Chapter Forty-FiveMature

‘Where is my mother?’ I asked hastily as I turned around, seeing only Abril in the space behind me.

‘She’s right-‘Abril stopped speaking as soon as she noticed Demitri was right.  There was no one else in the room.  ‘Shit where have they gone?’

‘Abril where is my mother?’  I shouted, running across the space towards her, anger and fear flaring up inside me.  ‘I’m not going to have lost Savannah for nothing.’

‘I swear she was right there,’ Abril said, pointing to the spot where the others had been standing.

‘Calm down Cassie,’ Dem said, putting his hand on my shoulder.

‘Don’t you dare tell me to calm down.  Abril was meant to be watching Clay and my mother and now they are both missing.’

‘They can’t have gone far,’ Demitri said, trying to reassure me.  ‘We’ll go after them.’ He took my hand and pulled me towards the doorway at a run.  It was dark outside but Demitri and I continued to run.  I had no idea how we were going to find my mother; I just knew we had to find her.

'We're not going to get anywhere doing this,' I said, pulling Demitri to a halt.  'We're going to have to split up or we'll never catch them before they disappear.'

'I'm not having you going off on your own,' Demitri protested.  'We have no idea how these men are trained.'

'From what we saw in there I don't think these are trained fighters.  Steve brought them along to look intimidating, I'm sure of it.  Now will you please trust me.'

'I don't want you to get hurt.'

'Stop being such a girl and go look over there,' I ordered, pretending I didn't feel good because of Demitri's concern.  'I can look after myself.'

I ran off in the opposite direction to where I'd pointed Demitri, my eyes searching the darkness for any sort of movement.

'Hello!'  I called,  not expecting an answer so I wasn't too disappointed when no one called back.  'Mum it's me,' I shouted, still moving.  'If you can hear me let me know where you are.'  The only reply was silence.

I worked my way around the warehouse until I met Demitri at the halfway point.

'Anything?'  I asked hopefully.

'Nothing,' he replied.  'I'm so sorry Cassie.'

'I can't believe that even now he can still win,' I said frustratedly.  'Why do I always let this happen?'

'You don't always let this happen.'

'Yes I do.  With you and Savannah.  And now I've lost both Clay and my mother.'  I could feel tears of anger and frustration welling up in my eyes.  I sniffed violently, trying to hold them back.

'Come here.'  Demitri held out his arms and I walked into them, letting him hold me against his chest and feeling the tears run silently down my face.  'We'll find her I promise.'  He kissed the top of my head, his lips soft and warm against my forehead.  'So what now?'

'I don't know,' I sniffed.  'I thought you were the one who was going to tell me what to do next.  I've been in charge for far too long.'

'We need to take Savannah back to her people.  They'll be the ones who need to sort out a proper burial for her and elect a new leader.'

'I don't think I can face that,' I said, burying my head in Dem's chest again.

'I can do it.  You go back to the pub with Abril and I'll meet you there.'  He let go of me, turning to leave.  'We're going to have to talk about us you know,' he mumbled only just loud enough for me to hear.

'What do you mean?'

'What are we?'  He asked turning to face me.  'What we have is far more than a teacher/pupil relationship.  Maybe even more than friendship.  The kiss you gave me certainly implied that your feelings went further than that of a friend.'

'What about you?'  I asked tentatively.  'What about your feelings for me?'

'To be honest, I don't know what to.  I've never been in this position before so I have no idea what rules there are about things like this.'

'Things like what?  A normal relationship?'

'No, any relationship you or I would have, with each other or any one else, is seriously complicated.  We're not normal people Cassie.  We can't have normal, straightforward relationships.'

'I think this is a bit much for now,' I said, exhaustion starting to set in.  'Can we talk about this later, when everything is a bit clearer.'

'I think that would be best,' Demitri agreed.

'Cassie!'  Both our heads snapped in the direction of the warehouse at the sound of Abril's voice.  'Cassie, I've found her!'  A few moments later, Abril emerged with a limp figure in her arms.  I knew at once it was my mother and took off at a sprint towards Abril.

'Is she alright?'  I asked, stroking the hair away from my mother's unconscious face.  She was covered in bruises which made my blood boil.  I wanted to kill every member of 'The Twelve Zodiacs' for the state my mother was in.  God only knows what she endured because of me.

'I think she'll be fine.  She needs to rest for a while.'

'What about Mark?'  Demitri asked.  Mark had completely slipped my mind, I'd forgotten he'd been knocked out by Steve.

'He was the one who found her.  He came round a few minutes ago and insisted on searching for your mother.  He found her hidden outside the entrance to the warehouse.  I suppose they just left her there when the fled.  Too much of a burden to carry.'

'Where is Mark now?'

'Sitting down,' Abril replied.  'I'm going to take him back to the bar in a moment.  I think we could all do with a drink.'

'I've got some things to sort out,' Demitri said.  'But I'll see you at the pub in about an hour.'

The End

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