chapter 17

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Nidria held on tightly to Enoch's hand as they walked towards Emma's voice. 

"Enoch? Nidria?" Emma's voice rang out. "Where are the others?"

"They're safe," Enoch replied. "All of us are on our way back to the Ghost Train."

"Jake needs us," Emma declared anxiously. "Barron's too strong. Oh no and if Alfred catches up to us-"

"Don't worry about him Emma," Nidria spoke quietly. "There's no chance of him coming back anytime soon."

Taking note of Nidria's flat tone, Emma decided to focus back on the task at hand. She managed to open the door, only to be faced with two Jakes.

"Jake?" Emma and Enoch asked, Emma with the crossbow in hand, prepared to fire at will.

"Emma," one of the Jakes asked, eyes widening at the sight of the crossbow. "Wait that's not me, it's Barron."

"Don't listen to him," the other Jake said. "He's Barron."

"I'm Jake," the first Jake insisted. "That's Barron."

Enoch let got of Nidria's hand and snatched the crossbow from Emma, aiming it at the Jakes. "Well, I got a better shot than Jake so neither of you move until we sort this out."

"Listen to me," Jake number one spoke, exasperated. "I'm Jake. I grew up in Florida and I wanted to be an explorer. I never thought nothing would ever change because I was ordinary."

"That's Jake," Emma said. "Shoot Barron."

"Wait! I told him all of this," Jake number two exclaimed. "She was my psychiatrist. Look, you deal with him, I'll go find Miss Peregrine."

"Wait," Jake number one said. "I can prove that I'm me, because I'm not ordinary. I can do something  no one else can. I can see the monsters."

They all gasped as Barron was lifted into the air by something invisible to everyone except Jake. Ignoring Barron's protests, the hollow proceeded to pluck his eyes out. Nidria, Jake, Emma, and Enoch all ran out of the tower, meeting up with everyone else.

"We need to go," Nidria spoke. "The loop is closing."

Everyone rushed through the entrance of the Ghost Train, but Emma, Enoch, Jake, and Nidria all lingered outside. 

"She'll recover and until then we'll be in 1943. We'll only age one day at a time. Like normal people. Which can be no bad thing," Nidria overheard Emma explain the situation to Jake, to which he responded with a worried comment about the hollows. 

"Nidria," Jake cried. "Can't you keep the loop going?"

Nidria frowned before replying. "I cannot. Miss Peregrine is a full-fledged ymbryne. I was simply gifted with similar powers. I can manipulate existing loops but once the ymbryne in charge of a particular loop is out of the picture, I have no power over them."

Emma, and Enoch exchanged a sad glance before Emma made her way through the Ghost Train and back to 1943. Jake looked after her, heartbroken. Enoch leaned over to Jake, whispering something in his ear before giving him a one-armed hug and turning back to Nidria. 

Nidria opened her mouth to ask what was wrong but was cut off by Enoch cupping her cheeks and pressing his lips to hers. She kissed back, encouraging Enoch to deepen the kiss. Nidria's knees felt weak and she clung onto his forearms, enjoying the moment. 

"You belong here," Enoch whispered, breaking the kiss and leaning his forehead against hers. Nidria found herself frowning in confusion yet again. 

"What?" she asked, still slightly dazed from the kiss. 

"You don't belong in 1943," Enoch continued, this time stepping away from her. "You belong here. In this time."

Nidria turned when she felt Jake grasp her arm. "Enoch, what-"

"I need you with me," Enoch interrupted. "But it's not fair of me to keep you in the time where you clearly don't belong. I- we'd be holding you back."

Nidria flinched as Jake gathered her up in a hug, restricting her movement as Enoch made his way towards the Ghost Train entrance. 

"I love you," he whispered. "And we'll always remember you."

Nidria struggled against Jake as Enoch stepped through the entrance. 

"Jake," she gasped. "Let me go. The loop is about to close."

Jake looked down slightly, holding on to her just a little bit more tightly before going slack and allowing her to escape his grip. Nidria ran to the entrance, throwing open the doors and darting inside only to be met with the inside of the actual ride. She held back tears as she made her way outside, hitting the side of the attraction in frustration as she glared at Jake. 

Jake, who had kept an eye on his watch, counting down the seconds until the loop closed in order to keep his promise to Enoch.

His promise to make sure that Nidria lived her life to the fullest, in the time period where she belonged. 

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