Zeke didn’t reply for a while. He stood and placed the box back in his shoe. Sitting on the edge of the bed, he looked thoughtful, as if he was deep in his memories.
“When I was being considered for the Circle, Conrad was too. We’d been initiated at the same time too, so he considered me his greatest opponent. I beat him in the beginning trials, and then again in the Circle trials. Easily. And Maverick told him so. He began to hate me then.”
“Why’s he here now?”
He sighed. “Because he swore that he’d get me for it. By taking Caelan from me.”
“He’s here to kill Caelan.”
Beth wasn’t sure what to say, her joy gone now.
“But…” she started.
“And this is why we’re going to Glasgow.”
After speaking with her, Zeke had gone to bed, pulling Caelan into his arms and kissing the top of his head. Beth had stayed awake for a little while longer before sighing and going back to lie down, falling asleep a little while later.
She slept long into the late morning. Caelan was still asleep when she woke.
“Has he not moved since we woke up last night?” Beth asked, rubbing an eye as she sat up.
“Not that I’m aware of,” Zeke replied from the end of the bed. He was looking down at his phone.
“What are you up to?” she asked him.
“I got a text this morning. From Nalael. Asking me to meet him in London in two days.”
“On Sunday? Are you going?”
“No. I’ll see him on Friday. I don’t need to see him before that.”
He tensed. “No reason.”
‘Next Friday is his twenty-ninth birthday... He will have to make a choice that will affect everyone around him’, that woman had said. But she didn’t want to alert Zeke to the fact that she knew about that, so she didn’t question him.
“Alright. I need to get dressed,” she said, stretching and swinging her legs over the side of the bed, pulling a fresh set of clothes out of her bag and heading into the bathroom.
Zeke had taken her space on the bed by the time she’d come back, dressed in fresh clothes now himself.
“What time are we setting off?” she asked him.
“Not till this evening, or late afternoon. I’d much rather travel in the dark. Conrad knows I don’t like the night.”
More evasive tactics, she knew.
“Oh, okay. Can I ask one more thing?”
“You would anyway,” he grinned.
“Why are we driving and not… disappearing?” she asked, as it had been on her mind for a little while.
“Because driving leaves very little trace. When you dematerialise, it leaves a trail. Easy to follow if you have the resources, or the ability. Or even the right slaves – which I know Conrad has.”
Beth didn’t know what to say. She sat down slowly.