Chapter Twenty-ThreeMature

Days passed and I continued to stay with Kel.  It just didn't feel right going home to an empty house and in truth I was scared.  They knew where I lived and could come for me at any time.  At least with Kel there would be someone around to hear me scream.

Her parents thought my mother had gone away with Steve for a holiday, which is why I was staying with them.  I didn't want to lie to them but there was no way we could tell them the truth, they wouldn't believe it.  No-one would.  So I acted as normal.  I went to school and mucked around with Kel, but anyone who knew me well enough could tell my heart wasn't in it.

Through all this time, Demitri didn't show his face, not at school, not at Kel's, not anywhere.  I did see Abril once, waiting outside the school gates, watching me calmly as I walked out of the building.  But as soon as I saw her, she vanished.

It seemed like my life was going back to 'normal'.  Or so I thought.  About a week after Mum disappeared there was a note left for me on Kel's doorstep.  I picked it up and let myself in with the key Kel's mum had trusted me with.  Sitting down at the kitchen table I tore at the envelope, knowing who it was from.

You know when to follow orders Cassandra.  That works well for you.  Unfortunately your friends haven't quite understood and I am starting to lose my patience.  Make Demitri stop trying to find me and your mother will be returned safely.  If not... well I leave that for you to think about.

'So that's why I haven't seen Demitri!  He's been sticking his nose into my business again.'  Fuming, I grabbed my bag from the table, where I had dropped it and marched out the door.  I headed towards Demitri's house.  I was surprised at myself for remembering the way and soon enough I was banging on the door.  'Open up Demitri.  You know why I'm here!'  I saw a silhouette behind the door and when it swung open I was faced with a confused looking Mark.

'What's wrong Cassie?  I haven't seen you for ages, where have you been?'

I ignored his questions and went straight to what I wanted.  'Where is Demitri?'

'I haven't seen him since yesterday morning.  He said he might not be back for a few days.  Do you want to come in?'  I nodded and Mark stood aside to let me through the door.  'Tea?'

'Yes please.'  Mark smiled and led me into the kitchen and calmly made two cups of tea giving me the milk to put in my tea.

'So what has Demitri done this time to make you mad at him?'

'It's a very long story.'  I took a sip of my steaming cup of tea.

'I've got the time.  Tell me what's wrong, I might be able to help.' 

'Well don't say I didn't warn you.'


Four cups of tea later and Mark had just about got what was happening.

'So your mother is being held to ransom by some unknown person or group, who want you to stop training in order for them to take control.'

'That's it.'

'So you went along with what they asked but you think Demitri is still looking for your mother or they would have let her go by now.'

'It makes sense.  Demitri isn't the sort to do as he's told.'

'But it doesn't work.'  Mark leaned in, preparing to explain his theory.  'They aren't going to give your mother back if you comply with them.  If you show you can be influenced by them then why would they give away their leverage?  But secondly they'll probably kill her if you don't show them you care about her.'

'So what do I do Mark?  I'm between a rock and a hard place with no way out.'

'There is always a way out.'  I turned violently to see Demitri standing in the doorway, his coat still on.

'Then tell me what I should do Dem, because from where I'm standing I can't see the way out of this mess.'

'It's simple.  You fight back.'

The End

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