Reboot

Author: P Hana

Page 63

   

“Sorry?” Tony asked.

“How hard are they to drive? What if we took a couple big ones, like the transport ones, and just flew out of there?”

“Uh . . . well, you could, I suppose,” Tony said. “They’re not hard to pilot. I could probably draw you guys a diagram and we could have a quick lesson. I imagine you’d crash on landing, but that’s not really a concern for Reboots.”

“Do they have a GPS tracking system?” Addie asked.

“Yeah. Not hard to remove, though. I could do it by the time y’all were ready to go.” His eyes darted around the room. “I’ll need help, though.”

The silence ticked by and Desmond crossed his arms over his chest with a frown. The rest of the humans seemed intent on avoiding my gaze, except for Gabe, who was lounging against the wall next to a blond guy who looked about our age.

“I’ll help,” Gabe said.

Tony scrunched his face up like he was going to object, but the blond boy interjected before he could. “Come on. You said we couldn’t go in the building. You never said anything about the garage.”

Desmond snorted. “You did say that.”

Tony rolled his eyes and gave the guys an amused look. “Fine. Gabe and Zeke, you’ll be with me.” He turned to Desmond. “Are you up for cutting the power? You could do it from several blocks away.”

“Yeah. I’ll do it.” He wasn’t thrilled about it, though.

“Okay.” Tony clapped his hands together. “Good. I’ve got a guy bringing us the schematic of the building, so we’ll go over that when he gets here. Do you two want to rest or anything? Food, maybe?”

My stomach jumped at the mere mention of food. “Food would be great if you have any.”

“Sure thing,” he said, pointing to the table. “Have a seat.”

Addie and I sat down at the kitchen table and most of the humans cleared out, going to sit in the living room or disappearing out the back door on errands. I kept a watch on Callum’s door, but no one went near it.

Tony put sandwiches in front of Addie and me. The bread was soft and fresh, the bean spread and vegetables inside delicious. He seemed pleased as I took giant bites, and I managed a thank-you in between chewing.

“You are very welcome. That one on the counter is for Callum if you want to bring it to him later.” He put a couple glasses of water on the table and headed for the humans in the living room. “Let me know if you need anything.”

“Weird,” Addie muttered, shooting me a confused look.

“Right?” Let him know if we needed anything? Bizarre. “You don’t think they’re up to something, do you?”

She shook her head. “No. My dad wouldn’t have led us into a trap.” She twisted around and frowned at the humans. “I think they actually want to help us.”

I turned and followed her gaze to where Tony and Desmond were standing, heads close together as they talked.

“I think they mostly want to help themselves,” I said quietly. “But I’ll take it.”

THIRTY-ONE

ADDIE DECIDED TO REST AFTER LUNCH, SO TONY LET HER HAVE his room and suggested I take a nap as well. I declined. There was no way I would be able to sleep, not with Callum tied up in the other room and my stomach in knots.

Instead I headed down the hallway with Callum’s sandwich and peeked inside the guest room. He was on his side, his eyes fixed on the wall in front of him. His arms and legs were still bound.

“Is that uncomfortable?” I asked, crossing the room and putting the plate on the nightstand. “I can untie you while you eat if you want.”

He didn’t respond, so I knelt down next to the bed and ran my fingers into his hair. “Callum.”

He didn’t move an inch. His eyes were empty, and when I waved my hand in front of his face he didn’t even blink.

What if it was already too late? What if we’d already missed the window?

My heart was beating too loudly now. It was pounding in my ears, the only sound in the quiet room.

“Callum.” My voice was desperate as I shook his shoulder. The bed creaked under his weight as I shifted him.

Nothing.

That stare that saw nothing was too awful. I shook him harder, repeating his name as the ache in my chest grew. Tears were on my cheeks before I realized I was going to cry, and I pressed my hand to my mouth to stifle a sob. It came anyway, echoing through the bedroom, followed quickly by another. I’d thought of crying as a release, but the tears were almost painful. I wanted to stuff them back inside. My body refused to listen.

I let go of his shoulder and sank down on the floor. Maybe I should have run to get Tony or Addie and ask them if he was okay, but I was too scared. I didn’t want them to give me that sympathetic look again.

“Wren?”

My head popped up at the sound of Callum’s voice. He blinked at me, his brow lowered as he twisted his hands against the ropes.

“What’s wrong?”

I leaped onto the bed and untied his hands in seconds, pressing my head into his neck as he wrapped his arms around me. He nuzzled his cheek against my skin, his warm breath tickling my neck.

“I’m sorry,” I said, taking a deep breath.

“You don’t have to apologize for crying.”

“No, for all of this. For letting you attack that human and for breaking you out at a really terrible time. I should have checked first. I knew they were doing this to Under-sixties and I didn’t even think to check.”

“Yes,” he said, his voice tinged with amusement, “next time you risk your life saving me, could you please do proper planning beforehand? This is just unacceptable.”

I laughed, hugging him tightly with one arm.

“You don’t need to apologize,” he said, his lips brushing against my ear. “If anything I should thank you.”

“Please don’t. It will make me feel terrible.”

He chuckled, running his fingers under my chin until I turned my face up to him. He kissed me, which felt sort of like a thank-you, but it was one I didn’t mind. When he pulled away he gave me a sad little smile.

“Just don’t leave me like this, okay?”

I sniffled, lowering my eyes so I didn’t have to look at him.

“I don’t want them to make me into this . . .” He looked down at himself. “This crazy thing.” He planted a soft kiss on my cheek. “It’s like they won, you know?”

It was exactly like they’d won.

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