Never Fade Page 144

I studied Clancy’s face as I crouched down to his level. His gaze flickered toward my hand as I slid it into my coat pocket.

Behind all of his venomous words was the sting of true betrayal, an ache that ran so deep, his whole body seemed to throb with it. His mother, his own mother had set up the trap. And he had done what in return? Burned down her lab, attacked her, scrambled her mind, and used the situation at HQ to his advantage to finish what he’d started in Georgia.

That’s how he knew she sent the results to Alban, I thought, slowly smoothing the papers out over my knee. I had his full attention now. He must have seen it in her mind.

Clancy loved the idea his father had inadvertently buried the one thing that could potentially fix his country and salvage his legacy. But the true irony here was that if Clancy hadn’t come looking to destroy his mother’s research, we never would have found it in time. It would have been left behind like everything else as we escaped.

He’d come here to close that door, but instead he had left it wide open for me to walk through.

There is a cure. The insanity of that thought made me feel like the hand on Jude’s compass spinning, and spinning, and spinning, searching for its true north.

He deserved this. I blinked back the prick of tears and let my anger rise to swallow the anguish for now. I let it propel me forward. Because Jude deserved to live to see this moment—he should have been here, now, next to me, suddenly seeing that everything was alive with the possibility of change.

I held up the rumpled, smoke-stained papers directly in front of Clancy, high enough for the ring of Psi and agents around us to see them, too. And I don’t know what was more powerful and gratifying to me—the look of terror that swept across his face, or the exhilaration of knowing I finally had my future back in my own hands.

“You mean this research?”

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