Jaeden laughed wearily. “I don’t know, but we better clean it before Ella decides to end us.”
Sitting down at her desk, Caia smiled sheepishly at Jaeden who was sprawled across her bed, now in dry clothing borrowed from Irini’s closet. Caia’s clothes were all a little too short.
“You think Ella will forgive us?”
The kitchen was now sparkling clean after a thorough tidy up. Tired and a little afraid of Ella, Jaeden had followed Caia up to her bedroom rather than sit with the rest of the family.
“She already has, I hope.” Jaeden sighed, glancing down at the calculus work Caia had left on the bed. “Dude, what is this?” She tilted her answer book up at her.
“Drywall,” she replied sarcastically.
Caia smiled. “What are you talking about?”
“Uh, the genius solutions you’re apparently capable of.”
“What?” Caia knitted her brow in confusion and took the answer book Jaeden held out to her. Her eyebrows must have hit the roof. “What the Hades…”
Now in the once blank space next to the problem she had been unable to solve was a solution and answer. She had no idea if it was right. There was no way on Gaia’s green earth she would have been able to come up with that. It was gobbledy-gook.
“I have no idea how this got here.” She looked up at Jaeden, her eyes round with confusion. “Did you do this? Are you messing with me?”
Jaeden snorted. “Jeez, no. I wouldn’t even know where to start with calculus. Or anything to do with math. Math hates me.”
“Irini, maybe? One of the others?”
Jaeden sat up and stared at Caia like she had gone a little crazy. “You’re saying you didn’t answer this?”
“No!” Caia stood up abruptly. “This is just another in a long line of weird things that have happened to me this week.” She grimaced, staring hard out of the window as if the forest would give her the answers. Images passed across her eyes – of water coming on of its own accord; of Alexa’s chair flying away from her without anyone having touched it. What was going on here?
“What other weird things?” It was Jaeden’s turn to frown.
Could she tell her? She felt like she could trust her, but she had only known her for a week, and telling her this stuff would probably only make her think she was a prime candidate for the insane asylum.
“I um…” Caia took a breath. No. This, she would have to keep to herself, until she could work out what was going on. “Nothing. You know… I forgot the teacher did this one as an example for me. I must really be exhausted, huh?” She laughed hoping it didn’t sound entirely fake to her.
At first she thought Jaeden was going to argue, her gaze narrowing as if she were trying to see past something. It seemed she gave up, however, smiling gently. “You’re cuckoo, you know that?”
“It’s been drawn to my attention on occasion.”
“Beside the cuckoo, I’m really glad you came back. You’re sort of soothing.”
She smiled gratefully. “You were right before. I’m not used to being around so many people. I hope I can keep the names straight.”
“Yeah, you are kind of awkward.”
Caia grunted. “Well, thanks.”
Laughing, Jaeden threw a pillow at her. “I’m kidding.”
There was a moment of comfortable silence, and then Jaeden giggled as if she had just remembered something. “So, you ready to get publicly naked on your first run with the pack?”
Caia’s heart stopped. “Get what?”
“Are things going to plan?” he asked his agent.
“Very well. I nearly have all the information I need to execute Phase One,” she purred back at him.
“You’ve raised no suspicions?”
“Not a single one.”
“Good. Make sure it stays that way. I want the information I need soon. Very soon.”
“You’ll have it, sir.”
“Hm, we’ll see. I’ll be in contact.” He turned to Lars as he placed the phone down on the receiver. His assistant was hopping from one foot to the other, like a puppy dog waiting on a treat.
“Well?” Lars asked excitedly.
“Do you have to be right at my back? Go stand on the other side of the room.”
“I take it things aren’t going well.” Lars’s face fell as he inched away from his superior.
“According to our spy everything’s going perfectly well. She’ll be sending the information we need over the next few weeks.”
“Integrating into the pack. By the time we get the little bitch, the pack may actually mourn her.”
Lars sneered. “Yes, but by then we’ll have all the information we need to destroy the rest of the mangy mutts … they won’t have time to mourn the abomination.”
A slow, lazy smile spread across his face. He liked it when his lackeys were particularly enthusiastic. “Sometimes, I do like your way with words.”
8 -Secret Worlds
“You nervous about the run tomorrow?” Sebastian asked, as he eased back on her bed. Caia had been hoping to maybe sleep late, what with it being a Saturday and all, but she’d been woken up by Ella, who told her she had visitors coming over. She’d reluctantly got up and showered, had a sleepy breakfast with Ella, while Irini sat sipping cup of coffee after coffee. She was venturing out to an early picnic with Aidan. Caia hoped Aidan liked grumpy for brunch because Irini really wasn’t a morning person.
An hour after she had gotten up Sebastian and Jaeden came strolling in, bright eyed and bushy-tailed. Goddess, they were superhuman.
“I don’t know. A little.” She nodded from her position at her desk. “Especially after the little reminder that we’ll all be naked… together.”
Jaeden was on the floor doing sit ups. She smiled in-between them reassuringly. “There is nothing to worry about, I promise. It’s a lot of fun, all of the pack running together, the sound of all those paws pounding into the ground.”
“All those parts bouncing around,” Sebastian teased.
Caia groaned. “There’s a mental image I just didn’t need.”
“Oh come on, Caia, just keep your eyes at face level and you’ll be fine.”
They laughed together for a moment, enjoying Caia’s embarrassment.
“What about the little ones?” Caia frowned. “Who looks after them?”
One thing Caia did know about the pack run, anyone under the age of thirteen was not allowed to take part.
“You mean like Jaela and Sunday and the others?”
Caia had no idea who the kids were, except Jaela, so she just nodded. “I guess I do.”
Jaeden shrugged. “The moms take turns looking after them. For instance, Lucia will look after all of them one run, but for the next one Cera will, and then Imogen.”
She found herself frowning again. “Whose Cera and Imogen?”
“Cera is Lucia’s sister – and Ivan, Joaquin, and Kerianna’s mom. Her husband died a year back … shot,” Jaeden whispered the word.
Caia’s eyes widened. “Shot?”
Jaeden’s eyes teared up. “Some stupid human wanted his wallet and he wouldn’t give it to him. We guess it’s because he thought he could take him, you know if it came to a fight, but he just pulled out the gun and shot Michel in the head. If it hadn’t been such close range he would have been able to change so he could regenerate. ”
“My goddess… how awful.”
They were silent a moment, all feeling awkward, especially Caia for having brought it up. Finally, Sebastian cleared his throat as he sat up on the bed, “Imogen is my mom, by the way,” he offered. “Sunday’s my little sister, she’s five. I have another little sister, Seana. And Isaac’s my dad.”
Caia shook her head. “I’m never going to remember everyone, am I?”
Jaeden stopped exercising. “It’ll take time. There’s a few of us.”
She nodded, and was quiet as Jaeden scolded Sebastian for putting his feet up on the bed.
“Hey, I have a question,” Caia mused interrupting their squabble.
“Yeah?” They both quizzed.
“Where do we run?”
“At the back of your place.” Sebastian shrugged, indicating her window with his a nod of his head.
“Lucien and my father bought acres of the woodland just outside Woodrush,” Jaeden added. “It’s so we have privacy.”
“About that?” Caia leaned towards them, looking from one to the other. “How come you don’t get caught?”
“We haven’t had any trespassers.” Jaeden looked at Sebastian for confirmation.
He nodded and continued for her, “Yeah, even in the past when there have been the occasional sightings, nothing ever came of it. We guessed they just couldn’t believe what they were seeing. There have been teenagers who saw us and told but … ach, everyone just thinks it’s the retelling of the werewolf myth over and over again.”
Jaeden snorted. “We’re safe due to the modern age of cynicism. Thank the gods superstition’s out right?”
Caia didn’t laugh; she had a far more pressing question on her mind. “What about the war?”
Both Jaeden and Sebastian stilled, their entire bodies stiffening in alert, like prey catching the sounds of a hunter.
Sebastian cleared his throat. “Uh, what about it?” he asked nervously.
Caia just shook her head, pleading with her eyes for a response from the two of them. “You never talk about the war-”
“The war doesn’t touch us. There is no need to talk about it.” The three of them turned towards Lucien standing in the doorway. What was with him and doing that? Caia narrowed her eyes. Sebastian jumped up from the bed, reacting to Lucien’s tone. The Alpha’s eyes were glinting dangerously as they flickered over Jaeden and Sebastian. Was he angry at them?READ MORE >>