Jodie chewed on her lip and stared into Reyna’s eyes. After a second she sighed. All of the tension left her shoulders.
“Just…be careful when you’re working with him,” Jodie said. “I don’t want anything to happen to you.”
“I will,” she promised and prayed that Washington never proved Jodie right.
* * *
Later that day after the sun set, Reyna stood with Laura as Brian and Drew prepared to leave. Laura had silent tears running down her cheeks. She buried her head in Brian’s shoulder and clung to him. There was nothing to say though. The mission was imperative. They had to know what was inside those camps. If they were really what Everett said they were. But it didn’t make it any easier to see them go.
A part of Reyna wished that she was going with them. She hated sitting on the sidelines. It wasn’t in her nature. But there were too many reasons for her not to be out there. Besides the fact that nobody wanted her in the security crew, she still didn’t know if Harrington could sense her blood and, if she got injured, there was no other blood to save her. She was actually the only person they knew of alive who had Rh null negative blood. So she stayed behind. And prayed that nothing happened.
Drew pulled her into a hug. “We’ll be back soon. It will only be a couple hours.”
“Be safe, okay?”
“No problem.” He nudged her and grinned that playful smile.
Laura finally released Brian, wiping away her tears. She tugged Drew in for a hug next and Brian moved to Reyna.
“You’re all making such a big fuss,” he said with a laugh.
“I don’t like where you’re going or what you’re doing,” she said softly.
His eyes moved to Laura’s. The information was sensitive and she didn’t know exactly what they were doing tonight. “It’ll be fine. Come here, kid.”
“I’m not a kid anymore,” she said, falling into his arms.
“I guess not.”
“Just be careful, okay?” she repeated what she’d said to Drew.
“All right, Rey.”
He hugged Laura once more and then they were gone.
“I hate this,” Laura mumbled.
Reyna urged Laura away from the door the boys had walked through. If she hadn’t moved her, Reyna was sure that Laura would have sat there until they came back. Reyna made sure to spend time with her for the next couple hours until Laura’s exhaustion won out and she reluctantly headed to bed.
Reyna couldn’t go back to her room.
She needed to get out and do something. But what? She had nothing to photograph. Becks wasn’t around. She couldn’t stomach seeing Washington yet and hearing the paltry explanation that he would be sure to offer.
She sighed as her feet carried her through Elle’s strangely silent corridors. It was better to be walking. She could get lost in the labyrinth. Anything was better than wondering what was going on.
It wasn’t until she stopped in front of the guarded room that she realized where her feet had taken her. She frowned. Had her words to Jodie earlier sparked this? This world wasn’t black and white. People could change. Not everyone would, but was it a disservice not to see if they’d try?
“Is he taking visitors?” she asked the guards.
“Uh,” the guy said, turning to look at the girl on his right.
She shrugged. “No one told us one way or another.”
“Okay. I’ll only be a few minutes.”
“Just knock when you want to come out.” The girl nodded at the guy, and he produced the key, opening the door for her.
“All right,” Reyna said before walking through the door. Her heart was racing. This was probably a bad idea. And yet…she didn’t turn back.
Everett sat on the floor of the sparse room in the lotus position. His hazel eyes opened slowly and weighed her standing there. He didn’t move. She didn’t move. They just stared at each other across the small divide.
“Well, it’s not a prison cell,” he finally said.
“More than you deserve.”
“Did you come here to tell me that?”
“I don’t know why I’m here.”
She didn’t know why she admitted it. She hated that she was here at all. That thinking about people changing had brought her here. That she could even consider that he could change. He was a spy. He was one of the bad guys. He’d turned her in. And yet…he’d come to find her when he’d realized the damage that Visage was really calling. Not to mention that he also had someone on the inside. And she knew what the inside was like.
“Probably because you know that I did the right thing and yet I’m still in this room with armed guards.”
“You did one good thing! And you’ve spied on how many people?”
“Countless.” He tilted his head. “But not you.”
“You were spying all along. You fed me information about Elle before I even knew what it was. You followed me to find out about my photographs. You took me to that fight and walked me right into that blood bank. You already knew about all of it, didn’t you?”