A/N Hey guys
Jonah the Paniolo had returned, with a slightly younger looking man and woman, who regarded his curiously.
"Well, hello," the woman smiled at him, slightly patronizing, her short hair swishing around her face as she leaned forward. "What's your name?"
Cade ran his tongue along the back of his teeth, worrying. "Cade."
She extended a hand promptly and Cade was taken back a bit. Who was this woman exactly, to be shaking the hand of an eleven year old? "I'm Cathy Kato, you can call me Aunt Cathy."
Aunt Cathy? This woman could hardly be his aunt. After knowing her for a grand total of ten seconds he hardly felt comfortable calling her anything short of Mrs. Kato. And even looking at her, he knew he could never see her as his family. Her hair was cut prettily around a soft and gentle face, showing nothing but concern and compassion. Her clothes were neat and refined and a bright green necklace hung loosely around her neck.
He thought of his mother, her tired eyes that never showed much of anything, annoyance at the best, and her tangled blonde hair, falling in front of bruises on sallow cheeks as she sucked a cigarette between her teeth. She would sit at the table just like that, her clothes old and worn, stained with dirt and her eyes cast downward on the leaning table, like she was reading something upon it's surface, something he couldn't see, but desperately wanted to.
No, this woman, Mrs. Kato, could in no way be his family.
"This," she turned, as if suddenly remembering the men in the room "is my husband, Ben."
Mrs. Kato skin was tan, though it was apparent she wasn't native Hawaiian, not like Jonah, and not like her husband. Bed extended his hand cordially, like Cade was a welcomed guest, and not an urchin picked up off the street. "Pleasure to meet you Cade."
"Nice to meet you too, Sir." Cade kept his eyes lowered as he shook his hand, his small, pale hand disappearing in the man's darkened paw.
"So, Cade, Jonah says you were running away." Cathy's voice wasn't condescending, it was joking either. Wearily Cade eyed her, trying to figure out what her intentions were. He didn't respond.
The adults shared a look. He always hated when they did that. It was like they were speaking to one another about him, but for the life of him he didn't know what was being said. It did little to quell his anxiety.
"You're mother is Dee, right?" Cathy tried again.
Hesitantly, Cade nodded, hardly moving his head at all and more or less just tipping his chin forward an inch. Cathy nodded.
"I'm going to call her," she stated arbitrarily, taking a few steps towards a phone mounted on the wall.
"NO." Cade was on his feet in an instant, all formalities forgotten as his heart slammed against his chest and his muscles tense. He was ready to bolt if he had to.
Cathy froze mid stride, eyes as wide as her husbands. Jonah's eyebrow arched in surprise.
His hands were shaking again, uncontrollably. "I don't want-" he stopped himself, correcting with a conviction in his voice "I WON'T go back." Breath was rushing through him at an unhealthy rate, tearing at his insides, as it seemed to claw its way down and up his trachea. "I'm not going back."
Cathy suddenly turned full towards to him, approaching far too quickly for his liking and instinctively he backed up, running into the counter and trying to bolt, but wasn't fast enough. Her arms wrapped around him, squeezing him close, in what he quickly realized was not a restraint, but a hug.
"Oh Honey, no, no you don't have to go back. We won't let them take you back. It'll be OK."
In complete shock Cade froze in her arms, and it was in his frozen state that he realized the tears, sliding down his face and blurring his vision. In horrified embarrassment he quickly tried to sweep them away, but they were coming faster. Terror fueled with distrust and uncertainty pushing forward far too many emotions.
He was well aware of the eyes of the two older men upon him and tried his best to stop crying, to suck it up like a real man. But he couldn't. His breathing was getting rougher and rougher, coming out as a choked cough, a restrained sob and while he didn't throw his arms around Mrs. Kato, he didn't push her away. As subtly as he could, he leaned forward. She smelled like soap and the kitchen, clean and friendly. His own mother smelled of nicotine, ashes and alcohol. For all that was going on, the only thing he could focus on was how unfair it was, that Dee was his mother, and not Cathy.
Cathy pulled away as suddenly as she had attacked, but hovered close. "I'm calling Dee."
Cade looked at her with betrayed horror, what had all of that just been about, if she was going to turn him in anyway?
"I told you," he said, a bit rougher than he should have spoken to her "I'm not going back!"
"You're not going back." She looked at him with just as much passion as he had. "But she needs to know where you are."
"What are you going to say to her?" Jonah asked, speaking for the first time since entering the kitchen.
Cathy's hands were small, but strong and thick as she covered Cade's ears tightly and told Jonah what she was about to say. Her words were mumbled and hushed, but out of the corner of his eyes Cade watched her pink lips form words he had heard his mother and Manny use many times, ugly words that such a pretty woman had no business speaking.
"But what do you really think, Cathy?" Cade heard Jonah ask with a smile as Cathy released his ears.
Cade watched each of them carefully, they all stood calmly and certainly, but Cade knew when people were angry. It was something he had taught himself to look for, to learn the difference between when someone was just annoyed and when they were completely furious. Sometimes when people were the most calm, was when they were the angriest.
And Cade could plainly see, that all three adults were seething. He saw it in the strain in their arms and the slanting lines their mouths made, and in the slight narrowing of their eyes, a spark of fire that shouldn't normally be there.
And for once, the anger didn't appear to be directed at Cade.
A/N: Yeah, this is even shorter than the other chapters. Luckily I do have some what of a plan for where this is going though, it won't be many more chapters, maybe two or three. Also, I apologize for any inaccuracies with the book, someone point them out if you see them. Mr. Kato's name was Ben, wasn't it? It has been over a year since I read the books…