Chapter 31

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"Hadley. Wake up. You can't stay asleep much longer. Come on, Hadley Jamison."

I let out a groan and tried to ignore the annoying voice that was speaking. I was blissfully numb and felt nothing. I didn't have a care in the world. I found I much preferred it this way.

It was relaxing. I definitely deserved to relax.

"Hadley. Wake up."

I cracked open an eye and let out a shout when I came face to face with Death. He was leaning over the bed I was lying on and there was a very sad look in his eyes.

Wait. Back up a second. Bed?

"Take it easy for a second, Hadley," Death cautioned me.

I scooted upright and looked around, trying to figure out what was going on.

The room I was in was small and bare of anything and painted white. Apart from the bed I was sitting on, there was nothing else. I was shocked to find that I was wearing the same clothes I'd been wearing earlier that day, the day I was hit by the car.

Where was I?

"Death," I said, looking over at him. "What happened?"

Death blew out a sigh and ran a hand through his hair. "You died, Hadley," he said softly.

I remembered the sound of squealing tires and the sensation of being thrown into the air, but nothing else.

"I was hit by a car," I said slowly. "Wasn't I?"

Death nodded, slipping his hands into his pockets.

"By Havoc."

"Yes."

I knew I should have been shocked by the news that I was dead. But instead I just felt resigned.

In the end, my fate had been inevitable, hadn't it? Death was right. Havoc would have gotten to me sooner or later, whether or not Archer took his life.

"He must really not like me," I said to Death with a frown.

"It's not that, Hadley," Death said, leaning up against the wall. "It's more that he can't stand what you were fighting for."

"And what was that?" I asked confusedly.

Death gave a smile and looked sort of embarrassed. "Love."

"Oh."

Love. It seemed like a funny word to toss around in a conversation after everything that had just happened. It was something that didn't make much sense and maybe was a little more trouble than it was worth.

But it had been totally worth it. Even if the last words Archer and I shared weren't exactly too pleasant. At least he knew I cared about him. At least he was alright.

"So Archer's safe now," I said. "Right?"

Death didn't say anything. He stared at me with a cool look that gave nothing away and that did not bode well with me at all.

"Death!" I exclaimed. "Please tell me! Is Archer going to be okay?"

He leaned away from the wall with a sigh and offered out a hand to me. "Come on, Hadley. We have a lot of things to discuss."

"Hey! I'm not going anywhere with you until you - "

Death grasped my hand and pulled me off the bed to my feet. My knees buckled and I almost hit the floor. My legs felt like jelly and I was suddenly very light headed.

"Ah, sorry," Death said sheepishly. "I forgot. The first few minutes after waking up are a little rough."

"No kidding," I gasped out. "Gimme a hand here."

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