Saturday, October 8, 2011

Massage Therapy, Chapter 18 - Countdown, day 5

Edward Cullen's Little Black Notebook
Friday, September 3

“All right, I’m just going to say it.” Ben Cheney’s tone was uncharacteristically blunt. “That movie sucked.”

“It did not!” Angela protested, throwing a few kernels of leftover popcorn at him. “I liked it.”

“You would,” he snickered. “Chick flick. But I’ll bet even Bella thought it blew.”

He looked expectantly down the couch at my girlfriend, who sat between Angela and me. Bella hesitated as she glanced between her roommate and her roommate’s boyfriend. She wisely chose to placate the person she has to live with.

“I liked the romance,” she offered. “And the atmosphere was cool. Kind of spooky. The cinematography was good.”

I grinned at her diplomacy and gave her shoulder a squeeze.

“Are you kidding me?” Ben exclaimed. “Everyone looked blue, for crying out loud.”

“They were vampires,” she pointed out.

“But even the humans were as blue as corpses!” he shot back. “And the vampires didn’t actually kill anybody. We didn’t even get to see them nail a deer or a bear, or whatever the hell they were supposed to feed on. Ridiculous. I’ll bet Cullen is with me on this one. That movie sucked harder than any of the vampires in it. Am I right?”

I hedged my bets. “I’ve seen better,” I admitted. “I’ve seen worse.”

“Name one vampire flick that’s worse,” he challenged.

I drew a blank. “Give me a minute,” I said with a laugh as Ben began crowing in victory.

“Well, regardless, that lead vampire guy was hot,” Bella said. “He reminded me of Edward.” She grinned slyly up at me, and I returned the look.

“That’s so weird. I was thinking that the lead human looked a lot like you. Nowhere near as pretty, though.”

“Oh, brother,” Ben groaned with a roll of his eyes at the two of us. Angela gave him a gentle punch on the arm.

“Leave them alone. They’re still in the honeymoon phase. I remember when you used to look at me like that,” she told him reproachfully.

“What do you mean, ‘used to?’” he protested. “I give you that look all the time.”

“There’s a difference between a look that says, ‘You complete me,’ and a look that says, ‘You wanna get busy?’” Angela retorted.

“Oh, that’s harsh. Do you hear this?” Ben directed his question at me. “This is what you have to look forward to in a few years.”

Bella had collapsed into peals of giggles, and I was chuckling myself.

“Laugh all you want at that movie, it got one thing right. The way the two leads looked at each other was, like, the pinnacle of movie romance,” Angela insisted. “Intense. Longing. Soulful. You could feel their connection just by the look in their eyes.”

Bella nodded. “Totally. They sold me on the romance,” she said.

I actually concurred, though I didn’t put it quite as eloquently.

“They’re probably doing it in real life,” I suggested.

Everyone made noises of agreement.

“Yep,” Ben said. “And when he wants a little action, do you think he says, ‘You complete me’? Hell, no. He says, ‘Yo, babe, you wanna get busy?’”

“Shut up!” Angela ordered. The girls pelted Ben with popcorn then, even though they were laughing the entire time.

Later, I lay on Bella’s bed, watching her put on her PJ’s. She had a long day ahead of her tomorrow, and I had to get up early for my morning appointments, so we had decided to go to sleep when the movie was over. But as always, just the glimpse of her naked body had me wanting more.

“Bella,” I called softly across the room.

“What?” she answered, tying the drawstring of her baggy knit pants into a bow.

I waited until she looked at me before I spoke.

“You complete me.” I waggled an eyebrow at her suggestively.

She began laughing again, just as she had earlier at Ben’s comment.

“You complete me, too,” she giggled as she crawled into bed next to me. “But how about we ‘complete’ each other tomorrow after the festival, okay?” She made quote marks in the air with her fingers and gave me an eyebrow waggle of her own.

“Fair enough.” I grinned and put my arm around her as she snuggled into the crook of my arm.

“I hope movie night wasn’t too boring for you,” she said, stroking my stomach softly with her fingers.

“Not at all. It was just what I needed.”

“I kind of liked that film,” she admitted, sounding a little sheepish. “I like against-all-odds romances.”

I gave her a wry smile before I reached over and turned off her bedside lamp. “That one was more of a doomed romance, I’d say.”

“You think so? I don’t know. I got the feeling that they would work it out.”

“A vampire and a human? No way. He would have had to turn her into a vampire, too, for it to work. She’d have to give up her whole life for him. Literally.”

“But that’s what she wanted,” Bella protested.

I stroked her arm, wondering if she could feel me shaking my head in the dark. “That would be too big a sacrifice. No wonder he didn’t want her to make it.”

“But she was willing. He was the one holding back.” Bella’s hand was over my heart then, her fingers like feathers over my skin.

“He was doing it for her own good,” I reminded her.

“Yes, but who is he to play God? It’s her life. Her decision. She should know what makes her happy.”

I was silent. I got the feeling we weren’t talking about the movie anymore.

“Being with him makes her happy,” she continued. “He should just accept that, and do what it takes to make it happen. It’s what he wants, too. He shouldn’t fight her so hard.”

“Maybe he doesn’t want to drag her down to his level,” I murmured.

She sighed, her breath warm on my chest. “Maybe he isn’t half the monster he makes himself out to be.”

I pondered that for a moment. I wanted to believe it.

“Maybe,” I conceded.

The moon seeping around the edges of her window blinds lent just enough light so that I could see the outline of her face in the dark. I stroked her hair and concentrated on the glint of her ivory skin until sleep finally found me.

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