“I’ll come back for it in a few days,” said Kim. “Don’t stay too long. I won’t tell Jackson that I saw you, but remember, I can only keep him busy a day, two at the most.”
“Why aren’t you going to tell Jackson about me?” It didn’t make sense, considering Kim’s fondness for the Guard.
Kim paled. “I shouldn’t say anything, but…I don’t think it’s right what we do to your kind. Don’t go home. It isn’t safe.”
“Why?” She held her breath, waiting for the answer.
Kim wouldn’t meet her eyes. “I can’t say any more. I’m not allowed, but don’t go back. No matter what.” She turned and started to walk away.
She grabbed Kim’s arm. “Wait. Please, tell me.”
Kim shook her head, tears in her eyes. “I can’t. I’m sorry.” She pulled free and headed for the path to her home.
She stood alone in the dark. What did the Almightys do to them? Gaar had said that he wouldn’t take her to the Producer’s final destination, but maybe, she could persuade him to tell her what happened to them. She darted into the woods in the opposite direction from where she normally stayed. She’d eat and then when she was sure that Kim was really gone, she’d go back to where Gaar had told her to stay and wait. Once out of sight she scurried up a tree and dug into the bag from Jethro. Besides for the food, there was a pencil and a pad of paper. Inside the notebook was one picture.
She ran her finger along the image. The young girl had large eyes that tipped upward at the corner. Her hair hung loose, blowing in the wind and she was smiling, not afraid to show her teeth. This girl was lovely and wild. This was how Jethro saw her.
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