Chapter Twenty-FiveMature

'You're doing what?'  Kel looked furious after I'd told her about my visit to Demitiri.

'I'm going to fight back, save my mother and help Dem defeat these bad guys.'

'Are you clinically insane?'  Kel was shouting so loudly I was glad her parents weren't home to hear our argument.  'They've said they'll kill her if you try to do anything to save her, or start training again, and now you're doing both!  You'll get us all killed Cassie!'

'No I won't,' I tried to reassure her by staying calm and not rising to her nose level.  'I've spoken to Demitri and we think we can do this in a way that will stop people being killed.'

'I knew he would have something to do with it,' Kel exclaimed.

'I thought you got on with Dem?'  Kel frowned at me, I was starting to get on her nerves as well as shock her.

'I did get on with him, but now he's putting both yours and your mother's lives on the line, just so he can catch his bad guy, my opinion of him isn't looking so good.'

'Well I'm really sorry Kel, but it's my life and my decision.  I'm going to do everything I can to get my mum back.  I've realised there is no point in being passive.  You have to risk something to get the reward.'

'But what if there isn't a reward?  What if when everything is over, Linda is dead, the bad guys have escaped and you are left with nothing?  Because I can tell you know, I'm cutting myself off from this.  You might be willing to put your family's life on the line, but I'm not going to risk mine.'

'I understand that Kel.  You have the right to protect the people you love.'  Thinking the conversation was over I moved past Kel and towards the stairs, heading towards the room where I was sleeping.

'I don't think I've made myself clear enough,' Kel said, her voice calm but with a slight hint of regret in it.  'I can't have you, or anyone else who might hurt my family around.'

'You're asking me to leave?'  I was shocked and hurt by Kel's evasive delivery of her order.  'Where am I going to go?'

'Back home?'  Kel was trying to look completely unemotional but I could see her biting her lip to hold back tears.

'You know I can't go back there, not alone.'

'Then I'm sure Demitri will take you in.'  Her voice held a slight hint of spite which didn't show on her face.  'Or maybe he has a friend he can hand you over to if he doesn't think you can stay with him.'

'Don't talk about Demitri like that,' I said, suddenly feeling protected.  'I don't know what's gotten into you, but don't take it out on him.'  There were a few moments of silence where neither of us moved.  'And you don't have to worry about your family,' I almost whispered, 'I'll be gone within the hour.'

***

There was no-one at Demitri and Mark's house when I arrived an hour and a half later.  The streets were dark and I was starting to get scared, not wanting to be in the dark on my own, particularly when I thought about the decision I had made only a few hours earlier.

Going round the side of the house I left most of my stuff out of sight on the back porch and began walking down the unfamiliar streets.  I didn't see or hear anyone as I walked quickly, constantly checking over my shoulder to check there was no-one there.

With a great deal of effort I found the dilapidated pub that was Abril's HQ.  I know I could have gone to Savannah, but needless to say, she terrified me and I needed a sort of friendly face at that moment.  And failing that, someone who didn't look like they were going to kill me.

As I walked in the pub the atmosphere was pretty much the same it had been the first time I had arrived.  There were loads of people sitting around, drinking and chatting.  But unlike last time, the chatter and noise continued, no-one turned to look at me and I managed to make it to the bar unnoticed.

The barman leaned over, smiling at me in a way I wasn't sure I was comfortable with.  'Hello love, what can I get you?'

'I'm looking for Demitri Erikson.  Has he been in tonight?'  Looking slightly disappointed, the bartender pointed to a large table at the other end of the bar, covered in shadow, where two figures were sitting, engrossed in a conversation.

'He's over there with Abril.  What do you want with Demitri anyway?'  I wasn't sure if I should tell him who I was, but seeing as I wasn't in a position to get into any kind of trouble I spoke.

'He's my trainer and I need somewhere to stay.'  I walked away, towards the table where Demitri was sitting.  He looked up pretty quickly when I came into his line of vision.

'Cassie?  What the hell are you doing here?'

'I've been kicked out,' I said simply.  'I've got no-one else to turn to and I can't stand the thought of living in my house, where I know someone can get me, alone.'  I tried to put on my most pathetic-looking face as I smiled at Dem.  'I was wondering if I could crash at yours for a while?'

The End

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