Chapter 59

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Well done, Sarah. You've got a nice little plan there. Neat and sweet. No one will ever question it. No one will question the way you lie to them, thinking they're going to Heaven when they're really heading for Death.

Well done, Sarah. Very well done.

Josh now looks terrified. He knows. We both know. We both know that if we don't get out of here as soon as possible, he's going to die and he's probably not going to die in the nicest way.

Congrats, Sarah Miller.

"We have to get you out of here," I tell Josh. "We have to leave, like, now."

Josh gulps and then nods. I press on.

"We have to be gone before tomorrow, Josh. Otherwise you're going to die!"

There's something in me, a flame, something that's burning.

"I know, I know," says Josh quickly. Then he leans back, swaying on his feet. "Yeah," he sighs. "I should go."

He makes to leave. I follow him back to the campfire. I don't think I've ever felt so shaken or horrible in my life. Not when you find out news like that.

No one sees us. No one notices Josh's terrified expression. All eyes are on everyone apart from him.

I look around, trying to find Sarah. I don't see her. Maybe that's a good thing. Because if I saw her, then there would be nothing to stop me grabbing her blooming hair and pounding my fist through her nose.

Hide, Sarah, hide.

We make it back to the tents on this side of the fence. Josh lingers around his things, as though he doesn't know whether to leave or not.

"What about the others?" he says, in what seems like a small whimper.

"We can take care of them," I say. "Angie's... thing... isn't due till another two days."

I can't say the word 'execution'.

"The main focus is you, Josh," I continue. "We have to get you out of here as soon as possible."

"Okay," he says quietly. "But I'll go alone. I don't want to drag you into this mess. But then," He pauses. "I kind of need your tent..."

I look at him. He's staring out into the forest, expression resembling one of a lost kitten. His eyes are only thing that are bright, bold, strong.

I have this sudden urge to run to him and press my lips fiercely against his.

He's surprised. That's the one thing I get from him. But then he relaxes and his hands find my waist, the curve of back and mine find the back of his neck and his soft, soft hair. Among all the flames, the darkness, the fire, the heat, sweat, smoke, ash, I'm kissing him and nothing has felt more beautiful.

I pull away and the kiss fades into the darkness, through the fence and into the forest. I imagine it wants us to chase it, to where the other kisses lead and to a new life.

"You can take my tent," I whisper to him. "But only on one condition, though."

Here I am, repeating the same words he told me back at his house. That seems like such a long time ago, ages and ages. But this is now and the words are tumbling out of my mouth before I can stop them.

"You take me with you."

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