Sapphire: A Paranormal Romance (8 page)

BOOK: Sapphire: A Paranormal Romance
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“I don’t know how
any of this is possible,” she said, “and I can’t possibly explain.  I just know
that it’s happening and I haven’t felt like this in a very, very long time. 
There’s lots of my story to tell, and I hope I get the chance to tell it to
you.  I don’t know if the universe will let that happen, but I hope it does,
because everything that’s happened so far shouldn’t have been able to happen. 
I just hope you won’t turn around and leave now because I’m talking like a
crazy person.  I hope you’ll stay here with me, at least for tonight.”

Jimmy shook his
head, but a smile crept across his face.  “I would never leave you.  Sapphire,
I have no idea what is going on, and not a single goddamn thing you’ve said
tonight has made a lick of sense, but I am not going anywhere.”

He stepped forward
and grabbed her hand.  It was cold again, but quickly warmed beneath his
fingers. 

“I’d follow you
anywhere,” he whispered.

She stepped toward
him and fell into his arms.  He enfolded her within them, feeling her body
against his; she was real, solid, and she felt good.  She tilted her face up to
his and he kissed her lips. They also felt real and solid, and like everything
that could and should be right with the world was.  He knew this was right; he
didn’t care that she had a strange way of talking, or that she had seemingly
walked right out of the darkness of the night—and maybe the darkness of his
soul—and had ended up walking down the side of the road.  He didn’t care if she
lived under the bridge like a troll.  He could get used to living under a
bridge, he guessed.

When the kiss
broke, they stared at each other.  For the entire time they had been standing
there, not a single car had driven past them.  Her eyes shined with the dying
of the light, and the stars were tiny pinpricks reflected in her pupils. 

“Where should we
go?” he asked.

She smiled. 
“Follow me.”

He did.

 

They
walked.  When Jimmy thought back on it later as he tried to relay the story to
others, he could only remember that they had walked.  He also remembered that
he held her hand. He remembered that it was cold at first, but as they walked
her hand warmed until it was hot, almost burning.  Around them the darkness crept
in, surrounding them, making the path hard to see, but Jimmy kept his gaze on
Sapphire’s face.  He never stumbled once.  They were now back at the bridge,
while beneath them the river gurgled and ran.

“Where do you come
from?” Jimmy asked.

Sapphire turned
her head and looked back out across the shimmering water of the river.  She
stayed that way for a while and then turned back, as if weighing a hard
decision.  Her eyes were like black pools; they reflected some tiny light from
deep within, as if she were glowing from the inside.  Jimmy looked up, but
could not see the moon.

“I come from
around here,” she said simply.

“But where,
exactly?” Jimmy insisted.

She sighed. 
“There are a lot of things I can’t explain, Jimmy.  I can’t even explain how
I’m here with you tonight.  There are things about me that are complicated.”

Jimmy squeezed her
hand.  She looked up at him, smiled and squeezed back.

“Can you live with
that?” she asked.

Jimmy shrugged. 
“When Monday comes, I may be dead, so I guess I can live with it for a little
while yet.”

“Why do you say
that?”

Jimmy laughed. 
“After what I did last night with those jocks, I’ll be lucky to last five
minutes when I get to school on Monday.”

“Do you really
think so?” she asked.

“What planet are
you from where jocks don’t attack people like me on a regular basis and make
their lives a living hell whenever they can?”

“What do you
mean?”

“I am not a
popular guy, Sapphire.  I’m the kind of guy who likes to spend his time in the
library rather than lifting weights.  I don’t play sports.  I can generally put
a sentence together correctly, I enjoy science, and I can do math.”

“I don’t see
what’s wrong with that,” she said.  “I think you’re very nice, Jimmy.  I think
you’re special.  I don’t think I would even be here if you weren’t special.”

Jimmy shrugged. 
“You talk in riddles, Sapphire, but I can’t stop looking at you.”

Sapphire smiled
again.  “I don’t want you to be in trouble on Monday.”

Jimmy did another
shrug.  “Whatever will happen, will happen.”

Sapphire nodded and
looked down at her feet.  Jimmy looked down, as well.  The ground was wet, but
surprisingly solid.  He had always figured it was just swamp and vegetation
down here but, instead, there was almost a kind of beach here.  “Beach” wasn’t
really the right word, but it was as close as Jimmy could get right now. 
Granted, he wouldn’t want to come down here in the summer in a bathing suit and
go swimming in the river.  Rumors about what was in that river abounded, and
none of them were pleasant.

“Why are you down
here?” he asked.

“What do you
mean?”

“It’s not like
there are houses down here,” he said, waving his hand absently to indicate the
area in which they were standing. “And there are all kinds of stories about
what might be in this river.”

Her eyes flashed with
that interior light again and her head snapped around.  She stopped walking. 
“What kind of things?”

The air around
them suddenly felt colder.  Jimmy stopped in his tracks and looked at
Sapphire.  Her hand felt cold again.  Jimmy’s brow furrowed.

“I don’t know,” he
said, shrugging.  “People say toxic waste is down here.  That there are mutant
catfish in the river.  Lots of stuff.  They say there are dead animals in here.
Raw sewage...”

He shrugged and
waved his hand dismissively.

“Hell,” he said,
“maybe even dead bodies.”

Sapphire dropped
his hand.  “That is not funny, Jimmy.”

Jimmy felt the air
going out of everything.  The cold air seemed to dip even lower, his breath
pluming out in front of his face as he exhaled.  The darkness seemed to press
in on them.  The world seemed to be getting dimmer.  The only things that
remained bright were Sapphire’s eyes, which seemed to be glowing red.

“I didn’t mean to
upset you, just saying what other people say about this place,” he said, trying
to sound good-natured, but he figured it probably sounded a lot like surrender
and pleading.  “I was just repeating what other people have said, that’s all. 
This just doesn’t have the reputation of being a romantic spot.”

The warmth crept
back into her face and the light seemed to get brighter.  Warmth also crept
back into Jimmy’s body.  It was as if the universe had a giant dimmer switch
and it was now being turned back up.  Sapphire suddenly smiled and gazed up at
him demurely.

“Sorry,” she
said.  “I’m probably overreacting.  I’m just sensitive about that kind of
thing.  I’m sorry.  Look, I know that everything about me is strange.  I know
that, Jimmy.  And there are reasons for all of it, but I just don’t want to get
into them now.  In fact, I’m not even really sure I can explain it right now. 
I guess this is a weird place to meet and go for a walk, but at the same time,
it’s also isolated.  It’s just us.  The rest of the world can just kind of
disappear, right?”

Jimmy sighed.  He
could hear George in his head telling him that he was an idiot.  Then again,
George didn’t have a girl as beautiful as Sapphire standing there and looking
at him the way she was now, smiling and warm.  George hadn’t kissed her.  He
hadn’t felt the energy Jimmy had felt when he was with her.

“Right,” he said,
and held out his hand.  She took it and was in his arms an instant later.  She
kissed him then, and suddenly none of the questions he had discussed with his
mother or George mattered.

For a moment the
world really did slip away.  With his eyes closed and his lips pressed against
hers, it was as if the world fell away from beneath them.  He felt the wind
blowing gently against their skin, cooling the sweat that stood out on his arms
and neck.  Nothing else mattered. There was nothing else but that kiss and her
body against his.  It didn’t matter where they were, or the twelve million
questions rolling through his head.  For the moment,Jimmy forgot that nothing
about her or the two of them or anything that had happened tonight or the night
before made much sense.   Like the fact that she claimed to live on a river,
appeared out of nowhere on a dark road, was a girl he had never seen before,
that being with her had gotten him to act like he had never acted before, and
that she spoke in sentences that made no sense.  All of that was forgotten.

When the kiss
broke, Jimmy was breathless.  The air around them had turned from chilly just a
few moments before to boiling hot and he was sweating all over.  Despite this,
he was shivering.  He had never felt his heart pound so hard in his chest
before.  Was he having a heart attack?  He did a quick mental rundown.  No
radiating pain down his arm or up to his chin.  In fact, no chest pain at all. 
Nope, he wasn’t having a heart attack.

“You’re
shivering,” Sapphire whispered.

Jimmy nodded.  He
didn’t trust his voice not to break.  He held her tight, afraid to let her go. 
He was afraid to let this night end.  What time was it?  How long had they been
together?  How long had they been walking, and how long had they been kissing?

“I don’t want this
night to end,” he whispered back.

She smiled.  “I
know.  Me, neither, but it is getting late.”

“What time is
it?”Jimmy asked.

“I’m not sure,”
Sapphire said.  “I think it may be after midnight.”

“Impossible.  How
can time have gone that fast?”

Sapphire snuggled
closer to him.  “Time flies, as they say.  I know this is strange, Jimmy. Trust
me, I know.  I wish I could explain more.”

Jimmy stepped
back, holding her shoulders.  “Nothing you’re saying makes any sense,
Sapphire.”

She looked
frustrated.  She shook her head and then looked back up at him with pleading
eyes.  Jimmy wasn’t sure what to say.  So, he said the first thing that came to
his mind to keep her calm, which was completely contradictory to what he had
just said.

“None of that
matter.  What matters is how you make me feel.  Sapphire. I have had a lot of
crushes on girls, but never had a girlfriend.  I’ve never even had the guts to
ask a girl out.  You’re the first.  You’re the first girl I’ve ever kissed. 
All that matters is us and when we can see each other again.”

Sapphire looked
down again and shrugged.  “I don’t know right now, Jimmy.  I shouldn’t even be
here now, so how can I predict when we can see each other again?”

Jimmy reached down
and put his finger under her chin, lifting her face up to his.  Her eyes
shimmered.  She looked like she was about to start crying.

“I think I may be
falling in love with you, Sapphire,” Jimmy said.  “I’ve never said that to any
girl, either, but, as we’ve established here, nothing about this has made sense
so far.  I want you to know that.  And I think that when two people are in
love, they can cross any distance and solve any problem together.”

Sapphire smiled. 
“You should be a writer, Jimmy.  You’re very good with words.”

He felt himself
blush.  “Thanks.  I’d like to be a writer, actually.”

She kissed his
lips gently.  “You’ll be a great one.  Come on.  Let’s walk back to the road.”

They walked
hand-in-hand along the riverbank.  The smell of the river was not foul; in
fact, it had a strange, natural quality to it that Jimmy found rather
appealing.  They talked about school and life, but Jimmy did not ask any more
questions.  He decided that the time for questions would come later.  He had to
get back home and face his mother and his best friend first.  Then he had to
face the jocks at school on Monday.  Right now, just this moment and just them
together in that moment, was all that mattered.

They reached the
road and Jimmy turned to face her.  She stood there, her arms folded in such a
way that she appeared to be trying to keep them attached to her shoulders.

“Goodnight,” Jimmy
said.  “Look, can I give you my number or something?  I have to see you again.”

She shook her head
slowly.  “I’ll come find you.  Don’t worry.  Somehow.”

She moved quickly
into his arms again.  They kissed again and, once more, they were lost in it
for what seemed like an eternity.  When she pulled away, her eyes were
shimmering again, but still burning deep inside.

“I love you, too,”
she said quietly, almost too softly for Jimmy to hear.

Then she was
running away from him, disappearing back down the bank of the river.  Jimmy
reached out for her, but she was gone back the way they had come.  Jimmy ran
over to the bridge and looked over the side.  He gasped.  He saw only the
moonlight and stars shimmering in the slowly flowing river water.  There was no
sign of Sapphire.  He stood there with his mouth open, a shout frozen in his
throat, his eyes frantically searching the riverbank.

BOOK: Sapphire: A Paranormal Romance
10.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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