Thanks for having me Donna! I’m excited about book five, Cassie’s Conflicts coming out. I hope everyone is still enjoying Cassie’s adventures. She certainly has her share of conflict in this latest book, but in this excerpt it’s Allie who manages to get everyone stirred up.
“Cassie, I really hate to bother you so late, but is Allie over there with you? I’ve called her cell forever and she’s not answering. Do you know where she is?”
I sat down with a smile, grateful to release my worries. I laughed at the boy. “Ryan, I swear you are as bad as Tom. She’s safe and sound in her bed. I saw her come home around nine o’clock and she told me she was going to bed early. She probably has her phone off. Just because you’re out of town you’re turning into a regular worrywart. Allie’s fine.”
“Cassie,” Ryan’s voice sounded agitated. “I’m not at school. I decided to drive back tonight. I’m standing in Allie’s bedroom. Her car’s here, her bag’s here, but she’s not.”
A shot of adrenalin hit me hard. I nearly dropped the phone as I turned to Tom. “She’s gone! Someone’s taken Allie! Tom, we have to call the police.”
Tom took the phone from me and listened for a minute. “Come over here, son. We’ll figure out what’s going on.”
“Why aren’t you calling the police? Someone’s taken her, we have to do something.” Tom wasn’t nearly as agitated as I needed him to be.
“Hang on, girl. Let’s talk to Ryan.” We headed to the screen porch and let the boy in.
Ryan’s face was tense. “She doesn’t have her phone either.” He said holding it up. “Why would she leave her bag and her phone?”
I was beside myself. “Tom, we have to call the police! Something’s happened to her. She wouldn’t go off without her money or her phone and she told me she was staying home.” Tom was making no move to the phone and I was getting angry with him. “What’s wrong with you, why aren’t you doing anything?” Ryan looked like he agreed with me completely.
“Cassie, calm down. I’m wondering where Allie is, but I don’t think anything’s happened to her.”
“How can you be so calm?” I demanded.
“Let’s just say I’ve had experience with a beautiful woman that I love not being where she said she was going to be and intentionally misleading me.” Tom spoke calmly. “We’re talking about an eighteen year old girl whose parents are out of town and whose boyfriend is away for the weekend, going out somewhere. I just don’t believe someone came into her home in this neighborhood and grabbed her.”
“You think she’s out with another guy?” Ryan looked like someone had just punched him.
Tom smiled at him. “No, Ryan, that’s not what I’m thinking, but I bet she’s gone out with some girlfriends. Can you think of anything they want to do or somewhere Allie has mentioned going with her friends?”
“I can’t think of anything. I’ve called her friends – the ones whose numbers I have anyway, but no one’s answering tonight.” Ryan was starting to sound really annoyed.
I was still just worried. “Tom, you don’t know that she’s off with friends. What if something has happened? We can’t just sit here. I’m going out looking for her if you two won’t.”
“You’re not going anywhere,” Tom said sternly. But he softened when he realized just how upset I was. “Let me call over to the police station and see if Brandon’s working tonight.” Brandon Weeks is a wonderful deputy who is a fixture in our neighborhood. Finally luck was with us and Brandon was soon on the phone with Tom. Tom told him what was happening with Allie, including his feelings that she was probably with friends. Tom listened for a long time, his face growing more and more serious.
“I see,” he finally said. “When did all this happen?” He listened a bit longer then said, “But you didn’t see Allie? Okay, I see. You’ll call us if you see her won’t you?” Tom hung up and turned to us. “It seems there was a big rave at one of the old warehouses in town. Brandon says kids just broke in and took over. The police were called and gathered up some of the partygoers, but most of them scattered to the wind. He didn’t see Allie, but he said that there were probably sixty to seventy kids there.
Oh boy, Ryan looked as angry as I’ve ever seen him. “Allie has talked about those stupid raves they have around here. She said she just wanted to go and see what they were like. But I told her there was no way we were going to one of those things.”
I gulped. I remembered all the times Tom had told me we weren’t going somewhere and the first thing that popped into my mind was ‘fine we won’t, I will’. I suddenly felt terribly guilty about some of the stories Sue and I had shared with Allie over the summer.
I didn’t know what to do. It was after two am and we still knew nothing.
Suddenly Ryan’s head snapped up. “Was that a car door?” It was a windy night and I’d heard nothing.
Ryan was heading to the front door when we all heard what happened next – a car engine revved and then a crash so loud it seem a car must have exploded. Ryan had torn through the front door and sailed off the porch when I heard the scream.