Free Eternity by Elizabeth Miles

Book: Eternity by Elizabeth Miles Read Free Book Online
Authors: Elizabeth Miles
    “Let’s start with the last one first,” she said. “I’m going for pizza because I’d love to get out of the house. Even zombies need to socialize, you know.” She plucked a hat off his bed and chucked it at him.
    He didn’t want to admit that she was right.
    “And I know you’re not a chauffeur,” she added. “You were invited.” She smiled brightly at him.
    JD tried to keep his voice neutral, but he knew he’d already given in. “By whom?” he asked.
    “By Ali, silly,” Melissa said. “She said she wants you to meet her cousin later or something. So let’s go already.”
    • • •
    When they arrived at Pete’s Pizza, Ali was already waiting for them in a red vinyl booth. Her skin shone flawlessly under the reddish lights of the restaurant. She had on a low-cut turquoise tank top, despite the fact that it wasn’t exactly beach weather. Her hair was pulled back in a high ponytail and again he had no trouble picturing her rolling around in a bikini on the beach with cameras flashing. Everything about her was perky and oddly—almost eerily—perfect.
    “Hey guys,” she said, smiling.
    “Thanks for the invite,” he said as he scooted into the booth, trying not to stare too long into Ali’s ice-blue eyes. He tugged off his peacoat and adjusted the collar of his cable-knit fisherman’s sweater, hoping he looked at least semi–put together.
    “I ordered a large pepperoni with mozzarella sticks on the side,” she said once they’d settled in. “Hope that’s okay.”
    “Perfect, I was actually praying for a heart attack tonight,” JD said, grinning but making a mental note: Someone likes to be in charge.
    “Well, luckily you have a nurse nearby if it happens,” Ali responded. “Speaking of which, Mel, how’s your ankle?”
    “A little better than it was,” she said. “I’ve been icing it like you said to.”
    “And making me run back and forth getting things for her,” JD interjected.
    Mel glared at him while Ali laughed. “I bet I’ll have to sit out of practice for a while, though. . . . ”
    JD tuned out while his sister chatted, letting his gaze fall unfocused on the windows and the parking lot outside. He bent his head to one shoulder and then to the other, listening for the snapping cracks at the base of his neck. He did that sometimes when he was stressed, despite the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Winters both told him it was bad for his posture or something.
    Em. He thought of how much she loved Pete’s Pizza, especially her favorite combo of pepperoni and pineapple. He was halfway through his second set of cracks when he took in a sharp breath: As though he’d conjured her, Em Winters was coming through the door of the restaurant.
    “Oh, good,” Ali said just as JD was about to call Em’s name. “Ty’s here!” She waved to the newcomer and patted the bench next to where she was sitting.
    As the girl came closer, JD could see it wasn’t Em after all. Her cheekbones were wider and her eyes were green and catlike, nothing like Em’s, which were big and brown and varied in darkness according to her mood. (They got lighter, weirdly, when she was angry; dark and chocolate brown when she was relaxed.) This girl didn’t have the single freckle above her left eye.
    But otherwise, Ali was right: Ty and Em were total doppelgängers.
    “This is the cousin I was talking about earlier,” Ali said, introducing JD to Ty, who stuck out her hand for him to shake, which made him feel awkward. Maybe she was older? He was surprised at the firmness of her grip.
    “Nice to meet you,” he said.
    “The famous JD,” she responded, as though she’d been hearing about him for ages, which didn’t really make sense since he’d only met Ali today. She spoke with a casual drawl, as if she was from the South or someplace where time moved more slowly. “Meg is going to be jealous!”
    “Oh yeah, meeting me. That’s on everyone’s bucket list,” he said drily. “Who’s

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