This might be chapter seven but this is STILL my first attempt at writing fan fiction, so go on easy on me, okay? At least use a little verbal lube before you tear into me.
For the newbies this is the seventh chapter. If you want to start reading this story, go here.
15 Step is going to be posted chapter by chapter. I don't intend on it being too long but... we'll see. This story is Bella's POV. Everyone is a human. I did attempt to keep a decent amount of the original stories in this tale.
Disclaimers - The characters, naturally, are Stephenie Meyer's and I've just warped 'em a little to suit our, er, "needs." The titles of the chapters and anything in italics do not belong to me, either. The titles are actually song titles and the italicized bits are pieces of lyrics that I've pulled from songs.
And, this goes without saying, these stories are intended for mature, adult readers. Well, adult, at least. Eighteen and over only.
And thank you everyone for being so patient (and for the friendly reminds suggesting that not ALL of you are that patient).
CHAPTER SEVEN - NO ONE'S GONNA LOVE YOU
“Are you going to tell me what your fucking problem is?” Edward glanced at me as he pulled the Volvo into a driveway that belonged to the biggest house I had ever seen. The Cullen residence. It was square and modern, sharp and elegant all at once. And very, very intimidating. If my mood hadn’t been so foul I probably would have been impressed.
“No,” I mumbled for the umpteenth time. “Is there anyone home?” I jerked my head toward the house and made a feeble attempt to pull the knots out of my hair.
“Probably just Emmett. Carlisle is at the hospital and… I’m not sure where my mother is.” Edward pushed open his door and stepped out, ducking back into the car when he realized I was still rooted to my seat. He ran a hand through his tousled bronze hair, obviously exasperated. “Are you coming or not?”
“Yeah, I’m coming.” Slowly I emerged from the warmth of the Volvo and squinted up at the house as the cool mist of rain coated my face, the tiny droplets feeling heavy against my lashes. Out of the corner of my eye I saw Edward studying me, jade eyes sharp.
“What?” I asked, a little sourly.
“Nothing.” Edward shoved his hands into his jeans pocket and I thought I saw the corner of his mouth curve crookedly into a smile before he turned away from me and headed toward the house.
Emmett was indeed home when we entered the house, his booming laughter echoing throughout large open rooms. Another voice, droll and feminine, answered his laughter but was too quiet for us to make out what she said.
“Oh, and Rosalie, too,” Edward told me with narrowed eyes. “Those two are fucking joined at the hip.”
I sighed. “Great.”
Edward led me past a state-of-the-art looking kitchen and down a small staircase, Emmett’s voice growing louder with each step. My dread was swelling as well, and I suddenly wished that I had just told Edward to take me home.
Home. Oh, shit.
“Um,” I coughed softly to cover up my nervousness. “You know what, I probably should call Charlie and let him know I’m okay, since I just took off and all.”
“Took off?” Edward frowned at me. “What do you mean?”
I kept my eyes averted as I fumbled around for my cell phone, fishing it out of one of the many pockets on my jacket. “Long story.”
“What the fuck happened, Bella?” I could tell by the tone of his voice he wasn’t going to drop this. He edged closer, cornering me, and I took a step back, bumping into the wall behind me. He plucked a lock of hair and tugged on it gently, insistently.
“We were at the diner and we got in a fight and I got mad so I left,” I explained rapidly, shrugging my shoulders like it was no big deal.
“So, you were running away when I picked you up?” Edward was mad for some reason, his words seething, lips pulled tight in a disapproving line.
“Not exactly,” I replied. “I was just trying to clear my head.”
“Go call you father,” Edward sighed and shook his head. “Before he arrests me for kidnapping or something.”
“He’s not my Dad,” I reminded him sternly.
“Whatever.” Edward turned and disappeared into the next room and I retreated down the hall to make my phone call.
Don’t be home, don’t be home, don’t be home, I chanted silently to myself. My breath left in a whoosh of relief when the answering machine finally picked up.
“Hi Charlie,” I said breathlessly into the phone. “It’s Bella. I’m okay, I’m sorry about what I did and I know you’re probably going to kill me so I’m just going to give you some time to calm down and I’ll be home in, like, an hour, okay?” I paused and took a deep breath, biting my lip, “And Charlie… I’m really sorry.”
I flipped the phone shut with shaking hands, filled my tight chest with as much oxygen as possible and followed Emmett’s voice into the living room.
Rosalie’s ice-blue eyes swept over my damp and dark figure, her lip curling slightly, the roll of her eye almost imperceptible.
“How suitable,” she said to Edward. “You two are made for each other.”
“Shut your mouth, Rose,” Edward snapped. My steps faltered at the hard tone of Edward’s voice, the warning in it unmistakable, even though I had no idea what exactly that warning was.
“Bella, since I’m sure you’ve never been formally introduced - this is my brother Emmett and Rosalie.” Edward motioned for me to sit next to him on a plush looking couch. I fell into the cushions, my small frame nearly swallowed by their softness and Edward gave a chuckle, but it was laced with tension. His fingers tickled along my knee closest to him and finally came to rest on my thigh. The heat from his hand burned through my jeans and I felt a little uncomfortable at the public display.
There was a video game console on the table and we sat in silence for awhile, absently watching Rose and Emmett battle each other on a wide screen TV.
“What did Charlie say?” Edward leaned over and whispered in my ear. His breath sent shivers down my spine and stray hairs brushed my cheek before settling down again.
“I left a message,” I replied, just as quietly. Rosalie watched as from the corner of her eye, her lip pulled in between her teeth as she mashed at the controller, torn between eavesdropping and beating Emmett at the video game. I captured her gaze with my cold one and her eyes hardened. Emmett suddenly threw his arms up in a triumphant yell. Rosalie tossed her controller on the couch and turned on toward Emmett.
“Rematch,” she hissed acidly, leaning over to pause the game. I glanced at the cartoon characters on the screen, frozen in their ridiculous fighting poses, and the game finally registered in my brain.
“Soul Calibur?” I asked as I leaned closer toward Edward. “Nice choice.”
Edward arched his brows at me. “You didn’t strike me as the gaming type.”
I shrugged. “Well, I really only like the fighting games.”
Rosalie snorted indelicately and Edward threw her another warning glance, his square jaw clenched. Rosalie only glowered back and irritation rippled through me. The silent glaring match played out for a few more seconds before I decided to interrupt.
“Is there something I should know about?” I looked at Edward expectantly and Rose made another choking sound in her throat.
“No. Rosalie is just being a bitch,” Edward practically growled the word, his gaze dark and furious, focused on the stunning blonde sitting across from him. “Emmett, control your girlfriend.”
Emmett sighed and nudged Rosalie, who turned her vicious glance on him. “C’mon, Rose knock it off. And Edward,” he added, his normally cheerful expression sliding from his face. “Don’t call my girlfriend a bitch.”
I watched the whole scenario slightly disinterested, still too focused on the diner incident. Something in my gut told me to pay attention, as if whatever warning Edward was silently conveying to Rosalie could pertain to me but my fight with Charlie left me shallow and brittle.
“I probably should go,” I said suddenly. Rosalie smirked at me, pleased that I was leaving. Standing abruptly, I glanced down at Edward’s bronze hair and he slowly looked up to meet my gaze.
“Will you take me home?” I asked.
“Let’s go.” Edward threw one last angry glance at Rose, grabbed me roughly by the wrist and practically dragged me from the room.
“What the fuck was that about?” I asked once we settled inside the Volvo. Edward gunned the engine and it roared angrily as he peeled out of the driveway and onto the wet, slick roads.
“It’s nothing,” Edward replied grimly, eyes trained on the road. I could feel the anger rolling from him in violent waves.
“I dunno, it sure seemed like something.”
“You looked like you were going to slap the shit out of Rosalie,” I told him with a sharp laugh. “I mean, not that I would have minded or anything but…”
His jaw pulsed and his fingers gripped the steering wheel tightly. “I suggest you let it go, Bella.”
“Why are you so pissed off?” I crossed my arms petulantly, annoyed that Edward wouldn’t tell me what was going on.
“I’m not pissed.”
“Yes, you are,” I insisted.
“Bella, just shut the fuck up!” Edward exploded, turning to face me, his green eyes glittering in anger.
I reeled as my brain absorbed not only his words but the hateful tone of his voice. I tried to tell myself that he was just misdirecting anger from Rosalie to me, but it didn’t help; my fuse was still smoldering from my argument with Charlie and at Edward’s words it reignited.
“Oh, don’t give me shit, Edward,” I snapped back. “I’ve had a fucked day and I’m not in the mood to hear it from you.”
“Just shut your fucking mouth,“ Edward hissed, his eyes slanting angrily in my direction. “I told you to fucking drop the subject but you have to keep pushing and it’s starting to annoy the fuck out of me.”
I was speechless. The temptation to punch Edward right in his perfect nose was overwhelming but I wasn’t so sure it would be worth the consequences. As the anger rolled from Edward in waves, I realized that maybe, just maybe, hitting him would be a really bad idea.
“Pull the car over.” I reached for the door handle and heard the electronic lock snick shut.
Edward laughed bitterly. “I’m not letting you of this car.”
“Pull over!” I demanded, pulling at the handle. “You’re being an asshole!”
“If you keep yanking at that thing you’re going to break it and I’m going to be really, really pissed and trust me, you don’t want that. It’s called a child proof lock which, given your behavior right now, seems very suitable.”
“Fuck you.” It was such a lame comeback but I was fresh out of witticisms. My head pounded, my blood felt thick in my veins and every part of my body ached. I wished the seat would just swallow me whole as I scowled down at my hands, which were curled tightly in my lap.
The car slowed and I looked up, surprised we had reached Charlie’s house so quickly.
Edward glared at me and released the lock. “Get out.”
A bubble of panic grew inside of me. “Listen,” I said suddenly. “I’m sorry, okay? I just had a really bad day and -“
Edward leaned over me and I thought he was going to kiss me, tell me everything was okay and that he wasn’t mad. Instead, he flung open the passenger door. But someone/ they should have warned you/ when thing start splitting at the seams and now/ the whole thing's tumbling down...
“I mean it, Bella,” he told me in a flat cold voice. “Get out.”
I laughed blackly, heart thudding. “Just like that, huh?”
“Yeah. Just like that.”
I swallowed my hurt and quickly unbuckled my seat belt. “See around town, then. Asshole.” With all the force I could muster I slammed the door. I caught a glimpse of Edward’s face twisting angrily as I turned on my heel and stalked inside.
Charlie was waiting to pounce when I opened the door and I couldn’t have cared less.
“What is your problem?” he shrieked, so furious he was practically shaking. “If you EVER pull a stunt like that again, so help me Bella, I’ll ground you for life.”
“Oooh,” I shot back insolently. “I’m so scared now.”
“What has gotten into you?”Charlie launched into his rant, building an angry momentum. “Do you have any idea how embarrassing that was? Do you know what people are going to think?”
“I don’t care what people-“
“I DO!” he thundered. “What are they going to say if the police chief can’t even control his own child?”
“I’m NOT your child!” I yelled back. “And you’re not my father!”
“I am the closest thing you have to a family, Bella.” Charlie glared at me. “In fact, right now, I am your family. You’ve thrown everything I’ve done for you in my face. You’ve spit on every act of kindness. You’re an ungrateful, selfish little brat, do you know that?”
“Oh fuck you,” I snarled. A small part of me was recoiling in horror, screaming at me to stop what I was doing but the sound was drowned out by the violent waves crashing inside me.
Charlie moved suddenly and for a moment I thought he was going to smack me. Some part of me wished he would. Instead, he pointed at the stairs.
“Go to your room,” he told me in a terrifyingly calm voice. “I can’t look at you anymore. I’m disgusted with you.”
I didn’t need to be told twice.
Door slamming was becoming a specialty of mine and the house shook as I flung my bedroom shut. I found my iPod and flounced on my bed, curling up into myself.
I don’t know how long I was in that position when I heard Charlie leave. I refused to move, even as my muscles ached and begged at me to. I remained still, focusing on each cramped limb as song after song trailed by in my head. And this is where it began/shot through a shatter lens/ and there is virtue in loneliness /in vacant lots and florescent malls/in one room coffins and crowded halls… The pain was satisfying.
I could not allow myself to think. Not about Charlie and certainly not about Edward. Because if I did, my world would surely come crashing spectacularly around me and I wasn’t sure I could handle another explosion like that.
I kept my static position, rooted to my bed until my bladder threatened to burst. Slowly I uncurled my legs, the muscles screaming in a mixture of relief and reproof at the motion. My back burned as I pushed myself to my feet and trudged to the bathroom.
Charlie had still not returned when I crept downstairs for a glass of water. Two slightly crushed cans of Rainier lingered on the countertop and gave me an idea.
Charlie kept a constant supply of beer in the house. There were always at least six cans cooling in the refrigerator and a couple of cases in the basement. Cautiously, I headed to the basement, straining for any sound of Charlie’s arrival. I grabbed two cans of Rainier and swiftly headed back to the kitchen, where I swapped them for two cold ones. Contraband safely hidden under the bulk of my sweatshirt, just in case Charlie burst through the front door, I made my way back to my room.
The top popped open with a satisfying hiss and I licked at the bubbling froth delicately. It was watery, a little bit bitter but somehow bland at the same time. Beer did not warm the throat and belly like the whiskey Edward and I shared but it would do the trick. Tipping my head back, I guzzled the entire can until it dribbled from mouth and down my chin.
My head swam from the alcohol and the effort and I laid back against the headboard, gasping a little. Lazily, the beer began to warm my insides. I smiled, nestling further into the pillows and opened the other can.
“Fuck you, world. And fuck you, Renee and Charlie. Oh And you too, Edward.” I held up the can in a salute before chugging it down. Turning up the volume on my iPod, I let myself sink into an intoxicated, peaceful emptiness. What a beautiful dream/that could flash on the screen/ ion a blink of an eye and be gone from me….
The tranquility of my alcohol induced sleep did not last long and my dreams that night were no more comforting than the day had been. In fact, they were even worse. Faceless creatures crept around me as I lay, frozen in my bed, their dark, ethereal forms transmogrifying from lizard-like to human. They slithered along the ceiling and walls as I helplessly looked on, getting closer and closer, hisses exploding menacingly from their snouts and I knew, somehow, that those angry, irate beasts were there to suck my breath out, to take away my life. I thrashed futilely, hoping to suck in one last breath to scream.
Then they were gone and I found myself standing alone on the side of the road. Edward’s Volvo was idling nearby and I hurried over to it, still shaking from the previous dream. My mother’s face greeted me from the passenger seat, mutated by the fog and moisture of the window and she waved, grinning happily, as they tore off down the road, leaving me standing there as a great rainfall began. Suddenly, the earth opened up beneath my feet and I tumbled into the blackness, my hands flying out, scrabbling to stop myself from falling but catching only nothingness.
I awoke with a startled yelp nestled between my lips, my hair tangling across my face, covering my eyes. Trembling, I swatted a lock of hair away and stood up, slowly. A faint light was moving slowly over the horizon, its potential beauty deadened by a persistent fog hanging in the early morning air. A chill wavered by the window as I peered out of it, swallowing thickly, my mind benumbed.
I don’t know how long I stood like that, shivering in an old t-shirt and sweats, when I realized Charlie was moving around outside my bedroom. It was Friday, my last day of suspension and Charlie was getting ready for work. I didn’t hear him come in last night and I wondered how much sleep he’d gotten, feeling a little guilty, as if I might have been the reason for his absence the night before.
His police issue shoes squeaked on the pocked hardwood floor near my door and I braced myself for a knock at my door. Instead, Charlie’s footsteps faded down the stairs, where he shuffled around for a bit before finally leaving. I stayed by the icy window until I heard the roar of his cruiser fading away into the distance.
Yawning, I headed to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee, hoping it would negate the fuzzy headache that was pulsing at my temples. Hot brew in hand, I slumped onto a kitchen chair and sipped it, wondering vaguely how I would ever atone for the harsh words I’d said to Charlie.
In the bleakness of early morning our fight seemed like a looming obstacle that I would not be able to overcome and part of me wanted to just say fuck it and act like it never happened. But even if he would let me off the hook that easily, which I doubted, I couldn’t do that to Charlie.
Everything he’d said was right. I had thrown all his kindness back at him; getting in trouble at school, sneaking out and, most importantly, pitching a fit that would put any two year old to shame. I was a selfish brat and I wanted to make it up to him but I wasn’t sure how. My mind reeled at the mess I had made.
By the time I finished my cup of coffee, I knew what I would do. I would clean the house and prepare a nice dinner for Charlie, my silent way of apologizing. I only hoped he would accept it.
Once the decision was made, I threw myself into my tasks with a diligent gusto. I wasn’t sure the last time Charlie had given the house a thorough cleaning, but it had certainly been awhile. A light sheen of dust clung softly to the flat screen and covered his various knick knacks, most of which were hokey and country-ish. I kept my eyes averted when I got to the shelf where he kept his pictures, in case there was one of my mother nestled somewhere between the numerous photos of Charlie holding up fish, his face triumphant.
Despite my best efforts, my gaze was drawn to a particular photograph. It was of Charlie and his friend from the Quileute reservation, Billy Black. Billy’s son was with them as well, his darkly tanned face sliced by a wide, friendly grin. It wasn’t Jacob that caught my attention, though.
It was Charlie’s eyes. Billy’s black eyes glittered and danced in the photo and Jacob’s seemed full of light. Charlie’s smile cracked through the black of his mustache but it didn’t reach his eyes, which were tinged with a murky depth of sadness that was always present, though I only just realized it now.
Poor Charlie. I wondered if he still pined for my mother, spending all these years living alone in his little house, going through the motions of life. Was he content with his lonesome existence?
I shook my head and dismissed the thought as I ran the duster brusquely across the photo’s surface, and wished I could wipe more than just the dust from Charlie’s face.
The house reeked of lemon and Pine Sol by the time I had finished my tasks. Quickly, I showered, suddenly feeling the urge to flee the house that no longer seemed familiar without its usual scent lingering in the air.
Clouds pregnant with the possibility of the rain hung over head as I climbed into my truck; the air inside was cold and clammy, my fingers sticky as they damply curved around the steering wheel. I glanced at the clock and realized it was only one o’clock, which would explain why the road was nearly vacant of other cars as I guided the truck onto the highway and headed for the meadow.
It seemed silly to want to go there, now that Edward and I were in limbo. Or maybe even over.
Over before we’d ever even really started. Great.
I flipped on my iPod before errant thoughts of Edward could fill my mind and focused on driving instead. You were right about the end/ it didn’t make a difference/ everything I can remember/ I remember wrong…
I found the trailhead easily enough and I grabbed the knapsack I had packed before I left the house from the passenger seat and slammed the door.
The silence was the first thing I became aware of as I headed deeper into the dense lush forest. Moss crawled along the trunks of Red Cedars and covered Hemlocks and Spruces, nearly obscuring the bark with a lush bright green-ish yellow, sometimes fading into an almost sickly red-orange. A moist fog hung in the air as I picked my way along the path, between the tall, stern trees as Deer and Maidenhair ferns reached out their soft, featherlike tendrils and brushed against my jeans, leaving thin wispy trails of moisture in their wake.
I continued to hike for about ten minutes; the forest had thinned out a little, abandoning the viridian and moss as the foliage thinned out, revealing dirt and craggy rocks, a signal that I was heading above tree-line, where the air was thinner and only the most robust of plant life would survive. I paused briefly to pull a water bottle from my sack, drinking swiftly, before I began my ascent.
It had been dark when Edward took me to the meadow and I wasn’t sure how high we had climbed but the hike seemed much further without him. I was just starting to think I missed it when suddenly the path opened beyond some wiry bushes and I stumbled through.
If it had been breathtaking under to the cover of inky darkness and silver moonlight, the meadow was beyond that now. The trees below, with their glorious emerald boughs swaying gently, rose up from an endless depth and spread out below me as far as I could see, swathing the mountains that jutted out of the earth around me. I looked beyond them to a tall peak, it’s tip absent of color, sharply grey and rocky.
My eyes shifted downward again to the small lake below, a beautiful shimmering blue-gray, icy and undulating. Wind rippled its surface as I blindly pulled at my pack, too taken by the visions before me to avert my eyes to the task at hand.
I pulled an old army blanket I found in the linen closet from the pack. It was scratchy and stiff; I spread the blanket on the relatively flat surface and tried not to think that this is where Edward had taken off my sweater that night. I sat down, pulling my legs Indian style and stared in awe all around me for a minute before I put my headphones on.
It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen and it washed over me. I had never felt so calm or relaxed.
Or so insignificant and lonely.
All the thoughts I’d been trying to keep at bay crashed through suddenly and violently, drowning out the music in my headphones and I shrank against their assault. My chest cracked, broke open and I bit my lip hard to keep the sobs from erupting. Instead, tears pooled in my eyes and overflowed, trembling down my cheeks and disappearing onto the blanket below me. I sat stiff and unmoving as I tried to let go of everything and everyone. I remained motionless up on that mountain long after my tears had stopped and the emptiness crept in and I knew what I had to do. They say love ain’t nothing but a sore/ I don’t even know what love is/ too many tears have had to fall/ don’t you know I’m so tired of it all…
I wanted to be alone. Being alone meant no one could hurt you, betray you or lie to you. It meant that my heart could stay intact, inside of me, and as long as I didn’t share it with anyone, then it could no longer get broken. That had been my plan all along.
Until Edward came along and ruined it.
With a sigh, I stared down at the forest beneath me. Then I gathered up the blanket and stuffed it back in my pack. The hike back to my truck was easy and fast, once my decision was made. I felt light in my new emptiness. It seemed so easy to be numb. I had forgotten what it was like.
I was home long before Charlie got off of work and if he noticed anything different about me he said nothing. The steak I had prepared for him was ready the moment he walked through the door and he eyed me cautiously, still obviously unwilling to forgive me. I didn’t even bother to sit with him but pretended to still be cooking my own dinner. I’m sure he knew it was a ploy but he didn’t stop me. He didn’t want to sit with me, either. I didn’t blame him.
Charlie was snoring on the couch as I cleaned up the dishes from dinner. He was cordial but cold to me and I expected it, but it still left me a little breathless. I would make amends with Charlie, somehow.
I quietly shut the door to my room and sat down on the rickety chair, staring blankly at my computer. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a red light blinking on my cell phone and my heart froze. Slowly, I picked it up, my brain registering Edward’s missed call.
Let me know when it’s all gone/ can just put the headphones on/ you disappeared/you were never there/ just say so long/ and take care…
I turned the phone off and went to take a shower. I didn’t turn it on for the rest of the weekend.
The sun shone brightly Monday morning, mocking me in my bitterness as I drove glumly toward Forks High. People stared as I navigated the behemoth truck through the parking lot and it was clear that the fight and my suspension had obviously been a hot topic. I caught a glimpse of Lauren’s silver blond hair in the sunlight and knew she was watching me as I hopped out of my truck and strode purposefully into the school. I had to pass her crew and I heard her whisper something as I walked by, followed by snickers. I sucked in my irritation and turned up my iPod, ignoring everyone around me.
It felt like my first day all over again. Possibly worse.
I hurried towards homeroom and dimly heard someone calling my name. I turned around to find Edward bearing down on me, his eyes narrowed and angry. I hurried away from him but he caught up to me easily.
“You turned your phone off,” he accused me, reaching over to pull an earbud from my ear. I flinched back, out of his grasp and his hand froze in midair.
“Yeah,” I mumbled.
“I wanted to talk to you,” Edward said softly. “I tried calling. I left messages.”
“I know,” I sighed. I had seen five voicemails this morning but felt too tired to listen to them. I wasn’t sure if he called to apologize or yell at me and I couldn’t muster the energy to brace myself for either possibility so I took the cowardly route and simply didn’t listen to them. The constant blinking reminder on my cell phone was a technological Chinese water torture. “Look, I have to get to class.”
“Bella.” Edward planted himself in front of me. “We need to talk.”
I didn’t want to look at him, I knew if I saw his beautiful green eyes I would cave in so I kept my gaze trained on the scuffed linoleum under my sneakers. “There is nothing to say.”
Edward growled. “Don’t be like this – “
“Be like what?” I challenged. “I’m supposed to be okay with you kicking me out of your car? You were –“
Edward pushed me against my locker, surprising me and I looked up into his eyes, full of frustration.
“Will you fucking listen to me?” he hissed into my ear. I shivered despite myself and my resolved faltered. “I’m trying to apologize.”
I took a deep breath and tried to shove him away from me but he only pinned me closer, putting his hands against the locker on either side of my head. I didn’t want to look at him and my eyes scurried around, trying to focus on the scenery behind his head. I settled on a poster for cheerleader tryouts. “There is no need to apologize. I get it.”
“What? Get what?”
“I have to go to class.” I ignored his question and tried to slide out from under him. Suddenly, there was a thunderous crack next to my head, the sound of fist meeting metal and I turned, staring at the dent Edward had made in the locker next to me before I slowly looked back to him, the shock in my eyes echoing the expression in his.
He stepped aside and I fled, pushing past the throngs of curious onlookers as I ran to my first period class.
Edward didn’t try to talk to me in Biology and I pretended not to notice his bandaged hand. I longed to ask him if he was okay but I kept my mouth firmly shut. I could feel his eyes on me; it made it nearly impossible to listen to Mr. Banner’s lecture and I was relieved that he didn’t call on me to answer any questions. The second the bell rang, and before my resolve had a chance to slip any further, I stuffed my earplugs back in and raced toward my truck.
Edward beat me to it. He was leaning against the rusted flank as I approached, warily. His arms were crossed resolutely across his chest and his head snapped up when he heard me getting near, green eyes dark and hard. As he met my gaze, something in my expression softened his and he almost looked sad.
“I want to talk, Bella,” he said. I shrugged.
“Fine.” I unlocked the truck door and stepped aside so Edward could climb into the cab.
“I don’t know what happened on Thursday,” he started, his voice rough and husky. “But I’m sorry. I was an asshole.”
“Yeah,” I agreed softly, studying the tassel on my sweatshirt intently. “You kinda were. But, I guess I was being a fucking jerk, too.”
“Bella, I like you. I missed you this weekend. I don’t want to fight.” Edward leaned over and pulled my hand into his, forcing me to stop fidgeting with my clothing. I peeked up at him.
“I don’t know what to say,” I whispered. The knowledge frightened me just a little. Part of me wanted to scream at him, tell him to fuck off and go away. Another part of me wanted to crawl into his lap just so I could feel the delicious heat from his body and smell his sexy scent.
“You don’t have to say anything,” he offered. “Just kiss me.”
I had spent almost seventy two hours convincing myself that I didn’t need anyone, especially Edward, in my life.
Three fucking days and it was all about to come undone as his fingers stroked my chin, guiding my lips to his. In the mere seconds that passed before his lips reached mine, all of the resolve I’d vowed to maintain evaporated into thin air.
“It’s too bad you just got back to school,” Edward murmured as his lips ghosted across my cheek.
“Why is that?” I asked, a little confused.
“Because I would totally cut class and take you home with me.” He nibbled my earlobe and I shivered. “But I’m pretty sure they’d kick you out of school if you got into any more trouble. And you’ll be in enough trouble once I get you alone in my bedroom. I can’t wait to play with you again.”
His words ignited something deep in my belly and I growled softly, narrowing my eyes.
“Edward,” I mumbled into his hair. “I’m going to kill you for this. I can’t believe you suggested that. You are such a fucking tease.”
Edward laughed and pulled me tightly into his arms. “I’ll make it up to you. Promise.”
Title - No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
No One's Gonna Love You - Band of Horses
Relative Ways - And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea - Neutral Milk Hotel
Daughter of the SoHo Riots - The National
If Ever I feel Better - Phoenix
Headphones - Illinois
And thank you VitaminR aka my West Coast Research Guru - Muhwa!!
Okay folks, there you have it! Please leave your comments/criticisms/hate mail, whatever.
I promise, promise, PROMISE that I will answer any questions you may have.