“Five or six,” I said, and Dee visibly paled.
“There are families I know who will be more than happy to take the young ones in. Even the older ones. I can name several off the top of my head right now,” Viv said, sniffling. “And if there are any that are sick, I can house them at the med building.”
Jamie was nodding. “We have to do something. They are just kids.”
“Agreed,” Quinn said.
Cekiah sat back. “We will help. We will do everything we can to help them.”39Only a short time later, we were standing in the living room. I’d changed into leggings and a long-sleeved black shirt that belonged to Luc, thinking less restrictive and lightweight clothing would be a better choice.
There was going to be a lot of running in our near future.
“Is everyone about ready?” Eaton asked. He was going to wait for us at the warehouse, the closest point to the city. Cekiah, along with Zouhour and Viv, were getting the library and med building ready. Jamie and Quinn were handling notifying the community, both confident that by the time we returned, they’d already have homes for most of if not all the kids.
God, I hoped so.
But I mostly hoped that whoever stepped forward to take them in was patient. These kids had been through a lot, many even before the invasion. This wasn’t going to be a Disney movie come to life.
“Yep.” Daemon finished lacing up his boots. I hadn’t expected him to volunteer, but he’d insisted on it. So had Kat.
Luc nodded. “Been ready. Just had to wait for Daemon to figure out how to tie his shoes.”
Smirking, Daemon straightened and then turned to where Kat stood, holding a rather alert baby Adam. He took the small child from her, cuddling him close as he kissed the baby’s cheek. “Can you say, ‘Uncle Luc is a dick’? Huh? Say—”
“Daemon,” Kat admonished, eyes widening.
“First off, I’m not his uncle. I am his godfather, thank you very much.” Luc arched a brow, and I felt like I’d missed that announcement. “Secondly, I’ll teach him better insults than that.”
Kat whipped around. “No, you won’t.”
The kind of smile that crept across Luc’s face said he was so going to do exactly what he said.
I honestly couldn’t even begin to figure out Daemon and Luc’s friendship. They went from throwing punches to joking around like nothing had happened. It had to be a boy thing.
Or an alien thing.
“That kid has no chance,” Archer said from where he sat with Dee. They’d be joining Eaton at the warehouse.
I cracked a grin even though my stomach was in knots. So many what-ifs were circling around in my head. What if Nate changed his mind? What if he couldn’t convince all the kids? What if Morton—
“It’ll be okay.” Luc draped an arm around me, tugging me into his side. “We’re going to get them out. All of them.”
Kat took the baby back from Daemon, and Adam promptly dropped his chubby cheek to her chest. “It’s time to talk about what we are going to do with this guy. If he is using those kids and hurting them? If he’s possibly killed others? He can’t come here.”
There was a reason why everyone waited until Cekiah and everyone else was busy to bring this up.
“I know,” said Luc. “He’s not coming back here.”
“Zoe and Emery are going to lead the kids back here. We’re hoping they’ll go with them,” I said.
Plastering a giant smile across her face, Zoe clasped her hands together. “They will. I have a very trusting face.”
Heidi looked up at her from where she sat on the arm of the couch. “Please do not smile like that when you see them. You’re going to scare them.”
Zoe’s eyes narrowed.
“If not, I’ll have to go with them,” I added, thinking that would be a high likelihood if Zoe did her flailing-arm thing.
“And then what?” Dee asked, her long, dark hair swept back from her face.
“And then we handle Morton,” Luc said. “One way or another, he will not be a problem.”
Kat looked around the room as she folded her hand behind her son’s head. She nodded, and just like that, everyone here, including Eaton, accepted the inevitable.
Blake may not die tonight.
But someone would.
I stopped my mind several times over from really thinking about it. Morton may deserve it. Just like Blake. But killing someone was still ending a life, and a twisted part of me really hoped Morton gave us a reason to do it. Killing someone in self-defense was a whole lot easier to swallow.
“Still not a fan of any of this,” came a mutter from the corner of the room. I didn’t have to look. It was Grayson, the final member of our six-person crew.
Frankly, Grayson was the last person I’d take if I didn’t want to scare anyone.