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Edward takes Bella to the boardwalk, much to her annoyance. What will she do for revenge?
(includes minor fluff)
1. Double Shot
Word Count 1776
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Bella glared at me in annoyance as I helped her out of my Volvo. I looked at her seriously. “If you really want to become one of my kind,” I stated matter-of-factly,” than you should experience every human thing possible first. If I have a few…suggestions…it’s really no cause for complaint.”
Any casual passerby could tell by her manner that we were continuing an old argument. “Oh, yeah,” she said sarcastically, rolling her eyes,” and going to the boardwalk is really a treasured moment.”
Her brown eyes were beautiful when they pirouetted around her sockets. Oak and chocolate and honey…those eyes should crinkle with merriment. Those eyes should get what they want.
“No,” I told myself firmly. I couldn’t allow myself to become distracted. If I was going to destroy those brown eyes; if I was going to ruin them, they should SEE first. See everything, from an innocent human perspective, not the eyes of a murderer…
“You should experience as much as possible before…the change,” I said firmly. Even mentioning it, I suppressed a shudder, but also a thrill of excitement. When she was immortal…
When she was durable…
When she was a demon….
I blanched at the thought. Luckily, Bella interrupted my morbid thinking. “What are you going to make me do?” She heaved a long, melodramatic sigh.
“I was thinking we could browse the stores, watch the ocean, buy you some…nourishment, and ride the amusement attractions.” I ticked off my mental list of activities. Bella could never know how many couples I had followed in order to compose that list, to make sure this was as traditional as possible.
Bella did not seem impressed with my efforts. “Rides, Edward? Honestly, do you really think I would go on rides, even if you didn’t change me?”
No, I didn’t. “You should at least experience thrill rides,” I half begged, though she didn’t know it. “Before they cease to thrill,” I added to myself. With that, I started towards the boardwalk, and she followed suit.
* * *
Three hours later, darkness had fallen completely and bright colored lights lined the pier. From a balcony roughly ten yards out to sea, the pair of us watched the ocean. It seemed rough, dark from above, and was the only thing around that could not be pierced by the neon glow saturating the boardwalk.
Bella sighed, resting her warm, fragile head against my icy shoulder. A small shopping bag sat by her feet; she was sampling the cotton candy I had purchased (it smelled repulsive, but she seemed to enjoy it. Then again, it seemed no worse than the curly fries, lemonade, and ice cream I had also insisted on buying.) Pink tufts vanished among her full red lips, and she smiled.
“This was nice,” she whispered, gazing out at the unusually tranquil sea. She continued. “Maybe we could do this type of thing more often. It wasn’t so bad, pity we’re all done.” My eyes narrowed. There was something…purposeful in her monologue, as though she had carefully chosen her words. “Thank you, Edward, I had a great time. Let’s head back to the car…”
“Not so fast,” I murmured sneakily, catching on. “We aren’t finished yet.”
“Edward!” she groaned. Do I really need to deny the angel? She shouldn’t be unhappy, she had been happy a second ago, why wasn’t she happy? The attractions were making my angel unhappy. I should make her happy. I should…
A red-eyed Bella, so common in Alice’s visions, flew to my head. She was crying like Rose, weeping that she didn’t want an eternity of night, that she wished to be human again. She lamented, “Why didn’t I at least ride the amusement attractions before the change?”
I shuddered. Unlikely, of course, but with that thought eternally branded on my memory, I would regret not making her ride at least one amusement. Tuning out Bella’s complaints, I pulled her gently to the pier. I glanced at her. She had fallen silent, but the world behind her eyes was flashing. “What are you thinking?”
“Nothing,” she replied, but I could hear the grin in her words. Mischievous. What was she planning? Not that it mattered; I would still get my way. Bella didn’t know yet that this was what was best for her. Then again, last time I did what was best for her, it hadn’t turned out so well. I cringed mentally, remembering the ghost of a thing that had come for me in Italy. What a fool I’d been…
My thoughts continued in this vein as I headed instinctively towards the noisier pier. Without thinking, I steered Bella towards the kiddie rides (my instinct to keep her as safe as possible was subconscious) when I felt pressure on my guiding hand. Bella had stopped.
“Bella?” I questioned impatiently. She glared at me.
“If I have to do this, surely you’ll let me choose the ride.” I looked down. I hadn’t meant to be a tyrant. “Go ahead,” I said, shamefaced.
Suddenly, Bella grinned. She turned on her heel and skipped off in the opposite direction. I followed, suspicious. What was her little scheme?
I nearly had a panic attack as I followed her through the crowds. Too many people, and she was moving so fast, darting between couples, too quick for me. If I moved any faster though, or pushed anyone out of the way, somebody would notice that I hardly traveled at "human speed". I scowled. Bella probably knew that. Angry, I focused my sharp eyes on her (this way, at least, she couldn’t get lost, and I could watch what she was doing). An excellent plan. Or it would have been, if I hadn’t gotten lost, as usual, in the silky brown depths of her hair. So beautiful… I completely forgot to watch what she did, until her melodic voice broke through my trance.
“Hi Mike, what's up?”
I growled while closing the distance between us.
“Nothing, Bella,” he said shakily as he eyed me, my tad-to-quick-to-be-human approach startling him. I glared, and he stared back weakly. Whatever had just happened, it had obviously knocked the fight out of him. Bella continued with her pre-determined monologue as though nothing had happened.
“Well, Edward and I were just going to ride the double shot. We’ve never done it before, though, and since there are three seats to a row, we were wondering if somebody who has ridden it could ride with us. You’ve done it before, right? Umm…could you maybe come too?”
The anger surging through me drowned both my jealousy and my amusement (Horror flashed through Mike’s mind as he recalled a recent scene involving himself, pretty girls, the double shot, a fried chicken dinner pre- and post- digestion, and pretty girl’s reaction as said post-digestion chicken lands on their new designer shirts) as I realized which ride Bella had named.
“Bella, are you sure this is a good idea?” My tone was threatening.
“Of course, Edward. Not afraid, are you?” She used the same tone. Mike, meanwhile, was perplexed and happy with the hostility between us. He grinned bravely, caught Bella’s hand, and dragged her towards the line.
I growled the entire time we waited.
When it was finally our turn, Bella ran right to the seat on the edge. “Sit by me,” she called to Mike, gesturing to the middle chair. I ended up on the other end, with Newton between me and my angel. I scowled. Bella was punishing me, and it was working. As we pulled the harnesses over out heads, the prerecorded announcer began his spiel.
“You are about to ride on the double shot…”
The harnesses were thin; I could snap one like a toothpick.
“…rocketed up into the air…”
What if they broke? I would be alright, but Bella…
“…snapped back down at a force of…”
I could grab her usually, but with Newton in the way…
“Enjoy your ride on the double shot.”
Maybe this was a bad idea. I could stop the ride now. I would make them let us off. “Miss,” I called to the college student whose heart was beating out of control.
Whoosh! We shot into the air. I was barely fazed; my terror for Bella, though, was disorienting. This shot wasn’t so bad, though. I knew the second ride was worse.
“Bella?” I asked. When she looked at me, I knew that she also realized the worst was coming. Her face was frozen in fear, and I knew whatever her plan was, she was regretting her revenge now.
She must have seen something else in my face, though, because she decided I wasn’t being tortured enough yet. With a deep breath, she thrust her arms and legs straight out.
The ride had begun again. Newton threw up, but I barely noticed. My experienced brain chose that moment to figure out that, even if I could catch Bella when her harness broke, colliding with my stone cold arms at such a velocity would kill her. As though in slow motion, I watched her fly up off the seat, smacking into the thin metal bars.
They were too weak. They could snap. My Bella would die.
She’s going to die.
She’s going to die.
She’s going to die.
She’s going to die.
She’s going to DIE!
I let out a cry of anguish just as the horrid thing slowed to a halt and Bella hopped out. She looked shaken and close to tears, but smirked: she had forced me to overreact. Leaving Newton to clean cup his “mess”, we headed for my car.
* * *
“Why did you do it?” I asked softly later, as I pulled into the Swan driveway.
“Because,” she bit her lip, “because you shouldn’t make me do what I don’t want to!” She tried to sound angry, but failed. She continued with a different tactic. “Edward? You learned your lesson, right? No more human experiences?”
So sweet when she pleaded with me. As if I wasn’t putty in her hands already. No. Have to be strong. Have to be strong for Bella. Have to be…
“Of course, love. No more.” She grinned, showing off sparkling teeth, and ran into her house while I started the car home before my midnight return.
It wasn’t until I was safely in my garage that I uncrossed my fingers.