Author’s Note: Oh, those complicated team dynamics. Too many frayed nerves, a bit of overreaction… It’s a mess.
“Here,” Oceana said, tossing her brother a shirt. Cress caught it and shook his head, causing most of them to laugh. Enya frowned, having forgotten their sense of humor. Sure, it was warped, and they’d gotten worse while she was away, but they’d been like this before. She shouldn’t be surprised.
“’Save water, drink beer,’” Cress read, rolling his eyes. “Very funny, Occie.”
She grinned. “I knew you’d like it. Come on, put it on. It should fit, and it is preshrunk cotton.”
He grimaced, walking to the back of the room. She watched him, frowning, wondering when he had gotten so self-conscious. He’d never been that shy around them. They didn’t have much in the way of personal space most of the time, and they’d all grown up together. They couldn’t be squeamish.
“Where’s the food?”
“Someone’s hungry,” Sherwin said, taking out the plastic container with the first sandwich in it. He set it in front of Terra, and she grabbed it, going over to the corner. Moira took the next one, settling herself on the floor by the door.
“When you have a chance, one of you needs to check our perimeter.”
“Cress, no military terms. We’ve been over this. We’re not half that organized.” Sherwin picked up his sandwich and gave it a wide grin before turning to Enya. “Someone might be showing off for you. I’m going to have to step up my game.”
She rolled her eyes. “You had your chance and blew it more than fifteen years ago. I’m not thirteen, and your lines are more than a little stale.”
“Regardless of how I phrased it, I need someone looking for any signs that we’ve been found. There isn’t enough water here for Occie or me to track anything—not that I can—and so one of you is going to have to do it,” Cress said, reaching into the bag and removing the last sandwich. “Someone thinks this is funny, then?”
“No, we got enough for everyone. I swear.”
Enya shook her head. “I’m not hungry.”
He shoved the sandwich at her. “Eat it.”
“Don’t argue. I might have to flood the room, and then no one will get to eat.”
She sighed, opening the box and taking out the sandwich. He watched her until she took a bite. Oceana shook her head, turning to Terra. “Where the hell is it?”
“You got rid of Enya’s sandwich, didn’t you? I am done. Even if I felt sorry for you because of Stone, any sympathy I might have had is completely gone now. This childish stuff stops, now, or I will remind you of just how dangerous water can be.”
“I didn’t do anything to the sandwich. I didn’t even go with Moira and Sherwin to get them. I didn’t see any sandwiches until Sherwin took the first one out.” Terra shook her head. “I may be angry and messed up—I am—but I’m not that petty or that childish. I didn’t take her sandwich, damn it.”
“I know we bought enough sandwiches for everyone,” Moira said. “I had to grab one because Sherwin couldn’t decide what Enya would want. We know everyone else’s tastes, but not hers. It was on the top, so… It must be in the car.”
“I’ll go. I should have known something was wrong when mine was on top,” Sherwin said. “We grabbed hers last. It should have been right on top for you. Sorry.”
“Stop and get a read while you’re out there,” Moira told him. “Cress is right. We need to know if they saw us at the store or someone noticed us coming back. We can’t afford to be anything less than vigilant. That bastard is going to hunt us until he takes us all, and I refuse to let that happen.”
“We all do.”