Waking up the next morning, I realized I had no calendar to know when the moon would be full. After breakfast, I hurried after Caden before he could leave to help ferry the rest of the students.
“Caden?!” I called just before he entered the forest.
Turning he smiled, as I hurried towards him, “Hi, Cassie.”
“Hi, um,” I stuttered.
His smile grew a little at my discomfort, “Did you need something?”
“Would you get me a calendar with the moon cycle on it while you are on the mainland?” I asked quickly.
“A calendar with the moon cycle?” he repeated questioningly.
“Yes,” I nodded.
He glanced towards the pier, and I could hear a boat approaching. “I have to go,” he said striding away.
“Will you?” I called after him.
He raised his hand and I chose to take that as consent.
I spent the rest of the day in the library, where several students came to browse and check out books, including Christina. Though I tried to control it, I kept looking up when the door opened, expecting to see Caden. It almost felt like I had a schoolgirl crush waiting for the boy to appear. My eyes received a workout with the amount of time I rolled them at my silliness.
About an hour before dinner, I herded out the last of the students, so I could clean up the library. I had just put away the last of the books left out when I heard a door open. Hurrying around a shelf I glanced at the front door to the library but it was closed. When I heard the door close behind me I swirled around to see Caden standing in the library.
Gasping, my hand going to my chest I scolded, “Don’t scare me like that.” Then I tried to look behind him, “I thought I locked that door.”
He smiled saying unconvincingly, “Sorry, I have a key.”
“Well please use the front door like everyone else.”
He just smiled. Shaking my head, I asked, “What can I do for you? Do you need me to pull more books for your classes?”
He shook his head, “No, I brought that calendar you wanted.” He held up a calendar with a dragon on the front.
Hurrying towards him, I took it out of his hand and turned to look at the back. It mentioned having major holidays and the moon cycle on it. “Thank you.” I smiled at him. “What do I owe you?”
“Nothing,” he said to the top of my head as I looked at the pictures of the dragons.
Looking up I raised my eyebrows questioningly, “You got it for free?”
He smiled, “No, but I don’t want money, just an answer.”
“Answer to what?” I asked.
“Why did the calendar have to include the moon cycle?”
“Oh that,” I said lightly as I turned around to look at the library, checking to see that I had completed everything. “I want to put this in my room before dinner, walk with me and I can tell you.”
We left through the back door and I watched Caden lock the door. As we turned to walk up the steps I explained, “Yesterday the girls told me some story about a magical door that only appears on the full moon. I promised the girls that if they did not sneak out of their rooms at night, I would personally take whoever wanted to go hunt for the door on each full moon.” I flashed a smile at Caden as I opened the door to my floor and walked through.
Quietly, I said, “Between us, it sounds like wild goose chase, but I would rather lead the hunt than have one of them get hurt foolishly sneaking out.”
We had reached my room and I unlocked it, leaving the key in the as all I planned to do was drop off the calendar. Walking to my desk, I put down the calendar. I heard the door shut and lock behind me. Swinging around, I watched Caden turn towards me. He did not look like his usual easy-going self.
“Caden?” I questioned, my voice quavered a little.
He shook his head, “If I had known that was the reason for the calendar, I never would have bought it.” He stepped towards me.
I would have retreated except I was already against the desk. On my desk, I felt the book I was reading. It was a story by Amanda Quick and had a hardcover. Maybe I could use it as a weapon. I tried to pick it up without letting Caden know what I was doing.
He stopped a couple of steps away from me. “You can’t go looking for the door.” He commanded.
“Why not?” I tried to ask strongly, but my voice quivered.
“Because it’s dangerous!”
I flinched at the raised voice. My flinch seemed to have gotten through to him as he suddenly stepped back, “Cassie, are you okay?”
I looked at him, “I’m not sure.”
“What’s wrong?” He asked, almost confused.
Hoping he really did not understand what he did wrong, I explained as calmly as possible, holding my book in front of me, “Honestly, I’m a little scared.” At his confused look, I continued, “You locked us in my room and just walked menacingly towards me.”
He looked at me, then at the door. Finally, he slumped down, sitting on my bed with his head in his hands. He let out what sounded like a groan and laugh mixed together. Raising his head, his smile returned, “First, Cassie, I would never hurt you, you know that right?”
“Well, I thought I did,” I said quietly, “But you have to admit this is not normal and I’ve only known you a week.”
He nodded, then his smile grew bigger, “Second, you were going to fight me with Seduction?”
“What?! No!” I protested, as he started laughing and motioned towards my chest. Glancing down, I saw that Seduction was the title of the book. “Well, I guess I was,” I laughed.
After a few moments of laughter, he turned serious, “I mean it though Cassie. You should not go hunting for the door. It’s dangerous.”
Putting the book back down behind me, I sighed. “I told you I think this is a wild goose chase, but I would rather lead the chase. This way at least I have a chance of stopping the girls from doing something stupid. What is so dangerous about that?”
He stood and walked closer as I talked. Putting his hand on my shoulder, “Every year some students and even teachers go hunting for this door. Every few years someone dies from the hunt by falling off of the cliffs or lost in the sea.” He stared into my eyes, “I would hate for that to happen to you.”
I smiled softly into his blue eyes, “I appreciate the concern. I’ll be careful. I promise.”
Sighing, he shook his head and I said, “That’s the best I can do. Sorry.”
Taking my hand, he bowed over it. “So be it. Just promise to come to me if you need any help, princess.”
“I promise,” I smiled at him, “Come on, let’s go to dinner.”
Opening the door, still holding his hand, we walked into the hallway, almost running into Emma and Kylie. Quickly, I dropped his hand and said hi to the girls. They returned the hi then walked off giggling together.
“Oh dear,” I whispered. I turned to Caden and said, “I have a feeling we will be the talk of the school for a few days.”
He smiled, leaned close, and said, “Then let’s give them something to talk about.” My eyes widened but he just took my hand and tugged me down the hall to follow the girls to dinner, laughing.