Impotant Author's Note at bottom, please read! Until then, enjoy this chapter!
By the time that I woke up, it was two in the afternoon. I went down stairs and made some breakfast (nothing special, just cereal) and sat down at the kitchen table, pondering what I had learned last night about Edward and his family. My mind was trying to force me to believe that it was all a dream, but there was something telling me that I could no longer deny that Edward was something more than human. After all, I wasn't that creative, and any sort of dream-Edward wouldn't have been able to answer my questions; how would I have been able to come up with the animal blood-drinking thing on my own?
So, I used my Sunday afternoon to catch up on all of my homework. By the time six o'clock rolled around, I'd finished all of my missed Calculus work, completed the Biology portion, and was almost done with English and History. I was so caught up in my work that I jumped when I heard the latch on the front door turning: Charlie must be home.
"Hey Bells! How was your day?" he asked, placing his vest and boots in the closet. I leapt to my feet as Charlie came walking into the kitchen.
"It was good. Sorry, I got so distracted with my homework that I forgot to start dinner. But I'll do it now, just hold--" I said, slightly flustered, while moving towards the oven.
"No, no, it's alright Bells, I'll just order in. Pizza good?" he asked. Charlie was already dialing the number into the phone, so I really had no choice but the nod and sit back down at the table. I went back to my work and finished it in record time, putting all of my books away as the pizza delivery guy was leaving.
Charlie and I ate in silence. It wasn't awkward or anything. It's just that neither my father nor I felt the need to fill up every silence with chatter. After I was finished eating, I went up stairs and took a long, hot shower, trying to force myself to think. I felt like I should be in shock or something; I had made the ground breaking discovery that Edward was a vampire that lived with a family of six other vampires, and yet I felt incredibly calm. Like I'd known all along.
After my shower was finished and I'd changed into my pajamas, I said goodnight to Charlie and got into bed upstairs. I still felt serene, and it made me strangely uneasy, like I was walking down the middle of a dark street with a blindfold on and with not apparent inkling of the dangers that could befall me. Like being run over by an unsuspecting car.
It was too simple for me to just accept the fact that Edward was a vampire. Dangerously simple.
I fell asleep after a few moments and woke up what felt like seconds later. I was surprised; I had expected to have an entire host of strange dreams about vampires and Edward, but I hadn't had a single dream at all. Maybe I really was at peace with this. . .
I rushed around in my usual pre-school frenzy, throwing on a random sweater, pair of jeans, and rain boots. When I made it downstairs, miraculously unscathed if you believe it, I snagged an apple and the keys to my truck.
I groaned when I got outside. I'd only just remembered that I had no jacket and it was about to seriously rain, judging by the gray-black of the clouds. Honestly, it was a wonder that I'd woken up at all, it was so dark that it looked like eight o'clock at night , not morning.
I'd taken about three steps into the driveway when I froze.
Edward. Edward's Volvo was parked in the driveway in the now empty spot where Charlie's cruiser normally was, he himself leaning casually against the car, the barest hint of a smirk on his face. I stood, staring at Edward, for many long moments. I think it took me around a minute before I mentally slapped myself, silently screaming, You look like an idiot just standing there and staring like and idiot! Move, darn you, MOVE!!!
Blushing, I walked as quickly as I dared toward his car. Edward's smile only widened at my embarrassment. He was full out grinning by the time that I got right up in front of him. I internally cursed my ability to blush. I frowned at him for a split second before he chuckled quietly.
It was the most wondrous sound I'd ever heard, like a chorus of singing angels. I gazed into his golden eyes in wonder, knowing that he couldn't really be bad, even if he tried, he was just too . . . angelic.
I shook my head slightly, trying to clear the sudden fog.
Edward cleared his throat slightly, and I focused on what he was saying; "I came by to see if you wanted to ride to school with me today." He gestured unnecessarily to his car. At this, my temper flared up. I gazed up at him, an annoyed scowl on my face. Edward stared back at me, his expression just ever so slightly bemused.
"I am perfectly capable of driving myself to school," I remarked, my tone clipped. I did not, however, make any move towards my truck, and he seemed to take advantage of this. Edward smiled, his expression angelic. "Oh, I know, I just thought that I'd offer." With that, he shrugged and situated himself more comfortably on the side of his car. I cursed him internally, sighing in frustration in my mind. I get the feeling that, somehow, he knew that I'd say yes. . .
I stared up at him, my eyebrows raised, expression one of expectance. Edward gazed back at me for a moment before smirking and moving away from the passenger door. However, before I could get to the door, he opened it for me. I quirked an eyebrow at him again; Edward retaliated by making and absurdly low bow with much flourishing of the hands. I smiled, shaking my head, and finally stepped into the car.
It was warm, the gray leather interior calming, not too bright. Before my eyes could get much farther, my nose collided with a heavenly scent that seemed to emanate from the car itself. It was like the scent that had clung to Edward's jacket not-too-many night's ago, but more powerful and yet, more subtle. Like the leather had absorbed the smell from prolonged exposure to it.
I looked around suddenly, surprised; since when was the car moving? And when did I buckle my seat belt? I shook my head again, frowning this time. I had a feeling that I really didn't want to know. . . In an attempt at not thinking about how quickly the pavement was slipping by, I focused on the music instead, becoming surprised yet again, a feeling that I already didn't like and seemed to be experiencing quite a bit as of late.
"Claire de Lune?" I asked, incredulous. Edward's head swiveled around, his own expression just as bewildered as my own. "You know Debussy?" he asked, clearly shocked. I felt my cheeks burn a faint pink. "Not very well," I confessed, "I only know my favorites. My mom plays a lot of classical music around the house. I only know my favorites."
He dragged his eyes back to the road. "It's one of my favorites, too," he said, his expression unfathomable. It was strange: I felt like I both wanted and didn't want to know what he was thinking. I shook my head for the umpteenth time that morning, letting all of my confusing and conflicting emotions settle around me like a blanket. It took me a moment to realize that we were in the school's parking lot. I jerked my gaze around towards Edward to find him staring at me. My face far surpassed pink this time, instead turning a rather vibrant crimson by the smile that grew on Edward's face. I had a feeling that my face may never fade back to it's pale pallor.
It took me a moment to notice that Edward was holding something in his lap. It looked suspiciously like a--
"Jacket." Edward held it out to me. "I remembered that you lost yours a few nights ago, and Alice was kind enough to give me this one. It's too big for her you see. But I would have bought you one if I'd had to! I mean, I not-- and you. . ." Edward's voice faded off into an awkward silence. I had a strong feeling that, if he could, he would be blushing a rather shocking shade of scarlet. I took my 'new' coat from him, speechless for a moment. I looked back up to see Edward staring rather determinedly at the steering wheel.
"Thank you. For the coat and for not spending any money on it." Edward looked a little startled by what I said; and for some reason, I felt compelled to explain. "I. . . I don't like it when people spend money on me. It just makes me feel. . . weak. Powerless. Like I can't take care of myself. But I can," I murmured softly, my voice growing stronger as I continued. "I've been making dinner for myself and my mother, now Charlie, for years. I can do laundry, I know how to get a job. I can get a job. In fact, I will get a job." I glared at Edward with a sort of determined triumph.
Suddenly, I grinned mischievously. "And don't you forget it." Edward returned me with one of his own, rather impish, smiles.
"Yes, ma'm," he said, giving me a mock salute. I blinked, and he was gone, only to reappear, not even seconds later, on the passenger side of the car. He opened my door for me, still chuckling. I raised my eyebrows at him in a sarcastic kind of way and stepped out of the car in what I thought to be a dignified manner. However, I suppose it wasn't really dignified when I stepped in a puddle of the always-muddy ground and slipped, falling face first towards the ground. I waited for the impact, but it never came. Instead, I was. . .
Then I became aware of the stone-like arms wrapped around my waist and stomach, making me hover at an awkward, semi-horizontal angle, about three feet above the ground. I felt first relief at not eating the pavement, then embarrassment. When Edward straightened me up, he took one look at my face and started laughing at my scarlet complexion. I guess that he held it in reasonably well; it looked a bit as if he was having muscle spasms. I hissed angrily and started sloshing my way across the parking lot. Edward caught up to me easily, matching my stride. Once we got to the cafeteria's shelter, I spun around to glare at him.
He was grinning like a madman; he seemed to find my anger funny, rather than crippling. Hardly the desirable effect that I was going for here.
I sighed, closing my eyes and shaking my head for what felt like the millionth time this morning. However, thankfully, a distraction approached in the form of Angela.
I liked Angela. Her father was a minister in the only church in Forks. She was, if you can believe it, a truly sweet person. She was somewhat quiet, but I liked it; she didn't feel the need to fill up every single silence with useless chatter. Angela is the only person, vampires aside, who I've met in Forks and actually consider a genuine friend.
"Good morning, Bella. . . Edward," she said quietly, offering us a timid smile. I don't know what she was thinking, but it made Edward's expression soften, his golden eyes becoming warm and liquid. I smiled in return, and Edward responded with, "Good morning to you, too, Angela. How are you today?" Angela started; I wondered if she, or anyone else outside his family and myself for that matter, had ever heard Edward speak, other than answering questions in class. But she recovered herself quickly, her smile growing to one of such brightness to rival the sun.
"I'm great! How are you, Bella? Edward?" We both told her that we, too, were great; I marveled internally at how I was suddenly so happy. It was a bit Hallmark-TV-movie ironic, but it was nice to be so. . . happy. Soon after, Angela rushed off to meet Ben, her boyfriend. Edward and I waved as she went. When she was gone, Edward leaned down to whisper in my ear.
"It's nice, every once in a while, to see someone who has honest thoughts. I've been going to school with that girl for two years, and never once has a mean, rude, or catty thought crossed her mind, unlike all of the other girls in this school." He repressed a shudder, and then continued. "Rather admirable choice in friends, on your part." Edward smiled down on me, and I smiled back up at him. Suddenly, however, he chuckled.
"What?" I demanded. He leaned back, putting his hands in his pockets and closing his eyes, now smirking, his expression smug.
"Look around," Edward responded, opening his eyes. They were sparkling with amusement. I took a furtive glance to my left and then did a double take, turning full around.
Everyone in the cafeteria was staring at us, a few of them opened mouthed. As the heat and color rose in my face, I began to wonder why I hadn't noticed the unnatural silence from the lack of chatter before. I became aware enough of my surroundings in time to register that Edward was no longer chuckling.
Instead, a low growl was emanating from the statue like figure beside me. I looked up into his flashing eyes, noting the slight difference in shade, from a light gold to a pale brown.
"Edward, what--?" I barely got the first part of my bewildered question out before a sudden touch on my right shoulder made me jump and whirl around.
Author's Note: Congrats, you've made it this far! So that means one of teo things; either A) you're going to be really nice and give me a review full of compliments and/or constructive criticism because you enjoyed this chapter and/or wish to help me better my story, or B) you're going to "rip me a new one" for not updating for so long.
I'd like to apologize for that. I've been getting sick a lot this summer, so staring at a computer screen wouldn't exactly be best. Then I had my trip, I got back about a week ago, but I've been dealing with jet lag and post-flight sickness. I swear, everytime I spend the night somewhere, I get sick, and other countries (Australia) don't seem to be excluded. . .
I also want to say that I take full responsibility for not updating. My fault, I have no excuse, etc, etc. . . All that and basket of muffins. So, hopefully, you won't be too angry with me and will review with your comments and/or concerns.
And so, my dedicated readers and fans, I would also like to let you know that on August the 27th, I shall be entering into my sophmore year of high school. Yes, the joy of school work. But really, I'm actually excited for the school year to start, exempting the fact that it will probably impede my from updating for. . . well, awhile. So, if you all would please forgive me if I cant update during September. . . or October. . . ().()
I'd greatly appreciate it.
NO flames. Please Review, I want your guys' input and constructive criticism: )