The Calling Page 64

“What did you have in mind?” Daniel said.


RAFE’S PLAN WAS SIMPLE: get us to the mainland. His mom had given him the names of some people there. Supernaturals who had worked on the experiment and then left it. One was a woman in Vancouver.

Rafe hadn’t made contact with any of them earlier because his mother had told him to reach out to them only as a last resort. This was, Rafe figured, a last resort.

Sam wanted to leave right away. Rafe thought we should get a good night’s rest. Daniel agreed, and Corey seconded Daniel. As the three of us long-time residents pointed out, getting off the island at night wasn’t easy.

Next the guys were heading out to find a house we could hole up in—someplace the Cabals wouldn’t expect to find us. Sam’s leg wasn’t up to scouting, and Rafe thought I should stay with her, take a break, get a hot shower, and put on the fresh clothes I’d brought from home. That may have been his nice way of saying I really needed that shower.

As the guys headed downstairs, I called Daniel back. Rafe hesitated even when I waved him on, but after a moment, he went with Corey.

I led Daniel to the master bedroom and closed the door behind us.

“What’s up?” I whispered.


“You’ve barely said a word since Rafe showed up. You don’t trust him.”

“What? No. Of course I trust him. The guy fell out of a helicopter so we wouldn’t.”

“But something’s bugging you. Is it his story?”

“No. It’s a miracle he survived, but like you said, he’s part cat. They always land on their feet.” He smiled, but it was strained.

“Then you don’t buy the part about how he got back here.”

“I do. He said he left the motorcycle behind the Blender. Easy enough to check. If he was lying, he’d say he ditched it in the woods somewhere.”

“Uh-huh. You’ve thought this through, I see. Which means it’s bugging you.”

Daniel put his hands on my upper arms and leaned down to look me in the eye. “Nothing’s bugging me, Maya. Well, except the fact that our town is empty, and we have no idea where anyone is or how to find them.”

I dropped my gaze. “Right. Sorry. You’re quiet because you have other things on your mind. I’m worried, too. I know it doesn’t seem like it, because Rafe’s back and obviously I’m happy about that, so maybe I’m not as focused as I should be. I’ll snap out of it.”

He gave me a quick hug. “Don’t. Something in this whole mess has gone right for you. You’re allowed to be happy.” He met my gaze. “Okay?”

I nodded.

“Go have a shower and try to relax,” he said. “You’re going to need your energy, and I’m going to need mycocaptain.”

I was in the Tillsons’ bathroom, still dressed, starting the shower, when I heard a faint click, and I wheeled to see Rafe coming in, holding a card he’d used to pop the lock. His free hand covered his eyes.

“Excuse—” I began.

“Oh, sorry. Didn’t know you were in here,” he said, his hand still over his eyes as he frantically motioned, apparently trying to stop me from stating the obvious—that he’d broken in and knew full well I was here.

I pulled his hand from his eyes, and mouthed, “What the hell?”

“Play along,” he mouthed back. “Please.”

There was no teasing glimmer in his eyes. They pleaded with me so desperately that I felt a chill in my gut.

I went to turn off the water. He grabbed my arm and shook his head. Then he moved me closer to the shower, leaned in and whispered, “Ask me to join you.”


He clapped a hand over my mouth and whispered, “Trust me. Please.”

I remembered Sam saying she’d stayed behind to make sure her phone call didn’t bring someone running. What if it had? What if they’d come while we were gone and cut a deal with her? Or snuck in and planted bugs, and were just waiting for the right time to nab us?

I cleared my throat. “Better not stick around or I might ask you to join me.”

Rafe chuckled. “If I thought you were serious, I’d take you up on that. I was just coming in to do a better job washing up. There wasn’t any water at your place and my cuts and scrapes are filthy. Guess it’ll have to wait.”

He waved for me to continue. When I arched my brows, he motioned to us, then to the shower. He wanted us in the shower, where no one could hear our conversation. Which was a little extreme. And extremely awkward. He’d given me a lead-in, though, so I used it.

“No, you really should get them cleaned,” I said. “And I should take a look at them. I suppose we can accomplish both if you keep your shorts on … and keep your hands to yourself.”

He grinned. “Fine by me.”

I turned my back and took off my jeans and socks. When I’d finished, he was climbing into the shower. While the view was very nice, my gaze went to his shoulder, to the paw-print birthmark there, a mirror image of the one on my hip.

I hadn’t told him about my first shift to cat form. Now, suddenly, I wanted to. Really wanted to. I wanted to share that with him, see his reaction, tease him about beating him to it and hear his laugh—

He turned and waved me into the shower with him. He backed up to give me room, but it was a shower stall—not much room to be had. The hot water beat down, soaking through my shirt. I leaned back into it, forgetting Rafe as I luxuriated in the feeling of hot, clean water.

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