"You have got to be kidding me," I mumbled in horror as I stared at the bright, flashing banner that read "Crystal Palace: Family Roller Skating Rink" from where I sat in the passenger's seat of Edward's Volvo.
"No," he said next to me, leaning forward just like I was over his steering wheel. "You've been skating before, right?"
I rolled my eyes to look at him sideways. "I can't walk down the sidewalk without finding something to trip on, and you expect me to do well wearing shoes with wheels!?" He couldn't be serious about this—I'd bust my skull open. Or worse: never leave the wall and look like a total idiot in front of all those ten and eleven year old kids who can skate as good as pros! Talk about 'fun'.
I hadn't noticed that Edward was laughing, and I glared at him through narrowed eyes when I finally did notice. He composed himself, but his eyes were still dancing with unreleased laughter. "This isn't funny, Edward." I glowered, leaning back in my seat and crossing my arms over chest tightly. "I'm not doing this,"
He rolled his eyes, leaning over and pressing his lips to mine, his hands moving to untie my arms from around my chest. I couldn't remember how to breathe, let alone why I was angry at him. When he pulled away, I was sure I had a stupid look on my face, blank, dazed. His lips pulled into my favorite smile and he chuckled low in his chest.
"Ah, I cannot wait to see you on skates, Bella." Edward said, his golden eyes dancing again.
"Grr, Edward, so help me, you're going to hate me after this." I growled. As soon as I was finished talking, he was opening my door, and helping me out of his Volvo. "I'm surprised you didn't avoid this." I said as he looped his arm around my waist.
"Why is that?" He breathed into my ear.
I shivered at the feeling of his cool, delicious breath wafting over my skin. "Because I will make a fool of myself, and people will look at you like you're taking care of a child who won't stop screaming."
"I'll do anything to see you blush, Bella."
"Of course you will," I grumbled, rolling my eyes.
He paid the over-priced fee of nine dollars a person to get us through the doors, and towed me over to one of the tables. I hadn't noticed until then that he had two pairs of shiny new inline roller blades. Oh, this was going to be Hell.
"Aren't beginners supposed to start out on roller skates, Edward?" I asked, still standing as he pulled his shoes off.
"Nonsense," he scoffed, tugging one inline skate onto his foot. "Now, Bella, get your shoes off."
I sighed, plopping down in the hard chair. Before I bent over to untie my laces, I looked around me for a moment. From the ceiling dangled red and green fuzzy strings that I suspected were from Christmas. The tiles on the ceiling were in need of repair, and I could only guess that the gaping holes at each end of the rink were from the hockey pucks being launched through the plaster. Behind us sat a row of out-dated arcade games and one knock-off Dance Dance Revolution—why they would have a dancing game at a roller skating rink I will never know. To our left was the 'DJ booth' and the rental skates; to our right was a dangerous snack bar that I wouldn't be going near due to the blue and white tiles that seemed to be recently waxed. I noticed the price of pizza—ten-fifty for pepperoni—and tried to think of a way to keep Edward from thinking I was hungry anytime throughout this event of torture. All around us skated kids who looked no older than nine or ten, looking perfect on the carpet as well as the wooded skating rink. There was a group of teenagers—around the ages of fifteen and sixteen, I guessed—that sat near one of the entrances to the rink, inline skates strapped to their feet as they leaned against the wall and tapped on their cell phones. Wow, they looked like they were enjoying the loud, Top 40 music blasting out of the six speakers. The one located closest to Edward and I seemed to be one second a head of the rest, and the off-beat music made me twitch.
"Bella, come on," Edward's voice came from in front of me. He was kneeling on one knee, one of my feet in his hands as he yanked my shoe off. "The sooner we get on that rink, the sooner you'll learn how to skate."
"I'm never going to be able to stand in these things, Edward," I winced as he pulled me up onto my unstable, wheeled-feet. I clawed at his arm to keep from dipping too far backward or forward. These kids made it look ridiculously easy. Damn them.
Edward chuckled, pealing my hands from his arm and skated backwards away from me. I stood there, my knees shaking and my eyes huge, still slightly bent at the waist, horror struck. He was seriously going to put me through this. I could live without this human experience; he still needed to give me my end of the deal (after I marry him of course).
"Edward," I squeaked as I felt my right foot inch forward. I didn't want to fall—I didn't need any more bruises than I already had. He sniffed a laugh and skated the small space between us until I could latch onto his arm again.
"Just wait until we get on the rink. They waxed the wood today." I glared up at him as he said this. "Sorry, I didn't know about the whole cleaning, I swear!" he mended his statement. Sure he didn't know. Alice would find any way to embarrass me—this was just another one of her sick jokes.
He pulled me along, my feet shaking under me, to one of the entrances of the rink. "Bella, you're stepping, don't step."
"I'm sorry, but I was taught how to walk when I was two, not skate." I said curtly, my eyes on my disastrous feet. I felt him chuckled next to me.
I was horribly aware of all the people watching us. I was making Edward look like a fool—more than usual with my klutziness everyday without skates—I was just going to embarrass him. But he didn't look like he was in the slightest bit worried about what the others were thinking; and I knew what they were thinking, even without Edward's power. They were snickering in their tiny little skulls.
"Edward, you're going to pay for this. . . ." I said under my breath, knowing he could hear me.
He chuckled, catching me right before I was about to fall. "And how would that be, love?"
"I'll have Emmett make you into a puzzle." I grumbled. He laughed harder this time, but then cut off abruptly once I made my mind up.
"You've got to be kidding, Bella," he said, rolling his eyes, "It's just skating. You'll be fine."
I wasn't 'fine'. I was completely horrible. I clung to the wall while Edward skated gracefully around the rink three times before I made it fifteen feet. He always kept an eye on me, changing directions to watch me stumble and get frustrated. It was the first I ever really wished I could break his nose.
Why would he do this to me? I mean, really! He could turn me into his bright red strawberry just my touching me, but he had to drag me to a skating rink and let me be embarrassed by everyone.
I eventually gave up after clawing my way back to and entrance and 'stepping' to a table. Edward glided from the rink, not missing a beat as the hard wood turned to carpet, tile, carpet, and skidded to a halt next to me. He was hiding a smile.
"Can we go yet?" I asked, hiding my face in my hands. I couldn't handle this—there were two year olds better than me!
He chuckled, and I peeked with narrowed eyes at him between my fingers. "Bella, you haven't had fun yet." He said, his voice sounding like bells.
"I'll never have fun here!" I groaned, sitting back in the seat and crossing my arms over my chest. "You expect me to actually have fun on these deathtraps!?" I lifted my foot, which felt like I tied a cinderblock to it, for him to see. Two of the wheels continued with twirl in the air. Horrid inventions.
"Oh, Bella. . . ." he smirked, pulling me up onto my feet again. He wrapped his arms around my waist and I wasn't scared of falling anymore, he wouldn't drop me. "I won't let you leave until you have fun." Before I could respond, though, his lips were on mine. I felt my face catch on fire from the time it had been left to burn out while I was seated.
His hand traced from my lower back, around the curve of my elbow, up my arm, and up my neck until his fingers held the back of my head up carefully. My breathing was shallow, and I almost forgot all the kids in the place. Almost.
Edward pulled away too quickly, though I was out of breath, and smiled my smile down at me. "Can we try and have fun now?" he asked. I rolled my eyes, but nodded. He turned around, keeping hold of my hands, and placed them on his hips. I slid them up until I holding onto his waist. "Bella?" he asked, questioning the move.
"Easier to hold on." I said, blushing.
When he towed me back onto the rink, it wasn't as hard to keep my balance while I was hold onto Edward. It was like trying to stand while holding onto a stable boulder. One of his hands was always locked onto one of my own as he skated to the beat. My hair blew out behind me, and I found myself giddy at the feeling of going so fast.
"Does this mean you'll take me on a ride with you on your motorcycle?" I asked, daring to lean closer to speak into his ear. My motorcycle would never be able to keep up with whatever you called Edward's thing.
Abruptly, before he said anything, Edward flopped us—sort of. I was still facing the same way I was, but he was suddenly facing me, dancing through the crowd like they weren't even there. I knew my eyes were as wide as saucers, because I could see them reflected in Edward's liquid topaz.
He smirked. "If you can hold on, love." He kissed my forehead and turned to circle the rink, letting go of my hand.
"Edward!" I squeaked as I reached for his arm—for anything—but he was already speeding down the rink, and I was heading for the wall, sideways. He was behind me before he should have been, his arms wrapping around my waist and holding me steady as he started to speed down the rink, and turn at the opposite end.
"No motorcycle, Bella." He said in my ear, his icy breath soothing in the stuffy-over-crowded air. I laughed, sounding a bit hysterical, as he turned again around the rink. He was flying. I noticed then that he was pushing my feet along with his, and I looked down to see how, exactly to skate in these things. "Don't step, Bella," he said in my ear again, as if seeing what I was examining. "You push your feet out."
I couldn't seem to get it though, I kept lifting my feet—which, I guess, isn't the right way to skate in inline skates at least. He didn't let me fall, though. No, he wouldn't let that happen, though it's the only way I would really learn, he would snatch me up from certain death before I had the chance to know my neck was going to snap in half over my knee.
He pulled my skates off first when we were back at our table, smiling. "What's so funny?" I asked, whipping my forehead. I don't care if you have an ice block like Edward with you, skating is hot.
Edward shook his head, and slipped my shoes on my feet before finishing up with himself. It felt weird to stand after being three inches taller for a good four hours—I hadn't noticed how long we actually were here. I must've lost track of time.
Walking was ever worse. My feet felt heavy, not feather-light like I thought they should after being strapped in ten-pound skates for so long. I literally had to try and walk, instead of just trying to stay upright. Edward kept a secure hold on me until he had me safely strapped in his Volvo.
"You're going to be sore tomorrow. . . . Very sore," he warned, glancing at me sideways as he started out of the parking lot.
I rolled my eyes, "Oh, joy."
"So, did you have fun, Bella?" He asked. I could've sworn I saw his lips twitch into a smile.
As much as I wished I could say no, I had a brilliant time. And not because Edward was there—he was part of it, he didn't let me break my face—I loved the feeling of the wind in my hair, even the repetitive same direction was fun. "Yes." I admitted with a sigh. I let him laugh himself out before I continued. "We're going to have to do that again sometime . . . with Emmett, Jasper, Alice, and Rose. You all need to enter the races. I want to see that."