Charlie bounded upstairs to my room. When he opened my door, I held my breath. To my relief, my room was empty. My suitcase was lying conspicuously on its side, as if to look like it had fallen over. Edward's doing. I wondered if Charlie would buy it.
"No-one's here, Dad. See?" I said, smiling innocently.
"Hmph." He looked around the room, before impulsively opening my wardrobe. My eyes widened.
Edward escaped through my window. I breathed a silent sigh of relief.
"Well, that was weird. Must have been your suitcase. You all ready to go, then?"
"Yeah, just about."
"A little early, aren't you? When are you leaving again?"
"The 12th. Just wanted to be organised," I said.
"Dad, there's something I need to tell you…" I began. I felt nervous.
"Something wrong, Bells?" Charlie said, looking concerned.
"Uh… just that… I invited Edward to come with us."
He surprised me by laughing.
"Bella, you really thought I hadn't figured it out? I knew you would bring him. You always were stubborn, even though I suggested you invite Jacob."
"Really? You're OK with it?" I asked, raising my eyebrows in surprise.
"Well, I don't know if I'm OK with it, but there's nothing much I can do, I mean it's all booked, right?"
"Yeah, it is. Thanks, Dad. It's not just us anyway. Jessica and Mike are coming too. And her dad," I added. But I knew I'd won him round.
"Just make sure he takes care of you out there. How long's it for anyway? Remind me,"
"One week." I answered.
"Good. Well, I'm out."
He clicked my door shut before I could say anything more.
I sat on my bed, and before I knew it, Edward had slid back through my window. He joined me, sitting quietly beside me.
"That was close," I said with a weak smile.
"Don't worry. At least he's all right with everything." said Edward.
I nodded, leaning my head against his shoulder. After a moment, he rested his head on mine.
"How would you like me to take you somewhere, to make you feel better?" Edward whispered into my hair. I looked up at him, my mouth curving into a smile. That would be perfect. Edward stood, I attached myself to his back, held tight, and we safely went through my window and out into the open air.
Time was immeasurable as he sprinted through the blur of trees and moss. Eventually we gradually slowed, and before I knew it, Edward was walking at a human speed, me still on his back. We were in a small green meadow surrounded by moss-covered trees and as I looked up, there were beautiful blossoms embedded in the dark leaves. The scent of lavender breezed softly around us. I inhaled slowly, taking it in. I'd never been in this meadow before. I carefully disentangled my arms and slid off his back. I looked up at Edward. He stood with his eyes closed, head leaning back, facing the sky. His marble skin shimmered faintly; the sun had not quite escaped the heavy clouds. I stared, mesmerized, heart beating faster. How I would love to see his magnificent skin sparkling again…
Edward was absolutely still. I couldn't take my eyes from his face. His tousled bronze hair rustled silently in the light breeze and it shimmered like his skin. I waited, closing my eyes against the light from the sky, matching Edward. I felt a smooth cold touch on my hand and I turned my own hand in response, searching for his hold. Edward closed his hand around mine and caressed it in gentle circles with his thumb. It sent wondrous excited shivers through my body, and I was tingling on every inch of my skin.
And then I felt seeping, subtle warmth spread over my face. The light behind my eyelids brightened, and I opened my eyes to see Edward standing in front of me, sparkling like diamonds with his perfect lips curved into a half-smile.
"Hi," Edward whispered. His breath drew my face to his. My lips only brushed his before he stepped back, took my face in his hands and stared straight into my eyes. Slowly, Edward moved his head towards mine, his eyes gazing into my soul. And then he pressed his lips to mine. The day spiralled into a long, perfect feeling of bliss. And I wanted nothing more than to run away with him right now.
That night, with Edward beside me, I had dreams of shimmering meadows and bright cloudless blue skies. I dreamt of walking hand in hand with him along the beach, a sparkling turquoise sea beside us. It felt so real I was lost in that world.
The more I wished the next couple of weeks away so I could finally go away to LA with him, the longer they seemed to take. Eventually, it was the day. I felt excitement bubbling inside me as Edward placed my suitcase in the downstairs hallway ready to go. I'd given him his plane ticket, and left mine on the little hallway table nearby.
As Billy was round visiting Charlie, I was now at the Cullen's' house, while Edward packed his last things. Alice and Jasper were about to go hunting and spend the rest of the day together, and I gave her a warm hug before they headed off.
When we were done, Edward and I went back to Charlie's. I hoped Billy wasn't putting thoughts in his head about me, so I was a little nervous. I took Edward to my room, to avoid him. I just couldn't face him.
Mike and Jess were going to be arriving soon. After what felt like forever, the doorbell finally rang. I rushed downstairs to let them in.
There they were, Jess's dad waiting in the car. It was large enough for all of us to ride together.
"Your ticket's in your suitcase, Bells." Charlie told me as we prepared to leave.
"You take care of yourselves, and I'll see you in a week."
"Will do. Bye Dad," I said, giving him a big hug. He patted my back awkwardly.
"All right, off you go. Enjoy yourself," he said, letting me go.
"Let's go guys," said Jess, waving us over to the car.
Soon enough, we were all seated and belted in the car. The journey to the airport went quickly, as we were all chatting away to pass the time. Jessica sure could talk for England. It was nice, though. She kept things fun and I was beginning to really look forward to what was ahead.
Everything went smoothly until it was time to show our tickets. Edward had his, but I couldn't find mine. I started to panic. But Charlie had told me he put it in my suitcase. Unless… somebody had removed it. Oh no. Desperate, I had to look in all the little compartments. No sign.
By this time, Edward was on the phone to Alice, asking if she'd seen anything in her vision. The others gave each other concerned glances as I looked for my ticket.
After Edward got off the phone, he immediately offered me his ticket.
"Here, have mine." He said, holding it out.
"No, Edward. I don't understand, Charlie said he'd put it in there."
"Can't we buy another ticket?" asked Jess.
"The flight leaves in less than two hours, it's too late," I muttered, still searching.
"Alice is on her way. She's got your ticket."
"But how…" I began.
"Long story. I'll explain later." Edward said, shaking his head quickly. I nodded slowly, calming down. Alice was coming. Then who'd taken out my ticket. Dad had been OK with me going, hadn't he? I decided he would never lie about something like this, let me go all the way down here and go through all this trouble. He wouldn't do that. He'd just forbid me from going in the first place. We had to leave our place in the queue as we waited for Alice to arrive.
When she did, I couldn't have been happier to see her. Her eyes were black. She hadn't had time to hunt. Jasper was behind her.
"Alice, you're a life-saver, thank you!" I said, hugging her after she'd handed me the ticket. Before I could open my mouth to ask her what happened, she cut in.
"I'll call you guys later, OK? Just make sure you catch your flight. Hurry!"
After queuing up at check in again, we rushed through security, and then we had to wait to be called. When we finally were on the plane, I had a pretty good idea who had been behind this. Billy Black. He was the only other person there who would have done something like this. He must have taken my ticket. I had to take several deep breaths to get through my anger. How could he? How dare he interfere? He had no right.
When we landed, I was a lot calmer, but still upset about what I suspected Billy Black had done. But as soon as the sun hit my face, my mood immediately lifted. It almost felt like I was back in Phoenix. As for Edward, he had a dark cap on which left a dark shadow over his face, hand in his pockets, a jacket that covered his arms and sunglasses. I was afraid of anyone noticing his skin sparkling in the sun. But he had it covered. Jess, her dad, and Mike were walking a couple of steps ahead, busy talking. Their attention was away, so I relaxed. Once we entered the airport, Edward still did not remove his jacket. Just to be sure. But Mike noticed his excess insulation
"Aren't you hot? You must be boiling wrapped up in there," he said to Edward, looking him up and down, trying to look jokey. But he still seemed slightly annoyed Edward was with us.
"I'm fine, thank you," Edward answered with a smile. Anyone else would have looked ridiculous, but he looked cool. I didn't know how he got away with it.
It was a little bit of a journey to the hotel, taking at least an hour. But it was worth the wait. A lovely white modern-looking hotel surrounded by palm trees. Our room was large, the walls a creamy colour, with a wide window framed by soft sky blue curtains. Our double bed looked so warm and cosy I felt like snuggling up right now. We had a small television in the corner, and an en suite.
Once we unpacked, we headed for the beach and all grabbed deckchairs. All of us except Edward of course. I saved a deckchair for him anyway, putting a towel on it. I wanted it to look like he'd be out soon, even though I knew he wouldn't in this sun. His excuse was that he was tired because he had no sleep on the plane, and wanted a nap. Jess' dad read a book, chilling out on the other side of Jess. I wondered what excuse Edward would use next time, and if he would come to the beach at all. But we were still there at sunset, and that's when I heard footsteps approaching behind us. I guess he'd deemed it dim enough for him not to sparkle. My heart warmed up at the sight of him.
"Oh, Edward, you're here. Was beginning to think you'd run out on us," said Mike, trying to sound light-hearted but only just getting away with it.
"Well, I can't stay indoors forever, can I?" Edward said with a smile, not at all bothered about what Mike had to say. Jess turned her head up to Edward, lying back on her deckchair, sunglasses still on.
"Oh, hey. It's like midnight now, you know," Jess said.
"It's still pretty warm guys," I said, reclining on my chair.
"You going to run away at dinner, too, Cullen?" Mike joked, but there was a hint of seriousness in his voice.
Edward was as cool as a cucumber.
"Course not. I'll be there, don't worry." he said to Mike.
I looked between the two of them, smirking. For all I knew, Edward was seething with anger. He was so good at covering his emotions, that I imagined him taming an internal volcano at Mike's not-so-subtle insults. It was entertainment for me. It was better than television. Edward held my hand inconspicuously, the two of us lying side by side.
I couldn't wait to get back to the hotel room. Where we would be alone again.
"So, Edward, do you go to the same school as the others? I haven't seen you around before," asked Jess' dad as we sat at dinner later on at the hotel.
"Yes, I do. My family try not to be ostentatious. We keep a pretty low profile." said Edward.
"You don't strike me as shy," said Jess' dad, chuckling as he ate his food.
"No, I'm not shy." Edward said. That was the only answer he was going to give. I tried to hide my smile, disguising it by eating another mouthful of food. I remembered hen Edward used to give me short answers like that, and I used to let him know I wasn't going to accept those as answers.
"So how long have you two been dating?" Jess' dad went on, not at all put out.
"Quite a while now," I answered.
Everyone's eyes were on me now. I distracted myself by focusing on my meal. To my relief the conversation veered away from us and onto something more casual. I watched Edward as he ate, knowing he would have to bring the food back up later. I felt a little bad for him, having to put up the pretence. But I guess he had to do much worse things than this, being a vampire and everything. This would be me when I finally turned. I wanted Edward to be the one to do it. I just had to somehow persuade him. I didn't have much time left if I still wanted to be close to his age when I became like him. I was turning eighteen in less than a month.
That night, finally in our hotel room all by ourselves, Edward told me what happened with my ticket. We sat on the blue silken double bed.
"Alice had a vision. She saw Billy remove your ticket from your suitcase. When Jacob came to drive him home, Billy hid it in the truck. Alice retrieved it once they'd arrived home."
"What I don't understand is why you didn't hear his thoughts. What happened? Were you distracted?" I asked, confused.
"Too busy trying to ignore Jessica's mind-talk. She was incredibly difficult to tune out. Not to mention Mike Newton. I also think Billy's move was impulsive; he didn't plan it in advance. He must have seen your father putting your ticket in your suitcase and decided then. I should have been listening harder. It's partly my fault. But we're here now, so that plan failed. Thanks to Alice."
Alice really was amazing.
"I just don't know what to do about this. Why is he so against this whole thing? We're not hurting anyone,"
"That's just it. He's worried about you being the one to get hurt."
"But shouldn't it be my choice? What I decide to do? It's not up to him to dictate my life," I said, my heart beating faster in frustration. Billy was out of line. Way out of line.
"I need some air," I said, getting up to leave the room. Edward got up too.
"How about we head off to the beach? It's night; not many people will be out," he suggested gently.
I smiled and nodded in response. No-one would spot us, it was very dark now. He took my hand and we walked down to the seaside, strolling hand-in hand by the water as it swished and swirled gently beside us. He kissed the top of my head. It felt like we were the only people in the world.
Edward hummed my lullaby as I drifted off that night, his hand very gently stroking my hair. I fell asleep in his arms.
The next day, we all walked along the main city streets, looking through the shops. Jess was trying on dresses and she persuaded me to try some myself. She bought a silk red number, and I decided to go for a midnight blue dress. I hadn't bought anything for myself in a while, so I thought of it as a nice treat. Of course, Edward tried to get me to let him pay, but I insisted I buy it myself. On the way back to the hotel I was peeking at it through the shopping bag. I was looking forward to wearing it. It was silken like Jessica's, but it was otherwise different to hers. I could sense Edward looking at it too. This shade of blue was his favourite colour on me.
We spent the majority of the rest of the week on the beach, Edward hiding out during the sunny hours and coming out at sunset with his cap and shades – I decided to stay with him for most of those times to prevent too much suspicion from the others. If they knew I was with him, it would be more convincing showing that we went somewhere together. Besides, if they did get suspicious, what would they conclude, really? They certainly would be way off if they guessed. If I gave Mike three guesses why Edward was avoiding the sun, I was sure he wouldn't exactly say "Vampire." Even if he did, he wouldn't be serious. But he did interrogate Edward, though. I overheard Mike talking to him one morning before breakfast while I was getting dressed. They were outside my hotel room, and Mike caught him as he was about to return to my room.
"Cullen, what's with you totally freaking out at every time the sun comes out? A little weird, don't you think?" challenged Mike, trying to sound jokey and light-hearted. He failed miserably. I was sure Edward had it covered though.
"Isn't it a little weird that you're so offended, Newton? I prefer the shade, myself, and I burn easily. I prefer sunset."
"Clearly. Why don't you camp out under an umbrella then? If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were…"
"What, Newton? What are your theories?" said Edward. I could hear an undercurrent of annoyance in his tone, so subtle that only I would be able to detect it.
"I don't know, but I don't understand you."
"I'm only human, I do get offended by things like that." said Edward. Now he was really annoyed. Verging on anger. If I was Mike, I would be turning and walking away right now. Quickly.
"Well, it is a little weird." said Mike quietly. He was backing down, even if he didn't want to. He must be getting scared after all.
"I've got to run. Bella's waiting for me." Edward said, taunting him. That was mean. But Mike had pushed him too far.
"Lucky you," Mike muttered sullenly.
"Lucky me." Edward replied. And then the doorknob turned and he entered our room.
"That was a little harsh," I began, giving him a look as he joined me on the bed.
"What? He asked for it," Edward defended, frowning.
"Well you could have been a little softer on him. He was just curious," I advised.
"There are a lot of things that would describe Mike Newton, but curious isn't one of them." he said shortly. I could see he was still annoyed at him. Hardly surprising; for Edward, the exchange was still going on in his head, what with him hearing Mike's thoughts.
"There are a lot of things that describe you too, Edward Cullen." I reminded him. He looked at me, going quiet. He knew I was right.
On the last day, Edward sped up the packing of our things so we were done in seconds. It was a whirlwind, his arms moving in a blur around our suitcases. On the car ride back to the airport, Edward was making me laugh so hard I got funny looks from Mike and Jess. It felt like it was just me and him in the car. Edward only had eyes for me. That was for sure. Though I imagined he was also trying to block out Mike and Jess's loud thoughts.
"What's so funny?" asked Mike, clearly a little envious. He looked back and forth between me and Edward.
"Private joke, you wouldn't get it," said Edward just as I was opening my mouth.
"Oh, I wouldn't get it? Try me," said Mike, challenging him.
"Ah, I don't think so." said Edward. I could tell this was one of those short answers, the only answer he was going to give.
"Mike, I think you should let this one go. It's nothing, really." I reassured him. He nodded slowly, reluctant, but he finally let it be. All I could see was Jess glaring at Mike in the corner of my eye. Even she knew when to button it. And that was saying something. On the plane, Jess sat on my left, Edward on my right. Mike was next to Jess of course. I got the feeling he was freezing out Edward, sulking. Oh well. You can't please everyone I suppose.
When we landed back in Forks, it felt strange. Almost like I'd just moved here all over again. I was feeling quite sleepy on the car ride home, though it was pretty late at night by the time I arrived home. Edward even came indoors with me, though he didn't let Charlie see.
I went in to greet my father. He was thrilled to see me, giving me a hug straight away. Edward hovered in the hallway where Charlie couldn't see. He probably would have been lenient, too happy to see me to care, but I didn't want to risk it. Whilst Charlie made himself a drink, I snuck into the hallway behind his back to see Edward. He was leaning against the wall, looking irresistible. He took my hand and pulled me to him. He leant down and kissed me hard.
"Bella?" called Charlie. Uh-Oh. I hoped he wouldn't catch us.
Edward pulled away with a smile. He glanced toward the kitchen where Charlie was, then sauntered up the stairs with a smile, leaving me behind. Just as he'd disappeared out of view, Charlie poked his head into the hallway, frowning.
"You all right, Bell? You look a little red," he commented, looking worried.
"Yeah, yeah I'm fine. Oh, are you making drinks? I'm really thirsty," I said, covering up our tracks.
"Sure am. Come on; tell me about your vacation. I hope you all behaved yourselves," he added gruffly.
I sat down with him at the table with a coke, holding it in both hands, and told him, glossing over certain details I didn't deem necessary to include. I could almost hear Edward laughing at me upstairs. He could hear every word of my truncated account, and was probably having the time of his life up there. When I finally got up there, I made sure to let him know how I felt about it. I knew him so well, I was almost a mind-reader too.
"Damn you, Edward. I knew you were laughing." I grumbled, folding my arms.
"What, you heard me? That's impossible; I was so quiet," he said, half-shocked, half-laughing.
I raised an eyebrow. He went quiet.
"Damn right I did. Oh, so you're admitting it? You were making fun of me up here, laughing to yourself while I was torturing myself trying to cover for you?" I said, pretending to be annoyed. Edward was starting to look a little nervous though. I smirked to myself. I was the only one who could get this reaction out of him; I loved having private thoughts he would never dream of hearing.
"Uh-uh. You are so not getting away with that, vamp." And then I wrestled him on the bed playfully, tickling him until he gave in and stopped me with his strong hands.
"Whoa, someone's not happy," he laughed, snaking his hand round my waist.
"No, I'm not," I said, pouting at him.
"Aw. Will you forgive me? I'll even sing you to sleep later if you like," Edward asked innocently.
"No, you can sleep on the floor." I retorted.
"Hmm, sure. Like I'm going to do that. I can just sneak in beside you when you're snoring," he teased with a wicked smile.
I punched him on the arm as hard as I could. He laughed even more.
"I hate you." I said, pulling away.
"Well I love you. And I'm not going anywhere," he said, looking me right in the eye. He knew I would get over it. I still pretended to be angry at him. It was only banter, and he knew it.
"Will you forgive me?" he whispered, stroking my cheek softly.
"Hmm. I'll have a think, vamp boy."
"That's good enough for me." he smiled, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear.
Just under two weeks later it was time to go back to school. But for once, I didn't mind. In fact, I was absolutely fine with it. On the night before, I hardly got any sleep; Edward was whispering in my ear, and he kept making me laugh as he told me about some of the thoughts he'd heard from Mike while we were on vacation. Soon I turned to face him, accepting I was nowhere near sleep anyway.
"What else was he saying? In his head, I mean? This is kind of entertaining," I giggled.
Edward was pulling the faces to go with it, which had me in hysterics. He could do Mike's voice to a T.
"Why's that dude gotta wear so many layers? Am I missing something, or are we actually in the Antarctic? Jeez man, what a weirdo," he mocked in Mike's voice.
"And what's with the hiding out? Why come in the first place if you won't even go outside? Crazy man. What an idiot. What is he, allergic to the sun? It wouldn't surprise me. Should've dragged the douchebag outside myself. Let him break out in a rash or whatever it is that he gets. See how much Bella likes him them. See who the cool guy is then! Doofus," he went on.
This was Oscar-worthy, I was sure of it.
I burst out laughing, holding my hand over my mouth to muffle it. I was in tears now.
"Go on, give me more," I encouraged through my laughter. I looked at him, eagerly waiting. He continued. Edward pulled a mock frown this time, really making fun now.
"I mean, what does she see in that guy, really? What has he got that I haven't? He's not even that good-looking. Though if I was a girl, I dunno maybe it would be a different story. Maybe I would. No, I wouldn't. Anyway, I saw Bella first. And I was a lot nicer to her as well. Why do girls do that? Always go for the stupid rude moody guy..." he said, and he sounded so much like him I had to pat his face to check it was really Edward.
"OK, this is freaking me out. Who are you and what have you done with my boyfriend?" I said.
He reached out for my face and I pretended to recoil, giving him a funny look.
"Mike Newton? Ew, get out of my room!" I whispered jokingly.
I was astounded at how much like him he sounded. I had to hold my hand over my mouth, I was laughing so hard. It was strange laughing so quietly, but I didn't want Charlie overhearing. At one point I let out a shout, and Edward had to press his hand to my mouth. We rolled over on the bed laughing. I took him under the duvet. Usually it was too hot to stay under there for more than a minute, but with Edward, that was no longer a problem. Edward's fingers twined with mine, icy cold.
When I calmed down, all I could hear was the sound of our breathing.
"I'm still not tired, you know," I whispered, my head against his chest.
"Mmm," was all Edward said in response. He sounded like he didn't buy it.
"Really, I'm not."
"Don't you want to sleep? We've got to be up early tomorrow, angel."
"I know. Will you sing me to sleep? My lullaby?" I requested.
He kissed the top of my head and began. I tried as hard as I could to hear as much of his singing as possible before I drifted off. But soon, I was gone.
I was very groggy in the morning and almost a zombie until I ate breakfast and showered. After that I felt a little better. It was worth it, though. That kind of entertainment warranted a sleepless night.
Edward's driving got us to school in record time as usual, but it meant we arrived so early that the school parking lot was almost deserted; a couple of freshmen were huddled by the cafeteria. Drizzle spattered the windscreen, and mist was forming in the corners of the windows. This weather used to depress me, but now I felt normal when it was raining, happy. Because days with any sign of the sunlight meant Edward would avoid school, along with the rest of his family, in order to prevent exposure of their sparkling diamond skin, and therefore exposure of what they were. I snuggled up against his chest, his cool iron arm holding me close, and his chin resting very lightly on my head. At this moment, here in the warmth of Edward's car, contrasting with the coldness of his marble body against mine, there was nowhere in the world I'd rather be.
"I won't be at school this afternoon…" Edward murmured sadly.
"Why? You already hunted. " My voice became quiet at his words; why would he need to leave? We had Biology at that time. And it wasn't sunny at all today.
"But you won't be at school for the afternoon either…" Edward responded, and it sounded like there was a smile in his voice. I smiled in response, and my heart started beating a little faster. We were ditching? It wasn't like Edward to take me out of school.
"Huh?" My outrageously witty response sent Edward into quiet chuckles and he turned his body around to look at me. He was smiling at me. I gazed into his mesmerizing golden eyes.
"How would you like to come for a run with me later?" He looked excited now; his eyes were shining. My eyebrows rose in surprise and it took me a little longer than normal to answer.
"Oh… I mean, sure." I suddenly felt a rush of excitement and it made me incoherent. But I wondered how I would escape from school. I would have to pretend to be sick…but with Edward ditching too, wouldn't that cause suspicion?
"But how…" I trailed off; Edward was shaking his head before I could finish. It was as if he could read my mind after all. "No one is going to suspect, Bella. Trust me, I know how teachers think. They won't notice a thing. I want you to see something…I think you'll like it." Edward's smile widened further, and I couldn't help grinning back. What did he want to show me?
Edward looked away from me at that moment, his gaze turning to the windscreen. Alice, Jasper, Rosalie and Emmett were getting out of Rosalie's red convertible. They didn't look our way. I glanced at Edward. He looked relaxed, and was still looking at his family.
"Do you want to go see them?" I asked. I wanted to talk to Alice anyway, see how she was.
"Yes. I wouldn't speak to Rosalie though. She's not in the best mood today," Edward smirked and disentangled himself as he spoke. He was opening my door in seconds.
We held hands as we walked to his family. Rosalie and Emmett were staring into each other's eyes. Alice was grinning at us as we approached.
"Hi guys!" said Alice happily and she flitted over to give me a quick hug.
"Hey Alice! How are you?" I smiled.
"Awesome, thanks! I see that Edward has a surprise for you later." Alice looked sideways at Edward, and he shared her grin. Hmm…
Rosalie took Emmett's hand and stalked away, her golden waves sweeping across her back. My eyes followed them until they disappeared into the building, and that's where I saw Mike staring at us. As soon as he caught my eye, he suddenly smiled, but it was a sad smile; it didn't go anywhere near his eyes. Then he glanced at Edward, his smile vanishing as quickly as it had come, and his expression turned to a scowl. He spun to walk to class. Edward sighed.
Jasper waited behind Alice, staring into the distance.
"Let's go." said Edward.
We walked hand in hand to class. Edward had changed his schedule so we would share almost all our classes together. I have no idea how he did that. He must have compelled the staff with his eyes, making it impossible to say no.
We sat right beside each other, and Edward played footsie with me under the table. It was all I could do not to smile so hard that I burst out laughing. I just about managed, pressing my lips tightly together. Nobody noticed, too busy listening to the teacher.
In the afternoon, Edward took my hand, whispering in my ear that he had us covered. It was time for his surprise. He scooped me up and whisked me away from the school grounds so fast no one would dream of spotting us. He took me to my room, put his hand into his pocket and held out a small black box. He opened it and I saw a beautiful moonstone ring inside. It glowed blue in the light. He slid it onto the third finger of my right hand, deliberately not choosing my left hand instead – it was as if he was saving it for the future. He also had a second gift for me: a silver clasp bracelet with a turquoise stone in the middle. I slipped it onto my wrist. It looked beautiful. I hugged him hard and thanked him. Such lovely gifts, I was so grateful. It was like early birthday presents.
Over the next few days, school became a blur of exams and excited conversations of next year's prom. I was never going to be subjected to it again, and I made sure Edward fully knew that fact. He was the only one keeping me sane through all this mayhem - Jessica was already planning to shop for her prom dress, and practically every girl I walked past was talking about who she wanted as her date. Personally, I didn't get it.
I thought of my birthday next week. To be honest, I wasn't looking forward to it. It meant I would be one year older than Edward. Ugh. I already felt old. I wondered what Alice had planned. It was sure to be a major party or something. Various scenarios played out in my head, all very embarrassing.
The Forks rain continued, making the sky look miserable, but I looked ahead to the coming weeks with positivity, knowing that Edward would be right there with me.