Bella came back, dropping a handful of towels next to the tub. She had removed all of her jewelry, save for her ring and new pendant. With a sway of her hips, she stepped into the tub and dunked herself in the water. Pushing off the last step, she glided silently through the warm water and popped up right next to me. She blinked a few times and smiled. I arched a brow. I hadn’t noticed it before but she had a third eyelid. “We’re very at home in the water, Edward,” she chuckled, moving to wrap her legs around my waist. “It’s one of evolution’s little flukes.”
“Are you amphibian?” I asked, holding her. She had a belly button and breasts, clearly indicating that she was a mammal. But the third, clear eyelid?”
“No, but we have some amphibian qualities. I do not need to breathe while underwater. The spots act like gills, absorbing the oxygen through my skin. I am and as are all of my people, mammals with amphibian abilities,” she said, her arms wrapped around my neck. “Humans have descended from apes. Cygnarians must have found a way to mate with an amphibian and thus, our species was born. Most of our abilities are ignored, unless they are harnessed. My father was adamant on teaching me to love the water. Charanel is terrified and won’t get in it. He lives for his sonic showers while I find them to be a headache.” Bella made an adorable face. “It’s not good for my ears.”
“I never noticed it,” I said, leaning against the tiled wall.
“You probably wouldn’t. It’s beyond the human hearing range,” Bella explained. “In many ways, we are similar, Edward. We walk on two legs, use two hands, have one heart, one head and bear children in the same way. There are obvious differences as well. Cygnarians are stronger than humans.”
“As displayed a few minutes ago in the bedroom,” I smiled, squeezing Bella’s behind.
“It’s due in part to the slightly heavier gravity on our planet. We also have the spots, which I told you about. They also can display our emotions. Different colors indicate different emotions. Spot color emotional display is prevalent in females while males display their emotions with a glow of their eyes. Men’s spots glow, but only related to their born eye color.”
“Could that be the reason why you turn into a light bulb when we make love?” I teased.
She giggled. “Yes, I do. When a Cygnarian wears white, they are in mourning. When a Cygnarian woman glows white, it means that she is happy, content, loved and safe. Wearing white is a way for the widow or the widower to feel safe and loved even with their mate gone.”
“What does purple mean?” I asked.
“That’s the animal inside. Carnal, feral and out of control,” Bella explained. She bit her lip. “Cygnarian women go through four cycles a year in which she can become pregnant with child. During those cycles, we lose ourselves and experience a sex-induced mania. All we want is to be bonded and to procreate. I think the closest thing I could equate to is a dog in heat. When a male and female have sex during this time, it is truly mating. Rough, animalistic and dirty. They mate as much as they can to create a new life.”
“Did you experience that while we were…” I trailed off.
“No. I haven’t experienced that in nearly a year,” Bella explained. “The doctor’s injected me with a medication to prevent my body in going into that mania. I needed to focus on my people, the death of my father, my brother and trying to save my planet. I couldn’t spend months on end in this El-lak D’nus.”
“What about the men? Do they experience this El-lak D’Nus?” I asked.
“It’s triggered by their mates. When a woman goes into the fever, so does the man. The fever lasts, for a mated couple, for a week. There is a lot of sex, fucking.” Bella blushed, biting her lip. “If no child is conceived, then the cycle repeats in four months’ time.”
“But we will be able to have a child?” I questioned, wanting to see a beautiful baby that looked like my mate.
“Yes, Edward. But not for another year,” she said. “That is when the injection will wear off. Counselor Aro suggested that I take the antidote so we could produce an heir sooner rather than later, but we have much to do. I would love to be the mother of your child. I can’t wait, really. But my duty is to my people. Not my hormones.”