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Wade tapped his fingers on the box truck's steering wheel and wiggled down into his seat as he shot a look at Aaron. The man was slumped down in his place, head back and eyes closed. Wade knew he was angry at him. They all were, and he didn't like it. But, dang it, something feels wrong. And whatever's wrong ain't on this road.

It had been a crazy few days. After gathering up those Sick, they had trucked them out to the Containment Center as Tom wanted. But that place. Wade didn't even want to think about it, none of them did. But what were they supposed to do? This was what was set up, though it was unclear if it had been done by the government or locals. Wade shook his head. The self-proclaimed military guarding the place said this was one of the nice ones.

We can't take care of those sick. We can't. No matter how pathetic those little ones are. We don't have the means or the know how. It's just the way things are now.

The doctor at Containment Center assured them that the AgFlu patients didn't have much longer and no matter how it looked to the untrained eye, they received medication to ease their suffering.

Wade ran a hand over his face and blew out a breath. He was a hard man, and it had taken him time to come to terms with leaving them there like that. Who am I kidding? I still ain't come to terms. I'm just hoping the kids end up somewhere better than the adults. The face of that sad little girl drifted into his mind until he forced it out. Don't do no good to dwell on that.

After dropping the Sick off, the trucks had been empty. It seemed a waste to forego an opportunity to scavenge in an area they hadn't been before. And checking out the area paid off. An actual cheer had gone out when they had hit the motherlode, a lumber store.

The community was in desperate need of building supplies. Wade's cabin wasn't the only one that was getting an addition. Other one-room cabins were adding a bedroom or two, and still others, being repaired. The somber mood that had hung over the group since the Containment Center lightened as the men loaded up on lumber, nails, flooring, paint and more.

Alongside the lumber store was a feed store, so they threw some bags for the livestock into the trucks. It would help them get through the winter.

Another vote was taken. Most wanted to find another vehicle big enough to add to their haul. But not Wade. He voted against it, then argued against it.

He felt bad going against the group like that, but something just didn't feel right to him though he couldn't put his finger on it. He felt like when he was in the woods, and all the little critters went quiet, but he didn't know what was up yet. Was it something just little critters should be worried about? Or something that should be worrying him too?

It was like that—but different. Wade investigated everything around him, but it was okay. He told himself to forget about it over and over, but it kept sneaking back up on him.

Something's wrong. And he wanted, almost to the point of need, to go home.

Wade wasn't one to believe in any mumbo-jumbo, but he did believe in the power of his brotherly bond. If there was any chance that Dylan needed him, Wade was going to be at his side. Maybe this thing is nothing, I'm hoping it's nothin. But what if...

Of course, he couldn't tell the others why he wanted to go home. He would be a laughingstock. So he just dug in his heels. Now they were all heading home, with Wade barreling along as fast as he was able.


The minute Wade saw Cole's mountain, he sagged in relief assuming his worry would end. But it didn't, instead it increased. He was so close. His lead foot weighed heavier on the gas pedal until he screeched around the mountain curves sending gravel into the air with each turn.

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