Disclaimer – Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer, I'm just borrowing her characters and I make no profit from this venture.

A/N – I'm so sorry this has taken so long. A family member was taken very suddenly into hospital and for a long time that was what my life revolved around. Everything's good again and I finally feel able to write and update again. A huge thank you to everyone who kept reading, and to all those who put this story in their favourites or on alert and who reviewed, it's now over one hundred! Wow! That's never happened to a story of mine before so thank you and I hope you like this chapter. Shout outs to mbellaandedwardm, Najo and WutheringBites who have been lovely and to DutchGirl01 for caring. Here we go.

XOX

Chapter 9 – Nobody Seems To Know

XOX

I sat and stared at Edward, willing him to look at me; bring back that connection we'd lost. I stared for so long my vision blurred and it was only then that I looked away. I wanted him to meet my eyes so much, wanted that feeling it brought where the world faded away, where it was just us. I knew what I had just said was a big thing, kind of the silent elephant in the background whenever we met. Though by now there had to be a whole herd.

Still, I'd acknowledged it, said out loud that Edward was different. And he was, that couldn't be denied. My list about Edward was long and rife with things that just didn't add up, for normal humans. Which brought back the line of questioning of Edward being something different, other, more? I knew it, knew it; he was different .I just hadn't figured out how and he was in no rush to help me.

"Edward," I said softly to gain his attention. I could feel the weight of his gaze on me but still his eyes wouldn't meet mine. "Please."

"Bella," he sighed and I leant forward, my heart stuttering at his liquid voice.

"Please, look at me, please." I asked, begged, and then held my breath as Edward sighed. His eyes scrunched up closed, his forehead creasing, and he pinched the bridge of his nose before shaking his head.

"Please," I added once more and his hand fell away as his head rose.

"It seems I cannot fight with you when you plead this way," he stated softly, his eyes on my mouth then, with a final shake of his head, they rose to meet mine.

The colour blew me away, his eyes seemed more golden, more bright, just more and I sighed as I felt drawn further into the glorious depths. The world fell away, as I knew it would, and it was as I had wished, just the two of us in our own world. I forced my breathing into slow, deep breaths as gold took over my vision and Edward swam in front of my eyes. A smile curved my lips and I heard, more than saw, Edward sigh.

"Oh Bella, what am I going to do with you?"

"Look at me," I replied instantly, "feed the addiction." I blushed as the words came out and Edward tensed his body curving forwards. I thought he said something but I couldn't hear and my own embarrassment was quickly taking over. I hadn't meant to say that and all the different ways it could be taken ran through my mind. Oh, if only you could take words back. They'd settled in the air now and it had turned our moment sour.

We sat and stared at each other for a long time. The air around us, while it still crackled with that energy which always seemed to appear when we were around each other, now felt heavy, alien. Tension had seeped in and I found myself fervently wanting to take my words back, both from just now and before. If I hadn't said them then we wouldn't be like this, sat taking each other in with a sense of something in the air. I didn't want to know what that something was, it felt a little too much like an ending and I couldn't bear that thought. No more Edward. I repressed a shudder and pushed that thought firmly aside. This wasn't an ending, it was a beginning. We'd both admitted that there was something more going on here and now we could move on.

"It's time to go," Edward announced suddenly and I blinked in surprise, his voice sounded louder and colder after our long silence.

"It is?" I asked seconds before my alarm went off. I gasped in surprise and Edward's lips twitched but his face quickly smoothed. He stood quickly, in that graceful way of his, and seemed to pause before he strode over to me and held out a hand.

For a long moment I could only stare. Edward didn't touch me. That had become abundantly clear. In all our time together, apart from two instances, he never touched me; in fact he usually went to great lengths to avoid it. I remembered when he had, how it felt, the sensation of his skin on mine, and how he had avoided my skin ever since then. Yet, here he was with an offer I couldn't refuse.

"Thank you," I whispered as I reached out to take his hand. It was cool, cold, but that didn't matter. As soon as my hand was in his, palm to palm, the touch sent tingles up my arm and down my spine. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced. Edward's finger's curled round mine and gently, ever so gently, he increased his grip and pulled me up, until we stood together.

The air hummed around us as electricity ran up my arm, spreading from the point of contact until I felt as if my whole body was alive from his touch. I felt the cold of his skin yet at the same time it seemed to warm me, create a fire that lit up my blood and sent it pumping through my veins. My face flushed with the increased blood flow but at that moment I could not find it in me to care. In fact very little of my attention was focused on me, instead everything I was concentrated on Edward and this moment we had.

I knew there was space between us, a quiver of air that separated us, but as I lost myself in his eyes it didn't feel that way. His eyes seemed to glow and the amber gold colour faded everything else from my vision. I forced myself to keep breathing, long, deep breaths, so the moment could last. This moment in time where it was just us, stood together with nothing else. Just us. I didn't even dare to blink.

Then somehow it got better. Edward's hand tightened on mine, his fingers caressed my skin and my breath caught as his other hand rose, ever so slowly, and hovered by my face. I begged for him to move, I used my eyes to tell him it was okay, it was what I wanted. I couldn't talk. I wished, at that moment, he could read my mind and see how much I wanted his touch. He stood still, so still he could be a statue once more, no part of him stirred, before his hand moved. It twisted in the air and then the back of his fingers trailed down my face. From beside my eyebrow, down over my cheek till it cupped my chin, just for a moment.

My skin, my whole body, hummed, every hair on my arms stood up, my blood sang in my veins and my heart raced.

Then Edward stepped back and the world rushed back in, the cool breeze shifted my hair and I blinked as the colours and shapes of the trees that surrounded us came back into focus.

"You should go," he said and his voice still sounded cold. I didn't like it, it was like something had shifted within him, something I couldn't see and couldn't understand. But oh how I wanted to understand.

I could only nod as Edward took several more steps backward that took him further away from me. That tense feeling came back as he distanced himself and as I reached for my bag I knew I wanted it gone. I wanted my Edward back, the one who seemed so in tune with what was going on around him, who was a gentleman and, most importantly, who seemed to get me. I sighed quietly and turned to give him a last smile.

"Goodbye Edward," I murmured and was disappointed when his face stayed still.

"Isabella," he replied and my insides jolted at the way he said my given name once more. No one said it like him and I doubted anyone else ever would. I smiled again before I walked across our clearing to the path that would take me home. I felt his gaze on me, settled heavily on my shoulders and head and suddenly I knew.

The tenseness. The cold attitude. His last words.

I spun around and strode back to where Edward still stood. I felt a flicker of amusement at the shock on his face but it was quickly swallowed up by the darker feeling that rose within me.

"Why are you saying goodbye?" I demanded, because I knew that was what he meant. It made sense, everything, he was saying goodbye without saying it and the really, really annoyed me.

"We are parting ways Bella, it is custom to say goodbye."

"Don't," I snapped and his face again shifted into shock. "You've never treated me like a moron so please don't start now." At that his face darkened.

"Kindly do not refer to yourself in such a manner," he gritted out and some part of me was glad that he was becoming as annoyed as I was.

"Kindly do not treat me as such then," I parroted back and his brow furrowed.

"Bella-"

"You were saying goodbye, and not the goodbye 'see ya later', but 'goodbye' goodbye." That hadn't made much sense but I didn't care. And Edward didn't refute it. He just stood there and stared at me, his eyes burning with something I didn't understand.

"Edward-"

"It was not meant that way," he cut me off and I relaxed, ever so slightly. "I apologize if my words gave you that impression. Our conversation today has touched upon . . . sensitive subjects and I merely wished to retire and regroup." I stared at him for several moment and his eyes shone at me. Slowly I relaxed completely and accepted his words.

"Okay," I said quietly and I felt foolish for making such a scene. I cared too much and that little outburst had probably just proven it to him.

"I shall see you on Saturday," Edward stated and I nodded. I stood for a moment and hoped for another touch but when the silence stretched I decided it really was time to go.

"See you soon," I murmured before turning to go once more only to spin around again. "Wait, are you free Wednesday afternoon? I have a free afternoon from school so maybe we could see each other then?" That was technically a lie but I couldn't help it. I needed to see him sooner that a whole week away. Something still felt off and I needed reassurance that we were okay.

"Wednesday?" Edward asked and I nodded as I held my breath. "Wednesday it is then." I felt a smile spread across my face and I gave a little wave before finally leaving the woods. Wednesday was still too far away but it was better than next Saturday.

XOX

The rest of the weekend had dragged. Charlie had worked late Saturday night so I'd left his dinner, with reheating instructions, in the kitchen before I'd gone to bed. Sunday, however, was a day off and we spent the morning doing our own things before he treated me to an early dinner out at the diner. We ate the usual, talked to all the other regulars and generally had the quiet father/daughter time I had come to cherish with Charlie. We might not spend every moment in each other's presence talking but outings like this showed me my father cared.

Still, I was very glad for Monday morning as it meant that instead of the usual five day wait, Edward was now only three days away. I was absurdly exciting about it and I could tell that my friends knew something was different, especially with the many mood swings I had been experiencing.

"Thanks for the lift, Bella," Angela said again and I couldn't help but smile.

"You don't need to thank me, again, for doing this, Ang. You know I'll be around if you need anything and I was heading this way to visit Jake anyway. Besides, this is what friends do, help each other out. Especially when friend's boyfriend's put videogames in front of said friend." Angela laughed and my smile widened. It was nice to just sit and joke, pretend there was nothing more going on in life except what happened right now. I was just a girl driving her best friend home after school.

"I know! Why do I even bother dating him?" I laughed but couldn't help my more serious reply.

"Because you're perfect for each other, and he's sweet and kind and everything a good boyfriend should be. Plus he pretty much worships you and you adore him. That's why." Angela smiled and nodded.

"I know. I'm pretty lucky I guess."

"You guess?" I demanded in mock outrage and Angela was lost to her giggles again.

"Oh Bella," she sighed as she calmed down. "We need to find you someone, then I'll be able to tease you just this way too." She laughed but my face heated as a perfect, gorgeous, pale face popped into my head. Angela stopped laughing. "Bella, you're blushing. Like, extreme blushing . . . Have you . . . met someone?" My face flamed, even as I willed myself to calm down and not react, and Angela let out a gasp. "You have! I knew it!"

"What?" I asked sharply as my head snapped in her direction.

"Eyes on the road Bella," she reminded me even as she murmured her suspicions under her breath. I focused back on the concrete, glad we were so close to her road. She mumbled as I drove for a few minutes before I pulled up outside her house.

"Okay-" I started but she interrupted me.

"Let me start," she begged and I nodded. "I didn't know you'd met someone, and I guess I still don't for sure but I'm pretty convinced by that blush, even you don't light up like that over nothing Bella. You've just been so out of it lately, not in a bad way per se but different. And I hoped it was something good distracting you, wait it is something good right?" Angela looked worried and I knew then I couldn't lie to her, not anymore.

She was my best friend, one of my few friends at all, and I knew I'd been treating her wrongly. But how did I protect Edward, as everything in me screamed to do, and not lie constantly to Angela? It wasn't right, that wasn't how friends treated each other.

But I couldn't tell her, at least not all of it. I trusted Angela, completely, but this wasn't my secret to tell. Edward had trusted me, in a way and though I didn't have all my suspicions confirmed I knew there was something different and Edward had admitted that much. He'd also told me of the secrets he kept and I knew that I now kept them too. And if my suspicions were correct it wasn't just his secret I now held. I couldn't, and wouldn't, abuse that. Plus part of me, I could admit to myself, wanted to keep Edward to myself. Like he was mine, just mine. I felt like I should protect him as he had so often protected me.

"Bella?" Angela asked, her voice quiet. Her face was drawn in concern and that pushed me to do something. Yes, I couldn't tell her what had happened, about the woods and the wolves and Edward. That didn't mean that I couldn't tell her about Edward himself and the hopes and feelings I had kept to myself.

"You promise you won't say anything?" I asked even though I already knew the answer. Angela wouldn't tell, not something like this.

"Not even Ben," she reassured me. "Chicks before dicks." She swore and I laughed.

"Oh Angela," I sighed as I settled back into my seat. "There is someone." A smile spread across my friends face but she said nothing, knowing if she kept quiet I'd keep talking.

"I met him . . . a little while ago and he's just amazing. Inside and out. He's been so kind to me, even when he didn't have to be and he's the most beautiful man I have ever met. He's just . . ." I trailed off, unsure how to put Edward into words without really describing him. Yes, he was all those things I had said but he was also so much more.

"Sounds like you really like this guy," Angela said quietly. I blushed and nodded.

"I really do," I said just as quiet. I could admit it to myself now, that I liked Edward, so much. More than he liked me. Part of me relaxed at having told someone, even if it was only part, the smallest part of the secret I kept. Then again, this was even a secret from Edward and it felt good to have someone else know, someone else to share with.

"Thank you," I said with a smile and Angela laughed.

"Bella, this is what friends are for! To gossip and share secrets and commiserate over comic-book addicted boyfriends." We both laughed at that. As much as we both knew Ben was addicted to his cartoons, he was truly captivated by Angela alone. "You know I'd do anything for you, you're my best friend." And suddenly I knew how I was going to meet with Edward on Wednesday.

"Anything?" I repeated and Angela nodded. "I need you to cover for me last period, on Wednesday."

"You're going to meet him?"

"Yes. And I promise, he's one of the good guys, one of the best. I'll be perfectly safe." Her eyebrows rose at that and I couldn't help but gush a little. "He's such a gentleman, he always stands when I stand, lets me sit first. Puts my questions before his. Let's me direct the conversation, listens, really truly listens to what I have to say. He's just wonderful. And I promise I'll let you know how it goes." That was appealing and I knew it by the look on Angela's face. Now she knew the secrets she'd want to know more, though she'd never push for it, and frankly now I'd told I wanted to say more. Sometimes Edward seemed like such a figment of imagination, the perfect man, and sharing the secret would, hopefully, make him more real.

"Alright, I'll cover for you." I managed not to squeal at Angela's words, it would have freaked us both out if I acted that way, but I did lean forward to hug her.

"I want you to be happy Bella," she said as we disentangled ourselves, "and if this guy makes you feel that way then fine, I'll cover for you. Me and Ben probably owe you a time or two-"

"More," I interrupted with a grin.

"Lots of times," Angela corrected herself, "just please be careful?"

"I will," I promised but I couldn't help thinking, as Angela jumped down of my truck and I drove off that with Edward I didn't need to be careful, as he'd be there to rescue me.

XOX

The drive to the reservation was filled with thoughts of Edward. I still wasn't entirely convinced everything was okay. Something had felt off the last time we had seen each other and I wondered, as I had then, whether I should have said anything about him being 'other' at all.

But I couldn't deny that he was. It seemed to become clearer the more time we spent together and though I still had no idea what exactly he could be. He was just . . . Edward and I didn't want to lose him because he may or may not think I'll be scared of what he is. I wouldn't be, I already knew it didn't matter. He'd still be Edward.

Jacob was also present in my thoughts and I knew as I drove closer to my friend's home that I wasn't being entirely fair to him. But I also knew that Jake had knowledge I didn't and I couldn't help but focus on a way to get Jake to talk to me. After that evening where he'd slipped in my room I knew he'd be more tight-lipped but I hoped I could persuade him to tell me more.

There was just so much going on, I felt like I was on the precipice, that I was now involved in something big, much bigger than myself, and more and more the clues I gathered pointed towards not only Edward but also Jake being involved too. I couldn't let it rest, that time had long passed, and although I felt guilty for using my friend if we were all involved the sooner we came clean to each other the better; after all, being in this together would only make us stronger. That was how I felt, and hoped.

I parked a little way down the road from Jake's house as it seemed somewhat busy. I knew Billy held an important position in the tribe and meeting were conducted regularly. I hoped I wasn't interrupting and as I approached the door I berated myself for not ringing ahead. Even from several paces away I could hear loud voices and I wondered if I should turn back now or forge ahead. Well, I was here and I didn't want my surprise to go to waste. I walked up the ramp to the house, installed for Billy's use, and raised my hand to knock.

". . . Edward, Jasper . ." I paused and stopped; my hand still in the air and poised to knock. But I didn't. Edward, they'd said Edward. My Edward? It wasn't such a common name, not in such a small town like Forks. I lowered my hand and stood as quiet as I could. I knew eavesdropping was wrong but if I did this and learnt something new, well then it would be worth it.

"We can't thank you enough, Doc. You've done such a lot." I thought that might be Sam but I couldn't really tell. I just knew the next voice was a stranger, I had never heard his voice before.

"I only wish I could do more. The blood samples will help but at the moment it's still just trial and error. We can only keep on trying and we will until we figure this out." The voice was smooth, calm but full of authority. It made me relax and reminded me, very strongly, of Edward. Something in the tone or sound. Footsteps alerted me and I just had time to raise my hand, as if I were just about to knock, before the door swung open.

And I was greeted by Edward's eyes; his glorious, golden eyes.

Only, it wasn't Edward's face, wasn't Edward at all. The man in front of me was shorter, with light blonde hair and he was older, but probably not by much. His face was softer were Edward's was more angular, his nose shorter and his lips thinner, yet he had exactly the same shade of eyes, that amber gold that so enchanted me.

"Oh," I gasped, quite surprised even though I had known someone was going to open the door eventually. Just not this someone.

"Bella?" Jacob asked as he suddenly stepped forward and as I turned to look at him I saw the stranger's face change, as if he comprehended something new.

"Hi," I said a little sheepishly, now unsure whether I should have come. "Erm, Steak and Ale Pie?" I held up my offering and watched as a grin spread across Jake's face.

"Yep, that's the secret password, come on in." I laughed and made to move forward but swung my bag so it collided with the stranger's legs.

"Oh, I'm so sorry!" I gasped even as Jake laughed. The stranger, who seemed to get better looking the more I took him in, just smiled and it was so kind, so nice I automatically smiled back.

"Not a problem," he spoke in those smooth tones and I thought he'd make the best doctor, with a voice like that he could soothe any pain away.

"It's a good thing he's a doctor, just in case you caused permanent damage," Jake chuckled and I blushed while the 'Doctor' smiled.

"Really, I'm sorry; I'm a bit clumsy you see." I smiled but Jake erupted in laughter.

"A bit? Try A lot, all the time, constantly . . . I could go on."

"Please don't," I muttered and both men laughed. I looked to Jake to see if he would introduce us or whether I'd have to take matters into my own hands. I was extremely curious about this 'Doctor', especially if he was linked to Edward.

"Oh, Bells, you crack me up. Doc, this is one of my oldest and best friends, Isabella Swan. Bells, this is Doctor Carlisle Cullen. He's been helping us out, volunteering his time." Carlisle? I'd heard that name before, I was sure of it but for the life of me I couldn't remember where from.

"It's nice to meet you," I greeted and, somewhat spontaneously, held out my hand for him to shake. A thought ran across my mind and as Doctor Cullen gently gripped my hand it was confirmed, his hands were cold-just like Edwards.

"A pleasure to meet you as well, Isabella-"

"Oh, it's Bella, please," I interrupted and he smiled as he let go off my hand and shifted his body towards the steps.

"As I was saying, a pleasure to meet you as well Bella. Jacob, please tell Sam I will ring as soon as any of the results are back."

"Will do Doc; say hi to everyone for me. Especially our runner, I'm sure he knows what he's missing." Jake laughed as I stared at him in confusion while the blonde Doctor simply shook his head and left, stepping gracefully into a dark tinted Mercedes.

"Who's missing what?" I asked as Jake led the way inside.

"Sorry Bells, private joke."

"Which you're not going to explain," I carried on for him and he just shrugged.

"Its old news, literally," Jake grinned and I got the feeling, like so many times with Edward, that there was a joke in his words, one I wasn't meant to understand. "Now, I believe you mentioned something about steak pie?" I laughed and made my way into the kitchen.

"You have a one track mind, Jacob Black."

"He's not the only one," another voice popped up and I jumped as Seth Clearwater appeared at my elbow. "And she said steak and ale pie, Jake, get it right. Hi Bella, how are you? Still cooking? Excellent." I laughed as I greeted Seth, one of the younger boys that Jake knew from the res. No matter his age, though, Seth was a blast to be around. The two of them started a mini wrestling match behind me as I turned the oven on and I smiled at their antics. It didn't matter how much they grew, how big their muscles got or how tall they became, they would always be this childish to me.

"You're in luck," I called as they fell into the living room. "I brought more than one pie!"

"More?" Another familiar voice called out and I was quickly hugged from behind."Ah, you know us too well Bella." I smiled and greeted both Embry and Quil before attempting to establish some kind of order in the kitchen.

It was always like this when the boys got together, loud, chaotic, messy, and usually a lot of fun. They'd grown up together and had formed such tight friendships that sometimes I felt like I was intruding. It never lasted long though, as Jake usually dragged me along for whatever ride they were currently on. I remembered his motorbike phase and felt a shiver go down my spine. Yep, not doing that again.

"Oh my god, do you guys ever actually use the manners your mother taught you?" I looked up at the tight voice and felt my face fall slightly. Leah was Seth's elder sister and as much fun as Seth was to be round the opposite was true for her. She'd made it clear from the moment I'd set foot on the res that I wasn't welcome in her eyes and I knew she'd never get over that. Still, there were plenty of people who did want me here and I wasn't about to be run off by a single girl. If I could survive Forks High, which I had so far, I could survive Leah Clearwater.

"Only when she's around," Seth joked back and received a slap to the back of his head for his effort.

"Okay, grub's up," I announced and there was a sudden mad rush for the table I'd just finished setting. I probably would have been left on the other side of the kitchen if Jake hadn't grabbed my arm and pulled me along, pushing me into a chair besides him. The pies I'd cooked were rapidly dished out and then even more rapidly consumed. I ate more slowly, wanting to savour the meal as well as not give myself indigestion.

As they ate praises for my cooking skills fell thick and fast and I couldn't help my blush as I looked around the table.

"Hey, where's Paul? And Jared? Neither of them usually miss free food," I asked as I realised some of the usual suspects weren't present. Jake tensed next to me and as I turned to look at him Quil and Embry shared a dark look. I frowned and opened my mouth to ask what was wrong but Seth beat me to words.

"They're not here. Their loss. Is there any more?" I laughed and wondered aloud if Seth, and everyone else present, had bottomless stomachs. I couldn't help but note, as the others joined in, that there was definitely something touchy about the subject of those two boys who I had grown up knowing.

XOX

The next two days dragged. Time seemed to be against me and no matter how hard I stared at the clock, or how occupied I kept myself time still seemed far too slow.

Wednesday finally came and brought with it a bought of butterflies to my stomach. I remembered our last meeting, how tense it had been at the end and Edward's promise to meet me today and I couldn't help how I felt. Angela shot me looks most of the day but I simply smiled and thanked her, again and again, for helping me and making this trip possible.

"Bella, you're my friend, you know I'd do anything to help you." She smiled. "And I like seeing you like this, all blushing and excited over a boy." Her words made me blush and she teased me for our lessons together before I left school.

The drive home took forever and I rushed inside to dump my things before I raced back outside again. In my haste I lost my footing and went down with a bump just outside the front door. Automatically I flung my hands out to catch myself and I hissed as my skin scraped on the gravel. I lifted my hands to my face to inspect them and was glad there was minimal damage. I blew on them softly before I set off again, at a much slower and more careful place, stopping only to check no one was around to watch me disappear into the woods.

I could probably do this walk in my sleep now, the trees having become familiar to me as I watched them go by, the branches on the ground still marking my way. It truly was a beautiful place and it was a shame more people couldn't see it. But as beautiful as it was these trees also held secrets and I was starting to suspect that even though I craved the truth many more might not want to know.

It was a strange thought to have, especially for me, as I settled against my tree. I couldn't imagine it, having clues to a mystery placed in front of you and not wanting to solve it. Or yet, having those clues, knowing them and then choosing to ignore them. That seemed worse. But it was a person's choice and I supposed that was part of why I wanted answers so much. Because my choice in the situation had been taken away from me. I had lived like that before and I didn't want to re-visit those feelings ever again.

I breathed deeply as memories flooded me and then continued my deep breaths as I pushed them away. Now wasn't the time to think about that, Edward would be here soon. I felt a smile spread on my lips and I closed my eyes, thinking about him. It was a huge relief to have told someone something, even just this small part. And though I knew Edward would never feel for me in that way it was still nice to envision having a similar conversation with him. Me, shy and blushing, with him, smiling that crooked smile, accepting and returning my new found feelings.

XOX

I must have drifted off at some point because the next thing I knew my alarm was ringing in my ears. As I blinked and took in the woods around me I weight settled heavy in my stomach. He didn't come. Edward didn't come.

All the way home, for the rest of the evening and as I climbed into my bed that night I felt dazed. He hadn't come. Why? Nothing else seemed to matter, that questioned just whirled around and around in my head and I spent the night tossing and turning, unable to sleep.

Angela knew the instant she saw me at school. I knew I looked dreadful, little sleep had given me dark circles under my eyes and I couldn't help but walk with a slump to my shoulders. My friend ditched her boyfriend, came and took my arm and led us to a quiet, secluded spot where we wouldn't be interrupted; the library.

"What happened?" I shook my head, unwilling to say it out loud. That would make it more real. "Bella, did he . . . did he hurt you?"

"No!" I exclaimed loudly. "No, Edward would never hurt me." I believed that. Physically, anyway, I couldn't guarantee my heart.

"Then, what happened?"

"He didn't come," I whispered and looked down. I didn't want to see Angela's face right then.

"I'm sorry, Bella," her voice was quiet and tentative. "Did he try and contact you, say why?" I just shook my head. How could I tell her that we had no means of contacting each other? That, other than seeing him in person, we didn't communicate at all?

"Maybe there was a reason, he could have had something come up or a family emergency." Angela talked on and I felt my spirits lift at my friend. She wanted so badly just for me to be happy. And all I wanted was Edward. What she was saying could make sense; Edward had never let me down before. Maybe there had been a problem with his family, I remembered how he spoke about them, and he cared so much. He'd be there if they needed him.

Suddenly another thought burst into my mind, what if he'd had trouble with one of the wolves? I felt shame rise as I realized that very well could be true, here I'd been worrying about me and how I felt and Edward could have been involved in another fight, he could have been hurt.

"Plus, didn't you say this wasn't your normal day for meeting?" Angela's voice broke through my thoughts and I turned towards her. "Maybe he had to miss yesterday but knew he could make it up to you on Saturday." I smiled a little at that. Angela's words made more sense than what I'd feared. Edward wouldn't just disappear. We still had Saturday.

"You're right, there's still Saturday." I smiled and Angela beamed back at me. Edward would have his chance to explain on Saturday and if he didn't show . . . well, then I'd be worried. And even though I'd been waiting for him to say something, admit who he really was, if he didn't show then I'd have to go back to my research. There was still that mystery of the sold cabin, plus the term Jake had used, 'cold ones'. I knew it all linked together and if Edward didn't show I'd just have to hunt him down myself.

XOX

A/N – Hope you liked it; let me know by reviewing, lol. Next chapter should be up fairly quickly, so see you soon.