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Sunset of Hearts

Summary:
As the sun sets, it is the ending of a life. Sure, lives end every day, and new ones begin. But on this twilight, the sun was setting on the most important life in my world. But, it was also dawning on a new life as well. The only catch was, those two lives were both the same. What if Bella had come to Forks, and Edward and his family were human? What if they were like every other family? But, what if they were unfortunately pulled into a dark situation, that was to transform them into the thing of their nightmares, and inconsequentially, something darker than they had ever dreamed of? And what if Bella was the one to keep Edward going through all of this? Basically, what if Edward and his family were human in Forks? (Were being the key word.)


Notes:
Okay, I know that, if you read my previously completed story, Daylight, I promised an entirely different story. But, I felt a different inspiration to write this one. So, here it is.


13. Chapter 12: Exchanging Body Heat in the Passenger Seat

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 2780   Review this Chapter

BELLA

Through the silence, there came a soft tap at the front door, sending me jumping up and flying across the room to answer it. Excitement bubbled up inside me, even though I knew for sure who it was. But maybe that was why I was excited…

When I threw open the door, he said nothing, but greeted me with one of his warm, breathtaking smiles. A grin of my own spread across my face, and I turned red as he took my hand in his.

“Are you ready?” He asked, still smiling.

“Let’s go!” I exclaimed, more excited than necessary.

“Okay then,” he replied, mocking.

“Bye dad!” I called over my shoulder as I grabbed the doorknob and started to close the door behind me.

“Wait a sec,” my father called warily from the living room. Crap. This was just the thing I’d wanted to avoid. “Get back in here. I want to meet the famous Edwin.”

“DAD! His name is Edward. E-d-w-a-r-d,” I annunciated every letter so that it might sink in. I gave Edward an exasperated look, and he appeared to be fighting laughter.

“Right, sorry,” he apologized. I took Edward’s hand, and he followed me through my embarrassingly shabby home to where the miniscule living room was. Charlie was seated in the recliner that faced the TV, and I saw him press the mute button, cutting off the sounds of the basketball game.

“Ah, so this is Edward.” I breathed a sigh of relief that he’d gotten the name right. “Have a seat, both of you.” Edward and I sat awkwardly beside each other on the faded couch. “So where is it you’re taking my daughter?”

“Dad,” I whined, embarrassed by the game of twenty questions he was playing with Edward.

“To first beach, in La Push,” he replied clearly, with a hint of bravery in his voice.

“Oh, we’ve been there millions of times! Haven’t we, Bells?” I nodded, the red in my cheeks not fading, but deepening.

“Bella never told me that…” Edward mumbled, glancing at me.

“But I love going to the beach. Don’t I, dad?” It was my turn now.

“Yes, you always used to love the tide pools. And you always were falling into them…” he trailed off, triumphant. He was a fighter.

“And I distinctly remember you falling in once yourself, dad,” I grinned, smug. Edward laughed beside me, hysteric. Charlie and I eyed him strangely.

“You two are so funny!” He exclaimed after his laughter died down.

“Yes, I dare say my dad is a bit funny…looking.”

“Has Bella showed you her school pictures yet?” Charlie gestured to the mantle where all of my school pictures, beginning at Kindergarten and progressing to the present.

“No! No pictures!” I leapt up, pulling Edward away from the mantle. Charlie laughed from behind us, pleased that he’d won.

“You kids have fun,” he called before I could slam the door behind me. I pulled Edward along until we reached his car and he opened the passenger’s door in a gentlemanly fashion.

~

EDWARD

I laced my fingers through hers as we walked across the rocks to where my siblings sat around the green-blue driftwood fire. The sound of our approach was loud – the stones clattering against each other as we jostled them – and they had all turned to watch us long before we were close.

“Finally!” Alice sighed, pulling the red and white cooler in front of her. “Who wants a soda?”

She was followed by a chorus of anxious “Me!”’s, and she started passing the cans of soda around the circle. Bella and I sat on the bone white twisted wood beside Alice and Jasper.

Emmett passed a can to me, and I took it, pulling the tab. I wasn’t sure why I’d accepted a can of soda from Emmett of all people, but at any rate, I did, which proved to be a bad mistake.

Brown soda squirted from the mouth of the can, covering me in the sticky, syrupy liquid. I scowled. The whole circle erupted into bouts of hysterical laughter at my unfortunate misfortune. I growled under my breath.

“EMMETT!” I roared, lunging at him with my hands extended. He was up in a flash, bounding away clumsily across the rocks. I chased after him, furious and dripping wet. Eventually we gave up, returning to the circle. Alice handed me a moist towlette.

After everyone was finished laughing at me, I decided to make my move. “Anyone want to go up to the tide pools?”

“Sure,” Bella answered quickly, perking up at the thought.

“Edward, we’ve already been while we were waiting. You and Bella can go alone,” Alice said exasperatedly. Of course, I didn’t mind…

“Fine then. Come on, Bella.” I stood, and Bella followed as we made our way to the sandy part of the beach.

We reached the several tide pools, and Bella drifted over to the larger one of her own accord. She perched atop a large rock beside it and leaned over, peering down at the spectacle below her. I came to stand behind her.

In the tide pool, there was a star fish stuck to the bottom between the undulating seaweed. Several anemones were scattered around it, and a black and white striped eel swam around them and through the seaweed.

I looked back up at Bella, and she continued to stare down, amazed. One hand held her hair out of her eyes, and the other rested on her thigh, propping herself up. I couldn’t help but notice how her tight-fitting t-shirt happened to expose the pale skin at the small of her back – I was a seventeen year old boy after all…

I was broken out of my reverie as Bella yelped once, and flailed her arms desperately to regain her balance. Unsuccessfully, she tried to right herself, but instead came crashing down into the shallow pool. Water splashed everywhere, spraying me with salty water droplets.

I looked down at her soaking wet and sitting dripping wet in the water, defeated, not sure whether it was appropriate to laugh or not. She gazed up at me from her sopping wet hair with a look of true bewilderment, and I couldn’t help myself.

“Are you done?” She asked grumpily, glaring up at me. I grinned and extended my hand to help her up. She almost didn’t take it, but reconsidered and grabbed it angrily.

“Are you okay?” I asked, trying very hard not to laugh.

“Yeah, I’m fine. But I think that eel may have swum into my pants…” I laughed loudly, but she didn’t find it humorous in the least.

“Are you quite finished?” She replied patiently, glaring through narrowed eyes.

“Yes,” I chuckled once more, “I apologize.” She looked like she was contemplating whether or not she should accept my apology.

“Come on; let’s get back to the fire so you can dry off.”

“Sounds like a good idea,” she replied, shivering.

“Here,” I offered, “take my jacket.” I unzipped the dark hoodie and handed it to her. Gratefully, she slid her arms into the warm fleece. I put my arm around her to help keep her warm, and also to warm myself. It was a bit cold out by the water, and now I had no jacket. But I wasn’t upset with the fact that my arms were bare.

“Wait,” I chuckled, reaching down to the back of her thigh. She turned her head to look at what I was doing, and flushed. I pulled the pink starfish that had been stuck to her leg up for her to see.

“Do you want to put it back?” I asked politely, holding out the starfish in my palm. She hesitated, curious – not sure if she wanted to touch it or not. Slowly, she extended her hand and touched the top of the slimy star.

“Ew!” She cried, drawing her hand back sharply. The starfish shrank into my hand. Again she reached out, and before she could draw her hand back again, I flipped the starfish into her palm. She flinched for a moment, and then giggled.

“It’s so slimy!” I laughed at her amusement. She turned and leaned back over the tide pool – now half full, since the other half of the water seemed to have been absorbed into her clothes – and gently stuck the starfish to the side of the large rock she’d perched on before falling in. I took her hand and we walked back to where the others waited.

“What happened to you?” Alice asked as Bella sat on the driftwood.

“She fell in,” I answered with a chuckle. Bella flushed red. Alice didn’t seem surprised.

“We were just about to make hotdogs, if you guys want any,” Emmett said from my opposite side.

“That’s great, I’m starving!” Bella exclaimed, rubbing her stomach. I glanced over at her, for the first time noticing she was wearing a white shirt. My eyes stayed in an impolite place for them to be – only because I couldn’t help myself. It wasn’t my fault the hormones were kicking in at the wrong time.

“Oh, Bella,” Alice said, breaking my trance – apparently she’d noticed too – “You might want to zip up your jacket. Er, you don’t want to um…catch cold.” She added the last to cover herself up. I imagined Bella would be quite embarrassed to realize the white cotton of her shirt had become translucent, and everyone could see. Rosalie giggled. Confused, Bella obeyed.

Alice and Jasper began stabbing hotdogs with the skewers we’d gotten at the Newton’s Olympic Outfitters yesterday, and passing them around the circle. Bella and I held our skewers out over the fire and watched as the skin on the hotdogs started to blister and darken.

“My hotdog’s not going to be salty, is it? I mean, this is a driftwood fire, and the driftwood did come from the ocean,” Bella asked warily. Emmett seemed to find something funny about that, and I elbowed him in the ribs.

“No, they shouldn’t be,” he said between giggles, “unless that’s how you like them.” He roared with laughter.

“Emmett!” Rosalie scolded, slapping his shoulder.

“Sorry, I couldn’t help myself!” He replied defensively. Bella rolled her eyes.

“Alice, could you pass me a bun?” Bella asked politely, looking beside her. Alice took out a plastic bag and handed her a skinny hotdog roll.

“Need any ketchup?”

“Yes, please. And some relish if you have any.” Alice passed her the condiments. “Thanks.”

I watched as she squirted the ketchup onto the bun and placed the hotdog in, then applied a spoonful of pickle relish to the top. She handed Alice the condiments wordlessly. She was just about to take a bite of her hotdog before she looked over at me.

“Your wiener’s on fire,” she replied. Emmett started breaking out into uncontrollable fits of laughter beside me. Bella flushed crimson. “I mean, your hotdog’s on fire,” she corrected, embarrassed.

“What?”

“Your hotdog. It’s on fire.” I looked at the end of my skewer and, sure enough, the blackened hotdog was flaming. Quickly, I blew it out, staring dejectedly at the crusty black skin that covered it.

“Do you want another hotdog, Edward?” Alice asked, trying not to laugh.

“No, I like them burnt,” I said, covering up my mistake. “Pass me a bun and ketchup, please.” Bella raised her eyebrow.

I placed the hotdog in the bun, finding it miraculous that it didn’t crumble and turn to ash right there, and piled the ketchup on top, using more than necessary. Bella was still watching me suspiciously, and I took a large bite to assure her I was fine. I almost choked as the charred skin scratched the back of my throat. It tasted like eating a match. She shrugged and turned back to her hotdog.

There was a long time where the only two people talking were Rosalie and Emmett, muttering amongst themselves. I stared into the strange, blue-green flames to distract myself from my horrible tasting hotdog. Beside me, Bella took a sharp intake of breath, holding her hand up over her nose.

“ACHOO!” She sneezed into her palm.

“Bless you,” I said immediately. Alice handed her a disinfectant wipe. “Germophobe,” I muttered under my breath. “I hope you’re not catching a cold Bella.”

“Me too,” she agreed.

“Do you want another jacket? We brought extras,” Alice announced, digging around in a bag beside her. She pulled out a large jacket, handing it to Bella.

“Thanks,” she said,

sniffling.

~

BELLA

“We’d better go – it’s starting to rain,” Jasper said, looking up at the sky. Sure enough, I felt the raindrops hitting my almost dry hair.

Quickly, we packed everything up, putting out the fire and carrying everything up to Emmett’s humongous Jeep.

Alice, Jasper, Rosalie, and Emmett all fit into the Jeep, but they claimed there was no room for me and Edward. We drove alone in Edward’s Volvo.

Without the adolescent chatter to fill the silence, the car was eerily quiet as we drove down the rain-slicked highway. Edward stared straight ahead at the road and I looked out the side window, embarrassed by the awkward silence.

“Do you want to see something cool?” He asked abruptly, breaking the maddening quiet.

“Um…yes?” He laughed at my response as he pulled the car to the side of the road. I waited for what he was going to show me.

“Look out the window,” he said, gazing out the windshield. I followed his eyes, and caught my breath in amazement. We sat atop a cliff, and far below waves crashed against its rocky face. The view extended for miles and miles out to the horizon, interrupted only by the fog.

“It’s beautiful,” I breathed, taken aback. I heard the shift as Edward turned his body to face me. I glanced away from the scenery, reading the indecision that lingered in his eyes.

“What-” I started, but he cut me off. He suddenly leaned in, his face inches away from mine. I stayed frozen, unable to even flinch. His warm breath touched my cheeks, sending goose bumps down my spine.

He leaned in the rest of the way, pressing his lips to mine. My eyes closed, and I felt myself kissing him back, taken by surprise by the passion that overwhelmed me. My blood boiled under my skin, and my breathing accelerated, coming in short gasps.

I reached my hands up to twine my fingers into his bronze locks, pulling myself closer to him. I felt him do the same – twisting his long fingers into the hair at the nape of my neck, trying to be as close to me as possible.

Suddenly, my mind was no longer controlling my body. My lips moved in strange, unfamiliar ways, and my heart beat heavily in my chest. I pulled him closer, even though we were as close as possible in the cramped little car. Our bodies pressed together, and I shivered with pleasure at the feel of his muscular chest against me.

His hands removed themselves from my hair, and at first I thought he was going to pull back. But they moved down to the hem of my shirt, fingering the cotton – stiff from air drying. Then his hands were lifting my shirt up over my stomach, exposing my pale skin. I froze in horror.

I wasn’t ready for this. I’d only just met him a few months ago. I was only seventeen. Sure, lots of girls had given it up years ago, but I wasn’t ready. Not here. Not now. Not in his car. Not tonight. I wasn’t ready to give it up. I wasn’t ready. Only seventeen. Months.

Roughly, I pulled back, yanking his hands off my shirt. He flinched, but as I yanked my shirt back down, his face became ashamed. I threw open the car door – not sure what I was doing exactly.

“Bella, wait!” He cried, extending his hand to grab my arm. I shook his hand off. “Bella, I’m sorry!” I slammed the door and stormed off towards the road.

“Bella, stop!” He called, opening his door and stepping out.

“Leave me alone!” I screamed, tears of fury pouring down my face.

“I didn’t mean to!”

“Like hell you didn’t! Boys are all the same!”

“Wait, no!”

“I’m not ready for that, Edward! I’m not ready! I’m only seventeen! I don’t know who you think I am, but I am not that type of girl,” I screamed, storming down the shoulder of the highway.

“I’m sorry,” I heard him choke out before I started running.