Bella is almost a year old vampire. As her birthday aproaches she decides that its time to test the waters of the human world. Its a little bit OOC. I thought her transistion went way too easy. No worries though. Its not a blood and guts story. We wont find Edward yanking her off some ten year old. I just thought that maybe it should be a little bit of work. This is a little longer than my usual one shots so I divided it into a couple of chapters. As anyone who reads my stuff knows (and thank you for all that have) it will be lemony.
5. Book Shopping
Rating 3.5/5 Word Count 1501 Review this Chapter
I did my best to relax. Edwards hand never left mine and his touch did more than anything to calm me. The stops along the way to test my endurance helped as well. My throat ached with a slight burn at his scent as I stood about a foot and a half away, but my confidence was strong enough that I even spoke to Mr. Fletcher. He seemed very nice. I used my head this time, breathing even and shallow. The elderly man’s scent continued to waft down to us as he led us up the stairs to the children’s section. The scent of thousands of humans lingered here as well, but surprisingly it didn’t really bother me. It was an older aroma. Not really unpleasant or stale, more a compliment to the scent of the ink, the paper and the leather the books were bound in. It was what I concentrated on and the longer I was there, the more I liked it. I imagined all the people over the years that owned and loved these books. People just like me. It made me happy to think that there were things I still had in common with the human world.
We stopped at the second door on the right. Along with hundreds of books, antique teddy bears and dolls decorated the room. Many of the items were displayed in glass jewelry cases. The light in the room was low and the curtains drawn. The humidity was nothing like outside. I assume these were precautions taken that safe guarded the treasure that lied with in this room. A middle aged woman with a tight bun and glasses was halfway up a ladder that was on rails running the perimeter of the room. She turned to look at us as we entered.
“Eve, these are the people I told you about this morning.”
“Welcome,” she replied. “I have heard so much about your father over the years from Arthur. I’m surprised that he never mentioned having children.”
“I think the doctor is just like me Eve. When the topic of books is being discussed, everything else goes by the wayside.”
Edward chuckled very naturally “Yes it seems you do know my grandfather well.”
“What can I help you find today?” Eve inquired.
“I’m looking for a copy of Through the Looking Glass. Would you happen to have one?” Alice asked hopefully, sounding as though she expected to be told no. I snorted, covering it up as a cough. I knew darn well she had already seen herself buying it.
“Most fortunately for you dear a signed first edition came in just last week.” Eve smiled smugly. I got the impression that she didn’t think Alice would be interested in it… or maybe couldn’t afford it. Climbing down off her ladder and crossing the room to a glass cabinet, she gestured to a red cloth book with gold lettering lying against a clam shell box. “Very rare, virtually the earliest obtainable. It was published in 1866. Only a thousand copies were printed… ”
Eve appeared as though she was about to continue with the description but Alice cut her off.
“We’ll take it.” she said it as if she had just ordered a pizza.
For a moment Eve gave a looked that seemed to me like she thought we were wasting her time. But she hid it quickly and walked behind what I now recognized was a glass jewelry case, pulled out a key and unlocked it. I read the little card folded in the case with the book and gasped: twenty seven thousand dollars
“Alice,” I said shocked. “Don’t you think our sister is a little young for this kind of present?”
“Nonsense,” she chirped. “She’ll love it. And besides, it’s my favorite book.”
Eve, appearing as shell shocked as I was, pulled the shell box and book from the case and laid it on top of the glass allowing Alice to inspect it. She pranced over to the case, closed her eyes and grinned, brushing gold lettering with her fingertips before placing it in the box and scooping it up in her little arms.
Recovering from her apparent underestimation of my sister in law she said. “It’s a fine choice and a wonderful investment for the child.”
“Excellent.” Alice was already pulling her credit card out. “Just show us where to pay. Throw Jasper the keys Edward. We are getting behind schedule and Jasper and I have a few errands to attend to in town.” Mr. Fletcher stared at her curiously for a second, shrugged and began to lead them toward the door. Edward pulled out the car keys, tossing them lightly to Jasper. “Call if you’re ready to go before we get back.” She said over her shoulder, pulling an amused Jasper along and giving Edward a smile that made me sure yet again they were trying to hide something from me.
We spent the rest of the afternoon looking around. I could have spent days in there. All my favorites from childhood were here. With my mom being a teacher there was never a week that passed by without her bringing home some classic from school for me to read. Edward continued to hold my hand looking tense as a couple of different employees drifted in and out, giving suggestions. It pleased me that he was doing his best to keep me out of trouble, but I felt good. I was really getting the hang of it. I wanted him to relax a little so every time someone entered the room I would stop, stick my nose out and give a little bunny sniff. He just rolled his eyes at me.
I needed to up the ante. “Smells like chicken.” I whispered in his ear as a skinny looking boy came in with what looked like a delivery.
With the poultry so nearby, his efforts at keeping straight faced were hilarious. It was the first time he had left go of my hand since we walked in the door. He walked to the opposite end of the room and stared at the shelves of books, trying to compose himself I surmised smirking, pleased that my had achieved my goal. Staring at him from behind, my mind began to wander. Though no one looked better than Edward in a suit, his shoulders not too bulky, but broad enough to balance the cut of the jacket, the trousers hinting teasingly at what lie beneath, I pictured him stand there, shirtless, with just his kakis on hanging low on his hips. I also pictured me, walking up behind him, taking my finger and running it down his spine, my lips touching his shoulder, my hand reaching around the front of him...
I shook my head, greatful that the reason for my distractions couldn't see the expression on my face. He might have taken the desire burning in me eyes for something else. I turned and faced my own bookshelf, I needed to behave myself.
After about a minute he must have gotten himself back together. I listened to him inhale deeply as he returned to my side. Still with an amused lilt to his voice he exhaled and asked. "What do you think we should get?"
“I don’t know Edward." I could no longer concentrate on anything but being good. "Pollyanna, The Secret Garden, Oliver Twist. Everything I see involves orphans.”
“Did you see that copy of the Hobbit in the glass case by the desk?” I knew he was trying to pick on me, choosing the most expensive book in the place
“Yes I did, and it’s seventy five thousand dollar price tag. Honestly, you people, I could have bought a new car with the money Alice just laid down for that book.”
“It wouldn’t have been any car I’d want to drive.” He said, one side of his mouth curving upward.
“Snob.” I teased. He responded by shrugging his shoulders. I wrapped my arm around his waist trying to make amends. “You pick something out Edward.”
He led us over to a shelf and gestured to Eve. “I noticed a reasonably priced copy of the Sword and the Stone.”
“A fine copy and near fine dust jacket.” Eve began rather quickly looking like she thought she wouldn’t get through her speech “You’ll notice its original price is on the on front flap. There is fraying and shallow chipping at spine ends, two tiny tears at top edge of rear panel, and some tanning to spine panel but all in all a very respectable copy, better than most. Very reasonably priced at thirty-five hundred.”
Reasonably priced… right… practically giving it away. But I didn’t want to argue with him when it was clear that he loved the book so I kept my opinions to myself and said “I’ve never read it. Do you like it?”
His eyes lit up as he responded “It’s one of my favorites.”
“Well then it’s settled, we’ll take it.”