Chapter 27 - "You don't have to say it."

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The gray from the day before still covered the sky, though the rain had moved on and left behind the smell of wet cement and soaked grass. Dots of sunlight could be seen poking holes in the clouds. Carter sat on the trunk of a car, her fists jammed into her coat pockets, her legs dangling over the edge. A gust of wind whirled by, tossing her loose hair.

Students passed, giving her odd looks, but none of them stopped to question her. Her shoulders were hunched forward and her expression was troubled. Engines roared and died around her, voices echoing off the slicked parking lot pavement. Her breath created clouds of mist in the morning air.

She waited.

The low purr of an engine entered the lot and the black Mercedes pulled into the empty space in front of her. Through the front window Carter could see Link glance at Donovan in confusion, Donovan's gaze on her. Donovan turned up his coat collar and slid his hands into the pockets of his khaki pants as they exited the car.

He stopped before Carter, his expression even. Link took the spot beside him, pulling his jacket tight.

"Hey Carter," he said, "is there a reason you're sitting on a random car waiting for us? Or did you just miss our company?" He frowned. "Wait, how did you even know we would choose this spot?"

"It's the exact same spot your car has been in the past two times. People are creatures of habit."

Link's grin, amused and unconcerned, was like a breath of fresh air.  Carter felt her lips twitch, wanting a piece of his untroubled mood. She glanced up at Donovan.

"I know." Donovan said."You don't have to say it."

"How do you know what I was going to say?" she said.

"The way you are sitting. Your face. If you wanted a fight, there would be more tension in your body. Since it's not a fight, there is only one other reason you would be waiting for us."

The corner of Carter's mouth tugged upwards.

"You don't have to say it," he repeated.

"I know, but I need to."

Link ran a hand through his hair. "Should I know what is going on?"

Neither of them answered him.

"I'm sorry," Carter said, the words quiet.

Donovan nodded. "I know."

Link looked between them.

"So that's what happened?" he said. "You two had a fight?"

Donovan gave a single nod and rested back on the hood of the car. Carter dropped her gaze and shifted.

"Yeah," she said.

Link crossed his arms, his eyes darting back and forth.

"About what?" he asked.

Donovan's and Carter's eyes locked on each other. His face was calm, a silent statement that it was her choice whether to share or not. Carter forced her attention onto Link.

"He told me I wasn't seeing everything clearly in regards to my mother. I got kind of mad at him."

Donovan raised one mocking eyebrow.

"Kind of mad?" he said, amusement touching his words.

Despite herself, Carter smiled briefly. She run a hand through her tangled hair, giving it a more wild look than before. Link took the spot beside her, leaning over his knees.

"What did Donovan say that made you so pissed?"

Carter put her hand back into the pocket of her coat.

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