Lise froze, trying to decide what to do next. “Don’t bother with the elevator,” Teresa said, anticipating one course of action. “It will not work again until I want it to.” She stepped out of the darkness, into the light spilling out from the open elevator door.
Teresa looked at Lise with a combination of haughtiness and grudging respect. “If I wanted to hurt you, that would have already happened.” she stated flatly. “And if I wanted you dead, you would have never seen it coming.”
Lise stood quietly, weighing the truth of these words, but not knowing why they had been spoken in the first place, before deciding to let Teresa keep talking without any interruption.
“You really are quite beautiful. Certainly not a fashion model, or the normal ideal of beauty, but you are beautiful.” Teresa said while walking around Lise, who was standing quietly. “I can certainly see what my husband sees in you.” She said, pausing while looking at Lise’s backside.
“By now, you are undoubtedly wondering why I brought you here. Believe it or not, I still love my husband, and my remaining son.” Lise couldn’t conceal the slight flinch at the mention of Jake. Teresa’s eyes seemed to sparkle a bit more at this involuntary tell. “You needn’t worry. I didn’t come to get either one back. Not really. I know there is too much water under those bridges to safely cross them again, even if I could get either one of them to trust me enough to do so. Actually, I’m glad for the three of you. I can tell how happy Cooper is with you. He might never say it out loud, but his body language with you says all there is to say about that. And Jake. He trusts you. I’m guessing that the two of them are the most truly relaxed and at peace that they have been in years.”
Lise felt her angry growing, and could take no more. “Only if you don’t count the nightmares. They are less frequent, if you don’t count when Rick showed up, but they both still dream about Evan.”
Teresa’s face clouded as anger filled her eyes, and her mouth contorted into a snarl. “Evan. He didn’t have to die. I had already guaranteed his safety, and Jake’s. But then Cooper ran, and took them with him. And then Rick showed up, and spoiled the raid. You don’t know the whole story. You only know what happened. I miss him. I miss all of them.” Both women were silent for a few moments.
When she spoke again, her words were calm and measured. “I heard that they were alive. I wasn’t sure I believed it, but I knew I had to see for myself. I left myself think that maybe I could bring him home…that I could bring them both home. And then they came for me. They actually thought they could keep me, and so they were careless, and discussed their plans in front of me.”
Teresa paused for a few seconds, before taking a tangent. “I saw how you defended Jake. I couldn’t have done better myself. Thank you.”
Taking another moment, Teresa recomposed herself, and said “They’re planning on coming for him. They won’t be subtle. They WILL come in force. I know the details. I will share them, but…”
Lise looked at Teresa “But what, exactly?”
Teresa turned and looked Lise in the eye and said “But I want asylum. I want a place here. Things are about blow up completely, and I think they don’t care who gets hurt now.”
Lise silently analyzed what she had just heard, trying to figure out if she believed any of it, and if she could afford to pretend that she could afford to not try to learn more.