YP – B3:QtNoWLM – Chapter 43 (Chapter 140)

156 Days Until Trust And the Uncertain End

Evester sat in the car the chill having hit him like a tidal wave, releasing a bunch of the emotions that he had buried in his heart as he watched Zeydar leave, Heia following. The two walked further away and disappeared nearly completely, further than they had gone the day before when it had been military bodies they found. Fear, it was fear that Evester felt. This one would be his father. This one would be the end of this leg of the journey. It would be his father this time and all the effort would have gone to waste.

Evester held his jacket close, focusing down on his wrist instead, that was finally yellowing away from the purple and back to his regular skin tone.

“Are they typically gone this long?” Shawn asked irritated from the back seat. He had elected to join them this day, rather than Phil. He was less talkative than Phil, but in a way that was good, because it meant he wouldn’t be bombarded with questions about his feelings, as Phil would ask.

“This is the third route we’ve tracked. I don’t have a standard.” Evester rested his chin on the steering wheel, feeling as anxious about it as Shawn was. Each time there was the chance Evester’s father would be found. Each time there was a chance that they would never come back, despite it being day. There was too much at stake and each day they were away from Uly and the others, saftey and true warmth and supplies, was another day they put themselves at risk.

All for a man who had faked his own death.

“What’s your plan for when we find my father?” Evester tried to make small talk. He wanted to fill the silence with something, to keep him from over thinking, from fearing, from wondering about if Zeydar was cold and if Heia was safe.

“Excuse me?” Shawn repeated as if he were offended that Evester had spoken to him at all.

“Are you going back with Heia?” Evester had been told by Shawn that Heia planned to leave, and he remembered vaguely that Shawn was going to. Evester wanted small talk. He needed something to distract him.

“I didn’t realize you cared.” Which meant that yes, Shawn had told him before.

“I don’t.” Evester kept his eyes forward, not wanting to look to the side to search for Zeydar and Heia. Not wanting to see his hopes shatter. To hold out for a little longer, just a little longer.

They were silent for a moment. Then Shawn spoke again. “I’m not going with Heia.”

This caught Evester off guard. He sat up a bit before turning to Shawn completely. “You are staying?”

“I’m going with Zeydar.” Shawn sat in the back glaring towards Evester, arms crossed and slouched in his seat, holding himself to stop shivering.

“You knew he was going?” Evester hadn’t heard confirmation from Zeydar yet. No one had ever directly said anything either. It was all assumption. The idea that Zeydar had confirmed it to others, bothered Evester and as he touched his wrist he felt his heart sinking to his gut. Why did it bother him?

“Everyone knows he is going. The moment he doesn’t have to stay out here, why would he? I have to make sure he doesn’t compromise us.” Shawn answered as if it were the only obvious thing to do.

“He’s planning on detoxing fully.” Zeydar had told him the night before, in a soft whisper, their voices cut off from the rest of those who slept. They had been on watch, and Zeydar had told him, in a less than confident manner that he was going to stop dreaming. That he had to. When they got to Uly. Evester had told him then that he would help and Zeydar had only nodded about it, inching further away from Evester. Space between them, that was clearly put there because any closer and there was a chance they’d forget they were on watch at all.

The lust was overwhelming, Evester had to admit that. However, his heart’s pain told him there was a chance there was more to it than just lust. And the idea of that frightened Evester more than he wanted to admit.

“And then what? He’ll have cravings. He’ll want to cave. The Superiors fed him it once. They would do it again.” Shawn went on.

“You don’t trust him.”

“I know better than to trust addicts.” The words sounded like a direct attack against Evester. A direct attack about the trust Evester put in Zeydar. The worst part was that Shawn was right in a way.

Evester said nothing in retaliation as Zeydar and Heia stepped into view. Heart racing, Evester sat up a bit straighter waiting for them to get into the car. Two doors open, and then closed, Heia collapsed on top of Shawn seeking heat. Zeydar blew on his hands and Evester asked, “Anything?”

“Nothing.” Zeydar answered. It was another way of saying that it was nothing important and from Heia’s expression, Evester knew it was more than that. Perhaps more bodies than the ones they had seen the day before. “The Aralax were checking out the house, because they were able to kill so many. There were a lot of bodies here. All Xs. Military and civilian.”

“And?” Evester asked Zeydar as Zeydar leaned back starring straight to the world before him. “How many more trails do we have left to follow and check?”

“None.” Zeydar answered and Evester’s heart sank. “Get us back. I know which trail is his.”

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pt 1
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