A/N This chapter takes place in June, about a month after the Swans moved to Forks.

Sorry it's taken me so long to update but I've been busy. I'll try to update at least once a week from now on.


"Come on! We've been out for hours!"

I looked up at Alice. "I'm sorry, but if I climb any faster, I'll break my neck!"

It was the middle of June and we were in the big oak tree. I was almost all the way down, just about thirty feet from the ground. Edward was already waiting on ground and Alice was a few branches above me.

"Don't pressure her, Alice! She fell last time and almost broke her head open! I don't feel like cleaning up any blood today!" Edward smiled up at me, his laughter obvious in his brilliant green eyes.

Alice sighed, exasperated. "Esme said that if we were late getting in again no coming out for a week," she said to Edward.

Edward shook his head. "You can't think she was being serious," he called up.

"I don't plan on finding out," Alice replied. "Faster, Bella!"

I rolled my eyes but moved quicker anyway. I really had to concentrate. Hand below hand, foot below foot. Almost there, just another fifteen feet.

CRACK! The branch I was holding onto snapped! I was falling through the air, bracing myself for the impact of the hard, unwelcoming ground.

But instead I felt someone catch me.

"We've really got to teach you to climb right." Edward said, fighting a laugh.

I smiled. "You should know that I'm a lost cause by now. That's the fourth time this week."

"And probably not the last, the way you move!" Alice said as she dropped down next to us, as graceful as ever.

I sighed to myself. I would never be as graceful as Alice.

"Let's go!" she said.

Edward put me down and we began to run. We raced through the woods, up the hill, and into the Cullen's house.

Esme and Renée were in the sitting room talking. "We were wondering where you had gotten to," Esme said with a warm smile.

Edward, Alice, and I collapsed onto the sofa, gasping for breath. "We made it!" Alice panted triumphantly.

Esme and Renée laughed.

"We had better be going," Renée said. She, Esme, and Alice stood up and walked out to the front porch. Edward and I lingered, neither of us getting up.

We were both lying on the sofa. I was still flushed and breathing hard from our sprint to the house. Edward suddenly shifted so that he was sitting with his back against the couch and I was leaning against him, my head on his shoulder. He wrapped his arms around me and held me even closer, if that was possible. I made no attempt to move. This close, I could hear his heartbeat, fell the heat radiating from his skin.

"Bella," he murmured my name.

I looked up at him.

But before anything could happen, I heard another voice call my name. "Bella! We have to go!"

I jumped up. "I'm coming!" I started to run out of the room but Edward grabbed my hand.

"Wait," he pleaded.

I looked towards the door. "I have to go. Renée is waiting for me. I'll be back tomorrow."

He looked at me with those bright emerald eyes. "Promise?"

"Promise. I really have to go!" I squeezed his hand and darted out.


Renée, Esme and Alice were waiting for me outside.

"What took you so long?" asked Renée.

"Um, I tripped." Always the most believable lie.

Of course Alice could see right through me. She looked at me quizzically and raised an eyebrow.

I shook my head, almost imperceptibly.

She gave me one of those looks. "You mean—"

I cut her off before she could get anything else out. "Well, isn't it time we were on our way? See you tomorrow, Alice." And with that I had grabbed Renée and marched her out into the street.


As I lay in my bed later that night, I could think about only one thing. He was racing through my mind. Everything about him—his smile, his laugh, his eyes, the sound of his heartbeat. As I drifted off into sleep, all I could hear was that steady pulse.


A/N Any reviews are welcome!