They slammed doors and started walking toward the forest when Tamani stopped them, his face deadly serious. “David, Chelsea, as I said before, there have only been the barest handful of humans admitted into Avalon. But those who have . . . sometimes, they don’t come back. If you come with us into the forest, I don’t know what will happen. And I don’t know what would be worse—if they turn you away at the gate, with no time to get back to your car, or if they were to actually let you in.”
He held David’s gaze for a long time before David nodded once. Then he turned his eyes to Chelsea.
“I can’t stay here,” she said softly. “I would hate myself for the rest of my life.”
“Fair enough,” Tamani said, almost under his breath. “Then let’s go.”
Tamani led the way down the serpentine path, moving through the forest with such confidence and determination that Laurel and her friends almost had to run to keep up. Laurel knew there had to be sentries marking their progress, and around every corner she expected them to appear, as they had often done when she’d entered the forest with Tamani. But the woods remained eerily still.