Affection & Wrath

She sat on the roof, gazing unseeingly at the stars. Nostalgia, bitter as it may be, brushed comfortingly at the edge of her thoughts. She rubbed her face tiredly, unwilling to entertain the notions such feelings would illicit.

"You came close to being exposed tonight."

She shut her eyes at his voice, having heard the telltale fluttering of his wings. Eagles were hardly common in this age, but even if they were, there was an unnatural elegance to his flight that simple birds could never hope to possess.

"I do not wish to hear it," she sighed, finally glancing at him.

He was unnaturally handsome as always—all strong angles and dark curls. No matter how many centuries passed or how distant she became, her heart would forever pick up speed in his presence.

"I am surprised you can hear anything over the fevered pounding in your chest," he smiled.

"A reaction I have no control over, I assure you."

"I would not change it."

The 'I would' remained unsaid, but both of them heard it.

"Come back with me."

She blinked back the sudden urge to cry, glancing at him quickly before directing her gaze to her lap.

"You know I cannot."

Although she was not looking at him, she could feel his frown. The measured calm of the sky showed her more than he would ever tell her.

"You cannot remain here. Gods are not to interfere with the lives of the mortals. That is the law."

"I am well aware of the law. As you are of the fact that I have not broken it."

"You will."

"You cannot know that," she replied, knowing the futility of such an argument.

"I have spoken with the fates."

Her eyelids slid shut as he caressed her cheek.

"Isabella Marie Swan will die very soon."

She sucked in a breath.

"Come back with me."

"I cannot leave Edward behind."

His hand drifted to her throat and he paused there a moment to wrap his digits lightly around her neck.

"You came very close to death tonight. Your vampire holds the blame for that."

Her eyes snapped open with a glare.

"It was an accident."

"They will not rest until they consume your essence. You know the dangers. Why do you insist upon placing yourself in harm's way?"

"I was only obeying the law. I had no means to protect myself without exposure—"

"Has eternity become such a repulsive notion that you wish to end it?" he implored, interrupting her.

"It is not eternity I fear..."

She took a shuddering breath, leaving the rest of her explanation unsaid. He was already aware of the sentiments she kept silent, buried beneath centuries of grief.

"Show yourself. Your current frailty is...unnerving," he ordered suddenly, though there was a subtle note of concern underneath.

Casting a furtive glance to the forest below in case there were prying eyes—a pointless endeavor, if Edward's usual response to hardship were any indicator—she noted the general stillness that had fallen upon the foliage. A stillness she knew was borne from reverence rather than fear.

She sighed, closing her eyes in acquiesce as she felt her form shift. Before his eyes, her human imperfections faded away and her skin gained an unnatural glow that belied her divinity. Strong and radiant, she finally opened her eyes to stare back at him, having felt his appraisal throughout her quick transformation.

"Happy now?" she asked, though she flexed her hands at the surge of power that had remained dormant for so long.

He only smirked in reply, knowing how much she missed her godly form, despite her insistence of the contrary.

"Are you certain this is wise?" she asked, chewing on her lip in worry. "The Cullens are rather fast. And they have a seer..."

He reached forward to remove her lip from beneath her teeth, caressing the skin as he did so. The nervous movement had always been a peculiar facet of her personality, even in her godly form. Although it was not exactly becoming of a god to show such weakness, he found it endearing.

"Her visions—though heightened—are limited. Our decisions—as influential as they may be—are not within her realm of ability to detect," he replied in a tone that spoke more of his authority than smugness.

"Right," she sighed.

"You know this," he pointed out.

"I know..." she conceded, gazing out at the forest. "I just worry."

"You've been human too long."

"Worrying is hardly a byproduct of humanity. Besides, you're hardly one to talk," she smirked, peeking at him from the corner of her eye.

He grinned at her teasing, a welcomed moment of amusement that he seldom experienced with her anymore. Gaze now filled with regret, he tucked a wayward curl behind her ear, relishing in the ease with which her eyes slipped shut.

"I do miss you," he spoke gently, fingers ghostly along the shell of her ear.

"Not quite enough," she returned, though the words held no bite.

"Enough to be here now," he retorted anyway.

She opened her eyes as his hand slipped to her arm and his thumb rubbed her shoulder comfortingly. The thrum of power beneath his skin as it met her own elicited the same soft euphoria it always had. A feeling that only two gods could inspire in one another through mutual affection—one that had shattered her restraint many times in the past.

She removed his hand, sucking in a breath at the feel of his wrist. It was through sheer stubborn will that she released him with a smile of regret.

"You know as well as I how territorial the vampires can be," she spoke gently, cautious of his penchant toward overreaction when dealt rejection.

"As can I," he replied quietly.

Although he seemed to be accepting her decision, she would be a fool to ignore the warning in his dark eyes. Gone was the easy affection that he had showered on her, now replaced with a deep bitterness that extended to the very sky.

She dared not look up even as a boom of thunder shattered the silence, knowing that it would not do to draw attention to his temper when he seemed resolved to restrain it.

He stood effortlessly, moving passed her toward the edge of the roof. She stared at his back silently, wishing that he would keep her company, despite the dangers that desire posed to both their secrecy and the tentative world her human alias had cultivated for herself.

"Do not forget that I warned you."

His voice was almost cold and she regretted that, as he shifted back into his avian form and flew away. With a sigh, she slipped back into her human persona, unable to shake her frown at his tone of foreboding.