When she accepts a ride from the first car to come by she meets Gabriel. He’s her age, hot, and the closest thing she has to a savior. Problem is, he is a total jerk. With nowhere to go, Caden convinces Gabriel to let her stay with him for one night. He reluctantly lends a couch.
That night Caden wakes up to strange noises. Concerned, she rushes into Gabriel’s room, already anticipating his bad temper. Instead, he’s kind, sweet, and suspiciously harmless—nothing like the man who gave her a ride. He seems like a different person altogether, and claims he is. By night he is Tom, and by day he is Gabriel. Caden finds herself drawn to the mysteries hidden in his eyes.
For Gabriel, Caden is an annoying mistake. One night turns into many, and despite all his anger towards her, she stays. She even seems to accept him and his flaws, but he still doesn’t trust her—is she staying for him, or has she already discovered more than he’s willing to share?
“Do you want to play a game?”
“What?” Caden asked, his voice once again making her unsure. A game? It sounded like something Sean would say. Caden shifted her weight, eyeing him warily. I can handle this. She let out a deep breath; if nothing else she could use this as an opportunity. Cleaning at three in the morning obviously hadn’t scored her enough Good Samaritan points.
“Sure… We can play a game.” She wondered if her hesitation would make him angry, like she had when they had been in the car that afternoon.
She looked around for a weapon, anything she could use to protect herself. As her eyes scanned the room each surface was bare, aside from the bulky old alarm clock on the nightstand.
“First, you have to turn off the lights.”
Caden’s hand shook. This didn’t feel right. “Okay,” She mumbled, attempting to seem unfazed, and she turned off the lights with a flick of her wrist. It took a few seconds for her eyes to readjust, and when they did she saw the boy leap back onto the bed, light and agile. She took an uneasy step back. Her chest constricted and her breath caught in her throat. Caden couldn’t deny being unsure of the situation, of this boy who somehow had to be the man she’d met earlier that day.
His head moved from side to side, watching her as intently as she watched him. “What do you want to play?” he asked.
Even then, with him in better visibility, Caden couldn’t tell if the boy was really Gabriel. It was the same voice she had heard earlier, but without the rough edge of his irritation it sounded much younger and innocent, like that of a child. “I don’t know…”
“Oh, come on, think of something,” he said.
When he didn’t move to grab her, she relaxed a little, her breath evening out once again. Caden could feel her confidence slowly building. Maybe he really just wants to play a game. “Aren’t you tired?”
The boy’s shoulders and head dropped. “So you don’t want to play,” he confirmed dejectedly. She watched as he turned around on the empty bed, to face the other wall.
Caden’s little sister Reese always used guilt to get what she wanted. She hadn’t known a guy her own age could make her feel just as guilty, if not worse. “No, no, I want to play. I do.” As long as you stay on that side of the room. Caden moved farther into the room but stayed a good six feet away.
“What game? What game?” He bounced on the bed in his sitting position.
“Do you have any cards?” She clutched the blanket tighter around her, but tried to keep her voice light and casual.
“Cards?” The boy, who no longer seemed like Gabriel at all, stuck out his tongue. “Dumb. Something else.”
The hunger is encompassing, so she feeds the beast books. But the hunger never settles… so she writes. E.V. Fairfall has an itch that drives her to the world of story telling.
With several published short stories, and soon several books (fingers crossed), she explores the topics of humanity and hardship.
During the daylight hours, a book is always within reach. She spends her nights reading with her husband, surrounded by towers of tomes and three furry children curled in close. If she isn’t reading, she is browsing bookstores or hiking, but always awaiting her next adventure.