Saffron

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Saffron

I jump to my feet. The only thing on my mind is helping Logan. He can't take on a dozen guards on his own. Not without our help. What if he's injured? Or shot? Or worse?

"I'm not leaving my mom!" Amaryllis cries. She holds onto her arm with a vice-like grip and her words pierce my heart.

"You're all I care about in this world, Rylie," her mom's voice breaks. "I need to know that you'll be safe."

"And you're all I care about." Rylie sobs. "Mom, please."

I don't realize that I'm crying too until I feel the tears on my cheeks. Then, Jess sniffles, and I look up to see that she's crying, too.

I need to get to Logan, but I'm rooted in place. My feet are glued to the dusty floor and suddenly, I'm 10 years old again... running down the front drive to get to my mom. She's in the back seat of our old car, the one Dad got rid of years ago. Her dress is covered in blood, which soaks into the upholstery. She tries to be strong for me—to tell me she'll be okay—but a scream chokes out of her. She grips her swollen belly and all I can look at is all the blood.

"Mom," I shout, reaching for her, but Dad rips me away. He slams the car door shut, leaving me on the other side, and I never see my mom again. I can't let this be the last time Amaryllis sees hers.

I have to do something! But what? I don't have time to remove the bullet; not while Logan is facing a dozen guards. They'll all come here next anyway, and we'll be as good as dead then.

"Jess, grab my dress. We can press it down on the wound." Jess rushes off to where the once beautiful purple dress is lying in a torn heap on the ground. "How far is it to the pack house?"

"Half an hour." Amaryllis sniffles.

"In wolf form," her mom adds. "An hour on foot—maybe more." She meets my gaze and I know what she's silently telling me. She'll never make it.

Jess tosses me the dress, and I press the silky fabric against the wound. "Hold this down. I'll call for help."

I turn and race toward the giant. I quickly start patting around his back, searching his pockets, but they're empty. He's so heavy that it takes some effort for me to roll him over. Then, I check his front pockets, and my fingers graze metal. I pull out two phones. The small, black one looks identical to Robbie and Kyle's phones, and the screen lights up, asking for a PIN. With the giant passed out, I have no way of figuring out what it is, so I toss it aside and turn to the other phone.

Its pink case is cracked, and when I turn it over, I find the screen completely shattered. I press the power button, hoping it'll turn on anyway. It doesn't.

My hands shake as I try again, moving on to other buttons and getting more desperate with each passing second. I try all of them, twice, and when that doesn't work, I hold each of them down in turn. No matter what I do, the screen stays black.

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