Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

Angel's Embrace Chapter 12

CHAPTER 12
EDWARD
"Yes, sir," I said into the phone, frowning. "It took longer than I expected, but I expected it all the same."
"Mr. Cullen," Officer Dover sighed. "Just be careful. This kid isn't right…he's even fighting to take classes again…the dean is denying him, of course."
"Thank you, but between me and my brother, Bella couldn't be better protected."
"Oh, I can see that," the man chuckled. "Let me know if he bothers you."
"I will, sir," I sighed, ending the phone call.
"So…he's out, huh?" Bella asked, leaning in the doorway of our bedroom. "Joe did exactly what Officer Dover said…he got a lawyer and got out…"
"Yes, love," I frowned. "He's out on bond...his father paid it this morning."
"Damn it," I heard Jasper growl from his room. He had been dreading the boy's release. We had hoped that since it had been so long it wouldn't happen, but we were mistaken.
"It's ok, Jazz," my angel smiled, walking to the bed and sitting down beside me. "School is almost over…we're moving. Plus, we're leaving for the weekend. After that, only a few more months."
"I know," I frowned. She reached up at rubbed the wrinkle between my brow.
"I know you're upset…you aren't even asking where we're going," she chuckled.
"I don't care," I sighed, a smirk playing on my lips. "I told you…I'd follow you anywhere."
"Ok," she smiled. "You just lost your one opportunity, Mr. Cullen," she giggled, getting up from the bed. I heard my brothers chuckle downstairs.
"Damn," I groaned, feigning disappointment. I really didn't care, though I had an idea of what she was planning. To be honest, she could have rented a hotel room in the next town and I would have been happy.
Her face got serious for a moment and she said, "The only thing that bothers me is that Joe could hurt someone else."
"I know, sweetheart."
"Let me have him!" Emmett begged for the umpteenth time.
"Tempting," Bella and I mused together. Emmett chuckled and Jasper joined him.
"You know you want to," Emmett smiled from our doorway. I smiled and shrugged, agreeing with him slightly.
"I tell you what, Em," my angel smiled up at Emmett. "If he shows up here…at the house…he's all yours."
"Sweet, but what are the odds?" He complained.
"No idea," she snickered, "but ask the Economics man." She giggled, poking me in the side and I chuckled, shaking my head. She started to leave the room.
"Wait! Where are you going?" I asked as she passed my brother.
"I have a few things I need to do before we leave, Edward," she smirked, folding her arms over her chest. "First, homework…which you have due as well…second, I need to pick up a few more things…and third, pack…"
I frowned at how busy her day had just become. We had just got home from class and we were leaving on Friday - two days away. We would be back on Sunday. And that would be all the information she had given me.
"Oh…and fourth…I have to talk to Carlisle today."
"When you say pick up a few things…" Emmett turned to her. "Do you mean the mall?"
"Yeah," she nodded.
"Can I come? I have to get a Valentine's gift too…" He sighed. She nodded and laughed when Jasper begged to come too.
I pouted, knowing I was being left out. Bella saw it and her beautiful eyes softened. Oh, baby, please don't…I promise you it will be worth it. Two more days and I have you all to myself for the whole weekend. Her thoughts were soft and sweet as was the kiss she gave me before heading downstairs.
I nodded and sighed, slightly mollified for the moment. I didn't have to like being kept in the dark, considering whenever my love did it, it was totally worth it, but it bothered me all the same. "Ok, fine," I sighed, needing to do my own shopping for a gift, but I decided to go into the city for that one. I watched as my brothers and Bella piled into Emmett's Jeep and left the house.
Once they were gone, I got into the Volvo and started to back out. Alice rushed to the door and begged me to take her with. She hopped in, turning to look at me. Her thoughts were a mess, but she smiled. "Don't be upset, Edward," she smirked. "She's trying to give you everything…"
I stared at her for a moment before shifting into gear. She continued with, "If I told you that you two will have an amazing time, would you lighten up?"
I chuckled, shaking my head and trying like hell to see what my sister was thinking. Her thoughts were on the shopping we were about to do, not my Bella. "Yeah, Ali," I sighed, "let's go." She smiled widely and clapped, causing me to laugh at her.
BELLA
"Ok, Bells," Jasper smiled, wrapping an arm around my shoulder. "Spill it…where are you going?"
"I'll tell you, but if you think about it around him, you're in deep shit!" I growled, glaring at them both as we stood in front of the mall doors.
"We swear!" They both vowed, holding up their hands in a pledge. I snorted, not sure if this was the right thing.
"Arizona…the desert."
"Where you grew up before Forks?" Jasper beamed. "Aw, hell, he's wanted that for ages."
"Really?" I asked, looking at him like he was crazy.
"Hell, yeah," Emmett nodded. "He's mentioned it a few times, but thought that the whole James thing would have deterred you from going."
"James," I sneered. "Well, we aren't going there…anywhere near there, actually." I frowned at the fact that Edward wanted something and didn't want to ask. I was a little sad, to be honest.
"But you'll show him the house…your school…right?" Emmett asked, apparently knowing that these things were important to his brother.
I smiled up at him. "I can, but I really wanted to show him the desert."
"And the fact that there are panthers indigenous to that area…has nothing to do with it," Jasper laughed.
"Hmm, not at all," I smiled, raising my eyebrows up and down, opening the door to the mall and walking in. My brothers followed me practically doubled over in laughter.
Taking my brothers anywhere was like taking two six year olds to a theme park. It was impossible to keep them in order, impossible to get them to behave. If Emmett wasn't trying on hats, Jasper was playing with people's emotions. I smacked Jasper in the back of the head when he made a woman cry in the Hallmark store.
"Stop it," I growled. He shamelessly laughed, sitting down on a bench. We were waiting for Emmett to finish in the video game store, though I had my suspicions that he was just playing in there.
"You know," he breathed, "I never did this type of shit until you came along, Bells."
"So I've heard," I sighed, watching the poor woman pull a tissue from her purse. "I also heard you made a teacher orgasm in class once."
"Eddie told you, did he?" He smiled, nodding. "Yeah, too much power behind that one." I giggled, leaning into him. "Still planning on an Africa trip?" Jasper asked, changing the subject suddenly.
"Yeah," I frowned, looking over at him.
"Alice," he shrugged. "She blurted it out when you guys decided. You should get Em to help you with that one…Eddie set his and Rosie's trip up."
"I will when it's time…I can't see leaving the country just yet…too much going on."
"True," Jasper sighed. "I heard from Peter the other day. He and Charlotte are hiding out in Savannah, Georgia for now…avoiding the chaos in Atlanta. Apparently, Maria made a lot of new friends."
"She thought she could get away with it because of the fire in Italy…thought there weren't rules anymore, huh?" I asked and he nodded, watching a couple walk past us. "Ali says the new Volturi are still there…does Peter agree?"
"Oh yeah," he nodded. "They are all still there. If you read the headlines, there are disappearances all over the Atlanta area. They can stay as long as they want. It delays our move and gives the wolves a break, that's for sure."
"Come on, Emmett," I sighed, knowing he could hear me. "You've got what you needed and I need to get home."
"Are you really packing?" Emmett smiled, coming out of the store with a bag full of new games.
"Technically, yes," I laughed. "In reality, I had someone leave what I need at the cabin I rented."
Jasper wiped a fake tear, sniffling dramatically. "You learned so quickly, my young apprentice."
"Whatever," I snorted. "Let's go. Keep it up…and I'll take my shield off of you so that Alice knows what she's getting for Valentine's Day."
"Ok, ok," he laughed, holding up his hands in surrender. "Let's go pick it up…and get you back."
EDWARD
"Damn it!" Alice growled, but a smile played on her lips. I listened to her thoughts and snorted at her.
"He's finally found a way to stop you from peeking!" I laughed and she flipped me off. "That's why he wanted to go with Bella to the mall."
"Yes," she laughed, shaking her head. "Years of knowing and now I can't…"
"Frustrating, isn't it?" I asked, smirking.
"I know, I know…not hearing Bella's thoughts drove you mad…"
"Not really," I shrugged. "I learned to read her face, her eyes. But there were times…" I chuckled. "I would have given anything to know her thoughts."
"Like what?" Alice smiled, looking over at me.
I sighed, thinking back to when my angel was human and her thoughts were closed to me. "Definitely when she first saw us," I nodded, "but she told me later. Beautiful was the word she used."
"Yeah, she told me that one…"
"Oh and when I first came back to her…all the emotion and hate and anger that she bottled up," I sighed, looking at Alice. I knew that anything that I said between us, stayed between us. It was just how we worked. "One moment she was fine and the next she was angry…I never blamed her…I just would have given anything to hear her."
"She kept that to herself…I'm sure Carlisle has an idea…I do know that you needed each other and she was frustrated. She kept making the decision to let you go again…"
"It would have killed us," I said quietly, staring back at the road.
"Yeah, it would have," Alice sighed, smiling sadly. "What other time?"
I laughed. Alice and I hadn't been alone together in some time. It felt good. We had always been close. "That fight we had…when she snapped over my thoughtless mention of her age…"
"You mean when you first did it," Alice guffawed and I laughed nervously. Yes, maybe that was what I meant. "And trust me, I tried prying info out of her on that one…she never budged." Alice giggled, but sighed looking over at me. "But most girls keep that to themselves, Edward. It's theirs alone to cherish."
"Really?"
"Yes, silly…you want to shout to the world that you're loved, but every touch, kiss, word whispered…it's special…no one can take it away," she smiled, looking out the window. "I stopped asking questions…she made the decision to never say a word."
We rode in silence for a while until we arrived at the shops we wanted. I parked the car and opened my sister's door. "What was it like? Hearing her mind for the first time? Your face…it was priceless," Alice smirked. She was referring to the night Bella awoke from her change. The whole family and Jacob and Anna had been waiting for us to return from her first hunt. Carlisle had theorized that Bella's shield was what was keeping her thoughts from me. When she opened her mind to me for the first time, letting me see the memory of the first night she invited me to stay in her room, my breathing had stopped. "I am your prisoner," she had remembered hearing me say.
I wrapped my arm around Alice's tiny shoulders and kissed her head like Bella always did. "Like finally hearing what an angel sounded like…but better…because all of her wit and sarcasm and feeling poured out of her. Amazing…I had always wanted it, but had come to terms with the fact that I may never get it…"
Alice stared up at me, her thoughts blank. "I missed this…"
"Me too," I chuckled.
"But we have to hurry, they're heading home soon," she smiled.
We walked to the jewelry store that I frequented for Bella and Alice snorted. "She hates expensive gifts, Edward."
"I know," I laughed. "But she was a little upset that she can't wear her wedding ring when we start school in Portland. I had something made." I smiled proudly as Alice patted my back, waving me forward and rolling her eyes.
It's scary how good you are at this, she thought to me, laughing. A hundred years of nothing…and suddenly you outshine every male in the house. I shoved her slightly and went over to the counter. She giggled and walked away from me to look around the small boutique.
I handed the cashier my ticket and she went into the back of the shop. "It's not hard," I laughed as she threw a stuffed cupid at me. I caught it quickly and set it back down just as the girl came back out. "Bella likes meaning…" I whispered.
"Yeah, yeah," Alice smiled, but her thoughts were approving as we looked at what I was buying. "Damn…" She snickered. She'll love it, of course.
"Good," I smirked, handing my credit card over. "Now, if I only knew where I was going…" I teased, smiling as Alice's mind fluttered for a moment and then froze. "There it is," I laughed.
"Oh shit, oh shit…" She chanted over and over. "Ohh," she groaned, "Bells is gonna kill me!"
"Probably," I chuckled, holding the door for her. "But you're secret's safe with me…I had an idea…I just wasn't sure until now."
We got into the car and Alice's mind was sad. "Oh, Edward…please don't say anything…she wanted to surprise you."
Guilt suddenly filled my mind. It was all fun and games until Bella was disappointed. "Damn, that was wrong of me…" I sighed, frowning at my selfishness. "Will she be mad?"
"No," Alice's face glazed over, her vision of Bella flowing through her. "She won't be mad…" A picture of my love cleared to the forefront of Alice's mind and I smiled at the wry smile on her face. "She assumes you have an idea anyway," Alice said, letting out a breath of relief.
"Good," I sighed. "She so rarely asks for anything…to take that away from her…just stupid."
"We all know you, Edward," Alice laughed. "We all know you can't help but hear everything, every thought. Relax…there isn't anything she won't forgive you for."
"True…and has," I smiled. Never had truer words been stated than those. It proved to be a prediction as well. As soon as we walked back into the house, my Bella knew. Her eyes narrowed at me.
"You look…guilty," she smirked, looking between us. Alice tried sneaking past her, but she yelled, "Freeze, pixie."
Jasper looked up from the homework they had both been working on at the dining room table. "You're right…guilt…" Jasper chuckled.
"You know!" Bella gasped. "Alice, why?" I cringed, shaking my head. Alice hid behind me, groaning.
"No, it's my fault," I begged, kneeling beside her. "I tricked Alice…I'm sorry."
"Dead man," Rose snorted from the end of the table, raising an eyebrow at Bella.
"So," she growled, folding her arms across her chest. Alice stepped away again and without looking at her, Bella wrapped her shield around my sister, pushing her to the wall. "You know the destination…you don't know everything, Mr. Cullen. Do you want to know how I know that?"
"Sure, love," I winced, giving a dark look to Jasper, who was laughing in silent hysterics.
"Because I shielded every decision I made other than the destination," she sneered, looking back at Alice. "There isn't a soul in this house that knows a single detail…other than the fact that we are landing in Phoenix, Edward."
"Damn, Eddie," Emmett chuckled from the game room, "you're in deep shit."
"No he isn't," Bella corrected. "I expected it," she smiled the wry smile I saw in Alice's mind.
I chuckled, "Um, can you let Alice go?"
"Oh, shit! Sorry, Ali," Bella giggled.
"No worries," Alice smiled. "Don't kill him…if you kill him, he won't learn anything."
"Aw, hell, Alice," Emmett growled, "if you're gonna steal from the Riddler, at least say it right! He won't learn nothin'!"
"But it's grammatically incorrect," Alice and Bella bellowed.
"It doesn't matter!" He argued, folding his arms across his chest like a petulant child.
The fear that I was still in trouble with my angel filled my mind. Jasper snapped his head up, thinking, She really did bet on you finding out. Relax, bro. She's messing with you. I let out a breath, sitting in the chair beside Bella's.
Bella had brought my books down and I pulled them to me, not saying anything. Hey, she thought to me. I turned to look at her. It's ok, I'm just playing, baby. It's ok that you know. I was planning on it anyway. You just can't know everything. She smiled, raising an eyebrow at me and shutting her shield down around her. "Where did you two run off to anyway?" She asked aloud.
"The city," Alice and I answered.
Jasper and Bella stared at us. "Hmm," he smiled. "Yet more secrets."
"Oh for fuck's sake," Rose laughed. "It's fucking Valentine's…there are secrets running rampant around this place."
"Yet no one has a bigger secret than you, Jazz," I chuckled and his eyes got wide.
"You're shielded, Jasper," Bella smirked, "don't sweat it."
"Jasper, sweetie," Alice crooned, running a finger down his arm. "What did you get?"
"Jesus," Bella laughed, looking between Alice and I. "And I thought Emmett and I acted like children…drop it, Ali…you'll get it when you get it."
Alice pouted and the whole room exploded in hysterics. She eyed Bella for a moment and I growled when she said, "If you tell me what he got…I will tell you where we went in the city…"
"Ah…" Bella nodded. "But see, unlike the two of you…I can wait!" Jasper smiled smugly, giving Bella a fist bump. "Now, Jasper, I have to go talk to Carlisle, will you need my shield or…"
"No, go…if I need you, I'll run to you," he cracked up.
"'Kay," she smiled and stood up, closing her homework and kissing my head. "Spoiled ass vampire," she mumbled, walking away from the table. I chuckled, remembering that conversation on the plane home from Seattle.
"Just taken care of," I corrected as she opened the back door. She snorted into laughter and slammed the door behind her.
BELLA
"What time are you guys leaving tomorrow?" Jasper asked as we made our way to the cafeteria.
"We'll leave from here after the last class," I smiled. "Are you heading to the library?"
"Yeah," he nodded, "want me to grab that book for you?"
"Please. And I'll see you inside."
"Ok," he waved, turning down the hall. I walked into the cafeteria and took a seat at our usual table. I tried to refrain from rolling my eyes at the whispers from the boys at the table next to me. I pulled out my phone, checked my email and saw that the elderly lady I was renting the cabin in Arizona from had sent pictures. I smiled, thinking it was perfect.
She also let me know that everything was ready and waiting for us. The keys would be under the mat at the door. When I explained to her on the phone that it was a Valentine's surprise for my husband, she was enamored with the romantic possibility and ate the whole thing up. She had been accommodating ever since.
"Hmm," I heard silkily to my right. "And just what makes my wife smile like that?"
"You, love, always you," I threw back the answer he always gave me, fighting my smile.
I pocketed my phone and looked up at his chuckling face. I reached up and cupped his jaw, pulling him closer. I rolled my eyes for real when the groans and sighs reached my ears. Edward pressed his lips to mine and pulled back. "If you think they're bad…wait until high school."
"Mmm," I smirked, "I am." I felt my eyes darken briefly with the prospect of high school with Edward, but I fought to keep my thoughts at bay.
"Someone has…ideas…" He purred, leaning closer. "Please, share with the class."
I giggled, shaking my head. "I will…but it will not be in the middle of this crowded lunchroom just before class."
"Promise?" He asked in my ear, lightly dragging his lips over my earlobe. "I want to know them all."
"I bet you do…a little turnabout is fair play?" I asked, twirling the hair at the base of his neck as he did naughty things to my earlobe that no one could see.
"It's only fair, my love," he crooned. "You've given me…fucking everything…it's my turn now…"
"But I'm not done yet, handsome," I breathed, not able to focus when he dropped f-bombs out of nowhere. No matter how long he had been doing it, it still sounded like velvet - sexy, dirty velvet.
"Good, I hope not," he chuckled, pulling back to wink at me. He must have heard Jasper and Alice's minds, because he turned a little in his chair when they joined us.
"Here, Bells," Jasper smiled, raising an eyebrow at us. He handed me the book I had asked for, saying, "What conversation did we miss?"
"Bella and I were just discussing the differences between high school and college," Edward answered innocently, but his hand gripped my thigh lightly.
"Riiight," Alice laughed. "High school…do you still want…"
I shielded Alice with a growl, saying, "Alice…you are already on thin ice…if you say one more thing before we get on that plane tomorrow…I will set your closet on fire."
"Holy fucking hell!" Jasper laughed. "Just let me get my shit out first, little sis!"
"Fine," I sighed, waving him away.
"That's hitting where it hurts, love," Edward laughed.
"Fine!" Alice smiled. "I swear, I'll behave." She crossed her heart in an adorable child-like manner.
"I swear to God…I'm going to have to wear my shield twenty-four-seven from now on," I mumbled, opening the book Jasper had brought to me.
"No!" Alice and Edward protested. I looked up at Jasper with a deadpanned look. He snorted and shrugged, a look on his face that clearly stated "what can you do?"
"I should!" I growled, glaring at the two of them. "I have come to terms with the fact that everyone in the house can hear everything…that I can hear everything," I suppressed a shudder. "Emmett and Rose alone make me want to throw up."
"Ain't that the truth," Jasper mumbled.
"But I should be allowed to keep some things to myself," I sighed, folding my arms across my chest. The fact that Edward's surprise could be revealed at any moment bothered me to no end. It was a constant vigilance that I maintain my shield.
"You can, love," Edward frowned, looking at his hands. "Yesterday was wrong, Bella…we're sorry." I looked at Alice and she was nodding.
"I'm not asking for an apology," I said, looking between them. "You can't help what you can do…I'm asking for twenty four hours. Where you don't blurt out every decision I make…" I pointed to Alice. "And you aren't badgering everyone in the house about what they know." I looked at Edward and stood up. I grabbed my bag and left the cafeteria.
I wasn't alone for long as I walked to the next class. I expected Edward, but Jasper ran up at wrapped an arm around my shoulders. "You and that shield. It's time to hunt, baby girl."
"I know," I sighed. "I feel it." As soon as I blurted out everything in the cafeteria, I knew it. It had been too long.
"Are you really mad at them?" He asked, a smirk playing on his face. "'Cause they hate life right now."
"No…" I frowned. "You know how badly you wanted to surprise Alice this year?" I asked, looking up at my brother and he was nodding. "Edward does that all the time for me…I just wanted one thing." I could feel Jasper trying to send me calming waves, but it wasn't working. My shield was firmly in place.
"Why don't you go hunt…we'll see you at home, 'kay?" He suggested and I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk.
"Yeah," I sighed, handing him my bag. "Maybe you're right…"
I walked to the edge of campus and slipped into the woods when no one was looking. Once concealed by the trees, I took off at a fast run, hoping to hell I could calm down.
I ran for miles, tracking a bear. I found him at the edge of a small lake, pulling a fish out of the water. I let him have his last meal, hitting him hard just as he threw the remains of the fish to the ground. A few more miles and I took down two moose, sating my thirst completely.
I knew Edward. He wouldn't let me stay mad and alone for long. But I saw Jasper's face and knew that I had at least until the end of the school day. I wandered along the edge of the creek, finding myself in our clearing.
EDWARD
"No, Eddie," Jasper growled, holding my shirt. "You're gonna go to class and let her have a minute." Fighting him was useless when he kept sending waves of calm my way.
"Stop that," I sighed, running a hand through my hair. "I screwed up…I should've let her have her surprise…now she's angry."
"No she's not," Jasper smiled. "She's disappointed and she needed to hunt…it's a bad combo, dude. But she's right about one thing…you don't know all the details…she's worked really hard to set this up for you."
"I know," I frowned, sitting down in the classroom.
"How would you like it if she could figure out every surprise before you did it…it would suck, right?" Jasper asked, looking between me and Alice. "We love you…but it's hard trying to give back what you give us. We never complain…but every once in awhile, we like to hide shit."
I stared at my brother for a moment, seeing the friend he had now become to my Bella. They had bonded, because they saw something in each other that they needed. I looked at Alice and she looked truly upset.
Jasper sighed, "She's not mad, I promise…"
"Ok," Alice and I said together.
Class was numbingly boring without Bella at my side. Even Professor Banks' mind registered her absence. I barely heard anything in either of the last two classes, my mind frantic with getting to my angel. She may have not been mad according to Jasper, but I still wanted to see it for myself.
Jasper's phone alerted him to a text and he chuckled as he read it. Bella flashed across his mind as well as something bright yellow. He changed his thoughts quickly and opened the car door for Alice. I looked up at him with a raised eyebrow.
You'll see what it means to us in a moment, bro, he thought to me with a smile. We were successful when it came to Alice's gift.
His mind filled with thoughts of military war heroes and I couldn't make heads or tails of it. I chuckled, thinking that soon I wouldn't be allowed to read anyone's mind.
We pulled into the driveway and there was a bright yellow Porsche sitting out front. Bella was leaning against it, twirling the keys around her tiny finger. Jasper turned to Alice and said, "Happy Valentine's Day, baby."
With a piercing squeal, she bolted from the car, catching the keys from Bella.
"She likes it, then?" Rose asked sarcastically, leaning next to Bella. "Nice choice, Jazz," she smiled. "A nine eleven turbo at that."
"Sweet," Emmett and I smiled, walking around the car as Alice dove into the front seat. Emmett added, "And you pulled one over on the pixie…how fucking cool is that?" Bella laughed, shaking her head.
"It's about time someone figured out how to do that," Rose murmured to her.
When Alice cranked the car all of us groaned with appreciation. We did love our fast cars. Bella smiled, but headed inside, leaving everyone to gawk over the present. I looked at Alice's face and then Jasper's. We could have taken Alice car shopping for whatever she wanted, but the fact that he got it past her meant so much more.
"Damn," I sighed, running into the house. I found Bella upstairs, sitting on the bed, the book that Jasper had checked out for her was in her hands.
"I'm not mad, Edward," she sighed, not looking up from the book. "And I don't want apologies…"
"Well, then I don't know how to start this conversation, love…because I get it…and I screwed up."
She stared up at me for a fraction of a moment and said, "Baby, come sit down with me." She patted the bed next to her. I took my jacket off and threw it on the chaise, kicking out of my shoes and sitting next to her. She took my face in her hands. "I needed to hunt, love...that's all...I overreacted and I'm sorry."
She wasn't lying to me – I could see that in her eyes. "You didn't screw up, Edward," she smiled wryly, "you still don't know anything."
"You're right," I chuckled. "But I know what it means to you," I sighed.
"A lot," she nodded, kissing my forehead.
"I promise not to badger anyone for the next twenty four hours," I smirked.
"That was wrong of me to say," she frowned. "I didn't mean that..."
I cut her off, kissing her fiercely. I felt the tension between us leave instantly. My thumb caressed her cheekbone as her hands slid slowly into my hair. I didn't care what was said or overheard or anything. I couldn't have her upset. Period. End of story.
I heard Alice's mind at the door. She was giving me fair warning that she was coming in to talk to Bella, but I ignored her.
I drank Bella in, her tongue gliding in next to mine. The sweetest sound escaped her as I wove my fingers into her hair, turning her head. I knew Alice wouldn't wait much longer, so with a sigh of regret, I pulled back. "Alice is at the door, love..." I whispered against her lips.
I watched my love's eyes lighten a little, her tongue licking along her bottom lip. She nodded, saying, "Ok." I kissed her forehead, chuckling at my sister's impatience, but she was afraid to push Bella any further.
"Alice," I laughed, "it's fine..."
The door opened slowly. Her mind was fighting two ways. She wanted so badly to make sure that Bella wasn't mad at her and she wanted to play with her new car. I sat back, smiling at her dilemma.
"Laugh it up, Edward," Alice snorted. "Bells, I'm sorry..."
Bella sighed, "It's fine really. Jasper noticed I needed to hunt. I shouldn't have exploded on you." Alice nodded and smiled. Everything was fine between them and that's all she needed.
"The boys are fighting over who gets to test drive my car," Alice smirked at me. My instinct was to jump up and join them. Bella saw it, laughing hysterically.
"Go," she smiled, shoving me off the bed. "I've driven it..."
"You have?" Alice and I asked, staring at her with open mouths.
"Uh, yeah!" She chuckled. "Someone had to pick it up while you were all in class. We hid it overnight." She stopped for a second. "It's fabulous by the way...I may need an upgrade."
"Really?" I smirked, thinking that was just about the sexiest thing I had heard in a long time. Bella never talked about fast cars.
She eyed my reaction, biting back a smile. Really, Edward? Cars? She thought to me and I nodded slowly. Ok, we'll talk about it. Go play.
I threw my shoes back on, kissed a giggling Bella and bolted down the stairs.
BELLA
I laughed as they all fought over who would drive the car. Rose leaned in my doorway, smiling. "Upgrade?" She smirked.
"Yeah, I guess," I shrugged. "I like the Mercedes, but Alice's car was fun to drive. So is the Vanquish...I just never thought of one for me."
"That Vanquish is sweet," Rose nodded. "You might like an old muscle car...it would fit you."
"You mean like take an old one and redo it?" I smiled, thinking back to when Jake and I had taken two piles of scrap metal and turned them into functioning motorcycles. "Huh...I never thought of that."
"Think about it...I'd be glad to have a new project," she nodded.
"I'd be absolutely no help," I laughed.
"No worries," she smiled. "I promise you...you bring something like an old Mustang up into the garage, you won't be needed...the boys will be all over it."
"Ok..." I smiled, biting my bottom lip. "Let's see what we can find once we get back from Phoenix."
With that being said, Rose was going full steam ahead. The next day at school I got countless pictures sent to my phone from her. By lunch, I was laughing hysterically. I couldn't keep it to myself anymore.
"What the hell?" Jasper snorted, looking up from his homework.
"I give up," I giggled, tossing my phone on the table. Edward was the first to grab it.
"Rose is looking at muscle cars for you?" He smiled, looking through each picture. Jasper shot up from his chair to stand behind him.
"She apparently heard our conversation..." I suddenly realized if he kept scrolling through my mail he would see the pictures of the cabin. "Shit, give me that." I snatched my phone back and sighed. He was two emails away from seeing them. I saved the mail to another folder and handed it back. "Hiding stuff from you is a pain...I'm glad it's almost over."
Edward laughed and winked at me, leaning back in his chair and going back through the pictures.
"Is that a sixty eight Mustang?" Jasper gasped.
"Yeah...and a sixty seven Camaro SS," Edward groaned.
"And shit! Is that the sixty one Ferrari...like from Ferris Beuller?" Jasper growled. "Where the hell is she finding these?"
I looked over at Alice, who shrugged. "The Ferris car rocked."
"Yeah, it did," I nodded. "But I wouldn't want red."
"No," Alice smirked, "Black...definitely black."
"Yes, ma'am," I laughed, going back to my homework.
"That sixty nine Corvette is in really good shape," Edward noted. I tried to ignore them, but it was impossible. They were adorable. Rose had been right, they were excited like children and I hadn't even decided whether I wanted it or not.
"Do you have any idea how easy that would be to fix up?" Jasper pointed to the screen.
"It would be perfect in blue," Edward chuckled, looking up from my phone.
"And yet I haven't decided if that's what I want..." I teased. "I could decide to get that brand new Camaro..."
"Oooh! Bumblebee from Transformers..." Alice beamed.
"Exactly," I nodded, "or I could keep what I have..." Both boys groaned, handing my phone back.
"Wow, that was like popping a child's balloon in his face, right there," Alice laughed. I smiled over at her, deciding that this conversation was on hold, not over. "Excellent." She smiled as I shielded her mind.
"Quit that," Jasper and Edward growled.
"Class time," I snickered, standing and ignoring them. "Give me a break, guys," I sighed, taking in their pouting faces. "I promise you can torture me with all the pros and cons of every single car when we get back."
"Sweet," Jasper beamed, grabbing Alice's hand.
"You don't have to get a new car, love," Edward chuckled, taking my bag and wrapping an arm around my shoulders.
"I know that," I chuckled, leaning into him. "Sounds like fun though...taking something old and making it new again."
"Didn't you do that already?" Alice laughed, looking back at us.
"What? The motorcycles?"
"No, with Edward," she guffawed. I fought my laugh and lost, miserably.
"That's very true," he chuckled, kissing my head.
Edward let me have the window seat and I sat down with a sigh. Finally, I didn't have to shield myself much longer. "There's a rumor going around," I smirked, looking over at him.
He smiled, his brow furrowing. "What about?"
"That you wanted to come here with me..."
"I did," he nodded. "But I want to go everywhere with you."
"Yes, I know," I smiled. "But you wanted to specifically see my life before Forks."
"Yes." His face was curious. "Emmett?"
"I will not rat anyone out," I laughed and he chuckled with me. "Why didn't you mention it?" He didn't answer, just cupped my face with one hand and traced the half moon scar on my wrist with the other. "James?" I asked and he nodded slowly. "There's more to my life than that ballet studio," I chuckled. "I was there for all of like four lessons and a recital."
He laughed, shaking his head. "Fine, then show me."
"Oh, I plan on it." I smiled, leaning into his palm that was still on my face. I turned and kissed it, reaching up and pulling it into my lap. I turned his ring over and over. "We will have to be true creatures of the night here...too much sun. But I must warn you...my life was nothing, empty before I moved to Forks, baby."
"Mine too," he sighed, fighting his smile. "What were you like?"
"Alone," I smiled, knowing his answer would be the same. "Huge school...and I was a bookworm, you do the math."
"With no patience for boys," he smiled, "you must have driven them crazy."
"I don't know about that," I laughed, "but I didn't pay them much attention. I had to take care of Renee most of the time. Before Phil, it was a daily job. I would come home, start dinner and do my homework. Only to do it all over again the next day."
"There wasn't anyone?" He asked, frowning as our plane taxied down the runway.
"We had this conversation years ago in my room, Edward. No. Not one person."
"I know, but I can't imagine you didn't find someone attractive..."
"Attractive?" I laughed. "Sure...drawn to? No. You?"
"Maybe attractive is the wrong word," he backpedaled when I turned it around on him.
"Answer," I laughed.
"Yes, attractive...sure. But hearing people's thoughts, I can truly attest to the fact that beauty is only skin deep," he chuckled.
"Oh, I bet," I groaned, wrinkling my nose. "That must be disappointing."
"I wouldn't know," he laughed. "I didn't care."
"That's not what I meant," I snorted. "I mean...take Grace Kelly for instance...clearly the prettiest woman ever and what if she was like totally foul, abusive?"
"I don't think she was," Edward mused.
"Abusive?"
"The prettiest woman ever," he smiled. I sighed, shaking my head. "Ok, ok," he laughed. "So I'm biased...you tell me every day. Yes, I suppose that would be disappointing. I never met her, so I wouldn't know."
"You've told me about Andre the Giant and Winston Churchill, but didn't you meet any famous women?" I asked, laying my head on his shoulder.
I felt a kiss to my head. "Princess Diana," he chuckled when I gasped.
"No," I pulled back and looked at him. He put my head back on his shoulder, still chuckling.
"Yes...and she was every bit as nice as you saw on TV," he said, running his fingers down my arm. "It was just before she got engaged. I was traveling through England alone."
"Who else?" I asked, trying not to dwell on the vision I had in my head of a lonely Edward.
"Judy Garland," he said, entwining our fingers. "I didn't actually meet her, but saw her on the streets of New York."
"Dorothy..." I chuckled. "And?"
"Her mind was a mess...as Alice would say a hot mess," he sighed. "Addictions and paranoia."
"That's a shame, she was really talented."
"She was...stunning voice, really." I felt him nod, his cheek on my head.
"Anyone else?"
"Yes," he sighed and I could almost hear him roll his eyes.
"Oh boy, who?" I snickered.
"Demi Moore," he barely said audibly. I pulled back to look at him.
"When?" I asked, but he wouldn't answer. I put my hands on each side of his face and made him look at me. "When?"
"Mid-eighties," he frowned.
"She liked you...didn't she?" He growled low, his eyes rolling. "How did you meet her?"
"A charity event Carlisle was invited to in Chicago," he sighed. "She was there..."
"Spill it, Cullen," I laughed.
"Oh, Bella, it isn't funny..."
"Oh yes it is," I snorted, "because she hasn't lost her taste for young handsome boys...she's with Ashton Kutcher now..."
"She tried buying me drinks, though I wasn't sure she was of age then..." He sighed, his eyes begging me not to make him tell this story.
"You don't have to, Edward," I smiled. "It's alright if you don't want to."
"There's not much to tell...she tried following me around and her mind was full of things she wanted from me...eventually, I left her alone...I found Esme and sat with her for a while."
"That's it?"
"Idancedwithher," he mumbled. I raised an eyebrow at him. "Just one dance...that's it."
"Did she try anything?"
"Bella..." He protested, his face scrunched as if he were in pain. I waited patiently. "Yes, she tried to kiss me, but I backed away. I left the ball shortly after."
"Too sexy for your own good," I giggled, kissing his forehead. He chuckled with me. "Well, Demi's shit out of luck now," I sighed, laying my head back onto his shoulder. "You're mine."
"Thank God," he laughed.


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