Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined (Page 91)
She was still frowning. “I disagree. Shall I rephrase? Breakfast time for the human?”
“Okay. I need another human minute first, if you don’t mind.”
I brushed my teeth twice again, then rushed through my shower. I ripped through my wet hair with a comb, trying to make it lie flat. It ignored me pretty thoroughly. And then I hit a wall. I’d forgotten to bring clothes with me.
I hesitated for a minute, but I was too impatient to panic long. There was no help for it. I tucked the towel securely around my waist and then marched into the hall with my face blazing red. Even better—the patch of red on my chest was exposed, too. I stuck my head around the edge of the doorframe.
She was still in the rocking chair. She laughed at my expression.
“Shall we meet in the kitchen, then?”
She was past me in a rush of cool air, down the stairs before a second had passed. I was barely able to follow the motion—she was just a streak of pale color, then nothing.
“Thanks,” I called after her, then hurried to my dresser.
I knew I should probably put some thought into what I wore, but I was in a hurry to get downstairs. I did think to grab a pullover, so she wouldn’t worry about me getting cold.
I raked my fingers through my hair to calm it again, then ran down the stairs.
She was leaning against the counter, looking very at home.
“What’s for breakfast?” I asked.
That threw her for a minute. Her brows pulled together. “I’m not sure.… What would you like?”
I laughed. “That’s all right, I fend for myself pretty well. You’re allowed to watch me hunt.”
I got a bowl and a box of cereal. She returned to the chair she’d sat in last night, watching as I poured the milk and grabbed a spoon. I set my food on the table, then paused. The empty space in front of her on the table made me feel rude.
“Um, can I… get you anything?”
She rolled her eyes. “Just eat, Beau.”
I sat at the table, watching her as I took a bite. She was gazing at me, studying my every movement. It made me self-conscious. I swallowed so I could speak, wanting to distract her.
“Anything on the agenda today?”
“Maybe,” she said. “That depends on whether or not you like my idea.”
“I’ll like it,” I promised as I took a second bite.
She pursed her lips. “Are you open to meeting my family?”
I choked on my cereal.
She jumped up, one hand stretched toward me helplessly, probably thinking about how she could crush my lungs if she tried to give me the Heimlich. I shook my head and motioned for her to sit while I coughed the milk out of my windpipe.
“I’m good, I’m good,” I said when I could speak.
“Please don’t do that to me again, Beau.”
“Maybe we should have this conversation after you’re done eating.”
“Okay.” I needed a minute anyway.
She was apparently serious. And I guess I’d already met Archie and it hadn’t been that bad. And Dr. Cullen, too. But that had been back before I’d known Dr. Cullen was a vampire, which changed things. And while I had known with Archie, I didn’t know if he knew that I knew, and that felt like kind of an important distinction to me. Also, Archie was the most supportive, according to Edythe.
There were others who were obviously not as generous.
“I’ve finally done it,” she murmured when I swallowed the last bite and pushed the bowl away.
“What did you do?”
I thought about that for a moment, then held up my hand, fingers spread, and waved it from side to side in the international symbol for Kinda, yeah.
“I wouldn’t let anyone hurt you,” she assured me.
But that just made me worry more that someone—Royal—would want to, and she would get in between to rescue me. I didn’t care what she said about holding her own and not fighting fair, that idea really freaked me out.
“No one would try, Beau, that was a joke.”
“I don’t want to cause you any problems. Do they even know that I know?”
She rolled her eyes. “Oh, they’re quite up to date. It’s not really possible to keep secrets in my house, what with our various parlor tricks. Archie had already seen that your dropping by was a possibility.”
I could feel a variety of expressions rippling across my face before I could control it. What all did Archie see? Yesterday… last night… My face got hot.
I saw her eyes narrow the way they did when she was trying to read my mind.
“Just thinking about what Archie might have seen,” I explained before she could ask.
She nodded. “It can feel invasive. But he doesn’t do it on purpose. And he sees so many different possibilities… he doesn’t know which will happen. For example, he saw over a hundred different ways that yesterday could have gone, and you only survived about seventy-five percent of the scenarios.” Her voice got very hard at the last part, her posture brittle. “They’d taken bets, you know, as to whether I would kill you.”
Her expression was still rigid. “Do you want to know who sided for and against?”
“Um, maybe not. Tell me after I meet them. I don’t want to go into this prejudiced.”
Surprise erased the anger from her face. “Oh. You’ll go, then?”