Author’s Note: One can always count on Sherwin to take a tense moment and make it a bit… amusing.
Enya had to wonder if the only thing the team did was run, but it wasn’t a question she was going to voice, not when things were this tense. She didn’t know how long she could stay with them, or how she would dare go again. The first time had been hard enough, and if she was honest, she didn’t want to do it now. She had missed being so tangled up with them, had missed the friendship and the sense of family, but she didn’t know that she could justify staying for those things alone.
She was still a liability. She knew that.
She pulled her knees up to her chest. Cress wasn’t asleep this time, but she wasn’t sure that it made much difference. He was just as quiet, and she figured that was her fault. Maybe if she hadn’t overreacted when he tried to talk to her about the fire…
No. She didn’t need to pawn that off on her brother. She wouldn’t.
“Any thoughts on where to go next?” Moira asked, her eyes darting to the rear view mirror as she did. Her hands still gripped the wheel like she expected a rogue to come after them, but then she’d been there when a couple of rogues with more talent for air sent her parents’ car right off the road.
They didn’t make jokes about flying after that.
“We still need time to recuperate,” Oceana said, looking at her brother. He pretended not to notice. Enya rolled her eyes. No one was fooled by that act, and he had to know it. “At least one of us does.”
“More than one of us. All of us,” Enya said, and for once, no one argued with her. She doubted that Sherwin could hear, not with the way he kept pulling at his ear. Terra wouldn’t look at her, ashamed of all her earlier revelations. Moira didn’t argue unless she had to, and Cress didn’t argue unless he was pushed too far. “Is there anywhere you know of that they don’t know to look for? Do these people have something that… tracks you?”
“We think they’ve been monitoring unusual weather phenomena, possibly tracking strange plate tectonics, anything that gives away what we can do to the elements. We’re not sure. They haven’t shown up for every little thing, and Cress seems to have some kind of immunity when he makes it rain. They’ve never shown up after that.”
“That’s because to our knowledge, no one else can do that. We can manipulate any kind of water that’s already in existence, but conjuring it? No, not us.”
Cress glared at his sister. “Don’t say ‘conjured.’ I hate that word. I hate comparing us to magicians because it’s not magic. I am only manipulating the water in the atmosphere. You know that. Just because you haven’t managed to get it down doesn’t mean it’s impossible or that you couldn’t work at doing more. I’ve never pushed you to since I figure that… a part of my problem has always been that I was too curious in the beginning. I couldn’t stop pushing the boundaries, trying each new thing that I could, and now look at me. I spend most of my time unconscious, recovering from a ridiculous display of my abilities. When did I become that pretentious? I didn’t think I was that much of a show off.”
Enya shrugged. “I always figured your problem was boundaries. You’ve never been good at them.”
“It’s not my fault you stole all the good places to be alone in the old neighborhood. Every time I thought I found one that you wouldn’t be in, there you were.”
“Trying to avoid you.”
He smiled. “Well, perhaps if we’d only said something, we both could have had what we wanted.”
Moira cleared her throat. “I need to know where I should go. I suppose we could try the mountains this time, since we just did the desert…”
“I want a beach.”
“Shut up, Sherwin. You are not getting any of us in a bikini.”
He turned around. “Don’t tell me you don’t want to see your namesake, Oceana. We need pictures.”
“Would you also like to drown?”
“Fine, no beaches.”