“So…when is he coming back?”
Meghan shrugged sadly. “I really don’t know. I’m sorry. Why don’t I show you around in the meantime?”
“Okay,” Reyna said hollowly.
Reyna followed Meghan and Jodie down the hallway and through Elle headquarters. Maybe it would grow on her like the idea of rebelling against Visage had in the first place. Everett had once told her that Elle had been the leader when Visage had first come to power. She’d been killed in a riot, fighting for the protection of humans. Equality and autonomy and all that came later after everyone realized how bad it had gotten. Reyna couldn’t help but feel discouraged that this organization had been around all this time and all Visage seemed to do was amass more power. Starting one silly fire wasn’t going to stop Visage from taking over the government. Harrington was unstoppable.
She still couldn’t believe that they’d slipped out right from under his nose. He was probably going ballistic. That made her quirk a smile.
They moved into a hallway, which Reyna was surprised to see full of people. Some stopped to say hi to Meghan. Others high-fived Tye as they passed. But everyone was busy and engaged and…happy.
Reyna and Jodie received a few strange looks, but overall, most people waved or smiled or ignored them entirely. They must be so used to strangers in their midst it didn’t even faze them.
They turned the first corner and Reyna froze.
“Surprise!” Meghan called, holding her hands out.
“Reyna,” Brian whispered in shock.
Drew couldn’t even get words out. He was sputtering.
Then she was running. She couldn’t hear or see anything else going on around her. She collided with her brothers, throwing her arms wide around them. They tightened their grip on her and she breathed them in.
Her brothers. Oh God. Brian and Drew were safe. They weren’t in the warehouses anymore slaving away. They were here in Elle. Safe and sound.
Tears streamed down her face. She didn’t even care that she was soaking through Brian’s T-shirt as she buried her head in it.
“I can’t believe you’re here,” Brian said, brushing her hair back.
“We were so worried, Rey,” Drew added.
“You’re alive. God, we pushed for your escape every single day.”
“What happened?” Reyna gushed. “How are you guys here?”
“The day after you were kidnapped a group of Elle agents showed up at our apartment,” Brian told her. “They told us what happened to you and that we needed to leave with them. There was a fear that Harrington would try to kidnap us as well and torture us to use against you. We didn’t believe them at first, but then Visage’s men actually showed up. We decided to trust Elle and it’s been great so far. We’re so glad we could be here with Elle and working with them to try to get you home.”
“We’re so glad you’re home,” Drew said.
Reyna wiped her tears with the back of her hand. “It’s so good to see you. So good.”
“What did they do…” Drew trailed off.
She shook her head. She wasn’t ready to discuss what had happened in that basement in Visage.
“Hey, guys,” Meghan said, jumping into the conversation.
“Hey, Meghan,” Brian said with an easy smile.
She nodded her head at him. “How’s Laura?”
“Laura is here!” Reyna gasped. They’d gotten Brian’s girlfriend out too. Man, they were thorough.
“Yeah. It was part of my stipulations for leaving. She’s been living in that home since her parents died and well…” Brian scratched the back of his head as if he were embarrassed.
“They’re engaged,” Drew filled in.
Reyna’s jaw dropped open. Her brother was engaged. He had gotten engaged while she had been locked up in isolation. They’d uprooted their whole lives for her. And yet, she was so glad that they were here. They were here and safe and she wouldn’t have to worry about them out in the real world. It was smart of Elle to bring them here, especially if Visage was after them. She knew for certain she wouldn’t have been able to hold out against their suffering. Not a chance.
“Yeah. We’re engaged,” Brian said. “We can go back to our rooms and you can see her until they have a room worked out for you.”
“She already has a room,” Meghan said. She threw her thumb back at Jodie. “It’s this one we have to figure out accommodations for.”
“I don’t care about a room,” Jodie said. “And I’m all for what appears to be a happy reunion. But first, food.”
Reyna’s stomach grumbled as if on command. She remembered that she’d only had that banana all day. It was the first day in more than eight weeks that she’d gone without a full meal. It used to be irregular for her to eat more than one full meal. Things changed quickly around here.
“Food it is, then,” Meghan chirped.
Reyna introduced Jodie to her two brothers as they followed Meghan and Tye to the cafeteria. It was in between mealtimes so the place was deserted, which was a relief. She wanted to talk and hear about their experience at Elle so far.