Summary: Bella's psyched when Charlie gets her a new laptop, especially now that she can chat with Edward, the boy she's loved since freshman year. It's a shame that nobody bothered to tell her that offline messages would be received once the person signed back on…

This story is back due to popular demand! Thank you to all of those who requested another chapter; hopefully this will satisfy you the way the ending of the last chapter failed to do. This chapter is basically a retelling of the first two chapters, but from Edward's point of view. Hope you all enjoy it!

A few important notes: I realized after re-reading the second chapter that I made a terrible mistake in the timeline. Mrs. Jennings pointed out that graduation for Bella (and consequently Alice and Edward seeing as they're all in the same grade) was in a few months, but then I realized that I still had Emmett, Rosalie and Jasper still attending high school! Stupid me. So, for those who also spotted it, I've just changed that minor detail in the last chapter, thereby making Bella, Alice, and Edward juniors and the other three seniors. I'm so sorry for the confusion!

Note 2: So clearly, I'm a genius -.-" Sorry to all of those who found a chapter of one of my other stories instead of this one! I mixed them up as I was loading this chapter up. Can you tell I'm sleep deprived?

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any relating plots or characters.


Mixed Messages

By Ardent Ly


"Oh brother, dearest," Alice called in a sly voice from the other side of my bedroom door. "I have something that might just be of interest to you." She continued in her singsong tone. I didn't so much as bother lifting my gaze from the novel in my hand, very much used to her antics. That she didn't just barge in unannounced as she was prone to doing made me suspicious, but otherwise unperturbed.

"What is it, Alice?" I humored, hoping to get her out of my hair as soon as possible.

I didn't need to see her face to know that she was pouting. "Aren't you even going to let me in? That's very rude of you, Edward, making me talk to the door." My lips pulled back into a small grin as I shook my head amusingly. My door was hardly ever locked during the day, and definitely never towards her, my closest sibling. Making no move to welcome her into my room, I simply sat back, waiting for her patience to run out and charge in as she always ended up doing. She surprised me by failing to do what was expected. "Fine then, be that way. I'm just going to assume that you don't want Bella's new email address. Maybe I'll slip it into Mike Newton's locker; he'll probably put it to good use –" Her ranting was abruptly ended by the violent opening of my door.

"Bella has a new email address?" I inquired, a strange mixture of surprise and delight. As far as I knew, Bella tended to avoid technology as much as possible. "Don't you dare give it to that idiot Newton! I swear if I catches him staring at her chest one more time, I'm doing to run him over with my Volvo, blood stains be damned."

"Not your precious Volvo!" She admonished mockingly. "But yes, Bella has a new email address. Charlie finally got her a new computer over the weekend and I convinced her to get an instant messaging account so we could talk without running up her phone bill." She waved a torn piece of paper in my face, and I followed the familiar crooked writing like a puppy being teased with a chew toy.

My increasingly annoying sister pulled back the exact moment I reached for it, smirking smugly back at me. "Name your price." There was no point beating around the bush – she had me right where she wanted me.

"Brother dearest, surely you don't mean that I've come here to bribe you." She set her most aghast face, but the mischievous twinkle in her eye betrayed her true intent.

"Alice…" I growled in warning. Instantly, a magazine cutting, most likely taken from one of Rosalie's many car aficionado magazines, was shoved into my face.

"Canary Yellow." She commanded. "We can think of it as my graduation, birthday and Christmas gift if you'd like." Her entire body practically hummed with excitement as she took in the sleek curves of the Porsche 911 Turbo.

I ran my own eyes over the image, admitting to myself that it was a rather impressive car. "Why won't you just ask Esme and Carlisle to get it for you?"

Alice had the grace to look the slightest bit sheepish. "Some of the features may or may not be legal in North America." A quick grasp of my hand left no room for protest on my part. "Please, Edward? I'm sure they have a model that's been approved for sale in the U.S.!" The second she pulled out her infamous pout, I was done for. Quickly calculating just how big of a dent her new car would leave on my savings, I nodded my agreement, albeit wearily, immediately finding myself with an armful of Alice. And with that, I had sold my soul to the devil. "Thank you, Edward! I have to go find Jazz and tell him!" She was just about to sprint off when I stopped her, fully intending on getting my end of the bargain.

"Aren't you forgetting something, Alice?" I hinted kindly, though eager.

She surrendered my paper treasure without further hassle, adding, "Oh, and by the way, Mike Newton already has it. He overheard Bella and I talking and weaseled it out of her." Shrugging apologetically, she left me with my elation and mild irritation that Newton had managed to get his hands on Bella's address before I could.

I booted up my own desktop and logged onto my own messaging account, my book to the side and forgotten. I noticed with displeasure that Bella wasn't online, but after spotting the time, realized that she was probably preparing dinner or something and so became content with waiting. I set my status to invisible, not wanting to encourage any unsolicited conversation with any of the others on my contact list (just how did Lauren Mallory get a hold of my email address, anyways?).

An unbearable hour or so passed uneventfully save a few false alarms and Bella still hadn't appeared. I double-checked the address I had sent a request to, and sure enough, it was identical to the one written on the scrap of paper. I was beginning to think that maybe Bella had gotten an account merely to appease Alice and really had no intention of using it. That thought swept away all of my delicately laid plans to sway and woo her through the screen.

"Fifteen minutes to dinner!" Emmett's boisterous voice echoed throughout the house. It was then did I realize how late it was getting. I was anxious to leave my desk in fear that Bella might sign on while I was having supper, but of course, Mom would see to it that I came down anyways. She had pushed back dinnertime when my dad had gotten his promotion in the hospital, which unfortunately came with later shifts, and she was determined to keep our daily family dinners going despite it.

A sharp ping sounded from my monitor, making me turn so fast I almost got whiplash. As if she had read my mind, Bella's name popped up on the corner of my monitor, making me instantly elated. With little time to spare, I didn't hesitate to send her a greeting, all the while praying that she wasn't put off by my assertiveness.

Hey, Bella! Any more eager and I might as well just start following her around like those other puppies at school. Thankfully, she didn't comment on my blatant idiocy, though we couldn't seem to stray from the usual awkward banter online conversations always started with. My fingers were itching to type in the words hanging from my lips since freshman year – Bella, would you do me the honor of going out on a date with me? Bella, would you consider being my girlfriend? Bella, I love you, please say that you love me, too. Bella, will you marry me? So the last one may have been a little much, but I couldn't keep such thoughts from arising when I had the perfect woman always so close to me.

"Edward, get your ass down here, we're having roast!" Emmett called once more, which I decidedly ignore in lieu of more interesting conversation.

"It's been raining a lot the past few weeks; I'm glad it didn't rain today." Could I have been more debonair? I contemplated if she could feel the awkwardness emanating through the monitor.

"Eddie!" Emmett hollered a couple more times; though I was far too busy trying to think of ways to salvage the conversation to really respond. Unsurprisingly, my failed appearance downstairs initiated a visit from my determined brother, who impatiently barreled his way into my room. "You have until the count of three to get your skinny ass down stairs, bro. I'm hungry and you know Mom won't let any of us eat until we're all at the table, so move it!"

"You're always hungry." I commented offhandedly, still wracking my brain to find a more invigorating topic I could bring up with Bella. There was a symphony coming to Port Angeles, and from what I knew, she enjoyed listening to classical music. Perhaps I should mention it and somehow sway her into attending with me.

"Eddie," he whined, sounding more like an eight-year-old than the eighteen-year-old he really was. "Ouu, who're you chatting with, little brother?" He managed a glimpse over my shoulder despite my efforts to block the screen. A shit-eating grin stretched across his face and it was clear that his original intent was momentarily forgotten. "Finally making your move, I see. Good man!" He clapped his hand on my shoulder approvingly and had I been standing I probably would've buckled under its weight. Not that I would ever tell him that.

"Yeah, it's no big deal." I was sure the faint blush staining the tops of my ears said otherwise. "I'll be there in a minute." My words, as usual, were futile as his eyes began to scan the exchange displayed on my screen. He was clearly unimpressed.

"You're talking about the weather? Edward, my man, you're never going to get anywhere at this rate. Just let big brother Emmett do all the talking and you'll be on your way to Couplesville, population: 2." He reached in front of me towards my keyboard, but a quick jab in the stomach with my shoulder (now painfully throbbing) managed to create some distance between us.

"Go away, Emmett!" I retorted, red with embarrassment.

"Aw, come on, Eddie, at least let me say hi to her!" He continued his struggle to reach around me, using his larger frame to his advantage.

"No!" I resisted. Somehow, we both ended up in a tangle on the floor, both wrestling to get up.

"Boys!" Our roughhousing was stopped abruptly by Esme's sharp reprimand. She stood just under the door way, arms akimbo with her facial features set in a stern expression. "What is going on here? I sent you up to collect your bother, and this is what happens?" The disappointment laced in her tone deflated us instantly and after straightening ourselves, scurried to apologize.

"I'll be down in a moment, Mom." I assured, pointedly staring at Emmett to keep his mouth shut. "I just have to finish up something on my computer."

Emmett, as always, ignored my warning. "Yeah, Mom, he needs to finish having kissy-kissy goo-goo time with his girlllll-friend." He ended with a singsong voice. Any ideas to throttle him were ultimately thrown out the window with a thrilled gasp of my mother. Before I knew it, I was wrapped in the cradle of her arms.

"Girlfriend? Oh, Edward, who is she? You'll have to invite her over for dinner one evening, of course! What're her favorite dishes; is she allergic to anything? We can't have her getting sick on first visit!" She rattled off in sheer enthusiasm. I opened my mouth to correct my older brother's mistake, but much like Alice, there was no way of stopping my adoptive mother once she got the ball rolling. "Of course, your father will be here to take care of her if anything goes wrong. Your father! He's going to be so happy for you, dear; I'll go down and inform him of our dinner plans! Hopefully he'll be able to book a night off sometime next week. That's enough time, right? I'll need to go look up some recipes and go grocery shopping and whip out your grandmother's fine china and oh! I need to clean the house, as well! I can't have her thinking we live in a pigsty!" Our home was hardly a pigsty and I would've told her so if she wasn't so preoccupied muttering table settings under her breath.

"Mom, what about dinner?" Emmett whined out to her just as she was headed to her private office. That appeared to have snapped her out of her painfully detailed thoughts.

"Dinner? Oh, yes, dinner!" She laughed blushingly at her forgetfulness. "I suppose we better make it through tonight before we go planning your girlfriend's visit. Come on, dear, let's go down and give Edward a minute." She urged Emmett down the stairs, but not before throwing me another blinding, motherly smile. I groaned at the thought of telling her that there was no girlfriend and dampening her spirits.

Letting out a heavy sigh, I turned back to my screen. Sorry, I have to go. I typed regretfully. Mom's calling me down for dinner. I'll be back on later tonight, if you're still online. Please, please still be online later. Talk to you then! I waited just another moment for her sweet goodbye before setting my status to offline and placing my computer on standby.

My trek to the dining room had the air of something a man walking towards a guillotine might feel. I dreaded the conversation that was bound to come up thanks to my idiotic brother. And sure enough, I was greeted with my father's congratulatory smile from the head of the table. "Your mother just told me the great news, son! Who's the lucky girl?"

Clearing my throat, I took my place at the only available seat – right beside the brunette pixie – and looked him straight in the eye. "Well, uh, there might have been a slight miscommunication. Bella's not my, er, girlfriend."

"Not yet, she's not." Emmett inserted through a mouthful of food. My mother's expression didn't change as much as I anticipated; in fact, she still looked rather eager.

"Bella? Chief Swan's daughter?" Carlisle asked, appearing pleasantly surprised.

"I don't get why you won't just sleep with her and be done with it." Rosalie drawled as she pushed peas around her plate with a fork. "Maybe then we'll be spared from all your bitching and moaning."

"Rosalie!" Alice reprimanded from her seat, clearly undone by the fact that her best friend had just been insulted. My parents shot my beloved sister an accompanying look that showed their blatant disapproval.

I, on the other hand, saw red at her callous statement. "Don't talk about her that way!" I roared, gripping the knife in my hands tight to suppress the urge to whip it at her.

She nonchalantly brushed off my fury. "She's just another girl. I don't get why you'd want to waste your time running after her."

I pushed back my chair with a screech and fled from the table, plate untouched and no longer able to listen to her nonsense. I stormed into sitting room, piano bound. The rage escaped me little by little as my fingers blurred over the black and white keys. After what seemed like centuries, the pace I played slowed into a softer, richer melody. The notes of Chopin's compositions died out, bleeding into the tune I had written and then rewritten countless times in my head since the beginning of freshman year – Bella's Lullaby. The final notes resounded in the empty room, only to be replaced by appreciative clapping.

"I can't say I recognize that last piece you played." Jasper commented from the doorway. "Was that one of your own arrangements?" I nodded, watching him settle into a nearby loveseat. "It's a very complex piece. Do you have a title for it, yet?"

"I just call it 'Lullaby'." I told him, suddenly feeling hesitant to share my inspiration. He gave me a nod in approval. My blond sibling remained silent for a moment after that, but it wasn't awkward. Instead, I felt peace wash over me, something I found my brother's presence always brought.

"She's worried about you, too, you know. She just has a different way of showing it." There was no need to mention who "she" was. "She's afraid that if you let this continue you're going to end up getting hurt." I made no reply. "Mom said to come back to the table when you're ready, but if you'd rather not, she'll keep your plate in the oven for you." He turned to leave and I was grateful that he didn't push the issue as the other members of our family were inclined to do.

Was I just wasting my time? Of all the charges Rosalie had made, that was the one that stuck with me. I began to question my chances at making Bella fall in love with me, depressing me further.

Eventually I returned to the dining room, trying to avoid the conspicuous holes Rosalie and Emmett made with their absence from the table. Dinner was silent – at least on my part – and after giving my thanks, eagerly returned to my room. I made a bee-line to my computer the instance I stepped through and hurriedly signed back on. I scanned my list of available contacts, only to find that Bella wasn't one of them. Completely put out, I seriously considered calling it a night when the orange flashing of a new window caught my eye. It was a message window from Bella. Curious, I clicked it open. It was amazing how just three words could manage to steal all the air from my body and make me feel like I was grazing the sky. I rubbed my eyes, dubious, but hopeful. I double-checked to make sure it was really her who sent the message and not one of the superficial vultures that fancied themselves infatuated with me. But sure enough, it was her sending me the words that would've had me plucking every star from the night sky if she had asked.

I love you! she had written, and I felt my heart skip three beats every time my eyes ran over it. A blinding smile engulfed my entire face and I belted out a laugh that was bordering insanity.

There was a hesitant knock on my door. "Edward? Are you all right?" Alice stuck her head through the thin crevice between the doorway, looking simultaneously puzzled and amused. I urged her forward, wanting to share the source of my unbridled joy. "Uh, okay, sure, I'll come in. Are you feeling okay? This is definitely not how I expected to find you…"

Peeking over my shoulder, she read what was displayed on message window, and her face evolved from surprise to a delight that was nowhere near as exuberant as I felt. "Atta girl, Bells! I hate to tell you "I told you so", big brother, but I told you so!" She teased in a smug tone. The jumpy pixie took another look at my beloved's message then wrapped me in a sisterly bear hug. "You had better print screen that conversation, Edward." She commanded bossily. "It'll be a great opening photo to your wedding slideshow; though I would suggest refraining from showing it to Emmett until then. I don't think he's ever going to let you forget that Bella made the first move."

Her words flew over my head as I continued to marvel at the miracle presented to me. She loved me. She loved me. I couldn't seem to get over how unbelievable the words sounded, no matter how I said it in my head. I contemplated sending her a reply, but figured that she wouldn't sign back on until tomorrow night and waiting a whole day to see what she would say next would have been torture. I'll tell her tomorrow at school, I conclude, eager to see her reaction when I told her that I loved – adored, worshipped, treasured – her, too.

"You're going to be stuck with that smile on your face forever if you don't tone it down." Alice remarked good-heartedly, ruffling my hair for good measure.

I batted her hand away, flashing my teeth at her. "Now that I know how she feels about me, I'll always have a reason to smile." I was fairly certain that I had kept my grin even in my fitful sleep that night.


The next morning arrived far too soon and yet not soon enough. I jumped out of bed feeling refreshed despite only garnering four hours of sleep. Practically skipping down to the kitchen, I whistled a string of new notes I planned on attaching to Bella's song. My mother, just coming in from the garden with a handful of gardenias, watched wide-eyed at my uncharacteristically chipper disposition.

"Good morning, Edward." She beamed as I dropped a kiss on her temple. "You're certainly in a good mood this morning."

"I have a feeling it's going to be a good day today." I answered honestly, unable to hide my excitement. I rushed through breakfast and my usual morning routine, eager to get to school. My plans were tarnished as I remembered that it was my turn to drive Alice and Jasper to school and with the former taking ages to primp herself in the morning, I knew I wouldn't arrive until a few minutes just before the bell.

Sitting impatiently in the driver's seat of my pristine car, I tried to think of the best way to approach Bella at school. Should I bring her some flowers? No, she wasn't very fond of attention and the flower bundle I had imagined presenting her would undoubtedly gather an unwanted crowd. Coffee, maybe? No, I knew of her intolerance for caffeine. Chocolates were tawdry and diamonds seemed a bit much (for now, at least), so both were out of the question.

I was pulled out my chaotic thoughts with the harsh slamming of my door. "You need to relax, Edward. It's too early in the morning to be so serious." Alice chastised good-humorlessly as she settled into the backseat with Jasper.

"Just hurry," I urged them. "We're going to be late for first period." The smirk and skeptical arch of her brows she sent me through my rear mirror as I backed up had the tips of my ears glow red. I flew through the streets as fast as I could without breaking too many traffic laws; it wouldn't do, after all, to be pulled over by Bella's father. I pulled into the school parking lot in due time, but I still held the fear that I had missed Bella and would have to wait until the lunch hour to talk to her. I searched the lot frantically and like a beacon, her ridiculous red truck stood out from a backdrop of vans and second generation cars. The few rays of faint sunlight present bounced off an unmistakable head of chestnut hair headed towards the main school building, threatening to be swallowed by the crowds loitering in the front.

Swiftly parking in my customary spot just three spots away from her, I grabbed my bag and bolted towards her. Any guilt I may have had for leaving my siblings behind was quickly dispelled by Jasper's "We'll see you at lunch!" and Alice's "Go get her, Edward!"

Nearing her, my heart pounded rhythmically in the hollows of my ears, and I scrambled to reign in my obvious excitement. I watched as she flung her keys up and then deftly catch, only to miss the third time around. Seeing my chance, I rushed towards her and plucked them from the ground before she could. Electricity shot through my entire arm when my fingers brushed the back of her hand. "Good morning, Bella. Great day, isn't it?"

Her startled expression quickly molded into one of distraction as I dished out my most dazzling (as I had heard some girls say) grin. "Yeah, it's great." She replied offhandedly as she regained her sense. I was taken aback by her almost monotonous reply, wondering why she wasn't red from roots of toes yet. Shaking it off, I offered to see her to her first class, growing more amused as her dazed look returned.

The walk there wasn't at all what I had imagined. Instead of charming her with my wit and relying my own affections to her, overwrought silence wedged itself between us.

"Edward, is something the matter?" Yes! I wanted to say, exasperated. Why are you acting this way?

Instead, I replied mildly, "I am… confused." She parroted my words back at me, leaving me dumbfounded once more. Did she think I didn't return her feelings? Was that why she was so tense around me? I turned to look at her, realizing that I had taken too long to answer. She was washed red from forehead to the base of her long neck, her eyes swerving to-and-fro nervously at the audience lined up against the walls. My own gaze bore into hers once I captured it, delving for answers. It was almost as if she were… confused with my presence. I forced my mouth to say anything – talking about the weather or homework or even a stupid joke would've been preferred over this awkward wall between us. Wait…joke… it was then that realization hit me full force. Of course! Rage rushed through my veins, threatening to spill from my very pores. God, how could I have been so stupid?

"Never mind. I have to get to class. Bye." Teeth clenched and fingernails digging half-moons into my palm, I stomped away from her, too livid to regret being anything less than a gentleman. I was just metres away from the row holding my siblings' lockers when the bell rang, forcing me to redirect my path and head to my own classroom. I made a solemn promise to myself to have a long talk with my sister as I stomped to my seat, ignoring the stares I attracted.

"What's up Cullen's butt today?" I overheard that tool Newton whisper over to Crowley. I shot him the most venomous glare I could manage, successfully making him shrink down into his seat. Feeling rather smug, I didn't hear a peep from him throughout the rest of class.

Time antagonized me the entire, choosing to move at a snail's pace. Alice, as I had learned, was stuck in a Year Book meeting during the lunch period, and so she remained unscathed for her last two periods. By the end of the day, my anger only cultivated, flaring as I spotted the object of my anger and humiliation coming towards me with a fierce scowl. "Edward Anthony Masen Cullen, what the hell did you do to my best friend?" She sounded so much like Esme that I would've been terrified had I not wanted to punch a wall.

Her enraged demand bounced off of me as I threw my own pointed words at her. "That was really funny, Alice, a real riot!" I rounded on her, giving her the full effect of my wrath. "So who was really talking to me last night, huh? You? Jasper? I bet it was Rosalie; she's always looking for a good laugh!" I heard the rumbling of a dark chuckle and it was then did I realize that it had come from me. "Well, mission accomplished, you got me! Are you happy now?"

Her own tirade forgotten, her face was set in a quizzical expression. "What are you talking about?"

"The email address you gave me!" I barked. "How could you give me a fake one, Alice? You know how I feel about her! What the hell possessed you to play a joke like that?"

"I didn't play a joke on you! That really was Bella's email!" She insisted heatedly.

I deflated instantly at her tone, knowing instinctively that she spoke the truth. "But… then…" Why did it seem as if she didn't want me around? I thought to myself, recalling the way she had flushed in embarrassment at being seen with me in the hallway.

"What happened with Bella?" Though her tone had softened to one of concern, I felt like I had been slapped in the face. Bella! I groaned deeply, running a hand across my jaw in frustration.

"Damn it! I'm such an idiot, I can't believe I left her like that." She must've been furious with me, I groaned inwardly.

Alice placed a reassuring hand on my shoulder. "It's going to be okay, big brother. I'm sure it's all just some big misunderstanding. Talk to her tonight and apologize." I didn't fight her as she led me to the parking lot, the beginning place of my troubles. My apology already began to form itself together in my head, her name practically falling out of my lips, when someone beat me to the punch.

Newton.

My teeth gritted as he sauntered over to her using that arrogant walk of his, and I didn't need to be a mind-reader to know what he was planning. He sided himself aggravatingly close to her, his nose nearly touching the crown of her head. My arms physically ached with the need to wipe the pretentious smirk off his smug face; the fermenting envy growing inside of me as an easy grin crept across Bella face doing nothing to help in that regard. It took everything I had not to sweep her up and run away with her. I burned my gaze into the back of Newton's head, sending him telepathic threats to get away from her. My body froze like a deer caught in headlights when she caught me staring over the Neathderthal's shoulder.

"Let's go, Edward." Alice nudged, her frail body failing to move me. I was rooted on the spot due to her shaken look. "She can handle herself; don't make the situation any worst." The thought that I might annoy Bella by playing her lovesick knight in shining armor was all it took to get me to seek refuge in my car.

"Distract me please." I demanded of my sister as I set my gears to drive, knuckles white from gripping the steering wheel too tight. Still looking anxious, she began to prattle on about the graduation gowns she had seen when she dropped off our elder siblings off at some graduation meeting in the gym, complaining that the mustard colour would clash with Jasper's eyes or the other. I permitted myself a brief chuckle at my sister's attempts to sooth me.

"I don't know exactly what's going on, but it'll work out." She said in a quiet voice.

I hope so, too, little sister. I really do.


The next two days proved to be just as unbearable. Bella's strange actions that day left me cautious and irresolute, and thus leaving me – as Emmett had articulately stated – "without the balls to confront her". Bella definitely didn't make it easy to do so. She continued to plague me in the evenings, sending me her nightly proclamations of love. Each message never failed to leave me grinning stupidly at my monitor while simultaneously aggravated to the point where I wanted to pull at the roots of my hair.

I resolved to just watch her from afar, trying to express the aggravation and perplexity I felt through briefly shared looks. She would return them with her own flashes of bafflement, cheeks tinged in an alluring shade of pink, and something akin to hurt. I would've sold my soul to return to Tuesday night, when her words on the screen made me feel invincible.

Lying flat on my back on my bed with my arms cradling my head, I wondered what she was doing at this very moment; was she cooking dinner or doing her homework or re-reading one of her many tattered classics? Was she resting in her room, thinking of me? It was times like this when I wished I could peer into her thoughts.

I was pulled out of my own when my door burst open, welcoming a euphoric Alice. "She didn't know!" She hollered, grabbing me by the shoulders and trapping me in a fierce hug.

"Who didn't know what?" I managed to croak out, surprised that such a strong grip came from such frail-looking arms.

She glared at me with impatience, as if I were deliberately being difficult. "Bella! She didn't know! Isn't this great, Edward?" She continued to jump around my bed.

"Wait, wait, Alice, slow down! What didn't Bella know?"

My little sister growled – growled – at me. "The messages! She didn't know you were receiving them!" She went on to explain the talk they had in the library during the lunch period, exposing the reason behind my aggravation.

The truth hit me like an on-coming truck. "She didn't know…" I repeated slowly, tasting the truth on my tongue. "She didn't know. She didn't know!" An air-gulping laugh escaped me, engulfing my body in shakes. "But she meant it, right? She wouldn't have sent those messages if she didn't mean it." I tried to assure myself, only to receive a slap on the back of my head for my babbling.

"Of course she meant it! Now, I need you to switch your computer on and sign online right now. I mean it, Edward, right now!" Bewildered, I did as she instructed. "Wait for her to send her usual message and then do what you need to do. But only after she's sent it, got it?" I resisted the urge to bark back at her like a soldier. I proceeded to shoo Alice out of my room after solemnly promising to take care of the situation.

Remaining discreetly offline, I watched the hands on the ornate clock tacked on my wall move at an overbearingly slow pace. Half an hour passed and then another and then another, leaving me to think that maybe Bella had given up on her nightly ritual. I was just about ready to call on Alice when a heavenly ping sounded from my speakers. And there it was.

I love you!

I took a moment to revel in the burst of happiness that came along with those stringed words. If there was ever a time Emmett or any of my other siblings wanted to catch me with a goofy look on my face, right now would've been the perfect opportunity. Hurriedly, before she logged off, I typed in the message I had been longing to tell her since freshman year.

I love you, too.


Monday morning arrived far too slowly. I planned and fidgeted and planned some more all throughout the weekend, worrying that she hadn't gotten reply while simultaneously worrying that she had. All but Alice was confused by my early departure to school, choosing to take my own car instead of carpooling with Rosalie. I parked with perfect precision on my usual parking space and jumped out immediately. I scanned the roads for a clamorous red truck, performing a nervous jig on the balls of my feet and my hands jammed into my pockets.

Finally, Bella wheeled into the parking lot and I watched as her eyes grew wide the moment she spotted me. I approached her as she stepped out, brushing back the curtain of hair she used to conceal her bashful face.

My girl gave me no chance into ease the subject. "Have you been getting them all this time?" She blurted out, instantly looking contrite. I dipped my head, smiling as she groaned out loud. "You must think that I'm some freaky stalker or some–" The rest of her sentence was muffled by my lips.

I eased my mouth over hers, tired of using words to express myself. Kissing her deeply but slowly, I was encouraged when she gripped onto my shoulders for leverage. I poured three years of emotion into the kiss, her heart matching the thumping of my own beat by beat. The tip of her tongue met mine hesitantly, as if waiting to be rejected. Emboldened, I fought against her fear and swept her further into my arms. Her hands crept up from my shoulders to the base of my head and it was my turn to moan aloud when her fingers created a tangled home for themselves in my hair. I knew then that even if I consumed all of her all at once it still wouldn't be enough. Nothing would ever be enough if Bella wasn't there taking it all in with me.

I pulled away regretfully as my lungs began to ache. Cupping the line of her jaw, I met her gaze, feeling self-righteous knowing that I had been the one to place that dazed look in them. "There's a classical music concert coming up at Port Angeles and I was wondering if you would like to go with me."

I almost missed her answer when her teeth bit down alluringly on her plumped bottom lip. "It's not fair. You know you could get me to do anything when you dazzle me like that." She flushed pink once more, a color that was fast becoming my new favorite.

"Is that so?" I cocked an eyebrow impishly. "If that's the case, then I guess I better push my luck while I can and ask you to be my girlfriend, as well." She blinded me with a smile I swore I would bring to her face every day of my life if she allowed it, then burying her face into my chest.

"Yes. To both." She gave off an adorable giggle.

"Bella and Edward are dating!" Swerving my head around, I found a dumbfounded Jessica and thunderstruck Newton, the latter to whom I directed my most triumphant smirk. A sea of other students was behind them, whispering in fierce tones. My chest rumbled with Bella's groan.

"Come on, love, let's head inside." Her hand fit perfectly in mine, I noted without surprise, knowing all along that she was made for just me. Just like I was made for her.

"I'm never going to get tired of hearing you call me that." She admittedly shyly.

"As long as you'll let me, I'll always be around to call you my love." That was one promise I would keep forever.


My name is Ardent Ly and I'm a lying liar who lies. I'm so unbelievable sorry! I know I told a few of you that I would have this chapter out around two weeks after I posted the second chapter, but it just wasn't possible, I swear! School and work have been killer, and I really wasn't happy with the first draft of this chapter. So, I just kept adding and adding stuff until I reached a chapter that is about as long as – if not longer than – the first two put together, so you guys can criticize me for the wait but not for the length *cheeky grin*

Anyways, I hope you guys liked reading Edward's point of view! I really hope I managed to stay in character; please don't hesitant to tell me if anything I wrote came off too weird or un-Edward-like. Please review and tell me what you thought!

-Ardie