The closer they got to base, the clearer the sky became. By the time they reached the base, the sun was out and glared in their eyes as the truck came to a stop and Draven opened the back. Their base was an old college her brother had converted into a compound. It was surrounded by barbed wire fence to keep the biters out, but he’d made sure to leave wooded area and open grassland within the fence so they could hunt and farm.
“Do we need medics, or is it over with?”
Her brother had a harsh way with words sometimes. She glanced down at Brody. He looked pale and he still wasn’t moving, but she thought she saw his chest move up and down with a weak breath. “Medics, please Draven.” She forced herself to meet her brother’s eyes.
He nodded and yelled towards some of the men in another truck, directing them to get the medical staff from inside. He turned back to Raven. “Come with me, sis.”
She gave one more look in Brody’s direction, then reluctantly followed her brother. He waited for her to climb out of the truck and took her hand to help her down as she reached the edge, then motioned towards the wooded area of their little compound. She knew what he wanted, and felt relief that it was going to be good news for him. He wouldn’t want to face rejection in front of everyone, and often took her to the trees when they needed to talk so they would be left alone there.
When they reached the safety of the trees, he leaned against one and folded his arms across his chest, his lips straight and his brow wrinkled. “Well, what did she say?”
Raven smiled at him. “She said she’d go out with you.”
The corners of his lips turned up and his face relaxed a little. “She did?”
She nodded. “Yeah, but one thing.”
His frowned returned. “What’s that?”
“You have to ask her yourself. She won’t go if it’s coming from me.”
He shifted his feet nervously back and forth. “She won’t?”
Raven shook her head. “No, it has to come from you.”
He nodded slowly. “But she’ll say yes if I ask her?”
“I think so.” Her brother couldn’t stand rejection. He’d spent most his life being rejected by others and it had made him into the man he was today. Raven’s heart raced as she met her brother’s eyes again. She couldn’t guarantee Mary would say yes, even if she’d agreed to. Nothing in life seemed to be for certain, and she wasn’t about to take the fall if her brother was turned down. But she needed her to say yes, not just for her own sake but for their entire group. It was the only chance they had at getting through to her brother’s wounded heart.
Her brother stared at her for a moment, then slowly nodded. “All right. I’ll ask.” He gave her a quick hug, then made his way back to the trucks. She followed, hoping they would get the answer they so desperately needed.