Somehow, I found my way back to the building I’d woken up. I hadn’t consciously decided that was where I wanted to go, but I knew I wasn’t ready to go back home. Not looking the way that I did.
“Welcome home,” Zoe said, hardly glancing up as I stormed into the room.
“What the hell happened out there?”
“We did,” she said casually. Then she did look up, and smiled. “You look different.”
“Don’t change the subject,” I said. “Who’s we? You and Gabriel?”
She sniffed the air around me, and her expression darkened.
“You met Gabriel?” she asked, though it wasn’t really a question.
“What is with you two?”
“I’d avoid him,” she warned. “He’s dangerous.”
“What makes you any different?” I demanded.
“Nothing,” she said, shrugging. “We’re far too similar for my own comfort.”
“Then shouldn’t I be avoiding you, too?”
“Probably,” she said.
“Huh.” I was expecting her to defend herself, to tell me that she was different to him. I didn’t really know how to respond to that, so instead, I changed the subject.
“You said I looked different,” I said. “What did you mean?”
“Why not check the mirror?” she asked.
Confused, I went back to the mirror. I had to bite my lip to keep myself from crying out in surprise.
I looked exactly like myself again. Tan skin, curly brown hair, freckles, all of it.
“I look like me again,” I muttered, forgetting that Zoe could almost certainly hear as well as I’d been able to when I was pumped full of adrenaline.
“Stranger things have happened,” she said.
I turned to face her. She met my eye, a relaxed smile spreading across her face, and waited for me to speak.
“I want to go home,” I told her, half prepared for a fight. Instead, she just nodded.
“So go,” she said. “You’ll be fine.”
“What do I tell my family?” I asked.
“Whatever you want,” she said, shrugging.
“You’re not like, swearing me to secrecy or anything?” I asked, not sure why I was surprised.
“Why should I? The only thing I’d ask you to do is not let anyone know where I am. Especially Gabriel.”
“I can do that.”
“Go see your family, then,” she said gently. “You know where to find me if you need me.”
“I will probably have more questions,” I said.
“I will answer as best I can.”