Hanging up Cadence sat for a minute then walked out to find Detective Conner. She had to get him to trust her without him finding out what she was up to or else he was going to be in the way. Should be easy enough, just like she said earlier. She found him in the main room of the house down stairs. He was talking to another agent when she walked in.
“Hey, Nick, do you have a minute?” Turn on the charm, she said to herself.
“Sure,” he replied then turned to the agent and said, “Excuse me for a moment.”
They walked out to the porch again and Cadence sat down on the swing motioning for him to join her.
“Is everything okay with your room,” he asked.
“The room is fine. I need to ask you a very big favor,” she said.
“Uh, okay.” He wasn’t sure what that favor could be, but was certain he’d do it for her anyway.
“I have to leave to meet with someone.”
She couldn’t be serious. She actually expected him to let her leave unescorted and trust her to come back?
Before he could answer she added, “It’s my informant for the story I’m investigating. I can’t stay here in hiding when I have work to do. Detective Connors, Nick, you’ve read my file. You know I can take care of myself, and I’ll be back before supper.” She smiled sweetly at him thinking if her honesty didn’t work then her charm might.
“You’ve got to be kidding me?” he said this to himself, but she heard him loud and clear.
“I had a feeling you wouldn’t go for it so I’m apologizing in advance,” and with that she stood up as if to walk away then quickly turned and kicked him square in the jaw with the heel of her boot. He went down easy enough alright, out cold.
“Damn, that’s going to leave a mark,” she said.
“Bloody hell, Cadence,” came her cousin’s voice from behind. “Did you have to do that?”
“Where have you been,” she asked as she eased Nick down in the swing and propped his legs up. “Everyone’s meeting me in less than an hour and I need you to keep an eye on him.”
“I know, I know,” Bastion said rolling his eyes. “I still don’t see why you couldn’t just sneak out, or tell him and bring him along. He’s one of the good guys remember?”
“You know why. If I recall you almost lost your life when you found out,” she said to him in a softer tone.
He shrugged his shoulders and replied, “I’m here now aren’t I?”
“Yeah,” she smiled. “Don’t let him out of your site for at least two hours. I know he’ll come looking for me and I know you’ll be dragged along to help so throw him off track as much as you can.”
“Off to see the wizard, are you?” Bastion chuckled. He knew she could take care of herself, but it also scared the hell out of him that she did.
“I won’t be back any time soon so take care,” she said as she leaned over and gave him a hug.
“Will you be in touch at least?”
“At least.” Smiling she walked off the porch, ‘borrowed’ Detective Conner’s car, and drove away.
Nick almost fell off of the swing before catching hold of the chain that held it up. He winced at the pain in his jaw. Easing himself to sit up he rubbed his hand over the soreness and saw Bastion sitting next to him in a chair.
“Well it’s about time sleepy head,” he mused shaking his head.
“Where is she?” he growled.
“If you mean my very loving and truly apologetic cousin,” he replied, “she’s still out and about.”
“She has some explaining to do,” Nick growled again as he started to stand up.
“Well she’ll have to do it when she gets back. You won’t find her no matter how hard you look and I can guess you will.”
“Damn right I will,” he said then added, “and you’re going to help me.”
“What the bloody hell can I do? She hasn’t told me anything.”
“Bastion, you and I go way back. I know you better than that.”
“Nick, old chum, I’m stretching my neck here for Cadence. If I add you to the mix I’m in deep again.”
“What do you mean again? This is one of her disappearing acts Brenner was talking about, isn’t it?”
“She’s not coming home any time soon so you might want to put some ice on that nasty bump and we’ll wait a bit. Maybe I can fill you in on the past year while you brood.”
“I don’t brood, and I’ll be damned if I sit here waiting for her when she could be in serious danger.” He stood up, winced, then turned to Bastion and said, “You’re coming with me.”
“Alright, Nick, but I’m warning you,” Bastion hesitated, “you’re not going to like what you find.”
“Care to give me a hint?”
“Not on your life,” Bastion replied smiling. “Pack your bags for cold weather, old chum. It’s gets rather nippy where we’re headed.”
“Why, has hell frozen over?”