Chapter Thirty-Nine

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We were given blankets to sleep on, but I couldn't. All I could think of was what Grayson had said. If Mace and January had lied about that, what else could they have lied about? Could I really trust them at all?

If someone tried killing me again, should I even be staying with them? I knew I had to get to the Equator, but I didn't need them. Maybe I could convince Grayson to help me. I was beginning to think the real reason he didn't want to help us was because of his past with Mace and January.

I turned on my side, so I was facing the dining room. The blanket didn't do much to offer me comfort.

Suddenly, the lights of the dining room flickered on.

I heard voices. From my spot, they were barely audible. I sat up in my blankets as they became louder.

The door of the dining room was closed, but I knew the people speaking were right behind it. I tiptoed towards the door until I was right next to it. Now, I could hear almost perfectly.

It was Mace and Grayson. It seemed like they were arguing.

"You know how important it is to get to the Equator! I would've loved to stay here with you and the rest of them, but it was never going to be safe," Mace argued vehemently.

"Do you really think risking our lives on a trip down there is worth it? When we have something that works here?"

"We? Don't you mean you? What is my group supposed to do? We can't stay here."

"Why not?" There was a pause after Grayson's statement, and I realized it was merely because Mace had lowered his voice.

"...you know why not."

"Our doors here were always open for you. You're the one who rejected the offer. So, no, I'm not going to help you after you ditched me and then realized you couldn't live without me."

"We've been doing fine." I could feel the anger leaking through Mace's teeth.

"Then, why do you need me now?"

There was a pause, and I was certain Mace was trying to collect himself. "Look, I left because I didn't feel it was safe here. I didn't trust these people, and so now-"

"Now, you're in a position where you can just kill the people you don't trust, isn't that right?"

It didn't take a genius to know what he was referring to.

I'd never considered Mace a culprit. It would make no sense, and I didn't understand why Grayson was considering it now. If Mace was the one trying to kill me, he'd had so many chances to do it successfully by now.

"That wasn't me." Mace's belief was hard as stone.

"I know that this is not the first time people in your little group have tried to kill each other. I hear the rumors."

"It wasn't me. And we're getting off topic..." At that point, I felt I'd heard enough. It sounded like their argument wasn't going to end, and all I knew now was that Grayson thought that Mace was trying to kill me. That was impossible.

I walked away from the door, but rather than getting back in bed, I kept walking. Outside the glass windows the snow was whirling around in vicious circles. I was drawn to it and the idea of getting fresh air. Being outside would help me think.

We were a floor up from where we'd entered. There was a small ledge to stand on through a broken window. I climbed through the opening and walked out onto the snow. It was freezing against my bare feet. I'd left my boots inside. I didn't mind it.

Out in the distance, from where we came, were more snow flurries. The road seemed to go infinitely both ways. It was beautiful, being able to stand above it all. For once, I felt like I was apart from this world.

And then, I saw the headlights.

I squinted into the darkness, wiping snowflakes from my eyelashes. As the headlights neared, I finally saw the color and style of the cars. They were identical to the trucks from the gray-clad gang who'd captured us, what felt like years ago.

My mind went blank, and I turned to run back inside.

Just as the building exploded.

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