Chapter 17

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I watched as Charlotte walked down the pathway steadily, the tired expression on her face remaining, but not as troubling as it had been before. Brad straightened from his position by the edge of the house, continuing to watch her probingly as she trotted away.

“It’s getting late,” I called to Brad, who jerked in surprise at my voice. He hadn’t known I had been watching. “Isn’t your shift over?”

He scratched the back of his head, eyes going back to Charlotte who was continuing her walk in the distance. “Yes.” He muttered. He straightened his coat. “Please tell The Alpha that I am leaving.”

I nodded and watched as he ambled down to his car parked opposite the house. Tires screeched noisily on the road as he sped away. I was not surprised when he slowed to a stop near Charlotte, who it seems, after some prompting from Brad, got into the car.

“Looks like someone has a crush.” I murmured to myself. Or, maybe he was just being the kind person that he is.

I lowered my body to the warm
doorsteps, watching several uniformed men, security guards I believe, walk up and down the sidewalks. Instantly I was reminded of Sander and the daily walks he would take while patrolling the neighborhood. I scowled at the memory and fixed my gaze on the clouds, at the pink and blue colours in the sky.

Evening was fast approaching. I squirmed at the thought of Greta cooking me dinner and wondered what I could make myself without having to stand on my feet for too long. Eyebrows raised high when a familiar small car rolled down the road, loud pop music blasting from the interior. I hid my smile behind a hand as the car jerked hard, a few gasps of exasperation flinging from Penelope’s mouth as the engine shut off. She wasn’t a good driver, at all.

She got out of the car and looked to me. “Could you help?” She called, circling her vehicle and going to the back. In her trunk were some more clothes, all neatly placed in shopping bags. I walked with them to the front door and sat some down. I lifted a plain orange shirt, surprised that she had once again guessed my size correctly. Penelope placed another heap inside and closed the door.

“I have a few more things to pick up from a store,” She said. “Would you like to come along?”

I immediately bolted, eager to get away from and out of the house for a while, only to wheeze when that irritating pain shot up my legs. Penelope opened the car door, waiting for me to get inside as I limped towards it.

“You can stay in the car whilst I get the stuff.” Penelope said once I slipped on the seatbelt. The strong scent of bubblegum filled my nostrils as I inhaled.

“And I will bring the clothes out from the store.” She continued, blowing her horn at a neighbor as she drove.

Music continued to blast from her radio as she drove, halting any possibility for further conversation. She only decided to lower the volume when we arrived at the store, putting the car in park. I was silent as she left, pressing a button so that my seat could lean backwards as I surveyed the many people passing. They were oblivious that I was here; Penelope’s tinted windows made sure of that.

A child screamed, stomping as her ice cream dropped to the floor. A man who I assumed to be her father shook his head, grasping her hand and taking her to an ice cream parlour.  A woman was spitting curses as she stalked past, hand gripping a cellphone to her ear. A dog roamed the parking lot, sniffing tires and munching on any food from a nearby trash can.

Recoiling further in my seat, I narrowed my eyes at the sight of a particular woman, a group of young men trailing behind her. Mathew's mother led the small crowd, a proud smile etched onto her face as she handed out what looked like flyers, the persons behind her doing the same to other people passing by as well.

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