I knew it was rude, but I couldn't seem to help myself. I stared in frustration, admiration and concentration. Such a diverse mix of emotion. And there was only one person who could draw out so many emotions out of me.
My Bella was sitting on the tree branch, a picturesque scene beholding my eyes. I knew I should feel ashamed of my ogling; a man of my time does not stare at a lady inappropriately.
Her legs swinging in a carefree manner, her delicately tapered feet clad in white sandals, her mahogany locks swirling around her face with the breeze and her white dress caressing her frame, she had me completely at my mercy. I hid in the shadows of the forest, watching.
I had gone hunting with my family the day before. It was the last thing I wanted to do, but as my angel insisted… I was powerless. Jasper had teased me about that ruthlessly on the trip.
Emmett and Alice had agreed to look after her in my absence. I had hunted until I was full to the brim; trying to delay the next hunt. Each second away from Bella was agony.
I had run home at full speed, leaving the others behind me, to see her and hold her in my arms again. But no one was at home. Panicking, I tried to follow her scent, but there was none. Only Alice's and Emmett's leading to different directions. On a full-scale panic attack now, I sprinted after Emmett. And found Bella instead. She was perched on top of an ancient willow tree, hidden by the leaves and branches.
Her tinkling giggles floated through the air. I was curious. How I wished I could read her mind; it was forever an enigma to me. Why for the love of god was she perched so hazardously on top of a tree? Why was she giggling? And most of all, how on earth had she gotten up there? My beautiful Bella was not the most co-ordinated girl in the world. Although it only served to endear her further to myself, it was dangerous to her health at times. Such as now. She could fall down and break her small body-I winced at the thought-I really should get her down.
But I could not. My Bella looked like a doll sitting there giggling, and I had no wish to do anything other than stay here and admire her.
I froze. How had she seen me? She was far too observant for her own good. I grinned and climbed the tree, sitting next to her in a flash. I almost fell back down to the ground. Bella…
Her face was flushed a rosy pink, her eyes shining bright and her luscious lips were tilted in a small smile. It was such a gorgeous sight that I could only stare like an idiot.
When I could speak again, I hurried to voice my curiousity.
"What on earth are you doing up here, Bella?"
She giggled, not bothered at all by my worry. "Hiding," she told me in a whisper.
I was thoroughly befuddled. Would I ever be able to follow her train of thoughts?
Hmm…now where would Bella be?
I could hear Alice. She was currently combing the whole forest for Bella. Catching onto my scent, she began to run.
Giving up, I asked her a different question.
"Shh!" she put her index finger up to her lips in a 'be quiet' motion. Bemused, I obeyed. Anything for her.
"I'm up here because Emmett put me here. We're playing hide-and-seek,"
I laughed in a whisper. So that was why Alice was searching the whole forest for Bella and Emmett.
"Found you!" Alice crowed and danced around our tree happily. Bella grumbled.
"No fair! You only found us because of Edward," she shouted down at her.
"Nuh-uh, I found you and you're in. No excuses! Besides, you aren't even going to be the one to try to find us,"
Bella sighed. Laughing, I cradled her in my arms and jumped down, carful to let the impact only run through my body.
"Have you found Emmett yet?" Bella asked Alice. Alice frowned uncharacteristically.
"No," she pouted. "I can't find him anywhere! Bella, tell me where he went,"
"Sorry, but I have no idea myself. He just put me on the tree and ran away,"
I listened for Emmett. His thoughts were usually very easy to find, being much louder than others.
Yes! They'll never find me here.
I burst out laughing. Indeed, if I had not been here Alice and Bella would never have found Emmett.
Alice grinned, knowing I had found him. I began to race while she followed.
Reaching my destination, I set Bella down and sat her down carefully on another tree. She looked at me, bemused, but didn't question my objectives.
Alice and I walked a bit, so that Bella could see us but wasn't too close to us.
We began to dig.
After we had dug about twenty five feet underground, Emmett's body suddenly burst through. Glaring at us, especially me, he shouted.
"Edward! You ruined our game! You weren't supposed to help Alice. What are you doing back so soon anyways?"
"Alice said I could play," Not really. But she wasn't about to correct me when I helped her find Emmett. "Also, I came back early because I missed Bella," he snorted.
"Jeez. Your stalker obsession gets creepy sometimes. How does Bella stand it?"
"For your information, I do not stalk her." they both gave me incredulous looks. "Not anymore," I admitted grudgingly.
"Come on, Bella's waiting," Alice said. Emmett's eyes lightened.
"You found Bella first? Then I'm not in!"
We both ignored him and climbed out of the giant hole. Emmett followed.
I could see Bella still sitting on the tree, and rushed to greet her. Bella started to laugh hysterically. I looked at our surroundings carefully, but saw nothing to spark her amusement. Her laughter only grew when Alice and Emmett joined me below the tree.
Her laughter warmed my heart even through my frustration. Desperately trying to read her mind for the hundredth time, I reached up and lowered her to the ground. My love collapsed onto the floor, still in hysterics.
"What's so funny?" Emmett asked curiously. But Bella was far too gone to answer him. After a while, she pointed at us and spluttered out, "You…you look…ridiculous…" She burst out laughing again.
We all looked at ourselves. Mud and dirt covered every inch of our bodies. Seeing the humour in the situation, we joined Bella in her amusement. And that was how Carlisle, Esme, Rosalie and Jasper found us. Rolling around the forest floor laughing until there would have been tears rolling down our faces were we to be human.
Rosalie raised her eyebrows. You've all finally gone mad I see.
Jasper was not so far behind. Esme, on the other hand, was horrified at our state.
"Children, you are not going into the house like that. I want you to clean up properly," she ordered us. Carlisle cast us all an amused look, curious but thinking it better not to question.
I took my love in my arms and we all ran to the nearby lake. When she caught sight of the lake, her eyes widened.
"Edward, don't you dare-"
I cracked up when she got cut off by the water. Silent bubbles floated up to the surface from my mouth. Bella glared up at me in the murky depth of the water. I kissed her deeply, willing her anger away. Kissing Bella underwater was such a different experience; she tasted even better with the water sweetening her lips. Regretfully I pulled away, recalling her need for oxygen.
Bella gasped as we surfaced. Alice, Emmett, Rosalie and Jasper had already jumped in the lake; they were having a water fight. My angel giggled and relaxed in my arms.
"The lake isn't so bad after all,"
"mm." I moaned in assent. Her white dress…I was so thankful to Alice in that moment. The dress clung to her body and was now practically translucent, showing her delicious curves. Bella blushed into the colour of a cherry when she noticed my staring. She buried herself into my chest in an attempt to hide.
"I'm sorry, love. You're just too beautiful for your own good," I told her, burying my face into her hair. She giggled and I smiled.
Emmett just had to ruin our moment.
"Get a room, you two!" he hollered, swimming away. Bella and I had been hit unexpectedly with a large amount of water plants. Growling, I plucked the offensive plants from her hair and face. Bella only giggled.
I swam over and placed Bella with Alice. Alice immediately proceeded to shower my poor love with lake water. She squealed and tried to splash her back.
I submerged myself in water, sinking to the floor. Emmett was still engaged in a water fight with Jasper and Rosalie. Pulling three times as many debris than Emmett had so graciously gifted us with, I swam to him, silent and deadly as a shark.
It took everyone by complete surprise when Emmett was blasted with the green mass. There was shocked silence for a moment; then it all exploded in laughter. Emmett himself was laughing as well, finding the humour in his appearance. That didn't mean that he wouldn't try to get me back later. I would have to be extremely cautious during the coming week.
Water suddenly rained down on me. I blinked in surprise. It was very unlike me to not be able to read the thoughts of the attacker-
Of course. Bella was behind me, smiling innocently. I grinned evilly at her; her smile faltered a split second before I was on her.
I laughed as I splashed water onto her bewildered face. She tried to defend by throwing her arms in front of her face; it was useless. The rest of my siblings swam over and began to attack full force.
When I finally stopped them and pulled Bella away, she was drenched and pouting.
"Yeah, just attack the poor human. She's too slow; she can't do anything to get you back!"
"I'm sorry, love. But if I remember correctly, you started it," I told her, kissing her nose.
She abruptly shivered, reminding me of the coldness of the lake. What was I thinking? She could have gotten hypothermia, swimming in this temperature. I quickly scooped her up and out of the lake, running back to our house. After laying her down in my bed and smothering her with countless blankets, I had to hesitate. Where would I get clothes for Bella? Would Alice have foreseen this and left them in her room?
I was about to leave to check when Esme appeared with the clothing. "Bella, dear, you can go shower and change into these," Bella peeked at Esme from under the blanket before nodding and smiling. I left to give her privacy.
I never would have thought hide-and-seek would provide so much entertainment. I would have to try it sometime later with my siblings. I smirked, recalling Emmett's hiding place. Esme cast me a curious look, but I just shook my head.