Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 53)
“Why didn’t you want to leave?”
“It makes me… anxious… to be away from you.” Her eyes were gentle, but intense, and they made it hard to breathe in and out like normal. “I wasn’t joking when I asked you to try not to fall in the ocean or get run over last Thursday. I was distracted all weekend, worrying about you. And after what happened tonight, I’m surprised that you did make it through a whole weekend unscathed.” She shook her head, and then seemed to remember something. “Well, not totally unscathed.”
“Your hands,” she reminded me. I looked down at my palms, at the almost-healed scrapes across the heels of my hands. She didn’t miss anything.
“That’s what I thought.” Her lips curved up at the corners. “I suppose, being you, it could have been much worse—and that was the possibility that tormented me the entire time I was away. It was a very long three days. I really got on Eleanor’s nerves.”
“Three days? Didn’t you just get back today?”
“No, we got back Sunday.”
“Then why weren’t you at school?” I was frustrated, almost angry as I thought of how much her absence had affected me.
“Well, you asked if the sun hurt me, and it doesn’t. But I can’t go out in the sunlight—at least, not where anyone can see.”
“I’ll show you sometime,” she promised.
I thought about it for a moment. “You could have told me.”
She was puzzled. “But I knew you were fine.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t know where you were. I—” I hesitated, dropping my eyes.
“What?” Her silky voice was as hypnotic as her eyes.
“It’s going to sound stupid… but, well, it kind of freaked me out. I thought you might not come back. That somehow you knew that I knew and… I was afraid you would disappear. I didn’t know what I was going to do. I had to see you again.” My cheeks started heating up.
She was quiet. I glanced up—she looked pained, like something was hurting her.
“Edythe, are you okay?”
“Ah,” she groaned quietly. “This is wrong.”
I couldn’t understand her response. “What did I say?”
“Don’t you see, Beau? It’s one thing for me to make myself miserable, but a wholly other thing for you to be so involved.” She turned her anguished eyes to the road, her words flowing almost too fast for me to understand. “I don’t want to hear that you feel that way. It’s wrong. It’s not safe. I’ll hurt you, Beau. You’ll be lucky to get out alive.”
“I don’t care.”
“That’s a really stupid thing to say.”
“Maybe, but it’s true. I told you, it doesn’t matter to me what you are. It’s too late.”
Her voice whipped out, low and sharp. “Never say that. It’s not too late. I can put things back the way they were. I will.”
I stared straight ahead, glad again for the scarf. My neck was a mass of crimson splotches, I was sure.
“I don’t want things back the way they were,” I mumbled. I wondered if I was supposed to move my hand. I held it still. Maybe she would forget it was there.
“I’m sorry I’ve done this to you.” Her voice burned with real regret.
The darkness slipped by us in silence. I realized the car was slowing, and even in the dark I recognized the landmarks. We were passing into the boundaries of Forks. It had taken less than twenty minutes.
“Will I see you tomorrow?”
“Do you want to?” she whispered.
“More than anything else I’ve ever wanted.” It was pathetic how obviously true the words were. So much for playing hard to get.
She closed her eyes. The car didn’t deviate so much as half an inch from the center of the lane.
“Then I’ll be there,” she finally said. “I do have a paper to turn in.”
She looked at me then, and her face was calmer, but her eyes were troubled.
We were suddenly in front of Charlie’s house. The lights were on, my truck in its place, everything totally normal. It was like waking up from a dream—the kind you didn’t want to lose, the kind you kept your eyes closed tight for, rolled over and covered your head with a pillow for, trying to find a way back in. She shut off the engine, but I didn’t move.
“Save me a seat at lunch?” I asked hesitantly.
I was rewarded with a wide smile. “That’s easy enough.”
“You promise?” I couldn’t keep the tone light enough.
I stared into her eyes and it was like she was a magnet again, like she was pulling me toward her and I had no power to resist. I didn’t want to try. The word vampire was still there between us, but it was easier to ignore than I would have thought possible. Her face was so unbearably perfect, it hurt in a strange way to look at it. At the same time, I never wanted to look away. I wanted to know if her lips were as silky smooth as the skin of her hand—
Suddenly her left hand was there, palm forward, an inch from my face, warning me back, and she was cringing against the car door, her eyes wide and frightened and her teeth clenched together.
I jerked away from her.
She stared at me for a long moment, and I would swear she wasn’t breathing. After a long moment, she relaxed a little.
“You have to be more careful than that, Beau,” she said finally in a dull voice.