Chapter 10

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So, here is your final "Reveal" of True Born ahead of its May 3rd release date. We're in uncharted territory now, dear readers, as I have not released this material before!  A special thanks once again to my publishers, Entangled Teen, for letting me put these up. And a very special thanks to all of you for encouraging me to keep going with this project. You are awesome, Wattpadders. 

L. E. 


The streets are cold and empty as Jared drives me home. It's an unexpectedly dry day, the sky a clear and unusual pale blue. The rabble, the preacher men: all are sleeping or lost in the early morning hours of Dominion. So cold it could snap your bones.

But it's the cold in the car that has me shivering, the cold that stretches between Jared and me.

"You're awfully quiet," Jared says.

I glance over. His jaw pulses as he drives through the deserted streets. I don't answer his unspoken question. It's too painful still, too raw. There are too many questions swirling around my supposedly True Born brain.

How can we be True Born? Is that really why the men at the Splicer clinic were after Margot's eggs? What does it mean if we are?

True Borns aren't permitted in the Upper Circle. Is that why our parents have had us tested over and over again—a vain attempt to get some other result? But it should have been easy enough to know. The True Born chromosome set is unique, identifiable from birth. They would have known from the time we were babies.

No, True Born is too easy an answer. There must be something more to the puzzle of our blood, some missing vital piece that has been carefully swept into darkness.

I need to find out what those pieces are. And who wields them—preferably before our parents bring home their mysterious Russian stranger.

But I recognize I first have to get through today with the mercurial True Born beside me. Mulling over the empty streets I ask him, "Is it over? The unrest, I mean."

Jared shakes his head. I fight an urge to pull back the blond lock of his hair that flops over his right eye. He's changed into a pair of loose jeans, a dark blue sweater over top a white button-up shirt, its butterfly collar resting crooked against the warm skin of his neck. He's dressed up, I realize. I wonder if he's done so because of where we're headed.

"It's just early," he finally says. As though that explains everything.

"But there's been nothing," I argue. "No more bombings, no hostages." That's what Lasters do when they're desperate.

There are always hostages—until there aren't, that is. "Don't be so quick to jump to conclusions," Jared criticizes. His eyes jump left to right. With a queasy rush I realize he's nervous. "Notice how quiet it is? No preachers, no nothing." he says again. "Nothing means trouble."

I grip the door in alarm. "Should we turn back?"

Jared shakes his head and swears under his breath. "No. We keep going." He levels a look at me beneath his full eyebrows. "But we make it quick."

Fritz rides the gate. When Jared rolls down the windows Fritz comes down from the gate pegs to peek in at us. Fresh rust stains splatter the concrete around the black iron bars of the gate. I close my eyes.

Fritz's flattop nods in the window. He eyes me, all but ignoring Jared. "Shane said you'd be picking up some things. We were expecting you."

"What happened here?" Jared asks softly.

Fritz turns hard eyes on Jared. I think he's going to be rude, but then, like the drill sergeant I'm sure he once was, he barks, "Had sum late-night visitors. Had to make sure they knew they weren't welcome."

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