I lifted my hand and let it trail over the soft warm skin of Quil's arm. His muscle's shifted under my touch, it was a subtle movement, but visible. The feel of it was something that made me smile, for whatever reason.
My head lay on his shoulder and arm, which was wrapped around me securely. I turned slightly and my body faced his side, my leg boldly moved and rested atop his while my arm moved to wrap around his front. I sighed, content, and closed my eyes.
The sun was out today, and the clouds had seemed to dissipate. It was a bright day, something uncommon for the little town of Forks, but I didn't hate it. Days like this made me remember why I missed my home in Phoenix.
But this was home now, here with Charlie, and with Quil. It was sad that my list had dwindled down to two, but I didn't let my mind linger on that fact for long. I wanted to be happy today. It was getting easier and easier every day, and I knew that it was all Quil's doing.
Edward's leaving, and Jake's disappearance had been terrible. But Quil was here, and as far as I could tell he had no intention of leaving. He told me at least twice a day that he had no desire to be anywhere but beside me. It was odd for someone to be so frank with me, but I liked it.
I liked that he seemed to know exactly what I needed. I wasn't sure what was happening between us, but I didn't want to question it either. I didn't want to rationalize this like I had before, I didn't want to make sense of it. I wanted it to just be.
Quil made me happy, and I made him happy. He comforted me when I felt the loss of Jacob to be too painful, and he was always there for me when I remembered harshly what Edward had done to me. I was there for him whenever an argument with his parents became too much for him, and I was there for him when his loneliness hit him hardest. I knew that losing his two best friends was hard, being abandoned was something that I understood perfectly.
We knew how to be there for one another, and we both readily accepted this fact. We embraced it even, and not once had either of us stopped to think about why it was the way that it was. Because well…It just was. It didn't need to be put to words, or simplified with simple phrases.
Quil was more to me than a friend, he was more than a confidant, or a companion. He wasn't my lover, he wasn't my boyfriend, or some fling. And I wasn't any of those things to him, there just weren't words for us.
"Bella?" I heard his deep voice, calling me out of my thoughts. I answered with a slight nod of my head, his free hand lifted from his side and his fingers ran through my dark hair. I sighed and my arm unconsciously clutched him tighter, however slightly.
"It's been nearly a month now. Us doing this…whatever it is that we're doing," his voice paused but this time he didn't pick his sentence back up. I wanted him to continue though so I gave another nod of my head.
"I was just wondering," I could almost hear him sucking on the end of this tongue, it was something that he always did when he thought hard about something, "…You don't wish that I were someone else, do you?" his question started rushed, but towards the end his words slowed. He sounded so apprehensive, not afraid though. Quil was never afraid of anything.
I bit my bottom lip, unsure of what to say. If I rushed to answer, then he would think that I was lying. If I didn't answer soon though he would get upset, assuming the worst. But what could I say? I did miss Edward, and I did miss Jake. I wanted them both back, I wanted them both every second of every day.
But now, there was Quil. I would never wish him away, I needed him. And not just right now, I knew I'd need him for a long time, and for more reasons than just this one now. I would need him for more than just this comfort he offered me now.
I felt him stiffen some under me, his body going slightly tense, waiting for my inevitable answer. I licked my lips a little nervously before sitting up, my arm didn't move from his chest, but I moved so that I was hovering just above him now. I needed him to see me when I said this, I needed him to know that I wasn't lying.
"No," my answer was simple. I knew there were hundreds of other things that I could say. Thousands of things that would make this all better, only they wouldn't. Because I'd found over my time here in Forks, that actions were ten times as loud as words; words which meant nothing in the end if you couldn't actually deliver.
I leaned down toward Quil and my lips touched onto his. My top lip touched his bottom, and my bottom rested under his. They were softer than I'd imagined they would be. This was my first kiss with someone who wasn't dead; who wasn't cold and hard like marble.
It was impossibly warm, his lips were sweet and pliant under mine. His hands lifted and rested low on my back, they pushed me down slightly so that now my body pressed against his. Our lips didn't move for a while, letting us both just appreciate the feel of one another.
But soon it wasn't enough, for either of us, we seemed to move in sync. His mouth moved slowly to open in the smallest of ways. And my mouth responded in kind, it opened and pressed gently back against his. The sensation was both thrilling and impossibly grounding.
This was real. This wasn't some overrated fantasy, or tragic fairy tale. This was a boy, and a girl, kissing for the first time. We weren't destined to be together, and there weren't forces fighting to push us apart. There were no preconceived ideas of love, and of commitment. There was no deep affection, or long lasting friendship. This was just Quil and Bella.
We were just Quil and Bella.
I'd been having serious problems sleeping lately, for weeks actually. Wolves, bears, vampires and all sorts of animals had played the demon's in my dreams that had kept me from sleeping. I had terrible nightmares, and I dreaded sleep every night. More often than not I opted to sip at coffee and read, but not since Quil.
He'd been coming over to my house almost every day, and the days he didn't he made up for it later by spending double hours with me the next day. It'd been a week of nothing but this. He spent the afternoon after school with me, just in the backyard, we'd read, do home work and snack. There wasn't much talking, because it wasn't really needed. We were both just happy to have someone there.
We didn't question what we wanted out of this, or why we needed it so badly. It was just what it was.
Once he found out that I wasn't sleeping, he took to staying up with me. Well that lasted a night until he couldn't take it and he passed out. He didn't understand how I could last without sleeping so little. His worry increased and by our second week together he was sleeping in bed with me.
It was so different from what Edward and I had. He slept, he didn't stay up and watch me. He didn't read, or sing, he just held me and slept. He was warm, and he was comforting. I didn't have a single nightmare. I let him wrap his arms around me, and I pressed my face to his chest, wishing my nightmares away.
His warmth was a comfort that I cherished, I missed the cold of Edward sometimes, but I always violently stomped those feelings. I was here, and I was with Quil. No one else mattered.
We grieved silently every night. I for my lost love, and best friend. He for his brother, his long time friend. But we healed more every night. I don't know how he managed to hold me together, but he did.
I could only be thankful.
It was another one of those nights, that I didn't want to sleep. I hadn't had a nightmare in over two weeks, and I'd slept well so I didn't understand why I was so against it tonight. The howling outside my window sent chills down my spine and I wrapped my blankets tightly around me.
Quil wasn't here yet, he was late, and he hadn't come this afternoon. That probably had something to do with my hesitation to delve into dreamland. I needed my friend. I knew it wasn't healthy, becoming attached to another person like I was. I was becoming so singularly dependent on him, and it frightened me to be honest.
It would be so easy for him to leave me like the other's had. But I hoped that he wouldn't, because then where would I be? My unexpected friend was someone that I hadn't anticipated weeks ago, but now he was all I could think of.
When even the smallest bouts of pain struck me he was there, ready and willing to be there for me. I knew that he needed me too, he had no friends now, no one but me. We were codependent on one another, but I figured that I needed him more. It was unhealthy, I was sure, but I didn't care. I was selfish, and I was greedy, it was what my pain had turned me to, but I couldn't agonize over it.
It was what it was.
I groaned slightly in anticipation as I laid the side of my head down on my pillow. I worried over what kept Quil, it felt wrong for him not to be here. In over two weeks he hadn't missed one night with me, why wasn't he here now?
Had he finally had it with me? Was he finally tired of me? Anything was likely at this point.
There was a tap at my door and I sighed, thankful. Quil was finally here. I threw the covers off of me and practically ran to the door. I opened it, ready to smile but it wasn't Quil. It was Charlie. I frowned, why was he here?
"Bella, you have a call," he said simply before handing the phone out to me. I thanked him and took it, wondering how I hadn't heard it ringing. Charlie gave a nod of his head before closing my door and heading back downstairs.
I gulped a little and lifted the phone to my ear, dreading this call for some reason.
"Hello?" I finally asked.
"Bella? Hey, it's Quil," his voice was low and he sounded rushed for whatever reason. It made me impossibly nervous, what was wrong? Had something happened?
"Quil, what's wro-" he cut me off mid question.
"Meet me outside, in the backyard in about five minutes. Can you do that for me, Bella?" my insides twisted inside me and I bit my lip. What was this all about?
"Bella?" he asked again, his voice louder now. I bit my lip and as I nodded my head I answered.
"Yes. But Quil-" he cut me off again but I didn't care much, I just wanted to hear his voice again, I wanted to know that he was alright.
"I don't have much time, Bella. I'll be there in a few minutes, please be ready," then the phone line clicked, dead. He'd hung up. I didn't hesitate to toss my phone onto my bed before running to my closset and pulling out a jacket.
I slipped into a pair of shoes, not caring what they were. I knew that I couldn't go out the front door, Charlie wouldn't want me outside this late. I'd have to go out my window.
My worry over road my sense of self-preservation and I walked quickly over to my window. My hand hesitated for only a moment at the latch, being at this window brought back too many memories.
I shook my head and unlocked it before lifting it up and crawling out of it. I edged over the side and tried hard not to look down for fear of falling. This was dumb, incredibly dumb, but I couldn't help it. Quil needed me, and I didn't care what I had to do to get to him.
The tree closest to my window would be easy to get to, if I jumped with enough force. I knew that I wasn't the most graceful of people, but I could make it. The branch was sturdy and could definitely hold my weight, and it was bent down toward the ground. If I was careful I could get to the ground with no problems.
I closed my eyes gathering my courage and did it. I tried hard not to think about it, because I knew that I'd stop myself if I did. I landed on the branch, and hard. I almost screamed at the impact, but I made myself stay quiet, I didn't need to alert Charlie to anything.
"Bella!" someone hissed at me, and I knew that it was Quil. Relief flooding my system, I wasn't too far off of the ground, and it was standing directly below me.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" he hissed again, clearly outraged at my stupidity. But I didn't care, I just wanted to get to him. I sucked in a quick breath and said a small prayer.
"Catch me," I said a little too loudly before I moved over the side of the branch letting myself fall.
Quil cursed, and quiet loudly before moving to grab me out of the air. He was tall, and strong thankfully, and he caught me easily. Though the force of my fall seemed to be underestimated on his part and he fell to the ground with me.
"Jesus Christ, Bella! What in the-"
"Shhh!" I hissed at him, much like he had at me before. I had landed awkwardly on his chest, but rolled off of him with ease. We lay side by side on our backs on the damp grass of my backyard.
"You're insane," was all he said before lifting himself up. He didn't bother to brush himself off before he reached down and took my hand lifting me up as well. I stood close to him, almost leaning against his chest, but he didn't seem to care.
"Bella, I have to talk to you. Something really weird happened today, I can't explain it really, but it was…It was weird," my eyes were wide, I couldn't understand him what was he talking about? What weird thing had happened?
"Quil, just tell me. What's wrong?" I asked again, my hand unconsciously lifting to rest on his upper arm.
He looked down at me and I felt strange. I felt like something had happened. Something terrible. Something in my Quil had changed, something beyond frightening.
"Quil?" I asked again, when he didn't respond to me at first.
There was a loud howl behind him and he went rigid. His body stiffened, and his jaw clenched. I could feel the muscles under my hand tighten and shift as if he were preparing to strike.
"I don't have much time, Bella," he began again. And I knew that he was telling me the truth, he was just having a really hard time actually spitting the words out. "I know what happened to Jake. I know why he's hanging around Sam. I know because it's happened to…" his voice trailed off, it was like he didn't want to answer me. My hand tightened on his arm, I was scared now, really scared, I couldn't understand what was wrong, or why he was acting this way.
"What? Who'd it happen to? Did Sam do something?" I asked, trying to get the answers out of him. He shook his head and took in a deep breath obviously having trouble with this.
"It happened to me, Bella. But I can't tell you what it was. I can't tell you why," I almost gasped in my shock. So Sam had done something to Quil too? Was he going to take him away from me too? Would I be left alone once again because of Sam Uley?
"Quil, please! Why can't you tell me? What's happened? You know you can trust me!" I tried, leaning in toward him, desperate for answers. He shook his head again, and his head lifted. I watched as his eyes nervously shifted around the area surrounding us. My back suddenly went rigidly straight, was Sam here? What if he wanted to hurt Quil?
"You don't understand, Bella. I can't tell. I physically can not tell you what is happening to me, or why. Please try to understand," he tried pleading with me. But I wasn't having any of it, my eyes watered and my free hand lifted to twist in his dark red tee-shirt.
"Why can't you tell me? What's going on?" His larger hand lifted and rested on top of mine. I noticed the strange way that his skin almost burned mine. It felt like he had a fever or something? And when I looked closer he was sweating. I forced myself to calm down enough to listen to him, actually listen to him.
His breathing was harsh and labored. His brow was covered in sweat, and his skin was burning up. He was sick! God, he was really sick. He must've had the flu!
"Quil, you're burning up! Are you alright?" I asked him worried out of my mind. There was movement behind him in the trees, cracking of twigs and branches. He cringed and moved my hands off of him.
"No, I'm fine, Bella. Don't worry. I have to go now. But I'll be back, I promise you. Nothing can keep me away from you," he promised. My heart sunk, he was leaving me too. I wanted to reach out to him again, but he'd already moved away some, it was clear that he didn't want me touching him any longer.
"Please, understand," he spoke, there was movement behind him once again, but I didn't care any longer. This was too much, it was all just too much. My mind felt numbed with his immanent departure. The calm before the storm. "I'm sorry, Bella."
He said these words and they were filled with regret, but they hardly registered. Nothing seemed to any longer. He leaned forward quickly and pressed a warm kiss to my forehead before letting go of me where he'd held my upper arms. He gave me one last long look, and I could tell that he wanted to stay. He didn't though, he turned his back on me and walked into the woods leaving me alone once again.
A/N: There will only be two more chapters after this, and then an Epilogue. I hope you're all enjoying this. I've loved writing it! Thanks again for all the great reviews and support. Love to all!
I hope you decide to review!