13. My Turn
I drove away, wanting nothing more than to turn back and stay with her. This all was getting slightly out of hand. Never had I felt even a fraction of the attraction and need I felt for Bella. Now, it was as if all those emotions that had been held at bay for nearly a hundred years were trying to make up for their absence in a matter of days. I needed Bella more than I needed anything and this intensity was a very new to me. I hadnt even felt this much need the day Bella had first sat next to me in Biology and thats saying something.
I drove aimlessly for a while, not wanting to go home. I wanted to be with Bella, though that wasnt exactly a possibility at the moment, but that wasnt my reason for not wanting to go home. I knew that when I got there, thered be hell to pay. I wouldnt be surprised if Rosalie tore me apart. Shed probably even find a way to burn before everyone else could put the pieces back together. That was how angry her thoughts had been earlier and she wasnt exactly the type to cool down.
Eventually, though, I resigned to my fate and headed home, driving around ninety miles an hour. It was too slow but I wanted to put off the inevitable as long as I could. Still, it wasnt exactly like I could avoid home forever. I couldnt leave Forks now that I had Bella I had also resigned myself to the fact that it was too late to leave her; I was too selfish to ever leave her and I didnt really imagine that Officer Swan would let me move in. Vampires arent exactly the best people to live with.
Aw, Bella. I chuckled in spite of myself as I thought of how terrified she had been of my driving last night. She had been in a car with a vampire and all she could think of was how easily she could die in an accident.
Rosalie was waiting for me outside as I pulled up. She didnt even seem to have realized that it had started to rain. She was too mad to even worry about her precious hair. Oh, how sacrilegious!
Despite the fact that I knew every curse she was thinking towards me, she started to yell the moment I stepped out of the car.
You jackass! she screeched. You selfish, thoughtless bastard! How could you tell that that human?! How could you do that to us?! Is that fragile, warm-blooded skank really more important than us?
That set me off. How dare she call my Bella a skank! I couldnt believe that she was sinking so low as to adopt the vulgar insults of the teenagers we went to school with.
Im selfish?! I growled. Rosalie, I have never met anyone as selfish as you are. The only reason youre mad at me is because youre afraid were going to have to leave now, that youre going to have uproot yourself again. You could care less about our secret. You dont care about anyone but yourself.
You bastard! she snarled, adding a few more rather horrible profanities after that.
She lunged at me, teeth bared. I attacked, too. Normally I would be against hurting one of the family but she had called Bella my innocent Bella a skank. That was more insulting than any of things that even Jessica had thought about her. I wanted to tear Rosalie limb from limb. Of course, Id let Emmett put her back together later but I wanted to cause some pain for now. Thats the great thing about us vampires were just giant jigsaw puzzles.
But before either of us could do any harm to each other, Emmett had pulled me off of Rosalie. I saw tiny Alice holding back Rose as well, who was thrashing and snarling in Alices thin arms.
Let go of me! she screeched. So help me God, Alice, let me go! Let me at the self-portentous bastard!
Rose, Emmett warned. Ill sick him on you as well dont think I wont. And you know you cant beat him. No one can.
Rosalie growled but stopped thrashing in Alices arms.
Emmett, you can let Edward go, Alice said in her chiming voice. He wont hurt her now.
Emmett looked wary to listen to Alice but no one could argue with her visions. He let me go and I fell away from him. Jasper had walked out onto the porch, calming the air around us. Still, he just stared at me in disappointment.
Is that human girl really worth all this? he thought.
If it was Alice, would you do any differently? I told him.
I guess not, he said, this time out loud. Still, I guess the deed is done now. Well all just have to reap the consequences.
How do you know we wont be reaping the benefits? Alice asked, sounding harsher than I had ever heard her when she was talking to Jasper. She was still holding Rosalie. I was the only one she had seen not attacking. Rose was still very much a danger.
It never works that way, Jasper said glumly. We just dont mix with humans. They always end up dead. He shot a pointed look at me and added, Or worse.
Go, Alice told me. Rose will be calmed down by tomorrow morning.
I can talk for myself, Rosalie snapped. And I sure as hell will not be.
Because hell is so sure
Emmett mused from behind me. None of them believed in any sort of afterlife, especially not Rosalie. She couldnt believe in any God that would let her be damned to the life we lived.
Ok, Alice, I said. I turned to Emmett and held my hands up in defeat. Sorry, man, but your wifes just a little bit too psychotic for me right now.
That was cruel but I was still fuming. I had to get my anger out any way I could without actually ripping anyones head off.
Its cool, Emmett said.
I hurried into my car and drove off, leaving the fiasco far behind me very quickly. I started to drive aimlessly again. Perhaps by the went to Port Angeles and back, Bella would be asleep.
No. Going one-twenty like I always did would only give me an hour. It was better to be safe. I went to Seattle and was back in Forks in just a few short hours. It had taken just the right amount of time. The Swans went to sleep early and I only had to return my car home and run back to Bellas.
She was already talking when I climbed through the window. She looked so gorgeous, just laying there. A slightly blush was on her cheeks even as she slept and the contrast was amazing against her creamy skin that was turned blue in the moonlight. I was glad that she had her blanket pulled up to her neck. I was pretty sure that she didnt wear that hideous sweater to sleep.
The urge to touch her was almost impossible not to go through with. But her smell was enough of a temptations without feeling her warm skin against mine. I sat down in the rocking chair and just watched her.
Irrevocable, she murmured. It doesnt matter.
I could only guess too well what she was dreaming about.
Edward, she said. I love you.
I felt my un-beating heart soar. She loved me. Bella loved me. Of course I had known that since earlier today when she had said that I didnt feel as strongly for her as she did for me. I hadnt exactly tried to hide the fact that I loved her. I had actually made it quite obvious. She would have to love me a whole lot to even think for one second that she liked me more.
Still, it was different just knowing something and actually hearing it, actually having proof.
She didnt say much after that except for muttering my name a few times. She woke up often and tossed and turned. I was constantly alert, ready to bolt at a moments notice. She didnt notice me, though.
It was one of the best nights of my life. I was on a high the whole time from knowing that she loved me. Of all the people she could have loved Mike, Eric, and Tyler especially would not have minded her love at all she loved me. Of course, I was the most dangerous choice and if I hadnt been so God damn selfish, I would have left right then. But she loved me.
I was waiting in her driveway when she stepped outside the door of her house the next morning. She stepped into my car, barely hesitating.
Good morning. How are you today? I asked.
I wished she would tell me how she felt. It was a totally different thing hearing her say it in her sleep and hearing her say it consciously.
Good, thank you.
I almost chuckled at all our formalities.
You look tired, I mused, again suppressing a laugh.
I couldnt sleep, she confessed hesitantly, moving her hair until she almost seemed to hide behind it.
I smiled at her as I started the engine. Neither could I.
That earned me a glorious laugh. I guess thats right. I suppose I slept just a little bit more than you did.
Id wager you did. Not that I minded. Id much rather watch her sleep than sleep myself.
So, what did you do last night? Bella asked. Oh, if only she knew.
I chuckled, hoping it didnt sound as awkward as I thought it did. Not a chance, I said, easily getting out of answering her question. Im not so sure how easily shed take the truth. Sure, she had handled the whole the-Cullens-are-vampires things remarkable well, barely even flinching. But Im pretty sure any girl would freak out if they learned a boy even the boy they loved snuck into their room every night just to watch them sleep. Its my day to ask questions.
Oh, thats right, Bella said, sounding sad. Her eyebrows knit together and her forehead was furrowed. What do you want to know?
I put on a gravely serious face. Whats your favorite color? I started.
Bella rolled her beautiful brown eyes. IT changes from day to day.
Whats your favorite color today? I asked, continuing to act like it was a matter of life or death.
I couldnt help but snort. Brown? Id never met anyone whose favorite color was brown.
Sure. Brown is warm. I miss brown. Everything thats supposed to be brown tree trunks, rocks, dirt is all covered up with squashy green stuff here.
She ended her rant with a huff. It had actually been quite amusing. Everything I learned about this girl made me love her more.
Youre right, I said. Brown is warm.
The urge to touch her have some sort of physical contact with this girl was too much to resist this time. I reached over and swiftly, but carefully as could be, swept her hair behind her shoulder. Brown, warm.
We were in the school parking lot by now but I wasnt ready to leave the warm car yet. More specifically, I wasnt ready to leave her yet.
What music is in your CD player right now? I asked, continuing with the serious interrogation façade.
Linkin Park, Bella whispered after a moment, slightly embarrassed sounding. I smiled and sorted through the compartment under my CD player until I found the CD she had mentioned. I handed it to her with a curious smile.
Raising an eyebrow, I asked, Debussy to this?
Bella examined the CD for a moment before nodding. I guess so.
I continued my rapid flow of questions all day. Every moment I had with her which werent enough, of course I asked her questions. I wanted to know everything about her and there was still so much to learn. Too much to learn. Even if we had an eternity, I knew I still wouldnt know everything about the girl with me. She was so complicated and deep and good.
I especially liked talking to her about books. I had never met anyone else vampire or human who liked to read as much as I did but Bella seemed to beat me in that category. Yet, when I asked her what her favorite book was, she wasnt able to answer me.
Thats the worst question ever, she had told me.
Whys that? I had asked.
I cant answer it. There are just too many great book out there. I cant have a favorite.
At least try.
I really cant. Whats your favorite book?
Hey now. Its my turn to ask the questions.
At least try, Bella said almost tauntingly, flashing her big, brown eyes at me. And she said I dazzled people. She obviously had no idea what effect she had on people.
I cant, I mumbled.
Some of my questions made her blush, which just gave me more questions to ask. I relished each time the blood rose to her cheeks. It just enhanced her beauty even more. It really wasnt fair that someone who smelt as good as her could be so beautiful.
Occasionally, though, her answers disturbed me. I already knew she loved me but when she let it slip how much she loved me, it hurt. I knew I was only going to cause her pain in the long run.
Whats your favorite gemstone? I asked totally randomly.
Topaz, Bella had blurted out just moments before her face turned roughly the shade of tomato. A really pretty tomato, of course.
I tried to convince her to tell me why she was embarrassed but she wouldnt. How I wished I could read her mind at that moment. She also wasnt looking at me. I guess she was trying not to let me dazzle her into telling me. Eventually, I prevailed as I always do.
Its the color of your eyes today, she said with a sigh as she fiddled with her hair. I suppose if you asked me in two weeks, Id say onyx.
I didnt let my anger show. I was mad at myself for not staying away from her, for giving her a chance to fall in love with me. But I couldnt let her know I was mad so I continued with my questioning immediately.
Biology was hard again. The whole time, I wanted to reach out and touch her. Brush my hand against her cheek and watch the blood rise to her skin. Hold her hand and feel the warmth of her skin against mine. Bella seemed to be having the same problem as I was since she sat with her chin resting on her folded arms on the table, clenching the side of the desk with her fingers.
I walked her to gym again and again couldnt help but stroke her cheek. This was becoming increasingly harder with every moment. I wanted to break every rule, even the rules that kept her alive. But I couldnt let Jasper be right. She was going to be one of the exceptions. I wouldnt let her die.
I was waiting for her when she walked out of gym. She broke into a smile immediately when she saw me which triggered my own smile, though there was a pain behind it. She shouldnt be so excited to see me. It was too dangerous for her.
I purposely made my questions harder, wanting to know all about Arizona a place I had never been and could probably never go. What did she miss about it? What did everything look like? I had only ever seen pictures of places like that, having been confined to rainy towns for the last eighty years of my existence.
We sat in front of her house for hours, me asking questions and her giving elaborate answers. Her smell saturated the car, made stronger by the warm air blasting out of the vents. Still, I knew I wouldnt kill her. She was completely safe. I was getting so used to her smell now that I rarely noticed it. Only when I took an especially deep breath did it register in my subconscious and even then it was too easy to ignore.
Are you finished? she asked when I paused my rapid flow of questions.
Not even close, I told her with a smile. But your father will be home soon.
Charlie! Bella gasped. How late is it? She looked at the sky but of course it was no help in indicating the time because of the heavy layer of omnipresent clouds.
Its twilight, I murmured, looking at the clouds as welled. Thoughtful. I looked back at her. Its the safest time of day for us. The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way
the end of another day, the return of night. Darkness is so predictable, dont you think?
I know it sounded it awfully cliché and quite corny, like some snazzy line out of a well thought out movie one where the character had a script that actually planned out every word they were to say. But it had come to my mind and I had to say it. With Bella, I had to say everything.
I like the night. Without the dark, wed never see the stars. Her lips pulled down at the corners. Not that you see them here much.
Charlie will be here in a few minutes, I told her. So, unless you want to tell him that youll be with me Saturday
I raised an eyebrow at her.
Thanks, but no thanks, she answered too quickly as she gathered her stuff. SO is it my turn tomorrow, then?
Certainly not! I told you I wasnt done, didnt I?
What more is there?
Youll find out tomorrow.
The gentleman in me made me reach across her and open the door for her even though it put me in dangerously close proximity to her. I heard her heart speed up and her breathing stop for a moment but that wasnt what made my hand freeze on the handle.
Not good, I muttered.
What is it?
I glanced at Bella for a second. Another complication, I answered glumly.
I opened the door quickly and moved away from Bella even quicker, though I only wanted to move even closer. Headlights caught Bellas attention and I gave her a quick pained smile.
Charlies around the corner, I warned.
And then I left without so much of a good by. Damn Euphraim Black and his meddlesome descendants.