A/N:My beta gets all the credit... jadedandboring. Love her. Also, thank to Kris.. . for actually getting me to post this.
Chapter title is We Won't Run by Sarah Blasko.
SM owns all things Twilight, I just gave Jasper a bike, Edward a book, and Bella some issues :)
Chapter Seven: We Won't Run
Lights are burning
See what you could not see
It's plain as the day
The night makes you pay
For what was hidden underneath
Longing to leave
But begging to feel that
Something will make you stay
Gotta believe that this all leads
Somewhere we've never been
Bella logged into her blog, BrownEyedGirl, and did something she hadn't done in a long time: wrote. She typed out three quick sentences before becoming frustrated, clicking submit quickly, and walking away from her computer.
I still see your face when I close my eyes to sleep.
I blame her.
The things that defined my childhood now dictate all I do.
The morning of the presentation, Bella swallowed her pride and asked Alice for her help. Magically, she quaffed Bella until she looked polished and professional, her outfit composed of a black pencil skirt and ruffled white top. She didn't chance falling in the slick weather, wearing simple black flats.
"Are you sure I look okay?" she asked, looking into the mirror, adjusting a curl hanging over her shoulder. Alice had given her a very elegant side pony, and the curls cascaded over her shoulder, each of them lying perfectly.
"Stop messing with it!" Alice growled, rushing to get herself ready for school.
"I'm nervous!" Bella replied, getting flustered long before they even left the house.
"You're going to need to calm down. You and Edward spent so much time together making that project perfect. With his genius and your literary prowess, I'm sure that you're going to ace this presentation," Alice reassured her, stopping to stroke her arm gently. She went about putting some sort of product into her hair, before clapping her hands together, apparently content with the way she looked. "How did you do it, by the way?" she asked.
"Do what?" Bella responded, puzzled.
"Spend so much time with Edward without jumping him... I mean, out of the twins, he's not necessarily my first pick, but he is pretty adorable, in a geeky way." Alice pouted at the mirror, putting on some lip gloss before grabbing her book bag and flittering out the room.
Bella followed her, flinging her green canvas messenger bag over her shoulder.
"Don't forget a jacket, Bella. White tops and rain don't mix," Alice threw back to Bella from downstairs.
Bella grumbled, going to her closet and looking for a jacket that was more than just a plain hoodie. Unfortunately, her search was in vain. "Alice, I've got nothing," she shouted, searching through the array of garments in her closet once more.
Alice dashed up the stairs. "Bella, Bella, Bella," Alice tsked. She looked through the closet once, huffing, before exiting the room. Bella followed close behind and watched as Alice began throwing things out of her closet. "Bella, the problem here is that your torso is longer than mine, and so if I give you a tailored jacket, it will be disproportionate to your figure."
"Huh?" Bella asked, astounded. "English please?"
"No sister of mine should be this fashion illiterate," Alice grumbled, thrusting a military jacket in Bella's general direction. Bella put it on and immediately fell in love with it. "I take it you like it," Alice beamed.
"Like it? Who knew you had something this cool in your wardrobe!" Bella laughed, running her hands over the thick material.
"We're officially going on a shopping excursion. You, me, and Dad's card. Tomorrow," Alice shut the closet door, ignoring the huge pile of clothes now on the floor.
"Chief is not just going to give over his card without a fight," Bella raised an eyebrow, grabbing her bag and heading out the room, down the stairs.
"That's what you think," Alice said, following her out the front door.
At school, Bella garnered a great deal of attention from very odd sources. From the minute she walked into the door, she could feel eyes plastered upon her like she was the newest circus freak show.
The only eyes that mattered, a set of emerald green, observed her carefully from behind his brand-new glasses. Twins to his old pair, the thick black rims were polished and matched his pristinely ironed slacks. He wore a button-up green shirt that matched his eyes underneath a tailored black vest. He ducked his way into their classroom, slipping into his usual seat next to the wall without causing too much fuss.
"Your woman looks like a human being today," Lauren slithered over, draping an arm across his chair.
"She's not my woman," Edward replied carefully, wishing that the words coming from his lips weren't true. His mind immediately was drawn to thoughts of walking into school with Bella, hand in hand, and how shocked everyone would be. The truth was, no matter how much physical attention he gave Bella, and how close they were slowly becoming, she was still his brother's girl. "You know she's with my brother."
"You know Edward," she slinked down into the seat next to his, Bella's seat, "I heard that, but lately it doesn't seem like Bella gives your brother any attention at all."
"Oh really?" He tried to sound genuinely surprised, but he knew it was the truth. They had spent every spare moment on their project, and even Esme found it odd that Bella had pulled so far away from Jasper.
"Yeah, that's right," her head bobbed up and down while her tongue carefully made out each word. Her pitiful attempts at being 'sexy' didn't rile Edward, he knew what he wanted, and that was a beautiful girl still somewhere in the hallway.
Like an angel, Bella made her appearance into the classroom at the perfect time. She walked straight over to her seat, a small smile on her face, "That's my seat," she said simply, barely looking at Lauren.
"Oh Bella, hey! I was just telling Edward how greatI found it that you two have made such special friends in each other," Lauren's tone was thick with sarcasm, but her face was plastered in a fake, sickeningly-sweet grin.
Bella's nails clicked menacingly on the hardwood top of the desk, "Do you really want to make a scene right now, or are you going to get up and leave my lit partner and myself alone?"
Lauren got up, giving Bella room to sit down, then bent down threateningly close to Bella's ear and whispered, "I have a sense you're more than just litpartners, and if I find out you are..." The warning trailed off as the teacher entered the room. Lauren backed up a few steps. "You'll be sorry," she hissed before making her way back across the room to her normal seat.
"What was that all about?" Bella turned to ask Edward and he shrugged his shoulders. She drank in the sight of him, looking polished, yet far less geeky than she had ever seen him. He had magically gone from total geek, to a hot professional. He could tell she was unabashedly checking him out, and he smiled his token grin. "We're gonna nail this shit," she said smugly, looking ahead at the Ms. Sanchez who had begun giving out final reminders about the presentations.
It was a few moments before Bella's pocket began to vibrate. She reached for her phone, cautiously opening it so as the teacher wouldn't notice.
In more ways than one. -E
Bella sank a bit in her seat, nervously, thinking to herself, 'Did he really just have the balls to do that?' She knew that she couldn't come that close to anyone physically, not just Edward, but God did she want to rip off his clothes and fuck him right there in front of anyway.
Dream on, Cullen. -B
She typed shakily, and she knew he could tell; the grin on his face seemed to be getting wider with every passing second. Group after group gave mediocre presentations, but the only thing Bella could focus on was the heat pooling between her legs, radiating from the boy sitting next to her.
You look beautiful when you flush like that, Bella. -E
She opened the text, her eyes opening wide in utter shock. When had Edward become so forward? And so damn fuckhot? It had to have been recently, because, as hot as he had been before, this newfound confidence was making him irresistible. Bella longed to launch herself onto this desk, rip open her blouse, and ask him to ravage her. Something that Bella had never felt before.
Edward Anthony, we're talking after class. -B
That's when she saw him, out of the corner of his eye, adjust himself ever so slightly. She loved that she had this sort of power over him, the way that one simple text could turn the tide. She wasn't ready to swim anytime soon, but for the first time, she felt as though she was close to floating.
You know my middle name? I'd like to hear you moan it. -E
Bella came undone, literally. Her chest heaved so violently that the top button of her top came unbuttoned. Edward stared and the inch of newly exposed cleavage, sucking on his bottom lip. Bella's eyes wanted to roll into the back of her head.
Bella had been unaware that this entire exchange had happened in the middle of a packed was classroom, until they themselves were being called up to give their presentation. Edward noticed the way she became instantly nervous and longed to reach out and grab her hand, give her a hug, do anything to show her that it was going to be okay. But if he did, he knew that she'd run out of the classroom and never come back. Bella wasn't ready for that, but he hoped that one day soon she would be.
Their presentation was flawless. As soon as Bella heard Edward's harmonious voice, she immediately calmed down, tuning into him and only him. She did her part of the presentation without a single mistake or misstep, and it was because she forgot anyone else was there but herself and Edward. They juggled points back and forth, equally sharing the information they had collected, along with their own ideas and thesis. When they were nearly done, Edward took in the looks on their faces, all the students were taken aback, while Ms. Sanchez grinned with pride.
As they finished, the whole class clapped, and it was obvious their project had been the best in the bunch. They passed a look between each other, which outwardly appeared to be a friendly smile, but inwardly communicated so much more. It communicated an understanding. Edward had always known Bella was intelligent, but he now knew she was more than intelligent, she was his equal. And Bella knew that she should never feel ashamed, because Edward knew what she was really about, and he didn't feel the need to make her feel uncomfortable because of it. Bella knew literature. It was what she had always known, and there was no shame in her love for the written word.
As soon as class was over, Bella hurriedly made her way to the back entrance of the school. She was in desperate need of a cigarette, and some peace and quiet with which to clear her head of the compulsive thoughts of one super-geek, Edward Cullen.
Bursting through the double-doors, she took the stairs in stride, walking to a secluded area in which she usually enjoyed a cigarette on seemingly nice days. Her new jacket didn't have the ample pocket room that her usual hoodie did, and she held her pack of Marlboro 54's in her hand.
As soon as she lit up, Bella could sense eyes watching her. She turned around and found a wide-eyed Jasper, shamelessly checking her out. "Jasper, quit, it's creepy," she chastised, taking a drag of her cigarette.
"To check out the fine ass of your own girlfriend? Nope... I'd call that my God-given right." He grabbed one of his own cigarettes, placed it between his lips and lit up, cocky as could be.
"Yeah, Jasper, about that," and as soon as she had finally worked up the inner-confidence to tell Jasper that she didn't really have romantic feelings for him, he started backing away.
"Oh shit Bella, gotta get to class!" he hustled away. Bella made no attempt to chase after him, her outfit instantly seeming to be too-tight and uncomfortable. She wiggled around, pulling the skirt down a little, and straightening out some of the top's buttons.
"You look fine Bella," the second Cullen brother to interrupt her smoking break soon emerged through the trees.
"Jesus, you scared me," she jumped a little. "What are you doing out here?"
"I came to find you, to congratulate you on how amazing you were back there," he smiled, a genuine smile that made Bella's world feel a little off-kilter.
"Well thank you Edward, you were great too." She dropped the cigarette to the ground, putting it out with her shoe. She chewed on her bottom lip nervously, not knowing what to say next.
He reached out to touch her, and she felt the heat begin to flow within her. This is what he did to her, each and every time his hands graced her. She reached up and cupped his face gently, treading on the thin ice that was her resolve to not push him up against a tree and molest him. She had done that before, numerous times, but their relationship had changed since then. As much as she wanted him, it was now about more than just a physical relationship, she had let him in.
As soon as Bella realized it, she recoiled, shaking her hand as if it were burnt. "What have you done to me?" she asked.
"Bella, I..." he trailed off, not knowing what to say.
"Edward, you rearrange everything. My life worked the way it was." She stumbled back, hitting a root and nearly tumbling to the ground.
He was immediately at her side, helping her regain her balance. "You've done the same thing to me," he said so quietly that she could barely make it out.
"I don't know what to do," she replied honestly. His chin fell and they were now forehead to forehead, each set of eyes searching the other's for answers.
"Tell me you're done with him," Edward pleaded.
"It's not that easy," she pressed, closing her eyes and relishing the feel of him against her. It felt like he was reaching the breaking point. Either giving himself over to her, or taking himself away, and as Jasper refused to talk with her, she was still with the wrong brother.
He sighed, kissing her forehead before pulling away from her. He cradled her cheek in his palm for just a second longer, before backing away and looking towards the ground. "Bella, I can't do this anymore."
"Can't do this?" Bella questioned barely above a whisper. "What is this, anyway?"
"I don't know." His hand ran through his hair, causing it to fly in all sorts of directions. If she had ever been jealous of a hand, she was jealous of that hand. Because in that moment all she wanted was to run her hand through his copper strands, and comfort him in any way she could.
She asked the question they had both been dreading. "Is this goodbye?"
A/N:Review, review, review! I love all of your ideas/theories :)