**Authors Note: Thank you to Stephenie Meyer who created the wonderful world of Twilight. If it weren't for her, this story would not exist. I do not in any way, shape or form own anything created by Stephenie Meyer in any books from The Twilight Saga. Any new characters in this chapter were created by me, are completely fictional, and are owned my me.**
It was far warmer for May, than I had expected when I had awoken to rain streaming down my windows of my bedroom. The weather always loved playing tricks on local Chicago residents, one day it would be hot as an oven -- the next it would be trying to snow. Sometime between my rolling out of bed and sitting down to breakfast, the rain had let up and the sun had come out. I smiled to myself as I gathered my skirts to ease my quick moving feet that followed the secluded pebbled path not far from my familys' home. I knew I was close to the lake now, I could hear the sea gulls above my head. The excitement inside me boiled over as I thought about the upcoming summer. The war was thankfully coming to a close and my older brother Andrew was coming home from Europe. It was tough to say exactly when he would arrive, but I was silently praying it would be before July, just in time for my seventeeth birthday.
I pushed through the reeds, a smile playing on my face. My booted feet finally found what I was searching for, the softness of sand. I laughed happily as I gathered my long scarlet coloured skirts and sat carefully on a washed up log. I sighed and began unlacing my dreaded out-dated victorian style boots that my mother forced me to wear. I could hear her disapproving-shrill voice now, "Proper young ladies don't wear shoes, they wear boots." I cringed at the thought of what she would say if I came home in shoes, especially ones with buckles and then I laughed. As I stood and smoothed out my skirt, I then saw I wasn't alone. Before I could turn to pick up by boots and find a different place to dip my feet, he turned and smiled.
"Catherine," he laughed. "What a suprise". My breath caught in my throat as I took in the sight before me. He stood less than fifty yards from me, his tall-frame swayed as waves lapped up his muscular calves, coming close to his khaki coloured pants that he had rolled up to just below his knee. His emerald eyes sparkled as the wind blew through his auburn coloured hair. I looked down, the smile gone from my lips. I could hear water splashing, I could feel him coming closer to me.
"Edward." I murmerd impolitely, barely above a whisper. "How are you?" I looked up, seeing he was now standing directly infront of me. When had he grown up, I thought. The last time I had actually spoken with Edward Mason, face to face was probably 2 years prior. Looking at him now, I realized he'd turned into a man without my realizing it and certainly a handsome man at that.
"I am well." He replied softly, mimicking my tone. "How have you been?" His green eyes found my blue ones and he winked. Unintentionally, I smiled which caused him to smile back. I looked away, purposefully towards the sound of the seagulls. Maybe he'd think I was actually interested in the white-screeching birds.
"I'm doing lovely, thank you." I answered, shifting my weight, the sand cooling my feet. "Well it was good to see you again..." I started, trying to end the conversation but he interrupted me.
"Yes, it is good." He mused, looking down the vacant beach. "Care to join me?" He sounded so much older than his seventeen years, even his looks played him off to look older. I fidgeted with my strings of the boots I had picked up, trying to look occupied.
"I really can't", I began trying not to look at him. It didn't work. I couldn't keep from staring. His face softened, his eyes still twinkling. He brushed his well portioned hands through his hair and turned back to look at me once more.
"Of course you can, it's been far too long." He smiled, taking my small hand in his large one. I can't say that I was shocked by his actions. It had always been this way, since we had first met at the age of 5. He always knew exactly what to say and knew exactly how to cause my face to flush with embarrassment. "I had a feeling you would be here anyway." He admitted, squeezing my hand. I looked at him, almost pulling away.
"Were you following me?" I accused, although my voice came off amused. He grinned, his perfect white teeth showing.
"I was here first, I could ask the same of you." He scoffed still grinning. We walked in silence as I contemplated on what to say. The breeze off the lake picked up, I looked up, seeing storm clouds looming in the distance. My dark ringlets wavered in the wind, as his firm grip tightened. I glanced at him, still smiling he spoke. "I don't understand", he stated.
"How do you mean?" I promptly inquired.
"I don't understand how we went from being the best of friends and then one day, suddenly it just ended." He replied, pulling his hand from mine. I followed him with my eyes as he moved closer to the waters edge. He picked up a smooth-black stone almost hidden in the sand.
"I'm sorry," was all I could answer. I knew what I really wanted to say, but I also knew he wouldn't enjoy the answer I had. After his father had found himself caught up with a small gang of ruffians lead by an Italian named Johnny Torrio on the south-side of Chicago, everyone in the neighborhood tried dearly to steer clear of the Mason family, Edward included. No one honestly wanted to be known for socializing with the mafia.
"Is it because I come from a family of no fortune?" He pondered, throwing the stone forcefully. I watched the stone skim gently across the water.
"Don't be silly Edward," I sighed. "It's more complicated than you think." I started to walk slowly in front of him. I could feel his eyes burning into the back of me. He was quiet for a moment, as he followed. When he finally spoke, I could tell he had figured out what I had meant.
"My father is a good man Catherine." He argued, spinning me to face him. My skirts billowed around me, my short curls danced around my face causing me to redden. "He just made some poor choices is all, took a friendly business partnership with the wrong man..." He trailed off, his green eyes pleading. I stood silent. I didn't know what to say. I couldn't honestly speak of the situation, I really didn't know all the prestine details, only what others had told me. "I wish you were my wife," he sputtered suddenly. My eyes grew big.
"Wife?!" I exclaimed, knowing I sounded shocked.
"Yes," He grinned. "Then you would have to believe me. My word is law." Before I could control myself, I snorted. "I like it when you're like this," he added, his grin widening. "Not when you're with them.
"Them?" I retored angrily. "Them who?" I must have looked like a raging bull, because he took my hand in his again, this time stroking it with his other hand.
"The girls I always see you conversing with," he murmerd softly. "I'm not usually the jealous type, but I do enjoy having you to myself." My cheeks began to burn now. I knew I was blushing a deep red, probably close to the colour of my dress. His eyes shifted as a crack of thunder interrupted us. Without another word, he turned us gracefully back the way we had come. Not expecting the sudden change in direction, my bare feet caught in my gown and began to falter below me. Before I knew it, I was in his arms. He looked at me carefully, our faces inches apart. As quickly as it had happened, we pulled apart. "Let's get you home before we're soaked."
He pulled me close to him as we ran, his hand gripping mine carefully. We didn't stop when the first raindrops began to fall, nor when we reached the secluded pebble walk that would take us back to my house. As the thunder cracked and lightening flashed above us, we ran, in perfect harmony. Our legs matching one another exactly. How I didn't trip, I don't know. Finally, we reached my back porch. He pulled open the white screen door, almost too carefully. With his eyes wild, he looked up at me as I slipped out of the light rainfall. He didn't let go of my hand. I turned expectantly, wondering if he had something more on his mind to say. Without a word, his warm lips brushed my blushing cheek and then he was gone.
I stood staring after him as the door creaked closed.
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