Traeton’s focus is solely on the walk ahead—he hasn’t spoken a word. Not one.
An interrogation would be better than this.
Tunnel sconces light up every ten meters or so as he takes me to wherever this Oasis thing is. The shadows show how rocky the cavern walls are, drawing my eyes to the dark holes leading off in new directions. I can’t believe the size of this place.
“How big are these tunnels?” I finally break the silence and crane around to view Traeton’s stoic face.
He keeps his eyes straight ahead. “Fairly big, I guess.”
“This place is amazing. If I’d known about this . . . ”
“If you had known?” Curiosity plays at Traeton’s tone, and for the first time in what feels like forever, he looks at me.
I bite the inside of my cheek. “Things are less than perfect for me inside the Helix.”
“Ah. So, is that why you left?”
How can I explain everything that pushed me to leave? Would he even understand?
“I’ve always been different. I’m the only one I know who likes being outside.” I steal a glance at his face, watching his eyes for any sign of disapproval. When he offers none, I add, “Well, until meeting all of you.”
“I can’t imagine not being outside,” Traeton offers. “It’s my second home, really.”
A grin creeps across my face and I pull myself a little closer to him. He likes being outside as much as I do? Maybe more?
The minutes tick by like hours as he continues walking in silence.
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