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*Final instalment in the 'Little British Girl' Trilogy *
One year after Elia’s death, and the entire planet is rebelling. With the news of Xander’s assassination attempt against his own daughter alarming the world, Elda and Luci are leading a powerful resistance, competing with the Southern rebellium, with no powerful government to stop either of them.
And yet, nothing seems to have changed.
Annabeth, alongside Beverly, Zacharia, and Steve Ryans, hide out amidst the chaos , unable to prevent what’s happening right in front of them. Disheartened and helpless.
Then one day, a girl turns up, a girl with heterochromia, with some interesting letters, and some even more interesting information. Could it be that Xander Moore had another daughter? And that Luci has a half-sister?

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18. Chapter 18

“So, did Zacharia send you?” I ask Daniel. We’re trudging through the woodlands, making our way back to the hotel. I’m not sure if it’s even the right place to be heading, the group could have easily presumed me dead and moved on by now, but it’s the one place I can think of to go to now.

“No…” He sighs, staring down at the ground.

“Beverley then? Or Quinn?”

“No, no-one ‘sent me’. I...I’ve been keeping tabs on you since you came to the house. When I found out what you were planning tonight I decided to follow you, and when I saw everyone else leaving in a panic, and you nowhere to be seen, I decided I had to get in there and see what was going on.” He reveals, keen on looking anywhere but directly at me.

“You followed me?”

“After you left that day...I couldn’t stop thinking about what you told me, about you still working with Beverley and Zacharia and- well, I couldn’t stop worrying. I-I didn’t want to lose you too, especially knowing I could have done something to stop it.” He confesses. I know I should say something back. It’s the perfect opportunity. We’re alone, I’ve just had a near-death experience, and after all...he’s family, but I just continue to walk on in silence, as if gravity is pulling my lips shut. “Look, I know I was selfish, I know I was cruel, and that I, well, that I hurt you...but your still my little cousin Annabeth, and I never stopped caring about you.”

“If you care about me so much then why did you abandon me?” I interrogate him, finding my voice at last, “I could have died out there and you wouldn’t have had any way on knowing. Why do to that house? Of all places why did you run there? And even when I turned up at your door, begging for your help, you still turned your back on me. Do you seriously expect me to believe that you still cared about me when you did all of those things? You didn’t give a crap about me. All you cared about was yourself.”

“I know it doesn’t make much sense, but it’s true.” He defends himself, “And I’m ready to help now. I’ll do whatever you need me to, just ask.”

“Really?” I check.

“Really.”

“Okay then, leave me the hell alone.” I snap. The anger seems to rise up and come from nowhere, my emotions are all over the place. Ten minutes ago all I wanted to do was hug Daniel and keep him close as we walked back home, five minutes ago I just wanted to ignore him and forget he was there, and now I want to tackle him down to the floor.

“Fine,” he shrugs, taking it on the chin, “But I’m getting you back safely first.”

I’m fine.” I insist.

“You took a bad blow to the head, I’m not leaving you alone until you’re somewhere safe.” He shakes his head, just as stubborn as I am. I don’t respond, deciding that if I can’t get rid of him I can at least pretend he’s not here.

Thankfully, within the next five minutes we arrive back in the main city, and leave the empty woodlands for crowded pavements. It’s late, but people are still out and about, leaving restaurants, queuing outside clubs, and waiting for taxis. It’s easy enough to slip through unseen, and we soon arrive at the hotel. I pause before we go inside though, remembering something important.

“Grace…”I trail off, “Grace has been watching you, it’s how she found me. She’ll use you to find the rest of us. You can’t come in.”

“I know that Grace has been spying on me,” Daniel reveals, “I left the lights on and snuck out the back when I left. She won’t have any idea that I’ve moved.”

“But what if Luci or Elda tell her that you saved me?” I think up yet another problem, not letting a potential concussion stop me from being careful.

“They still won’t have followed me here, they’ll have no idea where I am.” Daniel points out, “There’s no risk here Annabeth, we’re alright.” The way he’s looking at me makes me want to puke, there’s so much pity in his eyes, it’s so annoyingly patronising. I’m just trying to be clever, but he’s acting as though I’m a nervous wreck.

“Fine, come on.” I sigh, shoving open the door and letting him through. “We’re on the fifth floor.” We spent the elevator ride in complete silence, and don’t talk again as I lead him towards the room. I knock on the first door I come to, Beverley’s. There’s no reply at first, and for a moment I wonder if they really have moved on somewhere else, but five seconds or so later the door opens.

“Thank god.” She smiles, pulling me inside the room. I notice Zacharia and Quinn are also inside, they must be having some sort of post-mission crisis meeting. Daniel trails in after me, understandably feeling a little out of place. I don’t feel any sympathy for him though, it serves him right.

“Daniel.” Zacharia notices him behind me.

“Hey.” He mumbles, obviously unable to think of anything else to say.

“You’re back.” Zacharia notes, somehow managing to make the atmosphere of the room even more awkward.

“I am.” Daniel nods.

“He saved me.” I explain, trying to clarify things, “Luci and Elda planted that evidence so they could lure me there and kill me, Daniel got in just in time to stop them. I’d be dead if it weren’t for him.”

“Congratulations, you get to live another day of this.” Beverley says, a hint of sarcasm in her voice, “But it’s good to have you back here safe, you know...both of you.”

“Don’t speak too soon,” I warn her, “Daniel isn’t staying.”

“You’re not?” Quinn speaks for the first time, almost as if she’s appalled by the idea of him deserting us twice.

“I said I’d go if I wasn’t wanted.” Daniel clarifies, avoiding eye-contact.

“And what do you want?” I ask him, “Do you want to stay?”

“That’s not important-”

“Oh I think it is-”

“It’s really up to me-”

Tell me what you want Daniel! I yell, tired of his indecision. My anger takes everyone by surprise, even me, but I’m glad I shouted, at least it seems to be having some sort of effect on him.

“I...I-I want you to be safe.” He tells me, finally managing to get the words out, “I don’t want you to die like Max and Elia, I want you to be somewhere living peacefully where you’re not in any danger at all, and if I can’t have that then I want you to be as safe as you can possibly be wherever else you are. If that means I need to stay then I’ll stay, but if you’re safer without me around then I’ll go. And If Luci and Elda want you dead... then I want to kill Luci and Elda.” I don’t know what to say, I’ve never seen Daniel act so violently before. Usually he’s the first to advocate for a peaceful solution, but here he is, willing to kill for our cause, whatever ‘our cause’ actually is now.

“Well I want to make the world a safer place,” I realise, my voice much quieter than before, “And I think that it will be without Grace or Charles or Luci or Elda running around killing people for propaganda. So if you’re willing and ready to hunt them down and put an end to all of this, then let’s get started.”

“I’m okay with putting bullets in their brains.” Beverley nods, she doesn’t need any convincing, she’s already on board. “And that Elda one is mine, I’m going to be thinking of Max when I kill her.”

“I think we’re out of options- we can either give up, or try a different approach, and I’m not one for giving up.” Zacharia sighs, reluctantly agreeing with us, “They would have killed Annabeth tonight without any trouble, we can’t afford for them to get another chance, or any one of us could end up dead.”

“I may not know how to fire a gun, or anything about weapons and warfare really...but I don’t like watching innocent people get caught in the crossfire either. My half-sister started this when she took our dad and murdered him, after that it was only ever going to be chaos, she’s not going to put an end to it, so I guess we’ll have to.” Quinn gets on board, showing an admirable amount of determination, as well as a whole lot of stupidity.

“We’ve never been in a better position, for once we have the upper hand. Those letters have changed everything, people are angry at the rebels, they’re beginning to doubt their cause. If we stand up and take out the main leaders, ordinary people will emerge and start up new societies. The world may never go back to how it was before, and it may take decades for things to fall into place, but we’ll give the planet a fresh start by taking these guys out.” I look around the cramped hotel room at the make-do team in front of me. My grieving cousin, my two ex-bosses, and a ginger-haired girl who doesn’t even know how to fire a gun. Could we really do it? Could we bring about the start of a new world? “We will probably fail, we will probably all be killed, but at least we’ll die trying. We’re going to try and put an end to this revolution by starting a new one. It sounds crazy but it might actually work. And I’m willing to give it a try.”

Beverly smiles, a powerful glint in her eye that wasn’t there before.

“Let’s make them pay.”

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