Winter's Edge: Winter's Edge Series Book 1

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Chapter 15: Secrets

Abby


A rapid knock at the door roused me from sleep. I was so warm, but I couldn’t move my arms to stretch. My eyes shot open when I realized what had happened. Ian still held me. I didn’t even remember dozing off on the floor of the loft with him last night.

“Ian,” I whispered sharply. “Wake up.”

Ian stirred, the whites of his eyes visible through tiny slits in his heavy eyelids. He gasped, and his arms sprang open, releasing me. “Oh. Sorry. I didn’t—”

As the warmth of his arms left me, I realized my body hadn’t wanted him to let go.

“Quiet. Someone’s at the door.” I jumped to my feet, my body full of aches. No time to check them out.

Opening the armoire, I frantically searched for something to wear.

Ian had a deer-in-headlights look, unsure what to do.

I turned wide, insistent eyes on him. “Turn around.”

His face went red and he looked away.

I slipped on a pair of jeans over my shorts. “Remember where you hung my clothes to dry yesterday?”

He hesitated, then turned and gestured toward the room downstairs.

“Hide there. I’ll get rid of whoever’s at the door.”

He nodded, then hurried down the stairs.

The knock came again, louder this time. The shirt I was wearing would have to do.

“I’ll be right there.” I stumbled and caught myself as I sprinted down the stairs to the door. My side and back still ached from the graveyard incident, but then my stomach joined in on the fun with its own burning sensation from the black gashes. Not a problem. Being beaten up in training had gotten me used to injuries. In some weird way, the pain was enjoyable.

I frowned when Kat’s voice called for me.

I opened the door, a little peeved, but hid it well. “Hey, Kat. What’s up?”

“Joseph sent me to tell you that you and Ian are going on the next supply run. We’re leaving tonight.”

“Ian’s going out so soon? That’s unusual.”

She gave an unsure look. “Joseph says he’ll be fine.”

I’d never known Joseph to allow someone new on a supply run so soon after their arrival. We needed time to get a good feel for each new potential citizen. Any one of them could be a Hunter plant trying to get our location and lead the Hunters to Winter’s Edge or one of our safehouses. I knew Ian wasn’t a Hunter, but it surprised me that Joseph had already come to the same conclusion.

It was short notice, too. We usually had at least a day or two’s notice. Something was off with Joseph.

Kat cocked her head. “Have you seen Ian? He’s not answering his door.”

I went tense, then forcibly relaxed myself. “No, I just woke up. Have you checked anywhere else?”

“Not yet.” Her eyes wandered to my kitchen, my loft, then back to me.

I smiled. “I’m sure he’ll turn up. If I see him, I’ll let him know.”

“Alright.” Her eyes perked up. “Oh, and just a heads up, Lena is going on the run. No need to worry, though. Your mom put her on junkyard duty with Artie.”

I muffled a giggle. “She hates when Mom does that.”

Kat snickered. “She’ll think twice before messing with Ian again.”

I had to smile at that. “Alright, well, I’ll let Ian know about the run if I see him.”

“Cool. See ya later.” Kat turned and headed down the hall.

I shut the door, almost too quickly, and looked back to find Ian’s head pop out of the laundry room. “Did you hear that?”

“Yeah.” He came out of the room toward the door. “Supply run tonight. Lena.”

“Yep.”

He brushed past me on his way to the door and my body suddenly remembered waking up with him. It wasn’t unpleasant, but it was definitely something I didn’t need to be feeling.

He stopped at the door. “I’d stay, but I better be in my room if she comes looking for me again.”

“Agreed. Be careful.”

He cracked the door and peeked out, then smiled back at me before he disappeared into the hall.

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