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Home > The Hunt (The Secret Circle #5)(9)

The Hunt (The Secret Circle #5)(9)
Author: L.J. Smith

Then she moved to her bed, opened her laptop, and asked, "Can we at least get Wi-Fi down here?"

Cassie smiled. "I think that's the least I can do." And just like that, she'd been forgiven for her outburst.

Chapter 6

"I know we said this would be our evening alone, but Raj has been suffering from some major separation anxiety lately." Adam was on Cassie's doorstep with a pizza box in one hand and a dog leash in the other.

"It's okay." Cassie bent down to give the shaggy dog a loving pat. "We're not completely alone with Jekyll and Hyde downstairs anyway. At least Raj can't order me around like a maidservant."

Adam's eyes softened. "Has it gotten that bad already?" he asked, nodding in the direction of Faye and Laurel in the basement.

"Let's just say I'd love to take this pizza to go."

"A picnic on the bluff. That's a great idea. Let's do it." Adam tugged on Raj's leash and the dog sniffed and snorted, almost too excited for Adam to keep hold of him.

Cassie grabbed a jacket and followed Adam out the door. Of course it was impossible for Faye and Laurel to hear her, but Cassie still couldn't bring herself to open up to Adam about her nightmare or the cord with her friends so close by. Whether it was pure paranoia or not, having a heart-to-heart with Adam out in the fresh air on the bluff seemed like a far superior option.

Adam kept Raj in check as he and Cassie made their way along Crowhaven Road, arm in arm, savoring the beautiful night. Cassie felt safe and protected with Adam, but she couldn't help surveying the surrounding area, scanning every tree and shadow, alert to any movement or sound. She knew Scarlett or a hunter could be behind any one of the many crooked mailboxes or lopsided lampposts along their way.

The bluff was tranquil, a rocky fort of solitude. The night was quiet in a way that usually made Cassie feel calm, but tonight she wanted to scream as loud as she could and shatter it.

Adam instructed Raj to lie down, then opened up the pizza box and handed Cassie a drooping, dripping slice. "I got your favorite. Hawaiian."

Cassie accepted the slice from him and took a small bite before diving right into what she'd been waiting to say. "I have to tell you something," Cassie said. Her words echoed into the night. "I had a dream last night."

"By the tone of your voice," Adam said while chewing, "I'm guessing it wasn't a good one."

Cassie shook her head. "And it was so real. I'm not sure if it actually happened."

"If it was a dream, Cassie, of course it didn't happen. Are you saying you had another vision? Was it Scarlett?"

"No. This was something else." Cassie looked down from the sloping cliff to the lapping water below. "In the dream I was reading my father's Book of Shadows, absorbing all of its energy. And then when I woke up my hands had been burned. See this?"

Cassie set her slice of pizza down and lifted her shirtsleeve to show Adam the new burn on the inside of her hand. "That wasn't there before I went to bed."

Adam closely examined the mark. "Okay, that's weird," he said. "Do you think you were reading the book in your sleep?"

Cassie pulled her sleeve back down and picked at a pineapple bit on top of her pizza. "I don't know. When I woke up, I found it locked away just as I'd left it before I went to bed. It really doesn't make any sense."

"Have you told anyone else about this?"

"No, just you. And I want to keep it that way."

Adam's face took on an air of seriousness as his eyes wandered across the bluff. Cassie could tell he was trying to come up with some explanation or solution, but not finding any.

"We have to find out more about that book," he said. "It's time for us to learn how dark magic works."

Cassie stiffened at the words dark magic. It wasn't something she wanted to be associated with, especially in Adam's mind. But Adam was right.

"I want to try to open the book," Cassie said. "With you at my side. I know for sure the witch-hunter curse my father used is in there and I want us to research it together."

"I think that's a good idea." Adam put aside his half-eaten slice of pizza and held Cassie by the shoulders. "I understand your fears about telling the rest of the Circle about this, but they might be able to help. Diana's Book of Shadows has a lot of information in it. We should at least tell her, if not the others."

Cassie shook her head. "Not yet."

"Diana's not going to judge you," Adam said. "You know that."

"There's more to it than that, Adam."

Cassie could see how strongly Adam disagreed with her, so she had to remain firm. "This is a private matter," she said. "A family matter. It's not for you to decide who should and shouldn't know about it."

"Fine." Adam exhaled loudly. "When you're ready then."

For a few seconds his frustration was palpable. He got quiet and picked a pebble off the ground, worrying it between his fingers.

But soon enough he lobbed the pebble into the water and refocused on Cassie. "I'm with you on this," he said. "I need you to know that."

Cassie reached out to pull Adam closer. She buried her head in his chest and he rested his chin on her hair. Raj barked and jumped with jealousy. He nosed at their legs and pawed at their feet until Cassie gave in and bent down to give him a pat on the head. Adam laughed and stroked the dog's disheveled coat.

"I think Raj is right," Adam said. "We've had enough serious talk for one night." He returned to his pizza and bit off a mouthful.

"Actually, there's one more thing." Cassie looked down at the dewy ground. As much as she wanted to forget all her troubles and enjoy her time with Adam, she knew she couldn't keep the cord a secret from him any longer.

"More bad news?" Adam said with a smile. "Have you been saving it all up for this one walk?"

"Kind of." Cassie couldn't bear to fake levity. "I've kept this inside for a while now."

Adam commanded Raj to sit and tried to read Cassie's expression. "What is it?"

"I saw something," Cassie said, in a barely audible voice. "That night in Cape Cod. When I was in your arms. I saw the cord, our cord."

"Okay."

"But I also saw a second cord. Going from you to Scarlett."

"I don't understand what you're telling me," Adam said, but Cassie knew he must have perfectly understood what she was saying.

"It looked just like ours," Cassie explained. "But it was between the two of you. What do you think that means?"

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