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Chapter 9 Theory

    "Can I ask just one more?" I pleaded as Edward accelerated much tooquickly down the quiet street. He didn't seem to be paying any attentionto the road.

  He sighed.

  "One," he agreed. His lips pressed together into a cautious line.

  "Well… you said you knew I hadn't gone into the bookstore, and that I hadgone south. I was just wondering how you knew that."He looked away, deliberating.

  "I thought we were past all the evasiveness," I grumbled.

  He almost smiled.

  "Fine, then. I followed your scent." He looked at the road, giving metime to compose my face. I couldn't think of an acceptable response tothat, but I filed it carefully away for future study. I tried to refocus.

  I wasn't ready to let him be finished, now that he was finally explainingthings.

  "And then you didn't answer one of my first questions…" I stalled.

  He looked at me with disapproval. "Which one?""How does it work — the mind-reading thing? Can you read anybody's mind,anywhere? How do you do it? Can the rest of your family… ?" I felt silly,asking for clarification on make-believe.

  "That's more than one," he pointed out. I simply intertwined my fingersand gazed at him, waiting.

  "No, it's just me. And I can't hear anyone, anywhere. I have to be fairlyclose. The more familiar someone's… 'voice' is, the farther away I canhear them. But still, no more than a few miles." He paused thoughtfully.

  "It's a little like being in a huge hall filled with people, everyonetalking at once. It's just a hum — a buzzing of voices in the background.

  Until I focus on one voice, and then what they're thinking is clear.

  "Most of the time I tune it all out — it can be very distracting. Andthen it's easier to seem normal" — he frowned as he said the word — "whenI'm not accidentally answering someone's thoughts rather than theirwords.""Why do you think you can't hear me?" I asked curiously.

  He looked at me, his eyes enigmatic.

  "I don't know," he murmured. "The only guess I have is that maybe your mind doesn't work the same way the rest of theirs do. Like your thoughtsare on the AM frequency and I'm only getting FM." He grinned at me,suddenly amused.

  "My mind doesn't work right? I'm a freak?" The words bothered me morethan they should — probably because his speculation hit home. I'd alwayssuspected as much, and it embarrassed me to have it confirmed.

  "I hear voices in my mind and you're worried that you're the freak," helaughed. "Don't worry, it's just a theory…" His face tightened. "Whichbrings us back to you."I sighed. How to begin?

  "Aren't we past all the evasions now?" he reminded me softly.

  I looked away from his face for the first time, trying to find words. Ihappened to notice the speedometer.

  "Holy crow!" I shouted. "Slow down!""What's wrong?" He was startled. But the car didn't decelerate.

  "You're going a hundred miles an hour!" I was still shouting. I shot apanicky glance out the window, but it was too dark to see much. The roadwas only visible in the long patch of bluish brightness from theheadlights. The forest along both sides of the road was like a black wall— as hard as a wall of steel if we veered off the road at this speed.

  "Relax, Bella." He rolled his eyes, still not slowing.

  "Are you trying to kill us?" I demanded.

  "We're not going to crash."I tried to modulate my voice. "Why are you in such a hurry?""I always drive like this." He turned to smile crookedly at me.

  "Keep your eyes on the road!""I've never been in an accident, Bella — I've never even gotten aticket." He grinned and tapped his forehead. "Built-in radar detector.""Very funny." I fumed. "Charlie's a cop, remember? I was raised to abideby traffic laws. Besides, if you turn us into a Volvo pretzel around atree trunk, you can probably just walk away.""Probably," he agreed with a short, hard laugh. "But you can't." Hesighed, and I watched with relief as the needle gradually drifted towardeighty. "Happy?""Almost.""I hate driving slow," he muttered.

  "This is slow?""Enough commentary on my driving," he snapped. "I'm still waiting foryour latest theory."I bit my lip. He looked down at me, his honey eyes unexpectedly gentle.

  "I won't laugh," he promised.

  "I'm more afraid that you'll be angry with me.""Is it that bad?""Pretty much, yeah."He waited. I was looking down at my hands, so I couldn't see his expression.

  "Go ahead." His voice was calm.

  "I don't know how to start," I admitted.

  "Why don't you start at the beginning… you said you didn't come up withthis on your own.""No.""What got you started — a book? A movie?" he probed.

  "No — it was Saturday, at the beach." I risked a glance up at his face.

  He looked puzzled.

  "I ran into an old family friend —Jacob Black," I continued. "His dad andCharlie have been friends since I was a baby."He still looked confused.

  "His dad is one of the Quileute elders." I watched him carefully. Hisconfused expression froze in place. "We went for a walk —" I edited allmy scheming out of the story "— and he was telling me some old legends —trying to scare me, I think. He told me one…" I hesitated.

  "Go on," he said.

  "About vampires." I realized I was whispering. I couldn't look at hisface now. But I saw his knuckles tighten convulsively on the wheel.

  "And you immediately thought of me?" Still calm.

  "No. He… mentioned your family."He was silent, staring at the road.

  I was worried suddenly, worried about protecting Jacob.

  "He just thought it was a silly superstition," I said quickly. "He didn'texpect me to think anything of it." It didn't seem like enough; I had toconfess. "It was my fault, I forced him to tell me.""Why?""Lauren said something about you — she was trying to provoke me. And anolder boy from the tribe said your family didn't come to the reservation,only it sounded like he meant something different. So I got Jacob aloneand I tricked it out of him," I admitted, hanging my head.

  He startled me by laughing. I glared up at him. He was laughing, but hiseyes were fierce, staring ahead.

  "Tricked him how?" he asked.

  "I tried to flirt — it worked better than I thought it would." Disbeliefcolored my tone as I remembered.

  "I'd like to have seen that." He chuckled darkly. "And you accused me ofdazzling people — poor Jacob Black."I blushed and looked out my window into the night.

  "What did you do then?" he asked after a minute.

  "I did some research on the Internet.""And did that convince you?" His voice sounded barely interested. But hishands were clamped hard onto the steering wheel.

  "No. Nothing fit. Most of it was kind of silly. And then…" I stopped.

   "What?""I decided it didn't matter," I whispered.

  "It didn't matter?" His tone made me look up — I had finally brokenthrough his carefully composed mask. His face was incredulous, with justa hint of the anger I'd feared.

  "No," I said softly. "It doesn't matter to me what you are."A hard, mocking edge entered his voice. "You don't care if I'm a monster?

  If I'm not human!""No."He was silent, staring straight ahead again. His face was bleak and cold.

  "You're angry," I sighed. "I shouldn't have said anything.""No," he said, but his tone was as hard as his face. "I'd rather knowwhat you're thinking — even if what you're thinking is insane.""So I'm wrong again?" I challenged.

  "That's not what I was referring to. 'It doesn't matter'!" he quoted,gritting his teeth together.

  "I'm right?" I gasped.

  "Does it matter?"I took a deep breath.

  "Not really." I paused. "But I am curious." My voice, at least, wascomposed.

  He was suddenly resigned. "What are you curious about?""How old are you?""Seventeen," he answered promptly.

  "And how long have you been seventeen?"His lips twitched as he stared at the road. "A while," he admitted atlast.

  "Okay." I smiled, pleased that he was still being honest with me. Hestared down at me with watchful eyes, much as he had before, when he wasworried I would go into shock. I smiled wider in encouragement, and hefrowned.

  "Don't laugh — but how can you come out during the daytime?"He laughed anyway. "Myth.""Burned by the sun?""Myth.""Sleeping in coffins?""Myth." He hesitated for a moment, and a peculiar tone entered his voice.

  "I can't sleep."It took me a minute to absorb that. "At all?""Never," he said, his voice nearly inaudible. He turned to look at mewith a wistful expression. The golden eyes held mine, and I lost my trainof thought. I stared at him until he looked away.

  "You haven't asked me the most important question yet." His voice was hard now, and when he looked at me again his eyes were cold.

  I blinked, still dazed. "Which one is that?""You aren't concerned about my diet?" he asked sarcastically.

  "Oh," I murmured, "that.""Yes, that." His voice was bleak. "Don't you want to know if I drinkblood?"I flinched. "Well, Jacob said something about that.""What did Jacob say?" he asked flatly.

  "He said you didn't… hunt people. He said your family wasn't supposed tobe dangerous because you only hunted animals.""He said we weren't dangerous?" His voice was deeply skeptical.

  "Not exactly. He said you weren't supposed to be dangerous. But theQuileutes still didn't want you on their land, just in case."He looked forward, but I couldn't tell if he was watching the road or not.

  "So was he right? About not hunting people?" I tried to keep my voice aseven as possible.

  "The Quileutes have a long memory," he whispered.

  I took it as a confirmation.

  "Don't let that make you complacent, though," he warned me. "They'reright to keep their distance from us. We are still dangerous.""I don't understand.""We try," he explained slowly. "We're usually very good at what we do.

  Sometimes we make mistakes. Me, for example, allowing myself to be alonewith you.""This is a mistake?" I heard the sadness in my voice, but I didn't knowif he could as well.

  "A very dangerous one," he murmured.

  We were both silent then. I watched the headlights twist with the curvesof the road. They moved too fast; it didn't look real, it looked like avideo game. I was aware of the time slipping away so quickly, like theblack road beneath us, and I was hideously afraid that I would never haveanother chance to be with him like this again — openly, the walls betweenus gone for once. His words hinted at an end, and I recoiled from theidea. I couldn't waste one minute I had with him.

  "Tell me more," I asked desperately, not caring what he said, just so Icould hear his voice again.

  He looked at me quickly, startled by the change in my tone. "What more doyou want to know?""Tell me why you hunt animals instead of people," I suggested, my voicestill tinged with desperation. I realized my eyes were wet, and I foughtagainst the grief that was trying to overpower me.

  "I don't want to be a monster." His voice was very low.

  "But animals aren't enough?"He paused. "I can't be sure, of course, but I'd compare it to living ontofu and soy milk; we call ourselves vegetarians, our little inside joke.

  It doesn't completely satiate the hunger — or rather thirst. But it keensus strong enough to resist. Most of the time." His tone turned ominous.

   "Sometimes it's more difficult than others.""Is it very difficult for you now?" I asked.

  He sighed. "Yes.""But you're not hungry now," I said confidently — stating, not asking.

  "Why do you think that?""Your eyes. I told you I had a theory. I've noticed that people — men inparticular — are crabbier when they're hungry."He chuckled. "You are observant, aren't you?"I didn't answer; I just listened to the sound of his laugh, committing itto memory.

  "Were you hunting this weekend, with Emmett?" I asked when it was quietagain.

  "Yes." He paused for a second, as if deciding whether or not to saysomething. "I didn't want to leave, but it was necessary. It's a biteasier to be around you when I'm not thirsty.""Why didn't you want to leave?""It makes me… anxious… to be away from you." His eyes were gentle butintense, and they seemed to be making my bones turn soft. "I wasn'tjoking when I asked you to try not to fall in the ocean or get run overlast Thursday. I was distracted all weekend, worrying about you. Andafter what happened tonight, I'm surprised that you did make it through awhole weekend unscathed." He shook his head, and then seemed to remembersomething. "Well, not totally unscathed.""What?""Your hands," he reminded me. I looked down at my palms, at thealmost-healed scrapes across the heels of my hands. His eyes missednothing.

  "I fell," I sighed.

  "That's what I thought." His lips curved up at the corners. "I suppose,being you, it could have been much worse — and that possibility tormentedme the entire time I was away. It was a very long three days. I reallygot on Emmett's nerves." He smiled ruefully at me.

  "Three days? Didn't you just get back today?""No, we got back Sunday.""Then why weren't any of you in school?" I was frustrated, almost angryas I thought of how much disappointment I had suffered because of hisabsence.

  "Well, you asked if the sun hurt me, and it doesn't. But I can't go outin the sunlight — at least, not where anyone can see.""Why?""I'll show you sometime," he promised.

  I thought about it for a moment.

  "You might have called me," I decided.

  He was puzzled. "But I knew you were safe.""But I didn't know where you were. I —" I hesitated, dropping my eyes.

  "What?" His velvety voice was compelling.

   "I didn't like it. Not seeing you. It makes me anxious, too." I blushedto be saying this out loud.

  He was quiet. I glanced up, apprehensive, and saw that his expression waspained.

  "Ah," he groaned quietly. "This is wrong."I couldn't understand his response. "What did I say?""Don't you see, Bella? It's one thing for me to make myself miserable,but a wholly other thing for you to be so involved." He turned hisanguished eyes to the road, his words flowing almost too fast for me tounderstand. "I don't want to hear that you feel that way." His voice waslow but urgent. His words cut me. "It's wrong. It's not safe. I'mdangerous, Bella — please, grasp that.""No." I tried very hard not to look like a sulky child.

  "I'm serious," he growled.

  "So am I. I told you, it doesn't matter what you are. It's too late."His voice whipped out, low and harsh. "Never say that."I bit my lip and was glad he couldn't know how much that hurt. I staredout at the road. We must be close now. He was driving much too fast.

  "What are you thinking?" he asked, his voice still raw. I just shook myhead, not sure if I could speak. I could feel his gaze on my face, but Ikept my eyes forward.

  "Are you crying?" He sounded appalled. I hadn't realized the moisture inmy eyes had brimmed over. I quickly rubbed my hand across my cheek, andsure enough, traitor tears were there, betraying me.

  "No," I said, but my voice cracked.

  I saw him reach toward me hesitantly with his right hand, but then hestopped and placed it slowly back on the steering wheel.

  "I'm sorry." His voice burned with regret. I knew he wasn't justapologizing for the words that had upset me.

  The darkness slipped by us in silence.

  "Tell me something," he asked after another minute, and I could hear himstruggle to use a lighter tone.

  "Yes?""What were you thinking tonight, just before I came around the corner? Icouldn't understand your expression — you didn't look that scared, youlooked like you were concentrating very hard on something.""I was trying to remember how to incapacitate an attacker — you know,self-defense. I was going to smash his nose into his brain." I thought ofthe dark-haired man with a surge of hate.

  "You were going to fight them?" This upset him. "Didn't you think aboutrunning?""I fall down a lot when I run," I admitted.

  "What about screaming for help?""I was getting to that part."He shook his head. "You were right — I'm definitely fighting fate tryingto keep you alive." I sighed. We were slowing, passing into the boundaries of Forks. It hadtaken less than twenty minutes.

  "Will I see you tomorrow?" I demanded.

  "Yes — I have a paper due, too." He smiled. "I'll save you a seat atlunch."It was silly, after everything we'd been through tonight, how that littlepromise sent flutters through my stomach, and made me unable to speak.

  We were in front of Charlie's house. The lights were on, my truck in itsplace, everything utterly normal. It was like waking from a dream. Hestopped the car, but I didn't move.

  "Do you promise to be there tomorrow?""I promise."I considered that for a moment, then nodded. I pulled his jacket off,taking one last whiff.

  "You can keep it — you don't have a jacket for tomorrow," he reminded me.

  I handed it back to him. "I don't want to have to explain to Charlie.""Oh, right." He grinned.

  I hesitated, my hand on the door handle, trying to prolong the moment.

  "Bella?" he asked in a different tone — serious, but hesitant.

  "Yes?" I turned back to him too eagerly.

  "Will you promise me something?""Yes," I said, and instantly regretted my unconditional agreement. Whatif he asked me to stay away from him? I couldn't keep that promise.

  "Don't go into the woods alone."I stared at him in blank confusion. "Why?"He frowned, and his eyes were tight as he stared past me out the window.

  "I'm not always the most dangerous thing out there. Let's leave it atthat."I shuddered slightly at the sudden bleakness in his voice, but I wasrelieved. This, at least, was an easy promise to honor. "Whatever yousay.""I'll see you tomorrow," he sighed, and I knew he wanted me to leave now.

  "Tomorrow, then." I opened the door unwillingly.

  "Bella?" I turned and he was leaning toward me, his pale, glorious facejust inches from mine. My heart stopped beating.

  "Sleep well," he said. His breath blew in my face, stunning me. It wasthe same exquisite scent that clung to his jacket, but in a moreconcentrated form. I blinked, thoroughly dazed. He leaned away.

  I was unable to move until my brain had somewhat unscrambled itself. ThenI stepped out of the car awkwardly, having to use the frame for support.

  I thought I heard him chuckle, but the sound was too quiet for me to becertain.

  He waited till I had stumbled to the front door, and then I heard hisengine quietly rev. I turned to watch the silver car disappear around thecorner. I realized it was very cold.

   I reached for the key mechanically, unlocked the door, and stepped inside.

  Charlie called from the living room. "Bella?""Yeah, Dad, it's me." I walked in to see him. He was watching a baseballgame.

  "You're home early.""Am I?" I was surprised.

  "It's not even eight yet," he told me. "Did you girls have fun?""Yeah — it was lots of fun." My head was spinning as I tried to rememberall the way back to the girls' night out I had planned. "They both founddresses.""Are you all right?""I'm just tired. I did a lot of walking.""Well, maybe you should go lie down." He sounded concerned. I wonderedwhat my face looked like.

  "I'm just going to call Jessica first.""Weren't you just with her?" he asked, surprised.

  "Yes — but I left my jacket in her car. I want to make sure she brings ittomorrow.""Well, give her a chance to get home first.""Right," I agreed.

  I went to the kitchen and fell, exhausted, into a chair. I was reallyfeeling dizzy now. I wondered if I was going to go into shock after all.

  Get a grip, I told myself.

  The phone rang suddenly, startling me. I yanked it off the hook.

  "Hello?" I asked breathlessly.

  "Bella?""Hey, Jess, I was just going to call you.""You made it home?" Her voice was relieved… and surprised.

  "Yes. I left my jacket in your car — could you bring it to me tomorrow?""Sure. But tell me what happened!" she demanded.

  "Um, tomorrow — in Trig, okay?"She caught on quickly. "Oh, is your dad there?""Yes, that's right.""Okay, I'll talk to you tomorrow, then. Bye!" I could hear the impatiencein her voice.

  "Bye, Jess."I walked up the stairs slowly, a heavy stupor clouding my mind. I wentthrough the motions of getting ready for bed without paying any attentionto what I was doing. It wasn't until I was in the shower — the water toohot, burning my skin — that I realized I was freezing. I shudderedviolently for several minutes before the steaming spray could finallyrelax my rigid muscles. Then I stood in the shower, too tired to move,until the hot water began to run out.

   I stumbled out, wrapping myself securely in a towel, trying to hold theheat from the water in so the aching shivers wouldn't return. I dressedfor bed swiftly and climbed under my quilt, curling into a ball, huggingmyself to keep warm. A few small shudders trembled through me.

  My mind still swirled dizzily, full of images I couldn't understand, andsome I fought to repress. Nothing seemed clear at first, but as I fellgradually closer to unconsciousness, a few certainties became evident.

  About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was avampire. Second, there was part of him — and I didn't know how potentthat part might be — that thirsted for my blood. And third, I wasunconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

第九章 理论

“我能再问一个问题吗?”我恳求道。爱德华在安静的街道上越开越快。他似乎根本就没在注意路况。

他叹了口气。

“就一个。”他同意了。他的双唇又抿紧成一条谨慎的线条。

“嗯……你说你知道我没进书店,而且我往南走了。我只是想弄明白你是怎么知道的。”

他看向别处,思索着。

“我认为我们都不应该逃避的。”我喃喃地抱怨道。

他几乎微笑起来。

“好吧,那么,我一路跟随着你的气息。”他看着路面,让我有时间恢复脸上的镇定。对此我根本想不出任何令人满意的回答,但我小心地把它归档,以供日后研究。我试着重新集中注意力。既然他终于开始解释了,我可不准备让他就此打住。

“还有,你还没回答我最开始问的一个问题……”我在拖延时间。

他不赞同地看着我:“哪一个?”

“这是怎么起作用的——读心术?你能读任何地方,任何人的心吗?你是怎么做到的?你家里别的成员能……?”我觉得自己很愚蠢,居然为了掩饰自己而要求他澄清一切。

“这可不止一个问题。”他指出。我只是十指交缠,然后注视着他,等待着。

“不,只有我是这样。而且我也不是可以听到任何地方任何人的心。我得靠得相当近。越熟悉某人的……‘声音’,我就能从越远的地方听到他们。但始终,不能超过几英里的距离。”他停下来想了想。“就好比在一个巨大的挤满人的礼堂里,同一时刻每个人都在说话。那只是一阵嗡嗡声——一阵嗡嗡的背景声。直到我把注意里集中在某个声音上,他们所想的才会清晰起来。”

“大多数时候我都会把它们拒之耳外——实在是太烦人了。而且这样会能让我显得更正常些”——他说这话时皱了皱眉——“我就不会出人意料地回答某人心中未出口的疑问。”

“为什么你认为你听不到我的‘心声’呢?”我好奇地问道。

他看着我,眼里写满了不可思议。

“我不知道。”他喃喃低语道。“我唯一的猜想是也许你的脑子运作的方式和所有别的人都不一样。就像是你的思想在AM频道,而我只能收到FM。”他向我咧嘴一笑,忽然打趣道。

“我的脑子不正常?我是个怪胎?”这些话比预期的更让我困扰——也许是因为他的推测正中要害。我时常怀疑着这一点,而当它被证实时让我感到局促不安。

“我能听到脑子里的声音,而你却在担心你是怪胎。”他大笑着。“别担心,那只是个理论……”他的脸绷紧了。“现在让我们回到你的理论上吧。”

我叹了口气。从何说起?

“我们现在都不应该逃避,对吧?”他温柔地提醒我。

我头一次把目光从他脸上移开,搜肠刮肚地想要找出合适的言语来表达。我无意中注意到了速度计。

“我的天啊!”我喊出声来。“减速!”

“怎么了?”他吓了一跳,但车速并没有放慢。

“你开到了每小时一百英里!”我依然在大喊。我惊慌失措地看了一眼窗外,但外面太黑了,我什么也看不见。路面上只有被前灯微蓝的光线照到的长长的一片能看得清。路两旁的森林就像两堵黑色的墙——如果我们用这个速度冲出路面,它们会坚固得像铜墙铁壁一样。
“放轻松,贝拉。”他转了转眼睛,还是没有减速。

“你想杀了我们吗?”我诘问道。

“我们不会撞车的。”

我试着调整自己的声音。“你为什么要这么匆忙呢?”

“我一向开这么快。”他转过头来,向我弯弯一笑。

“你给我看着路面!”

“我从没出过事故,贝拉——我甚至没有吃过罚单。”他咧嘴一笑,拍了拍他的额头。“内置雷达探测器。”(接力这句翻成,车里装了雷达探测器。。。)

“很有趣。”我怒气冲冲地说着。“查理是个cop,还记得吧?我是被教育着要遵纪守法长大的。另外,即使你把我们变成了树干上的沃尔沃夹心饼,你也许还是可以全身而退。”

“也许。”他发出一声短促的、勉强的笑声,赞同道。“但你不能。”他叹息道。我宽慰地看到指针渐渐回落到八十英里处。“高兴了?”

“差不多。”

“我不喜欢开慢车。”他抱怨着。

“这叫慢?”

“就我的驾驶而言,相当中肯。”他忽然改变了话题。“我还等着听你的最新理论呢。”

我咬住唇。他低头看着我,蜜糖似的眼神出奇地温柔。

“我不会笑的。”他保证道。

“我更怕你会生我的气。”

“有那么糟吗?”

“没错,相当严重。”

他等待着。我埋头看着自己的双手,这样我就看不见他的表情了。

“接着说。”他的声音很平静。

“我不知道从何说起。”我坦白道。

“为什么不从头说起呢……你说你不是自己想出来的。”

“不是。”

“你是从哪儿开始的——一本书?一部电影?”他试探着说。

“不——是周六,在海滩上。”我冒险瞄了一眼他的脸。他看上去很困惑。

“我碰巧遇到了一位世交好友——雅克布?布莱克。”我继续说道。“我还是个婴儿的时候,他爸爸和查理就已经是老朋友了。”

他依然一脸困惑。

“他爸爸是奎鲁特人的长老之一。”我小心翼翼地看着他。他困惑的神情立刻凝在了脸上。“我们一起散步——”我去掉了故事里关于我的阴谋的那部分“——他告诉了我一些古老的传说——只是想要吓唬我,我想。他告诉了我一个……”我踌躇起来。

“继续。”他说。

“关于吸血鬼的传说。”我意识到自己在低语着。现在我再也不敢看他的脸了。但我看见他抓着方向盘的指关节痉挛着绷紧了。

“然后你立刻就想到了我?”依然很平静。

“不。他……提到了你的家族。”

他沉默了,只是注视着路面。

我忽然担心起来,担心着想要保护雅克布。

“他只是觉得那是一个愚蠢的迷信。”我飞快地说道。“他没希望我把其中的任何内容当真。”这似乎还不太够。我不得不承认道:“都是我的错,是我逼他告诉我的。”

“为什么?”

“劳伦说了一些关于你的话——她想要激怒我。然后部落里的一个年长的男孩说你的家族不会来保留区,只是听起来他像是在暗示着别的意思。所以我把雅克布单独约了出来,哄骗他说了出来。”我垂下头,承认道。

他大笑起来,把我吓了一跳。我抬起头瞪着他。他大笑着,眼神却显得很狂暴,他直视着前方。

“怎么哄骗他的?”他问道。

“我试图向他调情——但效果比我想象的还要好。”我回想着,语气里带了点怀疑的色彩。

“我真想亲眼目睹那个情景。”他阴郁地轻笑着。“你还指责我把别人迷得神魂颠倒呢——可怜的雅克布?布莱克。”

我红着脸,转头看着自己这侧窗外的夜空。
“然后你做了什么?”一分钟以后,他问道。

“我在网上搜索了一下。”

“那证实了你的猜想吗?”他的声音听起来仅仅是感兴趣。但他的手紧紧地钳握住了方向盘。

“不。没有相符的内容。大多数内容都有点愚蠢。然后……”我停了下来。

“什么?”

“我决定了,这无关紧要。”我低语道。

“这无关紧要?”他的语气让我抬起头来——我最终打破了他小心翼翼地维持着的假面具。他的脸上写满了怀疑,还带着一丝让我害怕的愤怒。

“是的。”我柔声说道。“不管你是什么,这对我来说都无关紧要。”

生硬和嘲弄的色彩渗进了他的声音。“即使我是个怪物你也不在乎?即使我不是人类!”

“我不在乎。”

他沉默了,又一次直视着前方。他的神情阴暗而冷漠。

“你生气了。”我叹息道。“我本来应该什么也不说的。”

“不。”他说道,但他的声音和他的表情一样生硬。“我很想知道你在想什么——即使你的想法愚蠢透顶。”

“所以我又错了?”我挑衅道。

“我不是在说这个。‘这无关紧要’!”他引述着我的话,咬紧了牙关。

“我是对的?”我喘息着说。

“这要紧吗?”

我深吸了一口气。

“不怎么要紧。”我顿了顿。“但我很好奇。”只是,我的声音维持着平静。

他忽然顺从起来:“你好奇什么?”

“你几岁了?”

“十七岁。”他迅速答道。

“你满十七岁多久了?”(我最爱的一段对话。。。)

当他注视着路面的时候,他的嘴唇扭曲起来。“有一阵子了。”他最终承认道。

“很好。”我笑了起来,对他依然对我坦诚这一点很高兴。他低下头,用警惕的眼神看着我,就像他之前所做的那样,那时他正担心着我会不会震惊得休克过去。因为受到这样的鼓励,我笑得更开怀了,而他皱起了眉头。

“不许笑——可你是怎么能够在白天出来的呢?”

他总算笑了。“鬼扯。”

“被阳光灼烧?”

“鬼扯。”

“睡在棺材里?”

“鬼扯。”他迟疑了片刻,他的声音带上了某种奇特的语气。“我不用睡觉。”

我用了一分钟才消化了这句话。“完全不用?”

“从来不用。”他说道,他的声音几不可闻。他转过头来,用一种渴望的神情看着我。那双金色的眸子抓住了我的眼睛,我完全丧失了思考的能力。我凝视着他,直到他看向别处为止。

“你还没问我那个最重要的问题。”现在他的声音又生硬起来了,当他再次看向我时,他的眼睛冷冰冰的。

我眨了眨眼,依然迷茫着。“哪一个?”

“你不关心我的日常饮食吗?”他挖苦地问道。

“哦。”我喃喃地说着。“那个。”

“是的,那个。”他的声音很阴冷。“你不想知道我是否饮血吗?”

我畏缩着。“嗯,雅克布有说过一些这方面的内容。”

“雅克布怎么说的?”他冷漠地问道。

“他说你不……猎食人类。他说你的家族应该不会有危险性,因为你们只猎食动物。”

“他说我们不危险?”他的声音里有着深深的怀疑。

“不太确切。他是说你们应该没有不危险。但奎鲁特人依然不想让你们踏入他们的土地,只是以防万一。”

他看着前方,但我说不准他是是不是在看路面。

“那他说得对吗?关于不猎食人类这一点?”我竭力让自己的声音尽可能地保持正常。

“奎鲁特人的记性不错。”他低声说道。

我把这句话当作一个肯定。
“不过,别因为这个沾沾自喜。”他警告我。“就和我们保持距离这一点来说,他们是正确的。我们依然很危险。”

“我不明白。”

“我们是在尝试,”他慢条斯理地解释着。“我们通常很善于自我控制。但有时我们会犯错误。我,比方说,让自己和你独处。”

“这是个错误?”我听出了自己声音里的悲哀,但我不知道他是否也能听出来。

“一个非常危险的错误。”他低声说着。

然后,我们都沉默了。我看见前灯的光线在路面拐弯的地方扭曲着。它们移动得这样快,看上去一点也不真实,像是某个电视游戏。我意识到,时间过得这么快,就像车下漆黑的路面一样,我心头涌起一股可怕的恐惧感,生怕自己再也没有机会像这样和他在一起了——彼此开诚布公,我们之间的墙消失了,但仅此一次。他的话暗示着一切都结束了,一想到这个念头,我就畏缩起来。我不能再浪费我和他在一起的任何一分钟了。

“告诉我更多的事。”我不顾一切地问道,根本不在乎他说什么,只想再一次听到他的声音。 
 他飞快地看着我,为我语气的转变而震惊着:“你想要知道更多什么的?”

“告诉我你为什么猎食动物而非人类。”我建议道,声音里依然带着绝望的气息。我意识到自己的眼睛已经潮湿了,我反抗着那阵试图压制我的悲痛。

“我不想成为一个怪物。”他的声音很低。

“但动物并不能让你满足?”
他顿了顿:“当然,我不能肯定。但我可以把它比作靠豆-腐和豆-奶过活。我们称自己为素-食-者,这是我们私底下的小玩笑。这并不能完全满足饥饿——或者说,口渴。 It doesn't completely satiate the hunger-or rather thirst. But it keeps us strong enough to resist. 大多数时候是这样。”他的语气有所保留。“有些时候,这会比别的时候更困难些。”

“现在这对你来说很困难吗?”我问道。

他叹息着。“是的。”

“但你现在不饿。”我肯定地说——是陈述,而非询问。

“为什么你会这样想呢?”

“你的眼睛。我告诉过你我有一个理论。我注意到人们——尤其是男人——饥饿的时候会更暴躁些。”

他轻笑着:“你是个观-察-家,不是吗?”

我没有回答。我只是听着他的笑声,把它铭刻在记忆里。
“你上周末去狩猎了吗,和艾美特一起?”当我们再次安静下来的时候,我问道。

“是的。”他停顿了一秒,似乎在决定某件事该不该说。“我不想离开,但这很有必要。当我不那么渴的时候,待在你周围会更容易些。”

“为什么你不想离开呢?”

“这让我……不安……因为不在你身边。”他的眼睛很温柔,但有些紧张,它们几乎要让我的骨头都酥了。(。。。)“上周三我要你千万别掉进海里,或者别被绊倒,那不是在开玩笑。整个周末我都心浮气躁,担心着你。而在今晚发生的事以后,我很惊讶,你居然能毫发无损地平安度过整个周末。”他摇了摇头,似乎想起了什么。“好吧,并不是完全毫发无损。”

“什么?”

“你的手。”他提醒我。我低下头看自己的掌心,看见了手腕上那些快愈合了的擦伤。什么都逃不过他的眼睛。

“我摔倒了。”我叹了口气。

“这正是我想到的。”他的嘴角弯了起来。“我料想着,就你来说,情况本来可能会更糟——而这正是在我离开的整个时间里一直折磨着我的痛苦的根源。这真是非常漫长的。艾美特几乎被我烦死了。”他惨兮兮地向我笑着。

“三天?你不是昨天才回来吗?”

“不,我们星期天就回来了。”

“那为什么你们都不回学校呢?”我很沮丧,一想到因为他不在我所经受的那么多的失望的折磨,我就愤愤不平。

“嗯,你问过我阳光会不会伤害我,当然不会。但我不能走到太阳底下——至少,不能在任何会被别人看见的场合。”

“为什么?”
“我会找个时间向你展示的。”他保证道。

我思考了片刻。

“你应该打电话给我的。”我下定决心说道。

他很困惑。“但我知道你很安全。”

“可我不知道你在哪里。我——”我迟疑着,垂下了眼帘。

“什么?”他天鹅绒般的声音催促着。

“我不喜欢这样。见不到你。这也让我很不安。”这样大声地说出来让我羞红了脸。

他很安静。我惴惴不安地向他瞥了一眼,看见了他痛苦的神情。

“啊,”他低声呻吟道。“这是错误的。”

我不能理解他的反应。“我说了什么?”

“你还看不出来吗,贝拉?这完全是两码事:对我来说,是我让自己如此悲惨的;可对你而言,你不应该被牵涉得这么深的。”他移开了写满痛苦的目光,看着路面,他说得太快,我根本不明白他话里的意思。“我不想听到你有这种感觉。”他的声音很低,却很急迫。他的话刺痛了我。“这是错误的。这不安全。我很危险,贝拉——求你了,领会这一点。”

“不。”我非常艰难地努力不让自己看起来像个闹别扭的孩子。

“我是认真的。”他咆哮着。

“我也是。我告诉过你,你是什么根本无关紧要。太迟了。”

他的声音忽然响起来,低沉而刺耳。“永远不要这样说。”

我咬住唇,庆幸他不会知道这有多伤人。我看着车外的路面。现在我们一定快到了。他开得太快了。

“你在想什么?”他问道,声音依然很阴冷。我只是摇摇头,不确定自己能否说得出口。我能感觉到他正凝视着我的脸,但我只是看着前方。

“你在哭吗?”他听起来吓坏了。可我并没有感觉到眼里的液体盈出眼眶。我飞快地用手擦了一下脸颊,确实,叛徒眼泪正在那里,它们出卖了我。

“没有。”我说道,但我的声音嘶哑着。

我看见他迟疑着把右手伸向我,但他停住了,然后慢慢地把手放回了方向盘上。

“我很抱歉。”他的声音被懊悔灼烧着。我知道,他不只是在为刺痛了我的那些话道歉。

黑暗在沉默中从我们中间飞掠而过。

“和我说说话。”又过了一分钟,他要求道。我能听出来,他竭力让自己的语气更轻柔些。

“说什么?”

“今天晚上,在我转过拐角以前,你在想什么?我不明白你的表情——你看上去并不那么害怕,看起来就像是在聚精会神地想着某件事。”

“我在努力回想着要怎样挫败攻击我的人——你知道,防身术。我本来打算猛击他的鼻子,把它打进他的脑袋里的。”我想起了那个黑发男人,不由得一阵厌恶。

“你打算反抗他们?”这让他不安起来。“你没想过逃跑吗?”

“我跑步的时候老是摔倒。”我坦白道。

“那为什么不大声求救呢?”

“我正要那样做。”

他摇了摇头。“你是对的——我确实是在和命运抗争,努力让你活下来。”

我叹了口气。我们开始减速了,穿过了福克斯的边界。总共才花了不到二十分钟的时间。

“我明天能见到你吗?”我请求道。

“能——我也有一篇论文到期要交。”他微笑着。“午餐的时候我会给你留个座位的。”

这太愚蠢了。在我们经历了今晚的每一件事以后,这个小小的承诺居然能让我如此忐忑不安,让我说不出话来。

我们开到了查理的房子前。灯亮着,我的卡车还在老地方,一切完全正常。就好像从梦里醒来一样。他把车停下来,但我没动。

“你保证明天在那里?”

“我保证。”

我思索了片刻,然后点了点头。我把夹克脱下来,吸了最后一口香气。

“你可以留着它——你明天可没有夹克可穿。”他提醒我。

我把它递还给他。“我可不想被迫向查理解释。”

“哦,好吧。”他咧嘴一笑。

我迟疑着,把手放到门柄上,努力拖延着动作。

“贝拉?”他用一种不同寻常的语气问道——严肃,但犹豫。

“嗯?”我太过热切地回过头去看着他。

“你能向我保证一件事吗?”

“好的。”我刚说完,立刻为自己这个太过绝对的同意后悔了。假设他要我远离他呢?我没法信守那样的承诺。

“别再独自一人走到森林里去。”
我完全摸不着头脑,困惑地看着他:“为什么?”

他皱起眉,当他的目光越过我看向窗外时,眼神紧绷着。

“在那里我不总是最危险的生物。让我们离它远远的。”(呃,现在才发现Edward已经暗示过真的有狼人存在了。。。或者说那时候他已经知道山姆变形了。。。)

他声音里的阴郁让我微微颤抖着,但我还是很宽慰。至少,这是个容易遵守的承诺。“如你所愿。”

“我们明天见。”他叹了口气。我知道他想让我现在离开。

“那么,明天见。”我不情愿地打开门。

“贝拉。”我回过头来,他向我侧过身子来,他苍白绝伦的面孔离我只有几英寸远。我的心跳停拍了。

“祝你睡得好。”他说着。他的呼吸轻拂着我的脸,让我一阵晕眩。和沾染在他的夹克上的味道一样,一阵甜腻的香气,却更为浓郁。我眨了眨眼,完全陷入了恍惚中。他已经退回去了。

我一直没法挪动步子,直到我的大脑恢复运作为止。我不得不撑着门框,才笨拙地走下了车。我想我听到了他的轻笑声,但这声音太小了,我不能肯定。

他一直等在那里,直到我走到前门那里,被它绊了一下。然后,我听到了他的引擎安静地加速的声音。我转过身去,看见那辆银色的车消失在转角处。我这才意识,现在很冷。

我机械地掏出钥匙,打开门,走进屋里。

查理从起居室那边喊道:“贝拉?”

“是的,爸爸,是我。”我走进去见他。他正在看篮球赛。

“你回来得很早。”

“是吗?”我很惊讶。

“还不到八点呢,”他告诉我。“你们几个女孩子玩得开心吗?”

“是的——太开心了。”我的脑子高速运转着,试图回想起我原本计划的女孩之夜的所有内容。“她们俩都找到了裙子。”

“你还好吧?”

“我只是有点累,我走了很多路。”

“好吧,也许你应该上去躺着。”他听起来有些担心。我想知道我的脸看起来怎么样。

“我想先给杰西卡打个电话。”

“你刚才不是还跟她在一起吗?”他惊讶地问道。

“是的——但我把我的夹克落在她车里了。我想让她明天带给我。”

“好吧,但先让她有机会回到家。”

“好的。”我同意了。

我走进厨房,精疲力竭地坐进一张椅子里。现在我真的觉得头晕目眩起来。我想知道是不是直到现在我才开始震惊得要休克过去。振作起来,我告诉自己。

电话忽然响了起来,把我吓了一跳。我把听筒从座机上拉下来。

“你好?”我屏住呼吸,问道。

“贝拉?”

“嘿,杰西,我正要打电话给你。”

“你到家了?”她的声音听起来很宽慰……也很惊讶。

“是的。我把夹克落在你车上了——你明天能带给我吗?”

“当然,但要告诉我发生了什么事!”她要求道。(居然都不是疑问句。。。)

“呃,明天吧——三角函数课上,好吗?”

她立刻领会过来。“哦,你爸在那里?”

“是的,没错。”

“好的,我明天拿给你,那么,再见!”我能听出她声音里的急不可耐。

“再见,杰西。”
我慢慢地走上楼,一种沉重的麻木感笼罩着我的头脑。我把睡觉前的准备工作流程过了一遍,却完全没有注意到自己在做什么。直到我淋浴的时候——水太烫了,灼痛了我的肌肤——我才意识到自己快冻僵了。我剧烈地颤抖了好几分钟,直到喷洒下来的水雾最终让我紧绷的肌肉放松下来。而后我站在喷头下,累得根本不想动,直到热水快要用完为止。

我跌跌绊绊地走出来,安心地用浴巾把自己包裹起来,试图把热水带来的热度保留住,这样那种痛苦的颤抖就不会再发生了。我飞快地穿上睡衣,钻到被子底下,蜷缩成球状,紧紧地抱住自己,好让自己暖和些。一阵轻微的颤栗传遍了我的全身。

我的大脑依然让人头晕眼花地旋转着,充斥着我无法理解的画面,还有一些我挣扎着不去看的画面。一开始根本什么也看不清,但当我渐渐失去意识地时候,几张特定的画面清晰起来。

有三件事我非常肯定。第一,爱德华是个吸血鬼。第二,他的某一部分——我不知道这一部分能起的效力有多大——在渴望着我的鲜血。第三,我毫无保留,无可救药地爱上了他。



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