Chapter no 3

Ignite Me (Shatter Me Book 3)

Hang tight

Hold on Look up Stay strong Hang on Hold tight Look strong Stay up

One day I might break One day I might

b r e a k free

Warner can’t hide his surprise when he walks back into the room.

I look up, close the notebook in my hands. “I’m taking this back,” I say to him.

He blinks at me. “You’re feeling better.”

I nod over my shoulder. “My notebook was just sitting here, on the bedside table.”

“Yes,” he says slowly. Carefully. “I’m taking it back.”

“I understand.” He’s still standing by the door, still frozen in place, still staring. “Are you”—he shakes his head—“I’m sorry, are you going somewhere?”

It’s only then that I realize I’m already halfway to the door. “I need to get out of here.”

Warner says nothing. He takes a few careful steps into the room, slips off his jacket, drapes it over a chair. He pulls three guns out of the holster strapped to his back and takes his time placing them on the table where my

notebook used to be. When he finally looks up he has a slight smile on his face.

Hands in his pockets. His smile a little bigger. “Where are you going, love?”

“I have some things I need to take care of.”

“Is that right?” He leans one shoulder against the wall, crosses his arms against his chest. He can’t stop smiling.

“Yes.” I’m getting irritated now.

Warner waits. Stares. Nods once, as if to say, Go on. “Your father—”

“Is not here.” “Oh.”

I try to hide my shock, but now I don’t know why I was so certain Anderson would still be here. This complicates things.

“You really thought you could just walk out of this room,” Warner says to me, “knock on my father’s door, and do away with him?”

Yes. “No.”

“Liar, liar, pants on fire,” Warner says softly. I glare at him.

“My father is gone,” Warner says. “He’s gone back to the capital, and he’s taken Sonya and Sara with him.”

I gasp, horrified. “No.” Warner isn’t smiling anymore. “Are they … alive?” I ask.

“I don’t know.” A simple shrug. “I imagine they must be, as they’re of no use to my father in any other condition.”

“They’re alive?” My heart picks up so quickly I might be having a heart attack. “I have to get them back—I have to find them, I—”

“You what?” Warner is looking at me closely. “How will you get to my father? How will you fight him?”

“I don’t know!” I’m pacing across the room now. “But I have to find them. They might be my only friends left in this world and—”

I stop.

I spin around suddenly, heart in my throat.

“What if there are others?” I whisper, too afraid to hope. I meet Warner across the room.

“What if there are other survivors?” I ask, louder now. “What if they’re hiding somewhere?”

“That seems unlikely.”

“But there’s a chance, isn’t there?” I’m desperate. “If there’s even the slightest chance—”

Warner sighs. Runs a hand through the hair at the back of his head. “If you’d seen the devastation the way that I did, you wouldn’t be saying such things. Hope will break your heart all over again.”

My knees have begun to buckle.

I cling to the bed frame, breathing fast, hands shaking. I don’t know anything anymore. I don’t actually know what’s happened to Omega Point. I don’t know where the capital is or how I’d get there. I don’t know if I’d even be able to get to Sonya and Sara in time. But I can’t shake this sudden, stupid hope that more of my friends have somehow survived.

Because they’re stronger than this—smarter.

“They’ve been planning for war for such a long time,” I hear myself say. “They must have had some kind of a backup plan. A place to hide—”


“Dammit, Warner! I have to try. You have to let me look.”

“This is unhealthy.” He won’t meet my eyes. “It’s dangerous for you to think there’s a chance anyone might still be alive.”

I stare at his strong, steady profile. He studies his hands.

“Please,” I whisper. He sighs.

“I have to head to the compounds in the next day or so, just to better oversee the process of rebuilding the area.” He tenses as he speaks. “We lost many civilians,” he says. “Too many. The remaining citizens are understandably traumatized and subdued, as was my father’s intention. They’ve been stripped of any last hope they might’ve had for rebellion.”

A tight breath.

“And now everything must be quickly put back in order,” he says. “The bodies are being cleared out and incinerated. The damaged housing units are being replaced. Civilians are being forced to go back to work, orphans are being moved, and the remaining children are required to attend their sector schools.

“The Reestablishment,” he says, “does not allow time for people to grieve.”

There’s a heavy silence between us.

“While I’m overseeing the compounds,” Warner says, “I can find a way to take you back to Omega Point. I can show you what’s happened. And then, once you have proof, you will have to make your choice.”

“What choice?”

“You have to decide your next move. You can stay with me,” he says, hesitating, “or, if you prefer, I can arrange for you to live undetected, somewhere on unregulated grounds. But it will be a solitary existence,” he says quietly. “You can never be discovered.”


A pause. “Yes,” he says. Another pause.

Or,” I say to him, “I leave, find your father, kill him, and deal with the consequences on my own.”

Warner fights a smile and fails.

He glances down and laughs just a little before looking me right in the eye. He shakes his head.

“What’s so funny?” “My dear girl.” “What?

“I have been waiting for this moment for a long time now.” “What do you mean?”

“You’re finally ready,” he says. “You’re finally ready to fight.” Shock courses through me. “Of course I am.”

In an instant I’m bombarded by memories of the battlefield, the terror of being shot to death. I have not forgotten my friends or my renewed conviction, my determination to do things differently. To make a difference. To really fight this time, with no hesitation. No matter what happens—and no matter what I discover—there’s no turning back for me anymore. There are no other alternatives.

I have not forgotten. “I forge forward or die.” Warner laughs out loud. He looks like he might cry.

“I am going to kill your father,” I say to him, “and I’m going to destroy The Reestablishment.”

He’s still smiling. “I will.”

“I know,” he says.

“Then why are you laughing at me?”

“I’m not,” he says softly. “I’m only wondering,” he says, “if you would like my help.”

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