Chapter Sixty-Two

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May was zoned out, her forehead pressed against the window, when the feeling came to her. She sat up with a gasp, heart racing.

"What's wrong?" Jeremy asked without taking his eyes off the road. He had wanted to drive for this leg of the journey, and May had too much else on her mind to argue. "Did you have a nightmare?"

"No, I wasn't sleeping." May turned in the passenger seat. She glanced over her shoulder and out the back window, but saw nothing. "I just got a weird feeling."

Jeremy's brow furrowed. "Weird how?"

Closing her eyes, May took one deep breath, then another. It didn't seem to make a difference though; she couldn't shake the feeling of dread that had settled over her.

"Something's wrong," she said. "I think it's Em."

"Well, we already know she's in trouble," Jeremy replied, though it was clear by the tightness of his jaw that he was trying to convince himself as much as May. "I know you're worried about turning around, but we're doing the right thing. This is going to work — it has to."

He was right on all counts. Em was in trouble, they didn't need to know what was happening to her to know that. The guilt May felt over turning back when they had been so close was almost enough to make her sick to her stomach.

But that wasn't what this was. She knew it without understanding how. It was almost as if Em was there, whispering into her ear. May couldn't hear what she was saying, but she could feel the desperation and fear behind the words.

May shook her head. She fiddled with her ring — the fallen wishing star she wore on her finger. "No, it's more than that. I think we're running out of time."

Jeremy cut her a look and wet his lips. He didn't say anything, but May felt the SUV pick up speed.

They had been driving for hours. Night had fallen around them, casting everything in suffocating darkness. Even though she knew he wouldn't be there, May caught herself glancing out the window in search of Fargus. Before getting back on the road, she and Jeremy had sent the raven to find Dom and Lety and inform them of the new plan. They were probably still going to need that backup, just not for the reason they originally assumed. As the SUV cut through the night, May wondered where everyone was; how long would it take Fargus to find them? And would they make it back in time?

"Almost there," Jeremy muttered. There was a tension in his voice that mirrored May's own apprehension. She understood his plan, and knew he was likely right — they needed to contact the Stars, and the best way to do that was through an astromancy druid like Rue. Still, May wasn't convinced it was going to be that easy. Nothing else had been up until now, so why should this be any different? Besides, WIND had already proven themselves to be on whatever side suited them best.

But Jeremy seemed convinced the plan would work and May didn't have a better idea, so she kept her opinions to herself. The SUV slowed and Jeremy turned left without signaling onto a gravel road that dipped into the trees.

"What is this place?" May asked in a whisper.

"Cottage country." Jeremy squinted and maneuvered the vehicle around weather-worn potholes. "Connor's parents had a summer place, down by the lake. I don't think anyone has used it since they died, but it still belongs to the family."

May could feel a question bubbling to the surface. She begged herself not to say anything—to keep her mouth shut—but curiosity won out.

"What happened to them? How did they die"

He glanced at her, his eyes illuminated in the dashboard lights. "What do you think?"

Ice formed in the pit of May's stomach. The Loyals. It always came back to them.

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