Hey, guys! I'm finally back.
Chapter 8 is here, thank God. This is gonna be a short A/N (though I'm sure you'll all be happy for that :P).
Thanks to my Beta for all her awesome help. She is the absolute best.
If you were slightly confused by the chapter name, an MI (or Myocardial Infarction) is a fancy name for a heart attack.
Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns The Twilight Saga.
Lastly, I hope you like it, love it, hate it, whatever. Just enjoy it. :)
"That's it, Bella. You're grounded!" Charlie's tightly-clenched fists slammed down on the table. I stood up abruptly, and my chair hit the lino before I could stop it.
"Ugh. Be like that! I wasn't even doing anything. Just because you see a few people from my school drinking and stuff, it doesn't mean that I do too! It's a disgusting habit, do you know how many times Carlisle has given Edward and I lectures on smoking and alcohol abuse? Tons and tons of lectures, all on the same thing and they included pictures too. I really don't want to end up with a pair of black lungs or a morbid liver, Dad. Please believe me." I begged, and sat down at the table again.
"Bella, I want to, I swear I do, but how can I?" My father looked me straight in the eye, trying to see the truth. "I thought Jessica Stanley was a good friend of yours."
"Psh, no, Dad, she isn't! I haven't spoken to her since she started school like a million years ago. Anyway, like I just said, I didn't do anything! Why would you just automatically assume this?"
"Honey, when I confronted Jessica about that bottle of vodka, she told me that you had given it to her." I gasped and my eyes widened to the size of saucers.
"Dad, she's lying! Charlie – Dad – I swear. I swear that I did not give that bottle to her. I've never touched alcohol in my life, except for the time you gave me a spoon of brandy when I was ill. That's it, I swear! She's lying to you." I so wanted to kill Jessica.
"I'm sorry Bella, but she sounded so innocent and convincing. She's a good girl, she hasn't been in trouble with the law except for drinking, but that's it-"
"Oh, that's it! And when have I been in trouble, huh? I'm a saint in this town; I never do anything against the law. I abide by every rule. How can you believe that stupid bitch over me?" I was furious but I still hadn't meant to swear.
"That's it! Don't you ever let me here you swearing again, young lady! You're grounded. End of story. Go to your room and come down when you're ready to apologise and tell me the truth." He emphasised. Then he picked up the phone and dialled a number.
"I won't… let you hear." I said under my breath. I stomped up the stairs and into my bedroom before I heard another word. The worst thing was I was telling the truth - I had never touched alcohol in my entire sixteen years. Charlie's reaction seemed over-the-top but I knew what drink had done to my grandfather. That was another reason why I wouldn't touch alcohol with a bargepole. Who the hell did that urchin think she was, accusing me of giving her alcohol? I was fuming at this point. I lay down on my bed and tried to get comfortable but there was something poking my bottom. I fumbled around to find the source of irritation and pulled a ballpoint pen from beneath my covers. It was the pen Edward had given me to borrow when I'd forgotten my pencil case at school. That reminded me… Edward wanted me to come over to his house later on. But because I was grounded, I wouldn't be able to, would I? Ugh, who cares, my talking thoughts mumbled. Who cares if you get into even more trouble than you are already in? You're grounded anyway, so what more can Charlie do? Just leave, already.
I sat up straight and contemplated leaving. It would be simple, since that huge strong monster (or what others would call a drainpipe) lived directly outside my bedroom window and led straight to the ground. I could jump the last foot or so. I put on a light hoodie in case it rained, which it probably would, and yanked the window frame up, scratching my palm in the process. Please God, don't let me die. I don't want to die yet.
I slowly climbed down, being careful to make as little noise as possible. If Charlie caught me, I was dead. Just… Dead. The final stop. I could feel myself getting closer and closer to the ground with every inch I slid down the drainpipe. Nearing the bottom, I attempted to jump off. Attempted being the operative word – my sweaty palms decided that instead of slipping straight off they'd cause my hands to glaze promptly with the black plastic. My hands weren't coming off! I tugged carefully, cursing someone in the process and when that didn't work I heaved myself off the pipe. Big mistake – the pipe suddenly chose to let me down at that very moment and break off in the process.
"Oomphfffphf. Ow." That was gonna bruise. I gingerly brushed off the leaves and dirt from my skinny jeans and hoodie, pricking my ears like a dog in case I heard a nosy neighbour. I looked around swiftly, put my hood up and ran towards the forest – it was the easiest way to get to Edward's house without bringing attention to myself.
I peeked out between the bushes and trees, wondering if I should phone Edward to ask him to open the door or something. But then, my talking thoughts commented, won't Esme ask who's at the door? She'd definitely notice me walk in with Edward. On the other hand, my thoughts continued, Esme won't snitch to Charlie on you. She's… Cool. She'll understand why you're sneaking out to see your best friend, yeah, totally. The cautious side of my thoughts were silenced – I was going to bluntly ring the doorbell. I trudged through the leaves and raised my hand stiffly. To ring or not to ring, that was the question. I shook my head and was just about to press the buzzer when the door flew open.
"Bella," I gasped at Edward's smiling face.
"Edward, you scared me, silly," I punched his arm and smiled in satisfaction when he winced. "Now shut up and tell me, is Esme here?"
"No, she's gone to the mall with Alice. Why?" Edward's eyes narrowed suspiciously. I avoided looking at him directly and nonchalantly said,
"Well, Charlie grounded me, so I had to sneak out." I shrugged as if to say it wasn't a big deal (which, ironically, it was because Charlie would deep-fry me if he ever found out).
"You snuck out? Why, you silly, silly girl, you could get into so much trouble. I wouldn't be surprised if Charlie came to arrest you," Edward looked quite angry at me.
"Excuse me, Mr. I'm-Never-Naughty, but I wanted to see you! Charlie wouldn't have even allowed me out tonight, so I had to get here somehow!" I disregarded telling him about the drainpipe climbing (or in this case, abseiling). He'd think I was suicidal or something.
"Come on, never mind that. I want to do something fun after those horrible exams. Ugh." I started to climb the stairs to Edward's room, and he followed.
"How were they horrible? I found them quite simple, especially Calculus." Edward looked genuinely curious.
I stared at him in shock. "English was the only good one. Okay, I always knew you were weird but Calculus was the hardest test ever! I've never seen such difficult questions before." I closed the door to his bedroom.
"If you're really worried, I could bribe Mr. Varner to give you an A," Edward offered.
My mouth fell open as I sat down on the bed.
"Kidding, Bella. It's a joke," He emphasised.
"Yeah yeah, very funny, Mr. Dazzling." And then I blushed, because I'd called him Mr. Dazzling and betrayed my friend at the same time. Zanna, a total Goth girl in my class, had once named Edward 'Mr. Dazzling' because when he smiled at her - in a totally platonic way – she couldn't even move a muscle. Quite frankly, he had dazzled her into a coma or something, because she hadn't been able to speak for, like, a week after that little encounter. I stood up to face the door.
"Mr. Dazzling? I've never heard that one before. Did you just make that up?" Edward moved closer and faced me directly. His fingers traced my blushing cheeks, leaving a burning trail where they moved. Oh my Lord, my talking thoughts started up, do you think he'd notice if I buried my nose in the crook of his neck?
"No, it's nothing. I mean no one. I just, um. Never mind. You don't need to know."
"Bella. Tell me, please. I want to know." His tone was oddly teasing as his eyebrow arched.
"No. Um." I couldn't speak properly because Edward's golden orbs had captured mine. My mouth fell open slightly as I tasted his sweet, candy-cool breath. I closed my eyes and inhaled slowly.
Before I knew it, Edward had gripped my arm and pushed me against his wardrobe. My eyes shot open and my breath hitched. I whispered,
"Edward, what are you doing?" I could barely hear my voice but it sounded panicked. I looked at him – his high, angular cheekbones, his strong jaw line, his straight nose, his full lips, and lastly, his burning eyes. He was so perfect, it hurt. I gulped.
"Are you going to tell me about this Mr. Dazzling or not?"
"Not. Definitely not," I tried to wriggle out of his grip or else I might have blown up with the tension and heat. It was impossible to breathe now.
"Wrong answer, love." Edward said in a low voice. He looked intensely into my eyes one final time and bent down to press his lips against mine. His lips were firmly on mine, and I felt the electricity jolt through my lips right down to my toes. I heard someone shouting Edward's name in the background but I was enjoying the current situation way too much to care. Edward's hand sneaked into my hair and grabbed hold of a few locks. My hands mirrored his actions, and I pulled my nails slowly across his scalp. Edward moaned into my mouth as he dipped his head down and traced a line down my neck with the tip of his nose. I stifled a moan when I felt Edward's tongue sweep across the base of my neck. My eyes rolled back at the sensation and I gasped in intense pleasure. Edward lifted his head from the crook of her neck and we stared at each other. I gently kissed him again and pulled away.
Edward's eye colour had deepened into the sexiest colour I had ever seen – and it automatically became my new favourite shade of gold. Once again, I inhaled his sweet breath. He said,
"Bella, love, I need to confess something," My heart was hammering so hard against my chest it was going to break through into Edward's hands, which were holding mine. He bent his head forward and kissed my knuckles sweetly before looking up straight into my eyes with sincerity. "I love y-"
Suddenly, the door burst open and Edward and I jumped a foot apart, releasing each other.
"Bella, Charlie's had a heart attack. You need to get to the hospital right now. I'm sorry, but it was very serious. He's in a very critical condition, but Carlisle has the best doctors on hand there to treat him. Come on, now." A dishevelled Esme Cullen waltzed in and pulled me towards the door by my hand. I turned around and looked at Edward in disbelief as my emotions flooded over me. Edward had a mild look of confusion on his face, and it also looked as if he had recently been hit over the head with a brick.
"Edward, come on. I need you there." My eyes watered.
Edward snapped out of his reverie and gracefully walked towards me. He picked up my palm and kissed it softly as he said,
"Of course, we'll go right now. Mom, will you drive us there, please?"
"Yes, yes, let's just go now."
I was bustled out of the house with Edward by my side, overwhelmed with fear and stress, my eyes streaming with tears.
"Dad! Charlie! Oh, God, why isn't he responding? What's wrong with him? Tell me everything! And screw the protecting me crap, please." I didn't mean to be rude but I had to understand exactly what had happened. Carlisle nodded.
"Well, Bella, your father has suffered a massive Myocardial Infarction, that's a heart attack. It was quite serious, because he couldn't breathe properly. To be quite blunt, it was lucky Sue had found him quickly, or we may have lost him."
"Sue? I don't understand…" I was still in major shock.
"Sue Clearwater had been knocking on the door to deliver some food. She knew Charlie was home as she had just gotten off the phone with him. She knew where the spare key was and opened the front door calling his name. Because of his condition he unable to answer her but Sue found him halfway up the stairs. We think he was trying to go to your room to find you and get you to call an ambulance. Sue phoned for one and then tried to find you when the paramedics arrived. When she couldn't find you, the first person she called was Esme, since she thought you must be with Edward. If she hadn't found him in time, I'm very sorry to say, but Charlie Swan would not be present with us now. As said, he is critical but his condition is slowly stabilising. We'll have to keep him for a few days and run more tests to be perfectly sure,"
Throughout Carlisle's entire speech, my mouth grew wider and wider with the horrors of the story unfolding before me. By the time Carlisle had finished it was so huge you could have fit a house in it. Basically, Charlie would've died if Sue hadn't been there. If I had only stayed in my room when grounded, none of this would've happened…
Edward's arm wrapped around my shoulders protectively and he held me tightly. He said,
"Bella can stay with us tonight, can't she?" Then he spoke directly to me and said, "Don't worry, we'll look after you. I'm so sorry, honey, I really am."
I shook off Edward's arm and looked at him. His eyes had a hint of pain in them but quickly covered it up. I continued,
"No. I want to stay here. Right here with my father. I'm not going anywhere,"
"Bella, at least consider-"
"No, I just said, I'm staying here. Here" I emphasised. I walked towards Charlie's bedside and held his hand, sitting down on the wooden chair. It felt really cold, and that just made me cry even more. Someone moved behind me, but Carlisle said,
"Son, don't, let her be. She needs to be alone. We will all come back later, yes?" The small crowd of Cullen's (plus nurses) dispersed and I was left alone in the room with Charlie.
I wiped away my tears and looked at my dad. The ever-present crinkles around his eyes had disappeared and he looked very peaceful. That's when I promised myself that I would never disobey him again.
There were three things that I was absolutely sure of at this point. Firstly, it was my fault that Charlie was in such a harsh condition. Secondly, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with Edward Cullen. Thirdly, I would never be able to act upon my feelings.
I needed to put a stop to this, however much it hurt me.
Edward could and would never find out that I loved him.
Ohhh, wasn't that just evil? I hope you all enjoyed reading this chapter as much as I enjoyed writing it! Please make me happy by letting me know what you think of it and reviewing! *hint hint*
Now I just need to concentrate on getting Chapter 9 here a bit sooner than usual, but no promises, sorry.
Much lovings to you all for reading (and reviewing) and thanks so much!
Rose :) x