Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 31)

“I—I think so,” I stuttered. “But she’s the adult—on paper at least. It’s a little different.”

Her face relaxed. “No one too scary, then,” she teased.

I grinned back. “What do you mean by scary? Tattoos and facial piercings?”

“That’s one definition, I suppose.”

“What’s your definition?”

She ignored me and asked another question. “Do you think I could be scary?” She raised one eyebrow.

I pretended to examine her face for a minute, just as an excuse to stare at her, my favorite thing to do.

Her features were so delicate, so symmetrical. Her face would stop anyone in his tracks, but it wouldn’t make him run in the other direction. The opposite.

“It’s kind of hard to imagine that,” I admitted.

She frowned to herself.

“But, I mean, I’m sure you could be, if you wanted to.”

She tilted her head and gave me an exasperated smile, but didn’t say anything else.

“So are you going to tell me about your family?” I asked. “It’s got to be a much more interesting story than mine.”

She was instantly cautious. “What do you want to know?”

“The Cullens adopted you?”


I hesitated for a minute. “What happened to your parents?”

“They died many years ago.” Her tone was matter-of-fact.

“I’m sorry.”

“I don’t really remember them clearly. Carine and Earnest have been my parents for a long time now.”

“And you love them.” It wasn’t a question. It was obvious in the way she said their names.

“Yes.” She smiled. “I can’t imagine two better people.”

“Then you’re very lucky.”

“I know it.”

“And your brother and sister?”

She glanced at the clock on the dashboard.

“My brother and sister, and Jessamine and Royal for that matter, are going to be quite upset if they have to stand in the rain waiting for me.”

“Oh, sorry, I guess you have to go.”

It was stupid, but I didn’t want to get out of the car.

“And you probably want your truck back before Chief Swan gets home and you have to explain about the syncopal episode.”

She was good with the medical jargon, but then, her mother was a doctor.

“I’m sure he’s already heard. There are no secrets in Forks,” I grumbled.

Apparently I’d said something funny, but I couldn’t guess what it was, or why there was an edge to her laughter.

“Have fun at the beach,” she said when she was finished. “Good weather for sunbathing.” She gestured to the sheeting rain.

“Won’t I see you tomorrow?”

“No. Eleanor and I are starting the weekend early.”

“What are you going to do?” A friend could ask that, right? I hoped she couldn’t hear the disappointment in my voice.

“We’ll be hiking the Goat Rocks Wilderness, just south of Rainier.”

“Oh, sounds fun.”

She smiled. “Will you do something for me this weekend?” She turned to look me straight in the eyes, her own burning in their hypnotic way.

I nodded, helpless. Anything, I could have said, and it would have been true.

“Don’t be offended, but you seem to be one of those people who just attract accidents like a magnet. Try not to fall into the ocean or get run over by anything, all right?”

She flashed her dimples at me, which took away some of the sting of being called incompetent.

“I’ll see what I can do,” I promised.

I jumped out into the vertical river and ran for the porch. By the time I turned around, the Volvo had disappeared.

“Oh!” I clutched at my jacket pocket, remembering that I’d forgotten to give her my key.

The pocket was empty.


WHILE I TRIED TO CONCENTRATE ON THE THIRD ACT OF Macbeth, I was listening for my truck. I would have thought I’d hear the engine’s roar even over the pounding rain. But when I went to look out the window again, it was suddenly there.

I wasn’t super excited to get up on Friday, and it more than lived up to my negative expectations. Of course there were all the fainting comments. Jeremy especially seemed to get a kick out of that story. He laughed till he choked when Logan pretended to swoon at the lunch table. Luckily, McKayla had kept her mouth shut, and no one seemed to know about Edythe’s involvement. Jeremy did have a lot of questions about yesterday’s lunch, though.

“What did Edythe Cullen want?” he’d asked in Trig.

“Not sure.” It was the truth. “She never really got to the point.”

“She looked kind of mad.”

I’d shrugged. “Did she?”

“I’ve never seen her sit with anyone but her family before. That was weird.”

“Yeah, weird,” I’d agreed.

He’d seemed kind of irritated that I didn’t have better answers.

The worst part about Friday was that, even though I knew she wasn’t going to be there, I still hoped. When I walked into the cafeteria with Jeremy and McKayla, I couldn’t keep from looking at her table, where Royal, Archie, and Jessamine sat, talking with their heads close together. I wondered if Archie had been the one to drive my truck home last night, and what he thought about the chore.

At my normal table, everyone was full of our plans for the next day. McKayla was animated again, putting a lot more trust in the local weatherman than I thought he deserved. I’d have to see his promised sun before I believed it. At least it was warmer today—almost sixty, though it was still wet. Maybe the trip wouldn’t be totally miserable.


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