Read Shadow Cave Online

Authors: Angie West

Shadow Cave

Shadow Cave

 

By

Angie West

World Castle Publishing

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the author

s imagination or are used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual events, locations, organizations, or person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

World Castle Publishing

Pensacola, Florida

Copyright ©
Angie West 2012

ISBN:
9781938961519

First Edition World Castle Publishing
November 15, 2012

http://www.worldcastlepublishing.com

Licensing Notes

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in articles and reviews.

Cover:
Karen Fuller

Photos: Shutterstock

Editor:
Maxine Bringenberg


A flame to light the path. Gateway to all things past. A door from which there is no going back. Born in truth; forged in lies. Never betray the secret...forever shielded from human eyes.

Chapter
One

 

Access Denied

 


Access denied.

Damn
, and
all of those other phrases that a

lady

was not supposed to say in polite company.
Not that I was in polite company, or any company for that matter.
Shielding my eyes from the rain that was pouring down in heavy gray sheets, I scanned the mostly deserted parking lot.
Not a soul in sight.
Damn.
Damn.
Shit.
Hey
,
nobody ever said
I
couldn

t

think

cuss words.
Right then, I was thinking every foul, vulgar
phrase I had ever known.


Hey wait!

Thank God

a live person
...one
of the desk clerks, maybe.
I could see him through the frosted glass of the wide double doors
,
pretending
he didn

t notice
me. I tried again anyway, for good measure.


Hey
,
open the door!
You don

t understand!
I work here.
My name is Claire Roberts
,
and I

m a scientist!

If anything, the man tried even harder to ignore my presence
...
not
that I blamed him exactly.
To him I was just a screaming nut job.
Brushing my hair might have helped.
Not that I hadn

t
,
but the wind and the rain had
...
well
,
never mind.
Not important.
The point
was
the man was definitely not going to let me in
the
building.
He didn

t even glance my way again.
Man, was he good.
Normally, the tight security would have been reassuring

had I been warm and dry on the other side of that door.

I pulled my coat tight
er
around my body and tried not to shiver.
I could try calling John again, I supposed.
Checking
the time again
I
shook my head in disgust, dropping the cell phone back into my bag.
It was too late.
The meeting would be well underway by now.
Besides, I had already left the man two messages over the past…I peeked at my watch again…twenty
-
five minutes.

I

m stuck outside the building John. I forgot my
badge key
, John.
Why the hell am I here this early anyways, John?

Why the hell indeed
, I mused as I got back into my car.
It was disconcerting enough that I was

summoned

to this meeting at five in the morning
—even
more so that the

summons

had come in the form of a tense midnight phone call just a few short hours ago.
I hadn

t slept or even had coffee yet.
It was no wonder I had left my

official

badge key
at home.
And it was just like him to not answer his phone, too.
John was the arrogant, pompous type all the way.
He probably couldn

t believe that any of

his

staff would dare to not come running when he called.
Although, I had to admit, calling me his

staff

was pushing it.
Thank God.
I was more at home in the field
than
I would probably ever be in the office
...
which
was
a
great cause
of
concern for most of the people around me
.

I shook my head and vigorously rubbed my hands together, frowning as I tried to warm them.
I wasn

t anti-social

far from it.
I had lots of friends
, and
a lot of my time was spent, if not in an office, in a laboratory at least.
But sometimes a person just needed…peace.
Quiet and solace.

A sharp crack on the window next to me had me
pivoting
in my seat.
I

m
getting way too jumpy these days
, I thought, disgruntled.
I peered through the thick glass and sighed in relief.
It was just one of John

s cronies.
I

d seen him around before but didn

t know what to call him.

J
ackass in a suit

came to mind, but I was pretty sure that he wouldn

t appreciate the sentiment.
I smiled sweetly as he glared at me, feeling grateful and maybe a bit smug that thoughts were private.


Mr. Hanlen sent me to get you.


Great, you almost missed me.

Literally, I would have been home free and quite possibly in a hot tub in another few minutes.
Warm with coffee and maybe even scented candles.
I sighed.

Well, let

s get this over with
,

I muttered, more to myself than my soggy companion.

He sniffed but said nothing as we made our way into the building and down several winding halls that connected to a large dome shaped conference room.
I was having visions of
Star Trek
as he paused at the door to slide his badge through yet another scanner.


I don

t believe I caught your name.


Mr. Arlenn.


Do you have a first name, Mr. Arlenn?


Richard.

He swung the heavy steel door open and swiftly ushered me into the room.

I barely stopped a laugh from escaping.

Dick in a suit
.

Hey, I was close.
The laughter died as I looked around the room.
Wow.
What was worse than a dick in a suit?
How about an entire room full of them?
From the looks of it, that was exactly what I had just walked into.
I was sixteen all over again for a moment, asking my older sister Megan what a

sausage fest

was (a super classy phrase that I

d heard some of my classmates use).
I remembered how she had jerked her thumb towards a table of rambunctious teenage boys across the diner and replied
,

That

s
a sausage fest.


Claire?


Oh…yes, sorry.
What?

I blinked at
John
, feeling a little guilty.
I wasn

t normally so waspish.
And maybe he didn

t really deserve it…much.

He frowned with what looked like concern, but I knew better
;
m
ore likely it was annoyance.
I was almost an hour late, Richard was damp, I was soaking and dripping onto the floor, and his meeting was being held up.


John. What a pleasure.


Yes…would you like some coffee
,
or perhaps a towel?


Yes to both, thanks
,

I mumbled, starting to feel a twinge of embarrassment.
All eyes were on me, and I was sure I looked a mess.
Worse yet, the mascara I had chosen was not of the waterproof variety
, which
wasn

t the smartest choice in the rain, I guessed.
But who knew I would be standing in it for the better part of half an hour?
And besides, I hated waterproof mascara.
Why didn

t I just wear a duct tape bra while I was at it? Or

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