Seth turns a corner and sees a figure approaching him.
And so am I.
She still wears black. That hasn't changed. But the weapon in her hands has. It's a crossbow. Where the fuck did she learn how to use a—
Another shadowy figure emerges behind her. Long, black duster. Boots. A stern face with a twisted frown under a black cowboy hat.
Seth's breathing hitches at the sight of the ranger. He expects another shoot out, anticipates the gunfight, but the only thing he hears is Kate.
“Seth!” echoes in the warehouse. Behind him culebras burn. None of them are Richie.
Black smoke threads through the air, but Seth can still see Kate making her way toward him. Then, her steps quicken.
The last time he saw Kate, she was slowly walking away from him, and now, she's running to him.
He drops the red gasoline canister. She drops the crossbow.
When they collide, it's her arms wrapped around his neck; it's his heart beating against her chest; it's her smile turned toward his face; it's his lips on top of her head.
Seth lifts his gaze to the ranger, who is watching their reunion silently. With his eyes, Seth pleads with the other man to let him have this moment. They can discuss revenge later. The ranger steps back, and Seth squeezes Kate tighter in his embrace.
And so am I.
Kate leans against the motel room door and crosses her arms. Freddie does the same on other side of the room as he leans back against the wall. He hasn't removed his jacket or hat. Probably still pissed that Seth Gecko showed up tonight and took care of the culebras without leaving any action for them. Or maybe just pissed at Seth Gecko, period.
“What?” she says.
“He's gotta go.” Freddie points to the window, where outside, Seth sits in the parking lot and waits.
“Go where?” she asks.
He shrugs. “It doesn't matter to me. We don't need him around, Kate.”
But Seth shouldn't be alone right now.
Freddie wasn't there to see the heroin or the alcohol or the nightmares.
The ranger drops his arms with a heavy sigh. “You remember what you told me, don't you? You left Seth because it was getting too dangerous. Do you really want to go down that path again? After everything?”
She stares at the brownish-red carpet and thinks about blood. Over these past few months, she has seen so much of it. And she thinks about Scott, how close she and Freddie had been to saving him until he made the choice to leave.
“Look at me, Kate!” His lips curled back to reveal his fangs and his yellow eyes flashed in the night. “I'm not your brother anymore!”
But she isn't going to stop looking for Scott, not until she can find him and tell him they will always be family no matter what.
Maybe, just maybe, Seth is on the same mission.
The only difference is Kate isn't sure if Seth plans to deliver a wooden stake through his brother's heart or not.
“Okay,” she says to Freddie. “I'll tell him he has to go.”
He nods. “You're making the right choice, Kate.”
Then, why do I hate myself right now?
She finds Seth sitting on the hood of his Camaro drinking from a beer bottle. His black suit jacket is covered in gray ash. Without saying anything, she sits next to him. It feels nice, familiar.
“Let me guess,” he says. “The ranger wants me gone by morning.”
“More like in two minutes.” She studies him with a small smile. “You shaved.”
He rubs his smooth jaw, then slides his hand to the nape of his bare neck. “Cut my hair too.”
“Yeah, I noticed.”
“I noticed that crossbow.” He takes a drink from his beer. “What? Guns and stakes weren't enough?”
Her smile widens. “This is coming from the guy who just blew up a warehouse.”
“I guess I'm moving up to the big leagues,” he says with a smirk.
“Yeah? Well, me too.”
This might be the first time she's heard Seth laugh. Not a mean one. Not a sarcastic one. A real, honest-to-God laugh.
“Are we really going to to do this?” she asks.
He stops laughing and says, “Do what?”
“Forget what happened that night?”
“Hey, you made that choice all on your own, princess.” He takes a long swig of beer. “I clearly remember you screaming at me to stop the goddamn car.”
“And I clearly remember you yelling at me that if I couldn't handle being with you anymore, that I should just leave.”
He glares at her with dull, dark eyes. “And that's what you did.”
A minute ago, Seth was laughing; now he's full of spite and bitterness.
Now she remembers what it was like to be with him those three months in Mexico. His ups, his downs. His highs, his lows. Never knowing which version of Seth she would have to endure that day. Freddie's right; she can't go down that same path again.
“Good bye, Seth.” She jumps down from the hood, and before she even takes three steps, Seth grabs her wrist. She turns around, ready for his next words to hit her.
“I'm sorry,” he says.
The two words do hit her, but in an unexpected way. This might be the first time she's heard Seth apologize too.
He gestures to the car. “Come back and tell me about that crossbow.”
Kate looks down at his hand on her wrist, then lifts her gaze to his face. It conjures up the memory of the Seth Gecko she almost ran over with the RV, when he was just a weirdo.
The Seth Gecko she looks at now is broken and whole. She knows how to get under his skin and she knows what keeps him up at night. She has seen him at his lowest point and she has prayed for him and his soul. He's no longer a stranger.
“Okay,” she says.
They return to the car and sit back down on the hood.
Kate tells him about how she returned home to Bethel. How she found Freddie and Scott. How Scott rejected her help and took off again. How she's going to keep looking for him.
And she listens to Seth as he tells her about Sonja. How they started to share a bed after she helped him find some jobs. How he left her behind in Mexico after the Regulator came after them too.
“So, how did you end up back in Texas?” she asks. “Are you looking for Richie?”
He scoffs at her question. “More like he's looking for me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I called my uncle Eddie last week and guess what he told me? Richie had stopped by to see him and was asking around about me. The bullshit line Richie told our uncle—you're never going to believe this—was that he was worried about me. Can you believe that shit?”
“Well, what if he is?”
He lifts his brows. “Are you serious?”
“I worry about Scott all the time,” Kate says. “I don't care what he is. He's still my brother.”
“Yeah, well...” He lets the thought wander as he finishes his beer. Then, he throws the empty bottle into the parking lot, and a moment later, the glass shatters as it strikes the cement. Seth stares out into the darkness. “I'm glad you're with the ranger.”
"And not with me” hangs silently in between them.
“You know, after you left that night, I shot myself up with so much heroin, I was sure I was going to OD,” Seth says.
“Is that what you wanted?” she asks softly.
“Maybe. I don't know.” He turns to her, and she remembers this Seth too. Honest, open, truthful. “But that was the last time, I shot up,” he continues. “I haven't touched the stuff since.”
Kate doesn't congratulate him; she knows that's not what he wants. Instead, she takes his hand into hers and interlaces their fingers. He responds by placing his other hand on top of hers. For a moment, she thinks she can change Freddie's mind; Seth can stay with them, with her.
But then, Seth lets her go and slides down the hood. “I should probably get going before Mr. Lawman thinks I kidnapped you again.”
She laughs and tries to keep the tears from falling. Her feet touch the ground and she watches as Seth opens the driver's door.
Before he gets in, he says, “I hope you find Scott.”
“I hope Richie finds you,” she says.
Seth gives her a tight smile and climbs into the car. As he drives off, the red back lights fading into the night, she wonders if this aching hollowness is the same thing he felt when she left him on the side of the road. She drove away from Seth thinking she was never to see him again, but tonight proved her wrong.
Who knows? Maybe it can happen again.