Author’s Note: The trouble with plans, even bad ones, is that they get used. That’s the point of them.
“Let me out here.”
“Terra’s awake again. That means we’re closer to Stone. That also means that if we get much closer, he’ll be able to sense me. I’m going to give him a reason to come see me, and that is your window. Go do what needs to be done.”
“This is a very bad idea,” Enya said, reaching for his arm. He looked down at her hand, and she pulled it off with a sigh. “Please. Be careful.”
He gave her a slight smile, opening the door and jumping down. He shut it behind him, and she moved to the window to watch him as he walked away. She didn’t like this. She knew she was still useless—she and Flint hadn’t gotten much of anywhere with training—and Terra might have been awake, but that didn’t make her capable of anything. Cress shouldn’t be on his own.
“I’d just get him killed if I went after him, wouldn’t I?”
“I’m going to have you and Terra stay with the car,” Moira said. “You two will back us up if anything goes wrong, and you know it probably will.”
“The useless ones are your backup? That is a bad plan, Moira.”
“Enya, you’re not useless. Even without control, you’re not. If things go real bad, and they might, you will be there to deal with it. I know that. I’m also hoping that the more we can help Stone, the better off Terra will be. We’ll see what happens, but I hope we don’t have to call on you.”
Enya grimaced. She let out a breath, feeling Flint’s hand on her shoulder. She looked over at him and he smiled at her. She wanted to be reassured, but she didn’t feel like anything could at the moment, not with Cress off on his own.
“He’s a strong, stubborn bastard, but if you’d kissed him, he’d have had a lot more of a reason to make sure that he came back.”
“Oh, gee, why didn’t I think of that?” She pushed his hand off her shoulder. She didn’t need to think about that, refused to go there. Cress was struggling, and she knew that, and she wasn’t about to complicate things the way Sherwin always did.
“Who says you didn’t? You just didn’t act on it.”
Flint shook his head. “I think one thing most of you have overlooked is the value of having something to come back to. Most of you shut yourselves off from what you want and what you care about to do what you do, and while that can help, it can hurt, too. Maggie and I always went into a fight with some plan of what we were going to do when we got out of it, something worth keeping ourselves alive for, and I stand by that. It helped. Come on, Oceana. Wasn’t it better after a fight to be able to go to your husband and have some time alone?”
“After she got her brother leveled out, you mean?”
“I didn’t ask you, Weatherly.”
“Enough. We are not going to start fighting among ourselves before heading in there. We’re nervous and worried, but we are not giving in to that. We will not let our own emotions work against us. We have to be careful, and we have to be quick. Stone needs us, but we have to balance that against the fact that Cress is out there alone. We can’t afford mistakes.”
“Other than the one we made letting him go off alone,” Weatherly muttered, and his sister gave him a dark look. He lowered his head. “Sorry. I’m… You know me. My mouth runs off when I get nervous.”
She nodded. “I know. All right. We’re almost there. Cress has started his distraction, if that rain is anything to judge by. We need to be ready. Terra, you can feel Stone now?”
“Barely. It’s like… I think he’s sedated.”
“I should be able to help flush it out of his system, if we get to him. The trouble is going to be in getting to him,” Occie said. She sighed. Enya looked at her, and the other woman closed her eyes. “Cress feels fine for now, but we don’t have a lot of time.”