Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 68)

I went inside, leaving the door open behind me and turning on lights before I hung up my jacket. Then I stood in the door, watching anxiously as Charlie and Jules helped Bonnie out of the car and into her wheelchair.

I backed out of the way as the three of them hurried in, shaking off the rain.

“This is a surprise,” Charlie was saying.

“It’s been too long,” Bonnie answered. “I hope it’s not a bad time.” Her dark eyes flashed up to me again, their expression unreadable.

“No, it’s great. I hope you can stay for the game.”

Jules grinned. “I think that’s the plan—our TV broke last week.”

Bonnie made a face at her daughter. “And, of course, Jules was eager to see Beau again,” she added. Jules returned the scowl.

“Are you hungry?” I asked, turning toward the kitchen. Bonnie’s searching gaze made me uncomfortable.

“Naw, we ate just before we came,” Jules answered.

“How about you, Charlie?” I called over my shoulder as I escaped around the corner.

“Sure,” he replied, his voice moving in the direction of the front room and the TV. I could hear Bonnie’s chair follow.

The grilled cheese sandwiches were in the frying pan and I was slicing up a tomato when I sensed someone behind me.

“So, how are things?” Jules asked.

“Pretty good.” I smiled. Her enthusiasm was hard to resist. “How about you? Did you finish your car?”

“No.” She frowned. “I still need parts. We borrowed that one.” She pointed with her thumb in the direction of the front yard.

“Sorry. I haven’t seen any… what was it you were looking for?”

“Master cylinder.” She grinned. “Is something wrong with the truck?” she added suddenly.

“No.”

“Oh. I just wondered because you weren’t driving it.”

I stared down at the pan, pulling up the edge of a sandwich to check on the bottom side. “I got a ride with a friend.”

“Nice ride.” Jules’s voice was admiring. “I didn’t recognize the driver, though. I thought I knew most of the kids around here.”

I nodded noncommittally, keeping my eyes down as I flipped sandwiches.

“My mom seemed to know her from somewhere.”

“Jules, could you hand me some plates? They’re in the cupboard over the sink.”

“Sure.”

She got the plates in silence. I hoped she would let it drop now.

“So who was it?” she asked, setting two plates on the counter next to me.

I sighed in defeat. “Edythe Cullen.”

To my surprise, she laughed. I glanced down at her. She looked a little embarrassed.

“Guess that explains it, then,” she said. “I wondered why my mom was acting so strange.”

I faked an innocent expression. “That’s right. She doesn’t like the Cullens.”

“Superstitious old bat,” Jules muttered under her breath.

“You don’t think she’d say anything to Charlie?” I couldn’t help asking, the words coming out in a low rush.

Jules stared at me for a minute, and I couldn’t read the expression in her dark eyes. “I doubt it,” she finally answered. “I think Charlie chewed her out pretty good last time. They haven’t spoken much since—tonight is sort of a reunion, I think. I don’t think she’d bring it up again.”

“Oh,” I said, trying to sound like it didn’t matter much to me either way.

I stayed in the front room after I carried the food out to Charlie, pretending to watch the game while chatting absently with Jules. Mostly I was listening to the adults’ conversation, watching for any sign that Bonnie was about to rat me out, trying to think of ways to stop her if she started.

It was a long night. I had a lot of homework that was going undone, but I was afraid to leave Bonnie alone with Charlie. Finally, the game ended.

“Are you and your friends coming back to the beach soon?” Jules asked as she pushed her mother over the lip of the threshold.

“Uh, I’m not sure,” I hedged.

“That was fun, Charlie,” Bonnie said.

“Come up for the next game,” Charlie encouraged.

“Sure, sure,” Bonnie said. “We’ll be here. Have a good night.” Her eyes shifted to mine, and her smile disappeared. “You take care, Beau,” she added seriously.

“Thanks,” I muttered, looking away.

I headed for the stairs while Charlie waved from the doorway.

“Wait, Beau,” he said.

I cringed. Had Bonnie gotten something in before I’d joined them in the living room?

But Charlie was relaxed, still grinning from the unexpected visit.

“I didn’t get a chance to talk to you tonight. How was your day?”

“Good.” I hesitated with one foot on the first stair, trying to think of details I could safely share. “My badminton team won all four games.”

“Wow, I didn’t know you could play badminton.”

“Well, actually I can’t, but my partner is really good,” I admitted.

“Who is it?” he asked with token interest.

“Um… McKayla Newton.”

“Oh yeah—you said you were friends with the Newton girl.” He perked up. “Nice family.” He mused for a minute. “She didn’t want to go with you to the dance this weekend?”

“Dad!” I groaned. “She’s kind of dating my friend Jeremy. Besides, you know I can’t dance.”

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