I miss you already.
I Don't need to leave. I can stay.
It was quiet for a long moment, just the thud of my heart hammering, the broken rhythm of our ragged breathing, and the whisper of our lips moving in synchronization.
Sometimes it was so easy to forget that I was kissing a vampire. Not because he seemed ordinary or human-I could never for a second forget that I was holding someone more angel than man in my arms-but because he made it seem like nothing at all to have his lips against my lips, my face, my throat. He claimed he was long past the temptation my blood used to be for him, that the idea of losing me had cured him of any desire for it. But I knew the smell of my blood still caused him pain-still burned his throat like he was inhaling flames.
I opened my eyes and found his open, too, staring at my face. It made no sense when he looked at me that way. Like I was the prize rather than the outrageously lucky winner.
Our gazes locked for a moment; his golden eyes were so deep that I imagined I could see all the way into his soul. It seemed silly that this fact-the existence of his soul-had ever been in question, even if he was a vampire. He had the most beautiful soul, more beautiful than his brilliant mind or his incomparable face or his glorious body.
He looked back at me as if he could see my soul, too, and as if he liked what he saw.
He couldn't see into my mind, though, the way he saw into everyone else's. Who knew why-some strange glitch in my brain that made it immune to all the extraordinary and frightening things some immortals could do. (Only my mind was immune; my body was still subject to vampires with abilities that worked in ways other than Edwards.) But I was seriously grateful to whatever malfunction it was that kept my thoughts a secret. It was just too embarrassing to consider the alternative.
I pulled his face to mine again.
Definitely staying, he murmured a moment later.
No, no. It's your bachelor party. You have to go.
I said the words, but the fingers of my right hand locked into his bronze hair, my left pressed tighter against the small of his back. His cool hands stroked my face.
Bachelor parties are designed for those who are sad to see the passing of their single days. I couldn't be more eager to have mine behind me. So there's really no point.
True. I breathed against the winter-cold skin of his throat.
This was pretty close to my happy place. Charlie slept obliviously in his room, which was almost as good as being alone. We were curled up on my small bed, intertwined as much as it was possible, considering the thick afghan I was swathed in like a cocoon. I hated the necessity of the blanket, but it sort of ruined the romance when my teeth started chattering. Charlie would notice if I turned the heat on in August...
At least, if I had to be bundled up, Edwards shirt was on the floor. I never got over the shock of how perfect his body was-white, cool, and polished as marble. I ran my hand down his stone chest now, tracing across the flat planes of his stomach, just marveling. A light shudder rippled through him, and his mouth found mine again. Carefully, I let the tip of my tongue press against his glass-smooth lip, and he sighed. His sweet breath washed- cold and delicious-over my face.
He started to pull away-that was his automatic response whenever he decided things had gone too far, his reflex reaction whenever he most wanted to keep going. Edward had spent most of his life rejecting any kind of physical gratification. I knew it was terrifying to him trying to change those habits now.
Wait, I said, gripping his shoulders and hugging myself close to him. I kicked one leg free and wrapped it around his waist. Practice makes perfect.
He chuckled. Well, we should be fairly close to perfection by this point, then, shouldn't we? Have you slept at all in the last month?
But this is the dress rehearsal, I reminded him and we've only practiced certain scenes. It's no time for playing safe.
I thought he would laugh, but he didn't answer, and his body was motionless with sudden stress. The gold in his eyes seemed to harden from a liquid to a solid.
I thought over my words, realized what he would have heard in them.
Bella, he whispered.
Don't start this again, I said. A deal's a deal.
I Don't know. It's too hard to concentrate when you're with me like this. I-I can't think straight. I won't be able to control myself. You'll get hurt.
I'll be fine.
Shh! I pressed my lips to his to stop his panic attack. I'd heard it before. He wasn't getting out of this deal. Not after insisting I marry him first.
He kissed me back for a moment, but I could tell he wasn't as into it as before. Worrying, always worrying. How different it would be when he didn't need to worry about me anymore. What would he do with all his free time? He'd have to get a new hobby.
About the book:
n New Moon, Stephenie Meyer delivers another irresistible combination of romance and suspense with a supernatural twist. The "star-crossed" lovers theme continues as Bella and Edward find themselves facing new obstacles, including a devastating separation, the mysterious appearance of dangerous wolves roaming the forest in Forks, a terrifying threat of revenge from a female vampire and a deliciously sinister encounter with Italy's reigning royal family of vampires, the Volturi. Passionate, riveting, and full of surprising twists and turns, this vampire love saga is well on its way to literary immortality.
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