Chapter 31: So Be It

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December 20, 2357

Residence of Doctor Lita Naois

Genesis, America

Ari stalked through the halls only a step behind Jace. Mentally, she was cursing herself for not taking the time to interrogate Doctor Lita back when she was trapped in the base hospital for a week. How could she have been so stupid? Of course this woman would have known that she and Cai were connected. Worse than that, she was almost positive that Lita knew each time that she and Cai matched up medically. The sting of betrayal lanced through her entire being and her temper had finally found someone to land on.

"Calm down, Ari," Jace muttered as they made a left.

"Kinda hard to do when you've been lied to all your life," she growled back.

"And it will be kind of hard for my mother to speak if your edge is choking her."

"Good. At this point, I'd like to choke her with my bare hands," the teenager snarled softly.

Faster than she thought possible, Jace whirled around and grabbed her shoulders, forcing her against the nearest wall. His eyes were hard and as cold as ice. "Stop it. Right now. That is still my mother in there and she's done nothing to earn your fury."

"She lied to me! About my brother! That deserves more than just my fury."

"That doesn't make her any less my mother and I will not have you attacking her needlessly. When we walk in there, you are going to do your best to control that monstrous edge of yours and you are going to shut up. Is that clear?"

"Like hell I will," she spat back at him.

"Damn it, Ari! Do you want answers or not?"

"I'm going to get answers." Her voice was a deadly promise.

"Not like that. Go ahead and charge in there with that temper and see just how far you get. I swear she'll throw so much bureaucratic bullshit in your face that you won't have time to blink between all the red tape. So go right ahead." Letting go of her shoulders, Jace stepped back and held up his right arm to indicate that she should proceed.

Ari knew better and instead leaned against the wall and seethed. That Jace was right, she didn't actually doubt. After all, she'd already had this conversation with Lita before. All she got out of that was an excuse about confidentiality and patient rights. The same words that should have been used to protect Ari, but weren't. Now, even Cai would not be protected by them. His twin had a right to know.

With her lips pressed tightly together, she motioned for Jace to lead the way again. He rolled his eyes even as he turned to continue along the corridor. Of course, she thought she heard him mutter, "I should have brought the sedatives."

When they reached the apartment belonging to Doctors Terry and Lita Naois, Ari positioned herself on one side of the door even as Jace knocked. It took only a few moments for his mother to open the door. As soon as she saw Ari's face, she sighed. Stepping back from the door, she silently ushered them inside. Passing Ari, Jace shot her a warning look.

"Your father is at the office, so we have plenty of time to talk before he returns. Though how much will be said depends entirely on what you came to ask me." Her voice was the least hospitable that Ari had ever heard it.

"He doesn't know?" Jace asked, his voice filled with mild surprise.

"Not the full details. He's well aware that I have a patient that requires my full attention at all times. Though we've had our rough patches concerning some of our moves—he was most definitely opposed to moving to Partisan—things have worked out as I intended. And he asks no questions because he knows I cannot answer. Just as you should be aware of."

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