Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 45)

Without another word, she started the engine and spun the car around. Then we were speeding back toward town. We were under the streetlights in no time at all, still going too fast, weaving easily through the cars slowly cruising the boardwalk. She parallel parked against the curb in a space I would have thought much too small for the Volvo, but she slid in with one try. I looked out the window to see the theater’s brightly lit marquee. Jeremy and Allen were just leaving, pacing away from us.

“How did you know where…?” I started, but then I just shook my head.

“Stop them before I have to track them down, too. I won’t be able to restrain myself if I run into your other friends again.”

It was strange how her silky voice could sound so… menacing.

I jumped out of the car but kept my hand on the frame. Like before, holding her here.

“Jer! Allen!” I shouted.

They weren’t very far away. They both turned, and I waved my free arm over my head. They rushed back, the relief on both their faces turning to surprise when they took in the car I was standing next to. Allen stared into the recesses of the car, and then his eyes popped wide in recognition.

“What happened to you?” Jeremy demanded. “We thought you took off.”

“No, I just got lost. And then I ran into Edythe.”

She leaned forward and smiled through the windshield. Now Jeremy’s eyes bugged out.

“Oh, hi… Edythe,” Allen said.

She waved at him with two fingers, and he swallowed loudly.

“Uh, hey,” Jeremy said in her direction; then he stared at me—I must have looked odd, my one hand locked on the frame of the open door, but I wasn’t letting go. “So… the movie’s already started, I think.”

“Sorry about that,” I said.

He checked his watch. “It’s probably still just running previews. Did you…” He eyed my hand on the car. “… still want to come?”

I hesitated, glancing at Edythe.

“Would you like to come… Edythe?” Allen asked politely, though he had a little trouble getting her name out.

Edythe opened her door and stepped out, shaking her long hair back from her face. She leaned on the frame and threw her dimples at them. Jeremy’s mouth fell open.

“I’ve already seen this one, but thank you, Allen,” she said.

Allen blinked and seemed to forget how to speak. It made me feel a little better for always being so stupid around her. Who could help it?

Edythe glanced over at me. “On a scale of one to ten, how much do you want to see this movie now?” she murmured.

Negative five thousand, I thought. “Er, not that much,” I whispered back.

She smiled directly at Jeremy now. “Will it ruin your night if I make Beau take me to dinner?” she asked.

Jeremy just shook his head. He hadn’t remembered how to close his mouth yet.

“Thanks,” she told him, dimpling again. “I’ll give Beau a ride home.”

She slid back inside.

“Get in the car, Beau,” she said.

Allen and Jeremy stared. I shrugged quickly and then ducked into the passenger seat.

“The hell?” I heard Jeremy breathe as I slammed my door.

I didn’t get another look at their reactions. She was already racing away.

“Did you really want dinner?” I asked her.

She looked at me questioningly. Was she thinking what I was thinking—that I’d never actually seen her eat anything?

“I thought you might,” she finally said.

“I’m good,” I told her.

“If you’d rather go home…”

“No, no,” I said too quickly. “I can do dinner. I just mean it doesn’t have to be that. Whatever you’d like.”

She smiled and stopped the car. We were parked right in front of an Italian place.

My palms started to sweat a little as I jumped out of the car, hurrying to hold the restaurant’s door for her. I’d never really been on a date like this—a real date date. I’d gotten roped into some group things back in Phoenix, but I could honestly say that I hadn’t cared one way or another if I ever saw any of those girls again. This was different. I nearly had a panic attack anytime I thought this girl might disappear.

She smiled at me as she walked past, and my heart did this weird double-beat thing.

The restaurant wasn’t crowded—this was the off-season in Port Angeles. The host was a meticulously groomed guy a few years older than me, about my height but thicker through the shoulders. His eyes did that same thing that Allen’s and Jeremy’s had, bugging out for a second before he got control of his expression. Then it was his smarmiest smile and a goofy deep bow, all for her. I was pretty sure he didn’t even know I was standing there next to her.

“What can I do for you?” he asked as he straightened up, still looking only at her.

“A table for two, please.”

For the first time, he seemed to realize I was there. The look he gave me was quick and dismissive. His eyes shifted back to her immediately, not that I could blame him for that.

“Of course, er, mademoiselle.” He grabbed two leather folders and gestured for Edythe to follow. I rolled my eyes. Signorina was probably what he’d been looking for.

He led us to a four-top in the middle of the most crowded part of the dining room. I reached for a chair, but Edythe shook her head at me.

“Perhaps something more private?” she said quietly to the host. It looked like she brushed the top of his hand with her fingers, which I already knew was unlike her—she didn’t touch people if she could help it—but then I saw him slide that hand to a pocket inside his suit coat, and I realized that she must have given him a tip. I’d never seen anyone refuse a table like that except in old movies.

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