Wind Whispers, Chapter 8: Accomodations

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Chapter 8: Accommodations

What am I doing?

I sat up, almost pushing him off me. But not quite; my hands went out and trapped his wrists, holding him close, when he went to pull away.

"What did I do?" he whispered, and his eyes were so very haunted, seemed so appalled by the thought that he might have offended me, that I thought my heart would shatter into a million pieces. "Did I do something wrong?"

I shook my head, not able to speak yet. I was too flustered, and took a deep breath. "No," I finally managed, after a long, awkward moment, "No, nothing wrong at all. Very right, really." I smiled faintly up at him and he relaxed.

"Then what is it?" He reached up to brush my hair back from my face, and I was struck by his concern for me.

My parents hadn't asked me how I was in three years.

I shook my head. I didn't really know what was wrong. Nothing was wrong. Everything was wrong. "I just don't know what to do, Will."

Will nodded. "I know this is...this is so much, so fast..." He touched my cheek gently. "We'll take things as fast or as slow as you want to, Virginia. I know you're scared, I know you're worried about things, about your parents and all..."

All those things and more flashed through my head. But something else bothered me.

"Will, what did you mean, when you said, 'I know' earlier?"

He looked away, as if embarrassed by something, his fingers clenching mine tightly.

"I...I don't know exactly what I meant, or, maybe it's that there are so many things that I was trying to say right then, it's hard to put it all into words..."

I pulled our entwined hands to me, against my heart. "Try."

He sighed. "Well, first of all, I know how confused you are. I am, too." His smile as he looked into my eyes was rueful, but not regretful. "This isn't exactly what my Ma and Pa thought of when they imagined my future, I guess: they saw me as one of the leaders of our tribe. Marrying a girl I grew up with. Having a traditional life." He shot me a sly glance. "And we both know that's out of the question now, I think."

I flushed with pleasure and a bit of shame: pleasure at knowing he was mine and I was his...shame at knowing that he couldn't ever have that future his parents might have imagined for him. It wasn't possible anymore.

"And also," he went on, "I know what it's like to feel so different, like you have all your life. I don't mean to say that I am the same as you, but I'm different, too."

I grinned at him. "Don't be silly, Will." I thought for a moment, chose the most random, preposterous thing I could think of. "What, don't tell me you turn into a bear, like in my dreams!"

"No. Not yet. Probably not ever. But maybe, if it's necessary."

His words, so simple, so uninflected and serious, stopped my heart. "R-really?" I squeaked.

He met my eyes and nodded.

I took a moment to rearrange my views of the world, yet again.

All right, Ginny, let's see if we can make all this make some sense, I told myself. You already know you're a freak of nature: you hear the voices of the dead. That was always normal for me, though, it hadn't taken any getting used to. But I did know that my unusual extra sense wasn't normal for everyone else.

Then, to find out that my dead brother wasn't in fact "dead," and was a vampire living in sin in Mexico with some dreadful female of his new kind...That had been devastating. It had required me to do some serious soul-searching and re-evaluation of what I thought was possible or not. Not so much the living in sin part...that rather appealed to me now...but Jasper being a vampire. A monster. And deeper than that: that vampires exist, period. Legends come to life, living a few hundred miles away, with all of us blissfully unaware as they grazed us like cattle.

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