Catching Smoke: Ch. 24

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Emmalee hasn’t escaped.

When the rock came flying through the window, she knew exactly who had thrown it. She didn’t even have to look or wait to make sure. She just reacted.

And that’s how she ended up hiding in the cupboard above the refrigerator in the hotel room. It’s just barely large enough to fit her, but it wouldn’t be the first time she had to find a way to contort her body to hide from her past.

Now, she pushes open the cupboard door with her foot and slowly inches herself out. Crouching on the fridge, she gazes around the room to make sure it’s empty. She climbs down right as Colin and Lydia burst into the room.

“What the—” Lydia says.

“Hell,” Colin finishes for her. “What the hell are you doing?”

Emmalee isn’t sure how to answer. Do they not know about her past? If they don’t, there’s no reason for her to inform them. But how could they not know? It’s the entire reason she’s spent her life escaping, and isn’t that why they want to recruit her?

“Somebody tried to break in,” Emmalee says.

“So you hid?” Colin asks.

Lydia scoffs. “Some recruit.”

“Shut up, Lydia,” Colin says.

Lydia puts her hands up in mock-surrender, and begins to walk out of the room.

“I’ll wait outside,” she says.

She closes the door behind her, and Emmalee is suddenly terrified. She thought Colin was the harmless one, but now she isn’t so sure. Especially given the angry look on his face.

“Well?” Colin asks.

“Well, what?” 

“Why did you hide?”

“Because it seemed like the best idea at the time. What else was I supposed to do?”

“Wait for me? Fight? Anything more productive than hiding!”

“Well, I didn’t know hiding was such a bad idea. Now I do.”



Colin sighs.

“I have some phone calls to make. Can I trust you to stay in sight?” he asks.

Emmalee nods. He steps out the door with his phone already pressed to his ear. Emmalee walks to the window, careful not to step on the broken glass. She’ll be safe for tonight.

But she won’t stay safe for long.

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