And yet…as I remembered those fantasies that used to repulse me, butremembered them with Bella in Jessica’s place…I was breathing more quickly, the fire clawing up and down my throat.
What if it had been Bella imagining me with my arms wrapped around her fragilebody? Feeling me pull her tightly against my chest and then cupping my hand under herchin? Brushing the heavy curtain of her hair back from her blushing face? Tracing theshape of her full lips with my fingertips? Leaning my face closer to hers, where I couldfeel the heat of her breath on my mouth? Moving closer still…But then I flinched away from the daydream, knowing, as I had known whenJessica had imagined these things, what would happen if I got that close to her.
Attraction was an impossible dilemma, because I was already too attracted toBella in the worst way.
Did I want Bella to be attracted to me, a woman to a man?
That was the wrong question. The right question was should I want Bella to beattracted to me that way, and that answer was no. Because I was not a human man, andthat wasn’t fair to her.
With every fiber of my being, I ached to be a normal man, so that I could hold herin my arms without risking her life. So that I could be free to spin my own fantasies,fantasies that didn’t end in with her blood on my hands, her blood glowing in my eyes.
My pursuit of her was indefensible. What kind of relationship could I offer her,when I couldn’t risk touching her?
I hung my head in my hands.