Catching Smoke: Ch. 16

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Emmalee wakes to something cold and wet splashing onto her face. She opens her eyes, and sits up with a startled gasp to realize she’s half-naked on the beach. The tide is higher than it was when she fell asleep and the entire left side of her body is covered in muddy water. The rest of her is covered in a thick layer of sand.

How did this happen?

It takes her a moment to remember her delirious, sleep-deprived walk on the beach after escaping from the hotel. How far did she walk before collapsing? 

She looks around and doesn’t recognize any of her surroundings. She’s on a beach in Brazil. How could she be lost? 

She picks herself up and dusts as much sand off of herself as she can. Then, she begins to walk again. She isn’t sure where she’s going, but she’s in a much better state now to come up with a plan than she was last night.

She doesn’t walk for very long before she hears the sound of footsteps thundering behind her. She quickly turns around, and sees Colin running after her. Her eyes widen as she quickly turns back around and begins running away from him. There was nobody on the beach for miles when she looked around. How did this happen? Where did he come from? How could he have possibly found her?

“Emmalee!” Colin shouts, but she doesn’t stop. “I’m not the bad guy!”

She doesn’t listen. She just keeps running. 

Until her foot gets caught in a pothole on the beach and she face-plants directly onto the wet sand of the beach.

Colin has her pinned before the pain registers in her ankle. She won’t be running again any time soon, and the realization hits her with an overwhelming sense of dread. She’s never been this careless. What’s wrong with her? How could this happen?

“If you’re going to kill me, just do it already. I know whoever hired you wants to do it himself, but please just…” She gasps and then starts coughing.

“I wasn’t sent to kill you. I told you I’m not the bad guy.”

“Then what do you want from me?”

Colin grins.

“I’d like to offer you a  job.”

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