Chapter 23


Edward held me for a while after he gave me his gift. I rested my head on his chest, eyes closed, while he played mindlessly with my tangled hair.

"We should get going soon," I murmured reluctantly. I really didn't want to leave his arms. He groaned and nuzzled his face into my hair. I giggled. "What's wrong, you don't want to go to school?" I asked with false excitement.

"I don't want to face my family," he muttered, kissing along my neck.

I bit my lip. "Are they gonna tease me?"

He kissed me sweetly, resting his forehead against mine. "I won't let them tease you, love," he promised, his breath intoxicating me.

I smiled. His kissed my cheek and said, "Now get ready." I nodded and grabbed my toiletries, along with some clothes.

I decided to wear my blue turtleneck and khaki skirt that day, like I did when I had first met the Cullens. I brushed my teeth, getting rid of that hideous morning breath, and changed quickly, discarding my pajamas into a hamper.

I smelled something cooking downstairs and found Edward toasting some bread. As I walked down the stairs carefully, he smiled and placed a piece of perfect toasted bread on the table, butter spread on top.

He kissed my temple. "Eat quickly, we're running a bit late."

I scoffed and muttered, "Not with your driving," before taking a bit. Edward chuckled.

"Just eat, Bella."

We, indeed, were not late. As long as Edward drove like a maniac, I doubt we ever would be. The other Cullens were no longer in the parking lot, so we figured we would see them at lunch.

Hand and hand, we walked briskly to our first class. The bell rang as we reached the door.

We took our respected seats in the back as class started. I didn't miss Mike Newton's hard glare at Edward.

Edward, I wrote to him, Mike is glaring at you. I placed my note on his desk. Upon reading it, he looked over at Mike's desk. Mike was still glaring, but turned away, now glaring at the front board.

He's jealous, Edward confirmed in his elegant script. He wants to sit next to you and is trying to figure out a good threat to get me out of this seat.

Well, don't let him intimidate you, I joked. Edward chuckled.

Never. He took my hand under the desk and squeezed it lovingly.

At lunch, Edward was still wary about sitting with his siblings, so we sat at a table by ourselves. Still, I looked over their table and saw Emmett and Alice giving us goofy smiles. I turned my head away immediately, blushing a deep scarlet color.

Edward sighed and kissed my cheek. I could of swore I heard squealing from behind us.

I ate lunch quickly then Edward and I got out of there, getting to biology before anyone else. "I'm gonna have to face Alice sooner or later," I admitted, sitting on the desk.

"Well, hopefully later rather than sooner," he murmured, kissing my hand. A tingling sensation shot through my arm and made me shiver. Edward smirked.

The bell rang and he lifted me off the desk, so I would not hurt myself, and placed me in the chair, grabbing my hand again.

Biology went faster than pleased and soon it was time for gym, which we had with Alice. I avoided her as much as possible by pretending someone was calling me from across the room. When class started and we had to run laps I continued to ignore her, knowing that if she wanted to catch up to me she would have to use her vampire speed. Edward helped me balance myself when running.

To my content, Alice wasn't on my team for volleyball and Edward was. He made sure I didn't get hurt for the rest of gym, earning him a kiss on the cheek afterward.

Finally, it was the dreaded time for play practice.

Edward and I were the first ones there so we took our seats in the back, Edward's arm draped around me.

"Bella!" the director called. I sighed and slid past Edward, going up to the stage.He handed me two headset microphones after turning them on.

"For you and Edward, secure them tightly around your head." I nodded and when I turned around to go back up the aisle I saw that the rest of the Cullens had now entered the auditorium and we seated around Edward, one seat next to him still empty.

"Bella!" boomed Emmett as I reached them. I grimaced.

"Hello Emmett," I said flatly, sitting down next to Edward and handing him his microphone.

"So, Bella..." Emmett continued nonchalantly. He had a smug grin on his face. "Sleep well last night?"

I flushed a deep shade of crimson as Edward growled lowly at his brother. Emmett laughed buoyantly. I secured my microphone silently.

One by one the rest of the cast, who needed them, got their microphones.

"Okay!" shouted Mr. Kirk, "Today we shall be doing the scene where Belle leaves. Edward, Bella, take your places on the stage. Emmett, Jasper, Alice, be ready to come up."

"Oh I'm sure Bella will be great at that," whispered Emmett. Edward threw a glare in his direction as we got up, putting his arm around my shoulders.

At 5:30 play practice was over and we were leaving the auditorium. Just as we got outside my phone rang in my bag.

Start spreading the news

I'm leaving to-

"Hello?" I answered.

"BELLA!" sobbed a voice I knew just about anywhere. Anna.