Portal by Imogen Rose

Book: Portal by Imogen Rose Read Free Book Online
Authors: Imogen Rose
They seemed to have a routine. He sat down and watched me finish eating. I hoped that I didn’t have cheese stuck to my chin, it felt awfully like it. He seemed pleased to see me finish the panini and move on to the grapes. He smiled.
    “You seem a bit different, have for the past week. What’s going on?”
    I shrugged and changed the subject, “Where did Mom go?”
    He looked surprised, “Oh, the usual. October again, busy time at work for her.”
    It didn’t make any sense to me, but I let it pass for the moment, as I didn’t want to weird him out.
    Ella came bounding down the stairs with Gertrude at her heels. “I’m ready!” she shouted at Kellan.
    He got up to follow her up the stairs. I picked up the hot chocolate and joined them. I sat down next to Kellan on the couch by Ella’s bed. He had found the bookmark in the Harry Potter book and started reading. His voice was animated but warm and it calmed Ella down. I almost nodded off as he read. He gently nudged me to show me that she was fast asleep. We quietly left her room to go back downstairs. On our way down we heard a bike roar to a halt outside. It was Rupert.
    “Hey, kids! Thanks for watching Ella, Kellan. Is she asleep?”
    Kellan nodded and said that she had fallen asleep a few minutes ago.
    Rupert looked disappointed, “She did really well in the auditions today. I’m really proud of her. She worked so hard at memorizing those lines and the song. I wanted to give her a little present. I managed to find the cupcake maker she’s been going on about.”
    “When’s the next audition?” I asked.
    He rummaged around in his pockets and brought out an envelope, opened it and extracted a sheet.
    “Well, it seems like it’s next Friday. Mom can’t come, but the rest of us should make a mini vacation of it and head over together. Ella would like that. Arizona, can you miss school for a couple of days? Any tests or cheer engagements? Kellan, do you want to come?” Rupert asked.
    I wasn’t sure what was on the schedule for next Friday but saw Kellan nodding. He said that he would go if Harry went. I assumed that it would be ok for me too, so I nodded. I wondered if I should bring Ariele. I would bring it up later. It would be great to hang out with her in our regular stomping ground. Rupert removed his biker jacket, threw it on the coat rack and turned to head for the kitchen.
    “Rupert, would it be ok for me to take Arizona out for a while? We’re all done with our homework, and it’s a great evening for a ride.”
    Rupert nodded, “That should be fine. Have her back by eleven. Ride carefully!”
    Kellan nodded and turned to me, “Shrimp, do you want to go for a ride?”
    I nodded happily and we headed out to his bike. I saw Rupert waving at us from the kitchen window and we both waved back. Kellan handed me a shiny pink helmet. I put it on, a perfect fit. I got on the bike and held on to him tightly. He brought the bike to life and we sped through the driveway to the road. I had no idea where we were going. I should have asked him before we left. It was impossible to talk over the roar of the engine and the howl of the wind. I felt the same thrill that I had felt when I had gone riding with Harry.
    We must have been riding for about an hour when he screeched to a halt and turned the bike to head into the woods. The ride was much bumpier now and I was starting to feel slightly nauseous. We zigzagged around the trees. It was pitch dark with no moonlight coming through. The beam from the bike seemed to hit one tree after the other. I buried my face in Kellan’s back and closed my eyes. This was scary and disorienting. I was petrified.
    We suddenly stopped. I opened my eyes and noticed that we had arrived at a clearing. I could see a shimmer up ahead. Kellan cut the engine and tried to get off the bike but I was glued solid to him. He took his helmet off and turned his head around rubbing my hands, trying to get me to loosen my grip around him. He

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