An: This isn't beta'd so please excuse the errors. I need a new beta if anyone is interested. I promise I'm not hard to work with.

FGB one shot for bookgeek

**

EPOV

The sun would be going down soon. I shook my wet hair in an attempt to get it out of my eyes and snatched on the wife beater that was resting on my shoulder. After the second shower of the afternoon I debated whether to put a shirt on but compromised with my old red and black flannel. Bella gave it to me before we went camping a few summers ago. She said it brought out my hair color and eyes.

Chicks.

I rolled up the sleeves and didn't bother to button it up. I looked out my window again at her house. She wasn't home yet. I cursed and spun around. I needed to do something to take my mind off this. Grabbing the first thing close to me I swung my bat around. Why should I be angry with her? She had no idea how I felt. She had no reason to turn him down on a date. I knew he made her uncomfortable.

Why would she agree to go?

I gripped the bat in both hands, feeling the grain of the wood under my calloused hands.

Because Charlie made her agree.

I wanted to scream, kick, vomit, hit something – anything. They've been gone for four hours. Tossing the bat aside I started to clean my room. The array of Bella's things that were left in my room had places of their own. She had room in my drawers, space on my desk, and an area in the bathroom. She practically lived here with me. After I started my first year at the community college in Port Angeles Carlisle received an offer to return to his former hospital in Chicago. He took the offer. He and Esme left two months into my first semester. I knew he was trying to give me space. I knew they were disappointed in my decision to decline my acceptance into Dartmouth. I told them I just needed time to sort out my priorities. I really just needed the time to grow a set of balls and tell Bella how I felt about her. I really just didn't want to leave her alone to be stolen away from me.

I heard the shitty little Rabbit pull up into the drive way next door. It was sputtering and whining as the engine cut off. I raced to my window and shielded myself behind the curtain. Dammit, Charlie wasn't home yet. Bella shot out of the passenger seat and up the steps. She was wearing that itchy orange sweater Alice had sent her and a jean skirt that reached her knees and flared out. Jacob followed her up the steps. I wish I could see her face. After a few moments of chatting on the porch she opened the door and they both went inside. I cringed and focused my attention on her window. The blinds were drawn. Fuck. I was close to going over there and acting like I had no idea what the hell they were up to. Before I could take a step away from the window the blinds shot up and one side of the curtains were pushed back. Good girl. She was alone in her room and she was staring at my window. She couldn't see me.

Was that disappointment on her face?

Quickly, she turned and stripped off the itchy, offensive, orange material and headed for her closet. I didn't have time to really appreciate that view because her door opened and Jacob walked in. Now I was pissed.

Doesn't even look like the fucker knocked.

Then he pretty much signed it for himself when he walked right into her closet. I couldn't move. I was frozen. Would she accept him? Would she kiss him? She didn't know I was here. Would she let him touch her? I was getting increasingly irate by the second. Bella brushed out of the closet wearing one of my old shirts from baseball camp. I smiled smugly. Even though the print was cracked and fading, 'Cullen' was still on the back of the shirt, in big bright yellow letters against the navy blue; right over the number 12.

My girl. Mine. Grunting, swinging my bat, and pounding my chest…mine. Dammit.

She had changed into her favorite pair of jeans and was fiddling with her belt. Well technically it was one of my old belts. I saw her standing in front of her vanity and watched carefully as she brushed her hair. Attacked it really, she only did that when she was upset. Her long locks were being yanked and pulled by the brush as she hurried with it. Jacob had exited the closet looking confused and pensive. I narrowed my eyes. He sat at the foot of her bed and watched her. She reached out and grabbed a tie from the basket on the vanity table and I saw her face in the mirror once her hair was pulled up. She looked flushed. Worried, I stiffened. What the fuck did he do to her? She finally turned and smiled. It was forced. She said something to him and he stood.

I hope you told him to get the fuck out.

He walked over to her.

His strides were confident.

He had purpose.

He reached his hand out…

Took her neck…

… and kissed her.

Through the red haze I watched as her hands came up and grabbed his shoulders. I couldn't tell from the angle if she was pushing him away or pulling him closer. Before I could debate it anymore he dropped to his knees and she pushed him back. He was cupping his crotch and I almost howled with laugher.

That's my girl!

She fucking kneed him in the nuts! I could kiss her myself. Before I could appreciate the moment Jacob reached up and grabbed her waist. She twisted to retreat but he was bigger than her. I watched in shock as he tossed her roughly to the bed.

All I could see were her bare feet. The bed was out of the windows frame. Fuck. He crawled onto the bed over her and I vaguely saw her running out of her room before I was running out of mine.

From inside my house I heard her front door slam shut. I yanked open my front door and kicked open the screen, bolting down the steps. She was barreling right for me and I caught her easily, wrapping her in my arms. I was oddly aware of the fact that she was barefoot on my gravel walkway and that I could feel her tears on the flesh of my neck. It irked me. Jacob skidded to a stop when he saw me.

"Get in the house." I growled. Bella stiffened but I couldn't calm down enough to say anything gently.

She started to protest when I yanked her arm and shoved her toward my porch.

"Go up to my room and wait for me. Jacob and I need to have a little chat."

I heard the screen door click softly and the door shut just as quietly. I never took my eyes off Jacob.

"What the fuck did you do to her?" My voice was low with warning.

"This is between us Cullen! Stop trying to interfere-"

"Like hell it is. She didn't even want to go on this date with you! Her dad guilted her into it! I told her not to trust you and now look what happened. She's fucking crying."

There was more I wanted to say but he charged me. I was surprised. I had thought I would be the one to initiate the physical violence.

He rammed his shoulder into my chest. Hell no. After years of helping Emmett with his football practice I was not going to be knocked over. Emmett also had about four more inches on Jacob and broader shoulders.

I hooked my arms around his stomach and tossed him. Thanks Em. He stumbled but regrouped before he fell. The right hook I delivered to his jaw looked painful. I was only half aware of my right ring finger crunching a little. I then rounded and nailed him in the stomach. I heard him wheeze. I was two years older than him and he didn't stand a chance.

While he was only an inch taller than me he lacked control and practice. I had to struggle not to kick him when he was down. Suddenly the image of Bella being thrown on that bed burned into my eyes and I grabbed him by his collar and dragged him to his piece of shit car. I wrenched open the door. Before I shoved him in the car I jammed my forearm against his throat. I looked him hard in the eyes.

"Touch her again and I won't stop when you're down."

I threw him in the seat and turned to go inside.

"This isn't over."

My back stiffened. I spun around and took two steps forward.

"Stop." I cringed. I glanced over my shoulder and saw her standing there, her face red and puffy; with a hard set to her jaw.

"You're wrong Jake. This is over. Just…just leave me alone…I think tonight was just a big mistake."

I opened my mouth to say something but I had nothing. Jake stood looking at her like someone ran over his dog.

"Bella I'm so-"

I turned around and grabbed Bella up. I had to get her away from him. I scooped her up and carried her up the steps of the porch, the adrenaline giving me my determination. I called to Jake over my shoulder.

"Don't come back here. I'll be watching."

Then I walked inside and kicked the door shut. Bella rested her head on my shoulder as I climbed the steps. I was glad she didn't ask me to put her down. I wouldn't have but I didn't feel like arguing with her. I heard the sound of Jacob's car driving away. Noisy, fucking piece of shit car. I set her down on my bed and scooted up next to her. She turned, her back facing me to stare out my window and I spooned up behind her. Her little hands pulled my arms around her and I felt her chest heave as she sighed.

"You were watching weren't you?"

I felt like a little kid caught with a porn mag. I nodded shamefully. She didn't seem pissed but I was prepared to apologize.

"I hoped you would be. When I opened the blinds though I didn't see you, I thought you weren't home."

Huh. I hugged her to me and nuzzled her neck.

"Are you okay? Did he hurt you?"

"No. I'm just…stunned, I guess. I didn't think he would do that. I wasn't expecting it. He invited himself in and I went to change. I didn't expect him to come up to my room. Then he just walks into the closet and I had barely pulled on my shirt by then. I got pissed and told him to leave. He just followed me and then… when I asked him to leave again he… kissed me. And I kinda panicked and before I could think about it I kneed him in the balls and when he threw me…I don't know. I've never seen that look on his face…it was like he was going to… I just pushed with everything I had and prayed you would be home." She shuttered and I grimaced. I should have kicked him. She shifted and leaned back against me more. I rubbed circles on her stomach and ignored the pain in my hand.

"I've never seen him like that, Edward. Never. He was frightening."

"Shhh. I wouldn't let anything happen to you. You know that. I told you I would be waiting for you to get home."

I wanted to tell her that she should have listened to me and never gone out with him. This had been brewing for years now. She knew I hated him. She knew he hated me. I knew her better. We spent more time together. The only reason Jake was interested in Bella in the first place was because he knew I had feelings for her. The word around town and the Res was that Jake had a thing going with some girl named Leah. He denied it but gossip ran rampant at La Push about their hook ups. I couldn't tell her this though. I couldn't make her feel bad about this. It wasn't her fault. I felt her relax into my arms as I continued to stroke her stomach and hold her close.

I should have talked to Charlie about this. I should have let him know how I felt about Jacob. But I knew that it was useless. Bella would be pissed that I was talking about her like a child that couldn't take care of herself. Charlie liked me but he loved Jacob. I knew he was wishing for Jacob and Bella to get along. He wanted his daughter and his best friend's son to get together. The fact of the matter was though, Bella never spent time with Jake. They never hung out.

Jacob was a sick pup. Charlie and Bella might not see it but that look in his eyes always gave him away to me. There was something wrong there. He was too intense, too controlling. It had really started to bug me last summer when I heard him telling Charlie that I was spending too much time with Bella. That I was monopolizing her. I was, but that was beside the point. He spoke about her like she was a toy that I stole from him. He would make comments while I was at her house. He started to ask her out a few months ago. What really irritated me was that Jake took no interest in Bella until last summer. He never wanted to hang out with her or do anything with her. She was just Charlie's daughter. But as soon as Charlie made a comment to Billy on how much time we spent together and how he might as well just consider me his son Jake started to ask about Bella. He came along with Billy more often when he visited and made sure to hang around Bella trying to get her to hang out with him alone. I'm sure Billy's comments on how they should be together had infiltrated into his head as well. Jake was always to eager to please his father. Especially since some council decision was made to make Sam Ulley the next council leader had Jake pushed out of the picture.

At first I wasn't worried. Bella bitched constantly about it. She had no feelings for him, he was only a friend. Then she started to confide in me that she felt uncomfortable around him. He would touch her arms or her legs and she would feel weird about it. I tried to look nonchalant when she told me but internally I seethed. He had no right to touch her.

I bled for her. I sacrificed for her. I listened and I protected her. From third grade till we graduated high school I had always looked out for her. We shared everything. I read the books she loved so much so I could talk to her about them, okay so I read them so I would know what the hell she was talking about. I caught her when she fell. I walked down the stairs in front of her and followed her up them. I even helped her learn to tie her shoes. I gave her, her first kiss and carried her for half a mile when she fell off that stupid purple bike. It still had training wheels for Christ's sake. My arms were sore for a week. I took her to prom and told her she was beautiful because she was. I cornered Tyler after baseball practice junior year and gave him a fat lip because he told everyone he slept with her. He took it back the next day. And in all that, I was no where near worthy of her but fuck at least I tried.

She was everything to me. To the point that for the month out of the summer that she went to Arizona I would retreat into myself. I never left the house and I rarely ate. After three summers of this my parents realized the trigger of my depression and would try to help me. I knew I loved her. I knew that I would never love anyone else. I understood what my mother was saying before my parents left for Chicago. She was trying to soften the blow if Bella turned me down. My mother is a smart woman. She knows I love Bella. She knew my real reasons for not attending Dartmouth.

"You're so young sweetheart. You'll meet so many people at school. Dartmouth is a great school, you'll meet so many smart women."

"I'm sure I will mother but right now I just want to think about everything. A semester or two won't hurt anything. I'm just taking core courses anyway."

She looked at me for a moment. She looked so hard I thought she was looking right through me. I wanted to look away but I couldn't. I was fighting for Bella in this stare down. I was showing my mother that she was the only smart, beautiful, loving woman I would ever want. She needed to see that it wasn't about being all those things. It was about how she knew me and accepted me. She was the keeper of all my secrets. All but one.

"I love you. You know that your father and I are behind you in whatever you want to do."

"I love you too, Mom. And really, it's all going to be alright." It had to be.

I know that people our age fall in love easily. But I know that I have loved Bella since before high school. Hell I could argue it back to when we were in sixth grade. But I didn't need to argue it. I loved her. That was all that mattered to me.

I turned my attention back to the woman in my arms and saw that she was asleep. Gently, I pulled the throw blanket over us and nodded off with her. She was safe with me. I would never let anyone hurt her, especially myself. I'll take her for a milkshake later. She'll like that.

**

The weeks went by and there was no incident from Jacob. Charlie questioned it endlessly and I kept my mouth shut. If Bella didn't want to tell him I wasn't going to go behind her back. Despite the fact that I really wanted to. Charlie needed to know what a sick fuck Jacob really was.

It was Friday night and I was piddling with my homework. I needed to start doing it before she came over. I glanced up for the millionth time. She had the highlighter cap back in her mouth again.

Nope, not finishing this assignment tonight.

I tilted my head to the side and watched her tongue flick at the raised edge of the cap. Damn. My hands instinctively clutched the open book to my bulging lap. Go Away. I was close to panting when she started to suck on it. I snapped the book shut and shot to the bathroom before she could see my situation. After a few splashes of cold water on my face and a mental chant involving Ms. Cope covered in Vaseline and humping the principal I was calmed and disturbed enough to go back to my room. She looked at me curiously and the cap was back on the pen. I mentally danced. You do listen to prayers.

"Let's grab a bite to eat. I'm starved."

"I could just cook something."

"No food in the house. I need to go shopping." I have been putting off a trip to the super market for three reasons. One, I loved going with Bella and we haven't had time to go together. Two, Jessica was always stalking me in the frozen foods. I have a horrible feeling she uses the cold to make her nipples hard around me. Three, I just love taking her out in public and silently gloating to anyone around that she was with me. Call me a caveman. I don't care.

She shrugged and stood up from my desk chair, stretching like a cat. I could hear her back popping and made sure to file that one away for later. She loved back rubs. She bitched about them, but she loved them. Tonight might be the night I tell her.

"Where to, Boss?" she asked and tilted her head.

"Let's just grab something from Harry's Diner."

Nodding she pulled on her coat and grabbed her wallet. I smirked. She never used it with me but I think it was like a security blanket. Like she always had the option to pay but just let me. It was funny, like I would ever let her pay. We left the house and I locked up glancing over to her house. Charlie still wasn't home. It felt like he worked more these days. I heard a trash can banging behind her house and froze. Probably just a cat in the trash. Shrugging, I walked over to my car and opened her door for her. She blushed and I grinned. The drive to the Diner took a whopping ten minutes. I laughed at her when she fiddled with the radio, settled on a heavy metal station and started to bang her head to the music. She laughed when I hit the preset to a classical station and smiled. We played thumb wars, she cheated, and I didn't fuss when she put her bare feet on the dash. This was contentment.

I offered to get us a to-go bag but she wanted a strawberry shake for dessert so I conceded. I just wanted her happy; not like I was going to get my homework done tonight anyway. The diner was not terribly crowded. Three of the booths and two of the stools were occupied. We slipped into a seat at the back of the narrow establishment and waited for a waitress. Comfortable silence settled over us and I fiddled with the ragged edges of her jacket sleeves. Her arms were reaching toward me on the dingy red counter top.

Note, buy Bella a new jacket.

She giggled as I yanked at a particularly stubborn thread. I looked up at her suddenly. Her face flushed and she looked down quickly. What the hell was that? Her eyes were glittering and a smile still played at her lips. I smiled back with abandon. She looked at me through her lashes and I couldn't breath. A deeper blush was creeping up her neck and settling over her cheeks. God she was beautiful. I cleared my throat and looked out at the other occupants of the diner. My fingers were winding around the cuff and suddenly her hand slipped into mine. My eyes snapped to our hands and I swallowed in a vain attempt against the dryness in my mouth. I almost refused to look up at her. This was strange and unusual. I glanced up at her. She was staring at the Formica tabletop like it held the answer to world peace. Sweet Jesus… she was nervous. I wanted to laugh and cry and yell and kiss her all at the same time. I was practically shaking from excitement. I settled for squeezing her hand. Her eyes slowly traveled from the peace spot on the table to our hands then up my arm to my face. I didn't realize I had my breath held. Her eyes were endless. Shining and warm.

Her hair was blowing a little and I looked up at the air vent above the booth we were sitting at. I glared at it and Bella giggled again. She hated being in front of vents and fans. I stood and pulled her out of her seat and at the last second instead of switching I pushed her into my now vacant side and slid in with her. She looked surprised and I had to chuckle at her.

"To keep you warm."

"I'm not cold."

"Do you want me to move?"

She hesitated and I wanted to seem like it didn't hurt when she did. I started to slide out of the booth when her little hand grabbed my arm. I stilled but didn't look at her. This whole situation was different. Foreign. We had teased each other before but this was just flirting. Something in all our years of we had never done before.

"Don't move." And with that her little hand slid into the crook of my arm and she pulled me back. Not removing her hand she laid her head on my shoulder and sighed. I was a stone. I couldn't move.

What the hell do I do now? If I move will she move away? Will she stay? Fuck.

Any other girl I would have this in the bag, I knew less about them and still managed to get whatever it was I wanted. But Bella wasn't any other girl. I couldn't treat her like any other girl. Bella was the girl. The only girl. I was not prepared for this. This came out of left field at 90 mph and heading straight for first base. Am I in or am I out? Well Bella was always the one telling me to just do what I feel. Maybe if this gets me into trouble I could always tell her it was her idea. I felt like we were back in high school all over again. Deciding to throw caution to the wind I lifted my arm up and wrapped it around her shoulders. She leaned into me with a contented sigh and started to play with my fingers that were dangling beside her neck.

I let out a breath that I wasn't sure I was holding. I looked down at her and she really did look cute today. Old jeans, green t-shirt, and her grey wool coat that was fraying at all the edges. Her thick, wavy hair was pulled up in a messy thing on the top of her head and as always there were pieces sticking out around her face. I smiled at her and the waitress made it to us. We ordered the same thing. Burgers with onions, fat fries, and two cokes. I smiled at her. She really was perfect. She eats like a man. No sooner had our order been put in when the food came out and we plowed into it.

I felt a tap on my shoulder and looked up at her. She had her mouth stuffed full of fries and burger and ketchup around the corners. She had the most adorable lost look on her face. Then she smiled and food squished out. I threw my head back and laughed. She giggled around the food and then started to swallow it all. Taking a long sip from her coke she looked pointedly at me. I raised an eyebrow and grabbed my burger shoving as much of it in my mouth as possible before biting. She kept her face composed. Not even a smile. I grunted. She was going to make it hard. I stuffed a few fries in my mouth and looked at her again. She shook her head and crossed her arms. I wanted to huff but not way that was going to happen without food going everywhere. Then I got it. I leaned forward toward her and closed my eyes. I puckered my lips as best I could around the food and I was rewarded with a squeal and then a laugh. My eyes popped open and I started to swallow my food. She was backed against the wall with one leg on the booth. Her face was glowing as she laughed.

"You win."

"Damn right I do."

I grabbed her knee and yanked her over to me. We finished our meal and I ordered her strawberry malt shake, no whip cream, and two cherries. The thing with Bella and whip cream is hilarious. She loves it on pie and that's it. Whip cream cannot mix with anything else. We had a game where we tried to tie the cherry stem into a knot with our tongues. She always won. Mostly because other parts of my anatomy were sucking blood from my brain as I watched her mouth and tongue work. It didn't help with the thinking process.

This was our Friday night tradition, which had been moved to Saturday nights because of the heavier homework load we had now. When the shake arrived the waitress winked at us and plopped two straws down with it. I smiled at her and she walked off. Bella was glaring at her retreating form and I wondered if she was upset that we were being thought of as a couple. She huffed and reached for the straws and slid them both in the shake smiling at me finally. I looked at her with question. She shrugged.

Not letting this go.

"What?"

"What?"

I was starting to get irritated. She knew what.

"The death glares at our waitress."

"It's not professional to wink at your customers. She could at least wait until her shift ends to flirt with you. I bet she'll write her number on the receipt." As soon as the words left her mouth she blushed and ducked her head.

Holy mother of all that is good. She's jealous.

I fought the grin but it was too late I was already smiling. She then glared at me. I laughed.

"Don't be ashamed. I get jealous of guys who hit on you." And as soon as those words were out of my mouth I felt like shit. Way to go dumbass.

"Really?"

"Well…yeah…I mean you get lots of guys looking at you…I just want to make sure you're safe…and uh…you know…" I had no idea what the hell I was trying to say but the huge shit eating grin on her face was too good to feel bad about my rambling.

"Edward…"

"Yeah…?"

"Um…I uh…" She was getting flustered. She was beet red and staring at a new peace spot on the table and I didn't know what the hell was going on. Before I could tell her to go on she looked up at me with the strangest look on her face. It stopped me in my tracks and I sucked in a deep breath. We just looked at each other for a moment and she smiled this simple and sweet smile. I'm sure I looked like she just told me that grass was purple when she started to lean into me. After what seemed like a century her lips pressed against mine. And this was not like our first kiss. This was not giggling, laughing, experimentation. This was a kiss, kiss. This was an all emotions riding on the line kiss. This was a truth kiss.

**

The shock wore off and I pressed back into her. Light as a butterfly but not as fleeting. Suddenly my hand came up and cupped her neck and I kissed her harder. She sighed against my lips and her fingers trailed up my chest to my shoulders. Then she pulled away slowly; her brown eyes boring into mine. She was looking for something. I could not help the grin that threatened to crack my face in two. I couldn't stop it if I tried. If someone killed me right now it would not leave my face. She smiled back at me, all sunshine and radiance and sweetness. Her eyes flickered over my shoulder and a phantom arm slid a check onto our table to my left. I groaned when I realized we were still in the diner and I couldn't do this here.

I backed out of the booth and grabbed my wallet, throwing down a twenty and practically dragged her to my car. It was chilly outside, but not enough to really be a problem. We were holding hands. We're holding hands! It was second grade all over again. Next we'll split a coke from the vending machine and share our snack time treats. I laughed and pulled her into a hug. She hugged me back. It was different. This was a full body contact, snuggle into each other, and squeeze as tight as you can hugging.

The whole thing was so surreal. I was imagining this. I finally went crazy from loving Bella Swan. So insane in fact I was gripping onto air in front of Harry's Diner by my car. I breathed in. She smelled real, felt real, that sigh sounded real. I backed away and looked down at her. Her head tilted up and I lowered my face to hers. We were a breath apart when she leaned up and closed the distance.

Pretty fucking real.

And then I just went for it. How could I not go for it? I parted my lips a fraction and let my tongue brush her lips. She froze for a second and then did another one of those sexy moan/sighs before she opened her mouth to me. It was cold, and strawberries, and tart cherries. It was sweet, tentative, and just…new. Then it was firm, loving, and caring. And at last it was hard, demanding, wanting, needing, and just pouring with pent up frustration. I was drunk with it. I pushed her back against the Volvo and slid my leg between hers. She moaned and gripped onto my neck. It was getting rough. I pulled away and sucked in air while lapping kisses on her neck. Gripping her neck with my right hand, my arm wrapped around her waist and held her to me. Pressed between my car and trapped underneath me. Lust shot up my back when she ground her center against my thigh. Her head lolled back so I took the opportunity to suck on the space behind her ear. The grinding was getting harder against me so I slipped my hand down to her ass and pressed her into me. A real, low, throaty moan was my reward for that move. Grunting I met her lips again and kissed her hard. I heard the bell from the diner's door sound and pulled away from her. I released her ass and pressed my forehead against hers. We were panting and holding onto one another, just looking into each others eyes.

"I've wanted to do that for years."

"Why didn't you?"

"I never wanted to ruin what we had."

She looked at me with shining eyes.

"Oh, Edward, you were always the only one…Edward?"

"Yeah?"

"Let's go home."

I'm sure I was grinning like an idiot who shit his pants. I opened her door for her and we set off. I was speeding but that was nothing new, except this time I really did just want to get home faster. The thrill I was seeking was right next to me. She seemed thoughtful on the way to the house. I was afraid things were going to get awkward. When we pulled up Charlie's cruiser was again absent. He was working so much these days. As we made our way to my front door I stuck my key in the lock and realized there was no resistance.

I know I locked it before I left…

I pushed the door open and grabbed Bella's arm, pulling her behind me and seeking out the hall light. Nothing. The house looked fine, nothing missing, and everything in its place. No robbery, nothing. I sighed.

Maybe I didn't turn the lock far enough…

Bella walked up the steps in front of me, our hands still tangled together. She pushed open the door to my room and before I could peel off my jacket she launched herself at me. I held her to my chest, just breathing her in. So much for awkward. She giggled and squeezed me around my waist. I held her to me and ducked my head down to her ear and started to rock us side to side. She leaned her head against my chest and let me lead her. Her hands pushed at my jacket that was half way down my back and after an awkward jumble of one arm on her and one arm taking off the jacket I was free of its constraints. The room was quiet and dark, only the security light outside shining into my room. It was a defining moment. I could sense that. I swear, I could feel her pulse beating under my fingertips and against my chest. Her breasts pushed against me with amazing friction.

I am no stranger to Bella Swan's body. I have seen her naked before, I have helped her dress and I know every single scar there is to know on her. I have brushed her hair, and once even washed it for her. Bella's accident prone nature was a gift in disguise. Sprained ankles, broken arms, and even a fractured femur were the glitches to Bella's body. Sick and sad, it might be, but when your best friend is crying because she can't wash her hair because of a cast there isn't much you can do besides offer to do it yourself.

I'm not saying that I've showered with her or bathed with her but over the years I've happened to see bits and pieces. Things like that changed in high school and suddenly Bella became very conscience of covering herself up around me. One piece bathing suits and baggy shirts at the beach, no more cut off jeans or tank tops. It seemed that being a girl didn't come very easily for her. There were times when I could remember thinking that she would look nice in a dress but I could never sacrifice Bella's originality. She was her own person and that's one of the things I loved the most about her. She never got sucked into shopping and tight clothing, cleavage and makeup. She was content just being comfortable.

But in this moment, I could feel all of her pressed against me and knowing what was underneath of all the layers she wore was perfection…well it was making it hard…literally.

Bella wasn't runway model perfection, not flawless skin and completely straight teeth or large breasts.

Bella had more scars than I could probably count. She fell. A lot. She was a tomboy when we were younger and while blood wigged her out she was no stranger to band-aids and casts.

She didn't have a tiny waist or big breasts. She didn't have blinding white teeth or a flawless complexion but she was perfect in every way that mattered.

She was comfort and security. She was average at first glance but when you took the time to see her…really see her, she was amazing.

Her eyes that can seem flat and ordinary are warm and soft. Her wide hips might give the impression that she's overweight or hefty but she's just built a little thicker. She has breasts that might be considered a size too small but anything more and she would seem top heavy, in my opinion. Her legs aren't long at all but they're shapely and strong. Her body is proportioned and comfortable. Everything about Bella is comfortable. She's happy with the way she is, at least I think she is. She's never dieted to my knowledge and she never made a fuss about her clothing.

She was the ultimate low maintenance girl. She cares to some degree, I won't say she doesn't. When sophomore year rolled around she started wearing makeup. I noticed it only because she began applying it in the car on the way to school. Shit on her eyelashes, clear lip-gloss and sometimes I could smell perfume.

Tonight she didn't have any of that shit on her face and the only smell I could detect on her was her shampoo and that warm cottony scent she emitted, like her skin was made of warm just out of the dryer blankets.

I nuzzled my nose against the soft flesh of her neck before she bumped the edge of the bed and we both paused. I wasn't stupid enough to think that just because we had kissed we would be having sex any time soon. If anything I was going to treat her how she deserved and not rush things.

It was hard telling myself that considering I had been being patient with Bella and the feelings I harbored for her for almost ten years but I could wait longer if she needed that.

I could wait forever if she needed that.

With a giggle she pulled us both back and our bodies bumped together as we bounced up and down before settling comfortably on the bed. One of my legs was wedged between hers and her thighs were tightly clamped down on it. I was trying desperately to reassure myself that this was real and this was happening. She was soft and firm, smooth and silky. Her lips where plush and plump against my own and I felt light headed kissing her, whether it was her that was intoxicating me or the lack of air I was breathing in I didn't care. She was dragging me into a warm fuzzy haze.

Our kisses turned frantic and I pressed my forearms down around her effectively caging her in my arms. She clawed at my back and I finally eased the rest of my bodyweight down onto her. She seemed to like that and I wondered why of all times I was starting to treat her like a breakable doll. This was still Bella. This was still the girl who went on treasure hunts with me and wrestled with me. She was stronger than she looked but fuck if I didn't want to treat her like the dainty flower that she looked like.

I felt insane with need. I felt insane with the desire to just consume her. I wanted to crack open my chest and bury her in there, keep her safe, love her and just have her as close as possible. Her sighs and moans were driving a similar need inside me to claim her and make her mine. This was the moment I had been waiting for, for years. This moment, this event was what I had been waiting for since we were kids. I always wanted her and to know that she had felt this way for some time makes me feel equally angry we had wasted so much time apart and ecstatic that she had felt the same as I had. She wanted me like I wanted her.

My hands developed a mind of their own and began to move up and down her sides, squeezing and flexing over her soft curves, memorizing every dip and flare of her waist, every spot that would elicit a moan or a gasp.

Her legs writhed under me and her hands raced up and down my back, pulling me closer to her even though our chests were flushed.

Passionate kisses of need and relief soon relaxed into soft, languid strokes of our tongues. We were savoring it now and it was turning me on even more than the heated kisses before. The sincere, sweet way she lifted her head to meet my mouth was making me want to cry with how much emotion was behind the actions. She wanted me. She really fucking wanted me. I was suddenly struck again by this surreal feeling. This couldn't be real. This was the most realistic dream I had ever had. I would wake up with a raging hard on and then whack off to the memory of her beneath me.

"Edward…" Her breathy sigh made my breathing stutter as I hovered over her.

"I love you." The words came out before I could stop them. Of course over the years I had told her I loved her but never like this. Never in a more than friend's capacity had I uttered those words to her but now they just seemed to fly from my mouth. I froze and looked into her eyes frantically trying to decipher her reaction in the muted light coming from my window.

"I love you too." Her voice was husky and breathless. She looked utterly adorable with her lips swollen and her cheeks pink from my stubble and her blushes. Her eyes were dilated to the point where only a thin ring of brown was visible. She was an erotic mess.

"Oh thank God. I was afraid that was too soon to tell you."

Her giggles were bordering on cute overload when I began to laugh myself. I hugged her to me and we lay silently for a while before I felt her legs shift and her heard her shoes drop to the floor. I followed suit and then stood to grab her some pajamas. If she felt like going home to sleep I was going to protest. Thankfully, she got up and followed me over to my dresser and as I pulled open the drawer she reached in quickly and yanked the most recent track shirt I owned while grinning triumphantly as she shimmied out of her jeans and stripped to her underwear. I turned and gave her privacy for the first time in almost thirteen years. This new development in our relationship only served to add an air of inappropriateness to acts like this that a few weeks ago would have been normal.

I took my pajamas into the bathroom and opted for a wife beater instead of no shirt at all. I felt like not wearing a shirt was going to give her the wrong impression. It was just fucking weird now.

Once we were under the covers and I flicked the light off she basically fell into my side and squeezed me close to her. I grinned stupidly as I bundled her up against me and pulled the covers over her securely. She hummed sweetly and practically buried her nose in my arm pit while winding her legs around my thigh. Suppressing the urge to laugh at her ridiculousness I held her to me and tried not to let her breathing tickle my neck and shoulder. I tried very hard not to notice how the heat from her crotch was searing into my hip.

She was here in my arms. I told her I love her and she said she loved me back. We kissed.

Did this mean I was her boyfriend?

Sleep sleep sleep go to sleep. Just close your eyes and sleep. Don't over think right now, sleep.

I couldn't sleep.

**

I didn't sleep at all. In fact all night long I stayed awake bouncing back and forth between being extremely happy with what had happened and freaking the fuck out that she would wake up in the morning and think she made a mistake. Then there were all the thoughts in between that took hold. When she said she loved me did she mean it like I meant it? What made her want to do what we did last night? What changed so recently to have warranted this? What about Jacob? I mean, I know that she doesn't like him but what kind of reaction is there going to be from him? What about Charlie? Would he be okay with us dating now? Would he want to separate us from doing all the things we normally did? Would we still do all the stuff we normally did? This was not normal now. This was different…this was more.

By the time my alarm clock tried to go off at seven I was a fucking mess. I watched as the LED numbers flipped closer to seven and the clock barely had a chance to make a noise when my hand slapped over the off button.

Bella stirred next to me slightly and I untangled myself from her to go downstairs. Maybe space away from her would help me think about this. I made sure to tuck her in so that if she decided to roll around she would be adequately covered and headed to the kitchen.

The house seemed a lot emptier with my parents gone. It didn't really feel like they had left so much as gone on an extended vacation. Their bed and a few things were still in their bedroom but the closets were empty and little nick nacks that I was used to were suddenly empty space.

I appreciated my independence but it seemed weird to find it in the house I had grown up in.

I looked through the fridge and grimaced when I realized there was nothing but old milk and some take out containers that needed to be thrown away in there.

It was early enough that I should be able to get some breakfast from the diner before Bella woke up.

I ran back to my room and quickly grabbed a hoodie, my keys, wallet and toed on some sneakers. I was as quiet as possible even though I knew Bella slept like the dead.

After a quick drive that did nothing to help my scrambled thoughts I made it to the diner. I saw Jacob's car parked on the curb across the street and swore under my breath. Unfortunately the diner was the only place that had decent breakfast in town and I wasn't willing to bring Bella McDonalds the morning after we had…what? Hooked up? Gotten together? Boyfriend Girlfriend status was achieved? Pretty sure those words never came up.

I pushed down the urge to bang my head on the glass doors and walked in, holding my head up and going straight to the register to order.

The woman behind the counter smiled sweetly at me and I grinned back at her, rattling off my order and sitting in a chair by the door to wait.

"Cullen."

I was really hoping not to get into this, this early in the morning and not with him. Not right after an amazing night with Bella. The first amazing night I had ever had with her.

"Black."

It was like the start from a really cheesy old west movie. I half expected him to flip his jacket back and show off his six shooter.

"Where's Bells?"

I love how he asks me this like she belongs to him and I might have just seen her around. I also love how he uses the nickname for her that only Charlie is allowed to use. Bella hates that name and only deals with it because of Charlie. My teeth grit and I have to lock my neck so I don't look at him.

"She's at home, sleeping."

I can't tell what his face looks like from that answer but I just can't help assert my new found position in his face.

"My home actually. In my bed. We had a late night, I'm just getting us breakfast."

At this point I can tell he's shaking in my periphery. His hands are clenched and his back looks bowed over, hunched.

The bell rings and I pull out my wallet making sure Jacob sees the money inside as I pull out a crisp twenty and tell the woman to keep the change. I grab the thick paper grocery bag and breeze past him, smirking the entire way back to the house.

Bella squealed…fucking squealed when I brought her breakfast in bed. It made me laugh at how childish she could be sometimes. Yeah, it got annoying once in a while but I never met anyone who never got annoyed by the ones they love.

"Oh my God, Paul makes the best waffles ever."

I'm momentarily stunned by the way her face is tilted up and her eyes are closed as she hums around her last bite of waffle which has been slathered in butter and drowned in syrup. My teeth ache just looking at it.

Snapping out of my sexual fantasy where I'm covered in butter and syrup and Bella's licking it off, I clear my throat and look at her pointedly.

"If I had known sooner that supplying you with horrendous amounts of lard and sugar would make you this agreeable I would have done it sooner."

She laughs and closes her to-go box before flopping back down in the bed. The sheets are twisted around her bare legs and she looks utterly full and content. Stretching slowly, I watch as the shirt rides up over her hips and am suddenly not so keen on finishing my breakfast anymore. I close my own Styrofoam box and clear the trash from the bed before stretching up next to her.

She rolls over and her chest is flush against mine. My arms automatically wind around her waist and I nuzzle the crown of her head as she pressed her face into my neck. I want to kiss her again. I want to go back to the way we were last night. The feeling is buzzing in the background just waiting to be brought out into the open again.

With more coincidence than finesse, Bella angles her head back for a split second and my face drops down so that my lips are pressed lightly against hers. She lifted her head and I took it as an invitation.

A few chaste kisses and I gently ran my tongue along the seam of her lips. Her soft sigh stirred something inside me. I felt…manly…powerful. She tasted sweet like syrup and salty like bacon. She giggled and backed away from me.

"What?"

"You taste like ketchup and sausages and your stubble tickles."

Fuck, she was cute. Like 'kitten and puppies cuddling on a cloud with little angel babies' cute.

I leaned into her and rubbed my cheeks against her neck and was rewarded with giggles and squeals. The doorbell rang and I groaned.

Who the fuck would be ringing my doorbell this fucking early in the morning?

I looked down at Bella and can't help the smile that breaks out on my face.

"Don't move. I'll be right back to finish this after a quick commercial break."

She laughed and threw a pillow at me as I ran out the door.

When I opened the door there's no one there. Now I'm really pissed. Fuckers just ringing doorbells and running off. It's much too early for the middle school crowd to be up and honestly didn't they have church today?

Grumbling I shut the door and heard a noise coming from the back patio. My back tenses and I walk slowly toward the door leading to the patio and see a shadow move around the side bushes toward the right side of the house.

I quicken my pace and stumble out onto the deck. I can't see anyone but I swear I saw that shadow move. My feet are freezing as I walk barefoot across the back lawn and circle the house. Seeing no one I go back into the house and lock the doors, double checking them before running up the stairs.

Bella's pulled on her jeans and is picking up her shoes as I come into the room.

"What the hell?" I asked.

She smiled at me sadly and grabbed her coat.

"I have to go home, Charlie will want to know where I am and I need to…get some things done but I'll be back over tonight okay?"

Her shoes are on and she's pressing herself against me in a way that makes it hard to tell her no.

"Um, sure, what time?"

"I don't know…around seven?"

I nod and she kisses me softly, which makes me feel a lot better about this whole leaving thing, then walks out of my room.

I look around at the mess in my room and begin to pick things up here and there. I've never cleaned my room for anyone else before but now seemed like a good time to start.

By six I had cleaned my room, dusted, gotten all my laundry done, folded, and hung up. I had organized my books and CD's as well as defragmented my desktop and laptop computer. I hovered over the option to delete my porn but then decided against it. It takes years to get that much porn. Maybe I'd back it up on disk or something then delete it. Eh.

I made my bed and when I was happy enough with the state of things I opened my curtains and pulled up the blinds. My heart sank when I looked across the yard and into Bella's room. Her dad and Jake were standing in her doorway and she was sitting at her vanity. Bella rarely sat at her vanity. Jake was leaning against the doorjamb with a smug look on his face while Charlie's face was turning a mottled red color.

Oh shit. The scene from the diner flashed to my mind and I could old guess that Jake had told Charlie about what I had said.

I knew that Charlie had no problem with Bella spending the night here. He couldn't really have an issue with it because he was okay with Bella staying at the Black's house overnight when Jacob was the only one there.

But on the other hand if Jake made the insinuation that Bella and I were sleeping together then…fuck.

I moved back and watched threw a split in my curtains, just between the windows edge and the curtain edge. My body was pulled back so that they wouldn't see me, I could only imagine what Charlie would think if he saw me watching this whole thing.

Bella sat quietly, listening to Charlie rant and glaring at Jake. I wanted to ring his neck. He looked so proud of himself. Soon Charlie paused and it seemed he was waiting for Bella to say something. She spoke briefly and calmly. Charlie's eyebrows raised up in shock and he nodded his head slowly before turning and walking out the door. Jake watched as Charlie left and threw a withered look at Bella before he got down on his knees in front of her. They were eye level now as he grabbed her hands and what seemed like…he was begging. Apologizing no doubt for his fuckery.

Bella stood, grabbed her coat and held her door open for Jake to leave. He walked out, speaking to her the entire time animatedly. I rolled my eyes as her door shut and I closed my own blinds. About ten minutes later I heard her coming up the stairs and smiled to myself.

"Hey!" She breathed when she came into my room. Her face was lit up and smiling so I guess the intervention went well.

"I saw that Charlie was upset. I didn't mean to be nosy or anything…"

She laughed and threw herself on my newly made bed.

"Jake told him he saw you at the diner this morning and you were telling everyone that we had sex last night and you were coming home to serve me breakfast in bed. It's ridiculous. I reminded Charlie that you were a gentleman and wouldn't say anything like that to a whole diner. I mean, really? The whole diner? Jake's stories are getting out of hand now. Anyway, I told Charlie we're…um well I told him we're dating but I understand if that's not what you want to be doing I just thought it would be easier to tell him that…"

"We're not dating Bella." Her face fell and she sucked in a fast breath.

"I think we're way past dating don't you think? I know I didn't say it last night but I guess I kinda…I mean…you're my girlfriend."

She held still for a moment before hugging me tightly and kissing my neck. Her grin was so big I thought her face might crack in two.

I grinned back at her we looked like two idiots just sitting and smiling.

"What are we doing tonight?"

I winced and looked at her with the saddest puppy dog eyes I could manage.

"I need to go to the grocery store."

She laughed and stood up, grabbing my arms and hauling me out of the house. We were at the local grocer in a matter of minutes and running around the isles like ten year olds that were given free reign of a cart. I'd put something in the cart and Bella would give me a look that said, 'are you serious?' before putting it back on the shelf. To be honest, I didn't see anything wrong with an economy size pack of glazed donuts but whatever.

Once the basket was full we gave up trying to balance stuff on top and got in line to check out. Mallory was manning the register and I strategically placed Bella in front of me so that she was between us.

"Hi Edward!" I wanted to hand her a tissue and tell her to blow her nose. That nasally pitch sounded like the beginnings of a sinus infection.

"Lauren."

"I haven't seen you in here in forever! Oh, hey Bella."

Lauren then proceeded to go on about how she could get me ten percent off my groceries using her employee discount but I smiled politely and declined. Bella was still and quiet in front of me, staring down at her shoes the entire time.

When the last item was back in the cart and Lauren was handing me my receipt and change I pulled Bella into my side and kissed her mouth. It wasn't a long tongue war kiss like I had wanted but it wasn't a chaste peck either.

"Have a nice night Lauren, Bella and I have a date with a frozen pizza and some ice cream."

I smiled sweetly at her with the most benign look on my face as I led a stunned and grinning Bella out the sliding doors.

She cuddled into my side as we walked to the Volvo.

"I love you" I whispered into her ear before she slid into her seat. She mouthed the words back to me and I shut her door feeling a million times better than I think I've ever felt.

**

Everything seemed to calm down after that day. Charlie's work schedule seemed to pick up and from what I had overheard in town and from him was that drug trafficking was at an all time high. They were trying to figure out where kids were getting it from. Charlie was suspicious that it was being trafficked in from Seattle or Port Angeles but it was hard trying to figure out who was moving the drugs through Forks.

I was a little baffled at the thought that there was much more than weed being sold after school. It was no secret to anyone who attended Forks High that there were a few people here and there that had a hook up for some grass. To think though that coke, meth and heroine were floating around this small town had me reeling.

Bella took it all in stride however and I felt like that had more to do with the fact that she was spending all her free time with me. We went to classes and met up when we both had breaks. She came over almost every night and we watched movies, made out and snuggled up together when we weren't studying or finishing homework.

We settled into a grove that worked for the both of us and if I let go of the fact that she technically lived next door with her father it almost felt like we were a live in couple. Our physical relationship hadn't progressed further than needy kisses and over the shirt groping but I looked at it optimistically. The longer this went on, the more Bella knew that I was here for her, not a piece of ass. I was respecting her needs and wants and still getting minimal action.

I can't honestly throw out the gentleman card because I did want to have sex with Bella. I wanted to be with her in every way but I wasn't a horn dog about it. I wasn't constantly rubbing my hard on into her and trying to take her clothes off but did I think about it? Yeah.

But I would also be lying if I said I wasn't playing dirty. Generally, I would get Bella worked up to the point where she didn't want to stop…then I would stop. I could see the frustration in her eyes but I didn't want her making a decision in the heat of the moment. I wanted her to get to a point where she was ready. I knew that Bella had never had sex before and I had never had sex with a virgin so I was leery of the whole thing. Hurting her in any way was hard for me but I couldn't deny the satisfaction that I would be her first. I hoped to be her last as well but only time would tell on that one.

Months went by, we were busy with school and tests. Very soon it would be spring break and I was trying to find a way for Bella and I to get away from Forks. I had a pretty nice chunk of money in my trust fund that I became responsible for when I turned eighteen. I hadn't touched the money besides buying a few things here and there. Carlisle and Esme still put money into my account every month for living expenses. I was told early on before I ever became responsible for the money in my account that my trust fund was for my future. It was to help me when I needed to buy a home for the first time or for emergency situations that I needed to deal with. Carlisle didn't spoil me by any means but he made sure that I didn't go without while I was in school. Despite being disappointed in my decision to put off Dartmouth he still provided for me financially.

I had daydreams of Bella and I in the Keys or Hawaii. Some place sunny where she would wear a bikini and I could swim with her in the ocean. It would be fun and we wouldn't worry about school, Jake or Charlie. We could just relax and unwind, concentrate on each other.

Maybe that would be the right time for Bella and I to take our relationship to the next level as well.

The only road block I was encountering was how Charlie was going to take the news…if Bella agreed in the first place.

I first needed to figure out where I wanted to take her, plan out the trip then propose it to Bella. If she agreed we'd figure out how Charlie felt and I could book the whole thing. Another way of going about this was to make it so that Bella didn't feel like she needed to pay for anything. She was ridiculous when it came to things like money and possessions.

It was hard choosing a place to go but I finally settled on Hawaii. We could enjoy the local nightlife, go to the beaches and see the Pearl Harbor Historical Site. It would be fun to be on sandy beaches and eat food we normally wouldn't have here in Forks. Go to a nice restaurant where a bikini and sarong were appropriate attire. My mind was spinning with ideas before I ever looked at hotels.

I mapped out a vacation plan mostly for Charlie's sake and printed it out. I was close to created a Power Point presentation to show him but dialed back on that. I set us up to leave Friday night after my last final. We would have to be ready to go for the flight at ten fifteen. We would fly from Seattle to Los Angeles then from LA to Honolulu. There wasn't much travel time and we were flying first class. I would spring that on Bella at the airport. We would return the next Saturday and rest up a day before school started again.

Bella was due here in a few minutes and I wanted to surprise her with the idea. Spring break wasn't far away. I had to ease her into it just right for this to work.

Sure enough twenty minutes later Bella was walking into my room and throwing herself at my bed.

"What's wrong?"

"Just…long day. Charlie is asking me what my plans are for Spring Break and he's trying to guilt me into volunteering down on the Reservation. They're opening up a new library there in a few weeks and they need help shelving all the books for the first time and setting up the computer system. Basically I'd spend all freakin' day scanning books into a system and organizing. Not my idea of a good time." She sighed and turned her head to look at me.

I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach.

"What have you done today?"

I took in a deep breath and decided to just go for it. The more time I wasted the harder it would be.

"I was wondering if you wanted to go somewhere with me for Spring Break."

She raised her eyebrows and smiled.

"Um, I was looking into some things and I was thinking about Hawaii."

Her eyes widened and she looked stunned for a moment.

"Edward I would love to go to Hawaii with you but I don't really have a lot of money saved up for a trip like that and the ticket alone would probably clean me out…"

"I already bought your ticket and paid for the hotel. You would just have to come along for the ride."

I hadn't really bought the tickets yet but it wasn't like they weren't a click away.

"Edward…I don't know…Oh God, I have to talk to Charlie about this. I mean, if he says no…I hate that you would have to waste that ticket."

Shit, this was bad. Alarm bells were going off in my head to the tune of 'Abort! Abort!'

Fuck, this was not good at all.

"Bella, don't worry about the tickets. I can refund them if I need to. And if you're not going then I'm not going. I just wanted us to do something fun…go someplace we've never been to and have a good time. If Charlie says no we'll stay here."

I got up and wrapped my arms around her. She relaxed into me and breathed out a relieved sigh.

"Just let me see if I can talk Charlie into it and we'll go from there okay? I'm not letting you pay for the whole trip."

I nodded at the first part but no way was I letting her pay for a trip that was my idea.

We got ready for bed after that, mostly in silence and I hoped I hadn't ruined the whole thing by telling her that way.

Bella snuggled against me as we drifted off and I felt a dread in the pit of my stomach that something was wrong…a stressed tension in my gut was telling me that something was just…off.

The next day we ambushed Charlie after his morning shift and laid out all the details for him. I was sweating fucking bullets the entire time but kept a cool and calm look on my face. For all the good it did I was sure Charlie could smell the fear coming off me in waves.

"You want to go to Hawaii with just Edward for a week…unsupervised…by yourselves?"

His words held a tone of bafflement as if we were asking to skydive without parachutes.

"Yeah. Dad, please? I'm almost twenty years old…"

"In six months. This is a big deal Bells. You've never been on your own for that long before. There won't be any parental supervision. There will no one there in case you get in trouble. Tourists are always at a higher risk for muggings and what about that girl that was kidnapped?"

"Charlie, respectfully I'll be with her the entire time..." I cringed at how that sounded but continued on, "and she'll be in a safe part of Honolulu. I've already checked out the hotel and it's secure. We won't be going out at night but to eat. I promise you that we'll be safe and smart about what we do."

I really wanted to go into a tirade about how he should trust Bella to be responsible for herself considering she still ran his life for him. She cooked for him, did his laundry and reminded him about his dental and doctor appointments. She was a young girl in college not an old maid.

Charlie looked pensive for a few moments then finally sighed in defeat. I had a feeling he wouldn't say no but knew he would give us a hard time about it in the first place.

"If this is what you want to do for spring break then I can't stop you. I want you to call me often though and let me know what's going on. You need to be careful and I'll see what we need to do to get you some traveler's checks."

Bella blushed at the end knowing I wouldn't let her spend any money if I could help it but she only nodded her head and hugged him. Charlie looked uncomfortable before he hugged her back and looked at me gruffly.

"Now, I need to have a word with Edward here alone."

Bella began to protest but I just stopped her and told her to wait in the living room for me. She left but glared at Charlie on the way out.

"I know you two have been glued to each other since you were little and I've been okay with that because I think Carlisle and Esme raised you well. I won't pretend to like how she spends the night over there but I do know Bella enough to know she wouldn't compromise herself like that. I want it to stay that way. I know you've always done what you could to protect Bella and I appreciate that. Something happened between her and Jacob…I don't know what but I know its enough for her to avoid going to the Res now a days. I'm expecting you to take care of my baby girl when she's there and if she comes back with one hair out of place I'm going to forget about Carlisle and Esme and hurt you something awful do you understand me? I'd like to think you're motives are pure and that you want is what's best for Bella. Don't make me think otherwise you hear me?"

I nodded and we shook hands. I felt my knuckles grind together and refrained from putting any more pressure into my hold.

Bella stood up abruptly when we both went into the living room and she grabbed my hand quickly before hauling me out the door. I called out a goodbye to Charlie before the screen door slammed shut.

"Oh my God, what did he say to you? Did he threaten you? I am so sorry! But at least he said yes! We can go to Hawaii! I'm so freakin' excited! I'll need to get a new bathing suit. Probably have to order one online or go to Seattle for a nice one. This is so awesome!"

I chuckled as she drug me into my house and up the stairs. We settled into bed together and watched Shawshank's Redemption before calling it a night.

I laid there in bed holding onto her as her breaths evened out and thought about how the day had gone. I mentally went through all my plans. We spoke to Charlie, he had agreed. We wouldn't have to worry about school. The tickets were bought and the reservation at the hotel secured. I had printed up dozens of sheets on the things we could do. Snorkeling, shopping, eating…I'd have everything ready to go when we got there. I had this horrible feeling like I was still missing something very important.

With a crease on my forehead I fell into a restless sleep. Something was off.

**

It was mother fucking cold outside. For some reason February always struck me as the coldest month. I was gearing up for Spring Break but also for Valentines day. The local grocery stores were vomiting up red roses and cellophane balloons but I was thinking more. I was thinking of candles and soft music and a three course meal (that I knew I couldn't cook). I was thinking of something that would knock Bella off her feet.

My mind was spinning with red and white. I couldn't make up my mind as to what I wanted to do. Should I take her out or stay at home? Would she be expecting anything in particular?

When I had finally come up with a plan of action for this male ego stripping holiday my plans ended up not mattering at all.

Bella came over the morning of Valentines Day crying her eyes out. She literally walked into my room with tears streaming down her face and threw herself into my arms. I had been sitting at my computer and swiveled around to see what all the fuss was about when suddenly Bella was straddling my lap and sobbing into my neck.

"Hey hey hey, what's wrong? Bella, hey, look at me…what's going on?"

Her tear stained face was red, the flesh around her eyes were swollen and puffy. She looked like someone just tried to kill her.

"J-Jake…Charlie arrested him and I was there and Jake said it was my fault and I don't understand…"

I was confused and getting angry all at the same time. I needed to get a deeper answer before I started going after someone.

"Slow down Bella, just tell me what happened exactly."

She took a few gulps of air and steadied herself. Her fingers were digging into my shoulders as she tried to calm herself.

"Charlie and I went to the reservation to see Billy since he wasn't feeling well and when we got to their house Jake was arguing with Billy. They were screaming and yelling at each other and Charlie tried to break up the fight and figure out what was going on but they were too upset and finally Billy tosses Charlie this bag full of stuff. It was drugs. Bags of weed and powder and just this stuff. I didn't know what to do and I was just looking at the bag and thinking 'Oh my God what is going on right now' and Jake grabbed me and was telling me that he wasn't using that stuff and he was just doing it so he could make some extra money and he was trying to get the cash together for me. He said it was for me and I don't even know what the hell he was talking about. So Charlie said he was going to have to take Jake in to question him on where he got the stuff and Jake got really mad and yelling about how it wasn't fair. He was just acting really strange and getting really mad. Charlie was trying to reason with him and oh God, the look on Billy's face when it was all happening I mean he didn't know what to do. Finally he agreed to go with Charlie when he told Jake he wasn't really under arrest or something but he made Jake ride in the back of the car and Billy dropped me off a few minutes ago and I didn't know where else to go. I didn't know what else to do."

She had started out relatively calmly but had progressed into hysterics the farther she got into the story.

I hushed her and put her to bed, tucking her in and holding her until her sniffles stopped and she was out cold. Turning on the TV I left the volume down low and went downstairs to see if Charlie was back from the station yet.

Sure enough the cruiser was just pulling in as I peeked out the window. I went out and waved at him. He stopped and looked over my shoulder at the house.

"Is she okay?" He seemed a little awkward asking the question and I understood his dilemma. He didn't want to deal with a crying Bella any more than I did but I was more equipped that he was at it.

"She's fine. She needs some time to sort through what happened. I'm still not clear on the whole thing but I think I got the gist of it."

Charlie nodded and looked back at the house, right up at my window and a pained look on his face etched into my blood and made me feel cold and worried.

"I… I think Bella had an idea of what was going on with Jake… and that's why she was staying away from him. I just wish she would have come to me about-"

"She didn't know about the drugs Charlie. Jake… well he did some things that… a gentleman shouldn't do. She tried to…"

I couldn't finish what I was saying because honestly thinking about it made me visualize it and I couldn't go there, not right now.

His jaw bulged and he nodded curtly before shuffling his feet some.

"Just, let me know if there's anything I can do for her."

With a small nod I backed away a few feet as Charlie retreated to his house to work his own way through the events that had happened earlier.

**

The weeks leading up to our impending vacation were full of excitement for the both of us. I was thrilled at the prospect of having Bella all to myself. I found that I really enjoyed making plans for us and that my imagination was probably a bit too vivid and wild for a twenty year old. I would get up in the mornings go for my run and think about all the things we would do in the white sand and sky blue waters. I thought about beach side restaurants at night with tiki torches for lighting and dancers twirling sticks of fire while we cuddled together and watched the show. I thought about amazing nights in our hotel room with a ceiling fan spinning lazily over us, our bodies tangled and sweaty…

The last few thoughts were never conducive to running and I always felt the need to relieve myself in the shower afterwards. As the days counted down to our impending vacation I noticed a distance was growing between me and Bella.

It wasn't anything in particular, not like we weren't as close physically or spent less time together but I could tell when we were together she was holding something back. She was pensive a lot of the time and when I would ask about it she would pull away. Her moods seemed to go from excited and happy to depressed and closed off. I had no idea how to get through to her. Being in a romantic relationship had somehow changed our dynamic and I was worried that if I cornered her and made her tell me I would get a different reaction than I would have if we were still just friends.

I would watch her go from laughing and smiling to frowning and sulking. Whatever was bothering her I hoped would resolve itself before we left for Hawaii or she would at least come to me and talk about it.

Our finals week was upon us and we were both studying twice as hard and twice as much. Every free moment we had we spent together, making the most of the precious few minutes we had away from classes and studying. Bella spent a lot of time at her house getting ready for her finals while I stayed at mine. It was less distracting if we both weren't together while we tried to study.

It was the Saturday before finals week when I started to notice odd things around my house. The laundry room door was always kept shut but on several occasions it was wide open, the window above the washer was unlocked but no sign of anyone in the house and nothing missing anywhere. Things in my room would move mysteriously and at first I thought maybe it was Bella but she hadn't been in there since Friday. Then there was the noises at night. What sounded like someone in the trash but could have been a stray cat coming back for scraps. Shadows moving across my lawn before disappearing. The whole thing was too weird and I would assume a prowler but who would be dumb enough to case the house next to where the Chief of Police lived?

When finals week started I was so stressed and busy with classes that I was willing to write off any strange occurrences as my imagination running wild. By Thursday I was buzzing with anticipation of being done with tests and on a plane with the love of my life.

This was where the warning bells in my head should have tipped me off. This is where I should have known something was going wrong. All the pieces to the puzzle were right in front of me all I had to do was put them together.

I drove home Thursday afternoon high on the fact that I had one more test and then I was free for a week to enjoy sun and sand with Bella when I saw Jacob's car in Bella's driveway. My smile was quickly erased and I knew he was probably freaking the fuck out about her leaving with me for Spring Break.

Ignoring all lessons on propriety I walked through Bella's front door without knocking and found them both in the living room arguing.

"What's going on?" I turned my gaze onto Jacob who was standing over Bella. He had been gesturing wildly with his arms while Bella sat on the couch, a steely look on her face.

Jacob turned to look at me with pure hatred in his eyes while Bella looked almost relieved that I was there.

"I can't believe you suckered Charlie into being okay with this!"

I knew that he would have a problem with the trip but honestly couldn't give two shits.

I shrugged my shoulders and tilted my head at Bella, signaling for her to come to me.

Bella stood and walked around the coffee table, keeping a good distance from Jake as she came to stand beside me.

"Honestly Jake, I don't give a damn what you believe. Bella and I are leaving tomorrow for a week."

Jakes face was turning a dark orange color as his face tightened.

"This is fucking bullshit. I'm talking to Charlie when he gets home. This is fucking bullshit."

I wanted to laugh at the tantrum he was throwing but instead I took the high road and walked Bella and I next door. Once we were inside I stayed by the front door and watched out the peep hole as Jake got into his car and sped away, satisfied he was gone I turned my attention to Bella who was sitting with her arms wrapped around herself on the couch.

"What's wrong?"

"I just…I knew he would be upset about this when he found out but I had no idea he would react like that."

Her words caused me to flash back to when he took her out on a date and the unknown reaction he displayed that time.

"Did he hurt you?"

Her head spun quickly to look at me and she shook it quickly.

"No! He didn't touch me. He just…was really mean about the whole thing."

I pursed my lips in frustration at what Jake had probably told her. His immaturity was really showing through and I could imagine him calling her names to get her to stay.

"Whatever he said, he's wrong. You know he's wrong? What, did he call you names? Tell you, you were a bad person for going on a vacation? Jake wants you to feel bad about having fun…that's shitty. Don't let him ruin our fun okay?"

She hugged me and stayed folded into my side for a while before I coaxed her upstairs.

I really should have handled Jake better. I really should have looked closer and seen the signs before it was too late. As it was, I let it get out of hand. I flaunted something I shouldn't have flaunted and both Bella and I were going to suffer for it in the end.

Jake called Bella's cell phone repeatedly…almost incessantly all night long. She finally shut it off around two in the morning so we could get some sleep. Bella had her last final at ten and I had mine at twelve. We were all packed and ready to go and we'd leave after collecting our bags from my house. Bella was going to wait on campus for me while I took my last test and we would leave as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, my US History professor decided that we all had to stay and wait until time ran out even if we finished early. I was unfortunately stuck there until two thirty. Thankfully our flight didn't leave until ten so there was plenty of time for us to drive to Seattle and board but it still annoyed me that I had to wait there even when I was already done. I kept tapping my leg hoping that Bella wouldn't be waiting on me with nothing to do. My mind was spinning with visions of us in swim suits sipping pink drinks on the sand.

Finally, when it was time to leave I was bolting out the doors to my car only to find Bella waiting on me in the lobby of the history building. I grabbed her hand and kissed her, dragging her to the parking lot and throwing our stuff in the back seat.

We talked the entire way home on what we planned to do when we got there and how the flight wouldn't be so bad.

Once again felt that pang in my stomach that something was off when I pulled into our driveway but thought nothing of it, pushing down the uncertainty swirling around inside me and just wanting to get our vacation under way. Five whole days of Bella and the beach was going to be amazing. We'd deal with everything else when we got back home.

NOTE: this isn't finished but the word count was getting out of hand. I've spoken to the person who bid on this and she's agreed that it's fine if I stop here and continue it when I get a chance. It will probably be a three part deal. I know exactly where I want this to go. I'm actually kinda excited for it.