The Twilight Twenty-Five
Penname: Miss Snazzy
I stared out the window, sighing deeply as the clouds drifted across the gray sky. I often wished I could be one of them—unhindered by obligation and free to roam the Earth.
These moments of reflection were coming quite frequently now and although they made me a little sad, I truly cherished them. These thoughts were stress-free and merely observations of how inadequate my life has become.
None of that necessarily worried me at these times because I felt more like an outsider analyzing my life. Of course when the moment passes, I'll be open to the dreary feelings once more.
The life of a cloud seemed so glorious because I felt trapped.
Here I was closed off in a tiny three-walled cubicle working Monday through Friday, nine to five, at a dead end job and doing something I hated.
One of my co-workers, James, took me out a couple times. I wasn't really interested and would have declined if it weren't for my friends always pestering me to go out more. We didn't really "click" on our first date, but I decided to give him another chance when my friend Jacob proclaimed I didn't have any sex organs.
I knew what he was doing—trying to goad me into proving him wrong. I knew this, but the way everyone laughed at his comment annoyed me enough to fall for it. Besides, it isn't like I actually disliked the dates. They were fun…I just wasn't really interested in James romantically. Even though we always went Dutch, I felt guilty for leading him on.
One day our boss Victoria called me into her office. Turns out she had a thing for James, but was unable to date him herself due to her superior position. I won't get into the details, but she said something along the lines of "Get away from my man, Bitch. Or you're fired."
Now normally I wouldn't give into a threat like that so easily, but I needed this job.
I hated the mandatory pencil skirts, stockings, and heels. I hated the daily routine of doing my make-up at red lights and having to suck down massive amounts of coffee. I truly loathe my job, but that doesn't change the fact that I need that bi-monthly paycheck.
So I broke it off with him to save my job and because really, I didn't like him that much anyway. I felt guilty and cowardly despite my disinterest, but it had to be done.
What a mistake that had been.
He took the news pretty hard—apparently he had really liked me. He wouldn't stop calling and begging me to give him another chance. He sent all kinds of gifts to my apartment—bouquets, chocolates, even singing telegrams.
I was practically going out of my mind with the number of voicemails, text messages, and letters that he actually slid underneath my door. No postage stamp.
By that time, I was sleeping with a shotgun beside my bed.
One night he stood outside my apartment, banging on the door and begging for me to let him in. He claimed he loved me and wanted to make up for whatever he thought he had done wrong.
Finally I couldn't take it anymore and told him if he didn't leave I would call the cops.
James is a pretty persuasive guy and could get away with just about anything. It was that quality that really bothered me at work when he would get special treatment. Still, James knew he wouldn't be able to talk his way out of this if the police showed up.
One of the benefits of being the daughter of the Chief of Police was that every officer in the surrounding states knew my name and would be by my side in a flash if I called for a ride, let alone something like this.
He left then and we hadn't spoken since.
A month later, I was still a little creeped out, but thankful it was all over.
Or so I thought.
"Bella!" Victoria shouted as she skidded to a halt in front of my cubicle. Her usually sleeked back into a ponytail red hair was cascading down her head in wild curls. Her hands were shaking and her face distressed.
Victoria never lost her cool.
"What happened?" I asked, shooting up from my seat.
"It's James! He's standing on the roof threatening to jump if you don't go up there and talk to him!"
I paled at her words. "But I—"
"There isn't time!" she exclaimed as she grabbed my arm and dragged me over to the stairs.
I pointed at the elevators. "Why don't we take—"
"There isn't time!" she shouted again before practically carrying me up the several flights of stairs. Luckily we were fairly close to the top; otherwise I would have passed out from exertion. How those women in horror movies run with heels, I'll never know.
The door to the roof flew open as Victoria shoved it with more strength than I thought anyone that thin could possess. The force of the wind pulled my scrunchy loose, sending my hair whipping around my face. That was what I got for losing my elastic ouch less hair ties.
James stood along the edge, framed by the massive amounts of crusty pigeon crap that nature had collected on top of the building. His long blonde hair was tied back at the base of his neck like always, but lacked its usual shine. It looked greasy and frizzed around his face with the sweat collected on his brow.
Victoria stepped toward him. "I brought her! See James? Please don't jump! Please don't—"
"Go away, Victoria," he cut her off.
"But James, I—"
James slid his toe to the side so that part of his foot rested only on air. "Vicky…" he said smoothly. "You wouldn't want me to jump, would you?"
Victoria shook her head, her eyes wide with fear.
"Then leave us," he sneered.
I watched Victoria back away, until she disappeared behind the door. I brushed a piece of hair out of the corner of my mouth in annoyance. When I looked back at James, he was staring at my lips.
"Kiss me, Bella."
"What?" I asked in disbelief. "No!"
"Stop playing coy. We both know you love me, so just admit it."
"You do," he argued. "You do because you're here. If you didn't love me, you wouldn't be here trying to stop me from jumping."
"Yes I would. I may not love you, but I don't want you to die," I said slowly, my gaze attached to his foot which was almost hovering over the edge.
An angered sound escaped him and I squeaked in fear as he grabbed me harshly by the upper arms. "Stop it! You love me, I know you do!" he shouted in my face.
"Let go of me, James."
"I will when you admit it!"
"Let go of me!" I yelled as I struggled in his arms, weary of the close proximity of the ledge.
"Admit it!" As the spit from him mouth splashed across my cheek, something in me snapped.
"I don't love you, James. I never loved you. Now stop being a psychotic asshole and get your hands off of me!"
When my moment of fury—something so rare and all consuming—passed, I was left with a belligerent James, digging his fingernails into my skin. I regretted what I had said as I stared at the crazed look in his eyes.
"LOVE ME!" he screamed, shaking me roughly.
Many things happened.
James's rough movement caused me to take a step back. The sudden pressure of my full weight on that foot made the heel snap. The broken shoe slid along the concrete as it made contact with a pile of fresh pigeon crap. I fell off the ledge as James's hands loosened at the sound of the crack of my shoe.
The wind whipped my hair into my face, so that I couldn't see. I suppose I was lucky—I wouldn't have to watch the concrete creep towards me. I imagined my body splattering upon impact, coating the bystanders in flesh and blood.
That was when I hit something. Hard.
There was glass—shattering around me, slicing into my forearm. Was the pain of death supposed to be so…sharp? Where had the glass come from? What happened to the wind?
I opened my eyes.
I stared in awe at the man I was laying on top of.
He had a strong jaw with high cheek bones and dark hair. His eyes were clenched shut, so I allowed my gaze to travel across his body too. Smooth skin, abs, arms, muscles, chiseled. He was shirtless.
He was perfect.
He suddenly rolled us over so that he was hovering above me. His eyes were still closed. I should have been thinking of survival techniques, but I couldn't. There was a half-naked man on top of me.
I held my breath as one of his hands reached up to the side of my face. I stared at his eyelids as he slid a pair of sunglasses over them. That was when I felt it—that feeling you get when someone is looking at you really hard. Despite the lenses, I knew he was staring at me. And rather intensely, it seemed.
"You're hurt," he whispered finally.
I glanced down at my arm—blood brimming over glass, creating a little pool between my skin and the floor of…wherever we were.
"I'm fine," I said because it was all I could think to say.
He sighed and shook his head as he moved to sit beside me. I did the same, mirroring his position. I winced as he picked up my arm.
"The glass has to come out," he said, looking at me with a silent question for permission.
I nodded and proceeded to grind my teeth as he plucked each of the shards of glass out. Being a frequent flier at the hospital for various injuries, I knew a thing or two about glass. The doctor always needed some sort of tweezers utensil and a lot of time. This guy finished in half the time using his fingers.
"Where are we?"
"A storage room in your building."
"How did we get here?" I asked.
"Through the window," he answered simply.
I looked through the massive and jagged hole our makeshift entrance had made. Chunks of glass littered the navy carpet of what appeared to be a mostly empty storage room. A glimpse of gold caught my eye and I noticed the long golden drapes of a room in the building across from us fluttering through a large open window.
"Where did you come from?"
"Through my window." His gaze darted to the hole. "Sorry about the landing," he grimaced.
"You live there?" I asked, pointing at the dark room across from us.
"Wait… Are you saying you—"
"Jumped through my window, caught you mid-fall, and crashed us through that window into this room?" he cut me off.
I nodded with wide eyes.
"I know what you are."
"Do you?" he chuckled. His gaze drifted across the room, his eyebrows arched together in concentration.
"What are you looking for?"
"I need to bandage your arm, but I don't see anything I can use…" he trailed off as I started unbuttoning my blouse. "What are you doing?"
"You said you needed something to bandage my arm, and since we didn't land in a hospital or a fabric store—"
"That doesn't mean you have to get naked!"
I stilled my hands on the third button to stare at him, one eyebrow raised. "Okay first of all, this wound needs to be bandaged. Second, who are you to talk about getting naked? What happened to your shirt?" I paused, letting a smug smile escape as he sat there blushing. "Third," I continued unbuttoning, "I have a tank top under this."
He slid a hand into his hair and tugged on the ends as he turned even redder. "Oh."
I handed him my blouse, but he looked reluctant to rip it. "Go ahead. I hate that shirt."
He tore it until it he had fashioned a long white strip of material and wrapped it around my arm delicately, but with enough pressure to prevent too much blood flow. We stood and I shifted my clothes to make sure nothing was showing. After what had happened, it was remarkable that I hadn't sustained anymore injuries.
"How did you come to that conclusion?"
"Well," I circled him, trailing a finger across his chest and wondering where this confidence had come from. There's something to be said about near death experiences that puts life into perspective. "I don't see any cuts even though you dove through a glass window…shirtless."
"The fact that you were able to jump such a distance and manage to catch me suggests the presence of other abilities," I added as I stopped to stand behind him. I stood up on my toes so that my lips were inches from his ear.
"Superhero," I whispered.
He tensed and I won't deny that I felt a strange sense of satisfaction. Images of Clark Kent invaded my mind as I thought of all the possibilities. Too quick for me to process, he spun around so that he was standing behind me with his lips inches from my ear—swapping our positions.
"What if I'm not the hero?" he paused and I shivered at the phantom contact. "What if I'm the bad guy?" he whispered.
I turned around so that we were facing each other. With my hand splayed across his chest, I stared up at him—wishing I could see his eyes.
"You saved my life."
"Did I?" he chuckled humorlessly, making a pointed glance at my arm. "I did this. I should have never interfered."
I felt a sharp pain in my chest at his words.
"Right," I laughed bitterly, backing away. "Because being splattered on the street would have been so much better."
"I didn't mean it that way," he mumbled. "It's just…I just…I should have never interfered—"
"Well I'm sorry you regret saving my life." I glared at my arm, wondering why the hell I felt bad for just getting injured and not dying.
He placed his hands on my cheeks and gently turned my head until I was looking at him again. "You think I regret saving you?" he asked softly.
"You kind of make it seem that way."
"Well I don't. I don't regret saving you," he said with an unexpected amount of conviction. "I'm just sorry I wasn't more careful—people tend to get hurt around me. I'm happy you're alive," he smiled.
"I'm happy I'm alive too," I smiled back.
We stayed like that for a couple moments, until he realized how close we were, it seemed. He coughed awkwardly after releasing my face and taking a step back.
"So?" he asked.
"What are you called?"
"That's a weird way to ask me for my name…"
"No…well, I mean, I do want to know what your name is, but I was actually referring to what you're called as a superhero."
He ran a hand through his hair again. "I'm not a superhero."
I quirked an eyebrow at him. "Vigilante then?"
He sighed. "Edward."
"That's not very flashy."
"I don't think my parents were going for flashy when they named me," he smirked
"You really don't have a name for your alter ego?" I asked doubtfully.
"Look. I don't have an alter ego. I am not a superhero. I'm just a normal guy who—"
"Who happens to have superhuman abilities that he sometimes uses to save strangers from pummeling to their death?"
I watched him rub his face roughly with his hands, clearly frustrated with the way this conversation was going. Did he honestly believe I was dumb enough to buy his lies?
"Let's not forget about all of those…mysterious cases," I added.
I nodded. "You know…wanted criminals appearing on the police station's doorstep, bound and gagged? Someone had to have left them there. It's not like they turned themselves in."
"How do you know about that?"
"My father's the Chief of Police in Forks. Word travels through the grapevine," I explained
Charlie wasn't one to reveal confidential items of a case to civilians, but I happened to overhear one of his conversations with one of the detectives here in Port Angeles the last time I visited him. After a lot of poking and prodding, he agreed to fill me in as long as I didn't investigate it any further. They suspected someone was trying to take the law into their own hands, deliver justice or whatever, but who knew if the person was dangerous.
"This is bad…this is very bad," he mumbled, eyes darting around the room for an exit.
"What's your favorite animal?" I asked, hoping the question would distract him. It seemed to work.
"Mountain lion. Why?" he asked curiously.
"Superheroes tend to name themselves based off of some sort of animal fetish. Batman, Catwoman—"
"Catwoman was a villain," he smirked.
"I was just trying to offer some more examples, but if you want to get all nit picky…then The Black Canary."
"You made that up."
"No I didn't! The Black Canary was a super heroine that had the ability to produce a high powered sonic scream called the Canary Cry."
We stood there staring at each other, until we eventually erupted into laughter.
"Okay," I giggled. "I am definitely a nerd."
"I find it endearing."
I blushed at the compliment and hid behind my hair as he continued to look at me. He must have realized what he was doing because he started shuffling his feet and rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.
"Well I should—"
"Mountain Lion Man," I blurted.
"That could be your name. Mountain Lion Man."
I regretted the words as soon as they came out. Sometimes my so called ideas needed to remain nonverbal. Sensing my embarrassment, he at least attempted to withhold his laughter.
"My name is Bella, by the way."
"You know? How?"
"I've kind of been…keeping tabs on you," he admitted sheepishly.
I stared at him silently, prompting him to delve further into an explanation. Don't get me wrong—after the whole James thing, I was a little apprehensive about someone keeping tabs on me, but I won't deny I wasn't a little…flattered.
"It's just that I've overheard you talking—I find your insights into most subjects to be very interesting," he rushed, "And then everyday at the same time, you're staring out that window up at the sky with this thoughtful look and I've always wondered what you were thinking, but could never hear it—"
"Wait," I stopped him, holding up my hand. "You say you've overheard me talking?"
He nodded—that sheepish expression returning.
He ran his hand through his hair, seemingly thinking of which lie to feed me this time. I was surprised when he actually told me the truth.
He pointed at the dark room with the golden drapes.
"You could hear me speaking…from all the way over there?" I asked.
"Do you have super hearing?"
"You said you couldn't hear my thoughts…but does that mean…can you…read other people's minds?"
"Why can't you hear my thoughts?" I wondered aloud.
"I'm not sure," he admitted in disappointment.
Well that's a little unnerving. I filed that bit of information away for further thought later.
"Wow," I breathed. "Is there anything you can't do?"
His chuckle died at the sound of sirens.
"I should really go," he began making long strides toward the door. I wasn't ready for my time with him to end.
"Wait—" I reached out for his arm and he stopped.
He looked around frantically. "They can't find me here."
I released his arm, the words dying in my throat as he grabbed the doorknob.
"Shit," he mumbled. "They've already entered the building."
"Can't you hide in here or something?"
"No, it's too risky."
He stepped backward until he was against the wall, staring through the hole at the dark room with golden drapes.
"No," I moved in front of the window. "It's too far. You'll get hurt."
"I'll be fine. I'm a superhero, remember?" he smirked.
I lifted my chin in defiance, unwilling to back down.
"Please," he said urgently.
We stared at each other silently, the sounds outside the room growing louder with each second that passed. I sighed, moving to stand off to the side reluctantly.
"I'll find you," he promised.
In a flash, he was gone. I whipped around to look at the dark room with the golden drapes.
The window was now closed.
The door suddenly burst open and I cringed at the high pitched voice that followed.
"Oh my god! Bella... You're alright!" I flinched at the crushing hug Victoria pulled me into.
Victoria never showed affection, let alone hugged anyone.
"How did you get here? James said you fell?"
"I did…" I paused, quickly thinking up a lie. "I managed to grab onto a ledge and—"
"Threw yourself through this window?" she finished with raised eyebrows.
"It was locked," I explained lamely.
She stared at me for a moment. "You are more resourceful than I thought," she clucked her tongue, shaking her head. "If you applied that type of dedication to your work, you'd be making a hell of a lot more."
"Right," I laughed uneasily. "Would you mind if I took the rest of the day off? You know…to visit a hospital or something to get this taken care of?" I waved my wrapped arm in explanation. There were already blotches of blood seeping through the makeshift bandage.
"Resourceful," she mumbled again. "Sure. Take the rest of the day off, but I will still expect to see you tomorrow bright and early," she warned.
I smirked. "I'll be there."
Victoria took her job a little too seriously sometimes.
I gave the officers who questioned me the same story I gave Victoria. They were surprised I wasn't more severely injured, but eventually just said I was lucky. They may have known me from Charlie, but they weren't familiar with my past injuries. They didn't know how clumsy I was—or that fact that luck was never on my side.
After milking their sympathies a little with my arm, they released me and said I could stop by the station tomorrow after work to make an official statement. I wasn't sure what I would say about James, but I knew I needed to put a stop to his behavior. Whether it was an accident or not didn't really matter—he should have never put me in that position.
By now it hadn't gotten dark and I almost regretted declining when one of the officers offered me a ride. Walking down the dark streets barefoot wasn't really an enjoyable experience, but I supposed it was a minor improvement from the heels—as long as I didn't step in any gum.
I was a couple blocks away from the bus stop when I got this unsettling feeling, like I was being watched. I picked up my pace, no longer monitoring every step I took for wayward pieces of trash. I whipped my head around in search of whoever was following me, but I couldn't see them.
That was when I stepped on something.
I looked down at the crushed box of chocolates under my feet. I picked it up and flipped the card attached to it over. Written in a scrawl I would know anywhere was my name.
I gasped, dropping it quickly before taking off in a run. I took side streets, hoping to lose him, for I knew it was James following me. I could just feel it.
I cursed lightly as I accidentally made a wrong turn.
"Bella!" I cringed at his voice, regretting not accompanying the police officers when they offered.
His eyes were wide with relief, his appearance ruffled and the stink of sweat rising off of him. "I was so worried. Thank god you're alright," he said, opening his arms wide and beckoning me into his embrace.
"Leave me alone, James."
His expression of relief faded into irritation, but he didn't lower his arms. "Come here," he ordered.
"No," I took a step back.
He matched my movement by taking a step forward. "I was so worried," he ground out.
"Seriously James, leave me alone now and I won't tell the police you were involved with what happened today."
"Well Bella, if you had just admitted your feelings, none of that would have happened."
"Are you blaming what happened on me?" I asked incredulously.
"It was your fault."
"You're insane," I spat furiously.
The word set him off and he grew livid. He stalked toward me and I fumbled in my purse frantically, searching for something Charlie had given me when I left Forks. When he was a foot away, I found it and sprayed the Mase in his eyes.
He screamed and I tried to run around him as he rubbed at his eyes, but he grabbed my hair, fisting his hand around my locks. I cried out as he wretched me backward, throwing my body into a concrete wall.
My back collided with the wall harshly, knocking the wind out of me. I tried to ignore the pain and gather my breath as James slapped me roughly across the face. I coughed as blood dripped off my face and onto my shoulder.
I looked up, cringing back as he raised his hand again. This time my gaze flitted away from James and into a pair of golden eyes who were staring viciously at the back of James's head.
"Edward," I breathed.
James turned around just in time for Edward's blow, his body falling into a pair of trashcans with the force of it. Edward paid him no mind after that as he gathered me into his arms and began walking out to the street.
My head was spinning, but I didn't miss his murderous glare as Edward carried me away.
I clung to the fabric of his shirt—he was fully dressed now—as he pushed the door to his apartment building open.
"Good evening Mr. Cullen," a large man in a suit greeted. "Wild night, I take it?" he asked, glancing at me with a kind smile.
"You can take the rest of the night off, Emmett," Edward replied, ignoring his comment.
"Alrighty," he said happily. "Till next time," he addressed me, tilting an imaginary hat.
Edward moved us into an elevator, pressing the button that I imagine would take us to his floor. Neither of us had spoken since I said his name when he saved me from James.
"I can walk."
"Oh, right," he said nervously, setting me down on my feet.
"Thanks," I mumbled.
That was one of the most awkward elevator rides I had ever taken in my life. The doors opened and as I took a step forward, my knees buckled. Edward stopped me from falling and I blushed as his hands remained on my hips.
"I guess I'm still a little woozy."
He nodded, wordlessly slinging one of my arms around his neck as he moved us forward—his body hunched down so that I could reach. He guided us to a door, unlocking it and flicking a light on as he helped me inside.
I surveyed his apartment, finding the décor more luxurious than mine, but not as spectacular as I had suspected. I'm not sure what I was imagining—high tech machinery and a large glass case with a superhero costume clad manikin—but this sure wasn't it.
"This is a lot less…" I trailed off, searching for the right word. "Flashy than I would have expected for a superhero," I grinned.
My smiled fell as I caught his less than amused expression.
"Edward… Is everything okay?" I asked cautiously.
"You know what Bella? No. Everything isn't okay."
I watched him stomp around his apartment for a moment, moving seemingly random objects before making his way to the kitchen. I kept my distance as he pulled a glass out of one of the cupboards and filled it with water from the tap. He swallowed its contents in one long gulp.
I flinched as his hands tightened and the glass he was holding shattered. He watched the pieces fall to the floor, appearing to grow angrier by the second.
He stared at the mess for a beat longer before slamming his head against a wall. I ran over to him, gaze darting from the new hole in the wall to his forehead, checking for damage. Although he seemed to be alright, I pressed my fingers to his skin for good measure. I felt a surge of hurt pass through me when he cringed away from my touch. His rejection hurt more than it should have and I took a step back with that realization.
He looked up at me then, his eyes full of remorse at what he must have seen in mine, before he quickly looked away. His fists clenched again, as his anger became evident once more.
"It's all my fault," he said, staring dejectedly at the ground.
I followed his gaze, surprised to see it rested upon the fragments of glass.
"It's no big deal… I mean that kind of thing happens. It's nothing a broom can't fix," I offered.
He looked up at me in confusion, before he noticed my pointed glance at the floor.
"This isn't about the glass," he said with a small amused smile.
"What's it about then?" I asked gently, leaning against the counter across from him.
"I should have been there," he kept his gaze leveled on his clenched fists. "I should have never left you alone. I should have been there to protect you. If I had," he paused, "you would have never gotten hurt."
"This is about James?" I felt my eyebrows rise. "What happened wasn't your fault," I stated adamantly, before rethinking my words. "Nothing even really happened…"
He directed his furious gaze at me and I felt myself lean farther back into the counter at the force of it. I watched his hand reached behind my head and winced as he applied a little pressure to the area it had made contact with the alley wall.
"That isn't nothing. That is physical evidence that I failed to protect you. Don't even get me started on the blood," he growled.
"It isn't you job to protect me."
"Isn't it?" he laughed humorously and more to himself than to me. His hand slid from behind my head to weave through the strands before stopping to twirl the ends. I felt the previous hurt of rejection slowly dissipate.
"I'm glad you haven't adapted one of those 'everybody gets one' policies, but it isn't your job to protect me. I think that the act of saving me from becoming a pancake more than filled the quota."
His lips slid into a tight line. "I don't think you should take what happened so lightly."
"What almost happened," I corrected. "Besides, if I can't joke about it…" I trailed off, not having the faintest idea where I was going with that statement.
I shook my head of the thoughts that were threatening to slip through.
"It's more of my fault anyway. I mean, I could have gotten a ride from one of the officers," I supplied.
"You could have," he agreed, but the line was still in place.
"Walking to the bus stop alone after what almost happened and at night no less, was a bad idea."
"It was," he agreed again.
"It was really stupid of me."
"Really stupid," he consented.
"Okay I don't want you to blame yourself, but I could use a little less agreement where my lack of intelligence is concerned," I grumbled.
It seemed that had finally broken through his dark thoughts because he laughed lightly.
"So this is your lair?" I smirked.
He laughed loudly, causing my smirk to grow into a grin. I moved around the room, tilting and shifting various objects like he had earlier. I could feel his eyes boring into the side of my face, but I kept my gaze averted.
I suppose he couldn't take being ignored any longer because he moved to stand in front of me, effectively drawing my gaze and stopping my investigation.
"What are you doing, Bella?" he asked curiously.
I couldn't help but blush at the way he said my name. It sounded beautiful, as it was meant to, and created images of romance in Florence within my mind. I shook my head to try and clear it.
"I'm looking for a secret passageway."
"You're not going to find one Bella," he chuckled, evidently amused by my antics.
"The hell I'm not."
I moved over to a bookcase, smiling devilishly at Edward as his lips fell into a frown. It was one of these books. It had to be.
I pulled one out, glancing at the cover for a moment before searching for the seemingly non-existent secret passageway.
"Bella, I don't think you should—"
"I'll find it," I huffed to myself, ignoring Edward.
I noticed a peculiar book off to the side. From what I could tell from looking at the binding, it was a very old leather bound book. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Edward stiffen, and that was all the proof I needed. I was about ready to yell some sort of magical word as I pulled the book out, but paused when something fluttered to the ground.
I bent down and picked up the white square and flipped it over, gasping at what I saw.
"What is this?"
It was picture. Of me. In bed.
He stared at the picture, his eyes wide with shock.
"How did you get this?"
I already knew. I always locked my bedroom door. It was this pet peeve of mine. Even if someone had been staying with me—which no one had in years apart from Charlie—there would be no way for them to get in. No, a normal person with normal physical capabilities couldn't have gotten into my room to take this picture.
I wanted to hear him say it.
He continued to stare at the photo in my hands like he could burn it with his gaze. Hell, maybe he could.
"You were in my room?" I finally shrieked when he remained silent.
He flinched at my voice, but the screeching volume must have broken him out of his daze because he took a purposeful step forward.
"You want to know the truth, Bella?" his lips curled over my name, the sound created the sensation of ants scurrying across my skin.
"I'm there every night when you climb into bed. I'm in your room every time you shut your eyes and allow sleep to come. I stand over you every time you dream."
"I'm always there, Bella. Lurking in the shadows and consuming you with three of my five senses. You are a temptress and I am gluttony."
He was panting heavily and staring while I was trying to come to terms with what he was telling me.
"I am nothing more than a stalker," he whispered, letting his shoulders sink.
I turned the word over in my head, trying to decide exactly how I felt about that. I tried to imagine him standing by my bed, towering over me as I slept. Watching me sleep.
I could feel a sudden shift.
Was I turned on?
Edward's head snapped up and I had the most frightening thought that he could read my mind. We stared at each other, frozen, until he broke the contact for a moment and his eyes darted there before quickly returning to my face.
I was turned on.
And somehow, Edward knew.
I felt my face flush with embarrassment as his nostrils flared.
He knew. He knew. He knew.
"Shit," I cursed.
That word. That common curse word seemed to be the magical password to unlock something he must have kept tucked away with a huge steel padlock. At least, I thought that might be the case when I felt my back press into the bookcase and his front press into mine.
"Edward," I breathed, in both shock and pleasure as he released my lips and moved to my neck.
"And now I have touch," he whispered as his hands slipped under my top.
I felt his hands move up and down my sides before trailing up my back, creating a cacoon that kept me surrounded by Edward. His fingers tapped their way up my spine like a line of piano keys.
"And now," I froze as his tongue licked a trail up my neck and paused at my ear. "I have taste," he growled as his lips closed around my earlobe.
I jerked forward, seeking more friction. Unfortunately, this seemed to snap him out of whatever lust induced haze he had been under. In a split second he was across the room and I was left unsatisfied.
I may have been pouting.
"I'm sorry. That was horribly inappropriate." He was staring at the floor.
"Not inappropriate enough…" I mumbled, blushing when he looked up at me.
Of course he had heard that. Super hearing. Duh.
It took me a moment to calm down, but when I finally did, something occurred to me.
"Why did you let me see? You saw which book I was grabbing. You saw the photo fall out. You are so fast…you could have stopped me. Why didn't you?"
One of his hands ran through his hair while he smiled sheepishly at me. "I don't know. I think…I think on some level, I wanted you to know…"
"Hmm. Kinky," I smirked.
"Says the girl who gets turned on when she finds out she has a stalker," he teased with a smile, but I could still see traces of a frown.
I moved toward him slowly, expecting him to dart away from me at any moment.
I stood in front of him. "It's you I'm attracted to, Edward. Not your…nightly activities."
"Though?" he asked curiously.
"The always being there thing is kind of hot…in a creepy sort of way."
He shook his head, but he was smiling. "You are ridiculous."
His arms wound around me and I couldn't help the grin on my face.
"Don't I know it."
Author's Note: This is my final entry in the Twilight Twenty-Five. I want to thank everyone who read and reviewed. I would also like to thank punkfarie for being amazing as always and reading through all my crap. (Even though she wouldn't stay up to see this completed).
On my profile there should be a poll. Please go there to vote for your favorite one-shots and/or drabbles. I will be continuing the entry with the most votes. (At least one full chapter, but maybe more). Please keep this in your alerts because I will be announcing which entries will be continued later on.
This was insane and I'm pretty sure my brain is tapped. =)