This takes place between Twilight and New Moon, in the summer. It details how Edward and Bella's relationship grew during those months.
2. Chapter Two
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I woke up, stirring.
The first thing I realized was the draft coming from the open window. It was cold for a June night. The next thing, less than half a second later, was that I was alone. Immediately, I was panicked. I made my way to the window and looked out. Nothing. Nothing but the bit of light coming from the full moon, the new moon. My breathing got heavier. I turned around and, in that bit of light, I saw a piece of paper on his rocking chair. I read the front:
Oh, thank goodness. Here was my explanation as to why he has disappeared in the middle of the night. But as I opened the folded note and read on, I felt my stomach drop and my heart go into my throat. Gone. Gone? What?
The cold draft left.
I woke up, startled.
I blinked through the few tears that had come to my eyes. The window wasn't open, it was not cold.
"Bella? What is it? What's wrong?"
It was a dream? No, a nightmare. But, still...
I found my voice. "I'm...I'm fine."
"You started thrashing around so much, I had to move. I was afraid you would hurt yourself if you hit me," Edward said.
Oh, the cold air that quickly vanished. I understood. However, I was still shaken.
"Yeah. I had a bad dream..." I whispered to him as he came back over to the bed. He scooped me into his arms, like a cradle, and held me to him.
He said something, but I hardly heard. I wasn't paying attention. My eyes were locked on the rocking chair where, a few moments ago, the agonizing note had lain.
"Bella, I said what about?" he asked again.
I refocused and squinted at him, to try to better see his face. From what I could tell, he looked concerned.
"You were gone...And there was a note...But it was so...I don't know. Real. Like, I felt it..." I couldn't go on. I could almost feel the phantom pain coming, even with him holding me.
"Oh, Bella," he crooned. "It's ok. I'm here."
I was looking toward the chair again. He cupped his hands under my chin and brought up my eyes until he secured my gaze. "Listen. I'm here," he said again.
That morning, Edward and I had plans to join Alice on a shopping trip to Seattle. Though the second half of my night was dreamless, I wasn't feeling exactly up to the challenge. But I couldn't back out know. We made these plans about a month ago; shopping with Alice was something one had to be prepared for.
So Edward and I were now exchanging exhausted glances at each other from the front seats while Alice talked non-stop in the back.
"You know, one pair of heels won't hurt you, Bella. Well, actually, they'll probably hurt you, but that won't be their fault. And anyway, the more practice you have, the less likely you'll be to trip over everything. Hey! Maybe they'll even help when you're just walking in boots! If you can walk in heels, you can walk in boots. Did you know they just got a new shipment of Christian Louboutin's at Barneys? There are these leather double-platform peep-toe loafer pumps I am burning to try on! I can get you a pair, too, Bella. Just not in the same color as me."
"That's alright, Alice," I replied. I was already tired and we hadn't even got there yet.
"Bella, you really should get over-"
"Alice!" Edward and I shouted together.
"What? I'm just trying to be helpful. Trust me, Bella, you need all the help you can get."
Edward looked at me apologetically. Then whispered, "Don't listen to Alice. Even if you wore a paper bag, you would-"
"-Be beautiful," Alice finished. "Sure, of course. I'm just saying with the right accessories, you could really enhance that."
We gave up and let her drown on until we got there.
The parking garage at Pacific Place was huge. We got out of Edward's Volvo on Sixth Street and let the valets park it. I had been here once with Charlie to see 102 Dalmatians years ago.
We walked through the mall for hours. Alice's first triumph in getting her heels on my feet went horribly. I stood up, walked four steps, and knocked over an entire display of the shoes. My only luck was that no one was watching and Edward put them all back in a split second before anyone noticed. But she still didn't give up.
"Alice," I whined again. "I can not walk in these...triple toe...leather loafs!"
"Leather double-platform peep-toe loafer pumps, Bella."
"Whatever. I don't want to do this. I'm hungry."
"Well, you're making me kind of thirsty, myself," she retorted.
"Alice," Edward warned her. "That's not even close to being funny."
"I thought it was funny," she said. She threw her fifth pair of shoes in a box and carried them to the cashier.
We sat down to eat at Mexico, the Mexican restaurant on Level Four. After I ordered, Alice started up again with her commenting on everything.
"How much fun was this, you guys? Just the three of us. Hanging out. You know it's gonna be like this in school all year. We'll eat lunch together and have a bunch of classes together. Senior year could be fun this time around, huh, Edward? I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."
"Alice, stop quoting Casablanca," I chuckled.
"Honestly, Edward, how do you live with someone who has such poor taste in everything?" Alice teased.
Edward just smiled at me.
"No. It's just Ilsa. I never really understood her. How she could just leave Rick without one real explanation. How she could just break his heart like that," I told her.
Edward was the one to answer. "But she did it for his own good. It may not have been the best way, but she loved him enough that she wouldn't bear to let him get hurt."
"Maybe so. But he was still hurt."
It was after I'd eaten and we were waiting at the garage for the valet to bring the car back. I was caught up in last night's dream; it had really started to get to me.
"What are you thinking?" Edward asked me.
I hesitated, thinking of the right way to put what I wanted to say. "About how things have to be right for both of us now." Then I was inspired. With a small grin, I said, "You have to think for both of us."
He smiled widely, looking at me in the way I didn't understand- like he was the lucky one. He leaned down, put one long hand on my small of my back, and kissed me.
"All right, I will. Here's looking at you, kid."
But behind his soft eyes, I thought I saw something else. Pain? And what looked to me like determination.