Wednesday, October 28, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 25 & Pics

Chapter 25
BELLA
The library was quiet as I strode down the last aisle at the back of the building. I scanned the shelf, reaching up high for the book I needed. My fingertips barely brushed the spine, and I grunted in frustration. However, I couldn’t stop the smile from creeping up my face when a long, strong arm reached over me to effortlessly pull down the book I’d been struggling to obtain.
Turning around, I leaned back against the bookcase, giggling softly at Edward’s sweet, crooked smile as he held out my book. He was in his contacts today, something that he rotated on a regular basis. I loved the glasses because they made him look so sweet and smart. I loved the contacts, too, because they gave me an uninterrupted view of that gorgeous green and those long eyelashes.
“Better?” he asked, leaning in to kiss my lips as I hugged the book to me.
“Yes, thank you,” I whispered, brushing my mouth across his a few more times. “I wasn’t expecting you for another hour.”
“Dr. Carmen had to reschedule, so I told her I’d see her next Friday,” he answered, shrugging a shoulder. “Which is fine by me; I have to study for finals.” He reached out for my hand, and I laced my fingers with his as he led us back to our table. “I’ll get some done now before work.”
Saturday, October 24, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 24 & Pics

Chapter 24
EDWARD
“We’ll be right behind you,” Emmett told Aunt Jane. “But if I don’t stop at the diner for coffee, Rosie’ll kill me…or turn into the road-rage queen.”
I grinned from the backseat at Rose’s snort, but she nodded and shrugged, too. “I resemble that remark,” she muttered, grinning at Bella’s soft laugh.
Alice, Bella, and I were all riding with Emmett to Seattle, where he’d drop us off at the hotel by the airport before he and Rose drove back to UW. The movers were loaded up and gone with the few boxes we’d needed. Alice was packed and had already checked out Glenhaven High School’s website, the school Jasper had attended. She was nervous and quiet, but she seemed to be coming to terms with it all. She’d wanted to join me in Florida anyway, but it all happened quicker than we’d originally thought.
“Coffee sounds pretty damn good, actually,” Bella chimed in, leaning into me from the middle of the backseat.
She was between me and Alice, and just like I’d thought… The two got along perfectly. Rose, too, for that matter. The three were very strong personalities, but they seemed to complement one another instead of clashing.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 23 & Pics

Chapter 23
EDWARD
“Edward?” I heard Aunt Jane call from the hallway.
“In here,” I grunted, dropping the last full box from my bed to the floor and gazing around my bedroom for anything else I might want.
Those of us heading back to Florida were catching a very early flight, so we were staying tomorrow night in a hotel in Seattle. They’d asked my siblings and me if we wanted to celebrate New Year’s Eve there, but we’d all declined. Emmett and Rose had to get back to UW, and Alice and I… Well, we just wanted out of Washington.
Every item we’d wanted, we’d taken pictures of, which we sent to Marcus. Personal items – like clothes, music, and our own books – were packed up without question. It was the items in my mother’s office and the box in the attic that we were waiting on the okay to take. We’d boxed them up, just in case he said yes. However, I honestly expected my father to say no just to be an ass.
Sunday, October 18, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 22 & Pics

Chapter 22
BELLA
I sat near the fireplace that Edward had been so very sweet to build up to a roaring flame. The snow, while really pretty, was just too damned cold, and I smiled at the memory of Edward’s teasing me with a picture of it not even three days ago. He’d said my thin Floridian blood would not be able to hold up. My handsome, silly thing was right. Whether it was from the nasty events at the police station or from the extremely cold temperature outside, I was shivering once we followed everyone back to the Cullen home.
And I mean…everyone.
Edward’s house was full. Most of them were sitting at the dining table, the conversation ranging from what had happened over the course of the last few weeks, to Dr. Cullen’s despicable behavior, to my mother’s awesome fried chicken.
My dad was in deep conversation with Pastor Liam, who seemed to be a kind, patient man. He was a handsome older gentleman, and he spoke of Edward’s mother with nothing but respect and love. Edward’s brother, Emmett, commanded the head of the table. He was loud, like Edward had teased, but he seemed to be a great big lovable guy, and his fiancĂ©e was stunning.
Rose had to be the prettiest girl I’d ever set eyes on, and to look at her, I’d expected snobby or stuck-up, but she was neither. She was kind and strong and treated Edward and Alice really sweet. Her father, on the other hand, was soft-spoken and extremely smart, if not a bit intense. Marcus Hale was at the opposite end of the dining table as Emmett – laptop open, cell phone to his ear, and a fierce look on his face. He was here for one reason – to financially destroy Carlisle Cullen.
And I hoped to God he succeeded.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 21 & Pics

Chapter 21
EDWARD
I slowly woke up in a cocoon of covers and legs and skin, surrounded by Bella’s scent. We’d crawled into my bed the night before, completely and utterly exhausted. With all that I’d been through and her long flight, all we could manage was to curl ourselves around each other and a few very long, very deep kisses. Hell, I wasn’t sure which one of us passed out first.
The gray, early morning light lit up my room, but it was the sight next to me, the perfect body alongside mine, that I couldn’t take my eyes off of. Bella was just beautiful. She always was to me – whether she was dressed for school or hanging out at home, it didn’t matter…not to me. But watching her slowly wake up, feeling her hands and arms against my bare chest and her legs entwined with mine, was the best thing ever, especially in my old bed. Having her here seemed to chase away the darkness that hung over this house.
Sleepy-sweet brown opened up to gaze at me.
My fingers trailed up and down her spine beneath her shirt – up between her shoulder blades and down along the edge of her pajama bottoms. I needed to touch her. Hell, if I was being honest with myself, I wanted everything all at once, but today, it wasn’t going to happen. The trip to the police station was weighing heavily on me.
Sunday, October 11, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 20 & Pics

Chapter 20
BELLA
Love, the boy a few tables away
I closed Edward’s journal for a moment, gazing unseeingly out of the plane’s window. Seattle was coming into view, and I’d already put my seat belt back on and my tray up. I glared out into the night, my hatred and anger building into something ugly. My whole body shook with the force of it.
Opening Edward’s journal back up, I lost myself in his words again. Since he’d left for Washington, I’d reread his entries a thousand times. They were beautiful and sweet, they were filled with love and adorable adoration for me, and they were Edward’s pure, undiluted thoughts written down in black and white.
And they were all to me.
I loved the first one, his sweet initial crush on me, his curiosity over all I’d read inside our library. I loved the tentative decision to tell me about his past, his mother, his fears. My heart swelled with the one he’d left for me declaring his beautiful love for me before getting on the plane. But there were a few in between that were just…Edward.
Thursday, October 8, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 19 & Pics

Chapter 19
BELLA
“Pretty girl, hang on,” Edward said softly over the line, and I frowned at the change in his tone.
We’d just been joking, laughing, and we were trying to decide on a new book to read. Suddenly, he was serious, and if I’d had to guess…tentative, maybe even scared.
“Okay,” I muttered back, but I didn’t think he heard me, because another voice came over the line. And I grimaced at the sound of Edward’s father’s voice. Jesus, could he sound more hateful and disgusting?
When I heard the words “weak loser,” I left my room quickly, practically skidding down the stairs to the living room, where my dad and Jasper were watching TV. They both looked up at me as I shut off the flat screen and put a finger to my lips for them to be quiet. Someone needed to witness this shit, because the language and the tone were so very foul. But more than that, if something happened to Edward, I needed my dad.
I put my phone on speaker just as Edward’s dad said, “God, you’re so much like your fucking mother. Emotionless and cold. Nothing ever gets to you. Not even when you let her die.”
I gasped, looking to my dad in shock and hurt, and Jasper moved to cover my mouth, touching the screen at the same time to mute our end of the line. Tears ran unchecked down my face with every foul word from Carlisle and every brave deflection from Edward. My sweet boyfriend was trying so fucking hard to maintain his temper. And he was doing a hell of a lot better than I would have.
“Daddy?” I pleaded with him, not knowing what for, but something needed to be done. I’d never felt so helpless and angry in all my life.
“Jesus,” Jasper whispered, narrowing his eyes as he shook his head slowly. “I think Ed’s reached his limit. Uncle Charlie, we need to—”
“Yeah,” Dad interrupted him. “Go get your mother and aunt.”
Saturday, October 3, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 18 & Pics

Chapter 18
EDWARD
“Favorite Christmas movie?” I asked Bella over the phone as I flipped through the channels on the TV in my room.
The bank statement was still in my pocket, but Dad had left not long after Alice and I had gotten off the phone with Emmett in the car to come on inside. He was working overnight, which meant he’d be back in the morning, sleep through the day, and go in again on Christmas Eve. It was that latter part that made me happy. That he’d be gone for Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. Gifts were not an important part of the Cullen household. They hadn’t been since Alice had turned eleven and figured out that Santa was just a great big ruse. After that, no one bothered with any of it.
“Um, A Christmas Story,” she answered. “You?”
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” I said, grinning when she laughed.
“Okay, then.”
“What’d you expect? A Christmas Carol? Dickens and Scrooge?”