Chapter One- Misconception
Edward's Point of View.
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I revved the Volvo's engine impatiently as I waited for Bella. I watched as she shut the door behind her and locked it with the key from above the eves and then turned to smile at Alice, Jasper, and I. As much as Bella had shown her dislike for shopping, Alice was somehow still very convinced that someday, Bella would come to enjoy it just as much as she did. As Bella neared the car, I leaned over and opened the front seat passenger door and watched her as she climbed in. As she put her seatbelt on, I noticed the surprised expression on her face.
"Hi Bella!" Alice chirped. "Ready to shop?"
Alice was literally bouncing out of her seat, unable to contain her excitement. She was still very proud at the fact that she had not only convinced Bella to join her on one of her ridiculous shopping expeditions, but somehow managed to bribe Jasper and I into coming as well.
"Hi," She said to me, ignoring Alice's overenthusiastic mood. "How did she suck you into this?" Her eyebrows were still raised in surprise. Evidently, Alice had failed to mention that I would be joining them.
"Oh, you know, 'I just could not resist a shopping trip,'" I quoted in mock enthusiasm. Bella laughed.
"Well, I'm glad you decided to come."
"So am I."
"Ahem!" Alice coughed.
"Oh!" Bella said suddenly, a warm blush touching her cheeks. "Sorry Alice… oh! Hi Jasper!"
Obviously, Bella had not expected Jasper to be joining us, either. She smiled and I wish I knew what was on her mind.
"Bella," Alice cut in, "You can make it up to me by letting me buy the clothing you like, today!"
We were all quite aware of the fact that when Alice said 'you like,' that she really meant 'What I like'.
Bella grimaced. Her funds weren't exactly comparable to ours. In fact, she was only just going to scrape by with enough money to pay for her first semester's tuition let alone a car full of expensive clothes. I had offered to pay for her college fees but she had stubbornly refused, even after our engagement. That thought alone, of her and I, not only as a couple but man and wife, was enough.
"What's mine, is yours," I reminded her and for once, siding with Alice.
The drive to Seattle should have been three hours in good traffic but with a bit of reckless speeding and the occasional detour, we made it in one. Seattle was much larger then Port Angeles. This made me feel slightly uneasy. If Bella had managed to find trouble in a city of it's size, I shivered at the thought of what types of trouble she could find herself in, in a town of Seattle's size.
I slid into a small parking spot with ease, and turned the car off.
"Alright Alice," I sighed.
Alice beamed, her face practically radiating happiness. Jasper, on the other hand, paid little attention, turning his head to look out the window at the cars passing by.
I will not, could not… -
I tried my best to ignore my family member's thoughts out of courtesy, not distaste. Like every other time, I let each thought become a low hum centered in the back of my mind.
"I was thinking that we'd hit the shops downtown first and then head for the malls and then…-" Alice babbled on, stating each store we would be visiting and what exactly she wanted Bella to try on, whether she liked it or not. She even took the time to criticize my wardrobe, stating that it was 'so last month'. I rolled my eyes.
"Um, Alice?" Bella asked quietly. "Can we actually start shopping, now?"
I sighed and opened my door. I tried my best to 'blend in' as I opened the door and got out. I was careful to walk even more slowly as I made my way around the front of the Volvo to Bella's door and opened it for her. I offered her my hand as she stepped from the car. She ignored it at first and began to step out of the car, her skirt hem catching on the seat. My hands flashed out in front of her in an instant, catching and then pulling her to my side.
A familiar blush touched her cheeks. I chuckled and wound my arm around her waist. Alice and Jasper were already a few yards ahead of us, Alice practically towing Jasper along beside her.
"Do we really have to go to all those stores?" Bella asked as we followed them into a large, high fashion, accessories store.
"No. Not if you don't want to," I murmured into her ear.
"Really?" She said, unable to contain her relief.
"Really." I confirmed.
Alice kept Bella occupied, forcing her to try on overly extravagant necklaces and large, extra-wide belts. All of this was, of course, very unnecessary but Bella had insisted that she go along with Alice this time despite her apparent aversion towards shopping.
Jasper and I stood against a wall and out of the way, watching Alice try to force Bella into letting her buy a pair of glossy sunglasses for her.
"Honestly Bella!" Alice huffed. "You'll thank me in a few months! You'll need these, you know!"
I shot Alice an angry look in her direction.
Oh, calm down Edward! No one in this store even has a clue what we're referring to.
"Is this really necessary?" Jasper murmured to himself under his breath.
Ever since we left Forks, Jasper's mood and thoughts had been increasingly negative. I looked over at Jasper casually, my eyes narrowing as I noticed the dark rings underneath his eyes. A string of profanities ran through my head as I realized that in my effort to be courteous, I had also blocked out the fact that Jasper was in fact, thirsty. I allowed myself a look into Jasper's mind, listening to see whether his thirst and the close proximity of humans would prove too much for him to bear.
I am not a monster. He chanted in his head. These are all people with lives of their own. I will not steal that from them.
The rebellion that raged in his head was strong, but would it be enough I wondered. My muscles tensed as I realized the possibly impending danger.
We walked out of the store and down the crowded streets. I kept a firm grip around Bella's waist as we walked just behind Jasper and Alice.
I walked casually over towards Alice once Jasper and Bella were a safe distance a way in an effort to look disinterested but as I reached her, I could not contain myself and I hissed under my breath;
"Alice! Have you lost your mind!? Jasper is thirsty and you of all people should-"
"Edward! Have you no faith in Jasper's control? I wouldn't have asked him to come if I hadn't thought, if I hadn't seen that he could handle this."
Bella looked at us from just inside the dressing rooms. Her eyebrows met and she starred at us, obviously confused.
"Are you mad?" I hissed, my temper now flaring.
"No, Edward. I'm not. Just confident," she said coolly, leaving my rigged posture in place, as she skipped over to Jasper who was giving a shirt a halfhearted look. I walked quickly over to the dressing rooms, intent on positioning myself closer to Bella.
"What was that about?" Bella asked quietly, once I was beside her. A dressing room attendant was looking at us with scrutinizing eyes. I placed my hand on the small of Bella's back and lead her a few feet away, back towards the dressing room Bella had been occupying only moments ago.
"Alice forgot to mention that Jasper was thirsty," I hissed in a rough voice.
Bella's eyes widened for a moment and I threw her an anxious look. We stared at one another, unaware of the small audience watching us from behind a clothing rack.
I sighed and looked away.
"That blouse looks lovely on you," I commented, breaking the tension that had seemed to dampen the air.
Bella blushed, a reacting I was all too familiar with. Despite this, I would never grow tired of seeing the warm blood rise to her cheeks, hear her heart quicken in her chest. I would miss these. All the things that defined Bella as human.
The next hour was strenuous, to say the very least. I stood as close to Bella as Alice would allow, not once letting her slip from my watchful sight. I was not going to force myself to believe that Jasper was harmless, even if the rebellious war that continued to rage in his head was a sure sign of his growing immunity to the thirst which threatened our exposure in such a public area. Alice kept Bella as occupied as before, forcing her to try on outrageously high fashioned dresses and numerous styles of other clothing articles, all far to extravagant for Bella's taste, I was certain.
Five arms full later and several trips back for different sizes and Alice was finally pushing Bella towards a change room absolutely piled high with clothes of all styles, shades, and color. I watched warily as Bella complained. She shot me a panicked look that she had more then obviously tried to hide from me. She instantly replaced it with a half-hearted grin and waved to me. I met her eyes with my own, my expression softening slightly in encouragement.
"Alice!" She hissed "There must be a hundred different clothes in there!"
"Oh, stop complaining Bella!" She chirped happily. Despite her joyful mood, her thoughts were constantly returning to Jasper, her thoughts searching the future warily.
As soon as I Alice and Bella were safely inside the changing rooms, I walked towards an unoccupied region of the store and turned.
"Jasper," I called quietly to him from where he stood across the store. Jasper's head raised and his coal black eyes met mine. To a passerby, we were simply exchanging a brief glance at one another.
He nodded in acknowledgment. And walked over to where I stood, his expression strained. He could sense the emotions I felt. He knew what I was about to clarify.
"I need you to keep your distance from Bella," I stated in a cold voice, my obvious distaste for him at that moment and in the present circumstances was more the apparent.
He hesitated, unsure of a safe response to my livid mood.
This is my fault. I should have stayed behind.
I nodded in response. There was nothing more to clarify. He felt my emotions, read the disapproval in my eyes. That was enough of a warning.
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Author's Note: I am currently in the midst of writing the second chapter to this story, have no fear! I intend to have it finished for the end of the weekend, hopefully! It all depends on how much time I get and how much inspiration I can muster up. I have a lot on my plate this week, as is, but I figure that since my first fanfiction got such good reviews after only one evening, that I may as well get started on the second chapter as soon as possible. The next chapter is coming very soon!