Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
What is Edward Cullen doing here?
I smirked to myself as I heard Mike Newton's thoughts. Apparently, someone was not happy about my return to Forks.
Mike slowly made his way over to the lunch table that I was sitting at with Bella. "Hey, Bella," he greeted her, although his gaze lingered on me. Guess I won't be sitting next to her anymore.
"Hi," Bella said, blushing. The blood rushing to her cheeks made venom pool in my mouth, but I ignored it. After I was in control of my thirst, I stared at her curiously, wondering what had triggered the blush. I would have to ask her later.
"So, Cullen, are you back for good?" Mike asked, with a frown. Bella's shoulders stiffened under my arm. Did she really still believe that I would leave her again? Of course, she does, I scolded myself, and you deserve each and every one of her doubts for what you did to her.
"Yes, I am, Newton," I responded politely, with a smile. Bella relaxed into me again.
He better not hurt her again. A girl's face flashed across Newton's thoughts. The girl's eyes were lifeless and her mouth was turned down in a perpetual frown. It was Bella, but not the Bella I was used to. I tightened my grip around her, trying to make up for the pain that I had caused.
"I am so—"pissed, "—happy that you are back with us," Mike lied. He shot me a fake smile. "Well I have to go—" bang my head against a wall, "—get extra help for English. 'Bye." He turned around and practically ran out of the cafeteria.
The vision of Bella's sorrow-filled face was still flashing across my mind. She must have noticed that I was upset because she twisted in my arms and gazed into my eyes, "What's wrong?" she asked softly.
I did not respond at first. I just looked into her warm and forgiving eyes. Slowly, and cautiously, I pressed my lips against her warm forehead. Her scent was intoxicating, just as it always was. I pulled away before the monster within me could emerge. "I'm so sorry," I murmured.
She glared at me. "How many times do I have to tell you that I forgive you?" She grabbed my face between her hands.
I lifted my hands to rest on top of hers. "Until I forgive myself," I told her, with a grim smile.
The corners of her lips turned down into a frown. "Knowing you, that'll take a long time. You're such a masochist," she muttered.
I smiled at her. "Only when it comes to you," I whispered. She smiled back and sighed contentedly.
The two of you are just too adorable, Edward. I looked up to see Alice sitting down at our table.
I took Bella's hands off my face and clasped our hands together under the table. "Hello, Alice," I said, turning to face her.
"Hi. Isn't it just wonderful to be back in school?" Alice asked me with a sunny smile.
I raised an eyebrow. "I'm not quite sure that wonderful is the word I would use to describe it," I responded. Bella giggled at my bleak tone and started stroking my hand with her thumb.
Savor it while you can because you won't get human experiences like this with her after she's changed. Alice's eyebrows pulled together. Of course, once she learns to control her thirst, she'll be right back in school again.
I growled at her. Bella turned to look at me. "Edward! Behave yourself!"
Alice chuckled. "No need to yell at him, Bella. I'm sorry to say that I may have provoked him, just a little bit." Still haven't gotten used to the idea of Bella being like us, have you?
"I hate it when you two have your little private conversations. It's so frustrating," Bella groaned.
"Now you know how I feel about not being able to hear your thoughts," I said. Not that she could ever feel half as frustrated as I do about that. I would give up hearing everyone else's thoughts, just to be able to read her mind.
Bella glowered at me. "It's still rude!" she huffed.
It really is Edward, Alice agreed.
"I hate it when you two gang up on me," I mumbled. Bella snickered at that. I could not help but to laugh along with her—her laugh was just too infectious. I looked into her beautiful brown eyes and felt a feeling of warmth spread throughout me. If Alice were not sitting with us, I might have kissed her.
Alice seemed to pick up on my desire. I'll leave the two of you alone. "Well, I'd better go. Wouldn't want to be late on my first day back. 'Bye Bella, Edward." She practically skipped across the room, threw her untouched food out in the trash, and exited.
Bella was staring at the door through which Alice had just left. "I can't wait to be that graceful," she sighed with a small smile on her face.
Bella's desire to be a monster always amazed me. "Bella," I warned.
"It's going to happen one way or another," she reminded me. A triumphant grin spread across her face.
Before I could respond, the bell rang. "Let's go," I grumbled. I collected both of our trays and got up without looking at her. As I was throwing out our food, I heard her coming up behind me.
She laced both of her arms around me and hugged me. "I'm sorry that it makes you so sad," she said, "but it really is for the best."
I turned around in her arms and held her tightly. I did not want to argue with her right now, especially about that. "I love you," I murmured.
She rested her chin on my chest and sighed. "Forever?" she questioned.
I lifted her face up, so that she could see that I was telling the truth. "Forever, and maybe even a little bit longer," I vowed.