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The Ripple Effect

Summary:
What if Bella’s parents never divorced & she was a normal girl. Best friends with Jacob Black for all her life & suddenly the Cullen’s moved to Forks. Everything is Alternate Universe, Romance, drama and friendships galore.


Notes:


21. Chapter 21: Promises

Rating 0/5   Word Count 5645   Review this Chapter

Chapter 21: Promises

The bed felt like a tuft of clouds under me, while I slept so soundly. It was a few extra hours of needed sleep, to get ready for my European debut. The few times I stirred, I could hear people bustling on the second floor below me. When I finally awoke, it was to Alice smiling at me. The curtains were parted to the street below, as Alice stood holding an outfit excitedly in her hands. The sun was high in the sky, but a pack of clouds were moving in quickly.

“You are finally awake, get cleaned up and let’s go out.” Alice giggled, as I blinked a few times becoming adjusted to my surroundings.

There was a large mahogany armoire in the corner of the room; one of the doors was opened and my clothes had been neatly packed away. My red suitcase lay on a luggage rack at the foot of my bed.

“You could let her sleep a little while longer Alice.” Edward chuckled, walking into the room. He was dressed in a white polo shirt; his collar perfectly pressed and accented a pair of khakis. He looked stunning. Usually at home, Edward tried his best to blend in; but here in Italy, he was a fashion icon.

“You two look amazing.” I sighed, sitting up and staring at the two in awe.

Alice hopped off the bed and twirled for a minute, she too was dressed differently. She was wearing a pleated flowered skirt and gorgeous orange flats, with silver buckles at the toe. Her hair had an extra shine to it and a white short-sleeve silk jacket covered an orange blouse.

“When in Volterra and all that.” My friend giggled as Edward broke into a crooked grin.

“We have already eaten, but you must be hungry.” My boyfriend guessed. “I am sure by now you know where the bathroom is. We will give you a few moments to get ready.”

Edward dragged Alice out of the room, a pout was on her face as she waved goodbye to me. It was going to be a nice day, the impending clouds would let the family join me with the living. I was going to walk the streets of Volterra with one of my best friends and the love of my life. This was going to be a good day, no matter what tomorrow would bring.

I had fallen asleep so suddenly early this morning that it was a shock to see what I missed in the dark. The house had a nice cool texture to it, white walls with an ivy trim. The bathroom that was adjacent to my room was as large as my bedroom at home. A white porcelain hoofed bathtub sat in the center. A curtain gripped around a cylindrical metal perch, guiding the fabric to conceal its occupant. To the left of the room were three large mirrors bolted to the wall, a Venetian style black deep-bottomed sink and chrome faucets astounded me. Every fixture was meticulously matched with aesthetics in mind. The toilet was a sight to see as well; it had gold leaves on the cover and next to it set slightly lower was a bidet.

I could have spent hours examining the bathroom but after a quick shower, I was dressed and greeted my friends in the dinning hall. It was odd to be waited on, but that is just what I did. After a quick European breakfast, we were off onto the streets of Italy and I was ready to take it all in.

“You spoke to your parents this morning I presume?” Carlisle asked as I gave him a nod smiling at all the new sights, while our driver drove us down the narrow streets.

The large vehicle seemed out of place in such a city, the people were bustling by going into stores and cafes. Meanwhile the giant SUV took most of the room, leaving the Fiats to squeak by with extra care. Everyone on the streets from the older woman with grey hair, to the young little boys in shorts looked out of a magazine.

I finally understood why Edward and Alice had dressed so nicely, they were used to blending in. If I had walked the streets of Volterra with my raggedy jeans and t-shirt; it would have been a disaster. It seemed everyone had a sense of style, an eye for pairing colors and textures together. Looking at all the people passing by, I was thankful for Rosalie and Alice's insistence on a shopping trip.

The next morning I was awoken by Edward, he looked serious especially without his sister by his side. Sitting down on the corner of my bed, he gazed at me not speaking a word until I wrinkled my nose.

"It is time." He whispered, pushing a loose strand of hair from my face.

He didn't have to tell me time for what; I knew I was going to meet the Volturi. I was not sure how I would face the aged vampires, the very thought of them sent chills down my spine. They were powerful, but without a doubt, I would feel their power today.

The drive to the center of the city was breathtaking, it was my second time seeing the beauty of Volterra and yet there was something new on every corner. When we finally exited the car, it was in the middle of two large buildings, both blocked out the sun. The street looked empty, un-nerving. When we turned to face one of the stonewalls, a door opened, it was hidden with no handle and could only be opened from the outside. This must have been where all those vampires who come to meet the Volturi enter. A pretty blonde smiled nervously, as we walked through the door. Alice seemed somber; the bounce to her step was stilted.

The woman led us down a dark corridor; water was trickling down fountains that lined the marble walls. Everything was decorated with fine care; it looked straight out of the Renaissance. Oil paintings and bronze statues filled the unused corners, as we walked into a large bright room. It looked like a parlor, there were green velvet lined chairs and a sofa in the center of the room. The ceiling was high and opened to an opaque skylight. The sun's rays were too weak to do their reflective magic to my companions, as Alice took my hand and led me to the sofa. Edward watched us go, before looking to his father.

"They want to see you first." He said, speaking quietly to Carlisle.

"I had a feeling they would." Carlisle answered, turning towards the ceiling and taking a deep soothing breath. "It is customary that they would want to see me first, nothing out of the ordinary. The council and I have a history and it is traditional for the head of a coven to first pay his respects." Edward's father explained, easing his son's tension as he smiled towards Alice and me.

"And what if this is a delay tactic, what do we do then?" Edward continued, not satisfied.

"Then we come again, until they change their minds. The Volturi have waited long to come to power and they will relish it for all their days. This is the way it has been and the way it will be." And with that, there was a finality; Carlisle held so much power in his voice that Edward couldn't argue.

After a few uncomfortable moments, the young blonde that had led us in came smiling nervously at Carlisle. It must have been difficult to work with vampires, their beauty could be daunting. Carlisle looked like a movie star; he was smiling so politely at the woman now. She swallowed hard before opening her mouth.

"They wish to see you now, Mr. Cullen." She finally blurted out, in a rich Italian accent. Edward shook his head annoyed as his father gave a stern nod following the woman.

When he was gone, Alice turned to me smiling.

"So, are you hungry or thirsty?" She asked, and I was not sure if I was either.

A moment later the blonde returned.

"Can I get you anything?" She inquired, staring at Edward with a pregnant pause before looking to Alice and I.

I laughed to myself dryly, before answering. "Just some water would be fine." The woman gave a quick nod.

"I'm Francesca by the way; if you need anything else please don't hesitate to ask." Her accent was soft, as if she had studied in America. There was a hint of Italian, and something else.

When the woman returned, I studied her more closely. Francesca had fine blonde hair. It was so different from Rosalie’s; there was no rich hue, just a light colored mane. She treated this job as if she was a normal receptionist. In reality, I imagined she had seen many odd and scary things while working for the Volturi. I would have to ask Edward later. The three of us were alone for a good half an hour before Alice turned towards the door, as her brother's gaze followed. A moment later, their father walked into the room.

With a sigh, Carlisle tried to hide his disappointment, behind a brilliant smile.

"They have agreed to meet with all of us, but not today on Thursday." Edward looked up towards the opaque skylight trying to hide his disbelief. "Until then, we wait. I have more to tell you in the car."

We were silent, following Carlisle closely as we stepped out of the building and back into the car. I was afraid to speak; Edward’s body language told me he was upset. My friend stayed close to me, waiting for her brother to break the silence.

"They have Laurent?" Edward asked, with a hint of excitement mixed with anger.

Carlisle nodded. "They are holding him for now; it is a sign of goodwill. He was a fool to seek the Volturi out, he is of no good use to them."

Alice put her arm around my shoulder protectively as the driver meandered through the skinny streets.

"He has told them of you especially Bella and of his suspicions about the rest of us. I believe today was a test, and whatever they were looking for we have passed." Carlisle explained. As his Father turned towards the front, Edward leaned back in his seat taking my hand protectively.

"There is no reason why we shouldn't enjoy the rest of the day." Alice chimed in as we passed a Gelateria. "Driver, you can stop here." She sang as the driver obeyed.

Most people after stepping into the Volturi headquarters never come out, at least not alive. So there was something to be thankful for and although I had nightmares, Tuesday was a vast improvement. We had spent our free day inside, since the sun was shining so brightly that my companions would have lit up like Christmas trees. It was a day for exploring the Villa and I wasn’t disappointed. After Tuesday’s adventure, a day spent inside and safe, was welcomed. After all, there was a galleria and a library waiting to be explored. Edward stayed with Carlisle for most of the day, while Alice indulged my curiosity.

However, like in Washington, the morning turned into afternoon and soon it was Thursday morning. The drive was the same as before, I tried to take in all the beauty Volterra had to offer before we found ourselves in the dark alleyway, once again. I was going in for the second try but the green sofa wasn’t as appealing this time around. When Francesca greeted us and began the trek down the new corridor a few things popped into my mind. I shouldn't have eaten such a large breakfast and how does one greet a couple thousand-year-old vampires. I decided to follow Alice's lead on things.

When we finally entered the large chamber, the first thing that caught my eye was the tall chairs that sat at the front of the room. It looked like a king's court but with three thrones, each inlaid with their own unique designs. There was only one man keeping watch, he was waiting for us to settle in, before eyeing each one of us, taking his time. When his eyes stopped at me, my breath hitched. He was doing something, his eyes narrowed but his nostrils did not flare.

“That won’t be necessary Afton.” Carlisle finally said to the man. Afton seemed strained and then gave a curt nod to Carlisle before leaving the room.

"He was trying to hurt you Bella." Edward growled anger filling his voice. "It was a test, a stupid test." He was speaking through his teeth.

I had no idea what they meant; perhaps the same shield that stops Edward and Jasper blocked whatever Afton was doing.

"It was to be expected." Carlisle finally consoled his son, before the double doors opened and in walked the most amazing beings I have ever encountered.

Afton was the first to walk back into the room, there was electricity in the air. Everyone was alert and aware; as a beautiful black haired being, slid across the floor. Behind him was a girl trailing oddly close, Afton’s gaze followed them cautiously. It was right out of a movie, but this was no special affects. They were gliding, their feet barely touching the ground with each step.

“May I introduce to you Aro, and Caius.” Afton finally announced, motioning towards the domineering men who took their seats.

Aro was the black haired creature who seemed very important; he took the biggest mahogany chair with a red satin trim. I had heard all about him before, he was the leader of the Volturi and acted like it. His long white fingers grasped the lion head armrests while he waited.

Behind Aro was Caius, a white haired young man, he looked to be in his twenties when turned. His hair flowed freely trailing in his wake, as he stared at each one of us intently before sitting down. I imagined Caius was a beautiful blonde when he was still human. But, with age and power his golden locks had become less pronounced and lightened to its current shade.

What I saw next was quite odd, two children walked in. It seemed to me they were twins about twelve years old. Their features mimicked each other but in a symmetrical way, where one was feminine the other was masculine. They were stuck before the change to adulthood, a hint of baby-fat made their faces oddly cute. However, there was a fine tuned maturity and meanness about them as well. They were the kind of children that lit ants on fire, or shaved the neighbor’s cat. There was a menace, a bitterness that you only see in kids that have been abused in some way. I looked to Edward as he braced himself, taking all the new thoughts into his mind. I could not imagine what these vampires were thinking, let alone having to hear them all at once.

Aro smiled then flicked his hand, signaling Afton to close the door as he stood guard. He sat up straight, his black locks lying lazily against his shoulders. The girl behind him did not look up, but kept her gaze on her leader. A smile broke out on Aro's pale white face, when he finally laid his eyes on Carlisle. His skin looked translucent like a white candle that had not been lit since long ago.

“It has been too long.” He finally said, with a fine hint of an accent now forgotten.

“I am sure you know why we are here then Aro?” Carlisle asked, bowing to give respect as Aro’s smile only widened.

“Oh yes.” He replied, looking back to Alice and I. “Yes, you have quite a collection, I have been hearing all about it. Jane.”

The girl with the pale brown hair one of the twins, who was standing staring at us looked up. She gazed at Aro as if he were her grandfather; there was respect and admiration in her gaze. If I thought her capable of it, I would also say there was love between the two as well.

“Yes Aro.” She replied in a syrupy little girl voice, a sick smiled spreading across her face. It was angelic, too angelic like a possessed doll in some horror film.

“It has been proven my dear girl, no more for now.” There was a slight pout on Jane's face, as I looked to my friends confused.

Edward’s fists were clenched; I had been paying attention to the vampires in front of me and hadn’t even noticed anything else.

“But you are not here to share, no you are here because of the girl, Bella is it?” Aro asked looking to me. He smiled showing his teeth hoping to incite fear.

“Yes Sir.” I replied, hoping it was the right way to answer him.

“Very well, come here would you?” He asked, putting his hand out like one would summon a puppy. Edward stepped to stop me, but Alice shook her head and Carlisle held him back.

I motioned forward walking slowly as if I was approaching a sleeping animal. When I finally was within arms length, Aro touched me on the cheek. His smile fell immediately as he shook his head, defeated. His hand fell from my touch, as a frown cracked his face. He was once handsome; but time had trimmed away the humanness, until there was only his vampiric self left. He waved me away, annoyed as I walked slowly back to my place.

“She seems to be quite powerful, especially for a human. Would we be able to see her again, when all of us are assembled?” Aro asked, as Caius smiled his gaze narrowing on Alice and then me.

“Is there a need for that?” Alice finally spoke up, looking to Caius who sat up straighter in his chair annoyed at the interruption. “She will become one of us, it has been seen.”

Aro’s smile returned as his mind wandered to the possibilities. It was Caius who spoke up. “Are we to believe you, who are you to us. So far, there is no sign that this human will be turned or eradicated. It is a steep price to tell a human of your nature, a price that must be paid.”

Edward growled so softly, but Caius still heard it, a wicked smile spread across his face before Carlisle interrupted. “We can prove it to you, if you let us my daughter Alice can show you.”

It was a gamble, but Aro seemed so interested in Alice’s abilities. She walked forward proudly inches from letting the man touch her. It was my friend’s confidence that made my heart beat wildly. The girl behind Aro flinched as she approached, but Aro held up a hand stopping her from reacting.

“Renata it is all right.” Aro ordered, before putting his hand out as he did with me.

This time it was as if someone had smacked him in the face. He was pushed back by Alice’s thoughts and memories. His eyes were closed but moved rapidly like in REM sleep. When his eyes finally opened he smiled widely, like a child brought into a candy store and Alice was the chocolate.

“You are full of surprises Carlisle.” He finally said once Alice was at my side, her hand in mine. His eyes brightened at the prospect, the milky red color dancing against the light in the room.

Carlisle just bowed. Something outside caught the vampire’s attention as Caius smiled tilting his head.

“Lunch.” He sang, turning to Aro.

“I am sorry, but it seems our lunch is here.” Aro apologized. “Alec, do you mind helping Heidi? I believe it is quite a big group this time.” He seemed excited, almost giddy as I began to shake.

The red and black eyes, those were a sign of a people-eating vampire. How could I stand here, while there was a group of unwilling people being herded in like cattle, to be fed to these creatures before me? Carlisle sensed the tension in the room, as he gave a quick nod.

“Then we will take our leave, you should enjoy your meal.” It was an overly polite gesture; Aro narrowed his gaze on Edward before Caius interjected.

“And what makes you think we should let you go before you have fulfilled your promise?” The white haired vampire asked.

Edward looked ready to kill; he took a deep breath for time only, before answering.

“You know she is to be turned, Aro has seen it already.” His teeth were clenched with anger and frustration. Edward seemed so helpless, so young among the Volturi.

“He is right, I have seen it, it will happen. But will you come tomorrow, when Marcus is here? I know the wives would love to see you again as well Carlisle.” Aro finished, with a quirk of the brow. He was like a big cat and we were the mice.

Aro was taunting us, seeing how willing we were to protect the coven.

The door behind Afton dragged slowly as another beautiful and old creature walked in. He did not look at us but sat in the third empty seat next to Caius.

“I have come, there is no need to have our guests return on my account.” The man said as Aro’s eyes narrowed annoyed at him.

“Marcus, you remember Carlisle do you not?” Aro asked, looking towards Edward as Marcus finally set his eyes on us.

“The boy is in love with the human. It’s always quite interesting how love works don’t you think.” He finished, his eyes glazing over in sadness, as he looked away again.

Aro’s smile fell for the second time, as he looked towards the wall flustered about something.

“The food is waiting.” Marcus said, uninterested in any of the things Aro was.

“I like when it gets scared, they always taste better scared.” Aro answered, smiling at the thought of it.

My heart quickened, in a few moments would I have to watch innocent people be devoured? The thought sickened me as I looked to Edward for help, with a slight nod he looked back to the Volturi.

“What about Laurent? I know you have him.” Edward finally admitted, standing at his fullest height.

Carlisle winced at his son’s insubordination, but Aro seemed more impressed than angry.

“Do you?” You have the best luck Carlisle, your boy here is quite a find. Yes, of course Laurent came to us with information. Quite a bit of excitement going on in Forks the past few months, has it not? We have been keeping an eye out as we always do, and will continue to do so.” He looked towards me when he finished and paused before shrugging. “But he will be dealt with, if we have no use of him of course.”

Carlisle stepped forward bowing fully, the same way he had greeted Aro earlier.

“Then we have accomplished what we came to do. I will let you enjoy your meal; there is still much beauty to see here in Volterra.”

Aro couldn’t help but nod letting us go. However, before we were out of the room, he spoke again stopping us by the doorway.

“My offer still stands Carlisle my old friend, and of course it extends to your family. If ever you wish to join us we would welcome you all.” With that Carlisle smiled and led us down the corridor, we were walking fast but I could hear murmured voices coming from far away. Their voices echoed through the halls, as we passed Francesca she stood to watch us leave, her hands wringing in her lap.

It was a hasty ride back to the Villa, the silence made me uneasy as I watched the cars pass by. It wasn’t until we reached the stairs walking to our rooms that Edward spoke.

“I am sorry.” He finally whispered closing my door before sitting next to me on the bed.

“I’m not, it was hard of course but I expected it.” I answered, trying to alleviate some of his guilt.

“The Volturi have grown hungry with power. Aro thinks of nothing but collecting more guards. I truly believe he is thinking of how powerful you will be if you are turned.” He smiled the pain evident in his eyes.

“But I will be turned, Alice sees it. And that isn’t such a bad thing, especially if it means keeping the balance.” I finished, the tension easing from my back as I lied down across the bed.

“Are you tired?” Edward asked watching me with a smile.

“No, maybe hungry you?” I teased, stretching hoping Edward would lie next to me.

“I am not hungry, but perhaps the cook has prepared something upon our return.” He replied, leaping off the bed as I watched him go to check.

It had been an odd day, the sun was on its way down and night was coming. Alice hummed all the way down the hall and into my room, before taking a spot next to me on the bed.

“That was exciting, although I don’t think we should go back there. Not if we don’t have to of course.” She smiled staring down at me as I shook my head, mimicking her smile.

“You think going into the den of the largest and scariest covens in the world was exciting? Sure okay maybe, but I have to agree with you let’s not go back.” I laughed, sitting up next to my friend.

“Lunch is ready Bella.” Alice sang, her eyes refocusing back at me as we both got up heading down stairs.

Edward wasn't in the dinning room when Alice and I took our seats. My friend smiled, watching me look around for her brother.

"He's speaking with Carlisle and Raul; apparently Laurent has been rejected by the Volturi." Alice informed me, shrugging with indifference.

"What do you mean rejected?" I inquired with a hint of concern.

"He wanted to be a part of the guard, but after today he became a liability. He is not taking it well, so Raul has come to speak with us about it." When she finished a smile spread across her face, as a man placed a plate in front of me.

"Buon appetito." He bowed, walking away with grace as I stared at the plate.

It was a beautiful bowl of spaghetti with a blackened swordfish on top. The dish was covered in garlic with a cream sauce and sun-dried tomatoes. Alice watched me eat with keen interest for a few minutes, before a thought put a bright smile to her face.

"I can't wait until you see how we eat." She sighed, genuinely enthralled by the idea of sharing a part of herself with me.

"That will have to wait Alice." Edward interrupted, walking in the dinning room. His eyes looked worried, despite the sly grin on his lips.

"We're going out tonight." Alice announced, as her brother's face fell in defeat.

"Will you ever let me tell her something first Alice?" Edward asked, annoyed for a moment.

Alice tilted her head before shrugging. "You're supposed to be the fast one."

The night air in Volterra was crisp and refreshing; the locals were abuzz. Some people had gelato in one hand or bottled water and a cell phone in the other. It was so different from Forks. The most culture I had ever been exposed to, was in Seattle but that couldn't compare. There was an excitement, a thrill in the air; as we trailed behind Carlisle while he gave us the local history. I could tell the lesson was meant for me, as his two children were preoccupied with their surroundings.

When we finally came to a small cafe at the end of the street Edward led us in. Inside there was a few locals; some at the bar, others eating pizza or pastries nursing an espresso. They turned briefly to us, but looked away just as quickly. The people of Volterra had lived amongst vampires for centuries; it was ingrained in their customs to stay leery of the beautiful beings. Carlisle acted as if he hadn't noticed, turning to me with a soft smile.

"You must be thirsty Bella." He asserted, grabbing a glass bottle of Orangina for me while handing it to the cashier.

I was thirsty but it didn't matter, this stop had a greater meaning. The Cullens were trying to give me a normal vacation, it was sweet. It was always the same with Edward's family; they tried so hard to keep the balance between the supernatural and my world. I had to smile at the thought, before following the trio back out into the beautiful night.

When we were a few blocks away from the Villa, a man came into view staring at us intently. Edward stopped, a low hiss barely audible emanating from his lips. My boyfriend pulled me back as Alice protected me behind the two men. It was Laurent; he looked disheveled, sad and tired. His eyes were blood red, as he stared with hate and menace at us.

"You have ruined me, the Volturi have sent me away and it is all your fault." He spat his, upper lip curling almost to a snarl.

Carlisle held Edward back, as he braced himself to lunge at the other vampire.

"You are outnumbered and mistaken Laurent. I suggest you go back to where you came from and leave us be."

Laurent laughed shaking his head; he was delirious and ready to attack any minute.

"I may be outnumbered Carlisle now, but soon you will come to me begging for mercy. The Volturi will regret this day, as will you and your coven. I know all your weaknesses Carlisle and the fact is, when you are close to humans you become just like them. You are just a frail pathetic shell of the superior being that you were. You can hide behind your diet and try to save a few lives here and there. But in the end, you will come back to the fold, they always do." He laughed shaking his head, as Carlisle held Edward back again.

"You will let us pass." Carlisle ordered, there was such strength in his voice that wiped the smile from Laurent's face immediately.

"Oh yes of course, Carlisle such a precious commodity for the Volturi, yes of course." And with that, he stepped aside letting us pass as he laughed evilly.

"We will see each other again young one, but next time your father will let you go." Edward turned towards Laurent, their eyes one set amber the other red a test of wills.

My heart was beating rapidly uncontrollably. I knew Laurent was right, he would bid his time and seek his revenge. Being in this world meant having enemies, unprovoked or not, Laurent was one of them. It was hard to shake the encounter for the rest of the night. I fell asleep after tossing and turning, we had a flight in the late afternoon back to Washington. The entire trip was now coming to an end.

When I awoke, it was in a cold sweat, I was having a nightmare and my heart pounded in my chest.

“Edward.” I called out, knowing he was there with me.

”I am here.” He answered, walking closer towards me so the moonlight reflected in his eyes.

“I dreamed you were dead.” I explained, my voice cracking from the fear.

Edward smiled at me, sitting at the corner of my bed brushing the hair away that stuck to my face.

“It was just a dream, I am fine.” He consoled, as I reached up touching his cool cheek.

“Just hold me.” I asked, as he winced trying to hold himself back.

“Bella.” He protested shaking his head. I couldn’t take no for an answer and sat up locking my eyes with his.

“We are in Italy one of the most romantic countries in the world and I want to be with you Edward. Even if it’s like this, can’t you just hold me nothing more?” I tried to reason.

His will broke as a smile cracked his stony face. He leaned in gently towards me and I took in a deep breath. His breath was intoxicating and the perfect way to start a kiss. Our lips touched, softly first and then with more longing. He held me extra gently while my arms wrapped around him guiding him down on the bed slowly.

“Bella please.” He whispered his arms still around my back.

“I know,” I sighed. “Just this once Edward, please just this once let’s try to be normal. I trust you; I know you won’t hurt me.” I begged, delirious with the contact.

He studied my face for a moment and then eased back into a kiss; it was our longest embrace but still left me aching. I could feel Edward slipping away, reaching his limit. My reserve was faltering too, we were at a precipice. One extra moment longer and the aching and longing would ignite. If we continued, our desires would take us somewhere Edward wanted to stay away from.

I pulled away just as Edward was about to, I didn’t want to feel the rejection. If my desires made him feel like he had to keep away from me, that would make things worse. As long as I showed self-restraint Edward wouldn’t feel like a monster without control. He laughed staring at me closely, before I leaned my head on his chest.

“This is better than air conditioning.” I joked, helping Edward lighten the mood.

“Every time we are together this way Bella we loose a little bit more self restraint. You have awoken desires in me that I thought were dormant. For the briefest moments when we are like this, I feel seventeen again. And for that I have to thank you, and thank Carlisle for changing me. It is times like this where I understand why I have lived for over a hundred years.” He laughed looking down at me as I smiled.

“Why is that?” I asked.

He smirked his crooked grin before answering me. “To find you of course Bella, it has always been to find you.”