Once a Friend . . .
I yawned and stretched, and woke up to a perfectly horrid day. The sun was out and shining, and for once there was absolutely no cloud cover. I turned over, depressed to find that I had enough room to do that. Edward wasn't here.
My face turned to the other side of the pillow and hit something that crackled. Frowning, I picked up the white paper. I unfolded it.
Bella, sleep in, it's a Saturday. I had to leave early, Alice saw the sun coming out, but if you'd like, come over, we've got something fun planned. Missing you always,
My mood lightened almost immediately. I was going over to Edward's house, as soon as I could get dressed. Charlie was on call. I guess the criminals and miscreants of Forks didn't take a vacation on the weekends. Hurriedly, I pulled on a soft pink sweater and some faded jeans. I ran a brush through my tangled hair, and grabbed my jacket. Even though it was both summer, and sunny, it was only 60 degrees outside.
As I stepped into my truck, I found another note on my dashboard.
I hoped you would come, there's a bag under your seat courtesy of Alice. Bring it with you, and trust us and don't open it until you come to the house. Love you,
Curiously, I reached under the seat and pulled out a tiny black bag with a name on it in fancy script. I grimaced. It looked expensive. The drawstrings were pulled tight, and I wondered what that little could possibly be in it.
I drove to the house carefully. I still had a hard time finding that obscure turn off. Once I got there, I went to knock on the door, and then saw the note taped to the door. What the heck was up with the notes? I pulled it off.
Go up to Alice's Bathroom. No, don't worry, she's not there. Still missing you,
I climbed the stairs and went up to Alice and Jasper's room. I walked quickly through it. Even though I often resided here, I always felt uncomfortable invading their private rooms. Once I got to the bathroom, surprise, surprise, there was a white folded note taped on the mirror.
Bella darling, don't be difficult about this, just put it on. Follow the path that we went on last week, we'll be there waiting for you, try to be careful and not trip,
I stared at the bag in horror. Put it on? There was clothing in this feather-light bag? Impossible. I opened it up and pulled out a dark pink bikini and a white sheer cover-up dress. I blinked. No freaking way. I backed away from it and leaned against the opposite wall, staring it down.
I don't know how long I waited, before I decided that it was for Edward after all. It would just be Edward, and did I really care what I looked like with him? He knew what I looked like, and he was still here. I reluctantly put it on. It was so revealing. I put on the cover-up, and it didn't help a bit. No surprise there. I would get Alice the next time I saw her.
I walked outside, and found the trail that we had walked on the other week and started walking down it, feeling a little ridiculous wearing tennis shoes.
I heard it before I saw it. The water. I pushed past a couple of ferns and came across the biggest pool I'd ever seen. I stopped dead. Of course they had all heard me coming.
Wait a minute, all of them?
Oh no, my face flushed red as I realized I had got it wrong. It wasn't just Edward who was going to see me like this, it was his whole family.
Carlisle and Esme were sitting on the edge of the pool holding hands, looking more like teenagers than certified parents. Rosalie and Alice were laying out on deck chairs, and Emmett and Jasper were splashing each other ferociously. I didn't see Edward anywhere.
I was stopped in mid word, as Edward, who was apparently swimming underneath the water, surfaced. The sun glinted off of his skin as he came up, brighter than the others. I watched, dumbstruck as he ran a hand through his red-brown hair. Something felt wrong. I then realized that my lungs were protesting from lack of oxygen. I took a rattling breath. He saw me and smiled a brilliant smile. Light rays bounced off of his shining white teeth.
I thought I might faint.
"Hey Bella." He reached the side of the enormous pool and using his forearms lifted himself easily out of the pool. The water droplets caused the glistening to increase by tenfold.
"Hey," I murmured weakly.
"Whoa, Bella!" Emmett called out from the pool. "Looking good."
I realized I had forgotten about my rather sparse clothing and I flushed more. Edward shot him a glare and muttered something under his breath, as he came over to me. Emmett's face took on a look of horror.
"Sorry Bella, that was rude, I meant to say how perfectly respectable you looked."
He shot Edward a nervous glance.
As Edward reached me, I starred at him incredulously. "What is all of this? Has this always been here?"
"Yes, but it's easy to miss.This has just been the first day we've been able to use it in a while."
He took my hand, his hand was less icy than it usually was, almost warm.
"Come on," he urged me, "try out the pool, it's great."
I leaned back. As little as my cover-up covered, it was better than nothing. I didn't want to take it off.
"Don't worry about it being too cold, it's heated."
Well that explained the warmth to his skin.
"It's not that, I just don't feel like swimming."
"Can you not swim Bella?" Jasper asked kindly from the pool.
"No, I can swim."
"Then why are you embarrassed right now?"
I didn't think it was possible for my face to get any redder.
Edward understood immediately.
"Bella, love, you look perfect," he said, wrapping his strangely tepid arms around me, and leaned in. "I want you to be comfortable, you look great, there's no reason for you to be embarrassed." His breath washed over me enticingly.
"Okay," I murmured softly, my heart having palpitations.
He pulled back and suddenly, my self consciousness came back. I couldn't do it.
"I can't," I whispered.
Strangely, Edward smiled, and then leaned in. The feeling of his lips molding to mine caused me to gasp. A rush of heat burst to my face, and I greedily pulled him closer. I didn't even realize what he was doing until the cover up was whisked over my head. He pulled back. "Now can you come swimming with me?"
I was mad, how dare he use my inability to resist him so frivolously to trick me.
"Sorry love, but you wouldn't have come in other wise." And with that, he gathered me up into his arms and jumped in. I instinctively closed my eyes as the water closed over my eyes. I surfaced at the same time as Edward.
As soon as I got my breath back, I splashed him in the face. "I should be really mad at you right now."
He grinned, and playfully splashed me back. "Oh really," he teased, "and why is that?"
"You took advantage of me in an intoxicated state."
He raised an eyebrow. "Intoxicated?"
"Yes, I'm drunk on you." I waved my hand dismissively. "It's an addiction."
His smile took on a predatory look to it.
"Oh yes," I said, nervously watching his movements, trying to kick myself backward, "it's a real problem."
"A problem, hmm?"
I let out a delighted shriek as he zoomed over to me, crossing the distance between us in mere seconds and caught me in his arms.
When he kissed me this time, it was less calculated, less seductive, but more appealing. It was so open. He was still holding back, I could tell, restraining himself. But he was less controlled and careful than before and I took advantage of that. I pressed myself as close as possible to him. When I thought my lungs would burst, he receded the distance.
As I was gasping in my air, I heard a smothered laugh, and looked up. The rest of the Cullens (I had forgotten they were even there) were staring at Edward and me with amused expressions.
I tried to sink down low in the water, to hide my mortification.
After we spent the day in total bliss, we went back to the house. Edward ran me up the house, so I wouldn't get sick.
"With your luck, your wet hair would give you a cold, or worse, pneumonia."
I snorted in disbelief. "I'm not the delicate."
"Sorry, love," he had said, and picked me up anyway.
So after a refreshing shower, courtesy of Alice's bathroom, I was watching Jasper and Alice fighting while lying on the couch with Edward. He was tracing random patterns on my skin, it was really distracting, and I was completely content.
"Alice," Jasper said firmly standing in front of us, "I absolutely refuse to let you paint the room pink."
"Pink is a universal color," Alice argued, "it's not just for girls anymore; guys don't have to be ashamed to like it."
"Well I don't like it."
"You will once you see it after I'm done," she promised.
"Alice, it's never going to be done for me to see it because you're not painting it."
Alice was cut off by a ringing sound.
I looked at my purse, why was my purse ringing?
"I think that's yours Bella?" Jasper told me.
"I don't have a cell phone," I said in confusion.
Edward pulled out a tiny silver phone identical to his. "Surprise love."
"You gave me a phone?"
"Yes," he admitted sheepishly.
"Who could possibly know my number?"
"Well, I gave it to some of your friends and . . . your mother."
I stared at him aghast. "You gave my mother the number for my cell phone, which you gave me without consulting me."
"Yes," he replied, an infuriatingly innocent look on his face.
"You are in trouble man," Jasper told him.
I was sure he could feel my feelings.
I flipped open the phone.
"Hey Bella, how are you?"
"I'm fine, what do you need?"
"Well, Bella, I'm selling the house in Phoenix."
"Yes, we just bought a house in Florida. We're here to stay. So there's no need to keep the old one. I'm just back here to move the stuff to our new home. You never did get all of your stuff, and I wondered if you would want to come to pick out what you want to keep and take it with you back to Forks, since you insist on staying there."
"Sure, I guess, I could come, you're in Phoenix right now right?"
"Yes, would next week give you enough time?"
"I could get a ticket by then, I guess."
"Okay, great," she said chipperly, "I'll see you then, can't wait."
I hung up the phone.
"I guess I'm going to Phoenix."
A/N: I have really high hopes for this story. I hope you like it. Trust me, the next chapter's gonna be really intense. Please review and tell me what you think!