Reveal Me Page 1


I’ve lost my appetite.

I don’t think I’ve ever lost my appetite.

But I’m staring at a perfectly good piece of cake right now, and for some reason, I can’t eat it. I feel queasy.

I keep tapping the cake with the tines of my fork, each time a little harder, and now it’s half-collapsed and the frosting is scarred. Mutilated. I never meant to disfigure an innocent piece of cake—it’s downright criminal to waste food, especially cake—but there’s something soothing about the repetitive motion and the soft, gentle resistance of the vanilla sponge.

Slowly, I drag my free hand down my face.

I’ve had worse days. Greater losses. Shittier nights. But somehow this feels like a new kind of hell.

Tension gathers in my shoulders, knotting together to generate dull, throbbing pain that branches across my back. I try to breathe it out, try to stretch the stress out of my muscles, but nothing helps. I don’t know how long I’ve been sitting here, hunched over an unfinished slice of cake. Hours, maybe.

I take a glance around the half-empty dining hall. Room? Tent?

Definitely a tent.

I squint up at the long, whitewashed wooden beams supporting the ceiling. Maybe tent-adjacent. There’s a cream-colored canvas shrouding everything on the outside, but it’s obvious from the interior that this is a solid, freestanding building. I don’t know why they bother with the tents. I hope they serve some kind of practical purpose, because otherwise it seems dumb. Everything else is pretty spare. The tables are pieced together with unfinished slabs of wood made smooth by time. The chairs are simple. More wood. Very basic. Nice, though; everything is nice. This place feels newer, cleaner, and brighter than anything we had at Omega Point. It’s like a fancy campsite.

The Sanctuary.

I stab at the cake again. It’s late—long past midnight—and my reasons for being here are growing more tenuous by the minute. Nearly everyone is bailing, chairs scraping, feet shuffling, doors opening and closing. Warner and Juliette (Ella? Still feels weird) are here somewhere, but that’s probably because she’s trying to force-feed him his own birthday cake. Or maybe he’s eating it voluntarily. Whatever. When I’m feeling really sorry for myself, I hate him more than usual.

I squeeze my eyes shut. I’m so goddamn tired.

I know I should leave, get some sleep, but I can’t make myself abandon the warm glow of this room for the cold loneliness of my tent. It’s so bright in here. It’s obvious that Nouria—Castle’s daughter and the head of this resistance—is really into light. It’s her specialty. Her superpower. But it’s also everywhere. String lights strung across the ceiling. Lanterns lining the walls and doorways. There’s a massive stone fireplace against one wall, but it’s full of warm light, not fire. It feels cozy.

Plus, it smells like cake in here.

For years all I ever did was complain about having to share my privacy with people, but now that I’ve got my own place—a little stand-alone home entirely for myself—I don’t want it. I miss the common areas at Omega Point and Sector 45. I liked seeing friends when I opened my door. I liked hearing their stupid, inconsiderate voices when I was trying to fall asleep.


I’m still here.

Not yet ready to be alone.

Instead, I’ve been sitting here all night watching people pair off and disappear. Lily and Ian. Brendan and Winston. Sonya and Sara. Nouria and her wife, Sam. Castle trailing behind.

Everyone smiling.

They seem hopeful. Relieved. Celebrating survival and the rare moments of beauty in the bloodshed. Me, on the other hand, I want to scream.

I drop my fork, digging the heels of my hands into my eyes. My frustration has been building for hours now, and it’s finally beginning to peak. I feel it, feel it closing its hands around my neck.


Why am I the only one who’s scared right now? Why am I the only one with this pit of nervousness in my gut? Why am I the only one asking the same question over and over and over again:

Where the fuck are Adam and James?

When we finally got to the Sanctuary, we were greeted by fanfare and joy and enthusiasm. Everyone was acting like this was a big family reunion, like there was hope for the future, like we were all going to be okay—

No one seemed to care that Adam and James were missing.

I was the only one doing a head count. I was the only one looking around the room, searching the eyes of unfamiliar faces, peering around corners and asking questions. I was the only one, apparently, who didn’t think it was okay to be missing two of my teammates.

“He didn’t want to come, man. You already know that.”


This was the bullshit explanation Ian tried to feed me earlier.

“Kent said he wasn’t leaving anymore,” Ian said. “He literally told us to make our plans without him, and you were sitting right there when he said it.” Ian narrowed his eyes at me. “Don’t lie to yourself about this. Adam wanted to stay behind with James and try for immunity. You heard him. Leave it alone.”

But I couldn’t.

I kept insisting that the situation felt wrong. The way it all went down—it felt wrong. Something isn’t right, I kept saying, and Castle kept telling me, gently—like he was talking to a crazy person—that Adam is James’s guardian, that it’s not my business, that it doesn’t matter how much I love James, I don’t get to choose what happens to him.

The thing no one seems to remember is that Adam pitched that dumbass idea about staying behind and asking for immunity before we knew Anderson was still alive. Before we heard Delalieu say that Anderson had made secret plans for Adam and James. This was before Anderson showed up and murdered Delalieu and we all got thrown in an asylum.

Something is wrong.

I don’t believe for a second that Adam would’ve wanted to stay in Sector 45—and risk James’s life—if he’d known Anderson was going to be there. Adam can be a dickhead sometimes, but he’s spent his whole life trying to protect that ten-year-old from their father. He’d sooner die than put James within close proximity of Anderson—especially after hearing about Anderson’s nebulous plans for them. Adam wouldn’t do it; he wouldn’t risk it. I know this. I know it in my soul.

But no one wanted to hear it.

“C’mon, man,” Winston said softly. “James isn’t your responsibility. Whatever happens to him, this isn’t your fault. We have to move on.”

It was like I was speaking a foreign language. Screaming at a wall. Everyone thought I was overreacting. Being too emotional. No one wanted to hear my fears.

Eventually, Castle stopped answering my questions. Instead, he started sighing a lot, like he did when I was twelve years old and he caught me trying to hide stray dogs in my bedroom. He shot me a look just before he left tonight—a look that clearly said he felt sorry for me—and I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to do with that.

Even Brendan—kind, compassionate Brendan—shook his head and said, “Adam made his decision. It’s been hard for all of us to lose them, Kenji, but you have to let it go.”

Fuck that.

I didn’t let it go.

I won’t let it go.

I look up, homing in on the remains of Warner’s massive birthday cake. It’s unguarded, sitting on a table in the center of the room, and I’m struck by a sudden urge to put my fist through it. My fingers flex around the fork again, an unconscious impulse I don’t bother to examine.

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