The High School Reunion From Hell - Saranna DeWylde Page 0,2

all the way to frustrated.

I still had a little room to push, but I decided to save it for something else.

“Fine. God.” I laughed. “Listen, I’m sure Vlad is getting antsy. I haven’t taken him for his evening constitution. So I’m going to get rid of tall, dumb, and dead and I’ll see you around.”

“Hey, are you going to the reunion?”

“Fuck no.” I coughed. “I mean, why would I? It’s not like I was the Prom Queen or anything. I married the star running back, but now we’re getting divorced, drowning in debt, and nothing is any better, is it? Vampires are real—and I’m still the fringe freak. Only now, I get medals and shit for it. Yay?” I shrugged.

“That’s kinda bitter, Marge.”

“Yeah, well, if you had to watch me dance with Bitchy Brooke and remember times past that I thought were infinitely better than now, you wouldn’t want to go either. Plus, I didn’t get an invitation.” I had gotten an invite, but that was the first excuse that came to mind.

I slid away from him and opened my car door.

“I never said I thought those times were better than now. They were simpler. Easier. But I didn’t say they were better.” He still wouldn’t meet my eyes.

“You might as well have. It was the time before you were with me.”

“It sounds like you’re wishing me away and I’m sorry that I’m not evolved enough to not take it personally.”

He was quiet for a long moment before he said, “That’s fair. I wouldn’t like that either.”

I slid into the driver’s seat and forced a smile. “If you go, have fun.”

“I… I am proud of you, Margie. Proud of our life together.”

That told me all I needed to know. “I never said you weren’t.”

I shut the door, clicked the opener, and the garage door rolled up slowly, taking its time like a debutante descending a tall staircase. I pushed the button on the Challenger and she purred to life. She wasn’t the most discrete machine, but this town was full of them. Especially being so close to Ft. Leavenworth, with tons of enlisted soldiers who had no bills except their car payment and the people who commuted to Kansas City for work.

It didn’t matter anyway. Where I was going, there wouldn’t be anyone around for miles.

They’d never find this bastard.

It took everything in me not to look in my rearview for another glance at Marc as I drove away. My fingers flexed on the steering wheel, and gripped it tighter, as if that would somehow ground me where I needed to be. I had to focus on shithead disposal, not our crumbling relationship. It was rare that Marc asked me for a favor and I wanted him to know he could still depend on me. So could Ryder.

I drove from the subdivision by the middle school out toward Metropolitan, and from there, up Amelia Earhart out toward the county. Red eyes glinted in the dark along the side of the road and I realized some fanged asshole had Turned a couple of the bison that roamed on the lands next to Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary. Poor guys. I made a mental note to call them in the morning and give their caretakers some tips so maybe they wouldn’t have to be put down.

I’d been able to save Vlad and get a special license to keep him, maybe I could do the same for the bison. They were a goddamn landmark, after all.

As I mashed the pedal down, the engine purred harder and the pavement turned into a dark, glassy ribbon that unfurled in front of me. I could keep driving. I didn’t have to stop in the backwoods to dump Dumbass. I could just go. I could leave all of my problems, and my heartache behind.

Yet, even as I had the thought, I knew I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t leave Ryder, Vlad, Lila Jean, or Marc.

Even if Marc didn’t want me anymore.

How responsible. Why couldn’t I just have a decent midlife crisis like everyone else my age and come completely unhinged? I never got to do the gentle launch from the nest. One day, I’d been a regular, if somewhat creepy girl with a birthmark on her butt, and the next, I’d been an orphan and expected to act and think like a full-grown adult. I’d been expected to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and put everyone else’s needs before my own.

And I’d done it.

But here