I rolled my eyes and looked at the necklace again, still shocked.
“I have to return this.”
Bea glared at me.
“Don’t you dare, Kat! Your weekend vacation, this? He’s trying to show you just what he can give you, and if you give it back that would be like rejecting that entire world!”
“Maybe I don’t want it.” I said evenly, blinking.
“Kat. You told me yourself that you don’t care for romances. Why else would you be dating him?”
“First of all, we’re not dating. And second, I like spending my own money, thank you very much.”
“You are so weird.”
“You don’t know half of it.” I replied sarcastically, “I have a friend like you.”
She pouted but her phone rang just then, and she whipped it out with military technique.
“Yes? Oh. Oh yeah. One second, babe, I’ll be there.”
After hanging up she jumped to the door, waving over her shoulder.
“I forgot I’d promised the day to Alain. Gotta bounce!”
I sighed, rolling my eyes. Bea would be Bea.
I next met Raphael on New Year's Eve. I'd brought the necklace with me, and held it out to him in silent return.
He took it and, stepping behind me, secured it around my neck.
I sighed and smiled at the same time.
"You're impossible." I managed to say, rubbing my gloved hands together for warmth.
My breath billowed like a cloud of fog in the air as I spoke.
"So are you, Kate." he replied, taking my hand and starting us walking down the sidewalk.
After a few seconds I interrupted the silence, trying not to bite my lip.
"So, uh, Raphael, I...had a question."
"I was...wondering." I started, feeling my face warm up despite the cold, "What....what are we?"
"Humans?" he offered, getting himself a glare, "Sorry. I'm not sure about you."
"Seriously." I huffed, "You have no idea how confused I am."
Raphael said something quietly about blondes but I couldn't catch it.
"Well, Kate," he replied, "We can be anything you want us to be. I don't have any objections."
"Just give me a straightforward answer." I groaned, stopping a few steps after he did.
His watch beeped a second later and I watched in amazement as distant fireworks lit up the sky.
It was a new year.
I couldn't admire the pretty lights much, considering the fact that Raphael and I were busy kissing the living daylights out of each other. To be fair he was very, very good at it (as much as I hate to admit it) and it made up for him capitalizing on every opportunity he had to make a move on me.
"What?" He asked when we finally pulled apart, at the sight of my pout, "It's a tradition!"
"How many other girls have you done this with, then?" I asked, glowering.
Raphael scrunched up his face in thought.
"I've lost count."
I punched him in the shoulder and he recoiled in mock pain, taking my hand again.
"To answer your question, Kate," he started, looking off in thought, "We are the sun and the moon. Hot and cold. Old and new. We are two universes locked in a hopeless spiral going god knows where."
"I don't get it."
He looked at me and I saw something in his expression that both scared and surprised me. I couldn't place it, but it brought a crescendo of emotion with it.
"Every time I look at you, I start falling for you all over again. I couldn't be more different than you, but I couldn't be any more the same. Essentially, I'm a gone case."
"No you're not-"
Raphael interrupted me.
"-I am. When I'm not with you I can't stop thinking about you, and when I am nothing else exists."
Those words sounded strangely familiar, but I was too busy being shocked.
"It's true." he supplied, "Believe me, I tried to fight it. I couldn't win."
Time to change the subject.
"I'm starving. Are you starving? Because I am starving."
"Kate, I haven't really said this to anyone...but I think....I think I lo-"
"-Oh look!" I practically yelled, "A pretzel stand! Perfect!"
I ran towards it before he could finish his sentence. Pretzels were so much easier to face than Raphael.