Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 90)
“I know. It’s just that I hear what other people think. I know that love and lust don’t always keep the same company.”
“They do for me.”
“That’s nice. We have that one thing in common, at least.”
“Oh.” When she’d been talking before, about how we tend to form very strong bonds, physical as well as emotional, I couldn’t help but wonder if she was speaking from experience. I found that I was surprisingly relieved to know that wasn’t the case.
“So, you do find me distracting?”
“Indeed.” She was smiling again. “Would you like me to tell you the things that distract me?”
“You don’t have to.”
“It was your eyes first. You have lovely eyes, Beau, like a sky without clouds. I’ve spent all my life in rainy climates and so I often miss the sky, but not when I’m with you.”
She giggled. “I’m not alone. Six of your ten admirers started with your eyes, too.”
“They’re not all so forward as Taylor and McKayla. Do you want a list? You have options.”
“I think you’re making fun of me. And either way, there is no other option.” And never would be again.
“Next it was your arms—I’m very fond of your arms, Beau—this includes your shoulders and hands.” She ran her hand down my arm, then back up to my shoulder, and back down to my hand again. “Or maybe it was your chin that was second…” Her fingers touched my face, like she thought I might not know what she meant. “I’m not entirely sure. It all took me quite by surprise when I realized that not only did I find you delicious, but also beautiful.”
My face and neck were burning. I knew it couldn’t be true, but in the moment, she was pretty convincing.
“Oh, and I didn’t even mention your hair.” Her fingernails combed against my scalp.
“Okay, now I know you’re making fun.”
“I’m truly not. Did you know your hair is just precisely the same shade as a teak inlaid ceiling in a monastery I once stayed at in… I think it would be Cambodia now?”
“Um, no, I did not.” I yawned involuntarily.
She laughed. “Did I answer your question to your satisfaction?”
“Then you should sleep.”
“I’m not sure if I can.”
“Do you want me to leave?”
“No!” I said a little too loudly.
She laughed, then began to hum that same unfamiliar lullaby—her voice was like an angel’s, soft in my ear.
More tired than I realized, exhausted from a day of mental and emotional stress like I’d never felt before, I drifted to sleep with her cold body in my arms.
15. THE CULLENS
THE MUTED LIGHT OF ANOTHER CLOUDY DAY EVENTUALLY WOKE ME. I lay with my arm across my eyes, groggy and dazed. Something, a dream trying to be remembered, struggled to break into my consciousness. I moaned and rolled on my side, hoping more sleep would come. And then yesterday came flooding back into my memory.
“Oh!” I sat up so fast it made my head spin.
“Your hair also has the ability to defy gravity.” Her amused voice came from the rocking chair in the corner. “It’s like your own superpower.”
Automatically, I reached up to pat my hair down.
She sat crossed-legged in the chair, a perfect smile on her perfect face.
“You stayed.” It was like I hadn’t woken up after all.
“Of course. That’s what you wanted, correct?”
She smiled wider. “It’s what I wanted, too.”
I staggered out of the bed, not sure where I was going, only that I needed to be closer to her. She waited for me, and there was no surprise in her face when I sank to my knees in front of her. I reached up slowly and laid my palm against the side of her face. She leaned into my hand, her eyes slipping closed.
“Charlie?” I asked. We’d both been speaking at normal volume.
“He left an hour ago, with an amazing amount of gear.”
He’d be gone all day. So it was just me and Edythe, in an empty house, with no need to go anywhere. So much time. I felt like some crazy old miser, gloating over his piles of gold coins, only instead of coins, it was seconds that I hoarded.
It was only then that I realized she’d changed her clothes. Instead of the thin-strapped tank top, she wore a peach-colored sweater.
“You left?” I asked.
She opened her eyes and smiled, putting one of her hands up to keep mine against her face. “I could hardly leave in the clothes I came in—what would the neighbors think? In any case, I was only gone for a few minutes and you were very deeply asleep at that point, so I know I didn’t miss anything.”
I groaned. “What did I say?”
Her eyes got a little wider, her face more vulnerable. “You said you loved me,” she whispered.
“You already knew that.”
“It was different, hearing the words.”
I stared into her eyes. “I love you,” I said.
She leaned down and rested her forehead carefully against mine. “You are my life now.”
We sat like that for a long time, until finally my stomach grumbled. She sat up, laughing.
“Humanity is so overrated,” I complained.
“Should we begin with breakfast?”
I threw my free hand over my jugular, my eyes wild.
She flinched; then her eyes narrowed and she scowled at me.
I laughed. “Come on, you know that was funny.”