Chapter Playlist- I Can't Stay Away by The Veronicas

Previously… (BPOV)

"Thanks," I said. "For the bed, and for… well, everything." I glanced at the sofa to see his eyes smouldering back at me, even through the darkness.

"You're more than welcome, Bella," he murmured. Then he rolled over. "Goodnight."

"Night," I whispered, inhaling deeply once again and tucking the sheets tighter around me.

The Hard Way To Learn A Lesson

Chapter 16- Curiosity

Edward POV

All I could think about that night was her. Mostly her voice. Her amazing, incredible voice, and how I wanted more. How it was like a drug to me. When I heard her singing one of Esme's old favourite songs from outside the room, it was the single most beautiful thing that I had heard in my life and I just wanted to hear more. I could imagine how it would sound when combined with the sweet melody I had played the other night when I pictured her face in my mind and I swear my knees melted. That was the best way I could describe it, and I still sounded like a total girl.

I watched as she fidgeted every now and then in her sleep. That girl had me wrapped completely round her little finger without even knowing it. This was the first time I had felt this strongly about a girl since Tanya. Actually, this was a hell of a lot stronger, and that scared me. Because Tanya had only ended in disaster and, if I felt stronger, then it could end up even worse. I couldn't imagine Bella doing anything close to as horrible as what Tanya had done, but I could imagine myself doing something, saying something, feeling something… whatever to hurt her. Unintentionally, of course. Remember the whole 'beating myself up' thing?

"Edward," she murmured.

I beamed, and then decided to see what would happen if I spoke. "I'm here," I whispered across the room.

"Stay," Bella whispered back, the fingers on the hand that was dangled over the side of the bed twitching slightly. "Don't go."

"I'll never leave you, Bella," I said intensely, really, really hoping that she wasn't actually awake and just having me on.

"Thank you," she muttered.

"Anytime."

She didn't reply this time, instead turning over and lifting her dangled hand to drape it over her chest. Her mouth twitched a little and then she moaned a bit before slipping into the deeper, dreamless slumber.

"Goodnight, Bella," I whispered into the night.

***

Morning came all-too-soon, pulling me from sweet dreams consisting of a certain girl with chocolate brown eyes. Technically, it wasn't the morning that ripped the dreams away, but the girl herself.

The school morning was as dull as usual. The only good thing about it was that I had Biology, my one other lesson with Bella. I had gotten there early (well, earlier than Mason) on purpose so that I could choose our desk for the lesson and make sure that it was behind Bella.

"What are you doing?" she hissed over her shoulder when I dumped my bag on the desk behind hers.

"Sitting down, what's it look like?" I retaliated.

Bella shook her head and looked back to the front, but I had seen the little smile that graced her lips when she thought I couldn't see.

Mason didn't pay any attention to the fact that we were behind Bella when he came in, thank God, but I didn't learn a single thing in Biology because I spent the whole lesson staring at her back and daydreaming about her.

At the end of the lesson, I took ages packing all my stuff away so that Mason would go without me and then I walked up behind her and tapped her shoulder.

She jumped and spun round. "Oh. It's you."

"Who else would it be?" I asked.

She shrugged, but was looking edgily across the room to where Lauren Mallory and cronies were still sat. Sheesh- why'd it take girls so long to pack up?

"Well?" Bella broke the silence I hadn't realised that there was between us.

"Well what?" I asked.

"What did you want?"

"Oh." I frowned. What did I want, other than to hear her voice? "Um… nothing, I guess."

Bella raised one eyebrow. "Right."

"Okay." I clapped my hands together awkwardly.

"Okay," Bella echoed, looking pointedly at me. She gestured to her now-empty desk. "I'm gonna… go now."

"Oh. Sure," I said.

She gave a little wave and then left. I watched her go before realising that I should probably leave too.

The rest of the morning, though, dragged. I was kept in late to finish work that I hadn't done in the lesson in Spanish and so when I got to the cafeteria, all the good food was gone. I grabbed a cheese sandwich that looked like it had been there for a week - actually, it probably had been there for a week - and a bottle of water before going to sit at my usual place.

However, I got a surprise to find that my seat was taken. Taken by a girl with long dark hair. Of all people… I sighed and sat down at the empty seat next to her.

"You're in my seat," I informed her.

"Oh, I'm sorry," she said turning to cock an eyebrow at me. "Finders keepers, losers weepers."

"I don't think that applies to a seat," I said. "Why are you here anyway? You aren't allowed on the cool table."

Bella's face fell slightly and I regretted the snub instantly. "Jasper invited us. Both of us."

"Oh." I looked across the table to where Jasper was sat. Alice was next to him, chattering about something with hand gestures and everything. He was listening avidly. "Of course."

Bella smiled a little. "I think it's sweet."

"I think it's weird," I said. "I mean, can you imagine dating Alice? You'd never get a word in edgeways."

Bella chuckled, and then went back to picking at her lasagne. I watched her until she looked up, her brow furrowed.

"Edward?" she said quietly.

"Yeah?"

"Do you…" She took a deep breath. "Do you hate me?"

I was shocked. "What?" I gasped. "Where did you get that idea?"

"I didn't," she replied. "I just… wondered."

"Bella, I could never hate you," I whispered intensely. For the first time, I realised that I was leaning toward her because she leant back a bit, alarmed by my intensity.

She cleared her throat a bit and then looked at my pitiful lunch. "Do you want a bit of lasagne?"

"No, it's yours," I said, looking at my lunch too, embarrassed.

"Have it," Bella insisted. "I don't want any more."

It did smell delicious. I sighed and gave in. "Thanks." I took her plate and speared some lasagne on a clean fork. It was a bit cold, but a lot better than the week-old sandwich that was the alternative.

Bella watched as I ate her dinner, and I could've sworn that I saw sadness in her eyes, but whenever I looked up, she smiled at me. I was hyper-aware of her sitting beside me throughout the lunch hour even though we didn't speak another word. It was like an electric current constantly passed through us when we were in a five metre radius of each other. It was my buzz, my drug. Bella was my drug, and I was totally and utterly addicted.

Bella POV

School was dull, boring, dreadful… whatever. And, what's more, Lauren Mallory was picking up on Edward and I's friendly relationship and was now placing doubts in my mind about Edward's friendliness by telling me that he hated me.

But of course our relationship was, and always would be, just friendly, although Lauren apparently thought otherwise. I have no idea why, but apparently I'm competition compared toward her; the perfect blonde cheerleader. So she was being increasingly horrible and I had that awful feeling that she'd have it in for me until the end of the project. Or beyond, if Edward didn't cease all contact with me when we no longer had to stay with each other.

When we got home, Alice dragged me up to her room, insisting that she needed to start getting ready now.

"But there are still three and a half hours until Jasper comes and picks you up!" I pointed out.

"Exactly!" Alice was close to shrieking. "I should have had at least four hours of getting-ready time! I knew I should have skipped school this afternoon!"

"Alice Cullen," a voice came from the doorway. "That is not the right attitude at all."

We looked over to see Esme watching us with a smile about her lips.

"But, Mum," Alice whined, "Jasper is tres important!" She waved her arms in the air.

Esme chuckled. "So you guys don't want a homemade chocolate brownie if you're busy getting ready for the most important night of your life?"

Alice hesitated; she had told me that Esme's homemade brownies were her weakness. "Can you bring them up?" she asked.

Esme smiled and produced a tray from behind her back. "I knew you'd say that," she told us, setting the tray on Alice's desk. On the tray there were two glasses of lemonade and a plate with two chocolate brownies on.

"Thanks Mum!" Alice squealed, pouncing on the tray. Esme and I laughed.

"Have fun guys," Esme said before going back downstairs.

***

Three hours later, Alice was using straightening tongs on her blow-dried hair to make it flick out extravagantly. How come when it was her hair, she did it great but when it was mine, she hacked it into pieces?

"You look great, Alice," I told her from where I was sat watching on her bed.

She looked at me in the mirror and grinned. "Thanks." There was a pause and then Alice said, "Edward likes you, you know."

I frowned. "He does?"

"Yes." Alice rolled her eyes, concentrating back on her hair. "He likes you quite a lot."

I laughed. "Sure, Alice. He likes me as far as he's putting up with me until the project ends," I said, though deep down, I did know that he liked me a bit more than that. But I had had no experience with boys at all; I didn't know whether the small amount of contact Edward and I had was friendly or… something different.

Alice spun her chair round and looked at me with one eyebrow raised. "And you like him. I know. Believe me, I'm good with these things. Jasper and I were watching the two of you at lunch today. Jasper is good at working out people. It's obvious that the two of you are absolutely smitten. Completely and utterly."

"I don't think so Alice," I disagreed. "We're just friends."

"Believe what you want, but you're just blind to your real relationship." Alice turned back to the mirror and flicked the straighteners off, reaching in the drawer for her make-up… again.

I didn't have anything to say in response to that so I just watched as she re-applied more sparkly blue muck to her eyelids. She had told me earlier that it brought out the colour of her eyes more.

I ended up lying on her bed flicking through one of her books while she put on the 'finishing touches' of make-up. I had 'read' about sixteen pages when I realised that the book was upside down. Ugh, this was so annoying. Edward was like a disease. He slowly overtook my body, starting with my pulse, my breathing, my dreams and now my mind was forever thinking of him. He was infectious. Or maybe the correct term was… addictive.

I opened my mouth to ask Alice how much Edward liked me, whether it was the same for him – did he think of me all the time? Did his heart thud so hard when he saw me that it hurt? – but then the doorbell rang and Alice shoved me out of the door whispering, "Go!"

"Aren't you gonna get it?" I asked, confused.

"No!" Alice hissed like I had just suggested something illegal. "That would make me look too eager!" Then she slammed the bedroom door in my shocked face.

I raised my eyebrows and went downstairs to answer the door to Jasper.

"Hey," he said. He was wearing smart jeans and a black button-up shirt and looked as though he had spent almost as much time on his hair as Alice.

"Hi," I replied, letting him in. "Alice will be right down."

He grinned at me. "Thanks again for this Bella," he said.

I laughed. "You are totally welcome."

"Are you sure there's no one you want me to set you up with?" he offered, a cheeky smile on his otherwise composed, and slightly nervous, face.

I frowned, thinking of what Alice had said. "No. And why on earth are you putting stupid ideas in Alice's head that Edward likes me?" I demanded.

Jasper had the decency to look a little guilty. "Well… because he does," he replied sheepishly.

"Well don't!" I ordered, trying, and probably failing, to keep the shock off of my face. "Alice scares me when she does that."

Jasper laughed but then the smile almost literally fell off his face as he stared up the stairs. I looked up as well to see Alice coming towards us, a shy smile gracing her lips. She wore a silvery blue dress that slid down her body like a waterfall, emphasising her perfect figure and her make-up was immaculate, her hair incredible. She looked like a runway model, and I felt stirrings of jealousy. I was surprised at myself- I never got jealous. I had to remind myself that this end result had taken three and a half hours to get to, and I would never sit through three hours of torture; I'd draw the line at two.

I waved the two of them off and then went upstairs, lost as for what to do. I decided to look for Edward so I headed to his room.

The door was shut so I knocked tentatively. "Edward?" I called through. "Edward?"

There was no reply, so I pushed the door open slightly to see that the room was empty.

I frowned and went downstairs, glancing in every room. I couldn't find him anywhere. So I came back upstairs, called his name once more and then caught sight of the third set of stairs. Curious, I snuck up them and along the third landing of the huge house.

"Edward?" I called softly. I opened the first door and looked inside, to find that it was only storage. I sighed and looked around. Maybe he was out. But that was when I saw it. The sign hanging on the third door on the right. It read: Eward's Dn- eep ut.

Edward's Den – Keep Out. Well, a 'keep out' (or 'eep ut') sign usually triggered the opposite response in me and this time was no different. I tip-toed along the landing and put my hand on the door handle. I took a deep breath and turned it to the right. There was a small click and the door opened slightly. I pushed it open and peered inside.

The first thing I noticed was the musky smell. It smelt as though no one had been in here for years and, judging by the sign on the door, I'd guess that I was right.

I stepped inside, the off-white carpet soft under my bare feet as the floor creaked loudly. I cringed and then I saw the huge, shapeless object hidden by a sheet that obviously used to be white but was now a grey-ish colour. I padded over and took the edge of the sheet between the thumb and forefinger of my right hand. I rubbed it between my fingers and lifted it slightly to see a bit of dark brown wood. It seemed to be in perfect condition. My brow furrowed and I pulled it again, wanting to see what was hidden underneath the sheet. And now I noticed the paper that littered the floor; loads of sheets of paper just strewn everywhere. I dithered for a second, wondering whether to look under the sheet or read what was on the paper.

"What are you doing?" His velvet voice was furious.

I spun round, dropping the sheet to see Edward stood in the doorway looking angrier than I had ever seen him. He was so angry that it scared me.

"I… was… um… well… looking for you and…" I stammered.

He cut me off. "Get out."

I swallowed and pushed past him out of the room and down the stairs. I heard the door slam and then footsteps following me. My heart thudded against my ribcage, terrified that I could make him so cross. But now I was more curious than ever; what was under that sheet that he didn't want me to see?

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Uh-oh. Edward is totally not happy :S

OMC. I actually think you guys are gonna like the next chapter! :D It's possibly my fave chapter that I've written. Feel free to have your guesses but no, they don't get together, I just think you'll like it :D

Sorry that this is a late update (UK time) but I had to watch the X Factor! No, I'm not obsessed; I only watch the auditions and the final really. I watched the final last year at my friend's house and they showed a special Twilight trailer! I can't wait till they start showing NM trailers on TV—I'll probably prefer the actual ads to whatever program I'm watching then :D

So, feel free to guess why you'll like the next chapter and I'll put it up tomorrow!

PLEASE REVIEW!!!

Thanks

Steph

Loads of people singing Paramore! :D love Paramore :D mind you, who doesn't? Lol, now I'm gonna get attacked by people that don't like Paramore :D And Taylor Swift (who I also love) and Michael Jackson. Most of you just singing whatever song you've got stuck in your head which is what I do- just sing (quietly in my case LOL) songs from whatever album I'm listening to. At the moment, that is totally the Veronicas and Secondhand Serenade. They both rule :D

No question for this chapter D: I might stop the questions while I do the daily updates. Sorry- I hope you don't mind :D