Catching Smoke: Ch. 13

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Colin finds Lydia at the hotel bar, and takes the seat next to her.

“Still allergic to emotions?” Colin asks.

Lydia takes a sip of her drink before looking at him. In the dimly lit glow of the bar, her expression looks eerie. Her long, black, wavy hair is messy and wild over her tattooed shoulders. Her skin is tanned from the sun, and her dark eyes are smudged with shadow. She looks like she belongs on the set of a horror movie, not the bar of a fancy hotel.

“I found the cure.” She says, sloshing her drink around in her hand.

“Right.” He says. “Is that why you were demoted?”

She slams the drink down on the bar, and glares at him.

“I wasn’t demoted. I was in an accident. I’m in recovery.”

“Sure. Whatever you say.”

“What are you doing here anyway? Chasing your past? I find it oddly coincidental that you should get a similar assignment as I did ten years ago. And wind up here.”

“You don’t believe in coincidence.”


She raises her eyebrows, waiting for Colin to answer, but he only shrugs. He doesn’t believe in coincidence either, but he definitely didn’t plan to be in this situation. He would have rather never seen Lydia or Brazil again. His memories of either weren’t the greatest. 

“Goodnight, Lydia.” Colin says before getting up from the bar.

“Oh, it will be.” Lydia says.

Colin doesn’t respond. He goes back to the hotel room. He was expecting Emmalee would feel comfortable falling asleep with him gone. He had seen the exhaustion in her eyes, and knew she would fall asleep within seconds if given the chance. So he gave her the chance. 

But when he enters the hotel room, he doesn’t find her asleep on the bed like he expected.

She’s gone.

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