Avalon Page 104

He didn\ mind the pain, not with his baby sister hugging him like this, unafraid. He kissed the top of her head.

’’Do I really look like our mom?’’ Cora said next to his ear.

Jeth blinked, remembering how he\d told her that right before she\d phased them off the Northern Dancer. ’’Yes, Cora. You really do. You\ e both beautiful.’’

Cora giggled and hugged him tighter. She stayed there a few moments longer, then got up and started chasing Viggo around the common room, filling the place with her giggles as the cat jumped and pawed at her, returning the play.

With the excitement of Jeth\s arrival officially over, everyone settled into their favorite activities for relaxing. Lizzie turned on some music. Milton lit a pipe, while Flynn decided to make some after-dinner snacks. Vince joined Celeste and Shady at the gaming table.

Sierra sat next to Jeth, holding his left hand and resting her head on his shoulder. He leaned his head atop hers. Then he let out a sigh and closed his eyes.

I\ve been set free, he heard Sierra saying again in his mind.

So have I.

He didn\ know if it was real, if freedom was something you could earn or win after a long, hard fight, or if it was just an illusion. But he decided it didn\ matter. Only this mattered. This moment right here, surrounded by the people he cared about. And he realized this was the paradise his parents had meant when they named this ship.

There were other things he should be thinking about, decisions he should be making. Like where they went next. What they would do with the information they had. And most important, how he would save his mother.

But for now, he was content to leave those worries alone, to let them be silent and still inside him. For now, it seemed he\d found his Avalon at last.

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