Friday, December 21, 2012

Re-Read: Chapter Twenty Nine- Betrayed

"Her name is Wanda, not it."

As Wanda rounds the corner, Ian stands protectively between her and Jared. Just as he promised Jamie he would not hurt Wanda, he tells Ian she is in no danger from him, though Ian is not inclined to believe this. Wanda takes a small step forward when Jared says he will not hurt her again, but Ian tries to stop her, telling Wanda she is under no obligation to do so. When she takes another step forward, Jared raises his hand, encouraging her to come closer. As Wanda moves towards Jared, Ian follows close by her side. Jared wishes to speak with her alone, and though Ian is hesitant to leave her, Wanda tells him she will be fine. Giving into Wanda's wishes, Ian retreats, but not before threatening Jared. 
"Her name is Wanda, not it. You will not touch her. Any mark you leave on her, I will double on your worthless hide."
When Ian is out of sight, Wanda sits against the wall, keeping her distance from Jared. He apologizes for hurting her and tries to reassure her that she has no reason to be afraid of him. Though Melanie wants Jared next to her, she becomes irritated when he moves to sit right next to Wanda, not liking the feeling of Wanda wanting him there. Interrupting their exchange, Jared tells Wanda he has one question for her. 
"Is Melanie still alive - still part of you? Tell me the truth."
At this, Melanie attacks, struggling to find a way out, but from the look on Jared's face, it will not matter what either says to him. Wanda tells her that he is not looking for the truth, but for the evidence to prove she is a liar. Wanda struggles to keep Melanie silent, though she screams out "Jared, I love you" inside their head. Jared waits for her answer, holding her chin and refusing to let her hide her face. Staring into his eyes, she struggles with the look of revulsion in his eyes and Melanie's anger. Time passes and tears begin to cloud Wanda's vision, trekking down her cheeks and onto Jared's palms. Having enough, she jerks her head away from his touch and focuses on her hands in her lap. She expects him to leave, but he does not move. As they ponder this new Jared, Melanie compares him to the Jared she knew when they were on the run...

Jared lounges on the sofa as Jamie lays on the carpet in front of him as they watch a basketball game on the television. The three have already raided the house while the parasites are at work and have a few hours to rest before taking off again. The players stand on the sidelines, politely discussing the game. Frustrated by the game, they flip the channels and stop on a broadcast of the Olympic games that are being held in Haiti. Even these games are played in a polite manner, with everyone who participates being awarded a medal. Jared calls for Melanie to relax as she stands by the back door. When she moves towards him, he pulls her into his lap and holds her close. Melanie knows that alone, she and Jamie would never have the comfort they have found with joining their family. 
"Jared makes everything safe, everything happy."
Feeling the warmth of his arm next to theirs, Jared still makes Melanie feel safe, even though he does not know she is with him. For Wanda it is the opposite; loving Jared makes her feel less safe than anything else. She wonders if she and Melanie would love Jared if he was always as he is now and not the smiling man of their memories. 
"Of course. Mel was certain. I would love Jared in any form. Even this, he belongs with me."
Wanda's thoughts are interrupted by Jared talking. He tells her that Jeb and Jamie are convinced it is possible for someone to be aware after being caught and that Melanie is still alive. It scares Jared how attached Jamie is to Wanda and surprised that she was able to get to Jeb. Melanie struggles to speak as Jared moves himself, turning towards Wanda and asks her why she is here. Looking at his face, she struggles to keep control, wanting to touch his face. This angers Melanie, telling Wanda that she will not let her talk, she could keep her hands to herself. Jared continues, telling her Jeb's theory that she is here for him and Jamie, which he thinks is nuts. 

His hands tighten on her jaw and when she looks at him, she sees his face is inches from hers. What was meant to be a soft kiss changed when their lips met. As the kiss becomes rough, her body revolts and Melanie's fist connects with Jared's jaw. Wanda tries to stop Melanie from using the body for violence again as Jared stares at her in horror, though his look quickly morphs into surprise. Jared had expectations and this was his test. Since Jared stands between her and the exit, she flees into the box filled hole, crawling over boxes and overwhelming by sobs. Melanie too was in pain and the double pain was too much for Wanda. Melanie had never once felt betrayed, not even when her father had brought the Seekers after her and Jamie, but Jared's actions were too much for her. The two continued sobbing through their pain, but a single word stopped them from reaching hysteria. 

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