“We’re leaving.” Julia’s voice sounded definitive but not angry.
“Julia? What happened with Jason?” Rebecca assumed Julia had realized Thomas had his own motives for this trip.
Julia didn’t take her eyes of Thomas. “Later. When we’re back at the house. For now, we need leave before we mess up the past. Or at least before we mess it up anymore.”
“Nothing has been ‘messed up,’ as you put it,” Thomas objected. “That is not how time travel works.”
“Really, Thomas?” Now there was irritation in her voice. “Why don’t you tell us how it works? When we talked about this earlier, you said you didn’t know.”
“You are not being fair, Julia. I formulated probable . . .”
“I said, later.” Julia cut him off. “Let’s go.”
“We cannot leave yet; I still have not learned about . . .”
Before he could finish, Julia closed the distance between them and began pushing him toward the portal. Thomas stumbled back a few steps before he regained his footing. He then managed to shove Julia to the ground.
Rebecca wanted to intervene, to stop this altercation, but she didn’t think either of them were in a mood to listen. When she noticed Thomas trying to cast a spell, she expected things to get much worse. Instead, nothing happened, and he scowled.
“You drained me. Is this why you took all my magic in casting the spell? To make me powerless?”
Julia, who had gotten back to her feet, chuckled softly. “You sound paranoid. If I had known then you were up to something, I wouldn’t have drained you. I simply wouldn’t have cast the spell in the first place.”
Even though Thomas seemed to be without magical resources, Julia wasn’t taking advantage of that fact. She was keeping the fight physical, not using her own magic.To Rebecca, it looked like Julia was holding back, though she couldn’t imagine why.
Julia sprang at Thomas, but he was ready for her and shoved her back to the floor.
“Stop this, Julia. It is unbecoming to engage in such a brutish display. I have no desire to hurt you. I just need to see what happens here today. Then we can leave, and you can chastise me all you like.”
Rebecca knew that Julia wasn’t going to give up; she was even beginning to think Julia was right. Thomas always had a convenient excuse while he manipulated people. She didn’t even trust that he merely wanted to observe this attack, if there even was one. She needed to end this before anyone got hurt.
Thomas was focused entirely on Julia as she slowly circled him. Because of that, Rebecca was able to get behind him when he was facing away from the portal. She made sure Julia saw her, and the next time Julia lunged at Thomas, Rebecca tripped him when he stumbled backwards. As he fell to the floor, she grabbed his arm and dragged him through.
The portal was several inches off the floor, and she had to let go of Thomas as she tried to keep her balance. Thomas pushed her away when she went to grab hold of him again. He turned back to the portal as she fell.
“Julia!” She yelled. Julia needed to get through and close the portal. Rebecca didn’t know what Julia was worried about, but right now she trusted her more than Thomas.
As Thomas reached the portal and started to cross back over, it suddenly vanished, along with his left hand.