Bella's POV
Recommended Song: Let It Go-Fauxliage, The Silence-Mayday Parade

I shut off the water and yank back the curtain. I quickly wrap myself in my towel. I hated that moment where as soon I pulled back the shower curtain it was freezing until I had a towel. I dash into my room and close the door. I dry off and get dressed. I hear a knock on the door. "Ugh, come in." It's Carlisle. "Oh, hey. Um, last night was really something, huh?" He half smiles. "Sure. Bella, I'm leaving." I drop the towel. "What? Leaving? Where? Why?" I try not to yell. "Relax. It's just a conference for work. It's the rest of today and part of tomorrow. I'm having you stay at a, uh, friend's house." "I think I can handle Alice for that long." "Oh I know you can. It's for Alice though. She needs to spend some time with others. I expect you to behave." I refrain from rolling my eyes. Did he think I was five? "Okay, I understand."

Carlisle leans across the seat of the car and gives me an innocent peck on my cheek. I smile and say, "Be safe. Bye." There were three tiny words on the tip of my tongue but I swallow them back down. "Don't you worry about me, kitten." I climb out of the car and go to Alice, who was waiting in the driveway for me. We wave as he drives away.

I feel as if he had stolen some part of me with him. I ignore the hollow feeling as we make our way the front door. I ring the doorbell and a woman answers. "Oh, you must be Bella. It's so nice to finally meet you. Hi, Alice." She extends her hand as she jabbers on and I shake it. She moves so we could get in. "Edward will show you to your rooms." It looks like Carlisle forgot to tell me that. Thanks a lot.

"Bella, hey," he says, nodding in my direction. I follow him upstairs and we go past what I assumed was his room. My room was right next to his. "This is where you're staying." "Edward—the other day at the mall, what did you mean?" "Oh, that...I was just messing around." "Okay," I say. not one bit convinced. I frown and lay my suitcase on the bed. "Alice, you're sharing a room with Jasper. He has two beds for some reason." He says with laughter in his voice. "Thank you, Edward." "Yep. No problem, Alice." What a liar!

Edward comes back to my room, sticking his head in the doorway. "Bella, we're having dinner soon." I laugh and recall yesterday. "What's so funny?" "Nothing," I say, waving him off. "Ugh, ok then." I follow him downstairs and go into the kitchen, where Esme was. "Do you need help?" I ask, hoping she'd say yes so I could avoid Edward. "Oh. No. You're the guest, Bella." Where have I heard that before? She smiles at me. "Alright." I didn't know what else to do so I went into the living room.

Edward sits next to me and I make no effort to start a chat. I twiddle my fingers and think about Carlisle. Wonder what he was doing right now and if he was thinking about me. Thankfully, Esme calls us for dinner and I race to the dining room. She asks, "So, Bella, do you like it here?" "Yeah, it's lovely," I answer and feel Edward's eyes on me. She continues the interrogation and I answer every single one of her silly questions. I take a quick peek at Edward and he's glaring at me. What the heck? Did I say something wrong? I help Esme clear the table and bolt upstairs. I start to close the door but a hand catches it. I sit on the edge of the bed and stare at Edward.

"What do you want?" He leans against the wall in front of me. "Bella, I'm pretty sure we're both uncomfortable with this but you knew this was coming." I turn my head away and this sudden rush of tear floods my eyes. He talks in a quiet voice, one only I could hear. "Bella, I saw it." "Saw what?" I flinch as he moves my collar, revealing my brand, a mark I wore proudly. "I'm not one to judge but you let him walk all over you." He's not 'one to judge'? My ass! "What the hell are you talking about?"

He cleared his throat and said, "I'm sorry. I might've only seen you spend a little bit of time with him but it was enough. You feel like you have to defend him. Well, don't. I know how he is." "And how is he?" I growl, getting inches from his face. "Dr. Cullen is…I don't know how to say it. But he's using you. He plays you like a deck of cards. Does he tell you that he loves you? Ever? I'm only thinking of what's best for you, Bella."

"You don't understand! He does, Edward. He might not tell me directly, but he does! Just shut up about things you don't know about!" I screamed at him, my voice breaking in several spots. "You face reality how you want, Bella. I won't make you do anything." He flits away to the safe haven of his room, leaving my mind cloudy with many thoughts.

I toss and turn all night, pondering over the previous discussion with Edward. Tears flowed down my cheeks like rivers. I wasn't sure why I was crying. It wouldn't make anything better. In fact, it made it worse. Perhaps I was crying because there was a slim chance that this idiot was right. I shudder at that thought. He loved me, didn't he? People did things like that when they loved each other, right? He could have been using his charm and wits to get me right where he wanted me...with him. It felt like a hole ripped through me. I wouldn't let him have his way again until he told me the words I prayed to hear, if I could not fall for his slyness, that is.

I awake to a noiseless house. It was creepy. I got dressed in a white skirt then pulled on a black shirt; under it was a snug gray cami. I had the urge to just walk away from my problems. I join Esme in the kitchen. "Good morning, Bella. Did you sleep well?" I crack a fake smile and say, "Yeah." I still had the hollow feeling. "Hi, Bella," Edward greets me as he walks into the room. "What do you want?" I ask in an irritated tone. "Nothing. Can't a guy say hi?" "Yeah. Hi," I sigh. I continue lounging around outside all day, caught up my troubled thoughts. Edward keeps his distance and Alice…well, she did little kid things. She spent all her time playing with Jasper. I wish I could still do things like that before I got jammed inside this mess. It was getting dark when I went back inside.

The doorbell rings. I know it was him. I'm almost glad but a small part is scared. "Carlisle, hello. The girls were wonderful." "I'm glad to hear that." He smiles at her and I am jealous. "Won't you stay for dinner?" her voice, welcoming. "I wasn't planning on it. But if you insist, then how can I refuse?" I want to smack that woman. She smiles back and says, "Ok. It'll be done soon." He steps inside and shrugs out his coat. Esme takes it and hangs it on the hook on the wall. Like he couldn't do that? He saw me spying—let's say watching, it sounds much nicer—on him. He looks irritated but I find it quite tempting. The corners of my mouth tug upwards into a smile but his remains in a line. Was he mad that I was watching?

As much as I disliked it, I had to sit next to Edward. His lanky body happened to occupy the seat that I reserved for Carlisle. Carlisle's eyes turn to slits and he taunt Edward by brushing up against me as he walked by. My heart races for a second and a heat creeps betweens my legs. Esme seats herself next to Carlisle. Alice and Jasper are in their own little bubble at the end of the table. I eat the food set in front of me, checking on Carlisle every few seconds. His eyes flash from mine to Edward's then finally to Esme's. He sends devious stares at me, irate glares at Edward, and friendly looks at Esme. Was he making me mad on purpose?

I drop my fork and my retarded foot kicks it closer to Carlisle by accident. I was certainly willing to crawl under the table to get it and maybe more but Esme and Carlisle reach for it at the same time. Their hands brush and she jerks hers away. "I'm sorry." When his hand resurfaces from under the table, it contains my fork. "No. It's quite alright, Esme." I stretch over the table to grab it but Esme steals it from his hand. "I'll get you another one, Bella." Her cheeks are slightly pink. Yes, he had that effect on people... I sit, waiting for another fork. My eyes wander to Edward. He looks almost smug but angry too. I turn my focus to Carlisle. He's eating like it was some kind of sexual sport and I didn't mind watching. Esme returns and hands me my new fork. "Here you are, dear." "Thank you." "You're welcome," she says in a chipper voice.

I continue adoring Carlisle and Edward nudges my side. I resist smashing his face into his plate and ignore him. He cocks his head close to my ear. "Quit eye fucking." I scowl at him and growl-whisper, "Fuck off!" He goes back to eating and Carlisle's eyes sear mine. He winks and mouths the words, 'Nice one' Well, at least I think so. I'm terrible at reading lips. I grin at him and finish eating. I clear the table of dishes people were done with. Esme thanks me and assists me. Carlisle is suddenly there, talking in his silky, seductive voice. "I think it's best if we leave. I had a wonderful time. It was excellent. Thank you, Esme." "Oh, why thank you. I'm glad. I hope you come around another time." He dazzles her with a grin and said, "Of course."

He goes back in the dining room to snatch Alice away. She says her goodbyes and hugs everyone, including Edward. Blah! I also say bye but hugs weren't really my thing. Carlisle and Edward continue their glaring contest but Esme is too wrapped up in Carlisle to notice. The trip home could have been better. Carlisle taps his hands against the steering wheel, impatiently, as he drove. I just prayed we didn't wreck. No one talks either. We arrive home and Alice goes straight to bed.

"It's just us...once again," he whispers, stating the obvious but I don't mind. "She really seemed interested in you," I laugh, trying to change the subject. "Uh-huh," he mutters, advancing towards me. "Stop!" I shout. He jerks his hands away, his expression surprised. "What's wrong?" "I need to know that you love me." I say with courage I didn't know I had. "You need to know? Why do I have to reassure you?" I couldn't met his eyes and mutter under my breath, "Just please for me. Tell me…"

He remains silent. Was Edward right? I swallow the lump in my throat. "Carlisle?" I whisper, choking on his name. I look up at him and his face is contorted deep in thought. I study his face and whimper as it turns into something unfamiliar: rejection. Tears blind me and I storm out of the back, the door slamming so hard that the frame shakes. The inky sky lets rain seep from the clouds and I merely stand outside for some time, letting the rain drench my skimpy clothing, and trying to remember to breathe.

I run around to the front of the house and cross the road. I look back to the house, expecting to see Carlisle in the window or something at least. Nothing. The house is black. I ran, simply ran, until my legs turned to rubber. The gravel digs into me as I collapse in a heap on the side of the road. I tremble from the cold mix of night air and rain. Probably from my crying too. I lift my head and sob even harder at the sight before me. My house. Why why why did you have to leave me? I suddenly felt like the life was sucked out of me. My stomach heaves for release and I gag in an attempt to hold it back. I let myself go. Did it matter? Did I matter? I was unwanted and I didn't care who saw.


Author's Note: Okay, that was long but you deserve it. Again, sorry for the delay. Hope you have an awesome day.