Target(Legend of the Ir'Indicti,Book 3)(5) by Connie Suttle
"Wow, dude. Kitchen is really nice. Media room, ditto, except your media room has the fireplace there. Walking down the hall, now. Four bedrooms, Sal. Big ones. Two have their own bathroom. Wait, here's a family room and a study." Ashe was outlining the rooms as quickly as he could for Sali. "And you have the extra garage, too."
"Who's on the other side?" Sali asked.
"Dude, yours is the last house on the right side. Go farther than that and you'll be in the water. Let me go see who's on the other side of us." Ashe walked out of the DeLuca home, shut the door behind him and trotted toward the house on the other side of his new home.
"Sal, you won't believe this; Dori, Lavonna and Nathan are on our other side." Ashe let the paper drop against the door and trotted to the house next to that. "The O'Neills are next to the Andersons," Ashe said, laughing. "This is incredible. I wish you were here."
"Dude, we're going to Six Flags tomorrow, and then Mom's shopping at one of the malls. We'll be there in a couple of days. Hold the fort until we get there."
"Will do," Ashe said. "I'd better go before Mom starts to worry." Ashe terminated the call and slipped the cell inside his shirt pocket. "Wow," he whispered appreciatively, looking around before trotting toward his new home.
"I've got the bags," Ashe pulled both roller bags inside the house. "Have we gotten into the garage, yet? We can pull the car in to unload the rest of the stuff."
"Let's go look," Adele smiled. "I can't wait for your father to see this." Ashe left the roller bags in the foyer while they went looking for the door leading into the garage.
"Mom, look." Ashe toed a metal door beneath his feet inside the third garage. "It's one of those tornado shelters."
"It is. Let's open it." Adele slid the door back, revealing steps that led downward. "Honey, it's huge." Adele walked downward, flipping on a light. "Ashe, there's enough room down here for a bed and a dresser," she said, looking around. Ashe walked down too, taking in the shelter.
"Dad will install a better door, but this was made for him," Ashe nodded.
"You're right. He'll put something better in, but this will do in the meantime. And Mr. Winkler already has the houses alarmed; they're just turned off right now."
"I wish we didn't have to sleep in sleeping bags tonight."
"It'll be fun. Our furniture will get here in a day or two."
"I know. Let's go see if anyone else has arrived."
Adele and Ashe walked out the front door and sat on the edge of the wide front porch. "Sali's next door," Ashe grinned, jerking his head to the right. "And Nathan and Lavonna are on the other side of us. The O'Neills are after that," Ashe said.
"Isn't that Ben Billings' car?" Adele pointed at a house directly across the water channel.
"Yeah. That means he either has to swim or go all the way around to harass me," Ashe grinned. Principal Billings was getting out of his car and surveying his large, single-story house with a two-car, attached garage.
"We have a bigger garage," Adele snickered, bumping Ashe's shoulder with her own.
"He'll have garage envy," Ashe laughed. Other cars were pulling up to houses down the block. "Look, there's Mr. Dodd," Ashe said. The History teacher was pulling into a driveway about halfway down on the opposite side. Mr. Dodd's wife and two sons were climbing out of the car, looking around in wonder.
"Greta and Micah are on our side," Adele pointed out. Micah and Greta were getting out of their car about four houses down.
"Not far from the Packmaster. That's a good idea," Ashe decided. "Look—there's Dori and Lavonna." Ashe trotted out to the middle of the driveway and started waving his arms. Adele, laughing, stood up to join him.
"We're next door to each other?" Dori was out of the car and standing beside Ashe in seconds. "Where's Sali?"
"On our other side," Ashe pointed.
"At least we have a buffer in between," Dori said. "Come on. Let's go look at the house." Ashe and his mother followed Lavonna and Dori into their new home. Adele's cell rang as they walked inside.
"We're leaving now." Ashe, with his sharp hearing, listened to his father's voice on the other end.
"Be safe, honey," Adele sighed.
"We will. Have Lavonna and Dori arrived?"
"Just now. They're looking the new house over. Does Nathan want to talk to Lavonna?"
"He does." Adele handed the cell phone over.
"Nathan? The house is beautiful," Lavonna said.
"Good," Ashe heard Nathan's reply. Ashe likely had the best hearing of anyone in the community, including the werewolves. "I hope we'll be there before dawn, but I'll call if we have to stop," Nathan added.
"All right. I'll put Adele back on." Lavonna handed the phone back to Ashe's mother.
"Honey?" Adele said.
"I'm here," Aedan replied. "Just take care and use every precaution until we get there. Did you get a card from Winkler's Second?"
"I did. He said to call if there are any problems. Aedan, we really like the house."
"Good. I'll see you soon." Aedan ended the call.
"Ashe, you have to see this," Dori was hauling him toward the back of the house. A wide cedar deck lay behind Dori's new home, with plenty of space for a party or barbecue.
"Wow, Dori, ours isn't nearly this big," Ashe said, impressed.
"I love it," Dori, her blonde ponytail bobbing and green eyes sparkling, was hopping with joy, her hands clasped together. "I can't wait until Wynn gets here."
"She lives next door," Ashe grinned. Dori squealed with delight.
Dori and Ashe ended up drinking bottles of soda from a cooler while Adele and Lavonna hooked up the coffeepot Adele brought and drank coffee in Adele's new kitchen. "This is so much better than I thought it might be," Lavonna said. "And Corpus Christi isn't far away."
"Mr. Winkler says that the land the Pack will hunt on is near Gregory. The Corpus Christi Packmaster owns the land and has giving permission for the Star Cove Pack to hunt there."
"Wow. It's different, not calling it the Cloud Chief Pack, isn't it?" Ashe observed. He would have to get used to that.
"They were the White Lakes, New Mexico Pack before that," Lavonna pointed out. "We'll adapt. I think Nathan may actually buy a boat."
"There's something I hadn't considered," Adele laughed.
"Can we go to the beach tomorrow?" Dori asked. "I really want to go."
"I'll think about it. I'm hoping the moving trucks will arrive. We can make plans after that," Lavonna replied.
Sapphire stood before the Queen. He did not have comforting news. "What is it?" The Queen snapped. She was adept at reading emotions from close range. Sapphire hoped his punishment would be light for bringing unwelcome information.
"My Queen, I have had word from our paid source," he replied, cautiously testing the air about his monarch. She was in a rage already, best not to delay. "One of our spies reports that the community lies empty, now. The spy also reports that the relocation information was withheld." Sapphire closed his eyes as he was blown backward with more force than the strongest of hurricanes. The breath left his body with a painful whoosh as he crashed into something solid and unmovable. Sapphire fell unconscious to the ground.
"Nathan we're being followed," Aedan twisted quickly in his seat to check the headlights in the distance behind them. "And they're not professional about it. When we change lanes, they change lanes."
Nathan Anderson drove Aedan's SUV down I-35, near the Oklahoma-Texas border. "Can you tell anything about the vehicle?"
"Not yet," Aedan replied. "There's not much traffic; how about driving dark for a while?" Nathan grinned at the suggestion, turned off the headlights and sped up. It was a game for them; go dark, speed up and when the vehicle following sped up as well, they'd wait for a dip in the road so the brake lights wouldn't be visible, pull off, conceal the SUV and wait for their tail to catch up. Then they'd come in behind their trackers to see what they might discover about them.
"There's a likely place," Aedan indicated a turnoff past the city of Ardmore. An older highway ran parallel to I-35 on the eastern side, with an exit and an overpass close by. Nathan slowed down, got off the highway and slipped the SUV into a spot where it couldn't be seen from the highway above. They waited thirty seconds before their tail went by. A nearly new, red Lexus raced past; Aedan made a note of the make and model as Nathan placed the SUV in gear and spun out of their hiding place, driving toward the access ramp. Leaving the lights off would prevent their newly acquired quarry from noticing that they were being followed by their former quarry.
"Think they'll slow down anytime soon?" Aedan asked as they drove onto the highway again.
"No idea. I'm going to throttle back a little, though," Nathan eased his foot off the pedal, slowing down below the speed limit. The Lexus continued to race along at the same rate, leaving the vampires behind quickly.
"I wonder when they'll learn they've passed us?" Aedan was worried and amused at the same time.
"No way to tell. I think we should choose an alternate route, though. In case they do figure things out."
"Good enough." Aedan punched the onboard GPS and searched for a new route toward their destination.
"Your dad is spending the day in Victoria. They came down using a slower route," Ashe's mother told him when he wandered into the kitchen the following morning.
"He all right?" Ashe asked, pulling the small container of orange juice from the new fridge. They'd brought OJ, sodas and bottled water packed in a cooler. A trip to get groceries was planned for later in the day.
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