We left the hospital behind up, Eliza silently crying next to me. I could still hear Artemis shouting as we rounded the first corner, and I sped up my pace. I knew Eliza would want to turn back, worrying about her brother. As we got far enough away that I deemed safe, I pulled her into a small alleyway.
‘Eliza?’ I said, worried. She refused to meet my eyes, so I put my hand under her chin to make her look up. ‘Eliza, talk to me.’
She sighed. ‘Did we do the right thing?
I kiss her gently, my lips lingering on hers as I say ‘What else could we have done?’
‘I don’t mean this.’ She slid her hands round my waist. ‘I mean leaving him there.’
I pull her close, resting my head on hers. ‘It’s too late now. Besides, I somehow doubt he would have come with us.’
I feel it as she laughs, then moves to look at me. ‘Thank you.
‘For what?’ She smiles. ‘I don’t know. For everything. For taking me with you. For loving me back.’
I stroke her cheek lightly. ‘I’ll always love you. I won’t ever leave you behind. I promise.’
She reaches up and kisses me, then blushes. I laugh, but it fades as we hear Cars down the street. Eliza takes my hand.
‘Come on. I know all the back streets around here.’
I let her lead me out, on guard.