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Twenty-five

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Twenty-five

The ear-splitting scream rang out again, cutting through the air like tires squealing on asphalt. The air turned cold, leaving a trail of goosebumps wherever the frigid wind kissed Arryn's skin. The hair on her arms and back of her neck stood on edge.

"It's a woman!" Claire exclaimed. She shifted her weight towards the edge of the boat, almost causing the trio to capsize.

"Easy, Claire," Austin growled, gripping the edge of her shirt and pulling her back into him. The boat rocked back and forth before settling on the water.

"Sorry," Claire said righting herself. Austin and Claire exchanged an awkward glance for a brief moment. "Should we help them?" Claire averted her gaze to meet Arryn's.

"She looks injured." Arryn noticed as the woman collapsed to the ground.

"She could be infected. We shouldn't take the risk," Austin stated. He narrowed eyes towards the embankment.

"Austin, we can't just leave her here. She needs our help," Arryn protested.

"Arryn," Austin sighed, " we can't go picking up strangers like strays off the side of the street. We don't know if they bite and God only knows what they're infected with.

"We saved Mateo. What happened to wanting to help save others?" Arryn asked slightly irritated.

"That part of me died when Dante stabbed your father in the back to gain power. "

"Austin," Claire hissed.

"Austin," Arryn muttered through gritted teeth, "I'm telling you Dante had nothing to do with my Dad's passing. Please stop bringing it up. You keep opening a wound that I'm trying to let heal. "

"You need to get the infection out of the wound before you let it heal. But I'm done fighting. If you want to support him after what he did be my guest. When he stabs you in the back don't expect me to come running to your rescue."

Tears threatened to stain her cheeks, but Arryn wasn't going to give him the satisfaction. Her friend had changed, but so had the world.

A loud thunk, followed by a howl sounded inside the boat. Arryn peered up to see Claire holding her fist. Austin held his nose which had ruby droplets trailing from his nostrils.

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