By Ani aka Cherished Dreams
Disclaimer: I don't own Stephenie Meyer's characters. I own the plot though!
Thomas was in his office with his friend's son, twitching his thumbs and grinning Cheshire cat like, waiting for his student. "Professor…" Edward started slowly, suspicious of the man's amused smile and wandering thoughts. "Yes, Edward?" he chirped brightly, inadvertently causing a flash of annoyance to run through the younger vampire.
Edward sighed, turning the volume down of his thought hearing abilities. He'd been able to dim the voices of the surrounding people to a dull murmur, something similar to the buzz of an insect flying close, to human ears. Just like Alice, he'd been able to manipulate his… gift. Recent months had been much quieter, and he'd felt lighter. He could no longer hear the girl on the same floor, grumbling about her paper.
"Never mind," he muttered, not wanting to know why he had such a large smile on his face. Carlisle had left him to answer a few questions from one of Professor Wyatt's 'favourite' students, regarding the lecture that he had been a guest of, to converse with some of the professors that had attended the lecture.
"I wonder--," Thomas started, before a wave caught his attention. "Hmm..." he said thoughtfully. "Such a beautiful wave. Edward," he called softly. "If I send one of my students in here, could you do one of those stares?"
"Stares?" the bronze haired boy asked, wondering if the ancient vampire had finally lost his marbles. By the time Edward could ask the vampire to elaborate, looking up from the chess board at the back of the room, by the window, the eccentric professor had left the room.
The professor had met her outside in the hall, with an 'I'm about to eat a canary' smile on his face. He'd always been slightly eccentric, but the hallway lights on his face made him look like a vampire, with the thrill of the hunt plastered on his face. She'd leaned away from him, fear sweeping through her and he left patting her on the shoulder, with an assurance that he'd be close by.
Bella knocked twice on the wooden door with 'Henry Wyatt' on front, this time not expecting the chirpy "come in", and slowly eased open the door stepping inside. A familiar mass of bronze hair met her eyes and even before the owner had turned, she knew her scent had flown through his nostrils and into lungs that didn't need air. His body tensed.
She stayed still hoping to God that her professor was just lurking around outside as he'd said he would. She stood not wanting to tempt him further as he slowly and stiffly stood, turning to find her in the office – door closed. Edward's face held shock; his eyes were dark and stormy.
"Bella?" he managed, teeth clenched tight.
"Edward," she breathed. She'd forgotten so much about him and a flooding sensation filled her causing her eyes to water uncontrollably.
She inched nearer to the closed door, her hand meeting the wood searching for the doorknob, hoping his inner beast would be tamed shortly. She gasped as he appearing, almost instantly, in front of her hovering only inches away from her body. His fist closed around the door frame and she heard the distinct crumbling of wood around her head. Forehead on the door, eyes closed he asked strained, trying not to breath anymore of her in, "Please. Don't move. Give me one moment."
Bella whispered a small 'ok' and they waited until he was able to control the monster inside of him. She became aware that his face was just beside her on the right, so close that she could hear him swallowing.
He stepped back after a few moments, his face no longer grim looking, instead he seemed curious. His eyes seemed to have lightened slightly to a dark brown instead of the coal black it had been earlier.
"Bella, what are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same question," she countered.
"I… I'm studying here. I wanted to talk with Carlisle about his lecture."
"You're the student?" He asked a hit of incredulity in his voice.
"Yes, funny huh?" She said smiling.
He frowned at her put down but moved quickly and swiftly to the other side of the room, motioning for her to sit down in the visitor's seat, keeping the large oak table between them. She moved slowly and deliberately and saw that the window he was standing next to was opened, the breeze struggling slightly to ruffle the heavy curtains.
"Carlisle said he couldn't come tonight and asked me to help. What did you want to know more about?"
'You,' she almost said aloud, and she thought he might've heard that thought when his eyes narrowed. She must've given away her surprise at his expression, for he quickly rearranged his features into an apologetic smile.
"The professor is still outside – rest assured that I still can't hear your thoughts."
"Oh." She paused.
"How are you Edward?"
He blinked unnecessarily, caught off guard and she had to turn slightly so that he couldn't see the lifted corner of her mouth.
"I'm doing well enough. Was that what you wanted to ask?"
'Yes.' "Not really but I wanted to know how you were before you got down to business and pushed me out the door, and left again." She mumbled slightly incoherent, the bitterness seeping through.
His eyes flashed picking up the bitterness in her tone.
"I am too."
Curious, he turned to face her fully and asked, "Why are you sorry? You've done nothing wrong."
"Because I am. Because I know I'm causing you unnecessary pain right now. It's not like this is the first time I've seen you trying hard to resist."
"So can I ask my question now?" She said faux cheerfully, trying to shift them off the subject, taking out her writing pad and pen. She could practically see the relief wave through him when they started on their academic conversation.
Drawing the conversation out as long as she could, Bella remembered just why she'd love simply talking to Edward. He articulated arguments with clean references and his opinions were well thought out and voiced. At the end of their talk, he was no longer stationed by the window, face half hidden with shadows a wrinkle between his brows, but across the desk from her leaning in, a small smirk on his face.
With no more questions at hand to keep him there with her, she smiled, slowly putting away her gear and standing. He mimicked her, the smirk gone from his face.
She smiled bravely and awkwardly stuck out her hand, ending the meeting academically. Edward looked at it for a moment, a feeling of disappointment and relief filling him and took it, smiling back.
"Thank you," she said smiling moving to the door.
"Do you still visit Charlie?" he asked.
"…Yeah, I do. Almost all of the small holidays. July forth and all of those ones." She answered slowly, trying to understand the reason of his asking. "Why do you—," She stopped suddenly, the professor popping his head around his door, interrupting them.
"Oho! Still here favourite student of mine? Why it's bordering eleven, and its dark and damp outside! Best to get to your dorm while you still can my dear."
Her random out-of-the-blue, encounter with Edward finished, she sighed closing the door of her dorm. Bella's chest pounded slightly seeing him, but she knew it would pass. If anything she thought, if she ever saw or heard from him again, she knew it would hurt less with time.
Valentine's Day arrived soon enough and Bella sporting a runny nose and a tight throat managed to keep her breakfast (with Mike by her side) at Luke's café, before being herded back to her dorm by Mike (again), advising her to have plenty of fluids and rest for the day.
She thanked him with a hug – a longer than usual one as she drowsily tucked her head on his warm shoulder. He ended up towing her to her bed from the hug and promised to be back to check up on her later on in the day. Her eyes had closed long before he'd closed her door.
Bella woke from her slumber a little past lunch time, food on her bedside table with a note from Mike.
Take two paracetamol after eating.
There's OJ in your mini ref. Drink it all to boost that immune system of yours.
Gargle warm water with salt, to help your throat.
She smiled at the note, thankful for suck a thoughtful soul in a friend so close. She stayed cooped up in her dorm room for the rest of the day, catching up with TV, ignoring the few brave admirers at her door and started her synopsis.
Time flew by quickly and as she sat at her window seat watching the last dregs of sunlight shy away beyond the horizon, she pondered on the meeting he had had earlier in the week with Edward – his scent, his never changing stature, his beautifully frightening eyes. At about sever someone rapped on her door and she hoped that it wasn't Tristan. She'd sent a text message earlier warning him of her health.
She peeked through the hole and was surprised to see Julian, the Fed Ex officer from before standing at her door, looking amusedly at the flowers that had been placed at her door. Opening the door she saw that he was not alone Susie from the flower shop had also brought her something.
"That admirer of yours has no respect for flowers Izzy." Susie stated, pointing to a dying bunch, wrinkling her nose. "I know. I'm going to have to chuck these out," Bella said moving to bin a bunch that had wilted away throughout the day.
"You want the chocolates? I'm sick and have been banned of life's edible pleasures," she offered the two. They'd become familiar to her through all of the deliveries. "Oh. Thanks! Ferreros are my favourite," Susie gushed.
"Here you go Izzy. The last rose to make the dozen."
"And one large package for you from Fed Ex," Julian said passing the surprisingly light parcel over, and receiving her signature. "Thanks. Sorry for having to make you guys deliver these tonight of all nights."
As soon as she'd closed the door, her phone buzzed announcing her editor's call. She smiled having anticipated it.
"Hello. I received your message earlier. Are you feeling better?"
She smiled at his concern. "I'm feeling much better."
"You're still not sounding particularly well. Are we still ok for our little date? I would rather you get some rest or sleep than force you to do this at the moment."
"I should be ok – are you coming over then?" She asked, moving frantically towards her closet, nipping the corner of her bedside table in the process.
"Have you eaten?" He asked, avoiding her question.
"And taken the meds and everything."
"This is going to sound eager… but could we have that date now?"
Her heart constricted, slightly missing a beat and blood rushed to her cheeks. 'Very high school like – very cute!' her traitorous mind cheered.
"Izzy? You're not busy at the moment right?" his deep voice said over the phone, amusement evident in his tone.
"I… Now? Umm... Ok. Sure." She said flustered.
"Ok then, wrap up in that blanket and pop in that DVD."
"We're watching the movie together?"
"Together." He confirmed.
"…so you're coming?"
He chuckled, "that'd be a little difficult. I'm actually nowhere near Pennsylvania at the moment. I have the movie here as well. Shall we start it together?"
She smiled and took hold of her remote. It took them several gos and fits of laugher before they could get their movies to start close enough to each others'.
With almost perfect synchronization, they found themselves watching and commenting on parts of the movie. Bella sat her phone on loudspeaker next to her shoulder on the arm of her recliner, warmed up in the soft blanket he'd sent her. By the end of the movie she'd fallen drowsy and Tristan picking up on it through the phone, bade her a goodnight.
In the morning, she'd felt better again and with renewed energy rushed through the rest of her synopsis adding in part of her dream to the plot. Hitting send she was confident that Tristan would approve of the new 'happier' storyline and started writing the first chapter, two different yet similar men lingering in her mind as she typed away.
Author's Note: Rawr. We will be fast forwarding through in a bit – Bella isn't a girl in your teens anymore, she needs to be a bit romanced; I just needed to establish some things in these slow last few chapters. :) Clues may no longer be available in the later chapters. Also … yay! For procrastination. I've got an assessment due tomorrow and I'm using my creative juices to make this sweet chapter. I am hoping to start this up again... when I find that darned note pad that I'd written chapters upon chapters on. Thank you for everyone holding on to this!
I'll be getting readers going "what?!" for the half mix style of this chapter I'm sure. Please don't ask me to whip these out asap! They'll definitely come - I want to finish at least oen long story! :)