A/N: I seem to find it easier to write about our hero and heroine (you can laugh, it's funny) if there is some comical scene around them. This one will be slightly sitcomish.
Oh yeah, and for this little piece to work, it's gonna have to be after New Moon. So we know that Bella was released from her grounding… so it'll be in there somewhere.
I say again that I have no ownership to these characters or the Twilight book series. I only hope that one Stephenie Meyer will not laugh at my own distracted thoughts weaving their way through the stories. Look closely. You might find them.
Bella was staring at me in utter dismay. I loved it. It was the way her face was part pout, part fury and part confusion. The anger was winning out though and her cheeks became a beautiful pink shade.
"What did you do?" her voice was not shocked, not disappointed. Merely confounded. I smiled widely at her beautiful expression. She was standing in the doorway to our… kitchen. Why we would ever need a kitchen was beyond me, but it was a part of the house that Carlisle had left alone. He said that if anyone owned the house after us, they would need the kitchen. For some reason, I felt it was a waste for us not to use the kitchen if we had a guest that could actually benefit from it.
"I am putting this space to use." I pulled out a stool that fit under our new kitchen island and invited her to sit in it.
"But, why?" her face crinkled up and she looked around at all the newly acquired appliances and gadgets that I had bought and installed myself over the last few days. She sat down tentatively.
I tried to think of a response that wouldn't send her into a rant that would last for days, her telling me that she didn't need to be showered with gifts.
"I needed a new project." I shrugged. As if keeping Bella alive on a daily basis wasn't project enough. Her seeming naivety and clumsiness made her all the more endearing though.
"Edward, when would you have time for this? You are with me during most of the day and watch me sleep at night." She pointed out.
"I feel I should remind you that there are four hours out of most days that I am without your company." I raised an eyebrow in challenge. I did not like her working at the Newton's store, again. Mike seemed to hover, even though it was more than evident that I was not going anywhere.
"Oh please, let's not go there today." Bella groaned. She was working because she wanted to save up money for college. I realize that humans—well some of them anyways—have independent streaks in them and want to do things for themselves, but Bella was being ridiculous. College costs at least twenty thousand dollars a year, if not more and she probably had a little under a thousand to her name. And with the paychecks she raked in, I'm sure she'd have a nice little nest egg by the time she was thirty-five.
"As you wish," I held my hands up in surrender and went around the island to the new subzero fridge, "So what would you like for dinner? I have plenty of ingredients in here to make anything you like… and the cookbooks to help me along the way." I don't know why I thrilled so much at being able to cook. It's not like I could properly taste anything to tell whether or not it was right.
I had been practicing, though. My family members had all come to the kitchen to watch me work at one point or another; incredulous as to why I thought this was a good idea. I let Emeril teach me his "BAM!" technique and Paula Deen lent me her southern cooking style. I allowed my eyes to do most of the guessing as to whether I'd gotten everything right.
I thought it was a brilliant way to keep Bella entertained. I had been watching a little too much Iron Chef late at night though. Emmett and I had almost started a competition just because we thought it looked fun.
"Edward, you don't have to cook for me. Or furnish an entire kitchen." She sighed, leaning her chin in her hands and watching me.
"So you don't have any preference whatsoever as to what you want to eat?" I asked.
"You know what I was craving the other day?" she asked me, suddenly. I should have been used to her randomness. I couldn't read her mind like I could any other person on this earth. She was smiling and I would do anything to keep that look on her face.
"What?" I went along with it. At least she seemed distracted from her disgruntled train of thought. She hesitated for a moment, thinking about what she was about to say. It was quite comical actually, seeing her so hesitant but obviously amused.
"Cherry tarts." She smiled. It was a devilish smile almost.
"Cherry tarts?" I raised an eyebrow. She was definitely leaving me in the dark about this one. I shook my head at my own airy thoughts. Leaving me in the dark, indeed. So I turned to the cookbooks sitting on the counter and began flipping through them, trying to find a recipe for cherry tarts.
I found the root of her devilish smile. There in the dessert cookbook I picked up was the recipe for cherry tarts and a picture accompanied the recipe.
"That is not funny, Bella." I took another look at the photo. These particular cherry tarts were made in tiny pie pans and there was a knife cutting into one of them. Red, thick liquid was spilling out over the tanned edges of the crust. Like blood spilling from a wound.
She was quietly laughing at my expression that was probably a mix of incredulity and uncertainty that she could be so cruel.
"I'm sorry Edward. I just couldn't help it. I've been saving that for a conversation sometime. It just seemed… perfect." She bit her lip and tried to not smile at me.
"You are pure evil, sometimes, you know that?" I shook my head. Her sense of humor was a bit darker. As much as she wasn't afraid of us before, she was almost always confident and reckless with herself when she breezed through the house now. I could blame it on the werewolves, but I shook my head. No, she was not afraid of us now because she had seen what was worse; in Italy.
I dispelled the thought and looked back at her grin.
"Alright, what do we need for cherry tarts?" I folded the cookbook over so I could only see recipe and the picture would be out of sight.
"I was kidding Edward. We don't have to make them." She came around the island and approached me carefully. At least it was in her nature to approach me carefully, if not for her own safety then at least for my sanity.
"They do look good." I admitted, "I mean, they're loaded with sugar, which seems to be an addiction to some of you humans. Although, you're sweet enough as it is." I couldn't help bending down and placing my lips on her jaw for a moment. She sighed and her arms wound their way around my waist. The fire that spread through my body at the contact was almost more than I could handle. I pressed my lips against hers briefly and hugged her form to mine. She felt so warm and wonderful against me. And her intoxicating scent…. I couldn't remember for a moment what we'd been doing.
Cooking…. we had to think about cooking.
"Bella, I believe for me to do anything, you're going to have to get on the other side of the island." I was talking into her forehead.
"I'm not hungry," she said defiantly. I chuckled. She had been very clingy as of late. I guess it could be that I had been gone for months and she didn't want to let me out of her sight now. I cringed at that part of my memory. Those months had been unbearable, and I would pay for them for the rest of my existence.
I was still holding onto the hope that my bargain with her—marry me and I would change her—would tempt her enough to keep her human, at least for a few more years. All the troubles we were facing weren't difficult enough to resort to changing her. That was a last resort… and I mean very last as far as I was concerned. But she did not relent in her quest for eternal damnation.
I was so lost in my own thoughts, I almost didn't hear Carlisle and Esme approaching.
"How do you like the kitchen, Bella?" Esme's smirk was full of mirth. Edward, smile any wider and your face is going to crack. Her thoughts made me smile even more. Is it really a good idea to hold her so close? Are you not crushing her?
"I think it's a waste on you guys." Bella's laugh made the warmth spread through me again, making my thoughts senseless. I couldn't even answer Esme's teasing thoughts.
"It kept Edward busy during those times when you were at work, so we are not complaining." Carlisle shrugged towards Bella. His thoughts were filled with encouragement for me though.
"Have you been cooking anything or just making kissy faces at each other?" Alice's chirp came from behind Esme and Carlisle. Alice's thoughts were much like Esme's.
"Well, I was trying to get Edward to make me something, but he got distracted." Bella tried to break away from me, but I was stronger than her. I wanted to feel her laugh. I pulled her closer. She rested her cheek on my chest and faced my parents.
"What were you going to make?' Esme was perplexed by the kitchen with all its new appliances. She truly didn't mind, but was curious at how I was going to know whether something was edible or not.
"Cherry tarts." Bella's evil smile was evident, even if I couldn't see it.
"Why does Bella have such a wicked smile on her face?" Emmett's voice floated in. Now Carlisle, Esme, Alice and Emmett were all standing in a row facing Bella and I across the island.
"Something about getting Edward to make Cherry Tarts." Alice shrugged. I reached over and flipped the recipe book so they could see the picture. Alice actually hissed. Carlisle and Esme shook their heads in disbelief. Emmett grinned.
"Bella, you are by far my favorite human ever." Emmett came around the island to mess up her hair, "And you don't mind slapping it to all of us once in a while. Can I get in on this action? This is exactly the way I want to spend my afternoon."
"Do we have everything?" Bella looked up at me, trying to seem innocent. I rolled my eyes, but looked at the recipe again.
"Yes," I said, disdainfully.
"Well, then what are we waiting for? Let's make these things." Emmett clapped his hands together, which made a sound loud enough to rattle pots and pans, "Edward, in all this gadgetry, did you manage to buy aprons? Rose will hurt me if I get something on this shirt."
"They're hanging on the wall over there," I pointed to the pegs where new white aprons were hanging.
"Yes, it's on. You and me, Edward. Iron Cheffin' some cherry tarts." Emmett had his apron on and a meat cleaver in his hand before Bella and I could break apart. Sometimes I wondered at the sanity of my own family.
A/N- Oh Edward, you make me smile so much.