Quick note: I was always under the impression that everything that happened in Eclipse took place in 2007, but according to the Lexicon timeline, it was all in 2006. But that doesn't really work for me, so 2007 it is.
It appears as though Albert Hammond was wrong, Edward muses while shifting his carry-on bag to his other shoulder. It's cloudy and grey outside, the ground still damp from an earlier storm, and Edward senses another thunderstorm about 45 minutes away. This weather is far from desirable for the SoCal natives, but utterly perfect for the proverbial creature of the night. After such meticulous care to avoid sunlight in Phoenix, and there was plenty of sun, it feels good to be able to relax in more inclement conditions.
But the dark skies and slight chill remind Edward of Forks, and Forks reminds him of Bella. Well, everything reminds him of Bella. He misses her, her current absence an acute pain in his unbeating heart. But it's a necessary evil, this time apart, and soon they'll have forever together. Forever. He can't help but smile, the image of his perfect Bella wearing his mother's ring a permanent picture in his mind.
His trip to Arizona to talk with Renee had been his idea, and although Bella was resistant, he knew that she knew it had to be done. His future wife's mother deserved better than a phone call, and Edward saw the look in Bella's eyes that told of the importance of Renee's opinion.
If Charlie's blessing had been difficult to secure, Renee's was near impossible. Edward's incredibly thankful for his unique ability, which allowed him to assuage every one of Renee's concerns before she even spoke of them. But he couldn't do much about her fury over the timing. Why can't you just wait? He sighs as he remembers the anguish on her face, frustration that her daughter was now repeating all of her mistakes. I wish we could, Renee, he had thought. I wish that more than anything. Aloud, he spoke of their love and mutual desire to not waste any time apart. But he knew the explanations were weak even as he said them.
In the end, Renee had accepted the August date. She was still angry, furious even, but her love for Bella was more important. She hoped for the best but expected the worst, and mentally promised herself that she would be there for her daughter if it were all to fall apart. Edward left Phoenix feeling bittersweet; he was happy that he was able to do this for his love, to help alleviate one of her largest concerns, but it ached to know that Renee would never be able to truly be there for Bella ever again. A mother's love was no match for a vampire's bite.
Now he is on a layover in San Diego. In his anxiousness to see Bella again, he had considered foregoing the flight to Washington in favor of sprinting back to Forks on foot. With the ridiculous security measures, it would probably be much faster. But at this time he longs for a bit of normalcy in anyway he can secure it, and so he will travel by plane. He's sure Alice will have Bella preoccupied with wedding details anyway. He has to chuckle to himself as he pictures Bella's face as Alice discusses place settings.
Taking advantage of the rain, Edward exits the airport in favor of a fancy diner across the way. He needs to stretch, to be free from the crowds. It is an early morning in late June, and the diner is surprisingly empty save a handful of people. Edward takes a seat at the counter beside a teenage boy and orders a coffee. The young waitress grins, her eyes flitting between Edward and the boy to his right. She attempts small talk as she pours his coffee, and then inquires about a refill for the boy. He holds his hand up to let her know it's not necessary, but he offers no words and never raises his head. Edward regards him curiously, noting that the boy is staring intently at a pocket watch clutched in his hand. His thoughts are rapid, much quicker than Edward is used to, and Edward can't help but to sneak a look into the kid's mind, which is all loud words and bright flashes of images even Edward has a hard time seeing clearly.
Should've brought the lighter. Watch will be better. Maybe she'll use the watch. Where did I leave the lighter? Top of the dresser. Where the hell is she? This coffee sucks. Where is she?
Edward needs a break. The boy's nervous, obviously, and his racing thoughts are giving Edward a headache. So he drowns him out and instead focuses on his coffee, which is slowly growing cold. He uses his spoon to stir sugar into the full cup and tries to remember what the concoction tasted like. The memories are fuzzy but he's sure he didn't like it.
He sighs audibly as time ticks by at a snail's pace. Time meant nothing to him before Bella; hours, weeks, years...all just blurring together at breakneck speeds. But now every moment is measured against her. Days when they're together are over far too soon, and the hours they're apart drag on far too long.
The watch is on the countertop now, and the boy's thumb is rubbing concentric circles along the glass face. The watch is gold, relatively inexpensive but not quite cheap. Edward is sure its worth is far more sentimental. His father owned several pocket watches, and Edward still has two of them.
"Lovely pocket watch," Edward says, the words spoken before he even realizes it.
The boy looks up at him, regarding him wearily. Gay as an Easter basket, the boy thinks, and Edward's lips curl back in distaste.
"Yeah," the kid finally replies, his eyes back on his treasure. "It was my grandfather's."
"You don't see pocket watches very much now days," Edward offers. "Now it's all Rolex and Cartier."
"It's a real shame," the kid mutters, his voice uncaring.
He's a bit rude, no doubt, but there's something about the boy that fascinates him. He turns slightly on the stool and offers his hand. "Edward Cullen."
The kid eyes him derisively but finally returns the handshake. He bristles a bit at the cold, hard touch of Edward's hand. "Logan," he states flatly, offering no further information.
Echolls, he finishes in his mind, and with that comes a flood of thoughts so quick, so dark, so angry that Edward can't help but recoil.
Echolls. The name is vaguely familiar. In that moment Edward can't quite place it, and Logan has shut off his thoughts on the matter, willing away the darkness in favor of a girl. Edward sees her in Logan's mind as clearly as if she were standing before them. She is all blonde hair and blue eyes and a knowing smile. Her image seems to calm him and excite him all at once. Edward laughs softly. This boy is a comrade, a fellow slave to love.
Despite the intensity and speed of his thoughts, Logan's mind is like a good book. With more than an hour to kill until his flight, Edward desperately wants to settle in and read as much as he can. He's dreadfully nosy, he's aware, but it's rare to find someone with so much going on. He wants to know about this girl, this Veronica, and the complicated relationship that seems to simultaneously sustain and destroy this poor boy.
But it's none of his business. This he knows. So he turns back in his seat, regards his cold coffee, and waits with Logan in silence.
It is some moments later when the door chimes signal the arrival of the girl in question. Logan all but leaps from his seat, rushing to greet her. Edward's curiosity wins out, manners be damned, and he turns surreptitiously to watch them from the corner of his eye.
"Hey," she smiles, reluctant. "Sorry I'm late. You know how my dad drives."
"You still have some time before your flight. Want some breakfast?" He motions back to the counter with his thumb, and then awkwardly hunches his shoulders before shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. The pocket watch sits on the counter, seemingly forgotten.
Quite the pair, Edward can't help but think as he tries to gain a hold on Veronica's thoughts, a myriad of emotions swirling like a vortex in the middle of the Pacific.
"No thanks," she smiles softly, her focus on her feet. "We already ate."
Logan nods, the desire to reach out and touch her arm or cup her face nearly overwhelming him. Veronica's stance is firm- don't look up, don't fall back in. But oh how she wants to fall back in, how she wants to touch him too. Edward regards them sadly. As hard as it was for him and Bella, it was never this difficult. Every single one of their obstacles, whether it a vampire, a werewolf, a parent, was never really an obstacle at all as far as their hearts were concerned. Yet these two are still so young, and still so scared. They have all of the love, none of the insurance, and barely a fraction of the time.
"I just…I just wanted to tell you goodbye. And I wanted to give you something before you left," Logan says, turning on his heels to retrieve his watch. He hands it to Veronica, and her mouth drops open in surprise.
"Logan," she begins, but he holds his hand up mid-air to stop her sentence.
"I want you to take it with you," he tells her seriously, a small smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
She watches him intently, her lips curling up sheepishly. "To count the minutes until I come home?"
He shrugs. "I want you to take it with you," he repeats.
She nods, her small hand curling around the watch. "I'll bring it back to you when I get home," she says, a promise. Edward hears the thrumming of her heart against her chest and sees the unshed tears glistening in her eyes.
"Be safe," Logan tells her, his voice tight. Edward feels ashamed of himself for intruding on this intimate moment, but he can't seem to stop himself from continuing to listen in.
Veronica just nods again, her voice choked. She reaches up and quickly and tightly embraces Logan before turning and rushing out the door. Logan is stunned for a whole moment, but quickly gathers his wits and lumbers back to his seat. If Edward thought his thoughts were racing before…
Edward stands, reaching into his pocket. He throws a twenty on the counter for the two dollar coffee, and motions to the waitress that this is to cover Logan's drink as well. He grabs his bag, securing it over his shoulder in a hurry.
He turns to leave, intent to not betray Logan again by further prying, but stops himself. He bites his lip, torn between wanting to respect privacy and needing to reassure this young man. In the end, love wins out. It always does.
"She loves you, too," Edward tells him, his dark eyes meeting Logan's. "More than you could know, I'm sure." Logan is taken aback, his mouth opening and closing, his struggle for words visible. But Edward does not give him a chance to reply. He leaves in a flourish, far too fast to still maintain appearances as a hapless human.
Once again outside, Edward spots the sun slowly starting to peek out from behind the clouds, and he smiles to himself before rushing back into the airport, back to Bella, back to his heart.