I’m looking behind me, checking for the two unpredictable psychos, when I slam into an unrelenting, hard body.
Forgive me, sir.He released me with a push, turning around and running his hand through his hair. I’d never seen him pace like that. It reminded me of his father when he was on the verge of exploding.
Everything he was showing on the outside, I felt on the inside. One of his Elite was gone; the only girl I’d ever loved was missing. I didn’t know if she would be able to outrun the rebels or find a place to hide. My heart was racing with fear and falling apart in hopelessness at the same time.I’d promised May I wouldn’t let anyone hurt her. I’d failed.I looked behind me, not sure what I was expecting to see. The girls and staff had all made it to safety. No one remained but the prince, the king, and a dozen or so guards.
Maxon finally looked up at us, and his expression reminded me of a caged animal. Get her. Get her now! he screamed.I debated just running into the forest, wanting to reach America before anyone else did. But how would I find her?
Markson stepped forward. Come on, boys. Let’s get organized. We followed him into the field.
My steps were sluggish and I tried to steady myself. I needed to be sharp today. We’re going to find her, I promised myself. She’s tougher than anyone knows.She laughed nervously. How can you be so sure?
Because, I said decisively, there’s no way I’m letting Celeste do better than me.It took two hours to read through the packet and one more to digest everything it said. There were so many different things to consider, so many details to plan. Silvia claimed she would be at our disposal, but I had a feeling asking for help would make her think we couldn’t do a good enough job on our own, so that was out.
The setup was going to be challenging. We weren’t allowed to use red flowers because they were associated with secrecy. We weren’t allowed to use yellow flowers because they were associated with jealousy. And we weren’t allowed to use purple anything because that color was associated with bad luck.The wine, food, everything had to be opulent. Luxury wasn’t seen as showing off; it was meant to make a statement about the palace. If it wasn’t good enough, our guests might leave unimpressed and completely unwilling to meet with us again. On top of all that, the regular things we were supposed to have learned—speaking clearly, proper table manners, and the like—had to be adapted to a culture of which neither Kriss nor I had any knowledge besides what was printed in our packets.