Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 54)
Cautiously—like I was made of glass or something—her left hand lifted mine off her right and then let it go. I crossed my arms over my chest.
“Maybe—” she began.
“I can do better than that,” I interrupted quickly. “Just tell me the rules, and I’ll follow them. Whatever you want from me.”
“Seriously. Tell me to do something, and I’ll do it.”
I regretted the words the second they were out of my mouth. What if she asked me to forget about her? There were some things that weren’t in my power to do.
But she smiled. “All right, I’ve got one.”
“Yeah?” I asked, wary.
“Don’t go in the woods alone again.”
I could feel the surprise on my face. “How did you know that?”
She touched the tip of her nose.
“Really? You must have an incredible sense—”
“Are you going to agree to what I ask or not?” she interrupted.
“Sure, that one’s easy. Can I ask why?”
She frowned, her eyes tight again as she stared out the window past me. “I’m not always the most dangerous thing out there. Let’s leave it at that.”
The sudden bleakness in her voice made me shiver, but I was relieved, too. She could have asked for something much harder. “Whatever you say.”
She sighed. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Beau.”
I knew she wanted me to leave now. I opened the door unwillingly.
“Tomorrow,” I emphasized. I started to climb out.
I turned and ducked back awkwardly, and she was leaning toward me, her pale goddess face just inches from mine. My heart stopped beating.
“Sleep well,” she said. Her breath blew into my face—it was the same compelling scent that haunted her car, but in a more concentrated form. I blinked, totally stunned. She leaned away.
It took me a few seconds till my brain unscrambled and I was able to move again. I backed out of the car, having to use the frame for balance. I thought she might have laughed, but the sound was too quiet for me to be sure.
She waited till I’d stumbled to the front door, and then her engine quietly revved. I turned to watch the silver car disappear around the corner. It was suddenly really cold.
I reached for the key automatically and unlocked the front door.
“Beau?” my dad called from the living room.
“Yeah, Dad, it’s me.” I locked the door and then went to find him. He was on his favorite couch, a baseball game on the TV.
“Movie over so early?”
“Is it early?” It seemed like I’d been with her for days… or maybe it was just a few seconds. Not long enough.
“It’s not even eight yet,” he told me. “Was the show any good?”
“Er, not very memorable, actually.”
“What is that around your neck?”
I grabbed the scarf I’d forgotten and tried to yank it off, but it was wrapped too many times around my neck, and I just choked myself.
“Uh—I forgot a coat—and someone lent me a scarf.”
“It looks goofy.”
“Yeah, I figured. But it’s warm.”
“Are you okay? You look kind of pale.”
“Aren’t I always kind of pale?”
Actually, my head was starting to spin a little, and I was still cold, though I knew the room was warm.
Wouldn’t it be just like me if I did end up going into shock? Get a grip.
“I, uh, didn’t sleep great last night,” I said to Charlie. “Think I’m gonna hit the sack early.”
I walked up the stairs slowly, a sort of stupor starting to cloud my mind. I had no reason to be so exhausted—or so cold. I brushed my teeth and splashed some hot water on my face; it made me shiver. I didn’t bother changing, just kicked off my shoes, then climbed into the bed fully dressed—the second time in a week. I wrapped my quilt tightly around me and fought through a couple of small shudders.
My mind swirled like I was dizzy. It was full of impressions and images, some I wished I could see more clearly, and some I didn’t want to remember at all. The road whipping by too fast, the dim yellow light at the restaurant glinting in her metallic hair, the shape of her lips when she smiled… when she frowned… Jeremy’s eyes bugging half out of his head, the headlights screaming toward me, the gun pointed at my face while cold sweat beaded on my forehead. My bed shook under me as I shivered again.
No, there were too many things I wanted to remember, wanted to cement into my head, to waste time with the unpleasant stuff. I pulled the scarf I was still wearing up over my nose and inhaled her scent. Almost immediately, my body relaxed, the tremors stilling. I pictured her face in my head—every angle, every expression, every mood.
There were a few things I knew for sure. For one, Edythe was an actual vampire. For another, there was a part of her that saw me as food. But in the end, none of that mattered. All that mattered was that I loved her, more than I’d ever imagined it was possible to love anything. She was everything I wanted, the only thing I would ever want.
IT WAS DIFFERENT IN THE MORNING.
All the things that had seemed possible last night in the dark sounded like bad jokes when the sun was up, even inside my own head.
Did that really happen? Did I remember the words right? Had she really said those things to me? Had I really been brave enough to say the things I thought I’d said?