My brother glares up through the boughs of the trees, watching and waiting for the jets to fly out of range.
“Where are we going?” I ask him, breathless.
Kilorn answers instead. “The river,” he says. “And then the ocean. Can you take us?” He glances at Shade’s hands, as if he could see his ability plain in his flesh. But Shade’s strength is buried like mine, invisible until he chooses to reveal it.
My brother shakes his head. “Not in one jump, it’s too far. And I’d rather run, save my strength.” His eyes darken. “Until we really need it.”
I nod, agreeing. I know firsthand what it is to be ability-worn, tired in your bones, barely able to move, let alone fight.
“Where are they taking Cal?”
My question makes Kilorn wince.
“Hell if I care.”
“You should,” I fire back, even as my voice shakes with hesitation. No, he shouldn’t. Neither should you. If the prince is gone, you must let him go. “He can help us get out of this. He can fight with us.”
“He’ll escape or kill us the second we give him the chance,” he snaps, tearing away his scarf to show the angry scowl beneath.
In my head, I see Cal’s fire. It burns everything in its path, from metal to flesh. “He could’ve killed you already,” I say. It’s not an exaggeration, and Kilorn knows it.
“Somehow I thought you two would outgrow your bickering,” Shade says, stepping between us. “How silly of me.”
Kilorn forces out an apology through gritted teeth, but I do no such thing. My focus is on the jets, letting their electric hearts beat against mine. They weaken with each second, getting farther and farther away. “They’re flying away from us. If we’re going to go, we need to do it now.”
Both my brother and Kilorn look at me strangely, but neither argue. “This way,” Shade says, pointing through the trees. A small, almost invisible path winds through them, where the dirt has been swept away to reveal stone and asphalt beneath. Again, Shade links his arm through mine, and Kilorn charges ahead, setting a swift pace for us to follow.
Branches scrape against us, bending over the narrowing path, until it’s impossible for us to run side by side. But instead of letting me go, Shade squeezes even tighter. And then I realize he’s not squeezing me at all. It’s the air, the world. Everything and anything tightens in a blistering, black second. And then, in a blink, we’re on the other side of the trees, looking back to see Kilorn emerge from the gray grove.
“But he was ahead,” I murmur aloud, looking back and forth between Shade and the pathway. We cross into the middle of the street, with the sky and smoke drifting overhead. “You—”
Shade grins. The action seems out of place against the distant scream of jets. “Let’s say I . . . jumped. As long as you’re holding on to me, you’ll be able to come along,” he says, before hurrying us into the next alley.
My heart races with the knowledge that I just teleported, to the point where it’s almost possible to forget our predicament.