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(Catch up, here)

I get into the car and slam the door shut. My anger makes the entire steel frame shake. When I’m nervous, it always comes across at anger. But this time, there’s a little bit of actual anger mixed in there, too. I left as soon as I got off the phone with June. I sleep in regular clothes, all the time. It’s not all that comfortable, and Beth complains a lot, but it’s what I need to do. You never know when the organization’s going to call you in on something or when you need to get up and run. It’s why I always have a dark purple duffle bag packed and by the door. Beth calls it violet. I just never thought I’d need to use it because of my little sister. I pound the steering wheel and curse under my breath. Why, June? Why’d you have to take this project? I reverse out of the drive way and jam the stick into first gear. There’s a cloud of smoke in my rearview as I tear off down the street with a high-pitched squeal. Gramps is over six hours away. It’s going to take me driving all night to get to them before the organization does. June said everything was okay, but she’s new at this. Me? I’m a veteran. I know better. I fish my phone out of the duffle bag on the passenger seat and try to tap out a quick message. I manage to miss hitting a taxi pulled over on the shoulder and blow through a red light. Good thing this is still an ungodly hour and there aren’t many people on the road. I glance at the small screen. dont go anywert I press the send button. She’s a smart girl, she’ll figure out what I mean. I hit the old highway and travel east. It’s been years since I’ve seen Gramps. At first it was my job that took me away. Not the organization, but a real, legit job. Then I got busy, got a life, and forgot about Gramps and June. It wasn’t until I got my new job that I started thinking about them again. In the organization, Gramps is a legend. But not in a good way. Sure, he singlehandedly tamed America when the organization first wanted to plant roots somewhere other than Ireland. But he’s mostly known for being ruthless and being a traitor. No one leaves the organization on their own terms. You may not be punished right away, you aren’t going to be forgotten, either. June and I started talking again, little by little. It was good to hear her voice, I’ll admit it. But I didn’t envision our relationship being one where I clean up after her. I try to picture the reunion that’s going to take place in mere hours. I envision something emotional and noble—like when a father comes home from war and the family races across the tarmac to leap into his arms. I laugh. Our reunion? It’ll be by God’s grace alone if a few punches aren’t thrown.

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