Sterling-A Montana Dayton Novel Chapt.18

 

ec556-moonthumbSam paced through the shop. Only a few customers browsed through the store, she’d finished the inventory, and Jamie was still locked in her room.

She snorted; she’d been practicing the spell for the last couple of days and she was fairly sure she had it right. Now all she had to do was convince Jamie to let her help, except she hadn’t seen Jamie much.

She smoothed out her new dress, the pretty blue one that matched her eyes. She’d worn it today, just in case she needed to try to entice Chase to let her help. Of course, she hadn’t seen Chase either.

She resumed pacing, clinching and unclenching her fists. Something bad was happening; she could feel it, she’d spied on them enough to know the situation had gotten worse. The problem; she didn’t know who Sterling was and she couldn’t find the place everyone disappeared to.

She’d looked everywhere for their secret meeting room, and she’d done searches for Sterling on the Internet. She felt like she was missing vital pieces of information, she hated being left in the dark. But she was good with the spell she reminded herself, and they needed to be able to use it.

So what if she was only fourteen, she’d been living on the streets for as long as she could remember, that should count for something.

The door opened, she spun around and huffed out a breath. Just a customer, she’d hoped for Chase, Max, or Doc. She pasted a smile on her mouth and greeted the customer. With the customer satisfied with the purchase she found some busy work to do. If she wasn’t able to talk to one of them by the time she closed the shop she would hunt Jamie down and make her listen.

**

I dug my nails into my palms and jerked awake. I’d been swimming again, this time with the sharks; every time I glided towards the cave entrance they would block me. It hadn’t been a nightmare per se, but it still gave me the shivers.

I couldn’t explain it even to myself. I wasn’t scared until I swam close enough to see their razor sharp teeth smiling at me. Then I would freak out and forget to breath, once the sharks swam away from me I would be calm again. They weren’t going to attack me; I knew it in my heart, but at the same time… I glanced at Chase to help erase the images from my mind.

“Where’s Max?”

“He left; he had a few things to do. You’ve been out for about an hour.”

“Needed it,” I smiled, got up for some java before stepping outside.

Chase walked up behind me while I drank my coffee and watched the waves of the gulf crash onto the beach.

“Would you like to talk about it?”

“I wish I could. If something goes…,”

I took a deep breath and steadied myself. I didn’t even want to think about this let alone talk about it, but I’d been feeling off lately, so tired, and scared.

Chase stood by me patiently.

“If something happens to me would you take Killer? Give him a good home?”

I glanced at Chase; the words tumbled out of my mouth so fast I wasn’t sure he’d heard what I said.

A quick second of sadness passed behind his eyes. He attempted a fake smile.

“Nothings going to happen to you,” His voice softened. “Killer will always have a home.”

I smiled big at him; I meant it even though I’m not sure it reached my eyes.

“Good, I need to go shopping. Would you mind going to Jamie’s with me?”

“Not at all.”

“I’m going to freshen up. We’ll take my car.”

Chase watched Montana walk upstairs before pulling out is phone.

“Hey Max we’re heading over to Jamie’s and taking her car.”

“Okay, go to the bathroom at the last minute; give her time to find the treasure.”

“And if something goes wrong when she sees it?”

“Use your best judgment.”

He shut his phone, wandered into the kitchen, ignored the butterflies in his stomach, and prayed Montana could handle finding the goodies she’d brought home.

“Ready Chase?”

Chase swallowed hard, “In a minute, just finishing up with the dishes.”

“Okay, I’ll meet you in the garage.”

I passed my Harley on the way to the car and my scars flared. Stopping short I glanced around the garage until my eyes landed on the bag. Blood rushed through my ears, down to the tip of my toes. My limbs felt heavy, my fingers numb as I tentatively reached out for it. I grabbed it and fell to my knees.

I stood on the beach with a hot looking guy- he whispered in my ear- all the gold I ever desired.

I dropped the bag and crawled back a few feet on my heels, grabbing my side and arm as pain ripped through my scars.

Chase. I quickly scoped out the garage, found a tire iron, staggered over to the bag, hooked it, and dragged the bag to the corner.

I laid at tarp over the bag, jumped into the car and shakily rummaged through my purse for a pain pill. I managed to swallow the pill before Chase joined me, all the while replaying the memory. I wouldn’t allow myself forget this one.

“Sorry I took so long.” Chase said as I started the car.

“Not a problem.” I mumbled shakily.

I drove to Jamie’s gritting my teeth, wondering why the pain pill hadn’t kicked in. I meant to go in and do some shopping for my sis and her new baby, but by the time we pulled in front of the shop I was hurting so much I could barely get out of the car.

Thank goodness I had the foresight to start wearing shirts with sleeves. I would have been the center of attention showing the welts I could feel pulsating under my top.

Smile Sam thought, as the blood drained from her face, smile big,look at Chase, he’s dreamy even with the scowl. Don’t stare at Montana.

Her eyes roamed across Montana against her will and she cringed. God she looked like shit!

Montana’s back was turned to Sam, looking at some displays. She shook her head disbelievingly; half her aura was ghostly white, matching her complexion. The other half looked like it was burning up in flames.

It took every once of effort to pull her gaze away from Montana. She peeked at Chase. He stood with his arms crossed over his chest staring at her. What she would give to be able to talk to him right now.

Chases scowl deepened. Montana was still pale and sweating, she hadn’t said a word on the drive. He was worried sick about her. She looked like she was ready to drop.

Chase barely kept himself from asking what Sam saw when she looked at Montana. He couldn’t take the chance. But the expression on Sam’s face was one short of horror.

**

I breathed in a deep breath and exhaled quietly while I scanned over the blank diary/journals on display. The pain pill was starting to kick in, the constant burning and throbbing had finally eased off. I steadied myself nonchalantly against the case as a wave of dizziness hit me. So much for my shopping trip, I thought dispassionately as I plucked a hardbound diary with a Celtic design off the shelf, shifted myself so I was standing on my own two feet again, and baby stepped over to Sam to purchase the book.

I didn’t even trust myself to turn my head to look for Chase; I was too busy concentrating on keeping my balance and the dizziness at bay. I gave Sam some money then trudged back to the car.

Razor sharp pain almost knocked me off my feet before I even reached the driver’s side door.

Chase grabbed my elbow, walked me to the passenger side and opened the door. He sat me down in the seat.

“I’ll drive.” He mumbled as he strode to the drivers side of the car.

I didn’t acknowledge him; all I could do was sit there with my feet on the concrete and my head between my knees. My body ached like I was coming down with a bad case of the stomach flu. Any slight movement might make me puke, I was radiating heat, and I ached all over.

Chase turned on the air conditioning full blast, I shivered. It helped. I slowly pulled myself together, closed the door and adjusted my seatbelt. I stared hard at the road on the drive home willing myself not to cry, or worse, throw up.

“I need a minute.” I said when Chase drifted to a stop in the garage.

He nodded, closed the garage door behind us, and slowly wandered to the adjoining door. He glanced back at me; an expression crossed his face that I didn’t quite catch before he disappeared into the house.

I opened the glove box, then closed it, leaned into the back seat, checked the floors, and under the seats before pulling the latch for the trunk.

I slid out of the car, stood as straight as I could, ordered my feet to move, and latched on to the side of the car to steady myself. I was expecting… well I wasn’t sure what I was expecting when I reached the trunk, but it wasn’t what I found.

I glanced in the trunk, spied the treasure chest. An image of the beach flashed through my mind, I slammed the trunk closed.

Anger surged through me, no wonder the pain pill wasn’t working. I hit the remote for the garage door, grabbed my purse, hopped on my Harley and took off.

My mind cleared two blocks from the house, the pain ebbed away by the time I hit the coastline.

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