Disclaimer: I am not Stephenie Meyer, therefore I do not own Twilight or it's magnificent characters.
Author's Note: I know you all are probably super upset that it took so long, but I'm working on chapter 10 as we speak (And I know it's been even longer since I've updated Miss Invisible, I'm also working on that. Tomorrow, maybe?). It'll be up tomorrow for sure! Yall definitely passed up the 115 that I wanted for this story! Thanks so much! Let's see how many we can get to before tomorrow. ; )
Special Shout Out: Lenny85 for all of her constant support, My sister Jordan (skittles9400) for helping me with my stories. Both of yall are amazing!
Chapter 9: Not a Date
He cleared his throat. "I was wondering," he started slowly. "if you would like to join me for dinner this evening."
I stared at him, not believing what he was asking. My mind was racing. Hadn't we gone over this? Eating dinner with him definitely didn't qualify as "keeping the relationship professional." On the other hand, I really would love to get the chance to spend some alone time with him. I finally collected my thoughts enough to respond, "Like a date?"
He shook his head quickly. "Of course not." I felt a mixture of relief and dissapointment wash over me. He reached for one of my hands and gently squeezed. "Just consider it dinner with a friend who's worried about you."
I thought about that for a minute before agreeing. "Alice did say she wasn't going to be home tonight." I saw the expression on his face change slightly, but before I could identify this new emotion, it was gone. I paused and looked at him confused for a moment before continuing. "So I guess it would be ok, but you can't stop by my dorm. That would look kind of...well you know...to the other students."
"Yes, that may be potentially problematic," he agreed. "Well, why don't you meet me at that Panera Bread right off campus? Let's say, around 8:00?"
"That sounds...good." I said, smiling. I was actually smiling. I was honestly happy for the first time in weeks.
As we started walking towards the door, I noticed we were still holding hands. "I'll see you at 8:00, then," I said, dropping his hand and walking away.
I pulled up to Panera, with 5 minutes to spare, feeling extremely guilty like I did everytime I went anywhere in my new car. As I pulled into a parking space facing away from the restaurant, tears flooded my eyes. I hadn't realized how long I had been there crying, when I heard the passenger door open. I looked up in shock to see Mr. Cullen getting into the car. I turned my face away from him, quickly wiping away the tears from my face. I glanced over at the clock to see that it was already 8:15.
"I'm so sorry," I apologized, avoiding his gaze. "I...I...I just..." I couldn't come up with an excuse, so I just stared at my hands.
He gently placed a hand on my cheek, forcing me to look at him. I could see the concern and sadness in his eyes, and I started to cry all over again.
"I...I..I'm s..s..sorry," I sobbed, trying to look away from him again. He didn't let go of my face though.
"Bella," he said, worry evident in his voice. Somehow, he managed to pull me onto his lap. I laid my head on his shoulder as he ran his fingers through my hair soothingly. "Shhh..Bella it's ok." He repeated over and over.
All I could think was that it wasn't ok. It was all my fault. It took me a minute to realize that I was actually saying that outloud.
"Bella, it's not your fault. It'll be ok. Shhh," he comforted, kissing my forehead.
After a while, I finally calmed down and sat up a little, but I still couldn't meet his eyes. I just stared at his forest green shirt that was now soaked with my tears, noticing that it matched his eyes really well. I cleared my throat. "You're shirt...I'm sorry."
He looked down at his shirt, a little confused, then he chuckled, "It's fine, but are you?"
I cleared my throat again and blushed, embarassed that I had just cried in front of my teacher, "I'm sorry you had to see that. I'm fine, really."
He stroked my cheek with the back of his hand. "Bella, I don't mind at all. Are you sure you're up for dinner? I can drive you home if you'd like."
I shook my head. "No, no. Let's go eat." I forced a smile.
He studied me curiously for a moment. Then opened the door before setting me gently on the ground and getting out himself. He shut the door and turned to me, "Shall we?" I just nodded, blushing.
We walked to the door together, and he opened the door for me. I thanked him before walking in. I was immediately greated by the smell of soup, freshly cooked bread, and coffee.
"What would you like Bella?" Mr. Cullen asked.
I looked at him confused. "You don't have t... I mean... I have money."
"Oh, of course, but I can still pay for you." He must've been able to tell that I was about to argue, because he held up a finger. "You don't have a choice."
I crossed my arms, "Fine."
He laughed, "So what would you like to eat Bella?"
I sighed and uncrossed my arms, I told him what I wanted and he walked up to the counter to order, as I went to find a table for us.
I found a table by the window, not surprised at all that it was raining outside. Mr. Cullen sat down across from me, setting the buzzer on the table between us. (a/n: At most Paneras, they have buzzers to tell you when your order is ready.)
"Is there anything you want to talk about?" he asked. I knew what he meant. I figured we had a little less than 10 minutes before our food was ready, so if we were going to talk about Renee it should be now.
"I just wanted to...apologize again."
"Bella, there is no need to apologize for being upset."
"I just...I just miss her."
He reached across the table for my hand. I thought about pulling away, but what harm could it do? "I know, Bella, but do you honestly believe it was your fault?"
"I know it was," I said fighting back tears again. "She asked to drive, and I wouldn't let her. If I had just let her drive..."
"Bella, stop," he interrupted. "Your mother wouldn't want you to feel this way. If she had driven, it would've been you instead of her. You know she wouldn't want that."
I looked down at the buzzer, praying for it to go off. I heard him mumble what sounded like, "I wouldn't want that." I jerked my head up to look at him to ask what he said, but just then, the buzzer went off.
"I'll go get that,'' he said, rushing off to get the food. I watched him go, thinking about how much I truly hated this just friends thing.
Author's Note: Review please? Comments? Suggestions? Critism? Anything works! I love you all!