Flawless by Sara Shepard

Book: Flawless by Sara Shepard Read Free Book Online
Authors: Sara Shepard
day, when Toby confessed, Aria asked Ali if she’d known he was going to do that all along—how else could she have been so chill? “I just had this vibe we’d be okay,” Ali explained.
    Over time, Toby’s confession had just become one of those life mysteries they’d never understand—like why Brad and Jen really got divorced, what was on the Rosewood Day girls’ bathroom floor the day the janitorial worker screamed, why Imogen Smith missed so much school in sixth grade (because it definitely wasn’t mono), or like…who killed Ali. Maybe Toby felt guilty about something else, or wanted to get out of Rosewood? Or maybe he did have a firework in the tree house and shot it by mistake.
    Toby steered into Emily’s street. A rambling, bluesy song played on his stereo, and he drummed the steering wheel with his palms. She thought of how he’d saved her from Ben yesterday. She wanted to thank him, but what if he asked more about it? What would Emily say? Oh, he was pissed because I was French-kissing a girl.
    Emily finally thought of a safe question. “So, you’re at Tate now?”
    “Yep,” he answered. “My parents said if I got in, I could go. And I did. It’s nice being close to home. I get to see my sister—she’s at school in Philadelphia.”
    Jenna. Emily’s whole body, including her toes, tensed. She tried not to show any reaction, and Toby stared straight ahead, seemingly unaware that she was nervous. “And, um, where were you before? Maine?” Emily asked, making it sound like she didn’t know he’d been at the Manning Academy for Boys, which, according to her Google research, was on Fryeburg Road in Portland.
    “Yup.” Toby slowed down to let two little kids on Rollerblades cross the street. “Maine was pretty cool. The best thing about it was EMS.”
    “Did you…did you see anyone die?”
    Toby met her eyes in the rearview mirror again. Emily had never noticed they were actually dark blue. “Nope. But this old lady willed me her dog.”
    “Her dog ?” Emily couldn’t help but laugh.
    “Yep. I was with her in the ambulance and visited her in the ICU. We talked about her dog, and I said I loved dogs. When she died, her lawyer found me.”
    “So…did you keep the dog?”
    “She’s at my house now. She’s really sweet, but about as old as the lady was.”
    Emily giggled, and something inside her began to thaw. Toby seemed sort of…normal. And nice . Before she could say anything else, they were at her house.
    Toby parked the car and pulled Emily’s bike out of the trunk. As she took the handlebars from him, their fingers touched. A little spark went through her. Toby looked at Emily for a moment, and she looked down at the sidewalk. Eons ago, she’d pressed her hand into the freshly poured concrete. Now, the handprint looked way too small ever to have been hers.
    Toby climbed into the driver’s seat. “So I’ll see you tomorrow?”
    Emily’s head shot up. “W-Why?”
    Toby turned the ignition. “It’s the Rosewood-Tate meet. Remember?”
    “Oh,” Emily answered. “Of course.”
    As Toby pulled away, she felt her heart slow down. For some crazy reason, she’d thought Toby wanted to ask her out on a date. But c’mon, she told herself as she walked up the front steps to her house. This was Toby. The two of them together was about as likely as…as, well, Ali still being alive. And for the first time since she’d disappeared, Emily had finally given up hoping for that.

    “¿Cuándo es?” a voice said in her ear. “What time is it? Time for Spencer to die!”
    Spencer shot up. The dark, familiar figure that had been looming over her face had vanished. Instead, she was in a clean, white bedroom. There were Rembrandt etchings and a poster of the human musculature system on the bedroom wall. On TV, Elmo was teaching kids how to tell time in Spanish. The cable box said 6:04, and she assumed it was A.M .: out the window, she

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