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   Chapter 7 Training the Walker Cassie Wilson Book 2

Training the Walker: Cassie Wilson Book 2 By Valerie Gaumont Characters: 17338

Updated: 2018-03-14 11:01


Chapter 7

Cassie stepped onto the sidewalk and turned away from the men to begin walking. She heard their low conversation abruptly end as they caught sight of her. She continued walking and decided that unless one of them called out to her, she would pretend not to see them.

'Or hear them since I'm facing away from them, ' she told herself. Admittedly, at the moment, there wasn't much to hear. Cassie walked down the street trying to keep her mind clear. Later, she could think about the job and argue with herself about whether taking it or not was a good idea. She would even let herself get excited about working in a bakery with someone who seemed to like food as much as she did.

Cassie reached the part of the street that was across from the gift shop. She slowed her steps and looked across the closed in street. The store was still open and she could see a few patrons moving about inside. Before she could talk herself out of it, she walked across the street to the gift shop and pushed the door open, stepping inside.

The scent of the store made Cassie rub her nose. The smells of the candles, incense sticks and essential oils blended into a pungent and indecipherable aroma. It wasn't bad, but it was very overpowering and made her feel slightly dizzy. She moved past the display, hoping to leave the strongest of the scents behind. The other patrons continued to browse. None of them seemed to notice her and Cassie tried to ignore the fact that several of them possessed not quite human features. To her right, someone with iridescent blue scales was lifting one of the large scented candles to his or her nose slits and inhaling deeply. The creature emitted a deep rumbly sort of sound from inside the chest which Cassie thought sounded like pleasure.

She moved past, careful not to touch any of the other patrons, and peered into the window display, trying to see if the book stand had a price tag on it.

"May I help you?" a woman on her left said, startling her.

As she was leaning forward, Cassie almost lost her balance. The woman reached forward and grabbed her arm to keep her upright. As their skin touched Cassie felt as though she was suddenly standing on the edge of a steep cliff. All around her she could hear mocking laughter and a whispering voice urging her to step forward into the abyss. The overall feeling wasn't malevolent exactly, but it left Cassie feeling very, very cold. She grit her teeth and shoved the feeling and the images away. She smiled at the woman still holding her arm, registering that she had long straight black hair and black eyes. Cassie also recognized her as the woman the others were speaking with when she passed by earlier.

"Thanks, " Cassie said. "I'd hate to have fallen into the display."

"No problem, " the woman replied. She released Cassie's arm and Cassie resisted the urge to rub the spot where her fingers were, feeling their icy imprint even after their removal. "Was there something specific you were looking for?"

"Actually, I saw the book holder, the metal one in your window when I passed by earlier and I wanted to see if it was for sale or just part of the display and if it is for sale how much it costs."

"Oh, " the woman said looking surprised. "You like books?" she asked reaching into the display and picking up the metal book holder. It looked like something designed to hold a medieval manuscript while a monk worked on inking the pages.

'Unless they ink the pages before they bind them in a book, ' Cassie thought. She thought the book binding might come after the writing part not before. 'Either way it would work for my parents' books.' She decided.

"My parents collect old books. I thought it might be a good Christmas present, " Cassie told the waiting woman.

"I see, " she showed the stand to Cassie and she could see worked into the metal some of the same designs in the small Latin book she decoded. She also saw the symbol that matched the necklace she took from Kelly. The woman told her the price and Cassie nodded.

Even though the price was not terribly high, Cassie wasn't sure she wanted to buy something covered with symbols she didn't understand. Something told her it might be a bad idea.

"Okay, " Cassie said. "I'll have to think about that. At least I have plenty of time before the holidays."

The woman smiled at her and put the rack back into the display. "Of course. You know we have some very pretty necklaces. Perhaps your mother might care for one of them?"

The woman led Cassie over to a display rack and Cassie saw several necklaces like the one she took from Kelly. Some held the same clear sight charm while others had symbols she couldn't identify. The woman held out one of the necklaces with the clear sight charm. Knowing if she touched it she would be forced to acknowledge all of the strange people around her, Cassie shoved her hands in her pockets and deliberately didn't touch a thing.

"Maybe, " Cassie told the woman. "But I got her jewelry last year so I was looking for something a little different. I'll think about it though. Thanks." She smiled at the woman and turned away from the displa

'But it is good to know when the plaza is empty, I suppose.' Even though the lines led her to various places with gates, the only one she was physically close to was the one in the plaza. She wasn't sure if studying a gate would prove useful, but she liked the option.

'Actually having options is a good thing, ' she decided as she continued on. 'Even if I don't know what to do with them After all at some point they have got to start getting bored and leave. They can't just sit there forever, can they?' She passed her grandfather's store and Intelligent Fitness. Still she saw no one.

The isolation was beginning to feel a little creepy, so Cassie hurried her steps, slipping through the alley to reach the back door of the Sunrise Bakery. At the door, she knocked. It was a relief when she heard steps and the door opened, revealing Hester. Hester smiled.

"Right on time, " Hester said. She stepped back allowing Cassie to enter. Hester locked the door behind her.

Cassie handed Hester the folder of paperwork and unbuttoned her jacket.

"Just hang it up there and grab the apron and cap, " Hester told as she took the folder to the office. "Then wash your hands and we will begin."

Cassie did as she was told. When she finished scrubbing her hands, she dried them on the provided towel and turned to see Hester standing at one of the tables. A binder was laid out in front of her.

"This is for you, " Hester said tapping the binder as she walked over. "It contains the basic recipes so if you need to consult them until you memorize them, you can."

Cassie nodded and flipped through the pages.

"Today we will clearly not be making enough to stock the cases. We are just going to go through so I can make certain you have the proper technique down for each item. We will start with the pastries and then move on to breads."

"Okay, " Cassie said. She pushed her sleeves up a little higher on her arms.

Working with Hester was a new experience. Many of the types of dough Cassie worked with at least once before as she experimented with her various baking books. When something was familiar, Hester nodded, and let Cassie work. If she needed correction, Hester immediately pointed out what Cassie needed to change and how to change it. When something was completely new to her, Hester provided a demonstration and then watched Cassie until she proved herself competent. They very quickly developed an easy rhythm that dispelled the last of Cassie's fears about working with someone she knew was 'other'.

Despite her enjoyment, it was work. By the time Hester called an end to her day at one, her arms and shoulders were sore. Cassie could only imagine what she would feel like when she started helping to make full batches.

'Maybe I'll be used to it by then, ' she thought. Even though she routinely made bread at home, she generally only made one or two loaves a week. 'That's a lot more kneading in one day than I've ever done.'

Released from work, Cassie added her cap and floured apron to the waiting bin Hester used for the bakery's laundry. Inside Cassie could see a couple more aprons and some white towels with smudges of fillings on them.

"I'll see you on Monday, " Hester called to Cassie as she slipped on her coat and picked up her binder to study at home. Cassie said her goodbyes and left. She thought about the other aprons.

"I guess I'll meet the other employees on Monday then."

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