Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 104)
I sat in the car, looking at her.
“You don’t trust me?” she asked, hurt—or pretending to be hurt, I thought.
“That really isn’t the issue. Trust and motion sickness have zero relationship to each other.”
She looked at me for a minute, and I felt pretty stupid sitting there in the Jeep, but all I could think about was the most sickening roller-coaster ride I’d ever been on.
“Do you remember what I was saying about mind over matter?” she asked.
“Maybe if you concentrated on something else.”
Suddenly she was in the Jeep with me, one knee on the seat next to my leg, her hands on my shoulders. Her face was only inches away. I had a light heart attack.
“Keep breathing,” she told me.
She smiled, and then her face was serious again. “When we’re running—and yes, that part is nonnegotiable—I want you to concentrate on this.”
Slowly, she moved in closer, turning her face to the side so that we were cheek to cheek, her lips at my ear. One of her hands slid down my chest to my waist.
“Just remember us… like this.…”
Her lips pulled softly on my earlobe, then moved slowly across my jaw and down my neck.
“Breathe, Beau,” she murmured.
I sucked in a loud lungful.
She kissed under the edge of my jaw, and then along my cheekbone. “Still worried?”
She chuckled. Her hands were holding my face now, and she lightly kissed one eyelid and then the next.
“Edythe,” I breathed.
Then her lips were on mine, and they weren’t quite as gentle and cautious as they always had been before. They moved urgently, cold and unyielding, and though I knew better, I couldn’t think coherently enough to make good decisions. I didn’t consciously tell my hands to move, but my arms were wrapped around her waist, trying to pull her closer. My mouth moved with hers and I was gasping for air, gasping in her scent with every breath.
And then she was gone—slithering easily out of my grasp—already standing ten feet away outside the car by the time I’d blinked my way back to reality.
“Sorry,” I gasped.
She stared warily at me with her eyes so wide the white showed all the way around the gold. I half-fell awkwardly from the car, then took a step toward her.
“I truly do think you’ll be the death of me, Beau,” she said quietly.
I froze. “What?”
She took a deep breath, and then she was right next to me. “Let’s get out of here before I do something really stupid,” she muttered.
She turned her back to me, staring back over her shoulder with a get on with it look.
And how was I supposed to reject her now? Feeling like a gorilla again, only even more ridiculous than before, I climbed onto her back.
“Keep your eyes shut,” she warned, and then she was off.
I forced my eyes closed, trying not to think about the speed of the wind that was pushing the skin flat against my skull. Other than that tell, it was hard to believe we were really flying through the forest like we had before. The motion of her body was so smooth, I would have thought she was just strolling down the sidewalk—with a gorilla on her back. Her breath came and went evenly.
I wasn’t entirely sure we had stopped when she reached back and touched my face.
“It’s over, Beau.”
I opened my eyes, and sure enough, we were at a standstill. In my hurry to get off her, I lost my balance. She turned just in time to watch as I—arms windmilling wildly—fell hard on my butt.
For a second she stared like she wasn’t sure if she was still too mad to find me funny, but then she must have decided that she was not too mad.
She burst into long peals of laughter, throwing her head back and holding her arms across her stomach.
I got up slowly and brushed the mud and weeds off the back of my jeans the best I could while she kept laughing.
“You know, it would probably be more humane for you to just dump me now,” I said glumly. “It’s not going to get any easier for me over time.”
She took a few deep breaths, trying to get control of herself.
I sighed and started walking in the most path-like direction I could see.
Something caught the back of my sweater, and I smiled. I looked over my shoulder. She had a fistful of sweater, the same way she’d grabbed me outside the nurse’s office.
“Where are you going, Beau?”
“Wasn’t there a baseball game happening?”
“It’s the other way.”
I pivoted. “Okay.”
She took my hand and we started walking slowly toward a dark patch of forest.
“I’m sorry I laughed.”
“I would have laughed at me, too.”
“No, I was just a little… agitated. I needed the catharsis.”
We walked silently for a few seconds.
“At least tell me it worked—the mind-over-matter experiment.”
“Well… I didn’t get sick.”
“I wasn’t thinking about… in the car. I was thinking about after.”
She didn’t say anything.
“I know I already apologized, but… sorry. Again. I will learn how to do better, I know—”
“Beau, stop. Please, you make me feel even more guilty when you apologize.”
I looked down at her. We’d both stopped walking. “Why should you feel guilty?”