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   Chapter 12 Quickening Cassie Wilson Book 1

Quickening By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 17313

Updated: 2018-03-14 10:46

Chapter 12

Cassie pulled into her driveway and turned off the engine. It was later than she usually got home during a school day, but the house looked as it always did. From the outside there was no sign that Enki and Skadi searched it or if they were still lurking inside somewhere. Knowing she couldn't just sit in the car for the rest of the night, Cassie grabbed her bag and headed inside.

Cassie unlocked the door and stepped inside, locking it behind herself, throwing the deadbolt for good measure. The living room looked as it always did. Cassie thought she detected a light unfamiliar scent in the air, but didn't know if her brain was making that up since she was certain the house was searched, someone entering her space while she was gone. Cassie rubbed the back of her neck, the hairs standing up for some reason. She passed quickly through the living room and headed towards her room. There she deposited her school bag and decided that as it was later than usual, she would make dinner and then do her homework, altering her previously chosen plan.

Cassie went to her armoire and noticed the door was slightly ajar. She frowned as she opened it. Everything looked as it usually did, although she had the strange sensation as though she was being watched and the prickling sensation on her arms and the back of her neck was stronger. She fought the urge to look around even as she wondered if the others could hide from her as well using a different sort of method if they thought she was a Walker.

'Of course I could just be paranoid, ' she thought.

"I'm going to have to get my winter clothes aired out soon, " she said out loud to herself instead of voicing the more complicated thoughts in her head. She scanned her row of cook books. Pulling one out of the row, Cassie flipped through the book, her eyes flowing over the images. She found herself drawn to the picture of the spinach and parmesan soufflé.

"I think there is still enough spinach in the garden, " she mused knowing the other ingredients were in the fridge. Cassie closed the armoire and took the cookbook to the kitchen. She pulled out ingredients from the fridge and lined them up on the counter. She pulled the appropriate ramekin from the cupboard and went to the back door. Surprisingly, the back door was unlocked.

She knew it was locked when she left for school, but the feeling of being watched was still with her so she said nothing as she let herself out into the garden. In the garden, the feeling of being watched faded as did the prickling sensation on her arms and neck, which made her even more convinced someone was in the house.

Instead of fear, she felt a scorching flash of anger. She was supposed to be safe when she was at home. It was also the one place where she could be herself without anyone seeing she was strange. Here she didn't have to worry about what she said or did or saw. That someone could take that from her made her very angry. She tried to smother her anger as she gathered her spinach.

"Getting mad won't change anything, " she muttered to the plants as she harvested the last of them. She took a few long slow breaths and noted her anger was mixed with fear. If someone was in the house and it wasn't just her own fears, she needed to seem normal and not cause them to think of her as one of those Walkers. If anything happened here, there would be no Mr. Babbin to worry about bad things happening on school property. The thought sent icy shivers down her spine, cooling her rage. Cassie stood up slowly, turned and returned to the kitchen, prepared to do nothing that could attract any undue notice. She automatically locked the garden door as she went inside.

The feeling of being watched was still strong, but Cassie tried to ignore it as she read through the recipe and meticulously followed the steps. When the soufflé was in the oven, Cassie tidied up from her cooking and went into her bedroom. Not wanting any hidden watchers to linger in her private space, she picked up her book bag and took it back into the kitchen. Cassie pulled out her text books and started on her calculous homework while she waited for her dinner to finish baking.

When the timer dinged, Cassie took the soufflé out of the oven, pleased with how it looked. She let it cool slightly as the directions instructed before setting her customary place at the breakfast bar and eating dinner. As was her habit, she thought about the meal while she ate. Did she like it? Would she make it again? Would she change anything? Could this serve as a basis for other flavors? Cassie found she favored recipes she could alter depending on what she had in the kitchen. Today she had spinach. Next time she made it, she might have mushrooms or onions instead. She decided it might actually work with the different ingredients and could be added to the general use category of her personal recipe stash.

"I'd definitely make it again, " she decided. "Of course I'll have to see how it does in the fridge overnight." The recipe she used was made to serve more than just one person and she would definitely have left overs. "Maybe individual ramekin

fter their departure in case it showed that she knew they were here. She finished looking at the cook book before the show ended and set it aside, picking up the book labeled Spice instead.

Cassie finished the introduction and was halfway through the first chapter when the program ended. With a sigh, she put the book down and turned off the television. Deciding it was late enough to seem reasonable, she left her room and did a pass through the house, checking the front door, side door leading to the garage and the back garden door as was her habit before bedtime when she was alone in the house. The garden door was once again unlocked.

Cassie felt no sense of being watched as she turned the lock, bolting the door shut again. She poured herself a glass of her lemon mint tea and took it back to her bedroom. Certain she was alone in her room; Cassie closed and locked her own bedroom door. Thus secured, she checked the window seat and saw the blankets still folded as she left them. She had the feeling if Enki and Skadi searched the space and found what she hid, they wouldn't have refolded everything so nicely.

"One more thing to check, " she reminded herself. Cassie moved to her desk, shoved the chair out of the way, and got down on her knees in front of it. She reached under the desk and pressed the hidden catch. The secret drawer popped open and a notebook fell into Cassie's hand. The notebook was how she left it.

Originally the book was designed as a diary and had a little lock on the front. It was also pink and the front was decorated with plastic jewels. It was a Christmas present one year, but instead of keeping track of her daily activities, Cassie used it to record the strange things she saw. She received the book as a gift when she was eight. Cassie took the small key from the thin drawer in the front of her desk and unlocked it, flipping through the journal.

The first few entries had no dates and were just recordings of the strange things she remembered seeing before she got the diary. Mrs. Edwards was the first entry. Once caught up, Cassie put the date at the top and then added a few sentences about what she saw. Occasionally the sentences were accompanied by a small drawing.

Cassie sat down on the floor and flipped to the last entry. Because she never added more than a few sentences at a time and the sightings weren't everyday occurrences, there were still blank pages. Cassie pulled a pen from her desk and still sitting cross-legged on the floor, she added the events from the past few days, hoping that by writing it down, it would seem more rational. She finished with the prickling sensations and odd smell when the 'others' were in the house.

"Somehow it just looks crazier when it's written down, " she said to herself with a sigh. Oddly enough though, getting it out on the page made her feel marginally better. It was a way of telling someone something without actually spilling her secrets. She put the pen back on the desk, closed and locked the diary and put the keys back in the small drawer. She then put the diary back in its hidden drawer and clicked it shut again. Cassie stood up, stretched and then walked to her closet to retrieve her pajamas. She dressed for bed and turned on her reading lamp. Sliding beneath the covers, she read until she could no longer keep her eyes open, her ears straining for any unusual noises, hoping no one would return.

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