Her forearm was bandaged from a little ways passed her wrist to her elbow. The dressing was as long as the dressing on my leg. I rested my hand where I remembered the bite mark being. I could feel the coldness through the bandage.
"I'm sorry," I whispered as I looked into her eyes. "I'm sorry I didn't get there sooner. I heard you screaming," I closed my eyes at the memory and screams that filled my mind completely for a moment. "And I never want to have to hear that again. That was the second worst thing I've ever had to go through," I whispered.
"What's the first?" she asked, her hand against my neck and her thumb lightly rubbing my jaw
"Seeing you there, lying on the ground, with the bite in your arm, as Michelle stood over you," I whispered slowly, hesitantly, not wanting to speak the truth or relive that past in my mind.
"Don't apologize for being too late, you weren't. I'm sorry you had to see that though."
"How about we agree to both stop apologizing, since we both don't want the other to say, 'I'm sorry.'"
"That sounds like a plan," she laughed.
Tears still spilled down her cheeks as she stared into my eyes. Her puffy red eyes made her look tired and weary. She gently slid her arm away until my hand slid from her bandage to her hand. Our hands together as she cried and smiled.
I wanted to break the silence, but it held so many words and promises that I intently absorbed into my heart, so I kept quiet. I watched as her head started to tilt forward and to the side slowly.
"Are you tired?" I asked as I brushed the back of her hand with my thumb.
"A little, but I'm okay. I don't need to sleep, I don't want to sleep right now."
"You need your rest, you still have the stomach flu, remember?"
"I feel fine, especially right now," she blushed.
"If you pass out, I blame you," I smiled.
"And I'll blame Manbearpig," she retorted.
"South Park? Really?" I laughed.
"You have to admit, that was a funny episode," she smiled.
"Yeah, it was," I lied, knowing P.P.'s Water Park was much better.
"P.P.'s Water Park was better though," she laughed as she looked away at nothing
"You're amazing," I smiled up at her.
"Something I've never heard before," she laughed.
"Will you promise me something?" I asked her as she wiped away the tears on her face with the back of her hand.
"Anything… reasonable," she added.
"Don't ever cry over me again," I whispered. "It's so… unbearable."
"I can't promise it, but I'll try."
I held up my pinky finger and she smiled at me. She hooked hers with mine and our hands fell, our pinky's still together.
"That's all I'm aski-"
"You're awake," someone whispered from the hallway.
I turned my head and saw Hunter walk in the door way. I was grateful for him, but filled with rage as he looked at Sarah.
"Are you feeling okay?" he asked her.
"I'm perfectly fine," she whispered, looking in my eyes. That made mefeel better, knowing she'd rather look at me than him.
"Jacob, how do you feel?"
"Amazing," I answered as I looked up at Sarah, ignoring his existence in the room.
"That's good, I'll tell Carlisle that you're awake. He'll probably need to give you more pain medication."
He turned to walk out of the room, but Sarah touched his arm before he was too far away. She flinched away from his skin as soon as her fingers made contact. He turned around to face her.
"Thank you," she whispered.
"For what?" he asked.
"Treating me like crap. It hurt at first, but it made me stronger, it made me see what I really deserved. And, somehow, it helped me find Jacob. So thank you for helping me see what I needed instead of what I wanted, because what I wanted wasn't real, I didn't know what I really wanted at the time," she whispered.
"I would say, 'You're welcome,' but I feel horrible about that. I would never do that again. I'm sorry I did that to you, I truly am."
"S'okay," she whispered.
He walked out of the room as Sarah turned around to face me.
"Am I what you wanted?" I asked her, smiling.
"Close enough," she smiled.
"Then you'll never find Mr. Right," I laughed.
"No I won't, because I've found Mr. Jacob Black, and he's so much better," she bent her face to mine and kissed my lips lightly. I grabbed her arm that wasn't bandaged and pulled her closer to wrap my arm around her.
She slid her knees onto the edge of the bed and slung her leg over my torso as she kissed me more intensely. It seemed like a comedic moment in a movie, kissing a patient in hospital bed, but to us… we were just showing our gratitude that we weren't dead.
Her lips were sweet, like strawberries. She breathed into my mouth as my lips parted, but her breath was slightly shaky. Her arms trembled slightly as she kept what little weight she had, off of me. I wrapped my arm around her waist and pulled her to me closely and tightly.
Her foot kept away from my bitten leg, and I was glad. I didn't want to ruin this moment. She pulled her face away and slowly slid off of me.
"You don't have to do that," I frowned.
"Yes I do," she blushed.
"I rushed over here and I never got the chance to… take care of my morning routine…" she whispered.
"Ah," I laughed.
When she came back into the room she adjusted her shirt and smiled at me as she pulled on her sleeve and only her fingers were visible.
"I've never seen that shirt before," I noticed as she came closer to me.
"Alice changed my close apparently, must have been hers," she admitted.
"Your favorite color," I smiled.
"My favorite color is more of a russet shade though," she blushed.
"Why did you blush?"
"Because that's the color of your fur when you're a wolf," she whispered hesitantly as she looked down. "That color always reminds me of you and your love for me."
"Russet, I never would have guessed that," I laughed.
"Your love is exactly that, russet."
"I don't think I understand," I admitted.
"It's warm and all consuming, just like the color brown. And it's passionate and extraordinary, like red."
"We have a russet love," I whispered in her ear as she laid down next to me. She curled to my side and kissed my shoulder.
"That's exactly my point," she whispered.
I started thinking of the forest earlier. I suddenly realized that I had left my pants out there. That explained the weird feeling of the blanket. Dr. Vamp had given me so much drugs that I hadn't noticed before. I automatically felt awkward with Sarah lying right beside me, especially since she had said no to her feelings before.
I threw away that thought, it was irrelevant. I was alive and she was alive. I could hold her in my arms at this exact moment, and I was. I could hear her mumbling something as she tightened her hands around my arm.
"Ooh, I see you look at me
When you think I'm not aware
You're, searching for clues
Of just how deep my feelings are
How do you prove the sky is blue,
the oceans wide?
All I know is what I feel
When I look into your eyes"
I had heard the words before. "The Backstreet Boys," I thought. It seemed like her world was centered around music.
"I like that song," I whispered.
"Me too," she laughed.
"What's it called?"
"I Promise You (With Everything I Am) by the Backstreet Boys."
"Do you ever sing anything besides their songs?" I teased.
"In seventh grade I had 'I've Been Working on the Rail Road' stuck in my head for a year."
"That must have sucked," I laughed.
"Not really, I sang it every day at school and got on peoples nerves, it was hilarious."
"I don't see how," I joked.
"Are you going to kill Mason or Hunter?" she whispered.
"Why do you ask?"
"Because I don't want you to. Hunter helped and Mason is a misguided friend. Please, just leave them out of this," her eyes looked up at me and the sadness in them was unfathomable.
"I was never going to hurt them. Granted I did want to 'kill' them both, but for hurting you and kissing you. I wasn't really going to hurt them," I comforted her. She didn't want anyone to die that didn't need to or wasn't supposed to, that was evident.
"Thank you," she whispered and kissed my chest.
"No problem, babe," I smiled and kissed her forehead.
"You're right," she laughed.
"That does sound nice," she giggled.
"I told you."
"I love you," her voice was quiet, but full of intense meaning and sincerity.
"I love you, too," I replied truthfully, sincerely, and quietly.
Sarah fell asleep in my arms. Carlisle came back to give me my meds and I followed her lead. Later we'd really be alone.
THE NEXT WEEK (Sarah's birthday)
"I told you no," she laughed.
"Are you really not gonna let me give you a hug?" I asked her as I wiped some of the mud off the front of my shirt.
She threw the first mud clump, and I thought it was only fair to return the favor with a hug.
"No," she smiled.
"I know you want one," I smiled as I walked closer to her.
"Don't you dare," she giggled.
"It's not like it's gonna ruin anything," I smiled as I took a step closer.
"But it wil-"
I cut her words off as I picked her up with one of my arms and held her against my chest.
"Jacob Nathan Black!" she laughed.
"Yes?" I chuckled.
"That was uncall…ed for" her words came out slowly as I rubbed a huge handful of mud into her hair.
"If I'm already in trouble I better make the best of it," I smiled and sat her down.
She wasn't mad at me in the slightest, she was having just as much fun as I was playing in the mud and rain in the middle of the woods.
"Now you've done it," she laughed. She ran towards me and jumped into my arms. I fell to the ground as I caught her. Her hand dug into the mud underneath us and she mushed it into my hair and face.
"You're gonna get it," I laughed at her.
"Oh, no! The Mud Monster's going to get me! I'm sooo scared!" she joked.
"You should be," I smiled as I kissed her.
I took her hands from my chest and intertwined our fingers.
"This is the best birthday ever," she smiled as she pulled her face away.
"You're lucky it's Good Friday," I laughed back. "And that your parents both had to work."
"And especially since Kyle is at my Granna and Papaw's."
"You guys go there a lot," I commented.
"We're their only grandchildren. We wouldn't have been if my uncle hadn't died."
"You've never mentioned you had an uncle on your mom's side."
"I didn't know him. He died in a car accident before I was born. It's kind of sad though, since they're getting older they don't call me and Kyle the right names all the time. So I'm Lisa, Prissy - their cat, hey you!, and Sarah. But Kyle's usually Chris. They never really talk about Chris a lot, except to say, 'You two would have loved him! You would never be bored when you were up here! He would have been the best uncle, you'd be spoiled rotten."
No wonder she had never told me about him. Her family still missed him and didn't want her to grieve over him, because they knew she was an emotional person. At least, that was my thought. She was still upset over it, I could see it in her eyes.
"I'm sorry," I whispered as I kissed her mud covered nose.
"It's okay," she smiled down at me.
"What do you want to do now?" I asked her.
"Stay right here," she sighed as she rested her chin on my chest and looked into my eyes.
"That sounds like fun," I smiled as I rolled over on top of her. I smudged mud onto her cheek, neck, and chest.
"You are horrible," she teased as she added more mud to my hair and played with it. "But you look good with a mohawk," she giggled.
"I look good with anything, babe."
"Sure you do," she laughed.
"Ouch! That stung!" I smiled.
"I can make it better," she laughed as she kissed my lips.
I could taste only mud at first, and then I felt her tongue on mine. The rain pelted down and tiny thuds sounded against the leaves. Our clothes were drenched and covered in mud. She held me close to her either out of need of heat or out of want. I didn't know which it was.
"We might want to go wash off," I laughed as she pulled her face away to breathe. Our clothes weren't the regular brown color from the mud, they were more red.
"What's up with the red dirt?"
"Jefferson County red mud, that's what ruined our front porch, it used to be white," she laughed.
She stood up and I swung her on my back as I walked up the embankment to her backyard. I headed towards the porch, but she stopped me.
"Water hose," she smiled as she pointed at the side of her house near the driveway.
"Good idea." She had no idea what she had just gotten herself into.
She grabbed the water hose and turned the water on slightly.
"I'm not that stupid," she smirked as she looked at my hand that was stretched for the hose.
"What on earth would I do? We're already wet," I pointed out.
"I don't know, but you'd think of something," she smiled.
"You know me too well," I laughed as I bent down to kiss her.
I heard two light clicks and then felt cold water being sprayed on top of my head.
It dripped down into my face as I pulled away, and sent some of the mud into my mouth.
I grabbed the hose from her hand and turned the water off, dropping the hose on the ground. I picked her up in my arms and slug her over my shoulder. I headed for the backporch and sat her up as we reached the door. We slid our shoes off and walked inside to the house we had responsibly kept cold. She shuddered and I picked her up into my arms.
"Where to, babe?"
"Bathroom," she smiled at me.