The driving for the next few days was slow. We seemed to encounter traffic everywhere, and everyone that walked by seemed suspicious. Perhaps it was just the paranoia that was infecting us all like a disease, as it had for the last week since we had been found. Since then we had covered miles and miles, sleeping in cheap motels or camping in small parts of woodland, sharing the driving and watch shifts between us.
The atmosphere between us had changed slightly, since the “attack”. We were all slowly realising what was at stake, what could happen to us. What we could lose.
On the bike in front of us, Pete signalled for us to turn off the dual carriageway, he and Mel drove a little way in front of us, Cas was driving, I was on the back, hiding a gun between us, my hands around his waist. Every now and then he would gently touch my interlocked fingers, as if to check I was real.
We pulled into a small hotel, crummy in appearance and no doubt cheap in price, and me and Cas were set the task of finding a small supermarket for food whilst Pete an Mel got a room.
The town that the hotel was on the outskirts of had the same run-down, not often used appearance, and as me and Cas walked down the red brick streets, my mind drifted back to this thing where it analyses my current situation. I was sixteen years old, on the run from a dangerous terrorist group, and was currently walking down a run-down street in a town I don’t even know the name of looking for Pot Noodles. Oh yeah did I mention that I have never been to school, don’t know who my parents are and… Oh yeah, I have dragon wings. Before I could spend much debating the complete bizarreness of my life, even though it was a topic I had spent a long time laughing over, Cas grabbed my hand.
I looked up at him quizzically, but he simply grinned.
“Well we do need a cover story, and this one is believable, because, come on, who could not fall for my dashing good looks and sparkling personality?” He was grinning down at me, his dark hair falling into is eyes slightly.
“Yeah, and your modesty too.” All the same I kept my hand in his, trying and failing to hide my smile in my short hair.
“Just another one of my many talents.” I swear if he smiled any wider it would fall of his face.
“What along with being a complete twit?” I realised I was grinning too.
“Remind me again why I put up with you when you insult me so?” He replied, dramatically putting the hand that wasn’t holding mine on his heart.
“There’s only four of us! You have to put up with me!”
Cas just sighed, but he kept my hand tight in his, swinging them slightly as we walked.
It didn’t take us long to find a small local supermarket that looked like it was begging for customers. Before me and Cas could get anywhere near it though, Cas shoved me down a side alley quickly, pressing me against a wall.
“What the hell, Cas?” I whisper yelled.
“I- there was a man leaning against the wall next to the Post Office, and he had a gun, and he’s not safe Tallie, I could tell.”
We all knew what “I could tell” meant, it meant that Cas had got something psychically.
“Right, okay, right, godammit.” taking a deep breath I paused, working things out. I wasn’t good at this, we needed Mel and Pete, my best idea was to just run out there and burn him to the ground. Thankfully I was saved from doing something reckless and stupid by Cas.
“Just keep watch for me okay? I’ll try and get something psychically.” His voice was low and urgent, urgency mixing with guilt of putting me in danger swam in his eyes.
Tilting my chin up and squaring my shoulders, I nodded and tugged my gun out of my waistband and moved to the opening of the alley, hiding behind a dumpster, my gun pointing at the edge of the wall, ready. Cas crouched down against the wall, closing his eyes and taking deep breathes to centre himself and trying to let his mind wander.
It didn’t work.
He started at small noises and kept opening his eyes to see if anything had happened. Wordlessly I reached back and took his hand, mentally telling him to calm down. Gripping onto my hand, he took several more deep breathes and went silent.
I didn’t move as I waited. We needed Mel, she would be able to tell us what’s going on. The best Cas could do was to see flashes of the mans’ future and try to piece together who he was and what he wanted. It was going to be tough. Suddenly he doubled his strength on my hand spinning me towards him.
I careered into him, still holding the gun, and he grabbed my arms to steady me. I tried to move, I was practically sitting on him, but he held me still and whispered words that sent terror straight through me that was immediately replaced with anger.
“Tallie, Oh god Tallie, He is. He’s one of them.”