Chapter 1 – Packing
After saying our goodbyes to friends and family, we were pretty much ready to go.
Charlie, being the chief, blabbed to the whole tiny town of Forks that I was going to go to Dartmouth. Renée was delighted to no end that I'd conquered this 'sickness' of mine and was able to go to college, finally, and I figured that I'd better bring back a diploma or something – or else. Thus, I condemned myself to four years of college.
New Hampshire had a relatively good climate for us vampires. The campus was very big, and if it was sunny, we could run as fast as we could into shadows and appear around the corner, inconspicuous.
Or, of course, we could ditch.
Staring at the piles of clothing brought to Edward's room in the house from the cottage, I sighed as I tossed my beloved sweats into the suitcase. How did Edward manage to convince me to – to – to go to…?
"What are you thinking of, my love?" The latter wrapped his arms around my waist and gave me a kiss on my cheek. I hadn't noticed his arrival.
I whipped around to glare at him. "I am thinking about how in the world you managed to convince me to go to college."
He smirked. "Well, I do have my ways."
Sighing, I added a sweater to the suitcase.
Edward noticed my packing and swiftly dumped several lingerie items into the suitcase, too.
I groaned. "You are shameless, aren't you?"
He laughed. "No, just being a male."
"A testosterone-fueled, hormonally-imbalanced, perceptivity-challenged male."
"Objection to the hormonal and perceptivity-challenged part, your honor. I am perfectly perceptive – a thousand times more so than you." He grinned when I opened my mouth to argue and shut it with his finger. "And hormonally-imbalanced – I thought that applied crazy teens and women before their…uh, you know."
It was my turn to smirk. "Well, the same symptoms apply."
"Perhaps we should ask Carlisle?" he asked jokingly.
I looked around and decided that I did need a break from packing. "All right, let's go."
Hand in hand, we raced down to Carlisle's study, where he spent much of his time. "Carlisle, we need to ask you something," Edward asked. We walked right in, because the door was open.
Carlisle smiled. "Go right ahead."
"Um," I started, not knowing where to begin. "Well, we were talking about what how males are testosterone-fueled, hormonally-imbalanced, and perceptivity-challenged, and he disagrees with the last two. For number two, we need a little medical verification. Does he or does he not have hormonal problems?" Edward laughed at my side and I shushed him.
Carlisle had an amused grin on his face. "You're right – the testosterone part applies and that is a hormone, so – sorry, Edward, Bella wins this one."
I turned to him in satisfaction. "Ha! I win!" I turned to sprint out of the study, yelling "Thanks, Carlisle!" over my shoulder.
"Oh, no you don't," Edward called, right on my heels. I squealed and dove into my bedroom, where Edward cornered me. He drove me back against a wall and kissed me passionately, and in that moment, our playful chase was forgotten. I gasped as he pushed harder against me, nearly causing the wall to crack, and I wrapped my fingers in his messy bronze locks. One of his hands was in my hair, the other pressing me to him. My lips parted, and his tongue traced my lips. After a moment like that, his lips moved down from my lips to my throat. He gave me a kiss there and stood up again, gazing down at me with an expression of love and lust in them.
"Enough, Edward," I managed to breathe out. "You're distracting me from the task at hand." I gestured to the massive piles of clothing still waiting to be either put in a suitcase or left here or sent to the Discard pile. We didn't need to take that many extra things, because chances were, we'd come back here after college, even if just for a secret visit unknown to humans.
He just smiled. "I can help with that." In just a few seconds, he had filtered out one of the big piles into three small piles for the three choices that awaited them. Discard was the smallest. I looked through them, but it was as if he knew exactly what I was thinking.
"Thanks, Edward, now can you help me fold and pack them?"
"Well, I don't know, Emmett and Jasper need help putting my piano into the moving truck, I think."
I pouted, knowing that Edward couldn't resist. "Please? And you know that they don't really need 'help'. Please?" I begged again. He relented; I could see it in his eyes.
"All right, love," he conceded. "It's almost…unfair, the way you fashion your lips in that adorable way to me." He smiled and kissed me again.
"Well, it's most certainly unfair then, to be able to dazzle me with your eyes!" I countered.
He rolled his eyes and folded the shirts and pants – and ugh, lingerie – up and stacked them neatly and tightly in my suitcase. I put the clothes that were to be left back here on hangers, and planned to take them back to our cottage to hang up in the gigantic closet.
"Edward? Do we take or leave the wedding dress?" I asked softly.
His eyes glowed. "Take it. It's an item of great sentimental value."
I laughed. "Take it is."
When we were just finishing, Alice burst into our room. "Oh no you don't, Bella. I just saw you leaving back those adorable clothes I bought for you!"
"Nope, Alice, they're staying."
Jasper came to the rescue. "Oh, Alice, Emmett's cutting up your silver miniskirt because he needs cloth to wipe the grease off some of the parts in his Jeep."
"What?! No!" Alice flew back out.
"Thanks, Jazz," I told him. He nodded, chuckling, and followed Alice.
I sighed in satisfaction as I zipped up the last suitcase of clothing. "There," I sighed in satisfaction.
Edward kissed my neck softly. "Tell me what you're thinking," he murmured. "I can only guess."
"I was thinking about how great it was that we just finished packing!" I told him with a giggle.
He sighed, and I took in the sweet scent of his breath. "I love hearing you laugh," he whispered, and then flung me onto his bed, and proceeded to tickle me, running his fingers down my sides.
"Edward! Oh Edward, stop! Please!" My words were drowned out with my laughter, and I twisted out of his grasp. He flung himself on top of me and kissed me again.
"Ugh, we have to have an early morning flight." Edward finally rolled to the side, but still holding my hand.
"Not like it's a problem for us," I snickered.
"That's right." He glared at the sun, which was nearly touching the earth, or so it seemed like. "We have to drive that whole truck full of things to our house in New Hampshire, and then we spend one last night here, and at five thirty, we leave."
I sighed. "Just one more night – do you have to go with them to drive the moving truck over?"
"No. Rosalie and Emmett have it covered. She's even more of a speed demon than I." He rolled on top of me again, and touched his nose to the side of my neck, inhaling deeply. "Your scent is still as intoxicating as ever."
"Same for you," I replied, pressing my nose and lips to his neck.
Very gently, I brushed the tip of my tongue against his skin, and I felt him shudder. "Oh, Bella, you have no idea how much control you hold over me."
"I think I do," I replied, rolling us back over so that I was hovering over him.
"As much control as you have over me."
His hands held my face and pulled it back to his again.
* * *
"All right," Emmett announced, after tossing the last few suitcases into the rental truck. "Anything else? Any questions, comments, or concerns, before we drive off?"
"Be careful!" Esme warned, hugging Em and Rose one last time.
"Wait! My cross!" Carlisle appeared, holding the almost ethereal, ancient wooden cross that he cherished. "Fragile, handle with care." He gave Emmett the Look.
"Yes, sir," Emmett answered, snapping to attention.
Rosalie wrinkled her nose. "Why do I feel anxiety and concern? Over my safety?" she asked, and then turned to Jasper. "Hmm?"
He grinned. "You might be able to keep your tires on the road, but humans most likely will not. Just a friendly reminder." All of us collapsed into laughter.
"I'll watch out," Alice added. "We'll call if we see anything."
"Adios, guys," Edward said, his voice calm. "Be nice to humans."
Emmett snorted. "Sure, sure, whatever you say."
Keys in hand, Rosalie climbed up into the driver's seat, and Emmett to the passenger seat. "Bye!" we all called, as the truck went away.
"Don't forget to return the truck to U-Haul!" Jasper had to add as they sped away.
A short moment of silence followed, broken by Alice. "NYSE stocks are going down, Carlisle, so you may want to get rid of those."
"Will do," Carlisle said, grabbing his laptop.
"Dow is going up," she continued.
I fake-whispered to Edward. "Alice is going nuts, isn't she? This isn't even about shopping!"
Jasper covered his laugh with a cough and Alice glared at all three of us. "I can be concerned about humanly issues – such as stocks and Wall Street – but I'm not, most of the time. However, I can see what will happen and we'll just let the stocks work their magic."
Magic. A miracle. I thought of Renesmee, my daughter, and the slight hollowness in my heart. She was going to live on the reservation, with Jacob, and stay in Forks while the rest of us left. It nearly broke my heart, but I knew why she wanted to. I wouldn't leave Edward, either.
The sun dipped down, and Edward and I ran hand in hand back to our cottage for our very last night here.
AN: Review? Please?