Nameless(Broken City, #1)

By: Jessica Sorensen

“You okay?” Ryder asks, inspecting me over from my boots to my head.

I run my fingers through my hair. “Yeah. I just cut my head. Mable said it was fine, though.”

“Let me see.” He grips my shoulder to turn me around.

I panic, racking my brain for an excuse to tell him when he realizes I don’t have a cut. Thankfully, Blaise appears out of the hole and distracts Ryder from his task.

“We need to go. Now.” Blaise slams the door shut and starts across the desert, taking long, determined strides.

Reece jogs after him. “What did you do?”

Ryder grabs my hand and hurries off after Blaise and Reece. “Oh, God, here we go.” He rolls his eyes.

“What’s wrong?” I ask, struggling to keep up.

“Blaise did something crazy, and now we’re going to have to listen to Reece lecture him about it for the next hour or so.” He reaches over with his free hand and draws the hood of my jacket over my head. “You need to protect your skin from the sun or you’ll burn.”

I tug down the rolled up sleeves of my shirt to cover up my arms. “What did Blaise do?”

“I think it’s better if you don’t know that,” he says. “While Blaise always has his reasons, it doesn’t always make sense to an outsider.”

I smash my lips together, deliberating. “Did he …? Did he kill Maxx and Lucille?”

Ryder gives me a sidelong glance. “I wouldn’t necessarily call it killed.”

I zip up my jacket. “I don’t understand what that means.”

“I know.” He sighs and slips an arm around my shoulders. “Look, Blaise is a little different, but I don’t think it’s my right to explain it to you. When he feels like it, I’m sure he’ll tell you his story.”

Different how? I sneak a peek at Blaise marching across the desert, seeming completely unbothered as Reece chews him out. I think about his strength, his intensity, how he said he should kill Maxx and Lucille, how easily he lies, how it seemed like he was lying to me when he told me they found no sign of Lex.

“I promise you’re safe with him,” Ryder says. “Blaise is the kind of person who protects the people he cares about, no matter what.”

I wonder if that would still be true if he knew I had Grim blood in me.

I hardly have time to dwell upon the thought, though, because seconds later, the four of us all come to a stop.

“Is that the fault line?” I stare down at the seemingly infinite crack splitting down the center of the land.

Blaise nods, inching toward the edge. “Yep. This is it.”

I lean over to peer down then instantly regret it. I can’t even see the bottom. “And we just, what? Walk around it?”

Blaise shakes his head, shucking off his backpack. “We go in it. There’s a trail a couple of hundred feet down that runs all the way to the city. It’ll keep us shielded from the watchers.”

I press my hand to my racing heart. “But what if we fall?”

“We won’t let you fall.” Ryder hugs me against his side. “I know it looks dangerous—”

“Because it is,” Blaise snaps. “She needs to understand that. One false move and you could fall over the edge. And we’re close to Forsaken territory.”

Ryder shakes his head then turns to me. “Allura, don’t be scared, okay? If you stick with us, you’ll be fine.”

I glance at the three of them. They’ve done so much for me; how could I not trust them with this? I just hope that, when I tell them I have Grim blood in me, they’ll be as kind and compassionate toward me as they are now.

Until then, I’ll have to put my life in their hands and trust them to get me through the dangerous journey safely. Hopefully, if we make it to the station alive, this Rae person can tell me exactly what I am and why I’m still alive when I shouldn’t be.

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