Twenty-two – 05

[This post is from Kira’s point of view.]

Kira took one breath, then another, staring down at the sudsy water for a few seconds as she tried to collect her thoughts. When the fever had him. That, too, had been forever ago—or felt like it. She only thought about it rarely now, in snatches and fragments, barely remembered bits and pieces that bubbled up from somewhere buried deep inside.

It had come on more suddenly than she’d expected, though in hindsight its appearance shouldn’t have surprised her, though the length and duration likely should have and did at the time. Even now the severity of it surprised her when she thought back on it, leaving her feeling a little hollow inside, as if there was nothing in the cave of her ribs but her heart. She’d thought it mostly the product of poison and overexertion—which was exactly what Phelan had made it sound like, too. Teague had never offered a different explanation for it.

Now, it seemed that perhaps there was more to it, more than she’d ever realized or suspected.

That time had been the most terrifying of her life. She couldn’t imagine anything else that could make her feel heart-rending, bone deep fear and pain like that. Every moment had gotten worse until the moment he’d finally seemed to recover, after the world had come crashing down around them with meteorfall.

Weeks before that day, Phelan had told her to load Teague in her car and drive. She hadn’t been certain he’d survive the trip, but Phelan had been so insistent, so certain. She couldn’t say no, didn’t say no.

The drive had seemed to go on forever, with Teague drifting in and out of consciousness the whole way from Chicago up through forests and hills, across bridges over lakes and rivers. Somehow, she’d known where to stop.

She looked up from the water and watched him. “Did it make it worse?”

“I don’t know,” he whispered. “It might have.”

“You never told me.”

“I know. I’m sorry.”

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