Booker nodded. “No…I sure hope not. There’s an order to this place, Micah. Rules we have to live by. They keep us moving, keep us alive. It’s a dangerous place, Tartarus. I’d hate for you to have to find that out the hard way.”
“You think I don’t already know that?” Micah shot before he could stop himself. Booker’s eyes narrowed.
“You think you know. You’ve lived under my wing like a fledgling bird for the last eleven years. I’ve protected you, fed you, kept a roof over your head. And you think you know what the world is like out there?”
“I know enough. I saw what they did to…” He hesitated, and Booker’s mouth drew into a terse, thin line.
“Go on, say it. What they did to M—”
“Don’t. You don’t get to do that. I was there; you weren’t. You didn’t see what happened. You didn’t see what they did to her. What they did to everyone in Geylis.”
Booker’s anger was building, his hands drawing into fists at his side. Like most people, he towered over Micah, a full head taller and stockier as well. But Micah drew his shoulders together, standing firm under his brother’s hard gaze. “And when they took you? After all the terror they unleashed on that town…when they took you to the Orphanage, who came for you?”
“I didn’t need you to come for me. I would have found a way on my own.”
Booker sneered. They both knew the ridiculousness of those words. At eleven years old, Micah would never have been able to survive, much less escape. The Orphanage would have broken him. As it broke so many of the children who went in the front doors only to go out the back in a body bag.
“I don’t doubt you would have tried.” Booker shook his head, his eyes glinting dangerously. “You’ve always had that streak of rebellion in you. We both do. We got it from her.”
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