* * *


* * *

That fucking heat. I thought as I wiped beads of sweat from my face. Fucking Arizona. Fucking stupid truck.

The old farmer in Texas gave me the Chevy. He told me I needed it more than he did. At this point I wasn't too sure about that. My feet hurt, my arms hurt, my back hurt. I could feel my skin burning from the heath of the sun. And the stupid thing was just crawling forward as slow as a snail. The engine died 6 miles before Phoenix. I had been pushing it for 1.5 miles now, and fuck that shit was heavy. The sign beside the road told me the gas station was only half a mile away now.

When I made it, I collapsed in the shadows and massaged the aching muscles of my neck. I grunted as I rolled my head on my shoulders and felt some bones pop. I heard a door open and lifted my head to see a tall blonde man approach, his dirty hair hanging in his eyes.

"You okay there buddy?" He asked. Another fucking Texan.

"Yeah." I said and got up. Another groan escaped me as I could feel my calf muscles starting to cramp.

"Fuck" I hissed and quickly started to stretch, to prevent the cramp from coming through completely.

"Here," The Texan held out his hand and offered a soda.

"Thanks man." I told him gratefully as I accepted the ice cold can. I held it to my face and my neck in an attempt to cool my skin.

"So, what seems to be the problem?" The man asked, nodding at the truck.

"Fuck if I know. The engine died a mile and a half back."

He nodded. "I'll have my sis take a look at it." He said and took a sip from his can.

"Rosalie." He called.

"Yeah?!" I heard a female voice from around the back.

"Could you come here for a sec?"

I heard some stumbling and then another tall blonde appeared from around the little building. Her golden hair was tied up in a high ponytail. A few strands had escaped the band and were framing her face. She was a beauty. I couldn't deny that.

She came walking over to us, her hips swaying as if she was in heels. But it were just simple flip flops on her feet. Full lips, light eyes, curves, long legs, thighs covered in denim shorts, her tank top dipping low enough to reveal some skin of her breasts. She was a walking cliché. A little smirk formed on her lips as she came closer. She was wiping her hands on a stained white cloth.

A single drop of sweat rolled down from her temple.

"What's the problem?" She asked. Even her voice was a fucking cliché.

"His truck died a while back. Could you take a look at the engine?"

Her gaze shifted over to the Chevy. She wiped her forearm over her nose and nodded. "Yeah, if you give me a hand to get it in the garage."

We rolled the truck there together, and then me and the male blonde went inside, while Rosalie stayed in the garage.

"So, she's your sister huh." I said, as I sunk down in one of the wooden chairs, sipping the soda he gave me.

"Don't you think about it." The guy chuckled as he took his place behind the counter. "That girl is married."

"Hey, I wasn't saying anything." I held up my hands. Even if she wasn't married, I wouldn't. I knew that kind of girls.

"So, what's your name anyway?" I asked him.

"Whitlock. You can call me Whitlock. And Rose is my half-sister."

"Whitlock. Hmm, ok. Mother's or father's?"

"Father's. So, what about you? Running from or going to?"

"Both. I'm Edward. From Chicago, ended up South and now heading up North."

"North of what? The city, the state?"


He nodded and leaned down on his arms on the counter.

"Who set you up with that truck anyway?" Whitlock asked.

I smirked. "A Texan."

Whitlock laughed heartily and shook his head. We sat there and chatted for a little while, until I could hear the familiar rumble of that old metallic beast.

"Anddd there you go." Whitlock smiled as he pushed himself off the counter.

I followed him outside, back to the garage.

"All done." Rosalie said, as she noticed us.

"Thank you, I really appreciate it. How much do I owe you?" I glanced between the both of them as I was already reaching for my wallet in my back pocket.

"Nah man, this one's on the house. I like you." Whitlock slapped me on the shoulder.

"You sure?" I glanced at Rosalie. She was the one who had down all the work.

"Sure." She winked. We heard the sounds of another vehicle approaching. Rosalie's attention flew to the door and then back to us.

"Looks like Emmett is here. See you later." She said and then went outside.

"I really don't mind paying." I tried again.

"Dude, it's okay. Don't worry about it."

I sighed and left it at that. I climbed in the truck and rolled down the windows.

"If you're planning on heading South again, make sure you stop by."

"Sure, sure."

"Give the squirrels my greetings." Whitlock chuckled.

"Will do." I saluted him and drove my truck out of the garage, back on the road. The red monster was rolling even better than before. That Rosalie girl knew her stuff.

I passed through Phoenix and made a stop for the night just outside the city. The motel wasn't much, but it had a bed and a bar downstairs.

I decided to wash up first, before heading down to eat. I scrubbed the sweat off my skin and changed into clean clothes. Checking myself in the mirror, I noticed I'd have to shave again. But without a razor that wasn't going to happen. I rubbed a towel over my head to make sure the water wasn't going to leak down on my shirt. I didn't bother brushing it.

I went outside to light a cigarette and took a drag, welcoming the burn in my lunges. I stood there, surveying the parking lot as I smoked up the little white stick. I heard footsteps and my eyes wandered over to the source of the sound. A small figure was headed over to the bar. A petite brunette. I couldn't see much of her, as it was already starting to get dark. But she piqued my interest.

I took one last drag and then flicked the cigarette to the ground. I crushed it under my shoe and followed to where the girl had disappeared in the bar.

I pushed the door open and was in time to see the brunette shrugging out of her jacket and taking place behind the counter.

"You're late." A man with short brown cropped hair growled at her.

"Yeah, sorry. I had to walk again." The girl said, ignoring the harsh glare the guy was giving her. She started to pick up glasses as he continued. "You know, one more time and you're out of here."

"It's not gonna happen again." The girl replied. Her voice sounded automatic, as if she'd had this conversation before.

"Yeah right." The man mocked, but she ignored him. Finally he went off to do his own work when he saw that she didn't react to him anymore.

I slowly approached the bar and took a seat on one of the stools.

I followed the girl around with my eyes. I saw how all the men drooled over her. I couldn't blame their hungry looks. But, fuck, I'd knock down anyone who would touch her against her will. Her young face looked like that of an angel. A lost angel. She was beautiful. Her pale skin glistened a little in the light.

Suddenly she came walking over to me.

"Would you like to order?" She asked me. Her big chocolate eyes were awaiting my answer.

"Uhm, yeah. I'd like a beer please."

"Ok, anything else?"

"You got something to eat?"

"Yeah, sure. What would you like?"

"I don't care, give me something good." I smiled at her.

She nodded and turned away. She came back with my beer only seconds later. "The food will be right up." She told me, and then turned away again to help other costumers.

I watched her, the rest of the night. And I watched other men watching her. I knew their thoughts as their eyes fixed on the curves of her breasts when she had raised her arms to tie her hair up in a ponytail. I knew what they were thinking when sweat began to appear on her skin as she cleaned the counter and rushed to prepare all the orders. I knew their fantasies when her skin flushed whenever she knocked over a glass.

I knew what was going on in their disgusting little minds, but I couldn't help watching her with the same hunger. She fascinated me, that small brown haired angel.

Around midnight, I decided it was time to head back up to my room. I wasn't planning on sleeping in tomorrow, so I should go to bed soon. I paid my bill and went outside. I stood next to my truck when I lit up a cigarette for having a last smoke before going upstairs. I hadn't had an idea of how long stood there, but it was my third cigarette before I heard the girls voice. My gaze went back to the bar and I saw how she was coming around the corner looking pissed off. "I told you, fuck off Tyler." A man followed her and grabbed her by the arm. I strained to hear what he was saying. "Oh come on Bella. James doesn't mind you having a little fun at work." His head dipped down and he hid his face in her shoulder.

The girl tried to push him away. "Fuck you." Her voice was laced with venom.

The guy, Tyler, lifted his head and pushed her against the wall, putting one of his legs between hers, preventing her from escaping. She slapped him across the face. "Let me go." She seethed.

Tyler snatched her wrists and held her arms above her head. "Shut the fuck up." He started to get angry. And so was I.

I stomped over to where they were standing against the wall. The girl's eyes were widening as she saw me approaching. I grabbed a fist full of the guy's hair and yanked him off of her. I crushed the cigarette bud on the skin behind his ear. "Ahh, what the hell?!" he yelled as he tried to get me off of him. "She said fuck off, so fuck off you little shit." I growled at him.

I released him with a harsh push. His hand flew immediately to his ear and he turned around with an angry expression. "What the fuck dude?!" I punched him on the jaw, "I said get the fuck out of here, or wasn't I clear enough?"

Tyler cringed, calling out profanities as he walked away from us.

The girl was still pressed up against the wall, her chest heaving as she watched me turning back to her.

"I'm not gonna hurt you. Are you all right?"

She visibly relaxed a little more and nodded. "Yes, I'm all right. Thank you."

"Good." I nodded. "Where are you going? Can I give you a ride home?"

"Oh, no… that's fine."

"You sure, because I heard you mention earlier this night, that you walked here."

She blushed a little and looked down at her feet. "You shouldn't go out walking alone this late at night. Come on, I'll give you a ride home."

"No, really that's fine. I wasn't… I'm not going home anyway…" She muttered.

"Then where were you gonna go?"


"Ok, let me put it this way, where were you planning on staying the night?"

"I'm… not sure yet." She said and looked away.

My heart softened as I watched her. "Would you like to stay the night with me? I have a room up there." I nodded back over to the rooms of the motel.

Her gaze snapped back at me, her eyes studying me with a calculating look.

"Hey," I said as I took a step forward. I raised my hand to touch her face. "I'm not expecting anything. I'm not gonna hurt you, I told you. I'm just offering you a place to sleep."

"I… I don't know." She looked uncertain.

"I promise." I rubbed her cheek softly with my thumb. Her skin was so silky. "Just sleeping. I didn't save you from that asshole, so I could have my own wicked way with you." I smiled a little in the hope to put her at ease.

"I… ok." She nodded slowly. My smile widened and I withdrew my hand from her face.

"I'm just… I'm very uncertain about this," she told me.

"I know, it's not something you do everyday."

"Yeah… exactly. Normal people don't do this. Not that I'm completely normal. But still. And I barely know you. And… I mean, fuck, I don't even know your name." She had pushed herself of the wall now and her cheeks had coloured from the frustrated rambling she did.

"It's Edward." I smiled. "My name is Edward."

"Oh." She bit her lip. "I'm Bella."

I held out my hand. A little crease appeared between her brows as her gaze flickered from my hand to my eyes and back. I stretched my hand forward once more and waited until she took it. Slowly she put her hand in mine. I tightened my fingers around hers and gave her hand a little squeeze. "It's very nice to make your acquaintance, Bella."

Her brows lifted and finally her lips twitched up. She rolled her eyes. "Yes, it's very nice to make your acquaintance as well. Edward."

I chuckled and released her hand. "Come on, let's go."

I could tell Bella was a little nervous as we entered the room. Her eyes fell immediately on the bed and a blush spread on her cheeks.

I cleared my throat. "Uhm, I don't know if you wanted to take a shower or something, but if you want to, go ahead."

She nodded and mumbled a soft thank you, before disappearing in the bathroom.

When I heard the water running, I sat down on the bed and pulled of my shoes. I flopped back, stretching my back muscles. I closed my eyes and listened to the soft humming coming from behind the closed door.

After a little while the water shut off and I heard some rustling. Then after a minute or so, "Edward?" I heard Bella's voice calling out timidly.

"Yeah?" I said, sitting up.

The door opened and Bella poked her head out. "Could I maybe borrow a shirt or something?"

"Yeah, of course." I stood up and grabbed a clean t-shirt from my bag. The last one.

I handed it to her and after a shy smile, she closed the door. I went back to the bed and kicked of my pants and went to lie under the thin white sheets. I only kept my shirt on for her sake. After 5 minutes, Bella appeared from the bathroom. My eyes followed her as she made it over to the bed.

She crawled in and laid there, staring at the ceiling. Her hair was only towel dry and fanned around her head on the pillow. The window was open and the curtains not fully closed. I sliver of moonlight snuck inside and danced off of her skin. It gave her a pale blue colour and made her look even more unreal.

"Goodnight Bella." I said.

"Goodnight Edward." She replied, her gaze falling on me just for a moment.

She let her eyes wander back to the ceiling and I studied her for a minute more, before I finally closed my eyes and tried to find sleep.

Then, when I was almost unconscious, I heard her calling my name softly. "Edward?"

"Yeah?" I answered, my voice thick with sleep already.

"Thank you for tonight."

Without opening my eyes, I found her hand under the sheet and gave it a little squeeze.

"No problem, sweet. It was my pleasure." I mumbled before really dosing off.

The next morning, I woke up from the heat. That fucking heat.

I groaned and kicked the sheets off of me. It took me a few moments before I remembered Bella. My eyes snapped open and to the place beside me in the bed. It was empty. I sat up, and rubbed a hand over my face. No, she really wasn't there. I looked around the room and saw the bathroom door open. "Bella?" I called out.

No answer.

I stood up from the bed and walked over to the bathroom to make sure she really wasn't there.

She wasn't.

Fuck. She left.

Shaking my head I pulled off my t-shirt and stepped out of my shorts and into the shower. I made a quick work of my morning routine and then went down to the bar to see if Bella was maybe there, inside. Again, she wasn't.

I shook my head and decided to leave anyway.

I threw the duffel bag in the bed of the truck and climb in the truck. I lit up a cigarette and fiddled with the radio as I steered out of the parking lot.

I had the windows rolled down again. It provided a little breeze as I drove down the road. I managed to lit another cigarette while driving.

Then, after about 15 minutes, I saw a little figure walking beside the road in the distance. Unconsciously my foot pushed down harder on the gas as I thought I recognized the brown hair.

And yes.

There she was.


My shirt was tied in a knot around her waist. Her shorts showed off her legs and her feet were bare. She held her shoes in her right hand and a bag was slung over her other shoulder. Her hair hung loose down her back.

I slowed down when I reached her and leaned over to open the passengers door. Bella looked to the side when the door swung open. Her eyes met mine.

I lifted my eyebrows as an invitation. She hesitated and I cocked my head.

She finally rolled her eyes and stopped walking. I stopped the truck and waited until she had put her bag in the bed and climbed in next to me.

"Where to?" I asked as I took a last drag of my cigarette before flicking it out of the window.


"Just North?" I smiled.



"Yeah. State."

I shifted gears and put my foot down on the gas again.

After a little while Bella put her feet up on the dash board. I couldn't help but notice the way her legs stretched out. I felt her giving me a shove on my shoulder and my gaze snapped up to her face. "Better keep your eyes on the road." She said. A small smile played on her lips and she turned away, looking out of the window.

I chuckled and shook my head. Keeping my eyes on the road.

"So." I started.


"Why so hasty this morning?"

"Oh… I don't know… Didn't want to be a bother."

"You wouldn't have been."

"Yeah, well… I had to be up early anyway."


"I had some business to do."

"That sounds kind of shady."

Bella chuckled. "It was kind of shady."

"What did you do?"

"Hmm…" Bella made a dismissal sound.

"What? You can tell me."

"I cleared the cash register?" It came out as a question.

"You did what?"

"You heard me. I took all the money from the bar."

"Are you serious?" I looked at her in surprise.

"It's not that big of a deal, it were only a couple of hundreds."

I laughed. "Still, I wouldn't have thought you were capable of criminal activities." I laughed again and shook my head. That girl was refreshing.

"Yeah, well. Working at that bar is criminal."

"Why? Did your boss ever do anything to you?" I tensed up as all kinds of ideas formed in my head. "I saw how he acted last night."

"No, no. He never did anything. Not in so many words. But still, that prick deserves a little misfortune. And I have good use for it, so…" She shrugged and leaned her head back and closed her eyes.

We were quiet again.

"You took my shirt." I said.

"I suppose that was a bit unkind of me."

"I wouldn't have minded. If you had asked, I would've told you you could keep it."

"Yeah, but you were still snoring when I left, so even if I wanted to ask you, I didn't have the opportunity."

"I don't snore."

"Yeah you do." She smiled.


"You do, Edward." She laughed softly. My name sounded fucking good coming from her lips. Exchanging names might have been the best idea I've ever had.

"I don't believe you." I said stubbornly.

"Fine." She said. Her lips were pressed shut tightly and her eyes twinkled with mirth.

"You can keep the shirt."

"Thank you." A short giggle escaped her lips. A turned to her with a raised eyebrow. Bella was biting her lip and looked away.

"Mr. Snore-y-pants." Another giggle.

"I do not snore!" My outburst ignited a fit of giggles and Bella turned a little pink.

I couldn't help but start laughing too. We sobered up after a while. With the soft breeze from the open windows, the heat wasn't so bad.

"Have you eaten breakfast?" I asked when I started to feel my own stomach.


"I'll pull over at the next stop ok."


About 8 miles further down the road, we came across a diner and decided to stop there.

We had a big pancake fest for breakfast. Bella insisted that she'd pay for everything because she wanted to spent James' money, but I quickly paid for everything when she went to the bathroom for a moment. She scolded me for that but offered me a sweet smile afterwards. When we stepped outside, she told me she was going to make a phone call over at the payphone.

I waited for her beside the truck, taking the opportunity to light another cigarette. I really should stop smoking, but I just couldn't care enough to do so.

I overheard bits and pieces of Bella's conversation as I observed our surroundings.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Don't worry." I studied Bella for a moment as I heard her voice in the distance. She tugged her hair behind her ear and kicked away an invisible rock.

"How's your leg?… Yeah? So two, three weeks tops?…" She then noticed me watching her. She send me a smile and turned and averted her gaze. I took a long drag and closed my eyes as I savoured the feeling of ashes eating up my insides. I leaned back against the truck.

"…few days… Yes I'm coming home Dad… No, I'm not kidding… I love you too...Bye."

I opened my eyes as I heard Bella's footsteps approaching me.

She had a sad little smile on her face.

"Ready to go?" I asked.

"Yes, let's go."

We didn't do much talking anymore and eventually Bella fell asleep beside me.

I woke her up when we drove passed the 'Welcome to Las Vegas' sign and she convinced me to pull over so we could go eat there. Eventually we ended up staying because Bella wanted to see a show and she managed to convince me that I wanted to as well. We booked another cheap motel room. And this time Bella did not hesitate to crawl under the sheets with me. She still wore my shirt. I suggested to her, we should make a stop at a laundry service tomorrow, before we'd go on the road again.

The next day wasn't that much more interesting. It was fun to watch the landscape change and to feel that the heat slowly, so very slowly, started to feel a little less suffocating.

After we had dinner, I had an idea.

"Would you mind if we slept in the truck tonight?" I asked Bella.

She raised her eyebrows. "Ehm, why? We can pull over at another motel can't we?"

"We could. I thought it would be nice to watch the stars tonight. The sky is pretty clear this evening."

"Oh. Yeah, I suppose that's fine."

I looked over at her and she smiled. "I haven't watched the stars for a long time." She sighed.

When I started to feel tired, I pulled over and jumped out of the truck.

"I really don't mind sleeping here, but I am wondering… The truck bed is kind of hard to lie on…" Bella said as she came after me.

"Oh, but dear Bella, you're not the only one good at shady business." I grinned as I grabbed my duffel bag.

She came to stand beside me, curiously peeking over my shoulder. "What did you do?"

I winked at her and opened my bag, pulling out the small pillows and the blankets.

Bella gasped. "You took them from the motel?!"

I laughed. "I told you, you're not the only one with shady business."

She shoved my shoulder and then kissed my cheek. "You're full of surprises Edward." She smiled. I smiled back.

It took me just a few minutes to produce a makeshift bed. And it took us even less to climb under the covers. The underground was still hard, but it was bearable.

Bella and I lay there watching the stars. Sometimes pointing one out when one of us recognized a constellation.

We talked a little bit about our lives. Bella told me she was from Forks. A little town in the Olympic Peninsula. It was there where she was headed. I told her I was from Chicago. And that it was Canada where I was headed. Neither of us explained our reasons for leaving and it wasn't needed.

We grew into a comfortable silence.

"Edward?" Bella called my attention softly.


"Thank you for everything."

"You're welcome."

I felt her taking my hand and snuggling into my side, her soft curves pressing against my body.

We lay like that for a little while.

"Bella?" I asked.


"Can I give you a kiss?"

She was silent for a while. But then I felt her nod against my shoulder. "Yes." She whispered.

I released her hand and shifted a little so I could rest my weight on my elbow. Bella sat up and mirrored my position. I placed my hand on her cheek, rubbing slow circles with my thumb. So soft.

Bella let out a sigh as she watched me watching her. "You sure?" I whispered.

She nodded again.

I leaned in slowly, giving her a chance to back away. She didn't.

Softly I pressed my lips on hers. Gently nipping at her bottom lip. And then I pulled away, not wanting to push her.

"Thank you." I whispered. I leaned back, resting my head on the pillow and closing my eyes.

"Edward?" Bella's voice called softly.


"Can I give you a kiss?"

"Yes." I smiled.

Before I got a chance to open my eyes fully, Bella had leaned down and pressed her lips against mine. She pushed my lips open and let the tip of her tongue peek out. I couldn't help the quiet moan that escaped me as she let out a small sigh. Her tongue searched for mine and that was when I felt it was ok to reach out for her. I sat up a bit and rolled her on her back, hovering above her as I leaned back in.

And she moved with me. I felt her voice against my skin, against my ear. Hearing it like a shiver, an encouragement. And I pressed against her, grunting out her name when she moaned mine. Our lips met, our skin met and then our souls met. Our words became sweeter, softer, against bruised lips and goose bumped skin, until there were no more words at all. I buried my face in her neck and let her breath wash over me.

And then we rolled over, snuggling up, content and warm like two spoiled housecats.

She talks in her sleep, but just a little. Mumbling unrecognisable words. And she pushed me away, which made me hold her tighter, taking in the strawberry scent of her soft hair.

I woke up pretty early. My back was stiff as hell and I tried to stretch it a little without waking up Bella. I rolled her gently on her back and trailed butterfly kisses down her naked flesh. Her hips squirmed and she mumbled incoherently before her eyes started to flutter. Confused she peered down at me and I crawled up to kiss away the frown between her brows. Then she smiled as it came back to her, and she leaned up to kiss my lips. For once, I did not curse at the sun on my back, as I made Bella grin and gasp as she panted out my name again.

We freshened up at the next gas station. I kissed her cinnamon flavoured mouth after breakfast, and then we climbed the truck and hit the road.

She had her feet up the dashboard again, and it was fucking distracting to remember how they felt, wrapped around me. Her voice was humming along with the radio, her eyes closed as she let the wind sweep over her face. And then she smiled and I leaned over to bite the apple of her cheek. It earned me a screech, and a shove, and a laugh, and a "what's wrong with you?!".

Once we reached Oregon, Bella told me to set course for the 101.

The weather was getting chillier and the sun started to hide behind the clouds. So, we decided to stop in one of the towns on our way and get some warmer clothing. I wanted to pay, but Bella insisted that she'd spent some of her money, so I let her.

We reached Washington the same day and I could make it to Forks before midnight, but Bella told me she wanted to wait. So we booked another motel room and waited for the morning.

I drove leisurely and watched the scenery as the road weaved through the landscape. Bella shifted beside me as we drove passed the Forks sign. I snuck a glance at her, and saw her eyes flicker to every house we drove by.

"Turn to the right." She spoke suddenly.

I did as she said. I drove slowly because I expected her house to be somewhere down this street.

I heard her taking a deep breath.

"Here." She put her hand on my arm, but her gaze was fixed on the window. "Pull over here."

I pushed my foot down on the breaks and let the car roll to a stop. Bella took another deep breath and removed her hand from my arm.

"So…" I said as I turned a bit in my seat. Bella turned to me as well, but her eyes were cast downward.

"Uhm… yeah…" She mumbled.


I coughed a little. "Which house is yours?"

She looked up and nodded at the house directly across the street from us. "That one."

I nodded.

"Thank you Edward." Bella spoke up. I turned back to her. "Thank you for everything."

I lifted her chin up and cupped her cheek with my hand. My thumb rubbing her skin. So fucking soft.

"Your welcome."

She nodded and gave me a brief, unconvincing little smile. "I guess I should go then."

She leaned up and placed a sweet kiss on my cheek. "Goodbye Edward." She whispered. And then she scrambled out of the truck. She grabbed her bag out and crossed the street without looking back.

I waited until the front door opened. A man appeared into view. I could recognize Bella's facial features a little in his and decided that this must be her old man. He dropped the crutch he was holding and used both of his arms to yank Bella into an embrace. I turned the key in the ignition and drove away. With a last glance in my rear-view mirror I saw how Bella stepped in the house and closed the door behind her.

I reached for my pack of cigarette's and lit one up. I took a long drag and then shifted gears as I sped up the truck.

I felt a burn as I realised that I had no expectation to ever come back here.

* * *

I looked at the landscape stretched out before me. It was mystical, this place where the sky met the earth. White. Cold. Pure. Untainted.

I imaged Bella here with me. Her arms would wrap around herself, hugging her body in an attempt to keep warm. Her cheeks flushed a delicate pink from the cold. And by the time she'd start shifting around on her feet, I'd open my arms for her and she'd snuggle against my chest. Fitting there perfectly. Her warm body against mine. I'd rest my chin on her head, inhaling that sweet scent of her hair. And she, she'd turn her face upward and trail little kisses up and down my throat to warm her frozen lips. And I'd lean down to help warming them.

It's been two, maybe three months since I dropped her off in that little town. It's been two, maybe three months since I started to realize that there was a fucking heart-shaped hole in my chest. There was never someone I called home, but she held me like a gravity pull. And now, two, maybe three months later, I realized I've been fighting gravity the whole time. And I was too far away now, the pull was too strong. I needed relief and freedom from the internal cage I build for myself. I needed to get back to her. I needed to get back home.

* * *

I was sitting on the couch with Jacob. Dad and Billy had just left. Jacob had stolen the remote control and was now annoyingly searching the channels.

"Just pick one, damn it."

"Shut up Bells."

"I am going upstairs to read a book if you don't settle on one."

"Nu-uh, you stay right here."

Suddenly I heard a rumbling outside of a vehicle approaching. My heart jumped in my chest.

That sound, it sounded just like… like the truck.

The Chevy.


I leaped of the couch and ran for the door.

"Bella?" Jacob called but he didn't follow.

I yanked the door open and froze.

Yes it was the red monster. And Edward beside it.

I took a few steps forward, Jacob behind me.

Edwards eyes met mine, and the pounding of my heart nearly suffocated me.

"Bella? What's going on?" I heard Jacob ask.

Edwards gaze snapped.

"Edward?" I called his name. I took a few more steps towards him.

"Bella." He said, holding my gaze as I approached.

"Didn't like Canada eih?" I grinned.

My heart fluttered as Edwards lips curved into a crooked smile, and I realized I had loved him all along.

* * *

"Didn't like Canada eih?" She grinned.

I felt my lips curve into a smile, and took the last steps towards her.

"You're damn good at sneaky business. You're so much better than I gave you credit for." I told her and held her face with my hands.

"What do you mean?" She asked me smiling.

"It took me three fucking months to realize that my heart is missing, you little thief." I said and poked her in the stomach.

"Yeah, well… What can I say… I am one of the best."

I leaned in and kissed her smug face. I felt calm and at ease holding her in my arms. And I buried my face in her hair, inhaling her scent.

"Would you like to come in?" She whispered against my shoulder.

I nodded and pressed a kiss to her temple before I released her. She took my hand and led me inside. For the first time in a long time, I felt at home. And it was all right with me.