Chapter TwentyMature

We spent a long time explaining everything to Kel, about Savannah and Abril and what they represented.  The look on her face when Dem told her about Savannah attacking me on my way home was so funny we ended up rolling around on the floor laughing.

Mark came home and got a surprise when the three of us were sitting cross-legged on the kitchen floor.  He knew better than to ask questions and just said hello and walked out again.

It was nearly seven o'clock before Kel felt she was up to date with what was going on.  Demitri stood up and held his hand out to me.  'Right then Cassie, I think we should get some training in while we still can.'  I groaned but took his hand all the same.  Kel followed us into the training room.

'Holy shit!'

'Yeah I know.'  I pulled off my jumper and rummaged around in my bag to find the trackies I had packed that morning.

'But.... I mean... Shit!  There are knives over there.'  She pointed to the rack in the corner.

'Yeah I wouldn't touch those.'  Demitri warned as he pulled the mat into the middle of the room again.  I left them to talk while I got changed out of my uniform.  When I got back I saw Demitri teaching Kel how to punch properly.  They didn't notice me until I coughed and their heads turned to look at me.

'I thought this was my training session.'  I walked towards them, arms folded across my chest.

'You can't be the one who gets all the action,' Kel joked.  'And seeing as the world is so dangerous out there I ought to know how to defend myself.'

And so commenced a rather unusual training session where Demitri taught Kel the basics of hand-to-hand fighting and pushed me to learn more complex moves.  At the end of the session Demitri took up a fighting stance.

'OK let's see how much you've remembered.'  He didn't wait for me to be ready but threw a punch at my left side.  I automatically dodged and stumbled slightly to the right, quickly trying to regain my balance while avoiding the volley of blows that came towards me.  I took a blow to my side and one in the stomach before I managed to land one on Demitri's face, knocking him back slightly.  I saw my chance and brought my leg up, driving me foot into his stomach, sending him into the wall. 

Before he could recover I ran over to him and pinned him to the ground.  'I win.'  I was out of breath and my chest rose and fell violently.

'Well done.  Next time I'll give it about fifty percent.'  I jabbed my knee into his side before helping him to his feet.  'It's not nice to kick a man when he's down.'  Dem joked putting his arm around my shoulders pulling me closer to him.

'Well does it count if the guy is an idiot?'

'I resent that statement Cassie.'  I laughed, ducking out from under his arm and darting across the room, daring him to attack me.  He took the bait, chasing me and wrestling me to the ground.  At that point Kel joined in and we ended up in a laughing pile on the floor.

'I've got to get home.'  I tried to crawl put from the bottom of the pile, but with Dem and Kel ontop of me it was practically impossible.

'Since when were you so bothered about getting home on time?'  Kel asked.

'Since Mum stopped caring when I got home late.  You know she's found this new guy, Steve.'  Kel nodded.  'Well since then she's been acting really weird.'

'How do you mean?'  Suddenly Demitri was interested.

'Mood swings, she doesn't argue with me anymore, she's never at home and when she does get back it's at strange hours of the morning.'

'She's probably just got a life.'  Kel said standing up and pushing Dem off me, allowing me to stand up.  'I wouldn't be worried, everything will be back to normal soon and you'll wonder why you worried to start with.'

'Probably.'  I shrugged.  After collecting my bag and stuffing some toast in my mouth, the three of us left the house and  headed home.  Kel left us first and Demitri walked me right up to my front door.  'You coming to school tomorrow?'  I stood holding my keys, not opening he door.

'Probably.  I need to see if I'm needed.  There was a break in at Abril's HQ last night, that's why I wasn't in today.'

'It's an abandoned pub.  Why would anyone want to break in?'

'It wasn't a normal break in.  Whoever it was knew the significance of the building.  They left a message.'

'What was the message?'  Demitri seemed reluctant to tell me.  'Dem I need to know, what did it say?'

'Your days are numbered.  The darkness is coming.'  My instincts told me who it was that had left the message.

'Savannah.'  I spat the word.  'We're going to have to deal with her Dem, she can't get away with doing that.'

'There is nothing we can do yet.  You aren't strong enough and haven't formally chosen which side to fight for.'

'Well I choose Abril.'  I pleaded with my eyes, not knowing if Dem could see my expression in the darkness.

'It's not that simple Cassie.  The rules state that you must finish your training before you choose your side.'

'Then ignore the rules. This is serious.  If we don't act soon then there might not be a side to choose.'  Dem rubbed his forehead with the tips of his fingers and I could imagine his face contorting into the grimace that only appeared when he was thinking really hard.

'We'll just have to teach you fast.'  It was clear that was all I was going to get out of him now, so I said good night and went inside.  The lights were off and when I flicked the switch the room remained in darkness.

'Fuck.  The power must have gone.'  I rummaged around in the darkness for a torch and finally found one in the drawer of the table by the front door.  Flicking the switch I wandered into the kitchen.  I was shocked by what I saw.

Chairs were knocked over, the table was knocked against the wall and plates were smashed on the floor.  A piece of startlingly white paper was pinned to the fridge.  'Demitri!'  I yelled, running after him.  The note read:

We have something you want.  Give up your calling and your mother will not be harmed.  Continue to follow the path you are on and she may not be returned in one piece.

Your days are numbered.  The darkness is coming.

The End

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