They rolled into the hotel around 10 o’clock and after they checked into their room, Sunny flopped down on one of the beds. “Man, I’m exhausted. I hope this silly eclipse is worth it.”
Tod sat down on the bed opposite and pulled off his shoes. Eli stayed standing. Do you really like Sunny…in that way? Eli’s thoughts were harsh and cold.
Hey, none of your business. And so what if I do?
We need to go back. I’m serious about this. You don’t know what it’s like up there. You can’t just run away from who you are.
Sunny tilted her head. “I’m sensing some tension in this room,” she proclaimed. “What’s going on? Talk it out.”
Eli just shrugged his shoulders, turning away from Tod and moving aside the curtain to stare out at the Nashville skyline.
“Don’t you need each other to use your powers?” Sunny tried. “What if more people try to attack us?” She got to her feet. Her voice was higher than she meant for it be, but she didn’t care. These boys were driving her crazy.
“It’s fine, Sunny,” Eli said, his tone turning cold. “Just stay out of this, okay? It doesn’t concern you.”
At his words, Sunny shrunk against the nightstand, rubbing her thumb against her knuckle. “Okay. Geez.”
“Eli – ” Tod said.
“Just shut up,” Sunny said, not even knowing why she said it. She knew Tod had just been trying to stand up for her. For some reason, she felt close to tears and she angrily turned away, staring at a picture of a purple river cutting through silhouetted trees, a sliver of a moon pasted in the upper right-hand corner. She stared at the stars sprinkled around the moon and then looked back at Eli and Tod.
Tod looked up at her, and Sunny saw the helplessness in his eyes, but she didn’t stay focused on him long before turning straight to Eli.
She looks right through me, Tod thought. Like I’m invisible.
“Of course she does,” Eli said aloud.
Sunny didn’t bother to ask, even though her stomach ached with not knowing. “Well, I’m going to bed,” she said. “Do you sleep?”
Eli nodded. “Some – “
Tod said, “We’ll just stay up and make sure that no one else is coming after us. Go to sleep.”
Sunny saw the softness in his gaze, the tender look that she must have missed a thousand times. She nodded thankfully. “Okay. Um, I’ll see you tomorrow.” After she went to the bathroom to get dressed she slipped under the covers. She’d never been afraid of the boys before, but now everything was different. She felt like she was in a room with two complete strangers. And looking up at the blank ceiling, she didn’t feel like sleeping.