Chapter 7

Out there (2)

Chapter 7

Chapter 7

“Climb in,” Raydon said.

Sansia slipped into the passenger seat, she was breathing heavily from the exertion of climbing twelve flights of stairs. Raydon had offered to carry her after the first eight flights but Sansia was too proud to admit that she was in such poor physical condition. Surely if Raydon Payne could do it she could too.

“More climbing,” she grumbled under her breath.

“What’s that?” Raydon asked but he had the kind of smile on his face that told her that he had heard perfectly what she had said.

“Maybe we should try Anara’s apartment first,” Sansia suggested.

“You said you’ve been calling there all the time.”

“Yes but maybe she made it back there and is lying on the floor unconscious,” Sansia said.

“Fine.” Raydon started the helicopter. “At worst her apartment might give us a few clues about where she might have gone or at least who she would have gone with.”

“I love Anara but I’ve never been really close to any of her friends. The few of them I’ve met have never liked me much.”

“So at least one thing we know is she goes out with stupid friends.”

Sansia blushed and glanced through the door of the helicopter as they took off.

“What do you think about what’s going on?” Sansia asked suddenly.

“I don’t quite know what to think.” Raydon paused as if for the first time trying to wrap his mind around everything that was happening. “People are turning into wolves.”

“Hearing it out loud just freaks me out.”

“We need to figure out how this is happening and more importantly how we can stop it.”

“I’m sure the best minds in the world are already working on the problem.”

“You are one of the best minds in the world and you aren’t working on the problem.”

Sansia glanced through the door of the helicopter. This was the second time that Raydon had ‘sort of’ given her a compliment.

“Thanks. We should be leaving. The longer Anara is out here on her own the more chance that something could happen to her.”

“That’s true.”

In minutes the helicopter was in the air and Sansia found herself recognizing that there was yet another thing about Raydon that she admired.

“Where did you learn to fly?”

“You probably don’t want to know,” Raydon said grinning. “I wasn’t always a top executive in a reputable firm.”

“Oh.”

Sansia had never imagined a teenage Raydon. She had assumed that he had been born with a silver spoon in his mouth. In fact everything she knew about Raydon before this day she knew simply because it was noted in a company memo or she arrived at the knowledge via assumption. This was the most Raydon Payne had ever opened up about himself.

“Over there,” Sansia said pointing to a high rise apartment building. “Anara lives there.”

“Hopefully we can get some answers and put your mind at ease.”

Why was he so concerned about her peace of mind?

The landing was a little rough but Sansia didn’t care, she slipped out of the helicopter hurriedly and rushed towards the door that would lead towards to the downstairs.

“It’s locked. Who locks a door at the top of nowhere?” Sansia demanded angrily.

“Relax. I told you, I wasn’t always a top executive.”

Sansia watched in amazement as Raydon slipped a paper clip from his pocket, straightened it out and stuck it into the key hole.

“You’re going to break in?”

“I’ve already broken in,” Raydon responded with a smug grin on his face at the sound of a click.

“Okay.”

There was so much she didn’t know about this Raydon Payne. She had always had him pegged for the arrogant sort, every ‘I’ dotted and every ‘t’ crossed kind of person. She had him pegged as the kind of person that managed to bully others into doing things his way. Sansia sighed, that was still there of course but she was also seeing the kind of person who could step up to the plate and take control and bring people together when everything was crumbling down around them.

“Thanks,” Sansia muttered.

He didn’t need to be here. Honestly, there was no reason why he was risking his life leaving the safety of the corporate building to help her find her friend.

“Thanks,” she muttered again.

“Two thanks, I feel honoured.”

Sansia smiled and gripping the door knob started to push against it but Raydon grabbed her hand.

“Wait.”

“What? We can’t find Anara unless we go inside.”

“Someone…something is on the other side of this door.”

Sansia pressed her ears against the door and listened carefully. Nothing.

“Maybe someone in one of the apartments or something,” she suggested.

“No, stand behind me.”

“I don’t need you to protect me,” Sansia said indignantly.

“No? But you’re going to get it anyway,” Raydon declared gripping her by the arms and practically lifting her behind him.

Yes, there it was, that same arrogant, insufferable, bullying personality she had grown to know and hate.

Raydon threw open the door and just as Sansia started to take a step towards it a large grey wolf came bounding out of the door. Sansia screamed and shot back behind Raydon who pressed his hand in the small of her back quickly and then shoved her into the open door, jumped in behind her and slammed it shut behind him.

The action must have taken the creature completely by surprise because Sansia saw it twirl about to race back through the door just as Raydon slammed it shut.

“Oh my gosh,” Sansia gasped gripping Raydon’s arm. “Oh my gosh. How did you know that creature was in here? If you hadn’t heard it we could have been killed.”

“I don’t think she’s a killer but she was confused,” Raydon said getting to his feet and looking somewhat confused also before he walked off.

“She? Who is she?” Sansia demanded.

“The wolf.”

“You’re a wolf expert?”

Raydon stopped for a moment, glanced back at Sansia, scrunched up his face and then shrugged.

“I don’t think so.”

“So how…”

“Let’s just find Anara,” Raydon cut in. “The next one might not be as friendly.”

“That was friendly?” Sansia grumbled as she hurried down the stairway behind Raydon.

*****