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Without You

Bella is on her own when she finds the clearing. When Laurent finds her there, her werewolf saviors are nowhere to be found. Is Laurent a good guy, or will his bad side overcome him? Thanks a jillion to MRSBellaCullenBlack for the wonderful banner!!! :D

So, I had this story on here for a little bit... but then I deleted it. I totally forget why, actually. So, if you've read it already, you don't have to review... until I put up new updates, that is :)

7. I'm French

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1325   Review this Chapter

After two hours at the small, but upscale mall, something occurred to me. I couldn't believe that I didn't think about it before.

“Kate?” I asked. Kate, Irina, and Carmen were browsing racks and racks of clothes at some high end store I didn't recognize. They'd already spent so much money on me, even after my wild protests. Carmen and Irina excused themselves and skipped off to a different store, leaving me with Kate.

“Hmm?” she hummed. She pulled out a shirt and held it up to me. She threw it over her arm.

“How can you read my mind?” He couldn't do it. It was a wonder to me that she could. I thought that my mind was safe from all eyes and ears, vampire ones included. I liked the privacy.

“Well, I don't exactly know. Your mind is certainly different from other ones I've read. It was... fuzzy, for lack of a better term. I had to strain, something that I've never had to do before. But I can read it, fuzzy or not,” she explained, not taking her eyes off the clothes in front of her.

“Oh,” I murmured. I wasn't comfortable enough with her to hold a conversation quite yet. I was aching to get back to the house. Believe it or not, I had gotten a little attached to Laurent. I had only been with him for a short time, too. That was the part that scared me. If I could get attached to him in just a few days, I couldn't imagine what a few weeks could do.

“Don't be scared, honey,” said Kate absentmindedly. I jumped. I would have to get used to the whole mind reading thing. “Stay here, I'll be back in a second.”

My heart sped up. I didn't want to be left alone, not at all. My breathing became labored. She looked at my panicked expression and let me go with her to pay for the clothes she had in her hands.

The minutes ticked by slowly. Finally, after three grueling hours of shopping, we got back to the house. I tried not to stomp to the front door, but I was having some trouble. I opened the door onto Laurent and Eleazar having a discussion on the couch.

“How was the shopping?” asked Laurent, trying to keep a straight face. He knew I was irritated. He just wanted to push my buttons.

“Oh, it was just plain lovely!” I exclaimed. I hoped he could hear the sarcasm.

He patted the couch next to him. I plopped down reluctantly, wondering why in the world I wanted to see Laurent again in the first place.

“I'm sorry, Bella. I would have saved you, but I didn't want to get between the girls and their shopping. I did it once... lets just say I'm surprised I can still walk,” said Eleazar, grinning.

The door opened and the three girls piled in. Kate was telling them a story.

“Bags are in the car,” she said before getting right back into her story. She exited the room, Irina and Carmen in tow.

Laurent and Eleazar sighed. “We are so whipped,” sighed Laurent. They left for the car without another word.

I burst into laughter. Partially because I was left alone, something I was beginning to get very anxious about, and partially because I never would have thought that Laurent would use the term “whipped”. The guys were back around thirty seconds later, I was still laughing. Laurent looked at at me questioningly.

“Whipped,” I breathed, holding my side. It wasn't that funny, really, but I was having a hard time keeping the occasional giggle from escaping. “What time is it?” I asked, changing the subject to something that certainly wouldn't make me giggle slightly hysterically. I needed sleep. Sleep always made me feel better... and a little less crazy.

“It's nine,” answered Laurent.

My stomach growled, cutting off my response.

“Hungry?” asked Laurent.

I nodded.

“I'm going to go find the girls,” said Eleazar, politely excusing himself.

Laurent led me down one of the hallways. We popped out in a huge kitchen. There was a large stone island right in the middle of the room. Tall chairs lined the length of it. Laurent grabbed my hand and led me to one of them. His touch shocked me. I wasn't expecting him to take my hand.

He went to the other side of the island and put his chin in his hands. “What do you feel like eating?” he asked.

“Can you cook?”

“I'm French,” he answered, raising an eyebrow.

“A grilled cheese would be nice,” I suggested.

Fine minutes later, I was enjoying a nice hot sandwich.

“How's it taste?”

“It's okay,” I said, teasing him.

“Okay? That is much better than okay! You might as well admit it's the best tasting thing you've ever had the pleasure to eat.” He sat on the chair next to mine.

“Alright, it's pretty good. Not the best, but right up there. Happy?”

“I guess that'll have to do,” he smiled.

It was silent as I ate. He looked like he wanted to ask me something, that much was clear. He had the same preoccupied expression on his face as he walked me to the room I was to be sleeping in.

“Your clothes are in the closet,” he said. I opened the door and all the clothes were neatly folded or hanging in the closet. I picked out a pair of pajamas. They looked a little too... well, sexy for my taste. I wasn't the one who picked them out, after all. Stupid shopping trip....

The adjoining bathroom was decorated in various shades of red. I made Laurent promise to wait in my room. I would already be alone enough in the bathroom. I took a quick shower and got dressed.

Laurent was sitting in the chair in the corner when I got out. I noticed his eyes rake over me, but I pretended not to. It meant nothing, obviously. Something was bothering him. I sat on the bed, facing him.

“What's wrong?”

He looked at me as if he just realized I was there. “Nothing,” he said, smiling. It was obvious it was a fake smile. “Do you want me to leave so you can get some sleep?”

“No!” I blurted.

He looked surprised. “Alright,” he answered. “What would you like me to do?”

I hesitated. What exactly did I want him to do, sit there? “Please, just don't leave,” I whispered.

I got under the covers and huddled up. It was cold in Alaska. I shivered.

Laurent didn't make any noise. It was so quiet and dark I didn't know if he was even sitting there still. “Laurent?” I whispered.

“Yes, Bella?” said his voice from the darkness.

“Just checking,” I sighed.

“Is there something I can do for you?” His voice was touched by a tenderness I'd never heard from him before. It confused me.

“It would... it would be nice if you could lie by me. You don't have to if you don't want to, it would just make me feel a little bett-”

He was in the bed before I had a chance to finish my sentence. “Thanks,” I murmured. His arm found its way around my waist, but I didn't find it as uncomfortable as I probably should have. He pulled me close to him.

“Better?” he asked.

“Much,” I sighed.

As I was drifting off, I realized that I was in bed... with Laurent. Laurent, the one who had paired up with James and Victoria. The strange thing was, it didn't feel wrong or awkward, it was just comfortable. I knew that there wouldn't be any meaning to the gesture, I just needed someone to be with. I liked to think he wanted to make me happy, and that was probably the only reason he agreed to stay with me. There were no feelings between us... were there?