Author's Note: MOVING TIME! This isn't the last chapter, so don't freak out. Anyway, read and review. Tell me what you think! P.S. Hi Sam!
Edward pulled me out to the Volvo, and made sure I was securely fastened to the seat, as if I were in any danger of him crashing the car. His hands lingered in places they shouldn't have. By the time he was finished, I was flushed and we were both breathing heavily.
"We ought to get going, don't you think?" I asked breathlessly. Edward nodded, and disengaged himself from my arms. He was in the car in less than a second, his hands and eyes studiously avoiding me. I folded my hands in my lap, quickly becoming bored. I fidgeted with the radio, going slowly through the stations. Edward eventually got tired of all the static and gently pushed my hands away. Soon, there were soothing sounds coming from the speakers. I lay back against the seat, and tried to relax. My attempt was made in vain.
Truthfully, I was a nervous wreck. My heartbeat was erratic, my breathing wild. Edward's hand clasped around mine, his thumb stroking my palm.
"Are you okay?" He asked, though he knew the answer. I was not okay. I laughed weakly, and watched his eyebrows knit together in concern. His hand tightened around mine, and the result was bordering on pain.
"I'll be alright. Just give me a minute to calm down." I pressed the window button, and closed my eyes as the cool air hit my face. I had to admit, it did wonders to clear my head.
"Your heartbeat has slowed down." Edward mused. His hand relaxed, releasing me from the vice-like grip he'd had on it. I flexed my fingers, relieving the tension in my joints.
"I'm calm now, I promise. It was just a last second freak out. I'm fine." As I spoke, I wondered whose benefit I was speaking for. Edward was clearly not paying attention anymore. He was more interested in racing Emmett down the road. Emmett was not in a car. He looked directly at me, and grinned. I couldn't help but grin back. "Run, Emmett!" I shrieked. Edward turned his head to look at me, his expression exasperated.
"You seem to have gotten over your 'freak out' rather quickly." His tone was sarcastic as he gunned the engine. The Volvo shot forward, pinning me against my seat and taking my breath away. Whatever witty comeback I was prepared to use was blown out the open window.
I pressed the button, rolling the window back up. Alice's face suddenly appeared in the now closed window and I started violently. Edward laughed in a low voice. Alice stuck her tongue out at me, and then she was gone. I rolled my eyes.
"That wasn't funny, Edward. What if I had had a heart attack?" I crossed my arms in front of my chest.
Edward smiled. "On the contrary, Bella, it was quite amusing. I've never seen anyone jump so high." He neglected to answer the second question.
I smirked and got a questioning look from Edward. "Care to tell me what the smirk was about?" He wasn't looking at the road anymore. Even though he had lightening fast reflexes and supernatural reaction times and all that, it still made me nervous when he completely disregarded the road.
I stuttered. I didn't want to confront the heart attack remark, so I made something up quickly. "I was thinking about how ridiculous it is that an entire family of freakishly strong vampires are helping me and my father move a few dinky pieces of bedroom furniture. It seems sort of silly." Now that I thought about it, it was silly. It was going to be cake for them, and would probably take about three seconds. Really, only Edward was necessary.
Edward grimaced. "No, it really is necessary. We have to keep up the façade. We talked about this earlier." He sounded annoyed that I didn't remember. I brushed him off, and turned back to my thoughts. I stifled a laugh at the visual of Emmett carrying one end of my piddly desk.
By the time I was finished mulling over the necessity factor of his whole family helping, we were there. Edward parked the Volvo across the street from the house. He helped me out of the car, and up to the house. Charlie's cruiser was parked in the drive. When we got to the door, Edward hesitated, not knowing if he should knock, or just go in. I sighed impatiently, and pushed past him into the house.
Charlie was lounging on the sofa, but jumped up when he saw us. I heard everyone else come in behind me.
"Hello, Charlie." Esme moved to the front of the group, and started talking to Charlie. Emmett and Jasper crept toward the stairs. Alice and Rosalie were nowhere to be seen, so I assumed they were already up there.
I nodded to Emmett and Jasper that it was okay to go up, and they disappeared. Edward frowned. He didn't want Charlie seeing anything he shouldn't be seeing. I started up the stairs, followed closely by Edward.
My bedroom door was slightly ajar when I got to the top. I pushed it open, and gasped. Everything was packed and ready to move. I rushed to the closet. Empty. The bed was stripped, and the mattress was leaning against the wall.
My mouth dropped open, and I felt a cool hand gently push it closed. "How did you work so fast?" I asked, shock saturating my voice.
Rosalie and Alice laughed. "Isn't it obvious?" Alice touched my shoulder. "We're vampires. The whole supernatural speed thing helps."
"Well, okay." I looked at the small pile of boxes by the door. "Is that everything?" Edward grabbed my hand and squeezed.
Rosalie nodded. "Yes, that's everything." She was leaning on Emmett, who looked around with a disappointed look.
"What?" I asked. Emmett tried in vain to hide his expression.
"I was hoping that there'd be…I don't know, more to lift? I wanna get good use out of the boys." He flexed the muscles in his arms, and Alice rolled her eyes.
Jasper shifted uncomfortably. It took me a second to realize that the room was warm and small. I smelled appealing. I crossed the room quickly and threw the window open.
"Thanks, Bella." Jasper smiled.
"No problem." I looked around the vacant looking room. It still had all my stuff in it, true, but it was all in boxes. "Hey guys, do you think I could get a minute alone?"
"Sure." Alice headed down first, followed by Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett. Edward made up the tail of the line.
"Where do you think you're going?" I asked after him. He turned around, smiling.
"You didn't specifically say you wanted me to stay." He strode close to me, and kissed my lips. I blushed.
"You can always assume that when I ask people to leave, you stay. You're a give in." I stood on my tiptoes to kiss him back.
He wrapped his arms around me, and we rocked back and forth. I pulled away to look around the room. It was no longer mine, and that made me a little sad. There were so many good memories here in this room. By the same token, there were bad memories, too. But I preferred to remember the good ones.
I felt Edward's fingers under my chin, tilting my head up for a kiss. I responded out of instinct. I closed my eyes, and tilted my face up to his level. I waited for his lips to touch mine, but they never did. I opened my eyes to find him staring intently at me.
"What?" I asked impatiently. The letdown of him not kissing me had set me slightly on edge.
His liquid gold eyes bore into mine. "Nothing. I was just wondering how I managed to get so lucky. We should go tell everyone that we're ready to start moving stuff."
"You. I'll be down in a minute." I watched him leave, and start down the stairs. I looked at the window, and thought about how many times he'd snuck through it. How many rain showers I'd looked at through it, and how many times I'd slammed the glass down when I was angry with Edward.
Nostalgia flooded through me. I'd miss this room, of that I was sure. I smiled, knowing that I was moving on to a place and person that was equally good to what I had here. I didn't want to think it was better, because there were people and things in this house that were dear to my heart. But equally good. I brushed away a tear that trailed down my cheek, and picked up a box.
I made it down the stairs without tripping, miraculously. When Emmett and Jasper saw me with the box, they fought to get up the stairs first.
"Stupid boys." I heard Rosalie mutter under her breath. I laughed.
I looked to Charlie, standing in the middle of his living room. He looked very small, like he was watching something he didn't want to watch, but couldn't look away. I set the box on the floor, and went over to him.
He held his arms out for a hug, and I stepped right in.
"I'm gonna miss you, kid." His voice was rough with emotion. The tears I was suppressing earlier suddenly sprung up again.
"I'm not going away forever. I'll still visit all the time." I buried my head into his shirt, then pulled away.
"All the time? Well, I can't guarantee I'll be here when you stop by." He was giving me a hard time. I punched him playfully in the shoulder, and we both turned to see what could be done to help.
I looked around for Edward. I saw him through the open door with Esme, loading things into a small U-Haul I didn't know they'd rented.
"Is there anything we can do?" I shouted up the stairs. I got a chorus of no, so Charlie and I went and sat on the porch. I felt lazy watching everyone else work, but Charlie seemed to have no problem with it.
We sat there in silence, listening to the birds and Emmett and Jasper exaggerating sounds, making it seem like moving my furniture actually took effort. Alice and Rosalie carried out the boxes slowly, acting as if they were struggling. I laughed. They were trying so hard.
Finally, everything was moved out. Edward slammed the U-Haul door shut. I hugged Charlie one more time, and promised him I'd visit often.
Edward and I got in the Volvo. Everyone else was in the Jeep, which was towing the U-Haul. I waved to Charlie, and Edward looked at me.
"Are you ready to go?" He stroked my face with his fingertips.
"I'm ready to go home." I amended, smiling. I was still smiling when he kissed me.