Vogle leaned over my father, examining him. But I didn’t want to know the diagnosis, only the cure, if there was one at all.
“Is this my nightmare?” I asked. “Is that why I can’t wake him out of this?”
Vogle cleared his throat. “Maybe you’re not supposed to.”
“Then who? I’m the one who’s supposed to fix everything else.”
“I’ll do what I can for him,” Vogle said. “Cole and Adham will be back soon with supplies.”
“You mean stolen supplies, which Cole and Adham will acquire unscathed after Cole manipulates the people who work there.” Cole was lucky he was useful, his ability to manipulate people’s memories keeping him off my hit list. For now.
“Just long enough for us to get what we need, including supplies to provide your father some kind of nutrition intravenously if it comes to that.”
“It won’t,” he said.
“And if it does?”
“I’ve done it many times before, Bryn.”
“For me.” I looked down. Vogle and I hadn’t had much time to speak since I’d woken up in the hospital and there were things I needed to say to him, that I needed him to know without a doubt. “Thank you.”
His voice wavered. “For what?”
“For everything you’ve done for me,” I said. “For taking care of me. For taking care of my family and Roman.”
“I need you to know how close I was Vogle…to giving up. I need you to know how grateful I am that you never did.”
“I would never,” he said, his voice more certain than I’d ever heard it. “We don’t give up, Bryn. Ever.”
I’d never really thought about all of the time that had passed since Eve’s death or how hard it must have been on Vogle. How hard it still was. He could have given up on everything. I know that he wanted to. But he never did. Not even when he felt like her death was all his fault; Sam’s too.
“Thank you,” I said again.
He dismissed the thought, turning his attention to the sounds coming from the other rooms. Doors opened and shut as whispers and groans escaped between the seams.
“They’re growing restless,” Vogle said.
“Lathan’s been crouched next to his wife’s body for the past hour and Andre’s been pacing up and down the stairs like a caged animal.”
“Domingo’s on edge too,” Vogle went on. “He won’t admit it yet but I know he senses Stassi’s body is in danger. It doesn’t make any sense why it wasn’t with the others. But neither does the fact that she hid it from us all this time.”
The reason Stassi had needed constant physical contact wasn’t because her powers were transitioning or because they were getting stronger. It was because she was sleeping. This whole time she’d been sleeping, a secret she had kept from everyone. Until I’d named the bodies, hers not among them, and Domingo crumbled, realizing what she’d kept hidden all this time.
“Maybe she really doesn’t remember what happened,” I said. “You weren’t there when Sam and I found her. She was delusional, traumatized by what she’d been through. She still is.”
“She won’t be the only one,” Vogle said, getting to his feet.
My gaze fell, a heavy nod. “It’s time.”
*This excerpt is from a WIP and is subject to change*