. Tonight, it seemed a little darker than usual … or maybe it was him who was a little darker than normal. Cade walked quietly, careful not to disturb Stephen and Gemma, who had both already gone to their rooms. As he was about to walk past Gemma’s room, he noticed her door stood slightly ajar. His stomach knotted, anticipation of maybe catching a glimpse of her asleep in his bed—where she belonged. The thought rose unbidden to his mind, and he forced it back down with a silent curse. As he approached her door, he kept reminding himself he was simply going to go close her door so that she’d have her privacy. That was all. He wasn’t doing it for any other reason. He wasn’t hoping to try catch a glimpse of her, he tried to convince himself. But when he reached the door, his mind emptied. Gemma was standing next to his bed in the semi-lit room, dressed only in the shirt he had loaned her.

Cade’s breath caught in his throat as his gaze travelled up the length of her long, naked legs, to the shirt, and then all the way up to her face. Their eyes met and locked, just like they had in the kitchen before. He watched her with a growing hunger that only spiked when she reached to the top button of the shirt and slowly pushed it open, exposing her throat to him. Keeping her eyes on him, she moved her hand down slowly, opening the next button and then the next. Cade sucked in his breath and took a step forward, almost as if in a trance. His mind suddenly engaging, he realised what he was about to do. He grabbed onto the wooden frame, the wood threatening to splinter under the force of his grip. It was the only thing that kept him from racing into the room and possessing every part of her.

BOOK: Cade
4.44Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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