Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 67)
“Are you finished?” I asked in relief.
“Not even close—but your father will be home soon.”
“How late is it?” I wondered out loud as I glanced at the clock. I was surprised by the time.
“It’s twilight,” Edythe murmured, looking toward the western horizon, hidden behind the clouds. Her voice was thoughtful, as if her mind were far away. I stared at her as she stared out the windshield.
I was still staring when her eyes suddenly shifted back to mine.
“It’s the safest time of day for us,” she said, answering the unspoken question in my eyes. “The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way… the end of another day, the return of the night. Darkness is so predictable, don’t you think?” She smiled wistfully.
“I like the night. Without the dark, you’d never see the stars.” I frowned. “Not that you see them here much.”
She laughed, and the mood abruptly lightened.
“Charlie will be here in a few minutes. So, unless you want to tell him that you’ll be with me Saturday…” She looked at me hopefully.
“Thanks, but no thanks.” I gathered my books, stiff from sitting still so long. “So is it my turn tomorrow, then?”
“Certainly not!” She pretended to be outraged. “I told you I wasn’t done, didn’t I?”
“What more is there?”
She displayed the dimples. “You’ll find out tomorrow.”
I stared at her, a little dazed, as usual.
I’d always thought I didn’t really have a type; my former crowd back home all had something—one liked blondes and one only cared about the legs and one had to have blue eyes. I’d thought I was less particular; a pretty girl was a pretty girl. But I realized now that I must have been the most difficult to please of them all. Apparently, my type was extremely specific—I’d just never known it. I hadn’t known my favorite hair color was this metallic shade of bronze, because I’d never seen it before. I hadn’t known I was looking for eyes the color of honey, because I’d never seen those, either. I didn’t know a girl’s lips had to be curved just this way and her cheekbones high under the long slash of her black lashes. All along, there had only been one shape, one face that would move me.
Like an idiot, warnings forgotten, I reached for her face, leaning in.
“Sorr—” I started to say as my hand dropped.
But her head whipped forward, and she was staring into the rain again.
“Oh no,” she breathed.
Her jaw was clenched, her brows pulled down into a hard line over her eyes. She glanced at me for one brief second.
“Another complication,” she told me glumly.
She leaned across me and flung my door open in one quick movement—her proximity sent my heart racing in an uneven gallop—and then she almost cringed away from me.
Headlights flashed through the rain. I looked up, expecting Charlie and a bunch of explanations to follow, but it was a dark sedan I didn’t recognize.
“Hurry,” she urged.
She was glaring through the downpour at the other vehicle.
I jumped out immediately, though I didn’t understand. The rain lashed against my face; I pulled my hood up.
I tried to make out the shapes in the front seat of the other car, but it was too dark. I could see Edythe illuminated in the blaze of the new car’s headlights; she was still staring ahead, her gaze locked on something or someone I couldn’t see. Her expression was a strange mix of frustration and defiance.
Then she revved the engine, and the tires squealed against the wet pavement. The Volvo was out of sight in seconds.
“Hey, Beau,” called a familiar, husky voice from the driver’s side of the little black car.
“Jules?” I asked, squinting through the rain. Just then, Charlie’s cruiser swung around the corner, his lights shining on the occupants of the car in front of me.
Jules was already climbing out, her wide grin visible even through the darkness. In the passenger seat was a much older woman, an imposing woman with an unusual face—it was stern and stoic, with creases that ran through the russet skin like an old leather jacket. And the surprisingly familiar eyes, set deep under the heavy brows, black eyes that seemed at the same time both too young and too ancient to match the face. Jules’s mother, Bonnie Black. I knew her immediately, though in the more than five years since I’d seen her last I’d managed to forget her name when Charlie had spoken of her my first day here. She was staring at me, scrutinizing my face, so I smiled tentatively at her. Then I processed more—that her eyes were wide, as if in shock or fear, her nostrils flared—and my smile faded.
Another complication, Edythe had said.
Bonnie still stared at me with intense, anxious eyes. Had Bonnie recognized Edythe so easily? Could she really believe the impossible legends her daughter had scoffed at?
The answer was clear in Bonnie’s eyes. Yes. Yes, she could.
“BONNIE!” CHARLIE CALLED AS SOON AS HE GOT OUT OF HIS CAR.
I turned toward the house, motioning to Jules for her to follow as I ducked under the porch. I heard Charlie greeting her loudly behind me.
“I’m going to pretend I didn’t see you behind the wheel, young lady.”
“We get permits early on the rez,” Jules said while I unlocked the door and flicked on the porch light.
Charlie laughed. “Sure you do.”
“I have to get around somehow.” I recognized Bonnie’s deep voice easily, despite the years. The sound of it made me feel suddenly younger, just a child.