In Time Page 26

Move I don\ want to hurt her, but I can\ feel anything below my waist. I\m going to collapse back on her, I\m...

When my eyes open again, I\m on the ground and warm rain is spilling down on me from the clear river of stars overhead.

’’ the man from the road, I thought he !’’

Zu flashes in and out of my vision. She shoves the girl with the gun, beats her hands against the teen\s chest. I hear ’’call,’’ ’’can\ ,’’ ’’hospital,’’ and then nothing but the sound of my own heartbeat. I want to lift my hands, to apply pressure to the place in my chest she\s just cracked open, but I can\ breathe I can\ I can\ I\m choking on air and the metallic bitterness coating my tongue.

One of them disappears into the dark of the stables. I can smell the place\s old musky animal scent, the sharp, fresh hay, but even that begins to fade. Zu\s face appears over mine, and her mouth is moving, her lips are moving, with a message for me and only me, but there are no pens here, no paper. I can read the desperation and fear in her face. I see her hands come down against my chest, but I can\ feel them.

’’D-Dorothy ’’ My throat burns. It\s the only way I know the words are leaving it. ’’Guess we...shouldn\ have left Oz....’’

I feel myself drift back. Her whole body is heaving with sobs, snot and tears dripping down her face, and I want to say so much to her, and I want to tell her Her face begins to dissolve into gray, and it takes my breath with it. My voice.

Stop it, you stupid kid. Jesus, stop crying.

Don\ you know I hate it?

Dorothy, it\s so stupid. Don\ be so stupid about this.

Don\ .

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