We weren’t talking. Thomas, Ciara, and I all sat down around the dining table, watching each other, knowing a decision had to be made, but not saying a thing. One of us would cave eventually—most likely either Thomas or I because Ciara could hold her own against anyone—but really it would come down to who was going to crack first.
Today, it was Thomas. “We have to have a plan. We need to make a serious decision on how we’re going to do all this. Mae is already hurt. Hunter is dead. We cannot keep going like this or else we’re just going to keep losing people until there is no one left. We need to make a plan.”
“I agree, and if you have any good ideas, I’d love to hear them,” Ciara snapped with a little more force than was strictly needed.
“Children,” I scolded quickly, so they would both turn to glare at me instead of starting to fight among themselves. “You’re both right. We do need a plan—but it’s not as simple as just sitting down and making one.” I waited a second longer, just to test the air, before “I think we need to call in the others for these decisions.”
Ciara turned and looked at me like I had just suggested that we should eat her pet cat for dinner tonight. Thomas pulled a stern face, furrowing his eyebrows together. Ciara pulled her wits back first. “What did you just say?”
“This isn’t just the three of us anymore, guys. We aren’t a team of siblings against the world. We’re a group now—fighting something concrete, and terrifying. We need to talk to Nessa, to Irma, to Dora, and to Mae. They all should be involved in these plans. They should have a say in just how they are risking their lives. I stared down Ciara for a moment—Thomas would follow my lead if I was stern enough, but Ciara was always ready for a challenge. “Unless, of course, you have a better idea for what to do.”
Ciara said nothing, but slowly leaned back in her chair, crossing her arms over her chest.
“Okay then,” Thomas smiled, pushing up away from the table, “Let’s reconvene with everyone.”