Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 119)

“No, the space is too dark.”

“And the mirror room, what else is there?”

“Just the mirrors, and the gold. It’s a band, around the room. And there’s a black table with a big stereo, and a TV. She’s touching the VCR there, but she doesn’t watch the way she does in the dark room. This is the room where she waits.” His eyes drifted, then focused on Jessamine’s face.

“There’s nothing else?”

He shook his head. They looked at each other, motionless.

“What does it mean?” I asked.

Neither of them answered for a moment, then Jessamine looked at me.

“It means the tracker’s plans have changed. She’s made a decision that will lead her to the mirror room, and the dark room.”

“But we don’t know where those rooms are?”

“No.”

“But we do know that she won’t be in the mountains north of Washington, being hunted. She’ll elude them.” Archie’s voice was bleak.

He picked up the phone just as it vibrated.

“Carine,” he said. And then he glanced at me. “Yes.” He listened for another long moment, then said, “I just saw her.” He described the vision like he had for Jessamine. “Whatever made her take that plane… it was leading her to those rooms.” He paused. “Yes.”

He held out the phone to me. “Beau?”

I yanked it out of his hand. “Hello?”

“Beau,” Edythe breathed.

“Oh, Edythe,” I said. “Where are you?”

“Outside of Vancouver. I’m sorry, Beau—we lost her. She seems suspicious of us—she stays just far enough away that I can’t hear her. She’s gone now—looks like she stole a small plane. We think she’s heading back to Forks to start over.”

I could hear Archie filling Jessamine in behind me.

“I know. Archie saw that she got away.”

“You don’t have to worry, though. You’ve left no trail for her to follow. You just have to stay with Archie and wait till we find her again. Archie will get a bead on her soon enough.”

“I’ll be fine. Is Earnest with Charlie?”

“Yes—the male’s been in town. He went to the house, but while Charlie was at work. He hasn’t gone near your father. Don’t worry—Charlie’s safe with Earnest and Royal watching.”

Somehow, Royal’s presence didn’t comfort me much.

“What do you think Victor is doing?”

“Trying to pick up the trail. He’s been all through the area during the night. Royal traced him up to the airport in Port Angeles, all the roads around town, the school… he’s digging, Beau, but there’s nothing to find.”

“And you’re sure Charlie’s safe?”

“Yes. Earnest won’t let him out of his sight. I’ll be there soon. If the tracker gets anywhere near Forks, I’ll have her.”

I swallowed. “Be careful. Stay with Carine and Eleanor.”

“I know what I’m doing.”

“I miss you,” I said.

“I know, believe me, I know. It’s like you’ve taken half of my self away with you.”

“Come and get it, then.”

“As soon as I possibly can. I will make this right first.” Her voice got hard.

“I love you.”

“Could you believe that, despite everything I’ve put you through, I love you, too?”

“Yes, I can.”

“I’ll come for you soon.”

“I’ll wait for you.”

The phone went dead, and a sudden wave of depression crashed over me. Jessamine looked up sharply, and the feeling dissipated.

Jessamine went back to watching Archie. He was on the couch, leaning over the table with the free hotel pen in his hand. I walked over to see what he was doing.

He was sketching on a piece of hotel stationery. I leaned on the back of the couch, looking over his shoulder.

He drew a room: long, rectangular, with a thinner, square section at the back. He drew lines to show how the wooden planks that made up the floor stretched lengthwise across the room. Down the walls were more lines denoting the breaks in the mirrors. I hadn’t been picturing them like that—covering the whole wall that way. And then, wrapping around the walls, waist high, a long band. The band Archie said was gold.

“It’s a ballet studio,” I said, suddenly recognizing the familiar shapes.

They both looked up at me, surprised.

“Do you know this room?” Jessamine’s voice sounded calm, but there was an undercurrent to it. Archie leaned closer to the paper, his hand flying across the page now. An emergency exit took shape against the back wall just where I knew it would be; the stereo and TV filled in the right corner foreground.

“It looks like a place where my mom used to teach dance lessons—she didn’t stick with it for very long. It was shaped just the same.” I touched the page where the square section jutted out, narrowing the back part of the room. “That’s where the bathrooms were—the doors were through the other dance floor. But the stereo was here”—I pointed to the left corner—“it was older, and there wasn’t a TV. There was a window in the waiting room—you could see the room from this perspective if you looked through it.”

Archie and Jessamine were staring at me.

“Are you sure it’s the same room?” Jessamine asked with the same unnatural calm.

“No, not at all. I mean, most dance studios would look the same—the mirrors, the bar.” I leaned over the couch and traced my finger along the ballet bar set against the mirrors. “It’s just the shape that looked familiar.”

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