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Chapter Five

I didn't see Edward all that day, or the next. I saw Alice however, and she gave me the peculiar look again, as if she didn't understand something only I could give her the answer to. I even saw Rosalie, she had only glared at me across the street as I delivered my weekly sandwiches to the precinct. I'd waved in response. Then it was the next day, I didn't see any of the Cullens, Saturday came and went, and then Sunday, again, no Cullens. Before Friday though, I swore I felt like someone was watching me while I slept, I just never caught the person in the act. It actually comforted me to know that Jacob was carrying through with his promise, somehow. There were things I didn't doubt, and magic among his blood line, wasn't one of them. I knew he had something in him, and it wouldn't surprise me if he could oversee me during the night.

However, I wasn't in Forks long enough to know if on this remarkably sunny day, if they decided to venture into town or not. Jessica and Angela came to my door bright and early, Angela wanted to drive, and I let her, it would probably get us there faster than my car anyways.

"I can't believe we're picking you up at your dad's place. Like old times, hmm?" Jessica asked as she leaned forward from the backseat to talk to us.

"Yeah." I agreed. "It sure feels that way, doesn't it?" We were going to Port Angeles for the entire day, including dinner and a movie afterwards. Despite being sunny, it was still cold enough to warrant several thin layers under my thicker ones and a heavy jacket. Jessica and Angela however were only in two layers under their moderately heavy jackets. I would never get used to the cold, I decided, but then again, with Jacob radiating so much heat that he could probably heat our entire house himself, I would never need a coat again as long as his arms were wrapped around me. That thought made me smile and Jessica and Angela both looked at me knowing exactly where that was coming from.

"Tom and Jim say there's new students at the High School." Angela finally said after a moment of silence.

"Really?" I asked, knowing exactly who those students were but Jessica sat up in our space again.

"The Cullens? I hear they're amazing." She sighed dreamily. "Too young unfortunately, but I did see one of the boys, a blond. He's so gorgeous." Jessica was digging for news about our newcomers, not many people knew them or spoke to them or had really any sort of interaction with them. I had found that out yesterday, when I overheard Tyler and Eric talking about them in my cafe. I felt kind of honored and yet uncomfortable for being singled out again. I hated the lime-light with a passion, and with my own cafe here, I was able to hide in the back most of the time, and let Lucy handle the guests that I didn't want prying into my business.

"Anyways, I heard that they keep mostly to themselves. Kind of loners but their own clique, just those kids." Angela was pregnant with Ben's child, she was nearing the end of her third trimester, which made me glad to have Jessica along, because I wouldn't know what to do if she suddenly went into labor. I could only help keep her calm. That reason however, allowed Angela to call someone not much younger than her, a kid.

I rolled my eyes at the term none-the-less and spoke up for them, hoping her kid brothers might help them out sometime. They were as kind as she was, but a little more rowdy. "Maybe it's just because they're new and they're trying to keep some normalcy together." I suggested. "Once they're more comfortable in this new city, maybe they'll branch out from their safety net."

"I heard they move around a lot." Jessica interjected. "Shouldn't they be used to it by now?"

"That's probably why they do hang onto each other, they only have who they travel with. Otherwise everyone else gets taken from them." Angela backed me up, and I smiled at her, she had always backed me up, and she was listened to more than I was by Jessica, especially because Angela studied psychology as her minor.

Angela returned the smile and turned onto the street that would lead us into the port city. Jessica sank back in her spot and contemplated what we both said. Eventually she shrugged and turned to look out the window.

We went to look at dresses first, Jessica needed a new summer one, even though we were still months away from it. She bought a couple of them, and they were all embarrassingly low cut. More slutty than demure. Angela wondered off in a department store the the little kid section, trying to find some clothes or toys, or something. I had no interest in anything like that, children was something I just wasn't ready for or desired. Jacob wasn't in any hurry to expand our family either, he had enough on his plate as it was. It made our relationship perfect at this moment, because we could just be with each other. Plus we both had our fathers to worry about, that was all the children we needed. My mother was included into that list as well, but Phil was taking pretty good care of her down in Florida. I still went and visited her one week a year and she came up for Christmas every other year and my birthday the ones she didn't come up for.

Jacob absolutely loved her, she was playful and teased him relentlessly, but he got to tease her right back. They were a good mix, Jacob though was far more responsible than she ever was. He had to be, we both grew up early. I missed Jacob as I meandered through the isles. I had nothing to get in this store. When we finished, I convinced them to doing the movie now. We settled for a romantic comedy that absolutely bombed, and I was itching to leave halfway through it. The only thing funny about it was the irrational and surprising crudeness.

None of us really cared for it, but Jessica probably got the most from it. I told them, I'd meet up with them for dinner, I had a lot of chores to get done. They followed me to the wharf and when the smell got too much for them, they decided that I was right. We had plans for five. It was three now.

I got a lot of my supplies and had them put aside so I could just pick them up when we were leaving. Nothing would spoil as it waited, and I'd pay on pickup. That done, satisfied that I would have enough ingredients for the next two weeks, and to try something new, I headed to my other destinations. I wasn't sure exactly where either store was. I looked at the sun and decided it was best to try that direction first.

I got to the book store and found exactly what I was looking for without any difficulty, and I thumbed through the pages full of stories relating to Jacob's tribe. Histories that were written down by non-believers who knew all the stories believers told. I felt like this would probably be the most accurate and non-biased rendition I would find, the stories and the people who scoffed at the ideas, would balance each other out to try and find a truth.

As I was involved with my book, and heading in the general direction of the sun, I heard soft footsteps. I looked up and found myself completely in confusion, where had I gotten myself? Port Angeles wasn't so big that I didn't know my basic way around it, but there weren't many things I came up for, not really much of a shopper myself.

I glanced down at my watch, I had spent too much time with my two previous destinations, that I was now almost completely out of time to meet up with the other girls. It was nearing five without hesitation. I looked around, trying to figure out a way out of the area. There was traffic a long way down, and I knew that had to be the main street, as the street was packed and moving. I was probably a good ten blocks or more from it though and that's when I noticed that there weren't many other choices for direction from where I was. There was back the way I had come, or straight or to the right, leading into darkness. There were a few small alleyways, deep enough to line two dumpsters on each side and a space big enough to get them out with the truck, but they didn't lead anywhere but a dead end.

I looked back down at my book and decided my best bet was where I could actually see people at. I started walking again, forgetting why I had stopped in the first place and becoming absorbed in my book again.

When I heard the footsteps growing louder, I paused again and looked around, becoming aware of how alone I was, and how far away I was from civilization. Unless someone was purposely looking down this road, they would miss me. As it was, they were pretty small in my eyes, and I was looking right at them.

I glance around fretfully but couldn't see anyone, and I started again, but this time I was putting my book back into my bag and paying attention to my surroundings. I heard several footsteps, but I couldn't count how many. I had barely gotten two blocks, when I saw a man coming out of an alley way towards me, and I crossed the street to avoid him.

As I passed another alley way, a hand reached out and grabbed along my upper arm. I struggled away from the tight grip, managing to break free, but tripping over my own feet and landing on my knee painfully for a moment before shooting back up to my feet.

The guy from the first alley was coming towards me on my left. The guy in the second, coming out on my right, closer to me than the one on the left. I heard more footsteps, and turned towards the one coming from behind me. I turned forward, my only hope was to run and get to the crowded street. I started walking faster, none of them spoke, but when I was practically running down the street, I could hear their steady footsteps behind me and I couldn't understand it until a fourth man came out from the dark street I had seen earlier and cut off my escape route. I tried to duck around him, but he stepped in front of me again.

"Where you going?" He asked with a grin, I saw that a tooth was missing, probably from a fight. He also had a bruise on his cheekbone, definitely someone who gets into fights. I acknowledge that running, for me, would be a terrible mistake, I'd end up on my face after two feet. I instead grounded myself and straightened up.

"Leave me alone." I warned.

The man behind me hawed in his own amusement and I cringed from the noise. The man in front of me grinned wider. I really wished he would stop, it frightened me more than anything else he did, his smile, it sent shivers down my back.

I think he knew this, because if possible, it got bigger. "What's wrong pretty lady?" He asked and took a step closer, his minions trying to flank my sides.

The only thing I could do was fight. Thankfully, I had laughed at my father's mace can in my room, still there from all those years ago, but I had put it into my purse, so my hand gripped around it now. I would start by swinging the purse at any one of them that got too close. Try to take them out with a well timed blow to the head, and if that failed, I'd spray them in the eyes.

"Back up, leave me alone."

One of them laughed loudly at me, but I was just concentrating on the leader. He laughed silently too. "Feisty." He took another step closer and I straightened up taller. "That'll be a nice change."

"I'm warning you." I clenched my hand around the can so tightly that I felt like my hand would break if the can didn't give first.

They all laughed this time and all of them took a step forward, boxing me in. "We just want to have a little fun." The front one tried to soothe, but I knew his intentions. "A little fun with you, surely you'd like that?"

I shook my head. "Stop right there, or I'll scream!" I took a second to glance around me and realized some of them had been inching forward a little more than I had realized. One of them was almost in touching distance. I had to fight, but I wasn't sure what I could do against four of them.

The one in front only laughed and shook his head. "No one will hear you, because you won't get the chance for long. He took another step forward, and I took one back. "Whose first?" He mused to himself, and one of the ones I had purposely moved away from, shot towards me and gripped my arm.

The other one took that opportunity to grab my other and looked down at my hand. "Married." He seemed pleased by that, and I wasn't sure exactly why. I didn't think any of them would have had an issue if I wasn't.

The one in front nodded, seemingly upset by that fact, and the one behind me ignored all of it as he wrapped his arms around my torso, pulling me against his overweight chest, squeezing my waist to the point I almost couldn't breathe. One hand reached up and fondled me. I struggled but I was outnumbered and out-strengthed. They had been too fast for me to react as I had been planning. The one in front came to stand in front of me and placed one of his hands at my waist, just under my shirt. "I guess I'm first."

I opened my mouth and spat on him. His other hand came up and back-slapped me. It was odd, but I remembered seeing the sun still just above the line of the buildings, taunting me with the fact that this was happening in bright daylight and I could see my salvation several blocks away, but no where near enough to get there. They had planned this out well, and I wondered how many times they had done this before.

I opened my mouth to scream but that hand again hit my face, but this time it was a fist in my jaw and it locked shut and as much as I tried, I couldn't get it open again. "Bitch, shut up, and stay put." He slid his hand into the band of my jeans and popped the first button open. His other hand opening his own pants.

The sun just peaked over the buildings now, a few rays of light casting its beckons on us and for once, I think I almost hated the sun and everything it represented. The men holding me forced me down to my knees, saving me at least from the one man's touch, even though the one behind me still groped and I could feel his stiffness to by back. The one in front opened his pants completely and I saw white for a moment before I heard squealing tires.

My gaze slid to the unbelievable sight. There was no light yet, it had completely darkened in this street, and the street lamps hadn't turned on yet. But two beams of light shone directly in my face, and I saw a figure get out of the vehicle.

"You'll get a chance at her afterwards." The man in front sneered to my possible savior, or my fifth torturer. But even before the man's words were out, the figure was flying at him, and then the man in front of me was gone, then the other three were too.

All four of them were lying in an unconscious heap and I was still in the position they forced on me. It was only a moment before I was scooped up and held against a cold chest. Held easily, one arm under my butt and the other on my head, pressing it against a shoulder and words were being whispered in my ear, but I couldn't understand them as they were being spoken too quickly.

I shook my head, I didn't understand, I didn't know. I struggled against the embrace and I was released to be placed into the passenger side of the car and buckled in without me even realizing it and then we were taking off, and I turned my wide gaze at the savior, not knowing how he had gotten into the car when I swore he was standing right next to me only a heart beat ago.

"Say something, please." His voice was tense, and rasped like velvet against a zipper. My eyes finally adjusted and I could see him clearly, it was none other than Edward.

I shook my head. "How-"

His hands clenched the wheel tighter and if possible, they turned even whiter. His jaw too, looked like it was ready to snap and I carefully fingered my own jaw, it hurt to talk, and I was trying not to get him to notice the action, but his eyes swiveled to me and they squeezed shut painfully.

"The road-" I gasped as I realized how fast he was going and not paying any attention.

"Fuck the road." He growled. "Distract me, now, so I don't go and finish them off while you're in seeing distance."

"Well, that's a reason-" I quipped, I don't know how I did that, but it felt normal, despite the circumstances.

"Another one, Bella, please. Tell me you're all right."

"I'm fine." I responded instantly. "Where are you going?"

Small sentences seemed doable right now, and I took a steadying breath and waited for his answer. "Out of this town."

"You can't!" I gasped. "I have to meet Angela and Jessica for dinner."

"They're big girls, they can handle your absence."

"But- they drove and my food-"

Edward swerved over and after a short spin, we were at a standstill in the middle of nowhere. He turned to me, his voice laced with anger. "You really want to go back to that city after what happened? Are you really that dense?"

"We've already established my IQ." I responded tightly, and his eyes flexed to my face and after a moment of seething anger, he managed a snort of disbelief.

"You- never say the things I think you will." He shook his head and I could see his tension evaporating somewhat. Though it was never really gone. "You really want to go back?" I nodded and he sighed before he put the car in reverse and we were flying down the road in the direction we had just come from. I gripped the door tightly as it all whipped by. I enjoyed some speed, especially when it was me controlling it with the motorcycle, this however was a completely different story. It was at least fifty times faster for one. Another was the fact that I was definitely not in control.

We pulled to a halt outside a restaurant and I saw Angela and Jessica leaving it, looking a tad paranoid. "You really sure-?" Angela was saying to Jessica.

"I can't believe she'd get lost in this city." Jessica shook her head and they both froze as they saw Edward and I get out of the car. "Wha-?"

"I found Bella wandering around, looking confused, and said she was trying to come here." Edward answered before I could think coherently, too much had happened recently for me to wrap my mind around the events or even where I truly was right now.

"Bella!" Angela completely ignored him and came to stand in front of me, Edward tensed at my side, but she didn't notice. Jessica was just staring at him with an open mouth. "What happened? I thought you only had a few errands to run!"

"I got lost, took a wrong turn and ended up somewhere completely different." I answered, and my jaw hurt for a sentence that long.

"We were worried, you were supposed to meet us here over an hour ago. We kind of ate without you." I figured that was more Jessica's idea, and Angela needed the food, so I couldn't fault her. I nodded, glad that they didn't go hungry. "Are you done, or have you got more stuff to do?" She asked, taking my hand in hers.

"I'm-"

"I was actually going to get Bella food, her stomach growled in the car. I'll give her a ride home if that's not a problem." Edward cut in smoothly and I looked at him as if he'd gone completely off his rocker. He winked to the girls and me and my eyes widened a fraction.

"Is that so?" Angela asked, Jessica still hadn't picked up her jaw from where it fell as she drooled over the younger man. I wondered which blond boy she saw than, definitely not Carlisle or Edward if this was her reaction.

I nodded. I had to get some things cleared with Edward first, and I also sincerely doubted that he would let me out of his sight for a moment until he had me safely deposited back in Charlie's house. Something screamed that about him, and I couldn't shake the feeling. "Yeah, you two go ahead. I still have a few things to do around here anyways."

Angela nodded. "Call me if you need anything. In fact, call me when you get home." I bit my lip, that might be awhile. "Do it. I don't care what time it is. Whether its tonight still or tomorrow morning." She gave me a look that broke no arguments and I felt for once, like someone's child needing care. I agreed and with a hug, she towed Jessica away.

Edward turned towards me. "Do you want to eat here?" He looked a little disgusted by the location and I shrugged, I hadn't known he was serious about the food. "Bella?" He stepped closer to me and I realized that my body was shaking. "Bella?" He frowned, and it was too much, I collapsed against him.

He caught me instantly and pulled me up against his chest. "I'm sorry." I whispered and his body shook, but I couldn't tell what it was from.

"Don't you dare." He pulled away enough to put my chin in his hand and his eyes scanned my face. He frowned as he took it what was obviously bruises. He put the back of his hand against the one at my jaw. "No wonder you weren't talking as much as you usually do."

I would have protested that, as I was pretty quiet usually but his hand felt so good there, like an ice pack to sooth the swelling. He wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me back towards the car. "I'm getting you proper food." His fingers grazed my chin another time before he moved around the car again and taking the car out of Port Angeles.

I would just have to pick up my supplies later, I guess. He pulled into the wharf a moment later, I hadn't realized he was heading here first. He found someone and made sure I was still in the car as he talked to a man. Finally, the man pulled out a large crate of ingredients and Edward pulled out a large amount of money and they switched burdens. I wanted to protest the need to take care of it for me, but as I attempted to get out, I hesitated, even though I knew him- I just couldn't get myself to open the door. Edward put it into the trunk and we were off again.

I must have dosed for the next thing I knew, I was in Seattle. The only reason I knew that, was because the large Space Needle was looming in front of me. Edward parked the car and helped me out. "Come on." Then before I knew it, we were in an elevator, heading up to the rotating dinning floor.

"This is good food?" I teased, feeling a little better now that I had slept a little and allowed some time to pass since the incident.

"It's more upscale than anything in Port Angeles." He agreed. "I felt like it would be a nice change."

I nodded and allowed him to lead me with a hand at my waist. I was feeling more confident in my foot steps, though I still stumbled once or twice and as one foot left the solid floor rooted to the ground through the building and onto the turning one, I almost fell over, but Edward caught me.

Somehow we made it to a table, and we were secluded from any other patron. I wondered vaguely how big of a tip he gave our hostess to get this set-up. Though to be honest, it was nearing the end of the usual heavy dinner time.

The hostess placed the menus in front of us, giving Edward a clear view of her assets and practically salivated over him as she looked at him. She plopped my menu down in front of me before leaving and swaying her hips more than necessary. I looked over at Edward, but he was casually looking through the food offerings. He noticed my look and rose an eyebrow.

I only shook my head at him, either he didn't notice because he was that kind of guy, or he was so used to it, and expected it, that his standards were too high for something so obvious. It might have even been a mix of both. And that wouldn't surprise me, I admitted to myself as I looked at him, looking at the menu.

"What do you want to eat?"

"I'm not hungry." I responded, looking at him as if he had gained another head. "What I want is answers." He frowned at that and shut his menu. I hadn't even looked at mine, knowing it was pointless and nothing would really capture my attention. "You'll be giving me answers tonight. I won't take no as an answer."

He sighed and leaned back in his chair, looking at me over the single candle's glow. I was going to press the issue when he let out a short nod. "I will answer, most, of your questions. There are a few I cannot answer, especially not now."

I cast my mind to figure out where to start. I looked out the window we were seated near, and looked down at the darkened streets. They were lit up in places by the buildings, streetlights and cars as people moved around the city, preparing for it to close up until the next morning. The hours were longer, but the pattern was the same as Forks. I thought about Forks and all the questions I had burning there, but I couldn't start with them, I needed more time and we were in a way too public of a place for those questions, with interruptions everywhere and the likelihood he'd answer them without sufficient warming up would be nill.

So instead I focused on today. My mind wanted to shy away from the events leading us together tonight, but I had to face this head on. I would push the actual event away and focus instead on his part of it. My eyes slid away from the city's glow, we were entering the darkened region free from most lights, as we crossed the viewing of the bay. While beautiful, it was too empty to gain much insight into my own mind or thoughts and but it could possibly allow me the peace to collect my thoughts into a semblance of order.

"Where have you been the last few days?" I started there, maybe it could answer how he'd end up in Port Angeles when I was, and I'd get two answers for one question.

"I was camping. We were near the Canadian border, that way Rosalie and Emmett could join us without a problem."

"When did you leave to come back to Forks?"

"A couple of hours ago. I wanted to be home for the game today."

I calculated that in my mind, unless he had left the camping trip early, the possibility that he got to Forks, watched the game and then up to Port Angeles was slim. He was lying to me and as I cast him a look, he sighed and came clean.

"I was worried about you, with me being gone so long... I thought you might have gotten into trouble again."

I swallowed. "So you went to Forks."

"And I couldn't find you, I learned that you were in Port Angeles."

"So why didn't you come talk to me earlier?" I asked, a little disturbed by the fact that he came to Forks to watch over me today, and then found that I had left the city, only to follow me to my destination and to stalk my movements and yet not keep close enough eye on me to protect me, when I did need it?

"I didn't get to Port Angeles until almost sundown. I drove around for awhile looking for you. I was almost too late."

"How did you find me?" I asked, but my questioning was delayed as the waiter came to take our order. "Nothing for me, thanks." I told him as his eyes gazed lazily at me then turned to Edward with that same bored look.

"A glass of white wine, two glasses of water and the Salmon Pasta." Edward ordered and the waiter left without even taking out his order pad. I sighed and leaned back into the seat while pushing up my purple sweater's sleeves. I wasn't going to get my answers now, most likely, but even as I was thinking this, Edward's hand shot out and captured mine and pulled it towards him. I was pulled along with it awkwardly.

"Wha-?" I asked, realizing how tired I was at that moment because of the lack of ability to even speak clearly.

He didn't respond right away, instead he was looking at my right wrist, turning it in his inspection. He ghosted his fingers along the punished flesh and wrapped his own hand in an attempt to sooth it and reduce the inflammation. When I tried tugging it away, embarrassed by the attention he was giving me, his eyes snapped up to mine. I was falling again, I couldn't feel anything in my body, but no, it wasn't falling, but more of a floating feeling as I looked into those darkened irises. "Do you hurt anywhere else?" He asked gently, turning his hand to reach out and put it back against my jaw, where he already knew was a bruise.

I shook my head. It was a lie, but I didn't want him to worry about me. In truth though, there was probably a bruise forming along the upper part of my left arm where the other guy had grabbed me, and a couple of bruises on my breasts and hip, from where I was squeezed. There was also probably a scrape or a very large, ugly bruise. It hurt to move my knee and I kept it carefully stable. I wondered if it was even more than that, but I wouldn't bring it to Edward's attention, because it probably wasn't. It definitely wasn't a break, I'd know that, as I've had many in my life.

He frowned at my answer. "You're lying."

I sighed, I wasn't a good liar, I knew that, and I don't know why I even thought it was possible to get away with it, especially Edward who seemed more intuitive than most. "It's nothing." I responded and turned my eyes to his, challenging him. "You didn't answer my question, how did you find me?"

He didn't answer. He didn't answer for so long, that I was preparing to push the issue, when our food came. The waiter set the shrimp pasta in front of Edward and put down two glasses of water and the hostess from earlier put the wine down. When the two of them left, I noticed a piece of paper under the glass of wine. Edward lifted the glass and removed the paper before I could. Then he put the glass in front of me.

"Drink it." He ordered and pressed it into the palm he still had a hold of. My fingers curled around it, looking at him in confusion. "It'll help settle your nerves. Just one though."

I frowned, he needn't have done that, but I took it to me and took a sip, to appease him. "You found me." I stated and he nodded, settling back into his chair and I took another sip.

"I lied earlier." He stated, and I looked at him to continue. "I was up here earlier than I said. You and the other girls were in the wharf, when you had just gotten there, and I was satisfied that nothing would happen to you in the mean time, so I drove around, I'd try to catch up with you later and 'run into you', and I kept tabs on them occasionally, but I missed it when the two of them split off. Their thoughts were occupied with other things, so I didn't notice. Then as it was nearing sundown, they were starting to wonder about you, and that's when I knew that you were gone."

"Wait, their thoughts?" I asked, it was a little weird.

Edward froze, his face a little bit tense before a complete mask covered over it of neutrality. "I didn't mean it like that."

"Then what did you mean?" I asked, knowing when he was lying too. "Or are you going to tell me some story now, and then later tell me you lied again?"

His jaw clenched before he relaxed it, looking at me. "You are trustworthy, aren't you?" He mused to himself. Then he nodded, I was wondering if he always talked to himself like this, and he leaned forward, I did as well. "I can read minds. I hear people's thoughts."

I leaned back, taking another sip of my wine, and he nodded at my reaction, as if knowing that's what I was going to do. But he probably thought I was thinking he was crazy, or scared, instead I was curious and I told him so. Then he frowned, and I knew I was right. "So, you can read minds? What am I thinking right now?" It was a stupid parlor trick question, and I felt like an idiot for asking such a cliché question, knowing it sounded skeptical to ask it.

He chuckled, his face relaxing. "Ah, something normal!" He teased and I blushed, I felt his eyes sharpen on the action but it only caused the blush to deepen. He tensed on his side of the table. When the blush subsided, so too did his tension. "That's just the thing, isn't it?" He mused quietly, but this time I felt like he was including me in his dialogue. "I can read everyone's minds, except for yours."

"So, I'm a freak?" I asked, looking put out, I always knew there was something wrong with me.

"See, I tell you I hear voices, and you think you're the freak? That's what I'm talking about, never an expected reaction." When I opened my mouth to repeat my question, he only shook his head. "You're a blessing and an irritant." He told me, taking the untouched food and plopping it down in front of me. "You won't burn yourself now. Eat it."

I frowned. "You ordered it."

"I already ate. Besides, I ordered it for you, you need it." I refused and he narrowed his eyes. "If you eat it, I'll talk."

I reluctantly dug in, shrimp wasn't my favorite, I wasn't really a fan of any type of fish, but I had to admit as I pointedly took a bite, that it was good. Maybe I just had the wrong type of shrimp all these years.

He took my cue and relaxed into his chair, realizing he was caught if he really wanted me to eat. "I have the ability to read minds, like I've already said. You being blocked to me, it is a relief as I don't always have the buzzing in the back of my head when its just the two of us. Even though I usually try to block it out, I still catch snippets when I'm not paying attention. The more I know a person, the clearer their voice becomes and the further away I can be from them to hear them."

I took another bite, urging him to continue. This was all very interesting.

"You being blocked to me is also very irritating. I am used to hearing whoever I want, and not having to actually interact with them. I do have to watch myself though sometimes that I don't answer the question they have in their head verses the one they say." He hesitated and then looked at me. "You can't think your a freak when I say this." I nodded my agreement, though we both knew, that I might still. "But I really wish I knew your thoughts, because the words and reactions you have, aren't what I would expect from any other girl."

I frowned. "I'm not like a normal girl?" I asked, before I realized I spoke out loud.

He laughed. "Yes. And for that, I'm thankful. Normal girls irritate me in their mundane chatter, both in their head or out loud."

"So, what are people thinking around here?" I asked, my eyes going around the room, and I frowned as I saw a girl with spiky pink hair and a nerdy looking guy sitting with her. My thoughts were comparing them to me and my companion, and I was probably that nerdy guy of the relationship, not quite up to standard to my companion, and people wondering what the more interesting one saw in the plain, boring and ugly one.

Edward's gaze followed mine and he laughed. "The girl is thinking if its inappropriate to take him on the table in the middle of the restaurant. The guy is thinking about a couple of different things, his attraction to her and wondering why he would even think someone so crazy is attractive, when he would never be able to be seen with her at work. He's also undressing her in his mind. But he's also thinking about his animals at home and if his mom has fed them yet and if she would be asleep by the time they get there."

"She's just thinking one thing?" I asked, amazed.

"Eat Bella." He chided softly and I put another forkful in my mouth. I really wasn't all that hungry, but if it pleased him, I would eat half of it. My wine was gone already and he nudged one of the waters towards me. "She's determined not to act on her thoughts but she wants him."

I almost snorted, that could have described me once Jacob and I were married, it was hard to keep our hands to ourselves long enough to get through a single dinner in public. We never made it through private ones, unless Billy or Charlie were around, then it kind of threw a bucket of ice water over our desires. I paused, I hadn't thought about Jacob once since the incident. I glanced at my dainty silver watch, it was nearing the time he usually called me at night. If I didn't answer, he might get a little worried...

"Do you want to leave?" Edward asked, taking in my action and I hesitated, I wanted to know more, but I also felt bad about my lack of Jacob thoughts until this moment and I didn't want to miss his call. Finally, I settled on shaking my head no, because there was no way we'd make it before it was too late, especially from Seattle, even with how fast he drove.

My gaze went out onto the city again, and I smiled slightly at the music building as we arrived in that direction, the building was very amusing as I learned a long time ago that it had very good acoustics but the shape entertained me. It stuck out in several different directions and they arched up and around. "I have to make a phone call really quickly." I bit my lip and patted my pocket for my phone.

He stood up as I did, and seemed to hesitate against my leaving his sight, but then nodded and waited for me to leave the table before he sat back down. I went down a level, so the noise would be easier to converse, and leaned against the wall, and felt the air come in through the window, it calmed any remaining nerves and I breathed it in deeply before hitting the send button.

"Bella." Jacob's voice breathed over the phone in relief. "Where are you? Are you all right?"

"I'm fine Jake. I went with Jessica and Angela to Port Angeles today, but we are still here, I guess we went a little over time." I told him trying to ease his anxiety.

"Oh." He paused. "Good. I called your house, but Charlie said you weren't there. I wasn't sure if something had happened for you to miss my phone call. It's getting late. Are you going to be home soon?"

"I don't think so. We were thinking about catching a movie." I was so glad that he couldn't see my face, because I was sure he would know I'm lying even before I got a single word out. I wouldn't usually lie to him, but I knew his dislike for the Cullens, and in particular for this particular Cullen, that I didn't want to flare up his worry and anger. He would again blame it on all being orchestrated to get into my good graces, and I doubted that severely. There was something more going on that neither told me, and why would one of the Cullens want to get close to me, even with my father's connections, if it was something more than Charlie could handle?

"Ok." Jacob stated, still with a little stress in his voice, but relaxing with my assurance. "Please call me when you get home. I love you, and take care of yourself, will you?"

I agreed and with my own sentiments, I hung up the phone, before calling Angela. "Hey Ang, I'm home, please don't worry anymore. It's not good for you or the baby."

"Please Bella, you wouldn't know the first thing about pregnancy." She teased, and it was true. I was never really around babies, instead spending most of my time with older people. "Well, I'm glad your home. I'm going to swing by the restaurant tomorrow and see how the rest of your night went." We disconnected soon afterwards and was looking forward to some more one on one time with her.

I couldn't believe I got away with two lies in one night, again, Edward was probably just as prone at reading people's body language as he was their minds, and mine was no exception. I went back upstairs and Edward looked like he was getting antsy from my current distance. It must not be that fun for him, not eating or drinking and getting pressed for information. Maybe I should take it easier on him? Except, I wouldn't get my answers otherwise.

I returned to the table, intending on giving him a reprieve, he gave me information I wasn't expecting, and I would just have to look up my other answers in my book, but as I sat down to tell him such, he pushed my plate closer. "It might be a little cold."

I shrugged and took a bite, he wasn't anymore prepared to leave than I was. "Where were we?" I might as well get all of it on the table.

He shook his head. "First I want to talk to you about something. Are you feeling any better?"

"Yes. Much. You were right, this food is better than anything I would find in Port Angeles."

He shot me a glance, clearly irritated at my answer, as that was not what he was asking, instead of making me rephrase, he cleared his through. "I'm glad. This next part, I don't want you to freak out or anything about it, but I have to know. What were you planning to do? You were completely surrounded, why didn't you run? Or scream?"

"I tried to run, I tripped."

"Is that why you were on your knees?" He asked, and I had a feeling he knew the truth, I just didn't know why he was pushing this issue.

"I got back up, and prepared to fight them off." I responded, and he nodded, he did know that I was planning it.

He held up a finger when I was going to retort on that. "I saw in the man's eyes that you were straightening up and there was a look of determination on your face. I just wanted to know what was going through your head and why you wouldn't run. Now I know. But again, I have to ask, why didn't you scream?"

"I didn't at first, for whatever reason, I couldn't even tell you."

"Instead you spat at him." Even with the reprimand in his tone, I could see a smirk waiting to quirk up at the notion.

"Then I couldn't scream. He'd backhanded me and punched my jaw." I answered his question. "There is another question I'd like to ask you, is how did you find me?"

"I told you, I can read minds." When I shook my head, I noticed a strain in his entire body with having not only to relive his end of things, but also to explain it out loud. I was going to tell him it was all right, that he didn't need to tell me if it was that painful, but he started talking before me. "I was franticly looking around the city, driving, listening in, trying to find someone who even recognized you in their minds. I got nothing. Then I went back to Jessica and Angela and they were saying that you were going to a couple of different places. I knew about the wharf, and I had already scanned their minds, knowing that nobody remembered seeing you recently. Then I checked out the spare parts store, and still, there was nothing. I got to the book store, and I knew you'd been there."

"The bookstore clerk was thinking about me?" I didn't think my presence was that noticeable and Edward's behavior confirmed it.

"No, I just knew." He was evading another question, and knew it was something he couldn't answer, so I didn't push it. "Anyways, I tried following it and it lead me somewhere I couldn't go by foot." I had gone by foot, why couldn't he? I pushed that thought to the side for a moment and nodded for him to continue. He was avoiding that too for a reason.

"I wasted a lot of time, trying to find a way around it, and I still didn't know where you currently were. That's when I heard his thoughts. They were all disgusting, but the others weren't specific, just vague thoughts. His stuck out."

I reached out to cover his hand but he pulled away instinctively, but returned his hand to the table and wrapped one around my hand and put another around my bruised wrist. "What was he thinking?"

"Vile things. He was hoping you were a virgin. He gets off on the pain." Edward's face clenched and I squeezed his hand. It didn't react like it normally would, instead it felt like I was squeezing cold marble, I almost hurt myself in the process. I looked down at our hands in surprise, but he only squeezed lightly back and I returned to his eyes.

"It must be awful knowing exactly what people are thinking instead of only guessing at them." He was still editing for me, but at least I was getting the truth.

"It's not something I always get used to." He agreed. "I try to ignore it, but directed towards you, I just felt furious." I cocked my head at that and he snapped his mouth shut. I realized he wouldn't explain that now, or he couldn't. "I used to take out my anger at them, I'm not a good person Bella, you should run away and stay away from me."

"I can't." I disagreed. "You're always the one coming to me to save me." I teased.

"I can't stay away from you. I'm too selfish, but if you tell me to leave you alone, I will. I've tried to stay away, but I'm too weak."

"There shouldn't be any reason for you to stay away."

He sighed and reached up, pushing a strand of hair out of my face and behind my ear. "You are too trusting." Then he continued his story. "I heard him think 'she's so easy- so into her book'. I knew it was you. I've seen you read at the cafe when you think no one is watching, the cafe could burn down around you, and you wouldn't notice. I only caught a whisper of it, and then it was gone. I caught the others, thinking vague thoughts. I finally heard his voice as he spoke to you, about you being feisty. Then I heard about the ring on your hand, between the two of them, one was thinking slightly kinder thoughts, that at least you would know how to do him. The one in front was furious but would take advantage of your 'skills'." Edward's face turned absolutely disgusted. "The things they were thinking of making you do-" I heard him growl softly, reigning it in for me and I clutched at his hand, not in fear for myself, but for Edward. I once again thought that he seemed older than seventeen.

"It's all right, it's over now."

"They'll go and do it to another girl. You weren't the first Bella, and you wouldn't have been the last. A few of them didn't know it, but he was planning on you dying. Like some of the others." He held my hand tightly and I tried to flex my fingers, he let go instantly, and worried over if he bruised me. I waved him off. I bruised too easily anyways, my body should have been used to it, seeing as how often it happened. "I was stuck, I couldn't get to you on time. Bella, I was too late."

"You saved me." I argued. "Don't ever think anything but that. You saved me last week, and you saved me today. You might not have been able to prevented a few bruises, but I knew where he was heading when he opened his pants and I was forced to my knees. You stopped that from happening, you stopped anything else that could have happened too. You weren't too late."

He didn't agree, but he didn't argue back. I wanted to push it more, but something in me warned me not to and so I didn't. He looked down at the watch on my wrist and nodded. "We better get you home. As it is, we'll just get to your doorstep nearing one."

I sighed and after he paid, with several protests from me, we left the Space Needle. When we were outside, he noticed my slight shiver, since it had been so nice out, I had left my parka in Angela's car during the wharf visit. I'd have to call her tomorrow and ask her for it before she came in. The next thing I knew, was that Edward's jacket was over my shoulders and he held it open for me to slid my arms through it.

I thanked him and he opened the door for me to allow me to sit. He closed it as I buckled my own seatbelt and it took him longer to get into his seat than earlier. And as I was buckling myself in, I vaguely noticed that my pants were buttoned close. I thought through that, I didn't redo it, in fact I had forgotten all about it. The only time Edward had even been close to my waist was when he buckled me in while in the alley.

He noticed my questioning look and returned it. I blushed deeply. "I think that's so adorable." He commented vaguely and I deepened my curiosity. "The blush." He clarified. My blush only deepened. "It's also distracting as hell. Don't think I don't like it when I react negatively, I have a reason why, but I can't tell you."

I nodded. I didn't know why, but it deepened even more, and I was sure if he said another word, I would combust through my cheekbones. I didn't know why his opinion mattered. Maybe Jacob was right, maybe I was suffering through some type of hero worship complex with Edward. He had saved me twice in almost as many days. It was uncanny how he was always there, but I was glad for it. I was never in this much danger in the past though, and I wonder what sparked it off.

As he drove, I noticed he didn't even look at the road, but instead was looking at me. I protested. "Built in scanner." He teased, with a tap to his forehead. "Even so, I'm not reckless, there's nothing I could hit."

"Fine." I mumbled. "But could you at least slow down?" I was starting to get a little nauseous.

He slowed down twenty miles an hour less and shot me an irritated glance, he obviously didn't like going slow. "Do you mind if I ask you a question?"

"Yes." I agreed. "I do mind."

"Please, just one question."

"Fine."

"What is your theory?"

"I don't really know myself." I hedged, knowing exactly what he meant and kicking myself for leaving me wide-open and agreeing to answer this question. He'd only laugh at me. "I've thought about, capes and costumes and radioactive changes."

I attempted to make it as vague as possible, but he still laughed and I scowled at him. "Sorry." He held up his hands and I gasped at the action. He didn't put his hands back on the wheel for a minute, taunting me and finally when my hand on the door became white, he finally relented and returned one. He was still laughing, and after a moment to get my heartbeat back to normal, I glared at him again, for still laughing at me. He knew exactly what I was referencing. "Isn't that all superhero stuff? People magically transformed into something better?" He finally asked.

I rolled my eyes. "I'm working on it." In fact, that's what I had really thought at first, liking him with Superman or Spider-man, instead, I knew it was something a little darker, though superheros sometimes had dark pasts as well. I also wondered how Jacob fell into all of this. Though as he stifled another chuckle, I admit, it was a little far-fetched, superheros, fairy-tales and what I've come to believe don't really exist. But then again, all the signs- I couldn't complete disregard it.

Edward's gaze lingered on me for a moment before returning to look forward, at seemingly nothing. Then he spoke again, but there was a hard edge to his voice. "I'm not the good guy. I wasn't magically transformed by something to be the hero who saves the day. I'm not good, I'm very bad."

"Ludicrous!" I snapped. "You are not bad. I don't know why you ever started this train of thought, you've saved me twice!"

"That's because your clumsy." He laughed. "And danger seems to be a magnet towards you. If it isn't me, it's your husband, and if its not him, it's those men or some car trying to take you down." His amusement at my clumsiness turned sour as he realized that it only put me in harms way, and it wasn't such an enduring trait.

"It had been getting better. I would get through whole days at a time without needing stitches or to set something or even get a bruise. In fact I had a few days where I didn't trip once."

"And now, you are worse?"

"I don't know if I was ever supposed to be good all the time. My father's genes in me I guess, but he's gotten better over time, no longer tripping over his own feet." I laughed then. "I fear for any kids Jacob and I will have, with his height and awkwardness when he was growing, and my skills in walking a straight line, I fear that they'll be dead before the age of one."

"I'm sure Jacob would never let any of your children hurt themselves, he seems to protective for that." Edward bit out tersely, and I realized that children was a very weird subject. Even for me, one who didn't want any, and Edward probably wasn't even thinking in that direction yet.

But I had to say one last thing on the subject. "You probably wouldn't even let a child of yours out of your sight, or out of the house, for that matter."

Edward snorted. "If it was a child between the two of us, you'd probably be right."

The words froze me to the spot, a child with Edward? It was very inappropriate and as he looked over at me again, wondering what he said to make me suddenly freeze, he did too. "I- didn't mean it like that." I didn't know if that was the truth or not, maybe there was something in there that I wasn't seeing. "I just meant if it was my child and they had a mom like you who would pass on her clumsy genes, I would have to worry constantly about them. If they took after me though, I probably wouldn't care what they would do."

I had a feeling that he was saying more than I understood, but the conversation was null and void as he was barely eighteen and I was married to someone else, we wouldn't be having kids, it wasn't possible. Even if I wasn't married, it wasn't right, and I really should put some distance between Edward Cullen and I, he might have gotten an unhealthy attachment to me. Angela and I had been talking in the car about them, and how children who move a lot have weird mentalities towards strangers. I probably became his interest because he wanted something to hold on to here. I turned my head and looked out at the road flying by. I would tackle out issues later, I would start by telling him that he shouldn't be attracted to me if he was. He was very attractive, I was sure he could find someone closer to his age.

I never got a chance to say anything else to him as he pulled up to my house, and I got out, giving him back his jacket. "Good night Bella, have good dreams."

"Thank you. Good night." I closed the door and walked up to the porch, I was just going to make my phone call to Jacob then, but Edward was waiting for me. "What?" I asked softly.

"You think I saved you earlier tonight, just to let something happen to you now? Go inside." He said from the rolled down window he peaked his head through to talk to me.

I grumbled and opened the door and went inside. My earlier assessment about him making sure I was safely delivered to Charlie, held through. But when I got inside, I heard the familiar rumble of Charlie's snore and smiled softly to myself. I dialed Jake, just to let him know that I was home. Then I headed up the stairs, tomorrow was going to be a long day.

EAN: *Wince*, Don't shoot me... I'm going into hiding so you can't find me and burn me alive with this chapter as kindling.... Let me know what you think, and maybe I'll come back out... (Like the gofer and the start of spring... you have to entice me out...)