The Long Road Home, Chapter 12: Path to the Altar

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Chapter 12: Path to the Altar


"You know what this means, right?"

We'd been lying in bed, drowsy and dreamy, just enjoying the sensation of skin on skin, the rhythm of each other's breathing, in a pleasantly intimate silence that had lasted a few hours. The minutes flew by unchecked and uncared for.

At his words, my eyes snapped open in shock and I stared up at the ceiling, afraid to look at him. I knew what he was getting ready to ask me: of course I did. I was the seer, remember?

But what shocked me was that the idea and decision had just suddenly popped into his mind, spontaneous and unplanned, and the ramifications of that decision had just as suddenly appeared, a myriad of paths to possibly follow. I hadn't seen it coming until a second before he spoke. He'd leaned over my shoulder (I was lying on my side, him curled around me) and his voice was like deep, velvety music as he breathed those words into my ear. The vibration of his speech and the whisper of his breath against my skin made me shudder.

I knew what he was going to say, although only I only knew a split second before he said it. But I had to go along. It was part of the game we were inventing.

"No, I don't know what this means. I don't even know what 'this' is," I said playfully, rolling over and plopping down onto his chest. His deliciously naked chest. I pillowed my chin on my forearms and smiled at him. We hadn't left the room in five days. I was starting to get thirsty, and I know he was, too, but neither of us was willing to get dressed yet. The world outside no longer seemed real. "Why don't you tell me?"

He rolled his eyes and pinched the tip of my nose, which was ridiculously sweet and impossibly sexy. Really, who can be sexy pinching someone's nose? Jasper can. That's who.

"You know, Alice, sometimes I think that loving someone with that particular gift is going to take all the fun out of romance. You knew what I was going to say. You knew it before I did, most likely." He tried to sound a bit put-upon, but I knew it was an act; I could feel it radiating out from him, like waves of heat from a furnace: he was loving me, playing with me, and it felt wonderful.

I stuck my lower lip out, pouting prettily, I hoped. "I'm no fun?" I asked plaintively, batting my eyelashes. I was rewarded when he visibly melted at the expression, his eyes softening, his arms tightening around me. He could be so easy to manipulate sometimes...but wait, he knew what I was perhaps he was just being a gentleman and letting me manipulate him?

The relationship between two people who are gifted the way that we are is bound to be fraught with pitfalls, obstacles, and awkward situations. There's no privacy when one lover can feel what the other lover is feeling and can also make them feel what they're feeling, or what they want them to feel; there's no surprise or much mystery when the other lover can see what's coming.

But we were trying. And we were getting it very right, I think.

"Anyway," he sighed, running his fingers idly through my hair, which I know needed a good brushing, but he didn't care. "Anyway, I know you already know what I want to do, but I still want to say it."

I waited, wide-eyed and expectant. I batted my eyelashes again for effect.

"I think we need to get married."

OK, the fireworks were back. They were colossal Fourth-of-July-in-New-York explosions, not some little firecrackers you can buy from a roadside stand and set off in your backyard. So what if I knew it was coming; hearing the words spoken aloud made them real.

It took a few minutes for him to calm me down. Well, sorry, but a girl can get excited at the prospect of marrying her One True Love, can't she?

I'd never been the kind of girl to dream about her wedding. I had a pretty good idea what the wedding would be like; I had for a long time, of course. But I wasn't a frilly girl, the kind who dreams of weddings, as I knew many human girls do, based on my observations and reading...and movies, of course.

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