Saturday, July 14, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 85 - Bella

~oOo~

Seattle... Friday, June 18, 2010 at 5:56 A.M.

I stowed my carry-on in the bin above my head and sat down next to Rose. Alice had gotten the window seat, while I'd been stuck on the aisle.

"I'm so fuc—uh, freakin' tired," I said with a sigh as I buckled my seat belt. "I couldn't sleep a wink last night."

"Not to mention we had to get up at the butt crack of dawn to make this flight," Rose grumbled from beside me.

"It does seem kind of ridiculous to have to leave at six in the morning to get to Tampa at four in the afternoon," Alice agreed. "Stupid time zones and shit."

Laughing, I said, "My favorite part is having the hour layover in Dallas. I dunno...just seems like there could be a better place than having to go all the way down there."

The girls agreed with me, and then we were all quiet as the flight attendants gave their safety spiel. Once they were done and the plane was taxiing down the runway, Rose turned to me.

"Are you going to try to sleep?" She gestured over to Alice, who had earbuds in and a sleep mask over her eyes.

I shrugged. "I'm not going to fight it, but I don't know if I'll be able to sleep. I guess we'll see."

The flight to Dallas was uneventful. Alice slept most of the way, while Rose and I played silly little games, like Hangman and Tic-Tac-Toe. During the hour layover in Dallas, the three of us – like most of the passengers continuing on with us or on another flight – found something quick to eat before going to sit and wait at our new gate.

I wanted to cry and scream when, due to mechanical problems, that flight was delayed by nearly an hour, which would put us in Tampa right around five o'clock. We'd still be okay time-wise for our plans, as long as nothing unforeseen happened on the this leg of the flight. This time, I had the middle seat, while Rose got the window and Alice had the aisle. Rose offered to change with me, but I waved her off.

"I think I'm going to close my eyes. I don't think I'll sleep, but hopefully it'll make the time pass faster," I explained. Anything to help calm my nerves.

~oooOOOooo~

Dressed in a short black skirt, shiny, dark blue button-up shirt, and black heeled boots, I made my way carefully up the steps to the house. My hair was curled to perfection, and my makeup was understated but made my cheeks a little less pale and my eyes pop. I was ready to surprise Edward. I just hoped the surprise would be a welcome one.

I gave three sharp raps to the front door and then took one step back, wringing my hands together in front of me. The sound of footsteps walking toward the door echoed in the otherwise quiet evening, and I held my breath in anticipation. When Edward opened the door, he was everything I'd dreamed and more. He was wearing a pair of jeans hanging low on his hips and no shirt, showing off his chest, abs, and that yummy vee with the light trail of hair leading down below the waist of the denim. His feet were bare, and I took a second to realize that even his toes were sexy.

When my eyes got back up to his face, I realized I didn't see nearly the reaction I'd been hoping for. Instead of excitement and love, there was almost disinterest, a polite smile like one would give a stranger.

"May I help you?" he asked, holding the screen door open with one hand as he casually leaned against the door frame.

"Edward? It's me... Bella." My voice came out as a whine, almost begging him to quit playing whatever game he was playing.

He quirked an eyebrow. "Yes, I'm Edward. Do I know you?"

Gasping, I stumbled back. "Of course you do. What's going on? We've been writing for months, ever since you were overseas."

His expression changed, and he suddenly frowned, sighing. "I apologize. I wrote so many people while I was in Afghanistan. Sometimes it's hard to keep track." He smiled then. "I appreciate you coming by to say hello, though. Thanks for your letters, Betsy. Have—"

"Bella," I interrupted, unsure as to what the hell was going on.

"Oh, sorry about that!" He shook his head, shrugging. "Like I said, sometimes it's hard to keep track. Have a safe trip back to...wherever you're from, Bella."

The disinterest I saw in his eyes once more as he turned away had me crying out his name.

"Bella!" a voice hissed, pulling me from the heartbreaking nightmare.

When I opened my eyes, Rose and Alice were both leaning over me, worried expressions on their faces. "Fuck!" I gasped, running a hand over my face.

"Are you okay?" Alice asked, her hand resting lightly on my arm.

Rose brushed a curl away from my face gently. "You were really restless, and then you screamed Edward's name. Scared the crap out of everyone."

Instead of answering, I started scrambling out of my seat, desperate to get to the phone in my pocket. "I need to talk to Edward. I have to call him."

My girls pulled me back down, each with a hand on my shoulder and another on my hands that were still trying to get out my phone.

"B, you can't right now. We're just about to land. You can call as soon as we get off the plane, okay?" Rose gestured to the flight attendant, who was walking toward us, leaning over passengers to help with their seat belts.

I looked at Alice, who nodded in agreement. "You can call or text him. Whatever it was, it's going to be okay. Do you want to talk about it?"

Did I? I tried to figure out if I wanted to tell them about my fear that somehow, I'd made more out of my relationship with Edward than was really there. That he didn't really love me...or that I had only been a temporary fling to help him pass the time until he was back in the U.S. I knew it was irrational. Edward and I had even had that discussion while he was in Germany. But apparently my subconscious still had lingering fears.

Shaking my head, I finally settled into my seat, grabbing the seat belt. "I just want Edward," I said, my voice quiet.

~oOo~

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