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Heart and Soul

Summary:
Edward is nearly broken when he loses a dear friend in an accident. When he meets Bella at Forks High, not only is his heart healed, but his soul as well. However, Bella has a secret that could make or break them. AU/AH Twilight meets Return to Me!


Notes:
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. I once said ‘what’s the point of an AH Twilight story? Wouldn’t it be better to change the names and make it original?’ Then I read a few that were pretty good. Then, I was bitten by this rabid plot bunny…it had sharp, pointy teeth! So, if you’ve ever seen Return to Me, you may recognize certain key story lines :) Read on, and let me know what you think! Rest assured; this is Edward/Bella :)


12. Chapter 12

Rating 0/5   Word Count 3976   Review this Chapter

“Holy crow…Charlie,” Bella moaned. She looked over to Edward and saw him swallow heavily.

“You cannot tell him anything about my…gift…Bella,” Edward said.

“I won’t…you can trust me. Why don’t you come meet him? It’ll just take a minute…” Bella said.

“Ok,” Edward agreed, though he looked like a deer caught in headlights. He shook his head and got out to go open Bella’s door. She didn’t argue, considering Charlie needed to see that Edward was a gentleman.

Bella grabbed Edward’s hand and tugged him behind her to the steps leading to the front porch. Charlie sat in one of the pair of rocking chairs that occupied the space next to the front door. Bella could see his gun-cleaning supplies, and his service revolver, freshly cleaned and oiled, was resting on the small card table between the chairs. Charlie’s .22 sat next to it in a state of disassembly as Charlie was still cleaning it.

That explains the deer in headlights look,’ Bella thought ruefully. However, they had done nothing wrong, and she wasn’t going to allow Edward to be intimidated by her father when Edward had saved her life earlier in the evening.

“Dad, you know Edward Cullen, right?” Bella asked.

“I’m acquainted,” Charlie said dryly.

“Sir, I apologize for keeping Bella out late; we ran into each other in Port Angeles, and Bella agreed to accompany me to dinner,” Edward interjected.

“It’s after nine o’clock, Bells. Your note said you were out with Jessica and Angela; there was no mention of Edward.”

“Dad, I went with Jess and Angela, but we got separated, and then I ran into Edward, it wasn’t planned, and I was late to dinner with the girls so Edward took me, and then we just got talking, and didn’t notice the time…” Bella defended quickly.

“Well, that’s what Jessica told me over the phone. She called here almost an hour ago to see if you’d gotten home yet. But, that isn’t really why I’m upset. Can you think about anything else that may have happened tonight?”

Bella and Edward looked at each other; Bella’s eyes silently questioning Edward about what her father was thinking. Edward gave a slight nod, acknowledging her fears. Bella let out a sigh.

“How did you find out?” Bella asked, defeated.

“Bells…one of the guys that tried to attack you tonight lives with his parents here in Forks. They called to say they were sorry about their son’s behavior, and then I called the chief over in Port Angeles. Edward, your mom called earlier after she talked with you and let me know you were on your way home. You’re not allowed to go to Port Angeles alone Bells, and I want you home right after school for the next two weeks,” Charlie said resignedly.

“Wait, you’re grounding me?” Bella asked in amazement. “We didn’t do anything! We were the ones attacked!” Bella argued.

“Which you weren’t going to tell me about, and you’re out after nine on a school night,” Charlie argued back.

“Ch-Dad…that’s not fair!

“Do you need to be grounded longer Bella?” Charlie asked, raising an eyebrow.

“No, I don’t think that’s necessary,” Bella said quickly. She glanced over at Edward and noticed that he was looking warily at the table holding Charlie’s guns. Another glance over at her father and Bella knew that Charlie’s thoughts were less than innocent.

“Dad, Edward did rescue me tonight; the least you could do is save the shotgun for the wedding…” Bella’s face burned red once she realized what she had said. Edward’s mouth dropped open in shock, and Charlie looked at Edward as though he were in a lineup.

“No! It was a joke! I didn’t mean our wedding! I’m not…I mean…we didn’t…ugh! I’m going to bed, good night Edward!” Bella bolted for the front door, colliding with the door-jam as she went through it.

Just before she reached the stairs, she could have sworn that she heard Charlie tell Edward that their doors and windows were kept locked, and that he checked on her every night.

“Yes, sir, I understand, sir. Good night,” was the last thing she heard before she shut her bedroom door.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

After Edward bid Charlie goodnight, he hurried down the steps to his waiting car. Bella’s ‘shotgun wedding’ reference had not really improved his standing with the man; especially since Bella was wearing a hoodie that was obviously Edward’s.

As Edward reached the bottom step he heard ‘Argh, poop on a stick…I have to at least thank the kid…he did save Bella from a fate worse than death…’ from Charlie’s mind. Edward nearly froze on the spot while fighting the urge to turn around. He forced himself to keep going forward; it wouldn’t be prudent for Edward to respond to Chief Swan’s thoughts twice in as many weeks. The man was Bella’s father, and Edward wasn’t yet sure whether or not she had inherited her perceptiveness from him or not. Edward did stop when Chief Swan cleared his throat. He turned around and met Bella’s father’s steady gaze.

“Thanks, Edward…I appreciate you helping Bella tonight,” Charlie said looking down at his feet. “You can come over and hang out with Bella while she’s confined to the house,” he conceded with difficulty.

Edward’s enormous grin, however, caused Chief Swan to alter his terms. “But only when I’m home…say between seven and nine,” he hurriedly tacked on to his previous statement.

“Thank you, Chief Swan,” Edward said earnestly.

“Thanks again…for, uh,” Charlie cleared his throat, and Edward watched as he began to study the grain of the wooden boards beneath his feet. “For saving my daughter…I…appreciate it more than you could know.”

Edward knew what Charlie’s admission had cost him. What the whole conversation had cost him. His thoughts were unfocused, rambling even. Edward understood that Charlie Swan was a man of few words, and had seriously overstepped his comfort level.

“You’re welc…” Edward began.

“I was serious though,” Charlie interrupted. “I check on her…every night,” he reaffirmed. Edward’s eyes widened fractionally at the mental image Charlie was currently conjuring of ‘helping’ Edward out of the house if ever Charlie caught him in his daughter’s bedroom.

“Of course, Chief Swan, I understand,” Edward said. Before Charlie could mentally rough him up again, Edward bolted for his car and drove off as quickly as he legally could in front of the chief of police.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Edward turned down the long driveway to his house a few minutes later. He cringed when he picked up on the thoughts going through his family’s minds.

New techniques in emergency suturing are surfacing due to the advent of medical super glues…’ Carlisle was reading in his study.

9:00 AM: Leslie Gerandy, kitchen and bathroom consult…’ Esme was reviewing her schedule.

Jasper was sitting in the living room, plucking out a song on his bass guitar.

Edward rolled his eyes and cringed when the mental image of Rosalie looking over her shoulder at a tight new pair of pants was superimposed over his own thoughts, accompanied by, ‘I wonder…do these make my hips look wider? I better not have gained any weight!’

Eddie’s got a girlfriend, Eddie’s got a girlfriend…’ Emmett sang mentally while he and Alice were waiting in the kitchen for Edward to enter the house from the garage.

“Emmett…” Edward groaned, wishing his brother could hear him from where he sat. Resigning himself to his fate, he let out a big breath, got out of the car, and started towards the house.

I want every last detail Edward…’ Alice was projecting her thoughts loud and clear. Edward stepped through the garage door and froze when Alice pounced on him. Emmett laughed and gathered the both of them in one of his signature bear hugs. Alice was still jumping up and down, causing both Edward and Emmett to bounce unwillingly with her in order to prevent her from taking them down to the ground.

“Edward!!! Esme said that you had DINNER…with BELLA!” Alice screamed loud enough for the whole house to hear. Within moments, Esme and Carlisle had joined the bouncing huddle. Jasper followed after, laying a hand on Alice’s shoulder. Instantly, Alice ceased her vibrations, for which everyone gave Jasper a grateful look. Rosalie sauntered into the kitchen and took in the huddle with a raised eyebrow and a slight smirk.

“Well?! Spill! You must have had a nice time with her, Edward, you are never out late!” Alice gushed. “How did you run in to each other? Where did you eat? Did you pay? Did you remember your manners? Oh, I just knew something big was going to happen tonight!”

“Alice…let him answer one question before you ask another. I’m sure, if we’re patient, Edward will answer all of our questions.” Esme’s tone was such that Edward knew, even without reading her mind, that she was just as thrilled as Alice.

“I…uh…hmm,” Edward stumbled over how to begin, without admitting to his adoptive mother that he had fought off four drunk men. The remembrance of those men left a dark cloud in his mind for an instant. His expression must have shown something of his anger; Alice and Emmett started nodding in understanding.

Like with Alice in Seattle?’ was Emmett’s simple question. Edward met his brother’s eye and nodded. Alice gasped and thought, ‘How many? Is she ok?’

“Four. Well, three, really. She’s fine, not a scratch.” Edward explained aloud.

“Stop giving us half the conversation,” Rosalie huffed, peeved at being excluded. Edward took in a big breath and continued. “She was being harassed by some guys, and I had to…discourage…them from their attentions,” Edward said diplomatically.

Some guys?! You mean…four guys!” Esme voiced in realization. “Edward, you could have been seriously hurt,” Esme continued fearfully.

“I only had to deal with three of them; when the fourth guy saw what I did with the first two, he ran before I even touched him,” Edward explained.

“Awesome, man!” Emmett said enthusiastically, bumping fists with Edward.

Edward…’ Carlisle thought reprovingly.

“It was strictly in defense,” Edward said truthfully as met his adoptive father’s eyes. “I really only incapacitated the last one because he wanted to ‘break’ me, then Bella.”

Edward knew instantly that he shouldn’t have admitted that in front of Esme. His adoptive mother gasped, and thought, ‘Edward, I almost lost you once, I can’t do that again…please be more careful!’

Carlisle nodded in approval. ‘I’m proud of you, Edward my son,’ he thought.

Edward nodded his acceptance to both of his parent’s thoughts and spent the next hour telling his family all about his evening with Bella.

“You gave her your hoodie? When I borrowed your precious hoodie, you threatened to break my fingers if ever I touched it again!” Emmett said perturbed.

“That’s because you smeared pizza grease all over it, and soaked it in three different sodas when you stole it.” Edward defended himself.

“Yeah, well the Mariners had just won,” Emmett said as though that excused everything. Edward rolled his eyes and gave Emmett a brotherly slug in the arm, which he regretted as soon as Emmett returned the favor.

“Boys…” Esme chided them. Emmett and Edward both had the grace to look sheepishly at her and Edward continued his story.

“She knows? You told her?!” Rosalie exclaimed when Edward admitted that he had told Bella about his unique ability.

“She guessed on her own…she is remarkably perceptive…” Edward said.

“Well, let’s just hope you’re not government property before you turn eighteen,” Rosalie said vehemently.

“Rose, Bella won’t tell,” Emmett said.

“How do you know?” Rosalie asked, still not convinced.

“Cause, Alice said she wouldn’t.” Emmett said confidently. “If there was ever anything Edward and I learned about Alice here, it was…”

“Never bet against Alice!” Edward, Emmett and Alice said in unison. All seven of the blended Cullen/Hale family looked at one another and burst into raucous laughter.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Bella woke up the next morning to the sound of Charlie rummaging around in the kitchen. Once she dressed for the day, she picked her way down the stairs to the kitchen. Charlie raised an eyebrow at her; he must have heard her stumble off the last step. She merely gave her father a look to say ‘It was nothing.’ Charlie gave her a small grin and turned back to his mug and newspaper.

“Want something to eat, Dad?” she asked, hoping to show him that she could be a good daughter.

“No thanks, I’ve eaten already…” Charlie trailed off and met her eyes again. He raised one eyebrow and said, “You can’t cook your way out of being grounded Bells.”

Damn…’ Bella thought. Her expression must have given away her thoughts because Charlie chuckled into his mug as he drained the last of his morning coffee. She turned away to the counter to hide her disappointment and gathered her daily anti-rejection medications to excuse her movement.

“I’m off to the station,” Charlie said as he stood and moved towards the coat rack to put on his gun belt and jacket. “Be home after school Bella; Edward knows he can only be here between seven and nine at night,” he said as he walked out the door. Bella wrinkled her nose at that. She hadn’t been aware of that particular facet of her grounding yet. She had hoped to invite Edward over to do their homework together.

Hunting through the kitchen cabinets, Bella found a box of cereal and decided to go easy for breakfast. As she munched on her Count Chocula, she laughed at the caricature on the cereal box. ‘What kind of vampire doesn’t even have fangs?’ Bella thought mirthfully. Then, Bella imagined a paler Edward wearing the fierce look he’d had when he’d saved her the night before. ‘If he had told me last night that he were a fangless vampire, I think I’d believe him before I believed the Count here,’ she thought laughing anew. As she chuckled, she heard a soft knock at the door.

“S’open,” she shouted around bite she just took. A moment later, she nearly jumped from her seat when she heard, “You really shouldn’t do that…don’t you remember what happened to you last night?”

She choked down her half chewed bite and turned around to exclaim, “Edward! What are you doing here?”

“Well, I thought that, since I left my sweatshirt with you, I might give you a ride to school in order to retrieve it, though I think it may have found a new owner,” Edward said with a smirk. Bella blushed when she looked down at herself, wearing Edward’s sweatshirt as though it was her own.

“Sorry…here, I didn’t mean to claim it, it’s just so soft, and it smells so good,” Bella hurriedly said as she started to unzip the hoodie.

“No, no…keep it…it looks better on you anyways,” Edward reached a hand over and stilled her hand that was tugging on the zipper. Their eyes locked, and they both froze. The air around them seemed electrified, and Bella was certain that Edward’s hand was close enough to feel her heart threatening to pound out of her chest. Neither of them seemed capable of breaking their gaze and ending the moment. Finally, Bella’s fingers moved from the zipper to fully grasp Edward’s hand. He smiled at her and let out a breath that Bella was certain that he’d been holding, finally allowing them to move forward.

“It smells so good?” Edward said with a mischievous sparkle in his eyes. Bella’s eyes widened as she tried to remember saying that aloud. She had thought it plenty; she had gathered the fabric and held it to her face several times already this morning alone. She sincerely hoped that he couldn’t somehow break through her mental silence to discover that she had also worn it to bed.

“Did I say that out loud?” Bella managed once she stopped opening and closing her mouth like a fish.

“Yes; yes you did,” Edward said. Bella closed her eyes until she could feel the heat recede from her cheeks.

“I can’t seem to control my mouth in front of you. It smells like warm, fresh honeycomb and lilacs blooming in the hot desert spring,” Bella trailed off, remembering the small flower garden that she had kept back in Phoenix, and the almost-honey smell of the beehive that Renee had had removed from the tree in their back yard. Finally, she opened her eyes to realize Edward was watching her with an intense glint to his eyes. “It smells like home,” Bella whispered reverently.

Edward slowly drifted a step closer, so that their bodies were almost touching. “Then it belongs to you now,” Edward said just as reverently as Bella had spoken the moment before. He swallowed just before he moistened his lips and leaned his head towards Bella’s. He hesitated in an unspoken question. Bella had never been in this position before; at first she wasn’t so sure what she was supposed to do. After a moment, she closed her eyes like they did on the cheesy romantic comedies that Renee sobbed over before she met Phil.

Bella waited; she could feel his breath as it ghosted across her lips. His breath even smelled good. Like fresh mint leaves garnishing vanilla ice cream. She knew she wanted this, wanted Edward, for her first kiss. Even with her eyes closed she could feel him moving closer; the electric tingle had intensified into a high voltage current arching between their bodies. His face was close to hers; closer even than when he had been trapped on top of her under her truck. Then…

His phone rang.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Edward could have crushed his phone to pieces and flung the blasted thing straight out the window for all he cared. He had been imagining what it would be like to press his lips against Bella’s ever since dinner the previous night.

“I’m sorry…excuse me,” he murmured before he backed up and pulled the offensive little gadget out of his pocket. “Hello?” he answered as he walked into the living room, leaving Bella to finish her cereal.

Edward, why did I get the feeling that you were going to be very late for school if I hadn’t called right now?” Alice asked in reply. Edward let out a deep breath.

“Nothing that concerns you,” he responded.

Ooh, was Edward was getting his first kiss?” Alice asked with a giggle. Edward groaned and waited for it.

What?! Did I just hear you right? Eddie was getting some action? WHOOOOO!!!”

Emmett!! It’s my phone! You can talk to him later! Now put me down, you big lug!” Alice squealed.

“Nothing happened, your annoying little insight interrupted us,” Edward said briskly.

Sorry Edward. I’ll try to give you at least five minutes next time. I just didn’t think Chief Swan would appreciate getting a tardy report for his grounded daughter. Especially if he found out you were involved,” said Alice. Even though he couldn’t read her over the phone, he knew she was genuinely sorry, and that she was only trying to help.

“Thank you, Alice. We’ll see you at school,” he said. Then he hung up and shoved the phone back into his pocket just as Bella came in and said, “Ready to go?”

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

Edward and Bella drove to school in comfortable silence. Edward cleared his throat nervously a couple of miles from the school; Bella smiled and gave him a questioning look.

“Bella, I would like to ask you for your exclusive attentions, as mine are exclusively yours,” he said.

“My exclusive attentions?” Bella asked with a raised eyebrow and a gentle smirk. “Are you asking me to be your girlfriend in an antiquated fashion?”

“Girlfriend seems much too trite a description; however, I thought that it would be a little over the top to declare you my intended, or my soul’s eternal mate. You feel like so much more than a girlfriend to me,” Edward said honestly.

“I guess my excusive attentions have been yours since I insulted you, Mr. Darcy…” Bella said ruefully. Edward gave her a crooked smile that left her speechless.

Edward grimaced as they got to the school parking lot, and was inundated with the curious and gossipy thoughts directed towards himself and Bella.

No way, that is so not fair…I’m so much hotter than her…’

Edward Cullen actually came? With Bella Swan?’

Are they dating?’

They’re so cute!’

What’s he got that I don’t?’

I’m so glad I have three classes with her…she’ll have to tell me everything!’

“That bad, huh?” Bella asked.

“I was expecting it…why do you think I’ve been hiding for the last couple weeks,” Edward joked feebly. He got out and came to get Bella’s door. Then he grimaced again as he helped Bella to stand. “Jessica is determined to get every last detail from you…” Edward let his eyes become unfocused as he listened to Jessica’s thoughts. “She’ll be your biggest challenge…everyone else already assumes us to be a couple; she wants to hear it ‘straight from the source’ or so she thinks.” Bella groaned and walked with Edward into the school.

Edward was pleased when, during his third hour, he heard Jessica think ‘He asked for her exclusive attentions? Did he ask his grandpa for dating advice or what?’ He nearly growled at Jessica’s next thought of, ‘How did she manage that?’

Wouldn’t you like to know,’ was his mental reply.

HSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHSHS

The first week of Bella’s grounding was the worst. At school, Edward and Bella were tentatively getting to know one another better. Edward would walk hand in hand with Bella to her classes, and sit with her at lunch. Rosalie scoffed at him for ‘ditching’ his family, but her thoughts let Edward know that she was just showing her love for him the only way she knew how.

Charlie was true to his word, and refused to allow Edward to step over the threshold before seven PM, and promptly ushered him out the door by nine. Charlie had grumbled when he found out that Edward had exploited a loophole in Bella’s grounding by providing her transportation to and from school.

However, Edward was pleased when Esme smoothed everything over when Charlie called her to complain. Before Charlie had fully understood what was happening, Esme had gotten him to agree not only to Edward’s chauffer services, but also to a Cullen/Swan bowling night at Sunset Lanes after Bella was free of her grounding.

The second week Charlie relaxed on his attitude towards Edward without any explanation, though his thoughts did cause Edward to wonder. One evening while Edward was helping Bella with her Trig homework at the dinner table, he and Bella had, without conscious thought, grasped hands on top of the table. Edward was pulled out of his ‘Bella bubble,’ as Alice called it, when he heard Charlie think, ‘Be grateful she’s alive to have a boyfriend…be grateful she’s alive to have a boyfriend… be grateful she’s alive to have a boyfriend…” as he strode into the living room and surfed the television stations for a game to watch.

Edward was confused until he supposed that Charlie was thinking about the incident in Port Angeles; he tucked the thoughts into the back of his mind and decided to act on Charlie’s good mood.

“Bella?” he asked. Edward could hear Charlie’s thoughts quieting as he listened in to the conversation.

“Yeah?” Bella asked, still concentrating on her math homework.

“You’re not grounded any more tomorrow, right?” Edward raised his voice to include Charlie.

What’s the little loophole hunter planning now?” thought Charlie. Edward struggled to keep his face innocent when he heard Charlie’s thoughts.

“I was thinking, that we could go out tomorrow…” Edward mentioned casually.

“Not to Port Angeles…” Charlie interjected from the other room. Bella pursed her lips and frowned at Charlie’s words.

“No, actually, I wanted to show you something,” he said to Bella. He raised his voice again, and continued, “I was hoping that we could go for a hike…” Edward trailed off when he saw Bella’s wary face. “It’s easy, maybe five miles.” Edward reassured her.

Bella, hiking? That’ll be the day,’ Charlie thought before he laughed and said, “Good luck with that.”

Edward thought that his plans were a bust; then Charlie had voiced his opinion. The look of indignation on Bella’s face was adorable, and made Edward want to jump from his chair and do a victory dance. However, discreet he must be, and he settled for asking her, “So, what do you think?”

“When should I wake up? Are we going early or should I pack a picnic lunch?” Bella asked confidently. Charlie grumbled in his head. Edward smiled.

“I’ll be here at nine AM; wear comfortable shoes,” he said.