Chapter Twenty-Four

Edward let me up a small pathway unlocking the door and leading the way in, flicking up a light switch inside the entrance. The townhouse was as nice on the inside as it was on the outside with a modern open concept.

The walls were a rich tan everywhere but to my left, where the wall was bricked over, and broken up by the start of a black staircase leading upstairs. To the back left corner were large windows and a door that appeared to go outside reflecting the interior back to us. And directly in the back were dark wood cabinets, stainless steel appliances with a large island before them.

Aside from there not being any furniture it was one of the nicest townhouses I had ever been in.

"What do you think?" Edward asked from beside me, single eyebrow up.

"This is really nice. I wouldn't change a thing."

"You haven't even seen the best part yet." He said eagerly taking my hand and pulling me towards the glass door at the end of the left wall. As we passed through back into the night air I gasped.

Until stepping onto the deck I hadn't realize how close we were to the water. It was no more than a half a mile away from the point we stood on the top of the hill. And just in our view was a large orange orb making its entrance over the water, lighting the harbor in tones of orange moonlight.

Drawn to it I was leaning up on the railing when I felt an arm slide around my waist.

"Are you trying to one up me on the stargazing spot?" I asked without looking away from the sight before me.

"I couldn't even compete." He said, his words coming out close to my ear in a whisper. I got dizzy at his nearness, and closed my eyes, willing my heart to slow its pace back down. Surely this close the loud pounding in my ears must be audible to him too.

If it was he made no notion of it, his face shifting till his chin was resting atop my head, and his other hand moved atop mine placed on the railing. Did he feel it shaking?

"Bella?" His breath was hot on the top of my head.

"Yeah?" I reminded myself to breathe.

"I'm sorry I didn't call while I was away." He paused waiting for me to respond, but I kept silent. I wondered if he wanted me to say it was okay, I wasn't going to because it wasn't.

After a moment he continued. "That night at the beach with you I acted out of anger towards my family, and instantly regretted it. I knew I had hurt you, and was so afraid that you wouldn't be able to forgive me. And with everything going on, you not wanting to be my… friend… was more than I could handle. So I acted selfishly, and I'm sorry."

I took a deep breath, my mind stuck on the friend word. Did friends hold each other like this? I paused my internal questioning when I realized he was waiting for me to respond again. "And I already said I forgive you."

His lean fingers stroked slowly in circles over mine. "And that is more than I deserve, but there is something else I have to tell you."

I was loosing the ability to see straight. "What's that?"

"When I was away, even with everything going on… I couldn't stop thinking about you Bella. I missed you more than someone should miss just a friend."

Okay friends definitely don't say things like that. Breathe!

"Really?" The word came out in a whisper as I pulled away and turned to see his face. It was serious and intimidating so close in the moonlight, but I knew he meant every word he had spoken.

The emotion in his eyes was what threw me over the edge. They were so open, deep never ending pools of emotion focused intently on me and getting closer. His hand came up and stroked the side of my face, our noses almost touching. "Really."

Not willing to wait for him, or any further interruptions I made the move this time, closing the final gaps between our lips. He was the one who responded first though after the contact, wrapping his arms around me pulling me closer into him.

Every inch of me felt electrified as our lips moved together and I felt his tongue grazing my lip. In the midst of kisses he said my name, "Bella" with so much rapture fireworks began erupting so loud all over me I could have sworn I could hear them. When the time to surface for air came we were both breathing heavy and I dropped my forehead against his.

Strangely though I could still hear the fireworks…. And see them? At the same moment we broke eye contact and looked out over the water were a boat in the Harbor was setting off fireworks, lighting the air in bright flashes of raining white light.

Edward laughed. "I think the universe is trying to tell us something."

"'Bout damn time?" I asked suddenly feeling brave with his arms around me.

"Exactly." He laughed each of us leaning back in.

Short, sweet and a loooooong time coming! Hope you all enjoyed, more to come soon:)