“You’re ready now, then?” he asked. “Um.” I gulped. “Yes?” He smiled, and inclined his head slowly until his cold lips brushed against the skin just under the corner of my jaw. “Right now?” he whispered, his breath blowing cool on my neck. I shivered involuntarily. “Yes,” I whispered, so my voice wouldn’t have a chance to break. If
he thought I was bluffing, he was going to be disappointed. I’d already
made this decision, and I was sure. It didn’t matter that my body was
rigid as a plank, my hands balled into fists, my breathing erratic… He chuckled darkly, and leaned away. His face did look disappointed. “You can’t really believe that I would give in so easily,” he said with a sour edge to his mocking tone.
“Are you going to tell Charlie I’m your boyfriend or not?” he demanded.
“Is that what you are?” I suppressed my internal cringing at the thought of Edward and Charlie and the word boy friend all in the same room at the same time.
“It’s a loose interpretation of the word ‘boy,’ I’ll admit.”
“I was under the impression that you were something more, actually,” I confessed, looking at the table.
“Well, I don’t know if we need to give him all the gory details.” He reached across the table to lift my chin with a cold, gentle finger. “But he will need some explanation for why I’m around here so much. I don’t want Chief Swan getting a restraining order put on me.”
“Will you be?” I asked, suddenly anxious. “Will you really be here?”
“As long as you want me,” he assured me.
“I’ll always want you,” I warned him. “Forever.”
“What was all that for?” “Charlie thinks I’m sneaking out.” “Oh.” He contemplated that. “Why?” As if he couldn’t know Charlie’s mind much more clearly than I could guess. “Apparently, I look a little overexcited.” He lifted my chin, examining my face. “You look very warm, actually.” He bent his face slowly to mine, laying his cool cheek against my skin. I held perfectly still. “Mmmmmm…” he breathed. It was very difficult, while he was touching me, to frame a coherent question. It took me a minute of scattered concentration to begin.