It’s time,” Jack said.“Breeze? Count the kids,” Sam said.Brianna was back in twenty seconds. “Eighty-two, boss.”“About a third,” Jack observed. “A third of what’s left.”“Wait. Make that eighty-eight,” Brianna said. “And a dog.”Lana, looking deeply irritated—a fairly usual expression for her—and Sanjit, looking happy—a fairly usual expression for him—and Sanjit’s siblings were trotting along to catch up.“I don’t know if we’re staying up there or not,” Lana said without preamble. “I want to check it out. And my room smells like crap.”Just before the time was up, Sam heard a stir. Kids were making a lane for someone, murmuring. His heart leaped.“Hey, Sam.”He swallowed the lump in his throat. “Diana?”“Not expecting me, huh?” She made a wry face. “Where’s blondie? I didn’t see her at the big pep rally.”“Are you coming with us?” Brianna demanded, obviously not happy about it.“Is Caine okay with this?” Sam asked Diana. “It’s your choice, but I need to know if he’s going to come after us to take you back.”“Caine has what he wants,” Diana said.“Maybe I should call Toto over,” Sam said. The truth teller was having a conversation with Spidey. “I could ask you whether you’re coming along to spy for Caine, and see what Toto has to say.”Diana sighed. “Sam, I have bigger problems than Caine. And so do you, I guess. Because the FAYZ is going to do something it’s never done before: grow by one.”“What’s that mean?”“You are going to be an uncle.”Sam stared blankly. Brianna said a very rude word. And even Dekka looked up.“You’re having a baby?” Dekka asked.“Let’s hope so,” Diana said bleakly. “Let’s hope that’s all it is.

~ Michael Grant