She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom!
~Nathaniel Hawthorne

Chapter Twenty: The Divine Comedy

Emmett was sitting on the counter with a big smirk on his face, watching me. He'd arrived home just as I was stumbling out of the cab, and despite my protests, he'd insisted on carrying me up the stairs. I was glad I didn't have to navigate the stairwell alone in my drugged out state, but what I did not appreciate was hanging upside down over his shoulder the whole way. I'm pretty sure he was flexing his butt the entire time.

"What's so funny?" I asked.


I tried to glare at him, but I only made myself burst into a fit of giggles. Giggles!

"See?" he said, pointing right at me and grinning.

I threw a potato at him instead.

"Am I interrupting something?" Edward asked with a smirk.

"Dude, we gotta keep her on these pills!" Emmett exclaimed.

Another potato had to die, but at least it beaned Emmett on its way out.

"Okay, Ms. Swan, maybe you should sit down for a minute," Edward said in his best doctor voice.

I grabbed another potato, but he was too fast. Before I could even think about throwing it, he'd caught my wrist. I tried to push him away, but soon my other wrist was caught and held above my head. His grin was as big as Emmett's.

"Damn, Bella, you're feisty when you're on drugs," Emmett said.

"You leave her alone, or I'll show you feisty!" Alice threatened from her perch on the sofa. She and Rosalie were engrossed in a Project Runway marathon on TV.

I struggled weakly to pull my hands from Edward's grasp, but it was useless. For my efforts, I got a very smug, very amused, very crooked smile. Well, just because Edward had my hands pinned didn't mean I had to give in easily.

"Ow!" he groaned. A quick kick in the shin will do that. I just smiled at him.

A second later I was pressed between his body and the counter. He was smiling triumphantly, and I couldn't take my eyes off his lips. I could feel every line of his body against mine…his strong thighs pressing into mine, his chest flat against me, his…well, if that was the effect I had on him, I couldn't very well just let it slide. I smirked and wiggled against him.

"What are we going to do with you?" Edward laughed, backing away from me slightly.

I was tempted to suggest a few things. I just started giggling again. Emmett was right. These pills were wonderful.

"Rosalie!" Edward yelled toward the living room. "Your assistance is needed in the kitchen."

"But I don't cook!" she yelled back.

"Can you babysit?"

Rosalie kept me occupied while Edward and Emmett finished making dinner. I was so loopy from the pain medication Carlisle had given me that I spent most of the time laughing at their efforts. It didn't help that Emmett had decided to don the flowered apron I had hanging in the pantry. Edward had to ask me for instructions a few times, but in the end, the meal came together perfectly, and for the most part, my kitchen was in one piece. Jasper even volunteered to do the dishes afterward.

Like the last time, when the evening came to a close, Edward and I were the only ones left.

"How are you feeling?" he asked.

"Wonderful," I said, trying to stifle a yawn.

"No headache, dizziness, nausea…?"

"No, Dr. Edward," I laughed. "I feel great."

He shook his head & smiled. "Come on. I'm taking you to bed."

Huh? I knew I was a little out of it, but had I missed something? I was filled with a mixture of panic and excitement, and I'm sure `I turned bright red.

"Not like that, Bella," he said. "I just don't want you walking into walls or falling off the balcony after I leave."

If I wasn't blushing before, I was now. Of course my mind had gone straight to the gutter when he was just trying to be a gentleman. He led me down the hallway to my bedroom, and I suddenly felt very sober…and very uncomfortable. I plopped down on the side of the bed.

"Where do you keep your nightgowns?" he asked.


"Whatever you sleep in. Where do you keep it?" he asked again.

I pointed to the dresser. Surely he wasn't going to… "Edward, I…you don't have to…" Please don't open my underwear drawer! I jumped to my unsteady feet as his hand hovered at the top drawer of my dresser, sighing with relief when he hesitated and moved to the drawer below it. He plucked out one of my big t-shirts, chuckled when he saw the faded image on the front, and handed it to me.

"Here, put this on and get in bed," he said. Then he walked into the hallway, shutting the door behind him. I changed as quickly as I could and crawled into bed. Had he left?

As if he could read my mind, I heard a knock at the door. "May I come in now?" he asked.

"Yeah," I said, trying not to sound as freaked out as I was. I sat up, but I didn't know what to do. Should I say something? Apologize for being so…weird tonight?

He walked over to the bed. Sitting down on the edge, he placed a glass of water on my nightstand. I watched as he checked out my alarm clock, pressing a few of the buttons, and then switched it on.

"Lie down, Bella," he said softly.

It was the first time a man had been in my room since James. The bed was different, as was the paint on the walls, the rug…pretty much everything. But it was still my room, and here he was, sitting on my bed. He put his hand on my shoulder, pressing lightly, and my body obeyed without my permission. I lay back against the pillows, staring at his beautiful face in the warm glow of the lamp. He pulled the duvet up over my chest and leaned in. My eyes fluttered shut as I felt his soft lips press against my forehead.

"Sweet dreams, Bella," he whispered.

Oh, they would be now.