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The Dreams of the Boy In the Nighttime

Summary:
Bella Swan has had a tragic and abusive childhood; everyone knew it. But not everyone knew of the bronze-haired boy who visited her in her dreams. He was the only one who knew the true Bella. But Edward wasn't real, was he? Banner made by Anne Cullen :)


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 authors. No money is being made from this work. No copyright infringement is intended. Twilighted Supervisory Beta: qjmom Twilighted Validation Beta: Twilightzoner


7. Ecstasy and Pretty Dresses

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2882   Review this Chapter

They were both sitting across from each other, their legs crossed Indian-style in front of them, underneath their tree. For once, their meeting was one of happiness instead of the overwhelming sadness that they'd grown to know over the past couple of years. A wide grin was spread across Bella's face, Edward's smile answering it, her joy bringing forth his own. He was almost as elated as she was regarding her reunion with Alice and, though she'd already gone over the subject with him the night before, her euphoria continued to radiate off her in waves from their last meeting.

"Alice and I are going to dinner tonight," Bella said, and Edward could see that she was close to visibly bouncing atop the long grass. "She's bringing someone she met at the mall today. She says I'm going to love her."

Each of Bella's sentences was short and simple as she tried to contain her enthusiasm. To anyone else, it would be slightly aggravating, and she sounded as if she'd just run a marathon. Edward was just glad that she was able to talk about someone she loved in her life, without watching the pain he could see in her eyes as she thought back to the time when she lived in Forks. Their hands were joined in the grass in front of them, and, by the way she grasped his in hers so tightly, if he didn't know any better, he'd assume she'd drank too much coffee, but the energy found in caffeine took a different form in the meadow. It was present in the wind, in the waters, in the sky. You name it, it was there.

"I'm so happy for you, Bella," Edward replied, removing his hands from hers with, admittedly, some effort. He uncrossed his legs and reached out to hold one side of her waist in his hand. His other hand disappeared behind her back to take a hold of the other. He shuffled back slightly, so that his back was pressed against the rough tree trunk, and pulled her to his chest, forcing her to straighten her legs out in front of her, and lay back against him, in between his legs.

Her body associated his with peace and security and just being in such close proximity to him calmed her nerves. She relaxed in his arms, and laid her head against his left shoulder, turning slightly so that she was looking down the incline to the lake. Its beauty never failed to captivate her, and her smile, which had dropped along with the relaxation of all the other muscles in her body, rose softly. She closed her eyes, and she could feel the fresh wind riding up the hill and into her face from its journey skimming across the waters.

She opened her eyes. If she were to die now, in Edward's arms and in this mesmerizing place, it wouldn't cause her as much despair as if she were to die in the real world - or what others referred to as the real world, but could never be more real to her than the meadow.

She could feel her eyes closing once more, and so could Edward. He was just as hypnotized by the allure of the meadow, and it never failed to bring him to the same drowsy state. Though he enjoyed watching Bella sleep, as her tranquility was even more fascinating to watch than the meadow, he couldn't stop his eyes from closing fully at the same time as hers. The both fell into their own separate states of unconsciousness at the same moment, each returning to a reality that was equally for them less authentic than the world behind their closed eyelids.

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Bella could sense when she had returned to her dorm, but instead of opening her eyes to the room around her, she kept them closed, basking in the warmth that she could feel slowly escaping her. She tried to grasp onto it, but it continued to slip through her fingers. Infuriated, she counted to five in her head before opening her eyes completely.

She almost screamed as her eyes were immediately met with a pair of black, beady ones. She flinched back into the wall on the other side of her bed, her hand immediately rising to clutch her heart. It took her a few moments to realize that it was Alice in front of her, and when she did, she let out the long breath she hadn't realized she'd been holding.

"Wakey, wakey, Bella," Alice said in her sing-song voice, grinning widely at Bella.

"Alice, are you trying to scare me to death?" Bella asked in a dangerously calm voice, staring mock-daggers in Alice's direction. She couldn't be truly mad at her; they hadn't even been reunited for a full day, yet.

"You know you aren't mad at me," she said in the same voice that sounded like bell chimes. Damn, Bella thought, it's as if she can read my mind. "Now, put this on."

It was only then that Bella realized what was draped over Alice's arm. The material, though there was visibly not much of it, was colored black and white. Good. Alice seemed to remember Bella's fear of all things conspicuous. In her hand was a pair of simple black tights tied in a knot, and, dangling from her fingers, were a pair of patent black high heels. Just the sight of them made her dizzy, a mixture of her fear for heights and inability to remain vertical combined. She narrowed her eyes at the offending shoes before returning her gaze to Alice's face.

"Be-lla," she sang, stretching her name into two syllables. "Please, let me dress you." Her lips were in full pout fashion, and Bella could feel her resolve falling. Knowing that Alice was going to win the argument anyway, she groaned and swung her legs around and off the bed. Alice squeaked and began skipping around the room in a way that resembled a ballerina more than anyone had a right to.

"I didn't say ‘yes'," Bella moaned. Though she was going to, it was not something Alice should expect.

"I know, but you will!" Bella exhaled in a huff as she put her weight onto her feet. Woah, she thought as she stumbled, but managed to regain her balance before she could cause herself any more bodily harm in the form of purple bruises. She had enough of them.

She walked over to Alice, who was still dancing around the room in a way that had begun to look hysterical, and hoped that she appeared determined and confident, instead of like a zombie breaking out of its grave. She grabbed the dress, which was somehow still draped over Alice's arm despite her happy-dance, along with the pair of tights and shoes, making her way to the bathroom without giving a second glance back.

The inside of the bathroom was painted pink, a pink so pale that Bella had sworn it was white until Alice had threatened her within an inch of her life to think differently. The rest of the bathroom features were in the same pale ‘pink' and shone brightly due to Alice's newfound cleaning compulsion.

There was one window in the room, set near the bath. It faced out front, and you could see the busy campus life rushing past below. On one wall was a long, full-length mirror. There was a small stool to the side of the mirror, and Bella shuddered at the look of it, sure that it would soon be some sort of torture chair, reserved for the welding of makeup products to Bella's face.

She sighed, placing the black tights and the treacherously high shoes down by her feet on the tiled floor. As she pulled the dress up, her eyes caught on to the label of the dress, reading Juicy Couture. She smiled; it was easy to see that Alice had not grown with age out of her love for designer labels. She pulled the dress up and over her head, glad that there was no zipper, and looked at herself in the mirror. She made sure to avert her eyes from her face, as the dark patches that had rested under her eyes for years never ceased to make her flinch away from the mirror.

The dress really was very pretty. The top half was black and sleeveless, but not too low cut, with a rounded neckline. The material tightened at the waist with an embroidered waistband. The skirt underneath the band was a brilliant white that cascaded like a waterfall down to about her mid-thigh.

She was glad that Alice had supplied the tights. She had, thankfully, remembered her insecurities, and had thought to skim around them rather to face them and futilely try to force her into tight, skimpy clothing that, needless to say, did not leave much to the imagination. She sat on the edge of the bath and began pulling the black tights up her legs. She then pulled the shoes across the floor so that they were closer to her, and her stomach flipped as she inserted her feet into them. She stood up, feeling the extra height, and gripped onto the shower curtain at her side until she was sure she'd regained her balance.

She looked back up into the mirror, seeing the effect the heels had on her legs. They elongated them so that her calves did not stick out in the way that she was used to seeing them, and instead appeared long and elegant as they joined her thigh via her knee.

Begrudgingly she looked up into her face, shrinking back at the hard expression her eyes gave and the look of her bed hair atop her head. She reached beside the sink where there was a brush and drew it through her hair, running into so many knots that, by the end of the activity, her arm ached from the exertion. She flipped her hair back and ran her fingers through the long strands, bunching it together at the back of her head. She pulled the band she had loosely circling her wrist around her hair, so that it was tied into a tight ponytail at the back of her head, giving her face a minor lift.

She brushed her fingers through the short layers near her face, knowing that they were only feigning to be tied up with the rest of her hair, and were really only waiting until her back was turned to the mirror to fall lankly into her face. She stepped closer to the mirror, pulling her hand up level with her face and rubbing underneath her eye with her index finger, as if she could rub the shadows away. She sighed, knowing full well that there was no way she would be able to face the public looking as if she hadn't slept in the last millennia. She reached out toward Alice's make up back, unzipping it and sifting through it, trying to find something that looked at all familiar. She was lost.

"Alice?" she called out, knowing that she would definitely be regretting her decision later.

"Yes, Bella?" she said, standing in the doorway in a soft pink dress, looking eagerly at her. Her expression was cheeky, sure of what was to come. The top of her dress ruffled at her chest, tightening at her waist with a matching waist band. The skirt of the dress was colored the same pink, and fell just above her knees. Around her wrist was a beaded bracelet colored in a metallic silver, and on her feet she wore some peep-toe heels in a soft gold.

"Could you do my makeup for me, Alice?" she asked quickly, her voice so low that it was barely more than a whisper, but she was sure that Alice heard it.

"Sorry, Bella, I didn't quite catch that," she said, pulling a hand up to cup her ear, a smile widening on her face.

"Could you, please, do my makeup for me, Alice?" Bella repeated, knowing that, as soon as she had uttered those words, she'd given herself over to the dark side - or Alice, the same thing either way.

She was right to have regretted her decision. As Alice sat her down on the wooden stool, Bella's suspicions came true about what it would bring. First, she pulled her hair out from its ponytail, ignoring Bella's efforts to explain to her that she'd only asked for her to do her makeup. She put some heated rollers into the lank brown strands and, as she waited for them to appropriately curl her hair, she started on Bella's makeup.

By the time she had finished, she'd used five different products on Bella's face, though Bella was sure that she'd used almost twice as many on her eyes. As Bella looked into the mirror, she could no longer see the dark bags from sleepless nights that had hung there, and her face looked, overall, more awake.

Alice pulled the cooled rollers gently out of her hair. Large, bounding curls cascaded to just past her shoulders, taking a couple of inches off the length. She pulled back the hair into a ponytail, pulling it tight so that her hair seemed straight until it was set free after the hair tie. She pulled the now curled, stubborn strands of hair out so that they framed Bella's face.

She'd tied Bella's hair up higher than Bella originally had, and her hair only reached down to the nape of her neck, tickling the skin there whenever she moved her head. Though she had been sitting there for just under an hour, she had to admit that Alice had done a good job. Bella stood up, strangely enough not falling, and embraced her best friend, happy that she could, squeezing her petite form.

"Thanks, Alice; you're the best," she said, a grateful smile on her face.

"I really am, aren't I?" Alice replied playfully. "Come on, now, or we're going to be late." She pulled Bella by her wrist back out into the main room and to a small side table beside the door that led into the hallway. "I bet she'll be here any minute," she muttered to herself, wordlessly placing a silver metallic clutch into Bella's hand along with a beautiful diamond encrusted cuff bracelet.

"Okay, so I didn't tell you before, Bella. But, we're going to the restaurant Emmett works at." Bella's expression was one of shock.

"You didn't tell me he came to UO!" Her face broke into a beaming smile. She'd missed Emmett more than she'd thought she would have, and he still had no idea how his music had gotten her through those last eight years. She loved how it'd drowned out the world around her. It had made her reality so much better to live through.

"Didn't I? Well, anyways, I didn't tell him we were going to be there. I mean, Bella, he doesn't even know you're my roommate! He's going to love the surprise! I can just tell." Alice's smile answered Bella's. The voices were in the back of her mind, not even trying to permeate her happiness in that moment.

Just then there was a loud knock on the door. "That'll be her!" Alice spoke excitedly. She put her own bag (the same golden color as her shoes) under one arm, as she used one hand to pull across the latch, and the other to turn the door knob. She pulled the door open widely and immediately stepped forward into the doorframe as the person on the other side did the same.

Alice's friend wore a bright red dress with a scoop neck that complimented her long neck. The dress ruffled down to the waist band, which was embroidered with a golden silk. The skirt of her dress flowed down until it was mid-thigh length, like Bella's, and ruffled down in the same way that the upper-half did. The bottom of the skirt had small circular patterns on a thinner red material. On her wrist was a thick golden bracelet that matched the gold on her dress, and in one hand she held a shiny black clutch that matched her black platform stiletto shoes, in which of course she could walk perfectly. And Bella knew this for certain for one core reason.

They embraced, kissing each other's cheeks. "Rose!" Alice said excitedly. She had continued to speak, but Bella no longer heard any more of her words, as the one person she truly hated, or more apt was hated by, stood exchanging pleasantries with the girl who had been her best friend since she was ten-years-old.

Rosalie Hale would ruin her. There seemed to be no way around it.