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Recap:And that's when I heard it…The gasp that alerted me to the fact that there were other people to be thought of.
"Bella? Wh-what are…"
And that's when all hell broke loose…well…what I consider to be hell anyway.
My eyes widened, and both Edward and my self went stock still. All the sound seemed to flood back into my ears, and all movement around me became more prominent. It felt like the world was in fast forward and I was moving at normal rate.
Slowly, one foot at a time, I stepped off of Edward's feet, and let my arms drop to my sides, keeping my head down. My stomach clenched and it felt like there was something stuck in my throat.
Well this is awkward…
I took a deep breath, closing my eyes momentarily, before glancing up to gouge how Alice was reacting. Alice's face was incredulous…border line mortified. Her mouth was open a little and her eyes unfathomable.
I looked back down hurriedly, "Um…" I swallowed painfully.
Oh, very articulate.
"What….I thou-thought that you….I….What?" Alice's voiced turned sharp and I flinched. That was her 'I-want-to-know-what's-going-on-now' tone, not good. One day her child is going to quake in fear at the thought of defying their mother.
People were staring more. They were interested when Edward and I were together, this just added to the whole thing. There was almost a circle around us, the people dancing half-heartedly, but their eyes on us. My eyes drifted over their faces, all of them blurring together into one sea of coulour.
I shook my head, deciding it better to look at her and not at everyone else; this had nothing to do with them. My heart was beating like mad, and I could feel my palms getting sweaty. Gaping like a fish, I finally got out, "Alice," my tone was reproachful, making me sound even guiltier.
I glanced at Edward for help, he was standing there looking kind of sheepish, scratching the back of his neck awkwardly. Oh, thanks Edward, that makes us look even more 'not-wanting-you-to-find-out'.
I turned to Jasper, who was behind Alice, his hand on her shoulder. I guess they had got on all right. One good sign- yet not enough to relieve me.
"Alice," I tried again. "I need to tell-talk to you about something."
"I should think so." Alice didn't look angry, which was somewhat comforting, she just looked…out of it, like a lost pup.
Sighing, I glanced once more at Edward. He gave me a sympathetic smile that told me, good luck.
Minutely, I was angry with him. That was all he could give in the way of help? But I had more important things to focus on, and I could deal with Edward later.
I took Alice's wrist and lead her to a quieter corner of the gym. Jasper moved to stand next to Edward, watching us depart. I had a feeling they would be watching us for a while to come.
My heart was thumping against my rib cage and I was so, so worried. I had no time to prepare, and no insight into how Alice was going to take things.
I kept hold of Alice's wrist, but she let her arm drop, forcing me to let go. "What's going on, Bella?"
Putting my hands over my face I took a deep breath, before locking eyes with Alice, trying to find the right wording.
"Al, I don't know where to begin to explain."
"The beginning always works best." I could see the agitation starting to build up in her eyes, not good at all. Just spit it out Bella!
"Okay then, I'll tell you everything." I breathed deeply, trying to calm myself so I wouldn't waver so much. "A while ago, Edward approached me as he does often, but his motives were different. He wanted something…me, and he really was trying not to be a jerk." Alice scoffed at this, crossing her arms over her chest; she was getting more and more miffed.
Talk fast, talk fast, talk fast…
"I kept rejecting him, over and over, but eventually…I just…I saw something Alice. He was trying so hard, and really putting himself on the line." As I said these words, I knew how true they were. I hadn't really thought about why I had said yes to him in the first place, I had seen something in him. I shook my head in wonder. "Alice, there is so much more beneath all that confidence…The confidence is more of a cover than anything else."
Alice was shaking her head before I had finished. She obviously was finding it hard to believe Edward was more than the ass hole he makes himself out to be. I didn't blame her really…
"I know, he is a little rough around the edges, but hardly anyone has gone deep enough to see the person he is inside." I defended hurriedly. I don't think it was smart to let her think too much, I needed her to understand before it was too late and she had already decided on her opinions.
"How can you say that?" Alice snapped suddenly and I cringed. I had been waiting for this of course. I didn't have time to use the Jasper card; I don't even know how the jasper card went! "You know how awful he is to me and what his family has put us through."
Alice stared me down with hard eyes, strikingly blue and penetrating.
"He's been trying!" I groaned. "You know that, you've seen it. He is trying so hard to accept."
Alice frowned, incredulous. "Accept what? He's gotten everything from the word 'go'; what's he to accept? The fact that all he has to do is click his fingers to get anything he wants?"
My tone was becoming desperate. I rubbed my temple, trying to push out the stress and stay in control.
"No! You know that's not the case, I've seen Alice. Everything isn't as perfect for him as you think. Do you think it doesn't hurt him to know that his dad causes his mum so much pain and that he went and had a child with another woman when he knew he had a son on the way already? Can you understand that?"
That seemed to stop Alice short. It looked as though she was trying to scrape for something to say while still keeping her anger for Edward's whole family. Her eyes were softening by the second and her features becoming less severe.
"Do you think its fair that he's tried to stick with his family even though he knew it was his own flesh and bloods fault?" I pressed on, I could finally feel that I was getting somewhere with this. "What would you do in his situation? If your mum can forgive, why can't you?"
Alice was about to say something, then seemed to change tact. "But- but he's a jerk! A Player! Who's to say he isn't using you?"
Her question struck hard, almost like getting pushed over and having the wind knocked out of you. It's something I didn't want to think about. I sucked in a breath, "It's a risk I'm willing to take, Alice. You can't know everything that's going to happen so you have to take chances, and I'm willing to take this one."
In saying that, I realised that that was the thing that hits the hardest with Alice. She's always been so sure of her future, my future, what to expect, and then the carpet is pulled out from under her feet and she's left groping for some sense of rightfulness.
"Besides,- what about Jasper and you?"
Alice turned coy, forgetting her anger, eyeing me from the corner of her eye before looking everywhere but at me. "What about me and Jasper?"
Smirking slightly, I gave her a knowing look. "It really isn't that different from my situation, you know?"
"Yeah, except the fact that Jaspers never done anything mean to you, and oh, he's not your half brother."
Ouch… To me, that was something that was so hard to get over. It shocked me every time I thought about it. Alice put it so bluntly, it made my breathing hitch.
"Yeah, except those two huge facts- and also that I've been very supportive, it's so obvious you like him," I teased lightly, getting off the topic of 'he's not nice'. "Everything else is similar though. You can not tell me that Jasper hasn't shocked you more than ever these past few days."
Realisation lighted her face, her eyes widened and she looked at me with accusing eyes. "That's why you've been all cool about Rosalie- Rosalie and Emmett, as well as the whole thing with Jasper. How long have you been keeping this from me exactly?"
Damn…I really didn't want this question to come up. How long had it been? A month and bit?
"Longer than I've wanted to, believe me." I sighed, hedging, hoping to God she could see the sincerity in my eyes. "I've wanted to come clean about this for so long, there just wasn't a good time, you've reacted better than I can hope for."
Alice was quiet for a while, looking down as she contemplated. I waited as patiently as I could, rocking with anticipation. She met my eyes finally, staring intently. "Bella, as long as you're happy, I'm fine with any of your decisions."
"He does make me happy, makes me laugh…" I trailed off, biting my lip, deep in thought. It sounded so…foreign. I hadn't been able to have this girl time, to talk about how much I really was feeling. It was odd…
"Do you love him?"
The question came out of no where; it snapped me back into the present. It was like getting pushed into a pool of ice cold water when you weren't expecting it. Alert and numb at the same time.
"What? No!" I didn't- couldn't, how? "I mean, I-I-I….N-no, you don't fall in love that quick…no" No…I can't love him, it's just….no. Such a simple question, it made my mind spin. I was still in that cold water.
Alice nodded, eyeing me in a weird way. I tried to concentrate on her, but my head was still whirling at my own personal question, 'could I love him?' "Okay, Bella, just be careful, okay?" I nodded absentmindedly. There was a pause as Alice assessed me. "…Why aren't you wearing any shoes?"
I followed her gaze to my bare feet, wiggling my toes and couldn't help but laugh. What a good distraction. "Those things are weapons of mass ankle destruction."
Alice smiled, "Fair enough". I could tell I was forgiven, it was like a huge weight had been lifted off my chest, and I could breath easy. I didn't have to hide anymore; we didn't have to hide anymore.
That pleased me a little more than I expected.
Alice turned her gaze on the guys, biting her lip. Her eyes were worried and anxious…and yet, the curve at the corner of her lip hinted that she was excited almost.
I felt it too, the prospect of having a new…lifestyle almost.
I followed her gaze, crossing my arms over my chest as I assessed the two guys that had stayed where we left them. They were talking to each other, looking out of place where everyone else was moving and they were still.
My curiosity surged as Jasper glanced our way once again, eyes only for Alice. His gaze lingered, alerting Edward to our watchful eyes. "So, are you going to tell me exactly what happened with Jasper?" I tried again.
Alice sighed, dropping her arms. "Do you want to get a drink?" Alice started towards the table with drinks, leaving me standing there on my own.
I chased after her, looping our arms together so she couldn't get away again. "Are you trying to avoid the topic?" I asked, already knowing the answer, just wanting to embarrass her a little.
"No," she said, a little too casually. "I'm just thirsty…"
I raised my eyebrows, letting it go with a shrug. She can count on the fact that I would get her later.
Alice stopped at the table and got herself a drink. I leaned against the table, watching her curiously. How to tackle this? She's shyer than I ever expected about this…One tough cookie to crack, that's for sure.
"Ahem," Mary cleared her throat loudly, coming to stand in between her daughter and myself. She raised her eyebrows and came in close to my face to say, "You're lucky I had your father distracted during that little public display of affection with Edward earlier." My eyes widened to the size of dinner plates, and I went completely red in the face. Alice snorted ungracefully then cracked up laughing her tinkling laughter at the look on my face. Even Mary had a smirk on her face.
"He would have had a heart attack," Alice giggled. I let out the breath I hadn't realised I was holding in. At least Alice could find humour in all this, that's all that I would worry about now. "How'd you distract him?"
Mary looked slyly at the two of us. "Oh, I have my ways, don't you worry."
Alice and I shared a look before putting up our hands up and said together, "Don't want to know."
Mary laughed at our expressions, grabbing Alice's hand, turning from fun mum to serious. "Are you okay?" I guess she could see some change in Alice, like the good mother she was. I decided to give them some privacy.
I walked back round the walls of the gym until I got to where I had left my shoes. I picked them up by the straps and faced the dilemma of putting them on with out A) Tripping, or B) flashing. Neither sounded very appealing.
"So, should I fear the wrath of Alice?"
I let out a breezy laugh. "No, she's…being understanding, Edward," I used his arm to help support me as I tried to pull on my shoe.
"I see," he said, sounding as though he was trying to suppress some excitement. I could tell he was elated; finally, no more hiding.
Edward felt me wobble as I pulled the strap over my heel so he steadied me by putting his arm around my waist. "Thanks"
"You're welcome," I finished getting my shoes on, already feeling awkward and like a tree about to go 'timber' at any minute. Edward was biting his lip, staring out into space, keeping his arm around my waist.
"Edward?" I nudged him a little, breaking him out of his reverie. His breath-taking green eyes slid back to me and a crooked smile lit up his face. He opened his mouth to say something when-
"Are you two, like…seeing each other or something?" Jessica Stanley asked in her air-head voice, Lauren at her side, staring at the two of us with distaste and a raging curiosity.
My body then became fully alert to the arm still tight around my middle, the arm the Jessica and Lauren were eyeing, the arm that was drawing more and more people's attention.
Edward's arm slacked a little and I found myself inching my self a bit farther away from him. We shared a look that conveyed the same message. What were we, exactly?
"Um," was all I could manage, articulate as ever. Edward cleared his throat, seeming to have the same speaking impairment as well.
Jessica seemed to be having a field day. "Oh, my God. You so are!" Even though Edward was her latest boyfriend she didn't seem to be feeling the usual green monster on her back. The wow factor was all that was going through her brain. "I have to tell Rosalie." Jessica did her little duck waddling walk slash run thing away.
Lauren just continued staring. I felt like something was chewing at my insides, I didn't like her staring like that at me. Her eyes were unfathomable, almost dazed. "Whoa," she finally got out slowly, shaking her head.
That seemed to be the point where everyone started talking. My eyes darted from person to person as their chatter filled my head.
Tyler was the first, "Well, never expected this to actually happen."
"Yeah, I hear you dude." Austin agreed.
Katie's turn, "I wonder how long this is going to last." Thanks…
"Nah, Bella's pretty cute." My eyes zeroed in on Mike at that comment.
Tyler seemed to agree, "She's got a little something…"
"Good going man." Austin directed this at Edward, walking past him to slap in on the shoulder as a 'well done'. There were several comments a like from the guys, while the girls were being sceptical.
"Well don't I feel like a prize pig." I muttered to myself, rolling my eyes. This was…awful, having all these people judging me. I used to not care, but this…this was different. I was exposed and all these people who never gave me the slightest mind were now fawning about me.
Edward took me by the shoulders, turning me to face him so he could look at me. "I'm sorry Bella; you're not a prize or anything. I swear, you're so much more than that, you're-"
"Ha, well isn't this precious…" No, what was he going to say! "Who would have thought they'd see the day when Bella Swan would end up with Masen?"
I groaned, tossing my head back before facing Rosalie. She was smiling, enjoying this way too much. Emmett was standing slightly behind her, tall above everyone else. Edward sighed, exasperated. When was this going to end?
Emmett gave me a questioning look and I tried to convey as much as I could with my face. I knew he'd had a clue from early on, right when Edward started this whole escapade, I just hoped he could see it for what it was now and not ask too many questions.
"I mean, come on, this is just…" Rosalie searched for some kind of word to explain the whole 'Edward plus Bella equals couple' thing. I DIDN'T EVEN GET IT!
Emmett seemed to get the point and in a disapproving tone said, "Rosalie…". Oh boy, this will be interesting to see go down.
Rosalie turned her surprised gaze to Emmett's rarely serious face. Her face changed, softened as she took in his face. Her shoulders slumped and she gave up finishing her sentence.
Oh my goodness…Go Emmett! He so needs to tell me how he did that!
Emmett clapped his hands, getting everyone's attention. "Alright people! Move away, people do need to breathe their own air you know!" People stared at Emmett's large body and reluctantly began breaking away. I mouthed a thank you at him and he smiled, shrugging it off.
Edward took hold of my hand almost immediately, tugging me lightly towards the chairs on the side of the room, away from prying eyes- and ears.
"Bella," he started, sitting me down. His expression distressed, yet still completely…adorable. "I'm so sorry. That wasn't a good start to this and-" I put my hand over his mouth to stop him.
"Edward, it's okay. That wasn't the most desirable scene just then but it's…human nature. I wouldn't expect anything different from that whole…jumble." My nose scrunched at the thought. At least I knew…That's as bad as it could get…right? Oh crap…I just damned myself for more bad luck. Please let sick irony not have a role in my life!
Edward chuckled a little, leaning back against the wall, relief flooding his features. "I guess that's true."
There was a silence. Not uncomfortable, just one where we were both reminiscing and looking to what was to come.
"I have to know, what are we exactly?" I couldn't help but ask it. We weren't boy friend and girl friend…yet. But it's not like we are just friends or anything. I don't know what we were.
Edward looked at me, startled by the sudden question. "What do you want us to be?" There was vulnerability in his voice and his eyes, the window to the soul…
I don't think he'd ever had this much commitment put on him, making him just as careful as I was in this topic of discussion. Of course he'd had relationships before, but he knew that this wasn't some a no-strings attached fling. It was comforting and worrying at the same time. It made me feel a bit more secure…and just as worried about his commitment levels.
"I'm not sure yet. It's up to you as well. What do you want me to be exactly?"
Edward leaned forward, elbows on his thighs, staring at his hands for a long time. I looked at his hands as well, piano fingers… My gaze travelled up his arm and to the side of his well chiselled face, perfect features, long sooty eyelashes, smooth skin.
My eyes drooped as I thought about the comparisons between us. A side of me wondered why I was being so stubborn when this guy that was unfairly better looking than I could ever be wanted me.
But that was exactly it, I was stubborn, I knew that. I wouldn't- couldn't just put myself out there only to be walked all over and get myself broken. I didn't want to suffer that if it wasn't necessary.
The truth is everyone is going to hurt you. You just have to decide who's worth the pain…
The saying came out of nowhere, I had remembered seeing it in some magazine and it had stuck with me. If I was going to get hurt somewhere along the line, minor or major, it was going to be for something worthwhile.
I heard Edward inhale deeply, like he was about to speak. "Bella," he began his voice soft as velvet. Involuntarily I found myself moving closer as I waited. Edward licked his lips before continuing, staring deeply into my eyes, and said with such simplicity, but so much feeling, "I want you to be my girlfriend. I want to be able to walk around with your hand in mine and not either of us care who sees."
My breathing hitched and my heart started beating faster, ramming against my rib cage. My lips slid into a smile and it was like there was a warm fuzzy feeling creeping up from the pit of my stomach. I wanted to squeal or make some obnoxious noise to release my overwhelming joy.
I knew Edward was waiting for a reply, assessing me with anxious eyes, worry etched into his features. Silly boy
"I want that too," I whispered softly, before leaning in and pressing my lips softly against his. Our promise kiss, the one that promised.
I've had over half this chapter finished since I last updated but –here's the 'but' (sigh)- as the rollercoaster called 'life' does, it went down into a slump and I just got distracted easily and lost my drive.
Many people reviewed recently saying I was trying to kill you all with that cliffy and lack of updating- SORRY ALL YOU DIE PEOPLE! I HOPE YOU ARE NOW ON A NON-DYING BASIS.
IMPORTANT: IF YOU WANT A SAY IN THIS STORY, I HAVE A POLL UP! I WILL BE CLOSING IT VERY, VERY, VERY SOON! THE QUESTION IS
MORE DRAMA –I know what the drama is-
ONCE THINGS ARE SETTLED, NO MORE DRAMA, EPILOGUE, END
So, VOTE NOW! I will be closing in the next few days so get a move on people! XD
…THEY'VE FINISHED FILMING TWILIGHT! NOW WE WILL HAVE HARDLY ANYTHING TO MAKE THE TIME FLY UNTIL AUGUST AND DECEMEBER- early 2009 in my case, im glaring at all you people who get it December…and I am glaring so hard that you have holes in your head…stupid ocean…makes things so far away… - …
There will be more of Rosalie and Emmett
There will be some Bella and Edward (Much exploring of what it is to be in a relationship is to be done)
VOTE ON POLL