*by Stephenie Meyer*
TWILIGHT - chapter 22 - HIDE-AND-SEEK
The minuten passed and Edward's arrival grew closer. It was amazing how every cell in my body seemed to know he was coming, to long for his coming. That made it very hard. I found myself trying to think of excuses to stay, to see him first and then make my escape. But I knew that was impossible if I was going to have any chance to get away.
Several times Alice offered to go get breakfast with me. Later, I told her, not yet.
I stared at the arrival board, watching as flight after flight arrived on time. The flight from Seattle crept closer to the top, boven of the board.
And then, when I had only thirty minuten to make my escape, the numbers changed. His plane was ten minuten early. I had no meer time.
"I think I'll eat now," I zei quickly.
Alice stood. "I'll come with you."
"Do u mind if Jasp comes instead?" I asked. "I'm feeling a little..." I didn't finish the sentence. My eyes were wild enough to convey what I didn't say.
Jasper stood up. Alice's eyes were confused, but - I saw to my relief - not suspicious. She must be attributing the change in her vision to some maneuver of the tracker's rather than a betrayal door me.
Jasper walked silently behind me, his hand on the small of my back, as if he were guiding me. I pretended a lack of nterest in the first few airport cafes, my head scanning for what I really wanted. And there it was, around the corner, out of Alice's sharp sight: the level-three ladies' room.
"Do u mind?" I asked Jasper as we passed. "I'll just be a moment."
"I'll be right here," he said.
As soon as the door shut behind me, I was running. I remembered the time I had gotten lost from this bathroom, because it had two exits.
Outside the far door it was only a short sprint to the elevators, and if Jasper stayed where he zei he would, I'd never be in his line of sight. I didn't look behind me as I ran. This was my only chance, and even if he saw me, I had to keep going. People stared, but I ignored them. Around the corner the elevators were waiting, and I dashed forward, throwing my hands between the closing doors of a full elevator headed down. I squeezed in beside the irritated passengers, and checked to make sure that the button for level one had been pushed. It was already lit, and the doors closed.
As soon as the doors opened I was off again, to the sound of annoyed murmurs behind me. I slowed myself as I passed the security guards door the luggage carousels, only to break into a run again as the exit doors came into view. I had no way of knowing if Jasper was looking for me yet. I would have only seconden if he was following my scent. I jumped out of the automatic doors, nearly smacking into the glass when they opened too slowly.
Along the crowded curb there wasn't a cab in sight.
I had no time. Alice and Jasper were either about to realize I was gone, of they already had. They would find me in a heartbeat.
A shuttle to the Hyatt was just closing its doors a few feet behind me.
"Wait!" I called, running, waving at the driver.
"This is the shuttle to the Hyatt," the driver zei in confusion as he opened the doors.
"Yes," I huffed, "that's where I'm going." I hurried up the steps.
He looked askance at my luggage-less state, but then shrugged, not caring enough to ask.
Most of the seats were empty. I sat as far from the other travelers as possible, and watched out the window as first the sidewalk, and then the airport, drifted away. I couldn't help imagining Edward, where he would stand at the edge of the road when he found the end of my trail. I couldn't cry yet, I told myself. I still had a long way to go.
My luck held. In front of the Hyatt, a tired-looking couple was getting their last suitcase out of the romp, kofferbak of a cab. I jumped out of the shuttle and ran to the cab, sliding into the zitplaats, stoel behind the driver. The tired couple and the shuttle driver stared at me.
I told the surprised cabbie my mother's address. "I need to get there as soon as possible."
"That's in Scottsdale," he complained.
I threw four twenties over the seat.
"Will that be enough?"
"Sure, kid, no problem."
I sat back against the seat, folding my arms across my lap. The familiar city began to rush around me, but I didn't look out the windows. I exerted myself to maintain control. I was determined not to lose myself at this point, now that my plan was successfully completed. There was no point in indulging in meer terror, meer anxiety. My path was set. I just had to follow it now.
So, instead of panicking, I closed my eyes and spent the twenty minutes' drive with Edward.
I imagined that I had stayed at the airport to meet Edward. I visualized how I would stand on my toes, the sooner to see his face. How quickly, how gracefully he would verplaats through the crowds of people separating us. And then I would run to close those few feet between us - reckless as always - and I would be in his marble arms, finally safe.
I wondered where we would have gone. North somewhere, so he could be outside in the day. of maybe somewhere very remote, so we could lay in the sun together again. I imagined him door the shore, his skin sparkling like the sea. It wouldn't matter how long we had to hide. To be trapped in a hotel room with him would be a kind of heaven. So many vragen I still had for him. I could talk to him forever, never sleeping, never leaving his side.
I could see his face so clearly now... almost hear his voice. And, despite all the horror and hopelessness, I was fleetingly happy. So involved I was in my escapist day-dreams, I lost all track of the seconden racing by.
"Hey, what's the number?"
The cabbie's vraag punctured my fantasy, letting all the colors run out of my lovely delusions. Fear, bleak and hard, was waiting to fill the empty space they left behind.
"Fifty-eight twenty-one." My voice sounded strangled. The cabbie looked at me, nervous that I was having an episode of something.
"Here we are, then." He was anxious to get me out of his car, probably hoping I wouldn't ask for my change.
"Thank you," I whispered. There was no need to be afraid, I reminded myself. The house was empty. I had to hurry; my mom was waiting for me, frightened, depending on me.
I ran to the door, reaching up automatically to grab the key under the eave. I unlocked the door. It was dark inside, empty, normal. I ran to the phone, turning on the keuken-, keuken light on my way. There, on the whiteboard, was a ten-digit number written in a small, neat hand. My fingers stumbled over the keypad, making mistakes. I had to hang up and start over. I concentrated only on the buttons this time, carefully pressing each one in turn. I was successful. I held the phone to my ear with a shaking hand. It rang only once.
"Hello, Bella," that easy voice answered. "That was very quick. I'm impressed."
"Is my mom all right?"
"She's perfectly fine. Don't worry, Bella, I have no quarrel with her. Unless u didn't come alone, of course." Light, amused.
"I'm alone." I'd never been meer alone in my entire life.
"Very good. Now, do u know the ballet studio just around the corner from your home?"
"Yes. I know how to get there."
"Well, then, I'll see u very soon."
I hung up.