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I woke to a hard shake on my shoulders from Anne in the middleof the night.“Wha—?”“Please, miss, you have to get up!” Her voice was frantic, wornwith terror.“What’s wrong? Are you hurt?”“No, no. We have to get you to the basement; we’re underattack.”
My mind was groggy; I couldn’t be sure I was hearing her right.But I noticed behind her that Lucy was already crying.“They’re inside?” I asked in disbelief.Lucy’s fearful wail was all the confirmation I needed.“What do we do?” I asked. A sudden adrenaline spike woke meup, and I jumped out of bed. As soon as I was standing, Mary waspushing my feet into shoes and Anne was putting a robe on me. AllI could think was North or South? North or South?“There’s a passage here in the corner. It’ll take you straight tothe holding room in the basement. The guards are there waiting.The royal family should already be there and most of the girls, too.Hurry, miss.” Anne pulled me out into the hallway and pushed on asection of wall. It turned, like a hidden passage from some mysterynovel. Sure enough, behind the wall, a stairwell awaited me. As Istood there, Tiny bolted from her room and scurried down thepassage.“Okay, let’s go,” I said. Anne and Mary gaped at me. Lucy wasshaking to the point she could barely stand. “Let’s go,” I repeated.“No, miss. We go somewhere else. You have to hurry beforethey get here. Please!”I knew at the best they’d be injured if they were found; at worstthey’d die. I couldn’t bear them being hurt. Maybe I was a littlecocky, but if Maxon had gone out of his way to do everything he’ddone thus far, maybe they would matter to him if they mattered tome. Even if we were fighting. Perhaps it was too much generosityto bank on, but I wasn’t leaving them here. The fear made memove faster. I grabbed Anne’s arm and pushed her in. She
move faster. I grabbed Anne’s arm and pushed her in. Shestumbled and couldn’t stop me as I grabbed Mary and Lucy.“Move!” I told them.They started walking, but Anne was protesting the whole way.“They won’t let us in, miss! This place is just for the family. . . .They’ll just make us leave!” But I didn’t care what she said.Whatever their hiding place was, there was no way it would be assafe as wherever the royal family was hiding.The stairwell was lit every few yards, but even so I nearly fell afew times in my haste to move. My mind was blinded with worry.How far had the rebels penetrated before? Did they know thesepathways to safety existed? Lucy was half-paralyzed, and I tuggedher down to keep us together.I couldn’t tell how long it took for us to reach the bottom, butfinally the tiny pathway opened up to a man-made cavern. I couldsee other stairways and other girls, everyone running behind whatlooked to be a two-foot-thick door. We ran up to our safe place.