A/N: Sorry for the major gap in updates, but I've been so busy with other life aspects. But I'll really try to get back on top of things come winter break (in only two weeks! I'm so excited! But it's weird, I'm almost halfway through my senior year...how CRAZY!) Anyway, read, enjoy, and most of all REVIEW!

Sunlight, a Twilight fanfic by French_Shark

4. small talk is the way to go

[Bella's POV]

I could feel the tension in the air between us as we entered the kitchen. So, nervous as I was around him, I decided to use the ever-so-useful tactic of making small talk.

"So, Edward Masen, right?" I asked him, as I got the ice from the freezer and a cloth from the side drawer to wrap it in. "Or is it Cullen?"

"Masen." He answered. "I had the choice to change it, but I decided not to." His facial expression turned pensive.

"How come?" I asked, moving my eyesight to the ice in front of me as I placed the cubes into the washcloth I'd taken from the drawer.

He didn't answer fro a moment.

"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have asked that." I said, then handed him the ice cloth. "Here's some ice."

"No, no, it's fine." He said, quickly accepting and applying the clothed ice to his red hand.

As I handed it to him, though, I had to resist the urge to flinch as a sort of electric current seemed to flow from his hand to mine when I'd accidently brushed his skin.

"Th-thanks," he said, "You see, I was only ten at the time, so—at the time, I was just scared to forget, mostly." He paused so as to give a small sigh. "But now, I just think it helps me feel close to them somehow."

"That's horrible," I said, trying to imagine a situation, but it was a futile attempt. "Losing your parents at such a young age…I can't even imagine my parents so much as getting divorced…and yet you've had such a horrid…thing happen to you."

He hesitated for a moment before finally answering, "Yes, I do miss them. But Carlisle and Esme are amazing people. I'm very fortunate to have been placed with such wonderful people."

"I'm sure they are," I answered, "though I've not met them yet myself."

A grin spread across his lips at that moment followed by the words, "Speaking of yourself…It's Bella, right? Or is it Isabella?" Obviously, he was referring back to my questioning of him just moments ago.

Blushing slightly, I replied, "Just—just Bella."

I was shocked by his next comment, though.

"The blush on your cheeks is lovely," he said. Just as soon as the words came out, he froze, then stammered, "I—I mean…I—oh, gosh, sorry, that's awkward…"

I felt my face grow hotter as I said, "Maybe just a little. I hate how I blush so easily, though."

"Well, I don't mind." Edward answered, "Don't be ashamed."

It took me a moment to be able to speak.

"Um," I said, my voice now shaking, "so how's the hand?"

He took a moment to glance at it under the ice before pronouncing it, "Better," he grimaced as he replaced the ice. "still stings a bit, though."

"That's good," I murmured, "Well, um, I think our parents have had a good chance to meet up with one another by now, right?"

"Oh" Edward said, his face dropping slightly, "yeah." Then he laughed.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

"Nothing." He answered.

I knew he was hiding something from me, but I figured I'd just worry about it later.

"Well, the living room's through here…" I said, and I walked out into the front hallway again, passed by the staircase, and on into the living room.

"Ah, Bella! There you are!" my mother said as I entered the room.

She and my dad were sitting on the sofa by the wall, facing the other couch where the Cullens sat.

"Yes, Edward came up to tell me that he and his family were here." I nodded in their direction, "It's nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you, too, Bella." Mrs. Cullen replied. "So where's Edward now?" She glanced over my shoulder.

"I thought he was right behind me," I said, confused as to why he hadn't followed.

"I'm right here." He said, suddenly from behind me. "Sorry, I just go distracted looking at some of your pictures on the wall by the staircase. Whoever took them is great with photography."

"Oh, thank you, Edward. It's nice to have one's work appreciated so." My mother replied.

My mother tended to have various hobbies. Lately, she was obsessed with photography. She seemed to be very good at it, too.

"So," Charlie interrupted, "shall we eat?"

"Yes, please," Dr. Cullen replied. "I can't wait to try some of that apple pie you've been boasting about."