Summary: More than a missing moment, it's a missing weekend from Eclipse! Experience Bella and Edward's visit to Florida from Edward's POV. Can Edward monitor Victoria's attack, pass for human, keep Bella happy, win Renee's approval and stay out of the sun? Complete in 12 chapters.
Author's Note: One of my daughters asked me to write about the trip to visit Renee, so here it is for everyone to enjoy, I hope. These characters are the property of Stephenie Meyer. I appreciate the opportunity to borrow them.
Flying from Seattle to Jacksonville took all day. In the seat next to me, Bella was restless, impatient to land and throw herself into her mother's arms. I smiled at her anticipation and rejoiced that such a wonderful distraction was available. True, Charlie wasn't pleased about my presence on the trip, but Bella hadn't suspected there was a particular reason that I wanted her thousands of miles from Forks.
I touched the small silver phone in my pocket. I was nearly as eager to arrive as Bella, because I'd be able to check for a message from Alice. She had assured me that Victoria wouldn't arrive until Saturday, but we both knew not everything could be predicted. She had promised to keep me updated, and she had promised to be available for any help I needed getting through the weekend. She'd already previewed the weather and warned me when I'd have to avoid the sun. We were a team, and together we were going to keep Bella safe and ensure a smooth operation on both sides of the continent.
I was embarking on a very challenging journey. I would be spending the entire weekend, day and night, with Renee and Phil. Bella would be sleeping in the only guest room. I'd be sleeping on the couch, which meant I'd probably have to pretend to sleep. Even worse, I'd probably have to eat food. Could I be convincing in the part of a normal boy? Of course, for decades, we had lived among humans and blended in— or at least tried not be so conspicuous. But we'd usually kept people at a distance, and we'd always had the option of leaving. In fact, we'd been obliged to exercise that option more than once.
It did not seem advisable to repel Renee nor to vanish suddenly from her life. Therefore, I simply couldn't let her develop any suspicions. I reflected how exceedingly fortunate I was that my dream girl shared a home with a parent whose credo was "Live and let live." Thoughts sometimes crossed Charlie's mind regarding my odd appearance and habits, but he never pursued them. I couldn't depend on Bella's mother to be as relaxed and uncurious regarding her daughter's boyfriend.
But, I realized, my concerns went beyond simply wanting to pass for human. I wanted Renee to approve of me. For Bella's sake, but also for my own. I remembered how nervous Bella had been coming to my home for the first time. I had found it natural that she should worry about entering a remote house full of vampires. She'd insisted that she was only concerned about whether my family would like her. I thought she was trying to reassure me, trying to project calm about socializing with my kind. Now it occurred to me that she might have been sincere.
"What are you thinking about?" Bella asked.
"The weekend," I replied. "I don't want your mother to notice anything unusual about me."
"She's already aware that you're the best looking man on earth," she teased, her brown eyes sparkling.
"If you say so." I knew my appearance was designed to appeal to humans, but hers was the only opinion that mattered to me.
"I do say so. And she already knows that you want to be with me, so there must be something seriously wrong with you." I chuckled. Seeing Bella in such high spirits, knowing that every minute took her further from the danger approaching Forks, made me glow with satisfaction.
"Seriously wrong with my heart. It's missing, because I gave it to you." I'd never miss a chance to tell her how much she meant to me.
"Seriously, I'm so happy you're with me and we're going to see Renee!"
"I know." She was literally bouncing in her seat with anticipation. I couldn't help smiling at her excitement. I was determined not to disappoint her. Bella's time with her mother would be fun and carefree.
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