Just as I’d expected, our lives changed drastically the weeks following the news that Heath’s DNA was a positive match to Mr. Cantin’s. Heath moved out of the Lockhart mansion and into the Cantin residence. However, since Mr. Cantin lived in the same community, the man had allowed Heath to stay in the same school as us and to continue with Emma’s social skills lessons twice a week, at Mrs. Lockhart’s request.
But unlike Emma’s need for a secret identity, Mr. Cantin had no problem with flaunting his grandson’s real identity. The whole school, and probably all the world, knew Heath was the recovered heir to Cantin’s empire. Which meant our status had gone from good-for-nothing hooligans to exonerated royalty. People still feared us, but they no longer stayed away because they were too busy serving us. They were all so eager to take away our empty lunch trays at the end of lunch period, carry our backpacks to class (until I shooed them away with a death glare), and open the doors to whatever classroom we entered. They would have licked the bottom of my shoe if I had commanded it.
Mrs. Lockhart was not pleased. The whole reason she’d kept Emma’s identity a secret was because she knew people would treat Emma like a queen.
“How’s she supposed to learn not to be awkward if people are excusing her awkwardness now?” the old lady had complained.
And now that Heath’s secret was out, people were indeed treating Emma like a queen. Not because she was the Lockhart princess—that was still a secret, thank goodness, or we’d be bombarded by eager to please fans—but because she was Heath’s girlfriend. Which was the one thing that had not changed. Emma and Heath were still a lovey-dovey couple, and I didn’t think they’d break up any time soon.
Not that I wanted them to break up, or so I kept telling my green-eyed self. Heath needed Emma, especially now. He spent most of his time with his grandfather, trying to learn about the family business, and I could tell he was frustrated. Although he never complained, I knew Heath. He liked to roam free, be a part of nature, and draw what he saw around him as he sat quietly, observing from the sidelines. But now, he had no time for that. His life was one huge schedule, and he was caged in by the bars of meetings and agendas.
The only time he was ever truly happy, I observed, was when he was with us and with Emma. We usually ended our lessons with Emma early, so the two of them could spend some time alone. Sometimes I spied on them. They always took walks in the Lockhart gardens, and it was only then that I saw Heath’s smile return at something Emma said, whether it was a twist on a popular idiom, or some scientific jargon on a plant they saw. She made him light up. I had no business even wanting to take that away from him.
So I tried my best to forget about Emma, thinking maybe it wasn’t a futile effort after all. If I could get a girlfriend, it might be possible to erase Emma from my head. And the idea of getting a girlfriend wasn’t that improbable. I already seemed to have a secret admirer myself.
Strangely enough, I was still getting flowers in my locker. I’d almost forgotten about my secret admirer, since the first time I’d received those peonies had been right after Thanksgiving, and I hadn’t gotten anything for a month after. But as soon as I went back to school in January, I’d opened my locker right before going into a huge math exam only to discover a bundle light green bell-shaped flowers. Heath identified the flowers as Bells of Ireland, which supposedly meant good luck. I assumed the mystery person had been wishing me luck on my test.
Two weeks later, I’d discovered a collection of purple pansies on Valentine’s Day. It also happened to be right before a chemistry test. Heath informed me that purple pansies meant I was occupying someone’s thoughts.
A week after that, I received a passion flower before a debate in history, meaning this secret admirer believed in me. And my most recent gift was a sunflower, meaning my admirer was proud of me, probably for getting A’s on all my midterms.
The identity of this admirer occupied my mind. Whoever she was, she had to be in most of my classes to know when I was taking my tests. I looked at all the girls, wondering who it could possibly be. My eyes drifted and fell upon Lindsey, and I shuddered. I hoped to God it wasn’t that horrible bitch. Then again, I didn’t think she was smart enough to know there was a language of flowers.
Whoever it was, I wished she’d just have the courage to come forward. The mystery was driving me crazy.
One weekend in mid-March, Dad came home for a visit. We’d been planning on taking a camping trip together. But then Dad suggested that we bring along all my friends. Despite my desire not to see Emma and Heath acting lovey-dovey together, I couldn’t exactly say no, especially when Mrs. Lockhart and Mr. Cantin both gave their permission.
Mrs. Lockhart, in particular, was eager for Emma to come with us. For some reason, she seemed on edge, always glancing skittishly out the window or jumping slightly when someone snuck up on her. She’d been like that for the past two months, and she’d been making sure we followed Emma like a hawk, synchronizing our schedules to the second.
I didn’t know if this was why she’d also made Emma come on the camping trip. But then again, it could have been that she was giving Emma another social event test. Coincidentally, this weekend, a few of Lockhart staff members were gathering together near the campsite where we were going. To commemorate the beginning of spring, they were planting new trees and shrubs in a part of the forest where seven hundred acres had burned last year from a fire started by some idiotic arsonist. The event had been organized by Mrs. Lockhart’s close friend, Daphne Barnes, and Mrs. Lockhart wanted Emma to participate in the activity for at least half a day.
Living on the southwest coast of the country meant spring always came early, and the current weather was optimal for our trip. I could only pray for rain at this point. But there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as we set off in Dad’s truck.
It was only an hour drive up to the camp site, but it felt like several days. As I was sitting in the front seat next to Dad, I couldn’t help but peek in the rearview mirror at the happy couple, squished together in the far left of the backseat. I wanted to throw up. Where was my secret admirer when I needed her?
Finally, we arrived to the site and started setting up camp.
“I’ll pitch the tent,” Dad said. “Tony, Stan, you boys can help me. Heath and Emma, you two help Marcus search for firewood.”
Lucky me. I was stuck with Heath and Emma as the third wheel. I wondered if God was punishing me for all the sarcastic quips I’d aimed at people over the years.
Without waiting to see if they would follow, I took large strides forward, following the path through the woods. My goal was to get that damned firewood and return as quickly as possible.
“Wait up Marcus,” Emma called.
“It’s not like we’re being chased by a bear,” Heath added.
“Oh no, one should never run if confronted by a bear,” I heard Emma tell him. “That would only agitate him more.”
To hear her lecture Heath on what to do if we met a bear almost brought a smile to my face. That girl read up on anything and everything. I slowed down just a tad, as I came to a clump of underbrush. Then I unrolled the tarp onto the ground and took out a pocket knife.
“Watch out for poison ivy,” I warned them, and then almost smiled again as Emma started lecturing on the main forms that Toxicodendron radicans, AKA poison ivy, could grow. Even now, amidst the roar of jealousy, she never ceased to amuse me.
As we began to gather the wood, I became aware of some loud noises coming from just behind the other side of the trees. It kind of sounded like someone was speaking through a loudspeaker, and other people were clapping at whatever was being said.
Curious, the three of us walked through the trees and into the clearing on the other side. A small gathering of people in worn-out jeans and green tees sat on the wooden benches, listening to some old lady speak.
“Oh,” Emma breathed. “That’s Ms. Daphne. This must be the tree-planting activity Grandmother told us about. Seems they’re camping right next to us. I was going to call her, but I guess I don’t have to now.” And then she gasped a second time, this one sounding more alarmed, as though she’d realized she’d left the stove on at home or something. “Oh no. I completely forgot. This means she must be here too.” Then she looked at me and clasped a hand over her mouth. “I shouldn’t have said that.”
“Who’s she?” Heath asked.
“Nobody,” she said quickly. “Marcus, you have to forget I said that.” Which only made me more curious.
“No reason,” she told me. “Just the ramblings of an awkward teenage girl.”
Heath and I exchanged confused looks. Emma was acting weirder than usual. Almost as though she were hiding something. In fact, it was just like when she’d been trying to get Heath’s DNA without his knowing.
“I—I think I should say hi to Ms. Daphne,” Emma mumbled.
“Oh, good idea. We all should,” I suggested.
“No, no, no.” Was it me, or was that panic in her gaze? “You shouldn’t keep the others waiting for the firewood.”
So with a final nod, Heath and I lugged the tarp of firewood away, leaving Emma to wave nervously behind us.
This wasn’t good. I had to warn Maggie that both her son and her husband were here.
Why, oh why, had Grandmother made me go on this trip? I’d wanted to stay home, but she’d been adamant about sending me away, and for some reason, she seemed a little uneasy. She’d even handed me a small GPS tracking device, telling me to keep it on hand at all times just in case.
If she really had wanted to keep an eye on me, she would have let me stay home.
But now I was stuck keeping Maggie away from her family. I already felt guilty about it. Early this morning, Captain Lew had asked me if I’d made progress with finding his wife, and I’d lied to his face, telling him I hadn’t had time to investigate much yet.
But the truth was I’d been in touch with Maggie ever since I’d run into her at Ms. Daphne’s nursery over Thanksgiving weekend. She still didn’t have the courage to face her family in person. In fact, she’d just begun to try getting in touch with Marcus in a subtler way. She’d been giving me flowers to place in his locker, every time I told her Marcus had some big test.
It was definitely progress. But I was afraid that if she accidently ran into her family, she might get skittish and bolt again. Then nobody would know where to find her. The woman was highly unstable. She still needed time.
I located Maggie in the crowd. A bandana pulled back the hair from her face, and although she listened attentively to Ms. Daphne’s speech, she was tapping her feet, as though itching to get to the planting already. There was an open space right next to her, so I slipped in and sat.
Her head turned almost absent-mindedly towards me, and then she did a double-take when she recognized it was me. Then a smile broke out on her face in greeting. It felt terrible that I’d soon be removing that smile with my news.
“I didn’t know you were coming to join us,” she whispered.
“Maggie, I came here to warn you,” I murmured back. “Marcus and Captain Lew are on the other side of those trees. We’re camping here this weekend.”
“What?” Maggie actually stood up from her seat, causing all eyes to dart towards us. Angry shushes resounded all around. Even Ms. Daphne had stopped talking to look at us in surprise.
“Sorry, Ms. Daphne,” I said, starting to drag Maggie away to a more private place. “Please continue.”
When we were safely distanced from the group, Maggie’s eyes darted nervously to the bushes, as though making sure no one was eavesdropping.
“What am I supposed to do Emma?”
“Can you go home?”
Maggie shook her head. “I’m one of the main organizers of this event.”
“Then there’s nothing to do but be careful,” I said. “We have to keep from bumping into each other. That is, unless you’re ready to face them.”
Her bottom lip trembled at the thought. “No, I can’t.” She grasped my shoulder. “Emma, please help me.”
And so it seemed I would spend another weekend helping someone guard their secret.
Immediately, trouble began when I returned to the campsite. The guys had started a fire to begin cooking dinner. But then Captain Lew suggested we meet our neighbors and invite them to join us.
“No,” I burst out adamantly.
“Why not?” he asked in surprise. “Marcus told me you know them. Don’t they work for your grandmother?”
“Y-yes,” I said, “But they’re way too busy planting trees. They don’t have time to join us.”
“Planting trees now?” The captain looked incredulous. “I don’t think so. It’s too dark to see. Most likely they’ll start the planting early tomorrow morning.” He stood from his seat on the log and moved towards the grove of trees where Ms. Daphne and her crew were camping. “I’ll just go and talk to them.”
In my blank state of mind, I hesitated one second too long, and Captain Lew strode over to meet our neighbors.
“Wait,” I called after him.
“Geez Emma,” Marcus said, “Why don’t you just let Dad ask if they want to join us? I thought they were your friends.”
I hardly heard him, as I was already chasing after the captain. But he reached the clearing before I could do anything, and I saw the moment when it was too late. His eyes darted to the woman who was cooking over the fire. It was as though he and Maggie had invisible strings binding them together, and it was futile to keep them apart a single second longer.
His voice came out a mere whisper, entirely staggered. “Maggie?”
At the sound of her name, Maggie lifted her head, and then her eyes widened in panic. She looked to her right, then to her left, as though considering running away. But Captain Lew took two strides to her side, and she lost the opportunity.
I cast the woman an apologetic look. I’d tried to help, but there was nothing I could do now. Maybe it was better this way.
“My God, it is you.” Captain Lew stared at his wife as though she were an apparition that might vanish any second.
Then I noticed Ms. Daphne and the other volunteers staring curiously at the spectacle. Only Ms. Daphne had a slight clue what was going on. The others were flabbergasted.
Then Captain Lew’s voice rose up several levels. “Where have you been all these years? How could you have run away and not even contacted me once?”
“Please Art,” Maggie pled, “Don’t do this. Not here in front of everyone. I don’t want Marcus to overhear.”
The captain looked at his surroundings for the first time, apparently remembering there were other people. “Fine, let’s go to a private place then. But we do this now. I’m not letting you out of my sight until we talk.” He looked my way. “Emma, go back and tell the boys to start dinner without me, and please make sure Marcus doesn’t come over here.”
Then he dragged Maggie away to the corner of the campsite, still within eyesight but where their voices couldn’t be heard. All the volunteers were ignoring their cooking stations, choosing to instead stare at the couple in stunned silence. One volunteer almost dropped her knife on the ground.
Ms. Daphne took control of the situation immediately, taking a deep breath and clapping her hands together. “All right everyone, Marigold’s just taking care of a private matter, so back to work please. Laura, stir the stew before it burns. Bud, those steaks won’t cook themselves.” She directed her team, making sure they were focused on dinner again, before turning to me.
“Emma,” she whispered, “Marigold’s son is here, isn’t he? You need to go back before he comes here looking for you and his father. Marigold doesn’t want her son to know what’s going on.”
“But how do I explain why the captain didn’t return with me?” I asked, feeling positively bewildered.
“Tell them he got distracted by one of my recipes and wants to learn it,” she said. “After my team finishes cooking, we’ll take some food over to you. Just make sure your friends don’t come to this side.”
I returned to the campsite, feeling nervous about having to lie. The four thieves could always see right through me. They’d already started cooking something that smelled like meat on a grill pan. It was wrapped in foil, and the smoke drifted into the air, creating a delicious scent.
“Where’s Dad?” Marcus asked. I told him the excuse Ms. Daphne had invented. Thankfully, Marcus bought it. He smirked and shook his head. “Dad always gets sidetracked when he starts talking to someone.”
The meat that was cooking turned out to be hot dogs with melted cheese in a bun. I’d never had hot dogs before—Grandmother hated the idea of processed meat—and I’d always been curious to taste them. But my interest tonight was nonexistent. Ms. Daphne and her crew still hadn’t come over to visit us. Without her, I didn’t know how to keep Marcus from going to see what his dad was doing.
And then the dreaded words. “Food’s almost done. I’ll go check up on Dad and his new friends.”
“No, don’t,” I cried out. The four thieves stared at me in alarm. Of course. I’d been too dramatic. I cleared my throat, trying to sound calmer. “I mean, there’s no need. Ms. Daphne said they’ll come over here.”
“I know,” Marcus replied, “But I’m curious what Ms. Daphne’s gang is making. The smells from their campfire are drifting this way, and it smells delicious.”
Before I could stop him, he was already heading towards Ms. Daphne’s campsite. I gasped and ran after him.
He was already introducing himself to Ms. Daphne by the time I caught up to him. Ms. Daphne shot me an exasperated look, and all I could do was shrug apologetically. I eyed the corner where Marcus’s parents were still talking. They were still occupied by what seemed to be an intense, intimate conversation and hadn’t spotted their son yet. If Marcus hadn’t seen them either, maybe I still had time to get him out of here.
But no, Fate intervened again. His eyes pinpointed his father’s figure, and he called out.
The captain turned in alarm, and Maggie tried to use him as a shield to hide herself. They pretty much looked like they’d been caught in the act of some unsolicited behavior. But to my amazement, Marcus didn’t catch on. He just walked over and held out his hand to his mother, who wasn’t sure how to react.
“I’m Marcus,” he introduced himself. “His son.” He nodded his head in his father’s direction, not at all bowled over to find his mother sitting right next to his father after fifteen years. Then it finally occurred to me that Marcus didn’t recognize her. Why would he? He’d only been two when she’d left, after all. And all he had were pictures of his youthful mother. Maggie still resembled her younger self to someone who knew her well, but not to a boy who had been too young to remember his mother’s face clearly.
Maggie tentatively took her son’s hand, still looking flabbergasted. She held it a little too long, cherishing the feel of her son’s hand for the first time in fifteen years. But when Marcus tried to extract his hand, she reluctantly let go. She cleared her throat. “I’m M-Marigold. Marigold Banks.”
Then Marcus frowned in concentration. “You know, you look slightly familiar.”
“Oh, I remember you.” He snapped his fingers together in recognition. “You’re that lady who works at Daphne’s Garden—in the café. I scared you when I slammed the front door.” He looked at her sheepishly. “So sorry for making you drop that tea pot. But how do you know my dad?”
“I, uhm—” Maggie’s eyes darted to her husband’s nervously, searching for help.
He did not disappoint. “She’s an old acquaintance,” Captain Lew told his son. “We were catching up, and I guess the time just flew by. Sorry, son. You and your friends had to do all the cooking.” He stood and looked past us at the campfire. “Seems like dinner on this side is almost ready. Marcus, go tell the others to join us here.”
As Marcus dashed off to obey, I waited for him to be out of hearing distance before apologizing to Maggie and Captain Lew. “I couldn’t stop him,” I said.
“It’s all right,” the captain said. “We shouldn’t keep asking you to keep so many secrets, but—” there was an edge of beseeching in his voice, “—we must ask again. Until Maggie is ready to confront Marcus, please don’t tell him her identity.”
My first instinct was to object. I didn’t believe they were making the right choice in hiding this from Marcus. He had a right to know. But as much as I disagreed with their decision, it was theirs to make.
“Tell me something first, Maggie,” I said. “Do you ever plan on telling Marcus who you are?”
“Of course,” she answered, looking surprised by the question. “Just not right now. I’m not ready.”
“When will you be ready? Five years from now? Ten? You can’t keep this a secret forever.”
She cast her gaze downward in shame. “I know, I know. But I’m a coward. Arthur may have taken me back and forgiven me, but Marcus might not. What if my baby rejects me?”
“Emma, please,” Captain Lew scolded. “Don’t push her. We just need your promise.”
“Fine,” I sighed. “I promise I won’t tell for now. But Maggie, I hope you tell him soon. Because I know Marcus, and the longer you wait, the harder it will be for him to forgive any of us for not telling him.”
As I sat in front of the fire, roasting marshmallows for s’mores, I found myself continually glancing at the woman sitting across from me. Marigold Banks. She and Dad kept whispering to each other and sneaking guilty looks in my direction as though they had some shameful secret. And the two of them looked awfully intimate, always sitting within mere inches of each other and subtly touching one another as though they couldn’t help it.
If Dad was dating her, I wanted to tell him I was fine with it. They had no reason to hide the fact from me, like they were guilty teenagers and I was an overbearing parent. It was way past time Dad moved on from my mother. Fifteen years was way too long to remain in love with someone who’d betrayed him. So if Dad and Marigold were really dating, I was really happy for him. I thought to tell him that in private later tonight.
She looked like a decent person. There was a soft and gentle air around her. I felt like I’d seen her before, even before that one time at Ms. Daphne’s nursery. She had such a familiar face, almost as though she were some babysitter I’d long forgotten.
Marigold looked at me again, probably thinking she was being subtle but failing terribly. She had this sad vibe around her, almost longing. Yes, I definitely had to tell Dad it was okay that they were dating, and I had no problem with her.
Next to Marigold, Emma kept darting glances in my direction too. She looked a bit anxious. I wondered if maybe she knew that Dad and Marigold were dating, and they’d asked her to keep it a secret. I’d caught a glimpse of the three of them deep in conversation. She was staring at me so hard that her marshmallow was beginning to burn. I made a move, intending to rescue the squishy treat, but Heath beat me to it. Emma smiled brightly at him, making my heart clench. If only that smile was meant for me. But I had no business thinking those thoughts.
Heath showed her how to put together a s’more, and I turned away, unable to bear anymore of the show. Standing from the log where I sat, I decided to make a retreat to a private place where I could think.
“I’m going for a walk,” I told Stan, who sat beside me.
“It’s kind of dark,” he replied. “If you get lost, I’m not rescuing you.”
“I won’t go far.”
I just walked to the edge of the campsite and leaned against a tree. I could still hear the laughter, but at least I didn’t have to see Emma and Heath. I looked up at the stars and filled my lungs with the cold, fresh night air. The crack of a twig alerted me of someone’s presence. Turning to the side, I saw that Marigold Banks had followed me.
“I noticed you slipping out,” she said. “Mind if I join you?”
I did kind of mind, since the whole reason I’d slipped away was for privacy, but I couldn’t tell her that. Not if I wanted to reassure her that I didn’t mind her dating my father. “Sure.”
She leaned on a tree opposite from me and then just stood there, not saying anything. But I sensed there was something she wanted to say. Probably to get a sense of how I felt about my dad’s dating life. When she finally did speak, however, the topic of choice was a surprise.
“I noticed you were looking a little sad,” she said. “Are you all right?”
Her question brought to mind Emma and Heath, of course. “I’m fine.” I intended for that to be the end of the conversation, except something prodded me to say more. There was this understanding look in Marigold’s face that pushed me to want to tell her everything. “Actually, I’m not fine. But you probably aren’t interested in teenage angst. I’ll get over it.”
“I’m willing to listen,” she said. “That is, if you want to tell me.”
I sighed, and the honesty of my feelings came spilling out like a geyser. “My best friend’s dating the girl I like, and I can’t stand it. I want him to be happy, but at the same time, I want to punch his lights out. I feel like the worst person for wanting to steal her away from him when he’s had nothing all his life.”
“First of all, Marcus,” Marigold replied firmly, “You aren’t a bad person. Everyone gets jealous. Those feelings are natural.”
“I just feel like a jerk,” I said. “Back before they were dating, I knew he liked her, and I still almost kissed her. Twice.” And once for real, but at least that had been before I knew Heath liked her.
“Well let me ask you this. Did she almost kiss you back?”
My gaze jerked to Marigold’s face. “What do you mean?”
“I mean, did Emma try to resist you?”
I tried to think back, but my gaze widened at the realization that Marigold had just said Emma’s name. “How did you—”
“Oh Marcus,” she sighed. “It wasn’t hard to guess, with the way you were staring at Heath and Emma earlier.”
My cheeks heated up.
“So back to my question—did Emma try to resist you? Because my bet is she didn’t.” Marigold smiled then. “I don’t know if you know, but Emma visits Ms. Daphne’s nursery every weekend. Since I work there, I’ve got the chance to know her well. And I can say that out of you and your friends, you are the one she talks about the most. Always with a flush in her cheeks.” She sighed sympathetically. “I don’t know how Emma and Heath became a couple, but I always felt certain—still feel now—that Emma likes you.”
I shrugged helplessly. “So? Even if she does, it doesn’t change anything. She’s with Heath now. And I would never forgive her if she broke his heart. Just like I can’t forgive my mother for what she did to my dad.”
Marigold took a sharp intake of breath, surprising me. When she spoke again, her voice was near trembling. “Never is a strong word, Marcus. Sometimes people make mistakes. Don’t you think they deserve forgiveness if they’re truly sorry?” For some reason, I got the sense that she was taking this personally.
“Sometimes,” she continued, “It takes a person a long time to come to a certain realization whether it be about love, repentance, priorities in life. So all I can tell you is to wait. Ms. Daphne once told me that time has a way of sorting things out.”
I nodded, reflecting on this statement. Time would have a way of sorting things out. Maybe time would never let me have Emma, but in time, I could at least forget about her. “Thank you, Marigold.”
She smiled and made a move to head back, but I stopped her. “I wanted to tell you something,” I said. “You and my dad don’t have to hide anymore. I know.”
It was too dark to tell, but it seemed her face instantly grew three shades paler when I said this. “What do you mean?”
“I just mean, I know you and my dad are dating, so you don’t need to keep your relationship a secret from me.” I frowned. “What did you think I meant?”
“N-nothing,” she said. “I g-guess our secret’s out then.” She laughed rather nervously.
I tried to give her a reassuring smile. “I wanted to let you know that I’m all right with it. Dad needs to start dating other people. It’s been fifteen years since my mom left us, and he needs to move on. I’m just glad he chose you.”
“Well, I-I’m flattered you feel that way,” she said. “Anyway, I’m going back now. Good night.” She made a rather hasty departure, and in her hurry, almost bumped into a figure who was lurking behind one of the trees. “Oh, sorry.” She didn’t wait to find out who she’d collided into, but I recognized the person at once.
My stomach roiled. How long had he been standing there? Had he heard me talking about Emma and him?
“What are you doing here?” I asked.
“Coming to see how you’re doing.” His tone didn’t seem overly upset. Neither did his expression. “I wanted to make sure you didn’t get abducted by a sasquatch.” Humor, a good sign. Still, had he or hadn’t he overheard? I had to know.
“Did you happen to hear what Marigold—”
“She’s dating your dad, right?” Heath smiled. “Great news. Hey, you ready to go back? I know s’mores are your favorite, so I hid the last two before they disappeared into the dark abyss called Tony’s mouth. But I can’t guarantee Tony hasn’t already found them.”
This was exactly why I couldn’t betray Heath. He was always looking out for others, sensitive to everyone else’s needs. I would rather rip my own heart out before I allowed his to shatter.
“We’d better hurry then.” I grinned, and we raced back to camp.