Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

Angel's Embrace Chapter 16

CHAPTER 16
BELLA
Neither Alice nor Carlisle gave details as to why the emergency, but we hurried anyway. We left our meadow without so much as a look back and that saddened me greatly.
"We'll go back, love..." Edward promised, but I heard the worry in his voice.
"I know," I nodded, biting my bottom lip.
We raced home, finding a full house. Not only was our entire family there, including Demitri and Carina, but Tanya, Mark, Kate, Irina, Ghianna, Eleazar and Carmen. Everyone was hovering around the TV.
"Another video," Carlisle frowned, pointing to the TV.
This time, the video was from somewhere in Europe. The victim was different as well as the vampires, but the result was exactly the same. I had to shut my eyes to the sight. It was too much, too enticing. Two tall, lean vampires were looming over what looked to be two young girls, tourists. The sounds were muffled, but the screams and whimpers were still heard loud and clear.
"Felix is leaving the country," Alice sighed almost in relief. "I saw it...when I turned on the TV..." she pointed, "this was the news. They still think it's fake. Even worse now, because it's what they are calling a copy cat..."
"Peter called, Eddie...it's true, they are going back overseas for now..." Jasper started. The news played the video over and over. "Shit, Bells!" Jasper growled. "Mark...shield Mark!"
Without even looking or asking why, I wrapped my shield around Mark and pulled him to the wall behind me. When I knew he couldn't be touched, I looked up to see Tanya shaking as she watched the video. Her eyes were black, unfocused. I could see her eying Mark and fighting it.
"Damn it, get her out of here...she needs to hunt!" I growled as she pushed against my shield.
Edward was faster, catching her in the middle of the room as she threw herself at me and Mark. "No, Tanya," he growled as he and Emmett dragged her from the room. "You'll kill yourself if you hurt him..." Everyone followed them outside, leaving me with Mark, Jasper and Alice.
"Fuck," I frowned, looking over at Mark. He was visibly shaken. "You ok?" I asked, looking him over and guiding him to the sofa. He nodded, but didn't say anything.
"Is that what your birthday looked like?" Jasper snorted dryly.
"Yes," I growled, shoving him as he sat next to me. Mark looked between us, but didn't say anything. I studied him for a moment, wondering if he could handle the story.
"He can," Alice nodded, "so tell him."
"Mark, relax..." I sighed, seeing he was still tense. "Jasper," I turned to look at my brother, lifting the shield, "help him just a little." Jasper nodded, the whole room calming down instantly.
Mark frowned, but heaved a sigh. "Right...empath," he nodded. "T-Tanya told me...I'm so sick of this shit!" He huffed. "Why won't she just stop the torture?"
"Is she struggling with her control?" Jasper asked, leaning past me to look at him. Mark nodded, folding his arms over his chest. It went deeper than just frustration. His face radiated hurt and sorrow.
"It's not that she doesn't love you...you must know this," I urged him to look at me. "She loves you too much and what happened right there is the worst part."
"True," Alice sighed, taking a seat on the other side of Mark. "Bells, tell him about your birthday..."
"Oh geez, Ali...that's not a good example," I sighed. "Edward left after that..."
"I will," Jasper grunted. "He should know. When Bells was still human, we were celebrating her birthday...eighteenth. One paper cut and I snapped. Edward launched me across the room to keep me from her. A fucking paper cut...no one saw it coming, not one of us could stop it. And Edward...Jesus, I never felt so bad...he had finally found something good, something just for him after a hundred years...and decided to protect that something the only way he knew how...he evaporated from her life. He was miserable...and I guarantee he's talking to Tanya right now..." Alice nodded in confirmation.
"I hope so," I sighed, looking out the window and pushing the old human memory away as best I could. Mark eyed me for a moment.
"You know what it feels like..."
"Yes...hell, yes," I frowned. "But it's not easy, Mark. It's not easy to control the thirst...it's not easy for some of them to allow this for a human. They have had violent pasts, sad pasts...some don't even remember who they were when they were human..." Alice nodded, but didn't elaborate on the latter being her. "When Carlisle was changed, they were hunting vampires with torches and pitchforks, burning the innocent, because the guilty couldn't be caught by human hands. What we are was considered evil...That's not something that is easily forgotten."
I paused for a moment. "On the flip side, I get it and I hope you get what you want. If you're mated, then all Tanya's doing is dragging out the inevitable," I sighed. "But...I'm telling you not to force it. It's like fighting a typhoon...she'll just push back harder. The only thing that will change her mind is if you get hurt, I'm afraid."
EDWARD
Tanya struggled against Emmett's steel grip as we guided her out to the forest. Carlisle took the Denali's to the deck to talk. Demitri walked with us, his mind worried for Tanya, the friend he'd come to care for.
"Hunt, Tanya," I frowned, standing between her and the way back to the house. "Then we'll talk...you won't come to me...so you'll listen to what I have to say whether you like it or not." Tanya's eyes narrowed on me, her mind not quite focused due to the bloodlust she was experiencing.
"Go," I pointed. "Emmett...find her a bear or something," I sighed, sitting down in a small clearing.
"Come on, T...let's go," Emmett smiled, tugging her along with him. If she fought him, it would have done no good. His grip was like a vice.
Demitri sat beside me, asking, "You see yourself there..."
"In a way," I nodded. "This may wake her up...I don't know."
"Bella is still mad at her?"
"No...yes...it's not anger my wife feels," I said, picking up a rock and rolling it around in my hands. "Tanya committed a terrible sin in Bella's eyes when she used Brandon like a pawn and hasn't owned up to it."
"So it's not that Tanya tried to kill Bella...or take you away...it's the cruelty in the way she treated Brandon..."
"Bella and I can't be separated...that's not a worry," I smiled. "Bella doesn't use people...so to take away Brandon's life because Tanya needed him...it was wrong."
We sat quietly, Demitri lost in his own thoughts and I let him have them. After about thirty minutes, there was a commotion just outside the clearing.
"If Eddie wants to talk to you...then you're gonna fucking listen," Emmett growled, shoving Tanya slightly in our direction. I couldn't help but snicker. "You may not like Bells, but you're making the same mistakes they did. Sit. Down." He commanded and she pouted in front of me, her mind filled with embarrassment over the way she used to feel about me and what she had just done.
"I need to see Mark," she growled. "He's probably angry."
"He's probably with Bella," I corrected. "You don't see what you're doing, do you?" I asked, continuing without an answer, "You're going to be too late, Tanya...with all that's going on, he's going to get hurt. I'm not saying the timing is perfect, but if you lose him...death is the only thing you'll beg for..."
"Isn't that the truth," Demitri nodded, looking at the forest floor. "You should talk to Bella...Carina...either one will tell you..."
Tanya growled, her mind filled with hatred for my wife. I stood quickly, a snarl escaping me. "You only hate her because she has proved to you time and time again that she's the better person. She still continues to do so." Tanya flinched at my words. "Don't sit there and act like you're the only one that's been through this. And don't bring him into our house when you can't control yourself around him. You're older than me. I sat in a classroom full of children the first time I met Bella...and never lunged at her. Oh, I thought about it...planned it..."
"You did?" Emmett gasped. He was still standing behind Tanya as if she would run.
"Yes," I frowned. "I thought out every scenario of how to get to her...kill every child in the room...lure her out to the parking lot...follow her home..."
"What stopped you?" Emmett asked. I smiled at him. My brother loved stories.
"Curiosity...once I came back..." I chuckled. "I couldn't hear her thoughts and her eyes...Em, you know this story..." I laughed, shaking my head.
"I know...Bells tells it better," he grinned.
"I'm sure she does," I snorted.
Demitri chuckled, shaking his head and his mind loving my family. "Tanya...we can't tell you what to do...but if you love him...wouldn't it be easier?"
Tanya shrugged, her belligerence the only thing she was clinging to.
"You don't know what you're missing," Emmett nudged her, making her look up at him. "How Eddie didn't break Bells is a mystery to me, but it's so much more fun...without restraint..."
I bit my lip, holding back my laughter and turning to look at Demitri. "It's true," he shrugged, an eyebrow rising slightly.
"When you can shatter a bed," Emmett smirked. "Geez, Eddie, how much was that hotel bill?"
"Shut up, Emmett," I laughed, shaking my head. Bella would kill me if she knew Emmett had found the receipt. "If you say anything..." I warned.
"Relax, bro..." He chuckled, looking back to Tanya. "T...think about it...you're wasting time...you're torturing yourself. Talk to Bells..." Tanya growled at him.
"Do what you want, Tanya," I sighed, "but what if we hadn't been there? What if Jasper hadn't felt your bloodlust and Bella hadn't been able to stand between you and the one you love?"
With that, I walked into the forest. I needed to hunt. It had been a long day, talking to Charlie and hanging out in the meadow. I felt weary with stress. The video on TV was disturbing at best, but it was good to know that the new Volturi would be leaving the country. I shut my mind to the racing thoughts behind me and took off at a run.
BELLA
Mark fell asleep on the sofa. Jasper, Alice and I didn't disturb him, but covered him up with a blanket. We talked quietly for a few moments, but I needed space from this situation. I was working on the outline for my book when there was a knock at my bedroom door. "Come in," I said, frowning when I saw it was Tanya.
"I know...you don't want to talk to me...but..." Her voice trailed off and she looked around the room instead of at me.
"I have no problem talking to you," I sighed, closing my computer and setting it on the ottoman in front of me.
"Of course not," she whispered to herself, but I let it go. Her eyes locked on the pictures on our wall. Wedding photos and silly family moments hung in black and white. She studied two pictures. One was of Edward and me before my change in Charlie's living room, the other was from our wedding as we danced, kissing softly. "I never understood what he was waiting for..." Tanya said softly. "I think I wanted him then because he pushed us all away...not just us...every woman." I stayed quiet, she seemed to need to say these things and I let her. "It's that whole want what you can't have thing...and he exudes sexual prowess." I fought a smile and my eyebrows rose up. Edward did do that.
"What was it like?" She asked, still looking at the pictures. "What did you feel when he fought against changing you?"
"Inadequate," I answered. "Like I wasn't good enough...that he didn't love me enough to want forever..." I was honest with her if only for Mark's sake. "I felt he could so easily spend fifty years with me and just move on."
"Mating isn't like that," she sighed.
"I know."
"What did he tell you the reason was?"
"My soul...he didn't want to throw it away...that he didn't want me to miss human experiences like having children...but when he came back, I couldn't have them..." She turned to look at me then. The question was all over her face, but she didn't ask it. "There was an...accident," I sighed, "and I lost the ability." There was not a chance in hell I was telling Tanya my whole story with Jake.
"What happened to make him change his mind?"
"I don't know if anything...happened...we fought about it...I was upset once when he mentioned my age...but we became so much...more. He wanted it, he just didn't think he was worthy of it. I didn't push, but told him that if something were to happen...he needed to know it was ok..."
"And you did get hurt...badly," Tanya added and I nodded. "He said he had to change you...or lose you...you told Mark the same thing."
"I did...and I would have died," I said, standing up. "It's hard...looking at the immortal beauty when you're human. To know that they will go on and you won't..." I smiled, looking at a photo from my wedding. "It's like being with a ghost...that at any moment they could disappear."
"He shouldn't live like us," she frowned. "He's too good for it."
"Edward said the same thing." I stopped and focused on the wall of photos and not Tanya. "You'll lose him...he won't leave you...but something could happen. Car accident, illness, this whole war we are on the edge of..."
"Illness," she gasped.
"Have you not thought about it? Cancer, pneumonia...he could fall down the stairs and break his neck...he could be in the bank and it gets robbed...you could snap again and drain him before you had a chance to realize what you had done..." I was getting a little angry with her.
"I'll kill him if I change him...I won't stop..."
"You will stop, but have Carlisle there..." I sighed, folding my arms across my chest.
"What was it like to get what you wanted?"
"I have no words for that..." I shrugged. "Happy, blissful...those words don't come close." I looked over at her and she met my gaze. "What are you afraid of?"
"Losing him...him...that he won't be the same," she whispered. There it was. The real reason. She was afraid that Mark wouldn't be the warm, sweet human he was.
"I am so the same person...just more durable...stronger, faster. Aren't you the same? I'm sure there are some things that are different, but in essence we stay the same. You know this," I growled. "You're copping out...is his humanity that much of a turn on?"
"Was Edward's vampirism?" She shot back, stepping closer to me. "Did his strength, beauty turn you on?"
"Not as much as his heart and mind...and don't stand there and pretend I don't know what you are...if you love Mark, then change him or don't... but don't hide behind years of your succubus behavior! It's him you're hurting...not me, not you...not anyone, but Mark. The only person that matters is the one you are breaking...next time we may not be there to stop it."
"Self righteous bitch," Tanya growled.
"Look!" I snapped. "You came to me...for what? If you didn't plan on listening, then why did you waste my time?" I snarled, stepping closer.
Edward and Jasper appeared in the door, as Tanya took another step. We were face to face. "Everyone has told you the same fucking thing, Tanya...you don't want to listen and we're tired of explaining it to you..." A lethargic feeling came over me and my eyes shot to Jasper. "Stop that," I growled, shielding myself from him. "Do what you want, Tanya...no one gives a shit...he's just another human you're using for your own petty needs," I sneered, knowing it wasn't the truth, but well aware of the reaction I would get.
"Bella," Edward said softly.
"No!" I turned to him. "She came to me...here," I pointed to the floor. "But she didn't listen and she insults me...I don't fucking think so."
"I'm not using him," she growled.
"Bullshit," I spat, glaring at her. "You use everyone..."
"I'm not," she whispered. "Edward, tell her..."
"Don't bother..." I sighed. "I don't care...I just feel sorry for Mark...for some strange reason he loves you."
"You think you know everything..." Tanya whispered and Edward growled at her.
"I know this," I sneered. "I'm an expert on this experience and you know it. It's why you came to me. You don't like me...fine. I've told you before it doesn't matter to me."
"I'm not using him," she said again, trying to force the issue.
"Sell your lies to someone else," I sighed, sitting back down in my chair and picking my laptop back up. "And be quiet when you go back downstairs, Mark's sleeping."
Tanya left our room, Jasper following her. Edward sat on the ottoman, facing me. "You know what you just did, sweet girl," he smirked.
"Yeah, reverse psychology," I whispered, grinning. He chuckled, pulling my computer away and setting it on the floor. He braced his hands on each side of the chair, looming over me. He kissed my forehead, skimming his nose down my cheek to my ear.
"You're fucking brilliant," he whispered so softly, licking the shell of my ear. A shudder ran through me.
There are too many people in this house for Dirty Edward to emerge, I thought to him with a smirk.
"Don't I know it," he chuckled, sitting back down with a sigh. "I want our weekend...soon," he growled low.
Time seemed to fly by in spurts and slow down to a crawl, alternating between the two. With people in and out of the house, arriving at random times and staying for days, I was frustrated. The quiet life we knew in New Hampshire was over, it seemed.
Carlisle would spend most of his time talking with everyone we knew, keeping up with the situation in Europe. Even Jake joined in, giving updates and learning about the enemy he was guarding against.
As I sat in the darkest part of the forest, I thought back on the last conversation between Demitri, Eleazar and Carlisle that I had accidentally overheard.
"Felix will find out soon enough that he needs more people. He can't keep traveling all over the world to stop this madness," Eleazar pointed out.
"He started this, I'm afraid," Demitri sighed. "He wanted control, but he can't trust those around him to do his bidding...he's going to fail."
"Alice recently saw him trying to decide whether to go back to Italy...to rebuild...in more ways than one...if that's the case, we have some time..." Carlisle frowned.
"Jane would be more than willing to travel for him...she and her brother Alec live to torture, to kill..." Demitri growled. "Her power makes her arrogant."
"Time would be beneficial," Eleazar nodded. "You have every power you need...right here...to stop Felix." He paused for a moment, probably thinking the whole situation out. "With Bella's shield, Alice's visions...Edward and Jasper...not to mention that fantastic Brandon..."
"Brandon worries me," Demitri said, running a hand through his long dark hair. He had been hanging out with Edward too much. The gesture almost made me smile. "If Chelsea gets a hold of Brandon, he could negate every last one of them."
"Don't I know it," Carlisle sighed. "In reality we need him and Catherine...but there's a part of me that wants to keep him far away from it all. He'll be angry, he wants to help...he adores Bella..."
I sighed. I wasn't really supposed to be listening, but it was impossible when they were downstairs from my bedroom window and I could hear everything in the house.
"Who doesn't adore Bella?" Demitri chuckled.
"Tanya," Eleazar snorted. "Can't be in the same room, those two..."
"Tanya is as stubborn as a mule and egotistical enough not to admit when she's wrong..." Demitri sighed. "I'm afraid the history between those two will never heal."
"Perhaps you're right," Carlisle snickered. "Bella has an unbelievable sense of right and wrong...she will fight and fight hard to back it up."
I smiled, shaking my head.
"She's your strength here," Eleazar said firmly. "She's the one that has to pull it all together. You've been working with her, yes?"
"Yes, but she needs more training, Carlisle," Demitri added, "you know this..."
"I do," Carlisle sighed. "She needs to separate that shield...protect individuals..."
I had stopped listening after that. I was well aware that more training was in my future. Alice had told me and Jasper had mentioned it as well. The thought made me tired, weary.
I took a deep breath, taking in the warm dampness of the forest with summer almost upon us. I smiled as honey and sunshine met my heart. "Hey, baby," I smirked as he came around the tree to my left.
"Sweet girl," he smiled, kneeling in front of me. "Did you hunt?" He asked, tucking my hair back. I nodded, leaning into his hand. Just a simple touch was like coming home. "What has you all alone and closed to me?"
"It's quiet here," I smiled. "Sit with me." I sat forward slightly, so that Edward could sit behind me, leaning against the tree. "How do you stand all those minds, Edward?"
"I'm used to it, but the one I listen for was not there..." He chuckled, wrapping his arms all the way around me. He buried his nose in my hair, breathing deep.
"Sorry...I didn't say anything when I left..."
"Shh, you want quiet...we'll stay out here all night if you want..."
Edward would truly give me anything. My tastes ran simple – a few hours of just us – but if I mentioned that I wanted the Taj Mahal, he'd probably buy it. Edward chuckled behind me.
"There it is," he smiled against my neck. "That's the random thoughts I've been searching for. Do you want the Taj Mahal, my love?" There was amusement in his silken voice.
"No!" I laughed, leaning my temple against his jaw. Edward lifted a leg up beside me, setting his foot flat on the ground, and I picked at the fabric of his jeans, tracing my finger over his knee cap.
"Just say the word..." he snickered, squeezing me tighter. I just rolled my eyes and shook my head.
"What the hell would I do with it?" I laughed. "No, this is good," I sighed, linking my fingers with his and rubbing his thigh.
"What a project for Esme though..." He mused, chuckling when my head fell back as I laughed. We were quiet for a while, just sitting in the comfortable silence that we both enjoyed. "Come here, love," he whispered, hooking my knees with his arm and setting me on his lap sideways. I looked into his honey eyes and watched them darken. "I need a kiss," he smirked. "Holding you like this..." He chuckled, tracing a finger down my face lightly.
I leaned in, kissed his nose and rubbed it with mine. "How bad, Edward?" I teased his mouth with barely a brush of my lips.
"Bad..." he breathed, palming my thigh over my jeans and squeezing slightly. His breath ghosted over my face, sweet and tempting. "Just a taste, love..."
Poor Edward and poor me – never alone, even in the forest. There were too many people around. We needed release soon or we were going to explode. "We're not alone out here, baby," I said, licking my bottom lip. We were so close that my tongue just barely grazed against his mouth. I felt more than heard the groan from him.
"I know," he breathed. "Please," he said, touching his lips to mine. This was the frustration I was dealing with. I knew that no more than a hundred yards away Tanya, Irina and Kate were hunting. I knew that in the house there were people everywhere, talking strategy and planning. "I know, baby," Edward growled, gripping my hair, his tongue delving into my mouth. A whimper of wonton need surged from me, making me turn my head and grip his hair.
"Bella," he growled, his teeth nipping at my bottom lip. It was breathless and desperate the way Edward practically made love to my eager mouth with his tongue. I gripped his hair harder, my other hand tracing the line of his jaw. I was trying with all my might to take as much of him in as I could. Edward's hand left my leg and cupped my breast over my shirt. "Give me anything, love...before we're interrupted," he pleaded.
"I don't want to be on display, baby," I moaned, nipping at his jaw and licking to his earlobe. "But we need this...please."
He pulled his head back, pressing his forehead to mine. His eyes quickly scanned around us. "Clothes stay on," he smirked with a naughty gleam in his eye. "They aren't far, baby..."
"That's just wrong, love," I teased, kissing his lips with nipping licks. Top lip, bottom lip. Over and over – and his taste was wrecking me. "A heavy make-out session, then?" I breathed as his hand squeezed my breast.
"Anything," he growled between my kisses, roughly brushing his thumb over my nipple.
Our breathing was heavy as I found myself straddling his lap. "Oh, God, I need you..." He sighed, unable to keep his mouth from my skin. He licked a blazing trail down my neck and up the shell of my ear.
"Ugh...shit," I gasped as his tongue dove into my ear, causing a shock-wave of need all the way down to my core. My thighs squeezed together against his, wanting friction anyway I could find it. I rolled my hips and we both moaned at the other's dilemma. He was rock hard and I was on fire.
Edward's hands left my hair and breast and grabbed my ass. Hard. He pressed me down onto him as our mouths met wet and needy. Jesus, Edward... I thought to him. Speaking would have been way too loud. I could come...and soon...
"Like this?" He gasped quietly, looking into my eyes. His breathing was heavy, his cock twitching beneath me.
You have no idea...
"Oh, damn..." His eyes rolled back as our jeans rubbed together. "I really do, love..."
Fuck, right there, baby... I shook as the coil in my stomach tightened. I fisted his shirt at the shoulders, whimpering against his lips. When we are finally alone...I'm going to fuck you so hard, Edward...I swear... Flickering thoughts of dirty things wafted through my mind against my will. Edward saw them all.
A vibrating low growl erupted from him when he heard my thoughts. His left hand gripped my ass as his right snaked between us to press against my mound. Pressing the seam of my jeans in the perfect spot, Edward made my breath catch. I leaned my head into his cheek as I shattered as quietly as I could. With one more roll of my hips, my spasms still shaking me, Edward buried his face in my neck. His groan broke, a silent but vibrating growl rumbled through my whole body as I felt his release.
We stayed that way, our heads on shoulders, shaking violently from the bliss we were trying to come down from. Edward sighed, a deep breath rushing from him. He was trying to find patience. He had heard the thoughts before I had smelled their scent. We weren't alone anymore. The world would be a better place without Tanya in it...she found us on purpose...I promise you that.
Edward chuckled. "Just our world, love...and yes, you might be right." His eyes met mine as we tried to ignore the approaching women. "I came out here to tell you Jasper has something for you...I was to bring you back," he smiled, unapologetic for getting us both distracted.
And now you need a shower, I giggled. He laughed, nodding slowly.
"There they are!" Irina smiled. "We thought we heard someone out here."
I'm sure, I sighed. Edward stood up, setting me on my feet. "Ladies," he smiled. Always my polite gentleman even though I wanted to poke out Tanya's narrowing eyes. He pinched my side for my thoughts and I fought my laugh. "We were just heading back to the house...let's go, love," he smirked, shaking his head at me as I couldn't decide whether to rip Tanya's smirking lips off or tug her hair out. "Behave," he chuckled so softly in my ear.
"Oh, we'll join you," Tanya smiled.
Of course you will, I rolled my eyes. "So what's Jasper up to?" I asked, trying with everything that I had to ignore the ladies' conversation behind me. Words like "scent", "newlyweds", and "insatiable".
"It's a surprise, sweet girl," Edward smiled down, wrapping an arm around me and kissing my head. "I'm sworn to secrecy."
"Oh hell," I groaned. "I'm in no mood for fighting, wrestling, or training today...it's all I could do not to run away."
"Well, maybe we can get out for a while...bookstore?" He asked, smiling when I nodded happily. "Ok...good...we haven't been there in awhile and not at all since we've moved here."
We walked into the house, the ladies wandering off to find Esme. Alice greeted us in the doorway of the living room. "You are so taking us with you...this house is chaos...I'll suffer the bookstore to get out!" I laughed, looking up at Edward.
"Yes, Alice," Edward chuckled, patting her on the head.
Carina was sitting at the table and giggled at the whole exchange. "Me too?" She asked. "I really need something to read."
"Ok, no one should suffer...lacking reading material is a sin...I'm sure of it," I frowned. "Sibling outing it is..." I bent to her ear. "Next time check my shelves. There's too many up there to mention."
"True," Edward sighed dramatically, squirming away from me when I pinched his ass. "Hey!" He growled.
"Bells!" Jasper beamed, handing me a manila envelope. "Here...open this."
I gasped when my Dartmouth diploma slipped out into my hand. "Nice," I smiled, getting kisses on my head and cheeks from everyone.
"That deserves celebration, love," Edward smiled proudly.
The only celebrating I want is this fucking house empty, I laughed. And that's not happening any time soon. "I'd be happy with the damn bookstore," I smirked, watching Edward's eyes grow slightly darker and back to honey.
Alice and Jasper looked anxious to get out of the house. Carina and Demitri were practically pacing. "Em...Rose?" Edward called out. They popped in from the garage. "Take a break from Bella's car and let's get out of here."
"Sweet!" Emmett beamed.
"Thank God!" Rose sighed. "I can't take anymore..." I knew they were just as frustrated as the rest of us when they didn't even ask where we were going.
"Exactly," Edward interrupted before she could say "guests".
We found a bookstore in Portland on a street with a bunch of different types of shops. It was quaint and appealed to everyone. We all separated to the four winds. Alice and Rose found a shoe store and I threatened them with their lives if they even thought to ask me to go into it. Emmett, Edward and Jasper found a music store. Carina and I lost ourselves in the bookstore and Demitri followed us.
"Are you guarding us or do you read?" I teased him as he held the door open.
"Both," he growled back with a smirk on his face and I rolled my eyes at him. As soon as one of the clerks saw him, her mouth fell open. I tried to imagine what she saw. Demitri was like another brother to me, but his beauty couldn't be denied. Long dark hair framed his face, not quite touching his shoulders. He wore a black leather jacket, dark jeans and deep maroon sweater with a white t-shirt under it. Of all of us, he looked the most like what we were. True vampire. He looked like he belonged in another time period.
Carina kissed him sweetly before walking away with me. In all reality, I could have stayed in there forever. It was quiet, it smelled fantastic and every book was at my fingertips. I found a few books and ran into Carina in the romance section. She had found a few books as well.
"I guess we should find Demitri," I said, walking down the aisle. When we turned down the next row, we saw two girls huddled together, staring across the way. They had to be high school age. One was blonde, the other a light brown.
"Fucking hell, that's the best ass I've ever seen," the blonde groaned in a whisper. I looked past her to see Demitri and Edward leaning at the end of the magazine racks. They were facing each other, chatting as if they couldn't hear the girls. Edward looked delectable, wearing dark blue jeans, a black sweater and a white t-shirt underneath.
I had Carina under my shield already, so I turned to her. "Edward's ass or Demitri's?" I whispered in her ear.
She giggled, shrugging. "Wait," she stopped me. "Let's see what they do."
"Oh, you make a fine addition to the family," I snorted, pretending to look at the books in front of me. "Alice will be proud." Carina bit back a laugh, joining me at the shelf.
The girl with the light brown hair sighed when Demitri laughed, carrying its masculine sound all the way over to us. When Edward ran a hand through his hair, the blonde groaned again. Why was it always blondes?
"He looks young enough for high school," the blonde said to her friend. "Wonder what school he goes to. What I wouldn't give for him to show up at Columbia High next year."
I had to laugh, burying my face in Carina's shoulder. The poor girl would be getting her wish.
"I don't know, Pamela," her friend sighed, looking skeptical.
"Shut it, Ariel," Pamela growled. "A girl can dream...mine will be filled with images of that ass..."
"Now," I smirked, tugging Carina behind me. I felt the eyes of Pamela and Ariel on us as we walked up to Edward and Demitri.
"Hey, beautiful girl," Edward smiled, kissing my forehead. "You found something..."
"Always," I nodded, a smirk playing on my face. Without shame, I reached into Edward's back pocket, taking his wallet. "I left mine at home," I smiled, biting my bottom lip and giving his ass one extra long squeezing caress. He fought his smile.
"You've met the new classmates, have you?" He asked quietly in my ear, his lips brushing against my skin. "Marking your territory, my Bella?" He asked, his voice silken, but filled with pride.
"Mmhm," I nodded, walking away. So it begins...and we haven't even started school yet, I giggled, looking back at him. As I got to the line, Alice and Rose walked through the door, giving me a wink on the way by.
"Edward," Alice smirked. "What's the name of that high school we start next year?"
"Columbia," he sighed, rolling his eyes. He knew exactly what she was doing – giving the girls something to gossip about for the next few months.
"Oh yeah," Rose nodded, smirking sarcastically. "That's it...couldn't remember."
"Of course not," Edward said wryly. "We've only showed you a dozen times."
Carina joined me in the line, fighting her laugh. "Look at the girls, Bells," she snorted, her eyes gliding past me. I glanced over and their mouths were hanging open and they were walking away from us all.
"For the first time in their lives...those two can't wait for school to start," I laughed.
"Don't lie, love, you can't either," Edward crooned from behind me.
"Your point is?" I laughed, setting my books on the counter so the clerk could ring them up. Edward chuckled, shrugging. It took a moment for the young girl to realize I was handing her the money. Her eyes were glazed as I handed Edward back his wallet. "Thank you, baby," I smiled.
"If only you would let me really spoil you..." Edward smiled, taking the bag from the clerk. She about fell over the counter, watching him walk away.
"If you're talking the Taj Mahal again..." I laughed, "no way." He sighed, holding the door for me. We leaned against the wall of the store, waiting for the others. "You do spoil me..." I smiled, standing in front of him. I leaned into his body, kissing him softly. "Cars...jewelry...trips...books...books are important!" I laughed, watching a smile spread over his beautiful face. "All I want is you..." I shrugged. "Naked and calling my name...but you." I squealed as he switched positions on me, pressing me into the wall.
"Bella," he growled into my neck, smiling against my skin as I laughed. "Somehow we share the same desire, love," he chuckled, kissing up my neck to my cheek.
I gripped his ass, pulling him to me. "Mm, she's right though," I purred, smiling when he chuckled. My hands were in his back pockets when the girls walked out. Pamela stopped dead in her tracks when she saw us, Ariel running into her as Demitri and Carina came out behind them.
"Ready?" Edward asked, standing straight. I nodded up at him, taking his hand. Jasper and Emmett crossed the street and joined us. Suddenly, the girls found themselves surrounded by us.
Rose, who looked like she was feeling particularly evil, turned to the girls. "Do you guys live here?"
"Yeah," Ariel nodded, her eyes wide and her mouth open as she looked around at all of us.
"What school do you go to?" She asked, looking between both girls. I shook my head at Rose and Edward snickered behind me.
"Columbia High," they both answered.
"Sweet!" Emmett beamed. "We start there next year. Football? Baseball?" The girls nodded, smiling with him. You couldn't not smile with Emmett. He put you at ease despite his giant posture.
Track? I thought, causing Edward to laugh into my hair. Biology? I snickered and he fought another laugh, messing with Edward was too much fun. What are they thinking, love?
"That they can't wait to get home and online...every friend they know will hear about us by midnight tonight," he whispered in my ear.
"All of you?" Pamela asked, her eyes landing on Demitri.
"Um...no," Emmett smiled, shaking his head. "Edward, Bella...Jasper, Alice...all sophomores...Rose and I...juniors." The girls waved at all of us. "You?"
"Tenth grade," Pamela breathed, trying not to let her eyes stray to Edward, but failing miserably.
"Pam...Ariel," a boy called from across the street. "Let's go...Mom wants us home soon."
"'Kay, Drew," both girls sighed. I looked at Drew. He had to be Ariel's brother. They looked too much alike not to be related. With a slightly shade of darker hair and a sweet smile, he walked towards the girls. "Come on...I'm not getting grounded because you made new friends."
"Shut it, Drew," Ariel growled, turning crimson with embarrassment. "These guys will be at Columbia next year."
"Oh, hey!" He smiled, tugging at his sister's hand. "I'm not kidding, Ari...let's go."
"We should go too," I smiled. I felt Edward tense behind me as Drew's eyes landed on me. I felt rather than heard his possessive growl. I turned slightly, raising up on my toes and kissed Edward's cheek. "My night, remember, baby?" It was exactly what Edward needed, knowing Drew was watching the whole exchange.
"Yes, love," Edward smiled. "What's next then?"
"Oh, yeah, celebrate," Jasper smirked, rubbing his hands together. "Let's go...I think it's time for Emmett and Rose to pay the rest of their racing debt." Emmett and Rose still had a karaoke song to sing. They had washed every car by hand once they all came in from transport.
"Aw, hell," Rose growled. "Fine."
We waved to Pam, Ariel and Drew and made our way up the street.
"There's a karaoke club up here," Jasper chuckled as Rose growled. "I meant to tell you guys." Jasper looked way too excited at the prospect of humiliating our siblings. "Here," he smiled, pointing across the street. He held the door for all of us, the sound of drunken singing flooding our ears.
"Hey, guys!" A short girl with a sweet raspy voice welcomed us. "Who's singing for me?" Her name was Liza according to her name tag. She had short dark hair and a wry smirk firmly planted on her face.
"Those two are," Edward smirked, pointing to Rose and Emmett.
"Cool," Liza smiled. "Come on...I'll get you a book so you can pick."
"We're picking, they're singing," I smiled as she laughed, showing us to a table. Liza was instantly likable. Outgoing and a quick wit only added to the evil smirk she gave Emmett.
"What did you do, big guy?"
"Lost a race...don't encourage them," he chuckled.
"Here guys," she smiled, handing the list over to me and Edward. "Duets are on the second page," she winked and walked away.
"Oh, I like her," Alice laughed, clapping.
"Me too," Edward chuckled, pointing to a song.
"No...you know exactly what will happen if you pick that," I laughed. "This...he'll hate it."
"Hmm, true," Edward smirked.
"Bells," Rose whined. "Be kind...will you?"
"This is kind," Edward and I laughed. Edward added, "You're singing Don't Go Breaking My Heart..." I giggled as Emmett snarled at us.
"Nice choice," Liza snorted. "You could have been so much meaner though," she laughed. "No Kenny Rogers...no Celine Dion?"
"Kenny Rogers' Jack Ass," Emmett guffawed in a drunken slur. Jasper slapped the back of his head and threatened to beat him with a baseball bat. MadTV was a big deal to Emmett.
"He would enjoy it too much," I pointed out, my eyebrow rising.
"Oh...perhaps you're right," Liza sighed, shrugging with sympathy. "What can you do but pick a cheesy disco song, then...right?"
"Exactly," Edward nodded, laughing as Emmett flipped him off.
Oh, but it was hilarious! With every woo hoo that they sang, the table fell apart in hysterics. Even Rose started to laugh towards the end of the song. The whole bar chuckled along with us. To them, we must have looked as drunk as they were.
It was a fun night, everyone getting out of a stress-filled house. We walked and played until almost everything had closed.
"I can't believe I graduated from Dartmouth," I snorted, squeezing Edward's hand as we walked slowly back to the car.
"I can," he smiled, bringing up our hands and kissing my fingers. "I told you that you could do it, love," he smiled and stopped us in the middle of the sidewalk.
"It just seems weird...it went by fast," I said, wrapping my arms around his waist. I gripped his ass one more time. "Damn, she was right..." I chuckled.
"Tease," he growled. "It was fast...but the best college experience I have ever had."
"Mmm...and now high school, Edward," I purred, my eyes darkening without my permission.
"They won't know what hit them," he chuckled. "Poor Drew was stunned at the sight of you."
"Yes...and Pam was drooling over you...it's a shame that they will both be ignored," I sighed.
"Yes, shame," Edward smirked, leaning in to kiss me. We both sighed as we heard the others bellowing for us from the car. "I want our weekend...soon..." Edward growled through gritted teeth, his forehead pressed to mine.
"Soon, love...I promise."


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