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There was not much for Rose to clear up in the house. It was never really her home, it just held all the memories of her hiding from Peter. It was a grim, dark house that was filled with memories of pain for her and she could not take that anymore. She needed to get out. She needed to return to her clan and to find out what happened to Willis. It had plagued her for months, wondering what had happened to him. She hoped that he had gotten to safety, but she knew Peter. She knew that he would not let Willis survive if he had her scent. He was simply obsessed.
It was comforting to know that he had been taken to the Mephisto citadel, because he would no doubt be heavily punished for what he had done. The clans did not care much about how their golden children acted, as long as the golden children made the clan look good. They needed to make the clan look magnanimous to the common people, not monstrous, because then and only then could they get the unwavering support that they normally received. The clans were something that normal people aspired to be part of, so incidents like that of Peter would be hushed up and he would be severely punished for far overstepping his bounds.
It allowed her to relax. There was no need for her to worry about the devourer hunting her anymore, she was free. All she had to do was put all the items from her journey up Babel in her bag, and then she would be free to join her family. She gave one last look around her old home before walking towards the door.
Lost in thought, she did not notice the skeletal rat in the corner of the room. It stayed just out of sight but followed her every movement. Scuttling behind Rose, the rat clambered up a wall and began following her from the rooftops. Rose could feel that something was following her, but she ignored it. She was so used to it at this point that the paranoia was second nature to her. Peter was back with his family. There was no danger now. She had to believe that the sense of danger was purely a residual feeling from when Peter was chasing her. The alternative was something far too distressing for her.
She walked down the main road from Panwood Lane to the highway that lead to the Briar gardens. The gardens were one of the wonders of the sixth floor, but something that Rose had never had a chance to see. Travelling somewhere had felt so dangerous to her that she could only hid in that poky little room for a year before Cleo and Winoa came and freed her. They would never truly know how grateful she actually was for them finding her and freeing her from the hell that had been inflicted on her.
As she walked down the main road, the sense of danger only seemed to increase. The street began to clear, and she frowned, picking up the pace. She was only a mile from the safety of the Briar home. She could make it in less than a minute if need be.
The last thing that she needed to do before reaching safety was walk through a series of alleyways and she would be in Briar territory. They were short, but they were what made her feel the most danger. She took a deep breath and just waked into them. She was prepared to run, but held off to prove to herself that she was worrying about nothing.
As she turned the final corner, she stopped. Standing at the end of the alley was a boy with ruddy brown hair. He took a step towards her and smiled as she cried out in fear.
“Hello Rose,” Peter said.
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