Chloe led me through the room to a door on the far side. She opened it and pulled me in. The room was dark and filled with the pungent scent of antiseptics and medicinal herbs.
Chloe struck a match and lit a candle. Yellow light flickered off hundreds of carefully labeled amber bottles and jars arranged along a series of mismatched shelves and drawers that ran from floor to ceiling. She crept to the far side of the room, took another key, opened a small black cabinet and carefully removed a small, black bottle. It had a skull and crossbones emblazoned across a white label.
“What's that for?” I asked, suspicious.
“Heartbreak,” she sighed. “Just in case.”
“Just in case what?”
“If Mayor Marlow and the Council doesn’t Bind me and Ethan…”
“Chloe, no! You wouldn’t do that.”
“I hope I don’t have to. Ethan and I made a pact.”
A few minutes later, we were back outside in the sunlight.
“Ethan agreed to this?” I asked, incredulous.
“Well, not yet, but he will.”
“You know this is crazy, right?”
Chloe nodded. “Hopefully, it won’t be necessary. But if it is, I don’t see there’d be any other choice.”
“Of course, there are other choices!”
“Like what? Leaving?” she said, eyes fixed on me with anger. Chloe shook her head. “I figured if anyone would understand, it would be you.”
“I hate this island,” I said with sudden vehemence that caught me off guard. “Now you’re going to abandon me.”
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