Chapter Eleven:
Into the Woods

Lucky stood in shock, staring at the crumbled form on the ground.

“Emily?” he ventured, his voice hoarse. When she didn’t answer, panic seized him. He rushed the few steps across the clearing, dropping to the ground beside her. “Emily!”

Emily raised her head, and glared at him. Lucky sat back in surprise.

“I said ‘hey!’” she spit at him bitterly. Lucky collapsed backwards onto the ground in relief.

“Oh, thank God.” he murmured. Emily was not impressed. She slowly sat back on her knees, examining her palms. They were covered with small cuts and scrapes. She imagined her knees didn’t look much better.

“Are you ok?” Lucky asked, sitting up. She shot him a look that turned his blood cold. He looked around, helplessly. There were no two ways about it -- this was his fault. “I didn’t know you’d come after me,” he muttered, weakly.

“Temporary insanity,” Emily shot back, by way of explanation. She thought to herself that it wasn’t far from the truth.

Lucky was trying to think the worst of Emily’s motives for being there. He’d been more than a little surprised when she’d suddenly fallen from the sky, but now he was getting a chance to absorb what had happened. He wanted to believe she was here because she’d changed her mind about everything and had told Nikolas to get away from her instead. Rationally, he knew that was unlikely. For this reason, he felt like he had to keep her at arms length. Nevertheless, he found himself thinking, she had nearly killed herself coming down that hill. She was covered in mud, there were leaves in her hair, and her clothes had taken a beating. She still looked incredible, though. Not that he was going to give that any thought, he told himself.

“What happened back there had nothing to do with you.”

“And somehow I was still standing right in the middle of it,” Emily said, rearranging herself so that she was sitting on the ground, her legs stretched in front of her. There was hardly any point in worrying about keeping her dress clean now. She examined her legs, noting that her nylons had been torn to shreds. She wiped at the blood seeping from the deep scrapes on her knees, before realizing that her hands weren’t doing anything but rubbing dirt into the wounds. She couldn’t help but hope that everyone would have gone to bed by the time she got home. She looked up at Lucky.

“How are we going to get out of here?”

Lucky pointed to a thin winding dirt path along the edge of the stream.

“That leads out to the road,”

Emily stared at him blankly.

“Don’t tell me that.” She advised.


Emily looked overhead, tracing the path she’d taken, and noticed for the first time the beauty of this place she now found herself in. A canopy of leaves sheltered them from most of the rain. Through the few gaps in the leaves she could see a glimpse of the moon, though it was mostly obscured by the mist. The sound of the creek, along with the rain lightly falling on the leaves was soothing. It was a safe and comforting place. She understood now why Lucky had come here.

“How did you find this place?” Emily breathed, momentarily forgetting the physical pain she was in. She looked over to see Lucky gazing at her. He blinked.


“This place,” she repeated. “Did you just find it tonight?”

“No,” Lucky said, his voice sounding distant. “I found it with Sly when I first moved here.” He frowned. “I should probably call him....”

A silence descended on them. Sitting here, on the cold ground, Emily found she didn’t know what to do next. She had never given much thought as to why she was following Lucky, it had been a completely instinctive action. She decided to attempt to stand up. Perhaps she’d be able to think a little more clearly when she was on her feet. Her ankle still felt a little tender from from the twist she’d given it breaking her heel. Mostly, though, it was her knees that were causing her pain. She groaned as she hobbled over to a fallen tree at the edge of the stream, and collapsed onto it.

“How’re you doing?” Lucky ventured again.

Emily pulled her one good shoe off her foot, and examined it. She looked at him pointedly, then tossed it into the creek. Lucky watched her as she repeated this with the other shoe.

“I take it those aren’t favorites.” he stated, wryly.

“Have you ever attempted to get down her in heels in the rain?”

“Not recently,” He pulled himself up to his feet, and leaned against a tree opposite her. “What are you doing here?”

Emily sighed. Good question.

“I wanted to talk to you.” she told him, her voice heavy. She hadn’t expected this to become such a complicated endeavor. “I wanted to see if you were alright.”

In the darkness she couldn’t really tell if Nikolas’s blow had left any visible damage. That wasn’t her first priority, however. Lucky was examining the night sky through the tree branches. She suspected he was trying to avoid making eye contact with her. She cleared her throat.

“Nikolas shouldn’t have said all that stuff about your mother. It’s not true.”

“I know that!” Lucky shot at her. He immediately looked repentant for his harsh tone. It became clear to her that he was simply incapable of controlling his anger right now. Roll with it, Emily told herself. She rubbed her arms, and tried to form her next thought. She knew she couldn’t have gone through all of this just to tell him Nikolas had been a little out of line.

“I just... I know why you acted the way you did. I understand,” she said quietly. Lucky stared at her.

“What was that?”

“You heard me,” she raised her head to face him. “I never understood why you hated Nikolas so much. He’s not like that most of the time.”

“That is what I’ve been trying to tell you,” Lucky sputtered. “He’s not what he seems.”

“That’s not what I said,” Emily protested. “You both bring out --”

“Spare me the lecture, alright?” Lucky cut her off. “I don’t want to hear it! Not tonight, and not from you.”

Emily took a deep breath.

“You know,” she said, looking at him severely. “Sometimes you and Nikolas can be a lot alike.”

Lucky’s eyes nearly popped out of his head.

“What?” He pushed himself away from the tree, and began pacing the small clearing, counting Nikolas’s faults on his fingers. “He’s arrogant, he thinks he’s better than everyone, he’s a master of manipulation,” Lucky looked at her pointedly, and Emily felt her face flush with anger. “And,” he continued, like a lawyer delivering final summation, “he always thinks he’s right.”

“Bingo,” Emily sang, a sarcastic edge to her voice. “You’re not exactly known for giving him the benefit of the doubt.”

“Why should I?” Lucky’s eye’s flashed. Emily steeled herself and pressed on.

“I’m not saying you should,” she told him evenly. “It’s just really easy to see why you two can’t communicate.”

“What do I have to communicate with him?” Lucky turned to her, his expression bitter. She hated seeing that look on his face.

“He’s your brother!” She cried, in frustration.

“Don’t say that,” Lucky’s voice escalated into a scream of rage. “Don’t tell me that! He might be my mother’s son, but he is never going to be my brother.”

“Why don’t you just get that printed on a card, Lucky?” Emily fired back. “You could save yourself a lot of time.”

“Is that why you came down here, Emily?” Lucky asked, his voice brutal. “Because if it is, next time you can save yourself the trip.”

She narrowed her eyes at him.

“You make it really hard to be on your side.”

Lucky shrugged and turned his back on her.

“Don’t do me any favors.”

Emily closed her eyes, and tried to concentrate on the sound of the rushing brook, attempting to control her anger at him. It never used to be this difficult to talk to Lucky. She wondered if the boy she cared even existed anymore, or if he’d been eaten up with so much rage and acrimony that this was all there was left. That thought made her incredibly sad.

“Whatever reason I came down here, it was not so that you could yell at me,” she told him between gritted teeth. She was worried she was going to cry again. She swallowed back the lump forming in her throat, painfully. Lucky was leaning against his tree again, arms crossed, staring at the ground. Emily shivered in the cold. “I’m not saying,” she said, as steadily as she could manage “that you’re wrong. The Cassadines could have something to do with your Mom staying in Switzerland, I don’t know.”

Lucky dropped his hands to his side

“I do,” he spoke methodically. “It’s the Cassadines, it has to be.”

“Alright,” Emily yelled back, exasperated. “So it’s the Cassadines. That doesn’t mean Nikolas knows anything about it! You said yourself, his Uncle never tell him anything.”

Lucky didn’t respond, defeated with his own logic. He looked across the clearing at her, allowing eye contact again. Several moments passed.

“I guess,” he said slowly. “That’s possible.”

Emily raised her eyebrows in shock.

“Ok. That’s all I was saying.”

Lucky’s eyes clouded.

“Are you done here, then? Another good deed and now you have to retire to the Fortress of Solitude?”

Emily felt like she’d been punched her in the gut. For just a minute there she’d thought they were communicating again, like there was some hope for this friendship after all. She couldn't keep doing this. It was too draining. Every time she faced off with Lucky she was left feeling like a hallow shell at the end of it. She stood up, blinking back tears.

“Have a nice life,” she told him caustically as she headed towards the path. Lucky reached out and caught her arm as she passed him. She froze in her tracks. He pulled her towards him, gently. For reasons she wasn’t quite sure of, she allowed this.

“I’m sorry,” he said, pressing his forehead against her hair. Emily closed her eyes, and let herself feel his close to him for a moment. She really wanted to hug him, to feel like everything was back to normal again. She felt the tears that were dwelling far too close to the surface well up again. “I don't’ like this,” he told her, his voice barely above a whisper. It was very effective. Emily found herself leaning into him. She let out a ragged breath.

“That makes two of us,” she said, pulling back. Lucky looked at her, his expression both pained and confused. At this distance she could see that his lip was split. It was swelling only slightly, and the blood had dried. She winced. “How’s your face?”

Lucky moved away, obviously embarrassed that he’d let himself get hurt. It stung even worse coming on the heels of such an intimate moment. It occurred to Emily for the first time that his ego was probably a little bruised.

“It was an accident,” she said, feebly. “He didn’t mean to hit you.”

Lucky smirked.

“Thanks. That’s much better.”

Emily decided it was better to drop the topic. Obviously she didn't understand the intricacies of the issue. She shivered again, wishing her dress was a little more substantial.

“I think the rain’s stopped,” she said quietly, looking up at the sky. Lucky turned back to her.

“You’re not wearing a coat,” he observed. She shifted away from him, adjusting a strap that had fallen off her hunched shoulders.

“Neither are you.”

“Wasn’t the first thing on my mind.”

“Mine either.”

Lucky felt strangely touched by this admission.

“Here,” he said, as unemotionally as possible. He took off the shirt he was wearing, and held it out to her. Emily shook her head.

“No, I’m fine. You’ve only got a t-shirt!” she protested. Emily reflected on the insanity of that thought while she was standing in the middle of the woods without shoes.

“You need to warm up, you’re shaking.”

Emily took the shirt from him, and slipped it over her shoulders. She was surprised at the difference it made. She leaned against the log again, rubbing her arms for warmth. Lucky walked to the edge of the stream, and caught a handful of water. He brought it to her.

“Put out your hands,” he instructed. She found herself smiling, as she displayed her muddied, cut up palms. Lucky poured the cold water over them. She rubbed her hands together, feeling her wounds begin to sting with the water. “Just wipe them on the shirt,” Lucky told her, shrugging. Emily made a face.

“Because my dress is so immaculate?”

“You dry your hands on that, they’ll be dirtier than before.”

Emily laughed, and shook the water off her hands as well as she could.

“Thanks,” she murmured, softly. Lucky felt a strange sensation in the pit of his stomach. She looked, despite her ordeal, beautiful. He’d never noticed how pretty she was before tonight. He’d never given it that much thought. He knew he liked her smile, her laugh... but tonight it all seemed different. There was a sort of strength she had that couldn't be lost in a mud bath. He realized again, just how much he missed being with her like this. Some place quiet, and secure, away from everyone. He wished there was some way to preserve this moment. Emily looked up. She wrapped his shirt around her and smiled at him. He felt his face flush and looked away quickly.

“Is that better?” he stammered, moving away from her.

“It helps.”

Emily watched Lucky return to his place by the tree. She looked at him fondly, admonishing herself for doubting that he still had a tender, perceptive side to him. Nevertheless, she couldn’t help but feel like his mood had taken a sudden downward swing. It was like they had established camps, and he was now retreating back to his. She realized, that really, she’d done what she’d come here to do-- Let him know that he wasn’t completely alone in the world. Somehow, though, she didn’t feel like she should leave yet. She felt like she still had something to explain to him.

“I kinda know what that’s like,” she said apprehensively. “I mean, I know what it’s like to just want to hurt someone.”

Lucky was speechless. He wasn’t sure what Emily was talking about. She frowned, and looked away from him quickly.

“What do you mean?” He asked, cautiously. Emily shook her head.

“I just...” she tried to shrug it off. “I’ve lost it with people like that.” Emily’s stomach tied itself in knots. She wasn’t sure how much she should tell him. She didn’t want him to think that she was crazy, but there was no way to tell this story without sounding like she was a complete lunatic. Also, she knew the statement must sound ridiculous coming from her. People, even Lucky, had perceptions about her. She was quiet, sweet, and innocent to some people. A drug-crazed spoiled rich girl to others. She knew, however, that Lucky subscribed to the former description. He’d never seen her high, he’d never seen her in hysterics. She wasn’t sure she wanted to shatter that image for him.

“Are you talking about some one I know?” he was asking, his voice gentle. She lowered her head, unable to make herself say the words. Instead, she impulsively gave another answer.

“After the overdose, when people would make fun of Matt... I mean, he’d died. Even if you thought he was a horrible person -- which he wasn’t -- why say all these awful things about him? It wasn’t fair.”

This seemed to make a lot of sense to Lucky. He nodded, and she realized that she could very well just leave the story there.

“I didn’t really decide to... go at him. It just sort of happened.” He said, quietly. “I mean, we’ve had fights before.... but ... Well, Sarah and I were sort of friends, and I didn’t really feel like loosing it in front of her.”

Emily swallowed hard. Sarah. She hadn’t thought of that.

“That must be hard... watching him with Sarah.”

Lucky coughed.

“I’m not thrilled about it, if that’s what you mean.”

That wasn’t exactly what she was talking about, but she let it slide. She had given the Sarah/Lucky connection exactly zero thought since she’d been spending time with the girl. After all, Lucky hadn’t spoken much about her when he and Emily had been spending time together, and since then she’d been preoccupied with her own difficulties with him.

“I was just trying to say that I know the feeling. Of hating someone that much.”

“But he’s a friend of yours,” Lucky said, a touch of malice inevitably creeping into his voice. Emily didn’t want to go down that road.

“That doesn’t mean I can’t see how you’re feeling.”

Lucky turned to her, his face deadly serious.

“I appreciate what you’re trying to do here, Em. But this isn’t some sort of sibling rivalry, ok? It’s not just an emotional reaction, it’s like a whole other entity. There’s a part of me that exists with the sole purpose of hating him. You couldn’t possibly have ever hated someone that much.”

“I hated Dr. Dorman that much,” she said, not even realizing what had just come out of her mouth. Lucky frowned.

“For suing your mother?”

“For suing my mother, stealing my diary, and killing my friend.” She said, staring off into the distance.

“Stealing you diary?” Lucky looked incredulous. Emily took a deep breath.

“He had Matt steal my diary, and it had all these things... secrets about the family,” she laughed bitterly. “Only I guess they’re not secrets anymore. Things like AJ causing Jason’s accident and Monica having an affair with Ned.” She shuddered. “It’s all been in the papers now. He had Matt steal it and he...” she stopped, as her throat closed up. She choked past it, tears spilling from her eyes. “He photocopied it, and used it to...” she stopped again, and wiped at her eyes furious at herself for still being this upset over anything that horrible man had done to her.

Lucky sat down next to her.

“I think I get the picture,” he told her, his voice a little shaky. “That’s.... evil.” he said, finally. It seemed the only word that fit.

“It gets worse,” Emily laughed bitterly, tears still streaming down her face. “When I found out, I... lost it. I mean, really lost it. I went catatonic.”

Lucky shifted his weight. He couldn’t believe she was telling him all this. The one time he’d tried to get Emily to open up to him about all of this stuff, she’d rushed out of the club so fast, his head had spun. Now she was sitting here, pouring her heart out to him. He was afraid to even breathe for fear he’d scare her off again.

“I heard Jason telling Sonny,” he muttered. Emily nodded.

“I think I scared him. I know I scared everyone else. Ned thought I was on drugs again, and AJ... AJ was just convinced I’d flipped out.” She smiled crookedly. “Which I guess I had.”

She turned to Lucky, who was regarding her like she was a fragile piece of glass. She took a deep breath and continued the story.

“I sort of came out of it, and when I was alone, I got up to go look for Dr. Dorman. I found him, too. In the morgue.”

Lucky was ahead of her. He looked shocked.

“You..... don’t...”

Emily plowed ahead with the story.

“I starting yelling at him for everything he did. And he started calling me names, and I rushed at him,” she looked at Lucky pointedly “I just wanted to hurt him. Just get that horrible smirk off his face. To make him bleed, scratch his eyes out, anything. He was so .... he wasn’t in any pain! He’d destroyed everything, cost my Mother her job, killed Matt, and he just didn’t care.”

“Killed Matt?”

Emily shrugged uncomfortably. That was really just a theory.

“He gave him the drugs that he overdosed on. I guess you can’t really know for sure if he did it on purpose, but...”

“Wait,” Lucky cut her off, his voice angry. “If he gave Matt the drugs he overdosed on, then when you overdosed...”

Emily nodded.

“That came from him, too. It all came from him.”

Lucky exhaled heavily.

“I just... give me a second,” he looked up at her. “Then you were completely set up.”

Emily shook her head violently.

“No. No, no one made me take drugs. I did it. No one held me down.”

Lucky looked upset. She was surprised at how upset he looked. He shook his head slowly.

“This... “ he had no more words. Emily crossed her arms.

“There’s more,” she said, severely. “He pushed me, hard, and I fell. He was saying all these awful things, and I got up and ran out of the morgue. There was no one down there. The hospital had a power outage, or something everything had crashed, and the whole floor was empty. I ended up in an OR, and there was a scalpel on the table, with all of this blood soaked gauze... I wasn’t thinking clearly, I mean... all I wanted to do was hurt him. And there was this scalpel.”

Lucky wanted to tell Emily to stop. He didn’t like where this was going. He knew how the story ended: The power outage, the dead body in the morgue, the scalpel in his heart. The thing was, the story he’d heard had a different ending than this one was shaping up to have.

“By the time I got back to the morgue... this is weird. Someone had beat me to it.” She looked at Lucky, suddenly panicked. “I’m not saying that I was going to kill him. I mean, I just wanted to hurt him. I don’t know if I ever really wanted him dead. It’s a little fuzzy in my mind.” She bit her lip. “He was already dead when I got there. Someone else had stabbed him with a different scalpel.” She made a face. “Great minds think alike.”

Lucky cleared his throat.

“So you didn’t kill him.”

“No...” Emily’s voice sounded eerie and distant to Lucky. “But I think I could have.”

They sat in silence a little while, both giving serious thought to what she’d just said. Lucky realized that he’d missed a lot in the last year. When the Cassadines had come to town, his focus had shifted onto his family. He’d developed complete tunnel vision. The thought of what was going on with Emily, quite frankly, hadn’t crossed his mind much. Well, he thought, he was paying for it now.

“I really miss you, Emily,” Lucky said suddenly. “I miss... being able to talk to you.”

Emily wiped her eyes, and tried to smile at him. She failed miserably and bowed her head, tears flowing again. Lucky waited for her to calm down, sitting silently beside her.

“I miss you, too,” she said finally. Lucky felt, for the first time, really truly, that there was some hope.

“Then do we have to keep doing this?”

That was the six million dollar question. Emily felt torn. She didn’t know what she wanted anymore. Except that she didn’t want to feel this kind of pain again. Lucky had never hurt her like that, that brutally and without remorse. But he had hurt her all the same.

“I don’t know,” she said, agonized.

“You don’t know about what?” Lucky asked, his voice cracking. “About me?”

Emily shook her head.

“I don’t know about anything.”

“What did I do?” Lucky sounded pained. He looked at her, his eyes pleading. Emily felt her heart break. She impulsively moved over, and wrapped her arms around him. Lucky leaned against her, resting his forehead on her shoulder. He put his arms around her waist, and held her.

“I’m sorry,” she moaned into his shoulder. “You weren’t supposed to care.”

Lucky snorted, and pulled back from her.

“Why wouldn’t I care?”

Emily looked at him, hurt.

“What exactly would have given me the idea that you did care?” she asked, her voice shrill. “The fact that you never call me? That before my dog tackled you on the docks you had no idea that I had even been out of town? Lucky, as far as I can tell you care about everything but me.”

Lucky stared at her in shock.

“I always cared about you. Always”

Emily studied his face.

“I want to believe you.” she told him, finally.

“But you don’t.” Lucky said flatly. The bitterness resurfaced in his features. Emily couldn’t stand this anymore.

“I can’t do this with you again. I keep trying to explain, but every time I look at you, I either get really angry, or really sad. Do you have any idea how exhausting that is?”

“What if I asked you to explain one last time,” Lucky said, looking a little exhausted himself. “Would you do that?”

Emily leaned against Lucky’s tree.

“What do you want to know?”

“Is this because of what happened last winter?”

“The faked death? No, I’m over that.” Emily told him, lightly. Lucky didn’t looked convinced.

No one is over that.”

“I know why you did it.”

Lucky looked up at her.

“Does that mean that you don’t know why I did something else?”

Emily sighed.

“Sometimes knowing why isn’t enough.”

“That doesn’t help me,” Lucky told her, tersely.

“I answered the question you asked.” Emily said, irritated. “I’m sorry if it’s not what you wanted.”

Lucky leapt to his feet in frustration.

“You know what I want!” He crossed the clearing, and stood right in front of her, in confrontation. “I want to know why, all of the sudden, you decided we couldn’t be friends anymore. And then, if that is still true, what you’re doing here.”

“I’m here because when you left, every cell of my being needed to go after you!” Emily cried out. “It was awful. Nikolas was apologizing to me, and Sarah....”, she stopped, realizing Lucky probably didn’t care to know what Sarah had to say about him right now. “It’s not important. The thing was, you’d gone off, alone. And Nikolas had someone to just... be there for him. And I couldn’t stand the fact that you thought there was no one to be there for you. So that’s why I came looking for you. It’s just dumb luck that I found you, but I did.”

Lucky’s anger had faded again. He was now looking at her in shock.

“Is that really why you came?”

“What other reason could I have?” she asked, amazed.

Lucky made a slight movement towards her, then pulled back.

“So... are we friends again?”

Emily looked at the ground. It seemed ridiculous to say no, and yet, nothing had really changed. Though, now she knew he really wanted to be friends. Maybe he’d try harder this time. Except he had no idea what it was he had to try harder not to do. She looked back at him.

“Do you want to know exactly why I decided we shouldn’t be friends?”

Lucky groaned.

“Yes. Yeah, that would be what I’ve been trying to find out.”

Emily chose to ignore this.

“Every time I let you get close to me, something happens and I regret it. It’s hard to overlook that.”

“What happens?” Lucky looked at her, desperately. Emily sighed.

“You ignore me, or you tell me your mother died so you have to move away forever, and act like this is no big deal....”

Lucky cut in

“I had to do that --”

Emily shook her head.

“That’s not what I'm talking about. I get that you had to do it. I get that your family decided something, and you had to go with them. That isn’t the problem.”

“Then what,” Lucky said, exasperated “is the problem?”

Emily took a deep breath, fixing her eyes on the ground in front of her. She couldn’t look Lucky in the eye right now, it was too hard.

“When I came to see you...You were distant and cold to me the whole time I was there. And you told me you were leaving town forever like it was nothing. You didn’t care that you’d never see me again. It didn’t matter to you.”

Emily waited for Lucky to respond. He stood in front of her, in silence for several minutes. Finally he moved towards her.

“Hey,” he said gently. Emily didn’t move. He put a hand under her chin and raised her her face to his. He looked directly into his eyes. She noticed they were moist. “I never wanted to lie to you,” he told her, his voice very controlled. “That was the hardest part of all of it. Because I knew that you... You knew what it was like to loose your mother. And I was just pretending. I felt like you’d see right through me. I had to make you go away, because... I could lie to Nikolas, and Lucy and everyone else, but I knew I wouldn't be able to keep lying to you. It was too hard.”

Emily was stunned. She had no idea he’d felt that way. He was still looking into her eyes, and she felt almost as if she was being drawn right into him. She pulled away and walked across the clearing to the edge of the brook, her back to him.

“There’s more,” she said, trying to sound detached. “Do you want to hear?”

After a moment, Lucky quietly told her he did.

“The barbecue. You basically told me I was a babbling idiot and then completely ignored me.”

“I did not!” Lucky protested. Emily spun around to face him. Anger felt so much safer to her right now.

“Yes, you did!”

“I walked you home because you were feeling weird about something, I have no idea what..”

“Did you ask me?”

Lucky stopped short.

“You could have told me,” he said finally.

“I tried!” Emily screamed. “You told me you didn’t know what I was talking about! You made me feel like I was this annoying bug you didn’t have the heart to squash. And then!” she took a deep breath, gathering up steam. “Then, you walked me home, like you were doing me some big favor, didn’t even help me make small talk with Keisha.”

“I walked you home because I thought you wanted me to,” Lucky said defensively. “I thought I was being nice.”

Emily waved her hands around uselessly.

“It would have been nice if you’d looked for one second like you cared that my whole world was falling apart.”

“I didn’t know your whole world was falling apart,” Lucky protested, clearly not getting what Emily was so irate about. She threw her head back and let out a scream of frustration.

“And that would be my point!” She looked back at him, eyes flashing. “You show up at the house, basically because I almost died, we go out and get snow cones, and then you disappear for months on end, and don’t think I don’t know why.”

“What?” Lucky let the word hang in the air, not making it clear whether he was asking for her theory on his distraction, or just wondering how he’d gotten here.

“Sarah came to town, and your brain still hasn’t recovered!” Emily said, triumphantly. Lucky’s jaw dropped. He quickly tried to regroup.

“I .. I don’t ... What are you talking about?”

“Lucky, I’m not stupid,” Emily put her hand on her hips, and faced him squarely. “You forgot all about everything when you met Sarah. All of the sudden you didn’t care about Switzerland, you didn’t care about your family, and you sure didn’t care about me!”

Lucky sighed, and fell back against the tree.

“Alright, you win. I suck.”

Emily felt immediately deflated. She moved over to the log, and sat down in shock. What had that been about? He’d apologized, he’d held her face in his hands and told her that lying to her had torn him apart, and she’d attacked him about the barbecue? What was wrong with her? She’d known she was upset about it, but she hadn’t expected that blow up. She felt a chill creep over her, as the source of her anger revealed itself to her. She stood up, suddenly.

“I have to go.”

Lucky looked up.


She rushed for the path, calling back over her shoulder.

“I have to go!” she said again, and ran as fast as she could along the trail.