Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or any of the characters associated with the series.

Additional disclaimer: I suggest you read the one shot entitled 'Letters' I wrote for "Mumbled Mumblings". I don't want there to be any surprises.

Dear Bella,

You hate me. I know you do and I deserve it. I'm here in the fucking desert and people are dying and I've even killed some of them… but all I can think about is you. I see your face all the time. I miss you. I miss those little freckles on your shoulders and that crease you get between your eyes when you're angry or worried or sad. I've fucked everything up. I know I have. But sometimes at night I think about that summer we spent at the lake with our parents. I think I fell in love with you there.

The summer of 2001 proved to be one of the hottest Washington had ever seen. The sweltering heat caused small children to stay indoors and parents, in turn, to yell at them. Animals were seen lounging under shade trees instead of roaming around neighborhoods. Young couples in love were forced to find refuge on small blankets under old oaks with sweaty legs intertwined and salty lips meeting roughly.

"My parents will be back soon," she whispered as her hands ran through his hair. It was a strange auburn color, the kind that most women would pay a lot of money for in a salon. She loved the way it felt in between her fingers and how it never, ever seemed to behave. Sometimes, when it grew too long, it would curl around his ears and she wanted to constantly tuck it behind them for him.

"Stay with me," he said with his lips to her shoulder.

"They'll want me to have dinner with them." She sighed and turned to face him, tucking her arm under her head.

"Meet me tonight." He caught a strand of hair that had come undone from her messy ponytail as a result of their feverish kisses.

"I meet you every night, Edward," she laughed softly. He loved when she laughed, even a small chuckle. When she laughed her whole face lit up, shining eyes and pretty lips curved into a playful smile.

"Then I'll see you later?" he asked as he moved closer and wrapped his arm around her. He buried his face in her neck and she pushed him away in protest.

"Stop, I'm all sweaty!" she cried through her laughter. He held her arms above her head as he placed hot, open-mouthed kisses on her skin.

"I like the way you taste," he said when his mouth was above hers. Bella's breath caught in her throat as she stared into the emerald eyes of the boy-not-quite-a-man who'd become her very best friend.

"Then taste me," she breathed and when he did it felt like her body had caught fire from the inside. It wasn't the first time they'd kissed and she was certain it would not be the last.

But it was different.

It was soft and sweet, hard and intense, and so much more than she'd ever imagined a kiss could be.

When he finally pulled away, breathless, with his mouth tugging upward on one side, he knew something had changed, too.

Thanks to IAmToWait for beta-ing the original and for being so supportive of this little venture.