Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 115)
Archie’d had a more difficult time seeing Charlie. “Humans are harder than vampires,” he told me. And I’d remembered that Edythe had said something to me about that once. It had seemed like years ago, when it had been only days. I remembered being disoriented by the way I couldn’t make sense of the time.
I remembered the sun coming up over a low peak somewhere in California. The light had stung my eyes, but I’d tried not to close them. When I did, the images that flashed behind my lids like still slides were too much. I’d rather my eyes burn than see them again. Charlie’s broken expression… Edythe’s bared teeth… Royal’s furious glare… the red eyes of the tracker staring at me… the dead look in Edythe’s eyes when she’d turned away from me…
I kept my eyes open, and the sun moved across the sky.
I remembered my head feeling heavy and light at the same time as we raced through a shallow mountain pass and the sun, behind us now, reflected off the tiled rooftops of my hometown. I hadn’t had enough emotion left to be surprised that we’d made a three-day journey in one. I’d stared blankly at the city laid out in front of us, realizing slowly that it was supposed to mean something to me. The scrubby creosote, the palm trees, the green golf course amoebas, the turquoise splotches of swimming pools—these were supposed to be familiar. I was supposed to feel like I was home.
The shadows of the streetlights had slanted across the freeway with lines that were sharper than I remembered. So little darkness. There was no place to hide in these shadows.
“Which way to the airport?” Jessamine had asked—the first time she’d spoken since we’d gotten in the car.
“Stay on the I-ten,” I’d answered automatically. “We’ll pass right by it.”
It had taken me a few seconds more to process the implications of her question. My brain was foggy with exhaustion.
“Are we flying somewhere?” I’d asked Archie. I couldn’t think of the plan. This didn’t sound right, though.
“No, but it’s better to be close, just in case.”
I remembered starting the loop around Sky Harbor International… but not ending it. That must have been when my brain had finally crashed.
Though, now that I’d chased the memories down, I did have a vague impression of leaving the car—the sun behind the horizon, my arm draped over Archie’s shoulder, his arm dragging me along as I stumbled through the warm, dry shadows.
I had no memory of this room.
I looked at the digital clock on the nightstand. The red numbers claimed it was three o’clock, but there was no way to tell if that meant a.m. or p.m. No light showed around the edges of the thick curtains, but the room was bright with the light from the lamps.
I rose stiffly and staggered to the window, pulling back the drapes.
It was dark outside. Three in the morning, then. The room looked out on a deserted section of the freeway and the new long-term parking garage for the airport. It made me feel better—by a very small amount—to be able to pinpoint time and place.
I looked down. I was still wearing Earnest’s shirt and too-short pants. I looked around the room and was glad when I saw my duffel bag on top of the low dresser.
A light tap on the door made me jump.
“Can I come in?” Archie asked.
I took a deep breath. “Sure.”
He walked in and looked me over. “You look like you could sleep longer.”
I shook my head.
He darted silently to the window and pulled the curtains shut.
“We’ll need to stay inside,” he told me.
“Okay.” My voice was hoarse; it cracked.
“Thirsty?” he asked.
I shrugged. “I’m okay. How about you?”
He smiled. “Nothing unmanageable. I ordered some food for you—it’s in the front room. Edythe reminded me that you have to eat a lot more frequently than we do.”
I was instantly more alert. “She called?”
“No.” He watched my face fall. “It was before we left. She gave me lots of instructions. Come eat something.”
He was out of the room before I could protest that I wasn’t hungry. I followed slowly behind him.
There was a living room attached to the bedroom. A low buzz of voices was coming from the TV. Jessamine sat at the desk in the corner, her eyes on the TV, but no interest in her expression. Archie went to stand by her. He ran his hand over her honey-colored hair.
“What’s the latest?” I asked.
“Earnest and Royal are back in Forks. The redhead gave up chasing them.”
I opened my mouth, but Archie was faster.
“They’re watching your father. The redhead won’t get past them.”
“What is he doing?”
“Working his way through town, looking for you as far as I can tell—he spent some time at the school.”
My eyes bulged. “Did he hurt anyone?”
Archie shook his head. “They seem pretty committed to the hunt they already started.”
“Frustrated, it looks like. They turned on the tracker, but she was already running. She’s kept going north. They’re chasing her.”
I stood there, not sure what to do.
Edythe was chasing Joss. Sure, she had Carine and Eleanor with her, but Edythe was the fastest.…
“Eat something, Beau. Edythe gets really difficult when she thinks her instructions aren’t being followed to the letter.”
There was a tray on the coffee table with a couple of stainless steel covers over the plates on it. I couldn’t think of anything to do besides follow Archie’s order. I sat on the floor next to the table and pulled off the first plate cover. I didn’t look at the food, I just grabbed something and started eating. I was probably hungry. We hadn’t stopped for food during our drive.