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   Chapter 5 Training the Walker Cassie Wilson Book 2

Training the Walker: Cassie Wilson Book 2 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 20417

Updated: 2018-03-14 11:00


Chapter 5

Neither registered her seeing them as Oliver and Enki were busy glaring at each other when Cassie entered the classroom. As no one else noticed them, she thought they were invisible to all but her. She turned away and slipped into her assigned seat, wondering what the day would bring. Cassie was half expecting Enki to be back, so seeing him wasn't entirely a surprise. In truth, it registered more as an annoyance than anything else.

Something told her that he would return until he managed to get whatever he was after. She hoped that something was not her. She was fairly confident that he no longer suspected her of being a Walker. Beyond keeping him from changing that opinion, Cassie had no plan for dealing with him other than pretending he wasn't there.

'Unless he forces me to talk to him, ' she reminded herself with a frown.

Oliver being present was a little strange. He knew she could see him as he wasn't doing his extra bit of hiding that made him invisible to even her.

'I am way too tired for this, ' Cassie thought as she took out her notebook and her chemistry book. Even though she studied for the test they were having this afternoon, the Walker training book stressed the importance of learning chemistry so she added extra emphasis to learning those lessons. Since doing so her grades went from B's to A's so at least it was helpful there if for no other reason.

Mr. Evans took roll and Cassie tried to commit the periodic table to memory. In the back of the room she could hear Oliver and Enki talking.

"There is no reason for you to be here, " Enki complained.

"As she is not a Walker, a conclusion we all agreed upon, there is no reason for you to be here either, " Oliver pointed out.

"I am free to go wherever I want, " Enki told him.

"As am I, " Oliver returned.

The loudspeaker clicked on and the morning announcements began. The two men quieted and remained silent not only through the announcements, but until the bell rang to send them all to first period. Cassie put her things away, exited with her classmates and moved to her first class of the day.

She was unsurprised to find both of them joining her in class. Resigned to being watched, Cassie made certain to bump into Eric as she made her way to her seat. Both Oliver and Enki were facing away from her as they moved to the back of the room and didn't see the connection. She wasn't certain if she would need to be noticed by someone, but thought it might help, especially if they tried talking to her again. On impulse, she made certain to touch several other people as she passed them, including Emily, one of Kelly's cohorts.

'Hopefully that won't backfire, ' she thought as she slipped into her seat. Enki and Oliver took up positions in the back of the room to wait and watch as class began.

"You know, " Oliver began. "I can think of at least eight better things to do with my time then sit through this class."

"Then why don't you go do them?" Enki replied.

"Because you've taken too much of an interest in the girl, " Oliver told him.

"Afraid I spotted something you've missed?"

"No, I'm afraid you will do something regrettable. For all of us."

Cassie continued to take notes as she monitored the private conversation behind her. Luckily, Mrs. Ferris was in her last year before retirement and tended to teach class as outlined in the text book with no deviation. Cassie knew she could just read the chapter and catch anything she missed while she was distracted. Her notes might be a mess, but taking them kept her from looking as though she was eavesdropping. The two men fell silent and she wondered if Enki was thinking over Oliver's comment as much as she was.

What regrettable thing was Enki planning?

At the doorway, Mr. Babbin appeared. 'He does not have tusks, ' she reminded herself automatically as he leaned into the room. Cassie waited for Mrs. Ferris to notice him and stop the lesson. She didn't. Mrs. Ferris kept right on going and Mr. Babbin stepped into the room fully. None of her classmates even glanced in his direction, so she thought there was a good chance no one else could see him.

'Great, ' she thought, her annoyance completely trumping her fear.

"What are you doing in my school?" Mr. Babbin demanded.

"I'm watching him, " Oliver said. "And I wanted to talk to you about one of your rumors."

"Oh look, the little squirrel remembered not to be seen before scurrying all over the place looking for us. You know, I think you just might be getting smarter."

"What rumor, " Mr. Babbin asked sounding nervous.

"About Aite, " Oliver replied. "I owe you an apology. It seems you were right after all. Your rumor was not unfounded. I'm sorry I doubted you."

Out of the corner of her eye Cassie could see Mr. Babbin's nerves fade. His chest puffed up and he looked inordinately pleased with himself.

"Aite, " Enki said with a snort. "What's that little troublemaker gone and done now?"

"Made charms to distribute among the ordinary mortals apparently. It's a sideline to her home décor store, " Oliver told him. Cassie wished she could see them as well as hear them, but as they were behind her it would have meant turning in her seat to acknowledge their existence.

"I did warn you, " Mr. Babbin said. "No one ever listens, but I did warn you." He shook his head as though saddened by this fact.

"What sort of charms?" Enki asked, ignoring Mr. Babbin.

"The one for clear sight seems to be popular, " Oliver told him.

"She's been selling…, " Enki began.

"Oh dear, " Mr. Babbin said his face falling. He darted glances around the room. "That means anyone of them could have bought one." He dropped his voice to a whisper. "They could be listening in right now."

"Something tells me that if they heard us, we would know, " Oliver said. "You and your visitors haven't exactly been all that subtle."

"Oh, " Mr. Babbin replied, calming somewhat. "I guess not."

"What is she playing at?" Enki demanded.

"Oh, the usual I expect, " Oliver said. "Chaos, mischief, leading men to their destruction. Same as she always has. The jewelry is on the expensive side so I expect she is angling for those with means to play with, rather than members of the local student population. Still, given your usual activities in the area, it could cause issues. Forsetti thought a warning might be in order. I think he's posting something at The Cat."

Enki grunted. "Having Cupcake in your defense classes could cause issues too you know."

"She came to me because she was attacked and wanted to feel safe again. There are only two more weeks left in the class she signed up for. If she feels safe at the end of it, I doubt she will sign up for another one. Our little Cassandra is not one of the world's natural born fighters."

"Two more weeks until the class ends?" Enki said.

"Yes, although she still seems to feel as though she is being watched, so I am not certain she will feel safe at the end of it. She might feel the need to sign up for an additional class if the watched feeling persists."

"Watched?" Enki replied. Cassie could see Mr. Babbin turn to look at her. She slowly looked down at her notebook and scrawled another indecipherable note. Cassie let her pen draw random loops down the line rather than bother thinking up words.

"If you recall, several of the perfectly ordinary can occasionally sense us, even if it's a only vague feeling. The feeling increases the longer we are around them. With all the observation she's been under from you lot, it's no wonder she feels something. I'm actually amazed half of the student body doesn't feel your lurking at this point."

"I suppose we have been a bit focused with no other potential Walker coming to light, " Enki replied. "Even if we leave her be though, she'll still be watched."

"Meaning you still suspect something?" Oliver asked.

"Meaning Jacob is in town. If Abraham spent time with her, even if it was just to make her an unknowing decoy, he'll look into her."

"I didn't realize Jacob was in town, " Oliver said. He sounded surprised and Cassie fought not to turn and look at his face.

"Ina didn't tell you?" Enki replied. The tone was mocking. "And I thought you were such good friends."

"Ina talked to Jacob?"

"No, she passed him when walking with Cupcake after your class. I'm sure he would have followed her if Ina hadn't been there. He looked quite interested."

Around her, papers shuffled as class neared its end. Mrs. Ferris glanced at her watch, and gave out the homework assignment. Cassie scrawled down the assignment, trying to keep her hand from shaking and make the words legible. She reminded herself to take her text book home over the weekend to catch up on whatever today's lecture entailed. Despite her attempt at taking notes, she didn't actually process any of the information. She somehow doubted the few notes she actually took made sense in any case.

After writing down the assignment, Cassie shoved her notebook into her bag. She noticed the guy sitting in front of her was looking at her. He blinked as though seeing her and she remembered she touched his arm as she passed.

"Hey, you're in my math class aren't you?" he asked.

"Yeah, I sit two rows behind you, " she said. "I'm Cassie."

"Greg, " he told her. Cassie nodded. The bell rang and they all stood. As math was the next class, Greg fell into step beside her, walking with her to class. Mr. Babbin scooted out of the doorway ahead of the students and watched her as she passed.

"So how'd you do with the homework?" Greg asked as they walked.

"Not bad until the last problem, " she told him. "I took a long time on that one and I'm still not sure I came up with the right answer."

"I'm glad I'm not the only one. I was fine until I got there, but then I sort of showed some random work and guessed at an answer."

"Hey, Cassie, " Eric said as he passed. His second period class was in the opposite direction so he sort of looped them before heading down the hall.

"Hi, " Cassie replied with a smile. Eric smiled

back before continuing his loop and heading off to class. Cassie could feel Mr. Babbin's eyes watch her. As Cassie turned to watch Eric go, she caught sight of not only Mr. Babbin watching her, but Oliver, Enki and most disturbingly, Emily paying attention to the exchange. Cassie shook her head and turned back to talk to Greg.

"Are you… with Eric?" Greg asked.

"No, " Cassie said with a laugh, shaking her head. "But somehow I have the feeling Emily is going to tell Kelly she thinks I am."

"Ouch, that girl is snake mean, " Greg told her.

"I know, " Cassie replied. They continued on to class and Cassie had the feeling that in the future, bumping into Greg might be a safer prospect then bumping into Eric.

'At least Emily isn't in my geography class, so if she tells Kelly to put my name on her list, she isn't there to directly point me out when Kelly asks 'Cassie who?' and she is unable to see me.' Cassie thought about it as they entered the classroom and separated to go to their own seats. Emily had a different lunch period which meant she didn't have to worry about any cafeteria debacles and Cassie never saw Kelly after lunch.

'By tomorrow Emily will have forgotten who I am entirely, ' she reminded herself nervously as she took out her math homework. 'I just have to get through today.' Cassie sighed and rubbed her eyes. 'At least the extra intrigue is keeping me awake.'

No one but the other students followed her into class and Cassie was grateful as she really had to pay attention in Calculus. It was hard enough fighting her own tiredness, she didn't want to have to try and ignore a potentially important conversation as well.

'Who exactly is Jacob?' she asked herself as she opened her notebook. If Jacob was other, and since she was pretty sure he was the man with the glowing red eyes, she kinda figured he was, then he didn't feel the need to go by the name of an ancient god. Of course, neither did her grandfather.

'Which makes it hard to look him up.' Cassie frowned. 'But since I saw him and he was mentioned in conversation, I can ask during my lesson tomorrow. I can say he's the reason for my sleepless night. Which is even sort of true.'

Cassie dismissed the thought for later and concentrated on the lesson. By the time the bell rung, Cassie's head was filled with numbers and equations and felt overly stuffed. She also felt a little nervous as she was certain Emily would have had time to talk to Kelly. Greg again walked with her as they left class since his history class was in the same hall as her Geography class. As they talked while walking, people noticed her more and she was less buffeted by the crowd which was an additional bonus. Greg left her at the door and Cassie walked into class. Eric was already there. He smiled as he saw her, his eyes darting back to the retreating form of Greg, and narrowing in speculation.

"Hey, " he said as she passed.

"Hey, " she replied.

"So are you, um dating Greg?" he asked.

"No, " Cassie said. "He's in my math class."

"Oh, so that's why you were together. Cool." Eric turned as one of his friends came in and Cassie continued on to her seat, glad that Kelly and cohorts had yet to arrive and were not a witness to the conversation, such as it was. Cassie took her seat and waited tensely for Kelly to arrive. It was not a long wait. Kelly arrived, smiled sweetly at Eric and then took her seat, her smile falling away to reveal a face full of thunder. Her friend Julie slid into her seat behind her, neither sparing Cassie a glance.

"Who the hell is Cassie?" Kelly hissed to her friend. Julie shrugged.

"Maybe she goes to another school?" Julie suggested.

"That blonde he was talking to at the away game, " Kelly hissed as she nodded at the suggestion. "It has to be."

The bell rang and the last few students scrambled into their seats. Cassie tried not to feel relieved as Kelly and Julia passed notes between them, no doubt plotting an attack on the blonde. As class continued, Cassie realized that if Eric spoke to her at lunch then Kelly's wrath could still be turned her way.

'Next time I am definitely bumping into Greg instead of Eric, ' she decided as she tried to figure out a way to ensure Eric didn't talk to her at lunch. 'And I'm avoiding all of Kelly's friends.' She still hadn't figured out anything definite by the time class ended. The last time she made Eric see her, he just looked at her from across the room, but the time before, he came and sat with her at the lunch table.

'Which makes it a fifty-fifty on an attention drawing conversation.' She hung back and fumbled with her bag as the rest of the students, Eric and Kelly included, were swept out the door with the crowd.

Once the room was empty, Cassie picked up her bag and meandered out of the classroom and to her locker. She changed out her books, picked up her lunch, and turned towards the cafeteria. Wanting to give Eric more time to settle with his friends and less of a chance to talk to her, Cassie stopped in front of one of the hallway bulletin boards.

In addition to upcoming events, odd job notices were posted here. There were calls for babysitters, dog walkers and requests for lawns to be mowed. At this time of year, the yard work requests were mostly faded scraps of paper buried under announcements of school plays and student body election notices. At the edge of the bulletin board was a small business card sized announcement. It looked crisp and new.

As Cassie looked at it, the card flashed as though it was covered entirely in gold leaf. She blinked and the card looked like plain yellow paper with black lettering. She shook her head. The card remained ordinary yellow paper. 'I really am tired, ' she thought as she leaned forward to get a better look at it.

'Baker wanted, ' Cassie read with some surprise. 'No experience needed, just enthusiasm. Will train. Hours after school Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, some Saturday morning hours. If interested please call.' Below a number was printed. Before she thought about it Cassie reached up, pulled the thumb tack from the card and slipped the card from the wall.

Cassie stepped back from the board and stared at the card. For a second she thought the card was gold. Was that a sign? A warning? The only thing she was told was to use her intuition. Cassie thought about it trying to see if she felt anything about the notice. She wanted to call the number. Was that because she liked baking or because something else was pushing her?

Annoyed with herself, Cassie rolled her eyes. Deciding it was just the delaying tactic she needed, Cassie ducked into the courtyard. The courtyard was a semi enclosed space, set aside for the senior students as a sort of privilege. Enclosed on four walls, but open to the sky it was heavily populated both at the beginning of the school year and in the spring. Now, with the cold late autumn winds howling overhead and snow still occupying the corners, it was deserted. Despite the unoccupied nature, Cassie knew she was allowed there regardless of the weather. Deciding she could claim cell phone privacy, Cassie ducked into the courtyard, shivering at the drop in temperature.

She pulled her cell phone out of her bag and turned it on. There were no missed calls. She didn't expect there to be, but couldn't help checking it anyway. She felt a stab of disappointment about not seeing any messages from either her grandfather or her parents, but pushed it away. Cassie dialed the number from the card into the phone.

"Hello, Sunrise Bakery, how may I help you?" A pleasant sounding woman answered the phone. There was a slight bit of static on the line, but it faded as her voice paused.

"Hello, I found your advertisement for a part time baker, " Cassie began. "I don't have any professional experience, but I love baking at home and I was looking for an after school job."

"At home baking is a good place to start, " the woman told her. The static returned as she spoke. "You are a student?"

"Yes, a senior at Elkdale High."

"Excellent. If you come by after school we will see if you will fit with us. We are still setting up and not yet opened for business. You know where The Plaza District is?"

"I do, " Cassie replied, nodding as she spoke even though she couldn't be seen.

The speaker gave her slightly more precise directions and Cassie realized the building was only a few doors down from Imports Unlimited and Intelligent Fitness. "Knock on the door and ask for Hester, " the woman concluded. With no further additions she hung up the phone. Cassie thought it was a little abrupt but shook it off. She turned off her phone and slipped it back into her bag.

'Sunrise Bakery didn't stand out when I looked at the map, ' Cassie thought as she stepped back into the warmer air of the school and walked towards the cafeteria. When looking at a map of the district, Cassie found her eyes drawn to both the gate and places where 'others' tended to congregate. 'But if it's new enough that it hasn't opened yet then it might not hit my personal radar.'

She slipped into the cafeteria and sat down at her usual table. The greeting was normal and everyone else seemed occupied. Something was going on at the football player's table, so Eric was not an issue. Even if he saw her, currently he was too occupied to bother with her. Satisfied she was in the clear, Cassie took out her lunch and began her assembly. Once assembled, she began to eat. As she ate, she studied the card. Was it a good idea to go to the interview? Would someone jump out at her? Surely an after school job wasn't a trap. Anyone could have seen the card. It was posted on a semi-public bulletin board.

Cassie finished her lunch and began to tidy, signaling the others that lunch was almost over. She slid the card with the bakery phone number and her empty lunch bag into her book bag and stood. 'I can't be afraid to do something just because 'they' might be involved.' She decided. 'Besides, if I have a bad feeling at the interview then I just won't take the job and that will be it.'

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