CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

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ACE OF HEARTS
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: MY BROTHER,
THE BABYSITTER

SIGHING, THE LARGE GROUP ONCE AGAIN CROWDED around the circular table in the Byers' kitchen, surrounding a large map

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SIGHING, THE LARGE GROUP ONCE AGAIN CROWDED around the circular table in the Byers' kitchen, surrounding a large map. Running yet another hand through his beard, Hopper spoke to the group, "It's not like it was before. It's grown. A lot. And, I mean, that's considering we can get in there. The place is crawling with those...dogs."

"Demo-dogs," Dustin immediately corrected.

Tilting her head towards the boy, Cassie lightly elbowed him in his side; trying her best to silence him.

Hopper looked slightly taken aback, "I'm sorry, what?"

"Demo-dogs," Dustin repeated, causing Cassie to face palm. "Like Demogorgan and dogs. You put them together...it sounds pretty badass..."

"How is this important right now?" Hopper asked, raising his voice in annoyance.

Dustin turned, "It's not. I'm sorry."

"I can do it," Eleven muttered from the other side of the table — her eyes shifting up to Hopper's.

"You're not hearing me-"

"I'm hearing you," Eleven cut Hopper off, her voice determined. "I can do it."

After a brief pause, Mike interrupted, "Even if El can, there's still another problem. If the brain dies, the body dies."

"I thought that was the whole point," Max replied.

"It is, but if we're really right about this...I mean, if El closes the gate and kills the Mind Flayers army..."

"Will is a part of that army," Lucas muttered.

Cassie's breath hitched — her eyes widening slightly as her gaze met with Mike's. Taking a shaky breath, Cassie croaked, "If El closes the gate...Will is going to die."

Switching her gaze to Mrs. Byers, Cassie watched her face fall in shock. After everything she had been through, Mrs. Byers was now going to lose her son.

Glancing away, Cassie's eyes fell on the room that Will was laying in. From her position, she could study the way Will was laying on the bed — stiff and straight. Whatever he was...he wasn't human.

Switching her gaze back and forth between Mrs. Byers and the room, Cassie knew that this couldn't be the end. After everything all of them had been through, it couldn't have been for nothing.

Stepping into Will's room, Cassie immediately felt a cold draft of air wash over her — sending shivers down her spine. As goosebumps surfaced her skin, Cassie's teeth began to chitter.

"Mrs. Byers?" Cassie called to the other room, watching as the woman's eyes shoot up to hers instantly.

"Yes?"

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