Catching Smoke: Ch. 34

catching smoke cover

Emmalee isn’t sure why she’s crying.

Perhaps it’s because the wall she put up to hold herself together has finally broken under the total mess that has become her life. First, she’s found by Colin when she’s spent her entire life in hiding. Then, she’s recruited by the agency, and swiftly kidnapped by her father, the man she’s been hiding from. How did this happen?

For fifteen years, she’s been able to live her life undisturbed. Yes, her life in general is disturbing, but she had grown rather comfortable with her lifestyle and choices. Now what?

“Are you crying?” Colin asks.

Emmalee looks out the window. They’re pulling into the private airport now. In a few minutes, they’ll be flying to who-knows-where. She won’t be able to escape.

“Over your father?” Colin says.

Emmalee doesn’t look at him, and she doesn’t speak. She doesn’t owe him an explanation, especially one she can’t even figure out herself.

“Well?” Colin says. “I can’t help you if I don’t know what’s wrong.”

“I don’t need your help.”

“Suit yourself.”

The car stops, and they both walk onto the plane in silence. Colin takes a seat across from Emmalee, and she can feel him staring at her as she gazes out the window, trying her hardest to stop the tears from falling. But her tearducts have a mind of their own, and she only succeeds in making her throat hurt from choking back sobs.

Colin sighs, and gets up to take the seat next to her. He puts his arm around her, and suddenly, she’s sobbing into his chest, curling into him like a child. He strokes her hair, face, and back until whatever broken dam inside her has been completely released. She sits up straight, wipes her face, and fixes her hair. She wonders how long she’s been crying. The plane has already taken off, and she didn’t even notice.

“I’m sorry,” she says.

“Are you done?” Colin asks.

Emmalee nods. “I’m fine.”

“Good. What the hell happened?”

“I don’t know. I just…it’s just—”

“Please don’t start crying again.”

“Everything. My entire life is changing. I don’t know how to stop it and go back to how everything used to be. Or if it’s even possible.”

“It isn’t.”

“Well, thanks. That’s comforting.”

“You’re welcome.”

“I was being sarcastic.”

“I know.”

Emmalee rolls her eyes, and Colin gets up to go back to his seat. She looks out the window again, but everything is pitch black. She can’t even see the stars. 

And that’s when there’s a sudden lurch, and the plane begins to fall from the sky.

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