Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Warning: Story is rated NC-17 for language, teenage debauchery, depression and moments of self injury, and lemons.

Another one that has been waiting a long time for me to find my way back to, and I've managed to do it. Love to team AGW: mizzdee, tkegl, and burntcore.

Thank you for sticking with me. I have a firm outline in place and a desire to see this story reach its "aww" moment, right before I hit complete. Hope you enjoy!

Chapter 14 – The Start of Something

We still had three weeks before Thanksgiving, but Bella seemed to be moping more than usual. I didn't know what reason she might have to be moody, but I wasn't sure how to bring it up. There were still too many things that could be floating around waiting to explode; like the application thing, or the way we were when I first came home. I just had to have faith that she'd come to me when she was ready.

Another three days of classes came and went with nothing but this odd tension between us. It wasn't bad enough to keep us apart, but just present enough to bug the shit out of me.

Finally, she walked into my room on Friday evening and sat on my bed with two movie cases in her hands. "So, I was thinking that maybe we could finally finish My Girl. Maybe even watch My Girl 2?"

I looked at her, because that was the last thing I expected her to say, but hell, maybe it was what had been bothering her. The first time we tried to watch it, she lost it when it got to the part where Thomas J. died, so maybe this was more of her working through the things she had been pushing aside.

"Sure, do you want to start it from the beginning, or pick it up from where we stopped last time?"

"Start from the beginning," she told me. I set up the movie and climbed up next to her as the opening credits ran.

The first portion of the movie went on just like it had last time, but when we got to the moment in the woods Bella hugged me closely. She watched the screen, tears streaming down her cheeks, but to her credit, we continued the movie. I sat there beside her as she cried with Vada and watched her begin to move on.

When the movie ended, I got up to change discs while she ran to the bathroom. A few minutes later, she returned in her pajamas and I hit play, pulling her against me again. This movie was difficult for Bella in a different way, as Vada dealt with trying to discover who her mother was. There were a few times that Bella cried as Vada was left wondering just how much she'd been told about her mother's past.

"Do you think my dad has some big secrets out there that I don't know about?" Bella asked after the movie was over.

"I think it would be a lot harder for you to be that oblivious when you lived with him, but I'm sure there are things about Charlie you'll learn when you're older that will surprise you. He was a straight shooter, but you could always do your own little investigation if you wanted." I debated for a moment before I mentioned the easiest place to start. "Have you thought about going to your house and going through any of the things there?"

"I can't even go to his grave, there's no way I could handle being in the house yet. But it would be a good idea before I go off to college in the fall. Maybe you could help if you aren't off studying art somewhere."

"I'm not going to be anywhere but where you are this summer," I told her honestly. "Will you go out with me?"

"You mean, like a date?" she asked cryptically, into the dark of my bedroom.

"Yeah … a date."

"I'd love to. Where are you taking me?"

"I'm not telling you, but it's going to special. I have to figure it out. But we still have two weeks before Thanksgiving break, so I have plenty of time to come up with something."

"You want to do it over Thanksgiving break?" Again, she sounded worried and the distance was starting to creep in.

"I mean, we could do something simple like a movie, but I kind of wanted to make a whole day out of it."

"Can you try to plan it for next weekend? Because I'm going to my mom's for Thanksgiving."

"What? Why didn't you tell me?"

She sighed against me. "I was trying to get out of it. But she was adamant that I go and see her for either Thanksgiving or Christmas, and there was no way I was going to be with her for the whole break."

"Well, I'll miss you."

Bella chuckled. "It's only four days."

"I know, but I'm not a big fan of your mom, she did assault me the last time we were near each other." Bella had heard that story, kind of amazed that she'd actually done it, but that was Renee.

"Edward, if I'm going to get her used to the fact that I'm graduating and moving on, I have to give her a proper good-bye." Bella was starting to yawn, so I moved to end the conversation.

"Night, Bella."

"Night, Edward," Bella whispered back before she drifted off.

*WC*

The next week of school was busy with our teachers starting to cram things in before the break, but with a little maneuvering, I got the perfect date planned. I told Bella that Saturday was all ours, and as I waited by my car, my mind travelled over the plans for the day.

The sound of the front door slamming shook me from my thoughts as Bella skipped down the steps in jeans and a flannel, her tank top peeking out from behind the open buttons. I opened the door for her and then walked around the car. Thankfully, she waited until I started pulling out before she started to question me.

"You're really not going to tell me?"

That didn't take long.

"No, but we'll be in the car for a while, so if there's something you want to talk about, we have the time."

Bella sat quietly for a few minutes before she turned to me. "Tell me about Europe."

So that's what we did. For the entire ride I told her about the things I'd seen and the people I'd met. I described the hotels I'd stayed at and the amazing beauty of the old architecture and the natural surroundings. She asked me about the lessons and the different teachers I studied with. I promised her that we'd go there someday, and I'd show her the wonders of Europe and we could experience the parts I hadn't seen together. Thinking of our future like that was wonderful, because Bella was active in the planning … something she hadn't done in a while.

The four and a half hour drive ended as I pulled up the main road for the Apple Creek Orchard.

"We're going apple picking?" Bella's voice shot up as she saw the sign at the entrance.

"Yeah, I thought it would be fun, and we'll have plenty of fruit for tarts and pies and stuff. I have some sandwiches and stuff for lunch."

"Thank you, I haven't gone apple picking since I was little." Bella smiled as she looked around at the orchard.

We met up with Jenny, an employee who gave us the cart and buckets, and then we took our lunch and headed out into the orchard. For two hours, we ran around picking different apples and snacking on our meal, the smiles never leaving our faces.

Bella was open and laughing, more so than I'd seen since before Charlie died and I was happy to be the cause of it.

We drove home, joking and flirting the entire time. The ferry ride was my favorite part because I just got to make out with her. Her mom called near the end of our drive, but she ignored it so that we could enjoy our last hour before we got home.

My mom was waiting when we got home, and Bella and her went off to wash the apples so they could start their baking. Dinner would be done soon and I decided to pass the time by doing some homework.

Things were finally going our way, and I hoped that after she got back from her mom's we could continue with the progress we'd been making, because I was finally getting my Bella back.