The house was as silent and cold as loneliness, but it wasn’t empty.
Lilith stared at the furniture. His furniture. Where he ate and sat and read and wrote notes on…what?
She went to investigate.
Suddenly it all seemed very intimate. He had held this pen, read this book. Looked at it with the eyes she had seen in her mind. Touched it with the hands that had set the fire.
Smoke filled her nostrils. She felt the heat of the fire on her skin and heard Jason’s last words.
“Keep going! I can’t hold it much longer!”
She hadn’t seen him. But then no one had, had they? Except Jason, who had seen him for just a second on the tape of Shannon’s death.
But she knew beyond a doubt that he had set the fire.
And for Jason, she would keep going.
She hadn’t heard anything since she’d come in. Was he even here? Or was he still out killing people and starting fires and crushing souls?
Wherever he was, she would be here when he came to read his books and make his notes. She would be here. Waiting.
She sat in his chair. His arms had rested here. His legs had pressed against this cushion. The faint smell of smoke and dirt in the air belonged to him.
She sunk into the impressions he’d left behind.
She would wait. And while she waited, she would see what it was that he read, what it was that was of such interest to him.
To Lilith’s surprise, it was a journal. The handwriting was elegant and old-fashioned, full of swoops and swirls and sadness.
He can’t find out.
She flipped to a page near the beginning.
I hope Sunset Valley will be good for Seth. He hasn’t been the same since the accident. Since he almost…oh, I can’t bear to think of it.
He won’t talk about it. If he did, I would listen. I would listen and I would cook him dinner and I would make it all better. But he doesn’t talk. I’m not even sure if he really knows I exist anymore.
If only he could see that I’m here for him, that I want to help, that I want to see him happy again. More than anything in the world, I want to see him happy again.
But he doesn’t see that. He doesn’t see anything except whatever it was that happened to him when…when…when I almost lost him. When he almost died.
All he sees is darkness, and I don’t know how to bring him back to the light.
He spent a lot of time out by the waterfall today. At least he was outside getting some sun and fresh air.
I went to talk to him, but then I realized that he wouldn’t have answered.
I will cook him his favorite tonight. The best Stu Surprise I can cook.
My mother always said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
Sarah had loved him?!
Lilith had to take a few minutes to think about that. She’d known they were married, that they had a kid together, but she’d never really thought that Sarah had loved him.
She had loved him. And he’d burned her.
Lilith thumbed through the pages, looking for something closer to the fire.
It seems that Seth’s new object of fascination is the fireplace. He looks at it a lot.
It’s been a while since he last really looked at me.
He has started talking more lately. But it’s not…it’s not a good sort of talking. I don’t know where he’s gone. It’s like he’s disappeared deep within himself, down some hole where I can’t follow.
I would, if I knew how. If I knew how I’d follow him down to wherever he’s gone and bring him back. Bring him back to me.
I keep cooking. It’s the only thing I know to do really. Even if he asks those questions about it.
Fascinated with the fireplace?! Lilith wanted to go back in time and tell Sarah to run, that the Seth she had apparently fallen in love with was gone, that she needed to leave. Before…
“The fire comes for us all, Lilith.”
Lilith shook her head, chasing the vision away. She hadn’t seen a mention of Emma yet. She ruffled through the diary, looking for something useful. Something that could help her when he came.
How much time did she have?
Where was he, anyway?
She quickly scanned through the pages, hoping for any sort of clue. Anything at all. And then she saw it.
He can’t find out. Not about that. I don’t know him anymore and I’m scared and he can’t…I won’t let him kill anyone!