CHERUB: Man vs Beast by Robert Muchamore

CHERUB: Man vs Beast by Robert Muchamore

Author:Robert Muchamore [Muchamore, Robert]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Tags: CHERUB
ISBN: 9781444910490
Publisher: Hachette Littlehampton
Published: 2012-02-02T06:00:00+00:00


21. MEATBALL

‘Hey,’ Ryan said, as he gently brushed his fingertips against Lauren’s cheek to wake her up. His hairy chest was bare and he wore a set of Lou’s jeans that were several sizes too big for him.

Lauren opened her eyes and realised that she was on a sofa, squeezed up inside a Bob the Builder sleeping bag. Sunlight blazed through the curtains.

‘Anna’s making you lunch,’ Ryan said.

‘Lunch,’ Lauren gasped. ‘What time is it?’

‘Ten past one.’

‘Blimey. Does Zara know where we are?’

‘I’ve spoken to her,’ Ryan nodded. ‘She’s fine about last night and everything. She’s on her way down in the car to pick us up.’

As Lauren unzipped the sleeping bag and sat up, the events of the night before came flooding back. Once the last batch of dogs had been dealt with, everyone had headed into the house to clean themselves, but the hot water had run out. After a freezing cold shower, Lauren had towelled off and changed into an oversized T-shirt and shorts that belonged to Miranda.

As Lauren wandered through to the kitchen, her arms and shoulders ached from the effort of scrubbing the dogs.

‘Hello,’ Anna said brightly, moving across to the dining table and pouring Lauren a glass of orange juice. ‘How does vegan French toast sound?’

‘Sounds great,’ Lauren grinned, hitching up her massive shorts as she sat down. She looked around and noticed that everything was spotless, with no trace of the paraphernalia they’d used the night before. ‘Are all the dogs gone?’

Ryan nodded as he sat next to Lauren. ‘Lou took some, Adelaide and Miranda left with the rest.’

‘Oh,’ Lauren said, feeling sad because she would have liked a chance to see them all cleaned up and happy.

Anna’s French toast came dusted with icing sugar, strawberries and slices of melon on the side. The hot, sweet bread was exactly what Lauren felt like after the exertion of the night before.

‘I’d better be going, Ryan,’ Anna said, once she’d switched off the oven and rinsed the baking tray under the tap. ‘I’ve got to pick Cat and Polly up from school at three. Would you mind washing Lauren’s dishes and locking up? You can hand the keys back to Phyllis; she’s always up at the protest site on the weekend.’

‘No problem at all,’ Ryan nodded. ‘Don’t wait around here on our account. Zara should be here in half an hour or so.’

After eating and waving goodbye to Anna on the doorstep, Lauren found her trainers and wandered outside for some air and a final look at the stables. She felt a lump in her throat as she imagined the excited puppies sitting in the backs of cars and vans, smelling of disinfectant as they headed for sanctuary.

She also felt proud. She’d worked hard, she’d been part of a great team and there were no doubts in her mind that rescuing the dogs was the right thing to do. Even if stealing animals was against the law, and even if some animal experiments were for important medical research, there was never an excuse for forcing animals to live in their own filth.



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