“How are you feeling?” Sarah asked David when he entered the kitchen.
“Better. A little stiff.”
“Being buried in rubble will do that.”
“I suppose.” David opened one of the cupboards and pulled out a box of crackers. He sat down at the island across from her and began mindlessly nibbling.
“Is there anything else bothering you?” She could tell he was distracted. Being unable to help Bailey had frustrated her, so she was looking for some other way to be useful.
“Just anxious to go back for Rebecca. I don’t like leaving her there.”
“David. We’ve been over this.”
“She has to be terrified. You remember the story she told us.”
“Yes, but now she’s chosen to be there. It’s not our place to take her from her home.”
“That’s not her home. She can’t really want to be there.”
“I know it’s not easy to accept, but we have to respect her wishes.”
“How do we know that is her wish? You fell under some sort of compulsion the first time you went there. Bailey is still under some sort of spell. Maybe Rebecca is, too?”
“Maybe. But we have no evidence of that. She says she wants to stay. And she let both of us leave. If we try to force her to leave, we risk a fight we could lose. And we might push Rebecca further away. I don’t like the thought of her being there either, but right now, we don’t have a choice.”
David fell silent. It was obvious he wanted to keep arguing but knew he wasn’t going to win. The man’s loyalty was admirable, but he was too eager to rush in blindly. That was an aspect of his youth Sarah hoped he would grow out of.
A door appeared in the kitchen. Sarah was surprised when Bailey followed Julia through it.
“What . . . ?”
“David. Sarah. I’d like you both to meet Bailey. They have an interesting story to tell.”