He got up and went to the window. The view was immense. Mountains in the distance were a black shadow hovering over the golden lights of the endless sprawl. This city was a diamond on the edge of a strand of desert like a necklace. He’d never been here before, but now he could hardly enjoy it. No. He was no sightseer, not a tourist in the slightest. He touched the back of his neck, remembering that he was onscreen. Someone’s screen. Somewhere. Were they coming for him? Did they know he was up to no good, again? He shivered as he recalled what that evil woman had done to him. How did she justify it? He clenched a fist and felt a sneer coming to his lips. The same way he’d justified his previous work, probably. It made it harder to feel the rage he wanted to feel, because it was either understand her or hate himself for the justifications he’d worked out in his own head.
Well, I was a dick. I was wrong. I was part of the evil.
He sighed. There was still a taint in him. He could imagine the perfect angles for what he was doing now. He could visualize how he would look as the main subject of a scene and what an Editor would guess he was thinking so the music they pasted onto it could reflect his inward thoughts. The perfect song for this moment, “All the Light Within,” by Kat and Bodie. Sort of a love song, but the mood was right for it, pensive, brooding. Weighted in a way that could lend gravity to the scene without any sort of dialogue.
Love. A love song.
There’s no time for love, is there? In these strange times? There was no sanctuary for him to conceal his heart within so the world could never know his pain or joy. But, well, there was Beth and that moment at the camp, and no one had seen except the two of them. If he was honest, he hadn’t been into it. At least, not enough. Not enough to stick through the rough patches.
He no longer trusted her. His sights were elsewhere.
In the courtyard beneath his window, he caught movement beneath the strings of lights and soft-glowing lanterns. He inched closer to the patio door and squinted. It was Marci, wandering. He’d hardly expected her to not be in her room. What was she doing? His heart tripped over itself as he watched her sit beside the fountain and draw her legs up to her chest. God, she was beautiful. But something else, as well. Kind. Vulnerable. Guileless.
He knew so much about her. Had seen more than anyone should see of a person, a real person and not some actor in an old film, actually, the kind no one bothered to make anymore. Ghosteye trained himself with those pieces of art. He knew that there was power in the unsaid and unseen as much as the spoken and seen. When he’d made his own feeds, he’d been careful with those ideas, always trying to strike a balance.
Though he’d seen much of Marci, he saw how she wore silent things. Her own quietness, her secrets, were overlooked by nearly everyone. What did she hold in that vault of ribs?