Bella's voice was sharp over the other noise in the room – the booming sound of my brother's laughter wasn't enough to conceal her biting tone. "You raced back to my house because you thought the Admirateur was paying me a visit again? You can't be serious!"
I bowed my head, not wanting to interrupt Bella's scolding because every word of it was true.
"Do you have any idea how anxious you made me by leaving so abruptly while we were in the middle of planning our wedding? I thought Alice had seen the Volturi arrive! I was practically having a nervous breakdown before anyone in the house had the nerve to tell me where you were going. And all along, I was panicking because you were too overprotective?"
Overprotective was a bit of an understatement, actually. Jealous was a much better adjective for what I'd been feeling the entire afternoon – not that Bella needed to know my unreasonable reaction to the silly flower and card.
My hope was shattered, however, as soon as Jasper entered the room. "He wasn't being overprotective. He was jealous."
While Emmett's roar of laughter only grew louder with his words, Bella's jaw dropped open and she stared at me in disbelief. "You… were… jealous?"
Ignoring the expressions of amusement – and mocking thoughts, I might add – of my family, I strode over to Bella and pulled her to my chest. I closed my eyes in utter embarrassment and shame, and began to land little kisses in her silky, brown hair. "I'm sorry," I muttered between the kisses "The flower and card yesterday… they stirred up emotions in me that I didn't know existed. I was blind from the jealousy all night and morning. I just couldn't believe that someone had managed to make you happy by giving you a present when I'd never even thought of it myself."
"Make me happy?" Bella's voice was shaky, and I figured my light kisses were the cause of her slight confusion. "I was happy because I thought the flower was from you."
"I know that." I pulled away an inch and let my hands slide down to her waist.
Bella seemed to have found her train of thought again as she made eye contact with me and smiled. She shook her head slightly when she saw my apologetic expression. "You know you have no reason to be jealous, ever. Even if this… Admirateur had been a tall, handsome Frenchman, he wouldn't have made even the smallest impression on me. I love you, and you alone. Nothing and nobody can ever change that."
As if I were alive again and had a beating heart, warmth spread through my body at her words, loosening the last of my frozen muscles that were still tensed from my earlier encounter with the little boy. Not wanting to show my affection in front of my entire family, though, I sneered, "Andy."
"What?" Bella's brow furrowed as she stared at me in confusion.
"His name was Andy," I explained, and pulled back to hold Bella only by the hand. "We introduced ourselves."
Bella rolled her eyes before covering them with her hand. Ignoring the gesture – deep down, I knew I deserved it – I turned to glare at Alice, who was giggling with the rest of my family. "You. We have to talk."
Alice tried to control her giggling as she answered. "Oh, please, Edward. You know this is not my fault. You're the one who didn't watch my vision come to an end."
Very well, so I was to blame. Had I concentrated on Alice's vision for only a few seconds longer, I would have seen the teenage boy who was waiting for me at Bella's home. But in my agitation, I had let the image drop from my head as soon as I'd known what it was about.
I knew it was my fault, but I wasn't quite ready to admit defeat. "You should have called me."
"Right, and missed out on all this fun?" Emmett lifted his palm in the air, which Alice then quickly met in a high-five. "And be serious, please. There was no way I could have reached you. You know you wouldn't have answered the phone."
The last part of her argument was said in a more somber tone, and I knew I had lost the dispute right there and then. Not that I had ever expected to win.
I returned to Bella's side and started playing with a strand of her hair while I waited out my family's burst of laughter. If I was lucky, they'd stop mentioning this in a decade… or half a century, the very least.
But in the end, I had to admit I'd be joining in on their laughter very soon. Already now my own unease was turning into amusement, and I knew it was only a matter of time until this story was filed away as yet another comical adventure that our family lived through.
I didn't think I'd be doing the same mistake twice, anyway. I had learned something that day, something that I wouldn't discard at the first sign of mental weakness – jealousy was a strong emotion, and could burn away all rationality in even the most aged of vampires. Centuries were no help when it came to love; there wasn't a thing I would have done different back in my youth. Had I really been a teenage boy at the point of the short quarrel, I would have reacted exactly the same way.
Jealousy was a poison far worse than the venom in our mouths. It burned away the soul of the creature infected by it in the same way our transformation did.
I shook my head for one last time and pulled Bella tighter into my arms.
But I stopped as soon as I felt her struggling away from my grasp and let go of her as quickly as I could. Looking down at her in worry, I hoped I hadn't hurt her in any way during my reverie.
To my great relief, the expression on her face was one of humor, not pain. "Do you have the telephone directory here at your house? And could I use your cell?"
I handed her my tiny, thin piece of metal that people called 'cell' and raised my eyebrows in puzzlement. "Why?"
The smile Bella threw at me almost made me jump a few inches back. My hands were clenched into fists before she even had time to answer my question.
It was time for revenge.
"Well...," she started, locking me in place with her gaze.
"Andy might need some comforting after the treatment you gave him."
And she snatched the phone away from my hand as my family shared another fit of laughter.
Thank you for reading the product of one of my fits of craziness :)
I hope the "Admirateur" wasn't a disappointment to anyone.
Even strange people can be very romantic.
Again, thank you for reading a reviewing, and don't forget to take a look at my other stories!
Most of the ones posted here were written in the very early stages of my writing history, so be kind when reading.
Merci beaucoup et au revoir!