He walked back over to me, and I couldn’t help myself, but I cowered back slightly. He stepped back slightly, bemused.
“Sorry – you scared me, that’s all.” I said, reaching out for him.
“Oh – what can I do?” He asked, looking unsure for the first time since I’d met him.
“Nothing; I’m just being silly. Ignore me.” I said, waving my hand as if to dismiss everything that had just happened.
“I couldn’t ignore you even if I wanted to.” He laughed, and gently held my face in both of his hands, looking me right in the eyes.
“You’re not so easy to ignore yourself.” I teased, and pressed my face forward to kiss him full on the lips.
When we broke apart, about a minute later, we both fell backwards onto the bed, laughing.
Instinctively, when I feel something is awkward, my fingers go to my neck to feel my pulse, but when I put my fingers there – I couldn’t find my pulse. I searched all over my neck for my pulse, the usual and the unusual, but I couldn’t find it anywhere.
“I can’t feel my pulse!” I exclaimed, in horror.
“May I?” He asked, and I knew that he didn’t mean it dirtily.
“Please do.” I said, as I was trying to find some way to feel my pulse. He rested his head against my heart, and then there was a huge grin that spread across his face.
“Is it there? Can you hear it?” I asked.
“Nope – not a single beat.” He said, happily.
“Does that mean that I’m officially-” I started.
“Vampire? Yep, absolutely. I just need to try one more thing.” He said, and said something that was definitely destined to make me blush.
“You’re not blushing either!” He almost jumped for joy.
“Well at least I won’t be the blushing-bride.” I joked, and forced a weak smile onto my face.
“Ha ha, very funny.” He said, and tickled me.
My phone started ringing, which broke Joe off from tickling me, but I was still laughing when I answered it.
“Hi, Beth Carter speaking.” I said.
“Hi, it’s your Mum.” The voice said.
“Oh, hi Mum. What’s up?” I asked, and stopped laughing.
“Did you take your sanitary towels with you?” She asked, and I had to throw a pillow over Joe’s face to muffle his laughter.
“Yes Mum, I did, but I won’t need them.” I said, and winked at Joe.
“You haven’t had-” She started, but I cut her off before she could say anything that was even more embarrassing.
“No Mum, it’s not like that. I came on before I left; chillax.” I said, and had to muffle my own laughter now.
“Oh, okay then. See you.” She said, and hung up.
“Your Mum seriously worries too much.” Joe laughed.
“You think my Mum worries? You should see my Dad. If it were up to him, he’d have all the boys in the US locked up whenever I went away for a while.” I laughed.
We had a pillow fight then, and started just talking about random things.
“Fancy going out for a hunt?” He asked, just in random conversation.
“No; that was the whole point in coming out here.” I said, thinking that it was plain obvious that I didn’t.
“Sheesh, I was just checking.” He said, thinking: don’t bite me.
“Ha ha, very funny; nice choice of thoughts - and what happened to ignoring some thoughts?” I asked, laughing.
“Stupid mind reader.” He muttered under his breath.
“Stupid fortune teller.” I muttered under mine, and soon we were rolling about on the floor laughing, again.
Meanwhile, back at my Mum’s house, there was a phone call.
“Hello? Who is calling please?” Mum asked.
“It’s Dan.” Came the other voice.
“Oh; hi. What do you want?” She asked, sounding disappointed.
“I was calling to talk to Beth actually.” Dan said, sounding a tad miffed.
“Well she’s out of this house until the wedding, staying with some friends.” Mum told him.
“Can I have her mobile number then?” He asked.
“Why?” She asked, sounding suspicious.
“I didn’t get chance to talk to her properly on her birthday.” He retorted.
“I don’t think I should give you her number.” Mum said, warily.
“She’s my flaming daughter too, you know!” He yelled, and Mum had to hold the phone away from her ear, frightened of being deafened.
“Calm down, just let me find the number.” She said, and he could hear some shuffling of papers whilst he waited.
“Right; got it. It’s: 034-127-165-77.” She read out the numbers slowly.
“Thanks. I won’t bother you now, though we might bump into one another at the wedding.” He laughed.
“I hope not.” Mum muttered under her breath.
“I heard that.” He said, and hung up.
Back at the cabin:
“Mum’s had an argument with Dad.” I said to Joe.
“What about?” Joe asked absent-mindedly, playing with a strand of my hair.
“Me, again. Every single argument they’ve had has been about me.” I sighed.
“You don’t know that.” He said.
“Yes I do – when they first split up it was about me, though I was four years old at the time. I remember it, and I hear the arguments that they’ve had in Mum’s head sometimes – actually, she thinks them every single time we mentioned marriage ages ago.” I said, and sank down onto the leather sofa, in the front room.
“Oh; well, who loves you more?” He teased.
“They love me equally. Even you should know that.” I poked him in the chest.
“Who starts all the arguments?” He asked me.
“Most of the time it’s Mum, but Dad does provoke her a bit, too. This time it was the mutterings under her breath, and her general attitude towards him that did it.” I said, and played the conversation that Mum and Dad had had earlier – the one that I had eavesdropped on through Mum and Dad’s heads (Dad was close enough that I could hear his mind [he must be travelling]).
I was about to say something else, but I didn’t get chance because I was heavily distracted by a sharp stabbing pain in my chest.
I gripped at my torso in agony; it was as if my heart were trying to claw its way through my ribs, and out through my skin.
It hurt so much that I wanted to die, and in my pain – more like agony – I might have happened to mention this once or twice, or perhaps a few times an hour, along with the long strings of profanities.