Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 112)

“I’ll call you tomorrow!” I yelled.

I would never be able to explain this to him, never be able to make it right again. I gunned the engine and peeled out.

Edythe reached for my hand.

“Pull over,” she said as Charlie and the house disappeared behind us.

I kept my eyes on the road, trying to control my face. “I can drive.”

Suddenly she was sliding over my lap, her hands on the wheel and her foot pushing mine off the gas. She moved into the space between my leg and the door, then shoved me over with her hip. The truck didn’t swerve an inch and she was in the driver’s seat.

“You wouldn’t be able to find the house,” she explained.

Lights flared behind us. I jumped, and stared out the back window.

“It’s just Archie,” she said. She took my hand again.

When I closed my eyes, all I could see was Charlie standing in the doorway.

“The tracker?”

“She caught the end of your performance. She’s running behind us now—about a mile back.”

My body felt cold. “Can we outrun her?”

“No.” But she sped up as she spoke. The truck’s engine whined.

My plan wasn’t feeling so brilliant anymore.

I was staring back at Archie’s headlights when the truck shuddered and a dark shadow sprang up outside the window.

“E—!”

Her hand clamped over my mouth before I could finish shouting the warning.

“It’s Eleanor!”

She dropped her hand to my knee.

“It’s okay, Beau,” she promised.

We raced out of town, headed north.

“I didn’t realize you were still so bored with small-town life,” she said conversationally, and I knew she was trying to distract me. “It seemed like you were adjusting fairly well—especially recently. Maybe I was just flattering myself that I was making life more interesting for you.”

“That was below the belt,” I confessed, staring at my knees. “Those were the last words my mother said to him when she left. It would have done less damage if I’d punched him.”

“He’ll forgive you,” she promised.

I closed my eyes.

“Beau, it’s going to be all right.”

I looked down at her. “It won’t be all right when we’re not together.”

“It’s only a few days. Don’t forget this was your idea.”

“That makes it worse. Why did this happen? I don’t understand.”

She stared at the road ahead, her eyebrows pulling low over her eyes. “It’s my fault. I shouldn’t have exposed you like that.”

I grabbed her hand. “No, that’s not what I’m talking about. Okay, I was there. Big deal. It didn’t bother the other two. Why did Joss decide to kill me? There are people all over the place—people who are a lot easier to get to.” I glanced over my shoulder at Eleanor’s shadow. “Why am I worth all this trouble?”

Edythe hesitated, thinking before she answered. “I got a good look at her mind tonight,” she said in a low voice. “I’m not sure if there’s anything I could have done to avoid this, once she caught your scent. It is partially your fault.” She looked at me from the side of her eye for a second. “If you didn’t smell so ridiculously delicious, she might not have bothered. But when I defended you… well, that made it a lot worse. She’s not used to being thwarted, no matter how insignificant the object. She thinks of herself as a hunter—as the hunter. Her life is consumed with tracking, and a challenge is what she loves best in life. Suddenly we’ve presented her with an amazing challenge—a large clan of strong fighters, all determined to protect the one vulnerable element. You don’t know how euphoric she is right now. It’s her favorite game, and we’ve just created the most exciting round ever.” Her tone was full of disgust. She took a deep breath. “But if I had stood by, she would have killed you right then!” she hissed with frustration.

“I thought… I didn’t smell the same to the others… as I do to you.”

“You don’t. But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t still a temptation to every one of them. If you had appealed to the tracker—or any of them—the same way you appeal to me, it would have meant a fight right there.”

I shuddered.

“I don’t think I have any choice but to kill her now,” she muttered. “Carine won’t like it.”

“I don’t like it,” I whispered.

She looked at me, surprised. “You want me to spare her?”

I blinked. “No—I mean, yes. I don’t care if she… dies. I mean, that would be a relief, right? I just don’t want you… What if you get hurt?”

Her face went hard. “You don’t have to worry about me. I don’t fight fair.”

I could hear the tires cross the bridge, though I couldn’t see the river in the dark. I knew we were getting close.

“How do you kill a vampire?” I asked in a low voice.

She glanced at me—her eyes were hard to read. When she spoke her voice was harsh. “The only way to be sure is to tear her to shreds, and then burn the pieces.”

“And the other two will fight with her?”

“The male will. I’m not sure about Lauren. They don’t have a very strong bond—she’s only with them for convenience. She was embarrassed by Joss’s behavior in the meadow.…”

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