I needed to tell her. I knew that. When Dove and I had explained to Carmen what had just happened – why she’d just seen a ten-year-old boy gain twenty-seven inches and a decade of general growth – we hadn’t gone into the whole befasting thing. It seemed like more than enough for her to absorb right now without adding ‘also, we need to have a permanent mating ceremony, like death-do-you-part permanent, involving the mingling of our blood. Like soon. Or I’ll die. I mean, I’d never want to rush you into an immediate and rather creepy lifetime commitment. No pressure. But I’ll totes die if you don’t.’
There was still time to figure out how to impart that little gem of information. It was only the first night.
The first night, and I was already sleeping beside her. Beside my Lumi, for the first time in my life. Carmen had accepted everything I’d thrown at her – bizarre appearance shifts, blood-drinking and teleporting and vampire attacks – and not only refrained from checking either of us into the Rubber Room Hotel, but actually allowed me to stay at her side and sleep at her side, as if none of it bothered her at all. She was more freaked out than she let on; I knew that better than anyone, could feel it like a shadow (hah) behind my own emotions. But she chose not to let on.
Maybe one day I could explain to her why that meant so much. Maybe one day I could tell her about the woman who chose to die rather than deal with the horrifying mess of having a Shadow like me.
Also, it might rain diamonds and maple syrup.