I knew from the moment I walked into my bedroom that Edward would be waiting. I didn't give him the satisfaction of knowing I had noticed his presence, though. I went about putting my dirty clothes in the laundry hamper and then running a brush through my wet hair. I had decided that a hot shower was the only appropriate ending to a day spent at Newtons where Mike flirted with me shamelessly and was constantly showing off by lifting the heavy stuff from the top shelves and then grinning at me like a self-pronounced superhero. Pfft! The act of lifting anything lighter than a Jeep failed to impress me at this point.
Finally gracing him with the knowledge that I had noticed his lurking presence, I turned around and feigned a look of shock at his appearance.
"You can stop with the acting. I could hear your heartbeat speed up the moment you walked in the door." he said softly, his eyes on my duvet and his hands splayed on the sheets. I rolled my eyes at him and walked slowly over to where he was sitting on my bed, leaning up against the pillows, completely at ease.
"Come here, Bella." He almost whispered my name as I crawled towards him on the bed, not trying to look seductive, just trying to reach him as fast as possible. He pulled me into his arms as always, my head against his chest, his arms wrapped tightly against my waist and his chin resting on top of my head. I let out a sigh of content. This was the one thing I never wanted to go away. He was my perfection, and also my keeper. He could make me do anything he wanted but he never took advantage of me. I trusted him with my life, and I loved him with every fibre of my being. Weak in comparison, I suppose, to the love he claimed to harbour for me.
"Bella," he whispered my name, sending goose bumps soaring all over my body at the feel of his cold breath ruffling my hair. He kissed the top of my head so softly I could hardly feel it, and I pulled myself closer to him instinctively. Closer to his cold marble chest. I lifted my head up so I could see his face, a little blue from the moonlight streaking in through my window. He was staring at the ceiling, his fingers absentmindedly tracing patterns on my back. I slowly pulled myself up his body, trying to be inconspicuous about it, but with a vampire that was next to impossible.
Softly I placed a kiss on his cold lips. It only lasted a second, but it conveyed everything I wanted it to. One of his hands ceased their patterns on my back and came up to frame my face, his eyes finally dragging themselves away from the ceiling. I had hardly taken a breath before his lips were on mine again. My fingers tangled themselves in his hair without my brains consent, as I felt my mind draw blanks as I was lost in the intensity of his kiss. My body tried to get closer to him, tried to feel as much of him as possible. But my empty lungs had other ideas. He looked confused when I finally broke off.
"Sorry," he said, looking truly apologetic.
"No! I need to breathe, Edward. I'm human, remember?" I laughed softly as he flashed me my favourite crooked grin. As soon as I had gained sufficient intake of oxygen I leant forward again to resume our earlier activities but it was my turn to be confused when he leant back a little, as if he was shying away from me.
"Bella we can't let this get too far. I don't want to hurt you." His eyes had turned dark now, as if the words had no meaning to him. I couldn't help myself. I pushed myself away from him, rolling over so my back was facing him and waited until he automatically wrapped his arm around my waist before I began to speak again.
"You always say that, Edward. You always tell me that you don't know if you can control yourself with me."
"That's because I don't, Bella. I can't risk -"
"Stop saying that you can't risk hurting me, Edward. At this point in time I don't care!" I didn't want to sound desperate but it was becoming inevitable as saying what I really did sound like the exact definition of desperate.
"Don't be daft, Bella! You know how I would feel about myself if anything were to happen to you of my doing."
"Edward!" I was whispering now for fears that our raised voices would wake Charlie. I turned over so that I was facing him and buried my head in his chest. "Edward, don't ask me how but I just know you can't hurt me. I know that you couldn't bring yourself to-"
"You don't understand. Having... making love to you is something I have wanted for so long,"
"So do it. I love you, Edward."
"Let me finish. Because this is a pent-up desire that has been building inside me for so long there is a possibility that when we... when I..." he broke off, obviously embarrassed by the terminology needed for his explanation.
"Say it, Edward."
"The idea of me hurting you frightens me! I couldn't bear to lose control with you." he resumed speaking, but changing the structure of the sentence completely.
"Edward, we're going to have to face this soon enough. Why shouldn't it be now?"
"Now is not good timing. Now is not..." he was distracted again, his eyes once again absorbed in my ceiling. "I'm... hungry," he said softly. I thought at first that he was talking to himself before he dared a glance at my face.
"Not a good enough excuse," I taunted. I watched with secret satisfaction as his face took on an expression between disgust and disbelief.
"You are... something else," he replied, changing his mind mid-sentence. I giggled lightly, trying to dispel the dark atmosphere that had descended. Even he couldn't help but give me the tiniest of smiles. I hesitantly turned back to him, willing to forgive him for rejecting me once more and let him pull me close to him, kissing my forehead and tucking the blankets in around us so I wouldn't feel his cold body. I hated how he did that. But tonight I was suddenly too drowsy to argue and was just content to lie there and listen to him hum my lullaby as his fingers entwined their selves in my hair.
The first thought that entered my mind in the morning was that the bed was warm. Too warm. With my eyes still closed I let one of my hands drift aimlessly around the bedclothes for a while until I was certain that he wasn't there. I hated that, too.
'Well, this has gotten my day off to a bad start already' I thought to myself as I trudged downstairs, following the promising scent of coffee coming from the kitchen. Charlie was sitting at the little table reading the daily newspaper and mumbling to himself as I stumbled in, running my fingers through the mess of hair. For a moment I remembered last night, and how Edwards fingers had felt running through my hair – how his cold fingers at the base of my neck had sent shivers down my spine.
I shook my head slightly to clear the image from my mind. This was what made Charlie finally look up from his paper. He nodded his head in greeting and greeted me gruffly.
"'Morning Bella. Sleep well?"
"I need coffee," I groaned as if this was the answer to his question. I heard him snicker as I shuffled over to the kettle and poured myself a steaming cup of freshly ground coffee. Just inhaling the scent made me feel slightly more alive.
Grabbing a box of Cheerios I took the one remaining seat next to Charlie and began the slow mechanical rhythm of eating breakfast. Scoop, chew, swallow. Scoop, chew, swallow. I had nothing but school to look forward to today, so I saw no reason in rushing anything. Charlie excused himself to get ready for work just as I was finishing the last few spoonfuls of cereal.
The steady plod of his footsteps ascending the stairs made me giggle inwardly. 'P.C Plod. How original' I thought to myself but was yanked out of my thoughts once more by the sound of light knocking on the door. I jumped up from my chair, the idea of seeing Edward again made me feel more rejuvenated than an entire vat of coffee could ever make me feel.
Sure enough, Edward was standing on the porch – his hair more messy than usual due to the strong wind. His hands were shoved in the front pockets of his parka to give the illusion that he felt the bitter cold outside.
Words hardly needed to be used with us two, but with Charlie in the house it was better safe than sorry.
"Good morning, Bella!" Edward boomed, making me jump a little. Sure enough, Charlie's head appeared at the top of the stairs, a towel slung around his neck. Edward pretended that the appearance of Charlie was the best thing he could have asked for at that moment.
"Good morning to you, to, Officer Swan!" he smiled warmly up at him. Charlie just gave a manly grunt.
"Yep. Morning. Coffee in the kitchen if you want it."
"Thank you, Sir."
His head quickly disappeared again. Edward couldn't help but suppress a chuckle at the obvious effort Charlie was making to be some form of polite to him. I rolled my eyes at him and pulled him towards me, waiting for my good morning kiss now that Charlie was out of the way.
Without missing a beat, he slung his arm over my shoulder and pulled me to his chest, lifting me up a little to place a lingering kiss on my lips. I loved our good morning kisses. They were the sweetest, the most gentle. Today it made me a little delirious. But that may have just been due to the fact that I was so out-of-it anyway.
"Come with me to get some coffee. I'm going to take a thermos of it for the drive," I whispered, too tired to talk any louder. Before I could turn around to head for the kitchen he was back with a full steaming thermos of hot coffee. I took a sip. He had added the exact right amount of sugar and milk. He was so perfect, it was annoying.
Although I knew he couldn't read my mind, it seemed like at that moment he had, because my thoughts about him being annoyingly perfect seemed to make him grin smugly.
"What can I say?" he said, pulling me to him once more to place a wonderfully sensational kiss on my lips again.
"Stop! You're dazzling me too much for one morning!" I murmured, but with no intention of pulling away from his powerful embrace, as he began to trail rather ticklish kisses down my neck.
The sound of a throat clearing brought my attention back to the present. Charlie was standing there in his uniform, with his gun belt in his hand. If he thought that this might scare Edward enough to step away from me he was, of course, sorely mistaken. Edward did stop his assault on my overheated skin, however.
"Well... I'm off to school, then," I mumbled, not able to tear my eyes from Edwards as he slung my bag over his shoulder and grabbed my hand, squeezing it as he passed Charlie.
"Right. School. Have fun, kids. Pay attention in class and... stuff like that," he grumbled as he motioned for us to exit the door first. Edwards shiny Volvo was parked next to Charlies cruiser. Opening the door for me like a true gentleman, he handed me my coffee and walked over to the drivers side, climbing in and giving me a cheeky look.
"What?" I asked, watching Charlies cruiser pull away from the house and head off down the road. Edward didn't respond for a while, he just sat there watching my expectant expression. It almost seemed for a moment as if he was arguing inside his head about something. When he finally did respond, his voice was hoarse, rough. I hadn't heard him speak like this before.
"Can I give you your real good morning kiss now?" he suddenly asked, his hand already moving to cup my face but hesitating. As if I had the strength to say no. I nodded faintly but all thoughts were lost once more as his mouth descended on mine. This kiss was not the same as any other good morning kiss that I had ever been given. This kiss was full of passion and lust. I dropped my coffee cup, but Edward caught it without a glance and placed it hastily on the dashboard his lips never leaving mine once. His arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me towards him as I felt his tongue begin its relentless plundering of my mouth. I suppressed a moan and sighed instead, my hands moving down from their possessive grasp in his hair to the front of his chest. This seemed to be what made him pull away. He grimaced at my disappointed expression.
"We're going to be late," he explained, though I was by no means convinced that being late was the reason for his sudden withdrawal. Making my best angry face, I pulled myself up into the appropriate seating position to be taken by the passenger in a car that is about to be driven by a speed-obsessed vampire. He laughed at my expression – as if leaving me willing and breathless was no effort for him. Scowling, I snatched my coffee back up off the dashboard I drained it in five gulps, not being able to wait until I was out of the car. Just the sheer proximity of Edward made me feel a little dizzy today.
I couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief as we pulled into the parking lot and I caught a glimpse of Alice's new yellow convertible. She was sitting on the hood, completely absorbed in a conversation with Jasper. When she caught a glimpse of our car turning to park in the empty space next to theirs she gave me a brief smile before resuming her conversation with Jasper, her hands gesturing as if she was trying to explain something difficult.
I slowly clambered out of the car, trying my best not to trip over anything this morning. Falling flat on my face would do nothing to calm my mood today. Alice swung her legs over the side of her car as Jasper went about collecting their books from the car.
"Hello, Bella!" she beamed, leaning over to wrap me in her tiny arms and squeeze me with impossible strength.
"Hey," I replied, returning her smile with one of my own.
Jasper appeared with both their book bags slung over one shoulder, as Alice leapt from the hood of her car and landed gracefully on her feet.
"Hello, Bella. How are you?" Jasper asked me as he wrestled with Alice for her book bag.
"Good thanks. Well... tired I suppose," I grinned wearily back.
"Thank you," Alice chirped as he finally released his hold on her bag and linked arms with her instead.
"Tired. Wow. What does that feel like?" he asked, raising one eyebrow. I resisted the urge to hit him, but knew that the pain that resulted for me wasn't worth it. I settled for just rolling my eyes at him.
"Terrible," I growled as I began the treacherously tiring trudge uphill to the gates of school. Those damn vampires, of course, sailed past me with ease.
"Well lucky for you little Edward won't be able to... disrupt your sleeping time tonight," Jasper replied, a superior grin on his face.
"Oh?" I was surprised to hear this until I remembered his 'warning' to me the night before.
"We're going hunting tonight," Edward said, confirming my suspicions. I couldn't help but feel a pang of disappointment. I could never sleep without him next to me.
"Yes. Eddie, Jazz and I are going to catch us some elk!" Alice said cheekily.
"Yum, elk again," Jasper mumbled.
"Better an elk than Bella," I heard Edward say under his breath, and Alice glowered darkly at him as Jasper looked pointedly in the other direction.
I knew that Jasper would always feel terrible about my 18th birthday party when I had sliced open my finger on one of my presents and he reacted to the sight and smell of my blood as any other normal vampire would.
He surprised me when he laughed it off. I rarely saw Jasper laugh, and I wondered if he was doing it for me.
School that day was uneventful to say the least. It seemed to drag by even slower now that I had nothing to look forward to. At lunch I headed over to the Cullen's and my usual table. Alice was already sitting there, a tray in front of her containing a cup of soup. She was drumming her fingers on the table loudly, staring off into the distance, and I wondered if she was having a vision. Her eyes snapped to my face once she saw me, though, and she gestured for me to sit, handing me her cup of soup to save me having to stand in line.
"What time are you leaving?" I asked, beginning what looked like pumpkin soup but had bits of dodgy cafeteria meat floating in it.
"In about 15 minutes," I heard a smooth voice whisper in my ear. I was grateful for this distraction as it put off the need to eat my soup for a moment. A pair of cool, strong arms wrapped around my waist as he knelt down beside my seat so his face was level with mine.
"Sorry I'm deserting you," he whispered, looking truly upset.
"Come on, I've lived through this before. Although in all fairness I am going to be bored to death tonight. Charlie is working back at the station, and I don't have to go to Newtons tonight either. The library sounds exciting." I added, trying to ease his guilt.
He seemed to be reconsidering his hunting trip after all, but one stern look from Alice and I set it in stone.
"Don't deny that you are starved, Eddie," she scorned.
"It's OK, just go. I promise I won't hurt myself," I teased, but my grin faded in surprise when he suddenly pulled himself to me, his lips finding mine. My fingers naturally ran through his messy hair, pulling him closer to me as his tongue swiped my bottom lip making me sigh. I heard Alice clear her throat but we didn't stop. I found myself melded to his mouth, unable and unwilling to pull away from him as his fingers pulled loose my hair from its messy knot so that he could grab a handful of it as my hands took a firm hold of his shirt collar, pulling him even closer to me, so that he slid in between my legs. I was now finding myself fighting the urge to slide off the chair and into his lap so that I could feel all there was to feel of Edward Cullen.
It took three wolf whistles and 5 catcalls, as well as two dropped plates from two very jealous girls before we finally separated, both of us slightly breathless. I only just noticed that Alice had left. Then the embarrassment set in and I was frozen in horror as the room was silent and everybody was focused on me and Edward. Knowing full well that he couldn't leave me here, he swiftly pulled me up, wrapped his solid arm around my waist once more and pulled me out into the parking lot, away from the curious eyes of my classmates.
"That was... embarrassing!" I cried as soon as we were out of earshot of the cafeteria. He didn't reply as his lead me towards his car, towing me along effortlessly. Alice was already waiting, posed on the hood of her car like she had been waiting for a very long time.
"You guys finished, or are you going to start making out here as well?" she said trying to sound stern, but I could see a hint of a smile fighting to emerge on her pretty face. Edward said something to her in that impossible-to-understand vampiric tongue that made her give him a dirty look before hopping into her car with Jasper and speeding off.
"I'm going to drop you off at your house first. Is that okay? I don't think you could withstand another two hours of being whistled at today."
"You know me well," I replied, sliding into his Volvo and praying silently that dropping me off would end in another smouldering kiss.
End of Chapter 1