Sunday, January 6, 2013

Re-Read: Chapter Forty Two- Forced

"No, Ian. Really kiss me. Like ... like you're trying to get slapped."

Ian is dumbfounded by Wanda's blatant request to kiss her. Wanda knows this is not fair to him, but she is terrified at the prospect of losing Melanie. Hesitantly, Ian pulls her body to his and gently presses his lips to her. Pulling back, he looks at her with worry and Melanie is no more clear now than she was a moment ago. Wanda tells him to really kiss her and when he refuses, she puts her arms around his neck and pulls his lips to hers again. Ian eventually falls into the kiss, reciprocating her movements and pressing her back against to wall, fusing her body to his. Wanda searches for Melanie, but there is no one else and Ian feels her giving up. They loosen from each others' grasps and Ian once again asks Wanda to explain.
"She's not here. I can't find her. Not even now."
"I can't hear her! Ian, how can I go back in to Jamie? He'll know that I'm lying! How can I tell him that I've lost his sister now? Ian, he's sick! I can't tell him that! I'll upset him, make it harder for him to get well. I -"

Pressing his fingers to her lips, Ian tries to calm her down and asks about the last time Wanda heard Melanie. Wanda recalls the incident in the hospital and her shouting at Melanie, telling her to go away; she has not heard from her since. Wanda works herself into another panic and Ian's next words do nothing to soothe her emotions.
"Then you need to ... really be overwhelmed, don't you."
"I don't know what you mean."
Before Wanda can stop him, Ian asks her to stay put and takes off down the hallway. Waiting for Ian to come back is difficult and in the silence Wanda calls out for Melanie to come back. Finally, Wanda hears Ian returning, but he is not alone.
"Just think of it as ... an experiment."
 "Are you crazy? Is this some sick joke."
At the sound of Jared's voice, Wanda realizes exactly what he meant by "overwhelmed."The two men walk through the tunnel and Jared demands to know what is going on. Whispering, Wanda tells Jared that she lost Melanie and in a pained voice he asks if she is gone. Jared is also curious as to why Ian thinks he has to kiss Wanda.
"Not kiss me. Kiss her. Nothing upset her more than when you kissed us ...before. Nothing pulled her to the surface like that. Maybe ... No. You don't have to. I'll try to find her myself."
Jared cautiously takes a step towards Wanda, his hands brushing her neck and shoulders. He moves closer, placing his cheek on hers and whispers in her ear.
"Melanie. I know you're there. Come back to me."
His initial kiss is soft and retrained, but instinct quickly takes over for both of them.
"My hands knotted in his hair, pulling him to me as if there were any possible way for us to be closer. My legs wrapped around his waist, the wall giving me the leverage I needed. His tongue twisted with mine, and there was no part of my mind that was not invaded by the insane desire that possessed me."
Jared moves his mouth back to her ear and calls for Melanie again.
"Melanie Stryder! You will not leave me. Don't you love me? Prove it! Prove it! Damn it, Mel! Get back her."
When his lips return to hers again, Wanda feels Melanie stirring. Though Wanda is overcome by the kiss, her defenses are down enough to let Melanie break through and take control, screaming "NO!" through her own lips. The sound of Melanie, his Melanie's voice, excites Jared.
"I knew you could do it. Ah, Mel!"
He kisses her again, but Melanie has other idea, biting his lip in anger, though this barely phases Jared, who is glad to have a moment with her. Inside their mind, Melanie demands to know what Wanda is doing with him. When Wanda tells Melanie she was searching for her, she also allows Melanie to glance through her memories, including Jamie sick in bed. Though she is here now, Melanie has no recollection of the past three days when Wanda was sitting silent in the game room.

Jared is curious about what just happened and if it really was Melanie talking out loud to him. When Wanda tells him yes, he wonders if she can do it again. Wanda asks Melanie to work past her, but cannot reach the surface. Desperate to hear Melanie again, Jared kisses her and gets the reaction he's been looking for.
"Cut it out! Don't touch her!"
Jared laughs at Melanie reaction, though Wanda assures him she is not doing the same. Leaving his arm around them, Jared leads Wanda out of the tunnel. Jokingly, Jared warns Melanie to not disappear since he cannot make any guarentees about what he will or will not do to get her back. At this, Melanie internally threatens his life if he touches Wanda again, and Wanda relays the message to him. Melanie also takes the time to thank Wanda for getting her back and she promises she will never do that. Jared wonders why Melanie was unable to talk when Wanda was trying to let her, but unfortunately, she has no answers for him. There is not enough room for both of them and Wanda does not know how to make herself not exist. Melanie tries to tell her that erasing Wanda is not the answer, especially when there are so many people in the caves, Ian included, who would be devestated by her disappearance.

From Stephenie Meyer's playlist: "Consolation Prizes"- Phoenix (page 431)

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