They were all there in silence, waiting for one of them to think of something to say. Cindy sat on the couch, sitting gingerly to not upset the still rather sore spot on the back of her head and neck. James was leaning against the wall near the door, his face covered in half shadow, listening for anyone who might be coming up the front path. Matthew paced slowly and soft, back and forth along the length of the couch, his mouth moving in silent argument with himself.
And, as usual, Matthew pulled it all together first. “Okay.” He whispered it, but it sounded like a foghorn in the silence of the room. “Apparently, Cindy is also immortal.”
“Yeah, how is that?” Cindy asked, just a bubble of panic at the edge of her voice, “I’m almost ninety-five percent sure that I had a fire axe in the back of my head two days ago, and I don’t know too many people who can walk and talk after receiving that kind of treatment, present company excluded.”
“She couldn’t be a…” James asked from his shadow, trailing off before mentioning what Cindy might be.
“No, no, absolutely not,” Matthew answered without hesitation, “we would know. We would feel her presence. She must be—something else immortal. Something we haven’t run into before.”
Matthew turned and studied Cindy carefully, eyes slowly moving up and down her body. If anyone else was looking at her like that she would have slapped them across the face and informed them in one way or another that she wasn’t just a piece of meat. But she knew that Matthew wasn’t looking at her like a woman—he was looking at her like a mystery. So, instead of slapping him she just shifted uncomfortably under his gaze, hoping that any second he would stick a finger in the air and declare that he’d figured out why she was still alive.
But after a long time, Matthew straightened up and uttered his least three favorite words “I—Don’t know.”
Cindy suddenly felt heavy, like she was suddenly deep underwater and there was pressure coming in on all sides. If Matthew didn’t know, if Matthew didn’t even have a clue—then she might never know. “I—I think I am going to go to bed.” She stood up slowly, careful not to jar her head too much and make herself light headed all over again. “Does anyone mind if I go take a nap on the futon?”
“Yes,” James stepped out of the shadow, his face showing no emotion at all. “You may sleep in my room, and I’ll keep guard outside the door.” Cindy’s face must have fallen, because James continued to explain, still with no outward emotion. “This goes one of two ways, Cindy. It’s either that you’ve never uh,” He made a small gesture with his hands, “not died before, so we don’t know what kind of reactions that you might have, and someone should be nearby if something goes wrong. Or you know exactly what’s going on, you aren’t who you say you are, and someone should keep an eye on you.”
The tight, heavy feeling increased around Cindy. She couldn’t even protest about him not trusting her after all this time, because she didn’t know if she could be trusted yet. And Matthew didn’t know what she was. “Okay,” she answered quietly, not able to look James’ expressionless face in the eye, “I understand.”
“Sleep well,” Matthew offered as Cindy made her way to James’ room.
“Thanks,” she offered weakly. She was grateful that the pain and heavy feeling were going to help her fall asleep instantly. If she had to try to set her mind to being still, she might never get any sleep again. But as soon as her head hit James’ pillow, her eyes were closed and she was out. For now.