Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 135)
She hesitated. “I thought you were being a gentleman. I thought you preferred to yell at me alone rather than in front of my family.”
I froze up again. I wondered if that was going to happen every time I was surprised. It took me a second to thaw out.
“Yell at you?” I repeated. “Edythe—oh! You’re talking about all that stuff you were saying in the car, right? Sorry about that, I—”
“Sorry? What on earth are you apologizing for now, Beau Swan?”
She looked angry. Angry and so beautiful. I couldn’t guess why she was worked up. I shrugged. “I wanted to tell you then, but I couldn’t. I mean, I couldn’t even really concentrate—”
“Of course you couldn’t concentrate—”
“Edythe!” I crossed the space between us in one invisibly fast stride and put my hands on her shoulders. “You’ll never know what I’m thinking if you keep interrupting me.”
The anger on her face faded as she deliberately calmed herself. Then she nodded.
“Okay,” I said. “In the car—I wanted to tell you then that you didn’t need to apologize, I felt horrible that you were so sad. This isn’t your fault—”
She started to say something, so I put my finger over her lips.
“And it isn’t all bad,” I continued. “I’m… well, my head is still spinning and I know there are a million things to think about and I’m sad, of course, but I’m also good, Edythe. I’m always good when I’m with you.”
She stared at me for a long minute. Slowly, she raised her hand to pull my finger away from her mouth. I didn’t stop her.
“You aren’t angry at me for what I’ve done to you?” she asked quietly.
“Edythe, you saved my life! Again. Why would I be angry? Because of the way you saved it? What else could you have done?”
She exhaled, almost like she was mad again. “How can you…? Beau, you have to see that this is all my fault. I haven’t saved your life, I’ve taken it from you. Charlie—Renée—”
I put my finger over her mouth again, and then took a deep breath. “Yes. It’s hard, and it’s going to be hard for a long time. Maybe forever, right? But why would I put that on you? Joss is the one who… well, who killed me. You brought me back to life.”
She pushed my hand down. “If I hadn’t involved you in my world—”
I laughed, and she looked up at me like I’d lost my mind. “Edythe—if you hadn’t involved me in your world, Charlie and Renée would have lost me three months earlier.”
She stared, frowning. It was obvious she wasn’t accepting any of this.
“Do you remember what I said when you saved my life in Port Angeles? The second time, or third.” I barely did. The words were easier to bring back than the images. I knew it went something like this. “That you were messing with fate because my number was up? Well… if I had to die, Edythe… isn’t this the most amazing way to do it?”
A long minute passed while she stared at me, and then she shook her head. “Beau, you are amazing.”
“I guess I am now.”
“You always have been.”
I didn’t say anything, and my face gave me away. Or she was just that good. She knew my face so well, she spent so much time trying so hard to understand me, that she knew immediately when there was something I wasn’t saying.
“What is it, Beau?”
“Just… something Joss said.” I winced. Though it was hard to see things in my old memory, the dance studio was the most recent, the most vivid.
Edythe’s jaw got hard. “She said a lot of things,” she hissed.
“Oh.” Suddenly I wanted to punch something. But I also didn’t want to let go of Edythe to do that. “You saw the tape.”
Her face was totally white. Furious and agonized at the same time. “Yes, I saw the tape.”
“When? I didn’t hear—”
“I wish you hadn’t—”
She shook her head. “I had to. But forget that now. Which lie were you thinking of?” She spit the words through her teeth.
It took me a minute. “You didn’t want me to be a vampire.”
“No, I absolutely did not.”
“So that part wasn’t a lie. And you’ve been so upset.… I know you feel bad about Charlie and my mom, but I guess I’m worried that part of it is because, well, you didn’t expect to have me around very long, you weren’t planning for that—” Her mouth flew open so fast that I put my whole hand over it. “Because if that’s what it is, don’t worry. If you want me to go away after a while, I can. You can show me what to do so I won’t get either of us in trouble. I don’t expect you to put up with me forever. You didn’t choose this any more than I did. I want you to know that I’m aware of that.”
She waited for me to move my hand. I did it slowly. I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear what was next.
She growled softly and flashed her teeth at me—not in a smile.
“You’re lucky I didn’t bite you,” she said. “The next time you put your hand on my mouth to say something so completely idiotic—and insulting—I will.”
She closed her eyes. Her arms wrapped around my waist and she leaned her head against my chest. My arms wound around her automatically. She tilted her face up so that she could look at me.