Whale Song - Page 23

I braced myself. “What?”

Her eyes sad, Diana bluntly asked me, “How would you have lived with yourself if you'd let all those people die . . . even if it had saved the world?”

“With difficulty,” I admitted tersely.

“Is that why you didn't you sacrifice me then?” she asked, watching my expression closely.

I looked away. “Don't kid yourself,” I whispered. “For all intents and purposes, that's exactly what I did. That little trick I performed with you was insanely dangerous, and I'd have never even have considered it if you hadn't effectively killed yourself first by drawing that thing's attention.”

“And if it had killed me, how . . .” Diana started to ask, but I stopped her.

“Stop asking questions you already know the answer to!” I snapped, my eyes pleading.

Diana nodded in understanding, then she seemed to make a decision. “I'm sorry I scared you when I screamed,” she said softly.

“You didn't scare me,” I lied.

“Liar,” she noted with a chuckle. “Well . . .” Diana took a deep breath. “With all that cleared up, I guess I only have one more question then.” I watched her brace herself. “Can I come home with you for a bit?”

I boggled at her.

“Oh, wipe that ridiculous look off your face, please!” she chided with laughter in her eyes. “I meant so I could borrow your bathroom.” She glanced down wryly at her mud and blood caked form. “In case you haven't noticed, I could use a shower too, and this would be a bit difficult to explain even to the folks at the Gathering. It's not like I'm offering you my body in exchange for your hot water.”

I was still reeling from that image when Diana's sister joined us, evidently only having heard the last part of our conversation. “I might be though!” she said brightly. “I still don't know what happened, but I definitely need a shower, and I'm willing to pay for it!”

Page 23

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