February 10th, 2006
I’m laughing so hard, I can barely breathe. Cullen’s in the same boat. He’s actually wheezing like a cartoon character. I don’t even know what we’re laughing about.
This is surreal.
After over a year of bitterness and snark, how the hell did we get here?
I topple to the side and collide with his shoulder. He leans back against the couch, and I’m so busy marveling at how stunning he is when he’s happy, my head slides down his arm and lands in his lap. We keep laughing. My head bounces off his stomach. It makes me laugh more. I sound deranged.
He spills some of his drink and licks the liquid off of his thumb and forearm before it can drip onto the carpet. I’m transfixed by the motion of his tongue. I want to see if it tastes like Tequila.
He drops his head back. “I think we’re drunk.”
I sit up long enough to take another sip and then collapse back onto him. “Yeah, I think you’re right.”
Gradually, our laughter dies down. I flip onto my back and sigh as I let my head nestle on top of his thigh. It feels strange to be with him like this. Like these are versions of ourselves from an alternate universe in which things are totally different between us and we’re both happy. Touching him with such ease after all this time is strangely familiar.
I close my eyes and let myself enjoy it. I know this a stolen moment, but it’s kind of what I need right now.
I feel fingers on my forehead, stroking my hair away from my face. I open my eyes to see him staring down at me. All laughter has left his face. He’s looking at me with an intensity that makes goosebumps race across my skin. He threads his fingers through my hair, and everything seems to slow down. Become heavier. Charged with extra gravity. Expectation.
He licks his lips. “I’m starting to think this was probably a bad idea. Being alone together.”
I’m mesmerized by the movement of his mouth when he talks. “Yeah. Probably.”
“It’s easier when other people are around. They distract me, you know? When it’s just us … it’s … “
His expression softens. Fingers trail down my cheek.
“You’re so fucking beautiful,” he whispers, like he’s afraid of me hearing. “Every day I think that but I can never tell you.”
His fingers are soft, but each stroke sinks into my bones. I inhale with effort. “Why tell me now?”
“Because I’m too drunk to stop myself. And because neither of us is likely to remember this tomorrow.”
His chest rises and falls, fast shallow breaths. Eyes hooded. Deep and needy.
“I miss you, Bella.”
I swallow. I’ve wanted to hear that so many times, and now that he’s said it, I have no idea how to respond.
He’s still stroking my face. Studying me. Trying to keep himself together.
Seeing him like this instantly pulls me apart.
Should be up Thursday/Friday.