The Darkest Minds (A Darkest Minds Novel) by Alexandra Bracken

The Darkest Minds (A Darkest Minds Novel) by Alexandra Bracken

Author:Alexandra Bracken
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Publisher: Disney
Published: 2012-12-18T06:00:00+00:00


SIXTEEN

IT WAS AN HOUR, MAYBE MORE, before liam’s breathing evened out and he began to snore. He slept flat on his back, his hands resting against the soft flannel of his shirt. His face, which earlier had seemed marked by old, bruising shadows, looked young again. He might have been able to pass as a twenty-year-old with his facial scruff and solid build, but he didn’t fool anyone while tucked away in sleep.

His face was turned toward Zu, who slept between us under a mountain of blankets and was currently the only thing that was keeping me from inching closer to him; from slipping my hand under his bigger one and learning the contents of his dreams.

But the distance between us was there for a reason. Imagining a future in which I didn’t exist, in which I had unwittingly erased myself from his memories, kept my hands pinned under my legs and my mind, for once, in check.

When I heard Greg and his pals stir in their tents next to ours, I finally gave up all pretense of sleep. Their voices began as a low murmur indistinguishable from one another, and grew louder as the minutes ticked by. Finally, they turned their lantern on to the lowest setting, just enough to be visible through our own green tent’s shell.

I slipped out the other side of the tent, careful to keep my footsteps soft against the concrete. Their whispers grew in volume and urgency the closer I came.

“—them,” Greg mumbled. “We don’t owe them anything.”

My hands clenched at my side, all of the anxiety and distrust that had been swelling up inside of me over the past few hours coming to a head. For a single second, I wished that I had brought my backpack inside the store with me. The panic button was there, waiting to be used if the situation blew up fast and ugly. Stupid Ruby, I thought. Stupid.

I wasn’t worried about taking care of Greg and his friends. Even with their guns, we still had a chance. But if they tried to pull something while we were asleep, or if they called in reinforcements—

My feet stopped mid-stride.

Chubs had beaten me to guard duty.

He sat facing the tents, his long, spidery legs crossed in front of him, and Zu’s workbook in his lap. He was leaning toward the others’ tents, concentrating so hard on picking up their conversation that he missed my approach and nearly jumped out of his skin when I appeared.

“Zu?” He squinted in my direction.

“Zu?” I whispered back. “Really?” I mean, really?

I took Zu’s workbook and pencil out of his hands and flipped the page without looking at whatever he had been writing.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING? I wrote, showing it to him. He rolled his eyes and refused to respond when I tried to put the pencil back in his hand.

DO YOU THINK THEY’RE GOING TO TRY SOMETHING?

After a moment, he sighed and finally nodded.

ME TOO, I scribbled. COME WITH ME?

By the way his shoulders slumped, Chubs seemed to think he didn’t have much of a choice.



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