Chapter 39

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Susan's point of view:


It seems almost strange that today went exactly according to plan. Nothing seems to ever go completely right for us. But no matter, we're still all glad that it worked out. Once Peter and I met back up with Adam, Cassia, and Kyle to tell them that our side had agreed, we decided to head back to camp and celebrate.

And now, under a full moon with the campfire burning bright and everyone at camp together with us, we've felt happier than we have in weeks. The healers threw themselves into their work and, finally, managed to get the remainder of the sick and injured back to normal, so we can all enjoy a peaceful night.

I look back over the fire to look at Kyle. His red hair seems to illuminate even further in the fire's light, and his kind eyes meet mine. I'm not ready to fall in love, but I can't ignore the butterflies in my stomach when we look at each other. But oh well; if there's meant to be a relationship between us, I trust that the opportunity will present itself once the battle is over.

"Raise your glasses everyone," Adam commands us, and we all lift them up to him in response. "I just want to thank you all for sticking with us to the very end. The road has been tough, but we've almost made it to the end. And no matter what happens tomorrow, there are no other people on the planet I would rather go to war with than the faces that sit here in front of me. To victory!" He yells. "To victory!" We all say in response. Then, we all tip our glasses and drink. Nothing alcoholic, just water.

Cassia sits next to me, looking more like herself than she has for weeks. The bags under her eyes are gone, and she seems higher in spirit than before. "You sure are happy," I tease her. "How can I not be? Both sides are convinced, we're going to rescue Julia, and the war will be over!" She exclaims, the reflection of the fire dancing in her blue eyes. "We can't count on our victory yet. It may not happen," I remind her. "No matter. Let me be happy," Cassia says. "Well, that is my power," I joke.

I then glance over at Peter who is sitting next to Kyle on the other side of the fire. I'd be lying if I said he wasn't happy. As a matter of fact, this is the happiest I've ever seen Peter. He's talking to people, cracking jokes, and acting like...well...the teenager he should be. He may be eighteen, but he holds the seriousness of a man beyond his years, which can be bothering at times. But seeing him now, I wouldn't have thought this is the same person if I didn't already know him. But I'm glad for him, because I know why he's in such good spirits: no matter what happens tomorrow, he's going to see Julia.

I then turn my attention to Adam, who prefers to just stand and watch our happiness. Creating a memory, I suppose. He looks high and mighty over the rest of us, although I suspect his tallness gives him that quality. If it weren't for him and his power, Julia would have no hope. We would have no hope. We'd all be stuck here, no idea of what to do for Julia, and she would certainly die tomorrow. But with him, she has a chance to live. And we're all going to make sure that she will live to see another day.

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When the celebration ends and everyone has gone back to their tents for the night, all that's left is me, Cassia, Peter, Kyle, and Adam. After a brief moment of silence, we all unanimously gather into a group hug.

"Well guys, tomorrow's the day," Adam says. "And whether we live or die, if anyone has anything they'd like to say, now's the time to do it," he adds as all break apart.

When no one says anything at first, Adam decides to start. "I'll go first then. I want to thank you all for believing in me and for sticking with me this entire time. It meant the world to me," he says. And when he says that, the rest of us get the idea.

"I want to sincerely thank you for bringing me into this. I've seen so much pain throughout this battle, but it's also made me stronger as a person. And I never thought I could learn to care so deeply for those around me, so thank you for the new friendships and for strengthening the old ones," Cassia says, tears brimming her eyes.

"Thank you for accepting me into your group despite who I originally sided with. I haven't known you all for very long, but I do know that I've made the best friends I could have asked for," Kyle says. And then, he turns his attention to me. "And thank you Susan, for being my wake up call to the world, and for showing me what was right and wrong," he says, my heart pounding with every word.

So then, I speak up and take a shaky breath as I begin. "Thank you for bringing me on this incredible journey. I've learned more here than I ever could by just living my life back in the city. Thank you for making me a part of this team, and for giving me more joy than my own power could. Now, at the end of tomorrow, we can either have one hell of a story to tell, or we can be dead. But either way, you can be sure that it's going to be one heck of a ride," I say, and I earn a few laughs from them.

And then, it's Peter's turn. "I want to thank you all for being the family I never had. Adam and Kyle, thank you for being brothers to me. Cassia and Susan, thank you for being like sisters. You are all my favorite people in the world, and I wouldn't want to trade any of you for someone else. And even though she can't hear me, I've got a few things to thank Julia for as well; Julia, thank you for inspiring me to fight back. Thank you for always being there for me, and thank you for being my refuge from the world. But most of all, thank you for loving me when no one else did. No matter what happens tomorrow, you will live; You've done too much good to die. I love you more than words can describe," he finishes.

I was pretty much in tears by then.

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As the moon rises higher in the sky, we all decide to go to our tents for the night. I have almost gotten to mine before I realize that there's one last thing I have to thank someone for. I rush over to Kyle's tent and catch his attention before he goes inside. "What is it?" He asks, looking happy that I've come to speak to him. "I wanted to thank you for what you said about me at the bonfire. It was really sweet," I say.

He just shyly smiles and says, "Oh, it was no problem."

I look up at him, his kind eyes brimming with so much love and admiration. Make a move, Susan! You might die tomorrow, so here's your chance!

And so, I stand up on my tiptoes and kiss him on the cheek. "Thank you for watching out for me and taking care of me," I tell him. He immediately blushes, his face turning a bright shade of pink. "No...problem..." He stammers out again. I just laugh and say, "Get some sleep now. Tomorrow's a big day." "Yeah...I guess it is," he says, his hand resting over his cheek where I kissed him.

Then, I begin to head back to my tent, blushing myself. And as I plop down on my sleeping bag and begin to drift off to sleep, I mentally pat myself on the back. Congratulations, Susan. You made a brave move; good for you.

Then, I smile in my sleep and stay that way for the rest of the night.

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