"Not gonna work!" I said happily.

"Why not?" He was starting to get annoyed. His annoyance made me happier.

"My parents obviously hate your parents so there's no way in hell that this screwed up arrangement is gonna work," I said.

"We don't need your parents' permission for this marriage, Bella." Edward said sternly.

"This marriage? Seriously Edward, we're only in bloody high school!" I protested loudly.

And hopefully by the time we graduated, he would have found some girl he loved, some girl who loved him as well. I wasn't hoping that another girl would come by and serve as a substitute for me. I wouldn't want this to happen to any girl.

To my surprise, Edward laughed.

"You're in high school, Bella. Not me. I can drop out any time I want, remember?" Edward reminded me.

"So why don't you?" I muttered, but he heard it and glared at me. I smiled innocently back at him.

"I'm going to stay in high school till you graduate." Edward said, making me sit down on a couch. "And then we can move out of this stupid place and go to a nicer place...maybe somewhere sunny? Or would you prefer a little snow? I know you don't like the rain...A little condo in a nice neighbourhood or maybe a beach house. But we could always have a little-"

"Edward!" I cried.

"What?" he asked urgently, obviously wondering if I was hurt.

"Stop doing that! I'm not ready to think about my future!" Or at least I wasn't ready to think about how to remove him from it.

"Oh." he said, and his face fell. "Well, that's what I wanted to talk to you about."

"What? My future?" I asked, trying to ignore the lump in my throat.

"Ours," he corrected with a smile that melted my heart.

I mentally groaned.

"What is it?" I snapped.

"When I told you that Carlisle was not ready to give me the position because of a problem..."

"What problem?"

"Please promise me you won't freak out!"

"Edward, I think all the freaking out I did yesterday gave me a very clear idea what to expect from you. Please feel free to continue." I said exasperatedly.

He gave me a nervous smile.

"It's family tradition that we pass down leadership from son to son, but there is one condition...The person we hand down the position o must be married. Or engaged."

Edward paused to gauge my reaction.

"Why?" I asked numbly.

"Marriage is a very effective tie, Bella. It's meant for strong people. It shows how responsible one is." Edward explained.

"Is that why you've been chasing me around? So when I agree to marry you, you'll get your position as the head? And then what're you gonna do? Shoot me and abandon me in some dumpster in the middle of nowhere?"

He looked livid.

"I have not been chasing you, Isabella. It's called accompanying and protecting my girlfriend. And yes, if you agree to marry me, I will get my position as head. I will never ever harm you much less kill you, so you can be sure that no way in hell that I'm letting you get away."

"Fine." I said, effectively stunning him.

"What?" he asked, looking dazed.

"I said fine. If you want a depressive wife for the rest of your life, it's fine with me. It'll get you a nice position in society when everyone hears your wife committed suicide, wouldn't it?"

"You will not hurt yourself!" he hissed. "And you won't be depressive, love. I will make you so happy."

"Wanna bet?" I muttered.

"Anything you want, love. Anything, absolutely anything. Just name it and its yours." he said, putting his long fingers on my shoulder.

"Freedom."

"Hmm...And here I was, thinking America was a free country."

"You know what I mean."

"You are at perfect freedom to do whatever you choose as long as it's safe for you and you have my approval."

"If I have your approval? That's not freedom."

"Do you have something in mind, angel? You can tell me, you know." he said, looking serious.

"Well...Renée called." I lied. "She wanted me to come to Florida for the holidays."

Edward frowned.

"I was hoping we could spend our holidays together. A cruise in my private ship...or anything you had in mind." he said, watching me closely.

"It's been a long time since I saw Renée, Edward. She is my mother and I love her a lot."

"So you'd rather spend your summer with someone who doesn't love you than with someone who worships you?" he asked, a small smile forming in the corners of his lips.

"Renée loves me. She isn't all that into motherhood, that's all."

"Really?"

"Yeah. I need to go, Edward. Seriously."

"OK, then. When are we going?"

We? Crap.

"I was hoping I would go alone. Renée would freak if she knew I had a boyfriend."

"Renée likes me. Unlike Charlie, she doesn't have anything against me."

I could change that, but I didn't say it out loud.

"Please, Edward? I just need some time alone to think about all these...it's so confusing and I need to concentrate and just think...get away from everything for a while. Be in peace."

For extra effect, I made my voice pleading and let my eyes widen. I pushed my bottom lip jut out just a bit and peeked through my lashes at him.

He seemed to be confused. He had a dazed look on his face and he kept blinking. His hand, which was clasping my own went tight. He dragged his fingers to my face and stroked my cheek softly.

"Of course, love. Anything you want." he whispered.


I need a beta for this story. Urgently!