A/N I want to apologize for the long wait between chapters. I have just passed the one year mark since my dad's passing and was finding it difficult to find words to put down on the page.
For your patience, this chapter is longer than the rest and I give you a bit of fluff at the end. Thank you to all who are reviewing and enjoying the extras I send your way.
Disclaimer: All things Twilight related belong to Stephenie Meyer. This story belongs to Obsessedmom © 2010. Please don't steal my stuff.
"I can't believe you're eating lunch with Edward Cullen," Angela whispered in my ear.
I nodded my agreement but probably our reasons differed. How could this beautiful boy want to spend more time with me? All I had done was be offensive and cry on him. Yet there he was quickly approaching and I couldn't help but be pulled toward him like some kind of magnet to steel. I called back over my shoulder, "Bye Angela, I'll call you tonight and we can set it up."
"Hi." What a crooked, goofy, wonderful smile he had. And he was smiling at me. He grabbed my backpack off my shoulder and carried it for me. No one had ever carried my stuff for me before. "Did you bring your lunch or did you need to eeerp, eeerp, eeerp buy something?" he asked.
I told him that I had my lunch in my bag as we walk out to the courtyard where all the picnic tables were and he led me to his table. His friends were already there. "Hey guys eeerp, eeerp, eeerp this is Bella. Bella you already know Alice." I smiled at her. "And that's Jasper Whitlock next to her, he's new too." He smiled up at me. "And his cousin Rosalie Hale."
"Call me Rose Bella."
"The big behemoth next to her is Emmett McCarty."
"Hey Bella, How you liking Phoenix?" the dimpled giant asked me.
"I'm getting used to it I guess. All this heat and dryness is different," I added as I dug into my pack and pulled out my lunch.
"So is really all that rainy in Forks?" Edward asked around bites of his sandwich.
"Wettest place in the continental United States."
The two couples, for that's what they obviously were, settled into private conversations leaving me to wonder why I was sitting here.
"I can't imagine living with all that wet and cold all the time." He seemed to shiver at just the thought of it and it made me want to laugh.
"It's all I've really known so actually this," as I waved a hand around, "is taking some getting used to. I mean eating lunch outside is just weird."
"I hope you –eeerp, eeerp, eeerp- do get used to it," he smiled, "it's really not so awful."
I can't believe we are sitting and talking about the weather of all things. It is nice sitting here with Edward though. I hadn't expected to make any friends, at least not this quickly. I don't have a problem with sitting by myself and just reading or doing homework but this is nicer…I think. As we ate our lunches I couldn't help but watch Edward. I couldn't understand why someone as gorgeous as Edward didn't have a girlfriend, or am I supposing too much? Maybe he has a girlfriend that just doesn't go this school. But then why is he being so nice to me? He has found me at my most embarrassing and pathetic, all teary faced and crap. I suppose the TS could be a problem for some girls, but he obviously does have friends, so… Lord my mind is rambling. I love how the sun makes his hair all shiny and brings out red and golden highlights. And those forest green eyes… I will not cry over forest green eyes, I will not cry over forest green eyes, I will not cry over forest green eyes. He is staring at me.
"Bella…, you okay?" he asked and a little wrinkle formed between his brows.
"Sorry, I spaced out there. What did you say?"
"Doesn't matter, but we need to eeerp, eeerp, eeerp get to class." I looked around and saw that people were up and moving back towards the classrooms. I reached for my trash but Edward was faster and dumped it for me.
"Thanks." I stood up and gathered my bag and Edward, Alice, and I headed off towards our science classes.
As we walked he asked me, "So, what are you doing with Angela?"
"We have to do a presentation in Spanish and are going to do it together. We need to practice. At least I do."
"Angela's a nice girl. I'm sure you'll eeerp, eeerp, eeerp both do fine," he said encouragingly as we walked into Biology just as the bell rang.
We slid into our seats before we could get the stink-eye from Mr. Banner. We were starting a new unit and he began his lecture and I began taking copious notes.
My days began to find a rhythm.
I would arrive early to school to sit under what I now called 'my tree' and write in the journal Miss Julie had given me. I found it remarkably cathartic to take that time each morning and think about Charlie and preserve my memories on the pages.
Somewhere along the line each morning Edward would appear at my side and would sit quietly, at least as quietly as he was able. Sometimes he would pull out a book to read or sometimes I would catch him just watching me. I liked how comfortable we were with each other. I can't be sure of the emotion but I think it makes me happy to have him nearby.
One morning as he helped me to my feet he said, "It looks like you've almost filled that journal. Do you eeerp, eeerp, eeerp want to go to the mall and get a new one?" and a little softer, "With me?" His fingers were frantically drumming against his thigh.
We were almost at the door to my English Lit. class, "Yeah, I'd like that. I'll see you at lunch?"
"Okay. See you then," he answered with the biggest grin he had ever given me. I swear he walked away with a bounce in his step.
Later I met up with Angela at nutrition break as had become our habit. We were both apprehensive about getting our grades today for our presentation in Spanish. We had chosen a scene from the musical Evita. And it definitely wasn't a singing part as neither of us could sing but a dialog between two of the characters. Alice had even helped us out by getting us costumes from the drama department.
"I think it went really well," Angela told me.
"Yeah. But I still can't roll my r's worth beans, I told her. "But, Senora Lopez seems fair and we got through it without looking at our notes. Let's keep our fingers crossed."
It turned out that Angela got and A and I got an A- and I was thrilled beyond belief. I think I floated to government and then out to lunch.
"What's got you smiling so big?" Edward asked as we walked to our lunch table.
"You remember that presentation Angela and I had to do for Spanish? Well I got an A- on it. I'm stunned." We had arrived at the lunch table and everyone else was already there. "Alice, thanks again for the costumes you let Angela and I borrow. I think it made a difference. We were the only ones who dressed up so it was kinda cool."
"It's nice seeing you smile like that," Edward said with a grin. "I notice you eeerp, eeerp, eeerp doing that more and more. It's nice."
Yeah, maybe he was right I was smiling more these days. I had been here more that a month and I was feeling settled in. With my new friends it was starting to feel like home. The journal writing that Miss Julie had suggested was helping and I wasn't crying as often and when I did it wasn't a full blown breakdown. Oh yeah, Edward had said something earlier about going to the mall.
"Edward, did you still want to go to the mall with me so I can get a new journal?" I asked as we headed off to Biology.
"Shopping? You are going shopping?" Alice interjected.
"I just need a new journal, nothing exciting Alice." I turned to Edward, "Did you want to go after school today?" I didn't want to hurt Alice's feelings but I had been looking forward to just Edward and I going. It wasn't a date or anything but still…
"I promised my mom to help with some stuff at home but I could pick you up around 5:30 if that's okay?"
"That sounds great," I told him as I slid into my seat in Biology. Before class ended I wrote down my address and passed it to Edward. His fingers brushed mine and I again felt that pleasant electric tingle run up my arm.
Next period as Alice and I got dressed for PE I assured her I wasn't cutting her out but that I had really hoped to have some time with Edward alone outside of school.
"Bella, do you like him, like him?" she whispered to me as she pulled her gym shirt over her head.
"I think so. Do you think he likes me?" I wasn't sure if I wanted to hear her answer but I had to ask.
"I've never seen him this happy Bella. I think you make him happy. Just be careful, he's never had a girlfriend or anything."
"Seriously?" I was shocked and Alice just nodded as we walked out to the track to run laps cutting our conversation off.
The pile of discarded clothes on my bed was growing and it was mostly empty hangers in my closet now. My Phoenix wardrobe was pretty limited and I looked ridiculous wearing my long sleeved thermal shirts when it was 80 degrees out. I looked in the mirror and decided unless I pulled something back out of the heap on my bed I would have to be content with my current attire. I had on a white sleeveless top made of sheer eyelet over a pale blue cammi, a pair of dark wash skinny jeans, and a pair of black ballet flats. I swiped my cherry chapstik over my lips; I really had to stop the constant gnawing on my lips, and then threw the chapstik in my bag. I ran a brush through my hair one last time and went downstairs to wait for Edward's arrival.
Thank god Renée was at work and I wouldn't have to do the whole introduction thing. I hadn't talked to her about my new friends much and definitely hadn't said anything about my interest in Edward. I definitely was interested in Edward and had been surprised when Alice had told me he had never had a girlfriend.
I heard Edward's car pull into the driveway and grabbed my purse and when I pulled open the front door he was already there with his hand raised to knock.
"Hi," he said, dropping his hand back down to his side. He just stood there with his mouth kinda hanging open, his fingers twitching against his thigh.
I looked at him puzzled at his nearly frozen stance until he said, "You look really pretty." And then I saw a blush creep over his cheeks. "Eeerp, eeerp, eeerp."
"We match," I smiled at him. He was wearing a white button-down shirt rolled up to his elbows open over a pale blue t-shirt and a pair of low slung dark wash jeans and a pair of black converse. I stifled a giggle and felt myself relax when I realized that he was maybe as nervous as I was.
"Is your mom here? " he asked.
"No, oh that reminds me. I ought to leave her a note. Sorry, come on in," I told him as I went into the kitchen and scribbled a note and put it on the fridge under a butterfly magnet.
"All ready to go now?" he asked. I nodded my yes and we headed out to his car.
He had on KYOT on his radio. "You like jazz?" I asked him.
"Yeah, but you can change it if you want to."
I leaned back in my seat, "No, I like it. I've just never really listened to this kinda music before."
Two more songs played before we reached the mall. When Edward had parked the car I couldn't believe how fast he got out and came around the car to open my door for me. We walked side by side to the mall entrance the backs of our hands brushing against each others. When the automatic doors opened for us at the entrance Edward slid his palm to hold my hand and I felt my heart stutter.
He looked down at me, "Is this eeerp, eeerp, eeerp okay?"
I squeezed his hand tightly in mine and nodded yes with a smile that might crack my face.
We walked around the mall until we got to the Border's and browsed around the store. They had a bunch of journals—plain ones, cutesy ones, fancy bejeweled ones- I bought one with a simple pattern of purple swirls on the cover.
When we passed the food court Edward asked if I was hungry and my stomach betrayed me, grumbling loudly. "I'll take that as a yes. What kind of food do you like?"
I looked around at all the choices and settled on Panda Express. We ate amongst all the noise and people. Edward's noises and tapping didn't stand out so much here. After dumping our trash he asked, "Did you have to get home? Or did you want to eeerp, eeerp, eeerp walk around some more?"
"Walk a bit more if that's okay." And that's what we did. Window shopping and commenting on people in soft whispers. He had taken my hand back in his again and it fit there perfectly. My small hand wrapped protectively in his larger hand. It was nice, really nice.
"Do you mind if we stop in here?" We were in front of the Hallmark store.
We wandered down the aisle until we were standing in front of a display of Mother's Day cards. "Were you gonna give your mom a card Bella?" he asked innocently enough.
I didn't say anything. I really didn't know the answer.
"Bella? Are you okay?" Edward had moved in front of me leaving me with a view of only his chest. Somehow he knew to block out everything else and held me lightly at my hips. He repeated himself, "Bella? Bella? Are you okay? Eeerp, eeerp, eeerp."
I looked up into his beautiful eyes, "Yeah I'm okay. I've just never bought a Mother's Day card before. "
"Did you want to get one?" he asked tenderly. "I'm sure we can find something simple, not all sentimental and stuff."
"Maybe… I'll look… maybe," I told him softly.
Edward found what he proclaimed as the perfect card for his mom and helped me look for one for Renée. I finally settled on one that had a simple message. I could do this… Renée and I had developed a comfortable relationship, not quite mother-daughter, but more like new friends but it was a start and this was a step I could take in good faith that our relationship would build and get better still. I could be hopeful.
I smiled up at Edward as we walked through the mall back towards the car. "What's that smile for Bella?"
"You make me feel brave Edward," I said as I leaned into his side. "Like I can really begin a new life here."
We had reached the car and he had disengaged the locks with his key fob. He took my bags from my hand and set them on the roof of the car and stood in front of me, my back to the car door. "Bella you are brave, so brave." His hands were on the roof, his fingers drumming madly.
He was standing so close to me and I could feel the heat of his body radiating over my skin. His breath was a whisper against my neck. "Bella can I eeerp, eeerp, eeerp kiss you?"
My breath caught in my throat. I had never kissed a boy before. The guys I knew back in Forks had all been friends that I had grown up with, not someone I wanted to kiss. Well, Riley maybe, but he was two grades older and so unattainable. These random thoughts flashed through my head and all I could do is nod my assent.
Edward leaned down and captured my lips with his. At first brushing back and forth gently and then pressing firmly against mine. I found my chest heaving with the excitement and sensation sent coursing through me to the tips of my toes. His arms had come down and imprisoned my waist. I wrapped my own arms around his waist and could feel the tension in his muscles.
His tongue stroked against the seam of my lips and when I gasped for breath he caressed my lips and ventured into my mouth and I felt him against my teeth and the tip of my own tongue ventured forward to meet his. Our heads naturally tipped to the side letting the kiss deepen until we were faint with lack of air and we parted. Edward leaned his forehead against mine as were both panted in deep gulping breaths.
Okay folks… I need your help. In the timeline here Memorial weekend is coming up soon. Would your rather see a group camping trip at a lake or just Bella and Edward going to a fair/carnival? Oh yeah... because I love you so much there is an EPOV outake for my reviewers.
Inspire me please.