October 14– Your Chapter PDF!

*Groan*  Let’s see if I can get this one up without finding out I need to fix something immediately! I THINK I GOT THIS ONE!!!

  • Tiff

October 14th

Cade’s mother noticed immediately that something was going on with her son. Something that had not been going on before that morning. Cade was up early and had gone back to his house to retrieve fresh blueberries, real butter, and maple syrup. Then he began making a breakfast casserole using leftover french bread. He had a huge smile on his face and was humming to himself in the kitchen.

Cade put the casserole in the oven and turned around to see his mother smiling at him. “Good morning, Cade.”

“Good morning, Mom.” Cade walked up to his mother and gave her a quick hug.

“Okay, spill it. Now.”

“What?” Cade walked around the kitchen with an uncharacteristic bounce in his step. A goofy smile was plastered across his face. “Would ye like some orange juice or milk? I think I saw apple juice in here too.”

“What were you up to last night, Cadeyrn? Your mom is just curious.” She grinned at him.

“Nothing.” Cade’s cheeks flushed red, and he had to avoid looking at his mother as he brought out the container of orange juice. “I swear, nothing happened.”

“Don’t lie to your mom, Cade.”

Cade poured two glasses of orange juice and offered one to his mother. She took it, and he glanced around to make sure that Jaden and Charise weren’t anywhere nearby. Then he leaned down and whispered, “I’m not lying, Mom. She, she likes me.” He stammered. “She kissed me.”

“That sounds like something.” She grinned. Of course, her son was not going to make the first move. She knew all about his social anxieties. It would take a special girl to get to him and draw him out like this.

“I don’t want to talk about it with ye.” Cade nervously began drinking his orange juice. “Please do not bother Maria. I know ye, Mother, leave her alone.”

“I wouldn’t dream of it, Dear.” His mother clasped her hands, and Cade groaned at the look on her face. She was going to do something. He just knew it.

=-=-=-=-=-=

Half an hour later, Maria stumbled into the kitchen. She was still in a nightshirt, and her hair was wildly sticking up everywhere. She had smelled bacon and was on the hunt for it. Cade was turning the strips in a frying pan. Maria blinked at the sight of him. He had already showered, shaved, and changed into clean clothes. Cade noticed she was there, and he smiled at her, and Maria sighed, giving him a half-hearted smile in return. Her face turned red, and she wandered back up to her room to get ready for the day.

“Maria is not a morning person.” Charise giggled at the interaction. She, Jaden, and Cade’s mother were sitting at the kitchen table and saw the whole thing. “Thanks for making breakfast, Cadey!”

“Cadeyrn.” Cade corrected her. He took the breakfast casserole out and put it on the counter to cool.

=-=-=-=-=-=

Cade’s mother loved what she saw as the morning went on. Her son was smiling more than she had ever seen him smile before. It lit up his entire face. Cade and Maria used every opportunity they could to be near each other. They were no longer trying to have space between them. If they walked by each other, their hands touched. They sat next to each other. Maria repeatedly leaned against Cade, and he would lean back against her. They were both smiling and kept awkwardly bumping into each other. Neither was used to someone else being in their personal space as often as they were.

By afternoon, Charise and Jaden had also noticed the change in them. They chose not to say anything. They giggled to each other every time Cade or Maria made an awkward movement with each other. It was happening a lot.

For their part, Cade and Maria were trying to avoid sneaking off together. They settled for being close to one another. They still had a lot of work to do.

Cade had to leave to supervise the cleaning at his house so he and his mother could return to it that evening. Maria had a project due. They both tried to keep their focus on the things that needed to be done. Their minds often drifted in the direction of wanting to explore their new relationship. Those thoughts were overwhelmingly strong.

=-=-=-=-=-=

“So our choices are to let Bryce come after ye and catch him on video abusing ye? Cade leaned back in his chair, frowning at Maria. “Or I start following ye around like a guard dog for life?”

They were sitting in Maria’s studio. She was at her computer, and Cade was seated next to her. “I’ve done everything legally I’m supposed to. That’s the way things work.”

“I don’t like the options. Well, I like the following ye around option, but I think ye’d get tired of that after a while.” Cade smiled at Maria.

“Cade. I know you don’t like it, but catching him on video is the surest way to get him arrested.”

“He might hurt ye.” Cade shook his head.

“I can give you the account information for the cameras so you can see what’s going on. I’ll get Jaden and Charise out of the house. I have a sneaky suspicion that someone is watching the house. I just can’t figure out where they’re hiding.” Maria looked up at the camera in the corner of her studio suspiciously.

“What?” Cade followed her gaze, noticing that she was fixated on the camera.

“Whoever set fire to your display knew to keep out of the range of the cameras.” Maria turned her back to the camera and whispered. “One of those cameras was angled on your front door.”

“I know. I let them do it when they asked.” Cade nodded slowly.

“But some random person setting a fire would not know where the cameras were pointed.” Maria scrunched up her face in thought and tapped her fingers on her desk. She sighed. “I need to call my dad.”

“No.” Cade scowled. “Yer thinking that Bryce or someone working with him has access to the cameras, right?”

“Yes.” Maria nodded.

“If someone is watching the cameras then the moment they see ye alone they’re going to make their move. Ye haven’t been alone since they were installed, have ye?”

“Jaden and Charise go out grocery shopping or to run errands often, but that’s always during the day.”

“But not at night?”

“They’re always at home.” Maria nodded.

“Then we need to get them out of the house at night and see what happens. If we can control the situation, it’s less dangerous for ye. I’ll be close enough to stop him.” Cade looked at Maria in concern. “I do not like using ye as bait.”

“Unless you want to hide a body, this is the best way.” Maria sighed, leaning back in her chair. She reached out to Cade and took his hand. He scooted his chair closer, then leaned over to kiss her.

“Oh, that’s sooo cute!” Cade jumped and lost his balance and fell into Maria’s chair, knocking it and both of them onto the floor. Charise giggled from the doorway with Jaden snickering right behind her.

“Charise!” Maria groaned flat on her back on the floor. “What did I tell you about doing that?!”

“What?” Charise looked innocent. “You used to say dumb things and make faces at Jaden and me when you’d walk in on us doing the same thing.”

“Do ye mind?” Cade groaned, trying to get the chair out of the way so he and Maria could stand.

“Your mom wanted to let you know dinner’s ready.” Jaden waved from the doorway.

“Chicken pot pie! It smells so good!”

“You two behave!” Charise giggled, turning and pushing her husband playfully away from the door.

“Behave?” Maria smirked at Cade as he helped her up.

“I aim to misbehave.” Cade grinned back at her.

“Thank you so much for putting that thought into my head.” Maria giggled.

“What thought?” Cade leaned down with a smile.

“That I want to dress you up like a certain starship captain for Halloween.” Maria took a step back and looked at Cade from head to toe. “Or make you my personal John Wick. That might work better.”

Cade laughed. “I already have a perfect costume.”