Chapter Thirty-Six

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I didn't know how far we were going.

According to Mace, the paper had given him instructions on how to reach Grayson, his friend who somehow knew where we were. He didn't specify much besides that, which worried me. I trusted Mace enough that it wasn't too much of a problem.

Now, we were driving across the snow, continuing in the same direction.

"Doesn't it seem a little odd that we don't know much about this guy?" Jadyn complained from the other side of the truck. She had her head resting against Kyan's shoulder. He looked only slightly irritated about this. I'd always taken him for being a "don't-encroach-on-my-personal-space" kind of guy.

"I trust Mace. You know that."

"Yeah, well I don't trust strangers."

"If he's not a stranger to Mace, he's not a stranger to me." I didn't really like that way of thinking about it, but he had a point. I just hoped this path wouldn't get us killed.

January was watching them talk, and I could tell she wanted to say something. She obviously knew this guy, too. Hadn't the three of them been together for a while?

"How do you know this person...the guide?" I asked. I wanted to know more about this. The second the question came out, Jadyn and Kyan shut up. They were interested, too.

January just shrugged, like it wasn't something to get excited over. "He was a part of the original Snow Society with Mace and me. The three of us were together for more than two months before he left."

"Can I ask why he left?"

January didn't respond for a minute. Jadyn leaned forward, waiting for her answer.

"We had conflicting views."

Jadyn let out a frustrated sigh. She could tell January wouldn't say more.

Whatever was up, we weren't going to find out about it until we got there.

And getting there would take longer than I thought. It was nearly five hours later when Asten, from the front seat, announced that we were merely twenty minutes away. That's when I truly looked over the edge of the truck for the first time to see where we were.

I was in shock.

Mace had never specified where we were going.

He hadn't even thought of telling us we were going to New York City.

I knew it for a fact when I saw that familiar skyline.

The last time I'd been here I was with my brother and my best friend. It was my birthday, and all I wanted at that point in time was to see a Broadway show. Looking back on that just reminded me how far I'd come...and how much things had changed. All the theaters probably had snow so high that their doors were covered.

The city grew larger as we neared. I heard a few other gasps of awe and excitement from the people around me. The only two who seemed unfazed were January and Mace.

We reached the first couple skyscrapers and it was then that I realized how high the snow had gotten.

None of the main doors to the buildings were visible. I couldn't see the sidewalk or the road. Instead, doors had been made in the windows of the second and third floors. They were smashed out, leaving ugly gaping holes in the skyscrapers, with room for people to walk inside. Judging by the footprints, I could tell a lot of people still inhabited the area. It made me nervous.

Surprisingly, though, it didn't seem like there was a gang. I knew a city like this would be a coveted spot for any gang to lay its nest. But there were no signs of slavery, and there were no armed men running at us. If there was a gang around here, it was an extremely weak and cowardly one.

"Stop," Mace suddenly called out to Axel, while we were still in the middle of the road. I couldn't tell why we'd stopped. There didn't seem to be anything significant around us, besides another skyscraper with a door carved into its side. The only difference with this one was that it looked a bit nicer; the upper floor windows weren't cracked at all and the door was an actual door – they had taken the window and added a handle to it.

Mace was the first to jump out of the car. He put his hands in the air in surrender, and I couldn't tell why until I saw the black speck of a gun from an open window high above us. He waved his hand, urging us to follow. Slowly, the rest of our group exited the truck and imitated Mace's movements. None of us really wanted to get shot.

The door opened, and I watched as two people walked out. One of them, the boy, moved closer to us than the other.

He had tanned skin, dark brown hair, and an untrusting look in his shockingly green eyes. His jawline stood out from all the features in his face, and the contrasting color of his eyes and complexion made him attractive.

By his side stood a girl, arms crossed. She kept a couple feet back, frowning at us. She didn't seem to be very happy that we were there. She had straight strawberry blonde hair and alert brown eyes. She looked like the type of person who'd be able to beat me in a fight immediately.

Mace took a step forward and held out a hand to the boy. This had to be Grayson, our only hope for reaching the Equator.

But rather than grasping Mace's hand, Grayson simply glared him down. "We need to talk."

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