Hello…anyone out there. I am so sorry for the loonnggg break but I am back!
I want to give a HUGE thank you to my darling Beta! Yuki Sakura-Chan! She's my girl and I HEART her immensely! She polishes each chapter up to shine just for you! Except this chapter, all the mistakes are mine!
It should be clear by now that I don't own anything...but it sure does own me!
But it was Edward that filled my thoughts as I drifted off to sleep, his green eyes, sweet smile and the way his lips felt against mine.
The morning' came without a fuss and I woke to find myself in a strange bed and room. I sat up with a start when all the happenings of yesterday came back to me. Sleep had done its job at calming my guilt and repairing' a little of my sore heart. I know that I was never going' to fully be okay with just running' out on my family but I knew deep down that I had done what was best for me.
A soft knock on my door interrupted my morning' thoughts.
"Yes," I called out in a sleep grabbled voice.
"Isabella," the disembodied voice said. "This is Kate, dear. I wanted to let you know that breakfast is ready."
"Thank you, Ms. Katie," I replied after quietly clearing my throat. "I'll be down in a moment."
"Take your time, dear," she said quickly. "Could you come to the door for a moment?"
"Of course," I said hopping' out of bed and straightening the night dress that she had borrowed me. I opened the door to her round smiling' face.
"Did you sleep well?" she inquired, her grin still in place."
"Yes, ma'am," I replied politely. "Thank you for putting' us up for the night."
"Nonsense, anything for Edward," she said still smiling. "I took the liberty of takin' your dress last night and giving' it a good wash and hanging'"
"Oh," I said looking' back at the chair that I had left it draped across the night before. "Thank you."
"You're welcome, dear," she said as she handed my newly cleaned dress back to me. "Oh and also, Edward wanted me to let you know that he had to go into town for a few things and that he would be back shortly."
I tried and failed to keep the surprise and fear from my face.
"Don't worry, he'll be back in an hours' time," she said gently. "He said y'all were lacking' a few items for your journey."
"Of course," I said in reassurance, but I couldn't help but worry that Edward had decided that I was too much to take on right now and left me here safe and sound until I was found. He probably was relying' on Ms. Katie's good graces and hospitality to keep me warm and fed until my Pa came around. I could do chores for her but I had no way of sending' word to my Pa and how would I even explain myself?
I could feel the bile and nerves start churning in my stomach.
"You look positively green, Isabella," Ms. Katie said, reminding' me suddenly that she was still standing' there.
I franticly searched my thoughts for an excuse, it's not like I could just up and tell her what had me looking' sick.
"I must be a tad bit hungrier then I realized," I lied weakly, but by the way her face relaxed at my words she must have bought it.
"Well, get dressed and come on down for some chow," she said with a laugh as she turned on her heel to go.
I hurried around the room after she left, making' sure to clean up after myself. It didn't take much to tidy up, just pulling' the blankets back up into place and good shake to the pillow to fluff it back up. But the normal routine of the tasks helped ease my mind about Edward running' into town.
I quickly shed the too large night dress and slipped the clean one back on. It smelled faintly of flowers and soap. I quietly made my way into the bathroom that I shared with Ms. Katie.
I made quick work of dipping' my hands into the full basin of water and splashing' it onto my face. Thankfully Ms. Katie had left me some fresh towels to clean up with. After drying' my face off, I glanced into the small mirror that she had hanging' up. My eyes were still a little red around the edges but there wasn't too much evidence of my late night cry left over.
My hair looked like a bird had nested into it though. I didn't have much an of option without fully submerging it into water, so I grabbed the hard prickled brush that was laid out by the basin and quickly brushed through the knots, once it brushed through I divided it out into three parts and braided it tightly, securing it with my leftover pale blue ribbon from yesterday.
When I had no other option but to face the rest of the house, I made my way back to the dining' room. Thankfully the Inn was laid out in an open and flowing' fashion and I easily found my way back to the dining' room from the night before but unlike last night there were a few guests sitting' at the tables, drinking' coffee and takin' in breakfast.
I made my way to a small table in the corner, it felt strange to sit and wait to be waited on. I had never had such a luxury at home. I had been the first one up and sometimes the last one to bed for the night. I laid out our simple glass plates and metal utensils on our small but comfortable table. I filled the dishes with the food that I fussed over. It took everything not to stand up and ask Ms. Katie if she needed a hand but after her soft rejection last night I knew that she would tell me no again this morning'.
Breakfast passed uneventfully, a quick meal of ham and eggs. It was delicious and filling' but it sat cold and hard in my stomach when Edward still hadn't returned by the time Ms. Katie came to gather up my dishes.
"Edward should be back any moment," Ms. Katie reassured me as she stacked my empty plate on top of the one she was already carrying'. "You can make yourself comfortable in the parlor while you wait, if you would like."
She still had that same big smile on her face, making' her eyes scrunch up in the corners. "I have a few books to poke through in there."
"Thank you, ma'am," I said as I stood. "I think I'll do that."
"Just head back through the door you came in and take a right instead of heading' up the stairs, you can't miss it," she called over her shoulder as she headed back towards the kitchen.
I felt out of sorts, I wasn't one that had much idle time on my hands; I was use to hard work from the moment I rose to the moment that I lay back down again. I wanted nothin' more then to go offer my assistance in the kitchen, but I had a strong feeling' that my efforts would be for naught. Plus there was a strong chance that Laurie Ann was tucked away in there and I wasn't in the mood to deal with her dirty looks and snide remarks.
The parlor was easy enough to find and mostly empty besides the two gentlemen that were engaged in a game of chess by the only window that graced the small room.
I wandered slowly to the book shelf that sat opposite of the men, it held more books then I had ever seen before. Pa wasn't much of a reader, outside of the good book; I had never seen him read anything. I had a fuzzy memories of my Mama reading' to me, silly stories about a young girl and her horse. But those books had disappeared after she had passed and I was too heart sick then to ask what had happened to them.
Poor Abby had never had a story read to her, it made my heart clench to think of her sweet face. I hoped that Pa would be gentle with her, not force her to grow up too soon like I had, had to do.
Without paying much attention, I picked a book off the shelf and made my way to one of the overstuffed, green velvet chairs. I didn't plan to read, it wasn't one of my strong suits, but the feel of the book in my hands was comforting', giving' the impression that I was comfortable and not on edge. If only I could convince myself of that.
I just wanted Edward to be back.
And as if he was reading' my mind, the front door opened, sunlight spilling' across the foyer, only darkened by Edward's tall frame stepping' through the doorway.
He quickly blinked his eyes, adjusting' them to the darker foyer before they landed on me sitting' in the chair.
"Darling'" he greeted me with a small smile. "I was hoping' to back before you woke."
"I haven't been up long," I said with a smile, everything seemed right again now that he was back.
"I had to get a few things for our journey," he said, nodding down to the brown parchment wrapped packages in his arms.
He stepped closer to me then, so close that the packages poked me gently with each breath he took.
"You look lovely today," he said as a crooked grin caught his lips. "But I'm sorry that I didn't get to see you when you first woke up, hair still a mess and your face soft with sleep."
My breath caught in my throat slightly at his words and I couldn't help the blush that spread on my cheeks.
"I would think that you would have taken one look at me and ran as fast as your two feet could carry you," I replied softly before looking' up at him through my eyelashes.
"I don't think that would be possible," he breathed out before pressing' his lips to mine.
Our reunion kiss was short lived when the two men playing' chess by the window reminded us that they were still there by awkwardly clearing their throats.
"It seems we are not alone," Edward murmured as he pulled away.
"No, it seems we are not," I said with a small giggle, the blush spreading across my face again.
"To be young and in love again, huh Randy," the larger of the two men chortled as he wiped a thick hand across his glistening brow.
"I'll take the young part but I don't want no love again," Randy said with a saw like laugh. "Love about killed me last time."
"And she's still waiting' for you at home," the large man boomed out with a laugh, his meaty hand hitting the chess board in front of him causing all the pieces to go flying about.
"Ain't that the truth," Randy laughed, completely unfazed by their chess game being thrown about.
"What's going' on in here?" Ms. Katie's large frame bustled into the sitting' room.
"Sorry, Ma'am," the large man said, standing' up quickly from his seat. "I got a little excited and forgot my strength."
Ms. Katie's sharp blue eyes took in the surroundings quickly, darting over the men, the chess pieces on the floor before coming' to rest on Edward. The lines around her eyes relaxing slightly then.
It made me wonder if she was just as worried about Edward coming' back for me.
"Did you find everything you needed?" she asked him after a moment.
"I sure did," he said easily as he jiggled the brown package in his hands.
"Good, good," she said before turning' back to the men. "Excited or not, I expect every piece to be back on that board properly."
"Of course, ma'am," the large man said with a blush."
"Alright then," she said with a sigh. "I'm guessing you two will be heading out shortly."
It wasn't much of a question as it was a statement.
"Yes, ma'am," Edward answered her anyways. "I thought I might trouble you for a packed lunch and we should be set."
"I already have one made up for you," she said with a soft smile, her genuine care of Edward was obvious again. "I'll fetch it from the kitchen."
"I'm going' to get Bella situated and store these things away," He said as he reached out and grabbed my hand in his.
"I'll bring it out to y'all," she said as she made her way back towards the dining' room.
"Come on, Darling'" he said, giving' my hand a gentle pull.
I smiled shyly at the two gentlemen, as they nodded their goodbyes. Both were busy searching for the missing' chess pieces.
Edward's horse was tied up in front of the Inn. His head was dipped down, lazily chewing' on the sparse grass around the hitch.
"Come here, I'll give you a boost," he said with a smile. I eyed the saddle wearily, still feeling' the stiff soreness in my rump from yesterday. But now wasn't a time to fuss, so I gritted my teeth and took his help.
Once I was situated on the saddle, Edward made busy work of securing' the supplies he had bought.
"What is all that?" I asked curiously.
"This, my girl, is just few things to get us through for a few days," he said as he tucked it away in a saddle bag. "Some cured jerky and a water tin when we aren't close to a town or farm. Some cloths to wash up with and I got you a few pieces of ribbon for your hair."
My heart gave a good thump that he had thought of such a simple thing for me. No one outside of my family had ever bought me something before, if you didn't count the few food items that Michael had bought me at the fair.
"What's the blush for, Love," Edward asked, stopping' to take in my face. I didn't even realize that I had been blushing'.
"Outside of my Pa, no one has ever bought me something before," I said softly.
He looked stunned for a second before a small smile graced his face. "I plan on spoiling you every chance I get, darlin'. It's what you deserve."
If I thought I was blushing before, I'm not sure what to call what happened at his words. My heart expanded to fill every nook and cranny of my chest and I knew that leaving with Edward was the right choice, no matter the heartache that I felt at the prospect of never seeing my loved ones again. A half-life lived with Michael would never be worth not feeling this way.
Just as Edward gave a quick jerk to the saddle bag strap to make sure it was secure, Ms. Katie came out of the front door of her establishment with a large cloth bag in her arms.
"That looks like more than lunch," Edward chided as she handed him the full bag.
"Well, you know me," she replied with an impish grin. "I wouldn't want one of my favorite boys to go hungry and his lovely companion."
"I don't think I could ever repay your hospitality," Edward said as he started to secure the bag to the horse.
"Hush now," Ms. Katie chided him. "You bring those brothers around next time you're in the area and I'll let you work it off helping patch up my roof."
"Deal," Edward said without turning to look at her, his eyes stayed trained on the saddle bag. I knew his mind had drifted to Emmett and not knowing what fate had befallen his eldest brother.
"Alright, you two better get before the heat of the day is upon us," Ms. Katie said as she turned to go.
"Keep care of her," she called out suddenly. "You've got yourself a wonderful woman."
"I plan on it," Edward addressed her with a smile. A genuine one at that, replacing the sorrowful look that seemed to haunt his eyes since yesterday. "I'm going to make sure she never regrets choosing me."
And with that I knew that he wasn't only addressing her but me also.
"See you all again," she called over her shoulder as her full frame entered her small inn.
"Bye," I called out to now empty doorway.
"You ready darlin'?" Edward asked as he stealthily pulled himself up in front of me, settling in.
"Yes," I said as I rested my head against his back and wrapping my arms around his trim waist.
"We have a long journey ahead of us, but I know where we will be safe," He called out as we took off in a steady trot.
"Where's that?" I asked, knowing that I would probably have no idea anyways having never been out of Forks before.
"I have an Uncle that lives Bellingham, that will take us in," he said with assurance.
I felt a small twinge of unease at the thought of his family; if they were anything like his brothers I was a little unsure.
"Won't the law look there?" I asked honestly.
"No, Carlisle is my mother's brother," he admitted. "The law don't know nothing about him. My Pa didn't keep much in touch with him after my mother passed, but my brothers and I would visit on occasion."
This information made me feel marginally better.
"There's only one thing," he said after a moment.
"What's that?" I called out over his shoulder.
"Carlisle and his wife, Esme, are real proper folk," he said looking back at me causing the horse to slow a bit.
"Okay," I replied curiously, not sure where he was going with this.
"Well, this isn't the way I wanted to do this but I guess nothing seems to be going the way I had hoped," he babbled on.
"I don't understand."
"Well, what I am trying to say is that we're going to have to get hitched before we show up at their door," he blurted out.
"Hitched?" I repeated dumbly.
He yanked the horse to a quick stop in the middle of the road and turned the best he could to me.
"Yes, hitched Bella," he said with a smile. "I want to marry you."
Hi! So, yes I did decide to leave it there…for now…I am working on the next chapter as we speak..promise. Life got a little hectic. Both of my kiddos are back in school and everything seems to be a little easier Anticipate quicker updates from here on out…I would love if you would leave a review and let me know what y'all think