darkest nightMature

Amanda glances back and forth between the map and the sign once more, then squeals in delight. "This train will take us seventeen miles from the safe house!"

"That's good news?" Ash asks, unimpressed.

Dove turns, raising her eyebrows. "It's a lot better than sixty-three, if you'd prefer that."

I shake my head quickly, and notice Ash doing the same. Dove walks over to the booth in the corner and buys three tickets. She hands them to us and we pass through the security. Dove perches herself on a bench and stares down in the direction of the tracks. She glances at her watch.

"Why are you so worried about the time?" I ask.

Her green eyes flick to mine quickly. "I have a week, Jett. Then I die."

She frowns and taps her foot. "Did you not hear Cade? He gave me a week to find a Winged One and bring it back. I really need to speak with my sister, so I'm hoping we'll find one in between Virginia and here. Otherwise, I die. Painfully."
"Why do you need to speak to your sister so bad?" I ask at the same time Ash asks, "Painfully?"

A laugh escapes Dove's throat and I blink, having hearing her laugh for the first time. It's tinkly and melodic, and an overall pretty sound. She looks at me. "I haven't seen her in four years. She's the only family I have. And there are some... issues." She turns to Ash. "And yes, painfully. Like, I'll curl up in a ball and scream from the pain. And then die."

"Issues?" I ask, and Ash simply says, "Oh."

Dove giggles again and puts a hand to her mouth. I turn to look at Ash and see he has that same goofy smile as me. "Cut it out, man."

"Issues as in I don't want to talk about it. And oh to you too, Ash."

A massive breeze blows through the station as the train whooshes in and slides to a stop in front of us. The doors slide open and we step inside. We all take our seats together, Dove sitting in between us. She stares outside with... what is that? Regret? Sadness? I turn to look and see the sun setting at the edge of the hills, the last golden rays peeking over the treetops. The sun disappears from view as the train heads underground. "You miss daylight?" I ask Dove.

She snaps her head back to me. "No, not at all. I have always liked nighttime better, especially since its when I'm always... working."

The End

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