I smiled as I entered the gym, and it was returned by several of my classmates. For the first time this long, embarrassing day, I was glad to have a broken leg. Even after I didn't need the wheelchair in another couple of weeks, I'd still be able to sit out. I just might enjoy PE for the rest of my Junior year. Edward locked the brake on my chair for me and then leaned closer. His cool breath tickled my ear when he whispered, "Try not to hurt yourself in gym today." He didn't see my grimace, but he inhaled deeply, my hair at his lips. "See you soon." Then he left for his own class.
With the way the room was starting to spin, it was a good thing I was already sitting down.
My heart was finally starting to slow when Mike Newton broke from running laps to pick up a folded piece of paper on off the gym floor. "I think you dropped this," he said breathlessly before continuing on.
On one side, it said "Bella" in a script I didn't recognize. I unfolded it, and it was actually two sheets. The first one read:
I saved this from the trash. Edward will be annoyed with me when he learns I gave it to you (he's rather private about such things), but I don't care. Alice and I thought you deserved to have it.
Now I was really curious. Moving Esme's letter to the back, I looked at the stolen words Edward didn't want me to see. Across the top, it said "Poetry Assignment" and listed his English class and section. I couldn't help but notice the "100" Mr. Mason had written on it in red ink. It was a haiku:
Lovely in sunshine
My spring of hope eternal
Freesia blushes love
I read it over and over, wiping away a silly tear or two. The stupid painkillers were making me all sappy.
Since I didn't have to shower or change, I got out of gym early, but Edward met me with an open umbrella when I rolled outside. His smile was breathtaking. Heaven. But worry filled his butterscotch eyes as he read my face. Stepping behind my wheelchair, he said softly, "You've been crying?"
I waved the precious piece of paper as he rolled me across the parking lot. "You didn't want me to see this?"
"Esme is ridiculously sentimental." I could almost hear him rolling his eyes. "Under other circumstances, she would have an entire garage devoted to every finger-paint hand print and indecipherable crayon sketch any of us ever made. As it is..." He opened the door of my truck and lifted me in, then he shook off and collapsed the umbrella.
"But this is about us, isn't it?"
"About you," he amended with a sigh, folding up my wheelchair and placing it in the bed of the truck. "Yes, it is."
It took me a moment to register his expression because I'd never seen it on his divine face before. He looked embarrassed! When I didn't answer, his face fell ever so slightly, his eyes tight with just a hint of disappointment.
Then it clicked. "You didn't think I'd like it?"
He didn't move, just stared out over the empty parking lot. "Do you?"
"Of course I do! Edward, it's beautiful!"
Relief danced across his lips and he turned his dazzling eyes on me. "I'm pleased you think so."
I laughed once as I buckled my seatbelt. "You honestly doubted I would?"
When he shrugged, I severely pointed out, "You're good at everything. I thought we already established that."
He chuckled with pleasure. "You like it that much?"
"Yes," I answered firmly. "I do."
He inched closer. "As much as my piano playing?"
He was close enough now that my pulse accelerated in anticipation. "As much as my driving?"
I guffawed. "Much more."
His eyes smoldered. "As much as my kissing?"
My heart gave a lurch. "It's a close second."
His lips were mere inches from mine and he drifted closer still. My heart skipped and raced as I tried to remember how to keep breathing.
"Be good," he whispered, the fragrance of his breath making me dizzy.
"Too late." I sealed my lips to his, my hands in his hair.
Edward's marble lips turned up in a smile and I felt his icy hands on my cheeks, gently pushing me away.
He frowned, then, but there was humor deep in his eyes. "It's never too late."
"Hmm," I agreed. "Maybe you're right. Maybe you should try again."
He laughed aloud and stepped back to shut the truck door. "Perhaps when we don't have an audience, Bella." He glanced back at the school where dozens of students were now spilling out into the misting rain.
I pouted and he laughed again as he slid behind the steering wheel. "I'll make you appreciate my fast driving yet."
When I grimaced, he twined his fingers with mine and brushed my cheek with the back of his hand. I felt the blush and saw the light in his eyes. Freesia blushes love. So that's why he liked it so much!
I pressed his hand to my cheek, then let him slip away so he could drive.