Title: Waterfall Beginnings
Written for: Cullen Cousin
Written By: Bell 1 (aka Aunt Bell)
Summary/Prompt used: "A little fun, maybe a date gone wrong..."
Chapter Words Minus ANs: 12,554
AN: Unfortunately, I did not create these characters, but thanks to Stephenie Meyer I am allowed to play with them for my enjoyment and mold them to my imagination.
An extra special thanks to QuantumFizzx and hlsmith for their beta work. They are amazing! They were able to edit this chapter and return to me in just a few hours so I can still make the deadline. THANK YOU, LADIES! :D
I would like to thank each one of you who have left a review. I love EVERY one of them. Each one makes me smile. THANK YOU! :D
This is an extremely long chapter. Hope you enjoy. ;) Also there will be a very long AN at the end which includes authors I suggest reading (it is a little bias). ;)
**BTW - There are links to pictures on my profile.**
~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Chapter 6 – First Date ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
After my nickname for Bella escapes my lips, Charlie walks through the door. It becomes the single most terrifying moment of my entire life. I am a vampire, for crying-out-loud, but he definitely has me feeling like a horny teenager out to taint, or destroy, his daughter. I have never regretted my words more than in this moment. Bella throws me so off kilter from the feelings and emotions coursing through me that I appear to lose the remainder of my heightened senses. I have no idea what I will do if she decides to turn me down.
After stuttering an apology, she more or less saves me by stepping in. I simply stand there listening to their back and forth. She defends me while Charlie tries defending her. From their conversation, it is obvious she is keeping the real reason for calling me from him, while he is keeping why I stopped by from her. I already know she does not want to hurt her father, but I am not certain why he is not telling her the purpose of my visit. Unless he is hoping I change my mind. Not likely, Chief Swan.
Clearly he is not completely on board with my wanting to date his daughter. From our talk at his place, I gather it has to do with the fact I am not only eight years older than Bella, but also the perception of the instant family for which I am responsible.
He sees his daughter as young with her whole life ahead of her, and does not want her to be trapped into, or brought down by the responsibilities I bring to the table. He wants her to have and do all the things she wants before settling down. I want this for her as well. If she chooses me and grants me the honor of being a part of her life, I will not let her put off her dreams and goals.
I lead them back to the exam room when Charlie grudgingly apologizes for his reaction. I acknowledge he is trying to do right by his daughter. His voice indicates his surprise when he thanks me for understanding. I return to formality in order to clear the nerves he helped to instill and present professionalism with the interns.
I am grateful neither Bella, nor her father, question my need to get hemoglobin samples. It is definitely not within hospital procedures. I take two large samples and a smaller one. I send her with Nurse Linda and the interns for the arm x-ray. Then I walk back to the tray, pocket the two larger vials, write 'Immunology' and her name on the smaller tube, and document her chart. This way the hospital will be able to call with the results in a few days and I can still have what we need in the attempt of desensitizing Edward.
When the slides return, I verbalize my findings to the interns and ask them a few questions about what should happen next. I smirk slightly at my mate practically bouncing from anticipation. Clearly she is still hoping for me to 'take it off'. Whoops! Those words echoing back at me are certainly the wrong thing to think about in a room full of interns, a nurse, and her father. I shift subtly as I walk back to her side, but it doesn't stop the words from flowing out of my mouth.
"Okay, Miss Swan. As you heard, we are going to take off..." While I continue talking, I grasp mistake number two is the emphasis on the last two words, making me pause at the slight dilation of her pupils immediately followed by a new aroma permeating my olfactory senses. "…your cast and replace it with a brace." I pretend to drop my pen so I can secretly take care of a pressing problem. Unfortunately, one of the interns picks it up before I can. Amazing, I know, but everything coursing through me today is so intense my reactions are not nearly what they should be, even a vampire turned after a lobotomy would have better reactions.
Still needing to adjust to my current dilemma, I take a large step toward the rolling medical tray with a vampire-quick shimmy of my hips. A human would only notice me walking toward my supplies.
I begin removing her cast. My entire body feels as though blood is speeding through my veins. As I work, it becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate on anything other than wanting to take her on the exam table, but I keep reminding myself I am surrounded by her father and interns.
Working on my control with Jasper has helped a lot, but this is something more. It is fresh, intense, and strong. Just as I think I cannot take anymore, I finish setting the brace and instruct her how to wear it – not too tight and not too loose.
"You are all set. Remember to schedule a follow-up two weeks from today."
"Thank you for your help, Dr. Cullen." Her formal address does not surprise me. After Charlie's reaction earlier, I'm sure she is trying to keep from riling him up any further. However, at the same time, I note a slight distancing from the tone of her words. I cannot help wondering if I did something to make her feel uncomfortable.
I listen to their conversation as they walk to the reception desk, trying to pinpoint the change. Apparently, he picked up on something. I decipher he probably picked up on my slight change in tone earlier. Being suspicious anyway and knowing my intentions toward his daughter, his observations of me are on high alert. I now understand my second mistake became an instant double play, strike three in the Chief's eyes.
As soon as they leave, I walk to my office and find Alice waiting for me in my chair.
"Hi, Carlisle. Have something for me?" I hand her the two vials tucked away in my white jacket. She nods and then informs me, "Jasper said this will most likely take at least a few months to get through and to give him a call if you need anything. Bella will be safe until Edward gets through this. Peter and Jasper haven't let him get by with anything."
"How is he doing? How is Esme handling this?"
"Esme wants her husband back to normal. She has Rosalie, the cousins, and me to help keep her distracted just enough. Edward is slightly calmer. He's concentrating solely on Jasper and Peter's thoughts by trying to hear beyond their active thinking and figure out their plans, or a weakness to get around the two of them. He is beginning to get frustrated. Jasper warned Peter when he called for his assistance to run their time in the Southern Vampire Wars in detail through his head and nothing else. They spent enough time there so it is not difficult for either of them."
"Sounds like they have it all worked out. Thank you for the update and thank the others for keeping me informed as well."
"They already know, but I will remind them. They want to see you happy, Carlisle. They are all willing to do whatever it takes to keep your mate safe. I better get back. The sooner we get started, the quicker we can be together again. Oh! Remember… royal blue." Then she dashes out the door. I roll my eyes at her parting words, but cannot figure out the meaning.
~*~*~ WfB ~*~*~
After finishing my shift Wednesday evening, I decide to go for a run and end up outside the Swan residence. It is two in the morning. All the lights are off. I dash to the backside of the house and immediately recognize her breathing. There is a tree outside her window; leaning against it I listen to her heartbeat and even breaths. I refuse to watch through her window in order to keep from invading her privacy as a creepy stalker. Instead, I recall the night she spent in the hospital when I could watch her sleeping form for a few minutes. It is enough to satisfy me.
An hour later, I go for a hunt and head home. Emmett and Rosalie are otherwise occupied when I arrive. I head to my office to occupy my time reading some articles and books on the latest medical advances and other findings. Humans are too eager to medicate for every little thing. It saddens me to see how drug companies have been able to use humans as test subjects after very little research, or history to validate their findings before distributing publically. The class action lawsuits emerging from some of these medications increase in number every year.
By noon, I am sufficiently restless. I can't help wanting to be near her knowing she is only a human stone's throw away, so I decide to drive out to her place and sit in my car a couple houses away with the windows rolled down, removing one more obstacle. I listen to the commentary of her father and friends; smiling to myself as I watch them interact.
Suddenly, I smell a horrendous wet dog scent before a growling reddish-brown wolf walks out of the trees behind their house. Knowing Bella and her father are close with Quileute families and one such family is spending the day with her now, I take it as my cue to leave rather than debating territories here, or aggravating the wolf.
Recalling the conversation with Bella on Saturday, I look up the number to the Black residence when I arrive home and dial. A deep, rough voice answers. "Black residence."
"I'd like to speak with Billy Black."
"Hello, Mr. Black. My name is Carlisle Cullen. I'm under the impression you have some shifters on your reservation now and was hoping to speak with the Alpha about boundaries."
Silence fills the air. "I will send Sam to the meet you in fifteen minutes."
"Thank you. Have a pleasant evening." I hang up and call Emmett, asking them to meet me at the house so we can go together as a united front.
Fifteen minutes later, four wolves walk up to their side of the treaty line. Then the largest, black wolf ducks behind a group of trees and emerges in his human form. "My name is Sam. Which leech am I speaking with?"
I introduce Emmett, Rosalie, and myself. Then I inform them the rest of my family is visiting our cousins in Alaska and name the remaining members. "I would like to reaffirm the agreement made with Ephraim Black and ensure we are all aware of the territories."
"We are aware of the territories. Why do you bring this up now?" Sam asks.
"Well, I was in Forks today. One of your members was there. So, I wanted to open communication and make sure our agreement still stands."
All three of the wolves behind Sam begin growling fiercely, forcing Emmett and Rosalie to take defensive stances. Sam simply raises his hand and the wolves quiet. "Calm down." He instructs with authority clear in his voice. "We are aware of the territories. We are also aware you were found sitting outside the Swan residence with your windows down. The wolf in question believed a family they consider part of his own was in danger."
"We haven't given you a reason to doubt us or our intentions. We are still animal feeders and value human life, just as you do. You should also be aware, as soon as I saw the wolf come out of the tree line, I chose to leave and not reveal either of us to the humans. I then contacted your tribe leader and requested this meeting. As you can see, we have every intention to abide by our peaceful treaty. Forks is part of our land. I would appreciate you sticking by our agreement as we have respected your turf."
The same reddish-brown wolf from earlier begins growling his protest and slowly advances forward. I have a feeling this wolf is Jacob Black. "Jacob! Enough! We understand and will hold to the terms established by our ancestors. We will remain within our terrain and expect you to do the same."
"Thank you. It is all we ask." Sam bids us goodbye and takes off in his human form with his pack.
"Geez, Carlisle they were the rankest stench I have ever experienced. Much worse than any human food I have experienced." Rosalie nods her agreement. We take off back to the house. I remind them of the treaty agreement and boundary lines. Not one member of our family has broken, or crossed onto their domain, but I want the others to be aware of our encounter today. "Rosie and I will go to Alaska tonight, inform them of the new development, and be back in time for your date Saturday."
"I haven't even asked yet, so I don't know if she will even accept."
Emmett laughs loud and strong. "Okay. You keep thinking that." They head upstairs to pack a bag and are out the door five minutes later.
If I didn't have to be at the hospital, the next twenty-four hours would be virtually impossible. As it is, I fight everything within me telling me to be by my mate's side. I want to be with her, claim her, and spend every second of my day with her simply because of our bond. However, the threat of my eldest son wanting to drain her blood and her childhood, family friend being a shifter, alerts my inner beast to the potential danger to my mate. He is ready to take complete control at the slightest sign of my weakening.
Fortunately, Phase Two seems to have been successful. Even though I have been feeling and fighting the monster within since the first time I saw Bella, I am able to keep him contained with no fear of him forcing me aside. At first it was like taming a wild animal, but now it is more like taking a tiny, young bunny into your hands. They wobble and move, wanting to escape their confines, but are powerless to break the hold. For the first time in three weeks, I feel empowered.
~*~*~ WfB ~*~*~
Before I know it, my shift ends and I find myself sitting in the car watching Bella through their large picture window looking into the living room. I smile in delight while watching the woman I am quickly falling for as she sings into the mop handle and dances to the music. Five minutes later, I finally decide I need to do this before I lose my nerve and the opportunity slips past. I get out of the car, walk up the porch steps, and knock on the door loud enough to be noticed over the tunes blaring inside.
After the second knock, I hear her putting down the mop and turning down the music. Her soft footsteps advance toward the door. My peripheral picks up movement out of the side window to my left. I smirk when I hear her gasp and then choose to play with her a bit. "Bella?"
"I'll be right there." I softly chuckle, knowing full well she is right behind the door, but trying to sound as though she is toward the back of the house somewhere.
I listen to her quick movements and assume she is trying to make herself look more presentable. Completely unaware I had a very clear view of her simply moments ago. Even with the dust across her cheeks and face, she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen. The tousled hair only manages to take my thoughts in a different direction, which pushed me out of my Peeping Tom moment.
After a minute the door opens, and my eyes meet her deep chocolate orbs. Shaking myself out of the trance, "Good evening, Miss Swan". When she does not respond, I begin to wonder if I have made a mistake in taking this leap. "Um, are you okay? Did I come at a bad time?" Please say no. Please say no.
She shakes her head, "OH! No. I'm fine. Thank you for asking. I was just working on some house chores. Would you like to come in?"
Yes! No, no. What am I thinking? I need to do this properly and I have not picked up her father's heartbeat. It would be inappropriate for me to do this inside, un-chaperoned. "Actually, I was wondering if I could speak with you briefly. Would you mind coming out here for a couple minutes?"
She agrees and grabs her jacket. Once outside with the door pulled close, she appears to notice the blanket of night and asks the time. After letting her know it is a few minutes after six, she confirms she didn't realize it was so late and asks why am here. This manages to kick my nerves up significantly and eventually she asks if I am okay.
"Yes!" Calm down, you are only asking the girl to spend an evening with you. Get on with it. I sigh and take a deep breath before continuing in a more composed manner. "Yes, everything is fine. I came by because I wanted to ask you something." She already knows this part.
Of what are you afraid? Sure, she could say no, but you won't know until you ask. Does she think I am too old for her like her father does? Maybe, but I already know she is attracted to me. There is no denying it. However, would she be interested in dating an older man? Would she even want to date me? Wow, she's beautiful. I am suddenly transfixed, gazing upon the woman next to me.
"Um, what would you like to ask me?"
Oh! Right, I still need to ask her. Squaring my shoulders and straightening my back, I turn to look directly into her eyes and draw strength from them. "Miss Isabella Swan, would you do me the honor of allowing me to take you out for an evening?"
Her mouth drops open as she stiffens. My shoulders drop a fraction, but I maintain my stance. Then her left arm crosses her body before I hear, "Ouch!"
This gets my attention and causes me to panic, "Bella! What's wrong? What happened? Are you okay?"
Her laughter surprises me, but also manages to relax me. Why is she laughing? Isn't she hurt? Then she explains she pinched herself. I ask a series of questions. She patiently, but with mirth, clarifies the reasoning. Slightly stunned and needing to know why, I ask.
"Why would you think you are dreaming?"
Disappointment engulfs me at her answer. "Oh." She doesn't think of me as anything more than her doctor, so her next word has me utterly confused. I repeat it as a question. "Yes?"
"Yes, I would love to spend an evening with you, Carlisle Cullen." Suddenly ecstatic, all I want to do is wrap my arms around her, pick her up, and swing her around in circles while hugging her tightly to me. However, I know this would be a highly undignified thing for a gentleman to do. Instead, I stand there grinning like a buffoon, but unsure what to do next. I settle for asking if she is free on Saturday and if it would be all right to pick her up at four.
She agrees and wants to know about the plans, but I tell her I would rather surprise her. She lets me know she is not big on surprises, giving me an idea for just what I need to do in order to help her decide what to wear. I thank her and bid her a good night with a kiss to the back of her hand.
When I arrive home, I immediately arrange for a bouquet of flowers matching her scent to be delivered at exactly nine the next morning. Rose colors turn out to be the most difficult part. I already know a single red rose typically means I Love You. White typically indicate purity and innocence, and yellow for friendship. However, after talking with the florist, I choose dark red, which signifies Unconscious Beauty, white for secrecy, and yellow with an orange tip for Falling in Love.
I tell them they will have the note to include with the bouquet before the shop opens the next morning along with the cash. Since it is the local florist, I do not leave my name and only tell them where they need to be delivered. I do this in respect of Charlie since he does not seem willing to trust my intentions yet.
I spend an hour working on a note, looking up flower meanings and trying to work out the right words. I grab the money with a significant tip to ensure everything is carried out as specified, insert Bella's note into an envelope, place the cash with Bella's message into a larger one, and write the name I spoke with earlier on the front.
At midnight, I head for the hospital, but on the way I stop by the flower shop and drop the envelope through the back door.
~*~*~ WfB ~*~*~
Fourteen hours pass quickly. I am pacing the foyer waiting for Rosalie to finish getting ready while Emmett plays one of his gaming systems. He has practically begged me to stop pacing like a caged lion and join him several times, but finally gave up an hour ago. We are to pick up Bella in fifteen minutes. I don't want to be a second late. Finally Rosalie emerges, a scowl on her face, and Emmett already has his game and the television off.
"Ah, Rosie, it won't be so bad, Babe." He wraps his arms around her and gives her a sweet, gentle kiss. When they break apart, a smile graces her face. "Be good." He orders with a cheeky grin.
I am knocking on her door at exactly four and listen to her descend the stairs. When she opens the door, I can't help staring at the absolute perfection before me. Her brunette locks are curled with precision with the sides pulled back. She is dressed in a modest, royal blue dress and silver shoes. Then I comprehend what Alice meant when she said those words earlier.
I dressed in such a daze after work that I had not even noticed what I put on this evening. While I admire her, another part of my mind is running through my clothing choice for the evening and enjoying the fact I subconsciously dressed to match her.
She ducks her head, but I won't have it. I don't want her ducking her head for anyone, least of all me. I reach out and cup her chin between my thumb and forefinger, guiding her head until she is looking directly into my eyes. "Good evening, Beautiful. Always hold your head high because you are enchanting. I will be so proud to have you on my arm this evening. Knowing you are with me, I am filled with jubilance." As I speak, her blush begins covering her cheeks, which warms my heart.
"Thank you, Carlisle."
"You are most welcome. Are you ready to go, Sparky?" Her smile is practically glowing as she nods. I help her with the coat and lead her to my car. As I do, I let her know about Emmett and Rosalie joining us and introduce everyone once she is settled into the passenger seat. After I am in the car, I let her know we will be heading to Port Angeles.
Approximately five minutes later, "Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers today, Carlisle. They smell absolutely divine." I hear Emmett and Rosalie chuckle under their breath. Bella doesn't hear it, thankfully.
Instead of telling her the real reason for my choice I say, "You are welcome. I am glad you like them. As I mentioned in the note, they each make me think of you." Then we all merge into easy chatter. I'm amazed at how quickly and easily she bonds with Emmett and tries to include Rose.
When I pull up in front of the restaurant, Emmett laughs. If I could blush, I would. "Um, the name is just a coincidence. It happens to be a highly recommended establishment."
"It's okay Carlisle. I've heard nice things about it, but have never had a reason to dine here. I look forward to finally experiencing it for myself."
We head inside. I let the hostess know we have a reservation at five. Thankfully, we are seated immediately and our waiter does not delay. He hands me a wine list before he begins.
"Welcome to Bella Italia. My name is Riley. Tonight's specials are, King Crab Legs with vegetables, our Top Sirloin Steak with your choice of sides, and on the lighter side, a grilled chicken breast marinated in our house blend served with baby carrots. May I start you with a bottle of wine or champagne?"
"Bella, do you have a wine preference?" I ask.
She leans over and whispers to me, "I don't really know much about wine." I let her know it is okay and ask if she prefers red or white wines. She tells me she favors reds.
"We will have the house red wine."
"Very well, Sir."
He returns with a wine bucket set to my left between Emmett and me. Then he goes through the whole pompous spiel of which is customary when ordering wine at elegant restaurants. Of course, I could care less. "Are you prepared to order?"
We all nod. He begins with Rosalie. She chooses the grilled chicken breast special, Bella the Mushroom Ravioli. I decide on the Sirloin Steak special with vegetables and Emmett decides to have the King Crab Legs with vegetables.
The vampires choose meals without, or with very little, sauces in order to make the repast easier to bring up later. Thanks to one of Emmett's experiments several years ago, he discovered our bodies are able to process alcoholic beverages and water, but milk and thick drinks, such as shakes, do not mix well in our systems. Of course anything we drink with the meal will be expelled later as well.
The four of us easily converse as we wait for our meal, continuing as we eat. Bella asks more about our family. I learn more about her classes and double major. She plans to graduate this semester. She would like a career in journalism so she can see things around the world. It is very evident Emmett has built a brotherly fondness for my mate with his teasing and the way he lights up when she talks about her scholastic accomplishments. As Emmett bonds with Bella, Rosalie begins to relax and enjoy herself more. Seeing her husband happy because of my mate makes her happy; she is not willing to do anything to spoil the evening for him.
Emmett reaches for a breadstick sitting in the center of the table, but his jacket sleeve brushes against the candle flame a bit too long. In his haste to put it out quickly, he jumps up in surprise in order to put it out in the wine bucket between us. When he shoves his chair backward, it slams into a passing server carrying a full tray.
The server loses balance and gasps of shock surround us. The tray flies toward our table, but I have to take care of Emmett's blazing sleeve before we are exposed. Fire is the one thing to really cause us harm, and the biggest risk. Unfortunately, vampire speed is not an option; all I can do is watch the scene unfold around me.
I grab the wine bucket. The tray flips through the air as I place the wine bottle on the table. The waiter lands unceremoniously into Rosalie's lap and chest while the tray lands on the table just as I toss the ice and water combination directly at Emmett's jacket sleeve. The flames are instantly doused when a plate of Chicken Marsala and a glass of water land directly into Bella's lap.
Finally, everything pauses. I'm already helping a shocked Bella remove the food from her lap as the waiter slowly picks himself up, a huge smile on his face until he takes in the scene around him, his manager heading our direction.
"Porgo le mie scuse, Signore. My apologies, Sir." He instructs the now upright waiter to clear the table as he hands us a few damp towels brought by the hostess. "Your entire meal is on the house, as is your next visit. No charge." I interrupt his overindulgent offer.
"Thank you. However, it is not necessary." The manager gives me a pleading look. "I accept your offer to take care of tonight's bill, but this situation began by my son's error in judgment. Therefore, I cannot accept a second complimentary meal."
"Si, molto bene. Yes, very well. Grazie." I nod. He leaves to check on the other guests.
Once all the food has been removed from Bella's lap, Rosalie offers to help her clean up in the restroom, making me smile. Unfortunately, Emmett's little accident took away any time we may have had for one slow dance. Thankfully, we will have another opportunity later this evening.
While the ladies take care of Bella's dress, Emmett and I take turns to disperse the unwelcome food sitting heavily in our stomachs. Fifteen minutes later, the table is clear, Bella's dress shows no signs of the incident, and we are heading out the door. I did manage to slip some hundred-dollar bills on the table to pay for the damages as well as a significant tip. Pulling up to the Deer Park Cinema, I glance at Bella and see no signs of disappointment.
As we walk to the ticket booth, I quickly assimilate movie theaters have drastically changed since I last attended. These days you get to choose from an assortment of films instead of being subjected to whatever movie the single-screen theater is showing. There are several rooms in one building, in lieu of the one-room option.
Instead of ushers bringing you concessions, you purchase items and carry them in with you. Ushers are still a staple, but I understand they are now tasked with cleaning up after the patrons who rudely leave behind their cups, wrappers, and popcorn tubs. As with many things throughout the years, prices are drastically higher. Long gone are the days your five-cent admission includes food or beverages, an additional fee today.
I allow Bella to choose the movie. We could watch the highly popular movie based on the Sasquatch and the Wendigo, a bunch of tiny blue men running around shirtless, a French-talking cat walking around on his hind legs in boots, somebody's week with a blonde bombshell, or a romantic drama.
Bella permits the overly excited Emmett to pick a movie, but he quickly changes his mind after receiving a smack to the back of the head followed by an icy glare. Instantly we go from watching his self-titled "the leggy blonde" to purchasing tickets for the newly named "suave cat with an accent".
We walk into the packed and relatively small lobby area where the kiosks have replaced the lush lobbies and grand staircases. This theater has a beautiful fountain in front of the hallway leading to the multi-room cinemas and opposite wall from the snack and beverage counter. Bella is apparently drawn to the faux waterfall and walks in its direction.
After a couple minutes of watching the water flow, I ask. "Would you like any popcorn, candy, or something to drink?"
She looks at me with a gentle smile. "Maybe a regular root beer. Thank you."
"I'll get it, Carlisle." Emmett tells me. "I'm going to see if there is anything I might like." I roll my eyes and nod my acceptance. Emmett and Rosalie head off in toward the concession stand.
As we wait for their return, a message board informs patrons when seating will begin for their show, and the lobby quickly becomes packed. From the sounds of it, many of them are here to see the Sasquatch movie.
A sudden movement throws Bella off-balance, but I am unable to stop the motion using my natural abilities in a public and crowded place, especially with her already being in motion. The next thing I know she has fallen through the sad excuse of a protective block-off, landing on her hands and knees in the ankle-high pond. The front of her skirt is in the water with her; the new brace is also wet up to the wrist.
Can this date get any worse? In a voice less than a whisper and at vampire speed, I tell Rosalie what happened. I ask her to get the manager.
"Are you alright, Bella?" I bend to help her up, grasping her by the elbows, and assist her out. Her face is a bright red from embarrassment. I am frustrated with the young man who bumped into her because rather than apologizing, he has dashed off deeper into the crowd.
A few seconds later, the person in charge is at our side apologizing profusely, handing us several dry towels, and leading us to a small waiting area on the other side of the ticket check. Bella practically collapses into one of the chairs. I help dry her feet and shoes while she dabs the front of her skirt. I let her know we can take off the brace once we are in the theater.
"I am so sorry, Miss. Is there anything I can do to help you? Can I get you anything further? Please accept these free movie passes for future shows and concessions." He rushes out as we work to dry everything.
I tell him he can bring me some gauze wrap, medical tape, and four straws. He picks up his radio and instructs an employee, or fellow manager to gather what I have requested.
As we work, I hear Rosalie harshly scolding the cowardly man. He finally stutters an apology, but Rose isn't having any of it and tells him she isn't the one he needs to be telling. Then I hear, "OW! HEY! LET GO! What are you doing?" I chuckle to myself knowing we will soon have enforced company.
Another worker walks up with the supplies. I remove the brace and begin to wrap Bella's arm into a makeshift brace as a temporary solution. Two hours is too long for her to go without and a wet brace will be terribly uncomfortable for her. Once the gauze is in place, I begin to pat the brace dry.
Bella blushes from the manager's over attentiveness. "No, thank you. It's not yours, or the cinema's fault I was unexpectedly thrown off-balance. We just want to watch our show as planned. Thank you anyway." Finally satisfied, he leaves and tells us to leave the towels in the seat.
"Bella?" She looks for the source and begins laughing when she sees Rose is pulling Mr. Coward toward us by his ear. He can't be older than seventeen years old.
When Rose stops in front of us, she simply clears her throat and gives him the evil eye. "Uh, um, well," she increases the pressure on his ear slightly. "Okay! OKAY! I'm sorry I bumped into you and ran off. I should have apologized and helped you out instead."
Bella giggles, "Thank you for the apology. I only ask for you to have learned from this and will make the right choice next time."
"Yes, ma'am. I will be more respectful in the future. Thank you."
"Have a good evening, Son." I tell him. Rose releases her hold. He scurries off in search of his friends as we all burst in laughter. Having heard the whole thing and heading in our direction, Emmett is laughing also. I help Bella get her shoes back on. Her dress is as dry as it is going to get for now and will dry further while watching the show.
Just then Emmett waltzes up to us, arms full of a wide variety of snack foods and Bella's beverage. Amongst the stash are gummy bears, gummy worms, Aplets and Cotlets, chocolate-covered mints, red liquorish, amongst other candies. Bella's laughter increases. "Hey guys. I think we're ready to go. It says seating is now open." He says upon his arrival.
"Emmett", Bella giggles some more. "You've forgotten the most popular snack."
His eyes widen. "What did I miss? Should I go back?"
"No, I'm plenty full. I'm surprised you forgot the popcorn."
He grumbles at vampire speed while pretending to scratch his nose, "Phew! There's no way I'm bringing that back up." Then in a normal voice, "Eh, the overhead on the stuff is ridiculously high. Besides, it's overdone. It's better to go into a sugar coma." Rose and I laugh at his lame excuse, knowing the real reason and no way will sugar affect him.
We head into the theater two and find seats toward the back wall in the center seats. To my surprise, Emmett tries out all the candy before the movie begins. Bella even eats a few pieces he offers her. I make note of the ones she chooses for future reference. Rose and I take a few pieces from him as well and pretend to eat them, but Rose subtly stashes them into her purse while mine find their way into my jacket pocket opposite Bella.
For the next two hours, I observe my girl as she watches the previews and the movie. Another part of me is taking in the movie, but my focus is on her reactions, smell, and facial expressions.
About half way through the cat's nursery rhyme-based antics, I work up the courage to grasp her hand. She gently squeezes mine in response. Fifteen minutes later, she lays her head on my shoulder. I pull away briefly, lift the armrest between us, and wrap my arm around her shoulders. She shifts a bit closer and rests her head on my chest. Her right hand rests upon my chest, just below her head and over my still heart. I bring my left hand up to her arm, brushing my thumb back and forth across it and hear her quietly sigh.
The lights switch on. Bella sits up and gathers her cup. We remain in our seats until the crowd thins out. I begin removing her homemade brace to replace with the real one. Emmett has all his wrappers and containers gathered to throw out as we leave. Finally we head out and dispose of our trash.
When we exit the theater, at least three inches of snow is layering the ground and continues falling from the sky. Bella hesitates at the door, reminding me she is wearing open shoes. Suddenly, there is a chime coming from her purse. She pulls her phone out and reads the new text.
"With the weather change, Charlie is worried. I better give him a call. Did you have any other surprises planned?" She smiles at me.
I nod, but clarify. "I did, but I think it would be best to get you home. I am sure Charlie would not be very keen with you being stuck in a city sixty miles away with an older man." I smirk at her and earn a small smile in return. "Maybe we should head back to Forks instead." Thankfully, Emmett refrains from his typical commentary, knowing I am probably right. He wants this to work out nearly as much as I do.
"No, you're probably right." She dials her father, who answers on the first ring.
"Bella? Where are you? Are you okay? Have you seen the weather lately? When –"
She interrupts his worried questions, "Dad! Our movie just ended. We are currently in the cinema lobby. I am fine. We did have additional plans for the evening. However, with the drastic change in weather, Carlisle thinks it will be best to drive back to Forks now."
Charlie is much calmer. "Oh! Okay. You know, Bells, I am beginning to like and respect that young man. I think he may be one of the good guys." He pauses. "Don't let him know I said it." Emmett chuckles softly.
She chuckles. "Your secret is safe with me." If only she knew. "I'll be home soon, but with the weather as it is, it may take twice the time."
"I would rather the boy be careful with my baby girl as his precious cargo. Tell him to drive safe. I'll see you at home. I love you, Sweetie."
"I love you too, Dad. I'll see you soon." They end the call. She turns to me and relays the information.
I tell her I will pull the car up to the building and ask Emmett to wait here with the girls. I do not want to leave Bella here alone. I know Rosalie could protect her if need be, but his presence is like a security blanket. His size and build tends to keep men from approaching any women in his company.
Cleaning off my car, I cannot help wondering if tonight was a series of signs. Each designed to keep Bella and me apart. I fear they may keep her from wanting to see me again. After waiting behind others with the same idea, I finally pull the car up in front of the entrance, put it into park, and turn on the hazards. I get out and assist my girl to the car. The sidewalks are mostly cleared off. The salt keeps any new snow from building up, but I want to ensure her safety and allow Emmett to keep up the pretense of helping Rose to the car.
On the way to Forks, our conversation begins by discussing the movie. Emmett has Bella in stitches with his analysis of it and his various imitations. Used to Emmett and his ways, Rose and I gently laugh along. I am driving as a human would in weather like this to maintain appearances, not raise suspicions, and mostly to spend as much time as possible with her. While we talk, I can't help wondering if she will grant me any additional dates after tonight's disastrous first date.
About an hour into our drive, Bella says, "I'm sorry the evening was cut short. I had fun tonight."
Emmett lets out a quick guffaw. "Uh, little bear, are you sure you remember the same night as the rest of us? As I recall, you were at the center of a couple mishaps."
Bella giggles. "Yes, Emmett, I remember. However, Rosalie was able to help me clean up my dress so it was no longer noticeable and water dries. Therefore, they were only minor bumps in the road." She looks over at me with a small smile and twinkling eyes.
With restored hope, I smile at her words. "I am glad you had fun this evening. I had a wonderful time also. I enjoyed getting to know more about you." Once again, dialogue bounces back and forth about each other's lives.
About five miles outside of Forks, one of the Quileute wolves runs across the road. Unfortunately, Bella did not miss the movement. Although she could not tell what ran across. "What was that? You better slowdown, Killer." This gets my attention. Looking in the rearview mirror, Emmett and Rose are just as surprised. I slow down to ease her nerves.
I see her blush begin before she explains. "Uh, yeah, Lady Killer, or Killer for short. I've noticed how women flock to you, but you barely give them the time of the day. What you don't see is their heartbroken looks when you walk away." She smiles shyly.
Emmett laughs boisterously. Rosalie actually chuckles quietly. I laugh along with them. "I cannot say you are wrong, of course. Therefore, I suppose you have found a nickname for me." She nods and grins wider. I laugh softly. "I like it."
By the time we are back at her place, there is at least six inches of snow on the ground and no path made to the south-facing front porch. Thankfully, there is a wide overhang so the area is clear. I look at her shoes and then at her. "Um, considering your shoes, would you mind if I carry you to the front door?"
"Sorry. I didn't have any closed shoes to match my dress and didn't exactly think it would snow tonight. Thank you. I would actually appreciate the assist."
"No need to thank me. It will be completely my pleasure." I wink at her before getting out and walking around to her side of the car. I lift her up into my arms and gently, but with regret, set her down once we reach our destination.
"Thank you for spending the evening with me, Bella. It was the best night of my existence." I pause, debating my next words, but go ahead and quote a poem.
"Javan?" She asks. I nod, looking deep into her eyes amazed she knows it. I reach up to touch her left cheek, and silently ask her permission as my thumb gently rubs her cheekbone. Her slight, almost indecipherable nod and the miniscule parting of her lips is her quiet response. Ever so slowly, I lean in to kiss her, her eyes flutter shut, and her chin tilts up slightly. As I am about to press my lips to hers, the front door flies open. I stop, lean away quick as a flash, drop my hand, and look into the glaring eyes of Chief Swan. Then he gets this sly look, his whole face changes. With his body more relaxed, he smirks at me.
Bella is still so entranced she does not even notice the change, but her whole body whips around when she hears, "Hey kids. Thanks for bringing her home early, Son. Have a good night."
~*~*~*~*~*~*~ WfB ~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Once I reach the entryway, I grab my black, formal winter coat and open the door to a handsome sight. Carlisle is dressed in a royal blue button down, black slacks, silver vest, and a black jacket under a wool trench coat. I can't help wondering how he managed to match me tonight, but I am pleased. He looks debonair and sexy enough to wish we were past the first date stage so we can skip tonight's plans for other non-public activities. Slow down, Bella.
Just then, I realize I am staring, but he isn't fairing any better. I duck my head as soon as I notice his appraisal. Then he reaches his hand out, cups my chin between his thumb and forefinger, and guides my head up until I am looking into his eyes. "Good evening, Beautiful. Always hold your head high because you are enchanting. I will be so proud to have you on my arm this evening. Knowing you are with me, I am filled with jubilance."
My blush has already warmed my cheeks and a smile graces my face when I say the only thing I can after his words. "Thank you, Carlisle."
"You are most welcome. Are you ready to go, Sparky?" Hearing his nickname for me fills me with glee. I nod. He helps me with my coat. As he leads me to his black Mercedes, he lets me know his cousin, Rosalie, and adopted son, Emmett will be joining us tonight. He opens the passenger door, helps me in, and introduces me to the couple in the back seat before closing the door. The car is warm and toasty… almost too warm. I hesitantly reach over and adjust the heat as Carlisle walks to the other side of the car.
Emmett is built like a football player with dark, wavy hair and familiar golden eyes. His black jacket and red dress shirt fit him snuggly over broad shoulders and thick muscles, but his eyes are kind and his smile gentle. Rosalie is what Jake would refer to as sex on legs with her blonde hair swept into a fancy up do, light makeup on her flawless face, and the same amber eyes. They are dressed to match in red.
Her dress is easy to see under her black wool wrap. It fits her like a second layer of skin. Spaghetti straps go into a plunging neckline and the form-fitting dress stops above her knees. She is wearing a pair of red, closed toe, five-inch heels with a strap and a front, center strap. She is gorgeous. I know there is no way I could compare, but thankfully, as Carlisle's cousin, I don't have to worry about competition. I see superior beauty must run in their family. I can only imagine what the rest of them look like.
Carlisle informs me we will be going to Port Angeles. I thank him for the beautiful flowers. "You are welcome. I am glad you like them. As I mentioned in the note, they each make me think of you." We then all merge into easy chatter.
Forty-five minutes of getting to know more about Carlisle's family, we pull up in front of Bella Italia. Emmett laughs. Carlisle gives me a sheepish look. "Um, the name is just a coincidence. It happens to be a highly recommended establishment."
I let him know it is okay and am looking forward to finally dining here. He helps me out of the car, as does Emmett for Rosalie. When we are inside, I am amazed by the atmosphere, low lights and elegant decor. Sophisticatedly decorated tables adorned with white linens, artistically folded napkins, and a single red rose surrounded by low-setting candles in the center.
After we are seated, our waiter, Riley, arrives and hands Carlisle a wine list. Then he announces the specials. Carlisle asks me about my wine preference. I tell him I don't know a lot about them, but prefer red wines. He then orders the house red. The waiter returns with the wine. Carlisle goes through the process I have heard about for sampling and approving wines, but he does not appear to enjoy it. Quite the pony show if you ask me.
Then Riley asks if we are ready to order and begins with Rosalie. She orders the chicken breast special. I order the Mushroom Ravioli. Carlisle and Emmett each order one of the specials also. When Riley leaves, we merge into easy conversation.
Rosalie unnerves me. Throughout the night, she hardly utters a word. I get the distinct impression she does not approve of me. Unfortunately, I cannot figure out why. Emmett appears to have taken a liking to me, but not in the wanting to date me way. Therefore, I don't think she is jealous of me. She doesn't have any reason to be because there is no way her boyfriend would choose me over her. Look at her! He is more like the older brother I always wished to have. Jake makes a very good younger brother, but I always wanted an older brother to stand up for me against the childhood bullies.
Rosalie is very disinterested in anything I say, even when I try pulling her into the conversation. When I direct a question, or anything else to her, she gives me short and quick answers. I learned during the car ride to ask more than yes or no inquiries if I want to include her. Rather than focusing on her though, I turn my attention to Carlisle and his adopted son.
While we converse, our meal is delivered. So far I have learned Emmett, Rosalie, and her twin brother, Jasper, are seniors at Forks High School. Esme, Edward, and Alice are juniors. Carlisle took on the responsibility of his brother and cousins after his parents died in an automobile accident. Rosalie and Jasper's parents died several years prior and were under his parents' care at the time. He later adopted Emmett, Esme, and Alice after a tornado tore through their town killing each of their parents while they were on an out-of-town school field trip. They were left without guardians, or homes.
Carlisle managed to take on the added responsibility while finishing medical school. Getting to know this side makes him more appealing to me. I tell them my plans to graduate college and have a journalism career so I can travel the world. I notice Rosalie relaxing the more she watches Emmett happy and having a good time.
While Emmett is sharing another family tale, he reaches for a breadstick in the middle of the table, but he isn't paying close attention. Suddenly his coat sleeve catches fire from one of the table candles. He jumps up in surprise. I hear gasps all around the restaurant as everything spirals out of control. I watch the scene unfold and end up with a plate of chicken, tomatoes, mushrooms, and Alfredo sauce in my lap.
After the fire is extinguished and the events have played out, Carlisle is helping me pick food off my dress. Some of which is tucked away between my breasts. I will need to clean up in the restroom. As we work, the manager arrives with damp towels and apologizes. I tune out the conversation between Carlisle and him.
Once the food bits are removed from my lap, Rosalie offers to help me clean up. When we arrive in the restroom, she immediately instructs me to go to an empty stall and remove my dress so she can get the Alfredo sauce off. Removing the dress and handing it to her, I am left standing in the empty stall wearing only my black bikini underwear and silver shoes. The faucet turns on, and then I hear another female enter.
"The manager would like to know if there is anything you need. He is also willing to pay for the dry cleaning bill."
Rosalie snaps at the poor girl who had nothing to do with the incident. "Well, as you can see, I have her dress in my hands. Therefore, you can bring her coat from the checkroom so she has something to cover herself while I work on the dress. Afterward, you can leave us be and keep anyone else from entering."
"Yes, ma'am. I will get right on it." Then I hear her leave.
"Thank you, Rosalie. I appreciate your help."
"It wasn't your fault, Bella. My clown of a hu- boyfriend created this mess." I don't miss her nearly referring to Emmett as her husband, but assume it is a slip of the tongue, maybe based on her hopes. "You have nothing to apologize for. I will have your dress ready shortly, but thought you would be more comfortable wearing your coat while I work." Then the automatic hand dryer turns on. When it sounds like someone is talking I peek through the stall door and see her on talking on the phone with someone. She turns to see me looking through the crack. I jump back instantly and fight the urge to lean against anything within my tiny shelter, pacing.
Before the female employee returns, the hand dryer turns off. "Here's your dress. Good as new."
I look over my dress; it appears as though nothing happened. If I didn't know any better, I would swear it is brand new. "Wow! Rosalie, I don't know how you did it, and so quickly I might add, but I would say you are a miracle worker. Thank you!"
Just as I am stepping out, the female enters again. Her face is full of shock. "Oh! Um, wow! Sorry it took so long, but here is your coat. Will there be anything else?"
"No, it will be all." Rosalie steps around the girl, who has frozen in place. "You ready to go, Bella?" I nod and follow her out, taking my coat as I pass. We meet our men and leave for our next destination.
As per a typical date, we pull up in front of the cinema and head inside. Carlisle permits me to choose one of the shows, but none of the selections interests me. The choice is between a movie from the popular book series based in Forks, computer generated blue men derived from an eighties cartoon show, a story about someone spending a week with a fifties starlet, a cartoon cat who wears boots and talks, or a romantic comedy.
Emmett's excitement makes my decision easy because I allow him to choose the show. "Really? Thank you, little bear." He began calling me this during dinner. When I asked, he said I remind him of a cuddly bear cub, so in turn I started calling him brother bear. This earned me the biggest and brightest smile from him. In fact, I believe it was at this point Rosalie began softening slightly.
"I want to watch the leggy blonde movie." Smack! Rosalie had given him a hand to the back of his head, followed by an icy glare. From what I have learned this evening, I'm betting it was for the leggy blonde comment. She is not the jealous type, but she also does not like her husband objectifying women, or taking notice of the attractiveness in any women other than her. "Ow, Rosie. What wa-," noticing the look on her face, he instantly changes his mind. "Uh, actually, let's watch the suave cat with an accent."
I smile at their small display. Even through the intimidating look she gives him, you can see the love shining through. He wraps his arm around her waist as the tickets are purchased. Walking into the lobby, I head directly toward the beautiful indoor waterfall. This is my favorite place to wait until seating opens. Carlisle asks if I would like anything from the kiosk stand. I'm not at all hungry, but something to drink during the film would be nice; I tell him so. Emmett offers to get it because he would like to see other selections.
Several minutes pass while the lobby gradually becomes tightly packed. Suddenly someone plows into me, throwing me off kilter in my four-inch heels. I stumble through the protective block-off and land in the small, ankle high pond on my hands and knees. The front few inches of my dress' skirt rests in the water. I see the young coward disappear into the crowd with his friends. Thanks for offering to help me, punk.
No matter, the only man I care about this evening is at my side instantly. "Are you alright, Bella?"
My face warms to the instant flush. "Yes, I am. Thank you." I smile at him as he cups my elbows, assists me to my feet, and out of the water. Then the cinema manager is there extensively apologizing and handing us several towels. He leads us to the small waiting area on the opposite side of the ticket check and, to my pleasure, away from the on-looking eyes of the crowd. Exhausted after the second mishap of the evening, I collapse into one of the chairs.
Carlisle kneels in front of me, begins removing my shoes, and tells me we can take my brace off after we are seated. He dries my feet and then my shoes as the manager continues his apology, offering us movie passes for free shows and concessions. Then he offers to get us anything we need. Carlisle asks for gauze, medical tape, and four straws. I love the way he is looking out for my well-being in every possible aspect while I pat my skirt as dry as I can.
The manager is still here groveling while Carlisle and I work to dry as much as we can before the movie begins. Then an employee hands the manager the requested supplies. Carlisle removes my wet brace and replaces it with a makeshift one using the straws as supports around my wrist, while the gauze and tape hold them in place, thus securing my previous injury.
I cannot take any more of this man. "No, thank you. It's not yours, or the cinema's fault I was unexpectedly thrown off-balance. We just want to watch our show as planned. Thank you anyway." Finally, he leaves and asks us to leave the towels in the seats.
Then I hear my name and look for where it is coming. I begin laughing when I see Rosalie pulling Mr. Coward by his ear toward us. By the looks of it, he is probably a sophomore or junior in high school. She clears her throat and gives him her evil eye. He eventually gets around to apologizing, by force. I giggle at the spectacle and tell him to make the right choice next time. He agrees and promises to be more respectful in the future.
Carlisle bids him a good evening and Rosalie releases her hold on him. The boy scurries off, causing us to burst into laughter. Carlisle puts my shoes back on while I place the damp towels in the chair next to me. Emmett approaches with arms full of a vast amount of candies and my beverage. My laughter increases.
He tells us seating is now open, but I tell him he forgot the one movie theater staple snack. His eyes widen as though he has committed the worst faux pas known to man. He asks if he should go back. Somehow I get the feeling he would gladly go back for popcorn if I really want some. I let him know I am full and am simply surprised he forgot the most popular item. This earns me a short speech about overhead, it being an over done snack, and sugar comas are better.
We head into the theater, following Emmett toward the back center rows. Before the show even starts, he manages to sample all the candy and offers some of each to me. Appreciating the gesture, I indulge him by accepting a little of the ones I like.
I become enthralled in the movie until about halfway through when I feel Carlisle grasp my hand. Squeezing his gently in return, I subtlety let him know I don't mind. A few minutes later, I take a risk and lay my head on his shoulder, but he pulls away. My heart drops until I notice he only pulled away to lift the armrest between us and wrap his arm around my shoulders, gently pulling me toward him again.
I get a bit closer and rest my head on his chest instead. Resting my outer hand rests on his chest right above his heart, I realize I cannot feel it beating. Then noticing I cannot hear his heart thumping either. How strange. I have never been in this position during a movie before; maybe the speakers mask the sound. However, it doesn't explain not being able to feel it. When he brings his other arm to rest on my right arm and brushes his thumb back and forth, I choose to let the phenomenon go and quietly sigh.
When the credits begin rolling, I reluctantly sit up and pick up my cup to throw out. As the crowd thins we remain seated while Carlisle begins removing my hand crafted brace to replace with the real one. Heading out, I notice Emmett has picked up all of his trash also.
We stop short when we see a thick layer of snow has covered the ground and is still falling. How am I going to get to the car with these shoes? My poor feet are not going to get a break tonight, are they? Ah, well, getting to spend time with the man who has consumed my dreams over the past three weeks makes it worth the small torture.
Then I hear my phone chime, alerting me to a new text message. I pull my phone from my purse and read the five texts from Charlie. I tell the others he is worried and should call him, but check with Carlisle to see if he has any additional plans for the evening. He tells me he did, but thinks it would be best to drive home instead, considering the change in weather. I agree and call my dad.
Dad picks up before the first ring completes. The frantic voice of my father speeds through questions. I cut him off, explain the movie ended a few minutes ago, and we saw the shift in weather. I also tell him we did have additional plans for the evening, but make it known Carlisle thought it would be best to drive home instead. He is much calmer now and even tells me he is beginning to think Carlisle may be one of the good guys, but not to let him know this.
"Your secret is safe with me. I'll be home soon, but with the weather as it is, it may take twice the time."
"I would rather the boy be careful with my baby girl as his precious cargo. Tell him to drive safe. I'll see you at home. I love you, Sweetie."
"I love you too, Dad. I'll see you soon." I close my phone, return it to my purse, and tell them Charlie's parting words about driving safe. This earns a chuckle from Emmett and a smile from the other two.
"Emmett, please stay here with the girls. I'm going to let the car warm up, clean the snow off, and pull it up to the front doors."
Five minutes after Carlisle leaves, Emmett begins his interrogation. "So, Bella, what are your intentions with my father?"
"Intentions?" I laugh. "Emmett, I just feel lucky enough he asked me out this evening. In fact, I'm not even sure he will want to see me again after seeing what a danger magnet I am. After all, our first meeting was after I woke up in an Emergency Room."
His boisterous laughter fills the small entryway. "Trust me when I say this, little bear. You don't know him as well as we do. He will definitely want to see you again. I think he is more worried about whether or not you will want to see him again."
Rosalie's soft laughter gets my attention. "Bella, I'm sure he is thinking the same way you are. Only he is blaming himself. Therefore, he thinks tonight's little glitches will keep you from wanting to see him again."
"Oh." I whisper.
"Yeah, little bear. In fact, Carlisle hasn't dated anyone in years. He hasn't been interested in any women until you came along. Only someone as special as you could have grabbed his attention." He smiles genuinely at me.
For the next several minutes we quietly wait as we watch Carlisle gradually pull ahead behind other cars either picking up or dropping off someone at the entrance. I begin to wonder if tonight was a group of tests for Carlisle and me to see how we handle the difficulties in life. Once he parks the car in front of us, he gets out, and assists me to it. Emmett does the same with Rosalie. Once again the car is plenty warm, and I adjust the temp slightly as he walks to the other side.
Driving back to Forks, we recount the movie. My sides begin to hurt from all the laughing at Emmett's take and many imitations. About an hour later I say, "I'm sorry the evening was cut short. I had fun tonight."
Emmett laughs at this. "Uh, little bear, are you sure you remember the same night as the rest of us? As I recall, you were at the center of a couple mishaps."
I tell them I remember, but note they were minor bumps in the road. I smile at Carlisle. He says, "I am glad you had fun this evening. I had a wonderful time also. I enjoyed getting to know more about you." Then we all return to our easy dialogue.
Roughly ten minutes later, I see something about the size of a horse run across the road, but it had more fur and looked like a bear or something dog like, but I don't know any dog species so large. I have to make sure my eyes are simply deceiving me. "What was that? You better slowdown, Killer." He lets off the gas a bit.
"Killer?" He asks me. I explain the reason behind the new nickname. Emmett's laugh fills the car while Rosalie chuckles. "I cannot say you are wrong, of course. Therefore, I suppose you have found a nickname for me." I nod with a large smile. He laughs softly. "I like it."
Fifteen minutes later, we are parked in front of Charlie's place. There is about twice the amount of snow on the ground now. Charlie always waits until the snow has finished falling before clearing a path to and from the house, so it doesn't surprise me. I dread walking to the front door, same as when I first thought about walking from the theater to the car.
It amazes me when Carlisle asks my permission to carry me to the porch because of my shoes and the snowfall. I apologize and explain my choice in shoes, but accept his offer. He tells me it will be his pleasure and winks. Mine too.
Emmett and Rosalie let me know they appreciated getting to know me and wish me a good night as Carlisle walks around the car. Carlisle lifts me easily into his arms, as though I am light as a feather; I wrap mine around his neck. He makes carrying me seem so effortless. His strong arms make me feel safe, protected, and comfortable. Being in his embrace this way fills me with deep satisfaction, as though I am exactly where I belong. On the porch, he hesitates slightly before gently placing me onto my feet.
He thanks me for spending the evening with him and tells me it was the best night of his existence. Why would he use such a term? I brush the question off at his next words.
"I've been touched by the morning sun that chases the night away,
and I've been touched by the gentle words that love-struck poets say.
And I've been touched by the morning mist everyone calls the dew,
but it all seems more beautiful now that I've been touched by you."
"Javan?" I ask. He nods, looking deep into my eyes. I feel him touch my left cheek and see his silent question as he gently rubs my cheekbone. I nod, ever so slightly, barely noticeable. When he begins to lean in toward me, my eyes flutter close. I lift my chin slightly in anticipation. Then, I hear the only thing to ruin this moment.
"Hey kids. Thanks for bringing her home safely, Son. Have a good night."
That's it! He had to go and ruin the perfect ending to a slightly flawed evening.
"CHARLIE!" I say, surprised. This causes him to glare at me. "Hello, Dad. Carlisle was just telling me good night."
His sarcastic tone surprises me. "Sure he was. Well, thank you for bringing her home safely. Good night." He hints once again the date is now over.
I smirk at my father, lean into the door, and whisper in his ear. "Thank you, Daddy. I'll be in shortly. I'm going to talk with Carlisle for a bit and wish him good night. Love you." I give him a kiss on the cheek, gently push him out of the doorway, and pull the door closed. Then I look at Carlisle with excitement and giddiness. I wrap my arms around his waist and pull him toward me. He wraps his arms around me with a gentle smile on his face and dark eyes now twinkling. His hands rest lightly on my lower back. "Now, I believe you were wishing me good night, yes?"
Following my words, he builds the anticipation once again, slowly dipping his head toward me. My eyes close once more. Just as I cannot take the torture any longer, his lips gently brush against mine, sweetly, softly, reverently. He pulls away slightly and kisses me once more before our lips begin moving together in a slow and sensual manner. His hands gently make their way up my back, shoulders, and into my hair. His fingers are tangled in my locks while his thumbs brush across my cheeks. Our lips move in sync, no one pushing for control; simply enjoying this moment.
There is no rush from either of us until my breathing picks up with my heart rate, setting a fire within me. My hands quickly glide up his back, around to his chest, and find their way into the hair at the nape of his neck as I deepen the kiss. A low groan escapes him when my tongue brushes his lips. He pulls away, pressing his forehead against mine. Then he gives me two sweet, gentle kisses and draws his head back. His hands are cupping my face and thumbs brushing across my cheeks a few more times.
We simply look into each other's eyes for a few minutes catching our breath. "Ah, Sweet Bella. Your eyes sparkling like diamonds in the sun, warms my heart." His hands glide down to my shoulders while he kisses my lips once more. Soft words like a whisper in the air follow. "Every time I am near you, I feel my veins flowing life through me. Can you feel it? Can you feel our connection?"
I nod, my hands still tangled in his hair. His hands rub up and down my upper arms. "Yes Carlisle. Every time I am around you, it feels like there are flutters across my skin, like a live energy floating through me. It's a feeling I have never felt before. I feel… complete." His eyes brighten.
"I would very much like to see you again. Would you grant me the honor?"
My smile is wide, answering full of joy and excitement. "Yes, of course! I would love to see you again. Only…" My smile drops, as do my eyes slightly, remembering his words at the beginning of the evening.
"Go ahead. You can tell me, or ask me anything."
"Well, would you mind if we go alone next time? As much as I enjoyed spending time with Emmett and Rosalie, I would really prefer getting to know you better."
His laugh is quiet, but full and joyful. "Yes, my dearest Bella, I believe it would be a wise idea. I would love nothing more than to spend an evening with only you." He bends to kiss me briefly again. "I believe I could fall in love with you, Isabella Swan."
I smile brightly at those words. "And I you, Carlisle Cullen." He kisses me deeply once again.
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A/N (LONG) – Reviews are like a loving hug... and they are a huge encouragement also. :D (See below for updates/news)
What do you think? Carlisle's control simply amazes me, especially while working on removing Bella's cast with the distractions. Bella certainly can throw the controlled vampire doctor off kilter, can't she? What are your thoughts? Do you think the incidents during their date were signs to keep them apart? What do you think of their first date... kiss?
Don't hate Charlie. He can't help his fatherly instincts, no matter how old his daughter is, she will always be his little girl. I know my father would question a man's intentions if I was Bella's age and a man, in Carlisle's shoes, took interest in me.
If you didn't find this story through the FAGEtastic Four community, I'd be interested to learn if it was recommended to you and where, or from whom. Even if you just happened to come across it, I'd be interested to know. I also love replying to every review I receive.
I realize red wine is not normally served with a wine bucket, or chilled, but I prefer my wine chilled and red is my wine of choice. Also, the wine bucket was necessary for the story. I really wanted to include the dancing, but the chapter size ran away from me. I always planned the snow scene/situation, but moved it up due to the chapter size. I know this chapter had a bit of repeating, but I also feel there were different things revealed to give insight of the date through Bella's POV. Also, this chapter is the basis of the prompt, so I thought it would be beneficial to see the date from both sides.
Please see my profile for any updates. :D
3-15-14 - There is an outtake of Carlisle & Bella's first kiss in Carlisle's POV. To read it, go to the story "Bell's Outtake Chronicles". Hope you enjoy! :D Also, this story will continue, but not until I have it all written out. I am gradually working on bits and pieces. When I am finished, this will allow for regular updates. :D
Cullen Cousin, is this what you were looking for in your FAGEtastic Four Prompt when you asked for "a little fun, maybe a date gone wrong…"? Can you forgive Charlie after Bella's goodnight to him? ;D
I love seeing readers favor and alert my stories, but I also love hearing what you think about my story (stories). Therefore, please login and show me how much you enjoyed it, or what you enjoyed about it. For additional information, please see my FFn profile where you will find links to pictures and a poll, if you would like to vote.
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