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Twelve years ago Edward left Bella thinking she would be safe and happy away from the dangers of his world. She wasn't. How can he make it up to her?
Each chapter written from a different POV with some overlap as the same incident is seen from a different perspective. Some new characters of my own imagination.
You know, all the recognisable characters are not mine. They belong to Stephanie Meyer and I hope I've used them in the spirit in which she created them.
15. Bella - Daria Gaines
Word Count 6073
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It was so annoying when people thought they knew better than you about what was right for you.
Carlisle could be forgiven to a degree because he was offering his medical opinion. Edward also could be forgiven a little because he was the one who would have to deal with the fall out of my choice. But everyone else should just keep their opinions to themselves. The cheek of thinking they could tell me that I couldn’t go to work, and then, to top it all off, thinking that they had a right to interfere in my sex life!!!
“I know you didn’t say anything because you agree with them, don’t you?” I grumbled to Edward.
“Actually I didn’t say anything because I was enjoying listening to you doing all the talking. The teacher in you really put them in their place, using logic – something which you are supposed to have difficulty with - to leave them with no place to go except to retreat. It was quite entertaining.”
“But do you agree with them?” I persisted.
“Yes and no. I agree with the sentiments they expressed to a degree, but it is not their right to try to take your choice away from you. You know what’s best for you. I certainly don’t want them antagonising you so much that you feel you can’t ask for help when you need it. You want to go to work next week, so we should consider how we can help you achieve that instead of wasting time and energy in trying to talk you out of it. As to the other point, if I ever did anything to hurt you, do you promise that you would tell me?”
I sighed as I thought how best to answer. A simple yes or no would not suffice. “I will promise if you promise not to let some minor hurt stop you from making love with me. If you promise to use the information to help with after care, or minor adjustments to the details, then yes I will promise to tell you about every little hurt.”
Edward looked at me almost sceptically. “Every little hurt? That sounds far too easy.”
“I’m looking forward to some really nice after care” I explained my reasonableness. I could tell that he still did not believe me, but he gave his promise, and I gave mine. It remained to be seen which of us was being the real sneaky one.
I was just starting to doze when Edward gave a sudden bark of laughter.
“Carlisle has just filled in some of the details of your conversation with him and Jasper for everyone else’s benefit. Emmett just can’t over the fact that you didn’t blush once during the whole time. Oh dear, he has now set himself a target of being able to get you to blush by christmas. He’s going to suggest a little challenge with Jasper. You might want to prepare a counter strategy.”
“Poor Emmett, he is going to regret that.” Dealing with such an amateur player was so easy that I didn’t even bother trying to stay awake long enough to work out what to do. I only hoped that Edward did not embarrass easily.
Edward woke me with a small tray of food. I felt much better with some nourishment inside me. I was even able to prepare my lessons for Monday and Tuesday without too much discomfort. Although I was carried to the bathroom, I was able to complete my ablutions without assistance. I was feeling very proud of myself when my ‘phone rang, it was Jake.
“Hey Jake. What’s up?”
“Hey Bells. Need your advice.” It was nice to be needed. “What do you think we should do with her?” and Jake panned his ‘phone around to show a limbless Irina.
“What’s happened to her?” I demanded.
“She attacked us, hurt Quil real bad. I was about to take her head off when I noticed the eyes. Is she one of them?”
“It’s Irina, she’s Carlisle’s cousin. She and Laurent were close. I don’t know if Laurent was actually her mate” Edward shook his head at me “Edward is telling me he wasn’t which is just as well or she would never give up, but do you still have her limbs?”
“Yeah, I think they’re intact, but they’re not all clean tears. What should we do?”
“Edward is going to ask Carlisle’s advice now” I said as he nodded and left the room. “Tell me, how’s Quil?”
“Looks like a couple of ribs are broken, and his arm. Trouble is, we can’t go to a doctor and you know how we heal so they’re setting already and they’re not right.”
Carlisle and Edward walked into the room.
“Would it be possible for me to speak with Jacob, please?” Carlisle asked.
I looked at Jake in the ‘phone and raised a brow.
“Okay, put him on.”
“Thank you for your care of Irina. I shall be there as soon as possible to collect her. I know you might feel unable to accept, but I am a doctor, I could treat Quil. I will bring my equipment so if it is acceptable I am prepared. I will drive straight to our home there. Perhaps you or someone could meet me and let me know your decision.”
“I’ll speak to Quil and the other Elders.”
Carlisle merely nodded, handed the ‘phone back to me and left.
“Please let Carlisle help Quil. He is an excellent doctor.”
“How would you know Bells? He hasn’t treated you yet.”
“Well actually, he operated on me last night. My heart stopped and I needed CPR and my rib cage broke so ...” I trailed off when I could see the suspicion in Jake’s eyes.
“Did this Irina have anything to do with your heart stopping?”
“Irina? No! Somebody said something that for some reason caught me off guard, you know how it is sometimes with me, I just wasn’t expecting it and I didn’t realise what had happened in time to ask Edward to give me my medication. Anyway, Carlisle had to operate last night to fix my rib cage. I’m a little bruised and sore but otherwise fine so you don’t need to worry.”
“Yeah, yeah. I spoke to Lizzie and she said she would love to come and spend a weekend with you in your new home. She is also under the dumb impression that your bloodsucker is a decent guy.” I glanced over at Edward to see how he reacted to that insult. He just grinned and raised a brow. “I tried to point out that he is a vampire, and by definition he is not a decent guy, but she said that I was a werewolf and shouldn’t be such a hypocrite. And do you know what she said next? She said that Jeffrey Dahmer was a human being and look what a decent guy he turned out to be! As if one had anything to do with the other. Anyway, I gotta go, I gotta speak to Quil and the elders. See ya Bells.”
“Jake, wait, there’s something else.”
“What is it?”
“Carlisle didn’t know that their presence caused the wolf pack. He wants to talk to you about the ramifications and the possibility of him signing over their land to you. Listen to what he says and think about all the possible consequences before deciding, okay?”
“Yeah, okay Bells. Thanks for the heads up. Speak to you later, bye.”
“And the pack once again put us in their debt. Are we ever going to be able to pay them back?” Edward asked.
“Doing what they decide they want about you living near Forks will more than repay any debt that you might feel you owe them. Anyway, Irina is not your debt. Do you think there is any chance that she will leave the pack alone now?”
“Tanya might be able to talk some sense into her. I do hope so. You know what will happen if she doesn’t and Irina attacks again?”
“Yes, and to be honest, if she is going to be hurting the pack Jake would be derelict in his duties if he didn’t order the kill.”
“I know, I wasn’t criticising, I just wanted to be sure you were aware.”
“How do you put vampire parts together again?” I was curious. I knew that you could do so, I just hadn’t asked how before.
“To be honest, I don’t know. I think you just hold the part in place while it reattaches itself, but I might be wrong. No doubt Carlisle will know.”
I couldn’t help but wonder what we would all do without Carlisle. He was the answer to so many problems.
When it was time to set off for school the next morning, Alice carried my bag and crutch to her car and Edward carried me.
“Drive extra carefully, please Alice” Edward exhorted because I couldn’t yet wear a seat belt.
Alice was so sweet, she just raised her brows and rolled her eyes in reply.
Alice stopped her car as close to the school entrance as she could and helped me out.
“Straight to your classroom, Bella. I’ll bring your bag once I’ve parked the car” she said.
I nodded my agreement and began my journey. Unfortunately, the best laid plans can often go awry. I was stopped as I passed the reception and asked to go to the Principal’s office.
“Come in, Isabelle, please take a seat.” I could tell that the Principal was nervous.
“Thank you, is there a problem?” I wanted to avoid the unnecessary small talk.
“Well, I’m not sure that the word ‘problem’ is right but I need to talk to you about a circumstance that has been brought to my attention. I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation, but still I need to, well you know how it is?”
I was starting to panic. I could feel my breathing get shallower and my heart start to race. “Just ask what it is you need to ask, please. The stress is not good for my heart.”
“Sorry, didn’t think. Right, as I was saying, it’s probably nothing but someone has come to me to say that you have moved out of your apartment and are now living with the Cullens. Is this true?”
“Yes and no” I remembered Edward saying the same thing and wondered if he was as evasive as I was about to be. “I have moved out of my apartment. It is on the second floor and I struggled with the stairs. The Cullens very kindly offered to put me up until my new place is ready for me to move into. It’s the run down place at the back of Kayuk road with the view to the mountains. Luckily Esme specialises in renovations and assures me the house will be fit for me to move into soon. She gets all her family to help if they’re not in school so much of the hard work was done before Emmett and Jasper went off to college. Is that all?”
“Yes, of course, that’s fine. You’re only there temporarily, no problem. Thank you for your time.”
I slowly stood and made my way out of the office. Mr Skerrit’s relief at my explanation suggested that some rather insalubrious interpretation had been placed on my movements by somebody. I had a small debate with myself as to whether I should push for an explanation but decided against it. I just hoped that no one had got anywhere near to the truth.
“Sorry, Alice. I hope you weren’t worried. The Principal wanted to see me” and I quietly told her the tone of the conversation. She said that she would listen out for any gossip about me and let me know what she heard.
My morning was hard. I tried to move as little as possible and Carlisle’s back support was wonderful, but not as good as it was before my rib cage got partially dislodged from my spine. But there was definitely some gossip circulating about me. I could tell by the looks that went my way – puzzled smirks is how I would best describe them.
“Oh yes, you are a dark horse” Alice said when everyone else had left her class. “Fancy carrying on with Carlisle behind your friend’s back. Shame on you.”
“I thought it would be something like that” I said resigned.
“Actually, it’s worse. Someone heard today that you had Esme working all hours on your new home while Carlisle had been calling in at your apartment. The groans being made at all hours of the day and night suggest that you are really hot underneath your dull exterior.”
I know it was bad of me, but I had to laugh.
“I knew what my neighbour had to be thinking when I was making all that noise at five in the morning. Perhaps I should let her use my massager when she has aches and pains and listen to her groans of relief. Oh dear, poor Carlisle and Esme” I giggled again at the idea. “Do you want to tell them or should I?”
“Miss Swann!” the office receptionist was standing at the door, I wondered if she had been listening. “It is not at all amusing that the reputation of a good and decent man is being shredded in this way.”
“No, you’re right Mrs Pale. It is not funny. Do you happen to know why Carlisle was chosen to be my partner in crime?”
“I believe it was because Dr Cullen was seen entering your apartment one evening and, on another occasion, carrying you into his home. But that is beside the point, the Principal has asked to see you again.”
I looked at Alice. I was starting to worry again.
“Take your medication first, just in case” Alice got me a drink of water while I took one of my tablets. I took a minute to let my breathing and heart rate normalise. Then Alice stood in front of me and helped me to my feet before passing me my crutch. “I should get you a Segwey for you to use in school. Especially this week” she muttered.
“Alice, I can manage the walk to the Principal’s office. It’s my rib cage that got broken at the weekend, not my leg.” I added the last sentence knowing that the information would circulate the town in no time at all.
I walked slowly to the office.
“Did you really break your rib cage?” Sophia Pale asked me.
I looked her in the eye and lifted my top to show the stitches. Her eyes boggled at sight of the mass of bruising and the scar tissue.
“Will I need to show the Principal, too?” I was snide.
I walked into Principal Skerrit’s office. With him was the Head of the School Board, Daria Gaines, the biggest gossip in town.
“I am sorry Miss Swann” the Principal began, clearly nervous, “but Mrs Gaines thinks it very important for the good name of the school to get to the bottom of your relationship with Dr Cullen”.
I was incensed and so glad that I had taken one of my heart tablets.
“Will this take long because I have left my bag under the care of Alice Cullen since at the moment I am unable to carry anything.”
“Oh, er, no, I’m sure it won’t. Mrs Gaines?”
I refused to ask if I could sit. I was going to pay dearly for it, but the mouse Isabelle had finally been overtaken by Bella. I looked at Daria and raised an arrogant brow.
“I know that Dr Cullen went to your apartment one evening, and that sounds that could only be described as vigorous lovemaking were heard. What have you to say to that Miss Swann?”
“Carlisle has been in my apartment a few times, all but one on medical grounds. I suffer from intense back pain due to a severely damaged spine; and a weak heart. Vigorous lovemaking could kill me. The groans will, no doubt, have been as a result of pain or the release of the pain by way of an intense massage. I can let you try out my massage pad. I use it every night when I go to bed, many mornings when I wake in the early hours in absolute agony, and sometimes in the day when my back has seized due to me either sitting bent over my table doing school work for too long, or because I have not been able to rest the muscles in my back enough. I carry an alarm, at Dr Cullen’s insistence, which is connected to Esme Cullen so that if my back seizes when I am alone she can come to me to assist. Would you like me to prove it to you?”
“No, no, I don’t want Mrs Cullen rushing to your aid for no good reason, there is no need to doubt your word, I’m sure” the Principal could possibly see a law suit on the horizon if this kept up.
“I will be the judge of that, Principal. What about the fact that the Doctor was seen carrying you into his home?”
“I am not sure which occasion you are referring to, but Carlisle and two of his sons have carried me into their home on occasion. They think of me as poor injured frail Bella who needs to be looked after by those macho men. Please note that I am close enough to all the family for them to call me Bella. When I walk I slow them down too much so they carry me.”
I regretted it as soon as I did it, but I forced a shrug. I felt the pain travel the full length of my spinal column, up to my head, down to the base of my spine. I had dislocated my left shoulder.
I looked at the clock. Just twelve minutes until the next lesson.
“Please ask for someone to go to my classroom and have Alice Cullen bring my bag to me” I said as I looked at the Principal in agony.
He clearly realised that something was wrong because he spoke through his communicator. I hoped it was to do as I asked. Daria Gaines looked like she was about to remonstrate with Mr Skerrit for doing as I requested.
Alice walked into the office like an avenging angel.
“Bella, what’s going on? Is it these silly stories?”
“Alice, I need you to do exactly as I ask. First of all, get your father on the ‘phone.”
“Bella, what’s happened?”
“Carlisle, I know you’re away and I’m sorry for the call but I have just dislocated my left shoulder and have no time for the lecture. I have a level four pain pill that I can take. Can you talk Alice through manipulating my shoulder back into place now, or should I wait until after school and go to the hospital?” I looked at Alice who looked appalled. “In the pocket in my bag is a small red pill box. Take it out and give it to Mr Skerrit so that he can tell Carlisle what is on the box. Then, Principal, I need you to take out the tablet, read what is engraved on it so that Carlisle can verify that it is the right dose. If Dr Cullen authorises it, I will take the tablet, witnessed, with some water, please.”
“Bella, please don’t do it like this. You should be in hospital, and why are you standing? Have you been standing long? Damn it Bella, your back will seize. Call Esme to get there now with your massage pad!” I mentally smiled at Carlisle’s last sentence.
“Doctor Cullen, I gave you the two options that I will allow. Mr Skerrit?”
The Principal did as I asked. Carlisle confirmed that it was acceptable for me to take the tablet.
“Edward should be able to replace the shoulder. He is your best bet.”
“Thank you. I’ll talk to you later.
”And stop standing still!”
Once I had taken my tablet, I looked at the Principal and said “We will talk about this whole episode some other time. I need to move. Alice, please kneel in front of me, so I can rest some of my weight on your shoulders while you bend down and lift my right leg, bend it at the knee, raise it then straighten it a few times to wake up the muscles, then do the same with my left leg, but with more care on that one.”
Alice did as I asked looking at me as if I were mad. I would be able to walk, very slowly.
“Excuse me” I said as I turned to return to my classroom, late for class, Alice carrying my bag.
“Bella, what the hell was that all about?”
“Daria Gaines, I believe, wants Carlisle but he has turned her down. She is furious that I appear to have what she wants and she was out to make me pay.”
“What shall we do?”
“I am going to study my contract of employment after Edward has fixed my shoulder. Then I am going to direct the Principal, and the Chair of the School Board to certain conditions in said contract and let them sweat. Sorry for asking you to get on your knees to me, but I knew you could catch me if I fell.”
I knew Alice wasn’t at all bothered at my request other than what it meant for me. I also knew that I was going to be in for a big battle when I got back to the house because I had no doubt that Alice would be on the ‘phone to Esme and Edward as soon as she left my class room.
“Alice, when you speak to him, remind him that I need discretion, please emphasise the word need, especially in the light of the current rumours. You should both know that in about three minutes I’m not going to feel a thing but will be fighting to keep my feet on the floor. Thank goodness I planned my lessons.”
Alice had a vision: “He’ll come to the school to carry you to my car.”
I knew he would which is why I asked Alice to remind him to be discrete. I only hoped that I wouldn’t be so high that I forgot!
My final two lessons of the day went reasonably well, mainly because the pupils didn’t care about the subject at all and were not really listening.
Three minutes after my classroom was emptied, Alice, Esme and Edward walked in accompanied by the Principal.
“Isabelle, Mrs Cullen and Edward are here to help you. I was sure you wouldn’t mind if I brought them to your class.” The Principal was nervous and he wanted to know what was going on.
“Esme, Edward, how nice to see you. I have taken a strong pain killer so am not feeling any pain so there was no need for you come charging to the rescue.”
“Carlisle called me and said you would need me to manipulate your shoulder and asked if you had called Esme. That made us suspicious and I asked what was going on. Carlisle’s reply immediately scared the life out of her. Do you want to know what his reply was?” Edward was sounding very grim. I wanted to tell him to lighten up but I didn’t want to raise any concerns with Mr Skerrit about my current mental capacity so I just shook my head. “He replied” Edward went on ignoring my answer, “’she called me Doctor Cullen!’ and Esme immediately knew that it was quite serious for you to call him while he is away and to remind him that he is your doctor so cannot speak to us.”
“I just had to come with your massage pad, do you need to use it now?” Esme asked.
I looked at the pad, looked at the Principal who was clearly hoping I would and declined. “Perhaps after my shoulder has been manoeuvred into place” I suggested.
“Carlisle asked us to call him when you got home so he could give instructions as to your care. Edward, can you carry Bella to my car, please? Alice take her bag and crutch home. Oh, and Principal Skerrit, is it usual school practice to keep people with serious back injuries standing during meetings? I’m not a medical person, but it doesn’t sound to me like a sensible thing to do. Perhaps I should consult with the State School Board and the ACLU and seek their views. Oh, and I think you should know that I keep my husband so happy that he has absolutely no need or desire to seek the company of another sexual partner. Perhaps you would be good enough to advise Mrs Gaines of that fact. Thank you for your time, goodbye.”
With Esme’s masterful put down ringing in the air Edward swept me into his arms (thankfully I was too busy staring in awe at Esme to be flustered by it) while Alice collected my belongings and we followed Esme passed a bemused and embarrassed Principal.
“I shrugged my shoulder, Edward. I could just as easily have shrugged my shoulder here or even in hospital as at school. So please calm down. Esme took care of Daria Gaines, and I have no doubt that the gist of Esme’s words will be all over town by tomorrow, and I am sure that the Principal will be bending over backwards to make sure that I don’t sue the school. My shoulder is back in place – very well done, by the way – I am in no additional pain apart from a little discomfort around the shoulder which will be improved with anti inflammatories, and it was so funny. I’m sorry that you’re all offended and upset on my behalf and I wish that I could do something to make you feel better, but I know you’re in no mood to be seduced, you want to go and slay a dragon for me.”
Edward looked at me and almost gave me the crooked smile that I loved. “How do you know me so well in some ways, but not at all in others?”
“Actions, remember. Anyway, your mom has already slain the dragons, you’ll have to make do with the fact that you swept the damsel in distress off her feet.”
“Well I did say that some people would think that Carlisle was engaging in a ménage a trois. But Bella, you know you shouldn’t have been kept standing.”
“That had nothing to do with the shrugging. Alice dealt with the problems that arose from standing still. The only thing I’m really pissed at is the fact that it made me late for class and, following my own rules, I now have to write an essay on the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. And to be honest, Edward, it’s rather nice to be the subject of gossip for something normal like an alleged affair instead of for driving my truck onto train tracks.”
“Why do you never react to something the way I expect you to?”
“Because you always expect me to react the way a normal person would, and I’m not normal. I’m me, Isabella Swann, the mental mute who is always slightly out of step with the rest of humanity. Look at the two men I’ve had in my life, no one, whether in the know or not, would describe either of you as normal human beings.”
“And I always thought I was a fast learner. I should always ask myself how a normal person would react and then assume you will react differently.”
“Now you’re learning!”
Tuesday at school was better. There was clearly more gossip doing the rounds. I almost looked forward to lunch time when Alice would join me and tell me everything she heard.
Unfortunately, Alice was rubbing some ointment into my bruises around my rib cage when the Principal decided to come and talk to me. He walked in without knocking and got a real eyeful.
“Isabelle! I had no idea! What on earth happened to you?”
‘Great’ I thought, ‘just what I don’t need’. “Hello Mr Skerrit. I broke my rib cage at the weekend and needed surgery to repair it. As you saw, it’s left me a bit bruised that’s all. Alice has kindly volunteered to spend her lunch breaks this week making sure that I follow Dr Cullen’s orders.”
“Should you be here? Dr Cullen said yesterday that perhaps you should be in hospital.”
Luckily Alice knew better than to say anything. She contented herself with a speaking look at me and then staring at the ceiling.
“If sensible precautions are taken, there is no reason why I cannot fulfil my teaching duties. Did you want me for anything in particular?”
“Well, erm, just to ask if you knew if anyone had mentioned the silly rumours to Dr Cullen yet?”
I looked to Alice to encourage her to reply. “Esme told him when he ‘phoned her last night.”
“Oh, oh and did he say what action he proposed to take?”
“Esme didn’t say and I didn’t think it was my business to ask, Sir.”
“No, no, quite right Miss Cullen, quite right. Anyway, Miss Swann, I wanted to be sure to tell you that the school is very pleased with your teaching. Pupil feedback as been most positive and parents are already commenting that their children are reading more than usual. So well done, very well done.”
A whole minute passed before Alice looked at me and laughed.
“And what action do you propose to take, Bella?”
“None. Why bother? It’s not that important in the grand scheme of things. But I see no need to let that piece of information get into the wrong hands, do you? Do you know when Carlisle is coming home?”
“Apparently not until tomorrow at the earliest. There is some unforeseen complication and he won’t tell us more because he wants to be with us to see our faces when we find out and I’m not to try and look for it” Alice became sulky. “But if he wants to see all our faces he’ll have to wait until Friday evening to tell us when Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett get home. He’ll never be able to keep it from Edward for that long so it’s not fair that you two will find out before the rest of us. I expect it’s something boring to do with the house or something like that.”
The Principal escorted Edward to my classroom again at home time.
“Esme said I should come and carry you to the car again” he managed in a sulky voice.
“Thank you Edward. That’s very kind of you” I said in my best school teacher voice.
“Esme told me to so I did” he shrugged as if it were no big deal.
Alice carried my crutch and bag again and Edward swept me up into his arms.
“You should put your arm around my shoulder so it’s easier to balance” I was told in the kind of voice that superior males have been using on delicate dumb women for centuries.
I gave a long suffering sigh and did as bid.
Alice went on ahead to get her car and bring it to the main entrance so Edward wouldn’t have so far to carry me. I have no idea how he did it, but Edward managed to keep the sulky look on his face the whole time Mr Skerrit was complementing him on his strength.
“Yeah, Carlisle said that Bella shouldn’t do any walking at the end of the school day for the week so I” and he emphasised the ‘I’, “have been press ganged into providing the service.” Even though I knew better, it really sounded like Edward did not want to do this arduous task.
Wednesday afternoon Alice was collecting my bag when she received a call. It was from Carlisle telling her to take my belongings but to leave me. My lift was coming separately. Alice looked as puzzled as I felt at that. Had Edward arranged something?
A minute after Alice left Mr Skerrit escorted my lift again.
“Ah, hm, Isabelle, this man tells me that he is to take you home today. Do you know him?”
The Principal was looking at my escort a little like one would look at an unexploded bomb. Not really surprising since all the Quileute pack were very large muscular young men.
“Embry! What a lov ... Is everything alright? Quil? Jake?”
“Chillax Bells, everything is okay. I’ll tell you all about it in the car.”
Mr Skerrit was relieved that I clearly knew Embry.
“Well Bells, the Doc said until he said otherwise, you had to be lifted from your right side and carried to your ride so here goes” and once again I was swept off my feet.
Embry confidently strode through the corridors of the school seeming to not notice the stares we were receiving.
“You realise that you are now going to star in the next round of gossip that has me billed as a Marta Hari type slut don’t you? I admit that I’m rather flattered by it all. So what’s going on Ems? Why did Carlisle want to get Alice out of the way before you told me all about it?”
“Let’s go to your new house. I’m borrowing your car, by the way. Is it alright if I bunk there for a few days? The Doc invited me to stay at their house but to be honest it’s too much so I’d rather sleep elsewhere if it’s okay with you.”
Naturally I didn’t mind, but the rent was paid on my apartment until the end of January if he preferred that. Embry did.
At the house I tried my new toy. I walked, well, half stumbled, to the shed and took out Scoot (my new name for Alice’s version of a Segwey) and rode it up the ramp, along the porch to the front door. Embry opened it with a flourish and I went in. The room looked so much cosier than it did last time I was there. My sofa had arrived and been covered to match the chair, there were some books on the bookcase. And there was a piano in one of the corners. Damn, damn and damn again. I felt myself begin to hyperventilate and grabbed Embry’s arm.
“Okay Bells. I’m here. You’re fine. Take deep breaths, in, out, in, out. That’s it, slowly now.” Luckily Embry had been with me before when I’ve hyperventilated and knew exactly how to manage me. “What caused it this time?”
I pointed to the piano in the corner managing to not look at it.
“Oh, I see. It’s got an ear plugs attachment so you won’t have to hear it.”
I was grateful for Edward’s consideration for that, but I wished he had told me that it was there.
Two minutes later my ‘phone went: it was Edward. “Are you alright? I am so sorry. Carlisle didn’t tell me that he was taking you to the house. I thought it would be more logical to go to your apartment. I’m so sorry. I meant to tell you about it before you saw it. Are you okay?”
“Calm down, I’m okay. I started to hyperventilate a little but Embry knew what to do. He said there’s an ear plug attachment so I won’t hear it. So I’m okay. I can ignore it.”
“I know you don’t listen to music anymore, and I won’t try to make you, but I have to play. Tell me you understand, please, tell me.”
“I know. You run and you play the piano, I know. They are part of who you are.”
Even with the imperfect view through a ‘phone I could tell that Edward was moved by my words. “Thank you, Bella. I love you so much.”
“I’ll speak to you soon. Embry has got to tell me the big secret.”
And to my surprise, Edward laughed.