I have shocked even myself with the fact that I have finally updated

Once again I apologise profusely :(

This chapter is a strange one - I hate the first half, and like the second half, so do read on.

Bella is very OOC, but only because she's too annoying in the books and needed to be a little bit more headstrong for my own literary purposes

PLEASE read and review, and I will try to update soon!

Most of all, don't forget to SHINE xx

Chapter 8

Riley POV

I changed my mind on the outskirts of the city, backtracking and finding the nicest car that I could.

It wasn't difficult to make it start – back in my human days I'd watched a sixty second hot-wiring-for-dummies video, and since then I'd been a criminal extraordinaire.

I drove around the city in circles, regularly finding myself stuck in traffic and taking the time to run over the events of the day in my head.

One positive was that Edward hadn't killed me – that had definitely been a bonus after I'd kissed his girlfriend. And Bella clearly felt something for me, though denying it to herself. Did I really feel anything for her?

Remembering that she'd probably be waiting for me, I took a detour back to Forks, pulling up outside her house and leaning back into the car seat.

The door was thrown open, and she ran down the front path to the car, opening the passenger seat door and climbing in. 'Where'd you find the car?' she said, with a knowing look.

'I'm going to return it,' I sighed.

'Riley... I'm so sorry about your mom.'

'It doesn't matter,' I said.

There was an awkward pause. 'Well, are you going to drive?'

'Right,' I reversed back out, not sure where she'd want us to go. I decided on taking the scenic tour around Forks.

After about half an hour I realised that this was getting completely pointless. 'Bella, I'm pretty sure there's no point in us driving to the middle of a forest for the view.'

'No, I suppose there isn't.'

'I'm sorry I kissed you.'

'I kissed you back.'

Another awkward silence.

'Why do you think Edward can't hear your thoughts anymore?'

'Well I'd hazard a guess at it being something to do with you – something to do with the fact that we kissed. Since you're the only person we've ever known who can hide their thoughts from him, that would seem the obvious answer.'

'But I've kissed Jacob... and Edward can still read his mind.'

'Maybe it doesn't work on werewolves,' I sighed, knowing that I was clutching at straws.

More silence.

'Is this how it's going to be now? We can't even talk to each other,' Bella said after a while.

'Look, Bella, all I am is... is a piece of scum who tried to kill you and the Cullens. I can't be responsible for you breaking up with Edward too, and I sure as hell don't deserve anything better than hatred from you.'

'Oh will you stop acting like the world is against you? For God's sake, you screwed up, we get it, but you didn't know any other way. You were just obeying orders. And the whole family has ground to a halt to try and help you, but all you're - '

I couldn't stop myself from silencing her with a kiss.

It was less gentle than the first, and it only took her a split second of surprise before she started kissing me back, almost as strongly. I could taste strawberry on her lips, and I could feel the beating of her heart more intensely than ever before.

All of that, and I could feel her fingers at my shirt, lifting it caress the skin underneath. Her fingers were so warm to the touch, so tender and so soft – the opposite to my whole being. The juxtaposition was enticing, intense.

'No,' I said, drawing away.

Bella looked, of all emotions, offended. 'Riley... did I do something wrong?'

'No,' I almost laughed, 'no, you were doing too much right. I'm not Edward, I don't have his restraint.'

'I trust you.'

'Well then you're screwed.'

And once again we dissolved into that strained silence.

'I'm not gonna go behind Edward's back – not after everything that the Cullens have done for me.'

'Then we'll tell him,' she whispered.

'You're kidding right? He warned me that if I ever so much as looked at you in that way he'd kill me. Somehow, I imagine me stealing his fiancée wouldn't go down too well.'

'I'm not his fiancée,' she rolled her eyes, 'I never actually said yes.'

'Look, Bella, this is lust. Lust. We've known each other for no time, nowhere near long enough to fall in love. And you love Edward. Don't throw away something perfect for something temporary.'

'Temporary?' Bella snorted. 'This is temporary?'

'Bella, I - '

'And don't you dare tell me it's lust. I think I know my own emotions a damn sight better than you do!' she got out of the car.

'Bella, where are you going?' I followed her, not caring that I was leaving a car in the middle of the only road through the forest.

'Anywhere that doesn't house you!'

'You're in the middle of the woods, let me take you home!'

'Don't you dare touch me,' she hissed, stumbling down into the trees.

I didn't have much of a choice but to follow her. 'Bella, I'm just trying to make a decision that's best for everyone!'

'How about, just for once, we don't do what's best for everyone, and we do what's best for Bella!'

'Look, Bella, just marry Edward and forget about me. That way you both get to be happy, and I don't kill you.'

Before I could comprehend what she was doing, she'd snatched up a rock from the ground and cut a firm line down her forearm.

'What the hell!' I shouted, staggering backwards as the scent of her blood hit me.

'See, you can resist me!'

'Are you mental?' I glared, not breathing and trying to ignore the red lines seeping across my vision. To my surprise, my head started to clear; I'd never been so focused on ignoring blood, and it seemed to be working.

'See, Riley? You're fine. We're fine.'

I shook my head, though every part of me wanted to nod and move in to kiss her again. 'No we're not. Now can you get back in the car, or I'll have to carry you home.'

'You'll just have to come right on over here and carry me then.'

I looked down with a heavy sigh, and was over but her side in a split second, hoisting her into a bridal lift and starting off at a run.

I stopped on the edge of the woods, looking into her eyes and searching them for fear. Instead, she looked perfectly comfortable.

'Oh for God's sake,' I muttered, before giving in to myself and kissing her again.

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