A/N-This one is after the school year is over for Bella and Edward. Between Twilight and New Moon in the summer. Bella's leg is healed and there is now no cast.
I've been kind of contemplating this one, just because it hedges on being a little too creative with boundaries. Maybe you'll think it's perfectly acceptable to color outside the lines. I just don't like to do much in the way of altering the story line. And oneshots are a great way to be able to write about Bella and Edward and get away with it.
"Bella, what are you thinking? You are going to get in so much trouble with Charlie for being out so late," Edward's voice was teasing. He reached for my elbow to keep me from tripping over a root that I didn't see popping up out of the ground, "I have to watch after you even more carefully than usual, because of your weak eyesight."
"That's why we snuck out the window and took your car. I finally get a clean bill of health and I want to do something that will celebrate the occasion," I scowled, "It shocks me that I was the one that suggested hiking, but this is invigorating." I breathed in the night air. We were hiking along in the forest, headed towards Edward's meadow.
"I don't think I've ever seen this side of you before. Bella, loving the moist air of Washington? Gasp." I poked him. I'm sure he barely felt it, but it was gratifying that he moved before I could do it again.
"I think it's the dark. Or maybe it's the company," I shrugged. The dark was a very dangerous place for us anyways. It seemed as though my ache to be near Edward magnified in the dark. And his will to kill was a little keener.
We were both getting very good at schooling our emotions, though. Edward's was by far the hardest to control, but I had to resist that dazzling face he always presented me with. Ok, so I really couldn't resist it, otherwise I wouldn't be out here with him. But I had to rein in my obvious obsession with his appearance, appealing as it was.
He won in the control department though. I was just obsessed with his beauty. In a very dark, monstrous part of him, he thirsted for my blood. And he had yet to show anything but control, for the most part.
"Bella, watch where you're going," Edward had swept me up and around a tree stump before I could collide with it. "So are you going to tell me why we're coming out here to the meadow in the middle of the night?"
"Are you curious?" I asked, allowing him to carry me a few steps before wiggling out of his grasp. He let me down gently.
"Just a bit. You aren't all that equipped to go thrashing around the forest, much less in the dark. Next time we bring a flashlight for you." He chuckled in my ear and sent my brain on the fritz. It was a few moments of walking before I could answer him with a clear sentence.
"Well, I'm not going to tell you. How far away are we?" I asked suddenly, when he had to direct me away from another root. I was seriously considering letting him run with me. It would be faster. But I still feared that sick feeling.
"Still a few more miles. Would you like a ride?" he asked. Rarely did I allow him to run with me these days. There were no good reasons to rush all over the place. If he wanted to run, he could do it by himself.
"I was thinking about it." I nodded, finally, "But my stomach clenches just considering it." I tried to laugh. It came out a quiver.
"I really don't understand why you are so stubborn about this whole thing. Keeping your eyes closed is perfectly acceptable. I would never let anything happen to you." He promised. I took a few more steps and stumbled over a rock. Edward caught me around the waist and righted me. His touch set my heart into palpitations. I wondered idly if other girls felt this way when their guys held them.
I decided it was a perfectly acceptable reaction. I love Edward. Therefore, my heart doesn't necessarily race because of his vampiric nature, but just because I get a thrill from being with him.
"What are you thinking?" Edward asked, breaking through my thoughts for the second time. I must have paused our hike with my thought process. His arms curled around my torso and held me to his stone chest. His cheek was pressed against mine and I could smell his delicious scent.
"Well," I said, trying to form a thought that was coherent, "I was wondering about the way I react to your touch. Whether it's because you are… well.. you and I am me. Or if it's because I'm in love with you and every touch thrills me. And I was wondering if everyone in love felt like this." I could feel his smile creasing our cheeks.
"I hope it's both." He kissed my cheek and turned me so he could look into my eyes. "If you were to become immune to the instinctive fear that comes with close proximity to a vampire, I would probably lock you up. You would put yourself in far more danger if you knew you were immune. But I hope that at least some of the thrill is because of your feelings for me. I know that my own deeply buried human emotions are surfacing because of you. I, too, delight in your touch." His eyes were glowing in the dark. I didn't realize until he blinked that I had been temporarily sucked in.
"Edward," I rolled my eyes in impatience. Falling into his eyes was becoming more annoying than anything because I lost all coherencies.
"I'm sorry. It's far too easy." He shook his head, "Are you going to let me run to the meadow or not?"
"I suppose if you keep the running at a safe seventy-miles-per hour speed…" I trailed off.
"As if I have a speedometer somewhere on my body that would tell me how fast I'm going." He smirked at me and then stooped so that I could climb onto his back. "Don't forget to close your eyes," he reminded. I buried my face in his hair and squeezed my eyes shut. I could feel him gliding along easily and the wind whipped his hair around my face. That distracted me momentarily. His hair held the same glorious scent that radiated off him, but it was far more concentrated for some reason. I think my hair held the same effect for him.
"We're here." He announced, bending down so I could climb off. His cold hand trapped my own in its grasp before I could loose all contact, though.
"So, now are you going to tell me why we're out here?" I led him towards the edge of the meadow.
"Will you stay here for a moment?" I asked, hedging towards the open meadow.
"If you'll tell me what we're doing." He laughed, and held onto my hand in a tighter grip. He didn't seem at all irritated, just curious.
"We are being spontaneous." I laughed and wrenched free. I went out into the field, away from the tree cover and was silently thankful that for once the sky was clear. When I looked up, I beamed at the sight. Millions of stars winked back at me. The deep black sky was wild with them. But the most important part was the moon. The full, bright moon.
"Bella." Edward sounded a bit impatient. I couldn't see him because the meadow was so brightly lit. I sat down in the middle of the meadow and beckoned him to come out. I saw his shadow move toward the edge of the forest line and then he emerged, like the pale godlike creature he was. I grinned at the sight.
Subtly, I noticed a sparkle in his skin that usually only showed itself on sunny days. The phenomenon never ceased to amaze me. In the strong moonlight, it was less noticeable though.
"So this was your plan? You wanted to see if I would sparkle in strong moonlight? Bella you could have just asked." Edward folded himself into a sitting position beside me. I reached out to take his hand and examine it, much like I had the first time we were in the meadow.
"I am still celebrating," I motioned to my leg, "Plus, not that you are boring by any means, but we were becoming a boring predictable couple." I made a face. He snickered.
"Bella, I don't think we'll ever be a predictable, boring couple. You have been an invalid for the past few months, keeping us from doing anything that requires more than the strength in my pinky nail." He scoffed.
"Well, excuse me for being frail and breakable," I meant the statement to be light-hearted, but there was a bitter edge to it. I sighed involuntarily. Edward couldn't read my thoughts like he could read everyone else's, but he did know my desire to become… a Cullen. And he wasn't having any of it. Something about eternally damning my soul or something like that. He may have been a gentleman about listing the reasons I was going to stay human but all I heard was "I want you to get old." I shuddered at the thought.
"You'll stay that way if I have anything to do with it." Edward's tone was light, but it was final. His laugh accompanying the statement seemed to ease the tension that built up inside of me, "So now you know that I sparkle in strong moonlight. Now what?" he asked. I dropped his hand.
"Well, I don't know. I was just curious about this and when I saw that the weather forecast had predicted a clear night sky and a full moon I planned quickly. I'm amazed at how many stars we can see." I leaned back and laid on the slightly damp grass. Edward was lying beside me in a split second.
"I studied the stars a little while I was in college the second time. We were in a planetarium much of the time picking out constellations and learning what was new in space. There wasn't as much to learn back then. I do remember that if we stayed up late enough we might see the northern lights." He tried to hide the amusement in his voice.
"You would know if we could see them or not. You're probably out here more that I know." I rolled my eyes. "I'm a little more observant than you think. And vampires have very little to do at night if they're not hunting."
"Well, miss know-it-all, what constellation is that?" he asked pointing towards a large grouping of stars. Not before I saw his grimace at my lithe comment.
"That would be… erm… well… I don't know." I twisted around left and then right trying to figure out what it was.
"That's Ursa Major. The Big Dipper, some call it." Edward pointed towards another grouping of stars and soon he was naming every constellation that my eyes could see.
"You never cease to amaze me," I sighed, when he seemed to be finished.
"Well, I don't like to show off…" he chuckled.
"Yes you do." I sat up and gazed down at him. He had a mirthful grin on his face and I couldn't help but smile back.
"I just like to show off when you're around. Another one of those ridiculous human emotions. It's like I have to impress you or something." He shrugged.
"Oh no! You're becoming a regular teenage guy!" I pretended to bite a fingernail to get the full effect of my sarcasm.
"Did you just lump me into a category with Newton?" Edward raised an eyebrow and his expression was a mixture of amusement and incredulity.
"I've seen Mike show off like that before around me. It's perfectly feasible." I nodded, knowing this would mean war.
"You are going to pay for that one." Edward growled playfully and in one inhuman motion stood. I barely had time to react. He waited, though, allowing me to jump up and run a few paces, before I tripped over my feet. He had me trapped in his iron embrace before I could even gulp enough breath in to scream.
"In what universe could you ever lump me in with Newton?" Edward was tampering with my emotions again. His lips were rested against my neck under my left earlobe and the vibrations that his voice made stunned me. I was completely still as his face trailed down further and he breathed in my scent. We had just had this discussion. I was completely powerless when he had a hold on me like this. It was probably better for both of us that I was.
He chuckled when I made no response and chided, "You shouldn't try to run. Your leg is far too weak for you to be pulling stunts like that. Plus, where did you think you were going to go? It's not like you would have gotten far." He released his hold on me and settled an arm around my waist.
"It's easier to convince myself that I can run away than to give up altogether." I shrugged and then yawned involuntarily.
"I think it's time for us to go," he smirked.
"I don't want to." I knew that I sounded like an eight year old, but I didn't care. I looked up at him with sleepy eyes and shook my head.
"Lucky for me, I'm stronger than you. You can go quietly, or we can fight. It does not matter to me. I'd rather not fight though. You look pretty cute when you're sleepy." He shrugged and watched my face. I didn't even attempt to glare. I knew my face was painted with that ridiculous smile that seemed to be permanent whenever he was looking at me.
He took that look as a relenting sign and swung me up on his back.
"Don't forget to close your eyes." Edward's voice echoed around the meadow as I took one last look at the moon, stars and his skin. I grinned in satisfaction and buried my face in his hair again.
A/N- Did this fluff really come out of my mind? I think I wrote this in another dimension. Oh well... heh…