He moved toward her in the dark and she drew back, her shoulders flat against the wall. But then he slipped his coat across her back, her hands tugging it in place.
He’d thought about leaving it with her before but he knew if anyone found it, it would only lead to questions—questions he couldn’t answer to Pascual, to himself. Until they found her sister she was supposed to be some sort of play thing to him, a prisoner; not some kind of pet that he fed and cared for.
But he wasn’t going to play by their rules. Not this time. Not with her. Not when he could see the way winter had clawed its way inside her, the way the hours and the elements had ripped holes in her clothes; had turned her skin to ash. Standing there, just inches from her, he could feel it. She was so cold.
And this was what he’d been avoiding. Seeing one of them, being this close. He’d been able to walk past the other mules, the other girls Pascual transferred to and from the city’s clubs. He’d been able to walk right past them because he never let himself look. Not really. Until that day he did. Until that day he saw a pair of eyes peering at him from between the slabs of that crate. And then he couldn’t go back. He couldn’t pretend.