A/N: I've had this idea running through my head a lot lately. I was skimming through the Twilight saga for about the seventh time (seriously) when I thought about how Edward would react if he found out Bella was a smoker. Edward is so protective of her and it made me wonder what he would think of her.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. I am in no way encouraging smoking or any other seriously fatal habits.
Cigarettes and Confrontations
Bella's Point Of View
I inhaled deeply, sucking in the bitter yet satisfying smoke of my cigarette. I slowly exhaled a cloud of smoke into the crisp, cool night air. I watched as the white-gray smoke swirled around in the breeze over the dark yard. The only source of light was the dim glow of the floodlight hanging overhead on the side of Charlie's house.
It felt good, immensely so, to be able to do this without interruption. Charlie had long since gone to bed so I had no worry of being caught. Edward, who normally spent his nights here with me was off hunting with his brothers. It had been a little over a week since I was able to smoke last. The only time I would allow myself the comfort a cigarette could give was when my beloved Edward was nowhere near.
I knew Edward would not be pleased if he were to find me here like this. He'd gone to medical school enough times to know the dangerous effects of smoking. I knew them too. Honestly though, I was too far gone to care.
As I came to the end of the cigarette, I flicked it to the slightly damp ground before smashing it under my foot, twisting my ankle slowly to make sure the sparks were completely put out.
I pulled out a new cancer stick from my nearly empty pack, setting it gently between my lips. I set spark to my lighter and cupped a hand around the open flame to avoid the cool breeze putting it out. Sucking in a lungful, I immersed the tip of the cigarette in the flame. Placing the lighter back in my jacket pocket, I rose my hand to my mouth, gingerly holding the cig between my middle and forefinger.
I took a long drag, reveling in the feel of the thick smoke swirling around in my lungs. I pushed the smoke back out through my nose, grimacing at the burn it left. Leaning back against the side of the house, I thought back to how my smoking habit came about.
Three months. That's how long my reason for living has been gone; three months. When he left, he took my heart and soul with him, leaving only an empty shell of a person in his wake. For those past three months I'd been living in a—as the doctor described—catatonic state. I went through the motions of life on autopilot. I kept up on chores, completed homework, and even continued to cook dinner for Charlie and myself every night. I hardly talked to anyone. I didn't have anything to say. I barely slept and I only ate to keep Charlie from getting too worried.
After school I called Charlie to tell him I wouldn't be home until later. Then I began to drive. I didn't know where I was going or what I would do when I got there, wherever 'there' was. That was how I ended up here at this gas station on the outskirts of Port Angeles. I didn't have any credit cards so I had to go into the little convenient store to pay. There wasn't a long line so it didn't take me long to get to the cash register.
"I'm at number three," I told the man behind the counter, handing him the money. While he put the money away in the register, I glanced at the wall behind him. There were a series of rows packed with every type of cigarette you could think of. I knew smoking was bad. With a police chief as a father, that sort of thing was bound to be engraved into your mind. But still I was curious.
Don't do anything stupid or reckless, a velvet voice sounded in my ear as I remembered the last thing I promised my love.
Well you're not around now, are you? I thought to myself. I made up my mind and had to act fast before the cashier moved on to the next customer.
I scanned through the different brands before picking one randomly.
"And a pack of Ace cigarettes, too, please," I said, almost sounding like a question. He looked up from the register drawer at me, giving me a funny look, then asking for identification. I silently thanked God that I was eighteen and legally old enough to buy them.
After showing him my ID, he turned to the wall and picked up a pack of Ace, exchanging it with my money.
I quickly finished filling the truck with gas and headed out on the highway back home. Before pulling out on the highway, though; I stopped the truck on the shoulder of the road. Luckily, an old lighter was still stored in the glove compartment from when this truck had been owned by Billy Black. I rolled down the windows as far as possible to give the smoke an outlet before lighting up the first one in the pack.
I inhaled and almost immediately exhaled. I started coughing uncontrollably, my body trying to expel the deadly fumes. Despite my body's warning, I sucked in another lungful and held it in for as long as possible.
After many tries I was able to smoke like a pro. Somewhere around the third cigarette, I started crying, tears streaming silently down my face. I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the fact that I had resorted to smoking. Or the thought of Charlie being upset if he were to find out. Or maybe because I knew that if he were still here then I wouldn't even be doing this. If he had never left I would have looked at the wall of cigarettes and not thought anything of it, not tempted in the slightest to try one.
I threw the half finished cigarette out the window along with the almost-completely-full pack. I turned the key in the ignition and pulled away from the curb.
I silently promised myself that I would never smoke again.
I began to laugh quietly as I though back on that. Obviously I did not keep good on that promise. When I made it, I fully intended on it keeping it. But the next day I overheard Lauren making a snide comment about me and I needed some sort of anger release. I didn't even think as I drove to the nearest continent store to buy a new pack.
"I fail to see what's so funny."
I gasped and stood up straight, no longer leaning on the house. My startled gaze landed on Edward's form standing merely a couple yards from me. His outraged voice matched his face. His cold eyes narrowed on the cigarette I held at my side.
"Edward…" I trailed off, not knowing what to say. His glare shot back up to my face and his eyes bore into mine. I quickly looked away from his heated stare and down to my feet. "What are you doing back so early?" I asked lamely.
"Bella, don't try to avoid this," Edward growled, agitated. He took the cigarette from my hand and threw it to the ground, stomping it out. He closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose with his thumb and forefinger. "What. Are. You. Doing?"
"I was just trying it," I lied. His eyes snapped open to glare at me again, seeing right through the fib.
"Just trying it?"he mimicked me. "Bella, you know how bad those are for you. How can I protect you if you are constantly putting yourself in harm's way? I mean, really, what where you thinking?"
"I don't know—I wasn't." That was one truth. When the smoking has first started, I wasn't thinking. Not at all. I did it on a whim with almost no though behind it.
"Damn right, you weren't." I think Edward and I were both surprised when he said that; he almost never swore, especially when he was talking to me. His shock was soon masked by his anger. "How long has this been going on for, Bella?"
Somehow he always asked the questions I did not want to answer. How could I tell him that it started as a result of him leaving? I knew the answer to that: I couldn't. It would hurt him too much.
He must have noticed something in my facial expression fore his glare went away. His features softened as he looked at me and his eyes melted into a warm butterscotch.
"Bella…" His voice was much sweeter now, gentle. He took a few steps toward me until he was close enough to touch. "How long has this been going on for?" Edward asked again, much quieter now.
I looked up into his light, topaz eyes while mine filled with salt water. As much as I knew the truth would hurt him, he wasn't really giving me much of a choice.
"Bella, sweetheart, you know you can tell me anything." His velvet voice was merely a whisper as he stared concernedly into my eyes. I knew I had to tell him the truth.
"Three months after you…left," I murmured, my voice cracking on the last word. "I wasn't thinking. It was stupid. So stupid. I just wanted to feel something." The tears leaked from the corners of my eyes as I looked up at him.
"Oh, Bella," Edward moaned in a pained voice as he looked down at me. His hand came up to rest on the back of my head and pull me to his chest. His other arm wrapped around my waist, pressing me to his strong form. I leaned all my weight onto him and slid my arms around his torso. I sobbed into his chest and his hand began rubbing soothing circles onto my back. He started to sway back and forth trying to calm me down. I don't know how long we stayed there like that, but after a while I looked up at his face as he hugged me.
He smiled a pained smile at me and ran his fingers through my hair. He leaned his head down to kiss my forehead and I closed my eyes. I was beginning to feel tired, the crying had worn me out. Edward seemed to sense this as he scooped me up into his arms and ran indoors and upstairs to my room. He gently set me on the bed before going through my dresser to pick out my favorite pair of pajamas.
I quickly went to the bathroom to change and brush my teeth to rid my breath of the smoky smell. I found Edward laying on my bed when I reentered my room and I tiredly climbed on the bed next to him. He smiled at me and kissed my forehead again before getting up.
I looked at him questionably, watching as he walked over to my jacket hanging on the back of my desk chair. He reached into the pocket and extracted the pack of Ace Cigarettes. He shook the pack, gauging how many were left before slowly shaking his head and putting it into the pocket of his own jacket laying by windowsill.
"Promise me you'll quit." Edward demanded quietly as he climbed back into bed with me.
"Will you help me?" I asked his, looking into his soft amber eyes.
"I'll be there every step of the way," he promised. He kissed the tip of my nose and then my lips.
As always, I got a little carried away and he pulled back, chuckling. I rested my head down on his chest as he began drawing patterns on my back with his fingertips. My arm lazily draped across his torso as I yawned heavily. His chest began to slightly vibrate as he hummed my lullaby, lulling me to sleep.
"'Night, love you." I mumbled sleepily with a sigh as I began to drift off.
"Goodnight, sweetie. I love you," he whispered before resuming his humming. I began to fall into a deep sleep to the sound of his voice. But before I was too far into dream land, I made myself a promise. With Edward's help, I will never smoke again.
And this time I really intended on keeping it.
A/N: And there you have it folks! Once again, I am not trying to encourage smoking. I hope you enjoyed reading it just as much as I enjoyed writing it
Don't forget to review!