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Love's Light

Summary:
Loves_light.png banner picture by munky_hashmi This beautiful banner was made by the amazing Marauder by Midnight! thank you! The sequel to My One Love! Life and love can only meet through colossal experiences…like turning into a vampire. This story is all about life with Bella as a vampire with Edward at her side, Jake and Ally's love, Emmett and Rosalie, Alice and Jasper, Carlisle and Esme, and of course, Dan's new life. We all do crazy things when in love, imagine being a mythical creature when in love! WELLLL. Chapter 30 is up and ready to read.


Notes:
Please read My One Love before you read this, or some things might not make too much sense for you! :) Things are about to get a little crazy in the lives of our beloved characters.


9. The Date!

Rating 3.3/5   Word Count 7306   Review this Chapter

Edward’s POV:

Bella.” I groaned. The goddess was currently standing in front of the mirror in our bathroom and trying on different outfits that she and Alice had bought today. Outfits that made my mouth water.

“Yes?” She asked, turning around and widening her eyes innocently. I let my eyes take in her body again and savored how the teal-colored dress was tight against every one of her curves and came to stop just before her knees.

“You’re torturing me here…” I said. She raised an eyebrow, her delicate lips forming an irresistible pout. I leaned against the counter, placing one hand on either side of her. She stood on her tip-toes and kissed me.

“It’s your fault.” She whispered.

“Oh really? And how do you come to that conclusion?” I asked uninterestedly, my tongue darting out to taste right behind her ear. She shivered as she replied, “You let Alice kidnap me and take me to the mall, now you have to pay.” She said, trailing her fingertips up my chest.

“Well, I don’t---” I was interrupted by the door bell ringing shrilly from downstairs. She pushed me away gently, a teasing smile on her face.

“Looks like you’re going to have to wait, lover-boy.” She said, walking out of the room. I cleared my throat and followed her, watching as her hips swayed deliciously as she walked down our stairs. Esme was answering the door, and when we saw who was there, we both grinned.

“Ally!” Esme and Bella exclaimed at the same time. Alyson was playing with the zipper of her sweater and I read her mind to see why she was nervous. Edward, don’t listen. I want this to be a surprise! She stared at me. I raised an eyebrow and gave her a hug after Bella and Esme did. Carlisle came out of his study and joined us, giving Ally a kiss on the top of the head. I blocked out her thoughts in vain; what was the point of having this power if you couldn’t know the secret before everyone else?

“What brings you cross country, Alyson?” Carlisle asked her. She shrugged and followed us into the living room, crossing her legs and sitting on the sofa. She looked tired but happy.

“Well, I have some great news for you guys, and I wanted to tell you in person. Where is everyone else?” She asked, looking around.

“They went hunting, but they should be back soon.,” Carlisle told her.

“Ok, I’ll wait for them.” Ally said.

“Ally, you look tired, didn’t you stop to sleep on your way here?” Esme asked.

“No, I wanted to get here quickly.” She said.

“How’s Jacob, and everyone else?” Bella asked.

“He’s good; he says hi. Sam, Emily, and Lizzy are good too. Charlie came over a week ago, he’s doing better, Bells.” She said. Bella looked down and I held her hand, rubbing small circles into her palm. She relaxed a little and smiled at me.

“What would you like to eat, dear?” Esme asked, getting up and walking to the kitchen.

“Oh, Esme, noth---” Before she could finish her sentence, Esme was back with a full plate of cookies and assorted crackers. Ally grinned and shook her head.

“Even in a house full of vampires that don’t eat food…” She muttered, grabbing a cookie. “Thank you, Esme.”

“Of course, sweetheart.” Esme said kindly.

For about 10 minutes, we all talked to each other casually, exchanging information on either side of the country. No one mentioned Jane, on account of knowing that Daniel would want to tell her himself.

“ALLY?!” An excited Dan came barreling through the door and into the living room. I knew he could probably smell her about a mile away. They hugged, and so did Emmett, Rosalie, Jasper, and Alice. I knew how hard Alice was working on not showing excitement and I grinned. This was the best bet I had ever made.

“So tell us the news!” Alice said, keeping her exuberance in check.

“I thought you would have foreseen it…” Ally said playfully. Alice pouted and crossed her arms.

“You know how limited I am with you since you married a werewolf,” she frowned while Ally laughed.

“I know, I’m just joking. Ok…well,” she paused, looking around at all of us. “It’s kind of hard for me to say.”

“Go ahead, Al, you can tell me anything.” Daniel told her, holding her hand softly.

“I know…well…you see, I…well, Jake and I are…I mean, we’re…well, we are kind of…uh, you know… having a…baby,” She stuttered, finally getting the last word out.

My eyes flitted in between everyone and all I could see was shock.

“You’re WHAT?!” Dan suddenly said, shooting up and eyes popping open. I felt a wave of calm and silently thanked Jasper. Daniel started to pace around, trying to calm himself down. Ally exchanged congratulatory hugs from the rest of our family. They were all excited and speaking eagerly towards her. I smiled and kissed her hand, telling her how great of a mother she was going to be.

“So…are you sure?” Daniel asked suddenly.

“Of course, I am. Look, this is good news, I wanted you to happy for me!” Ally stood up, crossing her arms.

“I…but you’re so young!”

“What does that have to with anything? I’ve been married to Jake for, like, 10 months now!” She exclaimed.

“So what? Are you really even ready to be a mother?!” He snapped. She gasped and walked straight up to him, grabbing a hold of his shirt.

“Listen to me, Daniel Hartman Cullen! I might be younger than you, but I am 21 years old, and a legal, married woman! I will take care of this child, and if you’re too stubborn to congratulate your future niece or nephew THEN I’M NOT TALKING TO YOU ANYMORE!!!” She screamed the last part and let go of his shirt, stalking out of the room with Alice, Bella, Rosalie, and Esme following her. The rest of us men were sitting on the sofas, glaring at Daniel.

“Daniel! You should know better than talk to your sister that way!” Emmett snarled; for once, all hilarity gone from his mind.

“Daniel, I know you’re worried and scared for her, but she’s extremely happy. You don’t want to push that away, do you?” Jasper asked. Daniel plunked down on the edge of a sofa and put his head in his hands.

“Dan, she loves you and she wanted to tell you in person, so she drove all the way over here and you just shouted at her.” I said, knowing I wasn’t really helping the situation. Daniel sighed and looked up at Carlisle.

“You know my answer.” Carlisle said calmly. “You should go to her and apologize, tell her you’re happy for her.”

Daniel stood up and nodded quietly, running off to find Ally outside. The rest of the girls came in quickly after that and told us the siblings were talking.

“They’ll be all right.” Bella said reassuringly, sitting next to me. I put my arm around her shoulders and smiled.

We all waited silently, wondering what was going on. I could hear muffled voices so I guess he took her somewhere in the forest to talk. When they came in, we all looked up to see Daniel smiling and Ally jumping up and down in excitement.

“DAN’S GOT A GIRL, DAN’S GOT A GIRL!” She sang loudly and danced. We all laughed and Alice was about a second away from breaking the bet. I glared at Jasper, reminding him not to send her any calm waves like he was thinking about. He looked back at me helplessly and nodded.

“I know, and I lost 500 bucks over it,” Emmett rolled his eyes. Alice nodded and fanned out the money in front of her, then put it back in her pocket. That money was about to mine.

“You should have heard Jane’s thoughts about him and his clothes.” I smirked.

That did it. Alice grinned wildly and shot up, talking insanely fast about how she absolutely knew her choice of outfits for him were perfect.

“I think you owe me a couple…500 dollars, Alice Cullen?” I said, standing up and grinning. She gasped and smacked herself lightly on the forehead. She pouted and took out the cash, laying it down in my hand. We both knew it wasn’t about the money--there was plenty of that--it was about the pleasure of victory.

“I wish you kids wouldn’t bet,” Esme muttered softly. I grinned at her and put the money in my pocket.

“This’ll buy some new accessories for the Volvo, Mom.” I said, sitting back down.

“Edward, you’re so mean sometimes.” Bella laughed, leaning into my side.

“I know, but I can’t help it; her excitement drives me up the wall. I thought she might have lasted more than 36 hours though.” I snickered. Alice glared at me and everyone laughed even harder.

Daniel’s POV:

After we all calmed down, we talked for a couple hours, and Ally said she needed to go home. I was really disappointed, but I dutifully walked outside with Ally and sat in her car, just talking about things like we used to. We reminisced a little, and then talked about our daily lives. She wanted more information on Jane then I even knew and she seemed to approve of her.

“Do you love her?” She asked me.

“Ally, it’s Wednesday, and I met her on Monday,” I laughed. “I don’t know anything yet. She’s special, though. I can feel it.”

“I want to meet her, but I don’t know how we would explain that. She seems adorable in that picture on your cell phone though.” She smiled. “I know you’ll have a good time on your date on Friday.”

“I hope so…Alice saw us laughing and dancing at the concert, so I’m guessing we’ll enjoy it.”

“That’s good. I’m glad you’ve finally come out of your shell Dan my man.”

“I’m really happy for my future niece or nephew also. Sorry I reacted so badly at first.” I apologized again.

“No problem. Give her my love, Daniel.” she said, kissing me on the cheek.

“Tell Jake I said hi also.” I told her, stepping out of the car. The rest of the family came out and said goodbye to her. We all made her promise that she would stop more often and sleep at a hotel. I hated saying goodbye more than anything else, and I secretly tucked in a couple hundred dollars into the pocket of her sweater, knowing she would find it later on. I watched her wave at me through the windshield and I waved back, no matter how much it hurt to see her drive away like that.

“She’ll be fine,” Jasper said, patting me on the shoulder before following everyone else inside.

“Coming, Daniel?” Esme asked softly. I turned and gave her a smile.

“I think I’m going to walk around for awhile, mom, thanks.”

She smiled back and went inside, leaving me alone. I walked through the forest, brushing past the dense trees and was thinking randomly, when I took a deep breath, smelling something beautifully familiar. I looked up and noticed I was on Winter street. How did I get here? I looked around and sniffed the air discreetly. Did Jane live around here? I knew it was her, because no one I’ve ever met before had something mixed in their blood like she did.

I ducked around a few bushes and saw that her car was parked outside a big, Victorian-style, white house. I looked at the clock on my phone, seeing that it was 11:30 at night. I could hear snoring coming from the house, but it sounded male. I guess that was her father, the doctor.

I remembered how Bella told me that Edward used to creep into her bedroom at night and watch her sleep. I wondered if maybe I could do that also. I walked around to the side of the big house and saw that all the lights were closed except one. I stood up carefully and climbed a tree that was planted two windows away.

When I got to the top of the tree, I leaned onto the side of the house and use my fingertips to hang onto the windowsill. Slowly and silently, I sidestepped across until I was right next to her window. I peeked through the sheer purple curtain and spotted her.

She had her right side facing towards me, and she was sitting on her queen-sized bed, drawing in what looked like a black notebook. Her hair was up in a clip and she was biting on her bottom lip, concentrating very hard. I swung my leg over to the side and perched onto the windowsill without her seeing me.

Her room was painted white with two paintings on her wall. I shivered slightly when I saw my own eyes facing her. There was also a painting of Alice and Jasper holding each other close in a ballroom. I looked around her room and saw that it was very organized. There was a desk with a black computer, a bedside table with a black alarm clock, and a shelf that was half filled with books and half filled with CDs.

Her pillows and bed sheets were purple, but what made me grin the most were the fuzzy slippers that were also a light shade of purple. There was also a vanity set-up with small packages of some sort of make-up ready for her to put on. But she didn’t wear make-up, did she? No, I could tell she didn’t wear any, except maybe some of that shiny stuff she puts on her lips. Didn’t Ally call that lip gloss?

Jane said her favorite color was lilac, so maybe I would buy her something purple. I felt like such a peeping Tom while I was spying on her, knowing that she probably wouldn’t like it if she saw me. But then, she gave a slight cough and I saw her stand up and stretch. She was wearing a tank top and a matching set of green pajamas that brought out the intensity of her eyes. I watched as she walked across her room and put the journal on her desk and then mark an X on the calendar.

She looked up at the painting of me and I saw her smile. I smiled back as if on impulse, and then felt that fluttery feeling in my stomach when she reached up and touched the cheek of the painting. I rose my own hand and touched the place that she had kissed me yesterday and this afternoon when she gave me another ride to work.

She pulled the clip out of her hair and that luscious black hair fell down to her elbows and framed her delicate face again. She flicked off the room’s light but then turned on a pink nightlight and I smiled again. Was she afraid of the dark? I’d have to ask her later. She crawled onto the bed and pulled the covers away, slipping inside and facing away from me.

I was about to leave, not wanting to spy anymore, when she suddenly turned around and caught my eye. She sat up and I was gone. I fell down silently, running out to the side of her house where she couldn’t see me but I could see her window. She opened her window and her hair blew around her face as she looked around for me. She smiled and smacked herself lightly in the forehead and closed the window again.

I was shocked at myself. Why would I do such a stalker-ish thing? Hopefully she just thought she had imagined my form at her window. I vowed to never do that again unless she gave me permission. But gosh, it was rewarding just to see her for a few minutes before she fell asleep. I ran home and was smiling again as I let myself in.

Alice was waiting for me, smirking and ready to pounce now that the bet was over.

“Isn’t she so pretty in those pajamas of hers?” Alice said, taunting me with my secret.

“Just please don’t tell her.” I begged.

Of course Daniel,I would never do that!” Alice seemed shocked that I would come to that conclusion.

“Thanks so much, Alice.” I replied, sitting next to her on the sofa and turning on the discovery channel.

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Jane’s POV:

The last bell rang and I grinned. Finally! It was Friday afternoon and Daniel would be taking me out tonight. Alice had told me that he was really excited and I had to admit, I had never been this excited in my life.

“So, I hope you have fun tonight.” Alice smiled as we walked out of the building.

“Thanks.” I replied, giving her another hug before she ran out to the jeep. I looked around, waiting for Daniel to meet me. Since Tuesday, I had been giving him a ride to work so we could talk more, and I loved the time we had alone.

Suddenly, I felt cold hands covering my eyes and I grinned.

“Dan the thief?” I asked, using his nickname that I had recently dubbed him with.

“Hey cheater.” He whispered into my ear. I shivered at his cool breath and I inhaled, almost forgetting my own name when I smelled something so beautiful.

He took his hands away and I turned around, seeing his beautiful smile and feeling my heart stutter and then pick up again in full speed.

“Ready?” I asked. He nodded silently and took my bag off my shoulder. He had been carrying my bag these days and it was a pretty wonderful thing to look forward to.

We walked together to my car and talked about our day, both of us heartily bashing Light In August the novel. God, he made me laugh more than anyone I’d ever met. Whenever he laughed, I got that freaky stomach flip-flop feeling.

When I parked in front of the bookstore, he gave me another kiss on my hand and that spark ignited again. It was like we could build a fire with the electricity that was between us!

“So I’ll pick you up tonight around six-thirty, is that ok?” He asked. I smiled and nodded, noticing that he was still holding my hand.

“Wait, we’ll be back by eleven, right?” I asked him unsurely.

“Yes,” he replied. I gave him a kiss on the cheek and he grinned and let go of my hand to open the door and get his bag. He waved somewhat reluctantly and I had another stomach cartwheel. God, I liked him too much.

I reversed and drove out of the parking lot, headed for the mall. I had my outfit laid out ready for tonight, but I just needed some perfect shoes to match.

******************************************************************************************

I looked at the clock for the billionth time and smiled when I saw that it was ten minutes until six thirty. I gazed into the mirror and fidgeted with my outfit, making sure it was just perfect.

I was wearing the cutest thing for a concert. A gorgeous grey/black dress that flowed nicely down to mid-thigh, and then grey leggings under my new boots that came below my knees and were black leather. I grinned when I thought of my decision. The girl who was helping me pick some shoes out had managed to convince me that they were not stripper boots, and if the concert was good enough, I could dance the night away without any pain.

I had tied on a flower necklace and curled my hair to watch it fall perfectly. I put on a black and white polka dot headband to match my outfit, but my side bangs were still lightly sprayed to the side of my face, giving me that baby doll look. I leaned closer to my vanity and decided to just put on some eyeliner and my silver watch so I wouldn’t lose track of time later on.

“Jane? Are you ready yet?” Dad’s impatient voice came from downstairs. He was anxious to meet this Dan fellow that I was always talking about. I rolled my eyes but knew he would be much better than if Mom were here.

“Yeah, Dad, I’ll be down in a minute!” I yelled, picking up my purse. It was an adorable white one, containing my cell phone, Ipod, lip gloss, house keys, gum and a couple dollars just in case.

I walked slowly down the stairs, smiling when Dad came into view. He stared at me and then smiled back, showing those dimples that I loved on him.

“How do I look, Dad?” I asked.

“Very beautiful. Just like a princess,” he teased, kissing me on top of my head. I grinned and fingered my bangs again, getting nervous. What if Dan didn’t like my outfit? What if he got tired of me and didn’t want to spend any more time with me after this?

“What’s wrong?” My dad asked, noticing my worry.

“Nothing. I’m just a little nervous, you know?”

“You really like this one, don’t you?” He asked. I took a deep breath and nodded.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang and I jumped. Dad chuckled and patted my shoulder before going out to the front door. I turned around, trying to get my crazy heart under control before he saw my face. I leaned against the banister and took deep breaths while I listened to his beautiful, quiet voice.

“Good evening sir,” he said politely, making my heart flutter. I knew Dad would really love Dan’s manners.

“Hello, you must be Daniel Cullen?” Dad’s voice sounded so loud and unconventional when it was next to Dan’s.

“Yes sir. Is Jane…ready?” He asked. I smiled at the way he said my name. I could tell they were walking closer, so I turned around and gave him a bright smile.

My heart nearly freaking stopped when I saw him. At school, he usually wears these nice shirts and jeans, but tonight he looked even more luminescent and irresistible.

He was wearing a black button-down stripped shirt that looked brilliant against his pale skin. Oh my gosh. He was also wearing black pants--that I couldn’t wait to see the back of--and then black and white really nice sneakers. I looked back up at him and saw that he was fingering his choker necklace, that had a pendant of a key on it.

He. Was. Delicious. Man. Candy. And he was all mine for tonight! He seemed to be checking me out as well, and I think he was pleased because he was grinning and his eyes were dancing brightly. I brushed away my bangs again and waved at him slightly.

“Hi Daniel.” I managed to choke out. He walked forward, and took my hand in his very gently and kissed it, staring into my eyes the whole time. I bit my lip and smiled, wanting to reach out and kiss him until I couldn’t breathe.

“You look absolutely breathtaking, Jane.” Daniel said, telling the truth with his golden eyes. My heart sped up considerately and I nodded, mouthing ‘thanks‘.

“So, where are you two going, by the way?” My dad’s voice came from behind me, probably staring at Dan in a new light.

“We’re just going to a concert in Gardiner. We should be back before 11 o’clock, sir.” Daniel said, letting go of my hand---the complete gentleman. My eyes flickered between my dad and him. He was smiling politely and had both hands behind his back. My dad seemed to be scrutinizing him, and then threatening him with his eyes.

“So, we should be going now, right?” I asked Dan. He looked at me and nodded his head, gesturing towards the door. I grabbed my jacket from the closet hurriedly and put it on, flipping my hair out.

“Keep curfew in mind, and make sure you have your cell with you.” Dad said before smiling at me and giving me that “oh my daughter is growing up” look.

“Thanks dad, bye!” I said quickly before looping my arm through Daniel’s and hurrying outside. The cool wind hit my face and I sighed. It felt so good to be alone with him.

“Thank god we made it out alive.” I said. Dan just chuckled and led me out to a tiny yellow car. I stopped, causing him to suddenly stop also.

“Whose car is that?” I asked, pointing to the bright Porsche.

“Alice’s. She’s letting me borrow it for tonight.” He grinned, causing me to grin automatically. He led me to the passenger side and opened the door for me, closing it when I got in. I put on my seatbelt and looked at the fancy buttons on the dashboard. He walked around and got in, starting the car.

“This is an awesome car. Why doesn’t she drive to school in this?” I asked. He reversed out of the driveway and started down the road.

“We like to save gas and time.” He smirked, putting the car into the second shift. I marveled at the way he maneuvered his turns so expertly.

“I’ve never seen you drive before. You’re really good.” I told him. He just smiled at me and turned the radio on. A soft piano played and I remembered he liked classical music also.

“Uh, let me guess…Chopin?” I said, tapping my finger on my chin. He looked at me and nodded.

“Let me guess, your father doesn’t approve of your dating?” He asked. I sighed and nodded also.

“He’s better than my mother though, she would have had the Spanish inquisition right there in the living room.” He laughed and I smiled.

For the rest of the ride, I was so…comfortable. I could probably spend hours talking to him about anything. We talked about school and our pasts, (me editing stuff, of course) and also about our futures. He actually picked up on my weirdness on that subject, and drifted away from it easily. I loved that.

“So are you going to tell me what concert we’re going to?” I asked when he told me we’d be there in a couple minutes.

“Hmm…I don’t know if you know them. The Fray?” He asked. I gasped and my jaw fell open.

“Are…are you serious? Like dead serious?” I asked. I knew they were touring with Ok Go, but I could not believe he actually got us tickets to see their show!

“Of course. Do you know them?” He asked, smiling.

“Oh my God! Do I know them? I love them! How did you know?” I marveled.

“I didn’t know, I guessed,” he said matter-of-factly. “We’re here.”

He parked in front of a large stadium that had search lights around it. He turned off the car and got out, opening my door also. I was struck again by how graceful he was. Being a gentleman again, he held my hand as we walked up to the stadium, and my heart would just not calm down.

“I can not believe this. It’s so cool and awesome and amazing.” I rambled on, getting more and more excited as he gave the tickets to the girl at the register and got our seat numbers.

“What would you like to eat?” He asked me after we got our seats. I was still shocked that we were on the fifth freaking row! I would be able to see the band from like twenty feet away! Holy snap.

“Um, just a coke would be great, thanks so much.” I said, kissing his cheek again to show him how happy I was. He just grinned at me and left. I looked around, seeing that it was almost packed. Of course, it was the Fray.

He is like the best guy I’ve ever met in my life. I thought as I waited. The lights were turned to a dim, and there were a few people on the stage checking the mikes and stuff.

“Hey baby,” a voice suddenly came from behind me. I turned around and saw a tall creepy looking guy smirking at me. I turned back around and hoped he wouldn’t start something.

“Why don’t you come back here and join me?” He asked. I looked towards the concession stand, watching as Dan waited in line.

“No thanks.” I said, hoping the creep would just leave me alone. Suddenly, he leaned onto the edge of Dan’s seat and stuck his grimy face close to mine. I could smell the alcohol that was potent in his breath and I backed away.

“What do you want?” I asked harshly.

“You, me, and a dance.” He laughed freakily.

“Seriously, no thank you. I’m here with someone.” I said, trying to sound confident.

“Oh come on, he wouldn’t care if you joined me for like a minute,” he said, slowly reaching his hand out to touch me. Suddenly, a pale hand came and hit the other hand away. I looked up and saw Dan glaring at the guy. He looked…intimating and it made me shiver at how he was defending me.

“Actually, I would care.” Dan growled as he sat down next to me. He put my coke in the hole on the armrest and looked at me, concern flooding in those gorgeous eyes of his.

“I knew you were my hero.” I whispered dramatically, kissing his cheek again. He smiled and ran his hand on my cheek, making me blush.

“Whenever you need me.” He whispered back. I grinned and suddenly the lights went off and the music started to play. There were golden rod-like lights shooting from behind the stage and then Isaac Slade stepped out, sliding across the stage and to his piano.

Millions of girls screamed all around us when Joe King came out, raising his arms to pump up the crowd. The rest of the band came out and started to play my favorite song. I screamed and clapped my hands nudging Dan’s arm. He clapped along with me and we both started to sing with the song.

They played the most amazing songs, and we sang to each and every one of them. I was having SO much fun, and I knew that Dan was also. Then, when a slow song came on, couples started to dance closely in the aisles next to our seats.

“Jane, may I have a dance?” Dan asked, loud enough to get over the music, but somehow still softly. I nodded eagerly and stood up, taking his hand and walking to the edge of the aisle. I put my hands on his shoulders and looked up into his amazing eyes and felt my heart rate go too high when he put his hands on my waist delicately.

We danced almost as if we were flying through the air. He matched every one of my movements and we were like in perfect harmony together. The song was called “Look After You” and he was whispering the words into my ear so sweetly---I felt my knees go wobbly and I had to lean into him to keep from falling. He was holding me and I inhaled the intoxicating scent coming off of him. It was like his own natural cologne. I knew it wasn’t aftershave or whatever because it wasn’t…chemical. It was so naturally sweet and enticing.

He ran a hand through my hair and my heart danced at the feel of his cool fingers. The song was so perfect, and Daniel sang it so…reassuringly. Like he actually meant the lyrics were true for me. I sighed happily and cuddled closer to him, feeling his embrace tighten. His skin was really hard, like stone, but it felt so good around me.

“Jane, you’re so perfect,” he whispered when the song was over and the crowd was going crazy. I smiled up at him and ran my fingers on the nape of his neck, feeling his soft hair.

“Takes one to know one, Daniel,” I said, standing up and brushing my lips under his chin. I wanted to kiss his lips so badly, but I didn’t want to…change anything. I didn’t want him to push me away, or tell me it was too early for that. So I held back, and let go of him, frowning when his arms were not around me anymore. I felt so right in his embrace; I didn’t want him to let go.

“We should go before traffic hits, right?” I asked, looking back up at him. He nodded and helped me into my jacket, holding my hand again. I grinned at him, trying to shake off the feeling of weirdness, and was reassured when he grinned back.

I checked my watch and saw that it was only 9:45. The concert had only lasted two and half hours? I remembered concerts that went allnight back in California. We both walked out of the stadium, and I felt all tingly. Like I had just sat through that time with a masseuse giving me a luxurious shiatsu.

“You must be hungry, would you like to stop by a restaurant?” Daniel asked, intertwining my warm fingers with his cold ones.

“Um, sure.” I said, unsurely. I really didn’t want to go to a crowded restaurant…I just wanted to be alone with him.

“All right, when you see one you like on the highway, tell me and I’ll stop.” He said. I smiled at his casualness and knew that I would make him stop at some fast-food drive thru, just to be alone with him. I had never felt these feelings before, and it was…enlightening.

When we got to the car, he opened the door for me again. He was so gentle and it made me feel attached to him, like it would hurt if he left me. While he was driving down the highway, I pointed at a sign and told him to take the next exit.

“Ok, which one is it?” He asked. I pointed at the large Taco Bell sign and he raised an eyebrow.

“Tu quieres Taco Bell?” He said, grinning. He had a perfect accent, as if he had just moved from Spain.

“Si, mi chico. Drive-thru, por favor,” I replied playfully. We both laughed insanely as he drove up to the large menu.

“Welcome to Taco Bell, what can I get for you tonight?” A bright female voice asked through the voice box. Daniel looked at me and I perused the menu really quick.

“Uh, I’ll just have a crunch wrap supreme.” I told him. He told the voice box, smiling brightly.

“Anything to drink?” She asked. Again, he looked at me and I shrugged.

“A small mountain dew,” I said. After he told her, I tapped him on his arm.

“Wait, aren’t you ordering?” I asked him.

“No, I’m fine,” he said.

“Oh come on, at least try something. They have amazing quesadillas,” I suggested. His face looked confused and indecisive for a second.

“Uh…I don’t like Mexican food,” he replied slowly.

“Oh, well we can go somewhere else,” I offered.

“Nah, it’s fine. I’m not hungry at all actually. I’ll just have a drink,” he said, telling the voice box to get him some lemonade.

“Yes sir. The total is 4.20, please drive up to the next window.”

I wondered why he didn’t eat. He definitely didn’t look anorexic, or sick in any way. He barely ever ate at lunch. In fact, none of the perfect people ever ate. I shrugged it off and put the music up a little, nodding my head with the smooth rhythm of “Calling You” by Blue October.

“I like this song,” he said, tapping the beat onto the steering wheel. I smiled and nodded---we had such similar tastes. I opened my purse and took out my little pocket of money as we drove up to the window.

“4 dollars and 20 cents,” the girl at the window asked, handing Daniel the food and two drinks. I pulled out a five, but he shook his head.

“Oh come on, it’s mostly my food anyway,” I told him. He didn’t even argue back, he pulled out a five dollar bill from his pocket and handed it to the girl, closing his window. I frowned and put my money back.

“So do you want to go home and eat or go somewhere else?” He asked. I didn’t even have to think about it. Of course I wanted to spend more time with him.

“Can I take you somewhere?” I asked uncertainly. I had an idea of where we could go to be alone.

“Sure, of course,” he said hesitantly.

“Ok, just drive to my street and I’ll tell you where to go from there,” I told him.

We didn’t talk too much this time, just enjoyed each other’s company. Occasionally, he would ask me a question and I would answer as truthfully as I could manage. He asked more about my family and pets this time. He looked so sincere when he apologized about my grandmother dying two summers ago…it made my heart jump.

When he got to my street---I didn’t even notice the time fly by---I told him to drive until the cutoff. He obliged, and then asked where to go.

“Come on, we have to walk to get there,” I said, slipping off my boots and tucking them and my purse under the seat. He raised an eyebrow, but gave in, taking off his seatbelt and turning off the car. When we got outside, I was happy that it wasn’t raining. He took my hand again and I leaned into his side softly, wanting to be as close as possible. It wasn’t too cold, but his fingers were so icy against mine.

We walked in silence, and the leaves crunched under feet on the pavement. I listened harder and noticed that he didn’t make a single noise, being graceful and silent the entire time.

“What is your biggest fear?” He asked suddenly, dragging me out of my thoughts.

“Um…the dark,” I told him, blushing. He smiled and squeezed my fingers slightly, making my heart rate increase again.

“What about you?” I asked casually.

“I hate spiders,” he said, looking away. I smiled, slightly shocked. I didn’t think it would be something so normal…I didn’t think anything could frighten him.

“If you could change anything at all about you, what would it be?” He asked. I thought about the real answer…and I shivered. I had to be a good liar on these kind of questions, but I felt so wrong lying to him.

“I wouldn’t have to be so determined, so unyielding on things. Sometimes I wish I could be more chilled on decisions I make,” I told him, looking up to gauge his reaction. I had never told anyone that before. He looked at me like…he understood. Like he could feel how I felt and understand that I was not telling him the whole truth.

“I think that sometimes being determined can be a challenge, but it definitely pays off when you really need it,” he whispered. He kept walking, but grazed his thumb across my cheek, making me close my eyes and lean into his side again. My heart wished his words were true, but my brain disagreed.

“What’s your most treasured memory?” I asked, trying to be sneaky while inhaling his scent.

“A couple years ago my family and I went to Europe. I had always wanted to go there, and I enjoyed it very much,” he said, sighing, lost in his nice memory. I looked up, watching as the moonlight hit his face wonderfully.

“We’re here,” I stated, pointing to the gazebo. He looked at it and smiled, seeming to like it. We walked up the wooden steps and sat down on the bench together. He surprised me by putting his arm around my shoulders and I snuggled closer.

“It’s gorgeous,” he remarked. I nodded, smiling.

“I know. I run through this trail in the mornings.”

“You run? In the morning?” He asked, clearly surprised.

“Yup. Every morning, around 5:00. I’ve been doing it since I was like 14, and it’s a hard habit to break.”

“Wow, that’s…amazing. You know, I’ve never met a girl like you before,” he said, making me giggle.

“What, you’ve never met a crazy person before?” I asked. He laughed also and shook his head.

“If you’re crazy, then I must be completely off the wall.”

We both laughed and then I sighed. He was so perfect…so real. He was like something I could actually hold onto, someone who could catch me, someone I could trust with my heart. I checked my watch really quick and it told me I only had half an hour left with him. I sat up and faced him, biting my lip and trying to calm my heart down.

“If you could have anything in the entire world, what would it be?” I asked.

“Um…this is going to sound really stupid, but…I want true love,” he replied, looking away. I put my hand under his hard-set chin and made him look at me. His golden eyes smoldered my own and I knew he was telling the full truth.

“Like a soul mate? Someone who you could spend the rest of your days with, and trust forever?” I asked, cautiously. He nodded slowly and I smiled. “We definitely have that in common.”

We both grinned at each other and then talked more about stuff like that. He told me that he hasn’t been to church in years, and I invited him to come with me on Sunday. He asked if Dad would come, but I said no. Dad hasn’t gone to church in years either. In fact, I’m the only person in my family who went to church. He asked why I went with no encouragement, and I told him that if I couldn’t trust God to help me out, then I couldn’t trust anyone. He seemed to like and respect that.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

“Um, Jane, something is beeping,” he said suddenly. I looked down and looked at the time.

“Oh…yeah. It’s five minutes to eleven. I have to get home or my Dad will kill me,” I sighed. He nodded and stood up, holding my hand. We walked slowly back to the car in a comfortable, sad silence. Well, it was pretty darn sad on my side…but I think he was sad too.

We got to the car and he helped me in again, driving down the road and stopping in front of my house. I looked up, seeing that Dad’s room light was still open. He was most likely waiting for me. Daniel walked me up to the door, and I realized that Dad left the porch light open for me.

“I had an amazing time, Daniel. Thank you so much,” I said, not wanting to let go of his hand. He smiled sadly, and gave me a kiss on my forehead. I put my arms around his waist, hugging his chest. His arms coiled around me and I inhaled his scent once more. I let go of him and reached up to kiss his cheek one more time.

I turned the doorknob and found it already unlocked. Looking back, I waved at Daniel. He waved back silently. I resisted the urge to run and jump back into his arms and went inside. Before closing the door, I turned slightly and blew him a kiss. He grinned and lifted up his hand, as if to catch it, and then put his hand to his chest, as if to put it in his heart. I grinned back and closed the door slowly behind me.