Page:Twilight.djvu/187

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179
TWILIGHT

"Gabriel."

"Heart of my innermost heart."

"I am so lonely in this house."

"Sweetheart."

"So lonely; it is haunted, I think. I can never sleep, I lie awake … for hours. Don't go"

Her own words shook and shocked her. She was still and supine in his encompassing arm. There was perhaps a relaxation of his moral fineness, a faint disintegration. But of only a moment's duration, and no man ever held a woman more reverently or more tenderly.

"My wife that will be … that will be soon. How I adore you."

Their hands were interlocked, they felt the dear sweetness of each other's breath; their hearts were beating fast.

Silence then, a long-drawn silence.

"It is not long now. I am counting the days, the hours. You won't say again I disappoint you, will you? You will bear with me?"

She clung closer to him. To-night he moved her strangely.

"You really do love me?" she whispered.

"I want to take care of you always. My dear, darling, how good you are to let me love you! One day I will be your husband! I dare hardly say the words. Promise me!" And again his lips sought hers." Your husband and your lover …"