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i'm not upset
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((Nick LeMonde continued from Aching Chest and Blurry Sight))

Nick walked hand in hand with Jessica behind the group. He held onto her protectively. It was nice having her with him. He knew she was safe like this. It was also a change in company, it was someone who knew him from before his life was a whirling mess of blood and blades. She knew the Nick from back home. When he looked at her, it was like he was back there for a second.

But that was only one half of it. The other half of it was that she would find out what he'd done. There was nothing wrong with what he'd done, no, not at all. He was just following the rules. Not everyone would see it like that though. It was impossible for him to know how she would react to something like that. Not letting on while trying to be protective was like a complicated juggling act.

Gracie went first into the shack they saw up ahead. Nick stepped carefully over the two dead bodies at the entrance.

He peeked in after Gracie, making sure the bulk of his broad body was in front of Jessica in case there was some attacker inside.

There was no attacker but it didn't take him long to conclude that his juggling act had just spilled all over the floor. Nick stood in silence, unsure of what to do now that they were face to face with Simon again.
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... Because I Can't Make It On My Own · The Ranger Station