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r e g r o u p

I HATED THE silence.

Normally, I liked it just fine. I actually preferred it far more than meaningless conversation. I didn't expect anyone to burst out in a musical any time soon, but still.

This silence was overwhelming.

Kerry adjusted her head on my shoulder again, leaning further against the wall and closing her eyes. I looked up from our position on the floor to where David sat on the desk in the middle of the room, his eyes on the old rug in front of the desk. Then my eyes drifted to Zach who stood against the wall on the opposite side, looking at the single window in the room (which Jackson had checked only to find it was blocked from the outside). Tyler was sitting on the floor not too far from him, his face in his hands. He'd been that way for a long time. Lewis too sat on the floor next to a blank Steph, alternating between looking around wearily and fidgeting like he always did whenever he was anxious.

Jackson simply sat on the lone chair to the far right of the desk with his arms relaxed on the armrests and his legs crossed. He looked like he might as well be kicking back and watching a movie back at his place if it weren't for the blood splattered on the leg of his jeans and sneakers.

And there was no Katie.

The thought had me tightening my hold on Kerry's hand.

This was real.

We could die here. Like Katie. Like Cam.

And then I closed my eyes, and thought about how we'd be home safe if we just hadn't played heroes and walked into the forest. It was all a blur to me now; going through the woods, watching Cam get axed, finding the house, watching the life bleed out of Katie and then getting pulled along to some corner room in another dark hallway. Just thinking about it made my head spin. The cell phone in my free hand still had no signals, so I shoved it back in my jeans pocket. Then I glanced around the room, my eyes catching on the window again. There was the faintest bit of moonlight filtering in through a hole in the window covering; it wasn't enough to illuminate the room entirely but it was enough for us to be able to look at each other clearly.

It was the most light I'd seen in this house since the moment we entered.

"It was stupid."

I looked up to see David staring at the wall across from him.

Everyone looked up too, and David went on. "It was stupid of me to play hero. So fucking stupid."

Oh, David.

He'd feel this. He was a healer, a helper. But the fact that trying to save Cam came back to haunt us would get him.

I decided to say nothing.

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