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borrow some clothes to tide me over until I have time to shop. I'll pack a bag
and come over later, okay?"
For once, he doesn't argue. He just asks,  Do you want me to go with you?"
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I give him a grateful little peck on the cheek. No, but thanks. I think I
need a few minutes alone after all this."
Of course, what I'm thinking is that I'll head straight for Avery's. But
since David doesn't have a clue about that, he acquiesces gracefully. I watch
as he pulls away, and then I head back down the block for my car. It's still
sitting in the store parking lot, but there'sa silver BMW parked alongside. I
don't pay much attention until I realize there's someone sitting inside
watching my approach.
Avery?
He leans across and opens the passenger side door so I can slipinside.Howare
you?
With that simple question, something breaks deep inside me. Tears I can't
control run down my face. Then I'm in Avery's arms, and before I can stop, I'm
sobbing against his chest. All the incredible, frightening, puzzling things
that have happened to me in the last few days pale into insignificance at the
realization that I've just lost what I held most dear. My grandmother's
wonderfullegacy, all her memories, were a part of that house.
They're gone now and it's my fault.
Avery is stroking myhair.Whydo you say that? This was an accident. You can't
blame yourself.
He doesn't know what the fireman told me. I let him pick through the
recollection of ourconversation.AndDonaldson was there,too, I add after a
moment.
Donaldson?
I saw him, and I tried to signal you, but you didn't answer.
Avery pulls a handkerchief from his pocket and holds it out to me.Too much
interference out here, I guess. Those damned microwave towers for cell phones
are everywhere. I'm sorry. Do you think he started the fire?
I'm sitting up straighter in the seat now, wiping my face with the
handkerchief.I don't know. I can't figure out why he would. Unless he thought
I was inside and he was trying to kill me.
But even as I say this, David's words come back to me.  No, I amend with a
shake of my head.  The fire chief said the fire started in the middle of the
cottage. If he was inside, he knew I wasn't there."
I look into Avery's eyes.  I felt him, just like you said I would. He was
there for an instant, and then he was gone."
Avery's brow creases and his mouthgrows tight and grim. He is shielding his
thoughts, but I sense his disquiet. Finally, he says,  You must stay with me
until we can sort this out."
I blow out an exasperated breath and let my thoughts answer.
I can't. David is extremely upset with you and with me. I told him I wouldn't
see you again. Of course, it was a lie. But I need to stay with him at least
tonight. After that, I'll tell him I'm going to stay at my parent's home. He
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knows they're inEurope for two weeks. He'll accept that.
David is a mortal.Avery's tone is dismissive.You don't need to explain
yourself to him or to anyone ever again. You are vampire, Anna, and you must
learn to act like it.
His air of superiority makes me cringe.If that's true, I remind him
gently,why do we hide our true identities?
He cocks an eyebrow at me.You are impudent, aren't you? Perhaps it's why I
like you so much. You have a way of bringing me back to earth. All right,
Anna, maybe it's best if you run along to your friend's. But I want to see you
first thing tomorrow morning. I'll check around tonight and see if I can learn
where Donaldson is hiding. Perhaps we can find out just what he's up to.
I start to get out of the car, letting his remark about  running along to my
friend pass without comment. I don't need his permission. But I do need his
help.
He reaches out, placing one hand on my arm, cupping my chin in his other
hand.
"It will be all right, you know."
His eyes offer solace. For this moment, at least, I let myself accept it.
Chapter Nineteen
My parents live inLa Mesa , a bedroom community east ofSan Diego . A drive
that should take twenty minutes max, takes about forty with traffic, but for
once, I'm in no hurry. It's the first time I've been alone really alone in
days. The crying jag in Avery's car released some pent-up emotion, but while [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]