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   Chapter 4 Training the Walker Cassie Wilson Book 2

Training the Walker: Cassie Wilson Book 2 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 13236

Updated: 2018-03-14 10:59


Chapter 4

Cassie's heart was racing and there was no way she could stay lying in bed. She threw the covers off and slipped out of bed. The moonlight shining from her window was enough to let her see the dim outlines of the room's furnishings, so she didn't turn on the light. She glanced at the glowing numbers on the clock. It was after midnight and she was certain that the sudden light might attract notice. She didn't know if anyone was watching the house, but she would rather not display any odd behavior on the off chance someone was outside. If someone woke in the middle of the night there was generally a reason. She didn't want to explain her reasons.

"Yeah, because having someone see you when you were using your dreams to spy on other not-quite-human people is a great explanation, " Cassie muttered to herself as she began to pace. Her heart was racing and part of her expected the man, possibly followed by a lynch mob of others to come racing down the street to her house. She doubted they would want her to serve them cookies. Cassie looked down at her pajama pants. Did she really want to be sporting fuzzy green pants with dancing blue mushrooms when a lynch mob arrived?

Cassie walked to her dresser and opened the drawer. Her hand hovered over a pair of jeans. Would he come storming in during the night? Cassie stopped, closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She held it and counted slowly to five. She then let her breath out in a slow steady stream. She repeated the process until her heart stopped racing and she could think clearly. It helped that the house remained silent around her, no sign or a lynch mob appearing on the doorstep.

'And no sound of the garden door swinging open.' Luckily, the wood of that door warped slightly and squeaked just a little bit. 'And the lock rattles.'

Cassie thought of the man, smiling and winking at her. She pushed away the fear of being spotted and actually thought about it. "He seemed surprised, but not upset, " She said. "If anything he looked amused." The thought helped further calm her down. "I'm still getting dressed, " she decided.

Cassie pulled out a pair of jeans, clean underwear and a long sleeved t-shirt. She dressed and as the house was still a little cool, she added a cardigan. Her parents kept a collection of old books and artwork in the house and when they were away they set the thermostat to sixty degrees. Recently, Cassie realized that they just set the thermostat for 'away' when they weren't home and the system automatically dropped the temperature. The blocker Abraham put on her prevented the system from recognizing her unless she pushed the button. While she took the system off of the 'away' function and raised the in house temperature slightly, she still kept the house cool, more because she was accustomed to it than to protect the books.

Now dressed, Cassie ran a brush through her hair and pulled it back into a ponytail. As she pulled on a thick pair of wool socks to keep her feet warm, she wondered what she should do with herself now that she was awake. She didn't think an attack was eminent, but she wasn't about to go back to sleep.

'I could check out that book, ' she thought. 'The library room doesn't have windows.'

While Cassie more or less ignored her parent's book collection, in an effort to find out if any of them mentioned Walkers, Cassie copied down a bunch of titles and ran them through various computer translating programs on her computer. She then took the titles to an on-line book store. A few were translated into English, even fewer had electronic versions. The e-books, she ordered and downloaded. The physical books, she ordered as well. They had yet to be delivered. There was one book where she could find no English translation. It was a slim volume and in Latin. Although it was thicker than the small book she translated to find out the basic training of a Walker and had no mention of Walkers or Walking in its title, Cassie thought it might be relevant.

'And if I am going to be practicing conversing in Latin on Saturday perhaps trying to read more than just my lessons before then would be a good idea.'

Having no better idea, Cassie gathered her Latin to English Dictionary and her laptop and walked to her bedroom door. She listened for a moment and hearing nothing, she unlocked the door and opened it. The hallway was dark and quiet. She silently padded across the house in her socked feet, making no sound. She exited the hallway and moved from the kitchen to the living room, her feet registering the move from the carpeted hallway to the tiled kitchen and back to carpet. At the edge of the living room she entered the hall leading to what she thought of as her parents' section of the house. The first door on the right led into the library. Cassie opened the door, stepped inside, closed the door behind her and turned on the light.

For extra measure, Cassie locked the door before walking over to the long table in the center of the room. She set her dictionary and laptop down, took a deep breath and looked around. Nothing changed since the last time she entered the room. The walls were still lined with floor to ceiling bookshelves. Her father called them library shelves, and each shelf had a glass fronted door on it. The book titles could be seen through the glass, but if you wanted to read them you had to lift up the door to get to the books. In the center of the room was a long sturdy wooden table. Despite its length, there was only one chair as though only one person was expected to use the library at a time.

Cassie walked over to one of the shelves and pulled up the door. The shelf was rather low down and she had to almost kneel on the floor to reach the book. In fact, the first time she walked through to copy down titles, she almost missed it as nothing else on the shelf looked relevant. It was filed between books on Art, a treatise on the importance of Renaissance art in Italy on one side and a volume concerning Islamic influence on Spanish design on the other. The book she pulled from the shelf now looked to be more folklore than art. She took the book and closed the door to the shelf again.

At the table, she pulled the chair out, glad that the placement meant that the door was to her right side rather than to her back. Even with the door locked, she didn't want to sit with her back to it on the off chance a lynch mob did arrive before daylight. Once settled, she looked again at the title, her fingers tracing the flaking gold letters on the leath

er cover.

Seniorem Fabulas

"The oldest stories, " Cassie said remembering her translation. She set the book directly in front of her, the Latin dictionary to her left and the laptop to the right. She opened the laptop and turned it on. From what she learned anyone who was other put off some form of energy that messed with computers. Cassie decided that with the exception of her hidden notebook, her laptop was the safest place to keep notes.

"As long as all of them can't use computers, " Cassie said as the computer finished booting up and she opened a blank page to take notes. "Maybe that can be a question I ask on Saturday." She was still uncertain what sort of conversation she would be having, Latin or otherwise with her visitor. While general conversation was not her strong suit, she was even less adept at small talk.

"Worry later, " she told herself as she opened the older book.

While Cassie added a few words each day to her flash card pile for memorization and was moving rapidly through her lessons, there were many words she had to look up. As she translated, she typed in each sentence to save it for later. When she was uncertain if she was putting the sentence together correctly, she ran it through the online system to check. It was slow going, but the story the book presented was interesting enough to keep her going.

By the time Cassie started to feel drowsy and thought sleep might be possible, a glance at the computer's clock told her it was almost time for her alarm to go off. Reluctantly, she saved her translation, turned off her computer and closed both her dictionary and the book she was translating. She stood and stretched, then returned the book to the shelf, thinking about what she read as she picked up her things and tried to erase all signs of her presence in the room. She unlocked the door and walked down the hall, using her foot the rub out the signs of her steps in the thick pile of the hall carpet.

It was still slightly earlier than she usually got up, but Cassie put her things away, changed into her workout gear and retrieved Herman from the front hall closet. After warming up, Cassie went through her morning routine, sparring with Herman as though he was the deadliest of enemies instead of a rubberized half man on a pole.

"Oliver is right, " she decided as she finished and wheeled him back to the closet. "It isn't as good as sparring with an actual partner." While it let her practice, fighting Herman wasn't nearly as challenging as keeping up with Ina. "Still I need all the practice I can get if Ina's going to expect the same thing twice a week."

Cassie retrieved her pack of survival gear and her coat. She put on the coat and thought about ordering some of those runner's thermals as they might prove easier to run in and warmer than her sweatpants and coat. As her workout already warmed up her muscles, Cassie took her place at her starting mark between the old yew and elder trees and began her self-imposed running course. Each week she lengthened it, using the walk back to the house to cool down. The snow was gone, with the exception of a few dim white patches in the shadow of the trees and the ground was slightly squelchy under the winter dry grass. As a mercy she managed to complete her run without sliding in the mud.

Once she returned to the house, Cassie's tiredness was pushed away by the exercise. Knowing her late night would catch up with her, she put on a pot of coffee to brew while she went to put away her gear, shower and dress for school. Normally, she only brewed coffee when she was using it for something like tiramisu, but she felt today, the extra caffeine might come in handy.

After dressing for school she made oatmeal for breakfast, fixed her lunch and lingered over a large cup of coffee, heavily doctored with cream and sugar. Without a concrete task to complete in front of her, Cassie's mind returned to the book.

"It's just fairy stories, " She tried to tell herself. Somehow she didn't quite believe that. There was just too much that seemed to fit with what was going on with her life to dismiss them that easily. "Besides they don't entirely sound like fairy stories."

Cassie wasn't terribly far into her translation and she itched to call in sick to school and continue working on the translation, but somehow didn't think that was a good idea. If Enki was still lurking in school and looking for her, he might get suspicious if she didn't show up.

"And if he gets suspicious, he might come here, " she reminded herself. "Even if the book did actually mention the gates, I can always work on it later." Thus far it was the first concrete thing she found that did mention the gates and she really wanted to know more. "But it isn't worth bringing Enki here, especially as he'd find me in the room with the books and would get very suspicious, possibly going back to the killing idea again."

Cassie sighed, decided to think about the book once she managed to get more of it translated, and cleaned up from her breakfast. After making certain everything was switched off, her laptop safely stowed away and all doors locked, Cassie got into her car and headed towards school. The streets were less of a roller rink this morning as the afternoon sun melted the road ice, letting it run to the sides before the night time temperatures froze it again. Sites of churned up mud along the sides of the roads served as reminders of those who had issues the day before and Cassie kept a sharp eye out.

"I wonder if the issues they have with computers extend to cars, " Cassie wondered as she parked in the school lot. While the car still had an engine with oil and gas, there were a lot of computerized bit in most of them now. She wondered if it hampered their movements any. Thus far Cassie hadn't seen any of them in any sort of vehicle. She thought of Ina's surprise regarding the plane.

"Maybe she came over in a boat, " Cassie said as she turned off the car, slipped her keys into her bag and got out. She closed and locked her car door and walked towards the school doors. For once all was quiet. She didn't see anyone out of the ordinary in the yard. No one, with tusks or otherwise, was standing around. She didn't have to pretend not to see anyone or anything out of the ordinary. As she could feel the tiredness of her sleepless night pressing behind her eyes, she was relieved not to have to fake blindness. The relief lasted until she reached homeroom and saw not just Enki, but Oliver Dana standing in the back of the room.

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