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“How sure are you that no one knows about this place?” I asked May for what had to be about the hundredth time as I peeked through the blinds of the little apartment she’d led me to.

She’d reassured me just as many times as I asked, but I hadn’t survived this long, both in theGardenand out of it, by not being keenly aware of my surroundings, and supremely paranoid.

Especiallywhen it came to places that supposedly “nobody” knew about.

“Tamra, you have to relax. We’re good here,” May insisted. “This place belongs to friends of my grandparents, and they’re somewhere in Key West right now.”

I turned to give her a side eye. “So your grandparents know about it then.”

May rolled her eyes. “Know about it, yes. Have any idea that I would come here and steal the key from under the mat and break-in because someone tried to blow up my house? No.”


Maybe she had a point.

But still.

There was no such thing as being too careful.

If I were back in theGarden, I would at least have resources I could turn to, that could help me out of here. And if it were just me… well, I’d be long gone.

But the fact was, I had an innocent civilian and a sick small child to be concerned about. Two people I reallyshouldn’tbe concerned with, because they weren’t actually my problem.

Or at least they didn’tused to bemy problem.

I knew better than to fall into the trap of caring about somebody, but damn.

After spending months living essentially in May’s backyard, of course I’d grown fond of her and her daughter.

Which was exactly why personal relationships were so strongly discouraged for us.

Anybody you cared about was a liability that could be used against you, or even a hindrance to escape. Unless they had the same mindset as you, the same training as you, all they could do was slow you down.

Common sense was telling me,screamingat me to just move on.

On the drive up, May had explained the mess she got herself into, sleeping with a married man.

And honestly?

If it was justher?

I probablywouldleave, with the logic that when you dealt in shadiness, you got what you got. Play messy ass games, win messy ass prizes.

But there was a little girl involved here.

Just akid.

A kid and her clueless mother, who somebody had it out for.

I wasn’t hardened enough to turn away from that.

“You know, you still haven’t really explained who you are… how you know about all this…” May spoke up, pulling my attention away from the window to where she was standing, arms crossed.

Amelia was in the guest room, resting from the trip, but her fever still hadn’t broken – a whole other obstacle. I wasn’t willing to let her go without necessary medical care, but it was a risky situation.

This whole thing was.

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