Chapter Four

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(Lynx P.O.V) Me and Rusty met with Ryker as he was heading home. Much to my surprise hunters had followed him and began to track us so we gave them a run. We ran at least 50 miles from town to be safe, then took and hitch hiked back home. I was so tried; Ryker had passed out as some as we arrived home on the couch in the oversized living. I slept on one of the chairs. That should be the last of those pesky humans, they should know better than to mess with us. (Ryker P.O.V) I was happy to sleep; running for so long was really tiring. Everyone slept well that night, I regret having to get up for school, and morning came to damn early. And I was too damn tired to try and wake. Lynx and the maids had different plans. Lynx got a bucket and filled full of cold water while the maids; one with a camera the other with a thick towel. They stood beside me and let it all fall in place. Lynx dumped the bucket over my head, the first maid took the picture, the second; my personal favorite, handed me a towel and apologized for the rude awakening. She was so sweet and kind. They were twin sisters, both 24 and both with their own personalities. One was always hanging over me and trying to snap a photo of everything I did, even when I’m sleeping! The other was nice and made up for what her sister did, she brought things I asked for and kept her sibling at bay when she could, or didn’t get sucked into her plan. When I woke up in shock I growled. The three stepped back and gulped harshly. Step by step they reversed, echoing loudly in my ears, my left eye caught the sounds and I saw each step clearly. “You....” I snarled. Lynx looked about ready to run. “What’s the big idea!?” I yelled. They gasped and stood still, frozen in fright. I took the moment to dig it in deeper. “Whoever runs farthest...lives.” I smiled, showing the tip of my fangs. They took off faster than a bullet. I laughed in amusement. Rusty came up to me. “Young master, you’ll be late for school at this rate.” “Let them run, that was the whole point. You catch them for me, when I get back...hee hee, I’ll have some fun with them then.” Rusty eyed me as I ran outside. I couldn’t be late, grades were very important to me, I was a straight A student back home, I want to keep that record intact. Besides, I could see Akira again! I ran as fast as I could, without my fur, when I saw Akira leaving her house. “Hey Akira!” I called, waving my hand above my head as I slowed. Claude saw me. He smiled. “Hey Ryker, what are you doing here?” She asked in that beautiful voice. “Heading to school, you walking or catching a ride?”

“Ride, you want one too?” She asked. She tilted her head and smiled, she looked like a doll. “Sure, my legs are tired I think I’d die walking there and back.” I laughed. But honestly, my legs were throbbing with pain from running 50 damn miles last night! I was pooped....sitting in the back seat of the car was a relief. I got to ride with Akira, yahoo! Claude rolled down the window, I really wanted to stick my head out and feel the breeze but I didn’t. Might look like an idiot if I did that. When we arrived at school Claude waved us off as he drove back home. Catherina was angry when she saw me arrive at school with Akira. Everyone was staring. “Well, well...got a ride to school with miss nobody huh?” “I was running by when she offered, I accepted. You got a problem with that Catherina?” She smiled like I complimented her for something. “No, not at all, whatever makes you happy Ryker. By the way, we’re heading out to see a movie tonight. You want to join us?” “No.” I said calmly. People’s jaws dropped. “WHAT?!” Her friends shrieked. I stood calmly; Akira’s eyes were glued to me. “Why not?” Catherina whined, sticking out her lip and acted like a little kid. “I really want you too.” “So what? I don’t want to go with you, I can’t anyway. I have a meeting to go tonight so I wouldn’t be able to make it, and cancelling is not an option. Things are a bit complicated right now so I don’t have time to run around, I have very important things to do. I’m sorry.” I said solemnly. Akira nodded and watched as Catherina walked away with a frown. I escorted Akira inside where a small white skinned woman with grey hair was waiting. “Young master,” She started. “I’m sorry to interrupt your morning but I assure you it’s important.” Everyone in the halls, even teachers, were staring at me and the old woman. “What is it?” I asked her, Akira stood beside me. She seemed short to my 6’ 7”, I looked down at her briefly. “It’s about your brother.” “What about him?” My voice deepened with concern. This was serious. “I’m afraid he needs you to come in right away, he’s in a very tight position at the moment. It’s with the utter most importance I came here today.” She bowed slightly. I nodded. “Mrs. Andrews, I’ll take late classes tonight, I don’t mind homework.” I said before following the woman outside. Akira stood there watching me as I left, for some reason I felt like I had left part of me behind. I could feel her standing there all alone. I had to leave, if it was important and involved Lynx, then that must mean he got in trouble and needed me to drag him out of it. I was sitting in the back seat of a long black limo next to the old woman whose name was Tasha, she was loyal to my family since she was still a child, many people are but none were as devoted as she was. She responded to my father’s every whim. She’d do the same for me; she was here to guide me and raise me since my father’s death. My mother died when I was born so she’s they only mother I’ve ever had, and only now have I ever learned her name...I

feel awful. No matter, she was always there when I needed her and was always looking out for me and my brother. She’s such an honorable woman. “You seem distracted young master.” She said. “Humm? Oh, yes, just lost in thought. Nothing of concern Tasha...Just thinking. Mind telling me what exactly Lynx got himself into this time?” “Of course sir, I believe he challenged the some members of another clan, they seem very upset.” “That’s not a big deal Tasha, he can handle-“ “You say so young master...but your brother can’t do as you have said. He is so much weaker than you, more than either of you realize it yourselves, but it shows. It shows ever so much. You are stronger in more ways than one, your brother lacks in many things, and manners were never his strong suit. If you don’t do something to stop this, I fear others may get hurt, and your brother may die.” Her voice was clear and aged. It echoed in my mind, Lynx may die. Even if we don’t see eye-to-eye, I can’t let them, or anyone, kill my brother. That’s my job! I waited an hour before we pulled to a stop and jumped out. Tasha was right beside me. “Now listen to me well young master, take this easy now, no need to do anything you’ll regret.” “I’m well aware of that Tasha, thank you, but I can handle this. Don’t compare me so closely to my brother’s stupidity, I know what I’m doing Tasha.” I said firmly, I never raised my voice to her, not once, always firm but never angered. Yet she could tell needlessly. “If you say so young master, calm yourself, don’t show emotion to your enemy they see it as a sign, show them nothing but your strength and they shall flee from you.” Her timid voice was darkened, she knew plenty she was the one that taught me much of what I know today. Listening to her words came like second nature, don’t underestimate them or yourself! “Thank you Tasha.” I replied as I walked on. W stopped in front of an abandoned building about an hour from town, it was a factory, we turned it into a club only a few years ago and it’s become pretty big. In daytime it was empty with exception of the clan, at night...full of people who want entertainment and drinks, I place I never really admired to be. That’s why Lynx looked after it. It was his to take hold given by our father to keep him busy over the years, a way to watch fellow clan members as well. I got everything else against my will. “Young master?” Tasha asked softly as I looked off in the distance. “Huh? Oh, yeah...let’s go in then.” I replied. We walked up to the door and the bouncer greeted us, he was broad but not all the tall, I imagine what he lacked in height he made up in muscle. Once we entered I couldn’t hear any of the awful junk they call music playing, this looked bad. “Now everyone, I’m sure this is just a misunderstanding.” Tasha said kindly, just like a mother to her children. “Calm yourselves boys, and regain your senses.” She added. I smiled on the inside at her sweet heart, you was truly like a mother in my eyes. I adored her. “Shut you yap! You don’t know what’s going on here.” Said a tall grey skinned man. His eyes were a hazel colour and his jaw was squared, he seemed distant from the others with him.

“This is between us and Lynx...the most you could do is bring the stupid little leader of theirs here.” “If that is your request.” Tasha said smiling slyly. She turned to face me and bowed. “Young master, you’ve been requested by this gentleman here.” I stared at her, half awed by her actions and half frustrated by her. “Is everything alright?” “Everything is fine.” I said quietly, looking away from her. I closed my eyes then opened them to stare at the foreigners. I quickly shot a glare to Lynx who looked at the dirt and inched away. “What did you do...?” I hissed. He didn’t answer or raise his head to look at me. The tall grey skin eyed me curiously as well as the others with him. “You are their leader?” “Yes.” I replied plainly. “Why, something wrong with it?” “I just wasn’t expecting a kid...I thought you’d be older.” “I’m not a kid, if anything he’s the kid.” I said, nodding to Lynx who sighed giving me a puppy dog stare. “Give me one good reason to take it back.” I demanded an waited for a answer, Lynx opened his mouth but said nothing. “My point exactly.” “Your brothers’ right? He said he was the leader’s brother. That means your Ryker, correct?” “Correct, and you are? I deserve to know the name of the one causing trouble.” I said. He grinned. “Tony Shay. These are some buddies from my clan, just a ways up north from here. You know, or have heard, of Barker right?” “The mafia-like family, yea, I’ve heard of them. In fact I plan on meeting with him tonight.” “WHAT!?” Everyone in the room yelled at the top of their lungs, except Tasha, she stood quietly beside me the entire time. I didn’t wait for them to respond again, I fear I may lose my hearing if they do. “He invited me to dine with him at the best restaurant in town. It would be insulting to decline.” I said, stressing not to yelled back at them, my left brow raised in frustration. “He wanted to discuss some things, besides...I’d get away from you.” It came out like a growl though unintentional. Lynx backed up and hung his headed like he was pleading. The others looked at me, Tony grinned slyly at me and put his arm on my shoulder. There was a foots different in height between us. “Pretty tuff for a kid, I’ll give you that. But our leader isn’t someone you should mess with Ryker. He’s a lot stronger than-“ “Ha, I doubt that.” Lynx laughed, hiding it with his hand. “You saying he’s weaker than this kid!?” Tony’s voice raised. Lynx rose up to him. “Yeah I am! And how dare you insult my brother that way!” They growled at each other. I clenched my fists together and my eyes must have went dark cause Lynx put his hands up and slowly walked backward nodding for Tony to copy him, which he did, when he noticed my eyes.

“Now listen here, you idiots! You...you stop being a pain and drag your sorry ass home! And you, I don’t really care how strong you say he is, I don’t care I don’t intent to fight him just talk...but if you come around here again...I’ll be the one you play with.” I growled deeply to make my point. Lynx nodded and stood beside Tasha, Tony eyed me. “Are you threatening us?” “Yes, I do believe I am. And I don’t play very nicely with others, so I dare you to show your face around here again.” I smiled at the pleasure of chasing them round the place, my fangs showed. Two others, most likely pups, darted out the door. Tony and the others soon followed after giving me the eye. I knew they would tell Barker what happened, it was expected. (Akira P.O.V) School was horrible without Ryker around, Catherina was even more annoying because he talked to me and not her, and she wouldn’t leave me alone! She followed me EVERYWHERE I went to keep an eye on me. She’s scary when she wants something, and I just had to get involved with it.... “How did I get involved anyway?” I whispered. Kat turned to face me. “What was that Akira?” “Huh? Oh, nothing....just thinking out loud a bit that’s all, ha ha.” I mumbled, trying not to sound stupid but failed miserably. She laughed. “Is that so? You can’t fool me Akira. Your thinking about Ryker aren’t you?” “No! I’m thinking about Catherina and how she won’t leave me alone, I can’t think of anything good when she’s right behind me all the time.” I covered my mouth and leaned against the wall. “Damn it...why must you?” “Cause its fun, duh. Anyway, I was hoping we’d go shopping later. I can take you home when we’re finished. Sound fun?” She beamed with a huge smile on her face. I stared at her not sure of what to say, I mean, Claude was waiting for me to text him to pick me up it was his privilege and I said I’d make him diner he jumped of the walls at the offer. How disappointed he’d feel. “I’m sorry I-“ “It’s settled then, I’ll meet you here after school...you are coming right?” “Well I’d love to, but I-“ “Good! I can’t wait for school to be over with, see ya later Akira!” She interrupted again. Something tells me she wasn’t even listening to what I was saying, in her own little world. Claude’s going to cry when I tell him about this. (texting conversation) Claude I’m going shopping with a friend, see you at home later -Akira WHAT! U said you’d make me diner tonight -Claude I know, I’m sorry but I got talked into it...tomorrow night for sure -Akira

Promise... ~sobs~ -Claude Promise, I won’t be that long, I’ll be back before mom -Akira Okay, but I’m still disappointed Akira...I wanted to pick you up -Claude IK! -Akira You’re so mean to me Akira, it hurts... -Claude Grow up, I’m not going to be gone all night! -Akira But I’m all alone in this empty house I could cry I’m so lonely -Claude THEN GO OUTSIDE! –Akira But it’s so far away! –Claude Your sitting on the couch –Akira Your good, have fun shopping my littleI slammed my cell shut before I finished reading his texted, I’d hit him for whatever it was later. I looked up to see Catherina and sat up on the bench. “Catherina, what do you want?” “Oh nothing, just wanted to ask you dome questions that’s all.” “Like what?” I asked in a suspicious tone. She sat beside me and crossed her legs. “I’ve been thinking...I’ve been very mean to you and I’m sorry, what do you say we start over as friends and I even let you try out for the cheer squad! Huh, what do you say?” “...huh?” Where’d Catherina go and who was sitting beside me!? “Friends...you know, go shopping and talk about girl stuff together.” “No thanks, I’m good you’ll just use me in the end, I know you Catherina.” “And I want to change! Please I beg you, if not you who?” She said, with a sad face, and her hands cupped together as she pleaded. I gave in. “Fine...but there are restrictions to this friendship, first of all; my name is Akira, use it. Secondly; no mean comments about me, to me, or about my friends. And finally...no pulling me into something without my okay first. Got all that?” I said as I stood up to go to class. “Got it all Akira. See you later!” She smiled, skipping away to class. I walked slowly imagining the horror she’d give me when all is said and done. Man I wish Ryker was here, he could make her go away....maybe I should just call in sick tomorrow, Claude wouldn’t mind me skipping school would he? Classes fell by like nothing and we didn’t get much homework, except Ryker...Mrs. Andrews really pilled it on, he got quite the load! I sat on the bench waiting for Kat while I looked at my cell to see what it was that Claude text me...I swear I’ll beat him when I see again. Kat came up to me with a grin on her face. “Ready to go?” “Yeah, all set.” I replied. We walked over to a tan coloured car and climbed in, I really got to get my drivers, and then Claude won’t have to pick me up all the time. And he could cry all he

wants too, I wouldn’t care, at least...not much. We drove to the plaza in the middle of town, it had at least a dozen shops and that’s just for clothing, I’ve never really counted and I don’t intend too. Kat pulled me inside to one of her favorite stores, it was full of dresses and cute shirts. I found this adorable blue shirt and had to have it, Kat had so many things I wondered how she’d carry it all. After that we went to more stores, and more, and more! The last stop was a bra shop, you never know, they tend to break and they always get some really cute ones. Poka dots, stripes, candy, hearts, and little bows all yelled “pick me, pick me!” Kat went in ahead to grab her stuff while I looked around, I found some glow in the dark stuff, really cool but really weird. And we finally finished I had three bags of clothes and Kat had eight! What did she get? An entire new wardrobe....there is such thing as a limit. No matter, after awhile we got tired so we went for dinner at one of the restaurants in the plaza, a real fancy place. Elegant wallpaper and a chandelier hanging in the entrance. I saved up enough for me to eat there, took me three months, Kat did the same. Together we got a table and sat ourselves down, to my surprise I saw Ryker walk inside. He was wearing a black jacket and deep red shirt with the collar up, the cuffs of his jacket had silver pins and he wore dark jeans, dressed up for something by the looks of it. His hair was the same, a messy look that covered his left eye. He walked in and stood at the counter waiting for a waiter to come to him. We were sitting two tables away so we could hear everything he said clearly, no one spoke really loudly in this place and there were little to no children around. “Reservations sir?” Asked the waiter with a smile. “Is Mr. Barker here?” Ryker asked, the waiter stood silent then nodded. “I’m here to meet him.” Ryker added, the waiter seemed shaken by Ryker for what he said, or the tone, I didn’t catch it. The waiter pointed to the stairwell and returned to his duty. Ryker calmly walked on and stopped next to our table. Me and Kat were as quiet as possible. “Ladies...what are you doing here?” He asked bowing his head to Kat and me. He stared at me. “Well, you see, we saved up for three months so we could treat ourselves, I had no idea you’d be here if that’s what the problem is...” I spoke softly, almost a whisper. “There’s no problem Akira, if you want to stay then stay. But how about this, next time I treat you, how’s that sound?” He smiled. I blushed and turned away hoping Kat would get rid of him like she did everyone else for me. Ryker laughed quietly to himself as he slowly brought my hand to his lips. “I’ll be waiting on your answer Akira, until tomorrow.” He said. We watched him walk away. I let out a heavy sigh of relief. “Looks like he likes you Akira, he just asked you out.” She seemed overly happy. “Yeah, I know...I don’t know though.” “What does that mean!? Girl, take the chance, I mean it’s not every day a rich boy’s gonna ask you out. Besides....you like him to don’t you, made there’ll be love, just think about it!” She cooed, cupping her hands under her chin, staring off into space. SOMEONE KILL ME!!!!!!

“True but what about Catherina, I mean she asked to be my friend, with that I don’t think it’s a good idea if she’ll be around. Imagine what she would do, besides make my life miserable.” I said at long last. Kat suddenly snapped back to the present. “You have a point...keep it a secret then-“ “How she follows me everywhere I-“ I was interrupted by the figure of Catherina standing a few feet away from us and approaching. “See! My point exactly.” I hissed before she was in hearing distance. Kat nodded. Smiles grew when Catherina stood beside me. Suddenly I didn’t feel like eating, not with Catherina around, I didn’t want to know what she was planning to do to me. For some reason she sat down beside me and we ordered our meals. After we finished Catherina left and Kat took me home, it was already 9:15 pm Claude was most likely freaking out! I got home and found Claude sitting on the couch watching a T.V soap opera, uhhh.....how can he watch that!? “I’m home...earth to Claude, earth to Claude, are ya in there?” I raised my voice, tapping his forehead lightly. He looked up and shoed my hand away. “Shh...I’m trying to watch something here! Sandra, poor Sandra, their so mean to you.” He sobbed, patting his eyes gently with his sleeve. I rolled my eyes. “How could you, you never seen this program before!” He yelled. I stared at him, then the T.V. “If I watch it with, you don’t tell mom I was late coming home?” “Agreed, take a seat.” He said, patting the seat beside him. I sat down and my eyes fixed themselves to the television. Minutes passed and it was now 9:45 pm and mom came through the door quietly. Me and Claude leaned in close to the T.V with our nails to our lips. Mom walked into the kitchen and turned to us. “I can’t believe you got her to watch that crap with you, impressive.” She laughed. “Sandra....no!” We cried, lowering in our heads for dramatic effect. “How could you say that, you’ve never seen it before.” I sobbed, dapping at my eyes. Claude did too. “You are a cruel woman, have you no heart?” He said sobbingly. She tilted her head. “It’s a soap opera...Sandra left him...get over it.” “How could you!?” We shrieked as we turned to watch the show. We flung ourselves back when they cut to commercial like they killed us. “Damn advertisements.” Claude said. “Why am I watching this again...it’s not that good.” I said shortly after. He gasped at me. “Fine, leave me to watch my stories alone on this huge desolate couch....leave me...” Me and mom hugged him and sat down together and for some reason and watched the program. “Fredrico....no!” We cried together.

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