Chapter One

"I love you," he said.

"I have to go," she said. She was confused. She had never felt this way before. Sure she knew his secret, and had finally met his whole family, but that was the problem, and she was afraid to love.

She turned after he kissed her on the cheek and walked into her house. At this moment, Bella was very grateful that he couldn't read her mind. She wasn't even sure of what she was even thinking. Hopefully a night of good sleep would help clear her mind. Tomorrow, would be better… right?

Bella slowly walked down the steps. He was at the front door, but she didn't feel like letting him in. She wasn't ready yet. They'd be heading off to school in the next few minutes, and then it would be even worse. She could do without going to school and staying locked up in her house for a couple days. Or weeks. Bella wasn't ready to face it.

He didn't ask any questions, even though it was bothering him. They loved each other, right? He held the door open as she slid into the Volvo, catching a glimpse of her perfect legs. He did love her, and he did want her.

Edward didn't try to push trying to hold her hand, for Bella had them tightly wrapped around her books and continued to face down.

Lunch, that's what she was trying to avoid. That was going to be the worst. Maybe she could sneak away, or go to the nurse to fake sick. Or… should she face it? Maybe Bella just needed to accept it and move on.

Her classes went by too fast, and Edward always met up to walk her to each one, making it even harder. Bella barely spoke a word, but Edward didn't push. He still wore that charming smile and wrapped his arm around her waist.

Then it was lunch time. She could barely walk slowly enough. Bella felt as though Edward was dragging her with his arm that was clenched around her. It was suddenly getting hot, and she spotted the table. Rosalie and Emmett were sitting on one side and Jasper and Alice on the other. Soon, she would be forced to join them, and have to talk, and face Edward, and her problem.

Bella tried spending forever in the lunch line, being picky about what food she wanted, although she was far from hungry. It was a surprise when Edward whispered in her ear, "You're turning red."

"I'm sorry," she responded shaking her head. "I just… don't feel good," which was the truth. She hadn't lied to him yet.

Out of the corner of her eye she felt Alice's stare on her and Edward. She couldn't read the feeling behind it, but just knew it was there. Then, they were off. To sit down at the table. With all of the Cullens.

Bella could tell her eyes were set on her the whole time. She was sitting diagonal from Alice, and finally decided to put her head up to eye level. Her sight first went to Alice, unintentionally. She couldn't help but get butterflies, and almost wanted to laugh at herself. She loved her hair, which looked like silk. And her beautiful gold eyes, that seemed more tempting than the others. She couldn't help but be jealous of her flawless face, and wanted to touch her and… no. This was wrong.

"Are you alright Bella?" she asked, her voice laced with its usual velvet tone.

It took a second for Bella to stop staring at Alice and realize she was asking her something. Her feelings became more intense and a wave of embarrassment washed over her, but then suddenly, she was calm. Bella glanced at Jasper as he stared back with his usual solemn expression. But, honestly, she was glad. No more worrying for her, at least for a while.

"Well, for now I am," she answered, and couldn't help but to smile.

For the first time, Alice looked… confused, but smiled back.

With a deep breath, Bella made it through the rest of lunch and as Edward and her started to walk her back to his car at the end of the day, he couldn't hold back his questions.

"Bella, I've been waiting all day for an explanation."

Where would she start? She couldn't tell him now. She had to think fast. Edward was coming over and Charlie wouldn't be home until later, so of course he would be playing 20 Questions with her. It was too much pressure and they were getting closer to the Volvo; closer to being alone together.

"I'm sorry Edward, I've just been stressing out… over Exams coming up."

Then she spotted her. Alice was gracefully stepping across the parking lot, and soon locked eyes with Bella. With a smile, she headed towards the two, making Bella's heart speed up.

That was it, Alice was the answer.

"Alice!" Edward greeted her.

"Hey, Alice," Bella started, her voice was uneasy. "Would you like to come with us to-"

"Of course! I already saw that we were going to study today," Alice answered with a grin. Her perfect, pink lips opened over her straight, perfect teeth.

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-Marcy