Bella’s eyes had not faltered from me in the hours that I lay on the soft grass, gazing up through the tall
trees surrounding the meadow. As she sat there, her hands hugging her legs to her chest, I closed my
eyes. I had not expected such a calm reaction. Or such a quiet one. It’s not a good thing I tried to
convince myself, but the elation I felt was almost over powering.
My skin in the sun was not something a person would set eyes on in their lifetime. And if they did it
would probably be the last thing they would ever see.
In the sun, the granite marble transformed into diamonds cut of the highest quality. My open shirt
showed every facet shimmering back the sun’s own reflection with perfect clarity throwing rainbows in all
The gentle breeze played through the strands of Bella’s hair and carried her scent towards me over and
over again as I lay motionless my eyes still closed.
If I was still before, I was statuesque now except for the motion of my eyes opening to watch Bella as
she slowly reached out to stroke the back of my hand with one finger. Instantly the fire was back in my
hand climbing up arm. As if with one, soft, warm touch she had set me alight.
Her eyes met mine when I opened them and I forced a slight smile to cover the anxious tone in my
“I don’t scare you?”
“No more than usual.” This made me smiley fully and Bella edged closer to me. I closed my eyes again
and felt her hand tremble as she stroked along my forearm with her fingertips. I wonder if that was
because my skin was too cold for her or because she was sacred. Either option didn’t please me.
“Do you mind?” she asked quietly.
Mind? Why would I mind? To me it felt magnificent, the touch of another as warm as her was out of this
world. Well out of my world at least.
“No, you can’t imagine how that feels” Was she just curious about the foreign texture of my skin or did
she actually like it? I sighed.
Whatever it was she carried on exploring my arm. With her other hand she began to reach for my hand. I
felt her fingers pause infinitesimally as I flipped it over too quick for the human eye. I always forgot my
charade with Bella.
“Sorry, it’s too easy to be myself with you” I said softly.
She was still examining my hand. I opened my eyes to watch her inquisitively bring it closer to her face
and felt her breath on my skin.
My hands threw tiny rainbows all over her face. Making it light up.
“Tell me what you’re thinking” Her silent mind always staggered me “It’s still so strange for me, not
“You know the rest of us feel that way all the time” She teased me.
The rest of us? She had pushed me out of the normality circle in one sentence. That made me feel… Well
I wasn’t sure what this feeling was. But it wasn’t pleasant.
“It’s a hard life” I continued “But you didn’t tell me”
“I was wishing I could know what you were thinking…” She asked wearily
“I was wishing that I could believe you were real. And I was wishing that that I wasn’t afraid”
“I don’t want you to be afraid” And as I spoke the words I realised how true they were. The pain Bella’s
scent caused me would be insignificant compared to what I would feel if I was to ever hurt this frail girl. I
knew right then that that pain would be far greater that what I endured everyday.
“Well, that’s not exactly the fear I meant, thought that’s certainly something to think about”
That surprised me. So much so I half sat up and found myself closer to Bella’s face than I expected. But
she didn’t move back. My eyes locked on hers as her scent hit me stronger than ever at this proximity
“What are you afraid of, then?” I pressed
But instead of answering me she moved closer still. Her face was almost touching mine and her breath
almost drove me completely insane right then. As she inhaled I tore my hand from hers and within a
blink of a human eye I was standing in the shadows, at edge of the meadow. Bella focused on me with
blatant shock on her face. I thought I saw the glimpse of another emotion. Pain? No… Hurt. I had hurt
her feelings even after my resolution before.
“I’m… sorry…Edward…” she whispered quietly.
“Give me a moment” I said back just loud enough for her to hear me.
I stared at her from this distance. This distance…is what I should have kept between us from the
beginning. This was almost a ‘safe’ distance between us. No. There was no safe distance for her.
Keeping my eyes on her face, careful not to alarm her again I started walking back slowly. I didn’t dare
get that close to her again so soon. Instead I stopped a few feet away and sat back on the grass. Her
scent found it’s way to me, of course. Inhaling deeply a couple of times I welcomed the burning back.
Smiling my most human smile I began “I am so very sorry”
Was there any normal way to apologise for being a vampire?
“Would you understand what I meant if I said I was only human?”
No there wasn’t.
I could hear her heart thudding harder and the blood coursing through her veins with a rush. This
reaction I was familiar with. I had seen it so many times on the faces on those that met their end with
me. This emotion I knew. Fear. Fear raced across Bella’s face.
Though I continued to smile at her but it began to feel more sardonic now. This was the chance you
wanted. Take it. I growled at myself. Take it. Make her run. Make her run away from you.
“I’m the world’s best predator, aren’t I? Everything about me invites you in - my voice, my face, even my
smell. As if I need any of that!”
I jumped to my feet arrogantly and ran out of her sight. Within half a second I left a trail of wind behind
me, as I circled the entire meadow twice and stood back at my ‘safe’ distance under the shadows of the
She needs to know what I am.
“As if you could outrun me,” A hostile laugh escaped as I ripped a thick branch from the tree. Showing it
off I let it sit in my hand for a moment before throwing it so fast I’m sure Bella didn’t see it fly but only
heard the noise it made when it shattered into another tree which almost bowed over by the collision.
Before the noise faded I was already standing only two feet away from her.
“As if you could fight me off” I said much more quietly. This seemed to make her further afraid.
Unbeknown to her I saw her hands were slightly trembling.
Bella did not move, but the colour from her face was almost drained and her eyes unable to break from
my hostile gaze. You’ve done it. Now just go. Leave her here. Show her you’re the monster.
I couldn’t move and with every passing second I realised it was me who couldn’t break from her gaze.
A gloom set around me. I spoke again, much more softly “Don’t be afraid. I promise…” That wasn’t
enough for her or even for myself “I swear not to hurt you”
Slowly, very slowly I began to step closer to where she sat. “Don’t be afraid” I wasn’t sure if I was talking
to her or myself at this point. I sat down, our faces less than a foot apart now.
“Please forgive me” The words sounded official somehow, slightly rehearsed even. “I can control myself.
You caught me off guard. But I‘m on my best behaviour now.”
Bella’s heart was thumping at the same speed. I was going to have to do better than that to put her back
at ease. Did I want her to be back at ease?
“I’m not thirsty today, honestly” I half lied with a wink to add effect to my failed attempt of humour.
She exhaled and began to laugh still taken aback.
“Are you all right?” I said warmly as I placed my hand back from where I had snatched it from before.
She didn’t answer me still, and looked down at my hand in hers and then back up into my eyes. She
must have seen something in them to relax her a bit as her heart began to set itself back into a slower
rhythm and she carried on tracing her warm fingertips across my cold hand.
When she looked up again she answered my earlier concerns with a slight smile and I grinned back
“So where were we, before I behaved so rudely”
“I honestly can’t remember” she finally spoke.
“I think we were talking about why you were afraid” Back to this subject I thought feeling guilty “Besides
the obvious reason.”
“Oh right” was all she offered.
“Well?” I pressed
She didn’t answer me. Instead her focus was back on my hand as she was lost in her private thoughts.
Oh this was going to drive me mad by the end of today. I hated not knowing what went through her
“How easily frustrated I am” I sighed and Bella looked up and whatever she found in my face seemed to
calm her further.
“I was afraid… because, well, for obvious reasons, I can’t stay with you.” she looked down at my hands
seeming slightly embarrassed and she continued “And I‘m afraid I‘d like to stay with you, much more
than I should”
Ah. I thought. I understood very well what she meant. I felt the same. Wanting her when I knew I
.“Yes” I began quietly “That is something to be afraid of, indeed. Wanting to be with me. That’s really not
in your best interest”
Bella’s browed puckered slightly at my words.
“I should have left long ago.” I sighed but carried on telling the truth as I always did in her presence “I
should leave now. But I don’t know if I can”
“I don’t want you to leave” she said almost incomprehensibly, the heat in her face back faintly.
“Which is exactly why I should. But don’t worry. I’m essentially a selfish creature. I crave your company
too much to do what I should”
“I’m glad” she said. This frustrated me a little.
Gently this time I slowly took my hand from hers “Don’t be!” I had to say it bluntly for her to understand.
I looked away from her face and into the forest so I wouldn’t falter when I spoke again. “It’s not only
your company I crave! Never forgot that. Never forget I am more dangerous to you than I am to anyone
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She was silent for a moment. Was she finally afraid now?
“I don’t think I understand exactly what you mean - by the last part anyway”
Of course. Confused. Inquisitive. Same every time. I don’t know why I keep expecting her to be afraid. I
should know by now, she’s sitting fully aware and alone in a forest with a vampire it‘ll take more than
words. This thought had me smiling and I looked back to her face.
“How do I explain? And without frightening you again… hmmmm.” Keeping my eyes on her face I placed
my hand back into her, this time she held it with both hands and much tighter.
“That’s amazingly pleasant, the warmth.” I looked down at our hands.
I tried to think of the best way to explain her draw for me.
“You know how everyone enjoys different flavours?” This was the best I could think of right now. “Some
people love chocolate ice cream, others prefer strawberry?”
“Sorry about the food analogy - I couldn’t think of another way to explain.”
She smiled as she understood what I meant. I smiled back slightly apologetic.
“You see every person smells different, has a different essence. If you locked an alcoholic in a room full
of stale beer, he’d gladly drink it. But he could resist, if he wished to, if he were a recovering alcoholic.
Now let’s say you placed in that room a glass of hundred-year-old brandy, the rarest finest cognac - and
filled the room with it’s warm aroma - how do you think he would fare then?” She stared into my eyes as
I tried to find an answer in hers. Nothing.
“Maybe that’s not the right comparison” I thought out loud “Maybe it would be too easy to turn the
brandy down. Perhaps, I should have made our alcoholic a heroin addict instead”
“So what you’re saying is, I’m your brand of heroin?” Bella answered in a mocking tone.
“Yes, you are exactly my brand of heroin”
“Does that happen often?” her question was one I was expecting long ago.
I looked out at the treetops and recalled my talk with Jasper and Emmett.
“I spoke to my brothers about it” I began “To Jasper, every one of you is much the same. He’s the most
recent to join our family” I struggled with the last bit. I didn’t want to let too much out about Jasper “It’s
a struggle for him to abstain at all. He hasn’t had time to grow sensitive to the differences in smell, in
flavour.” I quickly looked back at Bella’s face to see if I had offended her in any way.
“Sorry” I apologised
“I don’t mind. Please don’t worry about offending me, or frightening me, or whichever. That’s the way
you think. I can understand, or I can try to at least. Just explain however you can.”
She was far too relaxed. I sighed heavy and looked away from her again. My words flowed more freely
“So Jasper wasn’t sure if he’d ever come across someone who was as” - what would I say? What word
would best describer her without offending her? - “appealing as you are to me. Which makes me think
not. Emmett has been on the wagon longer, so to speak, and he understood what I meant. He says twice
for him, once stronger than the other”
“And for you?” Her question startled me. But I didn’t let that slip.
“Never” I answered simply and the silence took over.
“What did Emmett do?” Bella asked.
I didn’t want to tell her this. She knew we were monsters but she didn’t need to know what us monsters
did. There was no way I could explain this to her. My hand became a fist in hers and I refused to break
the silence that lingered now.
“I guess I know.” Bella finally said.
After a few moments I had gathered myself and I looked back at Bella.
“Even the strongest of us fall off the wagon, don’t we?” was all I could think of to say in defence of
“What are you asking? My permission?” she said abruptly. But her face softened immediately and her
voice was kinder when she added “I mean, is there no hope, then?”
Is that was she though? I was just biding time until the end. Softening the blow that I would eventually
kill her? I couldn’t let her think that!
“No, no!” I spoke fast now “Of course there’s hope! I mean of course I won’t…” Won’t I? Was I this sure?
I just stared at her and left that sentence unfinished. “It’s different for us. Emmett… these were strangers
he happened across. It was a long time ago, and he wasn’t as… practiced, as careful as he is now”
I watched her face, trying to read it.
“So,” she began “if we’d met… oh, in a dark alley or something…” There was a question that. I wanted to
be honest with her again but I didn’t know if this would be a little too much information. I spoke
“It took everything I had not to jump in the middle of that class full of children and -” No I wouldn’t be
able to tell her that. I decided to take another way round. “When you walked past me, I could have
ruined everything Carlisle has built for us, right then and there. If I hadn’t been denying my thirst for the
last for the last, well, too many years, I wouldn’t have been able to stop myself.” I made myself stop
then and tore my eyes from her face. I was angry with myself. I didn’t want to think about that one
nearly bloody day not so long ago where I had almost lost everything I had become over the years.
Looking back at her now I tried to lighten the tone in my voice. “You must have thought I was
“I couldn’t understand why. How you could hate me so quickly…” I interrupted her and began speaking all
too quick again. The words almost inaudible to a human.
“To me, it was like you were some kind of demon, summoned straight from my own personal hell to ruin
me. The fragrance coming off your skin… I thought it would make me deranged that first day. In that one
hour I thought of a hundred different ways to lure you from the room with me, to get you alone. And I
fought them each back, thinking of my family, what I could do to them. I had to run out, to get away
before I could speak the words that would make you follow…”
I watched her as she processed everything I had just said to her. Seeing that first day through my eyes,
Bella was a little shaken.
“You would have come.” I promised her.
“Without a doubt.” she said trying hard to hide the alarm in her voice.
I looked down at our hands. If I’ve started I may as well continue I thought grimly. “And then, as I tried
to rearrange my schedule in a pointless attempt to avoid you, you were there - in that close, warm little
room, the scent was maddening. I so very nearly took you then. There was only one other frail human
there - so easily dealt with”
I felt Bella shiver slightly. The sun was warm so I knew it wasn’t because she was cold. I still didn’t look
up and continued “But I resisted. I don’t know how. I forced myself not to wait for you, not to follow you
from the school. It was easier outside when I couldn’t smell you anymore, to think clearly, to make the
right decision. I left the others near home - I was too ashamed to tell them how weal I was, the only
knew something was very wrong - and then I went straight to Carlisle, at the hospital, to tell him I was
leaving.” I recalled the guilt I had felt that day and grimaced. “By the next morning I was in Alaska. I
spent two days there with some odl acquaintances… but I was home sick. I hated knowing I’d upset
Esme, and the rest of them, my adapted family. In the pure air of the mountain it was hard to believe
you were so irresistible.” I left out the bit where all I could see was her face., With my eyes closed or
open. Her face had not left me for even a second. “I convinced myself it was weak to run away. I’d dealt
with temptation before, not of this magnitude, not even close, but I was strong. Who were you, an
insignificant little girl”- I looked up at her and smiled widely knowing how this would sound to her - “to
chase me from the place I wanted to be. So I came back…” I stopped there. And looked away into the
depth of the forest. Waiting for her response. But I got nothing and I continued to explain myself further.
“I took precautions, hunting, feeding more than usual before seeing you again. I was sure I was strong
enough to treat you like any other human. I was arrogant about it.
“It was unquestionably a complication that I couldn’t simply read your thoughts to know what your
reaction was to me. I wasn’t used to having to go to such circuitous measures, listening to your words in
Jessica’s mind… her mind isn’t very original, and it was annoying to have to stoop to that. And then I
couldn’t know if you really meant what you said. It was all extremely irritating” I paused and
remembered the laboriousness of having to stay in Jessica’s mind longer than I usually liked.
“I wanted you to forget my behaviour that first day, if possible, so I tried to talk with you like I would any
person. I was eager actually, hoping to decipher some of your thoughts. But you were too interesting, I
found myself caught up in your expressions… and every now and then you would stir the air with your
hand or your hair, and the scent would stun me again…
“Of course, then you were nearly crushed to death in front of my eyes. Later I thought of a perfectly
good excuse for why I acted at that moment -” I half paused at what I what I was about to unveil and
continued “because if I hadn’t saved you, if your blood had been spilled there in front of me, I don’t think
I could have stopped myself from exposing us for what we are. But I only thought of that excuse later. At
the time, all I could think of was, ‘Not her’ ”
I was silent now. My eyes closed. It was a long moment before Bella spoke. “In the hospital?”
I looked up at her. “I was appalled. I couldn’t believe I had put us in danger after all, put myself In your
power - you of all people. As if I needed another motive to kill you.” I recoiled as soon as the word
slipped from me. She did the same. I continued urgently, trying cover that moment “But it had the
opposite effect, I fought with Rosalie, Emmett and Jasper when they suggested that now was the time…
the worst fight we’ve ever had. Carlisle sided with me and Alice.” I frowned as Alice’s visions flooded my
mind once again. “Esme told me to do whatever I had to in order to stay.
“All that next day I eavesdropped on the minds of everyone that you spoke to shocked that kept your
word. I didn’t understand you at all but I knew I couldn’t become more involved with you. I did my very
best to stay far from you as possible. And everyday the perfume of your skin, your breath, your hair… it
hit me as hard as the first day.” I looked at her now with such fondness and affection. “And for all that I’d
have fared better if I had exposed us all at that first moment, than if now, here - with no witnesses and
nothing to stop me - I were to hurt you.”
“Why?” she asked
I was amused suddenly with such a candid question. “Isabella” I said as I ruffled her hair and the warmth
of it coursed through me again and her scent was stirred hitting my senses.
“Bella, I couldn’t live with myself if I ever hurt you. You don’t know how it’s tortured me” I looked down
again, feeling embarrassed. “The thought of you still, white, cold… to never you blush scarlet again, to
never see that flash of intuition in your eyes when you see through my pretences… it would be
unendurable.” I looked up at her face and finally had the strength to say the words I needed her to hear
“You are the most important thing to me now. The most important thing to me ever”
I waited for her to tell me what she thought. Whatever it would be. Whether she chose to accept it or
not. I needed to know.
“You already know how I feel, of course. I’m here… which, roughly translated means I would rather die
than stay away from you.” She frowned and kept her eyes low. “I’m an idiot.” she finished off.
“You are an idiot” I had to agree but my laugh lightened the words and as I did so she joined in with her
quiet laugh looking at me. What an odd and completely wrong situation. Nothing could be more perfect.
“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…” I said quietly. She blushed and looked away.
“What a stupid lamb” she replied.
“What a sick, masochistic lion” I upped the idiocy stakes.
Was I giving her false hope or myself. I knew there was no way I could hurt her. And she seemed to
believe that too. But still… If I ever was to make a mistake. The cost would be great. Not just to me. But
my family. Although my pain would never be…
“Why…” Bella interrupted my thoughts.
I turned back to smile at her. “Yes?” I urged her to continue as the afternoon sun hit my face again.
“Tell me why you ran from me before”
Not a question I wanted to hear.
“You know why” I answered, my smile fading.
No, I mean, exactly what did I do wrong? I’ll have to be on my guard, you see, so I better start learning
what I shouldn’t do. This for example” - she stroked the back of my hand with a finger - “seems to be all
That made me smile again. “You didn’t do anything wrong, Bella. It was my fault”
“But I want to help, if I can, to not make this harder for you”
She was hanging in the balance here and she wanted to not make things harder for me? “Well…” I began
wondering how to phrase the next words. “It was just how close you were. Most humans instinctively shy
away from us, arte repelled by our alienness… I wasn’t expecting you to come so close. And the smell of
your throat.” I stopped abruptly. Was that too much? I waited for her reaction as usual. Unable to know
instantly like I could with everyone else.
“Okay then” Her tone was dismissive and cut through my fears quickly. “No throat exposure” She finished
tucking her chin. Concealing her neck from me. This made me laugh when I responded. “No, really, it
was the surprise more than anything else” I think…
Slowly I raised my free hand and placed it on her neck. Trying to make my actions mirror my words of
reassurance. Her soft skin felt wonderfully warm.
“You see, perfectly fine”
I felt her blood rushing and a beautiful scarlet race up to her face. Adding the perfect amount of colour.
“The blush on your cheeks is lovely” I said quietly. Not knowing if I wanted her to hear. But my actions
had no hesitance and I took my other hand from hers and brushed the side of her face. And then held it
in-between both my hands.
“Be very still” I said, not knowing how to control my body, and not wanting to now, I moved closer to her
my eyes holding hers. I wanted more than anything to touch her lips with mine, but I wasn’t sure how
and I didn’t know if that was a step too far. So instead I softly I placed my cheek at the base of the
throat. Breathing as evenly as I could. Finding that it was a different kind of hunger I felt when I was this
close to Bella. A hunger I didn’t know what to call. I wasn’t sure what this was and without thinking again
I let my hands slide down her neck very slowly, so I could fell the warmth of her skin for longer. Bella
shivered delicately and I stopped breathing immediately. But my hands didn’t stop moving until they
rested on her shoulders. Her smell was overpowering, but again I was surprised that it wasn’t in the way
I had come to expect.
Turning my face to the side, I felt the heat of her breath on the top of my head. I tried to blank out the
burning in my throat completely and concentrate on the beating of her heart as my face now rested
gently on her chest.
“Ah” I finally sighed. And we didn’t move again for a long time. I listened to the rapid uncertain beat of
her heart slow down and the burning in my throat subside to barely a tickle. Everything was peaceful.
The quiet stream was melodic, the insects tuneful, the sun glorious. I felt an ease creep up on me. As if
the potent scent of her was not as great as I first thought.
And then finally I tore myself from her and leaned back.
“It won’t be so hard again” I said
“Was that very hard for you?” she asked almost sounding confused.
“Not nearly as bad as I imagined it would be. And you?”
“No, it wasn’t bad… for me”
“You know what I mean” I smiled at her answer.
She just smiled back without another word.
“Here” I took her hand and placed it on my cheek “Do you feel how warm it is?”
Bella didn’t answer but looked at me with a undecipherable expression on her face.
“Don’t move” she said in the same tone I had used with her before. I became a statue instantly closing
Her hand touched my face and it almost shocked me. This I wasn’t expecting. But if I had a heart I know
it would be beating faster than hers was not so long ago. As her fingertips traced across my cheeks, over
my eyes and along my nose, the feelings I had felt before returned. But much stronger. I couldn’t still
name them and I wanted more than anything for this moment to last. For her hand to never leave my
face. Her fingertips moved slowly across my lips and my mouth opened slightly exhaling. I was trying to
control my breathing. Something I had never needed to do before. It was becoming rapid and I couldn’t
understand why. Then too soon, she backed away. I opened my eyes not liking the distance between us.
Wanting more than anything to reach over and take her in my arms. But I restrained from this. I didn’t
know what had come over me.
“I wish,” I began almost inaudibly “I wish you could feel the… complexity… the confusion… I feel. That
you could understand”
My hand brushed across her hair and face.
“Tell me” she pressed
“I don’t think I can. I’ve told you on one hand, the hunger - the thirst - that, deplorable creature that I
am, I feel for you. And I think you can understand that, to an extent. Though “ - a smile spreading across
my face “as you are not addicted to any illegal substances, you probably can’t empathise completely”
She kept her eyes on me as I reached up to touch her lips gently and continued “But there are other
hungers. Hungers that I don’t even understand, that are foreign to me”
“I may understand that better than you think”
“I’m not used to feeling so human. Is it always like this?”
“For me?” she hesitated a little “No, never. Never before this”
Holding her hands in mine I told her yet another uncontrollable truth
“I don’t know how to be close to you. I don‘t know if I can” But I want to. I never want you to be away
from me. The last part I couldn’t say aloud.
And then surprising me Bella leaned towards me and placed the side of her face against my chest and
murmured “This is enough.”
She was right… This was enough. Just to have her so close. Protected. I’d never let anything harm this
beautiful girl in my arms right now. Least of all me.
I leaned down and put my face on her warm head, inhaling the scent of her hair. Was I smelling
strawberries? It was faint but it was there.
“You’re better at this than you give yourself credit for” she interrupted my musing.
“I have human instincts - they may be buried deep, but they’re there”
We sat like that as I watched the sun fade away. The sky changed from a deep yellow to a musty orange.
And darker still. Now the sky began to dull into a more grey and Bella sighed, Her breath stirred the air
around us. I realised it must be time for her to head back
“You have to go”
“I thought you couldn’t read my mind” she said
“It’s getting clearer” I mocked. Oh how I wish it were true. But her mind was just as silent as the first
time I encountered her. And then something occurred to me. Excited me. I pulled her shoulders back.
She looked up at me with confusion at my sudden exhilaration
“Can I show you something? I asked
“Show me what?”
“I’ll show you how I travel in the forest” I was thrilled at the idea of showing her how I ran. Showing her
Now Bella looked even more bemused and slightly fearful.
“Don’t worry, you’ll be very safe, and we’ll get to your truck much faster” I half smiled at her.
“Will you turn into a bat?” She asked quietly.
I boomed with laughter. I don’t know if it was Bella’s face as she asked me that or the sheer anticipation
of having a non vampire to share this with but I laughed loud. Louder than I can ever remember
“Like I haven’t heard that one before!”
“Right I’m sure you get that all the time.”
“Come on, little coward, climb on my back”
She looked at me as if I had just told a bad joke. So without wasting more time trying to convince her I
reached out to pull her on my back. I felt her heart fluttering like a butterfly. Her scent whirled around
me as she secured her arms and legs around me tightly. Her face next to mine. Her breath on my neck.
“I’m a bit heavier than your average backpack” she warned.
“Hah!” I exhaled. She wasn’t getting out of this one.
I took her hand and pressed my face into her palm, inhaling deeply.
“Easier all the time” And it was true.
Then I began to run.
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Bella’s eyes had not faltered from me in the hours that I lay on the soft grass, gazing up through the tall