In Which We Say Farewell
A sharp yelp of pain, mine, resonated in my ears, red spots swimming in my vision. The bullet had gone straight through my arm, leaving burning entrance and exit wounds. I ground my teeth, trying not to shout and cry, but I couldn’t contain the long, low groan that escaped me.
The red completely consumed my vision. I couldn’t see an inch in front of me. This is the end, I thought. So close to my goal, and I’m going to die here. Then, someone grabbed my hand. Get up, Jackson.”
“Get up!” he snapped, jerking me to my feet. “Run, you moron.”
He hadn’t changed. “Thank you, Mark.”
“Yeah, yeah. Just...just go.”
“Markus, get away from her,” Lester snapped, warningly. “Get out of the way! Get out of the way before we fire!”
“I’m disappointed in you,” Tyrone said. “I really thought we could fix you. Guess even I can be naive and wrong sometimes. Once the infection takes hold, it never lets you go.”
“Director, please, don’t --” Lester was too late. Tyrone began firing his shotgun helter-skelter in our directions.
“Run!” I screamed, moving away from him. “Run!”
“Hey.” I looked back. “Thanks.” Why he was telling me thanks, I wasn’t sure. It awed me, and in a way uplifted me, to see him finally collected, away from his rogue state. “I....”
He never finished that sentence.
I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know when the trigger was pulled, or why, or, or...I don’t know how it happened. But I know what I saw.
I saw him freeze. Saw the pain and shock spreading, slowly, across his face, the crimson flower blooming on his chest. I saw him fall.
Shouts flooded the stairwell, reverberating off every wall. One was Lester’s, I could tell, a shout of complete disbelief. And one was mine.
Why? Why did I feel what I did -- shock, rage, the sudden overwhelming sense of no this cannot be happening? Momentarily, I forgot even the pain of my own wounds. “MARK!”
“Markus!” Lester screamed. He turned to Tyrone, an expression of pure shock on his face. “Why did you do that?” he yelled, any pretext of respect forgotten. “Why the hell did you do that?”
Tyrone seemed unbothered by the screaming, or, for that matter, by the fact that he’d just shot one of his own men. “I do what I have to,” he said. “This was the only way.”
“Well, then,” Lester said, abandoning his screams in favor of a harsh hiss, “in that case, I’m sure you’d like to explain that to my daughter, when I go home tonight and tell her the boy she loves is dead.”
“I’m not...dead...yet,” Mark groaned, weakly, from where he lay on the ground. He looked at me, tears slowly rolling down his cheek. “Go,” he said, in the greatest voice he could muster. “Go!” He slowly pulled himself to a sitting position, gazing at me with his eyes fading into gold.
The last thing I ever heard Mark Prosper say was, “I...I didn’t really wanna be this...way, I’m...sorry? I guess? Sor...sorry.”
“I’m the one who should be sorry, Mark,” I said.
He gave me a slightly disgusted look, a don’t get mushy on me look, and waved me away, inaudibly mouthing go one last time.
Lester had gotten even angrier, even more disbelieving. He was trying to help Mark to his feet, trying to call 911. Tyrone grabbed his arm, stopping him. At that point, Lester was not having any of it. He turned on the heels of his slick shoes, slamming the Director in the face. Tyrone stumbled back, startled at being struck by his second-in-command.
I took that opportunity to run, leaving the storm of angered yells and calm, rebellious refusals behind me.
“I swear to God, Lester, I’ll have you demoted for that!”
“You get back here and do your job! Go after her!”
“For the last time, you listen to me! I can demote you back to a nobody, a ninny! I can banish you from the order! I can --”
“Do whatever you want. It makes no difference to me. I resign.”
I jumped down the last four steps all at once, landing hard on the cold tile floor with a shockwave that sent another wave of pain through my shoulder. I gasped from the sudden shock, stumbling a few paces, then steadied myself, threw the door open, and ran. I had no idea where I was, but if I was away from Tyrone, I didn’t care. I dashed for the first sign that read “EXIT” in glowing red letters. I forced the door open, finding myself in another stairwell. Freedom was just ahead, just ahead....
By now, I was beginning to get sick from the blood loss, and the toxic effects of silver. My heart pounded uncontrollably, and every breath came in an aching gasp. Feeling another onset of dizziness and nausea, I leaned against the rail of the stairs, coughing, to keep from collapsing. The stairs spun briefly. I blinked repeatedly to clear my head, and began my descent.
One, two, three steps, pause. Four, five, six, seven, pause. Go, Hailee, I urged in my head. Hurry up. Run! Go! I bit down hard on my tongue, forcing my thoughts and attention away from the pain in my shoulder. Down, down, down -- it felt like several minutes at least had passed before I hit the mid-staircase ledge (in reality it was probably only two or three).
It wasn’t enough. The door behind me was thrown open with a crash. The urge to run overtook me, but my legs simply wouldn’t move. I felt too sick, too weak, to run.
Defeat. Humiliation. Rage. Loss. Intense physical discomfort. I couldn’t take it anymore. It took all my energy simply to keep from crying. Embarrassing as it was, I wanted to cry. I wanted to give up.
It can’t end like this.
I won’t give up.
I have to do this. For Dad. For Mark. For Luke Cleverly. For everyone.
With that internal battle cry, I launched myself around the corner, using the rail for support and momentum. “It’s over, Tyrone!”
“Says the wounded one,” he responded coldly, raising his gun to fire again.
I had already struck. Vigilant as always. With no weapon but my own claws, I slashed with all the energy I had left. He fought back, but I hardly noticed beneath my rage. With every drop of blood shed, my mind gave me a name, a reason for my revenge.
This is for imprisoning me, humiliating me, and countless others with me.
This is for the grief caused to families like Thalia’s.
This is for taking my ward from me, before I even knew him.
And this, this, I thought as we fell down the stairs, readying for a final blow, is for leaving me, and who knows how many others, orphaned.
I think nothing I’ve done before or since can, in sheer ferocity, match the ending of this fight. Tyrone lived -- I didn’t think he would. Nonetheless, what I did was beyond what I believed I was capable of, especially in my wounded state.
I took his eye.
He screamed, blood spurting from his face as bone-hard claws tore through flesh. The hot spray hit me in the face, and I jerked away, disgusted. Tyrone gave up trying to fight then, laying against the wall with two red-stained hands clutching what used to be his right eye. “Bitch!” he screamed, the shrill obscenity echoing off the walls.
“Bastard,” I replied coldly, turning my back.
“You don’t know what you’re doing, Jackson,” he called after my retreating form. “That drive you’ve got contains everything we know. Every dirty, bloody thing ever done by one of your kind. The deaths, everything. Are you sure you’re ready for the world to know that?”
“Are you, Director?” I answered. “Are you ready for the world to see the blood on your hands?”
“You think people are going to accept you when you see that? You think somehow you can convince them to love you, in spite of everything you’ve done?”
“Maybe not. But you know what? There will be an outcry against you as great as the one against us. And that will be my greatest revenge, to see you exposed for who you really are.”
“Same to you, Jackson,” he groaned, weakly. “Same to you.” I grabbed the gun. It was nearly empty. I threw it over the railing of the stairs, and turned.
The last thing I did was spit in his direction.
How I managed to run, to get away, remains a mystery. All that matters is that I did. I got away. The feeling that I had failed to accomplish my goal gnawed at my heart, but greater than that was the feeling that I was doing something for my people. Something great. One might even call it revolutionary.
Thalia met me in the parking lot, out of breath and limping awkwardly from her injuries. “Thank God,” she gasped. “I was worried something had...I mean, I was worried you wouldn’t come.”
“Rest assured, I’m here,” I said. “Not in great shape, unfortunately, but --” I cut off abruptly, realizing all at once how overpoweringly tired and injured I was. “Help me,” I whispered.
“Okay,” she said quickly, wrapping her arm around my waist. She pulled back when I touched her, slightly shocked. “Hailee....”
“Not my blood,” I said grimly. As quickly as we could without being noticed, she helped me into her car.
I crawled into the backseat and we took off, as fast as the traffic laws would allow, and probably quite a bit faster. Once we seemed to be safe, Thalia looked at me, concerned. “That looks really nasty.”
“You think so?” I snapped. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to yell. But you have no idea how bad this hurts. Nasty doesn’t even begin to describe it.”
“We need to get you to...somebody,” she said, realizing halfway through the sentence how ludicrous we would seem at a hospital. How would I explain the way I’d been wounded? Yes, doctor, I was shot. No, I can’t tell you when, or why, or who, because all that information is highly secretive at the moment and could put me and this lady here in serious, serious danger. Oh, the burns? Yes, well, the, ah, material that the bullet was made from happens to be highly lethal to me for reasons I also can’t disclose, it burned me, and is slowly sapping my energy so could you take care of that please? Okay thank you. I would have laughed had the situation not been so dire.
Instead, I gritted my teeth, yanking the flash drive from its cord around my neck. “Take this, and get out of here. I think I’m going to black out.”
My prediction was correct. Within another minute, I was unconscious.
And I dreamed.
It didn’t feel like a dream, the conversation I had with Dad. I knew it was, somehow, but it still felt as real, or more, as anything that had happened that day. I don’t know when I started dreaming -- it’s very hard to realize that moment, in my opinion. He was just there. Where we stood, I could never remember afterwards. “Dad?” I asked in disbelief.
He smiled. Oh, that smile. I remembered it, vividly and fondly, but seeing it again was infinitely more affecting. It was the sort of kindly expression that melted you where you stood. “Hailee,” he said softly, embracing me.
A lump rose in my throat. “I’m sorry, Dad.”
“I failed you. I promised to avenge you, I swore it, it was all I wanted, and I failed. Your killer is still out there. This isn’t what I wanted....”
“Hey,” he said, gently cutting me off. “Hailee. Don’t you see? This is the way I wanted it. No more killing, Hailee. No more bloodshed. Haven’t enough people died already?”
“Yes, yes, and you were one of them, Dad! I want it to stop. I want...I want revenge.”
“You don’t want revenge, Hailee, you want me back. But killing that hunter isn’t going to bring me back, and it isn’t going to make you feel better about what he did.” As he spoke, he gently stroked my cheek with his thumb.
I sighed. “You always could be so full of cliches.”
“I try,” he smiled.
“So do I,” I said. “I try, and try, but I know I’ll never be half the person you were.”
“Aw, Hailee,” he replied. “If you really believe that, then let me tell you, you’re twice the person you think you are.”
My face grew hot, embarrassed by praise I was sure I didn’t deserve.
“Think about it,” Dad continued, “about everything you’ve done in just the past year, the past months, even. Think about Jason. You saved his life. Think about Mark. You tried so hard to save his life too. Think about this,” he continued, indicating the drive that I somehow still had around my neck, “think about what you could do for our people.”
“You’d have done the same.”
“You know, Hailee, maybe you shouldn’t worry about what I would do.” He brushed my hair out of my face, making me shift nervously. I still couldn’t quite look at him. “You are a strong, capable young woman, Hailee. Don’t be afraid to make your own way in the world.”
My face went redder still. “I just want to make you proud, that’s all.”
“Hailee,” he laughed, “you have. You’ve made me prouder than you could ever imagine. Remember that.”
Then I looked at him. He looked exactly as he had the day I lost him, down to the jacket he was wearing. I wished it wasn’t a dream, I wished so much that I wouldn’t wake up.... “Okay?” he asked.
I nodded. “Okay,” I said, and my voice finally broke. On impulse, wild, emotional impulse, I threw my arms around him. “Dad!”
“I miss you,” I said softly. “I miss you so much it hurts.”
“I know,” he replied. “I know. I miss you too, sweetheart.”
Who knows how long we were locked in that embrace. There really is no concept of time in dreams -- it felt like practically forever, when in reality, as I stayed out cold in the back of Thalia’s car, it could have been thirty seconds, or hours. Whatever the case, when I felt a stirring sense that it was time to wake up, it felt like too soon.
Dad also seemed to sense this. “I think it’s time for both of us to go,” he said, gently pushing me away.
“No,” I protested, refusing to let go. “I can’t go. Not yet.”
“Hailee,” Dad said. He said my name in that quiet way I remembered from my childhood, the way that never failed to calm me down when I was frightened or upset. It still didn’t. “You have a life waiting for you. You have Levi and Victoria and everybody else waiting for you. It’s time for you to move on.” I pulled away a bit, looking into his eyes. “It’s time for you to let me go.”
I set my jaw, bracing myself against the hot tears in my eyes. Dad was right. I accepted then, in a dream, that the best way to honor his memory was to finally let go and forge my own path, the way he’d always wanted me to. “Just let me say goodbye,” I said. “I never got to say goodbye before.”
Dad smiled. “Okay,” he said, embracing me again. “I guess that’s not a lot to ask.”
Goodbye, Dad. The words stood on the tip of my tongue, ready to finally provide my restless mind with some closure. But that wasn’t what I said. “I love you, Dad.”
“I love you too, Hailee.”
What else could either of us say?
This was enough.
My face was stained with tears when I woke up.
I expected to see the beige roof of Thalia’s car when I woke, and panicked when I didn’t. Instead, I saw blindingly bright light, white in every direction. My first wild thought was Am I dead? My vision cleared, and I calmed down. No, of course I wasn’t dead.
Then I remembered my dream. Of course I wasn’t dead, I thought again. If I was dead, I would never have woken up. I would still be there, with Dad.
So where was I?
I turned my head, trying to get a sense of where I was. It took a moment to realize I was lying on a hospital bed, Thalia sitting a few feet away. She was herself wearing a hospital gown, her face lined with fatigue. She forced a smile, tightlipped, when she saw me awake.
Obviously, I asked the question everyone asks after waking from a near-death experience. “Where am I?”
“In a hospital,” she answered.
I rolled my eyes despite my headache. “But where, Thalia?”
“Don’t worry,” Thalia assured me. “We’re far away from Little Rock, and I’ve checked us in under the alias I used when I traveled with Tyrone. No one will find us."
“You checked in under an alias?” I asked dumbly. My head was buzzing, full of cotton.
She nodded. “Helena Lawson. I told them you were my sister,” she grinned. “ERs are very trusting, and more so when you’re bleeding.”
As lies went, that wasn’t bad, I thought. Thalia and I looked somewhat alike, with similar hair colors and builds. I rolled over on my back again as my headache grew more intense. The sickness in my stomach was terrible -- even rolling over made me feel like throwing up. The pain in my arm had subsided, but the silver poisoning had only just begun to set in.
A nurse walked into the room, a gentle, not-quite-elderly black lady with huge owly glasses. Piper, her nametag read. “Ah, Clarissa,” she said, beaming, “you’re awake.”
I gave Thalia a look. Clarissa? I mouthed. The corners of her mouth twitched. I wanted to roll my eyes again, but my headache was too strong. I just groaned under my breath. Clarissa Lawson. “Uh, yes,” I said, suddenly noticing how dry my mouth was. “I’m awake. Can I have a glass of water?”
She motioned to the table beside me. I picked up the glass resting there, swallowing the water in one gulp. It had gotten warm and stale, but was a relief nonetheless. “What happened to me?” I asked.
Nurse Piper looked quizzically at me. “You don’t remember?”
“Ah....” In my muddled state, I’m sure I played the amnesiac well. “No."
“You don’t?” Thalia pretended to be surprised.
“No,” I repeated. “Sorry, Helena, but I don’t remember. Why am I in the hospital?”
“We were hunting,” Thalia said. “My gun went off. I got hit in the side, and you, well, it went right through your arm.”
“You lost a lot of blood,” Piper explained. “There’s a pretty bad burn, too.”
Blood loss, burns, and she didn’t even know how sick I felt. That sounded about right. I impatiently waited for Piper to go through routine checkups on me. Having never been in a hospital, it was hard not to flinch at the poking and prodding. There were a few times, when she would put her hand on my arm -- or really, put her hand on me at all -- when I couldn’t help pulling away. All I could think of was the containment center, the way I was dragged down, thrown around. All I could think was Don’t touch me.
Piper finally left the room. “An alias,” I said, once she was out of earshot.
She seemed to find the whole affair funny. “Many hunters do, especially when they travel around the country. He was Nick Dursley, I was Helena Lawson.”
“You didn’t worry when you checked in,” I asked, “that Tyrone might still be looking for us? That he might recognize the name?”
Her brow furrowed. “Should I be?”
I answered in a negative. “If he’s still alive,” I said, “he’ll be in the hospital a sight longer than either of us.”
“What did you do to him?” she asked softly.
I shut my eyes. The gory scene played, and played again, behind my eyelids, sharper in memory then in reality. The words, the entire story rose from my throat, off my tongue, but all I heard was, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Her gaze fell to her bare knees, hugging the loose gown to her chest. “Then don’t,” she replied with a shrug. “I don’t care.” Behind her eyes, though, behind her words, the cogs were turning, burning images into her mind, wondering just what the hell had I done?
Piper returned to the room, resuming her checking up. I attempted to ask her something at least three times before her concentration finally broke. “Yes, dear?”
“I wanted to know if a certain person came through your emergency department? Or another hospital nearby, if there’s any way you can find out?”
“Do you know his name?”
“Markus A. Prosper. Eighteen years old, tall, strong, sandy hair and brown eyes. Probably would have come in around the same time we did.”
Piper nodded. “I can certainly look. How do you know Mr Prosper?” she asked.
“Um....” Well, it’s complicated. “We’re friends,” I blurted. Were we, I wondered? Did the reconciliation, the sacrifice, erase the months, years even, we had spent fighting each other?
She was gone for quite a while, looking through the day’s records. “Who’s Mark Prosper?” Thalia asked.
“A member of my pack.” I didn’t want to explain further, didn’t want to tell the full truth...but I owed it to her. If she was to be my ward, she needed to know. “Thalia, there’s something I need to tell you --”
Nurse Piper reentered the room before I finished. “I checked the day’s records,” she said.
My heart briefly rose...and then she sighed, the kind of bleak sigh that made me realize I’d hoped in vain, and it fell again. “Ah, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you this, Clarissa.” A sick feeling stirred in my stomach. “Markus Prosper passed away a few hours ago.”
There it was, the feeling of someone punching me in the gut. Funny how no matter how much you brace for a blow, it still hurts. But, I kept a straight face. I bit my tongue, squared my shoulders, head high and stiff. Just as an Alpha is supposed to...even when faced with something as terrible as the death of one of their own. “Thank you for telling me,” I said. “When did he...when did it happen?”
“According to the record, right after the ambulance arrived.”
I nodded, though she couldn’t see it. “Okay. Okay. Thank you for telling me.”
“I’m sorry for your loss.”
“Thank you.” I gave her the look that indicated I wanted to be left alone, and she obliged.
Mark is dead. I’d known, somewhere deep in my heart, that it was the truth, but hearing it from the hospital, having to acknowledge it, was something else entirely.
I bit my lip, sinking down and staring forward in a trance. “I killed him,” I whispered. “I killed him!” The guilt that suddenly flooded and crushed me weighed a thousand pounds. You didn’t kill him, the rational part of my mind objected. It was his choice to betray Tyrone. He knew what the Director’s reaction would be.
Did he? Did he understand the consequences? And if he did, what could possibly have moved him to sacrifice his own life for someone he swore he’d kill?
But in the end, I don’t think he’d wanted to kill me anymore than I wanted to kill him. Like me, he simply accepted that one death was inevitable, a necessary, unpleasant move to end the cycle of hate and anger and law we’d found ourselves trapped in. Ultimately, Mark wasn’t a monster.
In the end, he was a hero -- every bit the hero Thalia, or Holly, or anyone else was. Much more a hero than I.
“Thank you, Mark,” I whispered, speaking to a memory. “And I am sorry.”
“Hailee,” Thalia pressed, not insistently, “who is Mark?”
This time, I don’t want to talk about it didn’t rise up to shield my words. “See, Thalia, it’s like this,” came instead, and from there I told her everything. The entire story bubbled out of me, beginning when we were high school rivals, to mortal enemies, to nearly comrades. Annoyance, to anger, to sympathy, to loss. I explained the guilt I felt, the responsibility, the regret.
Dams years in the building up broke in a moment. I cried, truly cried, in a way I thought I’d lost the ability to. Thalia didn’t care, didn’t try to stop me. She just gave me a look of sympathy, which for once I didn’t resent.
When I finally quieted, she put her hand on my knee. “I get it,” she said. “Losing a brother in arms is the worst feeling in the world, whether you were his friend or not. He was still your own blood, and you his. I know I can’t replace him,” she continued, tone lightening, “and I’ll understand if you don’t want to risk another ward.”
I shook my head, reaching for the glass of water by my bed. “You won’t be replacing him, Thalia.” Maybe, though, she could be a second chance for me. I could be to her what I never was to Mark.
The pain in my arm had eased, but the silver poisoning was only getting worse. My head had begun to pound, and the painkillers Nurse Piper gave me had done nothing. There was nothing I could do, not until my body decided to ride it out.
Eventually, Piper informed Thalia in her soft-spoken way that she would have to return to her own room for the night. Thalia, reluctantly and after much attempted bargaining, agreed. “I’ll be back first thing tomorrow, Clarissa,” she promised.
“Don’t get up on my account, Helena,” I groaned, rolling onto my back. The sickness, the poisoning in my blood, had reached its worst. Waves of nausea racked my insides, chills and aches in every muscle. Sleep did not come that night, from the sickness, the tumultuous emotions, the reeling of my mind, and the sudden realization, when the hand of the clock read midnight, what day it was.
I was sixteen.
“I’m sixteen,” I murmured to the empty room.
I was suddenly struck by overwhelming disappointment. I should have been home, with my pack, not lying helplessly in a hospital bed. I made up my mind in that moment, biting my tongue. I was going home.
I was going home.
Thalia, true to her word, was in my room at six in the morning, after six hours of me attempting to get to sleep. I sat bolt upright, making sure Nurse Piper wasn’t with her, and said, “We need to go.”
She gave me a confused look. “Today? Hailee, that’s a bad idea.”
“Thalia, today’s my birthday.”
Even more confused. “So?"
I explained, briefly, about the Code, and how I was to become Alpha. “Today is my sixteenth birthday. I’m to officially be made Alpha today.”
Thalia understood, nodding. “I’ll see what I can do,” she said.
She kept to her word, and three hours later, we were checked out. This being a small hospital in the middle of Arkansas, we were two of only a few going in and out. Nurse Piper and another doctor, whose nametag read Michael, insisted on thoroughly checking me out before I left. Doctor Michael shook his head. “I can’t believe it,” he said, a tone of happy disbelief in his voice. “You’ve healed remarkably fast.”
I grinned to myself. If he only knew, right? Well, if we had our way, he would know, soon.
Thalia still had the drive in the pocket of her jacket. I took it as we drove off, heading for home at last.
As much as I wanted to be home, however, there was still one last place we needed to stop first.
“Where are we going?” Thalia asked me again. “I thought you wanted to go home.”
The ranch house came in view, and I directed her to stop. “I do,” I said, “and we will. But there’s something more important first.” I pulled the drive from under my shirt. “This.”
We walked up to Holly’s backdoor, and I knocked exactly three and a half times. This was our code as children, our “it’s me,” and sure enough, she came to the door. She had her phone to her ear, and was talking to someone, when I walked in, but she motioned for us to come in, and we snuck up the staircase. From the sound of the conversation, I assumed she was talking to her crime partner-slash-girlfriend Olive.
“Don’t thank me. It was Julie who got us this information. Yeah. Okay. Stay online. Yeah. Bye. I love you.” The awkward, bumbling way she said those last three words made me smile. I had never seen my best friend so happy. She, too, had a smile on her face when she hung up the phone. “Ready?” she asked.
“Ready as I’ll ever be.”
“You’re sure you’re okay with this? You’re the lycan, not me.”
I took a deep breath. “Yes. Yes, I’m okay with this. The world needs to know.”
“Thought you said the world wasn’t ready.”
“The world will never be ready. I realize that now, and I realize now that they’re only getting farther from it. The more advanced we become, the less willing we are to accept things we simply can’t explain.”
“Well said, brother. Er, sister. Er, anyway!” Holly laughed. She glanced at Thalia. “Who’s this?”
"I’m the hacker,” she answered.
Holly stared. “You’re Julie?”
“I am,” she answered, “but my name’s Thalia, actually. Lance Corporal Thalia Cleverly.”
“Pleased to meet you, Corporal,” Holly said, and meant it. “Thanks for everything you’ve done. This wouldn’t be possible without you.” She sat down in front of the computer, plugging the drive into the side. My heart pounded steadily harder as she flew through the steps so quick I could barely see the movements.
Her finger hovered over the “Post” button. “Here we go,” I muttered.
“Rocking the world,” she said, “in three...two...one....”
She sighed, and sat back. “Well, that’s it. We just gave evidence to the entire world that werewolves exist. That’s...not something I ever envisioned myself doing.” I think that’s all she could have said at the moment.
“Trust me,” I said ruefully, “neither did I.”
True to the nature of the internet, the news was a trending topic not half an hour later. I smiled smugly when I saw. We won this one, Tyrone. The cost had been great, sure, and there would be a time to mourn over that cost. For now, though, the important thing was that we’d won. We’d won.
“Guess we’ll see what comes next, huh?”
“I guess we will, Holly. I guess we will.”