Stephenie Meyer owns the Twilight Characters
I was surprised when the doorbell rang, who rings the fucking doorbell anymore? People in Forks knock. I walked slowly from the kitchen, purposely making the offender wait. Just as I reached for the doorknob it rang again. "What the hell," I muttered to myself.
I opened the door with as much attitude as I could muster to find a good looking stranger looking hesitantly back at me. I automatically tensed and waited for him to speak.
"Hi, I was told you have a room I could rent," he said sounding nervous.
"And who told you?" I pressed, wondering exactly where this good looking foreigner came from.
"At the courthouse," he said quickly and put forth his hand for me to shake. "I'm Edward Cullen; I'm trying a case and I need a place to stay."
I smiled after looking him up and down and nodded with my head to follow me outback. We walked to the garage and I turned to find him looking at my ass. I raised my eyebrows and he only smiled with an adorable crooked grin. I headed up the stairs in front of him and knew he was taking advantage of the view so I walked slowly to accommodate him.
We entered a narrow hallway and I pointed to a door on the left. "That's my room, this one will be yours," I said, and unlocked the door.
"You're not a Swan?" he asked, and I couldn't tell which answer he wanted to hear.
"I'm Bella Swan."
"And you live over the garage?" he asked with a surprised tone.
"I'm twenty-five Mr. Cullen; would you have me stay in my childhood room?"
"Are you a student?" he asked to insult me further.
"Yes, I'm home for the summer, but I am getting my masters in Library Science."
His mouth fell open and he laughed loudly. "People actually aspire to be a Librarian?"
"Well, I dated a man named Dewey, and he was such a good fuck I fell in love with the whole decimal system," I said trying to sound serious. He gave me an odd look and I finally motioned toward the room. "Do you want it or not?"
"Oh, yeah, I won't be around much and my hours will be irregular, is that okay?"
"I'm not your mother Mr. Cullen, comeas you see fit," I said, and turned to leave.
"Is there any paperwork I need to fill out?" he asked sounding so lawyery.
"You're in Forks; unpack your shit and show up for dinner at six to meet my parents." When I got to the door I turned to look at him with a smile. "Welcome to wonderland, Mr. Cullen, you just fell down the rabbit hole."
I walked outside and stood on the small balcony overlooking the yard and the dense forest behind the house. I pulled out a cigarette and took a long drag before tossing it to the wet ground. It rained pretty much every day. I hated this town and everyone in it. It pulled on me like a weight toward my grave. Nothing ever changed and the sameness drove me insane.
The door opened and Mr. Cullen stepped onto the balcony with me, pulling out his own cigarette. Now he was something different and I leaned against the railing and looked at him.
"What?" he finally asked.
"You can't smoke in the room, my mother's a health freak," I explained.
"Ah, now I see why you live out here," he laughed and I gave him a coy smile.
"And other reasons," I said softly and his eyes locked on mine. "I'm pretty vocal during sex."
It didn't faze him at all and he quickly responded, "So, if I hear you calling on God, I shouldn't assume you are praying?"
"You never know, the forests around here hold a lot of secrets Mr. Cullen. Demons can come at anytime."
"Edward," he said as he continued to stare. "I'm only Mr. Cullen in court. So, are these personal demons or the kind that find their way into everyone?"
I pushed off the railing and headed down the stairs as he stayed to smoke. "You'll see, Edward. You will curse the day you ever drove into Forks, I can guarantee it."
I knew he wouldn't take my warning seriously. He was from the city where your entire life revolves around a square mile radius. You shop by your house, you attend a church close by, and you drink at a local bar, but city people think their lives are so much fuller because of the size of the population. In Forks you are surrounded by the dark forests, the raging sea, and the small communities dotting the area. It was the perfect place for secrets.
He remained in his room the rest of the day and I informed my mother of the new tenant. She went upstairs to introduce herself and make sure he was invited to dinner. I didn't tell her I had already invited him. I didn't tell her we even had a conversation. It wouldn't have mattered anyway. She only would have apologized for anything I said and made the whole evening uncomfortable.
I got my small carving knife and sat in the small art studio in the back of the garage and began cutting some leather. I was working diligently when I heard Edward coming down the stairs. I looked up at the clock to see it was dinner time. I felt a sense of anticipation for the display I was sure would be set up for Edward's behalf. We would be the perfect God fearing family, taking in the stranger to break bread with. I chuckled and walked over to the large sink to wash my hands.
I entered the house to find my father, still dressed in his police uniform, for what purpose I wasn't sure. My mother was wearing a fucking apron, like June Cleaver, as she set bowls of food onto the table. I shook my head and sat at my usual spot.
"Are you settled in?" I asked Edward, and he nodded politely.
"It is a very comfortable room," he observed, and I knew he was playing the game too.
My mother finally sat and folded her hands in front of her. "Who would like to say grace?" she asked, like it was a regular occurrence at our table. My father turned pale at the thought she may call on him, so I quickly spoke up.
"I would love to pray," I said, and without waiting for everyone to bow appropriately I launched right into the offering. "God, bless the food, which seems to be plentiful for some reason today. Bless the family residing here, the Swan's, in case you can't remember. And of course our new guest, who has no idea what is headed for him. Amen."
Edward chuckled and my mother glared at me in anger. I reached for a bowl of mashed potatoes and slopped a mountain onto my plate before passing them to Edward. My father looked at him for a moment and finally asked, "Are you here to defend Jacob Black?"
My mouth went dry and I tried to stop my hands from shaking. Of course a new lawyer would be here for the biggest trial this county has ever seen.
"Bella you know Jake quite well," my father said, and Edward turned to look at me.
"Sure, we grew up together, but I haven't seen him in quite awhile," I said before stuffing a roll into my mouth.
"I met with Jake this morning," Edward said, and I tried to act nonchalant and uninterested. I felt like he was watching me and I didn't like it. He didn't know a thing about me and I didn't like the inference that I was lying to him. Of course I was totally lying to him, but I didn't like him acting knowingly.
My mother felt the need to explain and I sighed loudly as she spoke. "Bella is an artist and Jake helped her get her things in stores in Santa Fe and Albuquerque."
"An artist?" Edward said, and raised his eyebrows at me.
"Oh yes, she has sold sculptures all over the country and her jewelry is so unique," my mother bragged.
"I'm amazed you find the time, what with the Library Science masters program and all," he said with a slight smirk on his face.
I took hold of my plate and stood to leave. I leaned over to speak into his ear as I passed, "You just cost yourself the best sex you ever had."
"I seriously doubt that," he laughed, and I felt intense anger rising, not sure if he was insinuating he had better or I would end up giving in to him.
I tossed my plate in the sink and left the house. I pulled out a cigarette and headed back to my studio. I threw on a pair of coveralls and lit the welding torch to work on an iron sculpture. I was only aware of the hissing from the welder and when I felt a hand on my shoulder I jumped in fear.
Edward was standing there with a plate of food and held it out for me. "I'm sorry; I didn't mean to make you lose your appetite."
"Your opinion is overinflated," I assured him, but he held the plate closer and I finally relented and took it.
"So if I wanted to get to know the locals, where would I go?" he asked, and I knew he was digging for information on Jake, not looking for company.
"Sam's place," I told him. "It's a bar on the 110 highway. I could take you if you like?" I asked him.
"Yeah, that would be great. What time would you like to go?"
"We'll leave here around ten," I said, and turned back to my sculpture.
I wasn't worried about people telling Edward about my relationship with Jake, nobody knew we were ever together. I hadn't gone near the jail since he had been arrested for the murder of Mr. Banner. I was content to sit back and let justice take its course.
I showered and dressed in a tight shirt and a short skirt with a pair of moccasin boots I had designed. Edward was waiting on the deck, smoking a cigarette, dressed in tight jeans and a v neck tee. He looked hot and I was determined to make him work a little for my attention.
We drove in silence to the club and as soon as I walked through the door I parted from him. He headed to the bar and sat on a stool next to some other Quileute men so I headed to the dance floor. Jessica ran out to the floor to join me and we danced for close to an hour. I was sweating and thirsty so I headed to the bar for some club soda.
Edward was now sitting at the side of the bar and I caught his eyes staring at me. He raised his glass and I gave him a very slight smile before looking away.
"Hey Sam, can I have a club soda?" I asked, and watched him grab a glass and come back to where I was standing.
"Your drinks are being paid for this evening," Sam said, and my hand froze in mid air before taking the glass.
I looked over at Edward and he raised his glass to me. I took mine from Sam's hand and headed to the end of the bar and planted myself on the stool next to Edward.
"Just so you know, I don't drink alcohol, so you won't be able to get me drunk to get anywhere with me," I said as I nudged his shoulder with mine.
"Yeah, and you don't smoke either," he laughed and I felt my heart skip a beat. He was too observant and it had me shaken.
Anyone could look down from the balcony and see all the cigarettes with one draw taken tossed around, but who does that? I suddenly felt a bit exposed and had to admit the guy had me freaked out.
"So, have you heard all the secrets from the interesting citizens of Forks?" I asked and then took a drink of my club soda.
"I'm hearing quite a bit, who's Leah Clearwater?" he asked, and I tried not to show any reaction.
"Shouldn't your client talk to you about who he beds?"
"I just want to talk to her before I see Jake again; do you know where she lives?" He was watching me closely and I really wished I had a glass of whiskey.
"God, you're such an idiot," I said shaking my head. "It's a small town; you don't need me pointing things out."
He didn't respond and simply watched me for a moment. I wanted to take another sip from my glass but I was afraid my hand would be shaking too much. He finally said, "I'm ready to leave whenever you're ready."
I stood and walked in front of him out of the club and to his car. He handed me the keys since he had been drinking and I chuckled at the thought of how much my father would like him. I wanted to be done with Edward Cullen, regardless of how cute he was, and felt he was here to bring nothing but chaos to our small town.
We pulled into the driveway and when I shut off the engine and held out his keys he took my hand instead. "I want to ask one question," he said, and I instantly pulled my hand away from his. "Did you know Mr. Banner?"
"It's a small town, everyone knows fucking everybody," I said as I opened the door and climbed out of the car.
He quickly exited from his side and came around the front to block my retreat. "What is it about the man nobody is telling me? I'm getting a weird vib and nobody admits the guy has any faults. A perfect man doesn't get murdered in his sleep for no reason. He wasn't robbed, only…"
He suddenly stopped talking and I didn't ask what he was holding close to the vest, I simply pushed him out of my way and continued up the stairs. He ran after me and quickly added, "I need an assistant, do you know anyone willing to take notes and assist me with errands?"
I turned to face him and wondered if this was the break I was looking for. This would get me into the jail and up to date on what evidence they had against Jake. I watched his eyes as the bore into mine, trying desperately to see what I was trying so hard to keep hidden. He looked…frustrated at my cold exterior and I actually relaxed a bit.
"I can help you, I have the librarian experience after all," I teased.
He looked me up and down and asked, "Do you have decent clothes for court?"
"You mean crotchless panties, right?" I asked speaking in a coquettish voice.
He grinned widely and I noticed for the first time how he hung onto the railing due to the drinks he had been served. "Absolutely," he laughed.
"Listen up, legal eagle," I said, and took a step closer to him. "I'm going to school your ass. Judge Baker is a right winged conservative, he isn't happy if he doesn't lock someone away for life at least once a year. Judge Parrish is a letch and has a thing for erotic photography. Judge Bolton is fair but doesn't put up with any games the defense wants to pull. Those are your audience counselor, choose wisely."
I left him standing there trying to understand what I had told him. He wasn't used to ordinary people knowing so much about the lives of the judges, but this was Forks, and he was out of his element. He didn't grasp that everyone in town knew why Mr. Banner was killed. We also know Jake was innocent, but everyone kept quiet, because that was what they were supposed to do. The only thing nobody knew was exactly who the killer was, and the possibility Edward would find out had everyone terrified.
The following morning Edward knocked on my door and I yelled for him to come in. He opened the door slowly and peeked in to find my room looking just like his. He walked over to the bed and I moved my arm to look at him.
"I need to go to the jail; can you be ready in half an hour?"
"I thought you needed to see Leah first?" I said and his eyes widened.
"You'll take me to her?" he asked.
"Dress in jeans," I said, and pulled myself up. I was wearing the same shirt from the night before and a pair of panties. I could feel his eyes on me as I stopped in the small kitchenette to start some coffee. He quickly left and I walked into the bathroom. I looked at myself in the mirror. I stared at the eyes I no longer recognized and wondered how I ended up like this.
I was the only child of the second grade teacher and the chief of police. I had everything I ever wanted but nothing I truly needed. Nobody noticed the subtle changes in me over the years. It was all a part of growing up, I could understand how one over indulged little girl wouldn't be noticed, but when the entire fucking sixth grade changed, someone should have noticed.
I showered and dressed before pouring a cup of coffee and opening my door to wait for Edward. I could hear him talking on the phone but I didn't listen, he didn't have any information at this point. He walked into my room wearing button up jeans and a sweater. He would stick out on the reservation but I let it go.
We drove and chatted about the weather and the size of the massive forest but nothing personal or about Jake's case. I pulled in front of the Clearwater home and asked Edward to wait in the car. He climbed out but stayed leaning against the fender, smoking a cigarette.
I knocked loudly and Leah answered the door. "You're on," I said quietly, and nodded toward Edward.
"Oh shit," she replied, and walked outside to stand by the car. Her arms were folded and she looked tense.
Edward reached in his briefcase and handed me a pencil and pad so I could take notes. I knew he was testing me to see how thorough I could be. I kept my head down and wrote everything they said.
"Are you Jake's girlfriend?" he asked her.
"I'm one of them," she answered.
"When did you see him last?"
"When Charlie pulled him out of my bed and arrested him," she said angrily, and Edward looked a little shocked.
He looked at me and I could tell it took a lot for him to turn his attention back to Leah. "Did he ever say anything about Mr. Banner?" Leah and I both laughed.
"Yes, he did," she said. "He said the same thing everyone else said. They guy was weird and he gave him the creeps."
"What was weird about the man?"
"He taught sixth grade, but he spoke to kids as if they were in kindergarten. He used baby talk to communicate; I say that is pretty weird."
"Would Jake have a reason to kill Mr. Banner?" he finally asked her outright.
"You would have to ask Jake, I don't know what goes through his head. He managed to sleep with another woman and I don't even know who she is, so you see, we didn't share much with each other."
"Are you willing to testify on his behalf?" he asked her and she nodded. I closed the steno pad and climbed into the car thinking the conversation was over. I was stunned Edward walked her to the house and they continued to speak. I was sure he would yell at me for missing the notes, but he seemed relieved I was out of hearing range.
When he finally came back to the car I was nervous. He didn't say a word and I wasn't going to appear curious. We drove to the jail and I saw Angela on the phone. She was the dispatcher for the Forks police department. I walked over to say hello.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, and gave me a polite hug.
"I'm Mr. Cullen's scribe," I laughed. "He's Jake's lawyer."
Her eyes moved slowly to look at Edward and I could see her fear all over her face. "Ang," I said to get her attention. "You better get back to work." She swallowed and finally turned back to the phone system.
I followed Edward into the interrogation room and waited for Jake to be brought inside. Edward looked at me with piercing eyes and asked, "Who is Jake sleeping with?"
"I'm pretty sure my father put him in his own cell, but I can't be certain," I teased, and Edward looked angry. The door opened at that moment and Jake came in wearing shackles. He nodded at Edward and looked at me with shock.
"Hey, Bella, why are you here?"
I looked at the officer removing the shackles and spoke hatefully. "Seriously Dan, fucking shackles, where is he going to run?"
"It's policy, Bells," he replied dryly and I shook my head in disgust. Forks tried so hard to be a city when all it would ever be is a Podunk town in the middle of the forest. I opened the steno pad and wrote the time and date, trying to find any excuse not to look at Jake.
Edward opened his briefcase and pulled out a small recorder. I didn't know why he wanted me to attend if the was just going to record everything. I felt there was another reason he wanted me here, maybe it was just to see Jake's reaction?
"Did you know Mr. Banner?" Edward asked.
"Yes," Jake answered quickly.
"How, you attended school on the reservation?"
"I had seen him on the beach several times. I knew a lot of kids from town; we would hang out together during the summer months. He would walk along the beach late in the evening and cry."
"Cry?" Edward repeated.
"Yeah, loudly, he would walk with his hands in his pocket and cry."
"Did anyone ask him about it?"
"I don't know, I didn't," Jake said, and I glanced up at his face. He had a slight smile as if he was enjoying the entire process. He didn't have anything to worry about, there was no evidence against Jake and the only reason they arrested him was a neighbor identified his motorcycle parked on the street that night.
"Who were you seeing that night, Jake?" Edward asked with a sigh of frustration.
"No one, I was riding my bike and a rock kicked up and hit me, giving me a spasm in my calf. I parked the bike and took a long walk to work it out."
Edward sat back and crossed his arms. "I promise to leave her off the stand, but I need you to know the truth."
Jacob laughed loudly and leaned in to speak softly. "I went for a walk, and that was it."
Edward turned his attention to me and asked, "Did you have Mr. Banner as a teacher?"
"Yeah, everyone did, he was the science teacher," I responded and took the chance to look at Jake. He winked and my eyes darted back to Edward to see if he noticed.
"Why would he cry?" he asked.
I laughed and said, "He taught sixth grade that would make any grown man cry."
"The only evidence they have is a partial shoe print. The image of a crescent moon was on the sole. Do either of you know anyone who wears shoes like that?"
We both shook our heads and stared with a blank face causing Edward to stand and pace out of frustration. I took the opportunity to look at Jake again. He licked his lips and I had a hard time staying in my chair. The room remained quiet until Edward asked, "If I call Leah to the stand will she be a problem?"
"I don't see why she would," Jake offered, and Edward opened the door and called for the guard. Jake stood to be shackled again and I walked out in anger, refusing to watch the display.
I waited for Edward in the car and he was angry when he turned to me. "Cut the shit, you tell me what I want to know or I'll subpoena your ass and we'll chat in front of a judge."
"It would help if you tell me what you're talking about," I yelled back at him.
"What is going on around here? You keep telling me it's a small town and everyone knows everything, yet a dead man seems to have no friends or enemies. Everyone had him as a teacher but nobody knows a thing about him. Hell, Bella, I found out Emily is pregnant with Sam's baby and I don't know who in the hell Emily is."
I gasped loudly and screamed, "Emily is pregnant?"
"Shit," he yelled loudly and punched the dash board. "I was only making a point. I have people bending over backwards to tell me town gossip but nobody talks about the dead teacher."
"You don't have to prove who did it, you only have to prove Jake didn't. Why are you trying to solve the case, let my dad handle that part."
He started the car and drove to a pizza parlor. We sat silently in a booth, he was sulking and I was trying not to notice. His mind was racing and he was trying to put together some type of scenario that made sense. He finally looked at me and asked, "Was Mr. Banner gay?"
"He taught us about chlorophyll not human sexuality. How would I know if he was gay?"
"He wasn't married and he walked along the beach to cry. It had to be over a woman or a man, or possibly a lost child," he said throwing out possible scenarios.
I only stared at him hoping he didn't connect the dots in the right manner. Our pizza arrived and we ate in silence. I was feeling sick to my stomach and I wanted to get home. I could feel Edward watching me and I was growing angry.
"Why did you ask for an assistant?" I finally asked him.
"I need someone to take notes and bounce ideas off of," he said and I knew he was lying.
"Cut the shit," I said angrily.
"Why do you think I asked you?" he said, and I was too angry to think straight.
"You want someone to fuck," I said loudly.
A family turned to look at us and I noticed how Edward shoulders slumped with embarrassment. I felt like I was struggling to hold onto my façade and I stood to leave. It shocked me when Edward leaned forward and said harshly, "Sit down, I'm not finished talking. I never bought your tough ass act from the beginning."
I sat down and wanted to beg him to stop talking. I needed to think he believed me, because I couldn't bare it if I was so transparent. I worked very hard to stay buried deeply within myself and he showed up one day ago bringing everything out into the open.
He took a deep breath and finally asked the million dollar question. "Are you the one sleeping with Jake?"
I didn't answer; I only stared into his inquisitive face. "I'm wondering if Mr. Banner made a pass at you or maybe you were seeing both men."
I felt the tears begin to fall down my face. He thought I was sleeping with John Banner and the thought of it sickened me. I had tried so hard to make him see a tough woman who wouldn't do the whole relationship thing, but he never bought it. My chin was shaking and I forced myself to look away.
"They are only words, they hold no power over you, just say it," he prompted.
I used the very last bit of strength I had to look into his eyes and managed to speak softly, "I have no idea what you're talking about."
I vowed I would stay far from Edward Cullen. I assumed we were headed home but he turned down a different road and pulled up in front of Mr. Banner's house. I turned to look at Edward's face and he looked worried about me. I wasn't used to that look.
"Have you ever been here?" he asked and a shiver ran through me.
"It's a small town," I said for the hundredth time hoping to deflect his question, but he was a lawyer and not easily sidetracked.
"Have you been inside the house?" he clarified and I wondered for just a moment what he would say if I told him I could give him a perfectly drawn rendering of the entire house.
"Are you asking me if I killed Mr. Banner?" I asked in shock and grew very angry.
"No, I'm asking a yes or no question. Have you been here before?"
"I'm not your client, I don't have to tell you shit," I threw out and let my head fall back and my eyes close.
He opened the door and got out of the car. "Come on," he called and I hesitantly climbed out and followed him to the back of the house. He walked onto the deck and looked into the dark forest for a moment. "Where does the forest lead from this house?"
"Into more forest," I said sarcastically. I would have been happier if he wanted to go into the house. I would do anything to keep him from that forest.
"Didn't you tell me the forests were full of secrets?" he asked and walked toward the trees. I kept my eyes on him and followed to the edge of the forest. My heart was pounding wildly and I was afraid he would notice the fear rolling off of me.
I waited for him to return and noticed I could no longer see or hear him. I looked back at the house and then ran into the dark woods calling for Edward. I ran as the vines reached for my legs and the limbs slapped at my face. I was hyperventilating and fell to my knees as I wrapped my hands over my head for protection.
I felt someone touch me and I screamed as I swung at only air, "Don't touch me, I won't tell, I promise," I cried.
Strong arms circled me and pulled me to my feet. I tried to push away but he was still too strong. He pulled me to his chest and spoke into my ear, "Bella, it's Edward, I'm not going to hurt you," he said forcefully.
"I won't tell," I cried, and he pulled back to hold my face in his hands.
"You won't tell what?" he asked, and my eyes focused on who was standing in front of me.
I was shaking and terrified, but I managed to remain in control long enough to ask, "Can you take me home?"
"Sure," he said kindly, and wrapped his arms around me to help me walk back to the car. I didn't want him to be kind. I wanted him to think I was a freak and get as far away from me as possible. I wanted him out of his room and into a motel.
I felt my tears falling the whole way home as I drove. I stared out the window without speaking or looking at Edward. He held my hand warmly the entire way and I let him. I couldn't think clearly and I would rather do nothing than make a mistake and say the wrong thing.
When we got home I headed right to my room and he followed. I ignored his concern and climbed into bed and faced away from him. He sat down and rubbed my back softly. "I'm so sorry, Bella," he whispered and I closed my eyes in despair. I wasn't sure if he was putting the pieces together or not and I worried about Jake.
I refused to answer and wanted him to leave. I would deny everything tomorrow and make him think he was imagining the entire thing. He finally stood and walked slowly from the room. I remained in bed until the sun set and the dark of night spread across the town. I got out of bed and headed to the deck to smoke. I took a long drag and just as I went to drop the stick Edward reached out and took it from me.
"I'll finish it," he said and I let my eyes drop in shame for my earlier weakness. I decided to give my badass attitude another shot and hoped he would fall for it.
"Are you that desperate for something hot in your mouth?" I teased and he only stared back at me, so I added more. "I'm going to Sam's if you are interested. I can hook you up, if you want?"
"I'll go, but I don't need a hook up," he said, and sounded sad when he said it.
I walked away and dressed for the club. I planned on partying hard, without the alcohol of course, I couldn't chance losing control of my mouth. I put on extra make up and did my best to make Bella Swan disappear. When I knocked on his door his eyes widened at the sight of me.
"I'll be in the car," I said and walked away. He followed and I noticed how his usually tamed hair was wild and his button down shirt was open to reveal a white t-shirt. I drove quickly to Sam's and headed right to the dance floor. I was stunned when Edward followed.
I closed my eyes to dance and felt his hand rest lightly on my hip as he danced behind me. I was acutely aware of his body against me the entire time. I heard Jessica call out my name and I waved her over.
She looked at Edward with a 'guilty as hell' face and made an excuse to leave, but I grabbed her arm and pulled her close. I ran my finger down her arm and she looked between Edward and me with a panicked look.
"Dance with us," I said to her, and she shook her head adamantly. Edward looked like he was about to shit himself and sighed with relief when Jessica left.
"What was that about?" he asked.
"I'm sure she is wondering where I dug you up. I usually come here alone and I'm sure she was shocked to see you with me."
"Are you, I mean the two of you…"
I wanted to scream hallelujah. I finally had him confused and flustered. I felt a feeling of security run through me and I began to relax. I was buried deep within the shell I carried around publicly and it was a wonderful feeling, until the music slowed and when I headed off he took my arm and pulled me back.
"I have a couple of questions," he said as he pulled me in close so he could speak into my ear. A shiver ran through my body and I knew he was aware of it. I had control for less than a minute and he managed to flip the situation again.
When he didn't say anything I looked up in confusion to see him smiling knowingly. "I'm not on the clock; I just wanted to dance with a pretty woman."
"Yeah right," I said letting him know I wasn't stupid. He was digging for information and using me to gain it.
"I would love to see your artwork," he said, and I laughed. "I'm serious; I've never known an artist."
I nodded to a large sculpture of a wolf by the club door. "I made that for Sam when he opened the club."
"Seriously," he laughed, "That is amazing. Did you study art or does it come naturally?"
"I've never left Forks, I'm self taught," I admitted.
"Hey, Bella," Eric called out and came over to dance next to me.
"Hi Eric, Lauren," I said and hoped Edward wouldn't want to be introduced. I was wrong.
"Hi, I'm Jacob Black's lawyer, Edward Cullen," he said and held out his hand.
They both gasped and looked like they had seen a ghost before bolting from the club. Edward watched and suddenly noticed how everyone in the place steered clear of him. He looked directly at people and they all looked away without meeting his gaze.
"I think we should leave," he said softly against my head and I nodded. I was exhausted and happy to be away from the uncomfortable stares. He didn't drive back to the house but headed away from town on the highway.
"Where are we going?" I asked.
"I looked on Google and saw Mr. Banner's property ends at the beach. I just want to see if there are any trails. "
I felt like I was going to vomit and wanted to speak to Jake for strength. He would know exactly what to say to calm my nerves and help me pull this off. I remained quiet as Edward struggled to find the right turn offs and maneuver in the darkness. We pulled to a stop at the top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. All I could see was a mass of blackness stretching out forever.
"This is dangerous in the darkness," I told him, and he only smiled.
"I have a flashlight; I need to see what the killer would have seen."
I followed him out of the car and he shined a bright light into the dark trees. We walked slowly into the undergrowth and as we neared a group of large rocks I stopped and turned to look at Edward.
"Look at the gorgeous moon," I said trying to sound seductive. I leaned into his body and wrapped my arms around his waist.
"The moon," he said and pointed the flashlight to the ground. "Look for a print with a crescent moon."
"It rains every day," I pointed out. "Any prints would be long gone. And this doesn't even make sense. Why hike all this way when you could simple walk into his house and back out through his back door?"
"I'm missing something," he said with frustration.
"You're missing the romantic moon," I said, desperate to keep him from the large rocks.
He looked up through the trees toward the moon low in the sky, looking huge as it shined down on us. He turned to look at me and smiled. "You really want me to see the moon?" he asked with a raspy voice.
"And other things," I said with a smile and he pulled me against his body.
His hand ran down my back and settled on my ass. I swallowed and tried to keep my smile in place but it was beginning to shake. He moved his mouth to my neck and kissed me softly as he tightened his arms. I closed my eyes tightly and began singing various Queen songs in my head.
He kissed his way to my jaw and down to my mouth before pulling back to look at me in the darkness. "What's wrong?" he asked.
I felt the damn tears forming again and whispered, "Kiss me, please."
He gently ghosted his lips over mine and I tensed. "Are you okay?" he asked, and I repeated my earlier request asking him to kiss me.
"Bella," he said softly. "Are you afraid of me?"
"No, but I need you to kiss me. I need to know I can be kissed," I said with total desperation and causing him confusion.
"I did kiss you," he said softly as he stroked my cheek.
"Kiss me like you want me," I cried.
He pulled me tightly against his body and lowered his mouth firmly to mine. I cried against his mouth and pulled his hair harshly as I needed to feel him touching every part of me. We were panting and frantic with our movements. I felt my back rammed into a tree as he tried to hold me still so his hands could wander.
"If I tell you to stop, can you do it," I gasped as he kissed his way to my chest.
"You want me to stop?" he asked.
"Can you?" I pushed, and he stopped moving.
"Oh God," I cried out and pulled him back to my mouth. He pulled my shirt up and let his warm hands touch my heated flesh. My head fell back and I made a huge mistake. I moaned loudly and yelled, "Yes, Jake, I need you."
He pushed away and leaned his hands onto his knees as he gasped for his own air. I slid down the tree trunk taking large gulps of air. Edward turned to look at me and pointed angrily. "I asked you if you were sleeping with him. Why would you deny it, because of Leah?"
"I don't owe you any explanations," I yelled, and stood to leave.
"I don't fuck other men's women," he screamed, and I laughed loudly.
"I don't belong to anyone. You are the stranger here without a clue about anything, so don't act all hurt. It took you less than forty eight hours to begin thinking with your dick, you're no different than Banner."
I had just made my second mistake.