Tovar moved close to him once more, slipping one hand over Eden’s shoulder and another under his chin to raise Eden’s eyes to meet his own. “I want to make this crystal clear to you, Eden Voss. Our small world is different now. Though our island exists as the pinnacle of life, as the last remaining salvation, our hold is being questioned from within. And whether or not you want to be, you are joined to me. You’re a lieutenant now. You’ll command men and women in the service of the esteemed and noble government. It is imperative that you understand your place in this world. Where you belong. To whom you belong. You’re my servant. And you will be useful to me. Do you understand?”
“Good. Now then. Should we talk about your friend, Blaise Harker?”
A chill shot down Eden’s spine. “Blaise, Sir?”
“The Harker’s are very…outspoken,” the president said coldly. “It’s a dangerous game Dr. Harker sees fit to play. He should be more careful in determining his true opponent.”
Eden studied his stepfather, attempting to make sense of his words and failing. Blaise’s father, Dr. Harker, as a well-established and well-respected member of the community, often offered his services freely to those unable to afford care for themselves and their families. So too did he offer his services to those underground. Harker made his rounds once a month, tending to the weak and sick, doing what he could for the people who had the least. Men like Dr. Harker were essentially needed and growing harder and harder to find under the current regime.
“I don’t understand,” he said quietly, and Tovar scoffed, his thin lips pulling into a smile.
“Dr. Ephraim Harker treads a dangerous path, and should his son not be wary, he will be pulled along behind his father. Whether from a cart or from a noose makes no matter to me. But I would see it done should I find them false.” He paused, eyeing Eden suspiciously. “Be careful around that boy, Eden Voss. I would hate to see you fall into the same trap.”
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