I've spent the past thirty minutes searching the palace for Iris and Bently. They were not there. According to the phone call I just got, they're at the airport. The airport I'm now driving toward. I should be looking for Andrew and even Erik, but I have to chase Iris and Bently down to prevent the only people who would be on my side from abandoning me when I actually need them. Yes, I need Iris. She's currently my only hope of finding the Amoris.
I stop at the security gate where I'm cleared and driven by one of the workers to where the plane Bently called in waits to be boarded.
Iris is ascending the stairs when we pull up, Bently behind her. I'm out of the vehicle before it stops.
"What are you two doing?"
They stare at me, Iris gripping the railing.
"I'm putting Iris on a plane and sending her home." Bently walks down the steps.
"Because I asked him to," Iris says, following him.
"You're staying here."
"Why?" she asks. "So I can get killed?" her voice is low enough for only me and Bently to hear.
"Since when do you care about her safety?" I ask him.
"I care about my own. If she dies, Jonas won't be happy." He won't be happy if he finds out about a rogue Amoris murdering people in France either.
"Iris, as much as it pains me to say this, I need you."
She crosses her arms. The sun beats down on the tarmac. "Really now?" she asks.
"You're our only chance of finding her."
"Why should I risk my life for people who never cared anything about me?"
"That doesn't sound like you."
"That's what I told her," Bently says.
Iris' eyes flick between the two of us, and she opens and closes her mouth. She's cornered. "I found a good thing in your brother. I'm not willing to risk it to be bait to someone who wants to kill me."
"They're going after Andrew." I check that no one else can hear. "It's too late to get to him before they do. Our only chance is to stop him from revealing information about the Amoris."
"This is the man who tried to murder your brother. We can't keep him from saying anything."
Bently sighs. "Unless. . . he sees you. Speaks to you."
"What?" She faces him.
"You're different. You're not . . ." He furrows his eyebrows and frowns. He looks sad. It's almost moving. Touching. No, that's going too far. "Evil. You're not like us. You were a rebel once upon a time. Despite you wanting to abandon the people of France, you're a kind person. Even if you torment us all. If you show that to Andrew—"
"Be nice to the man who tried to kill Jonas? Who ended up hurting Erik in the aftermath?"
"Trust me, I understand," Bently says. "I want him to suffer in Hell, but"—he shrugs—"the Society comes before feelings. If you're going to be a part of us, you have to understand that."
She looks back at the plane, her shoulders sagging. "Okay."
"You're not messing with us?" I ask.
"No." She locks eyes with me. "Promise me though that you'll get me back alive."
"I can't make that promise."
From the moment I first saw Iris at dinner, I knew she could be trouble if the headache I got when I laid eyes on her wasn't foreshadowing enough. I didn't think she could be a friend or an ally. Let alone a sister. How many times is this ex-rebel supposed to save the Society?
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Exported [Book 3 in the Expiring Series]Science Fiction
Is it an invasion if they're already here? Six months have passed and Iris and Jonas have reached a conclusion about their future, one that will leave many unhappy. Left alone in the Society by Jonas, Iris finds herself "blackmailed" by Colton when...