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Beautiful banner by eternitys_charm! Bella lives in Phoenix, along with Edward and the rest of the group. Everything is going great until Edward starts noticing marks on Bella's arms, and strange behavior from her. Then the storm hits, leaving Edward badly injured and Bella with no place to stay. Is distance enough to end the strongest of friendships? Of course not. ALL HUMAN. Awesome banner was made by eternitys_charm!

Hey look! I'm doing something serious! If you've read my stuff from FF you'll know this is a first... I'm not too sure on the title, so it may change. A warning: This story contains ABUSE. If you don't like that, then I suggest you don't read it. It doesn't come up until later, but it's still there.

3. Chapter 3

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 927   Review this Chapter

Neither of us could decide what we wanted to do on our date, so we decided to walk down the main plaza where most of the restaurants in our area were. At the last minute, though, I thought of something, and told her to be ready two hours early. I wouldn't tell her why, and luckily she wasn't too mad.

I picked her up at 4:30. When I pulled up, I noticed that Phil was gone. Bella always seemed to be in a better mood when Phil was away for baseball. Something about that nagged in the back of my head, but I ignored it, telling myself to focus on having a good time with Bella, not trying to figure her out.

I walked up to the front door and rang the bell. After a moment her mother came to the door and opened it. I had only met her a couple of times. Usually when I had come over with Alice she just stayed upstairs. I had never met Phil.

Bella's mother just stood there looking at me for a few seconds. She was pale, with dark red circles under her eyes. Just before I was going to say something, she finally opened her mouth and said, “What are you doing here?” Not rudely, but not particularly welcoming.

“We're going out,” Bella said, coming around the corner. She grabbed her purse from beside the door and walked outside. “Goodbye, mother,” was all she said, not even looking at her, before she took my hand and pulled me towards the car.

I opened the door for her and got in myself before asking, “Bella? Are you okay? Is she okay? She looked a bit... out of it.”

Bella just nodded and said, “Yeah, she's just a little sick. It's fine. So, where are we going?”

I knew she was just changing the subject, and the nagging in my head wouldn't go away, but I sucked it up and answered with, “It's a surprise!” She huffed and I said, “You'll like it, I promise!” She still looked a little miffed, so I pouted playfully, staring at her until she cracked a smile and pushed me away as she laughed, saying, “Fine, fine, let's go already!” I smiled as we pulled away, onto the road.

When we got to our destination I parked and looked at Bella to see her response. “We're seeing a movie?” she asked.

I smiled and said, “No, not a movie. We're seeing a play.”

Her face lit up. “Really?” she exclaimed. “What are we seeing?”

“Romeo and Juliet. I knew you liked the book, so—” I didn't get past that because she threw her arms around me and kissed me hard. “Wow,” I said with what I'm sure was a stupid smile on my face. “So, good surprise?”

She kissed me again and said, “Very good surprise.”


After the play we left the theater and walked down the road, trying to decide where to eat. We almost made up our minds on an Italian restaurant, it specialized in mushroom ravioli, but decided against it. Bella didn't like mushrooms much. We kept walking and passed a pizza place that looked good, so we went in, got a pizza, and found a table.

“Ah... Air conditioning,” Bella mumbled to herself.

I looked at her curiously and she looked away. “Bella...,” I began, but she interrupted with, “So, good pizza, yeah?”

I frowned and said, “Yeah, but Bella, I wanted to ask—”

“I know what you want to ask, Edward. And I've told you before; I just like long sleeves. A little heat never killed anyone,” Bella interrupted.

“Yes it does, Bella... All the time. It's called heatstroke,” I said. “It can't just be because you like it.”

She frowned and said, “Okay, well what if it's not? What if it's... a rash or something? Or a birthmark? Would you still interrogate me so much about it?”

“Is it?”


“Prove it,” I said. I knew it was asking a lot, but I had to know. If it was what I thought, what the whole school thought, then she needed help... She looked hurt as I said it. She almost looked as if she would cry, which nearly broke me down.

“You said you didn't believe the rumors, Edward. You promised you didn't,” she said sadly.

“I know. And I don't want to believe them. But what am I supposed to think, Bella?” I asked. “What if it was Alice? Or me? Or even Emmett or Jasper? Always wearing long sleeves, never even rolling them up in the hottest weather, won't tell their best friends what's wrong... What would you think?”

She sighed. “I get your point, Edward, I really do, which is why I can't be too mad at you, but you have to believe me when I say this. I do not cut myself,” she said vehemently.

I looked at her earnest face and said, “I... believe you Bella. I do. But I know that it isn't as simple as a rash. Am I right?”

She looked away for a moment, then back at me and said, “Let's talk about this later, okay Edward? I thought this was supposed to be a date... You know, fun?”

I cringed slightly. “I'm sorry. I kind of ruined it, didn't I? I asked.

She laughed lightly and said, “No, you didn't ruin it... You just made our pizza cold. How about we go to the arcade?”

I smiled. “Great idea.”