As Edward and Bella move on from the events in New Moon, Edward struggles to keep his control over Bella's safety. Bella is thrilled that her life is returning to normal, except for the absence of her former best friend, Jacob. Once Bella made the decison to become a vampire like Edward, there was no going back. Even if that meant losing her family and her friends. How will the werewolves react when they find out that the Cullen's plan on breaking the treaty willingly? Will Bella be able to let go of the past and let go of Jacob? Will Edward convince Bella to marry him before she is turned into the enternally damned? ECLIPSE from EDWARDS POV.
Eclipse from Edward's POV.
2. Fiery Red
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Bella seemed happier than normal as we walked from Spanish to lunch. She didn't tell me why, and I didn't ask. As long as she was happy it was enough for me. She would have said something, if she really wanted me to know.
The tingling from my toes to my head which was ignited by Bella's hand in mine, was great, so I focused on that feeling. It did neither of us any good if I spent my hours speculating on what Bella was thinking about. She didn't want me to know anyway and like always her wish was my command.
“Have you sent your announcements, yet?” Angela asked as we sat down at out table in the cafeteria.
I have so many to do. I am never going to get through all these. I want all my family to be there, but maybe this is a little ridiculous.
Angela was one of the minds I didn't mind listening to, her thoughts were never vicious like Jessica or Lauren. There were mostly selfless and kind, but out of respect for her I tried to tune them out as much as possible.
She looked stressed out, her appearance was sloppier than usual.
Hey bro. Alice silently greeted me.
Ben and her had already been at the table before Bella and I got there. I smiled in my sister's direction.
“No. There’s no point, really. Renée knows when I’m graduating. Who else is there?” Bella answered Angela's question.
“How about you Alice?” Angela asked.
My sister smiled. “All done.”
Not that we had anyone to invite that wouldn't already be there. Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rosalie, and Jasper were a given, we could have invited the Denali clan, but there was no need, it wasn't like this was the first time we were graduating, and I really wasn't ready for Bella to meet Tanya. Tanya would be mad enough that I chose a human over her and I didn't need any more family members harboring hatred towards my only love. That and Bella was very self conscious and I knew she would find some way to compare herself to Tanya. Although there was no comparison, Bella was the Mona Lisa. Tanya was a finger painting.
“Lucky you.” Angela said with a sigh. “My mother has a thousand cousins and she expects me to hand-address one to everybody. I’m going to get carpal tunnel. I can’t put it off any longer and I’m just dreading it.”
I'll help you. If you don't mind my awful handwriting.” Bella offered.
Good. She would be going out with a friend, that wasn't a werewolf, and Charlie would be happy. I smiled.
“That’s so nice of you. I’ll come over any time you want.” Angela said to Bella.
“Actually, I’d rather go to your house if that’s okay — I’m sick of mine. Charlie ungrounded me last night.”Bella said with a big grin.
“Really? I thought you said you were in for life.” Angela asked almost fully excited. She was still worried about her graduation announcements and the amount of time it would take to finish them.
“I’m more surprised than you are. I was sure I would at least have finished high school before he set me free.” Bella said in her beautiful voice. It was like a favorite song, that no matter how many times you heard it always made you want to dance.
“Well, this is great, Bella! We’ll have to go out to celebrate.” Angela said forgetting about her pile of announcements at home and letting herself really get excited for Bella.
“You have no idea how good that sounds.” Bella said with relief.
“What should we do?” Alice asked. Skiing in Aspen? Shopping in Paris? Maybe I could get her a fake ID and we could go parting in Canada...
I wanted to kick Alice. Of course she was thinking about that most ostentatious things she could imagine. What happened to a small sleepover or shopping trip in Portland?
“Whatever you’re thinking, Alice, I doubt I’m that free.” Bella said, she knew Alice well enough to know that she wasn't thinking anything mundane or simple.
“Free is free, right?” Alice argued.
“I’m sure I still have boundaries — like the continental U.S., for example.”
Shoot. Well that takes out Paris and Canada...Aspen? No, Bella would probably hit a tree and break her head open. We could go to Boston or New York...some place she's never been before, but Edward would want to come and spoil all our fun...What a party pooper...Oops sorry Edward.
I wanted to laugh at Alice, like Angela and Ben were. But she was right, I would have to come and anything that was even close to being dangerous would be out. It was as simple as that and if Alice thought I was a party pooper, then whatever. Bella would be safe.
Alice was frowning, but she was far from giving up.
“So what are we doing tonight?” she insisted.
“Nothing. Look, let’s give it a couple of days to make sure he wasn’t joking. It’s a school night, anyway.” Bella was still unsure of her dad's decision.
I knew he wasn't planning on changing his mind, but Bella didn't and it was probably for the best that she lay low, for at least a couple days.
“We’ll celebrate this weekend, then.” Alice said enthusiastically.
“Sure.” Bella agreed, but it was only for Alice's benefit.
Angela, Ben, and Alice started to discuss Bella's options, but I remained silent. Alice was trying to hold back a vision, it was easier for people to think you were normal when you weren't drifting in and out of a trance like state.
Bella was quiet as well, which I could assume only meant one thing. She was thinking about Jacob. My chest felt squeezed again. I didn't know what to say to her to let her know how Jacob and her relationship effected me. It was my fault it was necessary in the first place and I didn't own her, she could love and be friends with whom ever she wanted. That didn't mean she could go visit who ever she wanted, it was like her asking me to take her to a serial killer's house. The only difference was with a serial killer, you knew it was for certain that they would kill, with a werewolf it could happen at any time. Just one wrong word and bam!
No more Bella.
Before I had a chance dive into the depression that surrounded any thoughts of me losing my reason for life, Alice's vision slipped through. She couldn't stop herself from seeing it.
I knew in an instant who the star of her vision was. The flowing red hair, like silky fire.
“Alice? Alice!” Angela's voice was concerned. Is she okay? Is she sick, hurt? Oh no.
We had pretenses to keep up so I laughed and kicked Alice's foot, as hard as I could in the position I was in, under the table.
“Is it nap time already, Alice?” I asked.
“Sorry, I was daydreaming, I guess.” She said, trying her hardest to act like herself. Bella! She is coming for her. I don't know when or where, but we have to do something. She cannot take my best friend away! Alice pleaded to me silently.
“Daydreaming’s better than facing two more hours of school,” Ben said.
Alice jumped right back into their previous discussion, but not with out casting another pleading glance in my direction. We cannot let her kill Bella. Alice and I both amended at the same time. I knew she couldn't hear my thoughts, but she understood my feelings were astronomically greater than hers.
I didn't want to tell Bella, she would only worry, and I was tried of being the one who always had to bring a rain cloud to every sunny day. As we left lunch I made a point to speak with Ben, so Bella didn't have a chance to grill me. We chatted about a assignment that I already completed, but it took my attention off of Victoria and the fact that at some point so would be looking for Bella again.
The rest of the day sped by. I knew that I would eventually have to talk to Bella. I was saved by Mike of all people, who seemed to be handing car troubles.
“Hey Mike. I heard your car has been acting up lately.” I said to him conversationally.
“Yea. The stupid thing won't start half the time, but I just replaced the battery.” Mike explained. Cullen's talking to me? Why? He is nice, I guess. I would steal Bella from him if I had the chance though.
“Perhaps it's the cables?” I suggested.
It was the alternator, but if I told him that he would just run off to fix his car and I needed to talk with him long enough to get to the car where Alice was waiting.
“Maybe. I really don’t know anything about cars, I need to have someone look at it, but I can’t afford to take it to Dowling’s.” Mike said. Cullen might be right. Hm.
“I know a few things — I could take a look, if you like, Just let me drop Alice and Bella at home.” I asked hopeful for an out. Bella must know by now that something was going on.
Mike's mouth dropped open. Really? No way. Really. No. What? Really! No... I have to work anyway, but it would be so weird, actually hanging out with the guy.
“Er...thanks, but I have to get to work. Maybe some other time.” Mike said hesitantly.
“Absolutely.” I promised and I would help if he really wanted me to.
“See ya.” Mike said as he climbed into his car.
“What was that about?”Bella asked as we made out way to my car.
“Just being helpful.” I lied.
Alice for once was being helpful and when we got into the car she started talking, babbling really.
“You’re really not that good a mechanic, Edward. Maybe you should have Rosalie take a look at it tonight, just so you look good if Mike decides to let you help, you know. Not that it wouldn’t be fun to watch his face if Rosalie showed up to help. But since Rosalie is supposed to be across the countryattending college, I guess that’s not the best idea. Too bad. Though I suppose, for Mike’s car, you’ll do. It’s only within the finer tunings of a good Italian sports car that you’re out of your depth. And speaking of Italy and sports cars that I stole there, you still owe me a yellow Porsche. I don’t know that I want to wait for Christmas...”
Victoria will be close to Forks this weekend. Alice informed me.
She kept talking for Bella's benefit, but I assumed Bella clocked out long ago and was deep somewhere in her intriguing mind. I wished that I didn't have to guess on what she was thinking. It would be so much more convenient just to know and be able to make her every unspoken wish come true.
I tried to drive slower than normal, but it seemed like in no time at all I was a the mouth of my driveway. Alice got out and looked gravely at me. Tell her I saw a vision about Jasper and him being off somewhere. She'll believe you. Oh and look in her closet if you get a chance...
“See you.” I said then nodded thanking her for the advice.
The ride to Bella's was quiet and this time I wasn't sure if it was because of Jacob, or because I had been avoiding her like the plague all afternoon.
“Light homework load tonight.” I said to break the silence.
“Mmm.” Bella agreed.
Well, that wasn't helpful.
“Do you suppose I’m allowed inside again?” I asked her trying to her to open up.
“Charlie didn’t throw a fit when you picked me up for school.” She answered.
True. I didn't think he would mind so much anyway. He may hate me, but he can't deny the change in Bella since I returned. He knew that if I were to leave again it would be the same as the first time, but only this time I wasn't sure either of us would make it through that alive.
We walked up the stairs to her room and I flopped on the bed. Bella went to go turn her computer on. No doubt to write Renee back. I watched Bella as she sat in her computer chair waiting for it to boot up, her fingers drumming impatiently on the table. I got up and placed my hand over hers to stop her nervous twitching.
“Are we a little impatient today?” I asked dropping my head down to it was the same level as hers.
She turned to look up at me, her mouth open to say something sarcastic probably. She stopped, though, when she noticed how close we were.
The electricity was charging between us. Snapping, popping, and cracking as I stared into the depths that were her eyes. I could taste her breath, sweet and warm. I wanted to inhale all day long. Her lips were parted and inviting.
I couldn't resist.
I didn't want to. Not this time.
I laced my fingers through her hair and pulled her face to mine, our lips mashing together. Bella wrapped her arms around my neck and I let my other hand roam down the soft warm curve of her back. I pulled her tightly to my chest. Bella's warmth was almost overpowering, I felt myself defrost with every passing second. She shivered, which reminded me that while she made me warm, I made her cold. Bella knew me enough to know that I would pull away any second, so she pushed her self closer, I felt my resolve slipping. She was too warm, too beautiful and there was nothing more on this earth that I wanted more than her. Her warm tongue traced my frigid lower lip, igniting it on fire and sending intense feelings through my body.
I pulled away reluctantly. If I let her continue we would end up doing something that could literally kill her. Which in turn would end my life as well. It just wasn't worth it.
I laughed, the sound didn't make it past my throat. I wanted her too much that it was deadly. I may not be a typical man, but I was still a man, and when things got started it was very hard to stop them. Even when I wanted nothing more than to pick Bella up and lay her on the bed and make love to her. I couldn't.
“Ah. Bella.” I said sighing.
After all it was her fault, if she wasn't so exquisite in every single way, I wouldn't want her so badly.
“I'd say I'm sorry, but I'm not.” Her tone was wistful. She didn't want the moment to end any more than I did.
“And I should feel sorry that you’re not sorry, but I don’t. Maybe I should go sit on the bed.” I suggested.
It would be the only way either of us could focus, but it was really the last thing I wanted to do at that moment.
Bella exhaled, her breath making my head swim with improper thoughts.
“If you think that’s necessary...”
No I don't think it's necessary, I know it is. I was too close to breaking down. I smiled at her and untangled our bodies, the warmth was gone. I felt...nothing. Neither cold, nor hot just like something was missing.
“Tell Renée I said hello.” I told her as I sat on the bed.
While Bella typed I got off the bed. Walking around her room, looking at her things gave me the inspiration for what I planned to do with her this weekend while Victoria was back in town. I stood behind her reading her email to her mother at first, but something black in the corner of her closet caught my attention. Alice had told me to look there, and I had almost forgotten, what with Bella's eyes zapping all coherent thoughts from my mind. It was the stereo Rosalie, Jasper, and Emmett gave her for her eighteenth birthday. It was in a tangled mess of wire and plastic. I felt sorry for the broken electrical equipment, but was more relived at finding it, because it reminded me that we had plane tickets to Florida, that where never cashed in. It was perfect. I wanted to hug Alice for being such an wonderful evil genius.
“What did you do to this?” I asked horrified at her treatment of a very practical gift.
“It didn’t want to come out of the dashboard.” She answered simply.
“So you felt the need to torture it?” There was no way I could fix that, what if Alice saw it...she would definitely tell the others, and they would be hurt.
“You know how I am with tools. No pain was inflicted intentionally.”
I could picture her ripping and pulling at the plastic trying to get it out of the dashboard.
I put on my best tragic face. “You killed it.”
“Oh well.” She said with a shrug.
If she thought tearing apart this stereo meant she wasn't going to have one in the P.O.S. she called a truck then she was sadly mistaken.
“It would hurt their feelings if they saw this, I guess it’s a good thing that you’ve been on house arrest. I’ll have to get another one in place before they notice.” While it was true, it was also the closest she would let me get to buying her a new vehicle.
“Thanks, but I don’t need a fancy stereo.” She replied.
No, she didn't need one, but that didn't mean I wasn't getting her one. She was always so impossibly selfless.
“It’s not for your sake that I’m going to replace it.”
She sighed and took the opportunity to snag the plane tickets from inside her closet where she has stashed everything from that fateful day back in September.
“You didn’t get much good out of your birthday presents last year.” I said with a small amount of actual disappointment. I fanned myself with the plane tickets for emphasis.
Bella seemed frozen. Normally I tried to never mention her birthday or the events that followed, but this was for a good cause. The best cause. Her life.
“Do you realize these are about to expire?” I tried again holding the tickets out her to take.
Bella breathed deeply.
“No. I’d forgotten all about them, actually.” Her voice was lifeless and flat.
I regretting bringing up such horrible memories. I didn't want her to live through them again. I worked on keeping my expression light and happy. After all if this worked, there wouldn't be much to worry about after this weekend and I could possible persuade Bella to enjoy a few months of college, before she became like me.
“Well, we still have a little time. You’ve been liberated . . . and we have no plans this weekend, as you refuse to go to the prom with me. Why not celebrate your freedom this way?” I asked with a grin.
Bella's lips popped open in a gasp.
“By going to Florida?” She asked surprised.
“You did say something about the continental U.S. being allowable.” I said reminding her of her statement at lunch.
She just glared back at me. Her eyes narrowing at me in suspicion, but there was enough confusion there to placate me.
“Well? Are we going to see Renée or not?” I demanded.
“Charlie will never allow it.” She argued.
Ha. It wasn't going to work. Charlie was not her primary guardian.
“Charlie can’t keep you from visiting your mother. She still has primary custody.” I told her smugly.
“Nobody has custody of me. I’m an adult.” She retorted, but it only made my case stronger.
I could see the wheels turning in her head. She wanted to, too. So badly, but the fear her father wouldn't let her held her back. I needed her to be out of town this weekend and I refused to take no as an answer.
I studied her features, she was really mulling over this decision. It made me happy, until she sighed.
“Not this weekend.” She said finally.
“Why not?” I asked.
“I don’t want to fight with Charlie. Not so soon after he’s forgiven me.”
Crap. She had me there, but still...
“I think this weekend is perfect.” I muttered. There was no way I was going to let this go. We needed to be hundreds of miles away and even if that meant kidnapping her to keep her safe, that's what I would do. I could deal with the consequences later.
She shook her head. “Another time.”
I needed to turn up the heat a little. If I wanted her to go along willingly I needed to make her want this trip more than anything.
“You aren’t the only one who’s been trapped in this house, you know.” I said frowning.
Bella, like myself, strived to make our soul mate happy and if she thought it made me happy she might do it. I felt guilty for trying to coheres her into this,but she would see in the end was for the best.
“You can go anywhere you want.” She rebuked.
Her statement was not even close to being true. Sure I could physically come and go where I pleased, but there would be no point. The world was dull and gray in comparison to Bella's stunning beauty. There was nothing out there worth seeing if Bella wasn't at my side.
“The outside world holds no interest for me without you.” I told her truthfully.
She rolled her eyes at me.
“I'm serious.” I insisted.
“Let’s take the outside world slowly, all right? For example, we could start with a movie in Port Angeles...” She suggested.
No, it was still to close to Forks and to Victoria.
“Never mind. We'll talk about it later.” I said in temporary defeat.
“There's nothing left to talk about.” She disagreed.
I shrugged. It didn't really matter if she thought the conversation was over. It didn't change the fact that we were leaving Forks as long as Victoria was around.
“Okay, then, new subject, what did Alice see today at lunch?” She asked.
Of course she noticed, and of course she had to ask.
I struggled to keep my face smooth and emotionless. I felt my eyes start to narrow and corrected it quickly.
“She’s been seeing Jasper in a strange place, somewhere in the southwest, she thinks, near his former...family. But he has no conscious intentions to go back.” I sighed, I hated to lie to her. “It’s got her worried.”
“Oh. Why didn't you tell me before?” She seemed surprised that it was something as simple as that.
“I didn’t realize you’d noticed, it’s probably nothing important, in any case.” I lied unwillingly again.
It was very, very important.
The conversation was effectively dropped after that and we went down stairs to work on our homework before Charlie arrived back home. I flew through the work like it was nothing, I had done it all before.
Many times before.
Bella struggled with her calculus and as much as I wanted to just do it for her, I knew it would be better if she had a chance to learn this for herself. She would need it later on in life. Whether she was made a vampire or not. I silently hoped for the latter.
I helped Bella fix her dinner. The raw beef was disgusting, it was bloody, but in a sickening way. Not fresh like live prey and slimy feeling. I couldn't imagine the taste. I didn't want to.
Bella finished the beef stroganoff, something I never had a chance to try in my human life, minutes before Charlie arrived. His thoughts were relatively neutral. He was to tired from work to go out of his way to be discourteous to me. I excused myself from dinner, like I always did and went into the living room. I turned on the news for Charlie's sake, he would probably think it was weird that I was just sitting in the living room eaves dropping on their conversation. Even though I was.
They didn't speak during the meal, which was alright with me. I was content on watching Bella eat though her father's mind. He was focused on his food and after three helpings, he finally sighed and stretched out on the empty chair beside him.
“That was great Bells.” He said to her.
“I'm glad you liked it. How was work?” Bella asked conversationally.
For such an awfully slow day, I am certainly tired. He thought, before answering Bella.
“Sort of slow. Well, dead slow really. Mark and I played cards for a good part of the afternoon. I won, nineteen hands to seven. And then I was on the phone with Billy for a while.”
He had to add the last part in. Of course.
“How is he?” Bella asked trying to be polite, I assumed.
“Good, good. His joints are bothering him a little.”
Charlie's mind was filled with worry for his friend. It was hard not to feel sorry for the senior Black. Being wheelchair bound was not fun for anyone.
“Oh. That's to bad.” Bella's tone was sincere.
No matter what issues where going on Bella had a big heart and that pain of others was never funny or ordinary for her.
“Yeah. He invited us down to visit this weekend. He was thinking of having the Clearwaters and the Uleys over too. Sort of a playoff party...” Jacob will be there. He added silently.
Too bad Bella would not be allowed to go. Well, too bad for Jacob and Charlie.
“Huh.” Bella replied. She knew it was out of the question.
Bella got up and started getting dishes ready to be washed, I got up and went into the kitchen. I took my place next to her grabbing a dish towel.
Charlie started to get up and I realized this might be my only chance to get Bella down to Florida.
“Charlie.” I started.
He stopped. “Yeah?”
“Did Bella ever tell you that my parents gave her airplane tickets on her last birthday, so that she could visit Renée?”
The question caught Bella off guard. The plate she was cleaning slipped from her fingers, smacked against the counter and fell nosily on the floor. I could have caught it, but that would require some explaining on my part to Charlie and what I was doing right now was risky enough. I didn't mind the dish water the now seemed to be covering the three of us, this, what I was attempting had to work. If not Charlie would be calling the FBI to come find me after I whisked Bella away to some unknown location. I wasn't scared. Bring the FBI, bring SWAT, what match where any of them to me?
“Bella?” Charlie asked stunned.
Bella picked up the plate.
“Yeah, they did.”
Charlie's eyes narrowed at me. Really. Huh. Is this some kind of setup? “No, she never mentioned it.”
“Hmm.” I murmured, my part was done.
“Was there a reason you brought it up?” Charlie asked, his face and voice hard.
I shrugged. Shrugging was casual. I didn't want Charlie to be any more suspicious that he already was.
“They’re about to expire. I think it might hurt Esme’s feelings if Bella doesn’t use her gift. Not that she’d say anything.” Both statements where true, so it wasn't as hard to say them to the Chief and his beautiful daughter.
Bella stared at me. She was shocked, for sure, and maybe even a little pissed, but I'd gladly take that.
Well. That was certainly nice of Esme. Bella really hasn't seen her mother in a while. Not since...“It’s probably a good idea for you to visit your mom, Bella. She’d love that. I’m surprised you didn’t say anything about this, though.” Why wouldn't Bella tell me about these tickets? That's not like her at all.
“I forgot.” Bella said truthfully.
Charlie frowned. “You forgot that someone gave you plane tickets?”
I wanted to groan. Bella really wasn't helping me out at all.
“Hmm.” Bella said turning back to the sink.
Bella doesn't want to visit her mother? Edward said the tickets were about to expire. I would think she would be more adamant about using them. Wait. Wait one damn minute!
Charlie may have been many things, but one the he wasn't was slow. I suppressed another groan.
“I noticed that you said they’re about to expire, Edward. How many tickets did your parents give her?”Charlie asked, knowing knowing the answer.
“Just one for her...and one for me.” I said. There was no point in lying.
I heard the watery plink, as Bella dropped another plate. Charlie exhaled loudly. That wasn't good.
“That’s out of the question!” Charlie screamed in rage. No way! Never! No. They are not running off to Renee's so they can gallivant all over with out supervision. Esme may allow them to do whatever they please, but not me. No way not me!!
“Why? I asked innocently. I already knew the answer, but Bella didn't. I was sure she would have a few thoughts about what her father assumed this trip was meant for. “You just said it was a good idea for her to see her mother.”
“You’re not going anywhere with him, young lady!” Charlie fumed pointing a Bella.
She whirled around, her features changing from shock to anger. I didn't want them to fight, but it was the only way. They would both forgive each other, and me eventually.
“I’m not a child, Dad. And I’m not grounded anymore, remember?” Bella argued.
Yes! I wanted to shout.
“Oh yes, you are. Starting now.” Charlie shot back.
That wasn't fair, but it wasn't my place to say anything. I had already caused enough family troubles.
“For what?” Bella asked bewildered.
“Because I said so.” Charlie said pulling out the old cliché.
“Do I need to remind you that I’m a legal adult, Charlie?” Bella retorted.
She was good. Pulling out the adult card. I wasn't sure how far it would get her, but it seemed like a good tactic. Charlie's mind was too much in a fury, for me to get any concrete readings. It didn't matter anyway, I told myself.
“This is my house — you follow my rules!” He tried again.
A look I rarely saw on Bella's sweet face flashed as Charlie said the words. Her glare was cold and hard.
“If that’s how you want it. Do you want me to move out tonight? Or can I have a few days to pack?” She asked flippantly.
Maybe she was taking it a bit too far. Not I wouldn't mind her moving in with me. We could buy a bed, and sleep together every night. All night. I would make her breakfast in the morning. Just like we were married. The word caused a lump in my throat. Bella didn't want to marry me. The crying feeling returned.
Charlie's face flashed a bright red. I listened closer to his heart, to make sure there wasn't anything funny going on.
“I’ll do my time without complaining when I’ve done something wrong, Dad, but I’m not going to put up with your prejudices.” Bella said in a less harsh tone.
Charlie was speechless, both verbally and mentally.
“Now, I know that you know that I have every right to see Mom for the weekend. You can’t honestly tell me you’d object to the plan if I was going with Alice or Angela.” She stated, solidifying her claim.
Hell no I would not! “Girls.” Charlie said with a nod.
“Would it bother you if I took Jacob?” She asked.
My teeth snapped shut, and the squeezing in my chest returned with full force.
Charlie wavered for a minute. It was obvious, even with out my special ability, that he wouldn't have minded if it was Jacob. That made the tightening worse.
“Yes.” Charlie lied. “That would bother me.”
Bella wasn't stupid, she caught on right away.
“You’re a rotten liar, Dad.”
“Bella —” He started.
“It’s not like I’m headed off to Vegas to be a showgirl or anything. I’m going to see Mom, she’s just as much my parental authority as you are.” Bella reminded him.
Yeah. Sure she is. Charlie mentally shot back.
“Are you implying something about Mom’s ability to look after me?” Bella challenged.
Charlie flinched. He was headed into dangerous waters.
“You’d better hope I don’t mention this to her!” Bella threatened.
“You'd better not.” Charlie warned. He thought about arguing his point further, but gave up. Renee would watch us, there wouldn't be anything fishy going on. “I'm not happy about this Bella.” he conceded.
“There’s no reason for you to be upset.” Bella said.
Charlie rolled his eyes, but he was already past it. He would let us go, even if he wasn't happy about it.
Bella drained the sink.
“So my homework is done, your dinner is done, the dishes are done, and I’m not grounded. I’m going out. I’ll be back before ten-thirty.” She announced.
We were going out? That was great. We hadn't done much over the last few months.
“Where are you going?” Charlie asked.
“I'm not sure. I’ll keep it within a ten-mile radius, though. Okay?”
“Not like I have any say in what you do anyway.” Charlie grunted too low for Bella to hear then walked out of the room.
“We're going out?” I asked excitedly.
Bella's gaze was harsh as she turned on me.
“Yes. I think I'd like to speak with you, alone” She emphasized the alone part, which could only mean she intended on yelling at me.
I'd take it. I was on cloud nine. Everything I wanted to happen was happening and I didn't have unnecessarily worry Bella.
Bella was quiet until we were both in the car. I hoped she had forgotten that she was angry with me, but as soon as the door where shut she started.
“What was that?” She stormed.
“I know you want to see your mother, Bella — you’ve been talking about her in your sleep. Worrying actually.”I told her, it wasn't a lie. Bella had been talking about her mother with recent regularity.
“I have?” She asked, her tone subdued.
I nodded. “But, clearly, you were too much of a coward to deal with Charlie, so I interceded on your behalf.” I teased.
“Interceded? You threw me to the sharks!”
Bella always had a nack for the dramatic. I rolled my eyes.
“I don't think you were in any danger.”
“I told you I didn't want to fight with Charlie!” She fumed.
“Nobody said you had too.” I reminded her.
She flashed another icy look in my direction.
“I can’t help myself when he gets all bossy like that — my natural teenage instincts overpower me.”
I laughed. She was so adorable when she was being a bratty teenager.
“Well that's not my fault.”
I turned to look out the windshield. It may not have been my fault for the little father-daughter fight, but I was the one who brought it up, against Bella's wishes. I had to, though, there was no other way around it. She would thank me later, if she ever found out the real reason behind my choice.
“Does this sudden urge to see Florida have anything to do with the party at Billy’s place?” She asked suspiciously.
I felt my jaw tighten at the mention of Billy Black's name.
“Nothing at all. It wouldn’t matter if you were here or on the other side of the world, you still wouldn’t be going.”
It was true. There was nothing in the world that could make me ever let Bella do something as dangerous as spend a evening with the rowdy, volatile La Push wolves.
I braced myself for Bella's rebuttal, but there was none. I sighed in relief.
“So what do you want to do tonight?” I asked trying to change the subject.
“Can we go to your house? I haven't seen Esme in so long.” She murmured.
I smiled. I loved having Bella in my home.
“She’ll like that. Especially when she hears what we’re doing this weekend.” I said happily.
Bella groaned. Most people would have been excited about taking a trip to Florida for the weekend, but not my Bella. Her reactions were always backwards.
The night went by quickly. We played chess with Jasper and Alice. Something that was funnier to Bella then it was to me. Alice and I played our silent quick game, moving only a few pieces each. We played the rest of the game in our minds. I won. Naturally.
The light was still on at Chief Swan's when we pulled up. He was inside waiting on Bella. His mind was calm, but I detected a nervous edge to it.
“You’d better not come inside,” Bella warned. “It will only make things worse.”
I caught the tenor of Charlie's mind, he was going to have the sex talk with Bella. I wanted to burst out with laughter, but Bella needed to stay inconspicuous about this.
“His thoughts are relatively calm,” I teased her.
Charlie's mind was so confused and nervous, as he tried to remember facts from health classes years ago and personal experience. I fought to keep a smile off of my face.
It was good that Charlie wanted to have this very important conversation with Bella, but it was also saddening. It would never be like that with us, no matter if it was what both of us wanted.
“I'll see you later.” Bella said, her plump lips set in frown.
She hated being away from me just as much as I did. I laughed at her impatience and pressed my lips to the top of her head.
“I'll be back when Charlie's snoring.” I reminded her.
I watched Bella exit the house and go inside, before I drove off. I had been neglecting my hunting, lately and now was as good of a time as ever. The drive back to my house was quick. Alice was perched on the hood of Rosalie's car when I entered the garage. I stepped out and locked the doors meaningfully. I didn't want this little pixie getting any ideas about taking my car.
“I don't want your car.” She told me with a grin.
“Then what do you want?” I asked.
“Guess!” She trilled excitedly. Porsche Turbo 911.Porsche Turbo 911. Porsche Turbo 911.
“Alice! I don't have time for this. I will get you one, as promised. Is there something else you needed?”
“Well, let me go hunting with you. We can talk then.” She said hopping off the hood.
“Whatever. Let's just make it quick.” I said with a sigh.
We took off running, the speed immediately relieving my stress. I closed my eyes and let the feelings envelop me.
“So, I don't see anything happening during your trip. Although, it will be sunny and you'll have to stay inside, but duh, it's Florida. Victoria is still coming, she will be in these very woods, but some decision hasn't been made yet, so I don't know the outcome. Sorry.” Alice informed me as we ran.
“Thanks. Keep me posted.”
Alice veered left to the smell of elk, but I wanted something else. I stopped and listened, softer, agile paws pattered along the grass to the North. I shut down all other senses and let the vampire take over.
Alice met up with me a few minutes later. I was satisfied, well as satisfied as one could get drinking animal blood.
“Bella sure was embarrassed by Charlie's little talk, huh?” Alice said conversationally as we ran back to the house.
I saw Alice's flashes in her mind. Bella and Charlie both standing in the living room, faces red, looking away from each other. I laughed loudly.
“It's too bad...” Alice trailed off.
“About what?” I asked, curious.
“That you and Bella can't...well you know..” Do it.
“It's wonderful Eddy! Really, if you only knew.” She insisted.
I stopped running and so did Alice. I put my hands firmly on her shoulders.
“Alice. Don't you think I want to. Don't you think that while I hold Bella in my arms all night long that I don't wish for one little second it would possible for her and I to...We can't. It's out of the question. No point in even thinking about it.” I wailed in exasperation.
“Edward, you can. If there is anybody out there who could do it, successfully, it's you and Bella. Maybe if you tried.”
“No and I don't want to talk about this anymore. You better not mention this to Bella. I mean it, Alice!”
I took off running again, leaving Alice way behind.
Was Alice right? Could we try? No, I was a fool to even consider it. I banished the thoughts from my mind.
My phone rang. It was Alice. I laughed before answering.
“What little sister? Are you mad, because I am so much faster then you?”
“No. It's Bella.” She croaked.
“Alice. What about Bella?” I asked panic leaking into my voice.
“She is going out. Taking her truck to La Push. I can't see her anymore. It's just...blank.” Alice cried.
“How long do I have?” I was already en route to Bella's house.
“Three minutes.” Alice said a little more hopeful.
My dead heart dropped into my stomach. I raced to Bella's house, getting there in little more than a minute. I opened the hood of the truck and retrieved her starter.
“Alice?” I asked still on the phone.
“Okay, better. She won't be going anywhere. “Alice said confidently. “Bye bro.”
I hung up and went to sit in the truck.
Bella came running out the house, looking over her shoulder like a thief in the night. She hopped in the truck, not seeing me and turned the key in the ignition.
She tried again with the same result.
I twirled the starter in my hands.
“Gah!” She gasped in shock as she noticed my presence.
“Alice called.” I murmured. “She got nervous when your future rather abruptly disappeared five minutes ago.”
Bella's eyes widened with surprise.
“Because she can’t see the wolves, you know, had you forgotten that? When you decide to mingle your fate with theirs, you disappear, too. You couldn’t know that part, I realize that. But can you understand why that might make me a little...anxious? Alice saw you disappear, and she couldn’t even tell if you’d come home or not. Your future got lost, just like theirs. We’re not sure why this is. Some natural defense they’re born with? That doesn’t seem entirely likely, since I haven’t had any trouble reading their thoughts. The Blacks’ at least. Carlisle theorizes that it’s because their lives are so ruled by their transformations. It’s more an involuntary reaction than a decision. Utterly unpredictable, and it changes everything about them. In that instant when they shift from one form to the other, they don’t really even exist. The future can’t hold them...” I realized I was only talking to myself in the end and trailed off.
Bella remained silent.
“I’ll put your car back together in time for school, in case you’d like to drive yourself.” I promised. She was probably so mad she wouldn't want to see me for a few days. It was alright, because I had thwarted her plan to go to La Push.
Still she was quiet. I felt bad that it had to come to this, but it did and I wasn't going to apologize for caring about her safety. She mushed her lips together and grabbed her keys.
“Shut your window if you want me to stay away tonight. I’ll understand.” I whispered.
I would understand and not hold it against her. She had all rights to be mad. She got out of the truck slamming the door. She stomped up the path and slammed the house door as she went it. I got out and fixed her truck as she explained to Charlie that it wouldn't start. When he offered her his police cruiser, I almost lifted it off the ground and threw it, but she turned him down and went up stairs. I fought back a sob when she slammed her window down forcefully. She didn't want me in her room tonight. She stood looking at the window as it quivered.
I stared at her. My beautiful Bella was angry.
When the window stopped moving, she opened it as wide as it could go. I almost jumped up and down with elation.