Yes, yes I would. Also, 495. Skadoosh.
Was he teasing her or insulting her? Charlie felt stupid enough to be irritated by Crowne's offhand comment. "Ridiculous" seemed a bit harsh- was that superiority complex born from pure ego or a side effect of no longer being human?
She grumbled something about "ridiculousness" under her breath as he strolled by. But as she closed the door, another thought occurred to her. Maybe that's how any relationship between a human and a vampire is viewed- ridiculous. Ridiculously dangerous (for the fragile human), ridiculously pointless (for the immortal vampire), and ridiculously out of balance for the both of them.
Maybe it would be ridiculous for a werewolf, too.
As usual, whenever her thoughts skittered around him, Charlie's chest tightened and her breath drew short. Was that the truth, then? Were things between them just ridiculous? Why wouldn't they be, came that unforgiving voice in her head. You screamed and ran from him when he protected you before. He already knows how stupid it was to trust and care for a simple human like you.
Noah heard the sharp intake of breath and was at her side with an arm around her waist, pressing his cheek against her. "Charlie, are you okay?"
She didn't answer at first, and naturally, Noah knew who to blame.
"Why can't you just leave her alone?" he demanded, surprising everyone by glaring at the intruding vampire currently inspecting Charlie's fettuccine. "She isn't going to tell anyone about us, okay? Stop making her sad!"
A gentle hand rested on his head. "Noah, it's okay. I'm fine."
"No you're not!" he argued. "I know you're still scared, and that's okay, but I hate seeing you always sad because of that dumb wolf!" Charlie flinched, but Noah plowed on. "See? Anytime anyone talks about him, like he just did-" Noah pointed angrily at Crowne, "-you get sad all over again. It's not fair! I want you to be happy again!"
Helplessly, Charlie tried to soothe her endearingly protective friend. "I'm sorry, Noah, but it's not that-"
"She cries all the time, even when she sleeps," Noah told Crowne, who was now actively listening to the boy's rant. "Sometimes she stares out the window for no reason, sometimes for a long time. She jumps every time she hears a wolf howling or even a dog barking, and all the time she's thinking about him! And then you come and make it all worse! Why can't you all just leave her alone and let her get better? Please?"
Charlie's mouth fell. It was probably the most she had ever heard Noah speak at once. And was it all true? To be honest, she hadn't even noticed her behavior, and felt guilty that she unintentionally made him suffer with her.
Noah stood bravely in front of Charlie, glaring at what he deemed her oppressor. It was Crowne and the wolves he held responsible for Charlie's sadness, and at last he was determined to make it all stop.