Spying a dusty red binding on the lower shelf, Ginny pulled at the tightly wedged volume. Unbeknownst to her, her jostling had caused a book to dislodge and tumble from its precarious position on the top shelf. Then she heard it – the sound of a sudden movement and leather against flesh. She looked up, surprised.
"What?" her brown eyes widened as she took in the sight.
"If I startled you, my apologies." The man in dark silk smiled at her through bright green eyes and then reached up toward the skewed shelf, adjusted it, and returned the book. His voice was like his clothing, soft, rich, almost beckoning. The dim light fell gently on his black hair and shoulders. Impossibly wide shoulders...
Ginny felt her heart skip a beat; how picturesque. His arms seemed not to stretch as he reached to resettle the shelf. Watching from below, comprehension dawned, she tucked her red hair behind her ears in nervousness. Ah, the noise. She eyed the angle, and a shudder wracked her body. The whole shelf could have toppled were it not for this curious stranger. She had to clear her throat before she could speak, her mind filled with images of heavy, sharp-cornered objects landing on her head. "Thanks for the rescue," Ginny said. Then with a grin added, "Quick hands."
"Only when there is need, I assure you." Harry Cullen smiled, teeth reflecting bright in the dusty air, those broad shoulders casting a shadow over Ginny. He nodded in what might almost have been considered a bow and then turned sideways and was gone. One moment there, the next he'd vanished as though he'd never been present.
A lascivious grin was spoiled by the frothy moustache Helena wore; cross-eyed, she glared at it, twisting up her mouth, remnants of her latte still clinging to her lips.
"Do stop licking your lips that way; some man might get the right idea about you, and then where would you be?" Ginny was only half kidding, brown eyes ablaze.
"Where every cat longs to be, my sweet innocent little bookworm. Completely in the cream." She batted her eyelashes outrageously making Ginny laugh.
"So, your date last night?",
"Oh, it was perfect. A perfect catastrophe," Helena grinned. "I told you he was in the adult education program, right?" She waited for Gina to nod, all-the-while choking on her own laughter. "Well, we finally got around to talking about what he studies." Giggles began to emerge, making her slur her words. "That yummy little Brad-Pitt-in-Thelma-and-Louise I was drooling over is here studying to become a priest!"
"Oh, no!" Gina sat back and burst into laughter of her own. "What did you do?"
"Oh, I merely suggested that an in-depth knowledge of temptation and sin might help in his work. I even offered to give him a guided tour."
"You didn't!" It was purely rhetorical; knowing Helena, Ginny was quite sure she had. "What did he say?"
"I thought I heard 'get thee behind me', but he was running the other way, so I could be wrong."
If Ginny hadn't already finished her drink, she'd have choked.
Later that night Ginny was sat in her room thinking about the mysterious boy from the library that afternoon. Outside, Harry sighed. He longed to go to Ginny, to comfort her, to caress her, but he could not, and so he remained outside, just below her window, watching and listening. He thought of her silky red hair and dancing brown eyes. His mouth filled with the bittersweet taste of longing. The first flush of dawn chased him away, fleeing in case she saw him, but before he left, he thrust a note beneath her window sash.
I have watched from the shadows;
you are brighter than sunlight.
It might have been more poetic than literal, but he meant it truly; hers was a warmth that seemed to have seared its way into his heart.
A few weeks passed and Ginny began to wonder who had been leaving the romantic notes and bouquets of blood red roses beneath her window. "Who could it be though Helena?" she asked at lunch the day after a bouquet of not only blood red, but pitch black roses had been left there, "who knows, hey I've got an idea, ask the teachers for all the class books belonging to boys in the school, then compare the handwriting to the notes" she said, "ok" Ginny replied.
"Book number ninety seven" Ginny groaned picking up another book, "hey look at this one, belongs to one Harry Cullen, looks like a pretty close match" Helena said, "looks almost identical," Ginny said, "yes, this is it, he's the one" she gasped, as they ran to the school library to look up the school photos, "there he is look," Helena said pointing to a thumbnail picture, "page twenty six," she said turning to the page to find the full size photo, "wow he's a hottie Ginny" she giggled at the sight of the pale boy with black, glossy hair and almost luminous green eyes, "yeah he's gorgeous alright" Ginny muttered, looking at the picture of the young man who had caught the book in the library all those weeks ago.
"Harry, could I talk to you for a moment?" Ginny asked as she stopped by his locker later that day, "certainly" he replied and followed her to a quiet area at the back of the school, she turned to him "roses" she said putting her hands on her hips, he looked down, having the decency to look ashamed of himself "I'm sorry" he said, "don't be" was all she replied before leaning in and pressing her lips to his. After what seemed like an eternity they broke apart, "wow" she gasped, "you took the words right out of my mouth" he said taking her hand and leading her back around the building towards the parking lot when they reached the curb however, he stopped, thoughtful, "would you like to meet my family?" he asked, "oh, um, ok" Ginny replied shrugging. He led her over to a black car with tinted windows, pulling out a key chain he unlocked the doors and opened the door for her.
On the drive out of forks he kept his hand on hers, the passed over the river and headed still further out of town until all the other houses had passed, turning right onto a side road which she was sure wasn't on any maps of the town and surrounding area, they drove on in silence until the road ended, opening out into a large clearing, or was it actually a lawn, the darkness of the forest didn't disappear however as six giant cedars held a shadow right up to the walls of the house.
The house itself was a timeless, three floored, whitewashed stone building with stained glass windows and a deep porch that wrapped around the first floor, Harry drove around this building towards another smaller building that was obviously a garage. He pulled in and stopped the car, turning to her he said "before we go in there's something I have to tell you, my family and I are vampires" he said with a serious look, she didn't doubt him at all. "Hey, the wanderer returns" boomed a voice as they got out of the car, Gina looked around wondering where the voice had come from, Harry led her towards an enormous red jeep, sticking out from under it where a pair of gigantic, muscular legs, "all right under there Emmett" Harry called, "yeah, shift out the way" the voice called, Harry pulled Ginny out of the way as the legs slid out from under the jeep, followed by a large muscular torso, arms and a face with dimples that looked so out of place on a man's features. When he stood up he was the tallest person Ginny had ever seen in her life, "hey kiddo, who's your friend?" he asked, "This is Ginny, my girlfriend" Harry replied flashing a smile at her as they walked into the house.
The inside was much the same as the outside; everything was light colours, open and airy. The back wall was glass and there was a staircase leading to the upper floors with a dark shadow in the recess beneath. Up against the back wall was a raised platform on which stood a spectacular grand piano sat at which was another pale young man with golden eyes, "Edward, this is Ginny," Harry said as the young man looked up, "Ginny, this is Edward, the youngest of my older brothers and Emmett, the oldest" he added, just then something knocked him to the floor, a young girl of about her own age had her arms around his neck, "and this is Renesmee, Edward's daughter" he gasped pulling her off, "yeah we've met" Ginny said. Renesmee was in her social studies class. At that moment a voice came from another room, "what's all this noise" just before a woman came through the door with an apron on; she had golden eyes like the rest and soft waves of caramel coloured hair just a shade darker than the skirt she was warring, "Esme, this is Ginny," Harry going over and hugging her around the waist, "and Ginny this is Esme, our mother for all intents and purposes", he finished, "about time you settled down little bat" came a high soprano voice from the corner, for the first time Ginny noticed a small pixyish girl with spiky black hair in the corner, "Alice," Harry said, "my second oldest sister" he added to Ginny, "hey, great to meet you" trilled a voice from the stairs as an amazingly beautiful young woman came down the stairs, "my oldest sister, Rosalie," Harry said, "where's Jasper?" he added but nobody answered as he had just slipped in through the front door, "there you are jazz, we wondered where you'd disappeared to" came another voice from the kitchen as yet another girl came in, "that's Jasper, my second oldest brother, and this is Bella, the youngest of my sisters" Harry explained, "it's nice to meet you all" Ginny said, "don't forget to introduce me, will you Harry" said an older man (I say older he looked about twenty), "oh sorry Carlisle, our father" Harry added, someone coughed and they heard a voice "forgetting someone?" from the shadowy space beneath the stairs, they all turned to look and Ginny had to blink, "I'm seeing double" said, rubbing her eyes, "Ginny this is Rex, my identical twin" Harry said with a chuckle.
Weeks later they were sat in a small clearing when Ginny said "Harry, what would happen if you bit me?", "nothing, I'm not venomous" he answered, "then would you do it, now if I asked you to" she said, "yes, why are you asking" he asked, tilting his head to one side, "yes" she said. Harry looked at Ginny, brown eyes bright with passion; his hands shook. "Are you sure?"
She took his face in her hands, drew him near for a kiss as she gazed into his green eyes. His lips cool and smooth; she traced them with her tongue, loving the taste of him. "I am." It felt like a vow. "I love you." Ginny ran her fingers through his black hair then pulled him to her.
He stood it as long as he could, then another moment longer. But finally he had to move, or come undone.
Harry trailed kisses along her collarbone, nibbled her earlobe, making his way to the nape of her neck. Ginny moaned beneath his attention, the sound making him shake with yearning, thirst, desire, and love. He hesitated for one eternal moment, heart throbbing, the essence of his need almost tangible, her perfect skin glistening in the dim light. Slowly, but with nothing of uncertainty – he bit down not quite tenderly, knowing she would enjoy the feel of his teeth – but carefully to cause no pain. His teeth sank into her skin, pressed home, revealing incredible sensations for both lovers, a new consummation. Her heartbeat raced through them both. Ginny kept her back straight and her shoulders remained still, but her thighs and hips rolled sensuously as music moved through her and her blood sang...
A few minutes later he surfaced, she looked at him through her bright brown eyes, "it's lucky for you I'm not venomous like my brothers and sisters," he whispered.