Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den

Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den by Aimée Carter Read Free Book Online

Book: Simon Thorn and the Wolf's Den by Aimée Carter Read Free Book Online
Authors: Aimée Carter
    â€œOkay?” she said, glancing in the rearview mirror.
    No, he wasn’t okay. He wasn’t even close to okay. “Why are the rats chasing us? Why didn’t you tell me you could talk to animals? You let me think I was crazy—”
    â€œYou’re not crazy,” said his mother firmly. She sped up to make a yellow light. “I didn’t realize your communication abilities had manifested already. Most of the time they don’t appear until—” She stopped.
    â€œUntil when?” said Simon. “
Until when
, Mom?”
    â€œDon’t yell at your mother. It’s not her fault,” said Darryl as he dug around in his duffel bag. “I suspected, but it was too dangerous to talk to you about it, not until I knew for sure. I shouldn’t have kept you in the dark as long as I did.”
    â€œ Then tell me what’s going on,” said Simon. When neither of them answered, he grabbed the door handle. The rats had to be gone by now. “If you don’t, I’m getting out of the car at the next light.”
    â€œIf you do, Orion will find you,” said his mother.
    â€œGreat. Then you can start by explaining who he is.”
    His mother grimaced. Finally, as if admitting something deeply shameful, she said, “He’s my father. Your grandfather.”
    Simon stared at her in the rearview mirror. “I’ve had a grandfather all this time, and you never told me?”
    â€œBecause he’s been trying to take you from me since you were a baby. That’s why I left—to lead Orion away from you. To give you a chance at a normal life.”
    Simon’s head swam, and his anger bubbled to the surface. He’d never wanted a normal life, not if she wasn’t in it. “You should have brought me with you. That’s what real mothers do—they don’t abandon their kids.”
    Her face fell, and for a moment, she looked like he’d slapped her. “I had no choice.”
    â€œYeah, you did. You just didn’t love me enough to bother.”
    â€œWatch it, Simon,” said Darryl, but his mother shook her head.
    â€œYou have to understand. Orion’s spies know what I look like, and they’re everywhere. I couldn’t risk them finding you, so I had to run. To keep you safe.”
    â€œSpies?” said Simon. “What spies?”
    â€œ Every bird you’ve ever seen is under his command,” said his mother. “Including your pigeon friends.”
    It didn’t take a genius to put the pieces together. “So on top of everything else, he can talk to animals, too.”
    â€œThere are a lot more of us out there than you think. And . . . Simon . . .” She glanced at Darryl, and something passed between them. He nodded. “There’s more to it than just talking to animals,” his mother continued. “Soon, when you’re old enough—”
    A rat the size of a football hit the windshield, and his mother slammed on the brakes. “What the—”
    An odd scratching sound echoed through the car, and suddenly the engine died. “Get it started again, Isabel,” said Darryl as several more rats leaped onto the car.
    â€œI’m trying,” said his mother, her head ducked near the steering wheel. The engine started, wheezed, and died all over again.
    Something hit the window next to Simon’s ear, and the glass cracked. A brick. How were rats throwing bricks? “Mom!”
    Another hit the window, and another, and another. Simon scrambled to undo his seat belt. It was jammed.
    Darryl pulled a knife with an ivory handle and a wicked-looking blade from his bag. “Hold still.”
    Within seconds Simon was free, and just in time, too. The window shattered. Shards exploded all over him, clinging to his sweatshirt. The rats screamed in excitement and began to crawl through the opening. Simon could feel Felix trembling with fear in his

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