Disclaimer:I own not a thing.
Happy New Year…yeah, I'm really late. I am so sorry guy : ( I am going to try my hardest to get back into all my stories. I have fallen into such a funk; I hope you don't all hate me. If anyone out there is still reading, I hope you enjoy this chapter.
Edward gave me a pleading look but I nodded towards his still ringing phone. He sighed before answering, "What is it Alice?"
My whole body went rigid at that name. I swallowed hard and waited to see what she said. I couldn't exactly make at what she was saying, but by the look on Edwards face, it was bad. His face went very dark as he hung up the phone.
"You were right, she knows," was all he said as he stood up abruptly, our conversation from a few seconds ago completely forgotten.
I suck. I know, there are no explanations just excuses. I'm making no promises on the next update, hopefully a lot quicker than this came.
Edward was silent as he packed everything back into the basket. I decided it was probably best to not question him about the conversation but instead just follow his lead. Once he'd finished packing, he turned around and took my hand, leading me back to the car. He opened my door for me like the gentlemen he was before getting into the driver's seat. We were on the road in moments, the tension in the car high.
I wanted to ask what Alice said exactly, where we were going, what was going to happen, but I didn't want to be annoying. I wished I could display my emotions, the horrified, rampant emotions whirling around inside me, but I knew it would only scare Edward. So I remained silent and prayed nothing went wrong.
The car came to a halt and it was then that I realized I'd shut my eyes. Edward took my hand and squeezed it, "I'm sorry," he said, apologizing for something I wasn't entirely sure of.
I nodded lightly, not trusting my words at the moment. He gave me a small smile before letting go and unbuckling himself. I turned to see that we were stopped in front of an enormous white house. I attempted to admire the beauty of the garden out front while I unbuckled myself but I found it hard to pay attention to detail. Instead I followed Edward up the stone path leading to the house. Once we stood on the wrap-around porch, he stepped forward to ring the bell. I hid behind him and waited for someone to answer.
Only a minute later the door flung open, revealing a disgruntled looking Alice. Her tiny arms were crossed over her chest as she glared at us.
"Alice, you're the one who called me here, do not look at me like that. What do you want?" Edward angrily ground out. The two siblings held each other's gaze for a few moments before Alice responded.
"I want to know what's going on," she replied, her tone icy. I cringed at the sound. This was bad. So very bad. Alice hated me. She was going to go straight to her mother and rat us out. And then I'd never be allowed to see Edward again. He'd probably wind up hating me too, because of some far-fetched theory his mother will devise to keep us apart. Why did I ever agree to this? I knew I didn't deserve Edward. Did I actually trick myself into believing I did?
"Alice, sweetheart, you sound so very hostile," Jasper Hale came from the hallway to stand behind Alice. He smiled sweetly at me before nodding his head at Edward as a gesture to come inside, "Why don't we move this conversation into the sitting room?"
"Thanks Jasper," Edward said, pushing past his sister, with me right on his tail. I wasn't sure if he was thanking Jasper for inviting us in or interrupting the starring contest that had been occurring. Either way, I was grateful for his presence. Alice seemed to almost instantly relax.
Edward knew his way around the house, well it was more a mansion, and led us all into the sitting room. Upon one look, I could tell there was a beige theme in the room, with the walls being a light version of the color while the carpets were a dark adaptation. There were two, plush white love seats adorned with tiny little brown pillows, seated across from each other before a white marble fireplace. Edward sat on of the couches and Alice sat across from him. I sat next to Edward, searching around the room to try and focus on anything but Alice and her brother. My eyes settled on a giant statue of a lion settled in the corner of the room. How had I missed it when we initially walked in? For whatever reason that was, it now gave me the opportunity to stare at it and pray that the others would ignore my presence. I had no idea what to say.
Edward had no intention of letting me get away with that. He took my hand in his and stared at his sister, his eyes dark. I had never seen him look so angry before, it was frightening. "Bella and I are dating, we have been for the past month, and we've been speaking and seeing each other ever since Newton's party," he said looking at me fondly for a moment, the darkness in his eyes momentarily gone. I wondered if he was remembering that night and how hostile I had been at first. Who would have thought I would have turned out loving him after all that? Loving him…love was such a big word, we'd only been together for a month. We're only kids. How could I think to use that word in this situation? Because it's the truth, a small voice in the back of my head replied. Was it? Remember what Leah said, why else would you be here? So it was. Edward was worth this fight. I loved him. And God, it felt good to say that, even if it only is in my own head.
"Now, whatever you choose to do with this information is up to you, I have no control over that, but what I do have control over is what I do. So you can go and run to mom and tell her I breeched her number one rule, but that will not stop me from seeing Bella. There is nothing you two can do to break us up. I am warning you of that now. With that in mind," Edward said, then rising from the chair, "we will be leaving. It was nice seeing you sister."
"Sit down," Alice growled angrily, obviously annoyed by the tone her brother was using with her. Edward glared back at her, not intending on listening to her. I tugged at his arm, as a wordless suggestion for him to 'please sit.' Edward looked at me pleadingly, it seemed he was ready to leave, but I found it prudent that we stay and at least hear what his sister had to say. I wanted to at least know what his sister was going to do. If a third world war was going to break out over this, I needed to prepare myself first.
Edward huffed when I continued to look at him and sat back down. He didn't meet his sister's glare, so instead she turned to look at me, her eyes softened and she broke into a smile. I was confused by her actions, she looked pleased not angry. "I'm not going to tell me mother," she told to me simply, "Though, I am very hurt my brother couldn't find it in his heart to tell me he had a girlfriend. And I am even more offended that he would think I would go against him and spill the beans to mom of all people about this!"
She was glaring at Edward as she said her last words. When it became obvious Edward was not going to look at her, she turned back to me. "I've always thought the feud between our mother's was ludicrous. I mean honestly, if they can't even tell us what it's really about, it's not like it is anything serious. I'm not about to hold my mother's prejudice. That would just be juvenile and spreading unnecessary hate."
I gapped at her for a moment. She wasn't going to tell? She didn't hate me? It didn't make any sense. Why had she seemed so angry then?
Jasper seemed to sense my confusion, "Alice hates to be left out of things. It makes her feel unimportant."
"Has this really been going on for so long?" Alice asked me curiously.
I nodded my head, "Your brother was relentless in becoming my friend."
"But you're more than friends, for a month now?" she questioned and I suddenly felt as if I as in an interrogation room.
"A month today," I specified.
"Damn! How on earth did this manage to slip past me," she said, turning to look at Jasper. He shrugged. He took her pale little hand into his and squeezed it. I smiled at the gesture, they made a very cute couple.
"You're usually very keen to matters of the heart," he quipped. Her lips twitched up in a smirk and I wondered if there was more to Jasper's statement than he directly said. Alice looked back at me and I was unable to continue my wonderings.
"It's so obvious too, now that I look at you guys and I think back," she groaned as she mentally recollected things. I assumed it had to be slightly obvious that Edward had been involved with someone. He wasn't spending much time at home and we were constantly texting. Leah knew almost instantly, but then again she is my best friend.
"Does anyone else know?"
"Leah," I said and then I remembered Jake and Embry saw us as well. "Jake and Embry too, but they aren't people we would have to worry about."
"No, those are you friends," Alice said, obviously knowing who my crowd was. "Well, I am going to need your number. We are also going to have to set up a day to go to the mall together. Oh, and we should grab dinner afterwards. Yes, that sounds lovely."
I stared at her for a moment, absolutely flabbergasted. Was she suggesting that we were going to hang out? Without Edward there?
"Alice don't be ridiculous," Edward said, finally speaking again, "Bella is not going to become one of your little mall buddies."
"Oh Edward," Alice waved a hand at him, "I just want to get to know my brother's girlfriend. Is that such a bad thing?"
"You're going to scare her," Edward insisted, while looking at his sister knowingly. His suggestion scared me. What was Alice going to do to me at the mall?
"I will not!"
"You can be a bit frightening when at the mall love," Jasper piped in from her side. Alice tossed him a death glare; she then gave her brother one before her eyes landed on me. She was smiling warmly and her eyes danced with mirth.
"Please Bella? I would really like to get to know you, especially since Edward seems so adamant about keeping you around," she begged before jutting out her bottom lip and batting her long, dark eyelashes at me, much like a young child asking their mother if they can play with their favorite toy before bed.
How could I say no to that face? It would be like kicking a puppy. I couldn't do that! I had to agree to go, as scary as it did sound. "Of course," I finally said. Edward shook his head at me, clearly not understanding my reason for agreeing to go.
Alice let out a shriek of joy before leaping up and clapping her tiny hands together. "Oh Bella, you have no idea how happy this makes me!"
"It's my pleasure."
Alice then went into overload, telling me all the details of what we would do at the mall, where we would eat, and things of that nature. Her words were so fast, they blended all together and it sounded like she had begun to speak an entire other language. I attempted to keep up, but it seemed an impossible task, so I stuck with nodding my head at what appeared to be appropriate times and smiling politely. Alice was much like Leah with her enthusiasm, so I wasn't regretting my decision. If anything, this was a very good thing. Though I was breaking my mother's rules, I couldn't help but want to be friends with Alice. Never once had she said anything nasty to me and I'd never heard from others that she spoke ill of me. Everyone always went on and on about how sweet Alice was and I could see it genuinely. She didn't have a bad bone in her body though she was very protective and demanding, she had made that much clear. Most of all, I wanted her approval. I wanted someone in Edward's family to like me, and if it couldn't be his parents, then it was going to be Alice.
"You're a martyr," Edward whispered in my ear. I blushed at his close proximity.
"If I remember correctly, you're the one who was willing to fight his family over me. I'd say you'd be considered a martyr years before me," I said, all the while keeping my eyes focused on Alice, who I swear hadn't taken a breath in over five minutes. She had gotten on the topic of school extracurricular activities and how I should join some. Jasper gave me a look saying 'I deal with this every day, it never ends' and I couldn't stifle a giggle. It went unnoticed by Alice, she just continued on her rant.
"That sounds more like a guy in love to me rather than a martyr," was Edwards smooth reply. I was just about to rely with a witty remark when his words sunk in. A guy in love…
Was Edward suggesting he was in love with me? It was preposterous. He couldn't be feeling the same way I was. There was no way this was happening. He obviously misused the word, not even realizing what he had said. He was not telling me he was in love with me. He was simply trying to fight with me. He just wanted to win our little argument, that was it.
Edward saw my frozen expression and he nudged me lightly with his shoulder. "Let's go?"
I nodded, my mind off in another place. Edward turned towards his sister and Jasper, "Alice, as much fun as we're having listening to you, Bella and I are going to go. I'll be sure to give you her number later."
He stood up after saying this, sticking out a hand to help me up. I took it and allowed him to do so. Alice frowned at us before standing too, Jasper following suit. She attacked me with a hug before anyone of us could sense it, "I'm happy for you two. Finally someone's going against this stupid rule."
I smirked at this, hugging her back. "Thank you, it means a lot to me that you're going to keep this quiet."
"Of course," she said sweetly while letting me go. She then hugged Edward, "You should talk to me more often brother. I hate not knowing your life."
"I'm sorry," he said in a tone proving he was "I will keep you more in the loop."
"It was very nice seeing you Bella," Jasper said, being the polite southern gentlemen he was known to be. I smiled back at him, happy that Edward had taken Alice's call.
"It was nice seeing you too Jasper."
"Good seeing you bro," Edward said, shaking hands and doing a weird chest bump with Jasper, the things guys do to avoid hugging each other. I laughed while Edward directed us out of the house.
We were back in the car moments later, sitting silently in Jasper's driveway. Edward was first to break the silence, "I have something for you."
I looked at him questioningly. Though it was our one month, even if that isn't a big anniversary at all, I didn't expect anything from him. I hoped it wasn't expensive, because then I would just feel horrible, seeing as I hadn't gotten him a thing in return.
He turned around and began digging around the back of his car, "I remember you telling me this story about back when you were a kid…and," he was struggling to grab something. He won the fight and came up with a medium-sized white bag with purple tissue paper sticking out of it. He handed the bag to me, nodding for me to open it.
I slowly pulled out the tissue paper and then stuck my hand inside and I felt something very soft. The feeling was so familiar I almost dropped the bag. It couldn't be, I thought. Quickly I pulled it out of the bag and was greeted with the sight of Mr. Winkle. I felt like crying. I hadn't seen him in 12 years, how on earth had Edward found him?
"It was a bit complicated to find him, but when I did and I told the girl our story, she felt so bad she gave him to me right away," Edward explained. "I know it's no jewelry or a pair of UGGs, but I didn't really take you as that kind of girl. I hope you like it."
I threw my arms around his neck and began to cry into the crook of his neck. This was by far the sweetest thing anyone had ever done for me. I could never repay him. How long had it taken him to find Mr. Winkle? It had been so long. It couldn't possibly have been easy. Why on earth would he do such a thing?
"Please tell me this means you're happy," Edward said nervously, wrapping his arms around me and pulling my closer. I shook my head yes, still unable to speak. "Okay good," he whispered before dropping a kiss to my forehead.
I managed to calm down a few moments later and I pulled away from Edward, clutching Mr. Winkle tightly to my chest. "You have no idea how much this means to me, thank you Edward."
Edward gave me his classic crooked grin and my heart melted at the sight. He was too cute for words some times. I was just about to tease him for that when I felt something vibrate in my pocket. I frowned, who could be calling me? Leah knew I was out with Edward, she wouldn't dare interrupt. She enjoyed my recollections far too much. My mom thought Leah and I were studying, so why would she call me? I pulled my phone out of my pocket to see that it was in fact my mother. I looked to Edward before showing him the phone and signaling him to remain quiet. He nodded silently.
I opened the phone and tentatively put it to my ear, "Hello?"
"Oh Bella, thank God I caught you," my mother said quickly into the phone. It was very loud in the background of wherever my mother was, so I assumed she was no longer home. I could hear a voice through the phone, telling people from a San Diego flight where they could claim their luggage.
"Are you at the air port mom?"
"Yes," she said, sounding distracted, "Charlie, go check our bags while I speak with Bella," my mother seemed to have covered the phone, but I was able to make out her muffled words. "Bella?"
"I'm here mom," I rolled my eyes at this. Why would I have hung up?
"We're going to visit Grandma," my mother explained. "I can't believe I forgot it was her and pop's 60th anniversary! I'm the worst daughter some days, I swear," I laughed at this. My mom was anything but a bad daughter. My grandparents thought she was the best thing to walk the planet; they absolutely adored my mother.
"Anyway," she continued, "your father and I are going to spend the weekend with grandma and pop to celebrate. I'm sorry this is so last minute sweetheart. If you can, please try and stay over at the Clearwater's? I have to go; we have to go into the terminal now. Be a good girl!"
With that she hung up. No 'I love you' or 'Have a good weekend'. Then again, my mother wasn't very expressive towards me. I was about to put my phone away when it vibrated once more. I had a text message.
Love you kiddo, please no parties. Be safe! We'll be home around 8 on Sunday.
I was very lucky for my father. If it wasn't for him, I would have tried to runaway a hundred times. My mother's controlling, obsessive behavior was too hard to handle sometimes. But I didn't want to think of that. I refused to.
"What did she want?" Edward asked.
"She was just telling me that my dad and her are going to visit my grandparents for the weekend," I explained. I looked out the car window and realized we were still sitting in Jasper's driveway. "We should probably go, Jasper and Alice are most likely wondering why the hell we've been sitting here for so long."
Edward began laughing but nodded his head in agreement. He started the car and pulled into the street before turning to me, "Where to my lady?"
I blushed at his use of words and then thought for a moment. "My house, I guess."
He raised his eyes brows at me but I just shrugged. My parents weren't home. It wasn't like my neighbors knew what Edward's car looked like and they weren't likely to rat me out, even if they did. But why was I suggesting we go back to my house? Could that be giving Edward the wrong impression? I mean, I did love Edward, and the whole Mr. Winkle thing just topped that off, but I wasn't ready for some things just yet. He would be my first and that was a very big deal for me.
We pulled up to my house a few minutes later and the knot in my stomach just kept getting bigger and bigger. As we got out, I noticed my parent's car was gone and I smiled. It was hard believe they trusted me enough to leave me alone for the weekend. It was most likely a lapse in my mother's judgment. Surely starting tomorrow, because today she was focusing on gran and pop, she would be calling me every hour on the hour.
My mother would have a heart attack if she knew what I was doing. But this was worth it. Edward made me happy, happier than I ever imagined I could be. I pressed Mr. Winkle against my chest, still amazed by Edward's surprise. He really was the sweetest guy. I was beyond lucky to have him.
I grabbed his hand and gave it a light squeeze before fishing around in my purse for my keys. "I should probably call Leah and let her know what's going on," I said as I twisted my key in the door and unlocked it, leading us into the main hallway.
"What is going on?" Edward asked as he followed me into the living room. I dropped my bag and turned to look at him. What was going on?
I knew what I wanted to happen. But did I dare ask Edward? What if he laughed, called me a prude, and left? Edward would never, my mind reprimanded me, ask him, he'll do anything for you. With every ounce of courage I had, I bit my lip and asked, "Will you watch a movie with me then spend the night here? I'd hate to sleep in this big old house all alone."
Edward looked slightly shocked at first, probably because of my bluntness, but he regained his composure. A sexy little smirk slid onto his lips and he grabbed me by my waist and pulled me closer to him, "How on earth could I say no to an offer like that?"
My cheeks flushed red as I looked away from him. Edward laughed at this, "You're too cute Bella; of course I'll stay. Though I do hope you're not going to make me watch The Notebook."
"How'd you catch me?" I giggled, having actually had that movie in mind. It was a cute movie and I had always wanted to snuggle up with someone while watching it. Leah said it was utterly romantic when she and Jake had. I found that hard to believe seeing as I could only imagine Leah yapping away the whole movie, telling Jake what was about to happen next while he just stuffed his face with popcorn. Nonetheless, I let my best friend gush and she suggested Edward and I watch it together.
"I am a mind reader," he said while plopping down onto my couch, pulling me down with him. I landed in his lap and he pulled me close to his chest before he pressed a light kiss to my nose. I took advantage of my position and leaned forward, capturing his lips with my own. The kiss was gentle and sweet, which was just like Edward. I felt my hands begin to wander, moving towards his chest and then up his neck and into his beautiful mane of hair. He cupped my face with his warm hands and I melted into the kiss. I would never breathe again if it meant we could keep kissing like this.
But sadly, our need for oxygen arrived. I pulled away, completely out of breath with pink cheeks. I dragged in deep, long breathes to regain normal breathing.
"Alright, you convinced me, we can watch The Notebook," Edward said, raising his hands in defeat. I giggled at this. "Let me just run to the bathroom and we can watch it?"
"I guess that's alright," I said, smirking evilly at him. "That gives me a chance to call Lee and let her know what's up, so we don't get another interrupting phone call."
"Smart idea, I knew there was a reason I loved you," Edward proclaimed while standing. He dropped a kiss to my forehead while I just stared at him. He didn't seem to catch my frozen state before swaying off down the hall and towards my bathroom. How he knew where to go, I had absolutely no idea. I pulled out my phone and dialed Leah instantly.
"Hello," she said after the first ring. Leah was always like that, she never looked before answering her phone. She claimed to always know who was calling her. "What's up Bells?"
"I am at my house," I craned my neck to see if I could hear Edward in the bathroom. I wanted to tell Leah what he said, but I didn't want him overhearing. I wasn't sure how long he would be so after minute of mentally yelling at myself, I decided it would just be better to tell her in person.
"With Edward?" She shrieked into the line.
"Yes, yes now hush and let me explain this to you quickly," I said fast, hoping she would actually let me do so. I was surprised when she didn't say anything back but I assumed that was her way of letting me know I could go on. "My parents are out of town for the weekend. Edward and I are going to watch The Notebook tonight and then he is sleeping over, please don't scream!" I said the last part as fast as possible, knowing Leah would most likely begin to freak out. "I will come over tomorrow and give you a detailed play by play. Love you Lee!"
As if on cue, Edward called my from the hallway, giving me an excuse to hang up. "Bella, can you come here a second?"
"Gotta go Lee, bye," I said in a hushed tone before hanging up. I was bound to get yelled at for that when I saw her tomorrow, but I didn't see it as an issue. She would most likely do the same to me if it were Jake, it wasn't a big deal.
I hopped off the couch, leaving my phone and Mr. Winkle behind and padded into the hallway. Edward was standing there, looking at one of the pictures on the wall. My mother was very big on photographs and paintings, so for all I know he could be looking at a picture of me from when I was five or one of my mother's various French paintings. When I sidled up next to him, I saw he was looking at neither. Instead, he was focusing on a picture of my mother. It was from when she was our age, give or take a few years She was laughing wildly in the photograph. Her blonde hair was wet and there was mud all over the front of her. She didn't look like the same person. My mother, now at least, would never dare let her clothing get dirty. She never laughed like that either, even when she was with my father. This picture showed a different time in my mother's life. It made me wonder what had been so funny.
"I've seen this picture before," Edward spoke after a few moments of examining it.
I looked at him, not understanding what he meant. He had never been in my house before, how could he have seen this picture? It wasn't like my mother had been a model when she was younger and this photo had been featured in a magazine. The quality of the photo wasn't top notch and upon inspection, it didn't make much sense as to why it hung on the wall.
"I don't see how that's possible," I finally said. Edward shook his head at me, obviously disagreeing with me. "Where then?"
"Well, I haven't seen this exact picture before," he admitted and I smiled smugly at that, of course he hadn't. He lifted a finger and pointed at the picture, "You see that white barn in the back though?"
I looked closer. I could make out a barn behind my mother, but it didn't look out of the ordinary, though I did believe most barns were red. "Yeah, what about it?"
"There's a picture of my mom, standing in front of the same barn, laughing just like your mother with mud all over her hanging up in my house."
I gapped at him for a moment. It was a coincidence. Our mothers could have both hung around barns when they were our age. Surely he wasn't suggesting anything. He raised his hand to grab the frame, "Can I?"
I nodded my head, curious as to what he was going to do. He pulled it off the wall and turned it around. He opened the frame up and delicately slid my mother's photo out. It was folded in half. I gasped when I realized this. He turned the picture over and unfolded it, revealing a woman standing next to my mom, laughing just as she was, covered in mud. Her hair was the same beautiful shade of copper as Edward's and her smile was much like his. It couldn't be…
"I think our mother's were once best friends," Edward said after a long moment of silence. Could it be?
Again, I apologize and million times over for the fact I haven't updated in five months. I've already started chapter 12 and I'm almost done with my first year of college, so hopefully I can get two chapters out before that and then get on a good updating terms over the summer! I love all of you and I hope someone is still out there reading this.