“Marcus works alone,” I tell him and he actually laughs. It’s a sad, sick kind of laugh that graces his lips for only a fraction of a second, but then he shakes his head, looking me in the eyes. “That’s not what Jenny said. She said he needed her. That she was going to make things right with Marcus.”
“And what did you think that meant?” I ask him, feeling a frigid bite taking over my limbs. It grows colder and colder.
“That he was giving her an in to control it all.”
“Control it all? You think that’s what Marcus does?”
With hope fleeing Luke’s eyes, he nods. “He has an army.”
“And you think that’s what Jenny was there for? To be in his army?” I ask him, getting closer to him.
“Do you know anyone else in his army?”
He slowly shakes his head. “But she told me that’s what she was doing. She said she was joining his army.”
An army of men working under Marcus. I share a look with Seth and he shrugs but doesn’t look so sure.
“I’m not convinced,” I say offhandedly and Luke’s body jolts up as his voice raises. He’s adamant it’s the truth. All the while he continues to spill his thoughts that mean nothing to me, I consider what he’s saying. There’s simply no way Marcus would trust anyone to be involved with his plans.
“So what’s he doing with Jenny then?” I raise my gaze to the now silent Luke Stevens. “What is he going to do with her?”
“I don’t know. All I know is that I dropped her off securely. I held up my end of the bargain.”
“And what did you get in return?” I ask him. He hesitates, but I don’t bother removing anything else from him.
“Money,” he finally answers. “Four grand.”
“Is there anything else we should ask him?” I direct my question to Seth, who merely shakes his head before suffocating the man with his shirt.
Luke fights to breathe, but it’s useless. It takes a few minutes and still Seth keeps the shirt over his face when Luke’s body is motionless for another minute longer.
“You think he’ll keep her alive?” I ask Seth once the rustling and muted screams have settled to silence.
“To start an army?”
I shake my head and agree with the expression on his face. That it’s unrealistic for Marcus to have an army. It may have been what he led her to believe, but there is no army.
“Any reason at all that he’d keep her alive,” I answer him.
“Marcus doesn’t do loose ends.” Seth’s answer causes a chill to travel down the back of my neck. The feeling of loss and failure intertwine and wrap around my throat as I ask him, “What am I going to tell Bethany?”
His answer is simple and I already know it’s what I should do, even if it’s not what she’d want. “Nothing. Don’t bring her into this any more than she already is.”
The Coverless Book plays tricks on me. I was certain Emmy’s mother would fire the caretaker for poisoning her daughter. But she says it’s only medicine that was poured into the soup. With the bottle in her hand, the mother does nothing but reprimand Emmy. She doesn’t look any deeper into it. She only tells Jake that he’s out of line and that Miss Caroline did nothing wrong. Emmy begs her mother to hire someone else and fire Miss Caroline, all to no avail.
Hate consumes me. For the women who are supposed to protect and love Emmy. And for the situation the young girl is in.
I read about how Jake is no longer welcome on the property, but Emmy sneaks out to see him, refusing to go on with life as she has been.
She doesn’t eat what Caroline cooks so Caroline stops cooking for her altogether, crying outside of the kitchen all while Emmy cries in her bedroom and her mother does God knows what.
It’s only at night that anything seems right. Only when Emmy climbs out of her bedroom window to meet Jake. It’s the two of them against the world.
There’s a passage that makes me feel alive, a passage that warms everything in my body.
“Take my hand and trust me,” he tells her. “I promise to save you, because I love you.”
That’s what you do when you love someone, he said. You save them.
And that’s where I had to stop.
Three more sentences are underlined. I don’t have my journal with me though to add them to the list. It’s useless to add them anyway. I’ve accepted that there’s no message buried in the lines. Maybe Jenny just wanted me to read the story. Maybe she fell in love with Emmy and Jake like I have. So many maybes and questions that will never be answered.
I lay the book on its pages, so I don’t lose where I’m at. I have to rub my eyes, and take a break after reading the last line I underlined, the line Emmy’s mother told Jake. Hope is a long way of saying goodbye. It’s in the book.