The Quiet

I followed her gaze to the other side of the room, where there were two windows. One was closed tightly. But the other was opening slowly. I could see some kind of shadow come over the bottom. Someone was coming inside.

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41. Haze

Through my haze to grip consciousness, I could feel Cari there. Somehow, I could feel her body close to mine. When I felt her hands on my face, her mouth pressed into my neck, and her tears on my shoulder, I opened my eyes.

I was staring at the sky, dotted deep blue and black now. The rain had stopped, but there was cold air and it was pushing all around me, making me shiver. When pain finally hit me, it rolled in waves, crashing against me.

I screamed.

Cari’s arms tightened around me and she whispered in my ear, “It’ll be okay. I’m going to get you inside and I’ll clean you up. Then we’re going to find Maddox and get the fuck out of here.”

“Where is he?” I groaned, trying to sit up.

“I don’t know,” she said, pulling me to her. “I woke up alone. Everyone was gone and the most morbid thing is Alec took Lena’s body.”

My stomach turned unpleasantly and for the second time I wanted to throw up. With Cari’s help, I stood, even though my body was on fire. I allowed her to guide me inside and set me on the couch.

The room was empty. The only thing I heard was the TV flickering, trying to get a picture back. Had that been on the whole time? I didn’t know.

I lay staring at the ceiling, while Cari tended to my wounds with warm water. Every time she pressed the washcloth to my face, I let out a whimper. She frowned at me and used her unoccupied hand to touch my cheek, her fingers cool against my skin, relaxing me.

Then I drifted off to sleep.

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