For the rest of our date, Edward steered clear of any subject that would remind me about my last question. And for the most part, my mind strayed from questions involving our "future" together; yet when the silences hit, my mind seemed to recede into darker, forbidden areas of the past.
Edward paid for the dinner although I offered to pay for half. I looked back at my plate with guilt. I hadn't taken more than a few bites and the chicken appeared untouched. He never even bothered to order any food even though I knew why. Still, I couldn't convince him to let me pay.
Edward smiled brightly as I insisted on paying.
"Don't worry, Bella. It's all covered thanks to Esmé. And to be blunt, it was her idea to bring you here in the first place."
I made a mental note to slip her some money later, including a bonus for the generosity. I let the topic pass without much argument. He led me back to the car and gracefully opened the door for me. I felt the brisk breeze as the door shut and it ruffled my hair. In less than a second he was beside me, jamming the key into the ignition.
"You're going to be seen one of these days." I warned about his ability to virtually teleport. He shot me a look that practically laughed in itself.
"Not likely," He scoffed. "They'll either convince themselves that they were seeing things or they'll try to tell someone. But who will believe them?"-it was a rhetorical question I was just about to answer-"No one wants to be sent to an insane asylum." True enough…to an extent.
"I'm not too sure about that." He looked at me quickly and I could see he thought I was referring to myself. "Mike." I said as if that explained it all.
I could hear him smile and I love how my heart beat erratically and my gut writhed in knots.
"Where to now?" I asked, under the impression that the date was over and we were heading home, which wasn't entirely wrong.
"Your house." He sighed. "To watch the movie."
"Excuse me?" I stared at him incredulously, unable to comprehend the ghastly concept.
"Which part of that was unclear?"
"The whole thing. Try again." I prayed what I had heard was my overactive imagination at work, but to my dismay, he repeated it with more detail.
"We're going to your house to watch a movie."
"Why?" The question was part scream.
"Well,..how long has it been since you've been to a theater?" He didn't pause long enough for me to answer. "Teenagers, Bella. Hormonal teenagers. Perhaps you forgot to consider my inability to completely ignore other people's thoughts, but either way, the last thing you need is to get any ideas."
"And what is that supposed to mean?" The tone in my voice was abnormally high, but I couldn't pretend to really be offended. I couldn't help but imagine sitting next to him through a movie. Girls would drool upon sight of him and naturally, I'd have to prove that he was mine. The thought of flaunting him was bitterly sweet.
"You know very well what I mean by that. Besides,…it would save me the torment of their perverted minds, Bella. And not to mention," He took my hand in his and the sudden coolness startled me, "Charlie told me to bring you home by eleven."
He seemed amused. I looked at the digital clock with bright green numbers and there was no suppressing the horror on my face. We had a little more than seven minutes and quite a distance to cover, which could only mean one thing.
He glared at me with a wicked grin, noticing that my gaze had trailed to the clock.
"You might want to close your eyes."
His voice was heavy with humor and sarcasm. I prepared myself for the dizzying nausea that would hit like it did the first time I traveled through the forest with Edward. There was no avoiding it.
I clamped my eyes shut and heard him change into the last gear and the lead weight of his foot slamming on the accelerator. The motor roared in protest then gradually got louder, filling the car with its sound. In my head, I pictured the needle on the speedometer falling into the hundreds. Even more frightening, I imagined crashing at this speed.
I forced breath in and out of my lungs, though the speed seemed to steal it right back from me. Louder than anything, I could hear Edward booming with laughter. I peeked a look at him to see his eyes on me. Apparently, I was the source of his amusement.
"Keep your eyes on the road!" I screamed. This only made him laugh harder.
Reluctantly, he turned his attention back to the road. A few minutes passed. I felt extremely uncomfortable in my breathlessness. My heart pounded in my ears and my body was overly stiff.
Finally, the motor quieted down and air was available again. I sucked it up happily and exhaled.
"You can open your eyes now. We're here." Edward laughed as the car came to a smooth glide in the driveway. I hadn't even realized how tight I had shut my eyes. Even my eyes seemed elated by the air that fazed them.
"Remind me why we're doing this." My voice sounded strange even to myself.
"Because you earned yourself a curfew."
"Right." I sighed. Up until this point, the curfew Charlie established never really affected me. I found ways around it by morning and night was never an issue because Edward miraculously appeared in my room without an invitation, but expected.
"I don't think Charlie's going to like the idea."
"He's already given me permission." How could I forget? Charlie and Edward were nearly inseparable. Their numbers were on speed-dial on each other's cell phone and I refused to believe it was for safety purposes.
Being the gentleman he is, Edward lightly pulled the door open for me to step out. My lungs were still a bit sore but my legs were eager to stand on solid ground. Yet again, the darkness of night was thick. Edward was nothing more than a silhouette, a shadow just a shade darker than the surrounding black; nonetheless, he was still as beautiful as a dark angel. It struck me as strange how he just kept getting more and more beautiful in my eyes.
His arm laced around my waist and gently pushed me closer to his chest. The movement was so sudden I hadn't known what to expect, so my arms hung loosely by my sides like useless weights. My body was still stiff, but the cool touch of his skin against mine softened my toughened features. Once again, I had to remind myself how to breath as his hand pulled me impossibly closer. I could feel his well-toned, rock hard, washboard abs pressing the cushion of my stomach. My breasts were humiliatingly squished. My cheeks filled with warmth.
It didn't take long until his head was lowered to my throat, which I had recently discovered as his favorite part of my body. His eyes were always conscious of every moment my neck made until the attraction silently drives him mad. But he'll never admit it, never admit a weakness as long as there's something to work on.
Everything about him was soft-everything from his eyes to his kisses. For a second, he just nuzzled my neck, defying temptation and just breathing in the scent of my neck. Guessing, I would assume his eyes were flickering between the cozy brown into onyx gems.
He dropped sweet angel kisses on my jaw line and my kneecaps threatened to collapse. But he was holding me up and propping my body up against his. His breath was cool as always. But then he did something new.
His kisses were harder, pressing into my skin. As he paused to inhale one more time, his lips spread to receive a wider range of exposed skin. And beneath it, the blood that rushed through my veins. I could feel the sharp point of his fangs prickle the skin at the touch, but not breaking it. It was erotic, exhilarating and I, unknowingly, clung to him tighter, allowing my warmth to leave me, the icy coolness of his beautiful corpse to subdue me.
I wondered if he was in control of the situation because I as sure as hell had lost it. Then, I realized that I was never in control to begin with. My life rested solely on him and his decisions. At the moment, I'd bet everything that he could feel the strong force with which my heart rattled my rib cage and he could hear it. And my heart was the part of me that was dying to be with him forever, craving the feel of his teeth over my skin.
I shivered slightly, my stomach contracting. He paused.
He must've realized what was happening, what my heart so desperately wanted because his teeth withdrew and hid behind the shelter of his lips. He shocked me with his abrupt closeness to my ear.
"It's time to go." He whispered, and then dragged me to the front door of my house, where I expected Charlie to be. I snapped out of the spell he put me under and my legs regained their strength.
"The things you make me do." I growled.
"Behave yourself!" Edward grimaced.
"Well if I'm not behaving properly, it's all your fault for dazzling me to begin with."
"And I suppose it's also my fault that you sleep talk, too."
Oh, how I could've slapped him for saying that but even the slap wouldn't have fazed him. It'd be like slapping stone. He wouldn't even react.
We reached the doorstep and the front door swung open. Charlie seemed to look beyond us and directly at Edward's car. He still couldn't believe their wealth. Finally, he acknowledged our presence.
"How fast were you going? I could hear your car nearly a mile away!" Charlie exclaimed. Knowing him, he was probably more proud to see a car such as that parked in front of his house than anything. Edward shook his head.
"The car is noisy and the town is quiet." He began to lie and to my immediate surprise, my father, the sheriff of the town, was persuaded by the obvious lie. "You know how it is." He finished, giving Charlie a friendly pat. Charlie nodded with a weak smile then opened the door wider to let us in.
Edward and I filed obediently into the living room with the T.V. The television was about as ancient as the computer in my room. Technology was never a big deal to Charlie or me, and the VCR that sat on top of the television was enough to testify.
"What movie did you want to watch?" Charlie asked as he came around me and walked past me to the small drawer of videos.
"If you don't mind, I brought one with me." Edward politely waited.
"Oh not at all." Charlie shut the drawer with a thud that made me jump. "What movie is it?"
"Gone with the Wind." He answered briskly. Good I thought. Make it short and painless why don't you.
"Perfect! That's Bella's favorite movie, ain't it, Bells?"
"Yup." I sighed with an uncomfortable smile as the attention fell on me. "My favorite."
Edward gave a subtle wink before Charlie turned back to look at him. There was an awkward silence that lasted for a few seconds but felt like an entire century. I kept my head bowed and my eyes focused on my toes as I rocked back on my heels.
"Well then," Charlie sighed, picking up on my agony. "I'll just be in my room…across the hall…with the door open…if you need anything."
There was an unmistakable distrust in his voice. He walked off without another word for his bedroom.
Here we go I thought as if the real torture were just about to begin.