Author’s Note: So they’re still asking questions, still sorting it all out. Not all of the questions are easy, nor are the answers or the feelings they bring up.
“I’m not so sure his sister is the one he needs to rebuild,” Flint said, and Moira shoved him, not wanting to get into any kind of discussion like that. They didn’t pry into each other’s lives, not unless they were stupid like Sherwin. Moira wasn’t that stupid, not even with her relation to him.
“We need to get going.”
“I never made it to the safe-deposit box,” Cress said, fidgeting in Enya’s hold. “I think we’d better do that before we get too much further. I don’t know what all is in there, but we might end up needing it. Or it might have more of our answers.”
“You never looked at all of it?”
He shook his head, this time forcing himself away from Enya as he started to pace. “They told me that my instructions were there. You think I wanted to torment myself by reading what they expected me to do? It was bad enough what they told me to do, but to have to read it in black and white, all of that horror in undeniable print? I didn’t want that. I didn’t want that memory that I couldn’t get out of my head. I had enough of them already.”
“Cress, it wasn’t an accusation. Moira’s just trying to understand,” Enya said, reaching to touch him and drawing back at the last moment. “We all are. What we’ve learned about our parents—your parents—it’s hard to take. We don’t want to know, not any more than you did, and so then we come up against the idea of you knowing and not telling us—”
“They were dead. I wanted that to die with them. I know it was wrong, but it was bad enough contemplating what was before us without—the mind can only handle so much, you know? I’ll admit it. I was a coward. I didn’t think I could survive the emotional backlash of you all finding out. Even now, it’s not easy. I’m better at coping with that kind of thing, but back then… I was weak, I knew it, and I made a selfish decision to save myself. I made a lot of selfish decisions.”
Enya took hold of his arm. “Not all of them were selfish. You know that.”
He grimaced, and she pulled him back into her embrace, holding tight to him as the others stood around, uncertain how to react. Occie was the one who always did this for him, but she was standing back with a frown. Sherwin stared like he couldn’t believe it. Terra had found her hair fascinating all of a sudden. Flint just shrugged.
Moira gave them another minute before she cleared her throat. “I don’t know how I feel about not knowing, to be honest. A part of me is pissed, and another part of me figures you were probably right, given how badly you’re struggling with the backlash now. You had a judgment call to make, and you know what? For as many mistakes as you might have made, there were plenty of times where you made the right call or the hard call or the only call you could. That isn’t easy, and until someone else stands up here to do what you did for twelve years, they’ve got no right to criticize. You made this look easy, damn you, and it’s anything but.”
Cress almost smiled. “Anything to lure you into a false sense of security so that you’d take over.”
“Yeah, right.” Moira opened the door with the wind, letting it go around to the others as well, knocking Sherwin out of his stupor. “In the car. We need to move. Again.”