“I’ll make sure it stays that way. If that’s what you want,” I add quickly. In truth, I have no idea what Cal wants now. Beyond vengeance. The one thing we still have in common.
He quirks an eyebrow at me, almost amused. “Oh, is the lightning girl in charge now?” He doesn’t give me a chance to respond to the jibe, closing the distance between us in a single long step. “I get the feeling you’re just as cornered as me.” His eyes narrow. “Only you don’t seem to know it.”
I flush, feeling angry—and embarrassed. “Cornered? I’m not the one hiding in a closet.”
“No, you’re too busy being put on parade.” He leans forward, and the familiar heat between us returns. “Again.”
Part of me wants to slap him. “My brother would never—”
“I thought my brother would never, and look where that got us!” he thunders, throwing his arms wide. The tips of his fingers touch either wall, scraping up against the prison he’s found himself in. The prison I put him in. And he’s caged me in with him, whether he knows it or not.
Blazing heat flares from his body, and I have to step back a little. He doesn’t miss the action and deflates, letting his eyes and arms drop. “Sorry,” he bites out, brushing a lock of black hair off his forehead.
“Never apologize to me. I don’t deserve it.”
He glances at me sidelong, his eyes dark and wide, but he doesn’t argue.
Heaving a breath, I lean back against the far wall. The space between us gapes like open jaws. “What do you know about a place called Tuck?”
Grateful for the change in conversation, he pulls himself together, retreating into a prince’s persona. Even without a crown, he seems regal, with perfect posture and his hands folded behind his back. “Tuck?” he repeats, thinking hard. A crease forms between his thick, dark brows. The longer it takes him to speak, the better I feel. If he doesn’t know about the island, then few else will. “Is that where we’re going?”
“It is.” I think. A cold thought ripples through me, remembering Julian’s lessons hard learned in the court and the arena. Anyone can betray anyone. “According to Shade.”
Cal lets my uncertainty hang in the air, kind enough not to prod at it. “I think it’s an island,” he finally says. “One of several off the coast. It’s not Nortan territory. Nothing to warrant a settlement or base, not even for defense. It’s just open ocean out there.”
A bit of the weight on my shoulders lifts. We’ll be safe for now. “Good, good.”
“Your brother, he’s like you.” It’s not a question. “Different.”
“He is.” What else is there to say?