By the time I got back to the warehouse, almost everyone was asleep. Unfortunately, I’d somehow earned the privilege of both Marlee and Devin staying awake and waiting for me to come back. Once I greeted the night watch, who limply replied, looking only half awake, I approached my bedroll.
Which meant that the two people who I had seen were still awake saw me right as I tried to lower myself painfully to the ground.
“What happened?” Marlee asked, coming back over from where she’d been talking to Cole. Somehow, they hadn’t appeared to be fighting, which would’ve seemed like a miracle had it given them no excuse to be occupied while I snuck in.
“Nothing,” I told her, reaching to take my boots off despite the twinge in my shoulder that kept saying: ’I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.’
Honestly, it could at least come up with something original.
“You’re wincing,” Marlee replied, unamused. “Don’t try to tell me ‘nothing.’”
I glanced over at her. “And you care because I’m your friend, is that it?” I was a little snappish, but I could already feel myself calming down. I tried to not get frustrated that she was causing me to relax and be vulnerable.
“You’re my friend, yes,” Marlee replied, looking annoyed, “But we also had to convince Russ not to up and move us because you weren’t back yet.”
I blinked up at her, my hands stilling. “He was going to do that?”
Marlee didn’t look away from my face. “Technically you’re still on probation, so if you disappear suddenly within the next few weeks and don’t come back, we would have to move as a precaution.”
I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to reply to that, but it probably wasn’t how I did.
“Good,” I replied, pulling my feet onto the bedroll and tucking the blanket around them. “You guys shouldn’t trust me anyway.”
Marlee grumbled something under her breath before pushing herself closer. “What if we want to trust you, Calypso? What if we’re tired of having to be wary of every newcomer just because we need to put ourselves first?”
I kept meeting her eyes, but I didn’t dare acknowledge the small part of me that agreed; the little part of me that said that I should spill everything to her just so that she could trust me needed to shut up and stop nearly breaking everything I was trying to build.
“You’re in my personal space,” I said, ignoring her questions and the small flash of pain that flitted across her face.
“Fine,” She snapped, turning away. “Forget I ever said anything.”
I didn’t realize how remorseful I would feel after it all, but I couldn’t change anything now that I’d already said it. For whatever reason, I thought that since I couldn’t make it better, I might as well make it worse.
“What?” I asked.
Marlee growled, but didn’t reply. However, she had gone from carefully pulling her blanket back from her mat to ripping it away and grappling with it.
I laid back and stared at the ceiling, ignoring the snores of Zoe beside me. Really, it was annoying and yet that same tiny part of me that I was starting to hate found it soothing.
Either I was losing my mind, or I seriously had a split-personality.
“You shouldn’t have done that,” Devin’s voice said from above me.
I didn’t look up at him as I replied. “I do a lot of things I shouldn’t do.”
“No, you really shouldn’t have done that,” He said.
I rolled over and looked up at him. “What do you mean I really shouldn’t have done that?”
“Marlee was just starting to feel comfortable around you,” He said, looking confused and the slightest bit peeved, “And then you went and basically threw it all onto the floor.”
I rolled my eyes and turned away. “She was meddling,” I said.
“Still,” Devin prompted.
I didn’t reply.
There was the rustling of cloth as Devin squatted next to me. “Lee,” He began, “What did happen?”
“Why do you care?” I asked him, my voice hard. “I haven’t done anything for you. There’s no reason for you to like me and there’s no reason for you to feel like you should ask me what my problems are.”
“You’re right, I shouldn’t care about you,” Devin said easily.
“But I do,” He continued. “Honestly, asking someone how their brain works isn’t always the smartest thing.”
I relaxed a bit. “Nope,” I replied, sighing. “If it was something that meant that I lied to you or someone else, would you judge me?”
Devin stiffened before forcing himself to relax. He rolled his shoulders back. “I mean, I’d be hurt, but I’m sure you had a reason to do it. Obviously, you aren’t that great at letting people in.”
I frowned, my hand gripping the blanket. “Right,” I muttered.
Not only was this a horrible conversation to be having, but it was also incredibly awkward since I was laying in my bed and he was squatting right next to me. I don’t think the majority of conversations happened next to the person’s bed.
“Can I just go to bed?” I asked him moodily.
Devin hummed, “I mean, I can’t stop you, but if you promise me something, I’ll let you sleep in peace.”
I tilted my head to look at him warily. “What do I have to promise?”
“You need to promise to tell Marlee and I what happened today in the morning before you run off,” Devin said, looking at me steadily. “Even though we shouldn’t care, we do, and hurting Marlee isn’t going to change that.”
“Yes, it will,” Marlee said from next to us.
My heart twinged with more remorse.
Devin sighed, “It’s either that or tell us now.”
I sighed, looking up at the ceiling. “So, if I want to get some decent sleep, I have to tell both of you what happened tonight?”
“Yep,” Devin replied seriously.
I groaned. I needed good sleep since I needed to be able to function, but I also didn’t want to spill my secrets.
Don’t rely on them. Don’t trust them. Never turn your back on them.
Be nice to them. Get them to trust you. Treat each other like family.
I gritted my teeth. I was really getting annoyed with this new inner-voice. Not only did it counteract nearly everything I did with guilt and nicer ideas, but it also kept making me look like an inconsiderate monster.
“Fine,” I hissed, “But if you do anything to make me change my mind, that promise isn’t going to be remembered.”
“Notes,” Devin said, straightening. He smiled down at me, “Goodnight, Lee.”
He began to walk away before he paused, “Hey, Mar, you’re welcome.”
Marlee cursed at him and I smiled faintly.
I was going to regret this.