164 Days Until Focus And the Uncertain End (part 3)
Heia sat outside the house, wrapped in blankets. The night was chilled, but she was on watch. There was little that she could do about the cold, other than wait. The others were inside, preparing for bed, save Shawn who was her watch partner. Where ever he had gone… Glancing around she could not immediately find him, so she focused back ahead. She sat atop a car watching out into the distance for any sign of Phil and Kim. She heard Kori and Kony moving things into the cars, fortifying them and making sure they were ready to be moved at any moment. Evester had said they needed to have as much of their supplies in the cars at night, in the event they had to flee.
It was irritating to move it back and forth, but neither Kori nor Kony complained.
“You okay?” Shawn asked, startling her a bit, but then she saw the hot drinks in his hands and graciously took one, exposing her hands to the biting cold. Cut under her blankets, she let it warm her from inside.
“Their shift should have been over thirty minutes ago. If we stay out here any longer, we face hypothermia.” Heia did not need to look for the time to know. Besides, he’d checked ten minutes ago. Kim had went on two shifts instead of one today, to let the trio stay together. It should have been her out there, Heia not Kim. Yet Kim had convinced Heia to let her take it. Kim with her long eye lashes and soft words and touches, had told Heia that Heia, Zeydar, and Evester needed to stay together. At the time Heia had only hoped it wouldn’t be too taxing for her. She, Zeydar, and Evester were on night shift, and Heia had wanted to get the extra sleep. No one was going to let Zeydar and Evester stay up together alone. Not when they had whatever it was they had going on, nor when the three of them were supposed to be getting to know each other for the Project.
Now, Heia was beyond herself in frustration and fear that the act would have hurt Kim.
“They are fine.” Shawn hopped up to sit on the hood of the car with her. He sipped his drink, layered up in jackets and blankets.
“Don’t worry!” Kori called out to her, having been eavesdropping on Heia’s conversation. She wanted to snap at her sister to mind her own business, but Heia did not.
“I will.” Instead Heia let them all know that she was going to worry about Kim and keep worrying about Kim until Kim came back and was safe. Phil had better keep Kim safe. Heia looked to the dark distance. Shawn placed his arm behind her pulling her closer to him. “What?”
“Cold.” He answered. She threw the blanket around her over his shoulder, as he wrapped his arms around her. Their body heat met and she felt all the more warm. Leaning her head against his shoulder, she felt safe and warm as she had back at home. Her best friend at her side as she worried about things she could not control. “Do you think we will find Evester’s father?”
“We had better.” Heia glared out. She needed to find the signs of the car, any sign that they were okay. Kim had to be okay. “Or else why did we come here?”
“You think he’s alive?”
“I think Evester thinks he is.” She thought Maverin Igalistal was dead, not that she’d say that aloud to jinx it. Not when Evester needed it as badly as he did.
“Good enough I suppose.” Shawn laid his head on top of hers. “I’m tired.”
“Go sleep.” He didn’t have to be up that night. He had already much that day, and he deserved to go to sleep.
“Only Evester and Zeydar are in there. The bedroom. You want me to walk in.” Shawn laughed at the time that Heia and Shawn had walked in on Layla, by accident. She had been so furious, she hadn’t spoken to Heia for a month. Somehow she doubted that even if Zeydar and Evester were doing anything, they would never react like that. Evester would probably flaunt it and Zeydar would probably ignore that it happened.
“You know as well as I do that they aren’t.” Which wasn’t to say that they wouldn’t, but as it was right now, they were not. There was no way they would. Zeydar and Evester were two gigantic messes of humans who had taken this much time to even cross the line of, well, whatever this team was.
“Not yet.” Shawn chuckled seemingly reading Heia’s mind. His laugh was joined by Kori and Kony.
“Even if it’s EverDanger code.” Kori shrugged. “Those two will at some point. I’m surprised Evester hasn’t seduced him already.”
“He did.” Shawn looked back. “They were fake dating remember?”
“Evester also did kiss Zeydar.” Kony agreed.
“Evester told me he wouldn’t.” And Heia somehow believed it. He was too focused on the project. But after the project? Heia knew all bets were off then. “And I will believe Evester.”
Evester had staid up nights watching Zeydar. They’d kissed before. Zeydar was always watching Evester, now that Heia thought of it. Shawn was right, they’d flirted, pretended to date, and gone already so far. And it had taken them this long to get to whatever stage they were at? No. It would take that much time, if not longer, for them to get any further.
Of that, Heia was certain.
“Do you like Evester?” Kori asked incredulous. “Are you jealous?” The way Kori stressed jealous told Heia everything she needed to know that Kori was joking.
“Of Zeydar?” Heia giggled. “Never. As if I would fall for either of those two fools.”
“Right.” Shawn held her tighter.
“Or you, you are a fool too.” Heia jabbed him with her her fingers. Where was Kim?
“You are the fool for being my friend.” Shawn hugged her tighter. Heia relaxed into the hold. She remembered days back when the Catastrophe had not struck. Shawn had always been there for her. Always. Even now, out here in the middle of hell, he was there for her and her family. Her absolute best friend, when forever was not guaranteed. She thought of when they had hugged to keep warm on the nights that they explored town way past curfew. They had always fought to defend each other. They had helped each other through crushes, and aided each other through heart breaks. Sleep over. Mistakes. Changes. They’d been there forever and he had betrayed her to join the military, but he was back with her.
Heia had always thought that in the end she and Shawn would end up together. Not because she loved Shawn more than she loved her best friend, but because it was just natural to always be by each other’s side. Shawn and her would have had children because they would have had too, or maybe they would have talked their parents out of caring about it. She doubted Shawn’s parents would agree; he was the oldest and only boy. They’d have found a place and loved each other as two best friends could, and he’d have side affairs because she wouldn’t care. And she’d have side affairs because he wouldn’t. And they’d be together because it was right and good and best for their shared survival. Nothing more. Even if it weren’t the heart wrenching ache of love that she’d heard about and dreamed of. Even if it weren’t with any of her dream crushes that had been impossible dreams. Even if it weren’t…
Where was Kim?
There was the sound of a crash. Heia turned back to see Kony dropping a box. His head turned up in the direction that Heia had been watching. She did not have to hear the words, because she saw them in his terror. “No…”
Immediately Heia was on her feet pulling the blanket with her. “Go! Get Evester and Zeydar, Kori. Shawn we have to help them finish packing!”
Kori looked to Kony once before she headed towards the house. Shawn jumped up, drink discarded and started tossing things into the car. Kori and Kony were almost done, so there was not much left. Heia grabbed her brother. “What was it?”
“We need to go!” Zeydar yelled as he walked out of the house. His magic spun as he threw open doors with his magic with the items from inside. All of their supplies from inside. Nothing left in the house, save Kori who was racing out after them. Zeydar yanked open doors and put things inside. The others helped and Heia looked back to the distance.
“Don’t use too much of your magic.” Evester warned them. “You only have so much energy.”
“We don’t have time to be relaxed.” Zeydar snapped back. “Kim and Phil will be back in moments and we will have a small time frame to move, and for this to work. Get ready!”