I glanced at Kaia's receding back, then at Xavier, and smirked. "Ouch."
"She said to go eat."
"And not to go back to the Government, but you can't expect me to follow that order," I said, rolling my eyes.
"This is serious!" he snapped. "You can't go back! You belong here! You're one of the Elementals! If you go back, you're banished!"
"You'd rather die?" I asked, deadly quiet.
He stared at me. "What?"
"This is the most peaceful way to end this battle, Xavier. We need to follow through." I stood up. "Well, good talking to you. I'm going to eat."
"Kaia. Elias," I hissed in their ears. "I need to talk to you."
They glanced at me. "Why?" Elias asked.
"After dinner. Arena."
I sat down at an empty table and quickly finished eating, after which I walked to the arena.
I unloaded my daggers fifteen times. Getting faster, I thought smugly. No Alphas.
I emptied my belt five more times.
Two wolves approached from the direction of the Haven equivalent of a cafeteria.
When they neared me, they changed back into Elias and Kaia.
"What?" Kaia asked, mildly irritated.
"I know you don't trust me," I said, playing with a dagger, "that I'm still on probation after coming from your enemy. But I need to go back."
"Why?" This time it was Elias who responded.
"My former followers are being drugged into submission. They were- and still are- like my family. I can't leave them."
"So? You know everything about the Haven by now. How do we know you won't squeal?"
"I'm not a pig."
"I asked you a question," he snarled, holding a knife to my throat.
"Let go of me," I said.
I hoped he would choke on something later.
Suddenly, his hand dropped, narrowly avoiding skewering my chest. His hands went up to his throat.
Kaia stared at me. "What are you doing?" she demanded.
I quickly hoped that he would stop choking. Elias lowered his hands, glaring at me. I shrugged. "I don't like having knives held to my throat. Excuse me for using my element to protect myself."
"Answer the question," Kaia said, helping Elias stand."
"I know every single detail of the Government like its burned into my eyelids. Have I said anything? I don't believe I have."
"This proves nothing."
"For Romolus and Remus!" I exclaimed, remembering my wall decorations. "You've seen the inside of my room- why do you think I have all that?"
"I don't know- your loyalties lie with the Haven. Maybe to tell us what the Government is planning to do?"
I rolled my eyes and began walking out of the arena. "I'm going to go back," I said over my shoulder. "You can't stop me."
"No," she muttered. "Don't believe I can."
"But I can stop you from coming back."
I erased my whiteboards, emptied my bulletin boards, and packed the bulletin board contents and maps and blueprints into a medium-sized duffel.
I heard a knock on the door and Xavier came in. "Kaia says you're going back."
"I am," I agreed. "Deal with it."
"Why?" he shouted. "If you know what goes on there, why are you going?!"
"Too bad. I'm going. Staying at the Burnt House for a while, if you need to see me." I hefted the duffel. "See ya." You're not going to see him for a while, a voice said. 'See ya' isn't a goodbye.
Shut up, I thought.
At least give him a sincere hug.
For Romes's sake. I dropped the duffel.
Xavier gave me an curious look. "What are you-"
I cut him off with a fierce hug. "I'll miss you, Xavier."
He awkwardly patted my back and tried to dislocate. "I... I'll miss you too, Azalia."
The last time I would ever see Liz would be that day.
I was hiking up the hill when she lunged at me, knife in hand. "Where are you going?"
I shrugged her off. "Go away."
She imprisoned me in a cage made of water. "Where are you going."
"Home," I snapped, waving a hand through the bars of the cage. "Let it go." I stepped out of the cage and continued walking.
She wouldn't let me. I pulled out a knife and carelessly threw it in her direction. It hit skin, and she let out an anguished moan. I turned.
It had burrowed in her chest, in about the location of her heart.
I had killed my sister. For the second time.
I stared in horror at her, then was certain of what I had to do.
I ran faster than I knew I could.